Sunday, August 31, 2008

Surfing pictures from this week

Are here.


Vacation days 8 and 9

Garage sale. Woohoo! Yippee!

Garage sales are *awesome*!

Unless it rains on day two of your two day garage sale.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Vacation days 6 and 7


In a word, surfing.

Dev and I woke up way too flippin' early on a vacation day so that we could drive to Cannon Beach by 9:45 am. Mica (our surf instructor) wanted us at the surf shop by a quarter to 10 so we could get loaded and head out by 10 am. She got us set up with suits and boards and had us sign our lives away on the dotted line of the surf waiver. Apparently sunburn is one of the hidden hazards of surfing that the waiver insists you not blame on the surf shop. She led us over to Indian Head Beach at Ecola state park.

We talked about the rip tide at the beach. We practiced our pop up. We went over the basics of surfboard anatomy. Then she led us into the water to start surfing. The water felt warm. For the first time on a visit to the pacific, the water felt warm. Mica guided us through several runs. Dev started getting up and getting a ride almost every time she started out to catch one. I didn't do so well. I sorta flailed through most of the lesson. About noon, Mica left us. She told us to try the other surf break nearby at Short Sands. She said she planned to be out there later in the afternoon and hoped to see us there.

We took a break for lunch by the car. A very bold squirrel marched right up to the picnic table and proed at our cooler bag for points of weakness. We shooed him but he didn't retreat unless we actually moved toward him. He never stole any food from us.

Dev and I debated about going to the other break. We decided to just ride out the rest of the day at Indian Head; we shouldered the boards and marched back to the beach. Dev continued to catch a lot of waves. I switched my lead foot ( I had practiced regular footed, but I ride snowboard goofy footed) and I started getting up a lot more.

We washed up on shore exhausted a few hours later. We crawled back to the truck and drove south to Nehalem state park. The tent went up fast. Dev made burgers. We hung all our wet things to dry overnight. Beer and wine flowed. Gin rummy commenced; Dev lost by a very narrow margin of 30 points. We sacked out.

Next morning (Friday 8/29 for those of you keeping score at home), we met a doe and her two fauns in the middle of the camp ground. I should explain; the Nehalem state park is almost all drive-in camping, yurts and RV camping. Finding a deer and her offspring in the middle of the camp surprised us. The foraging must be good, because I'm used to deer skedaddling at the first sign of a person. Post-deer we loaded up the car and ate at the Pig N' Pancake. Big honkin' pancakes for me; Denver omelette for Dev. Then we needed sunblock. Then we finally made it to the beach at 11 am. Early start hey?

Despite our tardiness, high tide hadn't come in quite yet. e suited up and ignored the light sprinkles and thick fog and headed down to the beach. The water was warm again on Friday; warm meaning that bare hands and feet felt cold in the water but anything covered by neoprene felt comfortable). We started out pretty strong. Dev got some great rides early on. Then she started trying for bigger and bigger waves. These would often knock her of the board before she could pop up. I didn't get so many good rides to start. Once I started choosing more "mushy" waves I started getting up on the board and riding it in to shore. Next up: learning to turn!!!!

We watched a couple of guys who got outside the shore break and rode the bigger waves outside. They looked good. And they looked like they were having a lot of fun. This one guys rode his short board all the way from a big wave outside to a smaller wave on the shore. Looked like he was having a lot of fun.

Dev got to the car and couldn't contain her enthusiasm for our new sport. She was more excited about surfing than I've seen her be about almost anything (except maybe our wedding, but that's hardly in the same league). We were talking about wetsuits and boards and planning the next summer and how to spend time on the coast. I think we can safely say Dev is hooked. And I really had a good time in the water, which is new for me. Just gotta keep working on my swimming so I can be out in the bigger waves and play safe.

Vacation day 5 (part deux)

We spent Wednesday at home. We unpacked our gear. Started some laundry. Did some dishes. Then we started packing for two days at the coast. We grocery shopped. And we situated ourselves to leave the next day.

Then we organized all the extra stuff in our garage for a garage sale. We piled it all in the center of the garage floor; made a price list; set stuff together in little mini-piles.

