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