Monday, December 31, 2007

The New Year’s Countdown -- The 5 Steps to Real New Year Resolution Planning

How do you write your resolutions? If you are like most, you grab a journal or pad of paper and make a list of key accomplishments or dreams to achieve in the coming year.
And, if you are like most, you forget most of them by the end of March, only to find the list in September and wonder why nothing got done.
But there is a better way!
How would you like to be able to create a New Years Resolution Plan – one that spells out exactly the steps necessary to actually achieve your new year’s goals or objectives?
The first step is to define what makes up an effective plan? When I developed QuickPlanner Plus, it was based on years of research into effective planning at all levels of life – personal and professional.
I found that the most effective plans, those that resulted in real accomplishment, held five key principles, or elements, each and every time.
If you follow these principles, you can develop something as simple as a News Year’s Resolution Plan or as intricate as a Strategic Business Plan.
1. What is your Vision?
Define this first.Your Vision is a broad description of what you would like to achieve. Effective planners start by defining this first. Most failures in planning have to do with defining a specific goal like how many pounds to lose without knowing what the long term vision is. In other words, if your goal is to lose weight, your vision might be something like “I see myself walking on the beach wearing that baby doll t-shirt I got from” This is a vision of your future. Or if you are trying to make more money, your vision might be “having enough income to pay off my debt, lease a new car, and take my girlfriend on a two week vacation in Buenos Aires.” Whatever your vision, it must be defined first. If not, your plan will be harder to align and will have a tendency to fail.
2. Define your Goals or Objectives:
After defining your vision, look for a numerical measurement of how to achieve your vision. In the case of paying off debt, what is the actual amount you will need to earn to do that – in total. If your debt is $50,000, and you current income is $45,000 per year. How much more do you need to earn to pay off debt? This is the type of numerical objective you must define. Goals or Objectives must be defined numerically – that way you can truly plan how to achieve it. It is ideal to have multiple objectives for your vision. Do not be shy on your numerical objectives. How much money? How many pounds lost? How much money saved for vacation?
3. Make your Plans:
This is probably the most familiar part of resolution planning for most. But the effective planner puts it to better use. Each of your objectives should have a plan. The plan is a clear description of what you want to do to achieve your objective. In the case of lose weight, if you defined your objective as, say, lose 20 pounds (or, in my case, 45 pounds!) then write a descriptive general plan on how to do that, i.e., “Start a regular exercise regimen using my current exercise equipment gathering dust in the garage. Use the book I bought last year and follow the steps to create an effective work out routine.”
4. Write a Program for Each Plan:
This is probably the single biggest missing part of any planning process. And, yet, without this step, most plans simply become nice words written on plain paper. Your program should be a step-by-step guide for accomplishing your plan. Using the above plan, your program may be something like:
a. Pull out the exercise equipment from garage and set up in bedroom.
b. Make sure exercise equipment is clean and safe before using.
c. Find the book on exercise bought last year.
d. Create a simple daily workout plan following recommendations of the book.
e. Implement the workout plan.
f. Review the workout plan regularly to ensure it matches current needs, modify as necessary.

The program is your main guide for success. You must follow each step of the program to achieve your objectives.
5. Refine your Strategic Life Plan:
Now look at the plan you have developed including the vision, the objectives, the plans, and the programs. Read it up and down and make sure each part aligns with the others. If your plan does not align, you will find yourself not being able to complete the programs. If this happens, just go back through the program as look to make sure you have written a realistic program. Ultimately, every plan ever made, to be successful, was modified along the way.

Real and achievable resolutions can be best defined as Effective Strategic Life Planning and we at QuickPlanner Plus resolve to continue developing more effective means to help you in all your strategic planning needs into 2008 and beyond.

Good planning!

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup !
And surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
Sin’ auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin’ auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
And gies a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Robert Burns

Friday, December 28, 2007

RE: Mt. Whitney


No, definitely will bring a tent. But was looking at other option as
well. Main thing was that I was not planning on bringing a mattress, but
I will consider that I we get closer.

My main concern right now is boots. I will not be able to afford custom
boots, so I will need to get a good quality, high ankle, off the shelf
boot and get a good, custom, and a couple off the shelf inserts to

Basically my overall budget for boots and inserts would be about $400.
If the custom boots are at that price, then maybe it would work out. I
assume the custom boots would have custom insoles as well?


RE: Mt. Whitney


Are you saying that you do not plan on taking a tent? If so, I would
really rethink that. I have a two person tent that is just right for one person
and my gear. I think the reason you should take a tent is because of the
rainstorms that could hit us. The times I have spent backpacking I have
been in some bad weather. Raining all night and even snowstorms in summer.
During the day we can find shelter somewhere. At night, when we need that
critical sleep, cover over your head is necessary. We will talk about this in the
next month or so. You might ask around and finds out what it would cost
to rent a tent.

Getting back to the food. I will try and send you a menu or a list of
meals in January. There are several books about backpacking meals. Making our
own beef jerky would save us much.

I looked at the boots and they look good. There is a shop in Prescott,
AZ that sells boots and other footwear for backpackers and hikers. I called
them yesterday and explained your situation to them. The first thing he
said was to not purchase boots over the counter without seeing a foot doctor
first. Then he said custom made boots would be the best bet for you. He
did not mention the cost of those boots.

I have a problem with my right foot. I have a large bunion and I must
get it off before the trip. I will be getting an appointment for January and
hope to have the operation soon after. It takes about 6 weeks for it to heal.

I will talk to you later.


RE: Backpack Mattress


Small air filled one? No. But I may not need one. Especially if I sleep
on the bag. I am going to get a lightweight tarp for creating a
makeshift shelter.


RE: Mt. Whitney


Thanks for all of this information.

Okay, I need to make some money. What do you figure the overall budget
will be for food, etc, so I can make my budget. It should not be a
problem after my West Coast Brew Fest in May. I need to go hiking at least six
times before then. I could use my current bag and then buy the new one
in June.

Also, as for shoes, I was going to get the Vasque Clarion GTX, Though I
am also considering the Vasque Apex/Alpine. I need a high ankle, but
also, my concern is breathing. My feat sweat a lot. I am hoping that my
current orthotics will work because I do not want to spend another $300
on a second pair.

Is the trail going to be rocky or mostly worn?


Backpack Mattress


Do you have a backpack mattress?


RE: Mt. Whitney


I think your backpack is not large enough. I am going to purchase,
Carol's Christmas present, Gregory Palisades Backpack The large fits me. If you go to their site you will find info on adjusting and fitting a backpack. They have the pack at Travel Country for $298.

That is the lowest price that I have found. The reason I chose that pack is that it got good reviews on the PCT forum. I believe the backpack and shoes are the most important part of the trip.

As far as the sleeping bag. I have an older mummy bag that I will try and use in the next month. It is a +20 degree bag. I do not like to sleep in my bag. I sleep with only shorts on. I think you should sleep in the bag one night. I will do some research on bags and send you info.