Then we watched the Democratic National convention and passed out.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Vacation day 5

Vacation day 4

Tuesday started much sunnier and warmer than Monday. Lucy had to jet to work and wished us a safe drive back home before she left. Jason and Cassius led us to the local vegan donut shop, The Mighty O. Now, normally I would expect a vegan organic donut shop to be mediocre and unsatisfying. Let's day that my experience with alternate baked goods has been plagued by failed facsimiles of sweet treats. Not so here. The Mighty O makes tasty donuts; very tasty.

Post donut, Dev and I lounged and primped. Finally we gave Jason some sorely deserved alone time. We headed out for Pikes Place market and wandered through the stacks of hand crafted artsiness. We found an awesome map shop one block up from the market; Metskers Maps. Dev and I lost about 45 minutes there just browsing globes and nautical charts and Moleskine city books.

After taking in our cartographic fill, we swung back to the Greenlake neighborhood to meet Jess for lunch. We caught up; Dev and I hadn't seen him for about 3 years. Good food paired with good company. Jess told some funny stories about his kids. Regrettably, the lunch ended too soon. We started battling our way down I-5 back to Portland. The drive home took more patience than we would have liked, Tacoma and Olympia both did their best to stop us. We survived despite the efforts of the clueless drivers of the northwest rush hour. Arrival home resulted in dog walks, some sort of chicken pasta red sauce last minute whip it up because we didn't want to go to the grocery store dinner that was quite delicious and the last 3 session of the Summer Olympics on the Tivo.

Then bed followed by 8 hours of sleep. (Sensing a theme in the vacation yet?)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Vacation day 3

Dev and I spent a blissful night sleeping on Jason and Lucy's futon. We drove up to Seattle at the end of day 2 (Sunday). Cassius got a little freaked out when he met me. Jason and Lucy got Cassius (a 110 pound rescue German Shepherd) shortly after they moved to Seattle. Cassius is gorgeous and good natured but not well socialized or trained, yet. Jason says that Cassius has made huge strides in his behavior since they got him. He seemed pretty well behaved for most of our visit so clearly the training and treats are doing something to improve Cassius' attitude. Nearest we can figure is that he doesn't like my height, so he gets a little freaked out and starts barking and cowering. Anyway, we went out Sunday night to Duke's Chowder house and had a fabulous dinner catching up with Jason and Lucy.

We slept in until 8 or so Monday morning. Kicked around for a few minutes drinking coffee and chowing breakfast. Before we even got out of bed, we decided to skip the morning workout at Crossfit Seattle. Dev looked at me and we just knew that we didn't feel like jetting to a class that started an hour later. Instead, we tromped over to Best Buy and bought a new digital camera. Our little elph finally gave up the ghost on Saturday. Blue tinting on the LCD screen was followed by no image and no power on the LCD. We did get a nice camera that uses regular AA batteries. We can get rechargeable batteries for our main use and then fall back on store bought batteries on long trips.

Jason took Dev and I out to lunch at a local deli/grocery store. Then Dev and I walked over to Woodland Park Zoo from Jason and Lucy's house. The rain kept a lot of the animals indoors. We still got to see a good number of critters. And the zoo tries hard to make the enclosures look like natural habitats. We dashed from exhibit to exhibit to stay out of the rain as much as possible. The zoo seemed pretty deserted by the tie we left at 6. The rain kept falling pretty hard on the walk home.

Jason and Lucy treated us to homemade pizza and some good white wine for dinner. We watched Michelle Obama speak at the DNC. We chatted about politics for a while. Then we watched "Idiocracy." I'd heard lots of good things about the movie, but really, I wasn't prepared for the cynical goodness of the movie. More chatter followed the movie. And then blessed blessed sleep.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Vacation day 2

Rainier National Park
Scott and Dev and I rose late (8 am) and feasted on eggs and hash
browns and bacon. Sated, we broke camp and cleaned up. Scott jetted
for home on his bike. Dev and I drove over to the day use area. We
hiked out to Glacier Basin and caught a great view of the big boy
himself. We hiked out after enjoying the fantastic view an a small
snack. We caught a little rain on the hike out. It was better for us
than for the group of climbers heading up to Camp Schurman. Good luck
guys! Stay dry!

