Friday, December 29, 2006

Oi, this blows

The wind was extra-ordinarily high this morning. I mean, dang. The hard bike ride gave me a good boost though. Turned the volume down on the day.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Climbing Like Stinky Patootie

I mean really. I lay off top-roped route climbing for a month and I can't finish off a single route in an entire night of gym climbing! Gah!!! I mean, ok, I really got two routes finished. But I spent the rest of the night falling. Repeatedly. And hanging in my harness. Very disheartening.

And of course Nate just cruised 5.11's all night. Grrrrr.


Monday, December 25, 2006

Daddy Long-Legs

So Dev and I went snowboarding at Timberline lodge on Saturday with our friends Warren and Toni. Snow kept falling all morning. The temperature hovered in the 20's. Our instructor rocked the slope. And Devon and I feel like we can ride a snowboard now. We still need more practice and we have one more lesson in our package, but we definitely can ride a snowboard now. I need a lot of practice riding the toe edge but it really is just practice at this point.

Warren and Toni suffered through the first day of snowboarding. Which is normal. I have not talked with a single person yet who had a good first day on a snowboard. But everyone I've talked to about boarding has had a good second day. Like Dev and I. -grin-

And apparently I kept rushing ahead of our crew on the slope and in the lodge. Finally Toni asked Dev where her husband Daddy Long-Legs was going so fast. So Dev has been calling me Daddy Long-Legs ever since and chuckling to herself every time.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Snowboarding tomorrow

The weather on Mt Hood has been right for the last week. So it looks like Dev and I will be going to Timberline Lodge for the second of our three lessons tomorrow. I'm so ready. -grin-

Flat tire yesterday

Went out to the garage. Started wheeling my bike out. Found I had a flat. Curses flowed like beer at a frat party. Tried to find the puncture agent - no dice. Wasn't going to put a new tube into the tire if I can't find the thorn or wire or shank or shard of glass that rendered my tube deflated.


I was really looking forward to the ride yesterday.
I fixed the tube last night. Still couldn't find a cause. So we'll see if the tube stands up to the ride to work today.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Still rolling it around in my head

I haven't posted my Mt Hood climb report yet because I'm still rolling it around in my head. Which is probably a mistake - I should have written my experience down more fully when it was still fresh. And now three climbers have been stuck on the mountain for over a week. Their ordeal stands in stark relief to my climb. We had perfect weather, they got stormy conditions; we had less than really complete gear lists, they had a text-book and almost professional approach to the climb.

I've been glued to the news about their misadventure. And I've been replying the day of my summit attempt. And it makes for good thinking, but not for good writing.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Last Week

Last week rolled by pretty quick and with little fanfare. I rolled through a 40 hour grind to reach Friday. Dev worked a few more hours.

Saturday changed the complexion of things. Dev and I went snowboarding at Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood. The weather looked a little dodgy on the weather reports, but we woke up early and gambled that rain would in fact be snow at 5000 feet on the mountain. And we won the bet. Snow dusted the slope all day long with brief breaks and the temp stayed well within the range of comfortable.

I had a lot of fun in the snowboard lesson. I've only been snowboarding one time before. I went up to Tahoe with some friends from work back when I lived in the San Francisco bay area. The day at Tahoe was warm and the slope icy. I had a terrible time. This weekend at Mt Hood I felt like I had better control of the board and the snow conditions were better for a novice learning how to control a waxed piece of wood on a steeply sloped surface of low friction material.

Dev had a harder time of it. She left the slope exhausted shortly after the lesson ended. Our first ski lesson treated her better last season. But we have two more lessons, so there remains a good chance that she might convert. She likes the style and weight of the gear better than snow skiing gear. -grin-

Can't wait for our next trip to the mountain.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Pictures from Hood yesterday

Here's the pictures I took yesterday. I hope to have a more detailed trip report up sometime this week.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Not quite there

I climbed up the side of Mt Hood today with Nate, Sue and Aaron. We fell short of the summit by a thousand feet. I'm beat and will post more details later. I'm off to bed now. -grin-

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Below freezing last night here in PDX. No precipitation though. The ride in to work was chilly but dry. And I even broke a little bit of a sweat even though the mercury floated right around 30 degrees Fahrenheit (yay layers!).

The forecast says freezing rain overnight tonight. I'm hoping either a) enough to shut Portland down for the day (so I don't have to go to work) or b) not very much (so I don't have to ride through slush tomorrow).

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pics from Thanksgiving

Ann and Scott posted pics from our visit on Thanksgiving here. Fun pics for everyone.

And she also posted pictures of real snow at their house. Crazy deep snow. Looks like Dev and I chose the right day to leave for home!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Working off the turkey

And the potatoes. And the sweet potatoes. And the stuffing. And the pie. And the ice cream.

And you get the point.

Dev and Scott and I tripped up to Deception Pass for a little hike this morning.

First we rolled down to Rosario Beach and had a very short hike along the beach bluffs. Classic Pacific Coast beach bluffs. Vertical drop. Jagged rocky face. Kelp swaying in the waves breaking on shore below. Wind whipping you back from the ledge. The same wind that twists the trees brave enough or unlucky enough to grow on top of the cliff. We spent a few minutes staring at the trees in the sun and the wind with the dogs and then tromped back to the car to go to Deception Pass State Park proper.

Once at the park, we unloaded the dogs and proceeded to the bottom of the stairs at the end of the parking lot. These stairs lead to a great view of the underpinnings of the bridge that crosses Deception Pass waterway. We snapped a couple of pics of the green-painted steel trestles. Then we started off down the path through some lush northwest rain forest. After less than half a mile of hiking we topped out on the north east summit of Goose Rock. Enjoyed the view for a few minutes and then skedaddled back to the car for the ride back to Scott and Ann's house.

For more turkey and pie. -grin-

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all recover from your food comas soon!

(And, yes, I know this post is one day late. The Turkey won yesterday.)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Short week jubilation

Feeling so much better after my bout with the not-quite-flu. I can breathe again though I am snorting a lot of snot. Sniffling accompanies me everywhere right now.

But I am well enough to ride my bike to work again. And that 45 minutes every morning and another 45 minutes at night provides me so much sanity. I work out my workday crunchiness. I resolve any issues with the repeating revolutions of my feet. I expiate my workaday ennui with my peregrinatory exertions.

In short, (to borrow the motorcycling phrase) I ride to live. (Well, that *and* climbing.)

Friday, November 17, 2006

New Jacket seems to work

So the new Spraymaster jacket I bought from the Patagonia store seems to work pretty well. I rode home in an insanely windy deluge Wednesday night. I scarcely had to pedal because the wind blew from the south end of the river towards north Portland. At one point I realized that I had traveled from one stoplight to the next at the speed of traffic without pedaling a stroke. And the jacket held up pretty well.

I need to futz with adjusting the neck and hood. The only leak I had was rain running down my face and onto my chest. Brrrrr. But I think I have devised a trick or two to prevent a recurrence of that leak.

Reading a lot

Well whatever crud has been creeping around the office finally took me down yesterday and laid me up today. The weather turned nice yesterday too. So I miss the first good weather in two weeks because I don't feel well.

The upside is that I had a chance to finish reading Into Thin Air by Krakauer and Over the Edge by Child. I burned through these two books.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Big Blow

The rain started in earnest Monday night.
Tuesday night had me wishing for pontoons on my bicycle.
Wednesday and Thursday slackened on the rain with sporadic outbursts of liquid gloom.
Friday unleashed new precipitative fury that had me swimming from curb to curb as I crossed the street to get to a movie theater.

Yesterday I purchased a new rain jacket (the Patagonia Spraymaster) as a new refuge from the weather on my commute. The sales associate Tom at Patagonia rides in to the Pearl District from Vancouver every day on his bicycle - more mileage than my daily commute. This shared distance under glowering skies on a daily basis convinced me that he knows what he's talking about. And I like Patagonia and their values. And their line of goods. Just about everything but their price. -sigh-

So I'm hoping to stay dry. This week has a forecast only slightly drier than last week. I hope to post a glowing review of my new equipment soon.

Basking in the glow of victory

Haven't written much this week. Too busy being happy with the Democrat insurgency in Washington. The real work begins in January (even thought the spin started Tuesday night).

So once again:

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Go Dems!!!!

CNN has called the House of Representatives for the Democrats. Can we get the Senate too? Only a few more hours will tell us for sure!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Final Stretch

Today through Tuesday is the single most important stretch to get voters out. Join me in calling voters through's Call For Change program. It's fast. It's easy. It's a no brainer if you are angry about the Republican control of our government.