You need to go to a foot doctor before you purchase any shoes. I have
read too many stories about backpackers and shoes. has
information on picking and fitting shoes. Check it out.

It has been snowing for the past two days and still snowing. We have about 9 inches.

I will be working on a draft menu in the coming weeks.

Talk to you later


RE: Mt. Whitney


Yes, I think it would be great to hike up to Mt Whitney.

As for my backpack, I bought it with the idea that I would do a bunch of
hiking this year (2007) and see how it worked for me so I would be
better prepared for our trip.

Total backpacking trips in 2007 - None.

So, I still have the bag hanging in the garage with tags and everything.
It was not an expensive bag and I did not have it fitted. It is by

3800 cu in, but I don't know what the max weight is.

My sleeping bag is a Coleman Crescent 15-Degree Mummy Sleeping Bag. Is
that going to be too warm for me?


Mt. Whitney


Go to this link:

This is a picture of the trail going up to the trail crest. #1 is the
packing area where we will start our adventure. It is going to be a nice
climb up. There are several places on the way up that we can stop for
night. It would be nice if we could make it all the way up in one day.

What I was wondering is if you would like to hike over to Mt Whitney and
the top. I guess we would need to take our backpacks with us as I do not
a place to store them. Let me know, as I need to put in for 2 permits
the climb.

I have sent away to the PCTA for our thru permit. I was able to
our thru permit ending point at 544 mile from our beginning.

I have started the training program that I told you about. I started the
excerise program today and will start the diet next Monday. Looking
to a change in body energy. I will let you know how I it's going.

I believe you told me you already had your backpack. What is the brand
and model? You need to find out the cubic inch capacity and the total
of weight your pack will carry. When you purchased your pack did you get
fitted for your body? The pack I am purchasing will carry about 5500 cu
and carry up to 65 lbs.

I have been working on weight. I estimate that just the equipment
tent, mattress, cooking stove, camera and gear, and sleeping bag is
going to
be about 35 lbs. That does not include cloths, spare shoes, food, etc. I
think I will be carrying 50-60 lbs.

I am still working on it. Will keep you posted.


RE: Excercise


Also, I still need to get a boot. I have been looking at the Vasque
Zephyr... But I need a lightweight, high ankle, supportive boot that
costs less that $200.

Thanks for your help.


RE: Excercise


Thanks for the heads up. I will check it out. Hey, I was looking online
and could not find one... but if you happen to be looking... I am
looking for a "backpacker's art set" lightweight but durable and
environmentally friendly.

If you can't find one either, I think I am going to "invent" it.


Exercise Program for PCT


I found what looks like a great exercise and diet program. Go to Go to trainer. This will set up an exercise and diet
geared toward long distance backpacking. You can get a free 10 day
trail. It
cost 59.95 for a year. I will start my program tomorrow. But check it
This looks good as it gives me a plan to follow toward my the equipment
have. There's no need to have to dream up a plan.

Talk to you later,

RE: Start & End Dates (& Shoes)


Re: Shoes. That is my concern as well. I planned on bringing my rockport
sandals for light walking, but I need high-ankle backpacking (not
hiking) boots. There are also the nice hiking shoes (not boots) out
there. But, like you, I need lots of support.


Re: Start & End Dates


Give me a call. I have been on different forums about the PCT. The one
that most of the backpackers do is to have their backpack packed and
30 days before the trip. Do not wait until the last moment to accomplish
this. This way you have 30 days to get items that were forgotten or
that you do not need. I took a day seminar back in late 80's and that
one thing the instructor pushed was to be ready and packed weeks before
long trip.

We also need to figure how we are going to get to Lone Pine and the
trailhead. It will take us a good part of the day to get to the
from Sacramento. There is a campground at the trailhead that we could
the night and head off early next morning. The PCT is about 10 miles
the trailhead. We start on the trail that Mt Whitney hikers use to get
the base of the mountain. Looks like about 13,000 feet.

I have found that most of the hikers use good running shoes instead of
hiking boots. If snow conditions are present then they use the hiking
I must think about this. I do not think the running shoes would give me
enough support.

Talk to you later


RE: Start & End Dates

Good morning.


It would probably be better to start on Sunday. I will be need to work that Friday and will need a full Saturday to get ready to go (maybe even Sunday). It depends on if the permit needs to be true to our timing or if it is just for the range.



Start & End Dates

Good morning son

I am getting ready to send out the application for the thru-permit from
PCTA. I need the start and end dates. How about starting on Saturday
28th and end on Saturday August 2nd ? I am a member of the PCTA so there
no cost for the permit. The permit will be processed the end of January.

You need to get a California fire permit. The permit has a life span of
year. So you can get it at any time thru any forest service office.

Have you figured out a way to get used to the altitude before the trip ?

I have started the process of weighing my gear and planning the purchase
food and other supplies. Carol said she will buy me a good backpack for
Christmas. I need to get a tent, sleeping bag and mattress.

I have been researching food supplies from other hikers.

I will call you this week.

Love, Dad

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Custom T-Shirts For Trip


Hey, our first email for the new blog format!

Not an overly important subject, but I would like to use my CafePress shop ( to create line of shirts for our trip. Maybe a way of helping to support the costs if anyone out there is crazy enough to buy one.

How about a couple caricatures of us?

Is Carol good enough at drawing to do that? I can see if Louisa wants to do it. You can see one of her designs at

Otherwise email over to me any pic you have of you and I and I will put together a design for our official PCT shirt. Next step is to find sponsors for the trip! ;-)


Saturday, December 22, 2007

New format for this Blog...

In what I hope will prove to be a new interesting format for this blog, my father and I have agreed to post our ongoing dialogue on preparation for the July 08 PCT hike on this blog. Each email from him to me and vice-versa will be posted as a documentation and record of our efforts and, hopefully, interesting reading for those who want to learn what it REALLY takes to prepare for the trail.

Since there have been many months of information shared to date, I will reference this information in future posts. I will also continue to post information about my personal preparation and other information I believe to be of interest.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Light Wedge - What is it?

