Escaping From Orbit: A Night Out On The Town In Fairbanks

*Contains language, and offensive shit that’s humorous. Read at your own personal risk of decency*

Another Saturday evening was rolling by; it was that time to get away from the barracks and go out on the town! Home for me is now in Fairbanks, Alaska. Who would’ve seen that coming a year ago, I sure as hell didn’t. Besides the fact, I get a call from one of my new friends asking if I want to meet up at The Zone (yes that’s really the name). I was in the mood to go out and get some drinks, so I got a ride down there.

Arriving soon after, I go grab myself a beer and find my friend and we start chatting. We’re both new to Alaska so had plenty of stories to tell. I order another beer and get back to the table. For the last little bit we’d been screwing around on some of the dating sites looking at the ‘vast’ selection of single women in Fairbanks. During this time my buddy had been texting this girl and found out she wanted to meet up that night; she also had a friend. Dream scenario right?

He asked me if I’d be interested in going with him and having a double date of sorts with these random chicks. Intriguing as it was, I wanted to see a picture of said friend before agreeing. The one he was texting looked the size of a goddamned elephant. But hey, there’s a famine here when it comes to finding decent single girls, so maybe she just had an enormous personality too. Her friend looked alright enough from a picture I saw; decent enough to make me willing to tag along to this promiscuous event.

They weren’t quite 21 so going to a bar was out of the option. That left the only place we’d be willing to be seen in public with these two as the one movie theater in town. We grabbed a final drink and booked the Uber. It was time to go into the unknown horrors that were possibly going to arise. Horrors that came to be!

Shrill panic made the ride a bit stale as we don’t really know fully what to expect. We were coming up with various escape plans if a need came to abort, and flee from this escapade. The driver, whom listened to the extent of our conversation, wished us luck in what was to come. We arrived and didn’t see either of the girls around so we waited and discussed last minute emergency escape plans/routes.

Suddenly, best described in the words of the band AC/DC, “The walls start shaking
The earth was quaking,”. You could almost hear Fe Fi Fo Fum as they arrived. I thought I could see a crack in the ground from their origin of entry. If this were Jurassic Park, the water in the cup would’ve been moving far more vigorously than the force any T-Rex could’ve caused. The door opened and She… and her friend… entered the theater.

I may have exaggerated a tiny bit in that part. Call me an asshole all you want, but this is my account of the night so you’ll just have to fucking cry in a corner, or keep rolling with the story. Rolling with the story just like we could’ve rolled this this girl around town. To A situation made more interesting in that they brought so random ass third wheel. Who the fuck saw that coming? We sure didn’t!

By comparison, these other two were comparatively better looking than the girl my friend had been texting that got this whole thing organized in the first place. But there was no escape for him; he was already caught in her orbit. There was hope for me. I immediately wanted to flee the coop, but I’d already bought my movie ticket; It was $12 even with a discount. It was time to suck this shit up and see this movie.

During the film I was sitting between the two decent-ish looking broads; the one I was ‘supposed’ to be hanging with didn’t catch my interest at all. I tried to talk to Random Third Wheel to the left of me instead. She bit a little bit to the subtle conversation I was tossing her way. But not enough. I would’ve attempted to talk to the other one but fuck that. She was too close to the giant mass and I didn’t want to get sucked in her friend’s orbit too after the movie was over.

Finally! Finally this fucking movie ended. Me and my buddy (who managed to escape the pull of gravity) met me at the bottom of the stairs in the theater. We trailed behind the three girls and promiscuously got further and further from them. We were able to lose them by dipping into the bathroom for a couple minutes and then emerged in hopes that they had left.

They must’ve been thinking the same thing from reading the vibes we must’ve given off. They were nowhere to be seen. This was a time for immediate high fives of relief; all threats had left the building. Of course, the destruction still remained around the theater from the wake of there presence. The theater can and will rebuild. Our danger of being sucked into a full on black hole of blubber and terror had come to a halt.

 

Damn! I see you’ve made it to the end understanding the content of this article was strictly humor. Congrats on coming this far and I hope to see you soon. I’m back and they’ll be more content yet to come!

Comment your opinions below ( I’d love to hear them!) and as always: thanks for reading!

~J. A. Ross

 

© RossJ781.com 11/11/2017

 

Conquering The Rapids

This photo was taken in Columbus, Georgia. They have a local rafting company by name of ‘Whitewater Express’. I took advantage of an area next to the main rapids to capture this photo.

I’ve been experimenting much more with different types of photography. Adobe Lightroom was was also a critical part of the final editing process; to get the desired results that I wanted.

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This photo is a little bit of a comeback for my website. More posts to come soon!

