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September 29, 2003

Friends in Focus: Right or Wrong.

I've had a strange idea which may not really be acceptable. I have to figure out a way to do it. Anyway, I find I learn a lot from other people when I think about them in a holistic sense. Why they are the way they are, how they got there. I think, as part of my great experiment, I'd like to annotate what I think about my friends, or rather, how I see them, individually. I'd like to do it here, on my blog, but it seems a little too personal. So I thought I'd throw the idea out and see what others think. Is it too personal a thing? Should I ask individual permission first?

Posted by wonko at 11:11 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 27, 2003


So I decided not to go to the Palisades and talk with Doug. I still intend on doing it, but the timing didn't seem right. I've gotta get through some of the stuff thats on my place right now. Plus, it would have been a lot of pressure for Doug to hike all the way in for no other purpose other than to talk to him. I've gotta talk to Bruce about what he thinks I should do. Not all is clear.

Tomorrow, Bruce and I are going to do Oz (10d) in Tuolumne. Its a bit scary, and Bruce took a 50' whipper on it just last week. He's confident he knows what mistakes he made and won't repeat his grand fall this time. I wasn't with him last time.

Today, I met my LA friend Steve in Bishop to do some bouldering and catch up in general. He's struggling with what he should do career wise now that he's done gradgiated. I think I was able to impart my recent learning about myself to his benefit. First, I told him what I've learned recently about time, multitasking and balance. Basically, that I have a hard time focusing on multiple things simultaneously. I used to think this was a deficiency on my part that I had to work on. This may still be true, but I've decided to just work with it instead. So now I'll commit to just one task per day or week and solely focus on that. He agreed he had the same problem and thought that type of focus might help.

I asked him what all his options were. After going through them one at a time, he come to some conclusion on which one he felt strongest about following. I recommend he drop all the other lose commitments he had and focus on that one thing, at least until he figures out whether its gonna work or not. But most importantly, I reminded him of some important things.
First, even though he wanted to make and have more money, he shouldn't spend money in any way that raises his cost of living too much. Why? Because, secondly, he should remember that there are other options besides the corporate lifestyle one. If he gets large monthly bills or debt, he won't be able to change lifestyles even if he wanted to. At this point, he hasn't done either enough to know what he's really going to like. Keeping ones options open and accessible is key to finding happiness. That's my thought.
I think he took what I said to heart and I think he felt better afterwards. I also felt better afterwards. It struck me how strongly I felt about these issues. I had conviction in what I was saying. After all I've been through and been thinking, I feel a lot more confident in my philosophies on life. I DO feel like I'm on to something. Happiness may be attainable to most people and there may be a some rules or ideas that would aid anyone in their search for it. Then again, maybe I'm wrong. :)

Posted by wonko at 11:49 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

September 25, 2003

Trans-Sierra: Physical Summary, Part II

I spent 3 days and 4 nights at Evolution Lake. The first day I ended up just taking a walk around the W side of the lake where I met two gentlemen lounging at the side of the lake, in heated discussion. I immediately joined them and had a very enjoyable conversation. We jumped rapidly from idea to idea over topics like, society, money, backpacking, happiness, religion, history, etc... We talked for a good many hours after which I explored some of the knolls around the lake before dark. The next day I planned on climbing 'The Hermit'. I didn't feel hungry in the morning, so I forwent breakfast, a bad idea in hindsight. I set out with a little water and 2 cliff bars. It ended up being a lot more difficult, both physically and technically than I'd hoped. I found myself in exposed situations climbing lose technical terrain, when what I'd hoped for was a difficult hike. At the top, I was rewarded by amazing views all around, but I also ran out of water. The hike back was brutal. I tried taking a different, safer route, but it ended up being just as difficult and technical as the climb up. Once off the Hermit I still had to climb another ridge before getting back to Evolution. By the time I got back, I was completely wasted. I quickly drank as much water as I could, but only ate rice for dinner as my appetite just wasn't there.

The next day I decided to do nothing but read, write, and relax. It was another good day.
The next day I moved on, hiking down to Evolution canyon, past McClure Meadow, where I had a nice chat with a ranger, and down towards the Muir Trail Ranch. I camped a couple miles from the intersection of the Piute Pass Trail and the JMT.

