Wednesday, July 19, 2017

2017/07/19 - When Ambition Turns to Greed

I've always admired Arnold Schwarzenegger. In my mind he represents the American Dream, attaining huge successes in bodybuilding, acting, real estate, and politics. And don't forget that he married into the Kennedy family! Not bad for a child born to poverty in occupied Austria after World War 2.

I'm reading his new autobiography "Total Recall" now and I'm blown away by his confidence, ambition, and-self discipline.

But there's one incident in the book that I can't let go of. Arnold had reached the top of his career in bodybuilding. He won all the major titles many times more than any previous bodybuilder and retired the undisputed greatest-ever bodybuilder.

Then in the middle of his movie career, while preparing for one of the Conan movies, against the advice of his wife, he decided to enter the Mr Olympus competition at the very last minute, surprising all the other contestants. He won, but it was the only time it wasn't by a unanimous decision.

Upon reading this, I felt as if his ambition had turned to greed, a selfish act good for Arnold but bad for the sport.

Why couldn't he step aside and let the next young buck get a turn at the crown? I read later that one of the other contestants smashed his award in the parking lot, and another gave up bodybuilding. Arnold admits he made enemies that took years to repair.

But then I wondered, would I feel the same about a boxer, cyclist, or tennis player?

What do you think?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

2017/07/16 - Lucy

Three of my NYC friends and I were looking for a place to go camping during our Easter vacation (aka Spring break) of 1966. I was fifteen. My uncle Willy knew a guy with 2,000 acres of land in Pennsylvania, most of which was primitive woods.

With all our camping gear and food packed in the belly of a Greyhound buss, off we set for a week's vacation in sunny PA.

After meeting Mr and Mrs Hull, the owners of the property, we set out hiking to find the perfect camping spot, far enough away from houses so we had our privacy, but close enough to water.

As we were setting up camp in a perfect spot near the edge of a cliff for vantage, two beautiful fifteen year old twin girls with long blond hair down to their waists approached our tents on horseback. It was almost like a dream.

Lucy and Margaret were the twin daughters of the Hulls. Never dismounting from their horses, they introduced themselves and we exchanged nervous conversation. After all, we were just young boys, and they were goddesses.

After a while, Lucy asked if we wanted to go horseback riding by moonlight. I quickly accepted, but the other guys shyly declined. Later that night she came back to pick me up.

The Troggs had just released their hit song "Wild Thing". To this day, every time I hear that song I remember kissing Lucy while lying on the thick sheepskin rugs on the cement floor of the "Pot Room" in the basement of her Pennsylvania farm house. The song came on the AM radio and she said "You're MY wild thing". 

Earlier that day, during a tour of the house, one of the boys had asked Mr Hull why he called it the Pot Room? He replied "That's where the kids smoke their pot!", as if it was a stupid question. 

What were the odds of a NYC boy falling in love with a Pennsylvania farm girl? We spent the rest of that school year writing silly love letters and planning a two week vacation in the upcoming summer. 

For some reason Lucy's love letters became less frequent the closer we got to the summer trip, but when the same four "NYC Boys" (as we became known to the Hulls and their neighbors) returned, the reason became crystal clear.

Margaret, Lucy's twin sister came alone to greet us, and sometime during the conversation pointed out Todd, Lucy's new boyfriend who was working in the field trimming trees. My world stopped as I looked at this big tall blond farmboy, with his shirt off and his sweaty muscles glowing in the sun. I was too macho to cry then, but my eyes swell now as I recall the heartbreak a fifteen year old boy suffered that day. 

While unpacking his pack, my tentmate Tony (aka Jaggerdog) presented a fifth of whiskey that he snuck out of his house. That night I got shitfaced drunk and had my first blackout, the next morning not being able to recall any of the drama I caused the night before. But that's another story.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

2017/07/11 - WHO died?