Call For Change

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Call for Change

Call For Change

This is really a brilliant way to help the center and the left and the working poor and minorities and the middle class and pretty much anyone who is NOT a right-wing wingnut get control of our government. If you have a cell phone, a calling plan with free evening minutes and an internet connection then you can help out. Follow the link above and get involved.

And if you actually followed the link from my page and signed up to make calls, comment on your experience below. I want to hear the stories.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Happy Birthday MOM!!!!!!

She can't read this because her computer is broken, but yesterday was my mom's birthday.

Happy birthday mom!!!!!

Pea soup

Thick fog the last two mornings here in Bridge City. I had fun riding to work in the wet white cloudy stuff.

My lies killed the pumpkin

Apparently I was lying about posting pictures of pumpkin carving. Clearly I have not made it a priority. And the universe has punished me. My pumpkin, my beautiful orange gourdly masterpiece collapsed in on itself yesterday. -sigh-

I really will post pics soon. Promise.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Ratcheting it up

Sue took me out to Broughton Bluff on Sunday morning, just according to plan. We warmed up on a fun route (I'm not sure the name) that Sue thinks is a 5.8. The route has a funny side pull crux that lands you in a kind of "hands-free" pod. You have one or two balance moves (depending on your height) and then pull yourself up to what feels like a staircase. A great warm up route.

Then Sue put me on Classic Crack. Classic Crack is evil. Incarnate. Made manifest in rock. I barely made it up the route and take a short rest. Then I throw myself at Red Eye a few hundred times. I scramble up Red Eye, but I wore myself out on Classic Crack. Even with the rest, I have a hard time holding onto Red Eye's very positive handholds. I like the route but I just need to go up it when I have more energy. which means I have to get better at crack climbing. Which means fighting evil on it's own terms, i.e. climbing Classic Crack.

Pumpkin patch

Despite beautiful weather here in Portland, I worked on Saturday. Once Macforce closed up, Dev and I headed over to Woodsy's place for her annual pumpkin carving party. We carved some pretty cool pumpkins this year, especially considering how we waited to the last minute for our pumpkin purchase and pattern selection. I'll post pics sometime tonight. Don't blame me if you get nightmares though! -grin-

Friday, October 20, 2006

Still truckin along

I'm ambling through this week soooooo slowly. I have to work tomorrow (Saturday) and that always stretches the week just a little bit. Luckily, weekends at Macforce stay relatively low key. And the day generally passes quickly.


It *is* work after all. And the weather turned nice just in time for the weekend. Even though I'll be indoors all day Saturday, I'll get a little climbing in Sunday morning. Sue will be taking me out to Brought Bluff for some quick routes in the morning prior to Nate's return from California (at least that's the plan). And then I have all Sunday afternoon to spend with Dev.

At least that's the plan. -wink-

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Whether the Tempest

A sonnet by Bobby Joel Warren
Dedicated to, well, she knows who she is.

Whether the Tempest

The hardest gales present the direst choice:
Confront their onslaught, risking ruins wrack,
Or heed the hurricanes high volume voice,
And flee forth wisely from its fierce attack.

The lightnings lance can cause the mast to crack,
Or swells unsound ships sink beneath the waves.
The faint of heart or humour, driven back,
Succumb to slumber in their sodden graves.

Yet raging storms the strong and firm man braves,
And, resolute, the wild winds will withstand.
Relenting not he wins the eye that saves,
Or fills his sails with gusts and gains the land.

To tame the tempest one must to her bind,
In meeting both of body and of mind.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Current reading project

So I finally have some momentum on a reading project that I started after watching the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. For those not familiar with the movie, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen takes place in the late Victorian era. Characters from 19th century literature all co-exist in the same world simultaneously; so Dr Jekyll can meet Captain Nemo and Dr Moriarty can plague the world freely after the death of Sherlock Holmes. Wikipedia has a fairly in-depth article here for those wanting a more comprehensive review.

After seeing the movie, I decided I wanted to read the source material for the main characters. I purchased Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray and tried to start reading it a couple of years ago. Wilde's wit was a loss for me for over a year because professional reading took too much of my time and attention for me to focus on pleasure reading. I picked the book up about a week ago and sped through it, apparently I'm in a better place for sardonic, cynical commentary on British "Society."

Next up, King Solomon's Mines by M Haggard Rider (it's waiting for me at the library).

Thursday, October 12, 2006

What did you do last weekend?

While I partied in Chicago with the in-laws, my buddy Nate climbed two summits in Washington state. Killer weekend. Oh how I wish I could have gone! Except for the sleeping outside with no tent when it snowed a little. Egads.

Anyway, check out the pictures.

Radio silence

I'm much worse at this blogging thing than I should be. Five minutes a day is all it takes right? -grin-

I'll break uyp all the fun stuff from the past week into a series of posts for easier reading. Dev left for Chivcago last Tuesday (10/3). I took off for Chicago on Friday night. I had a fun weekend kicking around with Devon's Chicago crew. I got back Sunday night and crawled into bed. And then this week has entailed much dog-walking and house-cleaning. So enough excuses. That's what I've been doing. Makes for great television. -grin-

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Celebrate good times

Oh yeah! The party is funded!

So now we just need democracy and happiness to attend. Now let's see. Where did we leave their number...

Oh yeah! We need to call late 2000. October-ish. You know, before the neo-cons stole the election, shattered the peace, lost a major city to a hurricane and spent our country's budgetary surplus.

I *swear* do-dos run this country!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Good wind-down weekend

I spent this entire weekend taking it easy.

Dev and I had dinner with two of our friends from the dog park, Matt and Tommy. They treated us to a great fish dinner with some delicious mashed potatoes and lots of really good white wine. We stayed late into the evening talking about cool trips they've taken and watching bad video content on YouTube.

Dev and I lolly-gagged on Saturday morning. Got up late. Wandered over to the dog park with the poochies. Strolled slowly. Enjoyed the sunny morning. Took a slow hot shower. Had a nice, big cup of hot coffee. Then I went out for a short climbing trip to Rocky Butte (close in Portland) with my buddies Tom and Nat and Tasha. We all had low key energy and climbed casual for a bit (except for Tasha who forgot her shoes and was a good sport about belaying us). And hung out for a bit. And then split about 3:30 pm for home. Satisfying without overdoing it.

Dev went to a baby shower for our friend Stacey. She seemed to have a good time but the details are hazy for me (since I wasn't there) -grin-

She got home and we headed out the door one more time. We needed to pay our farewells to Jason (my former co-worker) and his girlfriend Lucy - this will be their last weekend in Portland. We stopped at Nicholas' Restaurant and grabbed some mezza plates and pita bread on the way. Unemployment (temporary) agrees with Jason. He seemed really at ease in a way that I rarely saw while he was working at MacForce. And Lucy was a gracious host as usual, even with packing boxes and disarrayed furniture strewn about the place. Dev and I are gonna miss those guys. But between Scott and Ann, and Jason and Lucy, and Jess and Julie, we won't have any reason not to spend time in Seattle.

Dev and I kept it low key today too. We tromped out the door mid-morning to cheer a pair of friends who ran in the Portland Marathon today. And then we biked over to the grocery store for provisioning. We got to soak up some of the last sun of the season before Portland turns rainy for 6 months. We kinda bopped along on our bikes rather than riding arrow-straight with purpose-driven pedaling to our destination.

Dev had to work for a little while this afternoon and I spent a few hours on stripping paint off of cabinet doors (in between other chores like mowing the lawn). And now we are getting ready to have friends over for an informal dinner of mediteranean chicken and assorted other goodies.

When I type it all up, it sounds like a lot. But this weekend just flowed along without hurry or intensity. A nice end to the summer season.

Friday, September 29, 2006

All quiet on the David front

I've been quiet this last week because I've been busy. -grin-

My partner in crime and fellow service tech, Jason Wolford, had his last day on Friday of last week. He's going to Seattle, or someplace known as "not here." I know that his girl, Lucy, scored a great gig in Seattle. A dream job even. That does not mean that he gets to pull up stakes and follow her (does it?). Especially when we were just getting on a heavy roll here at Macforce. I mean we were really running strong. But he gave all that up. -sigh-

This week has been busy at work. My boss Sean has been helping out and carrying a lot of the load with me. And, I might add, in addition to his regular set of job duties (if I were feeling charitable). -grin- But I've still had to keep my head down and march double time to keep up.

And then I was gone all last weekend with no internet access. Yay! Of course that limited my ability to post news and happenings.

And then there've been household chores to do (I had to pay for the weekend off from chores somehow!).

And I'm going through a friend's sonnets and editing them for him. Maybe he'll do me the honor of letting me post his work here for perusal. Bobby did a good job crafting them and I'd like it if he showed them off a little bit.