Finally, I made it to the hot springs, but not before having to ford a good river. The hot springs were not as hot as I'd hoped, but I met two really nice guys who I ended up camping with that night. We stayed up late and talked about things like astronomy, divorce, work, wandering, and more.
Monday and Tuesday I made my way from the Muir Trail Ranch, over Seldon Pass, and camped just before the last 1000' climb. On my way I ran into a young Canadian PCTer. He'd been on the trail for 3.5 months and had another 1-2 months to go before he reached Mexico. He'd grown up just a couple blocks from the PCT trailhead in Canada and vowed to do it someday. Just after graduating from HS he started out. He seemed very normal for a solo PCTer. Later that day, I ran into two dads and their two kids. One of the dads was a Philosophy Professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder. We all talked for a long time about Tom Wolfe, Jack Kereuac, the Merry Pranksters, my book idea, wandering, etc... At this point, I was only one day's hike from Lake Thomas Edison, my final destination. The PCTer and the group I met later told me what they said was an easier way there. After the 1000' climb they said I should take the Bear Ridge trail and hiking directly to VVR (Vermillion Valley Resort) on the other side of Lake Edison, instead of hiking down 2500' of switch-backs and taking the ferry across. Wednesday morning I started out on what I thought would be a short last day of hiking. The ridge trail ended up being WAY longer than the traditional way. Anyway, I covered over 10 miles and stumbled into VVR at noon. VVR is much less a resort and more like a glorified shack. One small building housed a tiny store and a tiny cafe. There were 'tent cabins' where the hikers slept. These were large military tents just big enough to hold the 4 bunk beds in each (8 beds total). They did have a shower that I took advantage of, and a washer and dryer which sat outside.

Anyway, I stumble into the one main building where a nice lady gives me my free beer (through hikers get a free beer and a free night). She asks where I'm headed and I tell her this is my final destination. She asks if someone is picking me up and I tell her that I needed to get to Fresno (3 hours away) somehow, where my sister-in-law would pick me up. She immediately offered to drive me there on Friday morning when she needed to go there anyway. This would definitely be a portent of the hospitality of all the people at VVR.

I was famished for real food, so I went to the small cafe where the chef was sitting alone watching a movie. Stan, the chef, is an amazing man whose done so much in his life. He was a professor of philosophy at Berkley in the 70s (I believe). He has a PHD in psychology. He's been a horse trainer and a personal chef for rich families in Beverly Hills. Anyway, he offered to make me his special burger. It was amazing! It was at that point that I realized the food would all be amazing, but very expensive. Sometime that day, one of the employees hinted that some hikers offered to work off some of their food. That night after eating steak for dinner I found that I was the only hiker there, so I had a 'tent cabin' to myself. The next day I offered to work. First they had me sort recycling with another one of the employees. Then I split wood for hours. I ate lots of good food throughout the day. While I was working, they said I could just take drinks and snacks from the shop. I grabbed a couple, but didn't take advantage of the privilege. All day I talked to the various employees who were all very interesting. Each had an interesting story and philosophies on life. That night, I found I had a tent mate named cliff. He ended up being a pretty religious Catholic, but he wasn't judgmental or overbearing at all. We talked for hours and hours about religion especially, but also life and work. Friday morning, I went to settle up and they generously gave me all my meals and stay for free, even though I ate quite a bit of food. In the afternoon, they generously drove me to Fresno. There, Rachel met us and we drove through Yosemite home.

While it was a fun trip and I had an excellent time, it was great to be home!

Posted by wonko at 11:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 23, 2003

Trans-Sierra: Physical Summary, Part I

For those that are interested in some of the details of what happened, I offer the following in as brief a form as I could muster.