Not so new, but rather cool, is the ultimate book light. describes it as follows: Review
For avid readers who have spent many an hour squinting in dim light, LightWedge created this innovative paperback book light. The book light lies flat on the book page, creating the impression that the book itself is aglow. Designed specifically for mass-market paperbacks, this book light minimizes readers’ optical duress and discomfort while illuminating each word without distortion or glare.
Equipped with LED technology, this book light eliminates the hindrance of faulty or burnt out bulbs associated with many other book lights. Four AAA batteries power the book light for durations up to 40 hours, making it an ideal companion for a long flight or car ride. The book light features a high quality acrylic lens, a similar construction to that of a pair of reading glasses. Two levels of brightness enable readers to adjust the book light to suit particular environments and optical capabilities with a simple, one-touch button. For the best results, clean the book light like other optical equipment with a lens cleaner and a soft, micro-fiber cloth. Storing the book light within a book or a protective case prevents scratches, dust and other debris from obstructing the lens surface while extending the light’s longevity. Batteries are not included with the book light. The book light measures 7-2/5 by 5-1/2 inches. --Jessica Reuling

Product Description
PB100 LightWedge Paperback - The LightWedge is a reading aid that combines eye-friendly LED illumination with an acrylic lens that's bright, and unobtrusive to those near you. Here's how it works. A handle is connected to a rectangular acrylic lens, and with the push of a button, LED light shines through the acrylic to illuminate the page. Perfect for traveling at night or enjoying a ripping good yarn while lying next to that special someone at home. Energy efficient LEDs give you a whopping 40 hours of light on just 4 AAA batteries! (not included)

Do You want one? CLICK HERE for more information.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A New Addiction - Trail Journals

As part of the ongoing process of preparing to hike the pacific crest trail, I have found one of the most valuable resources to be the journals written by others as the make their way from Mexico to Canada.

When I read these fascinating stories of triumph, beauty, suffering and emotional roller coastering, I, too, find myself with mixed emotions.

My father and I are only planning on a one month hike. And while this is going to be a great adventure for us, I truly wish we could do the full trail. And this is where I type the hopeful, if doubtful word... someday.

The impetus for this trip with my father derived from a sense that we had better do it now or we may not be able to do it at all. And, truly, one month was all we could logically fit in... I do not know if my father could do more... and he could probably do more than me.

My father has always amazed me. Photographer, mechanic, electrician, carpenter, writer, woodsmen, and so much more. Recently he shocked me by building a 1700 sq ft deck around his house in Happy Jack, AZ. 1700 sq ft and he did it by himself!

Enough said... the purpose of this post was to introduce you to Trail Journals... and one of my favorites by "Charlie Brown & Cardinal Bird". This journal, like many, is full of great advice, good cheer, and a reality check for those who think the hike is a breeze.

In their last entry they talk about being in the rain... not so bad, except their friend was caught in a blizzard two days behind.

Anywhom... read for yourself like I am doing in the ongoing attempt to prepare for the PCT.

CLICK HERE to goto TrailJournals

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Gibbs Technology - Cutting Edge Vehicle!


In an era of amazing technological development, here is definitely a leader. Gibbs Technologies is an inspiration to entrepreneurs everywhere!


Gibbs Technologies Aquada - The Worlds Coolest Car!

Have you seen this? It is a newly designed amphibious vehicle that is cool, comfortable and FAST. Gibbs Technologies has done an amazing job with this vehicle. They have many different designs including a Quad-ski!


Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Dangers of Spyware and Adware

By popular demand, I am posting this article so you may better how to prevent and detect spyware or adware...

Tips on Understanding the Dangers of Spyware and Adware By Paul W Wilson

Money is the very crux of adware and spyware. These pose several problems and are a security risk.

Adware is a program that displays advertisements on the computer whether you want them or not. They are not just connected to particular websites or free software but are programmed to start up whenever your computer is switched on.

Programs like Eudora mail client display advertisements in lieu of charging registration fees for use of software. It helps developers recover program development costs. Kazaa the file sharing application comes bundled with at least three ad-ware programs. Two of them serve ads to the desktop while another redirects the user’s browser to a search engine with advertiser sponsored web results. Well known ones are: BroadcastPC; Comet Cursor; GeoWhere; Network Essentials, 123 Messenger, Direct Revenue, and so on.

Unfortunately, other guises of adware are spyware and malware.

Spyware is a program code that relays information about you and your work without your permission or knowledge. Some just “spy” on you conveying your Internet habits to marketing companies, while others are “thieves” they access credit card information as well as other sensitive files. In plain terms, it is malicious software that can intercept or take control of a computer’s operation without user knowledge or consent. Termed as “malware” the redefinition of spyware, the programs can:

• Steal personal information and the address book.
• Flood the browser with pop-ups.
• Spam the system.
• Slow down programs and connection.
• Hijack the browser and redirect the user to a “con” page.
• Uses the computer as a server to broadcast porn.
• Can cause a crash.

Spyware reaches a computer through innocent web pages, game demos, MP3 players, search tool bars, and other downloads like free software. It installs itself and leaves a mark on the windows registry. It can hog the computer resources such as memory and hard drive and cause a crash or lock up. Keystroke-logging spyware can steal passwords and credit card information for thieves.

To protect the files one has to:

• Use anti adware and spyware programs. Examples: Spybot, Search & destroy, Pest Patrol, and Lavasoft’s Adware.
• Keep windows as well as Internet explorer up-to-date by applying the latest security patches.
• Maintain the security level of the Internet Explorer at medium. Users must not lower the security level.
• Use firewalls and web proxies to block access to web sites known to carry spyware.
• Install layered protection.
• Update the antivirus program. An up-to-date program will stop spyware as well as Trojans.
• Install a startup monitor to protect your system.
• Never accept “free” as being free---check out free software and downloads, there will be a hidden surprise or catch.
• Never download software from warez sites. Pirated software is always distributed along with adware and spyware.
• Use Spy checker to determine if the download has spyware. This can be accessed from the free computer securities pages.

An anti-spyware coalition has been instituted by Microsoft, Earthlink, McAfee, and Hewlett-Packard. They are working towards anti-spyware legislation and putting protection systems in place. A survey shows that 87 percent of users know what spyware is and of this 40 percent through firsthand experience. Protect yourself and your work; keep your system free of adware and spyware.

Paul Wilson is a freelance writer for

Friday, November 30, 2007

How to Choose Software for Your Company

I thought this was a excellent article about software for companies by Derek Both and I wanted to share it here, with you.
Because you need everything you can get your hands on to make your business a success, enterprise resourcing planning software may be helpful to you and your business. There is a type of software that you can use for almost everything; schedules, phone calls, purchase, invoice, shipping/receiving, employees, customer contact information, billing information and more.

You need to have easy access to all of this without downloading several programmes onto your computer which means that valuable space will not be taken up. Because the demand is different for every business your needs for a software may not be the same need of another. That is why you need to consider this software.

Because this software is great to provide all the above features you need software that will be personalised depending on your business. You don't want to waste your computer space on a program that you don't need. To make this software work for you, the business needs to be simplified and easy to maintain. When you use this software you can be sure that this software is right for you.

If you have more than one warehouse to control you may need to know the shipping, number of invoices, return stock, employees, trucks and other important features that make your job difficult when you need to call everyone and get the details.

How can enterprise resourcing planning software help your business? That is an easy question to answer. No one has the time to do all the personal details that it takes to keep track of everything. If we could find a system that could take care of that wouldn't it be more interesting to you to get the software and upgrade?

Enterprise resourcing planning software is one of the fewest software programmes that you can find to handle everything that you need. It would be nice if you had the time to sit around and call everyone in every different department and ask them about the information that you need to know about. That is why the software will do that for you. It doesn't make calls but it does work to duplicate all the information that is available.

