An early evaluation of Seattle

Seattle has an abundance of homeless people. I have been in the city for nearly a month now, and encountering a homeless individual is a daily routine level oddity. I live across from the Public Market, and that area specifically attracts both tourists and homeless people, one of the various microcosmic, economic cesspools of the city. The Subway across the street from the hostel charges $12.00 minimum for a foot-long sub, which generates twice the average expenditure at quite a disadvantage to the hungry customers. Within 15 minutes walking, one can find four other subways, as well as many other restaurants at considerably more normal prices. A fair walk away is a restaurant called Katsu Burger, which I have yet to eat at, but very much intend to.

Under a bridge, not a far distance from me on Bell Street and Western Avenue, there are about 10 tents occupying the sidewalks hosting presumably homeless individuals. I have moseyed past the tents several times now, and they have woven themselves into the normality of the city; a place I now avoid at night because it just seems like the right thing to do. I however hail from Milwaukee, and the violence in that city far exceeds any criminal acts in Seattle. Overall I consider Seattle a safe city, a place where I am comfortable wandering about at night, a home that is active enough to induce a sense of tranquil energy 24 hours a day, but peaceful enough to give both the first and third-shifters an atmosphere which promotes rest. Seattle’s cultural impact vibrates throughout the traversers and consorters of the city, and it is an affirmation of community, stitched together by both the very rich, and the savagely poor.

Milwaukee, in contrast, has a city-wide crime-pandemic. Let us first note that the Milwaukee Police Department confiscated over 400 illegal firearms from the streets in 2016, while Chicago and N.Y. pulled just over 200 off of their streets the same year. The police are doing their part, and in my eyes they are doing it well. Sherriff David Clarke has let two people and possibly more die while serving sentences in Milwaukee Jails and Prisons, one inmate died of dehydration. There are members of the MPD working to obtain sought-after effectiveness. I believe Edward Flynn is heading the Milwaukee Police in a modern, progressive direction. Let us second note the outrageously close-to-home-impact the humongous violence problem plaguing Milwaukee subjects its citizens to. There are two issues which on the surface seem separate; but on this planet, everything is connected. We have the violence, which encompasses the many bullets fired and buried inside of various, mostly unintentional, usually not human substances, every day in Milwaukee. Equally close-to-home-impacting are the many, many drug users in the city and its far stretching suburbs, which pool money into the hands of people who might have a reason to defend themselves. We also have the outnumbering majority of citizens which don’t have any affiliation to these sectors, and contribute to the city economy with an equatable margin. They are sometimes the victims, names dispersed though the headlines. Law-abiding citizens, or one too young to know what right place-right time would even mean. Shot dead, sitting on their grandfather’s lap.

That is the short on the city of which I inhabited the outskirts of. I was raised in world’s largest village, and I’m privy to call it the world’s largest village so I’m not sure you will find it on Google, everything else is bliss, not brass. I was educated by the Menomonee Falls public education system, and although I did not have notable marks, the level of devotion those teachers have to their students and the community they inhabit is irreplaceable. The school-system truly saturates the community with bright, adventurous individuals, helping to propel the world forward in a progressive direction. The school system in Milwaukee has teachers just as dedicated, but unfortunately they are not given the same funding or resources as the suburbs surrounding, which is a spider web of topics for another article. There are certainly schools available for capable and knowledge seeking students in Milwaukee, but a majority of the public schools are pulled down in ability to teach by the students themselves. Parents inspiring their kids to learn is one of the first steps, and without dedicated parents it is hard for dedicated teachers to find success elevating the very kinetic youth in Milwaukee.

The education system in Seattle, and Washington in general I am not yet certified to evaluate, but judging from the citizens I would grade the education system with top marks. The citizens of Seattle are innovative, and it keeps progression abundant. Washington, one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, has seen an economic boon, in direct effect I believe to the marijuana laws. In Seattle and the surrounding areas, housing prices have risen 20%(needs citation) in the last two years. On the opposing side, minimum wage within the city proper is $15.00 an hour, and $13.00 an hour for businesses in the surrounding areas. This, along with marijuana legalization, has a seducing effect on the many voyagers in the city. Establishing a reputable future around Seattle is a palpable prospect. The minimum wage has risen, and prices have risen. In the metro area however, specifically outside of the Seattle tourist areas, prices have not risen enough to diminish intention of the minimum wage increase, thus making it a viable economic move for the city. I expect to see growth in the future, and until marijuana legalization becomes a philosophy adopted by many more states I expect to see newcomers to the city. In fact, I consider marijuana legalization a cheat code for ones economy at this point in time. It immediately generates tourism, and is the utmost-but-certain direction of the future, and the youth of America and the world alike are the ones making this decision.