~J. A. Ross

 

© RossJ781.com 11/05/2017

Small Business Launch!

As of today, I’ve launched a new business by name of J A Ross Photography! The goal is to sell my photos as prints, canvas, and more… at the most affordable price that I can. My other goal, is to make sure to use some of my profits to donate money to my community and try to help out. I decided it was time to start this business sooner, rather than originally intended.

With that all said, I still will be posting quality articles, photos, and poetry to this website… as I haven’t forgot about the people who have supported me, and my creative ambitions! Currently, there are two products up for sale (more coming very soon). Both photos have placed in a Landscapes photo competition through Photocrowd. Both competitions had 100 entries and I placed 39/100 and 50/100 for the two photos I entered. These earned them a crowd rating top 50% award.

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These two were also featured on my website as well in the past.

Below is the link the my online store. Feel free to check it out! I’m looking to have some reviews to get some feedback!

https://ross-j-a-photography.myshopify.com/collections/all

~J. A. Ross

Solo Traveling Adventures Part 1: My Introduction Into the Hobby

Solo traveling. If there’s one thing that I’m getting known for among my readers, as well as friends and family, it would be is my hobby of traveling everywhere I possibly can. However, unlike the usual traveler you may talk to (excluding mandatory travel for business; for leisure only), I very much prefer traveling by myself as to with a party. Don’t get me wrong traveling in a group is fun, but going by yourself presents more challenges, and 100% forces you to get out of your shell… at least a little bit.

If you were to always keep away to yourself whilst solo traveling, you’re not going to get a truly life changing experience. Frequently it will force you to think outside the box; it’s not like there’s that group or friend with you to help watch your back the entire time. It’s only you, but this is what makes it so wonderful! You get to truly figure out what type of person you are and can be.

For instance, something I love doing… although may sound a bit foolish (and can be) is to frequently not book hotels in advance. This does many things for you, though it can go awry of course. The advantage it gives you is a chance to walk or drive around the city, town, etc; you’re visiting to really explore it. This way you’re not picking a hotel in one area and saying, ” I think I’ll mainly check out this area, and possibly a few surrounding sites.”

I did this in Europe and ended up finding a few sweet hotels and hostels to stay the night in. Not to mention places that are generally trekked through less often than a majority of main sites. Hell, a couple nights I slept on the train and would go to the next destination staying up a couple days straight. Traveling solo can get a little rough and isn’t for everyone, but it builds character and brings great experiences to share and learn from. It’s more expensive and you have to budget carefully, but in the end it’s something to be proud of with each new destination you go to.

The first real trip that immensely got me into this hobby was back in April 2014. I embarked on a completely spontaneous 3.5 day adventure to the Pacific North West and explored around downtown Portland, Seaside Or., a bit of Astoria Or., and Long Beach in Washington State. I fully decided to go on this trip literally 3-4 days before the date I left which was a rare 3 day weekend that was given to me. Visiting the ocean once more was determined mere hours before I left work early on that Friday afternoon to get on the road.

So much detail to go into with that trip… oh, but wait… I already have! (link posted at bottom of article in case you missed that tale).Anyways, essentially upon getting back to Utah I felt changed. I had entered a state in which I’ve never been to before, drove around 1900 miles solo which had been the most I’d ever driven period. Something clicked inside my head and show me all sorts of new possibilities. I’ve always loved traveling, but honestly thought that I couldn’t  afford to except with the military, or years down the road. That trip proved to me otherwise.

With articulate budgeting I decided to not concede to any thoughts of not being able to travel, or thinking that this trip had been a one time deal. Not even 5 months later I was at it again! I took on an even bigger challenge by going for around 6 or 7 days and adding a few hundred miles to the trip. I went back to the Pacific North West and made my first stop in Portland. This trip, I was a bit better prepared for and found a few campgrounds that I could stay at in my car a month in advance as I wanted this trip to be a bit more relaxing.

Leaving Portland, I made my way back into Washington State and explored the southern part of the state around the infamous Mt. St. Helens and surrounding forest. Later that day I made my way north to Seattle, onward to my next campground. First off, because something looks good on paper, doesn’t mean that it’ll always work out perfectly. The campground ended up being around 40-45 miles north of Seattle. Ouch! With the crowded traffic that took me aback just a bit. Nonetheless, I sucked it up and made it work. Sure, I may have taken 60-90 minutes out of my sightseeing each day, but I still managed to hit many popular sights in the city by car and much on foot.