Because enterprise resourcing planning software will work with any business, small or large you may want to go ahead and order it for all your business and home needs. There is no easier way to handle all your business information but thorough the enterprise resourcing planning software.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Real History of Thanksgiving

Years ago, this story was first shared by Rush on his radio show. I am reprinting it here, now, to share with all of you. It helps to know what we celebrate when we induslge in all those great and wonderful foods each year.

Rush: Now, the real story of Thanksgiving: "On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible," and this is what's not taught. This is what's left out. "The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work. But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found, according to Bradford's detailed journal, a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, he wrote. There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims -- including Bradford's own wife -- died of either starvation, sickness, or exposure.

"When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats. Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments. Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well." They were collectivists! Now, "Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives.

"He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. ... Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. And what happened? It didn't work! Surprise, surprise, huh? What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years -- trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it -- the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild's history lesson," every kid gets. "If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future." Here's what he wrote: "'The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years...that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing -- as if they were wiser than God,' Bradford wrote.

"'For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense...that was thought injustice.'" That was thought injustice. "Do you hear what he was saying, ladies and gentlemen? The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford's community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result?" 'This had very good success,' wrote Bradford, "for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been." Bradford doesn't sound like much of a Clintonite, does he? Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? ... In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves. ... So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians.

"The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the 'Great Puritan Migration.'" Now, aside from this program, have you heard this before? Is this "being taught to children -- and if not, why not? I mean, is there a more important lesson one could derive from the Pilgrim experience than this?" What if Bill and Hillary Clinton had been exposed to these lessons in school? Do you realize what we face in next year's election is the equivalent of people who want to set up these original collectivists communes that didn't work, with nobody having incentive to do anything except get on the government dole somehow because the people running the government want that kind of power. So the Pilgrims decided to thank God for all of their good fortune. And that's Thanksgiving. And read George Washington's first Thanksgiving address and count the number of times God is mentioned and how many times he's thanked. None of this is taught today. It should be. Have a happy Thanksgiving, folks. You deserve it. Do what you can to be happy, and especially do what you can to be thankful, because in this country you have more reasons than you've ever stopped to consider.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Out of the Banker's Mouth...

Part of the creation of QuickPlanner Plus came from the frustration with business planning not meeting the needs of the entrepreneur but the needs of the bankers. Well, this quote from the Head of Commercial & Business Banking, Ulster Bank, John McGrane, said:
The importance of entrepreneurs having a solid business plan cannot be underestimated. It must display a strategy for sustainable long-term growth, streamlined direction and most importantly must impress your bank manager.[emphasis added]

There it is, from the banker's mouth. I have been saying for years that business plans are good for those who need financing and they are designed by the bankers for the bankers. But a business plan that impresses the bankers, does not necessarily reflect the step by step progam you need as an entrepreneur.
I created QuickPlanner Plus as the easiest strategic business planning software on the market today because I used the system constantly and regularly to achieve success at my business or at my job. In those cases, I did not seek financing so I did not need a business plan, I simply needed a strategic step-by-step program. This is what QuickPlanner Plus is helping hundreds of entrepreneurs to accomplish. It truly is the key to business success. Sorry Mr. McGrane.

Sears Supports Our Troops... You Should Support Sears

Once again, Michael Genung has sent me something to share with you. This has been verfied on snopes....

From Michael:

Happy Thanksgiving~!~!~!
And THANK YOU & YOUR FAMILIES for what you've done and continue to do~!~!~!


AUTHOR: Unknown

Holiday/Christmas shopping has already started. I know I needed this reminder since Sears isn't always my first choice. Amazing when you think of how long the war has lasted and they haven't withdrawn from their commitment. Could we each buy at least one thing at Sears this year?

How does Sears treat its employees who are called up for military duty?

By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up. Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years. I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution. I suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves.

Pass it on. I Decided to check this before I sent it forward. So I sent the following e-mail to the Sears Customer Service Department: I received this e-mail
and I would like to know if it is true. If it is, the Internet may have just become one very good source of advertisement for your company. I know I would go out of my way to buy products from Sears instead of another store for a like item, even if it's cheaper at that store.

This is their answer to my e-mail:

Dear Customer:
Thank you for contacting Sears. The information is factual. We appreciate your positive feedback. Sears regards service to our country as one of greatest sacrifices our young men and women can make. We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear at this time.
Bill Thorn
Sears Customer

Monday, November 19, 2007

Iraq is a Quagmire!

This is a well written article by Jack Kelly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
It's true: Iraq is a quagmire

But the real story is not something you have heard
We're floundering in a quagmire in Iraq. Our strategy is flawed, and it's too late to change it. Our resources have been squandered, our best people killed, we're hated by the natives and our reputation around the world is circling the drain. We must withdraw.

No, I'm not channeling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. I'm channeling Osama bin Laden, for whom the war in Iraq has been a catastrophe. Al-Qaida had little presence in Iraq during the regime of Saddam Hussein. But once he was toppled, al-Qaida's chieftains decided to make Iraq the central front in the global jihad against the Great Satan.

Read the rest of the story by clicking here.

This story is becoming, more and more, the norm rather than the exception. I found no less than four stories today along the same lines... talking about our continued success in Iraq.

Those who know me, know that I am not a big fan of the war, or of any war. As a member of the Navy Reserves, I have a duty to support and defend the constitution of the United States, and, so help me God, I will do so when called upon.

A Thankful American - Thoughts for Thanksgiving

My friend, Michael Genung is another prolific emailer. You can say he is of an older generation, but nevertheless, I have been urging him to turn his talents towards blogging.

Anyway... today I received this great article from him and I would like to share it with you.

A Thankful American
By Tom Purcell
I have more reason to celebrate Thanksgiving this year than ever before. I was born in America, after all -- I'm a winner of life's lottery. And I came into the world in 1962, a grand time to be born.

Sure, there was upheaval in America in the '60s. JFK was assassinated. America entered Vietnam. Martin Luther King was assassinated. America's social fabric appeared to be coming apart at the seams. But children were insulated from such things then. Though it was a difficult time to be an adult -- fathers carried the financial burden while mothers had limited opportunities outside of the home -- it was a great time to be a kid.

We were still innocent then. We didn't know or worry about the threats that today seem commonplace. We were free to roam and play and discover. My generation enjoyed the last great American childhood. It's true, too, that by the mid-'70s America's social fabric really was coming apart at the seams, as David Frum pointed out in his 2000 book "The '70s: The Decade That Brought You Modern Life -- For Better or Worse." Frum documented how the ideas that took root in the 1960s -- free love, broken marriages, illegitimacy, drug use and a breakdown in traditional social norms -- went mainstream in the '70s.

During the '70s, crime grew at alarming rates. The economy tanked. Interest rates soared. A president resigned. America lost faith in its government, its institutions, itself.

