Angel’s LandingAngel’s Landing

Zion 2024:

We woke in Las Vegas, the Paris a glittering facade concealing the weight of years, the expectations of a birthday, the 33rd, Rachel’s. Coffee shared with Bob, one of Rachel’s fitness clients - only a virtual friend until this morning. We claimed our chariot, Kaleidoscope”, a hippie’s dream on four wheels, and pointed it towards Utah, towards Zion, towards adventure.

St. George offered respite, a Mediterranean feast to fuel the journey ahead. Hummus, pitas, the sustenance of the ancients, girding us for what lay ahead. Zion beckoned, her siren song growing louder with each mile, each minute, until we stood at her gates, $35 lighter, seven days richer in possibility.

The shuttle, a dragon to be slain, conquered. Emerald Pools Trail, a warm-up, a tease of the wonders to come. And then, a chance meeting, a woman from Calgary, words flowing as easily as the waterfalls, cold and bracing, a shock to the system. We descended together, strangers made friends by the shared experience of beauty, of nature’s raw power.

But the day was not done, the adventure just beginning. We spurned the campground, the easy path, for the road less traveled, the federally-owned land, where solitude and peace awaited. Dinner, a sunset, a beer, a perfect trinity to close out the day, to mark Rachel’s passage into her 33rd year.

Morning brought challenges, as mornings often do. Spinning tires, sinking hopes, the van, our faithful steed, betrayed by the soft, silty earth. Tears from Rachel, frustration, despair, the birthday dream turning nightmare. But then, a savior, a Russian with a tow rope and a 4Runner, a timely reminder that help can come from the most unexpected places.

Watchman Trail, a balm for the soul, a refuge from the gloomy skies and gloomier moods. But the real test awaited, the Narrows, a legendary hike, a trial by water. We girded ourselves, waders and walking sticks our armor and weapons, and set forth, into the unknown.

The NarrowsThe Narrows

Six hours, six long, glorious, grueling hours, lost in the wonder of the canyons, battling the currents, forging bonds with fellow travelers. Exhausted, triumphant, we emerged, baptized by the Virgin River, forever changed.

E-bikes, a new day, a new way to experience Zion’s majesty. We flew, we soared, we drank in the beauty, every turn revealing new wonders, each mile a gift. Springdale, a haven, pizza and beer, the rewards of a day well spent. One last hike, perhaps, one last chance to let Zion leave her mark.

But the real world intruded, as the real world always does. 4 pm, a deadline, a return to Vegas, to civilization, to the end of our journey. We woke early, one last mission before us: Angel’s Landing, the summit of our aspirations. We fell asleep easy, in our Kaleidoscope.

The next morning, on the shuttle, first to the trailhead, the chains, daunting, beckoning. Two hours early, the ranger’s warnings unheeded, we climbed, slow, steady, determined. The British couple, kindred spirits, met at the top, triumph shared, memories forged.

Descent, a race against time, Vegas waiting, the van to be returned. Seven Magic Mountains, a burst of color, a last glimpse of whimsy before the neon embrace of Sin City. The Venetian, luxury, indulgence, the final act of our Zion odyssey.

Drinks, dinner, the arcade, simple pleasures, grand finales. Ben and Jerry’s, a sweet coda. And then, sleep, blissful sleep, dreams of canyons conquered, of love affirmed, of a future wide open with possibility.

The Court of the PatriarchsThe Court of the Patriarchs

Zion, a crucible, a catalyst, a turning point. 33, a milestone, an age of ripeness, of readiness for what lies ahead. Rachel and I, tested, triumphant, transformed.

As we lay in our room that night, we reflected on the incredible journey we had just completed. Zion had forever changed us, leaving an indelible mark on our hearts and souls. We had faced challenges, overcome obstacles, and forged unbreakable bonds. And we knew that this was just the beginning.

The world lay before us, a canvas waiting to be painted with the colors of our adventures. We had tasted the sweet nectar of exploration, and we knew that we would never be the same. Our dreams were filled with visions of the future, a future where every day held the promise of new discoveries, new connections, and new challenges to be overcome.

For in the end, that was what mattered most. Not the destinations we reached, but the journey we shared. Not the peaks we conquered, but the love we found along the way. And as we drifted off to sleep, we knew that no matter what lay ahead, we would always have each other. Always.