I just finished reading a Denver Post story of a 71 year old cyclist who died in an accident, getting hit by a car in Loveland. It had great detail, except of course for the most important detail, the person's name.

And this pisses me off to no end. It's like someone calling me up and saying "One of our friends just died". How they died, where they died, or when they died are are not as important as WHO died!

And to be perfectly honest, I'd rather not be teased with the other details, until you can tell me who it is. I don't want to be left wondering who I know that's 71 and rides in Loveland. 

I just wrote an email to the Denver Post reporter. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

2017/07/06 - Mom Before and After

Here's what she looked like when I rescued her:


























And here's what she looks like now (one year and 25 pounds later):


Saturday, July 1, 2017

2017/07/02 - Safety Nets

Years ago, whenever I went hiking solo, I would always pick a route that I knew would have lots of other people on it. I guess you could say that I was selfishly using strangers as a safety net, in case I got into trouble. You would be correct.

I heard a funny comparison today while listening to podcasts during my daily ride.

With the practice of lacing heroin with drugs like Fentanyl (up to 50 times stronger than heroin) and Carfentanil (10,000 times stronger than heroin), opioid addicts in highly addicted communities are preferring to overdose outdoors with the hope that someone can quickly administer Narcan.

2017/07/01 - Mid-Year Results


Friday, June 30, 2017

2017/06/30 - Bunkers

I just listened to a podcast review of the new book: "Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government's Secret Plan to Save Itself - While the Rest of Us Die", and found it very interesting to learn about huge bunkers deep in the mountains in the US, the size of small cities, fully functional with 3 story buildings and a capacity for over 5,000 people.

It's comforting to know that the government will survive a nuclear war, comforting for them that is.

What I found humorous is that the 5,000 "chosen" are not allowed to bring their wives and family. That will be fun to watch. Picture a helicopter landing in a soccer field, picking up a cabinet member while he waves goodbye to his wife and children forever. 

What's even more humorous is that they are allowed to bring their secretaries! Humm... Betcha the wives aren't going to like that rule!


Monday, June 12, 2017

2017/06/12 - Sit-ups

Have you ever had an injury that was totally unexplainable?

About two years ago I suffered a severe back injury, involving my sciatic nerve. The funny thing was that it happened during a period where I was getting back into my best physical condition. I was at my college weight, and cycling 100-150 miles a week without much effort.

So why an unexpected back injury during this period? This has been puzzling me for two years now, but I think I've finally figured it out.

Nowadays I'm back at my ideal weigh, back to 100+ miles per week and back to the same mindset I had right before the back injury.

You see, whenever I get back to my ideal weight, I start dreaming of a return of the washboard stomach that I had as a teenager, and I start a sit-up routine.

I'm also stupid and stubborn and I still do sit-ups the way they showed us in the 1950's, which is totally incorrect by today's standards (probably because it caused lower back injuries). Without any foot support, I clasp my hands behind my neck and alternate touching me elbows to the opposite knee, without bending my knees.

So being in the same mindset now, I rememberd that the last time I had started a sit-up routine was shortly before my injury. Doah... Then one morning while bending down to pick up a 3 gallon pail of water, BANG, it felt like someone shot me in the right side of my lower back, sending a tidel wave of pain shooting down my right leg.

I could not walk for a week, and ride for over a month. 

So I'm convinced that there was indeed a connection between the back injury and sit-ups, and have decided to forgo any future sit-up routines.

That's my story and I'm sticken to it.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

2017/12/21 - Yeah/no, No/yeah

When exactly did "Yeah/no" and "No/yeah" become acceptable ways to prefix an answer? Everyone seems to be doing it. Who started it? 

I've been listening closely to people who use them and they seem to be interchangeable. 

Just a stupid observation... Yeah/no, really.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

2017/06/06 - Things I learned today

- A recent test showed that the average American's attention span is 8 seconds, one second shorter than a goldfish.

- As recent as 1966, the Democratic Party's slogan was "White Supremacy For the Right".

