Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Potrero Chico 08: Day 7 - New Years Day, Crushed Guppy

I don't have any pics right now of today's action, but it was a good day nonetheless. It started out sad as Dave and Caroline left, but hopefully we'll see them in Australia someday soon.

We warmed up on the Wave, doing La Ola and then the 10d to the right of it. Nathan onsighted the 10d, but no one else did! It was kinda funky at the top, but still fun. We then made our way back to Surf Bowl to clean up Guppy, 12b. The draws weren't on the route, so I climbed it, hanging them and butchering the sequence. I was pretty frustrated but knew I'd get it on my next go, which I did. It's a great route which I hope to get wired. Kawai sent it on his 3rd go, and Nathan gave it a few tries to suss out the beta.

Tomorrow we're staying close to the ground, probably Virgin Canyon for some 11s. It'll be a few days before I can get back up to Surf Bowl to get on the 13a, Surfer Rosa.

Duh, forgot about this morning's pictures! Before Dave and Caroline left, we got in the pool and took some photos. I ripped off the jumping thing from some of Chamisa's friends. Too fun to pass up!

Today's pics

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Potrero Chico 08: Day 5 - I found my new home

Today was a fantastic day. While Dave and Caroline did trail maintenance (and Dave smashed his finger, poor guy) the rest of us went to the Wave that had the best 10b I've ever been on, La Ola. Any time you needed a foot, you had one. Every time you were forced to change body positions, it was well worth it. It's easily the best 10b I've ever been on, and in the top 5 routes. Here's a picture of China near the top, just under the wave.

We then hiked up to Surf Bowl, which is my new home. Guys at work, I quit. Mom, sell my house and send me the money. Give the van to Nathan, I'm moving to Surf Bowl. It has the kind of routes I've been waiting for: overhanging, jugs, underclings and tufas. The climbing was outstanding. I almost onsighted Blue Fin, 12a, getting all the way to the anchor when pitching. I was pumped out of my mind, but might have been able to clip had the draws been on my right. We all did it on our second go. Here are a few pics of us on it.

There were a bunch of Mexican climbers at the wall too. Ricardo and Bruno, both very strong guys, were cranking. Bruno got the 13b (Dave says grade 30 in Austrailian), Nemo, and Ricardo made some progress. It was inspiring to watch them on those routes, and they looked really fun. I almost flashed Guppy, 12b, getting one move from the huge jug before falling. I found some great heel hook beta that's going to work next time. Then on to the 12d, en muerte!

Me on Guppy:

Tomorrow is a rest day, so don't expect a post, unless I get that bored.

Today's pics

Monday, December 29, 2008

Potrero Chico 08: Day 4 - Supernova went DOWN

Kawai and I woke up at 6:30 this morning for an early start at Supernova. We warmed up on Mr. Puffer's Wild Ride, a very fun 5.9+ in Estrallas, much lower than Supernova. Kawai was in love with that climb. For a 9+, it was very fun.

After that warmup, we marched up to the base of Supernova. The pitches go at 5.11a, 5.8, 5.6, 5.6, 5.9, 5.6, 5.9, 5.8. I lead pitch one, almost coming off at the crux. I had a decent left hand, a good right undercling, bad left foot and horrible right smear. I managed to make the move without coming off and boogied to the anchor. Kawai followed with no issues, though the ropebag he had on his back caught some air during the crux, yet he held on.

Kawai linked pitches 2 and 3 together, and I did the same for 4 and 5. He lead what I'm sure must have been 6, 7 and 8 all in one. Since the climbing was easy, we skipped bolts so we could link pitches and get to the top. The last pitch wasn't all that great, but getting to the top and seeing the view was awesome.

Kawai at first belay:

Since we only had one 70m rope, it was necessary to make a bunch of short rappels. I would go first, and as soon as I hit the next anchor I'd get off rappel and start threading the rope through the bolts. That way, when Kawai got down, all he had to do was pull the other side, equalize, and throw. I had some good throws, EVERY one of Kawai's throws was bad. We had some good laughs.