My first day out, I said goodbye to my wife and started hoofing up towards Bishop pass. I knew it would be one of my most difficult days just because I was at my peak physical weight (both myself and my pack) and I hadn't actually trained at all. As I huffed and puffed up the final switch-backs, I couldn't help, but smile at the thought that I really had no idea why I was doing this. I just knew it was something I wanted to do. After descending over the other side of Bishop pass, I ended up overshooting the lakes I wanted to reach, so I had to run around and climb a little ways back uphill. When I reached what I thought was the right lake, I promptly sat down and passed out in a wave of fatigue. At 70lbs, my pack was way too heavy. A little later, I realized that I had developed a bad blister on my right heel. The boots I wore were like old friends and had never given me trouble before, so I was a bit frustrated thinking of the miles I had to hike over the next few weeks.
The next day I realized I wasn't at the lake I wanted to at either. So I started hiking, sans pack, South over a little ridge. There was the lake. A group I'd seen the day before was camped there, so I hiked down to say hello. One of them saw me and held up a nice fishing rod, asking if it was mine. The four of them had all brought rods of their own, but had found this rod, with a good Kastmaster lure on it and had found it to be quite the lucky rod. I told them it wasn't mine, but I wished I'd brought a rod. I half suggested they leave the rod as that lakes lucky communal rod. I decided to go back, get my stuff and move my camp down to the lake they were just then leaving. By the time I got back they were just about to leave and I didn't see the rod anywhere. Then one of them, in a guilty voice, said, "We decided to take the rod after all." Made me sad.
That day I decided to tape up my blister and day-hike up to Knapsack pass. Actually, I'd wanted to climb N. Palisade, but I could tell by the pass that my blister wasn't doing well. The view from the pass was ecstasy. All of the immense Palisades on one side and the Black Divide on the other. I sat for a while and triangulated the position of the peaks around me, to figure out where they all were. Shortly thereafter, I had an encounter which would become a regular occurrence throughout the trip. I saw two men bounding up the talus that made up the other side of Knapsack pass. They reached me quickly, without appearing to be winded at all. They were hiking the, "High Trail", or something like that. It was around 200mi long and avoided as many established trails as possible. It was going to take 1.5-2 weeks. Alone, it wasn't that astounding. What was astounding was their packs weight under 30lbs each. For the first of many times during the trip, I heard about "Beyond Backpacking: Ray Jardines Guide to Lightweight Hiking". Certainly, one of the lessons I started to learn on this trip, was the importance of going light. By shedding comfort, and going light, you have more energy to go further and explore more places. It also helps to be in excellent shape, which I did not feel was an accurate description of myself at the time.
When I got back from the pass I took a dip in a frigid lake at 11,300'. The feeling of the air in your lungs decompressing is insane. You just can't breath. I tried swimming for warmth, but it ended up just stinging as my body fought the cold. I didn't stay in for long.

That night, I knew I wanted to move on the next day, but still had my blister to contend with. Luckily I had brought Tevas (sandals). I knew it too would be painful, but I worked on rigging a separate heel strap for my right Teva. I used some webbing I'd brought to make a heel strap that went above my blister. So in another one of my most difficult days, I lugged my still near 70lb pack from upper Dusey Basin down 3000 vertical feet to LeConte Canyon, then back up camping just a few miles from Muir Pass. The uneven trail for 11-12 miles with nothing but sandals to support my heavy pack was somewhat brutal, but at least my heel blister was beginning to heal. My first two nights I'd set up shelter due to cold, high winds, and what looked like imminent rain. By my third night, and for every subsequent night, I just slept on my tarp. I didn't bring an actual tent, just a footprint and rain-fly that set up sorta like a tent that doesn't go all the way to the ground. I went to sleep that night at 10,800 to clear skies, but woke up hours later to dense fog, completely obscuring my surroundings. The next morn, the weather was mixed, but as I walked towards the Muir pass it kept getting worse.
On my way to the pass I met an interesting character who goes by Boogiecat. He was a 50+ yr old dancer who supposedly was the inspiration for the movie Flashdance. He lived in Ely, MN where he works in an Iron mill. We talked for a good long time.
By the last few switch-backs I was racing to get to the infamous Muir Hut as the weather was looking ominous indeed. I ran into the hut with 50mph winds outside and the entire sky covered by low dark clouds. Within a few minutes, another party appeared, and then a father, daughter party who'd I'd met the day before near LeConte Canyon. They generously offered to cook me lunch and tea. I accepted. So we all stayed hunkered down in the hut for a while waiting to see what the weather would do. Finally, after it looked like the weather might hold, I struck out towards Evolution Basin. I had originally intended on staying at Saphire Lake, but decided to continue on to Evolution Lake, where I knew I'd be staying for a couple days.
Evolution lake is one of the most beautiful places in the Sierras. The Evolution Range towers abruptly to the North with other peaks and ranges all around. I've never seen a place with so much 'hidden' camping either. You could walk around for days and find amazing places to camp. I camped on a Peninsula jutting into the lake, near the water. I stayed there for 4 nights and 3 days.
In part 2, I'll tell about climbing The Hermit and meeting lots of other interesting people.