April 9, 2024

This Week:

Subway Tunnel Cave, Sedona, AZSubway Tunnel Cave, Sedona, AZ

  • (mac)OStalgia - COVID-19 has taken the world by surprise in early 2020 and has definitely shaken the world in ways that we all could have never imagined before. The repercussions of the pandemic on our society will most likely be felt for decades to come. Pre-covid, some companies, startups, studios, etc. already started allowing their staff to work from home from time to time. Though, post-covid, it has become the new normal for many. If working from home was once a luxury, it has now become a crucial part of putting an end to a pandemic. (mac)OStalgia is exploring my 2021 work-from-home routine from a nostalgic perspective. How would have the same workflow looked like with the tools of today and the limitations of yesterday. Unreliable internet, little disk storage, macOS 9 and much more.”

  • My Parents Collect Cans for a Living - My family collects cans and bottles from sunup to sundown all year long. I started when I was 12, watching my parents glazed in sweat, as if it had just rained on them. Despite the aches and the tireless nights, their smiles shined as they worked.”

  • Frozen Alive - When your Jeep spins lazily off the mountain road and slams backward into a snowbank, you don’t worry immediately about the cold. Your first thought is that you’ve just dented your bumper. Your second is that you’ve failed to bring a shovel. Your third is that you’ll be late for dinner. Friends are expecting you at their cabin around eight for a moonlight ski, a late dinner, a sauna. Nothing can keep you from that.”

Satellite Imagery Average color of each country (using satellite imagery)

December 27, 2021

This Week:

Red Rock Canyon, NevadaRed Rock Canyon, Nevada

  • Film: The Last Duel - King Charles VI declares that Knight Jean de Carrouges settle his dispute with his squire by challenging him to a duel.”

  • This Colorado solar garden’ is literally a farm under solar panels - But he soon discovered that the shade from the towering panels above the soil actually helped the plants thrive. That intermittent shade also meant a lot less evaporation of coveted irrigation water. And in turn the evaporation actually helped keep the sun-baked solar panels cooler, making them more efficient.”

  • Individuals Matter - One of the most common mistakes I see people make when looking at data is incorrectly using an overly simplified model. A specific variant of this that has derailed the majority of work roadmaps I’ve looked at is treating people as interchangeable, as if it doesn’t matter who is doing what, as if individuals don’t matter. Individuals matter.”

  • Why is air cargo suddenly affordable relative to ocean shipping?

November 18, 2021

This Week:

Yosemite Water FallsYosemite Water Falls

  • Film: The Father - A man refuses all assistance from his daughter as he ages. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.”

  • What was the biggest contributor to your happiness in the past year?

  • The bizarre tale of the world’s last lost tourist, who thought Maine was San Francisco - In 1977, 49-year-old German brewery worker Erwin Kreuz blew his life savings on his first flight — a once-in-a-lifetime birthday trip to San Francisco. He’d seen it on TV, and he wanted to visit the Wild West. As the World Airways flight from Frankfurt stopped to refuel in a small airport in Bangor, Maine, before continuing on to California, an air stewardess who had finished her shift told Kreuz to have a nice time in San Francisco.” Her choice of words would change Kreuz’s life.”

March 24, 2021

This Week:

Santa Monica, CA, 2017Santa Monica, CA, 2017

  • How we grow junior developers at the BBC - The saying there’s no such thing as a stupid question’ also applies here. Asking questions is encouraged, and it’s not unusual for more senior members of the team to ask questions just for the sake of junior developers or new developers in the team.”

  • The History of Sears Predicts Nearly Everything Amazon Is Doing - One hundred years ago, a retail giant that shipped millions of products by mail moved swiftly into the brick-and-mortar business, changing it forever. Is that happening again?”

  • The Stand by Stephen King - When a man escapes from a biological testing facility, he sets in motion a deadly domino effect, spreading a mutated strain of the flu that will wipe out 99 percent of humanity within a few weeks. The survivors who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge–Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious”Dark Man,” who delights in chaos and violence.”

September 26, 2017

This Week:

San Francisco, 2017San Francisco, 2017

  • Inside Apple’s Insanely Great (Or Just Insane) New Mothership - Inside the 755-foot tunnel, the white tiles along the wall gleam like a recently installed high-end bathroom; it’s what the Lincoln Tunnel must have looked like the day it opened, before the first smudge of soot sullied its walls. And as we emerge into the light, the Ring comes into view. As the Jeep orbits it, the sun glistens off the building’s curved glass surface. The canopies”—white fins that protrude from the glass at every floor—give it an exotic, retro-­future feel, evoking illustrations from science fiction pulp magazines of the 1950s”

  • How to Resolve Fights over Reclining Airplane Seats: Use Behavioral Economics - Recliners wanted on average $41 to refrain from reclining, while reclinees were willing to pay only $18 on average. Only about 21 percent of the time would ownership of the 4 inches change hands.”

  • American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road - In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine Web site hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything—drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons—free of the government’s watchful eye.

May 19, 2017