Friday, December 28, 2007

My radio silence will get a little bit longer this weekend. Dev and I rented a cabin in Lyle, Washington for the holiday weekend. I don't think Dev packed the computer, so I will be incommunicado via text, email and blog for almost five days. Brilliance. I hope to have some pictures to show and stories to share when I get back.

All the best to you for the New Year (if I don't see you until then). And may it bless all of us with bounty and bliss in equal measure!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A sobering opinion piece about the Iraq War, war in general and history as a guiding perspective here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Quote of the day:
"In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit it is the first."

-- Ambrose Bierce
So very sore today. Two days after jaunting to the mountain for snowboarding I feel a little like I got beaten. I had a lot of fun Sunday with former coworker and friend John Hart. We drove up to the mountain Sunday morning. John and I traded quips the entire way. John's sister's boyfriend Nathan sat in the back and quietly observed us during the drive. We arrived at Timberline lodge to splendid early season conditions. While not fantastic snow, the resort had groomed the snow enough to make it rideable.

I practiced some basics on the bunny slope (Bruno) for about an hour. John and Nathan both patiently hung out nearby. They rode down the bunny slope, but didn't need near the practice I did. At about 10 AM we headed over to Pucci to make our first run down the slopes. We rode down the easy part of main run Pucci to join up with West Leg Road. I tried to practice rocking side to side from front edge to back. My bindings thwarted me. My toes strap cam buckles kept slipping.

On a snowboard, the bindings strap across the ankles and the toes of the rider. The bindings attach the rider's foot to the board. The ankle straps also allow the rider to lift to heel edge off the snow so said rider can focus riding on the toe edge of the board. The toe straps provide leverage in the opposite direction, mainly they allow the rider to lift the toe edge off of the snow so he can focus riding on the heel edge. For a beginner, the heel edge provides the easiest and fastest braking possible. The rider rocks onto the heel edge and rotates the snowboard so that it sits perpendicular to the direction of travel. The heel edge bites into the snow and the rider slows or stops.

A lack of working toe straps complicates this process.

I fought my way down West Leg Road to get to the Jeff Flood Express ski lift. I fell about 30 or 40 times on the way. We originally planned to ride the Pucci chairlift up. The Pucci chairlift crew needed maintenance to fix something when we got to the lift. So we mounted up and rode all the way down to the next lift. The top of the chairlift presented me with another shortish, steepish slope to the day lodge parking lot. I struggled and feel down this slope. I cursed. We went into the gift shop and I bought the only toe strap replacements the carried. Overpriced at $40. Jon and Nathan and I monopolized the public ski tune bench to change out my toe straps. Then we checked our boards at the ski check and grabbed lunch.

The post lunch riding proceeded much better. I fell far fewer times on the two post-lunch runs of the day. I fell harder because I carried more speed. I carried more speed because I had more control. I had more control because I had working toe straps. So I guess I can say I crashed less often but harder because I had working toe straps. John stayed with me most of the day. He said he just wanted to get his legs back under him after not riding last season at all. He seemed smooth and in control the entire time. I felt clumsy slow and awkward following behind him. But I felt a marked improvement between when I first set edge to snow at nine that morning and when we crawled into the day lodge around 3:15 or 3:30 that afternoon.

The drive home passed quickly and uneventfully. I feel sore in a couple of key places and bruised in a couple of others. I skipped crossfit last night because I got so beat up by the slopes.

I am ready to go back soon.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Quote from Cristopher Hitchens latest editorial:
We are about to have the annual culture war about the display of cribs, mangers, conifers, and other symbols on public land. Most of this argument is phony and tawdry and secondhand and has nothing whatever to do with "faith" as its protagonists understand it. The burning of a Yule log or the display of a Scandinavian tree is nothing more than paganism and the observance of a winter solstice; it makes no more acknowledgment of the Christian religion than I do. The fierce partisanship of the holly bush and mistletoe believers convicts them of nothing more than ignorance and simple-mindedness. They would have been just as pious under the reign of the Druids or the Vikings, and just as much attached to their bucolic icons. Everybody knows, furthermore, that there was no moving star in the east, that Quirinius was not the governor of Syria in the time of King Herod, that no worldwide tax census was conducted in that period of the rule of Augustus, and that no "stable" is mentioned even in any of the mutually contradictory books of the New Testament. So, to put a star on top of a pine tree or to arrange various farm animals around a crib is to be as accurate and inventive as that Japanese department store that, as urban legend has it, did its best to emulate the Christmas spirit by displaying a red-and-white bearded Santa snugly nailed to a crucifix.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Today is Day of the NInja.

'Nuff said.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Scientists found a potentially, completely mummified dinosaur recently. Possible mummified organs! So very cool!

Friday, November 30, 2007

The end of an era. A legend has passed. Iconic Daredevil Evel Knievel Dies at 69

Quote of note:
"No king or prince has lived a better life," he said in a May 2006 interview with The Associated Press. "You're looking at a guy who's really done it all. And there are things I wish I had done better, not only for me but for the ones I loved."

My new ride.

Got a snowboard, boots and bindings on Wednesday night. My friend John is coming over on Sunday to help me wax and clean me and Dev's snowboards. Then, if all goes well, next Sunday we will be flying down some white-covered hill for a few hours.

I cannot wait.

My favorite poster from the Bike Commute Challenge 2007 poster website.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Remember how I posted in October that I thought I was going to ski this season.

Remember how I said I'm fickle.

Yep. I'm back to 'boarding. I loved the idea of skiing. I love watching the guys ride on ski videos. Every time I thought about skiing myself, though, I felt a little dread. I felt grim about the effort I'd have to exert to stay on top of the sticks; to stay balanced all the way down the slope. I didn't look forward to the experience.

And every time I thought about snowboarding I smiled a little bit. I remember the flow. I can feel the snow sliding under me. And I don't dread the effort, I anticipate the ride. The only thing I'm really not happy about is the ski lift dismount.

So I guess I'm a knuckle dragger. Which is okay, because I'm gonna have fun this year!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

“If you would know how a man treats his wife and his children, see how he treats his books.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
Amazon released the Kindle eBook reader yesterday. I like much about the concept and the specs of the device. I don't care for the styling so much. This six act play points points up the problems with digital eBook readers though. Sorta dystopian.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Duct tape used as paint! Brilliant!
You might not be able to tell from the picture but the entire car (everything, even door handles) has a layer of duct tape over it.

