Friday, March 26, 2010

Hike Report: Trout Brook Reservation March 20

Before I forget about this one ...

The whole family went for a hike at Trout Brook on Saturday. The weather was nice, but after so much rain, it was wet in places it shouldn't have been. We had to place a tree over one crossing.

We took the Bob Elms (blue) trail up and the white trail back. Total hike was 3.92 miles, in about 2 hours. The boys did great, without much complaining. Everett probably needs new boots, since he complained about his feet at the end of the hike.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Wachusett Mountain Hike Report

Jen and I went hiking up Mount Wachusett yesterday. The phrase "Thanks! I needed that!" came to mind!

I have been straight out with work and Scouts. I also decided to give up alcohol for Lent. While I am not a heavy drinker, an occasional drink at the end of the day is relaxing.

So here is my hike report for my virtual diary.

The day was unseasonably warm (60s) for mid-March. We had lots of rain over the past weekend. The trails still had a lot of snow, but there was also a lot of water. We went up the north side of Wachusett Mountain. The hike took about 1:45 to get to the summit and about 1:05 to get down.

The summit only had two other people, though we did see more hikers on the trail both up and down. The auto road was still covered in snow, so that and the trail snow probably cut down on the typical crowds at the top.

Probably the most amusing thing to me was a few skiers actually stared at us like we were strange animals as we walked up and down the hill. Apparently this was totally foriegn to those accustomed to riding a lift and skiing down!

I brought my new (gift) hiking stick, and Jen was sorry she did not have one so we cut one from a fallen branch. We both wished we had taken our hiking poles with baskets to keep from sinking in the snow. It may have been a good idea to have cleats as well, but we didn't slip much. The snow was mostly slushy, not icy. I ended up with some very wet boots, which leaked to my feet.

I would recommend this set of trails again: Bolton Pond > Old Indian > Semuhenna > Up Summit Road (to summit), though I would note the Up Summit Road has a switch back that is not indicated on the trail map which made it longer than the map would show. For our decent, we took the Trails: Old Indian > West Side > Sumuhenna > Old Indian > Bolton Pond. We took the Semuhenna up and down to avoid crossing the ski trails.

To plan for Washington, I think we should hike Monadnock, Greylock, and Lafayette. This should be an ascending level of difficulty that will build us up to Washsington.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Lost Memories

Has someone ever broken your heart?  Then you are more cautious and protective with your emotions.  

Have you ever unintentionally hurt someone's feelings?  Then you are probably more understanding when someone does it to you.

Have you have been burned in a business deal?  Then you are more careful when making the next deal.  

Some experiences leave a permanent imprint on us.   Positive experiences become like signposts to the driver, directing us toward more positive experiences.  Negative experiences become like lighthouses to the sailor, warning us to navigate around problems.  The experiences of our past make us react to present conditions.  

Yet other experiences pass us by without notice.  Opportunities are missed.  Feelings are unintentionally hurt. Smiles, words, looks and body language are lost in translation. 

However, the experiences that have left a permanent imprint on us are now merely memories.  It is the memories of these past experiences that affect us in the present.  

Our memories, based on actual experience, can sometimes take on a life of their own.  The smallest things can become more significant when replayed in our minds.  Comments and looks can niggle and chafe and become larger over time.  What was really a bump in the road becomes a massive mountain to avoid.  Or we can read expectantly into events, thinking we are hearing things that we want to hear. We expect things from people where no commitments were made.

I tend to be an ignorant fool.  I think other people are far more capable of detecting nuance and subtlety.  Comments, glances, conversations pass by and I miss implied meanings.  I think back to my young adult years and recognize events that confused me at the time.  Those events are now clear in my mind with new-found understanding.  I am embarrassed that I was so clueless at the time to miss the meaning that was obvious to those around me.  Yet I am equally clueless today with new experiences that I will probably understand better in the future.   

(Even this post may be a prime example of my relative innocence that I will some day look back on and say "duh!". ) 

What would I see if I could re-experience my life?  If I could be the ghost viewing my life as in "A Christmas Carol", what would I see that I missed? What would I reinterpret based on a fresh view of the actual events?  What lost memories should have been remembered?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Weekend in Maine

We spent the weekend in Maine with my parents and my brother's family.

All ten of us went to the beach on Saturday and experienced some wicked waves from Hurricane Bob. ("Wicked" here = "good"). After a few huge waves, most of us were done swimming for the day.

High tide finally reclaimed the beach and forced a change of activity.

The Evening was spent out for the "kids" "without kids" (and Bingo for the kids).

Sunday we decided to further experience Hurricane Bob by going up the coast and seeing the force of nature.

First we stopped at Biddeford Pool, where the surf against the rocks was truly incredible. For me, this was the high point of the weekend.

Next stop: Portland Head Light. The smaller lighthouse off the coast was being buffeted by some large waves.

I know many people would be disappointed with the weather this weekend. Originally we were planning to hike Mount Washington, but the weather prevented that. In the end, we found things that used the weather to our advantage.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Computer All Clean

My computer was crashing all day Wednesday. I tried every tool and utility in the book, but no fix was to be had. The hardware diagnostics all passed, which wouldn't matter since it is out of warranty (only one year? humph ...). Since nothing seemed to indicate failure but no restore would remedy this malady, I was left with a single option.

I reinstalled the Operating System (Windows Vista, for those who care) and my computer is now fresh and clean. Unfortunately, it is also bare and ignorant. So many updates! So much software to install! So much data to restore!

After 48 hours I have a minimally functional system. Still, I am glad to have it! My old computer is a real dog!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Computer Issues

My primary computer will not run without crashing. It will run for about a minute before I get a blue screen crash. I don't know if I have hardware issues or software issues. I don't even know who to be angry at right now.

To make matters worse, my secondary computer is installing updates. It has been installing update 15 of 18 for a while now, because I have not run them in a long time. I have been waiting for 2 hours. This is after a 2.5 hour scan by Symantec's virus scanner. If a "total protection package" is supposed to protect you from getting viruses in the first place, why does it have to scan for them? (I know, it is being thorough.)

I end up spending all day hitting "enter" and clicking "OK" without doing anything creative. Very mind numbing!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


You are reading this? Really?

I don't have any illusions that anyone will read this. I am looking for a "blog" for Cub Scout purposes. I really would like to allow people to discuss ideas openly about events, fundraising, leadership, etc.

After looking at this, I may decide that what I really need is a discussion group. This would be way too open! I need something with topics!

Even if I don't use this for Cub Scouts, this forum gives more freedome than Facebook!