But better times were ahead. I was a freshman in college when President Reagan was shot. But the eternally optimistic fellow persevered. Many of his bold ideas persevered, too -- low taxes, deregulation, a strategy to end the Cold War. It was rocky going at first -- and there are always those who will dispute the success of his policies -- but Reagan reinvigorated American optimism. He helped unleash our creativity and productivity and our economic vitality has continued, uninterrupted for the most part, ever since.

It's a great irony that, as we head into the next presidential election, some candidates want to turn back the clocks to ideas that failed -- ever-bigger government, ever-less freedom, ever higher taxes.

It's even more ironic that potential leaders of the most prosperous nation in the history of mankind would propose such policies as much of the world is going the opposite direction.

According to, Russia's income-tax rate is a flat 13 percent. Slovakia ditched its top rate of 38 percent for a flat tax of 19 percent. Estonia has a flat tax of 22 percent, Poland's is 19 percent and Serbia's is 14 percent.

But I stray from my central point -- that I've got more to celebrate this Thanksgiving than ever before. Every year, I get a little wiser. I realize a little more how unlikely it was for the founders of any country to attempt an experiment as our Founders did. They risked all so that our government would be accountable to the common man and not the other way around.

They risked all for freedom -- MY freedom. It was through simple good luck that I was born in America rather than, say, Soviet Russia. The Russians tried an experiment, too -- one in which the government ran everything and the common man was accountable to it. That experiment resulted in the oppression and massacre of millions.

It failed miserably. Its legacy still troubles a proud people.

I'm thankful I was born at a great time and in a blessed place. And though we may slip up now and then, we've shown great capacity to correct ourselves. No sooner do we make a wrong turn than we find a way to set ourselves right.

"Our country is not where it is today on account of any one man," said Will Rogers. "It's here on account of the real common sense of the Big Normal Majority." I become more aware of this every year -- more aware of how incredible our blessings really are.

That's why I have more to celebrate this Thanksgiving than ever before.

Tom Purcell is a humor columnist nationally syndicated exclusively
Cagle Cartoons. For comments to Tom, please email him at
Cagle Cartoons Inc.
Newspaper Syndicate
Santa Barbara, CA

Thank you Tom. And thank you Michael for sharing this with all of us.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Plan for Profit in 2008 - Here’s an Easy 5 Step Method

This is a great blog I wanted to share with you by Kevin Stirtz the "Smart Marketing Guy" you can read more of his work by CLICKING HERE.

This time of year business owners, executives and consultants are (or should be) spending time looking ahead. We should be thinking what we want for our businesses in 2008.
But we all know many people fail to plan. There are as many reasons for this as there are (or used to be) hairs on my head. I used to think the biggest reason was time. Not anymore. I think the biggest reason people fail to plan is they’re not sure how.
Whatever you call it, strategic planning, business planning, year-end planning, it sounds important. It also sounds like a lot of work. It looms large as a big, complicated responsibility that a lot of people are not sure how to do.
So, to help you get started and have a successful planning session this year, here is an easy yet effective system you can use.
It’s focused on getting and keeping your customers. Some people might think this is too narrow. I think it’s perfect because if you’re focused on getting and keeping customers then everything else will fall into place. Your customers drive your business so they should also drive your planning.
1. Clarify your mission.
What does your business do for you (how does it make your life better)? What does it do for your customers (how does it help them get what they want)? What business are you in (product, service, industry or profession)? And finally, what are your measurable objectives for the next 12 months? (Revenue, net profit, growth?)
2. Identify your best market
Your best market is people who want what you do AND whom you can serve better than anyone else. It’s not enough to know who wants what you do. You need to focus on those you can serve best based on the resources and competitive advantages of your business. That enables you to serve them so well they come back and they tell others.
3. Create your message
How do you tell your market what you do for them? What can you say that they will want to listen to? Make it about them not you. Without a good clear message it will be much harder to attract enough customers to have a sustainable business.
4. Commit resources
Decide how much you will invest in helping your business meet the objective(s) in step #1. Measure this in time as well as money. Make it realistic but make it a stretch too. You don’t grow a business without making an investment.
5. Make it happen
Pick three ways you can deliver your message to your market based on the resources you’ve committed to investing. Then implement them religiously. Focus and concentrate your message on a group small enough so you can connect with them multiple times throughout the year. Track what you are doing and monitor the results. Build a process so you can see what actions (inputs) helps you achieve your objectives (outcomes).
Then follow Kevin’s Golden Rule: Do more of what works and less of what doesn't.

Feeling Suicidal?

Okay, I love my mom dearly, but she is sometimes a little too prolific in her forwarding of emails... but when I received this one from her... well judge for yourself.
I was feeling depressed last week, so I called the mental health help line.

Like all other call centers, it has been outsourced to a third-world location.

So, when I told the operator in Pakistan that I was feeling suicidal, he got very excited and wanted to know if I could drive a truck or fly a plane.

Is it just me, or does this seem wrong at so many levels? Does it make it worse if I laughed at it?

Friday, November 16, 2007

10 Rules for Writing Your Strategic Plan

Over the years, while perfecting my personal method of strategic planning, the method that became QuickPlanner Plus, I observed several rules that, when followed, achieved a better sense of success for me and those who followed them.
This information is excerpted from Bonus Report #1, which is available only to registered users QuickPlanner Plus.
But, in a truncated nutshell, I am sharing the first 5 of these rules here with you, today...
1. Define your Vision first. Yes, even for QuickPlanner Plus users, you must define your Vision
first. Not your objective or your mission or your strategy... no. What is your vision? When you close your eyes, or gaze up at the night starts, what do you see one year, two years, five years from now? When everything comes together for you, when your program is completed, what ideal world do you see?
This is your vision. Only when you have defined what you are wishing for, can you then define your objectives.
2. Objectives must be quantitative. Objectives must have quantitative values. It is great to say that you want to be the #1 Hot Dog Cart on 116th street, but that is not a true numerical
objective. So how do you define your objectives? Simple... just decide how MANY hot dogs you would have to sell to become the #1 Cart on 116th Street. That is your objective and it is much easier to measure and understand.
3. Share your objectives. Of any part of the plan, objectives are the easiest for others to relate to. Most companies see the mission statement or the vision as the catalyst for unity among the employees or the magic words that will create the "warm and fuzzy" among the VCs. But a mission statement cannot translate into dollars. Telling your employees that our goal is $50000 in sales in 3Q07 is much more motivational then just sharing the mission statement.
So share your objectives, early and often.
4. Keep the mission statement simple. Defining your mission statement is easy, if you followed rule number 1. What is a mission statement? It is a short term view of your vision. If you are a brand new company and your vision is "to be a global company with 20,000 employees serving 3,000,000 customers world-wide", your short term mission may be to "establish company
product and name as a reliable alternative to the competition with the best customer service".
See the difference? What is your purpose in the next 1, 3, 6, 12 month(s)? If your objectives are to sell 3000 widgets in 3 months. Then your mission may be "to guide customers through known and as yet unknown barriers to purchase widgets."
5. Keep it Simple Stupid! Yes, this rule works for strategic programs to. There is no need to pay
consultants hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend months and months to developing a short or long term plan. In reality, in this day and age of Fast Company
economics, plans must be living, breathing and flexible documents. Long term strategic planning is dead. Short term, simple visions, are what the future of planning is about.
By following these simple rules, your strategic plan will be well on its way to being a well defined plan for success.

