Category Archives: General

Tips For A Great Hiking Experience

Remember Mike Weiss? You know, the guy after whom I named this blog, and how he led me and a few others into this stupid hike? Well, he almost killed the adventure in me that day. Almost. When I was in high school, I became friends with Jason, with whom I was to share innumerable hiking trips. He is a completely outdoorsy person, and spends more time under the stars in the open than within four walls. It was he, who rekindled the spirit of adventure in me. I must say I have enjoyed my hiking expeditions thoroughly, barring a few minor hiccups. But, what I learned during those trips is the importance of planning. Here, I will share with you what all things you should plan before you embark on hiking.

This is not swimming. Don’t jump into it right away. You have to condition yourself for hiking. Try a couple of day hikes without carrying any gear. Then give night hikes a try. This way, you know what to expect and what things you will be needing. During the first couple or so hikes, do not stray from trails. Once you feel that you have got the grasp of hiking, only then go off trail.

Chart an exact course of your hiking trip and leave the details with your family, friends and rescue authorities. Usually, Jason and I even leave the exact times of our arrival and departure at various pit stops during our hikes. If we do not make it to those checkpoints in time, our family and friends know where to look for us. Often, a phone GPS is not enough. So, make sure that you follow this advice.

Jason and I like to cook even during our hiking. We bring with us a small gas stove and enough food supplies to last us during the hikes. If the hike is longer than a couple of days, we usually buy the necessary groceries again during the middle of our hikes. Cooking ensure that you get freshly cooked, warm, and delicious food every time. Our body’s nutritional requirement is easy to meet if we cook a variety of foods rather than limiting ourselves to a few canned foods.

We have a checklist of equipment divided into 3 sections – Critical, Long Hikes, and Special Equipment as per the hike type. The critical ones are a must, no matter which type of hiking we go to. For instance, a sturdy and comfortable pair of hiking boots, three layers of clothes – a water soaking layer, an insulating layer, and waterproof clothes, maps, compass, knife and so on are critical equipment for every hiking. For long hikes we carry cooking equipment, sunscreen, extra batteries for the torch, and so on. Then comes the special equipment such as snow boots, swimming shorts, and other things as per the need of the respective hiking trip. Make a similar list and do not forget to pack the things from the relevant lists as you go on hiking.

The best way to ensure safety during hiking trips is to stick to schedules, or in the least, let your friends and family know about any changes in your schedules. They are the ones who will spring into action if you face any problem during your hiking.Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 4.03.20 PM

The Things You Learn As a Frequent Relocator 

If your parents had to relocate when you were a kid, chances are that you might have a bad experience settling down in a new environment. Now, if this relocation happened more than a few times, it could have been even brutal. Well, like they say “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”, frequent relocations can have their advantages. It can make a person mentally strong and equip them with skills and knowledge that others have had no reason to acquire. Taking from my experience, I know that some of these skills can make a remarkable influence on a person’s life later on. So, here are some of the best things that I believe can happen to a frequent relocator.

Improved Communication Skills

Making friends at school, college, job or neighborhood can be tough when you are new to a place. You cannot simply let friendships organically develop as the people there already have their own circle of friends. It can take some time before your presence is acknowledged. This demands that you bring your best foot forward. By honing your communication skills, you can put a smile on people’s face and find a way to their heart. Unless you spend much of your time overthinking the changes that are happening, you will become an excellent communicator.

Get Better at Planning

You will learn firsthand the power of planning. Every time your family moves, you will learn from the mistakes how bad planning led to increased shifting costs, or inconveniences. This will inculcate in you the responsibility to plan things properly before you embark on something big like relocating, hiking, vacationing, and so on.

Breaking Out of Comfort Zone

Most people settle for less than what they deserve in life just because they are too scared to come out of their comfort zone. People who had to relocate every now and then, especially during their childhood, have no sense of a comfort zone. They thrive on situations that make them uncomfortable. Ergo, they are never afraid to chase their dreams or take risks. Although this very gift can land them in pickles every now and then, they eventually manage to overcome their hardships and succeed in life.

Endure Alone

If you meet someone who has had to move around more than a few times during childhood, don’t expect them to get attached to things or people too much. Throughout their childhood, which is when most of the personality is formed, they have left everything they held dear to start a new life in a new place. Naturally, they are quite comfortable being alone, and able to overcome life’s obstacles without needing others’ help.  One of the craziest things I ever did was take a night out on the town by myself.  I got dressed up, made dinner reso’s at a cool spot and hired a car from a great Limo company to drive me around for the night.  It sure took a lot of guts, but I’m glad I did.  People love that story.

Grace in Times of Failure

These people are not new to failures. Whether it is with adjusting to a new environment, making friends, learning the culture of the new place, or something else, these individuals usually have had quite tough. They have failed more often than they have won. So, they accept failures as stepping stones to success and take their lessons from their failures. They never let their failures get the best of them.

The Importance of Grandparents in Your Children’s Life 

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 6.07.33 PMToday, I will share with you something that is really close to my heart. When I was a kid, my parents often took me to visit my grandparents, and we used to have a lot of fun. For me, it was just a bit of freedom from all the drudgery of daily life, great food from grandma’s hands (not that mom didn’t cook well), and a lot of play time with the cousins. However, now that I am a parent, things are very different in the hindsight. I know now that those visits are invaluable and have left an indelible mark on me.