So that's that. More soon.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I thinned out the photos from last weekend. I tried to reduce the number of pics so that the non-climbers wouldn't get bored, but I tried to leave enough images to give a sense of flow between shots.

Tell me if I missed the mark. And enjoy the pictures.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Outstanding weekend

I spent the weekend camping and rock climbing with my friends Jon, Nate and Sue out at Smith Rock State Park. I did some sport (or bolted) climbing for the first time ever this weekend. And I spent some time on some slightly harder routes than I have tried climbing before. As usual, the rock humbled me on more than one occasion, but the effort paid off many times over. I've posted pictures, though only a few are of me *and* I went a little crazy on the flip-book style sequence for some of the pictures.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Yay! Activist Judges!

Turns out that another Judge has denied the Bush Administration its preference in handling important national matters. This time a judge reinstated Clinton era roadless rules for National Forest areas. Hopefully this judgement will stand and keep our national treasures from being logged and mined into oblivion.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

How is this still ok?

Virginia Senator Allen (of the "Macaca" comment fame) has said some dismaying things in the last few days, as per article all over the blogoshpere. But this link to kos's posting of the the Council for Concerned Conservatives (or KKK's) list of principles really scares me.

I really don't know how it is okay for one of our congressmen to seek out a picture with the leaders of a group who adhere to backwards sentiments like this:

"We also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the European-American people through so-called "affirmative action" and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the European-American heritage, including the heritage of the Southern people, and to force the integration of the races [...]"

Once again, I hope Allen fries. I hope he and all his ilk fry.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend?

This chart over at Daily Kos poses an interesting question; are our "allies" really our allies? Or are they like the enabling spouse of an alcoholic bully, constantly telling us how we really are a good person. That they still love us even if we drank too much and acted the ass last night. That the foreigner down the street provoked us and deserved what he got.

I'm gonna stop that analogy before it gets *too* creepy.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Hidden away

Nate and Sue took me out climbing Sunday (yesterday) to a little crag hidden away and not yet well known in the portland area. (Don't ask me for directions - they swore me to secrecy.)

Nate and Sue, their friends Aaron and Bill, and I all tromped down to this set of rocks that looks just marvelous. I only climbed three routes the whole day. The first route was apparently rated a 5.10b - and I only climb 5.9 right now. But Sue was very patient with me; she belayed me, yelled encouragement and provided great advice. I reached the anchors after what seemed like an eternity, but I *did* reach them.

I don't remember what the second route ranks, but I did get about two thirds of the way up before a slightly overhung arete stymied me. I threw myself at that section 18 times and just could not get past the bulge. I've replayed it in my head a lot in the last day and I look forward to trying that section again.

My last route of the day weighed in at a 5.4. It certainly felt a lot scarier than 5.4 and the top of the route had a strangely set up top out arrangement. Once at the top of the route, the climber needs to place an anchor in a crack system. Then the climber moves up a short and easy overhang onto a "plank" of stone. The climber then needs to edge left past a large pine tree and then has a nice large ledge with two bolted anchors in the wall. So Nate went up first, set the protection and got to the anchors.

He then belayed me from the top of the route. I apparently forgot everything I know about climbing gracefully on the way up. I never came close to falling or losing my grip, but I certainly did not climb with grace or precision. Then we rappelled down to the base and packed up and tromped on back out to the car.

I spent a lot of time taking pictures of everyone else climbing. I forgot to hand off the camera to someone else when my turn to climb rolled around. Thus, no pictures of me climbing. Next time.

I'm heading to Smith Rock this coming weekend to do some climbing, so I'll try to get some good shots of the landscape and of me climbing. I promise. To try.


Friday, September 15, 2006

Fun little toy

Here's a fun little web toy that my boss forwarded to all of us: Mr Picassohead

It's great working for a company that really loves even the frivolous applications of technology.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I shoulda watched this one first

Unbelievable. Truly. Literally. I don't believe a single word Bush says in this clip.

But it's soooooo depressing because there are many Americans who think that he is talking sense and doing the right thing.

I really, really should've watched the Olbermann piece after this one.

Truer words never....

This scathing editorial by Keith Olbermann puts in consice and riveting terms every important indictment of the moral and ideological bankruptcy of the Bush Administration in its misuse of 9/11. Mr Olbermann is shaping up to be one of the most important shining stars of the editorial apparatus of the so-called Main Stream Media.

Watch the video.

Pass it on

To every one you know.

Jon Stewart Quote of the Day

Say what you will about his speech, his presidency is now 15 minutes shorter.
-Stewart commenting on Bush's brief speech to the public on Monday night

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five years ago today

Five years ago today was the first day that my lovely wife and I said those three words "I love you" to each other. We were on the phone at mid-morning; she was in Los Angeles and I was in Cupertino (near San Francisco). And as we said good-bye "I love you" slipped out on my end, followed by the same words on hers. The words surprised both of us (we had only been dating for 3 months at the time). Dev had to go but said we'd talk about it later.

She was right, five years later we still talk about it.
Happy anniversary, baby.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Home improvement Sunday

Our Sunday did not prove as interesting as our Saturday, but we did get a lot done. Dev ran lots of chores. And I discovered why people will spend $2000 on new cabinets and installation instead of refinishing their old ones. The math is simple: paint is *much* harder to remove from a surface than to add to a surface.

That's right! I got to strip the paint from a couple of kitchen cabinet doors today. Five decades of paint takes more than a few minutes and a la-de-da to strip off. I used some paint stripper, a power sander, a jackhammer and a "bunker buster" cluster bomb. I think the jackhammer *actually* managed to knock the paint off, but I was so tired of the whole process by that point that I threw the bomb in out of sheer frustration.

Hope you all had a good weekend too!

She rocks

Here is photographic evidence of Devon topping out on her first ever rock climb. She did great. She got to the top once and then repeated the feat a few minutes later.

We went back out to Bulo Point this weekend and took Nate and Sue with us. They provided the gear and expertise and we provided the transportation. We actually got some pictures at the crag this time, though most of the actual action and climbing shots feature Nate and Sue. That works better anyway, because they climb with a great deal more grace than Dev and I. -grin-

Enjoy the pictures!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Better fire?

"Apple has issued a recall on several models of Mac laptops because the battery can overheat and catch fire. Experts say a Mac fire is just like a PC fire, except it's more hip and condescending."
---Conan O'Brien

Thursday, September 07, 2006

ABC's ongoing rightwing lovefest

And yet more on the unfolding drama concerning ABC's 9/11 mockumentary.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Why tell the truth when legend is so much easier

Apparently ABC will air a docudrama on 9/11 that portrays the destruction of the twin towers as President Clinton's fault. This must be like that story that the Clintons and their staff ransacked the White House when they left office. Except to combat this falsehood there's a high profile analyst in Roger Cressy who points out that Clinton never had a clear shot at Osama.


Monday, September 04, 2006

She said it!

Came across an good diary on DailyKos the other day about Libertarianism. I'd been uncomfortable with Libertarianism for a while even though many of the end points of their agenda seem to mesh with a progressive agenda. She kinda sums up why the ideology of legislation matters. A good think piece, for me anyway.

No climbing pics yet

I still don't have photos from this weekend so I'll just have to post two new pictures of Bojangles.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Bulo Point Climbing

Dev and I just got home from an overnight camping trip to the Mt Hood National Forest. We camped at Eightmile Crossing Campground with a few friends and fellow rock climbers (Tom and Nat and Tasha and Tracy and Christy) and all of the dogs. And while we camped at Eightmile Crossing, we drove a few miles away into the forest to the little rocky crag of Bulo Point.

For such a smallish area, Bulo Point has a nice variety of climb styles and difficulties. The beginners like Tasha and I had a number of easy and moderate routes to try. And the more advanced climbers (everyone else listed above) could choose from a nice variety of styles and difficulties.

We spent yesterday climbing the upper portion of the crag. Today we spent more time in the lower portion of climbing area. Tom and Tracy got to run up a few routes in "traditional" style (placing their own anchors as opposed to using bolts pre-drilled into the rocks). And we all stopped other activities and watched Nat make a dramatic run up a difficult (5.10) route. And he did not disappoint. He had a few moments of drama at the very top and pulled through it and we all cheered him on.

I'm wiped out, so I'm not going to write a lot more. But have a great Labor Day. Dev and I will talk to you soon.

Oh, and I'll post pictures as soon as I get them from our campmates - we forgot our camera. -sigh-

Friday, September 01, 2006

He only needs sixty seconds

The really sad part about this article at The Onion (America's Finest News Source) is that I can really see Bushie-boy saying those things.

My favorite quote:
"I just—Christ, I just need a goddamn minute, you know?"