This car is so awesome.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Why can't bike helmets be stylish? I shopped around briefly today at lunch. I must have a really big head, because all the helmets looked huge on me. I don't look anywhere near as cool as the people in the pictures on the packaging.
Good ride in to work this morning. No red lights all the way from the point I joined Interstate Avenue until I hit the top of the Eastbank Esplanade in the Rose Quarter. No rain. No flats. No jerks.

Friday, November 09, 2007

This bike is my most recent object of lust. I trotted over to Clever Cycles here in Portland and checked out their bike collection. Nice place. Dedicated to cyclists that don't wear lycra. "Bicycle living" I think one web-site or article called it. I've been meaning to get over there ever since they opened. I liked the space. They had nice all-weather clothes for year round cycling. Wool clothing by Ibex and other vendors. And they had a really extensive collection of panniers and bike bags in funky prints. (So I can't take Dev there - she'll buy out the store.)

One of the owners let me test drive the Transport (a slightly different bike that the picture above.) Bike rode surprisingly light for a beast this big made with steel. Integrated generator hub headlight and tail-light. Big full fenders. Fully enclosed chain to keep your clothes clean. And tradition/retro styling. The same sort of styling that had me lusting after vintage Harleys and Triumphs and BMWs when I rode motorcycles.

At $1400-1500, I won't be buying one soon. I guess that's why it's an object of lust instead of a show-and-tell-toy.
Good night climbing last night. Still not topping the old 5.9 yet, but my form started to return.I had one move on a 5.10- route that made my entire night. The moves just felt right. I knew the sequence. I played the theory of what I needed to do through in my head. And I felt that the sequence was right as I executed it. I fell two times after that move on that route. I still lowered off with a grin on my face.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Gonna be a good day. Radio started off with "Rock and Roll Lifestyle" by Cake.







Friday, November 02, 2007

I officially need to get into the climbing gym more regularly. I went last night with Nate and pumped out my grip in short order. Falling off easy, jug-tastic holds. Frustrating. I thought I had 5.10 at the start of the season. Guess that's what lack of practice will do for ya.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

snow. snow. snow. snow. snow. snow. snow. snow.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Birthday Ben Konosky!

I know you're out there prowling around on the web today. And hopefully not working!
Happy Birthday!
Very foggy this morning. Can't-see-a-stoplight-half-a-block-away-foggy kind of foggy. The lack of visibility made me completely paranoid on the ride in to work today. If I could barely see the headlights of the cars then they certainly had a hard time spotting me. So I just made myself as hard to hit as possible while staying on the paved surface. And I got here all right.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Dev and I had a wonderful time with many of our Portlandian friends here at home. You can check the pictures here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How does Olliver North have a goddamn talk show?!

Oh right, he's on Faux (Fox) News Network. Seriously people! The man is a traitor and a liar. Why do we let him have a public forum?

Oh Halloween. Dev has done a bang up job of decorating for our Halloween party this year. Hogwarts halloween. I'm Mad Eye Moody (complete with crazy eye. Dev's Tonks with purple hair and big boots. Can't wait too see what everyone else comes to the party as. I promise to have pictures after Saturday.
Still flirting with Facebook a little bit. One of my friends from high school reached out and said hi through it. Complete surprise. And a good one. Just trying to determine how useful it is for other stuff. Guess I'm not sold on it yet. Maybe I'm nit an ideal social networker. -grin-

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Nate and Sue introduced me to crack climbing this weekend at Tieton River Rocks in Washington state. Lots of fun. I got to lead my first traditional pitch ever on an easy 5.3 grade rock climb named "The Western Front." Of course, Sue and I both missed an important but hidden hold on the route that caused us to both think that the route had been mis-graded.

Nate has posted pictures of the weekend. Only two distant shots of me, but they give an idea of what the climbing is like.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Skiing or snowboarding?

Dev and I tried snowboarding last year. Fun. Easy on the body. Floating on top of puffy snow and gliding down the mounting like a surfer on a big wave. Skiing exacts a greater toll. Legs more tired. Feet and shins more sore. But every time I think I've decided that snowboarding is for me for sure I get hooked by an image.

A silhouette sticker for back country skiing.

Or a ski video of some big mountain with an itty bitty skier making turns..

And then I want to ski. I mean, I know it's harder to master. I know it beats me up worse. But something about it grabs me the way snowboarding doesn't.

Scott will be happy to read this post. He's constantly barraging me with the "skiing is superior" position whenever the topic comes up.

Besides, you all know I'm fickle. I may change my mind again. -grin-

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Jon Gruber at Daring Fireball really hits it on the head again. I enjoy reading his stuff because he's incisive, concise and makes good design easy to understand for non-designers like me. See the shared item over on the right about the iPhone as an example of some of his writing and reasoning.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fantastic quote:
From 342 Hours on the Grandes Jorasses: "It's so difficult to accept nothingness... You would like to know how things really are beyond life, be sure it's not all a big joke, but, as big as it may be, how can a joke survive for millenia? Look how beautiful are the stars in the coal black sky, those little twinkling gems, those little fantastic worlds. You've got Creation before your eyes, here, on this same mountain that's taking your life and you can't hate, not even now. And what if truth is really here, amongst these pyramids of granite?"
The rain is here. Sunday saw rain all day long except the 10 minutes I used for the dogwalk in the afternoon. Yesterday rained about half the day. Today will have more rain. And so on to the end of the week. Oregon officially enters Autumn.

The good news: rain here in the city means snow up on the mountain. I'm still torn between skiing (versatility) and snowboarding (ease of fun). I'm not torn about wanting to go and play in the snow.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Scott and Ann each got an iPhone this weekend. Scott proceeded to call and taunt me that he had an iPhone and I did not. They are both evil and should get no cookies.

While I may get cookies, I won't be getting an iPhone until next spring. Dev and I have a Sprint contract that runs until then. Sprint wants $200 per line for early termination. We will be staying with Sprint for the very foreseeable future. The only upside to this whole shebang is that Dev and I might get the new and improved rev 2 iPhone, if said new and improved iPhone has been released by then.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Radio silence has ended.

Okay. So I've been remiss in this whole posting to the world business. Sorry all. Been busy this summer. I climbed five mountains so far: Adams, Hood, South Sister, Middle Sister and Columbia Peak. Pictures are at my picasa pages here. My buddy Bill has big plans for some winter climbs in the Cascades this season. I'm looking forward to hopefully joining him for a few of those trips.