Hacking the iPhone

Yes, friends, it continues. The Hacking of the iPhone. No, I do not have one, though I am looking forward to getting one when my current T-mobile contract runs out. Fast Company did a great article on what can be done with the iPhone and I am sure that Apple is diligently trying to fix the problem. But I just wanted to share it with you as my first entry on Matsonian's Rants.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tim Ferriss and "The 4-Hour Work Week"

I wanted to take a moment and recognize the man who inspired me to create QuickPlanner Plus - Timothy Ferriss. His book, The 4-Hour Work Week (4HWW) was an interesting and eye-opening read.

Now, mind you, I am not the kind who is looking to live like the "new rich" and be able to travel the world and not worry about my companies, but I am intersted in creating automated income with online businesses so I can use my freed time to pursue my own personal passions which include the US Navy Reserve and Through the Mind, a non-profit I started that provides free mental health services to returning war veterans, helping veterans overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

So 4HWW was inspiring for me. I have always been an entrepreneur and while I was programming web-pages in pure HTML in 1995 before I found any WYSIWIGs to use, I can honestly say that I have never been on the cutting edge of the web revolution.
Most of my graphic design clients simply wanted a website for the digital brochure aspect, not the Web 2.0 possibilities. And I have never had the time to really research the web and see what great opportunities there are out there now for creating a successful business.

4HWW changed all that. It was like being a vegetarian and then getting your first taste of a ribeye from Ruths Chris Steak House. Your first thought is WOW - where in the #%$&! have I been?

QuickPlanner Plus is my first product since reading 4HWW and I am very thankful for your support. Since then I am working on two other concepts, one that is a supplement and another that recently launched a trial run called A neighborhood-based clothing company. Not an original idea, but I am filling a gap not seen in the higher-end product markets.

BTW, I will be posting my plans as prepared by QuickPlanner Plus in the User's Only area of in a week or so.

Strategic Planning and the Pacific Crest Trail

One of the reasons I have not actively been blogging here is that I have been focusing on the development and release of a new software called QuickPlanner Plus. An easy to use strategic planning software, QuickPlanner Plus is designed to take any goal and help you develope a step by step plan to achieve that goal.

As part of my overal marketing of QuickPlanner Plus, I am going to use it do strategize my Pacific Crest Trail preparation. I will post it post the resultant plan here and in the user's only area of QuickPlanner Plus when it is complete.

There is a great trend these days toward strategic planning for life and it is one that I must full embrace. As can be seen here by my lack of postings, if I do not have a plan in place, I tend to procrastinate and not get a thing done.
As one of my favorite adages says... "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail." and I do not intend to fail the PCT.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

¿Por qué no te callas? - "Shut Up" to Hugo Chavez from the King of Spain

Yes, this has nothing to do with QuickPlanner Plus, strategic planning or anything I am likely to write about here, or does it?

About 30 minutes ago I decided to add a "¿Por qué no te callas?" t-shirt to just to capitalize on the interest behind the King of Spain's recent remarks to Hugo Chavez.

And, knowing that this is a quick money maker with short lifespan, I could either just dive into it, or I could use QuickPlanner Plus and do it right. I decided on the latter, of course.

The result? After 10 minutes with QuickPlanner I created a plan, began the implementation and created a basic design to start selling online. ¿Por qué no te callas? - with an image of the King of Spain!

Mike Sweeney (Sweonardo da Vinci) and "Your Book of Poems"

This is not so much about the book, though I am going to get a copy and see if it helps me in my great quest to write for a living, I was much more intrigued by his "20 Year Hike" if anyone has more information about Mike Sweeney and his hiking prowess, please feel free to share...

Reposted here from the Amador County Ledger Dispatch - original posting HERE.

Sutter Creek resident Mike Sweeney just released his first book, "Your Book of Poems."

Many of the poems in the book were written during Sweeney's 20-year hike of the 2,650-mile Mexico to Canada, Pacific Crest Trail, which he completed in August.

"At first I just wanted to write a book of poetry on my hikes as I didn't seem to be getting around to writing the 'great American novel.' Eventually, however, I realized that maybe I could write a guide to overcoming writer's block, etc., by setting goals to help inspire some of my fellow baby boomers to get back to doing things rather than just being spectators."

"Your Book of Poems" is a guide to using goals, action plans and imagination to create a book in one year or less. It contains everything a person needs (including templates) to not only write a book, but to use the experience as a bridge to accomplishing additional goals in music, art, sports or whatever a person aspires to accomplish.

"People have so many talents that get lost in the world of adult responsibilities," Sweeney said. "In America, we are defined by our regular job. I happen to have the best job in the world , but as I get older, I realize that if I am going to accomplish things outside of it, I'd best get going. We have to make time for other challenges and get off the couch to accomplish them."

Sweeney has been the executive director of The Arc of Amador and Calaveras for the past 19 years.

"Your Book of Poems" is published by Infinity Publishing under Sweeney's pen name, Sweonardo da Vinci. It can be purchased locally at Bubble Gum Book Store and On Purpose in Sutter Creek and at Hein & Co. in Jackson. It is also available on the Web at or

Sweeney's first book signing is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 8 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Hein & Co.

For more information, call 267-5864 or e-mail

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

"Business Plans Suck!" or "How I Succeeded and my Business Plan Collected Dust"

Okay... I said it. Business plans Suck. Yes, not exactly an articulate expression of my views, but a concise one.

But let me be more precise. Do you really need a business plan? The process of developing a business plan is one of the most tedious tasks I have ever had the displeasure of particpating in. In building my first business, Matson Breakey Associates, a social marketing consulting firm, I reached a crossroad where a business loan would have helped me to expand.

Now, up until then, I did not have a business plan. I had a strategic plan in place for marketing and growth, but by every definition it did not qualify as a business plan.

Of course, the bankers wanted a business plan. They wanted numbers, long term analysis, projections, market segment analysis, competition analysis, and on and on and on.

Many websites will encourage you to develop a business plan as the first step in developing your business. But, if you are a creative type like me... that is the last thing you need to do.

Yes, I will say it again... developing a business plan is the last thing you need to do.

HOWEVER... developing a strategic plan is the FIRST thing you need to do!
What is the difference? A business plan can be defined as:
"A document prepared by a company's management, detailing the past, present, and future of the company, usually designed to attract capital investment."

