On Days Like This

As I unpack boxes of books that I have not read in a very long time.  I had kept these books for a reason, but what was that reason? As i opened them skimmed them I noticed that many of them had something written in them by my mom, friends, and other family members. As I unpack these books I thought I would share some of them with you. Not only will this make me go back and remember why I kept them and also give you all another glimpse into who I am. Today’s book is a collection of poems. The book is titled On Days Like This. It is written by Dan Quisenberry.  Some people might know that name but others may not. Dan Quisenberry was A hometown hero back in the 80′s. He was a pitcher for the Kansas City Royals.

Notable for his submarine-style pitching delivery and his humorous quotes, he led the American League in saves a record five times (1980, 1982–85), and retired in 1990 with 244 saves, then the 6th-highest total in major league history.   – Wikipedia

After his career with the Kansas City Royals came to an end he became a poet where he had three poems published in 1995 and then had On Days Like This published in 1998 also that year he would die after a rough battle with brain cancer.

His poems where observations of his life and everything around him. He writes about baseball, his family, and everything around him.

This book brings back many memories of my past. They remind me that diving into books that were of far off lands to help escape the harsh relativity of life. I would also use poetry and writing to help me through a very rough time in my young life. This book was published only 5 years after I had been diagnosed with ALL Leukemia. Another connection we both shared. This book is a great read and unlike many things done today truly comes from the heart. A heart of a man that simply just enjoyed life and everything about it. One of the things that this has really reminded me is to think about is that even if things seem really bad at that moment someone else has it much worse.

Happy  Trails.




Inspiration from the Inspired

Yesterday was a very sad day.  We lost an incredible mind and person.  I am sure that you have heard by now that Steve Jobs has passed away.  His life’s work has profoundly touched my life.  At the age of 2 I was taught how to use a computer. That computer happened to be an Apple 2E. From there it is all history. Hundreds of hours playing on, in, and around computers. A college degree in computers and a career in the same field.  As I was reading the various articles about the Passing of Mr Jobs I ran across this article at Mashable.com. At the bottom of the article is a whole section of videos of Steve Jobs most memorable moments. I would like to share one videos with you that I really enjoyed.  It is his commencement speech at Stanford in 2005.

After watching that video it reminded me of a second video that has also struck me very strongly.

It makes me think back to my college years when I graduated.  The speech that was given to me sitting there on what I felt at that moment to be my most highest achievement. In order to tell the whole story I first have to step back a little bit and tell you a small side story to set the tone.

I went to school at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville Missouri. A wonderful university nestled in between fields of corn, soy beans, and cows.  It was only place I had ever wanted to go to college and one of the best decisions i have made to date.

At the time of my graduation a huge bio chemical company was looking at coming to town. They were going to produce lots of new jobs and even new classes were being created based on their services to the area. To be very honest I really have no idea what kind of stuff they did there other that it involved cows, cow poo, corn, beans, and energy.

Now back to my graduation commencement speech. As the gentleman from the big fancy bio company starts talking I noticed that it was not really inspiring or even providing any kind of life lessons. I looked over at a friend of mine and I am pretty sure we were both thinking “he is selling us his company”.  It might have only been me and my friend maybe had to pee but who knows. It’s my story and I will stick to it.

For all we knew we were at a town hall meeting where he was trying to convince the town hall board to vote in favor of the company moving into their town. I was furious I had watched many great CEOs, Leaders, Visionaries, and other important icons give wonderful heart felt speeches. How did we get stuck with a sales pitch.  I felt like my entire college experience had been stolen by this jerk selling me the idea of his company. I cant imagine how all of the family member and friends of all of the graduates felt.

This brings up the question of  if had I been given a more inspirational speech full of life lessons and great wisdom would things have been different? Would I be where I am today or would I have put everything behind and become a traveling circus performer? OK, I most likely would not have joined the circus but I might have at least felt a little inspired to do more moving and shaking earlier in my life.

If you have not watched the videos above I urge you to do so. They are worth every moment and will really make you think about your life and ask that question of “what now “instead of  “whats next”.

Thank you Steve Jobs and Randy Pausch for you creativeness, your beautiful minds, and your amazing ability to make dreams come true.

Happy Trails



Movie Review: Running The Sahara

A great movie about endurance, strength, and will power.  The story is of three men who on a whim decide to run across the Sahara desert. They also use this as a platform to help spread the word about the water problem in Africa. The video is narrated by Matt Damon who helped the runners create H2O Africa Foundation witch later merges into Water.org in 2009.

Overall this is a great adventure with its ups its downs and everything in between. I would highly recommend watching this movie if you like real life adventure .

To learn more about the movie and the Water.org Foundation please visit the Running the Sahara website.

Buy The movie today.

Sock-Off 2011 Hike #2 Update

I set out on this past Sunday morning to test the Thorlos LTH Light Hiking Socks – Moderate Cushion with Exclusive THOR•LON® and CoolMax® .  I am not sure what happend but I ended up only getting in 3.25 miles in before I had to quit. Not really sure what was going on. My feet did not feel right and my body just seemed out of sorts.I did not want to push my body and feet to hard in such an early stage of preparation for Philmint and the AT .

