Tag Archives: essay

Feeling Offended? Take A Hike!!!!

Offend: to cause (a person or group) to feel hurt, angry, or upset by something said or done.

Every Monday, Chase bank sends out a Motivational Monday tweet to get its followers ready for the week. Apparently, yesterdays didn’t go over so well. Here it is summed up from an article from NBC news:

“The since-deleted tweet offered a hypothetical conversation between a bank customer and the bank. The customer asks, “Why is my balance so low?” and the bank account replies: “Make coffee at home … eat the food that’s already in the fridge … you don’t need a cab, it’s only three blocks.”

Now for me personally, that sounds like pretty good financial advice. I’ll bet if you add up all the food you buy during your work hours as well as coffee from D & D and Starbucks, it could literally be in the thousands. After looking at their menu, let’s just say I get a Grande Cafe Latte and a Chocolate Croissant for breakfast every day. Let’s see, that $3.95 for the drink and $2.75 for the croissant. Every day you would spend $6.70 before tax. Multiply that by 5 (days in a work week) and then by 50 (work weeks in a year minus two weeks vacation) and that comes $1,675 dollars a year.

That’s not even counting lunch and seriously folks, if you are taking a cab for three blocks, we gotta talk. I see this tweet as a good way of pointing out that people could be saving much more money than they currently are. $6.70 may not seem like much every day, but when you add it up and look at it yearly, WOW!!! That is a good amount of cash.

So why am I writing this post? We have become a society where people are offended by everything. People on Twitter actually referred to this as “Poor Shaming.” If you are that poor maybe you should be making coffee at home. Just saying…Is this really what offends you? Seriously??

Here is the real reason why I have written this. We have to get away from being offended every time somebody opens their mouth. My parents always used to say, “Engage your brain before you engage your mouth.”

So for all of you mindful folks out there. If you read or see something that you believe may be offensive, head out to the woods immediately before something bad happens. Get that fresh air, get those legs moving, make it count! A good hike will clear your head and you will definitely be thinking more clearly. But please, please, don’t join the parade of people who immediately jump on that PC bandwagon.

Heading out to the woods is the best way that I know of to cure a case of political correctness. You have to be thinking straight in order to mentally survive!!!! I know that it works every time and will continue to work in the future. You know why???

It’s a long slow ride to Stupidville.

Candy, Candy Everywhere

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The question for hikers is as old as time itself. If you are going hiking, what type of candy do you bring? Some folks like Twix, others like Milk Duds and some favor M & M’s. In my extensive research, I have found that one candy stands out among all of the others.

What kinds of research did I conduct? Over the years I have watched many, many videos and read many books, articles, and blogs about hiking to come to my conclusion.

The only candy that is worth purchasing and bringing with you on those long day hikes (and short) is the Snickers Bar. I had no idea that I would actually be writing a post about candy, but after watching well over one hundred videos, I came to one unmistakable conclusion, Snickers are the go to for most hikers.

Who can deny the excitement of unwrapping a Snickers bar after slogging up a massive hill in almost a hundred degree heat, or in a massive rainstorm and biting into layers of roasted peanuts, caramel, and nougat covered in milk chocolate. Who indeed?

I have heard tale and seen video of thru-hikers who have devoured one or more Snickers bars a day for 2,190 miles. Who can deny the epic quality of a Snickers? Even if it’s melting, wet or has been dropped on the ground, it is still undeniably the best trail food in existence.

I know that I’ve been known to ravage a Snickers or two in my time and each of those times has been heavenly.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

 

Accept What’s Outside Of Your Control. Truly a Fine Idea…

Control your perceptions.

Direct your actions properly.

Willingly accept what’s outside your control.

It took me a very long time to figure this out. So many hours of wasted mental energy fighting fights that I knew I couldn’t win but fought anyway. Now, it just isn’t worth the stress.

Especially when we talk about work, the people in charge of us have agendas that they will undoubtedly force on us day after day. They already know what they want and yet pretend that they care what we think. Agendas that we have no control over. They want us to believe that we are part of the decision-making process, but we really aren’t.

I see my colleagues every day getting all worked up over what they know deep down inside they can’t change, but they keep trying over and over again and then get upset when things stay the same. Those in charge may lead them or you to believe that they are part of the process.

A part of a process that has been predetermined. So I will tell you now. Don’t sweat the small shit.  Our bosses know what they want and they will continue to pretend to include us in the “decision” making.

Go ahead, I dare you. Prove me wrong.

Why Do They Have To Grow Up?

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Hope on her way into the rink for her last home game.

Today is another one of those bittersweet days that as parents you kind of hope doesn’t happen. But as time passes they do. They happen and we wish they wouldn’t. For the better part of 17 1/2 years, our children have played either roller or ice hockey. Both involved a commitment of multiple nights per week, weekends and lots of traveling.

Today marked my daughters last home game playing ice hockey. Like her brother, she began by playing roller hockey and moved on to play on the ice. First, she played with boys and for the last few years, she has played on a girls team. We have now played on the rink at Trinity Pawling for nine years.

Watching her play and grow has been an amazing experience. She has developed into a level headed, smart and well rounded young woman. I couldn’t be more proud and could not have asked for more.

With both of my kids, I spent countless hours behind the wheel going to practice, coming home, going to games and tournaments and returning home. Day in and day out.

My colleagues at work know my story and they have listened to me bemoan my situation. Traveling to all corners of New York, to Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Massachusetts. Last year we thought it was the end based on the fact that we didn’t think we had enough girls to play. But then we did.