Seattle has the most cranes of any city in the world at the time of the writing of this article. That, right there, is palpable evidence of city growth. I witness the construction of these buildings on a daily basis. I walk under scaffolding every time I leave the hostel and walk east. The progress here is radiating, and I believe it generates excitement. On the 4th of July, some of the cranes in the city were even decorated with a great many lights; a sight I have never seen prior, maybe I just don’t get out enough. The city transit is good, but the buses can often be on a delay. The light-rail is the way to go, working and living within walking distance of it will make living without a car very possible. A light rail or a bullet train that ran all the way down the west coast is exactly what I want to see, I would certainly ride it and I believe many other would as well. One could explore the west coast, free to carry cannabis.

 My thus far general consensus of Seattle

This city is a great place to grow, especially for anyone who is young and ready to work. Possessing a college education can offer many opportunities, but a laborer of any education level can find themselves fit into the piece-work of this city. The landscape encompassing Seattle is beautiful and bountiful, giving folks who grow with the city a gratifying place to retire from it, whether they be young or old. The art and music in the city is vivacious, and it’s something to fall in love with. The Chihuly gardens shows the city has a soft side, and Biscuit Bitch proves it has attitude. The Space Needle is recognized the world around, and living in the city you will see it at every angle. Pigeons and homeless folk will become integrated into your daily life, but it will not bother you. If one feels the need to visit Seattle, they simply book a room at the Green Tortoise hostel on Pike street. They will find themselves within walking distance of a wonderful number of attractions, far too many to see in the too few days I see many visitors allot themselves; don’t make the same mistake. Come see the city, and bring money because it’s the lubricant for society, but more importantly bring time. Give yourself time to walk around, allow yourself the freedom to enjoy the unexpected pleasantries you will discover. Do not be frugal with your time, be philanthropic. Seattle will gravitize your full, undivided attention, it’s powerful.
Chris- 7/20/2017

Welcome, Facebook Friends

Today I have been doing a little work to the website itself. I updated the font, but am not sure it will stick around. Also, until today I had not integrated my website and my Facebook. That is no longer.

This post is specifically for my Facebook friends and my prior social media friends alike. Welcome to my website. I had decided I wished to practice writing, but also craved an interface to broadcast my words. I have found that here.

One of the main focuses here at HeartofZeus is climate-change awareness. The condition of our water as a planet is quite poor, and I feel the need to discuss that. Living at the Green Tortoise Hostel in Seattle, WA is giving me an opportunity to converse with a diverse group of individuals. I am learning quite a bit and gathering opinions about what various people think of the planet they inhabit. I talk to fishermen from the local area and both young and old world travelers. In the future I hope to have more contributors writing about the damage we as a human-race are doing to our planet, and what we can do to help evolve ourselves beyond our own extinction.

My homepage blog here at HeartofZeus will be filled with my personal writing, both non-fiction and its counterpart. I am still not sure what will become of this website or my overall online presence, but at this time all of that is in its infancy. Please feel free to contact me at chris@sparktwain.com, especially if you have any interest in contributing to the website. Thank you.
-Chris 7/18/2017

Writing and Readership Basics

One is a writer of words, yes?
One will lead a agathokakological life.

Balancing the creativity of a writer and the shrewd tact of a business professional is no easy task. Firstly, one decides they are a writer, secondly one realizes they need money. Here we are going to discuss navigation of the internet, and how we as writers can put the many tools available at our fingertips online to use.

As a wee lad, I wrote stories. This medium of expression dulled as time went on, and only recently have I taken to brightening it up. In dedication of a decision to write a novel, yet still unwritten, I realized I needed to practice my chosen art. HeartofZeus, my website where I took to practice writing a blog, has become quite a dedicated task in and of itself. Let me speak on the lifetime of experience traversing the internet that led me to purchasing my own website.

    Online Education Is Key:
Writers who can teach will be heard.

Online, available for free, are many ways to increase your knowledge on a many number of subjects. Edx is a resource I used to take a few classes free of charge. Of course one can find writing classes on Edx. The real benefit however many be found in deciding upon another passion, and learning it well. Using sites like Edx to increase your education on any number of available subjects, even learning a new language, can give you as a writer a new direction, and might help dictate your future work. Education on any subject is a hirable trait. This is often seen in the Information Technology sector, where individuals possessing no college education compete with hungry degree holders.

Life is long, and there will always be time to write, but if you’re reading this, now is the time to learn.

    A Good Resource, Or A Bad Resource:
Determining the reliability of an online resource can be a complicated procedure. Firstly, seek the publishing date of whatever you are reading. Regardless of the original reliability of the content, an outdated piece of writing can mostly be discounted as a non-citable resource, especially in regards to science. Providing your readers with accurate information is key, and if you are sure of factual content in an article, feel free to cite it, however, older pieces of work have a better chance of containing obsolete information. The second feat in authenticating an online resource is determining the fidelity of its author. A dedicated author gets my attention, and if they offer an abundance of content, checking the credibility of their work will be a better investment in my time than an author who only has one viable piece of work. This is what you should seek to replicate.