And then there's the car camping we did this summer. Last weekend we car camped with our friends Lori and Jon and their two daughters Rhienna and Hazel down at Nehalem Bay and had a lot of fun. Lazing around on a windy beach in the sun created a nice counterpoint to the mountainous backpacking I did this season.

I've also been busy drooling over the new toys from Apple. Well, one new toy - the iPhone. I can't get one yet. Sprint has me locked in to a service plan for a little while yet. I can buy out of it, and I probably will. But I have to save the $399 for the device first. And I demoed a friend's phone for Dev this morning. She was smitten in 5 minutes.
As a side note: I find the lack of full calendar features on the iPod Touch to comprise the weakest of weaksauces!

Dev's prepping for her week long adventure with Best Friends in Utah. She'll be volunteering with them for a few days and helping rehabilitate and heal some of the lonesome pets the shelter there has in for adoption and recovery. And bonus: she gets to spend 2 days hiking and exploring around Zion National Park. I'm very jealous.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Pictures from my trip to climb Mt Adams can be found here.

Good company. Great weather. Awe inspiring views. And a 2000 foot glissade on some of the best glissade snow ever. I almost didn't mind forgetting my rain pants at camp when we left for the summit on Sunday morning.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


U.S. District Judge John D. Bates said that Cheney and White House aides cannot be held liable for the disclosure of information about Plame in the summer of 2003 while they were trying to rebut criticism of the administration's war efforts levied by her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. The judge said such efforts were certainly part of the officials' scope of normal duties.

From the Washington Post

So breaking the law comprises part of a presidential administration staff's duties now?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Ann!!!!!!!

As of Sunday

Dang, over a week with no entries. Eeek!
More should be coming soon. I have two mountain climbs in the next five weeks. And I have another possible climb Labor Day weekend. And Dev has some things coming up. And we have a trip to norther Idaho in mid-August. So lots and loads of fun coming up soon.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Dev took me surfing for the first time yesterday. She went for the first time last week with Sue and loved it. Great conditions. Not too chilly. Not too hot. Dev and I both got baked. Pictures to come soon.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Powells Books here in town (Portland) occasionally posts vintage reviews of books. A fun diversion for a few minutes. Here's a review of one of Steinbeck's novels.
Skipping insulin shots to stay thin? Oh yes, today's crazy kids are doing just that.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

I'll admit that I want the iPhone (released Friday at 6pm) badly. Quite badly. Apple packed almost every feature that I want from a mobile internet device with personal info organizer and phone capability into the iPhone. And then they added the multimedia capabilities of an iPod. (Funny enough, the iPod parts are the capabilities I care least about.) And the toy just looks gorgeous. Like something you want to use because it is pretty and slick and (as one tech pundit put it) "lickable."

Sadly, I have Sprint phone service. And I will have it until next April. So for me to switch to an iPhone (and the attendant AT&T service plan) would cost me $650. $499 for the iPhone and $150 to cancel my Sprint contract. If Dev wanted one too, then we're looking at 1300 bones. So I'll be watching from the sidelines. For now.

Maybe I'll get a deal through work that makes it somewhat less expensive.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Word has it that "of the 1,000 U.S. employees at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, only 10 have a working knowledge of Arabic."

1% of people do all the work anyway, right?

Monday, June 25, 2007

These pictures came from the Pet Hotel (a "kennel") where Moxie and Bojangles spent the night while we camped up in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest for our friend Warren's birthday (happy birthday again Warren!). I thought that Stay did an amazing job of capturing each dog in a characteristic pose for their personality. Absolutely uncanny how well they portrayed our dogs in a single snapshot.
Dev and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary quietly at the same place we got married - The Resort at the Mountain in Welches, Oregon. Funny enough, we got the same room this last weekend that we stayed in on our wedding week. And it was merely chance - we didn't ask for that room! We had a short hike along the Salmon River. We relaxed to a mindless movie with a bottle of wine. Basically had a good time on a quick getaway from normals-ville.
And to all of your who sent cards and called and sent emails with well wishes for our anniversary, thank you! Though be careful, if I ever forget the date and you guys remember, you could get me in trouble!
Apparently my readers miss me. This is a good thing. Maybe I'll start a cult of personality with me as the center of the target for adulation. We all know I would do a better job of running the worlds than all the crazy plutocrats that hold the reigns of power right now.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Safari for Windows.
Hiked in Forest Park yesterday with Dev. The rain tried to catch us a few times, but Cowboy scared it off. He's our good luck hiking charm. Six miles and 960 feet of elevation gain went pretty quickly. We saw a lot of trail runners and a few other dogs, but mainly got a lot of quiet forest path to ourselves. A nice way to spend a few hours on an otherwise un-splendid weather Sunday. We forgot the camera so I have no pictures to share. Maybe next time.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I am officially a Mazama. Paperwork came in the mail today. Yay!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Pictures from Dog Mountain here
Good Sunday yesterday. Dev and I hiked Dog Mountain to see all the wildflowers. Her and Jami handled themselves quite well. Jamie proved the toughest of us - she roofed a blister on each heel, finished the hike without complaining about the blisters (she complained about her shoes instead) and poked a rattlesnake with a stick to scare it off!
Then we cleaned up, had some snacks with Jami and her mom Jan. After that we went and ate some excellent barbeque ribs made by our friends Jon and Lori. We sat around in the shade and ate some sweet potato and pineapple potato salad, fresh green salad and homemade peach cobbler. They gave us enough food so that I was fit to burst.

Pictures of the hike coming later tonight.

Friday, June 01, 2007

I've been listening in to a trip that one of the editors of Backpacker Magazine took last fall through the High Sierras. Really inspiring stuff. You can listen to it starting here. He has 30 days worth of satellite phone from-the-trail-reports.

