Surf. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment. Thank the Lords.

We have waited a long time for this. The false promises from Chance the Rapper has had us on our toes for far too long. In this day and age it is rare for a album to be withheld from the public for as long as Surf was withheld from us. This was like a reverse leak.

Somethings are better when you are forced to wait, like Parmesan cheese or fine wine. Surf is the fine wine, and thank God I get to finally taste it.

This album is ripe with features, and they are all a surprise. You just have to listen to the track to find out who is on each one. The beautiful part about this project is the fact that Chance took a back seat and is just part of the team, not the focus.

You can download it for free on Itunes (here).


How to be a Millionaire by 28

How much money would someone have to pay you to give up the next 8 years of your life? How much would they have to pay you to not be able to enjoy or take advantage of your early to late 20s? A million? 10? More? Come up with your number in your head.

I have been posing this question to my friends recently. They are an active group for the most part, and most of them strongly value the potential that the next 8 years holds. They typically gave me a number around 10 million dollars, but more often than not it is a far greater number.

Now think about what job you want for your adult life. Me, I want to write for National Geographic or open a restaurant. What do you want to do? Now think about how much money you are going to make working that job. I can tell you in absolute certainty that I will not make 10 million dollars in my life.

So if I value the next 8 years of my life at 10 million, and I am not going to make that much money in my life, why wouldn’t I take full advantage of every single day?

Unless your price for giving up the next 8 years of your life is really low, or you plan on making massive amounts of money in your life, I encourage you to look at your life right now and reexamine your priorities.

If you don’t reprioritize your life, you might end up not taking advantage of your next 8 years. In my case, I would be giving up more than I will make in my entire life. What is the point of the money I am going to make in my life if it is worth less to me than the next 8 years? And knowing that, it would be an utter waste to not live life to the fullest.

This is a call to life. Look at your life and start living folks. Appreciate the days you have now and take full advantage of them. Go somewhere new and experience a culture that isn’t yours. Try new food and learn new languages. Try new activities and climb new mountains, whether literal or hypothetical. Improve yourself and live.

If you don’t feel like going to college, don’t go. There are so many paths to your future. It doesn’t have to be high school to college to job to wife to house to kids to retirement to death. There are so many ways to go about your future. Work seasonal jobs. Work abroad. Find volunteer programs. Teach English abroad. Meet people who are taking advantage of their 8 years and be inspired. More often than not you won’t find these people in the classroom. I wish someone would have told me 4 years ago that I didn’t need to go straight to college, it would have saved me a lot of stress and money and I would still be in the same spot I am now.

Take risk. Put yourself in a position where it is possible to fail. Whether it is moving to a ski resort in a van or taking a running jump across a stream that might be slightly too wide for you to get over. If we live in a world of comfort, a world devoid of risk, we don’t push ourselves. Everyone likes to be comfortable, but comfort breeds complacency, and complacency ends with us waking up as a 60 year old wishing we did more with our lives.

Wake up and smell the roses. You are living such a valuable life and you are in such a valuable time of that life. Take advantage. Don’t wake up when you are older and wish you did more when you had the ability and opportunity. All you have to do to be a millionaire is realize how valuable your life is to you and to live it to the fullest.

Have a good day and a better life.

-Me, on top of a mountain in Breckenridge, CO. Find your mountain.

Can the Government see your “Dick Pics?”

Yes. Yes they can.

John Oliver on “Last Week Tonight,” put government surveillance in a way that your common American could understand it. He cut through the technical terms that are most often used to describe government surveillance and put it in the common mans terms, dick pics.

John Oliver scored an interview with Edward Snowden, a hero to many for his bravery in stealing and releasing classified NSA documents to the American Public and the world. The problem with Snowden trying to change the way the American Public looks at government surveillance, is even that he released these documents detailing the transgressions the NSA has committed, very few people understand the depth of it due to a lack of technical knowledge.

Below I have posted the video from “Last Week Tonight,” and I would strongly recommend you watch it. Not only does it make the topic of government surveillance more understandable to those of us who don’t have years of technical experience, but it does it in a way that is enjoyable to us as a viewer. The power of John Oliver folks.

June 1st is the day that the American Government will vote on extending the Patriot Act. I encourage you to start creating dialogue and conversation about these issues to increase public knowledge on the issue. If we fail to act now, we will continue to have our rights encroached upon, and that includes NSA collecting and viewing those dick pics.

Brilliant with Information

“Cram people ‘full of incombustible data,'” the fire captain explained. “Chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. They they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving.”
– Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451

 It is truly overwhelming, the amount of time we spend connected to the great universe of information and stimulation that is the Internet. Don’t get me wrong, I spend far too much time reading useless articles and filling my head with “Incombustible data,” but I am aware and that makes me feel sick.

