Archive for June, 2013

Pit Stop Report Part II

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 27, 2013 by wordsandpixels

In my younger days, I owned one of the original Mini Coopers. It was a fun, bat-out-of-hell little go-cart that actually raced in the Big Leagues, the most famous being the Monte Carlo Rally. The car weighed only 1200 lbs or so, and the engine put out 140 hp, so you can see why it was fast.

When it came in for a pit stop, the crew could actually change out the engine in less time than it takes to write out the instructions.



My own personal pit stop, however, is not so easy. The doctors have said, in no uncertain terms, that I need to take at least two months off from hiking to let these old legs and feet repair themselves. No permanent damage, they point out, but 65-year old equipment is, well, 65 years old and should be treated with care.

So for the time being I’m off the trail, to return in September. In the meantime, I’ll continue to write little entries on this blog, and encourage anyone who’s interested to write, call or send a message any way you like, even in Morse Code.


The Pit Crew Report…..

Posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013 by wordsandpixels

Well, the report from the crew is back. I’m out of the race temporarily. Scott, my co-driver, is out as well but probably not for as long.


I have three areas of major concern: my feet, my knees and my budget. My feet and knees will need about six to eight weeks to mend. Apparently abusing them for ten weeks and four hundred miles is not without risk. I’d like to have kept on going, but the experts say permanent medical damage would occur. OK. Got it.

My budget is a little more flexible, but I also have a wonderful wife and I don’t want to ruin a twenty-eight year marriage. This adventure has been more expensive than I ever imagined. I originally budgeted six thousand dollars for the project — designed to last six months — and I’ve consumed that money in a mere two months. As they say, you do the math.

Could I have done it cheaper? Yes, but that’s another story. Best left for the next blog installment.

Writing samples…

Posted in Uncategorized on June 11, 2013 by wordsandpixels

Writing samples:

Excerpt from a Men’s Journal article on the latest digital cameras:

Olympus E-PL1
The retro darling of photographers these days — especially pros– the E-PL1 hosts a long list of technological features, including a useful in-camera photography guide (“No, Dave, we can’t do that…”). But having to choose from 62 on-screen options organized in 10 chapters? Agh! If you have the patience and dexterity, this little camera can do anything your thumb demands, with superb performance. Olympus offers a mouth-watering smorgasbord of lenses (some need an optional adapter). There’s also a useful pop-up flash for low light or fill. We wish you could order it with their 17mm f/2.8 pancake lens. $525. Nine out of ten for us and clearly a winner in every respect, especially price/performance.

Excerpt from an article for Popular Photography:

If you own a video-shooting DSLR, you know this is more than a sea change in the industry. It’s a hurricane. But what have you done with your HDSLR? When you show videos of your sailing trip to the Caribbean, or mounting climbing in the Rockies, after a few minutes do you notice people fidgeting, even start to talk over the video? When you post your video to YouTube, are the viewer numbers a little anemic? This is a good time to ask yourself what is it you’re trying to achieve. How could this video be more exciting? The answer, in most cases, is to tell a story. You have to grab the viewer’s attention, quickly set up a premise that will want them to watch more, then deliver on that premise with a video just long enough to do the job—no more.

Excerpt from NYSE Visitor’s Center film treatment:

The opening bell at the NYSE signals the start of business around the world. Driven by an original music score and sparked by entertaining and informative footage shot on location at listed companies, this film will show that the activity at the New York Stock Exchange relates directly to every member of the audience on a regular basis. The capital generated at the NYSE is the fuel that powers industry, technology, and the business and services that affect our personal lives.

Excerpt from story lead on technology at the NYSE:

Today, the New York Stock Exchange is the largest stock market in the world: about ten billion dollars changes hands every day on the Exchange’s trading floor. But what used to be a sea of paper is increasingly a sea of electronic trading screens and flashing cursors. For more than ten years the Big Board has spent billions of dollars on proprietary technology for trading of stock, but lately they have put the pedal to the metal on the information superhighway. Ken Prewitt has this story…

Excerpt from a YMCA fundraising speech:

On Wall Street, smart investors look for long-term growth. On the streets of New York, a child’s long-term growth is often crippled by crime, violence or abuse. For generations, kids growing up in New York faced obstacles. But today, those problems are growing exponentially. Being part of a group means shooting up; being an individual means getting shot. Understanding yourself is nearly impossible in an environment where children become parents at 15 and die at 16.