Feeling Loved is Awesome

This was during the time when we were staying in Chicago. Both, my mom and dad had jobs, and used to spend a significant part of their time out of home. Sure, they love me and my brother, and left no stone unturned in making sure that we knew it, they weren’t always there when we needed them. Naturally, we never voiced many of our apprehensions and childhood problems to them. When we actually got to visit our grandparents, they used to shower us with all the attention and love. We were mini-celebrities. We felt very comfortable sharing our problems with them, knowing that they love us unconditionally. Children need that. They need to know that there are people in their lives that love them no matter what. Then, they try and live up to the expectations of the people they love, which is very important even later in life. This is particularly true in today’s life when parents are prone to divorce and remarriage. In all that chaos, grandparents are the emotional safety net for your children.

Voice of Reason

As a parent, you have just started your journey. Your grandparents have seen the entirety of parenting. They have decades of experience on how to inculcate good values in impressionable children. Often, they can act as role models, and teach your kids important things such as respect, manners, sharing, and so on.

Great Friend

Unlike you, your grandparents have little or no authority over your kids. However, they are responsible for their wellbeing. This makes the kids amenable to positive changes as suggested by grandparents. The grandparents have decades of raising you and know how to approach the little ones with tips, advises and suggestions and discipline them in the capacity of a friend, without using any hard power. These relationships are forged for life.

Teacher and Historian

Grandparents have a wealth of knowledge about everything from family history to world history. My grandparents used to tell me stories about World War II, the advent of Television, silly stories about my parents, and so much more. I thoroughly loved their stories. They made it so much fun too. Your kids deserve all that knowledge and fun. Grandparents are master storytellers, and can captivate their audience with their stories. Apart from gaining important knowledge, kids also learn their grandparents’ communication skills which can come very handy when they are adults.

How to Make Friends When You Move to a New Place

If you have read my blog before, you would know that I have relocated around half a dozen times even before I had hit 21. Naturally, this had some benefits, but the first few days were mostly terrible. But no matter how I messed up at a location, I always got a chance to start afresh at the new location. However, the biggest nightmare for a child is to feel lonely. Having had to move so many times meant that by the time I made any friends in one place, I had to give it all up and move to another.

Like any normal kid, I have spent innumerable sleepless nights crying over having no friends and getting picked at new schools and new neighborhoods. But, I was smart enough to find a solution. After facing repeated failures and much trial and error, I have finally found the secret to making friends. And trust me, it can literally change your life. It doesn’t matter whether you are a kid or an adult. You will need these tips. So stay tuned and read ahead.

Do not ever break contact with old friends. If you do not have people with whom you can talk and share, you can become desperate for friendship. This will take you on a mindless hunt for friends at your new location, and more often than not, lead to disappointments. Everything takes time, and it will be some time before you forge friendships at the new location. So, try and keep in touch with old friends as much as possible, even after you make new ones.

Find yourself. No, this is not some useless crap about philosophy. I mean, find what you like, love or enjoy doing. It is easy to become friends with people who have similar interests. If you are good at a particular game, then you can join the school or a local team. If you enjoy exercising or working out, a gym would be a good place for both exercising as well as meeting new people.

Overcome your fear of rejection. Yes, it will happen. You will be turned down. It can happen on the first meeting or the tenth. People are complicated and behave in ways that are not always easy to understand. If someone snubs you, then ignore them and work towards finding new friends.

If you are in a job, you can’t afford to be lazy about making friends like you could have done in college. You don’t get to meet so many people on a regular basis on the job, and you will mostly interact with the same limited number of people. If you want to be friends with them, you have to approach them as early as possible in your new job. Talk about common interests, or even work related things in detail, until both of you become comfortable with each other. If you like talking to them, then don’t hide it. They deserve to know.

Welcome to my website….and my blog!

As you are reading this, and getting to see what I have to say, and there hasn’t been much content provided yet, you will realize that Weiss Lake Crappie Guide will surpass your expectations of what you were thinking you’d take away from here and leave you in a much more positive and happy state of being.

So, enjoy and get as much out of this site as you can!

It’s all in a name

To begin, you may wonder how I came up with the name.  Well, I’m not a Weiss and I don’t live on a lake.  But one of my fondest memories as a kid was visiting this awesome lake in Wisconsin with my best friend’s family .  Oh, his name was Mike Weiss.  And there just so happens to be a story that I won’t bore you with of when he tried to lead us this ridiculously long hike around the lake in the woods, getting us lost and missing dinner.  Technically, we didn’t get home until close to midnight.  Thus, Weiss Lake Crappie Guide!

(This isn’t the lake, but reminds me of it.)

Even to this day, I wonder what happened to Mike.  We lost touch after I moved away just before high school.  I visited once and then we drifted.  You ever have that kind of relationship, where you have someone you’d love to try and find and see where they are in life?  I have a number of them.  That’s because I moved so much as a kid.  I was discussing this with my wife and I think by the time I was 21 I had moved at least that many times.  Now, many were in the same city onlyt to a new home.  But that counts!  I bounced between the Chicago area, Memphis and Connecticut my entire life.

What would be home?

It’s where the heart is.  ACK!  Sorry, I couldn’t resist.  I’d say that home is probably around Chi-Town.  Only because I lived there a number of times and with the most amount of consecutive years.  However, the place that I would really consider home is my grandparents house in Memphis.  Because we never stayed in one place long enough to grow roots, it was the time spent every summer at my great grandfather’s pool (my great grandparents and grandparents lived next door to each other).  It’s weird, because it’s also the house my mom grew up in and hasn’t really changed much in 60 years.  CRAZY RIGHT?!  Also crazy is the amount of “stuff” one can collect over that amount of time.  Literally, closets of photo albums and crochetted things.  There must have been at least 100 miles of yarn up in that joint.

Back on track…cuz I tend to do a tangent thingy here and there.

Acutally, I do believe that this is a good place to pause.  We’ll hit other areas of my life later….As this is new to me, I’m not quite sure the nature of what a blog should be.  I guess it will evolve as it goes.

 <===Random as well