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

2017/05/17 - Unconditional love

I heard this on a podcast recently, I forget which one, but I burst out laughing when I heard it.

Test for unconditional love:

Lock your wife and your dog in the trunk of your car for an hour and see which one is happy to see you when you open the trunk.

Friday, May 12, 2017

05/12/2007 - Solo

I was 9 years old, a fact I just double-checked this to make sure that I'm not under-exaggerating.

My dad got tickets to a musical play called The Music Man, starring Bert Parks at the Majistic Theatre in Manhatten in 1960.

My parents wanted to take me, but they both worked full-time in Manhatten, and didn't have time to come all the way home to Queens to get me.

The only viable solution was for me to travel solo to meet them in Mathatten.

On the Saturday beforehand, dad and I went on a practice run. We walked to the bus stop, waited and took the bus to the last stop. Then we followed the people downstairs to the subway at Kew Gardens. Dad showed me exactly where to stand on the train platform so that I would get on the first car of the "F" train. Then we counted the stops until we reached Rockafeller Center in Mahatten.

I don't remember too much about the day I went solo, except the excitement of standing behind the window of the first car watching the train go through the tunnels and counting the stops. And of course, the excitement of seeing my parents when the train doors opened at Rockafeller Station.

Honestly, I think I enjoyed the solo outing better than the musical.

Later,
Steve


Thursday, May 11, 2017

05/11/2017 - The Cosmic Library

I often wonder if when this test, or exercise, or whatever this is, is over, if we can check out videos in The Cosmic Library showing chapters of our time here on earth.

Because I have a lot of unanswered questions!

For example... There was a time when I was a child that my dad was bringing me to a neurologist and I don't exactly know why. At the time I thought they were trying to put me away. Ultimately it was determined that I had iron defeciency anemia, and they gave me these little green triangular pills that made my shit turn green. 

Now I can't imagine why iron deficiency anemia would cause symptoms requiring a neurologist, but I do remember something that was going on at the same time that could have caused some weird symptoms and I often wonder if there was a connection. And it was something that I would never have told my parents or doctors. 

That's where the video tapes in The Cosmic Library would come in handy. I'd like to see if they were indeed happening at the same time.

The other something was a jar of mercury. I bought a small jar of mercury from a friend whose dad was a chemist. It was so cool, and my friends and I played with it until it was all gone. 

We would fill the palm of our hands, careful not to spill any and marvel at how heavy it was! It also has this wired property, enabling you to coat coins, making them super shiney. 

Anyway we were playing with mercury, which is not exactly safe for children, and I wonder if there was a connection. 

I guess I'll have to wait.

Later,
Steve

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

5/2/2017 - Finally!!!

Finally, after 4 months and 2 days...

As you may know, for two years now my cycling goal has been to average 100 miles/week. I barely managed to succeed in 2016, as it was a struggle towards the end of the year due to bad weather.

This year I've had a difficult time catching up due to bad weather in the beginning of the year. While it is not so difficult for me to ride 100 miles/week, for every week of bad weather that I can only ride 50 miles, that means I have to ride 150 miles another week to catch up. That makes it hard for me.

Today was the day I finally caught up! 


Now my plan is to "make hay while the sun shines" and build up a nice reserve for when the weather gets bad at the end of this year.

Later,
Steve


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

2017/04/25 - Execution cost

Have you ever seen the way they kill cows for food? I saw a video showing cows coming up a conveyer belt, only to be shot with a nail gun in the back of the head when the reach the top. They seem to die instantly, without any pain, and they never knew what hit them.

Why can't we do this with criminals who are convicted to death? Nails are even cheaper than bullets! Instead it costs the taxpayers as much as $24,000,000 per execution in the US. 

This is the type of shit that drives me crazy. 

Later,
Steve


Monday, April 24, 2017

2017/04/24 - Bullsnake seen during today's ride



This one was 2 inches in diameter at it's thickest point and about 7-8 feet long. Bullsnakes look almost exactly like rattlesnakes, but without a rattler.