The view of El Toro:

We ran into a party of 3 on the anchors of the 2nd pitch. 5 dudes on one ledge was tight, but not as bad as you'd think. We rapped off their draws, hit the last rap station, then got to the ground. First thing... gotta go potty!

We made our way down the slope and back to camp, had hot showers and a little food, and yeah, that's it. Micah should be here any minute, then it's dinner time. We're going to the market tomorrow, which is bigger than Friday's. Can't wait to get some more grubbin' food!

Today's pics

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Potrero Chico 08: Day 3 - Today was an off day

Today was a bit cooler than yesterday, maybe 65 in the shade. We started on Moto Wall, and had to walk by Jabba the Hut again. This time he had the gate closed, so I found a hole in the barbed wire fence that we walked through. Gilberto, a guy that works here at Pagoda's, said he doesn't think it's right the man collects money. The man was yelling at us that we should pay because it's private land, but it isn't, so... not gonna pay. We also heard it's tribal land, but Gilberto had mentioned there were no tribes around here. Pretty sure it's just a racket.

Anyway, we warmed up at Moto wall on a 10b. I did something to my left index finger yesterday, so I wasn't keen on cranking today, though I would have otherwise. The climb was fun, but my finger didn't feel right. Still doesn't actually. I think I did just enough to kinda bruise it; I don't think it's a pulley injury.

We heard someone commotion and it ends up someone got hurt. A guy got off route and fell, and we thought he might have broken his leg. Luckily he only skinned his elbow, though I think he went into shock for a bit, as a buddy, Gary, a Wilderness First Responder, ran up the route and lowered the guy down. It was interesting to watch. The injured climber was fine by the time he got to the ground. You can see him being lowered.

After warming up, we walked up to Mileski Wall, which was probably a 30 minute hike up the hill. It was in the sun and felt good. Kawai jumped on Shock T, an 11d but got cruxed out near the top. He took a number of good lead falls though. Nathan got on Mother Superior, a 12a to the left and did well on his first go but didn't onsight it. Aussie Dave flashed it of course, and when I left China was on it. Hopefully Nathan and Kawai both got their routes.

Tomorrow Kawai and I are planning on doing the route at the back of the canyon, highlighted below. I'm forgetting the name, but it's 8 pitches, 11a first pitch, then 10 and below. Should be a fun route!

Today's pics

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Potrero Chico 08: Day 2 - It's getting hot in herr

Today the temps rose to close to 90. Our plan was to go up to Surf Bowl, a rad, hard wall. It's on the back side, so you have to pass through the collection gate/extortionist. To explain, I had heard there was a guy that site in his truck and collects money from people that want to climbing inside on the inside. I read that it's actually not legal for him to collect money, since he doesn't own the land, nor does he work for any park service-type operation. So, I decided to walk right passed him. First, he was this over weight guy laying down in a camper. All he did was lift a rope to raise a little flag line to stop people. I just stepped on the line and walked by. He asked us if we spoke Spanish, and since I don't, we didn't respond. If the whole scene weren't so disgusting, I might give him the money. Sure as hell not going to now.

So, Surf Bowl... it's a hike, and it was hot out. There's only one route up there to warm up on, and literally one minute before we got there a group took the pitch. We then decided to head back down to the shade and get on some fun stuff.

We warmed up on some 10s then went up to an area Kawai and Nathan had checked out. There were 2 spectacular routes there, both 11c. I put up the first, falling above the first bolt (a very long move and not super easy to figure out) and David the Aussie put up the other. Nathan flashed the route I put up, Kawai and I got it on our 2nd go, easily. Nathan and I both flashed the other 11c. Both super high quality routes, worthy of the 3 star rating. China also found her project in this route, which could go in another try or 2. Spectacular route!

