Tag Archives: technology

The Clouds

You see some pretty amazing things when you are sitting in your Jeep waiting for your daughter’s hockey practice to finish. Today, I was looking at the clouds while a nice tasty Eyes played in the background on the Grateful Dead channel and of course I started taking some photos. This is the result. What happens tomorrow?? More rain!

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A Zombie Like Existence

Technology has improved all of our lives, yes? Is that a fair statement? We can’t deny that not only have we seen improvements, but every day activities are made easier. We can shop on computers, iPads, lap tops and even our phones! We can have anything that we want or need at our door in a day or less.

But as with every advancement we see in society, it comes at a cost. Unfortunately that cost is our children. You see, I work in a high school. For 20 years I have seen the dependence on cell phones and other forms of tech increase to the point of no return. Heads bent and shoulders hunched, students and teachers alike move through the halls from class to class like zombies in the Walking Dead. Unfortunately, like in the Walking Dead, we can’t dispatch kids or colleagues to a better place for living a zombie like existence.

We are raising what could be generations of young folks who can’t hold a conversation and are content with staring blankly at a screen. How about reading a book?

Ask them to put them away in class and you get attitude. For that matter, ask just about anyone to put their phones away and you would think you are asking them to give up a limb. Wait, maybe we are…Anyway, I found these outstanding images that give a pretty honest look at what life is like today. Enjoy!!

cell on face

cell on hand

computer

I know that the second image was done by Angel Boligan Corbo. I’m not sure about the other two. If you know, please let me know!

Disconnect

shhhh

In his essay about silence, noted explorer, author and publisher Erling Kagge notes three things-1) The basic state in our brain is one of chaos, 2) An abundance of activities leaves us with a feeling of experiential poverty and 3) We are living in the age of noise.

Why does he say this? Think about it. What do we do every day? We wake up and what is the first thing we do? We look at our phones. We check e-mails, texts and phone messages. We get to work and do the same. After work we repeat the process and it never seems like we get off of the electronic devices crazy train.

One of the things I learned while I was in the hospital a couple of months ago was that nothing happened to me when I couldn’t use my cell phone or ipad (to face time). The world didn’t end, I didn’t cease to exist or go crazy. I just did what I did when I was a kid, I read books. Honestly, I didn’t care that i couldn’t access my phone.

Imagine this-six days of quiet. Not total silence (I was in a hospital), but I did not have the usual distractions that we are all forced to endure every day. I will admit that it was nice. My mind became uncluttered and I didn’t find myself checking the phone or ipad for messages, notification and e-mails.

My idea is a simple one. Take one day a week and disconnect. It’s not that difficult. As a matter fact, it’s really quite nice. I did it and survived.

Does anyone out there do anything to disconnect on a daily basis? I would love to read some of your thoughts.

Hiking Solo? Leave an Itinerary!

“What seems to us bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.”
– Oscar Wilde

I have had the opportunity to do a great deal of thinking since I’ve been laid up after my surgery. One of the questions that keeps running through my mind is, what if I had been alone during that backpacking trip? What if I didn’t have my two friends there to call for help in what has proved to be one of the worst days I have ever had. Now, when I originally planned this trip, I was going to go alone but a couple of months later I asked two friends if they wanted to join me on what was supposed to be a three day adventure.

Thankfully, Ray had an app on his phone that was able to give the exact latitude and longitude of where we were. If I had been alone, I would have only been able to give a general description of where I was therefore possibly delaying my departure from the trail. Jaime immediately knew to call 911 and the Park Rangers to summon help as quickly as he could. Once again, if I had been alone, due to my physical condition I am not so sure whether I could have properly summoned help and I may have sat there for hours waiting for another hiker to come along.

When I was younger I never thought that hiking alone could be a dangerous activity. I spent many days in the woods and my family didn’t even know where I was or when I was going to be back. I never thought for one second that I would ever get hurt hiking!

However, as I started to get older, I decided that it was probably in my best interest to leave an itinerary, just in case.  So what info do I leave my family?

  1. The first thing I do is write down the name of the trail map(s) I will be using. Next, I make sure that I carefully detail what trails I will be hiking on. The most important thing to remember about this one? Never, ever deviate from the information that you leave for your family!!
  2. Make sure that after you write the information down you tell someone that you are going hiking and that you have left an itinerary. If no one is home when I am leaving, I will text my wife and tell her I am going and that the info is in the kitchen.
  3. When I start the hike I will text my wife to let her know that I am heading out on the trail and how long I think it will take me to complete the hike. If I think that I am going to be later than I originally thought, I send her a text letting her know that.
  4. As soon as I have completed my hike, I usually give my wife a quick call just to let her know I am done.

I used to think that leaving all of this information was overkill. After fracturing my ankle last month, I am now more committed than ever to making sure that I let someone know when I am going to be out hiking.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Make sure you have more than enough water for your hike. Stay hydrated!!!!!

Happy Hiking!!!