Friday, April 7, 2017

2017/04/07 - Crazy times, or just a dream?

I really need to start writing more in my blog. These are crazy times. I want to stop reading the news, but find myself reading more and more, just waiting for the big news. 

Sometimes I think this can't be real, that it's all a dream, like I'll wake up in a chair surrounded by two scientists, probing my eyes and asking me questions about the quality of my dream vacation, like in the movie Total Recall. 

Seriously, it seems like way too much of a coincidence in timing that life on earth might end near the end of my lifetime, and now that I'm old, the drama is building to a crescendo. 

I've also been way too lucky and have recklessly taken advantage of this good fortune without consequences. I've lived a wild life, for most of my life, and had dozens of close calls that could have gone the other way. I've taken huge risks in mountaineering, and have been way over my head multiple times, but somehow miraculously pulled through. I've been in three head-on high-speed collisions, I've fallen a thousand times telemark skiing, I've fallen out of trees.

I'm not saying that I'm invincible or anything, it's just that I seem to be suspiciously lucky and it's been quite an exciting adventure, almost like a dream.

And now... Any day now we might be at war with a nuclear power. Take your pick! War with North Korea, China, or Russia might be just one silly tweet away. 

Wow... Is this exciting or what? If this was movie, it would be a blockbuster.

And I feel totally helpless, so I might as well just sit back and enjoy the show. 

Later,
Steve 

Friday, March 31, 2017

2017/03/31 - Three little girls

Now that mom is looking like she will be with us for a while, we started looking for another house that had a nice bedroom for her on the main floor so that she wouldn't have to deal with stairs anymore. We also wanted one that was inside the Ralston Valley High School district for Heloisa, and outside the Rocky Flats contamination zone. And oh yea, a walkout basement with a separate entrance would make it perfect. 

I thought I found the perfect house. First I saw it myself with my realtor, then with Val and the realtor, and finally we brought the whole fam damly. 

First we showed mom her room. She was happy! Then we looked at all the other rooms. Everyone was jumping up and down happy. Everyone that is, except mom. All of a sudden she burst out crying, saying "Why do I get the smallest bedroom?"

Eventually we found out that the house was falling down a hill, so we cancelled the deal, but not before mom had agreed to "take one for the team" and go with the smaller bedroom. 

This turned out to be a good example for the rest of us to follow in our future house options. 

But as she was crying, I realized that I have 3 females, from 3 different generations, but they are all the same little girl.

I love them all.

Later,
Steve

2017/03/30 - Number 1 rule on ball play


Keep your eyes on the ball!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

2017/03/28 - Post Truth Era

I'm in the process of negotiating for a new car. I absolutely love my Nissan Leaf (fully electric), but the range (90 miles) is severely limiting. Running out of power, and needing a tow this winter while taking mom to the doctor's office in Littleton was the final straw. 

I hate talking on the phone, especially with salesman, so when I contacted the dealership by email, I told them I had a speech disorder and could only communicate my email.

Now that we are in a post truth era, I'm taking full advantage. My new motto is "If my president can lie, so can I!"

Later,
Steve

Thursday, March 23, 2017

2017/03/23 - Chess

I play a lot of chess.

There were times when I played a lot more, but for the past three years of retirement I've only played 2,818 games according to my online chess club: chess.com. That averages out to about 3 games per day.

They say you are supposed to get worse as you get older, but that's not happening yet to me. In fact, as of today my official Blitz chess rating is the highest it's ever been. 

And oddly, that's part of the reason I'm writing this now, to avoid playing another game and risk ruining my high score. Does that sound crazy? It does to me, but I know two people who have stopped playing rated chess games altogether for fear they will lower their good rating. And these are people who love chess!

So three games a day for the past three years comes to about an hour every day that I devote to this addiction. For me this is like maintenance, because there have been times when I was playing too much and had to quit cold-turkey for fear the stress was ruining my health.