A little bit of Friday fun before a long weekend away from the computer.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

And on the depressing news front

This article about Senator Allen on Daily Kos shows how little progress has been made since, I dunno, *ever* on the racism front in America. I followed some of the side conversations and comment threads on the various stories; the vile hatred and ignorance contained in some of the comments turns my stomach and makes me weep for our future.

I hope Senator Allen and his ilk fry. I hope they lose everything to someone smarter and more tolerant than themselves. I hope their hatred and sneering disrespect for difference earns them a penury and poverty in their financial/material life to match that of their spiritual life.

Wild eyed bandit

On my way to the climbing gym at way-to-early-to-have-no-coffee AM this morning, I saw a raccoon. Not just a glimpse or a flash. I got to watch him trundle along and then disappear after about 20 seconds. He's been eating well, too. Big boy.

I know that raccoons are vermin animals in urban areas, but I still think it's cool to see wildlife even in the city.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Updated my links

Updated the links in the sidebar to reflect the pages I visit on a regular basis.
(And yes, I'm *still* reading American Theocracy).

New online photo toy

So my sister-in-law introduced me to a new online photo album site: Picasa Web Albums

I've played around with Flickr and I like it's interface. But it has a monthly upload limit to the tune of 20 MB. So that really limits how many pictures I can post in a given month. But Flickr has no limit on the total data you keep on their server - so you never have to remove an album to make way for a new one.

Picasa Web Albums has no monthly upload limit. They do have a total data limit of 250 MB on their server (for a free account). Of course, photos optimized for web access are pretty small, so that 's still a lot of photos.

Here's me on Picasa Web Albums.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Wow, that's a little scary

I'm so glad I don't live near yellow jacket country anymore.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Too much going on

Sorry about the lack of recent posts. Been busy. Found two new rock climbing partners, so I've been spending more time at the climbing gym (and more on real rock soon during the week and on the weekends). And our neighbors and friends Sara Ryan and Terry Allen got married up at Cooper Spur on Mount Hood last weekend (congrats guys!). And I've reconnected with a couple of old high school friends recently. And Dev and I are in the middle of 5 billion home improvement projects.

And really, it's summer; who wants to spend more time than necessary in front of the computer in the summer.

But I promise I'll try to post more often. I even have some good political diatribes brewing. -grin-

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Nailed on the Bridge Pedal

Dev and I rode the 8 bridge route (out of a possible 10 bridge route) on the 11th Annual Providence Bridge Pedal. It was only our second year to ride in it, and the organizers did a phenomenal job of fixing last year's flaws. They managed to reduce the bottlenecks to one (from about 4 last year) AND they managed to keep their rest stops well stocked with food and drink (they ran out last year because of record attendance). And they managed to order perfect weather - sunny, light breeze and about 88 degrees faranheit.

But, as you all know, there has to be a hitch if Devon and I tried to attend an event.

First mistake, we only allowed an hour time to get ready. Even without showers (come on, it's an *athletic* event), that time frame turns into a pretty close shave with a real breakfast, bike checks, stretching and dog maintenance. So until we actually made it out the door and started pedaling, Devon was pretty cranky.

Then it was my turn.

Literally two blocks from the house I pick up a nail in my rear tire. A fence nail. And it didn't just poke through the tread and clip a small piece of my inner-tube. No. This nail tore through the tread, and then ripped sideways through my sidewall! So it was my turn to be grumpy. I had a spare tube, so I swapped out the tubes, aired the tire up and we loaded up the bikes in the truck and raced down to the start line and managed to finish the Bridge Pedal and have a good time doing it.

As a quick aside, am I the only person who demolishes bicycle tires on a REGULAR BASIS? I mean, I've chewed up a tire every six months minimum. Not that I really think that's a lot for the mileage I run. Still. It seems excessive to me.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Frankenbike gets a new cassette - no not music!

Scene: Monday morning commute

Set up: Bike in 3rd sprocket in back, 2nd chain ring on front.
David stands on the pedals to start moving from an intersection.

Bike: *pop* *pop* *pop pop*

David: -expletive-

The pair slows for another stop, then accelerates

Bike: *pop* *pop* *pop pop*

David: -double expletive-

End Scene

Scene: Macforce Parking Lot

Set up: David is bentover adjusting the cable tension nut on the rear gear shift.
After each adjustment he tests to see if it works better.

Bike: *pop* *pop* *pop pop*

David: -expletive- -expletive- stupid -double expletive-

End Scene

Scene: River City Bikes

Setup: David is speaking with bike mechanic about the problem with Frankenbike.

Mechanic: You need a new cassette (set of gears on the rear wheel).

David: -sigh-

End Scene

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Frankenbike rises

So I just got my Volpe back from the bike shop. From a tune up.

And a fork replacement.

And a chain replacement.

And a wheel replacement.

Seems like the last 19 months haven't been kind to my bicycle. I took the bike to River City bikes for a tune up - it's been over a year since my last one. First thing the mechanic says is that my fork is bent and I need a new one.

I know when that happened. I just didn't know that it had wrecked my fork. About two months after I bought the bike I took it out for a training ride. I was approaching an intersection with a stoplight and was moving quickly. A pickup going the other way decided that he needed to beat me through the light and turned left in front of me.

I did not grab enough brake and bagged into the side of his pickup. We're both stopped. I'm okay and he's okay. And the bike needs the handlebars straightened, but seems okay otherwise. Guess not.

The mechanic kindly demonstrates the difference between a proper fork and my fork using a new model Volpe. OK. So I'm getting a new fork. At least they're comping the labor since I have it in for a tune up. So I sign the paperwork, hand over my steed, and go back to work.

That was Wednesday. Thursday I get a call from the bike shop. My chain is worn out. I already knew that it was close to it's death rattle, I just hadn't made the preparations. So fine. Apparently my rear wheel has some chewed up spokes too.


So I get a new wheel too. Which does not color match my front wheel. And my new front fork - chrome - doesn't match the rest of the bike either. So now my bike has indivduality. I'll be able to pick it out in a crowd.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Into the wild...

Or not so much. Dev and I just returned from a weekend camput with our neighbors Terry and Sara in the Diamond Mill OHV area in the Tillamook State Forest. We camped about 3 miles in, on the less popular section of off-highway vehicle road (read: dirt bikes and ATVs) that winds it's way through the state forest. So the day stayed mostly quiet and we felt like we were pretty remote. (Cheers to Jake and Sarah and Warren and Toni for finding this really awesome spot last year.)

We had all five of the dogs (our three plus Conner and Lily) and lots and lots of food.We hiked. And laid around. And read. And cooked. Terry took me rock-hopping down the river which was a lot of fun. And we found a couple of really good swimming holes for future visits.

Aside from a little rain this morning and little less that optimal sun yesterday, the camping was quite satisfactory.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Someone else likes my bike!

Funny how little things can give you a lasting grin.

I went to a meeting at the Portland Building hosted by the Portland City Transportation Department last night. The Department needs volunteers to do bike traffic counts during peak traffic times on Portland's bikeways so that they can show usage numbers and justify creating more bikeways. A good cause and one for which I'm happy to volunteer.

Anyway, I came out of the meeting and was unlocking my bike. And the guy who had unlocked his bike (locked up right next to mine) commented "Nice bike." Now, he had a Bianchi Velocity that was lighter and faster. He liked mine because of the brazons that allow for mounting luggage racks and fenders. We chatted al ittle bit about different bikes and how you really can't have too many bikes. He went his way and I went mine, but his comment had me grinning for few minutes thinking about "greener grass."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Stand Down!

So paintball worked us over. The mercury hit mid 90's with a sweltering 80 something percent humidity. I felt like I had gone home to Texas to play the game. But all ten of us valiantly soldiered on and sacrificed so we could hurl little plastic pellets of dayglo paint at 200 mph at each other.

And it was worth every drop of sweat.

Splat Action Paintball has many many acres of mock-combat fun. They have some forest and thicket fighting areas. They have a place called the village with structures for cover and crossfire. They even have a fort/fortification for a game named Attack and Defend.

The defenders start out inside the fort which has 360 dgrees of walls and netting (which stymies direct hits from paint balls) and two towers (for spotting and sniping). However, the defenders cannot leave the fort at all during the course of their first life. The attackers can attack from any direction. And when they are killed, the dead attacker must trudge back to base to "respawn" and then march back in to rejoin the fray (so the attacking force never truly loses).

Here's kicker. When a defender dies, he doesn't leave the game. Instead, the defender goes to the attacking team's home base and comes back to life and joins the attacking force. So as the deaths mount inside the fortress, the press of the assault becomes heavier. The increasingly desperate situation of the defenders adds significant tension to this game and heightens the anxiety level of the scenario.