Whereas a strategic plan can be defined as:
"Planning that represents what must be done by the company in order to achieve its long-term objectives and goals."

In my experience, after going through the tedious effort of creating a business plan and even a truncated one, and after the banker or investor had reviewed it, the plan immediately began collecting dust on the shelf and my previously created strategic plan was my tool for success.

So, once again, if you don't plan on going to a banker or looking for financing, don't bother with the business plan, just create your strategic plan.
Now, those of you who ARE going for financing... it can be very difficult to go from idea to business plan... use the strategic planning process as your intermediate step.

Good Planning!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Successful Release of QuickPlanner Plus Strategic Planning!


Here is our latest press release for QuickPlanner Plus! The initial success is very exciting!


QuickPlanner Plus Debuts with a Roar!
Simple Planning Wizard for Creative Types Finds Quick Following

Sacramento, CA -- QuickPlanner Plus, an extreme example of old-school wizard-based software, found its foothold today in the ever growing independent commercial and shareware software industry proving that the right combination of simplicity and pricing is appealing to the right consumer base.

"We are targeting the creative individual," says "I've found over the years that creative individuals are fabulous at having the idea, but not so good at the planning or implementation."

That's where QuickPlanner Plus comes in. According to the website,, the software guides the user through four easy steps in the planning process:

QuickPlanner Plus educates you in layman's terms about the planning process.
QuickPlanner Plus asks a series of questions to help you make decisions about each stage of the process.
Once you've finished all stages, QuickPlanner Plus kicks out your first draft of your new strategic, business, or other plan.
Successful implementation of your great plan.
And its not just for strategic planning. The software is so simple, you can literally plan anything with it. Your business, baby shower, gallery opening, hiking trip, family BBQ, study plan, career plan, and the list goes on and on.

And by simple, we mean simple. The software has no intuitiveness, so it requires you to skip through fields that are not being used to get to ones that are being used. "Our first goal," says Matson, "was to get this product out and make sure there is a need for it." Now that they have proven the need, the software will be receiving a full makeover with more intuitive functions. "Current users will always get free upgrades."

The website also has a very helpful users area, since the software just launched the forum is sparsely populated, but that is expected to change.

"We want the QuickPlanning Plus experience to be a shared one," says Matson, "so we created a forum where QPP users can upload their planning templates and share them with other users." While they don't expect proprietary business plans to be uploaded, they do expect other, more interesting plans to be placed. In fact, Matson promises that they will be posting the strategic plan that was created to launch QuickPlanner Plus, just so others could see how its done.

Initial estimates for downloads is "high" according to Matson. "We can't disclose actual numbers, but our sales are at least double what we expected and that is without having any affiliates in place."

With the establishment of hundreds of affiliates over the next couple weeks, QuickPlanner Plus should continue to roar.


The Care and Feeding of Your Bear Canister

I have not done much in the last couple months to continue my preparation. But now, in the middle of the Holiday season, when I am already at 260 lbs, I am getting my second, Mtn Dew, inspired wind to keep this blog going strong. My father forwarded this great article to me by Tom Reynolds and I would like to share it with you...

The Care and Feeding of Your Bear Canister Or Care for Your Canister and You'll Eat Better Than the Bears
by Tom Reynolds
Download Full Document HERE.

Using a Canister
Most weekend hikers rarely get more than 8-10 pounds of food, 6-8 days supply in a canister. However, it is possible to carry over 18 pounds of food, a 12-14 day supply totally within the canister. From Kennedy Meadows the Keasarge Pass trailhead (Onion Valley) is 140 miles ahead while the Vermillion Valley Resort (Lake Edison from Mono Creek) is about 230 miles. Cramming 18 pounds of food into a canister may, at first, seem impossible. However, following these instructions and a little planning and patience will accomplish the task.

Volume must be considered as well as weight. For example 1 ounce of regular rice makes 3 cooked cups while 1 ounce of minute rice makes 2 cups. In terms of weight they are equal because of the additional fuel required to cook regular rice. However, in terms of volume the regular rice is better.

Food Choices
Choose foods with a high weight/volume ratio:
• I prefer regular rice and cous-cous as carbohydrates over noodles, spaghetti and other pasta. They have a much higher weight/volume.
• I also prefer tortillas over bread. They have a much higher weight/volume.
• Pack foods that waste a minimum amount of space in the canister. One size tortilla fits perfectly. The other sizes waste space.
• Pack foods that are compressible, like powders as opposed to elbow macaroni.
• Choose foods with a minimum of water [Obviously, this doesn't apply in the San Felipe Hills.]
• For your chocolate fix choose baking a chocolate cake to a Hersey's bar.
• Used powdered refried beans, chili and/or black beans.
• Use dried mix powders for sauce and/or seasoning.
• Carry dried fruit and/or Jerky.
• Choose foods with a high calorie content.
• I prefer fat like peanut butter to sugar, protein or carbohydrate. It is double the calorie/gram.
• I prefer nuts as snacks to candy (sugar).
• Pack simple foods that can be combined into many different meals. My favorite is tortillas/rice and several bean powders. I could write a chapter on the number of meals that could be made with these staples.
• Pack in bulk, not by meal. Depending on a lot of things your appetite will vary. Cook each day to your appetite

Cooking Style
• Learn to bake in a BakePacker [4 oz.] or possibly an Outback Oven [I have not used one].
• This is the #1 volume saving tool I have found. You can turn low volume, lightweight powder into high volume, high weight foods simply and easily.
• Get a stove that simmers. For BakePacking or cooking rice-simmer for 20 minutes-you need control. I personally tossed my MSR Flame-thrower years ago [I know this is heresy] in favor of a simple iso-butane stove. For a hike on the JMT (200 miles) the total weight of stove and fuel will be lighter. On a thruhike, where fuel resupply is a problem, an iso-butabe stove may not be practical. Regardless of the stove you carry, make sure that you leave Kenndy Meadows with enough alcohol or other fuel to successfully cook foods that take longer to cook but require less volume to store.
• Carefully measure all food.
• Figure out exactly how many breakfasts, lunches and dinners you will need.

Opening Your Bear Canister
• Do not open the bear canister until you need to.
• Your canister should be closed (lid on) unless you are in arms’ reach of it.
• Your first day's food doesn't need to be in the canister. You are going to eat it before the bear comes [night]. If there is a bear box your first day you can carry 2 days food outside the canister. Once you open a properly packed canister you will NEVER get all that stuff back in. You need a BEFORE bear canister [is opened] salt supply and an AFTER canister [is opened] salt supply and on and on--get it?