Ah yes, the stress of chess... I like to play speed chess. That's where each player gets a specific allotted amount of time to think about moves. I play 10 minutes games. That's a slow game by speed chess standards. It gives each player ten minutes of thinking time for the entire game. So while a player is thinking about a move, their 10-minute time is counting down, but when they make the move, their clock stops and their opponent's time starts counting down.

In speed chess you can win in two ways. You can win buy checkmating your opponent, or you can win when your opponent's time runs out. Conversely, you can lose in two ways. You can be checkmated, or your time could run out, even if you are winning the game!

I could be a good chess player. This my sound like conceit, but flaws in my personality destine me to mediocrity. Well actually a little bit better than mediocrity, I'm currently at the 80.0% percentile within the club of 486,000 players. 

Unfortunately a combination of impulsiveness, attention deficit, cockiness, and inability to strictly follow a proven thought process keeps me from getting to the 90% percentile. 

And I can forget about getting higher that that. I think that group has a touch of autism.

Friday, March 17, 2017

2017/03/17 - Still Alive and Kicking

Yes I'm still alive. 
But I've been having difficulty writing in this blog, as you may have noticed.
Lately nothing seems interesting enough to write about, but then after enough time passes, so much has happened that I don't know where to begin. And when I finally get motivated, I'll read what I've written and it all sounds stupid. 

My life have been a blur of cycling, taking care of mom, looking for a bigger house, playing lots of chess, cleaning fish and turtle tanks, reading news, playing with the dog, getting the backyard ready for spring, cooking, housework, napping, and blissful sleep, the ultimate escape from it all. 

The saga of Horace, Alex, and Lucile has come to an end, and I really need to wrap up the story soon before I forget the details.

Later,
Steve

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017/02/01 - Certified

I almost forgot... Yesterday, I did a short ride due to high wind. I rode to and around the Golden Bike Park. 

There is this one steep intimidating bump in the bike park that I have always avoided out of fear. Many times I've ridden up to it thinking "today's the day", only to punk out at the last second. 

Well yesterday I finally did it, and as I rode through I had a big smile on my face, and I said out loud "Today you are a certified asshole". 

Later,
Steve

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2017/01/31 - Freddie

When I was 13, I lived two houses down from a pedophile. I didn't know he was a pedophile, I just thought he was a cool older guy, about ten years younger than my dad. 

We lived on a busy city street with lots of people, cars, trucks, and busses going by. It wasn't unusual for people to hang out on their front stoops.

It seemed as if Freddie was always sitting on his front stoop smoking cigarettes when I walked by. He was super friendly and before long I was stopping and talking with him for a while. One day he asked me if I wanted to come in his apartment for a couple of beers. I jumped at the opportunity. 

We were on our second beer when he asked if I wanted to see some cool pictures. I was totally blown away! He had an album full of pictures of himself with real movie stars at events like the Oscars. I was impressed, and getting real high from the two beers. 

He was sitting right next to me on his sofa and had the picture album open between us when I felt his hand creeping up my thigh. I jumped up, walked towards the door and said "Freddie I think I need to go." 

He got the hint.

One night, a couple of years later, there was a crowd in front of Freddie's house with men screaming for him to come out. I never got the details, but there was some incident with a young kid who lived around the corner. Now his father, older brothers, friends and onlookers were outside his house screaming and banging on his apartment door. Freddie never came out, but the whole neighborhood saw the incident and soon after Freddie moved away. 

Fast forward 20 years. I was living in upper Westchester County, hours away from my old neighborhood and dating a woman who, at the time had a 16 year old brother, Billie.  

One night she told me that her parents were worried about Billie. He was hanging out with this older guy that owned a bar in Manhattan. Then she said he recently took Billie to the Grammys. That got my attention and I asked if she knew his name. She said Freddie, and I almost fainted. She also say that she had a picture back in her apartment of Billie and Freddie sitting at a table at the Grammies. I couldn't wait to see it. 

