Sunday, February 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Natasha!

Holding my Cousin Natasha!
Today I'm writing a special post to wish my Cousin Natasha a happy 18th birthday! She is so special to me and I love her with all of my heart. I remember when she was a baby, how exciting it was to have such a sweet and loving Cousin like Natasha as the newest addition to our family! She is one of the strongest people I know, and am so happy to have her as my Cousin.

In the pool! Two happy Cousins!
I have spent many good times with Natasha, whether it's swimming in Grandma and Nana's pool, or having her as guest of honor at my wedding (and she helped with a bunch of stuff too)! I am looking forward to many more great times with one of my favorite family members! Cheers
On my wedding day! So glad Natasha was there!
and happy 18th birthday to you my Cousin! You are all grown up! I love you!

Grandma Cathy, Natasha, and Me

Picture I took back in the good old days

Leyla and I with our beautiful Cousin!
Thumbs up to the Photo Booth!

Texas Cowgirl!
Holding down the photo booth at my Wedding!

Natasha and the girls getting down!
Love you Cousin! -Your Cousin Matt!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Devils Teeth: Book Review

This guy will have you paddling with your fingertips
My friend Baird Blanton from the The Treachery of Others (great band) recently reccomended that I read "The Devil's Teeth", by Susan Casey. I had just finished reading "The Wave", so I was excited to check this book out.

Baird brought this book up because I was telling him about an upcoming surf trip to the Gulf Coast, and he said "what about sharks"? After reading this book, I know now why he asked me that. This is a description of the sheer magnitude of a great white shark from Susan Casey's book The Devils Teeth:

"The first thing I noticed about the shark was it's immense girth...for context here are some measurements: a twenty-foot shark is eight feet wide and six feet deep. that's wider than a Suburban, as wide as a Mack truck. That's wider than Yao Ming is tall".

Manresa State Beach, where I saw a shark once
Although there are no great whites in Texas, there are plenty of great whites where I grew up in Santa Cruz, CA. I've only seen a shark once in my life (at Manresa State Beach), and I have never been afraid of being eaten by a shark despite my all the time I spent in the water. While it is something that used to cross my mind from time to time, I was always a believer in probability and the odds of meeting one of these giants. Susan agreed with me:

"In any given year more than a thousand people will be maimed by toilet bowl cleaning products or killed by cattle. Fewer than a dozen will be attacked by a great white shark".

With those odds, and currently living in Texas, I would say cattle would be my greatest threat at this point. Overall, the book is a great story about the Faralllon Islands (that lie only 27 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge), and a reporter who braves the elements. While on the island they cruise around looking for sharks on a small boat called "The Dinner Plate". This makes perfect sense (not) considering you are on a boat smaller than some of the largest predators on the planet that you are searching for. I would highly recommend this book, and also check out The Wave by Susan Casey as well. Live Happily Ever Now!

The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White SharksThe Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean

Friday, February 18, 2011

Kaya and Dotti Kuhn Documentary

My Good Boy Kaya
Yesterday our dog Kaya had to be put down. I loved him so much, and have enjoyed the last decade with this beloved dog. It has brought out so many deeply rooted emotions in me, that I kept finding myself bringing back the feelings that I had when I lost my childhood dog Dotti.
My Dotti
Although the two deaths occured 17 years apart, both dogs looked similar, had a playful warm hearted nature, and both hold a deep spot in my heart. When I was 13 Dotti died, and I wrote a documentary about it. Luckily it was held on to, and I have transcribed it in this post below. It is fairly long, so if you don't have time to read it I will understand... One thing that I loved about my first "documentary" are these quotes:

"Then on the evening of 9-24-94 Dotti went to the river for her last time. She was hit by a car and died instantly. Dotti was 63 years old in doggy years when she died. She was cremated at the pound and lived a happy life. She died going where she always had a lot of fun. You never realize how much you love something until its gone, and we all miss you Dotti"

" first had some rivalry at the beginning, but soon they all became friends and always partied".

Back to Kaya, he and I were always connected on deep level. While I never lived with Kaya, whenever I was with him he was there for me, and just had an uncanny way of giving you love all time (especially when you needed it the most). Here is a video I created of our beloved Kaya:

Here is the Documentary from 1994 with pictures, this is taken word for word from my folder with laminated pages (OG Blogger... :).

Telling my stories for awhile now :)

