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miscellaneous

Knowing when to give up when doing stupid things.

The stupid thing we were going to do got stupider with 3-4 inches of packed snow on the trail so I pulled the rip cord about 12 miles in. I was way off my min pace (glad I had that sheet calculated ahead of time and with me). And the snow was not melting off. Based on the sections we did, I am pretty confident that we could have done it in a reasonable amount of time if it weren’t for the snow pack.

Discretion is the better part of valor.

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Uncategorized

Making stupid plans

In 11 days a buddy and I are going to attempt the 4 state challenge on the AT. 4 states/~44 miles in less than 24 hours. I’m not sure how I ended up agreeing to this, but once committed…I’m in.

It’s going to be a bit different than any other hikes I’ve done. No camping. Light day pack for speed. And more than double the daily miles I’ve ever done.

Since making this commitment I’ve been cranking out a marathon a week on the treadmill (and finally digging into the Expanse). I’ve made a pace chart and if I max out all sections I can finish in about 18 hours. If slowest, I’ll miss the 24 window by about 20 mins.

The hardest part will be at mile 42 we will walk right by our hotel. Facing 2 miles up hill in hour 17 to 23. Good willpower test. Trip report in a few weeks.

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miscellaneous

Added a hitch to the skoolie this weekend

Picked up a 15,000 lb weld on curt hitch a few weeks ago. Spent a few hours on Saturday and Sunday getting it installed. A little more difficult than I thought, but really happy with how it turned out. Just have to get it welded up and then get the wiring setup and I’ll be ready to tow.

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miscellaneous

Quarter million

Picked up my 2008 MB E320 Bluetech in May of 2011 with about 32k miles. Just crossed a quarter million.

Categories
books

Historical vs scientific facts

Slowly making my way through Ernst Cassier’s “An Essay on Man” and ran across this gem which seems particularly useful in our attempts to recover from fake news.

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miscellaneous

Navigating the new rules of social interaction

It’s been more than a year since I’ve been on a plane. Nearly a year since I’ve been in an office. No clear timeline for when that might change.

Last year was a year of constant adjustment and regular disappointment. Trips cancelled. Concerts “postponed”. Restaurants closed. I fell into the trap of thinking that reality cares about our president or even about our calendar which has led to some new disappointments. 

The reality of 2021 is setting in: not too much is going to change from 2020.With that knowledge comes some power. Having had Covid to start the year comes with some added freedom or at least lower anxiety. Especially with reports like this.  I am using this knowledge and freedom to try to make 2021 different than 2020, for us at least.

So what does that look like?  We’ve already been out to eat, although we did that a bit in 2020. I’m going to the gym for small group work outs.  We went to a concert – the first since late 2019. We’ve got plans for dinner groups and trips in the skoolie. I’ve signed up for a few major IDPA matches and have a few hikes in the works (something that I also was able to do in 2020, but am trying to be more intentional this year about where I go and am adding pack rafting to the tool kit).

These changes will definitely improve my mental health.  I am best when I have a few things to look forward to and plan for.  2020 was hard that way, since nearly everything I was looking forward to got cancelled or “postponed”.  There was a silver lining in that though, it did give me nothing else to focus on except the present. I will try to keep that with me moving into 2021.

But I am also worried about the potential consequences of how I choose to navigate my social interactions in 2021.  I am not worried about the things I will do essentially on my own or with my family.  I am thinking about how to negotiate larger group interactions. 

On one hand, I am all about disclosure – the people I might be with should know what else I am doing, where else I have been, who else I have been hanging out with and that I have had and recovered from Covid and then should be able to make their own decisions. 

On the other hand, I know some significant portion of my social circle will react to that disclosure in a either / both of the following ways. 

(1) They will overreact and choose to not do something that they otherwise might.  Honestly, I can accept this one since I know it is just my perception of an overreaction.  I may have it all wrong and they are entitled to what bits of reality they want to let in and which they choose to block out.  None of us has a monopoly on the truth and none of us can see the whole truth at any one time.

(2) They will extrapolate what I am doing / how I am behaving in the midst of a pandemic to make assumptions about what I believe about everything from vaccines to climate change to gun control.  They will suspect me of having been in DC on the 6th of Jan (for the record I was flat on my back with Covid).  This seems a direct consequence of both polarization (there are only two places to stand on any issue) and of the abbreviated content / lack of context and speed of most “conversations” today (I will take one thing I know about you and quickly put you in one of the two buckets I have and from there assume I know you fully).

The second reaction is the one that bothers me and has me struggling with what, how and who to disclose.  To be clear this is not the claim that I am “unknowable” while at the same time demanding to be known.  Quite the opposite – I think I am like everyone else: somewhat knowable, yet full of (hopefully interesting) contradictions IF you take the time.  One part of my worry about this reaction is that I know I do this too.  It’s just such an easy trap to fall into.

To get over the bother and on with an amazing 2021 I will start with trying to be the change I want to see.  That means noticing when I am making broad assumptions about who someone is based on a singular belief or observation.  When I notice, I will try to be more curious to actually learn about them.  I am also going to accept when people don’t want to take the time to do that with me and not worry about what assumptions they might be making.

Here’s to everyone having an amazing 2021!

 

 

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Uncategorized

First live music in 15+ months

We went out last night to Southgate revival for our first live music in more than 15 months. We saw The Avett Brothers in Lexington in fall of 2019 and The Newbees last night. It was a great start to what will hopefully be a concert filled 2021.

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Uncategorized

Adding nav to the skoolie

This weekend’s Skoolie project was getting a mount and power setup for an old cellular enabled iPad that we had sitting in a gear closet. Won’t need the cellular (will pair with my phone for data) but the gps let’s maps work so it will be a good enough solution for nav.

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Uncategorized

Not worth the squeeze

I must be playing the long game with this blog.  I switched over to AWS hosting to force me to see a bill for it each month. It’s not a lot, but it’s soemthing to make me honest about whether its worth it or not more than once a year.  Bills have come and been paid month after month for more than a year with obviously very little posting.  Not sure that will change a lot in this next year, but one place I am sure I won’t be doing much posting anymore is Facebook.  As of today I suspended my account.

In the 4,920 days that I had an active account I did make regular use of it. Most of that time it was a convinience or even a pleasure.  I started to have doubts 3-4 years ago.  Seeing what happened last week in Washington and realizing that a good majority of those people ended up where there were because of Facebook is the last little push I need.  Not that I feel particularly susceptible to ending up in the same place (but who does really?), but rather it’s something I can do to feel some modicum of control.  I just can’t support a platform that does that to it’s users and then turns around and destroys its competition as a scapegoat.

I am not setting up accounts anywhere else instead.  I am just going to sit it out for a while and see how “base reality” suits me.  I wrote this post mainly as a marker for when the experiment ended and also in the small hopes that it might encourage one other person to free themselves.

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miscellaneous

Resetting the clock

Added 165 days to the clock today. Been considering it for a bit and I think it makes sense to tack on a bit more time to move on at a natural transition. Makes the math a bit easier although I won’t get to brag that “I retired in my 40s” ;-).