Painstaking volumes of research are rudimentary, but you will begin finding it less burdensome as time goes on.
Interesting information is available in every corner of the internet, and following links within sources you’ve already designated worthy of citing is a good way to safely traverse the ever-morphing terrain of the internet. Finding duplicate information will be part of process. Allow this to help guide your path. Articles that are well written and worded with professionalism are what you seek, and it should feel comfortable finding them.

    Researching Comparative Work:
Part of using the internet for business is tactful scouting of one’s competition. Facebook is a resource I use often, as well as google earth, maps, and street view. Even when negotiating something local, such as buying/selling a vehicle online, I use google to look at the area the vehicle is located, and I encourage buyers to maintain their due diligence as well. People who take care of their property are more likely to take care of their vehicle.
Writing online as a professional one hopes to maintain a reputation ripe with prowess, but needs also to keep edged the razor-sharp mental ingenuity brokered by Darwin and the fiscal-year. Do not assume all the work you find online is written by authors paid full time by their craft. The internet is fast paced, and since there is so much content available, don’t expect consistent readership at first. Despite developing discouragement, one also cannot quit the research process. If anything research will become an easier task, and thus a more viable tool. Utilize any criticism you receive, learn from it, show people your work so you can receive the criticism you need to grow as a writer.

    Why I Have My Own Website:
Once one has done their research, concluded they have the necessary skills and conviction to craft their work, and finally does construct paragraphs, one must then have a platform to spread their words.
The number of online blogging platforms is large.

The thing that displeases me about the lot of them is lack of control, also the lack of dedication in personalized name. What one avoids sacrificing is money. In general, most blogging platforms will be lower cost than a dedicated website. I used svbtle for a small while, and was very pleased with the minimalist pages. The whole platform was great and I definitely considered returning to it at one point, but decided to go the personal website path instead. I have my website hosted by a small, local company. However, most who are moving forward with getting their first webpage will host it on a site such as Bluehost.com or Gatorhost.com.

One could put the techniques discussed in this article to use by first compiling a list of all possible web host’s, and then conducting an evaluative comparison of price between them.

By hosting your own website you maintain full control of every aspect, while also holding onto the responsibly of its progress.
The first cost you will occur is the $12.00 or larger fee for the domain name, this is the actual web address, the name of your website. HeartofZeus came to me like a bolt of lightning, synthesized of nothingness in the disguise of human ingenuity. I need not ramble on about a name however, for everyone knows the grand importance in it. The second cost will be hosting the website, and with proper research one will surely get the best deal. The third cost is one we will never be untangled from, and it is the cost of our time. The time necessary to run a website is determined by the individual who runs it, but theoretically the more time one devotes, especially into marketing, the better results one will yield.

    In Conclusion:
The most important thing to remember about being a writer and publishing online is simple, content is king. Feeding your readership is the most important part, and it cannot be outsourced.
Creative design of your site can be purchased from a web designer, and some will choose to go this route. I use WordPress.org and there are many free templates for website designs, allowing me to save on the cost of web design. One should research the many options available for customizing a website.
Filling a blog with creative content is not only the main focus, but the personal goal for a writer. Regularity regarding readership requires relevance. Post consistently, possibly on a regimen. If you have content built up, don’t post it all at once. You want to give new readers something to look forward to, and show future readers longevity in content upon their initial arrival. Having content ready to go at a moment’s notice demonstrates vigilance, which one should always maintain.

Once your blog or website has content, people need to know about it. Finding rejuvenation in the balance of creative process and tactical business is a small victory one should seek. When your mind tires of producing the written word, awake the next day and put forth new energy into personal connection with your potential readers. Your first readers will more than likely be taking a personal recommendation from you, so make sure to go out and talk to folks you think might be interested in what you have to say. The internet is nearly infinite, but nothing beats the traditional word of mouth marketing generated by good ole’ fashion face to face conversation.
Chris- 7/17/20217

Writing, and the internet.

