Week’s (or weeks’) highlights

Some of the things that caught my attention over the past few weeks.

  • How to use a knife. One of the things I picked up in Alaska was a scrimshaw knife carved on fossilized moose bone. It’s ended up being my favorite souvenir, I suppose in part because I get to carry it with me every day. But also because it feels like I’m in touch with the land. This video popped up a couple of weeks ago, and I thought it was kind of fun to watch, even if it’s about kitchen knifes…
  • Quit drinking altogether? Sarah Sloat’s article on casual drinking gave some interesting stats, like, “On average, the mental well-being of the women who quit drinking approached the level of lifetime abstainers within the four-year period. There was, however, very little change in the mental well-being of the men who quit. These results were persistent even after the scientists adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, body mass index, and smoking status.”
  • The NYTimes mapped the major American artists of the past century, and it’s pretty damn neat. I also have an affinity for maps.
  • Where are our Park Rangers? I briefly considered taking a Ranger job at a National Park. The salary was $22,000/year. It wasn’t feasible at the time. Upper management in some larger parks can make close to $100,000/year, which is comparable for Government positions. But with budget cuts and increasing park attendance, make sure you’re staying safe.

Watching: Stranger Things
Reading: Call of the Wild 
Listening to: Oklahoma! 2019 Revival Cast Recording

Where’d you go?

Took a few extra days (false start) after my trip. There was a lot going on, and some things I’ve been thinking about. 

For instance, why posting every day is a silly strategy. Now I’m not necessarily using this blog to drive traffic or strum up business, but the thought did occur to me – what am I writing for?

The answer I came up with is I write because I have to. So if no one reads it, or doesn’t follow the latest post, it’s not really a big deal. When I started writing, it was about being accountable. Going to the daily (until the Alaska trip) postings, that was about accountability and productivity.

Getting back into the swing of being productive hasn’t been easy. I realize that everything I say in defense of not writing daily becomes just an excuse. That I could find time to sit and post. I could make time.

The truth is, though, sometimes you need to step back. It’s impossible to just keep moving along, everyday. In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz writes, “Always do your best… Your best is going to change from moment to moment, it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self judgment, self- abuse, and regret.”

So I can start each morning stating I will do my best.

I can end each night asking Have I done my best?

And that’s all anyone can ever really do.

Denali

About 10 days ago I was on a tour through Denali National Park, showcasing views of Mt. Denali; wildlife (moose mostly); and a sprawling landscape that disguised distances to the naked eye. Back only a handful of days, I just started looking through photos of the trip.

The beauty and grandeur of Alaska is something I cannot recommend enough to everyone – for them to see it for themselves.

Back in the lower 48

After a wonderful trip up through Alaska and Canada, I am home again. My intention was to maintain posting every day during the trip, but it became too difficult for me to maintain while I was traveling. But now I’m back, nearly over the jet lag, and ready to hit the ground running.

This week, I’ll be writing about what I read last month, the fourth and its significance for me, and of course, my travels.

Though I am glad to be home, I think Alaska will stay with me in a way like no other place has.

Week’s highlights (Alaska edition)

Some of the things that caught my attention up north.

  • North edited by Julie Decker. A collection of writings and art from Alaska, and for Alaska
  • Travel America & Beyond! TrekAmerica provides long-term tour opportunities.
  • A suggestion from a friend, Onnit nutritional supplements for increased health and vigor.
  • The Lucas Ship problem. Being on a ship currently, this one intrigued me. So here it is.
  • Air travel

    Made it! Of course, a six am flight isn’t my idea of ideal travel conditions. But at least I was able to sleep a bit on the first leg of the journey. But not enough.

    Arrived in Seattle for a quick turnaround, then on to Anchorage. It was just after noon local time, so we walked around a bit, ate, then slept. Now it’s off for the next day.