PCT Prep, A bungled half marathon, a new song, and a book I'm reading
Thanks for tuning in. I really appreciate the folks who have donated to my hike. It means a lot to me. In honor of that, part of this post is MEMBERS ONLY. 😎
I bungled my half marathon race yesterday with route-finding mistakes. It's ok though, the real goal was to get out and put some miles in. That's all I can think about really these days. Logging more miles so that I'm a PCT-ready hiking machine.
Turn the Page
Back in the booth and recorded one of my all time favorites by Bob Seger - Turn the Page. After uploading this one, I got a number of thumbs downs on the #shorts version, which is just the final chorus as it has to be less than 60 seconds. Being honest, the negative feedback really got to me. Thinking about it over my bungled run, I would agree that in review, there are points where it does warrant a thumbs down. And that's OK. It made me reflect on how much progress I've actually made since taking up singing (lots more thumbs downs then for sure) and also ignited a competitive urge to prove those assholes wrong!
I hope it's not cringe, but I know I've toed the line a bit now. Sorry about that. Putting recordings on YouTube has been a productive means to motivate me to improve to where one day I hope to be comfortable performing in real-life-public, not just internet-public. I also have received a few very nice comments from complete strangers, and rereading those helped lift my spirits dramatically.
Lastly, I think a normal response would be "if you don't like it, don't watch it." But with the way #shorts works (essentially YouTube's attempt at cloning TikTok), the viewer is actually not making that choice. They are force fed the video. It's probably the best, unbiased, critical feedback I could ask for! My friends and family will encourage my performances even if they suck because they want to be supportive and vice. My guitar/singing teacher, while often blunt, wants to maintain a relationship with me so that I keep paying him and we enjoy the time spent together in lessons. The complete stranger, who takes the time to say "I don't like this" via the thumbs down button, really is just my instructor saying "why don't you try transcribing the melody by ear with the piano?" or "can you play that part again, but make it more engaging to me?" Or who knows, maybe he's a tomato tosser? Finally, who cares?
What I'm Reading
Only a few chapters in but I picked up Bullshit Jobs and have really enjoyed it so far. Graeber's theory is that millions of us are working "bullshit jobs" which he defines as:
Bullshit Job - a form of paid employment that is so completely pointless, unnecessary, or pernicious that even the employee cannot justify its existence even though, as part of the conditions of employment, the employee feels obliged to pretend that this is not the case.
From the get-go, I have to agree with him that these jobs do exist, most likely because they serve social values of protecting the rich and the system, not because they provide actual market value. He launches into an interesting discussion where he addresses the most likely counter argument: that capitalism ensures bullshit jobs cannot exist. He also rags relentlessly on corporate lawyers. Easy target maybe, but I love it. Us government bureaucrats get a shout out too, but he's quick to say the problem is just as bad in private industry as it is in the public sector.
Anyways, really enjoying it thus far and excited to recap it here in a few days. I am eager to reflect on the last 10 years of my life through the lens of bullshit jobs. Military? Useful? I'll tell you soon. Let me know if you pick it up as I would love to have someone to discuss it with.
And my pack base weight is........
Base weight is pack weight with everything EXCEPT consumables (food and water). Anything under 10 lbs would be considered ultralight, otherwise general guidance is to aim for 20%, which for me would be 30 lbs. I expect to need about 2 lbs or food per day, though my upcoming hike in Big Sur will test that theory. I think I can get by with less but I don't want to short change myself on calories. I have capacity for 1 gallon of water, which is 8 lbs, for a couple long stretches on the PCT that don't have much water access. Most days, I shouldn't have to carry more than 1 or 2 liters.
I'm happy with that weight, especially considering that it includes more than the usual amount of electronics that I carry. Luxury items coming along on this hike are my fancy Sony camera, plenty of spare battery capacity (20,000 mAh), a satellite GPS beacon with SOS function, and a tripod.
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