The elasticity of mankind is held together by many threadworks, and any writer of words should consider themselves a builder and bonder of these threadworks. From cuneiform forward, the written word has been of utmost importance in our growth as a humanity. Recently we have gifted ourselves the internet, and now the written words of mankind are shared globally, instantly. Without an even exchange of goods however, the words of mankind would be lost to dust; money keeps writing alive. Writers do get paid, but just like any other person about their business, they must maintain voracity and focus in their goal of monetary comfort. If a writer want to get paid more, they can. If a writer decides to get paid more, they will. The resources available online are insurmountable, and not only can one improve their skill set as a writer or author, one can also learn how to properly market and eventually sell their work. Another obstacle writers occur is that they don’t diverge from their comfort zone. A creative writer could just as easily be a manuscript writer, but will get nowhere lacking the preparation and confidence of a business professional. Many writers may try their hand with non-fiction for the first time and discover themselves quite adept already. To have confidence in what you’re writing and present it with gusto will take you far. Don’t fear denial, embrace it as free education. Remember to ask too many questions. Take to the internet and learn how to sell your product. Maybe your first task is mastering the internet. If you are not immensely comfortable with surfing the web, buy a board with keys, and just search whatever comes to mind. Learn to spot the true information from the fake. Don’t read outdated articles. Using the internet is an art form, and anyone who knows how to use it properly will navigate the complex threadworks of mankind, just fine.
-Chris 7/10/2017

Dissecting HeartofZeus Philosophies #2

Global connectivity is a concept that roots far back into humanity’s adolescence. It began before the Roman Empire, and every individual since the dawn of self-awareness has been gifted the opportunity to explore the world around them, simply by being born. Only in recent years has humanity been so tightly knit; bound together by a googolplex of waves and wires, finally able to address this phenomenon called life, every day, on a user friendly platform. The internet is one of humanities great victories, comparable to the wheel, or maybe the book. Just as these, the internet is a great and powerful tool. The Internet should be used responsibly, and administered with care. As citizens of Earth it is our duty to stay informed and maintain constant vigilance in accordance to our delicate gifts of life. One issue in specific has drawn my attention. The deteriorating quality of water, shown vividly in the vast sums of garbage and plastic in our oceans and covering beaches all around the globe. It is sad to say that nearly anywhere humanity extends its grip, the change to the environment is dramatic. Fresh water supplies are also in danger, rivers and lakes worldwide. The impact we do is pertinent, and should be observed and consociated. I believe the internet is a tool we have discovered at the absolute correct time, an age in humanity that will show in the end to be of immense importance.

I talked to a gentleman who managed a fishing boat. He didn’t seem optimistic about future prospects, and only concurred my dread that fishing in the ocean was producing sad results as of late. Crab numbers are down, and salmon numbers are down by 50 million pounds at least. The numbers are dramatic. He thought, and I may agree, that the issue and similar issues are handled regionally. The fish industry affects you much less if you are far from it, if you do not know someone employed by it. Plastic seems to be a massive killer of wildlife, and fish are hit especially hard. I talked to a young man from Brazil who spoke of a beach littered into the distance with garbage. Universally unique and important environments are being destroyed rapidly due to human exposure. A well versed young traveler I spoke with told me of Johannesburg, and how the garbage on the sidewalks is piled above one’s boots. The people burn garbage at night, and are unaware of the side effects the fumes carry with them. South Africa combines recyclables and garbage together for processing, routinely. As I hear more about the world I live in, from the people I share this planet with, I feel the more direct impact plastic and rubbish has on my life and longevity. This is coming from an individual who has been conscious of the issue.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but raised mostly in the village of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin I saw my fair share of litter and garbage. I spent a significant amount of time in the city, including some time living in the river west neighborhood. The trash is plentiful in Milwaukee, although the downtown remains clean overall. Areas between the downtown and the true suburbs experience a serious amount of street litter, and I would venture a guess that most of that litter is plastic. The village where I got my education is a clean place. I am thankful for the cleanliness, and it helps me see the real difference in other locations. Cities certainly have the largest problem, and motivating citizens to minimalize their impact on the environment is not an easy task. The goal here at HeartofZeus is to get individuals to stay vigilant of the deteriorating environment, minimalize their plastic use, and take responsibility in how they handle discarding of plastic and other harmful materials, such as oil and gasoline. I hope to avoid sounding vigorously dedicated, as I certainly do not want to scare any reader away. I am dedicated to freedom of many kinds, and I think those with the power of choice should live their lives any way they feel is necessary. I also believe in the power of education. Education will bring the awareness needed to change our path as a humanity. HeartofZeus certainly hopes to bring facts and information to those seeking them.