Friday, August 22, 2008

From Daily Kos - True colors of Tax cut plans

An important article that details who gets tax breaks and who doesn't under the two presidential candidates respective tax plans. Make note of which candidate proposes to tax the rich and cut taxes for the middle class. Notice also that the tax increases in that plan all go to those making more than 600 grand a year. Hmm. I wonder who plans on helping the working class more?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quote of the day

"Hash browns are the devil. I cannot resist them."
-Scott Neves (my very clever brother)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The eyes have it

I decided to switch back to contact lenses today after 3 or 5 years of glasses. I have finally got tied of the hassle of glasses and I'm willing to try out the hassles of contacts for a while. No more holding a glasses case in one hand and trying to swap out prescription sunglasses for prescription clear glasses when going into a store on a sunny day. No more lenses fogging up on a moderately cold winter hike. No more moving the goggle off my face and scraping the nose piece of my glasses across my face as they go with the goggle when I'm snowboard. No more moving directly next to the whiteboard at the gym so I can read the work out of the day.

No more.

Given my fickle nature, expect to see a retraction or reversal within six month.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Swimming update

Last night I hopped in the pool for about 45 minutes. I focused on just staying relaxed while stroking and regulating my breathing. I didn't do great, but not badly either. I used fins for about 20 or 25 laps. I did about 10 laps on my back with no arm stroke and wearing find. And I did about 10 or 15 laps with a pool buoy between my legs and just using my arms to haul me up and down the lane.

Monday, August 11, 2008

New adventures

I just got online and purchased Total Immersion to help me improve my swimming. I had started swimming again last fall. By swimming again, I mean that I took a beginner swim class from the local pool. I finally got some basic technique at the age of 35. I didn't do so well on the follow up. I haven't been to the pool in months. So now I go back.

Why now?

A couple of reasons. Swimming is a survival skill. I should be able to swim confidently for a few hundred yards, at least. If I fell in a river right now on one of my hiking trips, I'd be in trouble. Next up, swimming opens the door for a lot of other activities, like surfing. I can surf in the short waist high breaks at Indian Head right now. If Dev and I get better and start going to bigger breaks, it'd be nice to know how to get myself to shore. also, it makes me more rounded, more of a generalist. I like having a wide set of skills and knowledge. Sadly, my aquatic side has been stunted for a long time. Finally, there's kind of a zen simplicity to swimming that really appeals to me. Much like hiking is so simple and basic and fulfilling, swimming seems much the same way. All you need is some water and some time and you can swim.

I'll try to post progress as I go along.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Riding the Bridges

So we rode in the Bridge Pedal today. Basically the city of Portland shuts down the upper decks of the two big highway bridges in town and restricts traffic on the other eight bridges so all the bicyclists can ride on them. Dev, Jami, Mary and I signed up for the 11 bridge ride (11 bridge crossings). Jami and Dev and I bailed off after nine bridges and rode back to the waterfront for the Bite of Oregon festival. We had some good food and a little good beer and then made our way home. Pictures are here.

And now we're at the Bite of Oregon

Bikes take over the Fremont Bridge

Dev on the Sellwood Bridge

Devon on the Bridge Pedal

Friday, August 08, 2008

Another one....

MO Republican Indicted, Charged With Sexual Assault Of 14 Yr Old Girl

Why is it that all Congressmen getting busted for sexual deviance/perversion/sex offenses come from the party that shouts about Family Values and strong morals?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Monday, August 04, 2008

The invisible before us

I took this shot at an intersection near home on my way to work last week. The view reminds me of a documentary on R Crumb that I watched years ago. One of the most memorable moments in the movie involved Crumb getting a ride around the city and the suburbs. He didn't drive but he wanted to sketch out as many versions of power lines as he could find. The images of the power lines contradicted what I imagined; I always minimized the power lines in my imagination. Crumb's imagery depicted a sprawling tangle of power lines littering the landscape and skyline. I made effort to look for power lines on the way to work. I shocked myself by actually *seeing* something that is always there. I lost the thread of cables by the time I made it to work.