I saw the Woodland Zoo, Space Needle (didn’t go to the top), Columbia Center (tallest building in Seattle; I did go to the top here). I went to the Seahawks Stadium as well as the Mariner’s stadium. I saw the old town, Pike’s Market place, the disgusting and interesting gum wall. I wandered around the downtown until late in the AM. The whole visit was great, and one thing was more certain than ever: it helped cement solo traveling into a main focus and hobby of mine. I passed this second test and hence forth would set out for more exciting destinations that I craved to visit.

One tremendous way  that I found easiest to fund my trips is to donate plasma. I highly recommend doing so, if you qualify of course, as it’s a great source of income for vacations and it creates medicine for sick people. I’ve said it already many times and I stand by it. The next major road trip I did was an 8.5 day trip down through Southern Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona where I hit 4 national parks, 4 corners, Albuquerque and various other sites.

In the next editions of this article you’ll get to hear more about the trip mentioned above as well as a minor trip through part of Nevada, and my 2 weeks in Guatemala (although this one wasn’t solo, and was military travel, it’ll still have it’s place). Also, not forget my return to Yellowstone National Park after a 5 years of not visiting; and topping it off with an entire article dedicated solely to my 22 day European adventure back in November.

As mentioned above, here is a link to the article that describes my first solo trip in more detail:

https://rossj781.com/2015/11/04/traveling-solo-part-1/

***I would like to leave a side note, the method of not getting hotel reservations isn’t recommended at all if you drive to a large and expensive city and can’t sleep in your car. Likely due to limited places to park, not having seats that can fold, or having simply to much stuff with you. It’s recommended for those who are flying in and traveling light, or going by train. Obviously if you got a lot of money, then you would be covered bringing a car without reservations. It may sound fun, but I don’t want to give anyone ideas in doing something that could end up being quite stupid.***

If you’re interested in more info on solo traveling, feel free to message me or comment and I’d be happy to share some additional tips I find useful. As always thanks for reading! Also, enjoy a small photo gallery with shots from various trips below!

~J. A. Ross

© RossJ781.com 01/22/2017

Card Games: My New Major Interest…(For The Moment)

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted, and I know I hit you all with a couple of posts last month stating more upcoming posts. That of course wasn’t a lie, though I didn’t expect to have another large hiatus in between those posts and this. Well… it happened, but worry not, I’m back in this game! I would also like to say that I have a lot of great content coming your way as I came back from a couple of weeks in Guatemala this past week, recently left my job at my call center on a transfer to a different part of the company, and my adventures of being sick (again).

So here is where the whole Guatemala thing ties into this article: while I was out there waiting for some work to do, some people in my group taught me how to play cards. The first game I learned to play was Hearts. Though challenging at first, I caught on quite quickly and eventually we grew a little bored of it and they decided to teach  me a semi similar game, though a lot more at stake as well as some more complex additions (assuming you’re betting). The game is Spades, and I would classify it as my second favorite card game. Between trying to get the right amount of books each round, to avoiding sandbags, while also attempting to choke the other team out of getting their books; it turned out to be rather intense!

The next game I learned takes the crown as my new favorite card game, and really the only card game I’ve played since I’ve come back from my trip. Texas Hold’em. I’m almost a little addicted to it. Seeing as I haven’t had many opportunities to play against other people in person, I downloaded an App for it to learn more in depth the various hands, and to experiment with betting strategies… as well as learning to read other players betting habits. It’s not quite as good as playing with people in person, and there are quite a few dipshits that play the App, to essentially troll others by always by going ‘all in’ with their bet constantly even thought they have garbage in their hand.

Besides those assholes, I’ve gotten very useful experience as I’m trying to get good enough at the game to go gamble in Wendover, NV; with my friend at the low stakes tables for good fun; while at the same time hoping to not lose much money. I did have a chance just last night to play against real people for the first time in a couple weeks, just for fun, which was nice. The next major game I learned how to play is Rummy. I found this to be a challenging game as well, and it had a lot more going on all over the table which made it exciting!

Of course, I couldn’t have just played a bunch of card games, without learned how to shuffle better, and bridge (at least semi good). I was taught how to deal 21 and Texas Hold’em which actually assist me in understanding to those games more in depth. Based on my observations, I’ve determined that I’m a natural at cards due to my abilities to catch onto the rules quickly, strategize, and even beat experienced players whilst not just having a win handed to me. I’m most definitely still a beginner and I’ll remember to not get too cocky. I guess it was just a little bit of that table talk that I was taught (Do remember to be easy with that, I learned!)

Be on the look out for an upcoming article on my last few days at the call center after 1.5 years working there. Also watch for pictures from Guatemala, as well as my photos yet to be shared from my previous trip of the New Mexico, Southern Colorado, Arizona, and Utah deserts. Thanks for reading!