Posted by wonko at 11:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 22, 2003

Trans-Sierra: Philisophical Summary

I'm beginning to get back into the swing of life and expect to be updating my blog daily as I have a lot of thoughts on a great many matters. I have two summaries, the Philosophical one and the Anecdotal One. I'll give them separately for brevity.

Before I went on the trip, a good many people said, matter of factly, "Going to find yourself eh?" To clear up the matter, that was NEVER my intention. Furthermore, I don't believe you can 'find yourself' by going somewhere alone. The idea came to me before I knew what my intentions were. In the end, I went to gain perspective on what I was doing. With this perspective I was hoping I'd be able to boldly commit to my new direction with less fear and trepidation. Especially as it related to my corporate decisions like working less at P3 and becoming a writer/guide.

In hindsight, I got a lot out of this trip, but unfortunately, I am still very wary about my new direction. Case in point, I wrote previously about how, before I left, I told my boss I wanted to cut down my hours and he may even want to consider not thinking of me as a manager. It was a vague conversation and I wasn't sure what he really heard. Well, a day after getting back from my trip, I was talking to a co-worker/friend and he mentioned he was going to be working more at P3 this winter. I thought that was grand and told him so. He then mentioned, almost in passing, that he guessed he was taking my job. There it was. It was exactly what I, myself, had asked for. Yet I couldn't help but feel fear. Now that momentum was carrying my ideological decisions into actions which affected me and those around me, had I made the right choice? Still tough to say. My wife, (or whife if you're kicken' it old skool) said that I'm afraid to trust myself, and she's probably right.

One analogy I thought of while on the trip, no doubt influenced by my having read Blue Mars, was that I felt as a person between two worlds. I am leaving the large one which has considerable gravity trying to pull me back and am trying to get to a smaller one with far less gravity to pull me in. At this moment, I do not feel like I've gotten far enough away from the world I'm leaving, or close enough to the one I'm headed for to just coast. Its taking constant pushing away from the old, while pulling towards the new.

What I DID come away with was a better relationship with time, as well as a better relationship with possessions. I had mentioned before that time was always a problem for me. Always hounding me. Being out there where I had so much time to see the little things helped me see how important that ethos is. Now that I'm back and almost in full-swing, I still feel more relaxed. I will be productive in the time I have, but I don't need to worry about not getting things done 'in time'. You do what you can and thats all you can do. Also, when you're living life with only what you can carry, you get a better sense of what possessions are really necessary vs. luxury. There are far more items that should fall into that luxury category than we'd like to admit. I'd been moving towards a healthier view of 'things' for a while, but this change in my view of 'time' is sudden. I'm hoping it sticks. I'm trying to be conscious of when I feel my old nemesis riding my tail and just trying to ignore him.

Well, thats a first pass at some of the things I've come away with. There's more to come, much more. I'm planning on leaving again for the Palisades this weekend to try and catch Doug Robinson and see about apprenticing. I guess a lot will depend on that.

Posted by wonko at 09:09 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 20, 2003

I'm Back!

I just got back last night. It was a great experience. I did a lot of writing, reading and thinking as you'd expect. I also met a lot of interesting people. I'm going to settle in again and then I'll tell the story in brief, or over a couple entries. I have to organize my thoughts on the matter first. I wrote somewhere between 100 and 200 pages in a journal, so I want to spare you all the 'details'. But, I did have a lot of interesting thoughts which I'll share over the course of the next week I suppose. I'm back safe and thinking about how to move forward though, thats what matters.