Written by Matt Kuhn Sept. 26th, 1994 Dotti Kuhn – Documentary
Dotti Kuhn was a great Dog who was different from the rest. She was our first dog and very special to us. When she came hobbling down the road 6 years ago, none of us knew how special she was going to be. I told my dad to go get some dog food because she was just skin and bones. Her and Tramp, the Thomas’s dog got along well. Dotti then had puppies with Ronald, (neighbor dog).
First day of School with Dotti
We all pretended that tramp was the father (even though he was fixed) because we always considered tramp and dotti boyfriend and girlfriend. But later the puppies were running around and very cute. Then tramp was put to sleep because he was old and suffering. Everyone was sad and Tramp lived a long and happy life.
Dotti, Walt, and her Boyfriend Tramp
Meanwhile the puppies were getting bigger and we couldn’t contain them. One night 3 of the puppies were missing. We looked all over, but they were gone. We then gave one of them away to one of my dad’s co-workers. Then two nights later the rest disappeared. We looked around and found daisy, after that Daisy began to grow. She was bigger than Dotti at 6 months. She chewed up shoes and anything else she could get her teeth on.
Dotti and Her Puppies
Some nights they would go down to the river (which we didn’t know at the time) across highway nine by glen arbor road bridge. They would always come back wet. Bu one day Daisy didn’t come back. She died at just 18 months old. (R.I.P.)
My Dad, the Puppies, Me, and A Bud
Sometimes we see the puppies up at valley view that disappeared. We didn’t know what happened to daisy for a while. Dotti was sad for quite some time but she got over it. Dotti would pick up some strange habits like she always moaned when she was happy, and she always had a leaf or something as a present whenever she saw someone she knew.
Dotti and Gretchen
In 1993 the Thomas’s got a dog named Gretchen, dotti became her mother and her teacher when she came here as a puppy. Dotti taught Gretchen everything she knew, and treated as if she was her puppy. They bonded and became very close. Dotti took Gretchen down to the river often at night. One night dotti came back alone. Hours later that morning Gretchen came hobbling up the driveway. She was blood and had several broken ribs. She recovered but she still limps today. (9-28-94).
My Brother Walt and Dotti
Then when Gretchen was older, two new neighbor dogs moved in. Dusty and Ruger at first had some rivalry at the beginning, but soon they all became friends and always partied. Then on the evening of 9-24-94 Dotti went to the river for her last time. She was hit by a car and died instantly. Dotti was 63 years old in doggy years when she died. She was cremated at the pound and lived a happy life. She died going where she always had a lot of fun. You never realize how much you love something until its gone, and we all miss you Dotti.
Dotti Kuhn 1985-1994
PS: Check out the shoes I was wearing back in 94':

Cheers to Kaya and Dotti! Live Happily Ever Now!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Xavier Rudd - The Tap Root Tour with Austin Show

Xavier Rudd at La Zona Rosa in Austin, TX. 2009
When I first discovered Xavier Rudd in 2007, I was captivated when I heard him cover No Woman No Cry by Bob Marley. I would soon find out that I would gravitate towards his entire discography and his diverse sound. Every time I listen to his music it reminds me to find peace, embodies the feelings and vibrations of the ocean (CA is still in my soul), surfing, dealing with ups and downs in life (Green Spandex helped me with the passing of my mom), and being good to myself and others around me.

Seeing him live twice in Austin at La Zona Rosa and Austin City Limits has been inspiring as well. It is awesome watching him play guitars, didgeridoos, drums, stomp boxes, and tons of other awesome noise making objects. I couldn't be more excited for The Tap Root Tour, especially since it will be an intimate and up close look featuring Xavier Rudd solo! He is concluding the tour in Austin on May 24th, and tickets go on sale Friday, February 11th (Pre-Sale Thursday with Passcode: Koonyumsun). Pick them up here and go see him! 

Apr 28 Aspen, CO Belly Up Aspen  
Apr 29 Denver Ogden Theatre  
Apr 30 Phoenix Phoenix, Arizona 
May 1 San Diego House Of Blues - San Diego  
May 2 Los Angeles El Rey Theatre  
May 3 San Francisco The Regency Ball Room at the Regency Centre 
May 5 Seattle Showbox at the Market  
May 6 Portland Wonder Ballroom  
May 7 Penticton, Canada Convention Centre  
May 10 Minneapolis First Avenue  
May 11 Milwaukee Turner Hall Ballroom  
May 13 Washington DC 9:30 Club  
May 14 Buffalo The Rapids Theatre  
May 15 New Haven, CT Toad's Place  
May 17 Charlotte The Neighborhood Theatre  
May 18 Knoxville, TN Bijou Theatre Center  
May 19 Dallas House of Blues  
May 20 Gulf Shores, AL Hangout Festival
May 21 Gulf Shores, AL Hangout Festival  
May 22 New Orleans House of Blues - New Orleans  
May 23 Dallas Granada Theater  
May 24 Austin La Zona Rosa-tickets here

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Technology, My iPhone, Danes, and Verizon Fail

Chairs at Copenhagen Airport (Danes!)
I am a certified gadget nerd. Just ask the secondary screening guys in Denmark who I met this summer. When they went through my backpack and asked me what everything was (underwater camera, external hard drives, flip camera, housing for gadgets, mini tri-pods, three iPods, two iPhones, hdmi cables, two laptops, and on and on), I was semi embarrassed that they kept pulling metal object after metal object out. Half the stuff they were busy playing with and admiring when I'm pretty sure they should have been checking for security issues. On my second laptop they said "we're going to have to have you turn this on," in a stern Danish accent. I asked them why, and they said "to see if you have any good porn on there." After a split pause, we all the laughed it up, and I actually enjoyed the secondary screening. True story, love the Danes!

One aspect that revolutionized my gadget life back in 2009 was when I went from a Blackberry Fail Storm, to an iPhone. I held out with Verizon for months (maybe years) hoping that "Big Red" would get an iPhone, but it never happened. I checked iPhone and Mac rumor websites daily (still do). I downloaded crappy apps for my Blackberry trying to make it look like an iPhone, but really it was just a chunky sloppy depressing situation. This held me back and always made me sub-par when it came to being a certified electronics geek. It was kind of like a quote my dad once told me about Southwest Airlines, "the worst day in the A group is still better than the best day in the B group". I was stuck in the B group without an iPhone. Making it harder to fulfill my destiny, I had 4 lines with Verizon (now have 5 with AT&T), so the fee would be substantial to quit...

Long story short, I quit, paid some serious cash to Verizon, and Leyla and I love our iPhones (we are an all Apple family). I feel bad for those who are just now getting their iPhones this month for Verizon (and it looks like Big Red will slow them down).

Spot the gadgets and dogs
There is seriously no way I could have waited until now to have my favorite device. Now my server and media center? That's a different story.


Live Happily Ever Now!