It had been 4,777 days since I had seen Pearl Jam in concert. The only time I had seen them live was October 21, 2000—one day shy of the ten year anniversary of the band’s first performance. I’m not a big concert guy—I’ve only been to a couple of PJ concerts and two other Flogging Molly ones—but that original concert was special. Pearl Jam has been my favorite band for two decades now. Not only to do I love the music, but I’ve really appreciated their politics and social outlooks. Hell, they even devoted a song to one of my favorite books. Unfortunately, the band hasn’t included Phoenix in any of its tours for more than a decade. So when the band announced that they would be visiting Phoenix on November 19 on their Lightning Bolt tour, there was no way I was going to miss it.
The Wilderness Act turns 50 this year and this short video is a visually stunning way to celebrate some of our most treasured landscapes. We’re truly indebted to John Muir, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, Also Leopold, and the countless other unsung advocates who fought tirelessly to preserve Wilderness for us all. What an amazing legacy to leave.
It’s hard to find a more eloquent, humbling, and ultimately empowering statement than the inspired words of Carl Sagan. If you’ve had a bad day recently or need some perspective on your life, here it is. Watch. Listen.
In the vastness of space and the immensity of time, revel in the joy of sharing a planet and an epoch with your friends and family, with neighbors and strangers. With wistful clouds and chirping birds; with streams and rock and dirt.
Because with great fortune, you have the serendipitous opportunity of inhabiting, for a brief moment, a tiny fraction of a speck on our insignificant pale blue dot—a faint pinprick of reflected light suspended in an incalculable vastness. Cherish it. Hold dear the only home we’ve ever known, that solitary mote of dust.
My friend Jenny and I have embarked on a quest to visit all of Metro Phoenix’s breweries before the end of this year—we call it #phxbrewquest. Here’s the list we’re working off of—which appears to be the most complete and accurate one on the internet—which includes only home-grown breweries that brew on-site and include a public tasting room.
We’ve currently visited 27 of the (current) 28:
- Four Peaks Brewing Company (Tempe) – completed
- O.H.S.O. Eatery and nanoBrewery (Phoenix) – completed
- Fate Brewing (Scottsdale) – completed June 7
- Papago Brewing Company (Scottsdale) – completed June 15
- Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company (Gilbert) – completed June 22
- San Tan Brewing Company (Chandler) – completed June 22
- The Perch Pub and Brewery (Chandler) – completed July 22
- Sun Up Brewing Co (Phoenix) – completed July 21
- Sleepy Dog (Tempe) – completed August 2
- Desert Eagle Brewing Co (Mesa) – completed August 2
- Phoenix Ale Brewery (Phoenix) – completed August 24
- Sonoran Brewing Company (Phoenix) – completed August 24
- Uncle Bear’s Brewhouse Grill (Ahwatukee) – completed August 17
- Litchfield Taproom by Peoria Artisan Brewery (Peoria) – completed September 13
- Cartel (Phx/Scotts/Tempe) – completed August 17
- North Mountain Brewing Company (Phoenix) – completed October 17
- Huss Brewing (Tempe) – completed November 1
- Bold Barley Brewing (Phoenix) – completed November 23
- Casa Arriba Brewing Company – (various) – completed November 23
- Dubina Brewing Co. (Glendale) – completed November 23
- Freak’N Brewing Co. (Peoria) – completed November 23
- Mother Bunch Brewing (Phoenix) – completed November 28
- Bad Water Brewing (Scottsdale) – completed December 3
- Mad Hatter Brew Pub (Tempe) – completed December 15
- Beer Research Institute (Mesa) – completed December 15
- Saddle Mountain Brewing (Goodyear) – completed January 22
- Scottsdale Beer Company (Scottsdale) – completed March 6
Still left to visit:
- Blasted Barley Beer Company (Tempe)
Yesterday was my last day at the Conservation Lands Foundation.
In my nearly six years on staff, we quickly built an effective national organization, developed and supported a vibrant network of grassroots advocates across the West, helped set a strong policy vision for system, and elevated the profile of the National Conservation Lands, among many other hard-fought achievements. And while it required a lot of hard work, it’s impossible not to smile deeply when I think back over how far we’ve come; it’s truly been a remarkable ride. I’ve had the privilege of working with some amazing colleagues and partners—most all of whom I now consider friends—on this century’s greatest public lands conservation opportunity…all while having some good fun along the way, too.
Moving on is always bittersweet, but an exciting opportunity also lies ahead that will let me harness and better focus my passion for the Conservation Lands here in Arizona. I’ll have more to announce in the near future.
In the meanwhile, I’m on sabbatical through mid-April, so if you have some free time and want to get together, go for a hike, or take a daytrip, send me a note and get on my calendar.
Today is the anniversary of Antiquities Act of 1906. Not many people know much about this law, even though it probably ranks as the most important conservation tool in our nation’s history. Not only did it, for the first time, protect historical and prehistoric structures and artifacts, but it gave the President the authority to designate national monuments, helping to effectively preserve so much of our natural and cultural heritage. Many of these places have since been incorporated into larger national monuments or national parks, and many of them form the basis for the National Conservation Lands.
Last month, my two cats, Lovebug and Shadow, were unexpectedly pulled out of my life. I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. The circumstances surrounding it made it hurt even worse. While I haven’t been able to live with them for awhile now, they were still very important to me and important parts of the only family I’ve had a hand in choosing.
Today is Lovebug’s birthday, and so I am remembering him and Shadow with this post. Continue reading Goodbye Lovebug and Shadow