Truly spectacular accomplishment.
I'm better than halfway done with hanging the cabinet doors in the kitchen. Hope to finish tonight. Maybe I'll get the knobs and handles installed, too. Hanging the hinges right stymies me a little bit. I may have some adjustments left to perform after, but we're in the home stretch of the cabinet refinishing.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

"Experts said this is going to be a very busy hurricane season. To which FEMA said, 'Not for us.'"
---Jay Leno

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Unbelievable weekend. Even though I had a shift at work on Saturday, I had a phenomenal weekend. Camped at Eightmile Crossing on the east side of Hood in Mt Hood National Forest. Climbed at Bulo Point. Ate some great food prepared by my lovely wife Devon and our friend Jamie. Devon climbed a couple of 5.7 rock routes. Jamie climbed technical rock for the first time ever and did great. I got on a 5.9 route and lead the climb for the first time ever. Milestone climb. Fun and scary. Great route too - grippy rock, good exposure and well bolted.

Pardon me while I bask in the afterglow.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hmmm. Here's a bullet point for one of the proposed "improvement" the the Intellectual Property Protections proposed by the lovely AG Alberto Gonzalez:
* Require Homeland Security to alert the Recording Industry Association of America. That would happen when CDs with "unauthorized fixations of the sounds, or sounds and images, of a live musical performance" are attempted to be imported. Neither the Motion Picture Association of America nor the Business Software Alliance (nor any other copyright holder, such as photographers, playwrights or news organizations, for that matter) would qualify for this kind of special treatment.

Why exactly would the Department of Homeland Security be required to notify the RIAA of anything? Last time I checked, the RIAA used questionable tactics to recoup supposedly "lost revenues" from private citizens on behalf of an industry that pushes more and more marginal pap out as "fresh" and "innovative" entertainment. The DoHS protects us from terrorists (I know, I know, but that topic provides fodder for an entirely different rant). Two independent agendas. Sounds like someone wants to bend government resources to protect an industry that can't survive on its own merits.
Amazing day to ride in to work. Perfect mid 50's weather. Sunny. Light breeze. And I caught green on both the lights at the bottom of the Interstate hill in my commute. The extra speed I retained from coming down that hill without needing to stop shaved 3-5 minutes from my ride in.
It doesn't hurt that I cruised by the cars at the bottom of the hill doing 25 mph either.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Nate and Sue and I climbed Mount Hood yesterday (Saturday May 12th). My first glaciated summit. And we didn't climb the "easy" South Side route (not that any snow covered, glacier climb can really be called easy) and instead went up the slightly more difficult but truly incredible Leuthold Couloir route. Pictures speak more eloquently than my words can. See them here.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Score one for Craigslist. Dev got a snowboard, boots and bindings for $70 last night. Neat graphics on the board. Decent condition. And the boots fit right. Of course, the season's pretty much over right now. Nevertheless, she's very excited about the new toy.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Here's an example of how weird it is to live in my head.

I wear glasses as most of you who read this already know. I started swimming. I cannot see in regular swim goggles so I need prescription goggles. Fortunately, the swimming industry is kind enough to make these optically corrective goggles pre-fabricated in half step diopters (-1, -1.5, etc through -10). I did a little research and found a couple of brands online and got an idea of pricing ($20-$30).

Now, I like to support local business where I can. In theory this means that if I can buy something from a local company, then I will even if I don't get quite as good a deal. After all, local business dollars go back into the local economy. You can build a friendly relationship with the shopkeepers and the other customers. Just good things all over the place. Except, generally, for price. The local shop that has the goggles in stock charges nearly double what they cost online ($40).

I'm a pretty miserly guy. I grew up learning to spend my money wisely (and sparingly). Find a good price and all that. So this price discrepancy sets me back for a minute. And I put the goggles on hold for a couple of days so I can think about my options. Dev kind of groans and asks if it's really this hard to be me. She's amazed at the amount of energy that I spend talking to myself on both sides of the issue.

Now here's the thing: $20 in and of itself isn't really a big difference one way or the other. But I had to wrestle my "save money" side to the mat with my "save local business" side. And if $20 sets off this kind of internal debate, what happens when I can save $100 on something through mail order?

So there it is. Can you hear Dev laughing in the background at my silliness?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

"Hey David, what are you doing on your day off?"

Scraping paint. All. Day. Long. Scrape. Scrape. Scrape. A day off to scrape paint. I am truly living the dream.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I want one of these: Vike Trike

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I cleaned the gutters on the house for the first time in...well, lets say in a very long time. So much time had elapsed since the last cleaning that I spent almost 30 minutes cleaning old growth forest off my roof. Another month and I would have had to get a logging license from the state of Oregon to harvest timber in the State Park of David and Devon. I really wouldn't want to wade through the protesters trying to stop the timber sale.

I think I'll check the gutters a little more frequently now.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I got hailed on twice last night on the way home. The cloud bands that threw down rain on us all day changed up just in time for the evening commute. The clouds sttill hid the sun and tiny drops rained down in a light sprinkle, so I suited up in my rain gear and started pedaling down the Eastbank Esplanade. The sun came out as I made it half way down the riverfront path, and then the rain started pounding down in fat drops. The sunshine stayed bright through the rain.

Just after I topped out at the north end of the Esplanade (the intersection of Oregon and Lloyd streets), the clouds cut lose with even bigger raindrops and pea sized hail. The deluge lasted less than 10 minutes. As the sun faded out, so did the precipitation. I toodled along for another 20 minutes until I hit Willamette Blvd on the home stretch of my commute. Again, the sun came out. From the river-front crest of the roadway I could see the entire shipyard and industrial district below shrouded in a thick white blanket. Not fog, but more rain. Less than a minute later I got increasing rain and hail for 5 minutes, then the darkness of cloud cover and decreasing rain.

A fun ride with some great sky to watch. I need to start carrying a camera to share these sorts of nights and sights.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Off again on again thundershowers keep rollin' through.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Awesome Bill Maher rant here.
Dev stayed "home" from work yesterday. Weird headache and nausea problem. She feels way better today.
Saturday's lesson: 3800 feet of elevation gain on an 8.3 mile hike equals sore legs.
Elk Mountain and Kings Mountain in the Coastal range are glorious though.

Sunday's lesson: Rock climbing doesn't have to be uber-technical to be lotsa fun! Horsethief Butte graced us with gorgeous weather the entire day. We got to climb on fun, blocky rock in hiking boots.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Another day, another flat. :-(

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Slip sliding to fun

My Basic Climbing Education Program group went to Timberline Lodge to practice our snow techniques. The rain pelted us all day long for the whole practice. And I still had a blast. The best part involved glissading.

glis·sade (glĭ-säd', -sād') n.
A controlled slide, in either a standing or sitting position, used in descending a steep icy or snowy incline.