We (all ten of us) were soaked with sweat and sporting multiple welts from the paintballs by the end of the day (though Jake won the "most number of welts sustained in a single volley" award - he got hit by 9 paintballs at one time in the speed round).

Friday, July 21, 2006

Line up, Soldier!

Tomorrow is paintball.
Tomorrow is the first time I play paintball.
Tomorrow should be fun.

Even with the record heat here in the great northwest - projected to hit a hundred degrees or higher.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Council Crest Hike

Dev and I took Cowboy out on Saturday for a shortish 3.8 mile hike to the top of Council Crest in the west hills of Portland. The shady trail took us through some pretty gorgeous canyonland to the highest point in Portland. The day was crystal so we could see Mt Hood, Mt St Helens, Mt Adams, and (a big surprise to me) Mt Ranier!

I'll have pictures posted later today or tomorrow.

See "The Matador"

Really. That's all. See The Matador

Monday, July 10, 2006

Pick(axe) of the litter

Sometimes it really is the little things.

Devon and I built some garden boxes on the left side (as you face the front) of the house yesterday. We had to break up the turf over on that side. and then level it. Then build the boxes. Then fill them with bricks and dirt.

Anyway, I get ahead of myself.

I have a few garden tools, but it turns out that I don't have a mattock. And a shovel just could not efficiently break up the sod in the yard. So we had to go buy a pick yesterday. Now, I haven't used a pick since I was a teenager. I had forgotten exactly how much fun the heft of those tools provides.

"AHHHH!!!!! My foot! My foot!"

Just kidding!
I guess I'm trying to say I like my new toy.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Beating a dead man's chest

Dev and I saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest tonight.

Noisy. Fun action. Good special effects. And Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.
Not enough Caqptain Jack for my taste, but I love the character and Depp's interpretation. -grin-

If you liked the first one, you'll like this one. We enjoyerd it immensely.


We went to a 5 PM show. Don't do this unless you like kids kicking the back of your seat, pulling your hair and talking for 90 minutes of a two hour movie. Like the little blond brat behind Dev.

So go see the movie. After 8 PM. At a movie theater that serves alcohol. (Just in case).

Friday, July 07, 2006

Whale Watching in Victoria

Dev and I went whale watching in Victoria. We originally signed up for a tour with Eagle Wing Tours on some pretty cool looking speed boats. They, unfortunately, did not have enough people sign up that mornign to go out on the tour - something about gas porices being too high or something. They referred us to another company named Springtide Tours. Now, Springtide uses Zodiac Boats.


The tour price was almost worth it to ride in those boats for 3 hours. Our skipper Mike said that we hit about 40 knots on the way back to dock. Which translates to about 45 mph. Which is pretty zippy on choppy bay waters.

Like I said: Dang!

Did I say that?

Did I say I was going to post stories about the honeymoon? -sigh-
Crazy week. I'll start cranking out some words.

Oh, and our wedding photographer Michelle Burke has a page here where you can view and order pictures from our wedding.
Go to the drop down menu and look for Devon & David
Our password is Apple

Here's Dev's comments:
"Just a quick thank you to everyone for making our wedding day such a special occasion. It was great to see everyone that made it and we hope you had as much fun as we did. For those who couldn't be here, we hope to see you soon. Below is the link to the website with all the pictures. I'll warn you now...there are a lot of them!

Feel free to browse if you're interested. You can also order pictures from this site along with a 5" x 5" coffee table book with up to 20 pictures. The books are pretty cool if you're looking to order more than just a few pictures."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Wedding Pictures are up

At least the wedding pictures from our camera. I also have pics from the hike the day before AND the hike with my groomsmen (a wicked evil hike inadvertently labeled "moderate"). And pics from the reception. And from the fun stuff on the honeymoon.

You can see them here.

Rob has his pics up here.

Ann Marie has her pics posted here.

If anyone else has some photos of the wedding, send me the link and I'll post it. Or put the url in a comment on this post.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Funny thing happened on the way to Canada...

We (Devon and I) took a right turn on Welches Road in Welches, Oregon and had a wedding. With mountains. And family members. A cake. And golf carts. Thus the hiatus in my writing (though if I were a *truly dedicated* narcissist, I would have found a way to have internet access in order to publish tales of our journey).

We should have pictures of the festivities and links to pictures and even more picture posted as the week progresses. We might even get some pictures and stories about the honeymoon posted.

To all of you who made it to the wedding - thanks again for coming and helping us have the best time of our lives!


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sing me a song

Thank you to everyone who came out to The Alibi tiki lounge and karaoke bar last night for my impromptu bachelor celebration. Special thanks to Jamie who belted out an amazing rendition of "Let's Get It On" when he stepped up to the karaoke mike.

And thanks to everyone for not leaving when I mangled "Keep Your Hands to Yourself" - you guys really should have walked out so you didn't have to be seen with me after that monstrosity. *big grin*

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

All the Pretty Rocks

I returned from my first real, honest-to-God, genuine rock-climbing trip last night. My good buddy Nate Tack took me out to Smith Rock. We arrived on Sunday afternoon, pitched camp quickly and then hiked over to rock faces to run a route or two prior to sunset. Nate ran up Cinnamon Slab on a lead climb and threw down a top-of-route belay for me. I performed a gully scramble to about the two thirds point of the route and then struggled up the route proper rest of the way.

Nate had been talking to two guys up there who were waiting to rappel down (they had climbed some of the backside routes and then scrambled over Asterisk Pass). We rappelled down and strolled over to Five Gallon Buckets. Nate topped out the route in short order and then daylight started failing quickly. We admired the purple clouds and rock faces to the south of us brightly lit by the setting sun. Then we hightailed it back to camp

Yesterday (Monday 6/19) we headed back out to the wall and started looking for easier routes (Nate was paying deference to my limited climbing skills). We skipped Five Gallon Buckets because a couple of climbers had already staked it out. We ran up a route named Purple Headed Warrior (according to the climbers next to us on "Phone Call from Satan"). Then Nate ran up another route that I don't have the name for (it's the second route to the left of Purple Headed Warrior), and it was "spicy" enough that I took a pass on the climb. He descended and we continued to the left and staked out a route that Nate swore started "kind of hard, but then gets real easy.

Never believe Nate.
He's a liar.

After he top-roped the route for me, I spent a long time struggling with the first twenty feet of the route. "Kind of hard" does not bear any resemblance to that section of rock face; much like "kind of pretty" doesn't descride Angelina Jolie very well. Once past the nasty start, the route did ease up and provide lots of positive holds. I finished the route, rested briefly at the top, dropped down to the ground on rappel and then we started looking for a good lunch spot.

I'll finish the trip report in a little while. Wedding prearations await my non-leisure.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ask for Advice Ninja-style

Digitalfilmaker over at Youtube has a series titled Ask a Ninja.

Watch them and laugh.

Friday, June 09, 2006

One of the most awesome...

of awesome bad ideas is right here

Seven days of eating nothing but Monkey Chow. Complete with a day by day diary. And video diary. Reading descriptions of how the monkey chow tastes and goes down does absolutely no justice to the reality.

Two of my favorite lines:
My theory is that monkeys are almost people, so monkey food is almost people food
No, neither Leno nor Letterman have contacted me. Not sure I would go anyway - I hate that airplane food.

Congratulations to Adam for finishing the project!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Off Leash

Devon and I watched Unleashed last night. I knew I'd enjoy the movie from the outset; it plays to all my biases. I didn't expect how much the movie would draw me in. Jet Li handles his character superbly and really kind of surprised me with the depth that he gave to what could be a pretty thin character premise. The lighting, framing and cinematography becomes its own character through the movie; the camera work sets so much mood and adds so much information to the story that it all but speaks lines of dialogue. While I thought the denoument of the movie let me down, I genuinely liked the movie.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Is that really a sin?

Dev and I watched Derailed last night. The movie served it's purpose well enough but seemed thoroughly uninspired and rote. The good guy everyman was the good guy everyman, the bad guy was the bad guy, the twist came at you straight on. Not bad cinema really, but not a *good* movier either. I understand why the reviewers did not care for it so much.

We know not the havoc we wreak...