Posted by wonko at 09:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 05, 2003

The Urban Wanderer

I'm just about to leave for my two week solo backpacking trip and I'm almost done preparing. I've got two weeks of food and 3 good books to read, not to mention a journal to fill. But before I leave I wanted to share an idea I had a couple weeks ago that has me quite taken. I mentioned that I wanted to get into writing.... to become a writer. Well, I've had an idea that I think is quite good, if not a bit crazy. Did I mention it was crazy?

The book's current title is, "The Urban Wanderer." It is broken up into 3 concepts. The first is more of a large introduction going over the following.

Most people do not seem happy with their jobs or their lives. They've followed a path that was recommended to them by society and it has left them feeling empty with a life that is mediocre at best. In modern history there have been some that, finding themselves in the same place, did something about it. They eliminated all responsibility and went wandering. There are two types of wanderers, the nature wanderer, like John Muir or Chris McCandless, and the Urban Wanderer like Jack Kerouac. This book will focus on the Urban Wanderer. Most books about wanderers are read as fiction, even though they are true. People see them as entertainment, but not something that THEY could possible conceive of doing themselves. They might dream of what it might be like, but it just wouldn't be possible, at least not with all of these THINGS to take care of. The final part of the introduction is an argument why the average person might consider wandering an option. If a person finds themselves stuck in an unsatisfying life, with no apparent way out, wandering COULD and SHOULD be an option.

The second part of the book, which will represent the bulk of the book, will be a guide on how to wander. In order to understand what that would look like, I'll give you some of the chapters.

Why Wonder. What benefits are there of wandering. Why might you be able to wander? What arguments are there against wandering and what answers might there be to those arguments.

Risks of Wandering. This isn't just the physical risks, but more the psychological risks, like the chance a person might not want to come back or be able to reintegrate with society.

Preparation. A discussion of how you must have no debt you are responsible for and NOT monthly payments. You also must not have any possessions that require any maintenance. If you have a house, you must sell it. Same with the car, and anything else which requires upkeep. If you have things you want to keep, you need to put them in storage and put 1-2 years down so you will not have monthly payments. You must also acknowledge the possibility you will never see that stuff again. This chapter will also cover saying goodbye. What do you tell your family and friends. You can't wander with a lot of money for a number of reasons. First there is the safety issue. More importantly, if you travel with money, or a car, you won't be forced to rely on strangers. It is this learning to meet and rely on strangers that is the real benefit of wandering.

The Finances of Wandering. Its true that things were cheaper in the past. How can you stretch your money. Where to find things cheap. How to find jobs for short periods of time (1 day to 1 month) in order to make enough money to eat and move to the next place.

Hygiene and Attire. If you look too poor, people won't want to get near you. If you look to well-to-do, they won't help you. Neutral button up shirts, like hawaiian shirts work well as you could be mistaken for homeless in the right situation, but you could also crash a wedding and people would just think you're a slob. I'd cover hygiene topics like bathing, smelling not so bad, facial hair, etc...

Getting Around. How to get from one place to another via buses, hitch-hiking, hitch-riding, etc... Weather considerations. Cover how to learn from locals in the area, including local homeless people. I'd cover the major safety issues as well.

Fuel. Food, Drink, Drugs and Alcohol. While there is definitely a historic link between substances and wandering, there is a fine line between having a drink on the road and being a homeless alcoholic.

Bedding Down. Where to sleep inside and out. Keeping warm, etc...

Meeting People. One of the main things one can get out of wandering is meeting different people who have different ideas. Meeting others can show us there are other ways of seeing things and maybe other things we can do with our lives. So it is important to know how to meet and treat people.

Coming Back. Finally a chapter on readjusting to society. It should also cover how to get the most out of ones trip from personal growth perspective.

As you can see, the bulk of the book is more of a how-to book, but there is a third element to the book which gives it legitimacy. If and when I write this book, I would do it while wandering. I'd go away for 6 months to a year and wander, writing the how-to potion, as well as my personal experiences while wandering. These experiences which will be sprinkled throughout the book will be organized by relevance to that particular chapter.