Looking at the picture I immediately knew it was him, even though he had aged considerably. It sent a chill through my body knowing he was still out there and still on the hunt for boys. 

Sometimes it a small world. 

Later,
Steve

Monday, January 30, 2017

2017/01/30 - The Little Rich Bully

The year was 1960, the location was Queens, NYC. Tall maple trees lined streets shading the the daylight sun from kids playing below. On summer days the street on my block was like a playground. Girls were jumping rope. Boys were playing ball. Little kids were spinning tops or playing skully with bottle caps. Some rode bicycles, some rode roller skates. Some just drew pictures on the blacktop street with colored chalk. Every once in a while a car would pass, interrupting the activities, but that was okay. Meanwhile parents watched from their stoops and porches. 

This may sound like heaven for kids, but there were also bullies and fights. 

South Ozone Park was a white Italian neighborhood with a mafia element, spotlighted in the movie "Goodfellas", in an era when street gangs were being romanticized by movies like "West Side Story".

I was 9, and my cousin Gary was 11, and we were playing in the street when a group of kids rode up to us on bikes and started a fight. I don't remember much of the fight, except hearing afterwards that Gary gave one of the smaller kids "nuggies" while his friends rode off in defeat. 

But the very next day when Gary had gone home to his own neighborhood, I saw that smaller kid walking towards me with his older brother who was even older and bigger than I was. The younger boy was pointing to me, while his brother started attacking me, saying I needed to "pick on someone my own size". There were street fighting rules. 

So he proceeded to kick my ass in front of the whole neighborhood. I don't remember too much of that fight either, except it ended with me on the ground with him sitting on top of me, holding down my biceps with his knees, freeing up his hands to hit my face.

I remember I kept trying to reach up with my legs to grap around his head, and almost succeeded the first time, but just wore myself out trying again and again. Meanwhile he kept slapping the sides of my face again and again and again, telling me to "give'.  

The funny thing was that the whole neighborhood was watching from the sidelines, kids and adults, and no one even tried to break it up. I deserved that beating, it was sanctioned, and I was totally humiliated. Eventually I gave up, and walked the 100 feet to the front door of my house in shame. In retrospect I realize that beating humbled me and taught me a good lesson about being a bully. 

I thought about the story today as I read the latest Donald Trump news. Ironically the Donald and I are only a few years different in age and he actually grew up only 5 miles away from me. 

I wondered if the little rich bully ever got his ass kicked like that. Probably not. 

Later,
Steve

Friday, January 27, 2017

2017/01/27 - Scream therapy, Orange no more?, Orientation

Ok I'll admit that I'm a little bit strange. One of the things I sometimes do while I'm riding alone and out of earshot is sing, especially songs with a little bit of screaming. For a recommendation, "It Ain't Me Babe", by Bob Dylan is a great starter song. 

It's great therapy. 

So today I'm riding along, feeling high, feeling strong, singing along with my Trekx Titanium headphones to the song "Fools in Love" by Joe Jackson. And I'm belting out the line "Fools in love, are there any creatures more pathetic?", not realizing two women were walking ahead of me, just around the bend. 

I instinctively shut up hoping they didn't hear me, but as I passed, one of the woman said "Sounded good!" I said thanks, but was totally embarrased. 
.....

Has anyone noticed that Trump's hair is turning from orange to gray/white?
.....

Sexual orientation = who you make love with
Gender orientation =  who you make love as

Later,
Steve

Monday, January 23, 2017

2017/01/23 - How much bullshit you got?

The year was 1969. I was sitting on a curb next to my best friend "Little Steve", waiting for a ride. Little Steve was 6'1", but nevertheless one inch shorter than I, Big Steve. 