I now live in Seattle, Washington. I have heard many people say the city is clean, but the downtown is dirty in my opinion. The city sits right on the coast of the Puget Sound, a 1332 mile long portion of coastline encompassing the many bays near Seattle, however the true ocean sits over 50 miles away across the Olympic peninsula to the west. The first time I ever saw the ocean was on July 3rd 2017, and the location was La Push beach located within Olympic national park. Of course it was salty, but the weight of those words, which I have been hearing my whole life, are meaningless until you’ve tasted the thing yourself. Then you feel like you’ve got to tell someone, like you alone have discovered the phenomenon and everyone else should probably know about this water and its saltiness. The experience is so unique, I bet if I gave my landlocked relatives seawater for Christmas, they would think it a good and interesting gift. The beach of La Push itself was very picturesque. Rocks jut from within the sea and forests sprout upon them. Driftwood piled to chest level guards the entrance from those incapable of navigating the logs, and sand stretches farther than I had ever seen. We have beaches in Wisconsin as it occupies nearly the entire western border of Lake Michigan, however I have never seen a beach with as much sand as that Pacific beach. The difference in tide is not as drastic on Lake Michigan, and this is observed by the amount of flat sand on the beaches. I would say there was at least 100 yards of flat sand, and with the ocean and elevated islands behind it the beach was a glorious sight to behold. We hope to see Ruby Beach before we leave the state, and then I can start making some comparisons. There was no trash littered at La Push beach #2. There are three beaches, and although I only visited the second one, I would guess all three are pretty clean. So not every beach bordering the ocean is covered in garbage, but I would be interested to see a beach not so often visited by humanity.

We take garbage for granted as part of our daily lives, but it should not be that way. Change is coming in how we as intelligent lifeforms treat our plant and its many resources, the fight on climate change and water quality is only in its primal state. Profiteers of obsolete technologies will be ground up in the cooling fans of progress. Companies who don’t do their part to improve the state of the environment will be phased out as a more educated population grows to do the right thing.

In the future I plan to take a more newsworthy stand on environmental issues here at HeartofZeus. It surprises me what some individuals consider news; information far too old to be considered new. The internet gives us a more than worthy medium of connectivity, and it is everyone’s duty to discuss the problems effecting us as a whole. One extraordinarily large problem with the internet is not everyone agrees upon what the real issues are. This is a problem for future generations or greater minds than I to solve, so currently I just do my best to navigate the internet with vigilance.
-Chris 7/6/2017

San Antonio to: Seattle

The vast journey began on June 14th when I ended up in Austin Texas. A pleasant city and one I would travel to again, despite the price of downtown luxury. Austin is an epicenter for Texas, gathering up young entrepreneurs and turning them into fine southern capitalists. I have heard good and better things about the Texas public education system, and I have great faith in it. The businesses in Austin proper do not offer you plastic bags when you purchase items. The lack of warning on this subject can become quite infuriating at a cash register, so consider yourself warned. Honestly, Austin isn’t enough though. Our plastic and garbage problem is massive, and eventually everybody will need to be doing their own part, or else. While in the wonderful city of Austin, I took to the river on a kayak with my girlfriend, who was basically my tour guide for the entire city. It was a slow river, but compared to Bradford Beach near where I hail from in Milwaukee, it was a gloriously clean section of water. On the way into Austin we made two stops, but both were out of the ordinary. The first stop was a place called Bucees, and in my opinion it sets the bar for a gas station, world-class if ever there was one. With over 200 gas pumps, a dedicated section for Go-Pro gear, and quality polarized sunglasses, as well as a medicine aisle offering the ever-expected singular overpriced eyedrop option, it was quite a store I was shown. I was later quite surprised to find they are only found around the Austin, Texas area. I expect you will begin to see Bucees pop up in your area. Since it won’t be a capitalization on food, I don’t necessarily expect a decrease in product quality or customer service.

The second stop we made was at Con Madres, a taco truck located directly off of the highway. It was a good place to eat, and I wanted to order more but there was so much I wanted to try in Austin. We also ate at P. Terry’s and Torchy’s Tacos, the latter being set upon a pedestal of expectation before I ate there. It was a decent taco I ate at Torchy’s, don’t get me wrong. But except for the sweetcorn, which was a fair offering, it seems expensive for what you get. I may even go as far as to say the food is overpriced. They do seem to funnel their profits into their community and in positive generally positive formats, which is admirable. I am interested to see what the future brings for Torccy’s Tacos, as I saw one in Denver as well. Go there with an open mind and be ready for great tacos, but much like a casino, don’t bring more than you are prepared to lose. Before tacos we ate P. Terry’s, and it made quite the opposite impression on me. Cheap food, to the point I was suspicious, but this suspicion became a wash as I realized the quality of the food was substantiated and my only mistake was ordering a burger, fries, and a drink instead of just three burgers.

I spent a single hour within the confines of the kayak with Danae, paddling with occasional ferocity the same water which runs through the Grand Canyon, and it was a calming experience. We chose the two person kayak, which took some discussion because I wanted to race. The spot was in-between the 1st street and Lamar Blvd bridges, and the water was moving gently enough to paddle up or down the river with ease. It was $15.00 for the rental, which was worth the experience. I had been in a canoe many times but never a kayak, and I do quite enjoy the more agile kayak quite a bit. So far the order is Buccees, Con Madres, used the bathroom in Voodoo Doughnuts, continued on to eat at P.Terry’s, took some photos at Graffiti Park, kayaking, thrifting uptown, and then we drove back to San Antonio where my girlfriend lived at the time.