I do not feel that this was a good enough test of these socks so I will be trying them again with all of the same conditions. Same pack weight same trail etc. I did however take some really neat photos from the trail.

Click here to view the full gallery.


Keep an eye out for more sock-off 2011 coverage.


Happy Trails



Sock-0ff 2011 Round #2 Thorlos LTH Light Hiking Socks

Sunday I will be headed back out to Weston Bend State Park for the second round of Sock-off 2011. If you are not familiar with what Sock-off 2011 is please read Let the Sock-off Begin , Kicking off Sock-off 2011, and Sock-Off Gear Review: Point6 Hiking Tech light crew.

Round 2 of Sock-off 2011 I will be testing out the Thorlos LTH Light Hiking Socks – Moderate Cushion with Exclusive THOR•LON® and CoolMax® .  The same conditions will be observed. 8.5 mile hike with a 10 pound pack.

The Test:

We will be rating the socks on these specific attributes:

  1. Price and availability
  2. Comfort and Fit
  3. Padding and Support
  4. Durability
  5. Overall Performance on the trail

There are three of us testing the socks in similar conditions as close as we can get.  Bill aka @Day_Hiker and Dave aka @DavidECreechare also testing the socks you can view their posts at Diary of a Day Hiker and DaveCreech.com

All three of us will put our socks to similar tests and evaluate them individually, then compare them to see which challenger comes out on top in the ultimate sock showdown, SOCK-OFF 2011!

Follow hashtag #Sockoff2011 for information!

We admit that this is a relatively short test and don’t expect to really test the boundaries of what these socks have to offer.  Our test is meant to be a side-by-side comparison of the socks in an objective round of testing.  I plan to follow up with my review of each pair of socks after the winter hiking season in order to evaluate, in greater depth, the virtues or failings of each pair.

Sock-Off Gear Review: Point6 Hiking Tech light crew

It was a very early, but I managed to get up and tossed on my Point6 Hiking Tech light crew socks. They fit perfectly. Threw on my boots grabbed my gear and off I went. I drove about an hour north to Weston Bend State Park. None of the trails were long enough to fit the 8.5 mile goal that we had set so I had determined that I would have to do a couple of them multiple times.  At a half of a mile in I had to stop and adjust my boots. I had not laced them up well enough. It was a cool morning in the low 60s but warmed up quickly by about 11 or so. Overall it was a beautiful day for a hike.  While on the hike I encountered mostly dirt paths and then a paved bike path. When I got home  I took off my boots and here is what I found. The socks were damp but I will say I have overactive sweat glands to begin with. There were no hot spots and no blisters. My feet could have gone on for quite a few more miles.

Comfort and Fit

The fit was great no loose material and they were not overly constrictive.  I would have to say almost perfect. They fit so well I put on my second pair and wore those around the house and out and about town later that evening. I give them a thumbs up for Comfort and Fit.


I do not think that this was a true test of durability. After the hike they looked just like they did when I pulled them out of the package. The only difference was that they were a little sweaty. I would be interested in seeing how they held up on an multi-day hike.

Padding and Support

These folks sure have gone a long way to make these socks almost perfect. There is quite a bit of science to them and they closely resemble an art form.   They had padding and support just where it needed to be.  I have rather weak ankles, wide feet, and high arches and these socks managed to get the job done with hardly any pain or discomfort.

Price and availability

Price was about average among specialty hiking / running socks.  They are listed at $18.95 on the point6 website.  I was unable to find anyone locally that sold them So I had to purchase the socks off of the point6 site. The site is very easy to use. I was able to find and purchased the socks in under ten minutes.

Overall these were a great sock. They were comfortable and kept my feet happy.  I would highly recommend these socks.

Don’t forget to visit David Creech’s Blog and Diary of a Day hiker for their own comprehensive reviews of the Point6 hiking socks for SockOff2011!

Stay tuned for part two where I test the Thorlos Light Hiking sock.

Please take a look at the photos from the hike located in the photo gallery.

Happy Trails



Gear Review: Yodel for iPhone

courtesy of iD-Comm

This past weekend I tried a new iPhone app called Yodel. Its a very simple little app that allows you to send information out to people to tell them where you are. I chose to set up 3 friends for my first trip. You can also have it check into Facebook or send out a message to email addresses.  I would typically do this all manually before I went on a hike but the one thing that Yodel provides that I did not have off hand was my coordinates.  Overall the app is very simple to use.  You schedule a notification that transmits your location to your contacts where you are what you are doing and when you will be back. You can set your activity by typing in a short description. Hit save and off you go. A timer keeps track of when you are scheduled to be done and when you reach your completion time a notification pops up that requires you to check in. The program runs in the background to help save battery life.

There is also an SOS button to send an emergency message out to your contacts. One of the settings I did not activated  was when you push the SOS button it can  automatically dial 911.    The app is only 99 cents and can be purchased via the Apple app store.

The app was worth the money and worked great. There are only two things I might suggest. The first one is to be able to cancel your scheduled notifications rather than having it notify you your time is up and have to hit cancel before sending the message. The second feature I might suggest is adding integration with a twitter account.

Overall a great little app and it does exactly what they say it will. I would recommend it to anyone who has an iPhone who does any kind of outdoor adventure sports.

To find out more information about the app and the company please visit their website .