We were just outside Kansas City Kansas and had been sitting and suffering in the hot summer sun, waiting for a ride, for over 4 hours. Earlier in the day were had been escorted off the highway by the Kansas State police, with a warning that we were only allowed to hitchhike on the entrances to the highway. Unfortunately very few cars were entering the highway using the entrance where we were waiting. 

After what seemed like an eternity, a car stopped and the driver rolled down the passenger side window shouting "How much bullshit you got?" Steve and I looked at each other, wondering what he was asking. I suspected he was inquiring if we had any drugs. We were pot heads, but smart enough not to hitchhike across the country "dirty". And actually most of the rides we got were from hippie-types anxious to turn US on. 

'What do you mean?" I asked, and he replied "I need to be at work in Denver tomorrow morning. If you guys can talk and keep me awake for the next 8 hours, you got a ride!" We jumped in his VW Beatle, and proceeded to tell that driver every story we knew.

The next morning Steve and I woke up in the living room of the driver's beautiful condo in Lakewood, CO. He had already left for work and left us alone, trusting us in his home. He left a note saying "Help yourselves to coffee and breakfast and please be sure to lock the door when you leave".

This was our first day in Colorado and we were already in love with the state. We were young and ready for adventure. Although our cardboard sign read "California or Bust", we spent the rest of our summer vacation from college in Colorado. I swore someday I would return to live there. 

Later,
Steve

Friday, January 6, 2017

2017/01/06 - 14erWorld Memories

A friend recently forwarded me the guest list for the upcoming "Gathering", a direct descendent of the "14erWorld Gathering" which was a huge party that I hosted every Fall for the members of my online website business. It's been about four years since the site has gone away, but the event has survived, albeit downsized from the extravaganza it was years ago when I was giving away calendars, climbing books, pizza, had guest speakers, raffles and vendors.

I no longer go to the event since I've become the bad-guy for shutting the site down. All of the assholes who ultimately caused me to be fed-up have been forgiven or have become heroes in the world of trolls. 

Every outdoors person dreams of making a living doing what he or she loves most. I was no exception. I dreamt of somehow making a living hiking, climbing, and taking pictures. 

But unlike most dreamers, I actually tried it. I quit a very high paid job as a software developer and gave it my very best shot. 

Unfortunately I had no business experience, no financial backing, and only enough cash to survive a few years. Add to that some bad business decisions, an aggressive competitor, and a little bad luck, and it was no surprise that the business failed.

But I came a way with a pride in the fact that I followed my dream, and I did get seven fantastic years of hiking, climbing, and taking pictures. Except for watching myself go broke, I was living the dream. 

I don't think about it much nowadays, for I have recovered nicely and "moved on" so to speak. But as a I read over the guest list, I'm once again tortured by the incredible potential that was wasted. 

Trip reports were the heart of my business, but it seemed like the members who had the most value to offer, gave the least. I had recruited almost all of the big-shots in Colorado mountaineering, but besides for a few notable exceptions, they were more interested in using my business as a platform to sell their own products, rather than adding value to 14erWorld. 

I suppose this is understandable, but I think they missed out on a golden opportunity, and this is what tortures me. I gave them a voice to promote themselves and their brand, through their adventures and they didn't take advantage of it. 

These climbers regularly climbed hard routes. They climbed unique routes. They climbed obscure peaks. They hiked in winter. They hiked in horrible conditions. They had pictures to share and stories to tell that would have members on the edge of their seats and would have ultimately kept the site alive and thriving. Instead they just chose to be vendors, too busy or too arrogant to share their adventures for free with lowly 14Worlders. 

Ultimately I am to blame for the demise of 14erWorld. A better man would have figured out how to realize the potential. I had a tiger by the tail, without the skills to hold on. 

But as one of my members so aptly put it, when 14erWorld was at its peak, it was like "catching lightning in a bottle".

Later,
Steve

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2017/01/05 - Strava Art

Strava lovers are going to love this. It's art created by GPS tracking an activity like cycling, hiking, running, etc. 

Check it out