Excerpt from Good Old Boat article:

What does a Cape Dory 25 have in common with a cello? For starters, they both are simple, strong, classic, beautiful, and graceful. How about melodic? Well, in the hands of Carter Brey, both the boat and the cello issue forth stirring melodies. The bubbling foam breaking the silence on a beautiful day on Long Island Sound is not unlike the wafting harmony of Schubert’s Symphony #8 “Unfinished” in B minor. The performer in both instances is consummate and skilled. This lucky sailor is able to make music in either case thanks to his skills, perseverance, concentration and sense of timing. You see, his “day job” is mostly a “night job.” That is, he is Principal Cellist for the New York Philharmonic, a job that takes him from Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall around the world to play in front of audiences expecting only the best of performances. On board “Mary Ellen” (named for his mother) it’s as if there is also an audience demanding only the best in classical performance. Every line or sheet is tied neatly in ship-shape fashion, every piece of mahogany or teak carefully varnished, and every move the captain makes orchestrated for minimum wasted movement, yet maximum performance.

Excerpt from Medialink sales brochure:

The power of the world’s most respected news organizations is at your fingertips.

Resources like the AP Newswire for television and radio, an industry first developed by Medialink and The Associated Press, CBS Newspath and Fox Newsedge are all designed to deliver advance notification and broadcast-quality production directly to newsroom decision-makers. We sell creativity every day: to networks, local stations, Web editors and print news desks. It’s the kind of creativity that catapults your project to success. Medialink’s experts are there to guide you to make the best decision each step of the way. Flawless production and distribution enable you to reach your audience effectively. In addition, in-depth research gauges your progress, giving you crucial analysis and information for the next project.

A Pit Stop…

Posted in Ramblings with tags , , , , , on June 8, 2013 by wordsandpixels

Similar to a pit stop during the 24 hour “Le Mans” automobile race, hikers need to pull out of the fast lane, jack up all four wheels, check or even replace a tire, refuel, then rejoin the pack.

It’s with great reluctance I do the same. At 400 miles, the knees are hurting, the right pinkie toe painfully tortures its driver/owner and the crew worried if I try for another lap I’ll run out of gas altogether.

So we’re pulling in for a quick pit stop.

A colleague just wrote to me, commenting as to how inspirational I’ve been to her own personal exercise and weight control efforts. Needless to say, that made me feel felt like I’d done something extraordinary.
And all I’d done is to stay the course for a lousy 400 miles. Imagine what it will feel like after another 400!

The author next to a relief map of the 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail at ATC headquarters, Harpers Ferry, WV. 400 miles is a healthy start!

See ya down the trail.

An idea…

Posted in Ramblings with tags , , on June 3, 2013 by wordsandpixels

After almost 400 miles I finally got smart. Here’s a picture of the author at the beautiful, luxurious Mountain Harbour B&B and Hiker Hostel negotiating with a goat. He offered to carry my pack for a bag of oats a day.

Should I do it, or stay purist and keep carrying my &#%€! 40 lb pack?


Now THIS is how to travel the A.T.

Posted in Ramblings with tags , , , on June 1, 2013 by wordsandpixels

Forget the $200,00 diesel powered ATMobile. Forget the jet powered Citation plane. Forget the 4-wheel drive SUV.

Put your money on a rubber raft. When you get to a bubbling river like the Nolichucky, throw in some people and a cooler of water and take off for the ride of your life!

We were lucky to do this yesterday with Amy, Katie, Virginia, Duncan and two professional guides. Helmets protected our noggins from the rocks, life preservers would keep us afloat in the event of separation from the mother ship and Mother Nature gave us blue skies and cotton white clouds. In the old days we would say it was a Kodachrome experience, but those days are long since gone.

Nonetheless, it was a picture perfect day!