Once in San Antonio we received two days of poor rest before setting onto the real drive. An 8 day journey from San Antonio TX, to Seattle WA where we are currently residing at the Green Tortoise Hostel. I will speak about the hostel later on. We set unto our traverse the morning of June 16th, a fine and sunny day for all that we saw. In fact the weather was fairly temperate for the entirety of the journey. Our first day was by far the longest. We left San Antonio at roughly 07:00 and reached our intended target near Buena Vista, Colorado at around 21:30. The most unique site seen about our journey was the bounty of magnificent ambitions; a highway covered in boulders the size of sedans making the northbound lanes completely impassable. Traffic was diverted onto the southbound highway, which was separated into a two lanes temporarily. I am disappointed to say I did not take a photograph of this wrath mother- nature concocted, nor can I find any information about it after fifteen minutes online. The first day of driving took us through hill country in Texas, the northeastern corner of New Mexico, southern Colorado (boulders), and then finally north-west off of the main highway into the depths of the mountains, only to get lost and return to a quaint town called Salida Co.

Overall things did not go well for us the first day. We reached our final destination just as darkness set in. Our phones worked in select spots on the way to Lenhardy Cutoff, but the people we were trying to get in contact with could not make contact back, as they had already arrived. On our final approach we drove up a mountain, on a forest service road, after dark, in a 2012 Nissan Vera, but it was one path west of our intended target. After substantial effort applied to finding our friends, we gave up. Looking back at the event, it was certainly a bad idea to attempt driving the car off of the road, and my girlfriend was far from pleased about my encouragement to continue. We risked doing damage to our vehicle as well as suffering injury on treacherous driving trails at night. Still, we made it fairly far up into the mountain before turning back. In the end we drove nearly an hour back into Salida and slept in a Hampton Inn parking lot, which was uncomfortable to say the least, but we thank Hampton Inn for their hospitality.

In the morning we awoke to find the mountains all around, blinding us with eastern sun. Unaware of how cold it would be in the mountains, we quickly changed into more suitable attire and drove to a nearby McDonalds, only to find mostly ineffective Wi-Fi. After an overly saturated but anticipated breakfast, we made our next stop at an AutoZone. It was in this parking lot that I changed the oil in our vehicle, making due with no oil filter wrench. It went quite well and the mess was minimal. I thank AutoZone for their continued hospitality and expertise. Furthermore we stopped at a local Walmart for provisions and following straight away we left Salidas, heading back toward Lenhardy Cutoff. It was now hot and we were overdressed. Once arriving to the proper Forest Service Road, we parked and within ten minutes our friends met us where we would be leaving our car overnight.

The camping trip to Lenhardy Cutoff was unlike anything I had experienced. I had been to Colorado the previous year and seen a real set of mountains for the first time in my life, but this time I had a more personal view of the mountains. Our home during the trip was a Marmot Limelight 3 person tent, and it satisfied every expectation I had of it. We were kept warm and the tent was easy as pie to set up. Nestled between two trees, we slept on a $15.00 air mattress and it was a more than good enough. Camping in the mountains allowed for glorious views. With constant vigilance, I would advise anyone interested in the view to seek Lenhardy Cutoff. Once we woke for breakfast in the morning, we were sent back to a reality in which we had many more days left on our journey.

Back in motion, we headed to Denver. The bright skies and thin air make the city memorable, and the second time we visited the city was just as magnificent as the first. We stopped at SAPP Brothers Travel Center for a shower. We stopped at a Love’s in Washington later on, and SAPP Brothers had the better shower with far superior pricing to boot. After the shower we supped. I made a mess of the Shamrock Burger as Sam’s no. 3 and Danae had a Buffalo Burger and Chili Cheese Fries. I finished my fries before digging into hers. Impressive service and atmosphere both visits I had. The servers have been interesting and also efficient. The food has proven itself irreplaceable and Sam’s will receive my continued dedication.

The drive north ended in Greely Co, a city we had been in prior. Staying at a friend’s house the third night put us behind schedule, but it was unavoidable with the sun setting, plus they have cats. We watched Ace Ventura and celebrated. I buried myself into my iPad looking for where to camp the next night of our journey. Big Horn National forest was still the intended target, and we simply took the loss of one day total in exchange for the shorter drive. I called the National Forest office and a nice lady directed me too a road called Sourdough. We camped on a river, where we roasted jalapeño sausages over a fire and for the first time in our lives, we saw a Moose. It was large, but less than I was expecting. But this was Wyoming, I later found out Moose in Alaska are much larger, so this may have been what I was picturing. I nearly walked right up to the Moose, before he moved his head and I noticed him roughly twelve meters away. Danae had recently been in the forest where I spotted the giant, so how close she got to this animal is information lost to time. Mr. Moose came out of the forest soon after, and strolled off across the river, eating everything on the way. He was within our sights for about forty-five minutes and 100 yards. Wyoming brought to us the perfect camping experience.