Glissading is the most fun thing ever. You sit down on the top of the snow slope. A slope that you can see the whole runout. A slope that is not on a glacier (crevasses!). So you sit down in your waterproof pants. And you grab your ice ax and hold it off to your side with the spike down near the snow and the pick facing away from you. This is your brake and rudder. Then you pick up your heels slightly and start sliding.

Unbelievable amounts of fun follow. I could spend all day glissading.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Eschewing titles

Unless a post just really cries out for a unique title, I'm going to leave posts untitled. The effort of formulating a witty, funny and accurate title often outweighs the import and substance of a post. So mini essays might get one while travel status messages and on-the-go posts from my phone will remain unlabeled.

As usual, if my meta-ramblings bug you then drop me a line. Or leave a comment.
Facebook is not yet lighting my world on fire. It's got some cool features, like linking to friends of friends. And the cell phone alerts make it pretty handy for on-the-go updates. Seems like Blogger (this site) plus Twitter could accomplish a very similar goal. I probably just haven't hit the critical mass of people linked up to me for the site to really click (or is that clique?) for me. We'll see - I'll give it a few more days.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Dev made it safe to Charlotte.
Hello world!

Oh dear, another new tech toy. Posting to the blog via text message. Hmmmm.

Yet another new internet toy

My friend Garrett Downen introduced me to Facebook. I'm about a year behind on this social networking site. Register and check out my Facebook page.

Crazy busy

Holy crap have I been busy.

Last weekend entailed a whirlwind tour of Georgetown Texas for my brother's wedding to April Neves ne Chase (congratulations again guys!)

Monday brought another Mazamas BCEP lecture.

I spent all week catching up on workload and finding gear for Mazamas activities - like hiking boots for the conditioning hikes.

Saturday brought a 10 mile hike out to Indian Point in the rain. Indian point had clouds wrapped all around it so I couldn't see all the cool stuff I had hoped. Indian Point has made my destination list for a subsequent hike.

I spent Sunday on a really fun day at Rocky Butte natural area working on rope handling, belaying, rappelling and prusiking skills. Then I got home and hosted a dinner with friends (hey Nate and Sue!).

And finally I had to get up and take Dev to the airport at waaaaaay too early in the morning today - she had to fly to Charlotte, N.C. for work.


Friday, March 30, 2007

Those who fail to heed history... Guantanamo Bay Detention facilities in the image of the Stanford Prison Experiment.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Pictures from Smith

I got the pictures from Dev and my climbing trip last weekend posted to my Picasa albums. They aren't labeled or organized yet. The weather proved phenomenal for climbing. And Dev blasted her way up a few routes, too. She broke through the 5.7 barrier this weekend; not shabby for her second time ever on real outside rock.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Two for the price of one

So I go grab my bike at lunch to patch the hole in my back tire. I start wheeling my bike into the shop and notice a little extra squish on the front end. Oh yes, the slow leak in my front tube turned into a fast leak. Yay. I got twice the fun of tube patching at lunch.

Perfect Storm

I had to pay off my karmic debt for the phenomenal weekend somehow I guess (more on the weekend in a post tonight). But this morning went perfectly squirrelly in just about any way that it could, starting last night...

-a 5 mile ride in steady cold rain on bad roads to a 3 hour lecture

-no dinner because I forgot to pack one and got home too late to eat a good meal

-up at 5:30 am to walk the dogs solo (though not in rain thankfully)

-had to inflate the front tire of the bike because I haven't had time to find the slow leak that bleeds off all but 20 pounds of pressure every night

-started riding to work and got 3 miles from home before I realized that I forgot the cash I need to buy some gear for my mountaineering/climbing class

-got just over halfway to work when my rear tire went flat. From a piece of glass. In the brand new tire and tube I bought last week because the previous tire was shredded from 6 months of steady commuting. Not even a week from my new tire. Sigh.

-walked the remaining 3 miles to work because I had no cash for the light rail. And because I would spend just as long walking as I did patching the tube and riding the rest of the way to work. And Dev had a client meeting so there was no automotive rescue available.

And then I got to work and had coffee. And clear skies. What a morning. It could have been a Monday.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Climb and Camp

We're going to Smith Rock this weekend. A little short overnight trip with our friend Sue and her dog Moto and maybe a couple of other folks. Leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow and stay overnight. Do some climbing. Maybe a short hike. Some outdoor, high desert air. First camping trip of the year. I'm so ready.

Stroke, stroke

Last night was the first time that I've swum a significant amount of distance under my own power and maintaining a breathing rhythm.

I know that swimming is second nature for most people, but not me. I sink like a stone. Literally. I stop moving and I start to drift down, down, down. I even surprised Dev with my lack of buoyancy; she tried to teach me to swim one time and didn't believe that I would sink. I stopped moving and shot straight to the bottom of the pool. Dev said in all her years of teaching swimming that she's never seen anything like it.

To remedy my lack of aquatic prowess, I signed up for an adult beginner swim class through the Portland Parks and Recreation department. 10 classes with very patient instructors. After 10 lessons I still didn't know how to swim. I did learn to breath and to kick though. Enough basics so that I could start practicing on my own. And Practice I have. Twice a week I spend half an hour in the water (which has always felt like a foreign and alien land to me) and practice my technique. Last week I "swam" 25 yards for the first time; I wasn't using a steady arm stroke, just one stroke every time I breathed. Then this week I started learning the crawl. And last night I made 15 lengths under my own steam.

So maybe I won't remain quite as terrestrial as I have been in the past.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Libbygate: any more steps?

Dave Lindorff has a great piece about why we need to indict and jail the President and Vice President.

Not impeach.

Not debate.

We ought to frog-march their morally corrupt asses to the deepest, dankest hole in Guantanamo bay as enemies of the state and leave them there until Iraq is a real nation again. And until America believes in the working man again.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Privatization as (un)panacea

More on the Walter Reed Medical Center scandal here.

Quote of note:
They also found that more than 300 federal
employees providing facilities management
services at Walter Reed had drooped to fewer than
60 by Feb. 3, 2007, the day before IAP took over
facilities management. IAP replaced the remaining
60 employees with only 50 private workers.

Oh the power of the private sector! They can hire 50 people to do the job of 300, and do it better! (for the sarcasm impaired, that was sarcasm).

