Archive for September, 2012|Monthly archive page

Samsung’s Other Battle . . .

In Uncategorized on September 21, 2012 at 12:42 am


I hope they lose this war.   Korea would be less fun.

Free gift . . .

In Uncategorized on September 20, 2012 at 3:48 am

What do you get if you buy six beers for you and your friends at a baseball game?

If you guessed THREE EGGS, grab a tote bag.

No choice . . .

In Uncategorized on September 18, 2012 at 12:40 am

I guess there is really no other option than to link to this:


Half of this video completely MISrepresents life in Korea.  The other half are things I see every day.   Feel free to speculate on which is which.




Final stage . . .

In Uncategorized on September 12, 2012 at 5:06 am

The final stage was about 15 km ( metric for 10 miles or so ).   The day started off very nice

and ended even nicer.   Mostly because it was over, there was beer, and I could shower.

That said, here are some random thoughts that I took away from this thing:

Yes, you can carry everything you need for a week ( minus water and a tent ) on your back.  In fact, when ( yes when ) I do the next one, I will actually take less stuff with me.

To give some perspective, here is some of what is actually in this pile:

  • One short-sleeved t-shirt
  • One long-sleeved t-shirt
  • One pair of short compression tights
  • One pair of long compression tights
  • 4 pairs of those funky socks with the toes
  • 4 pairs of thin wool socks to wear over the funky toe socks.   This wicks away moisture.   Dry feet are happy feet.
  • The thinnest, lightest windproof jacket I could afford
  • A spork
  • About 15,000 calories of food
  • A bunch of random safety items the race folks require
  • A sleeping bag
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wet wipes
  • Random other junk

Wearing the same shirt for a week really isn’t as bad as it sounds.   Same with not showering for a week, or going to the bathroom in a hole in the ground shared by 150 other people, or not shaving, or sleeping on the ground.  After the first day you just get used to it and on the second day it’s just part of your routine.

There is a lot of downtime to share with your tent-mates and other folks.   It’s actually pretty interesting because you get to know people fairly quick.   They’re from everywhere around the world and from all walks of life, but they’re all dumb enough to do these things, so there is actually quite a bit to talk about.

ANYONE can finish one of these races.  You don’t have to be a great athlete, or in super amazing shape, or smart, or whatever.   Really, you just need to be naive enough to send in your deposit without telling your Mrs. Stockdale, cross your fingers, and hope  you figure out the rest. 

So, I really don’t know what else to add about this thing.   If you want to join me on the next one, it could be Atacama ( October 2013 ),  Madagascar ( August 2014 ), or Atacama ( October 2014 ).   My guess is 2014 race in the Atacama desert, but it really just depends on what random part of the earth Mrs. Stockdale has us living in by then. 

Any questions, let me know.

Stage 5 – The Long March

In Uncategorized on September 4, 2012 at 3:05 am

Stage 4 was actually fairly draining.  ( The next bit should have been in the last entry, but I messed up.  )  Not saying it was impossible or that it sucked all the life out of me, but the course was a lot more difficult than anything we had before.  At the end of Stage 4, after a bus ride from the construction site, after I got things situated, this is what was waiting for me.

This was about the billionth ( metric for way too many ) of these freeze-dried salty rice based meals I had eaten and at this point my body said ‘NO MORE’.  I had two bites of this ickified paste of disgustingness and I threw the rest away.   Then I ate some pepperoni slices and my body rejected any further processing of greasy meat.  At this point I could have been reasonably concerned about my prospects for the long day ahead, but all doubt was removed when this appeared:

The only thing cooler than the single rainbow, is the double rainbow.  Now, all I needed now was a unicorn to ride the next day.

After the previous four days, my shoes were looking kind of ragged,

and having the fluid drained from under my toenail daily with the hot needle was getting less and less enjoyable,

So, I got some rest to prepare for the long day.

As you can tell from the elevation chart, Stage 5 was 73 km ( slightly less than two marathons ).   The good news was that the last 30 km ( you do the math ) was downhill.

The start for Stage 5 was actually two hours away from camp.  So we woke up in dark, boarded buses, and toured the scenic western cities of China.

Please note than no one lives in any of these buildings.  All the stories you read about the ghost cities of China are completely true.

When we arrived at the start of we had a short time to get ready and enjoy the scenery.

And then we were off for a stroll though the nothingness.

Nourishment for the entire day consisted of a pack of oatmeal, some ‘Swedish Fish’, a couple hundred calories from powdered drink mix, and a couple small bags of trail mix.   ( So, here’s the thing that is hard to explain.  This really isn’t a big deal.  It would have been nice to have eaten more, but at this point you are so screwed up that it really doesn’t matter.  Your body goes through a transition where it really doesn’t care if it has food or not, because in reality I had plenty of calories in reserve around my mid-section.  Could you continue like this for another 4-5 days?  NO!  That said, a day or so isn’t going to kill you.  Probably.  Maybe.  At least that is what I told Mrs. Stockdale. )

After about 12 hours of walking, the sun went down.

And then I walk some more.  I vaguely remember finishing around 3:00 am or so.   The real men in my mind were the guys who finished last for the day.  They were both slightly injured from previous days and walked the entire thing in around 24 hours.  I’m sure each and every step was more painful than the last.