Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hell week

Date: March 28 and 29
Mileage: 31.1 and 20
March mileage: 312
Temperature upon departure: 35 and 33

I'm in the midst of a crazy busy seven-day span at work. 12-hour days and everything (and I figured out, factoring in recent company-wide pay cuts and an otherwise static weekly salary, that my big promotion is currently netting me something in the range of $2.46 an hour.) Since I pretty much only do three things with the majority of my awake time - bike, work and blog - it's been hard to make cuts. Daily blogging, as you can see, was the first to go. Biking I can do still do with the sacrifice of some of my non-awake time. If I ooze out of bed at 7 a.m., even though I don't roll home from the office until after 11 p.m., I can still ride my bike and/or go to the gym in the morning. This is the part where I can't help but laugh at the humor in a situation that has me - me of all people - sampling the life of a stressed-out workaholic. It's enlightening, really ... in a "It's A Wonderful Life" sort of way ... without the big jar of money at the end ...

Since the blogging has to suffer, I thought I'd just throw in a few quick updates.

1. My book is now available electronically on Amazon Kindle for the low low price of $5.59.

2. By popular demand, mostly from real-life friends, I recently created a four-week frostbite recovery update with pictures. I buried it in the archives to protect the squeamish, so DO NOT CLICK HERE if you do not want to see photographs of dead-looking toes.

3. I have a very exciting announcement to make: Up in Alaska is holding its first-ever product giveaway! Up for grabs is a brand new Olympus Stylus Tough-8000 camera: 12 megapixels, shockproof, waterproof, and lots of new fun. It even has a "beauty" feature that is basically an in-camera Photoshop function that has been programmed to erase ugly boils and blemishes from skin. Sadly, this feature does not work on dead-looking toes. But stay tuned for the camera giveaway contest, which I hope to post within the next week.

4. Since this upcoming summer is to be my "Summer of Bikepacking," expect cool new gear posts in the coming weeks as well.

5. Being under so much job pressure has created a rapid day-to-day swing in my moods and ambitions, until I'm not sure what I want to do. But I refuse to collapse under the weight of "economy guilt." There's just too much joy in simplicity, and the greater the amount of external pressure, the easier it is to forget that I already live an untethered life.


  1. The jar-of-money ending only happens in the movies. That's okay, though. If you forget you're actually free and untethered, you risk becoming like many people I know - the ball at the end of the tether-ball rope, getting punched back and forth, going every-which-way that's not necessarily your choice. Sounds like you have the right perspective, don't work too hard if you can help it, and keep up the adventures. That's an investment in your state of mind. Peace.

  2. This past weekend my family and I went for a weekend away at a hotel. At one of the shops we visited after a walk on a frozen beach, they were selling framed stitchwork signs that said stuff like 'Simplify'.

    I really don't mean this to sound like a terribly grumpy old cuss but wouldn't it truly be more simple if the person just went home and made their own 'Simplify' sign out of their assorted stuff they've got laying around?

    I say relish whatever 'simplicity' you have. There are many that can't see how to get there.

    Cheers. Good luck with 'Hell Week'.

  3. At this point, collecting unemployment benefits and being a drain on society for awhile sounds more lucrative than $2.46 net an hour over a twelve hour period.

    The quick math computes to a whopping $29.52 for an average eight hour day or $147.60 per week and about $590.40 take home pay per month...slinging burgers pays "much" better.

    I hope the Blog and sponsorship pays off for you.

    Mike In WI

  4. Don't worry, we all have to work long hours for no great financial reward from time to time. That's just work. Rewards appear later when we are not looking for them. But, do know you are part of a dying breed -- a print journalist! -- and America needs you and your work -- no, the world does -- now, more than ever! Without journalists, our democracy becomes an autocracy or worse. Take heart. It is a higher calling...thank you for doing it! Beats slinging burgers by a mile!

  5. Mike ... I make more than two bucks an hour. I threw out a ridiculously low number just to make the point that I am not making nearly enough money to justify how much time and energy I am spending to earn it. Doing the real math, however, I am literally putting in more than 75 hours at the office this week. That's not a higher calling ... that's indentured servitude. When you think about it, working that much is completely mad ... one might say as crazy and pointless as riding a bike on the Iditarod Trail.


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