You wish you were here, right now:

Aussie Dave:

Nathan flashing it in good style:

Today's pics

Friday, December 26, 2008

Potrero Chico 08: Day 1 - My first day at Potrero Chico


I like waking up to that! Today was great. Nathan, China and Kawai all took a rest day, as we're going to get on some harder stuff tomorrow. I wanted to be a good boy and climb some moderate stuff today to get used to the rock. 10b, 10b, 10c and 10d. All moderate, all very good! Since I was the only one climbing, it was a short day, and we all needed to go to the market anyway. On the way back from climbing though, we passed a little girl that wanted her picture taken. Of course her sister had to join in the fun.

Luckily we caught a ride in the back of someone's truck, as it's a bit of a walk into town.

The market was busy, but not as big as Tuesday's, according to Nathan. I had a ear of corn with mayonaise and sweet chili sauce, which was as good as Nathan said. We had gorditas across the path from a guy that was selling dried cat guts (or something) to relieve stomach issues and back pain. They looked more like bean pods to me, but whatever.

The temps tonight are perfect. This is a fantastic place, and I'm so glad I'm finally here! The first people I met outside our group was David and Caroline from Australia. They're both really cool and quite funny. I also saw Chris Leisch at the market, a buddy from St. Louis/SoIll. Pretty crazy running into someone you haven't seen in 5 years in a foreign country, but cool nonetheless.

Stay tuned for more pics tomorrow.

Today's pics

Potrero Chico 08: Day 1 - I'm here!

I'm sitting outside Tami's Cafe after just having had some delicious bacon and eggs. Traveling here was pretty good, though I did have an hour and a half delay in Dallas; something about a valve. This is what I woke up to this morning:

Time to go climb!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Chillin' at the gate

It's 5 am and I'm waiting at the gate. We should be boarding in the next 30 min or so. It's strange, I'm not used to being 1) up this early, and 2) up and hungry this early in the morning. It's sammich time.

Btw, you can follow me on twitter, if you're into that kind of thing. I doubt I'll be updating Facebook anymore. Decent posts will still go here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

7 hours until I take off

Getting to the airport was easy, in terms of the bus and the Max. Getting down to the bus stop wasn't easy, as my duffel bag is really heavy. I'm pretty sure I'll have to take my rope and draws out somehow.

I got carsick on the bus. So really I got bus-sick. I didn't pay for either the bus or the Max. Bus driver didn't ask, and the Max ticket machine only took coins.

Anyway, I'm gonna go try to get my bag weighed, then get some sleep.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shitty Weather 08 - I tried to be clever

So I thought I'd be smart and go save my bushes. With all the ice and snow, I was afraid they'd get permanently damaged and then cost me some dollaz.

So I decided to fashion a pair of snowshows, because, I don't have any. I looked around for a bit but couldn't find anything that would work, until I stumbled upon some old pegboard.

So I was like "HELL YEAH" and I got to work strapping a pair of Nathan's Gore-Tex shoes on the board.

I thought I did a pretty good job...

until I got outside and damn near slipped every 2 steps.

So, I beat the snow off the bushes as best I could, then walked down to the store. I saw peeps on cross country skis, but no one on snowshoes. I need to pick up a cheap pair. That and a shovel.

glad I ganked that balaclava from my dad years ago!

Shitty Weather 08 - the poor bushes

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Shitty Weather 08 - the video

I would like to go to Mexico

My flight was just canceled. Not much of a surprise, as it's total shite around here. The best flight I could get leaves Thursday morning at 6am, the same flight my bro took. Check the pics below.

I just heard on the news that all Alaska/Horizon flights have been canceled. And that the Oregon City varsity basketball team is STUCK... in Hawaii. Boo fucking hoo.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pushed back a day

Just got an automated call from American Airlines. My flight tomorrow morning was cancelled, so I rebooked for Monday morning. Now I go through Orange County on my way to Dallas. Not psyched about that!