One of our family friends gave Devon and I the combination espresso/coffee maker for which we registered. As if I need the capability of creating hyper-caffienated beverages at home. We should have registered for a crowbar too. That way Devon will be able to pry me off of the ceiling.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Busy Weekend

Dev and I had a fully packed weekend. We finished converting our chain link fence into a more rustic cedar plank privacy fence. I went to a Ministry concert. We took in X-Men: The Last Stand at our local theater. I finished "The World is Flat" by Thomas Friedman. We finished off the Firefly TV Series DVD set and watched the movie Serenity. I started reading Manhunt: The 12 Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. And finally, Devon got whupped by her allergies.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Breaking the Code

Devon and I saw The DaVinci Code today. The movie didn't live up to the negative expectations that I'd formed for it. The pacing moved nicely, the characters developed as much as any cinema figures do and the story had some nice touches (most of which I'd been introduced to in "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" and Foucault's Pendulum). I did not feel like the movie wasted my time and ultimately that is some of the highest praise for any movie.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

New fence on the way

Multnomah county issued our refund for property taxes (apparently our mortgage company pays those for us - who knew!) We can now proceed with the third and final stage of the Neves-Miller Neighbor Exclusion Act of 2006.

We get to build the last and longest section of our fence now.

Hope Springs Eternal

Truthout has some great articles here and here about a supposed serving of indictments on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice to Rove's attorneys. No mention of it in the mainstream media yet.

Hope springs eternal.

I Saw it as in a Dream

For those of you who have not seen it, go to Crooks and Liars and watch Al Gore's intro to Saturday Night Live for May 13th.

Sit back, wait for it to load and enjoy the fantasy.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Long lost friends part duex

Our friend Lawrence Fife (seen here in the blue shirt and next to Dev) just announced his own blog. Dev and I hadn't heard from him in a good long time. Turns out he moved to Montreal. He's been talking about getting up north for a couple of years; I'm glad to see he finally took the dive.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Looking forward

My neighbor Sara encouraged me to go to a Town Hall meeting Saturday before last (that's April 29th for those of you keeping score at home). Envision Oregon organized the meeting as a chance for citizens from everywhere in Oregon to weigh in on the direction for the state. The diversity of the attendants and the unanimity of goals surprised me.
Envision Oregon is hosting a whole series of these meetings; if you live in the state then check out the schedule and register for one of the meetings. Worst case scenario, you lose 3 hours.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Long lost friends

Devon and I got to see Damon this weekend. He came up to Portland to set up a portable dance floor for a breakdance competition sponsored in part by Red Bull. He came over and spent most of the day with us on Saturday. And how did we repay him for coming to see us?

We asked him to help us build a gate.
Aren't we great friends?

Well, after building the gate and then rushing back to the event site (at PSU), Damon joined us for a really good sushi dinner at Mio Sushi off the trendy NW 23rd Street shopping district.

Thanks for coming Damon! We promise not to make you work on structures the next time you visit!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Did I say the Right had no sense of irony?

Stephen Colbert spoke last night at the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. I really don't know how a media and PR machine as saavy as the Bushies could have made this kind of error. The only thing I can visualize is a conversation that goes like this:

Bushie #1: Who will we get as the last speaker for the Correspondents' Dinner?

Bushie #2: How about Stephen Colbert? He's like Bill O'Reilly except he's funny!

Bushie #1: Done!

I mean, did these guys ever watch Colbert's show? Or did they think that Stephen Colbert did silly things like the "Threat Down" that listed "Bears" as one of the top five threats to America every week in order to mock the scare tactics of the Left?

Or maybe when Colbert said "Mr. President, it's time to hire the folks who've never let you down. Limbaugh at Health and Human Services, Hannity at State. Then, give Rummy the Medal of Freedom and install Bill O'Reilly as Secdef. Only problem--you might find yourself invading Vermont." They've had it coming!" they thought he mocked the Left for their accusations of cronyism (quote courtesy of The Colbert Nation).


But the single best thing about Colbert's performance in front of those gathered media representatives, and the high officials of the Bush regime, and the President himself is the fact that he did not flinch. He spoke with the same deep irony fueled by the same heartfelt rage that he displays every night on his television show. He stood six feet from the President and spoke his mind, if not plainly, then without altering his standard tone or curbing the acid burn of his comments. Stephen Colbert will likely never be invited back to another White House function, but at least he walked in and walked out of that hall like a man.

Building fences

Dev and I spent most of Sunday afternoon building our first wood fence ever. We had to dig up a tree stump that's been bugging me since we moved in (but which I had been too lazy to bother with until now). Then I broke a brand new pair of post hole diggers at the end of excavating the second fence post hole (sigh). We learned to mix concrete. After all that, the process of actually hammering the boards to the fence posts and cross members was the easiest part. Finally Dev finished it up with a nice red weather-proofing stain.

Friday, April 28, 2006

The right has no sense of irony

Rush Limbaugh turned himself in on drug charges yesterday in Florida. More precisely, he went to the D.A.'s office on felony charges of fraud in obtaining prescription drugs. Of course he seems to have no problem pleading out drug treatment in exchange for having the charges dropped.

After years of "zero tolerance" drug prosecution evangelism.

I guess faking illness or lying to obtain prescription drugs makes someone less of a scumbag than someone buying a dimebag of marijuana.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Pat Moynihan quote of the day

Pat Moynihan reality rule: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."


This article has some good information about pending changes to the way that data travels over the pipes that feed the internet. has more information and a petition that you can sign that will be delivered to your congress-people. Or you can write your congress person. Take the 5 minutes to do it - the free flow of information created the foundation for everything that makes the internet useful.


Friday, April 21, 2006

Bojangles the camera hog

What can I say about this picture that isn't self evident?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Coquette vs Cokehead

I just thought I'd follow up for funny-man Jason.

A woman who makes teasing sexual or romantic overtures; a flirt.

n. Slang
A heavy user of cocaine.

(By the way, who else thinks it's make-me-cry kind of funny that has a definition for cokehead?)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Oh, did I forget to mention

That Devon saved another dog yesterday?

Yup she (and a group of people) got a dog who had been hit by a car to the doggie hospital. I'll have her relate the whole story later for your tearful entertainment, but as of this morning the hospital said the dog was resting comfortably (as in still alive).

Coworkers make or break a job

This is Joe. Joe is one of those coworkers who makes a job worthwhile.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Custom drinks menu

Devon had her bridal shower on Saturday and she (and the girls and Jake) had a really good time. I'll probably have Dev write up a short summary of events, but I had to post the drinks list for the evening. The theme was "Devon's Dreams and Cocktails" with Julie's house done up as a cocktail lounge. And here is the drink menu the hosts made:

The North Portland
Cranberry, Lime Juice and Vodka

Take a Hiketini
Apple Juice, Citrus and Vodka

Pina Chihuahua
Pomegranate Juice, Cane Sugar and Vodka

Sex on My Bike
Blueberry Juice, Cane Sugar and Vodka

Mutt Dive
Vodka and Club Soda

Bloody Macintosh
Red Wine - Cabernet or Shiraz

Long Way from LA
White Wine - Chardonnay

Miller Time
Lite Beer

Non-Alcoholic Beer

Stupid stupid Monday

It just figures that my back tire picks up a nice 1/4 inch long shard of glass on the way in to work this morning.

In the rain.

After I just replaced the inner tube with a brand new one.

I'm glad to know that Monday still does his job with vigor and enthusiasm.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

One of the top movies of all time

Seven might honestly sit amongst the top movies ever produced by Hollywood. I watched it for the umpteenth time last night and this morning and every time I watch the film I'm captivated.

Friend of a friend

Co-worker and friend Mike Morgan has started his own site recently: ByteMike
He's using RapidWeaver to produce the site. He seems to like the program well enough but noted that the templates are a little tricky to modify. And he has to publish the page from his computer, he can't publish from anywhere (which means RapidWeaver doesn't really solve either of the problems that caused me to leave iWeb behind).

So check out his webpage and let him know what you think. (Or tell me and I'll forget to relay it to him).

Respect for the rule of law

Salon magazine posted an article about Tom DeLay that you will have to read to believe. Sheer ridiculousness.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Sometimes a flat is a flat

I've been riding a flat tire for a week.

Devon and I rode our bikes to the Oregon Zoo last Sunday and then rode them back home and had a really good time. And Monday morning I went to the garage to get on my bike to go to work and found that the rear tire had low pressure. So I added air to the tire and rode my bike to work. The work day finished and I went outside to ride home and found that the same tire had very low pressure again. So I pumped air into the tire using the bicycle pump that I keep at work for just these sorts of situations. And I rode home. And I pulled the inner tube out and tried to find the leak; I found a shard of glass but no hole in the inner tube. Twenty minutes later, no leak had been found.

No problem I thought, I'll just install my spare tube. But no, my spare tube turned out to a spare tube for Dev's mountain bike.


