All posts by shelby

I made this site! And lots of other ones too.

Changes

2016 has been a rough year for everyone. We’ve witnessed the wholesale humanitarian disaster in Syria and Libya while world powers bicker and back proxy warfare, we’ve lost celebrities left and right, and on a personal note, I grew less satisfied with my personal and career growth as the year pressed on. Yes, that problem is the epitome of privilege. I am fortunate to be worried about ‘growth’ when many in this world don’t have a place to call home.

I spent the majority of 2016 working on myself, and seeking a new job that would afford me the free time to pursue my hobbies and business endeavors. While field biology has been a rich and rewarding experience, I have come to understand how valuable my time truly is. I could justify working 80+ hours a week in 2015, a year where I tried to heal my personal hurt with a full work schedule and no time to worry about the past. That was literally tearing me apart. I set a personal goal in 2016 to change my life; to take leaps of faith and in turn build a better man. I am happy to say that although it was slow going, I am feeling the winds of change and I am letting the sails down to catch them.

I’ve met some incredible new people, started a few incredibly promising businesses, and landed an awesome new job – I am now the IT specialist for three departments in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. It’s a position filled with promise and a little bit of stress (but good stress – I am the go-to IT guy, so the buck stops with me!) and with a full-time position comes some awesome perks – better pay, a 40-hour work week, health insurance, 401k match and the like. I am going to be able to build my IT skills and advance my career with the experience I gain here, all while having the time again to pursue my creative and entrepreneurial endeavors.

Yes, 2016 was a hard year for almost everyone – but if you look long enough, I am sure you had some great times too.

2016 at a glance (Highlights)

  • The Con Bros officially launch – and host a party to rave reviews
  • I start Bluegrass Expeditions with a good friend and fellow outdoor fanatic
  • Gained the courage to actually get to know and put myself back on to the dating scene (results are mixed, but it’s a start, haha)
  • Spent three holiday weekends with family that I don’t get to see that often
  • Cut down on sugars (mostly in drinks) and lost 20lbs, 2 pant sizes, making more conscious food choices (mainly portion control)
  • Moved by myself for the first time, and found a place that saves me so much money that I can save for a down payment to buy a place in Lexington sooner rather than later (my goal is this is my last rented apartment here)

2017 Goals

  • I am going to learn to rock climb
  • I am getting in better shape
  • I am going to start taking more classes (online or in person) to develop programming, IT, and outdoor skills
  • The Con Bros will host more parties and attend more cons
  • I will FINALLY get my video editing backlog cleared out
  • Bluegrass Expeditions will start booking reservations and taking trips in the spring
  • I will make significant headway in saving to purchase a house in Lexington
  • I will find love? Haha, A guy can dream, right?

The 2016 Election

Don’t like to talk about politics online, but I am a firm believer that good government protects the rights of all people and doesn’t have the right to tell a responsible member of society what they can and cannot do. Good government doesn’t destroy the sovereignty of other nations and peoples without cause and definitely without a plan.
 
This country is flawed, yes, but it is a work in progress and it should be ruled by the many, not the few. A choice for Clinton or Trump will only continue the devastation that oligarchical rule has led in our society. The powerful stay in power because the common man fights his fellow man. Fight the power this time. Stop the cycle of violence, abuse, suppression, oppression.
 
If you are disgusted with the choice between a demagogue and a war criminal whose policy has led to more death and suffering to civilians than enemy combatants, please consider voting for the Libertarian party this fall. It is the only third party choice that will appear on the ballot in every state.
 
The Green party is a solid choice but the base isn’t as big, yet. I’m advocating for any person considering third party to rally behind Johnson because his base plus all other third party votes could be enough to steal 5% of the popular vote and gain access to federal funds. If one third party breaks through, then floodgates can open and others you might align more with can make it!
I would say the best description of my political philosophy is libertarian socialist – IE I think government should exist to protect your rights, not infringe on them, while balancing economy and equality. Tough to enact, for sure, but can you imagine how much better off we’d all be if it happened?

Keeneland Opening Day/My Birthday Oct 7, 2016 Bets

Finally decided on a format for keeping track of my progress when betting on the races. I’ll just make a quick post as soon as I can after tallying results, that way I don’t put it off and forget forever! (Not that anyone cares, but I like to keep track just to know how much I’ve won or lost overall)

October 7, 2016 – Opening Day, Keeneland

Betting location – Phoenix Room
Occasion – Birthday, UK Alumni Event

Starting amount

$13

Race/Bet Breakdown

Race 1 – $1 EB (6 Run Zippy Run, 3 Cinnamon Spice) Result: L $2
Race 2 – $3 WPS (2 Bourbon Happens) Result: WIN $8.20
Race 3 – $0.10 SPRB (2 Silver Ridge, 3 Cerro, 5 Scarly Charly, 7 Helooksthepart) Result: LOSE $2.40
Race 4 – $1 WPS (1 The Cookie Man, 8 Datts Our Guy) Result: LOSE $6
Race 5 – $1 WPS (6 The Zip Zip Man) Result: LOSE $3

Cash Out

$1.80

Overall Result

LOST $11.20

Mealworms can digest Styrofoam!

MEALWORMS EAT STYROFOAM!!!!

An amazing study reveals that the lowly mealworm can digest polystyrene foam, with an estimated natural decomposition time of centuries, in a matter of hours. What a tremendous boon to recycling this discovery could bring!

I have always been an advocate of research focused on natural solutions to pollution problems – nature often has the answers we need, but we put a tremendous stress on the systems so that we cannot see any positive outcomes!

http://fusion.net/story/206581/mealworms-recycle-styrofoam/

Employed as an Environmental Scientist

Long time, no update – there’s a pretty legit reason for that, other than the normal “life gets in the way” excuse. I’ve had the incredible fortune to be employed by an Environmental Consulting firm here in Lexington.

I am a field sampling technician, collecting surface and ground water from clients (mainly coal mines) in eastern Kentucky. We process samples in the lab back in Lexington to test for mine compliance with Federal and State regulations. It’s really exciting to be working ‘in the field’ and over the past three months I’ve already had my share of adventures (read: Trucks getting stuck, crazy animal situations, strange people).

I’m getting paid to go on hikes and spend almost every day outdoors. Pretty sweet, right? I’ll be sure to document more of my adventures here as time allows. There is certainly no shortage of hours to work in this industry – I average about 55 hours a week so far…