Day five began cold, but it was still an excellent morning. We left roughly at 09:30, and we were in Billings Montana soon enough. We ate at Great Harvest Bread Company, and it was impeccable. We bought two sandwiches, a scone, and a loaf of honey wheat bread. We drove through the rest of the day, stopping several times for gas, and ended our day at Norton Campground in Montana. We ate Tuna with smiles. I also beat Danae in Chess for the first time ever this night. The following morning we saw several Big Horned Sheep on our way back to the highway, which was pretty exciting. We arrived in Missoula Montana for breakfast this time, and ate The Catalyst Café. I had chorizo because it was the special, and it was good, but Danae got The Heap and it was better from the bite or two I had of hers. On we ventured for the remainder of the day, first through Idaho and then into Washington. We stopped at the previously mentioned Love’s, and then The Green Seed in Moses Lake. The service was good, and the prices were decent overall, but they were changing locations and I would be interested to see what the shop looks like a year or so, it has great potential as I see it.

The sixth day ended for us at the first campsite we found on national forest service road 3330 in Cle Elum Washington, right next to Taneum Creek. We took a brief walk to explore just a small portion of the state we would be staying in for the next two months, and then we ate tuna. We slept well, which had been consistent inside the tent at this point. Very satisfied with Marmot. Washington in the morning was very cold, and we packed our tent quickly to move on. We drove directly to Mt Rainier National Park and arrived at the section named Grove of the Patriarchs. I bought the $80.00 pass, allowing me entry to all National Parks in the U.S. until June 2018. We traveled around by car and on foot all day through the southern end of Mt Rainier. We ate tuna for lunch, and we hiked to Comet Falls, which was more difficult than we anticipated. As night approached we drove back the way we came, and then headed south for Packwood, Washington. We ate great burgers and then headed out of town to find camp. I am disappointed to say the only litter-covered campsite we stayed upon, was the one we found on my birthday, June 22nd 2017, on NF-52 outside of Packwood. We set up the tent before darkness set in I fell asleep quickly, filled with disappointment about the litter.

The final morning we spent in our tent was cool, but not as cold as the previous night. I took pictures of the garbage and we left. Off to Seattle we set. We stopped and ate Mexican food for lunch, it was no better than average, but the service was good. Arriving during rush hour was not a very gratifying way to end our quest, but it’s what happened. We parked in a tall structure close to our destination and took our first of three trips inside carrying our belongings. The Green Tortoise Hostel at 105½ Pike Street, Seattle WA. Just a single door in the side of short building. A Target next-door and a Subway across the street both feature downtown pricing, which is something I soon came to grasp the true meaning of. We were shown around the hostel and then to our room by a short and spry gentleman named Rod, then we loaded our stuff into the locker under our bed and returned to the car twice before settling into the room. We laid on the bed and took in the comfort it offered, which was gracious. The sheets, pillowcases, and privacy curtains are all green. Our room has four queen beds and two single beds, as well as a sink and mirror. The window overlooks the Hard Rock Cafe on Pike Street, and it has been open since our arrival. We walked around the city before falling asleep hungry for our first night in Seattle.

We arrived on a Friday and we were not on the work schedule until Monday, so we spent our first full day in Seattle, a Saturday, exploring the city and parking our car. We went to this place called Cycene for a truly outstanding breakfast sandwich and some phenomenal grits, I definitely intend to return. Afterwards we walked back a different path and explored the Public Market. I ate smoked Salmon at City Fish Co, which is far too expensive to consistently buy, however delicious it may be. We ventured into a store selling commercial quantities of spices, and a bookshop, but somehow have yet to see the first Starbucks. Soon after, we left the market and moved onto the task of parking our car. We settled into a parallel spot in the Capital Hill district, where we could only leave the car until the following morning. Walking back to the Hostel was good exercise, but not something we wanted to do forever. Within a week we found a free place to park our car, which is a short transit ride away.

It is currently the first Friday after our arrival, and much has happened. We have made numerous friends and many co-workers, including a handful from our home town oddly enough. The work can be tough in its own way, including every kind of cleaning and then some general housekeeping, there is a laundry shift, and Danae and I helped cook for our first shift. The City is dense with people and I have spent a lot of time walking around the downtown. The homeless people are abundant, but mostly harmless in our area. I have seen masses of pigeons and rats, two things new to me. We made a trip to the international district and I bought ginger. Coming to Seattle has proven an exceptional decision.

