Happiness and contentment in life come from the merging of Opportunity and Talent. My Dad had Talent but no Opportunity so could not find a way to learn to play the Violin. I had Opportunity but no Talent -- I lack the physical ability to complete a Thru Hike of the Appalachian Trail. I failed to learn this lesson even after numerous section hikes, but in the Spring of 2013, after 41.6 miles hiking in MD and PA, I learned the lesson that Dad had in mind when he told me to "hike the Trail." This Blog is now about the Merging of Opportunity and Talent more than it is about hiking the Appalachian Trail, but I still plan to include snippets of the Trail in the Blog. It's about Chasing the Trail of Life. I hope you enjoy my posts.

COMPUTER TRESPASS---RCW 9A.52.110---Computer trespass in the first degree.

(1) A person is guilty of computer trespass in the first degree if the person, without authorization, intentionally gains access to a computer system or electronic database of another; and (a) The access is made with the intent to commit another crime; or (b) The violation involves a computer or database maintained by a government agency.

(2) Computer trespass in the first degree is a class C felony.

This Blog is Dedicated to my Dad. Although he never accomplished his dream of learning to play the Violin, he did construct and play a Dulcimer at an Elderhostel.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Pre-Hike that Wasn't

Well, today was supposed to be a good hiking day for me. Although I stayed up too late last night finding hymns I want to print out and learn all the verses to, I didn't know that I was going to be tossed around like a leaf in a gale.

Back in March, when I traded my AT&T phone for the Verizon Samsung, which I later traded for an iPhone [Samsung puts too much 'stupid samsung stuff' on their phone and the learning curve for ANDROID was confusing], I asked the smooth talking salesman at the Flea Market in Sevierville, TN, to make sure that my contract was up. WELL, he was more interested in selling me a Galaxy One ... Stellar ... same/same ... and LIED to me.  AND he sweet talked me into "helping" him get extra points by giving him my iPhone 3s ... which he probably sold.  Had I kept that phone, I'd have had Dad's voice mails.  But I wanted to help ... and put MY needs aside  ... and I didn't check my ATT account and I didn't THINK about my voice mails ... I assumed they'd follow my phone number.  ASS=[u]=ME.

Long story short, I now owe over $200 to ATT for EARLY TERMINATION ... Two lousy months early. I would have waited had Mr Smooth Talker been honest with me. Not only did I lose my Dad's voice on the voice mails, I now have to pay a FINE .... my IRS refund is now unavailable for use on my "Half-A-Thru-Hike."  I will HAVE to sleep in the Shelters or under the poncho tarp and I won't be staying at Allenberry Resort $40 Hiker Special or the Port Clinton Hotel $49 plus $10 refundable Key Fee, but I will stay at the Doyle in Duncannon, PA because I have to go to pick up Prescriptions there and at various Hostels that charge $30 or less a night] I have to recoup that money and put it back in my savings account for emergencies.  But, okay, LESSON LEARNED.  Never ever ever will I trust another salesman or any person out to 'sell' me something.  "Thanks, but no thanks."

NEEDLESS to say, Cellular Sales will NOT be getting a renewal from me in March 2015.  I've already marked my calender!  And my YELP REVIEW about them is not positive.

SO besides having to go get another steroid/novocaine shot in my 'other' knee ... the right one this time, going to pick up a prescription and eye drops and finding out that someone else got one of the two OTC but behind the counter Eye Drops I ordered from Rite Aid two weeks ago and I could only get one because the second box was gone ... and getting GUT PUNCHED by AT&T ... It's been a day I don't want to repeat ever again.

I am so angry at myself for being SO gullible ... It's MY fault ... and my own fault for not double checking my AT&T contract and for being so easily persuaded.   I am 68 and I STILL think I can trust other people. You'd think after two divorces that one day I would learn. It seems as if the minute I let my guard down, the minute I fall for a bunch of compliments, I get mistreated.  At least THIS time there was no wedding and divorce.  Let's look on the Happy Side of Life.

Tuesday is another day ... and I leave for Georgia on Friday morning so I need to get cracking and packing!  Tuesday is going to be a GOOD day.  I'll ice my knee, I'll do a load or laundry, I'll sort and pack.  And I'll drink a lot of water and juice.

Maybe I NEEDED this day to get my guard up for this hike ... and to learn NOT to fall for compliments coming from smooth talking people, especially, or ANYONE who says he/she to want to help me.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  Well, I am ashamed.  And it will take me a long time to forgive myself.  It's my fault ... I just didn't 'think it through' ... I wanted a Verizon phone so I could talk and text while in the Appalachian Mountains ... like my friends could.  There is no 'undoing' this mistake.  If I'd just kept my iPhone 3s, this post would not have been written and I'd have my IRS refund to use to stay in Hostels while on the Trail.  After all, I could have gotten a Verizon phone here instead of East Tennessee.  I will not dwell on the "If Onlies" ... I will not allow them to depress me.

The face of a sucker, isn't it?


I'm remembering this recent post from Datto ...
... it seems our lives are filled with so much worry about past events we can do little about, yet our condition is made from the sum of our past decisions.
Many times we feel as victims, yet it's only because we have chosen not to make a decision, not to take action. We sometimes dwell on past mistakes and think those foretell our future ... and we become paralyzed by the fear of making a mistake. Our choice becomes one of doing nothing.
Datto 10/1/2000 Crocker Cirque Campsite, ME

I did something.  I didn't just just sit back ... I did something and I ended up hurting myself ... I'm going backpacking ... I'm going to walk off all this 'sum of my past decisions' ... and keep my guard up.  And keep my Focus on Hiking to the next Shelter or Campsite.   I can live without staying at places that charge more than $30 a night.   [I just checked the cost of the Inn at the Long Trail ... $79? That's NOT happening.  I'll pick up my mail drop for the $5 fee and walk on.] [Crawford Notch Bunk with supper and breakfast is $77 ... that may not happen, either.]  I've already spent too much money getting ready for this hike.  And my 7 mail drop boxes don't have Postage on them yet, either.  That's another $100 plus the UPS box will probably be in the $30+ range.   I will mostly resupply food at various trail towns and I've read that the 'great' North East grocery stores are more expensive than our 'greater' Southern ones.  Groceries could well take most of the money I'll have available.

Maybe DAD, I didn't think this through well enough.  I'm reading on WhiteBlaze that I should expect to spend $1000 a month on my hike.  After expenses, I have $600 to $700 to spend.  I am going to have to think "white bread and cheap peanut butter" ... and not Kashi Go Lean and Peter Pan Peanut Butter.  Well, the FIRST Thru Hiker, Earl Shaffer did it with White Bread and Peanut Butter ... So Can I.

I'm NOT going to talk myself out of this hike.  I may have to skip Motels and Hotels and Resorts and I may have to stealth camp after stopping at a Trail Town until I get to Maine ... but if I have to do it, I have to do it.  I have no choice but to stay at Hostels or Hotels in Maine ... well, I guess I have a choice, but I think making a mistake in Maine [fortunately there are $8-$12 tent pads in New Hampshire] could be more expensive than staying at a Hotel ... I was checking recently and would you believe that there are States that refuse to accept my brand of Medicare Advantage?  And ObamaCare hasn't kicked in completely yet.  When it does, I no longer have Medicare Advantage.

Enough Negative ..................... I'm going to do this ............. DAD told me to do it and I want to make him proud.

But first I have to Hike.

Psalm 25: 4-6 Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are god my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, O Lord, Your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.

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