But now it really is over. My daughter is a senior and will be attending college next year. There will be no more long talks in the car. No more stories of what she had done in school that day or what she was planning to do with her boyfriend that weekend (who by the way is an outstanding young man). No more stories of her plans for the future and what she wants to study in college.

Folks have been telling me for the last couple of years that despite the driving and the long hours that I would miss it when it was over. I would always stoically reply that I wouldn’t miss it at all.

Life, however, has a funny way of sneaking up on you. After our last home game today we have two games next weekend in Saratoga Springs and then it will be the end.

The thing that I think I will miss most is looking to my right as she talked and seeing her eyes, bright with enthusiasm as she chattered on about her hopes and dreams and me, sitting in the driver’s seat thinking that last day was always a lifetime away and I would have these special moments forever.

But that time is now here. It really is over. Soon she will be in college and I won’t have to drive to any hockey practices, games or tournaments. Even as I write this I have an empty feeling inside knowing that both of my children are now grown up. My wife and I have done our jobs and we can only hope for the best.

But to be totally honest, I already miss the smile and the look when she turned to me and would say, “You aren’t going to believe what happened today.”

 

No Cell, No Problem

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Today I left my cell phone at home. And much to my surprise, I didn’t even miss it. Not for a minute. I thought for sure that I would think about it all day long, that I would pine away until the time came when I would have my phone again in my sweaty hands. But no, none of that happened. I didn’t break out in a sweat, the sky didn’t fall and the world didn’t end.

When I told my students what I had done, they were more panicked than I was. There I was, sitting at my desk, pondering what I was planning on doing that day and the questions came at me rapid fire. “What are you going to do?” “What if you miss a text or a phone call?” “How will people know where you are and what you are doing?” As deftly as I could, I dodged each of the questions as if my non-existent street cred might be ruined.

How could I leave my house and come to work without my cell and survive? It’s a question I knew I had to find the answer to. But then I started to realize how absurd this all was. Why should I be worried that I left my celly at home? I have a landline in my office that anyone who needs to can get in touch with me if they need to. So why?

Can we all agree that we are all way too dependent on these and other electronic devices? Why do we need a cell phone with us 24/7? I know I may be showing my age here, but back in the day when I was a teenager, we all seemed to be able to get in touch with everyone we needed to when we needed to. It was as simple as finding a pay phone.

But today was liberating. I felt free. I wasn’t looking at my cell every two seconds for texts, missed calls and news feeds. I didn’t even worry that I might be missing something. What is that called? FOMO? Fear of missing out? The entire day seemed as if I was floating on a cloud and didn’t have a care in the world. And I didn’t even care who knew it.

But what will happen tomorrow? Will I forget it at home again? Will I choose to leave it at home? I don’t have an answer for you. Anything could happen.

 

 

 

The Sawyer Squeeze-Part 2

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Paranoidunreasonably or obsessively anxious, suspicious, or mistrustful. 

These are the very words that describe my current condition as it relates to hiking. Why should I be paranoid? What do I have to be anxious about when I am in my comfort zone? According to the definition, is there truly a need to be suspicious or mistrustful of the one activity that brings me to my absolute happy place.

Earlier in the year and prior to my fall, I wrote a review on the water treatment system that I would bring with me on my backpacking trip to ensure that the water I collected would be safe to drink. Overall, it worked well and the water that was filtered was delicious.

Just in terms of a little background, prior to the end of June and on day hikes, I would carry two 48 ounce Nalgene water bottles. For most day hikes this would be a sufficient amount of water for most hikes. Longer hikes and days that are more hot and humid of course require more water. Unfortunately, in the past, there have been situations where I have run out of water.

At this point, however, I have decided that I am going to carry the Sawyer Squeeze with me even on day hikes.

This raises many questions. The biggest one being the availability of water while I am hiking. Obviously some times of the year have more water flowing in streams or in ponds than others. Most of the areas that I hike in and around have lakes, which makes the situation that much more easy.

Beyond that, I think that carrying the Sawyer Squeeze will bring me a peace of mind that I think I need as I work on getting permanently back on the trail.

Am I crazy? I don’t think so. I think that I have earned the right to be just a little paranoid.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Oh My…She Stepped In It Again!!!

 

Once again, Hillary seems to have stepped in her own fecal matter. In an interview yesterday with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, she stated the following:

“You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.” She goes on to say that, “That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing that the Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength.”

Huh??? What??? Did I read that right? We’ll be nice if we get the House or the Senate back? What kind of backwards psychotic drivel is that? Even if you believe that, why oh why in the world would you say it out loud? And please, show me a time in the last 9 1/2 years when you have been civil!

Of course this falls right into line with the most recent filth being spewed by Maxine Waters about Republicans that may just happen to be out in public:

“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

Of course this nonsense is perfectly acceptable because it is directed at the right. Imagine for a moment that a Republican, any Republican said either of these things. Oh my…the hysterics and  feigned indignation would be the lead story for days. Newscasters would be falling over each other in shock and disbelief that anyone could even think about saying something like that. Oh the horror!!!!

But yet here we are again. Doesn’t Hillary realize that she is last years news? That she is irrelevant? The fact that the word civility even oozed out of her mouth shows you how out of touch and delusional she is.

And what about our friend Maxine? Her call for the left to harass law makers on the right was stupifying to say the least. But the one good thing about Waters is that she doesn’t even make the attempt to hide her special kind of crazy. She lets her freak flag fly!

I am sure that folks on the left that are farther on the fringe than these two will take these words to heart and continue to act in the same irresponsible and childish manner.