This blog is not strictly dedicated to my travels. I intend to focus on Climate Change and Fiscal Responsibility, as two separate entities, as those are just two passions of mine. At the time of this posting my website is in a state one would consider ‘under construction.’ I myself am still searching for meaning, and subsequently my website administration and blog captivation may be lacking, but I will continue to post. I hope to grow a community here at HeartOfZeus.
-Chris 7/2/2017

A Dissection of HeartOfZeus Philosophies

Time rears its ugly head in the form of any light occupied field of vision stretching an incomprehensible distance no matter which direction one points. On Earth one defeats the principle by pointing down, but really it’s only the first 7917.5 miles that are subject to debate. Being born and then dying in a world fabricated of quicksand, never knowing there is any other way of life. We gift this slow progression of humanity to our children, so they may continue the process. Utilizing time the only way we know how, chipping away at the veil of mystery masking the enigma we call home, humanity has brought itself a mental comfort in occupying the universe. We are the only ones here, as far as we know, and we either learn to live with that fact, or fabricate a reality suited to our liking. We are mentally healthy enough to propagate our species and the quarrels of Man vs God will eventually playout to be fables of humanities infancy, one should be able to take solace in that. The main problems we face in this modern age are not new problems, they are just on a larger scale then ever possible. Previously extinction, if our ancestors had a word for it, would have seemed like the end of everything. However it is more likely that only a specific group of humans would have died out, while the rest lived on. The advantageous complexities of modern society allow for world commerce, but up until recently we have hardly used them to prevent the potential annihilation of our species. Granted our position in time is helped none by capitalism, including world commerce, but perhaps it is a critical point in existence any species of intelligent life must endure.

So we have divided up our different plant and animal species, mapped out our own genome, described the speed of light, found some interesting uses for radioactive isotopes, brought rocks back from the moon, brought flatware back from the titanic, our most expensive venture resulted us is a 27km tunnel, and our most well-read piece of literature is an archaic scripture blended of little fact and mostly fiction. This is all good stuff, and is has to be good stuff, because it’s what we have done. Let us not undervalue the role our ancestors who came before us played. Although ferociously violent and greedy, the humans who walked this planet before us gave the knowledge needed to progress through time successfully. Much as Jesus died for humanities sins, all of humanity has died for our continual triumph. Evolution is the work of God, and God is the work of man, so I deduce that evolution can be honed with a conscious effort.

Balance is key. This is something I have given many hours of thought to, and I have concluded as such. Balance is a necessity of life and only those who adapt to suit the needs of balance will prosper. A large portion of humanities upbringing was spent in constant hardship, and I believe a large portion of its future will be manifested into constant leisure. But even during these times I am sure balance is important to prosperity, and so it must be relative. In this modern day I sometimes feel we have lost track of that balance. I feel we are losing our humanity to the monotony of overly-intelligent life. The only hope of propagating the universe is to maintain constant vigilance. As humans, we get comfortable easily, which is a gift and a curse. We get comfortable with the way our career is going, even if we are not always pleased with it. Many Americans get comfortable in jail. In such a case as the modern day, I believe comfort kills. It kills like smoking corporate rolled cigarettes kills; slowly, but then all at once, and far too soon when you’re looking back at it.

We need our comforts. It just so happens that when books provide comfort, they provide a wealth of education as well. Art presents similar advantages. Can we be unified in saying we are pleased with what we occupy our children’s time with at the present day? At least where I am from in America, it is a lot of children with electronic communication devices. Obesity is a pertinent issue where I am from, but I am seeing progression. When humans balance there comforts with their hardships in life, they obtain a period of growth, and I am talking on a global scale. In a single lifetime we may bounce hither and fro, catapulting with ferocity through a vacuum on a rock, discussing economy and war, having our personal and singular experience full of ups and downs. In the great story that will be humanity however, we have had a near constant inclining plane of success, as we did not have the science to battle our own existence until recently. The internet brought us together, and it is a wonderful thing. How perfect of it to come around when we need to start having a global conversation about the condition of our planet, mainly the oceans.

Humanities greatest tool and most formidable enemy, time, we utilize for our own evolvolution, and we do so by finding a balance in our comforts. It is a strongly held philosophy at HeartOfZeus that communication promotes growth, and we must practice our communication as a species. My name is Christopher J. Buckley, and this is my blog. I have begun it after a long period of minimal writing, working many places, and not moving around as often as I would have liked. I think it is important in life for people to at least try what they think they might enjoy, and that’s all I’m doing here. At worst one doesn’t succeed. HeartOfZeus is all about communication and prosperity. So as I stumble through my first blog and my first website, I hope you can find pieces, if not whole parts of the site you enjoy. I encourage conversation and debate at HeartOfZeus, and welcome you to join me in talking about whatever we feel needs to be discussed.
-Chris 6/4/2017