So I added pressure to the tire every morning and every evening this last week. And I got back and forth just fine, though with a little added inconveneince. I pulled the tube out of the tire today and started looking for the leak and finally found it after I overinflated the tube: one of the patches I had used months ago to patch the tire had an itty bitty leak right at it's edge. I didn't feel like placing a repair patch on top of a repair patch (diminishing returns and all that) so I finally ponied up and bought two new inner tubes at the local bike shop in St Johns.

Just like I should have on Monday.
Sometimes a flat is a flat and there's no reason to delay the inevitable.

Friday, April 07, 2006

No more Chrome Bag

I sold my Chrome Bags Citizen messenger bag last night. I loved it. Super tough and waterproof. Cool looking. But I found that I can't carry a real load in the bar or my shoulder starts to hurt something fierce. I can carry the loaded bag fine on my bike, but when I start to walk around I get about 10 minutes of grace before the throbbing starts.

And the bag just wasn't quite large enough. I always felt that I needed just a little more space. And given the pain induced by a fully loaded bag, I'm lucky that I didn't get a larger bag. Which could carry more stuff. Which could cause more pain.

So I'm using panniers almost exclusively until I decide if I want a backpack or not. Truly a rough life. -grin-

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me

Yes, yes, 34 years ago I decided to grace the planet with my presence.

Also, happy anniversary to my parents. They have lasted 36 years together, which is inspiring to all of us lesser mortals. I hope they last another 36!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Spring forward...really?!

Yesterday started well enough.

Dev and I got to sleep a little late and kind of moseyed through breakfast and walking the dogs. Then we decided to try a new bicycle ride out to the Oregon Zoo. The route only spans 11 and 1/2 miles, but the last 3 miles is a steady (and sometimes steep) climb. I felt like the climb up Fairview went rather well, but Dev wants to try going out along Sherwood next time. We arrived at the zoo with only a little rain and wandered through the primate house. The chimpanzees seems to like hanging out inside to avoid the looming clouds, but the rest of the gang seemed pretty evenly split between outside and in. After some coffee and strolling around, we climbed back onto the bicycles and rode the long downhill home (which, of course, is the best part of a long climb - screaming downhill back the way you came!) We rolled back into the house at about 2 P.M.

Or, at least, we thought it was 2 P.M.

We then proceeded to immediately move in high gear because we had forgotten to change the clocks in the house for Daylight Saving Time. We made it to our afternoon ballroom dance lesson at Ballroom Parkrose on time and learned a really fun part of the Rhumba. And we got to see at least two of our classmates roll in almost an hour late. Like we almost did.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Fun Sunday Dog Picture

Our neighbor's Catahoula, Lily, loves to burrow and dig and get to places that she should not. Terry had just finished planking the new fence between our yards, but he hadn't finished laying paving stones on the ground. The picture shows Lily shows digging a trench under the fence and then doing her best Steve McQueen impersonation. Moxie and Bojangles valiantly defended our yard, but soon gave way under the superior firepower of the opposition.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Overheard at Sushi

"It's like civil war re-enactment for gays."

A description of celebrity drag queen competitions, where men dress up like famous singers or performers and lip sync or karaoke to the appropriate music.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Geography lesson

Apparently I was wrong about the honeymoon destination. Dev pointed out that we are going to Victoria on Vancouver Island and NOT the city of Vancouver. My apologies to the citizens of Vancouver for getting their hopes up for seeing us this summer. I promise that we'll visit there next time we go north.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A whole lot of Canada

Dev and I plan to spend a week after our wedding in Canada. And hoo-boy is there a lot of that north country north of our country. We're trying to narrow our trip down to two places to spend the week and man is there a lot of space from which to choose.

The front runners right now include Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, and Vancouver (the city). Both have lots of fun things to do. Horseback riding. Beaches. Spelunking.



A glorious day to ride

Another beautiful day to ride my bike into work. Perfect temperature. Great breeze. Nice sun. Yup, it was a nice day to ride in.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Unintended consequences of law

Or is that backwards?

According to a recent article in The Oregonian, state and local government agencies might have a harder time implementing Measure 37 than anyone thought. And by anyone I mean, of course, everyone who voted in favor of the Measure. The drafters and supporters of Measure 37 purported to restore balance to property right in Oregon. Development rules are very strict in many places in the state and, the argument goes, these strictures unfairly steal property value from property owners. Measure 37 restores the land-use rights attached to property at the time of purchase to the owner of the land.

For example, fifty (50) years ago I buy some farmland. At the time I could conceivably build anything I wanted - a school, a factory, a housing development. Then ten (10) years ago the local government enacts some zoning that restricts my land use to say, farming. Measure 37 rolls back the regulatory clock to fifty (50) years ago for me, but *not* for anyone who has purchased land in the last 9 years.

Well imagine the confusion when people go to use Measure 37. They can't sell the property to a developer because then the updated zoning laws apply to the new owner. If they can't sell the land for the new purpose, and they don't don't have the capital to perform the improvements themselves, then the property owners don't benefit from Measure 37. And in other cases, the records for which laws apply to which properties creates an entirely new realm of red tape, record keeping and regulation.

But all this confusion and caterwauling misses the fundamental problem with Measure 37: the government is *and always has been* empowered to regulate property. For highway right of way. To encourage economic growth. The protect the health of it's citizens. The government (local, state, and federal) have jurisdiction over land use. To act otherwise is retarded. If you bought a farm fifty (50) years ago and NOW you want to try to benefit from urban sprawl, too frickin' bad. You should have been more involved with local ordinances or you should have sold at an earlier point in time.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Amazing rant about South Dakota

This rant about the new law criminalizing abortion in South Dakota is truly wonderful. My favorite quote from the piece:
"What was that? You're all about a Culture of Life? Turns out if you don't have a Culture of Don't Send My Job to Mexico to go with it, we're not all that interested in listening to some silver spooner shovel that morality shit down our throats."
The author laid out some of the fundamentals in the political and ethical situation that generated this new law so concisely and clearly I almost cried from joy.


WARNING: The rant has many, many, many curse words and vulgar images. If you have a sensitive nature DO NOT go read it.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Big Birds in the Wild

So Devon and I took our bikes for a short-ish training ride this morning. We logged about twenty (20) easy miles today and passed through the multi-use trail in Smith-Bybee Lakes Park. On our way through the park, Dev saw a bird take off and start flying ahead of and away from us. It looked bigger than a hawk and it didn't fly like a buzzard.
Minutes later we caught up to this older gentleman and his hyper-active black labrador and he asked if we had seen the bald eagle. Two seconds later the bird flew back by us and we could see the snowy feathers on it head and tail. It was a very cool moment to see an endangered species out and around in the real world and not behind the glass of a zoo enclosure.

Happy Birthday Erica!

Happy Birthday Erica!
I know your birthday was actually on Thursday (now) but my secretary got the calendar entry wrong (it's so hard to find good help these days!)

Anyway, happy 25 years! -wink-
And we'll see you at Henry's!

Friday, March 24, 2006

The "e" word

The Arkansas Times has a story about teaching science in Arkansas high schools. Now I understand why Arkansas leads the United States and the world in breakthrough research in biology and chemistry.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Taking his ease

Here's Cowboy (our 3 legged-Australian cattle dog) taking his ease on a blissfully warm summer evening.

Sneaker madness

Co-op America sent out an email update last night that talked about athletic shoes and sweatshops and labor abuses. They provided a run-down of some of the big names that get products from factories with labor abuses. I expected to see Nike given their past history. Adidas's and Puma's membership in the "sweatshop labor club" disheartened me. I dig Puma shoes. A lot. And now I won't be buying them.

On the up side, Co-op America provided some alternatives that seem pretty affordable. Some other alternatives are here and here. And thankfully, the very groovy Fluevog shoes come from European Union factories with good working conditions.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

One man's trash...

is still trash when someone leaves it in a public space. Grrrrr.

Since my neck decided to fail me on Monday and laid me up in bed on Tuesday, I thought I might be smart and ride the bus to work today. The morning commute proceeded normally (and pretty quickly - it took slightly less than the usual hour to get to work). The trigger for my rant happened on the evening commute.

A young lady with a fast food establishment uniform on boarded the bus with a nearly empty soda cup from (I assume) her place of employment. She sat. She took one or two sips. She jiggled the cup slightly. She bent and placed the cup as far under her seat as she could reach. She then switched seats. And rode for 25 minutes. And then debarked the bus without her cup.

A soccer league plays soccer (as opposed to jai alai, I guess) in the park across the street every weekend. They seem to be fairly tidy folks. But non-league players also play soccer in the same park. They hang out. They play soccer. They leave. They leave behind beer bottles. And fast food wrappers. And, one time, a diaper. A *used* diaper.