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The more things change

I started reading "It Can't Happen Here" last night. Ten pages in and it feels like the book could have been written yesterday. But Sinclair Lewis wrote is on the eve of World War II. I started reading the book because of a quote that's been making the rounds in progressive circles: "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." I like the style he writes in.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Good commentary here on Coulter recent rancid remarks and what it signifies for (or rather about) "modern conservatives" in America.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

New stuff in the sidebar

I'm trying out Google's new Google Reader. It works really well at grabbing RSS feeds and organizing them. And it gives me a new way to share info that I stumble across daily. I've started posting stories that interest me, that support some things that I write, that express some interesting thoughts, and so on over in the sidebar.

Let me know it it's distracting and worthless or enjoyable....

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The sheer chutzpah of the Republicans

Fun hearing in the Senate yesterday to work on confirming or rejecting Sam Fox. The same Sam Fox who funded the Swift Boat Veterans and thus helped malign Kerry's military service record in the last presidential election. The same Sam Fox who claims to abhor 527 groups and everything they do. That Sam Fox called Kerry a hero yesterday. And toward the end of the hearing Senator Coleman stated:
"it would be a terrible shame" if Fox was disqualified because of his political donations.

It would be a terrible shame, just like every time the Republicans have appointed someone or barred them merely on the basis of that person's loyalty to the administration and the Republican Party.

42 erroneous words

I really love the special commentary by Keith Olbermann. He incisively destroys the silliness spewed forth by the right wing. His latest edition calls out Condeleeza Rice for getting her history wrong and making a pathetic analogy between Germany and Iraq. You can watch it here if you have a good connection. Crooks and Liars also provides the whole transcript of the commentary for your reading pleasure if you have a slow connection.

Favorite quote:
But then there's this part about changing "the resolution" about
Iraq, that it would be as ridiculous in the Secretary's eyes, as
saying that after Hitler was defeated, we needed to go back to
Congress to "deal with creating a stable environment in Europe after
he was overthrown."

Oh, good grief, Secretary Rice, that's exactly what we did do!

We went back to Congress to deal with creating a stable environment
in Europe after Hitler was overthrown!

It was called the Marshall Plan.


General George Catlett Marshall!

Secretary of State!

The job you have now!


Monday, February 26, 2007

For the love of the experience

A philosophical rejection of alpinism's "highest honor" by this years winner, Marko Prezelj. Even with broken English, he eloquently expresses the problems with competing for a first place among those who climb to the rarefied realms:
Fame is a cheap trap set by the media in which the complacent are quickly caught and exploited, realizing too late that trust and honor do not live in the same house as notoriety. The public doesn't truly care about climbers, who are links in an incestuous chain binding sick hunger for attention to media that promote or criticize according to their interests. The Piolet d'Or show organizers know and count on the cruel fact that they will always find plenty of desperate, passionate gladiators and clowns to role-play in the fame game. The more interesting question is whether it is Reality Show or Soap Opera?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

You aren't special, yet you are

Fun thoughts at DailyKos:
No, you are not that special. And yet, you are a wonder, absolutely unique and irreplaceable. Your species is a wonder, gifted with physical and mental resources that provide boundless opportunity. Your planet is a wonder, swarming with life in infinite variety and complexity. Your universe is a wonder, based on laws so precisely balanced that the slightest variation in any of them might have caused everything -- space, time, and everything that moves through both -- to never have appeared.

A bit schizophrenic, but fun nonetheless.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

More proof that biofuels are not the answer

ADM works wonders in Mexico. Apparently tortillas are too expensive for many Mexicans to buy now. And the push for ethanol as a fuel source causes part of the problem.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Budget woes

Matt Taibbi has a wonderful screed about jacked up priorities in the press. And he works to confirm the truism that we get the government we deserve.

Favorite quotes:
I awoke this morning in New York City to find Britney Spears plastered all over the cover of two gigantic daily newspapers, simply because she cut her hair off over the weekend. To me, this crosses a line. My definition of a news story involves something happening. If nothing happens, then you can't have "news," because nothing has changed since the day before. Britney Spears was an idiot last Thursday, an idiot on Friday, and an idiot on both Saturday and Sunday. She was, shockingly, also an idiot on Monday. It will be news when she stops being an idiot, and we'll know when that happens, because she'll have shot herself for the good of the planet. Britney Spears cutting her hair off is the least-worthy front page news story in the history of humanity.

Even if you're a traditional, Barry Goldwater conservative, the kinds of budgets that Bush has sent to the hill not only this year but this whole century are the worst-case scenario; they increase spending generally while cutting taxes and social programming. They commit taxpayers to giant subsidies of already Croseus-rich energy corporations, pharmaceutical companies and defense manufacturers while simultaneously cutting taxes on those who most directly benefit from those subsidies. Thus you're not cutting spending -- you're just cutting spending on people who actually need the money. (According to the Washington Times, which in a supremely ironic twist of fate did one of the better analyses of the budget, spending will be 1.6 percent of GDP higher in the 2008 budget than in was in 2000, while revenues will be 2.6 percent of GDP lower). This is something different from traditional conservatism and something different from big-government liberalism; this is a new kind of politics that transforms the state into a huge, ever-expanding instrument for converting private savings into corporate profit.

That's not only bad government, it's bad capitalism. It makes legalized bribery and political connections more important factors than performance and competition in the corporate marketplace. Beyond that, it's just plain fucking offensive to ordinary people. It's one thing to complain about paying taxes when those taxes are buying a bag of groceries once a month for some struggling single mom in eastern Kentucky. But when your taxes are buying a yacht for some asshole who hires African eight year-olds to pick cocoa beans for two cents an hour ... I sure don't remember reading an excuse for that anywhere in the Federalist Papers.

Meet the new boss

Same as the old boss.

(with apologies to The Who)

Do the Dems really think they can ignore scandal in their own house just because they won the midterms?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Their terrorists support our fascists

Big surprise:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A New York man accused of trying to help terrorists in Afghanistan has donated some $15,000 to the House Republicans' campaign committee over three years.

Read the whole story here.

Irony really isn't dead.

Cheney's other offfspring

Well, kind of. His son in law has been working overtime in the DOJ and and the Office of Budget and Management and the Department of Homeland Security to help corporate interests dodge the necessity of increasing security at their facilities.

Salon paints a good (or bad) picture here.

