This is my attempt to create some interesting musings, uberservations and, perhaps, insights on both my personal and professional life.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Memories of the John Muir Trail

In the summer of 1991, my dad, Chris Rodde, Steve Daughters and I hiked the John Muir Trail, 220 miles down the spine of the Sierras.  You start in Yosemite Valley and end three weeks later at the summit of Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the continental United States.

My dad is prepping for another hike this summer and was reviewing his journal from the trip and sent me the following notes from the last three days of that 20 day jaunt.

"Folded up soaking wet tents and clothes and damp sleeping bags.  Kids want to get to the end of trail, kiss Whitney and go home.  I'm happy to hurry along also in what is now cold, wet, freezing and overcast skies - mountains are beautiful.  We climbed up dramatic Glen Pass - a beautiful overlook of Ray Lakes.  Steep up and down.  We stopped at noon for lunch overlooking Charlotte Lake because the sun poked its face out - got most everything dried out - wrote and read a little and hope to reach mile 184 by the end of the day.  Clouds in direction we travel look like certain rain, so we're crossing our fingers that it blows over before we reach our destination.  Tim's jacket doesn't work well for rain, so he is wearing garbage bags.  After lunch, easy hike down to Vidette Meadow, then up (mostly), medium effort to mile 184.  After some lukewarm sun, it's freezing again and spitting rain.  Got tent up before rain/snow.  It's going to be a cold night.  All bundled up for dinner."
Then, the next day, "It was 20 degrees last night.  Tent works real good.  Everyone is strong.  One and a half hours to Forester Pass.  1,900 feet up - great trail - cold at top.  Thunder clouds to the north, clear to the south.  Left pass to head south at 11:00 am.  Wonderful sun!  We are all ready to finsh so we are pushing on to Guitar Lake - BIG DAY.  Walked from mile 183 1/2 to mile 203 1/2 - all of it between 10,000 and 13,000 feet.  Everyone is tired, with sore feet."  

Then, that evening, "Guitar Lake - 38 degrees at sunset.  Pink and gray sky and very, very cold.  Good tired feeling.  Legs tired, feet tired.  As we went to bed in the open, about 9:00 pm, we noticed lightening flashes to the northeast.  The sky was ablaze with stars - the Milky Way and a number of shooting stars.  We all said it was really important that we reached Guitar Lake."
And, on the next day, "At 5:00 am on Day 20, we woke to very frequent flashes of lightening in the western sky.  We said, "LETS GET GOING" - so by 6:30 am we were on our way - temperature about 25 degrees and a 3,000 foot climb ahead.  Took three hours to reach the top - temperature dropped to 20 degrees with 30 mph winds and wind chill factor of minus 18 degrees - snowing - really, really cold - hands very numb - happy to reach the top.  Took victory pix and ate our lunch in the hut.  Then headed down, down, down for the 6,000 foot descent, ending at Whitney Portal at about 3:00 pm.  Got ride with fellow walker into Lone Pine, had a real meal, got pictures developed and waited for the bus which left at 10:30 pm and dropped us off in Lee Vining at about 3:00 am."

Friday, April 17, 2009

Let's "penny" our way through this

As we all know by now, Obama will putting 1 trillion dollars back into the economy through various means, but the gist of this thing is that we're creating money out of thin air. We're firing up the printing presses and giving money away to various companies and organizations to pay off bad debt or to fund various projects which could spur jobs, etc, etc...

With any luck this whole thing might get us out of this mess, but I have a plan which could get us out of the mess, after the mess.

We need to simply get the trillion dollars back out of the market. (One of the big concerns about the magic trillion is stagflation. Some folks say inflation, but trust me, stagflation is the real issue). So, the laws of supply and demand still hold true with monetary policies, so let's do something with the currency to keep up the demand for the US dollar. Here's the answer:

Coin collecting.

Let's say there are 300 million people in the US and let's say that 200 million of those people are of coin collecting age. (Adults 18 - 55 have no interest in coin collection, so let's focus on the kids and the senior citizens). If 200 million people would simply collect $5000.00 worth of coins we could negate any possible negative effects of the influx of US dollars into the system. $5000 per coin collecting individual would be only 500,000 pennies per person (for a total of 100 trillion) or a nominal 20,000 quarters per person (for a grand total of 4 trillion quarter). Obama could bring back the Eisenhower dollar (how cool were those?) with his very own image on the coin, and each person in the 200,000,000 would only have to collect 5000 one dollar coins.

To make the coins more attractive from a collectors standpoint, you could put other, less "states-men-sy" images on the coins: Superman (there's like 5 movies, he must be popular), Aquaman (with a co-branding/advertising thing with the new movie that's coming out, or so I hear), Ironman (the movie did really well), The Hulk (the second Hulk did well) or images from any of the Wii games (that thing sells like hotcakes).

Start collection coins today! Get one of those coin collecting books with the holes in 'em. Start doing your part! Only 100 trillion pennies to go!

Let's coin collect our way out of this mess!