RePacking Food
• Repack food so that all air can be eliminated.
• Repack food so that the package is flexible and will squeeze into any available space.
• Pack powders in sandwich size baggies --not ziplock. Pack about 1/2 full then carefully squeeze all air out. Twist the top several times to make a tight tail and a body with NO air. Put the tie-tie at the top of the twist, then untwist the tail and flatten out the bag. A relatively flat bag will waste almost no space while a tight round bundle will waste lots of space.
• Waste NO space. Peanut butter in a plastic jar [you know, good old Skippy, not that gourmet kind that rots] is a staple. However, there is lots of space on top, even in a new jar. Fill it full.
• Puncture air holes in tortillas wrappers and the like. This way you can force air out of the package when you compress.
• Store some stuff loosely. In small nooks and crannies toss some loose rice or peanuts.
• Once you open the canister and take some food out, they will pool and you can easily them for later use

Read the rest by downloading the document HERE.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Aligning Strategic Plans Goals & Objectives

Tonight I was surfing the web and ran across - a great resource. While perusing the site I of course focused in on Strategic Planning and found this post by tvmokoena:
I am currently dealing with a strategic planning in our organisation! My questiion is ? how can i ensure that our strategy is align with our organisational objectives and goals for organisational success.

I took a moment to respond with the following:
A good strategy starts with the definition of the objectives, then the definition of the mission. But do not mistake your departments objectives with those of your company. In a good strategic plan, the vision and the desired end product may be more representative of your company's objectives and goals. That is why you need to align it up and down and up again when you are writing it. This is the techniques used by the QuickPlanner Plus system at

It brought to attention a good point. When you are creating a strategic plan for your area of responsibility, you need to ensure that the defined objectives are YOUR defined objectives. You mission statement may be shared with the big bosses, but the objectives are YOUR objectives. PERIOD. As you use the QuickPlanning Plus methodology you will see how easy it is to align your plan up and down and up again to make sure your plan is fully refined and fully executionable.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Welcome to the QuickPlanner Plus family!


QPP is simply one of the simplest pieces of software to hit the market in years! Not on is it simple because of my limited programming skills, but it is simple in its incredible method of guiding you through the process of creating a successful plan.

Where else can you have a software that enables you to produce not only the most sophisticated strategic plan, but the simplest party plan?

It has been said by men (and women) wiser than I, that if you fail to plan, you will have planned to fail. That is such a poignent and true remark that I've adopted it as an adage for QuickPlanner Plus.

But remember, just because you bought the software, does not mean that you can avoid the planning process itself! QPP is not automatic - it requires your creative ideas and intelligent decision makings.

Of course, sometimes we get stuck and have "planner's block" so-to-speak. In cases like that, use our Users Forum to post your struggles and either me, my staff, or another QPP User will answer your question.

You can also use the form to post your own template, review other templates or make requests for updated features on QuickPlanning Plus!

Thank you again for being a part of the QuickPlanner Plus family!

Here's to planning & success!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Update from my Desk...

When I started this blog, it was my hope that the discipline required to maintain the blog would also keep me disciplined in my preparation.

Well, I continue to struggle with the basic concept of exercise! I have yet to join the gym, though I have been more active with a camping trip to Bodega Dunes in California and another one this weekend at DL Bliss in South Lake Tahoe.

The DL Bliss trip will include some beautiful hiking and lots of great Kayaking.

Truly, I need to get my act together and get into the gym to help lose these extra 45 lbs I'm carrying.

That's all for now. Thank you for visiting.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Matsonian Diet...

Well, it is now July 2nd. I promised this blog would officially start July 1, one year before our trek begins, and I already broke that promise by not posting yesterday. My bad.

Today was my official start day. I am reverting to diet that I created based on the understanding of three books: Eat Right for Your Type, Fit for Life, and Natural Cures by, yes, the infomercial guru himself, Kevin Trudeau.

A philosopher once said that if you take 100 books, you will find at least a grain of truth in each, read them all and you will have your own truth to work with.

In reading each book, I found that, yes, there were factors I could apply to my life. Eat Right for Your Type focuses on the blood type diet. Fit for Life is about food combining and daily cycles, and in Trudeaus book I found convenient information about eating habits.

The result is the following diet for me...
  • Daily Breakfast... FRUIT ONLY - this is a nutritous way to start the day and helps to cleanse the body. I eat lots of fresh seasonal fruit -- after my morning workout.
  • Daily Lunch... I do not regulate my lunch other than following the basics of the blood type diet. I am a A+, and per the book, I favor vegetarianism. Of course, I tend to be a big red meat eater, so it is difficult to drop red meat altogether. I do, however, take advantage of chicken and fish dishes for lunch, whenever possible. Today I had a chicken and shrip pho soup from our local Rice Noodle Vietnamese restaurant. YUM! Other key to lunch is eating big. This is the primary meal for my day and should be good!
  • NOTE: As an A+, I am supposed to be a grazer, eating bits and pieces here and there, I am trying to work in that habit as it will work better for the hike.
  • Dinner... None. Or better yet, nothing after 6pm. This is from Trudeau's book and it works for me. After 6 I have fruit juice, tea, or a protein shake if its been a long day. Otherwise I will have a light, healthy snack before 6 and not eat anything until breakfast the next morning.
  • Additionally, I will cut out basic sugar candies and caffeine sodas. I will still drink root beer as my daily treat, but only one per day.

This "matsonian" diet helped me lose over 25 lbs when I first did it in January and February of 2007. In March I reverted back because of work stress and the need to drink Mtn Dew to keep going at all hours of the night. By the middle of May I gained back all the weight I lost.

Tomorrow morning I am going to join my local gym and start step two of the preparation for the Pacific Crest Trail.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Why This Blog?

That is the question... why? Is this just another blog on the fabulous Pacific Crest Trail? Just another individual who dares to think that others really want to read his rants? Just another hot-headed activist with too much time on his hands? What, really is the purpose of this posting.

Well, if you are reading this, thank you... but this posting is not for you. It is for my father.

You see, last year, something inspired me to call my father and make him a promise. A promise designed to fulfill one of his life-long dreams and to create a truly memorable experience for the two of us.

I promised my father that we would spend July of 2008 hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

Ever since I was a young boy, my father talked about the PCT -- talked about hiking it someday and publishing a photographic journal of his trip. Now, some thirty-odd years later, this dream may finally come to fruition.

The purpose of this blog is not so much to share with you this experience, but to provide a method of discipline for myself because, in order to do this in July 2008, I need to start getting in shape today.

You see, I used to be an enthusiastic hiker. Fourteen mile days were great fun. Whether through Desolation Valley or Point Reyes, I loved to hike and discover new and beautiful views and be alone in my thoughts.

Unfortunately, about five years ago, my life changed and so did my passions. The result? I am now overweight and out of shape and in no way could I do a fourteen mile hike today without being in pain tomorrow.

Therefore, the purpose of this blog is track my personal efforts over the next year as I prepareto hike the Pacific Crest Trail. I will share my personal goals, struggles, gains, ideas, equipment purchases, everything I do from now until July 1, 2008 when we head off on our adventure.

I welcome all feedback, ideas, suggestions, and comments. Thank you for sharing this experience with me.