While the press salivated about Mary Cheney's new infant, they ignored this fun information;

As the Washington Monthly reveals in its current issue, Perry has
spent the past few years at DHS obstructing federal and state
regulation of the nation's chemical industry, which still remains
vulnerable to a devastating terrorist attack -- and which has paid
millions of dollars to Latham & Watkins, the Washington law firm
where he has been a partner and lobbyist, earning as much as $700,000
a year. (Having just resigned from Homeland Security last month,
Perry could soon return to Latham, thus completing his third circuit
through the revolving door.)

Perry's crowning achievement in the months before he quit the federal
government is a set of laws and regulations that permit chemical
manufacturers to decide whether and how to improve the notoriously
lax security at their plants. Last fall, with Perry overseeing the
legislative process, Congress passed a feeble bill that was supposed
to force reform before a disaster occurs. The hardworking Perry made
sure that the bill was rendered even more toothless when he and his
staff set up the regulations to enforce it. Those rules include a
special provision designed to frustrate vulnerable states such as New
Jersey from passing stronger regulations, which will be preempted by
the weak federal law.

In an interview with the Washington Monthly, Sen. Frank Lautenberg,
D-N.J., furiously excoriated the Bush administration for coddling its
corporate friends. "In order to please their cronies in the chemical
industry, the Bush administration is willing to put the health and
safety of millions of people at risk," he said of Perry's handiwork.

The new McCarthy-ism

Simply amazing.

The face of blacklisting.

Another new toy

Powells Books here in Portland has a blog with daily updates. They link to reviews of current releases. They provide commentary on the show Lost. They have op-ed pieces by their staff. I linked up to the RSS feed and now I have one more really informative time-sink in my repertoire. Hours lost. Hours.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The "new" idolatry

This article in Counterpunch raises some good points. I think one of the most important quotes comes towards the end:

There is a sharp divide between a "deep green" look at the social nature of ecological problems and the "shallow green" approach of corporate environmentalism. Deep greens emphasize that America can improve its health and quality of life while manufacturing fewer objects and shortening the work week. Shallow greens are loathe to say anything about the need to produce less and flee from addressing moral and political dilemmas of a growth economy.

Shallow greens often accuse deeps of being uncompromising and refusing to accept small steps in the right direction. Mass transit shows the opposite to be true. While mass transit has negative aspects, it is a step in the right direction because it reduces the number of cars.

Don Fitz manages to express succinctly some of the main things that have been knocking around in my head about this topic. But his article raises a few very important questions. Primarily, how do we change the social landscape of the consumer-capitalist economy of the United States of America (or the entire first world even) by opting out of it's norms?

Examples of how you can live life without an automobile help illustrate the point, but they do little to actually reshape the communities where we live until more than the early adopters join in. How do we help people transition from car-dependency to pedestrian/bicycle-riding freedom? And a lower speed lifestyle inherently means a lower material wealth lifestyle by our current standards. Many people balk at the very suggestion that they give up the shiny toys even with the proof of very real health benefits from eschewing techno-wizardry.

And the science behind many of these diversions provides very real benefits in materials technology, deeper understanding of physical mechanics and medical advances. If we remove the consumer sector, how does the current technology development model adapt? Do we accept slower advances as part of the price?

Fun new car

This new car/cycle/trike hybrid doesn't solve the problem of everyone wanting their own auto, but it does reduce the amount of space needed for parking and operation.

More depressing thoughts

Found this on Daily Kos.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I thought Tommy Franks was one of the good guys?

From the BBC:
Iraq invasion plan 'delusional'

The US invasion plan for Iraq envisaged that only
5,000 US troops would remain in Iraq by December
2006, declassified Central Command documents show.

The material also shows that the US military
projected a stable, pro-US and democratic Iraq by
that time.

The August 2002 material was obtained by the
National Security Archive (NSA). Its officials
said the plans were based on delusional

The US currently has some 132,000 troops in the violence-torn state.

'Completely unrealistic'

The documents - in the form of PowerPoint slides
- were prepared by the now-retired Gen Tommy
Franks and other top commanders at the time.

The documents were presented at a briefing in
August 2002 - less than a year before the US
invasion of Iraq in April 2003.

The commanders predicted that after the fighting
was over there would be a two- to three-month
"stabilisation" phase, followed by an 18- to
24-month "recovery" stage.

They projected that the US forces would be almost
completely "re-deployed" out of Iraq at the end
of the "transition" phase - within 45 months of

"Completely unrealistic assumptions about a
post-Saddam Iraq permeate these war plans," NSA
executive director Thomas Blanton said in a
statement posted on the organisation's website.

"First, they assumed that a provisional
government would be in place by 'D-Day', then
that the Iraqis would stay in their garrisons and
be reliable partners, and finally that the
post-hostilities phase would be a matter of mere
months'," Mr Blanton said.

"All of these were delusions," he added.

The NSA said it received the documents last
month, after making a request in 2004.

The NSA is an independent research institute at George Washington University.

It obtained the papers under the Freedom of Information Act.

Published: 2007/02/15 12:41:14 GMT


Just found my dream commuter

I found it at REI of all places. Novarra made the Fusion new for 2007. This bike has most of the items I want on a daily rider:

-7- or 8-gear internal hub on rear wheel
-fenders - though this can be added to most any bike)
-cargo rack - again, this can be added to most bikes)
-road tires - many hybrid bikes have the fatter mountain bike style tires. I like the lower rolling resistance of road tires that run about 80 psi inflation.
-internal brakes - so I don't have to clean the rims every night when it rains.

Had I great riches, I would buy the Opa from Jorg & Olif. The bike has style and practicality. And allure. But the price tag weighs in at more than twice what I'll pay for the Fusion.

What he said!

This rant by Joel Johnson over at Gizmodo hits the nail on the ever-so-obvious head.

Best quote:

Stop buying this crap. Just stop it. You don't need it. Wait a year until the reviews come out and the other suckers too addicted to having the very latest and greatest buy it, put up a review, and have moved on to something else. Stop buying broken products and then shrugging your shoulders when it doesn't do what it is supposed to. Stop buying products that serve any other master than you. Use older stuff that works. Make it yourself. Only buy new stuff from companies that have proven themselves good servants of their customers in the past. Complaining online about this stuff helps, but really, just stop buying it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Not just a good idea...

Let's make it law. Sign's petition to Congress asking that they ban paperless voting machines in time for the 2008 elections. Takes 2 seconds.