I'm not sure what I want to say. Anyone reading this is not the sort of person who would leave trash behind. Everyone I know who would bother reading my words would carry their trash with them and deposit it in a trash container, whether it's 4 feet away or 40 feet away. But I get tired of picking up other people's messes. And I shouldn't need to shame someone (or 15 someones) into picking up their trash. And calling the police is excessive, and a waste of their already overextended resources.

Of course, respect for self sits at the root of this problem. If someone respects themself, they will not leave trash behind because that reflects badly on them. I just need to figure out how to impart that to others without being condescending or patronizing.

One man's trash...

is still trash when someone leaves it in a public space. Grrrrr.

Since my neck decided to fail me on Monday and laid me up in bed on Tuesday, I thought I might be smart and ride the bus to work today. The morning commute proceeded normally (and pretty quickly - it took slightly less than the usual hour to get to work). The trigger for my rant happened on the evening commute.

A young lady with a fast food establishment uniform on boarded the bus with a nearly empty soda cup from (I assume) her place of employment. She sat. She took one or two sips. She jiggled the cup slightly. She bent and placed the cup as far under her seat as she could reach. She then switched seats. And rode for 25 minutes. And then debarked the bus without her cup.

A soccer league plays soccer (as opposed to jai alai, I guess) in the park across the street every weekend. They seem to be fairly tidy folks. But non-league players also play soccer in the same park. They hang out. They play soccer. They leave. They leave behind beer bottles. And fast food wrappers. And, one time, a diaper. A *used* diaper.

I'm not sure what I want to say. Anyone reading this is not the sort of person who would leave trash behind. Everyone I know who would bother reading my words would carry their trash with them and deposit it in a trash container, whether it's 4 feet away or 40 feet away. But I get tired of picking up other people's messes. And I shouldn't need to shame someone (or 15 someones) into picking up their trash. And calling the police is excessive, and a waste of their already overextended resources.

Of course, respect for self sits at the root of this problem. If someone respects themself, they will not leave trash behind because that reflects badly on them. I just need to figure out how to impart that to others without being condescending or patronizing.

Doctor it hurts when I do this....

A pinched nerve in my neck relegated me to bed rest yesterday. Not much to report from yesterday.

So here's the internet version of a re-run. I posted this on my weblog before. No I''ve moved it over here. Enjoy!

Climbing Broughton Bluff

Nate, Sue and Moto took me out climbing yesterday (February 26, 2006). It was only the second time I’d been outdoor climbing. The weather certainly wasn’t great: the forecast said the day would be partly cloudy and a little over 50 degrees. Instead, we got cloudy skies all day, a chilly wind and never left the forties. Regardless, we geared up and headed out to Broughton Bluff in Troutdale.
Once there, Nate set a top rope for a fairly easy face. Well, easy for him and Sue. Plenty rough for me. We played up the first face 4 or 5 times and then moved around a corner and ran up that face another 5 or 6 times (I went up one time each). Then we walked a few hundred feet down the trail where Sue started lead-climbing the last route on the face. She got to the area under the roof near a bolt and just didn’t feel solid or planted. She came back down and let Nate lead back up to the same point. He set a quickdraw in the bolt, moved out left and then went over the roof.
Once over the roof he got stuck on a slabby section. He said he could see the bolt near his face; he just couldn’t get his hands up to the bolt. And he didn’t have anywhere to set protection. So he came down and Sue went back up. She didn’t feel good about the rach to the bolt either. So she came back down and up Nate went one more time. He tried to find a surefooted way up to the bolt 4 or 5 times before he decided that it just was not the right day to top out this route.
Then we moved back along the wall for two more routes. Nate and Sue forced me to sight climb the first route. I got stuck at the crux for a solid 10 minutes (that felt like an hour). After 6 or 7 abortive tries I stumbled on the right combination of high feet and right-side lay-back. The foot holds stayed sketchy to the end but I made it all the way up top. Nate ran the route after me. He handled the crux handily but felt like he had “thugged” it a little too much. He didn’t find a more finely finessed sequence after 2 or 3 tries. So then it was Sue’s turn, where she proved once again to be the most graceful of our trinity.
We moved over to “Classic Crack to round out the day. I failed to learn much in the way of crack climbing skills on the route, but Nate and Sue topped it out with little trouble. Nate went up Classic Crack one more time and then lead up a route named Red Eye. And with that we packed up and headed in.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Another quick doggie picture

Inspired by yesterday's great weather, here's a picture of Mr Bojangles (a.k.a. Boj) enjoying a little sun in the back yard by the garage last summer.
Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

On any Sunday (but really today)

This Sunday had almost every element of the perfect day. Despite some insanely thick fog in the morning, the weather turned gorgeous by mid-morning; sunny and in the fifties. After a quick pass to pick up the mess in the house, Devon and I climbed on our bikes and made a leisurely ride down to Mississippi Avenue. We strolled through several great little stores like Salty's Dog Shop and Genome. We had a great lunch at Laughing Planet Cafe and then went over to The Fresh Pot for a little coffee and a few minutes with a good book. Eventually we mounted our trusty two-wheeled implements of travel-ation and headed home to prep for our third ballroom dance lesson at the Ballroom Parkrose. Our class seemed to frustrate our dance instructor Tim with our inability to step right or keep time. We were all laughing at the end of class, so everything ended well.

Devon and I had the busiest day doing nothing that we've had in a long time.
And it was *SO* much fun.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

On the lighter side, I thought I'd share a recent pic of Moxie surfing our couch. She acts like Satan around other dogs, but she's adorable most of the time. And she's extremely photogenic. She really knows how to work the camera.

Surf ot turf?

A lovely rant over at truthout highlights the fact that the "recent surge in violence" in Iraq has been surging like a glacier - continuously and with inexorable force for the ENTIRE THREE YEARS that we have been over there.
A worthy read.

We're on a nowhere ride

Devon just finished her first 40 mile (okay 38.2 mile) bicycle ride with me this morning. Our training schedule for the Seattle-to-Portland ride is under way and only slightly behind schedule.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Does Billy Graham know?

Billy Graham's son, Franklin, knows how to foul the reputation of his family *and* his religion. According to a recent AP story here, Franklin continues his trend of bad-mouthing Islam as a tool of Satan.

My mom always lamented that she should have raised my brothers and I as Southern Baptists. But the "good" Rev. Franklin Graham makes me glad that my mother took a less structured approach to our spiritual education.

From a conversation two days ago...

This exchange made me chuckle all the way home Wednesday night:

Jeff (not his real name) “I wish it would rain today so I could test the hood on my new jacket.”

Me “Don’t you have a shower at home?”

Jeff “Ooh, I didn’t think of that!”


“Knowing my luck, that would be the moment I have a seizure or a heart attack and that how the police would find me; dead in the shower with my raincoat on.”

So tired...

We didn't land in bed until late last night. So now I've got sand in my eyes. -grin-
Too much new stuff; a public book reading, a new technology toy (blogger), and a new book kept us up way too late. Devon was bawling when I made it into the bedroom. Apparently the new book (The Dogs Who Found Me) is a good one.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Doing good, one dog at a time

Devon and I just got home from Powell's Books on Hawthorne Boulevard where we saw Ken Foster talk about his new book "The Dogs Who Found Me." I enjoyed listening to him recount how he got snared into the world of dog rescue. In one of the best moments of the talk, he decribed his surpise in finding that all the dogs that he liked in New York were Pit Bulls; he had heard all the horror stories but never saw a picture of one. He had a really difficult time reconciling the killer reputation the breed had with the sweet-natured and loving dogs he knew from New York. I look forward to reading more in the book (which Devon had to have tonight - big surprise for you who know Devon.)

More on this after I've read some of the book.

Another Rainy Day in Portland

As if that's the most exciting thing to happen in Portland, Oregon.

I'm trying this blog as an experiment to see how it compares to the iWeb blog publishing. While I like the flashy template and strong polish of the web pages and weblog that iWeb creates, I'm limited in a couple of fundamental ways. First, I can only publish from one computer (though Macworld says this article provides the keys to publishing from multiple computers.) The flexibility of posting from anywhere offers a very strong inducement to leave iWeb behind until it does allow posting from other computers. While I'm not going to update my blog on the clock at work, I would like the ability to post updates from internet cafes or other peoples computers while I'm traveling.

More importantly, the templates don't retain the changes I make as a template. The templates look great. Apple provided stylish and pretty starting points for the users of iWeb. However, each post or update I make requires me to change the same elements over and over again. So if I change the title element to reflect my taste, then every post I make after that requires me to change the title again. And again. Just like the first limitation, Apple could have created the option to create personalized templates based on the stock templates, but didn't do so. Yet.

Thus my entry into blogspot. I'm hoping I like this style of posting a little bit better.