Well, thats the idea. I have lots of other things I want to do in the next year, Denali being one of the biggest, so I don't know when I'd get to the book. However, like moving to Mammoth, or many other things in my life, I have a feeling I will start taking steps towards writing this book and eventually fully commit. Many of you might be wondering how I could just go away and wander given my current life. I've thought about it and still believe I can. At this stage I am looking for questions, concerns and ideas. If you are curious how I plan on doing certain things, just ask and I'll try and explain or figure it out. I have been very hesitant to post this idea and it is no coincidence that I am posting it now, before I leave for two weeks. I would very much like everyones thoughts.

With that, I bid you all adieu. See you in two weeks.

Posted by wonko at 06:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Pilgrimage: Details

For my safety as well as for those that are interested. I wanted to give some details as to where I am going. If you're into maps, you can look this stuff up. I will be taking 2 maps with me. Both are Tom Harrison Maps (made on a mac :). The Mono Divide High Country Map and the Kings Canyon High Country Map.

Tomorrow morning Sarah is driving down to Bishop. From there we'll drive 30 minutes into the Sierras along the 168 (Line St.). She'll be dropping me off at South Lake. From there I'll be headed south towards Bishop Pass. I'll likely camp the first night just on the other side of Bishop Pass in an area called Dusey Basin. I'll spend a day or two here, possible climbing Mt. Agassiz and North Palisade.
Then I will start hiking West towards Le Conte Canyon where I'll meet up with the John Muir Trail (JMT). Once on the JMT I'll start heading West and North towards Evolution Basin and the Muir Pass. I'll probably camp a good number of days around Sapphire Lake and Evolution Lake, taking day hikes around the area. In that area there are a number of peaks I might try. Darwin, Mendel, The Hermit, Goddard, Haeckel, Huxley, The Black Giant. Most of my time will be in the Evolution Basin.

Once I start moving again, I'll be headed NWW along the JMT/PCT. From here I'm not sure where I'll be camping, other than one night near the Muir Trail Ranch. Its at this point that I will have the option of going out to Florence Lake, if I wanted to leave early. I plan on continuing North along the JMT over Seldon Pass. In this area, there are two peaks I'm considering. Mt. Hooper and Seven Gables.

Finally I head further north and a little west to Lake Thomas Edison, where a ferry will take me across to Vermilion Resort, which is less a resort and more of a backpackers lodge. I'm hoping to get there before Thursday (in two weeks) and spend a day or two there. I hear its a neat scene with lots of backpackers from all over. Once at the 'resort', I will have access to a phone and I'll check in with my lovely wife. I'm not sure if I'll make it there before Friday, we'll see. From there I plan on hitching to Fresno where my sister-in-law will pick me up and we'll head back to Mammoth by way of Yosemite. If all goes well, I'll post again on Saturday the 20th. Wish me luck!

Posted by wonko at 06:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Realization: Two Weeks is a long time.

I just realized that I can't remember ever going anywhere for a full two weeks with the exception of moving somewhere to live. Thats sad.

Posted by wonko at 01:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 03, 2003

Purpose gives purpose.

I've had a tremendous amount to do before leaving in my trip. A number of Kittredge computer projects had to be completed, a Sarahpeutics project, and some some set up on a new server. Whats strange is the level of purpose I've had in these projects. When I worked on the Kittredge projects before, I didn't feel any urgency or any sense that what I was doing mattered, which made it difficult to do. Knowing I have something to look forward to has given me drive to do these projects with umph.

I've been thinking a lot about time. More to the point, our relationship with time. As my 2 week trip looms, I can't help be feel that 2 weeks is an eternity. Think of all the things I have to do, all the time at work I'll miss! What if things go wrong? What about all the servers I manage? As I told others about my trip, they didn't seem as concerned about the time as I did. Many of them had gone in the back country for 2 weeks before. These are all outdoor people mind you, but I still thought it strange that they had such a different view of time than me. I am constantly running against time, or at least thats how I feel. There's just not enough of it. I feel like its always holding me back. One of my other hopes for this trip is that it gives me perspective on my relationship with time. I don't want to feel hounded by it all the time. I want to feel like I HAVE the time to talk to friends and family and read and write and climb... withOUT feeling guilty. Is that selfish? I do not think so.
I was thinking about how most people in this country only have 1 or 2 weeks of vacation. The more I think about that figure, the less it makes sense. People need time for themselves, to do the things they want. But they also need time for friends and family. By having so little time off, the average person constantly feels betrayed by time. They have to sacrifice the things that are really the most important, for things which really have no meaning. This does not make sense to me. This article talks about a new study that finds Americans are working much longer hours. With all the problems we have here, will that help? The article implies it will. Since all our woes can be tied to our economic downturn, working more hours means higher productivity, as well as more money earned to spend. Remember, its your fault and mine that we are in a recession. We aren't buying enough. Never mind all that debt we already have. But back to my original point, working more just makes people, who are already unhappy with their work, MORE unhappy with their lives.