I find it hard to even have a conversation with someone because I am never heard over the clashing or crushing that robs their attention from what I am trying to say. It is not only the distraction of our devices but we have also reached a point where it is very difficult to articulate our thoughts, if we even have them.

Stop for a second and think. How much time are you connected to your computer, TV, or your phone every day? What did you use to do before you spent that much time connected? I used to write more, spend time outside marveling at the colors and beauty of the world, I was more active, I was more comfortable around people, I read books, I felt better and lived healthier. Is all the time that I have spent on devices made my life better or worse? It is a pretty easy question for me to answer. How has it affected your life?

The Internet and TV has made it possible for us to feel like we are doing something while in actuality we are doing nothing at all. We live our lives through a virtual filter, living vicariously through the characters on the screen in front of us. We are doing less than we ever have, while consuming infinitely more information.

We are losing what makes us powerful and human and replacing it with celebrity news and time sucking apps. We need to take back our mind from the overwhelming and controlling amount of screen time that we put it through on a daily basis.

Pick up a book, take a walk, talk to someone and leave your phone in your pocket. Reclaim what makes you, you. Do something, actually do something. Rebel against the comfort of your couch and television and take the world by storm.

The First Chapter. Long Drives and No Where to Park

Originally Posted on The Boys Who Lived.

We made it. My roommate Jon and I set out on an adventure of magnificent proportions. We left the comfort of home, friends, and a full size bed in search of something bigger. We found it. We pulled into Vail, Colorado last night after many hours on the road, and this place is crazy.

I have never seen so many wrecks in my life. The drive from Missoula to Vail was crazy. I saw at least 15 wrecked cars and trucks on the way and I have never driven on worse roads. But we made it, and we are smiling big.

I could have never imagined a place like this. It is a theme park for the fabulously wealthy. Gondola’s are in town taking people up the mountain. It is like a scene from a Disney movie, the snowcapped condo’s and hotels look like a movie set.

The bad part about Vail, the parking. There is not a spot to park, leaving us, the ones who are trying to survive the winter by living out of a van, up a creek of sorts. We slept in the Walmart parking lot last night, but that is temporary at best. They told us we could sleep there a couple more nights before they tow us, at least we have a few nights to try and figure this out.

When all hope seems lost, that is when the light decides to shine through. Jon and I went into Starbucks to plug in our rice maker, and we met the most interesting lady named Susi. She has lived in Vail for the last 52 years and was a wealth of knowledge. $1.50 taco Tuesday at Agave, free dinner at the Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, canned food at the Salvation Army, a potential place to park at the Mormon Church. This lady had it all. She filled us with a new hope that our crazy dream is actually possible in a world ruled by money.

If Susi taught me anything though, it was to put down your phone and computer and actually talk to people. We would have never met her if we hadn’t walked into Starbucks looking for a place to cook our rice, and we wouldn’t have talked to her if we would have been glued to our phones. There are so many cool people in the world, just take a second to talk to them and learn a little about life. We aren’t as wise or smart as we think we are.

And to you all out there that might potentially read this, take a second and dream. Life is too short not to dream.

From a boy who is following his dreams, I wish you a good night.

College Dropout. Ski Bum. An Update in the Life and Times of Riley Lemm

Here I stand, on the edge of glory, or at least that is what I tell my self to get rid of the nervousness.

Some of you know, most of you probably know, but for those who don’t, those who care that don’t know, I am walking away from college for the time being. Now that’s a pretty heavy statement I just dropped on you.

To do what, you might ask? I am going to go follow my dreams for a little while, whatever that means. I am moving to Vail, Colorado to work at Vail Ski Resort as a lift attendant.

Where will I be living, you might ask? I will be living out of a camper van, with my best homie/adventure buddy/roommate Jon Heutmaker.

Now this is the point where you can give me a list of a hundred reasons why this is a terrible idea, I have probably heard them all, and props to you if you can come up with one that I haven’t heard.

Most people react poorly when I tell them. They say something along the lines of, “You are stupid for walking away from college, a college education is necessary. You are never going to come back and you are going to live an unhappy, poor life.” Sorry, but you people are ridiculous.

Other people react like this, “I am so jealous of what you are doing. I wish I could just leave and walk away like you are. You are going to have a blast.” I was in your spot just a few short months ago, dreaming of adventures and struggling through classes that weren’t shoving me in the direction that I wanted to go with my life. Just take a leap of faith, even if you fail, you will learn so much about yourself, and you won’t spend your life regretting the time that you didn’t follow your dreams and sense of adventure.

Why exactly am I doing this, you might ask? I was sitting in class, going farther into debt without really getting any closer to my end goals. I was unmotivated and doing poorly because I was depressed about the current state of my life. Now it sounds like a bit of a cop out to just drop out, but I have realized that I might never have another opportunity in my life to do what I want to do. I don’t want to grow old with the regrets of not experiencing life. There is so much out there in the world, and I have seen so little of it.

Being in Alaska this summer reignited my life. I saw the world through a completely different lens. I was surrounded by people who weren’t living their lives in the traditional American sense of it. They were working to pay for travel, and to support their hobbies. There are ways to make your life work, without going straight from high school, to college, to work, to retirement. Nothing used to scare me more than the thought that I might wake up 30 years from now, and not have followed my dreams. Now I don’t have to be scared of that anymore.

I plan on taking full advantage of this next season of my life. Even though I am taking a break from college, I am not taking a break from what I love to do. I will write everyday, and maybe when I come back, I will have a story that I like enough to share with you.

I guess I will leave you with this, no matter how old you are, follow your dreams. Don’t live your life any longer with those dreams turning to regrets inside of you.

Oh, and by the way, I leave on Saturday. Yeah this Saturday, the 22nd of November. I start work on Monday the 24th. Have a good year and see you in April.

Alaskan Adventure. Pt. 1. It never stops raining.

I am not the first person, nor will I be the last person to take an Alaskan Adventure. This land of the north is considered a land that has yet to be fully conquered, a frontier of sorts, a land filled with huge bears and even huge-er bear stories. I have, in my 2 days that I have been in Alaska so far, have heard enough bear stories to last a life time. I kid you not, if I hear one more bear story I will maul the person telling it.

It is hard to write about personal experiences. People rarely find the personal day to day experiences of another human being to be interesting, but it isn’t all about how interesting an experience is. I am mostly writing so I can keep everything straight in my mind, and as an escape from the 16 hour work days that will soon engulf every aspect of my life.

I missed my first flight to Alaska. 5 minutes earlier and I would of made it. Curse the construction that delayed my drive to the airport. This started a headachey chain of events. Switched flight fees, waiting standbye, cramped seats, baggage switchover, another standbye, another cramped seat, and finally my destination. An interesting side note: I sat next to a lady on my first flight from Seattle to Anchorage, who graduated from Polson, Montana in 1978. It was a bumpy, short flight from Anchorage to King Salmon, then a bumpy drive from King Salmon to Naknek.

Naknek is my home for these next few months. A town made up of canneries, fish processing plants, a boat yard, a general store, a liquor store, and a post office. No phone service, and when I say no phone service I don’t mean phone service that is really bad most everywhere and good enough in some places to receive a text, I mean absolutely no cell phone reception. It is a good escape from the ever pervasive world of cellular devices that the rest of the world consists of. It is nice to be able to meet and talk to someone who doesn’t pull their phone out halfway through a conversation and give you only a part of their attention.

I haven’t seen a night here yet. It is light for about 21 hours a day. At ten at night it still feels like mid-day, it is quite the trip. Alaska is a beautiful place. People who have been to Alaska always say how beautiful it is here and coming from Montana I thought I knew what to expect. Flying into Anchorage was wonderful. The mountains up here dwarf the mountains back home. And then when we got to King Salmon it was an entirely different landscape; flat, short trees, and brush for as far as the eye could see. It was beautiful in a very different way than Anchorage, but equally beautiful.

Tomorrow we start working. Yesterday was orientation, rules, and a run through of all the different jobs in the processing plant. I get to work on the fillet line. Should be an interesting experience filleting salmon for 16 hours a day. Tomorrow will be difficult, the next day will probably be even more difficult, and the day after that even more so, then eventually it will get easier as my body becomes accustomed to the long hours and hard work, at least I can hope that my body will adapt or else this will be a long couple of months.

There are three of us crammed into a little tiny dorm style room. It would be a stretch to call this dorm style as a dorm would be considered luxury to what we are living in now. A nine foot by nine foot by eight foot box with a bunk bed and a twin. Thin walls and one outlet, a crooked door and a window that opens into a warehouse. I can’t complain that much though, it could be worse. It just adds to the Alaskan Experience. My two roommates are from Colorado and Utah, Spencer and Bryce. Good guys, makes life a little bit easier. Spencer still calls me Randy even though I have corrected him a few times, such is life. It could be worse.

I will try to write and update this blog a couple times a week, that is if a bear doesn’t maul me first. I wish you all a happy Wednesday and a good week.

Mom and Dad, if you are reading this could you please send me a plug strip, my two grey flannels, and a few more pairs of wool socks. Thanks. Candy would be nice too.