Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My blog, stupid Myspace, personal stuff, quantum apology

I haven't posted much. I like posting personal stuff on Myspace because my fans are there and they read it. Thanks to both of you. Not that I post huge amounts most of the time anyway.

However, I just discovered yet another deficiency of Myspace. Myspace removes the number sign (#) from a post. This means that photo links to Picasa don't work. Myspace is just too damn smart for its own good. Blogger is much more straight forward and capable. I may be posting a lot more here.

Lastly, my only real blog here -- the one about Quantum gravity -- has gotten a lot of comments in real life. Almost all were that people didn't understand. Yes, it's a very confusing blog. I apologize. I just tried to get my thoughts down and hoped I could expand later. Later never came. I'm still thinking about it. Kudos to Thomas for not only understanding, but taking up the gauntlet and reading the book himself. Physics is not for everyone, but it is fascinating to those of us who have the inclination for it.

Stay with your friends.

I put this blog on Myspace. Myspace was unable to correctly handle the picture links so I'm reposting here with pictures.

Yosemite again. The big hike up Half Dome. The five of us have now hiked over 6.5 miles of the 10 miles to the top. There will be an 8 mile hike down from the top. We are leaving Little Yosemite Valley and starting the real climb part: 2800ft up in 3.5 miles. I've been studying the hike forever and I have a schedule in my head. We're behind schedule. I'm also nervous about my ability to make it. I'm scared of the steep switchbacks at the top and most of all the cables up the very steep rock at the end.

We have taken another rest stop and I'm frustrated. One of our party is a bit slower and needs more rest. The start of the climb is really hurting him. I'm ahead, trying to push the pace a bit. Lots of people are passing us. After a short rest, I just start hiking.

Looking down at the climb out of Little Yosemite.

In some ways this was not so bad. We didn't hike completely together -- we would spread out a bit then stop and re-group. I was frustrated and hyper and when I'm like that standing around is not good. Doing something helps. If I stayed I probably would have said something mean or at least conveyed a very bad attitude.

However, I didn't just walk. I kept going and going. Even when Dan (my cross country running son who could have easily outstripped all of us on the hike) finally caught up with me, I kept going for a while. I wanted to reach a trail junction. To have some sign of progress. I wanted to go faster. To not be embarrassed at being slow. To have some confidence that we (or at least I) would make the top.

More of the climb out of Little Yosemite.

Finally we stopped. I realized the junction was farther than I thought and I knew I couldn't just keep going alone. We waited a long time. Everyone caught up and after resting we pressed on.

The first long rest stop with a view of Half Dome.

A while later we reached the junction and again waited and rested for a pretty long time. We watched many more people pass us.

Resting at the junction.

Somehow in all of this God was getting through to me despite my arrogance and lack of faith. Yes, arrogance. I didn't want to be seen as slow by all those around us. Yes, lack of faith. Lack of faith in my friends and lack of faith that God would take care of us no matter what. I finally accepted and even embraced that we needed to stay together. If we all failed together that was better than just going off on our own. If we made the top, it was best if we all made it, even if we got back at midnight (we did bring flashlights and the trail is pretty obvious even in the dark). The best way to ensure all made it was to stay together.

Of the five of us, Dan went ahead a little, but never left. The other two fell in behind our slower friend. I was helped by their example and did the same, bringing up the rear. I took time for pictures and enjoyed the scenery and was content to let what happened happen.

Trudging up the hill together.

Finally about a mile from the top our slower friend stopped and said he couldn't go up any further. He watched our stuff and sent us on, not wanting us to lose the summit on his account. We went on our way. Three of us made the top, the fourth reached the cables before giving out.

One of us came down a bit early from the top. He hurried to our friend and allowed him to start down early. We made it back down to Little Yosemite Valley fairly quickly.

From there though, our friend was again hurting a lot. We took a couple of good rest stops. We hiked slowly down the last several miles as the sun set. We didn't get back to our car until about 9:40pm.

Hiking down to Yosemite Valley as the sun set.

As we descended into Yosemite Valley I took it upon myself to stay behind our friend and hike at his pace. Penance for my earlier attitude? Perhaps. But more than that it just seemed like where I needed to be. To as much as possible share my friend's pain. That last sentence makes me sound kind of saintly, but I'm not. I just felt good about where I was. About the hike and getting to the top. But also about being with friends and doing something together. And glad that God could change my foolish attitudes.