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Getting Lost

Working in the software business for me has been a great opportunity to travel. Yes, you read that correctly, being a software engineer doesn't always mean you're a desk jockey. Though I do tend to spend most days reducing my posture to a that of a cooked macaroni, I am often traveling to meet with clients, partners and attend industry conferences.

Recently after a long spell of posture deterioration I had the chance to visit a customer near exotic Tullahoma Tennessee. Never heard of it? Well it's about an hour south of Nashville. You might not expect much from such a small town but everywhere I go I try to make a point of exploring the local area by looking up the best Strava segments and going for a run. And this time I wasn't disappointed.

Since daylight savings time ended (why do we still do this?) we've all noticed it getting dark a lot earlier but undeterred I took the chance to go for a run after finishing up work one day, headed to the nearest Strava segmen…
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Solo

Must be the end of my day, the sun has made its way to the top and was beating down so hot I could not touch the rock. So I took one last rappel and sat in the shade for a spell resting my head and my swell and soon started to sleep for well until the day grew cooler and appeared more lunar. 
As my eyes flickered shut I laid my head on a stump under the shade of a juniper tree. I glimpsed the last trail of my own shadow disappear as if passed behind a mirror reflecting the juniper's shadow off the red sandy stone floor. No I couldn't ask for more, it was peaceful and restful laying on that rock no shoes no sock and no talk. Just quiet. Time passes. After I stirred I observed how the juniper's shadow had swerved when the sun grew lower stretching out all the shadows below her. But where was mine? I held up my hand and sat up to stand and my shadow was gone. I looked all about and counted everything out: harness, rope, draws and shoes, cams and nuts, runners and carabiners, …

Starting

Starting is always the hardest part. It's OK to start really really small. I'm talking small, like try just standing up at first, then take 10 steps toward that bike or treadmill, then step on and give it 3 minutes, just 3. And after that you might finally feel like you can keep going so give it 3 more then 3 more then go pick up some weights and do only 3 reps. By now you're probably feeling a little better and if you can keep moving, pretty soon an hour will have gone by and you'll feel amazing. And someday you might be like this guy who rides a monster unicycle up a mountain and passes me during a bike race.

Calico Basin "Cut Your Teeth Crag" 5.7 sport

Keeping it Clean

What does the rock care if it is broken or chiseled or drilled, or painted or marked or scarred - it's just a rock. When you look at a cliff face or mountain what do you see? Just a pile of rocks? Let me tell you what I see, because I can hear you all so earnestly asking...

I see a landscape that has been meticulously crafted and constructed by a passionate and devoted artist. An artist who masterfully works in oils, water, sand, wind and colors and angles so precisely to reflect light and create shadows perfectly at any angle. More valuable than the greatest oil paintings, ornate silk Persian rugs or magnificent tapestries. To me a landscape of cliffs, rocks and mountains is a priceless work of art. But unlike the paintings, sculptures, and silk rugs that are forbidden to be touched, felt or walked on this, the ultimate work of art, is made to be experienced by every possible sense.

I feel a simple peace in natural landscapes. A peace that otherwise only comes in the most special …

Airplane Philosopher

Flying south from Seattle, you must always sit on the left side of the plane so you can watch the amazing Mt. Rainier float by below you, and see the rugged snowy mountains and deep green forests slowly give way to dry hills then flat lands patched together with crops of grain and the irrigation channels off the Columbia river. Seeing all that on a clear day in the spring is quite a gift. Seeing the massive prominence of Rainier from below at Ft Lewis then high above from the plane distorts one's perspective of it. Something about flying on an airplane always makes me get philosophical, it probably has to do with seeing everything from a different point of view.

Having to travel vs. getting to travel for work. It feels so good to leave a site on Friday knowing you don't have to go back. At least not for this project any more, for now all the problems that were once yours are now the customers and you can feel good that somehow you convinced them to sign off on the system offic…

Grand Canyon Trail "Run"

The Grand Canyon -  just a few pictures and a video from our trail "run". Only about half of it was actual running for me, the downhill half. I decided to film some of it with my chest mounted Go Pro. If you can take 25 minutes of camera shaking you might be able to see some beautiful views, if not here are some of my pictures. In the words of John Westley Powell "The wonders of the Grand Canyon cannot be adequately represented in symbols of speech, not by speech itself. The resources of the graphic art are taxed beyond their powers in attempting to portray its features. Language and illustration combine must fail." And as much can be said about an attempt to hike up the rims.
The wonders of the Grand Canyon cannot be adequately represented in symbols of speech, nor by speech itself. The resources of the graphic art are taxed beyond their powers in attempting to portray its features. Language and illustration combined must fail.
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