This week's big event was applying to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. I put in for a start date of May 19, which had 18 open slots when it was finally my turn in the queue (#11,369 🤣) so I don't see any reason why my request shouldn't be approved. I was concerned at 1030 on Tuesday when the queue opened up (your spot in line is randomly assigned). I was concerned because the PCT Association says they will allow 50 Northbound thru-hiker permits starting at the Mexican border per day for the time period from March 1 to May 31 2021, with none for June this year. Some quick math (30 * 50 = 1500) made me feel like my 11,369th position in line would be woefully inadequate. I would not win the internet lottery.
But I stuck around anyways, liked I'd arrived at Disneyland at 1030 on the day after Christmas or something like that, expecting things to go smoothly regardless. The PCTA website DID say wait times could be over 3 hours, so I bunkered down. After an hour, the number of people ahead of me started to decrease much faster, and after a total of two hours, I was in! I clicked through all the clicky things quickly and had my confirmation number. 💪 Who knows what all those other folks were in line for. Perhaps different start locations? Just fluff to test my steel resolve? 😂
With that done, a lot of the week was spent thinking about hiking. I have some planning to do! From what I've been reading though, and after being connected with Eric at Operation PCB, it seems that all the towns along the trail have learned that they should stock things that backpackers like. Oatmeal anyone? Weird looking shoes in shocking neon color varieties? It's just a few miles off the trail! Anyways, this eased my worrying a bit. Who would have guessed that one could OVERPLAN for the PCT? 🤷♂️
Also this week I worked on my Chemistry class, completing 2 modules of the Chem 1011 UNE course, and attended the Reserve Intermediate Leadership Course virtually over the weekend.
Some interesting videos from the leadership course you might find interesting:
- Psychopath's in the C-Suite by Fred Kiel - Big takeaway... EQ is important. How does one develop character? Get a mentor who is more compassionate than you are.
- Extreme Leadership by Jokko Wilnick - This ex-SEAL's ethos is permeating Navy leadership like tear gas. In the last year I've had two commanders tell me "The #1 rule of leadership is that it's always your fault." I don't disagree, at least not in the Navy. Since this is a course for reservists, a lot of folks expressed that in their civilian careers, this sort of behavior isn't readily understood or accepted. If you haven't heard Jokko's take on Extreme Ownership, it's hot these days and worth a look.
- Our Buggy Moral Code by Dan Ariely - This was by far my favorite module as I love behavioral economics, and I was thrilled that our Navy facilitators pulled multiple examples from this and Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow (one of my favorites of all time). Dan Ariel shared some intriguing research on cheating. "A lot of us cheat a little bit," but only to a certain degree (what he calls our Personal Fudge Factor). When we are reminded of our morality, we cheat less. When we are further from the object (money), we cheat more. And when people around us cheat, especially from our own tribe, we cheat more.
What else am I doing?
- Reading The Science of Running by Steve Magness. Should be finished soon... I'll do a write up when I'm done. I have lots of highlights on this one it's so dense 😭.
- Running. Despite getting sidelined for 2 weeks from COVID, I was able to climb back up to 50 miles this week and felt AMAZING every day except Saturday (too much booze). I'm excited to be back in to it. Next week may be tough as I'm up in Tahoe now and we've got 6 ft. of snow in the forecast. I may have to trade the runnning shoes for skis a couple days.
- Listening to The Longest Johns on repeat. I now understand why sea shanties have gone viral.
- Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe (second time). Interesting read in the context of current times vs. when the book was written in 1987. Wolfe is a master at characted development and exciting prose. He coined a term for his own style of The New Journalism.
- Switched on Pop! - Check out the podcast too if you ever wanted to know how pop music works.
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