Wednesday, March 26, 2008

At the airport and checking the day's news with free wifi on my ipod
touch. Dev and I are on our way to meet my new niece Teagin and to see
my longtime friend Chris Niemietz lose his bachelor-hood, I mean, get
married to lovely young lady in San Antonio, Texas. Should be a good

Friday, March 21, 2008

This article tells the truth: the customer is not always right.
A decade I have been doing customer service. A decade has taught me that the points of this article are as close to gospel truth as you can get in secular life.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rivercity Bicycles proves again how great they are. I popped in during lunch because I lost one of the bolts that secures my bike rack and rear fender stay to the frame. Sometime in the last month or two the demons of bike commuting claimed tribute and left me shy this mounting bolt. So I stroll into the shop during my lunch break and ask if they have a replacement on hand. The mechanic digs out the bolt, installs it, checks the other one and then refuses payment of any sort.

There's the reason I like the joint. They don't know me - I certainly don't come in often enough to be a "regular" or "big spender." Every time I go in for a small service issue, they just take care of it.

And I saw one of the managers or assistant managers walking around with an iPhone. That was pretty cool.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lots of excitement on Geneva Ave tonight. I had just finished a short
climbing skills practice session with a couple of friends and had
settled onto the couch to read up on Mt Shasta and watch a rerun of
"Two and a Half Men." In the corner of my eye I saw a police car pass
by the front window and slow to a stop. The it reversed briefly and
started flashing its lights. "Odd," I thought. "I didn't see a car zip
by really fast." So I get off the couch to see what's up.
There's a silver two door Caddy sitting right at the corner of our
lot and the officer from the police cruiser is approaching the car. He
has the driver get out of the car. A second police cruiser has parked
behind the first on our block. The driver gets out of the Caddy and
just gets clear of the door and then the dumbass decides to run. He
makes three steps before he trips on his own feet and then the two
officers tackle him. They wrestle for a couple of minutes and I
started to think that maybe the officers were getting a little rough;
as in violating civil rights rough. When the officers picked up the
driver and hauled him back to one of the police cars, then I see the
knife laying in the street. And it was a dagger-sized knife: six
inches of blade and a big cross guard.
By the time that the first occupant of the car had been detained
there were three more police cars on the street. The new officers
pulled the remaining two occupants of the Cadillac out of the car. The
officers checked the second guy for weapons extensively. He wore a big
baggy flannel and super baggy cargo pants. The police seemed very
intent on removing his belt; I couldn't see if it was one of the
belts with a knife blade built into the buckle.
The third occupant of the car, the only girl, sat on the curb in front
of the neighbor's house. She smoked and answered questions for the
cops. The police treated her much less roughly than the two guys.
Dev got home for the tail end of the festivities. The cops sped away
and a tow truck dragged off the Caddy. Plastic evidence bags held the
stashed drugs of the car's occupants. And we hit a quiet evening back.
I still wonder though why the driver ran. As soon as you take off the
cops know something is up. They know to look a lot more closely. They
know you ran for a reason.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The plan originally involved a weekend at Smith Rock.
projected a low of 21 degrees and a 70% chance of rain. NOAA had a
slightly more optimistic take with only a 30% chance of precipitation
and a low of 22. On top of that, the Mt Hood area was peojected to see
3 feet of snow by this morning (saturday) and that means a drive out
to eastern Oregon would involve chains and extra drive time.
So we scrapped the plan.
John and Jess and I drove out to the mountain today and rode the
snowboards in the fresh powder. I rode intermediate slopes all day
long. I got buried in powder a couple of times. Jess got bogged down a
couple of times. And even John managed to sink himself in drifts up to
his chest a couple times. We all rode well and we all survived without
injury, even though I buried my tip a couple of times and did some
impromptu cartwheels.
Links to pictures coming soon.
Oh, and powder days rock even if the sky pelts you with snow all day

Friday, March 14, 2008

Greg Palast has a great take on the Elliot Spitzer mess. Not quite a conspiracy theory, but certainly food for thought. The timeline goes something like:
Spitzer worked against the sub-prime mortgage criminals like Countrywide and Bank of America.
Spitzer's bank accounts get watched (by the banks of the Feds - doesn't really matter)
Spitzer gets caught paying a hooker.
Spitzer gets outed by the Feds, unlike other Republican-friendly public figures (think Senator David Vitter paying for "diaper service")
Spitzer resigns, as he should. But the subprime debacle loses one it's leading champions.

Makes my blood boil.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Spring is coming. Crazy as it seems.

I went snowboarding up at Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood with John and his friend Caitlin on Saturday. I rode down almost all intermediate runs. I didn't fall that much, and never very hard. We went up the Magic Mile chairlift and it was my first time skiing that high on the mountain. Above treeline. I could see Mt Jefferson and Broken Top way to the south. I could see the clouds wrapping Portland in their gray grip. I had a blast cruising down the wide open upper slopes; no trees, nice slope angle, lots of room to avoid the other skiers. Just a great time. I'll try to link pictures when John gets them posted.

And yesterday I led a hike up Hunchback mountain out of Zig Zag Ranger station. I had a nice crew of Mazamas with me. Almost all the snow from 2 weeks ago had melted off. What snow remained made some of the hiking feel more like an actual climb. We topped out at Rimrock viewpoint after about an hour and a half. We turned around mainly because the snow seemed like it might get really sloppy for the cruise down and I wanted to make sure we all got back comfortably. I want to make it to the Great Pyramid. Maybe later this spring.

The weather yesterday made me think that Spring has sprung. Cool and cloudy but dry with the skies opening to the sun as the day got late. Nice day to be outside. Nice day to ramble.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Back to the climbing gym for me tonight. I really enjoy going to
Crossfit but I need to build my climbing chops for the upcoming
season. Since I need to get in for two or three night a week that
means I have to let go of something else (both to maintain marital
harmony and to avoid overtraining). So a monthly membership at the
climbing gym it is and hopefully I'll get some great technical alpine
climbs this spring and summer.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Alive and well on Monday after a great day snowboarding on Saturday.
The snow kept falling and no one came to Ski Bowl so lift lines didn't
exist. Front of the line every time. Then I had great weather
yesterday for my Dog Mountain hike lead for the Mazamas out in the
Columbia River Gorge. Sunny and cool. Good group of hike attendees.
Then I spent the evening watching two episodes of Rome with Dev. A
relaxing and fun weekend.