~J. A. Ross

© RossJ781.com 05/11/2016

 

Website Update

Hello everyone! It’s been a couple weeks since I have been active. You’re all probably wondering where I’ve been (all my regular followers mainly) and the easy answer is taking a little break. But I’ll give you the more in depth answer too: I was gone for around 8 days on a solo trip through Colorado, Southern Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. The vacation was both for leisure as well as for photography to post to my site to enhance my content.

I’m proud to say on the trip alone I captured nearly 2,700 amazing images of our southern high region desert, and many of them are usable for the site. Overall, I have nearly 3,000 photos with about 300 added from a political rally I attend in Salt Lake City, UT; and additional event’s including watching a friend’s band play live, and  from a bonfire I went to. I’ll also be writing more soon as well when I can get the time.

I also needed a break just from added stress at work. Being on a computer all night at home, as well as using one all day for my job kind of deterred me for a bit from wanting to post. But I’m now all rested up and ready to get posting again! This is just a little announcement that there is more great content to come and that I’m still out here. Also, there are still plans for a website name change and a also for a website upgrade to have e-commerce soon, with some of my photos out for purchase. More details on that when I get to that point. I may also change the website theme as well.

Stay tuned for more updates here soon, and as always… thanks for reading!

~J. A. Ross

Solo Trip Update!

I have exciting news for fans of my writing and photography! Beginning Monday, I’ll be going on a 7.5 day solo trip through Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern Utah! I’ll be hitting 4 different National Parks, Ship Rock, and Albuquerque! My posting may be limited on my trip, but I’m expecting to have some exciting and new photography, as well as articles to share about the experience. This will be my 3rd major solo trip (though I have technically been on 4, the last one was much shorter and I don’t count it as ‘major’).

Traveling solo is beginning to become a big part of me, as I explore around the US. If you have questions, or want some tips on solo road trips, post a comment below, or send me a message!

~ J. A. Ross

Thought of the Day 12# – United States Media/ Purpose of Thought of the Day

*As a foresight, my ‘Thought of the Day’ posts are the only posts on my site that will contain any regular political, and/or religious topics (for the most part, slight references may sneak their way into my other works on occasion). Why do I do this you ask? Aren’t those topics kind of taboo for some people? Why, yes. Yes they are. However, I feel it’s important, as it’s a way for me to let free some of my viewpoints and let them be seen, as well as to give my readers/followers more insight into me. I believe this can make me more relatable when you read my other posts, and that is my goal. I want to connect with my readers as well.

Now for my opinion on the United State’s media: since I’ve finally caught up on Real Time With Bill Maher, (minus tonight’s episode). A few thought’s came to mind. First off,  what other show can you watch where they will light a joint on live television to make a point; or blantanly call out the media for what they are… and that is drama. A reality show is what most ‘real’ American new channels have become. On another note; isn’t it kind of sad how people can get more accurate news from show’s similar to Real Time or the Daily Show; than  a regular new’s channel. They’re comedians for fuck’s sake and report current events more accurately. America, we need to get our shit together because we’re behind the curve. Whether you believe it or not… it’s the truth.

This article though, short, gets 2 points across to open more insight to my readers. If you disagree with me, well I support your right to disagree with open arms. Hell, I’ll buy you a beer even. As always, thanks for reading and live any thoughts or opinions below!

~J. A. Ross

© RossJ781.com 03/04/2016

Thought of the Day #11 – Oscars

I see a lot of people on the web bashing Mad Max for winning a lot of the awards; I guess some people don’t recognize an amazing film when they see it. Also, hats off to Leonardo DiCaprio! He’s an amazing actor, and human being for all that humanitarian work he does, as well as all the money he donates to charity. I’m glad to see his hard work finally pay off in the film industry! I feel that he’s different from other people in Hollywood, and truly deserves the award.

On a side note, I’m also hoping to see more movies recognized in next year’s awards that don’t just involve a bunch of white people. I mean, would it kill them? There were a lot of other great movies that got snubbed, and had outstanding performances (and involvement) from African Americans, Hispanics, and actors of other ethnicity. There were a lot of films that shouldn’t have even been nominated, and these other films could’ve taken their place.

 ~J. A. Ross

 

© RossJ781.com 2/29/2016

Thought of the Day #10 ~ Set A Trap at Starbucks

So, I saw a Starbucks today and this came to mind: if you’re looking to go white girl hunting, all you have to do is just set a trap with a pumpkin spice latte (especially with them being out of season), and throw the latest iPhone next to it. Boom! Simple as that! It’s a sure fire thing.

On a lesser note, I’m a little disappointed those lattes are out of season now; I kind of want one…

~J. A. Ross

© RossJ781.com 2/25/2016