On a different note.
In order for me to keep going the way I'm going, I've started viewing my crusade as an experiment. So, I'm headed in this strange direction in the name of science. Plenty of others have tried the same experiments, its just that few have documented their descent (ascent?). As I see things that people wouldn't normally try, but have not rational reason not to, it is my duty as a scientist to try it and document the results. This line of thought often helps me commit to decisions I would probably otherwise chicken out of. Is this a good thing? Think so. Or at least, I can find no rational reason why not.

And I STILL have to pack for this trip!!! Curse you time!

Posted by wonko at 11:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 02, 2003

Preparing for the pilgrimage.

Its time to move... get on with my plans. I mentioned before that I wanted to take a solo backpacking trip over the Sierras. After much thought and little planning, its almost time to go. I will be leaving this Saturday and am giving myself 2 weeks to get back. I will be completely out of touch for the entire time so hopefully the servers I manage behave.

I've given some thought as to why this whole idea came to my head in the first place? What do I hope to accomplish and what does this have to do with my future plans or my crusade? At the moment, I feel stuck between two worlds. On one hand I've got my new direction towards idealism. On the other I have my old corporate, public self. This public self is making the other self feel really guilty and holding the new self back in general. Part of the problem is, no doubt, one of perspective. I hope that my time away from time will let me focus on the decisions I want to make and finally make them. In many instances I have decisions that I know what course I want to take, but am rue to commit due to my strong bond with my former self. My river is forking and right now I'm trying to paddle down both directions. I'm hoping to commit to one, hopefully the right one. Of course, one can never know the right one until one is committed, but at this point I don't have much of a choice.

This whole thing is still vague to me, but less so than it must be for everyone else. I really must spill more of my thoughts on these pages to facilitate better understanding among my friends. It all has to do with my new direction, writing, guiding, wandering. I mentioned that Obigabu and I are working on a book and its actually coming well. At the same time, I've envisioned a new book idea that is much larger in its scope and impact on myself and those around me. Every time I've tried to explain it to others I preface my explanation with, "this is gonna sound crazy." I'll share that idea with everyone shortly, but I have to warn you. Its gonna sound crazy.

Some of you who may not understand the scope of my pilgrimage into the Sierras may be worried about my safety. While there are objective hazards to any trip such as these, it is not inherently dangerous. I will be on established trails where I will likely see other backpackers on a daily basis. There is ample water all of the places I am going and I am going to make sure to bring ample food. I am not bringing a tent, to save weight, but I am bringing shelter. My journey will end at Lake Thomas Edison on the other side of the Sierras. Lake TE is probably 2.5hrs East of Fresno. I'm still working on how I will get home, but at this point, I have a number of options.

For those that are interested, I will detail the exact path I plan to take in an upcoming entry. In the mean time, I am quite nervous with all I have to do before I leave. I promised to get two Kit computer projects done. I have to pack for the trip, which is quite involved given the length. I'm also setting up the replacement machine for my old home server which hosts http://www.sarahpeutics.com, a ton of email accounts, as well as this site.
As always... more to come.

Posted by wonko at 10:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Flossing URL Issue

You may have noticed that the URL in the brain flossing updates has been broken. This is due to a problem in the program I use to post blogs. I think I've fixed the problem. Just to reiterate, the new URL is no longer http://adam.ninth.org and is now http://www.wayfargone.com/brainfloss/. If you have any other problems, please email me at adam@wayfargone.com. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Posted by wonko at 09:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack