Sunday, October 31, 2010

Circle of Life

**DISCLAIMER** The following post contains images that may be disturbing to sensitive readers. Ask your pet chickens to leave the room. If you are vegetarian or think your meat comes from the grocery store, please come back next week and skip this blog post. This is reality and I have tried to be sensitive with the photos I chose. I hope you come back next week. *** It isn't horribly graphic (I will not post those photos), but there is blood and dead chickens.

Interlude while you decide: Cali proves she is not picky.
when I was a teenager, I raised calves by bottle and then either sold them for meat or my family used them for meat. I have always understood the circle of life.I know my chicken/meat does not come from a cellophane wrapped styrofoam package. I am also a big fan of free range chickens (for animal welfare more than my health) and was happy to be introduced to a local small farmer who was raising/selling some free range chickens. He just asked that people come help on the 'package/process' day. So we agreed. It was a beautiful cold morning.The boys round up the chickens.
I will be sensitive enough to not show the photos I got of the next step. But I understand it had to happen and it was humane. Obviously, Jason had a 'hands-on' approach. (the next two photos I struggled with posting..but I think it is a neat process and hopefully will help show people what happens..without you seeing all the nitty gritty. I truly hope no one is offended.)They were scalded (post-mortem) to loosen the feathers and then put in a 'de-featherer' which worked really well.Then they were gutted and packaged.
I enjoyed the process as it gave me a new appreciation for my food. I will really enjoy these chickens and use every bit..after all that work we are not wasting anything. The farm had some other cuter residents.
I like to post about the new and unusual things we do and do not want to offend so I hope everyone who made it this far appreciated what we did. But it was educational, hard work and respectfully done.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Gyeong is one step closer to the proverbial bucket, so as his monumental 40th anniversary approaches we decided to move our party to the west coast and hit Las Vegas with a vengeance. Jason and I went out one day early to do a great trip to the Grand Canyon, which is on my bucket list. For those of you who have never been, I tried to show some perspective in a few photos. This is a photo intensive post, but I had so many great photos!
The first step was a 30 minute flight to the Canyon.Everyone had a window seat!It had rained pretty hard the day before which gave us some really neat cloud/fog photos. The fog in this photo looks like a body of water, but the pilot assured us it is just desert.From the air, we had a great dam view.
And we get our first taste of the Grand Canyon
Then we board our next chariot..a helicopter! This was also a bucket list item and it did not disappoint! I loved riding in a helicopter and I got the front seat!
The helicopter took us in to the Grand Canyon to give us a view unlike anything else.
I'm in a helicopter in the Grand Canyon! woohoo!

Also watch the river for perspective. You will see how big the river actually is shortly.
Since I was in the front seat, I was 'easy out' so I could get a photo of Jason exiting the helicopter
Our third stage of this tour was a boat ride in the Colorado River. Now you will see how wide the river actually in future photos keep that in mind to get height perspective.

These are 7-8 Stratospheres high according to the boat captain. The Stratosphere (you will see photos from it soon) is almost 1200 feet high.Notice the helicopter in this photo..looks like a toy!

Then we load back in to the helicopter and head back to the top. I caught the copter blade in this shot
Just gorgeous

We get to the rim and get on a shuttle to head to Eagle Point, home of the famous Skywalk. Now our pilot suggested we skip this tourist trap since we had just had a much better view via helicopter. so we didn't get off at this stop and headed to the next one. He gave us the best advice EVER!
At Guano Point, we had free rein to climb, play and have some fun. We had a great lunch with an even greater view
We had some company
Everywhere we looked it was amazing
This is Guano Point...notice the peak to the left of the photo..if you look on that outcropping..there are little bitty people. and remember that mountain...
no fences or safety nets
Vertigo was common!

After some sweating, grunting and sheer will power..we made it to the top of that rock pile. There weren't trails but it was well worth the pain!From that point, this is the view back looked at where we had lunch and took the first Guano point photo. check out the people to get perspective.then we headed back to Vegas to meet up with everyone else. We stayed at the MGM Grand so there was a lion habitat. But don't worry..the lions didn't live here. They were brought in for a few hours once or twice a week (there were a bunch of them that rotated) and they lived on a big farm somewhere away from the city. This was their enrichment of sorts. the older ones slept a lotThe younger ones played so much I couldn't get a good shot..they were hysterical and quite fun to watch!the next day it was rainy, but we headed to the Statosphere to play on the thrill rides. we stopped to watch the fountains at the Bellagio
Kristen and Jason are the thrill seekers of the group. Gyeong and I were the photographers. This particular ride just spun them out of the edge of the Stratosphere 1000 feet up.Remember the Grand Canyon cliffs were 7-8 times this height...yeah.Then they did the ride that shoots you up in the air and drops you down. Jason is on the other side, this is just Kristen.This next ride..even Jason couldn't do. this car just was just dropped over the edge and something i feel sure that wasn't big enough stopped the car from plummeting to the earth. Gave me heart palpitations just watching it!!!!Kristen is on the 2nd row on the opposite side, so you can only see her hairJason and I went to Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill on Wednesday night..yummy! then on Friday night we went to Rick Moonen's RMC which was by far at the top of my 'restaurant' list which says a lot considering how many great restaurants we have been too! This is an example of the meal we had.On Saturday, we gambled..alot. Jason is a craps player so we were at the Craps table most of the day. He made enough money to play all day, drink for free and have a good time..we left with the gambling money we came I think we did pretty well! But of course, you can't take photos of that. We walked around one night, but I guess I just wasn't thinking about takign photos. I got this one of Paris which is one of my favorite casinos.and we caught the fountain show at night
We had dinner with everyone who came out for Gyeong's birthday on the last night. They brought him a cake and I got a rare photo of the birthday boy.

It was a great trip! I knocked two things off my bucket list, spent some time with great friends, played hard and had an overall great time! Happy Birthday, Gyeong!!!!!!