Post a comment once you sign the petition, that way I can keep track. :)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Frickin' Unbelievable...

So the last renewal of that masterpiece of civil rights detroying legislation, The Patriot (Unpatriotic) Act includes an interesting amendment. The amendment inserted by Arlen Specter (who denies ever having seen it prior to the interview asking about it!!!) moves the power of appointment of U.S. Attorneys from the Senate to the White House and removes the need for Senate confirmation.

U.S. Attorneys investigate and prosecute government malfeasance. They follow up on whistle blowing. They find out who got bribed by who or who leaked what and so on. And now they can be appointed by the President without Senate confirmation. I wonder who exactly benefits from this arrangement. Not the taxpayers. Not the Senate. Hmmmm.

See this article for more details.

Then go to the Senate page with contact forms for your Senators and send them an email or call them about this amazing travesty. Urge them to revoke this transfer of powers as rapidly as possible.

And then email everyone you know to do the same thing.

This is really big. This provision undermines one of the most fundamental safeguards to the integrity of government. Even if you don't believe that an email can make a difference, spend 5 minutes and send one anyway. Here's a sample letter you can use:

The hidden clause in the Patriot Act that transfers power of appointment for US Attorneys to the White House is unconscionable. I urge you to introduce a bill to revoke this usurpation of Senate authority. The ability to pack US Attorney positions with partisan hacks backing the White House agenda subverts the entire legal process in the government. Appointment of handpicked cronies to a position that monitors and polices the government for abuse of power and corruption leaves our entire Republic vulnerable. Please make the reversal of this tragic provision one of your highest priorities in the coming months.

Thank you,
Your constituent,

We can take our government back.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Late start

Rolled out of bed a little bit late this morning. Even with that, I managed to eat breakfast, walk the dogs (a 30 to 40 minute process) and get out the door on my bike by 8:15. Then I nearly set a personal record for my commute to work - 37 minutes. I was just screamin' along. Good way to start the morning. A little cardio. A little adrenaline. A little movement.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Tastes like chicken

Sunday night I bought an 8 piece box of fried chicken. I haven't had fried chicken for 3 or 4 years now. Generally I eat a pretty balanced diet. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Pasta and beans and rice as starches. Lean meats. And I like the way I eat.

I took 3 days to polish off the box. I enjoyed every second of picking the bones clean and gnawing at bits of fried flour and meat, and I'm set for another 3 or 4 years. But really, fried chicken tastes so good and is so bad for you I really don't see how it ain't illegal yet.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Layout changes

I'm playing around with some new templates and layouts in Blogger. If you really like or absolutely despise any of the changes then let me know. If I value your opinion then it might impact my changes. Cheers!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Oh fluffy powder!

Devon and I went to Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood to take the third and final lesson of our snowboard lesson package. My friends Chris and Espy came up from San Jose to hang out and go snowboarding for their first time ever. Dev and I warmed up for about an hour on the bunny slope while Chris and Espy took their lesson.

Snow kept falling from the sky. The wind kept throwing loose snow into our faces. And the sun occasionally peeked through the clouds. And the cycle repeated over and over all day long. This cycle deposited a ton of fluffy white soft powdery snow on the runs.

Dev and I managed to wrangle our instructor (he goes by "DC") from a few weeks ago into teaching our last lesson. Since only we two registered for the advanced beginner lesson, it was like we were getting a private snowboard lesson. He's a great instructor. Completely psyched about snowboarding. Completely psyched to be out teaching people to snowboard. Positive. Upbeat. Flexible. And he really pays attention. (Can you tell that Dev and I enjoyed his teaching style?)

He took us down the bunny slope one more time to evaluate our riding. Then he took us down the Pucci run. Our first time on a long open run. We got to do some straight downhill riding. We got to practice heel edge riding. We got to practice impromptu braking (crashing). But the soft powdery snow was fun to fall into. We even had to practice our balance on a level section on West End Road. DC had us strap in only one foot and practice placing our weight on that foot and balancing over that foot. Then we pushed off with our free foot and had to stomp our free foot on the board as many times as we could before falling. This exercise really worked at focusing our balance and body position - the practice graphically illustrated how we should be standing and balancing.

So we look forward to getting back up to the mountain. Dev has to travel this week and next week so we probably won't go back for at least two weeks. But we are chomping at the bit to get back up there.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Snowbound no more

The white stuff has finally melted. The ice is nearly gone. I rode my bike in to work for the first time in 4 days (Tuesday was a snow day, and I rode in cars Wednesday and Thursday). The rain started again though, reminding us all that we live in Oregon in winter. :)

My friends Chris and Espy are coming up from the San Francisco bay area this weekend. They fly in tonight. We go snowboarding tomorrow at Mt Hood. It will be a good weekend.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snow at home

I woke up to snow falling from the sky in Portland. Falling snow still entrances me.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Not Roman Numerals.

Cross country. As in cross country skiing. Sue took me out for my first time on touring skis. 3 hours. 8 miles. One good view of Mt Hood. One very sore and tired David at the end of the day.

But I had a lot of fun. Initially I had some trouble with descents (as in 8 falls). That ongoing misfortune was mostly fixed with some spot-on advice from a passing stranger (who obviously knows how to coach a newbie.) Aside from that, I feel like I caught on pretty well. I worked hard, but it happened in a relaxed pace. I had a chance to ride boards over hard pack groomed track, flattened but no-track snow, and on untouched powder. So I tried out a variety of styles in one afternoon.

The weather was outstanding. It never went above freezing the whole day, but the sun graced us for almost the entire trip. And Sue and I both had to shed layers of clothing to stay comfortable. At least until we got back to the parking lot - the wind by the car was evil.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Glorious sun!

The sun came out today in time for my morning ride to work. The sub-30 degree temperature still ranks as bitter cold, but riding in bright sunny clear weather more than made up for it.

Now I have to go defrost my toes. :)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Pictures posted

I posted pictures from New Years weekend for your viewing pleasure.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year on the Left Coast

Dev and I retreated to the coast of Oregon for the long weekend. We took the dogs with us and rented a house right on the beach bluffs with a coupe of friends (Nate and Sue). We spent all weekend do not a whole lot at a very slow pace. Walked up and down the beach. Read a little bit. Played Scrabble and Taboo. And watched the ball drop in New York's Time Square. And then we moseyed home pretty easily too.

Happy New Years!