A pre-emptive pre/post mugshot

What I'll look like before my trip:

What I'll look like post:

And what I look like right now:

Friday, December 19, 2008

My first post from my new Eee PC

I know I know, I haven't written anything of substance in a while. Here's a short recap:
  • Thanksgiving was delicious
  • Chamisa and I went to Breitenbush Hot Springs, which was freakin' awesome
  • My Yiayia visited and tossed coins in my house. I waited 2 years for that!
  • Chamisa had her going away party
  • Chamisa left Portland for home before the Peace Corps
  • Nathan went to Mexico
  • I got my new laptop
You know, I have written about girls before, but I didn't really write about Chamisa. We knew from the beginning it would be a short term thing, but we made the most of it. She's da bomb.

Sunday morning I'm heading to Potrero Chico for 3 weeks, where Nathan has been for almost a week now. 3 weeks... can't wait!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I don't know what this means

A pen in our office had this on it:
Our Laboratory is VERY SATISFIED with ROCHE today!
If not, we'll call our representative.

We can't figure out what the hell that means. Who would give that out? What's going on? I'm confused.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Change Fail

Can't believe this didn't make it on FailBlog!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shiba Inu TV

Get some of this right now!
Full screen flash player

I'm not sure why they don't have ads displayed... can anyone say easy revenue stream?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It really can be a small world

On my bike ride back from the PRG last night, at the corner of 12th and Hawthorne, I overheard 2 cyclist ask where the Woodstock district was. Since I of course live in Woodstock, I offered for them to follow me. These 2 were on a bicycle trip from Tacoma WA to Arizona. They were psyched to be in Portland and be immersed in the bike culture. As we're riding, the guy mentions he's from St. Louis. I tell him I went to college there, and of course proceed to ask him what high school he went to (it's a thang.) He tells me SLU High School, so I ask if he knows Eric or Brent Venker. He erupts in surprise, as he went to school with Brent for a few years.

Seriously, a tiny world sometimes.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Drunk, Flying Pigs

Yosh sent me this photo a few days ago. I had no idea what it is, but his wife speaks Russian and did a little research, and the results follow:
Never seen those before. I googled it in Russian and mostly sites with these pics come up, with no useful info but “smart ass” remarks, most posts are from October 2008. But I did find a site-library with various documents/articles that had to do with the Russian space programs ( There was an article from 2006 about the story behind those photos. They seem to be real. The label on the bottle of wine says “1936” and the stamp says something about “Military Department”. There were no details in the documentation found in the archives, so they actually found a physics professor who participated in the tests, so he was able to explain quite a bit. The article says that the army was testing (under a close supervision of Beria – an NKVD monster similar and very close to Stalin) the effect of speeds over 12G on the body in jet-propelled rockets.. Beria’s idea was to use similar rockets to descent special forces across the front line. So they shot the poor piggy in the rocket prototype. The article say that they could not get a chimpanzee because they were testing it in 1942 and pigs happen to have internal organs very similar to humans’. This kind of testing happened in Kapustin Yar (a testing ground a little too close to Uralsk – later they even tested nuclear weapons there). They were giving the piglet wine to minimize stress on the animal.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My first spill

I wrecked on my bike today on the way to the PRG. Not a bad one, but tore my new rain pants at the knee, tore my carharts at the knee too. Tore my skin at the knee now that I think about it. Little bit of elbow too. Gotta watch out for those railroad tracks!

Congrats to Obama

I'm actually psyched. I'm genuinely excited to see where this country will go from here. I've been done with the Vietnam era presidents for a while now. Hopefully from here on out, we can have some leadership for the 21st century. It's is really about GOTDAMN time!

Out with the old...

In with the new!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Pure 80s genuis

2 of the best songs to come out of the 80s for sure, with a twist.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Those great fall weekends

The last 2 weekends have been awesome, both in terms of weather and activity. Last weekend I hit Madrone on Saturday with Moira and Carver on Sunday with Gary and Chamisa. Gary and I talked about Carver this week, and determined it's not worth bouldering there anymore. It's a shame really, but sitting down in mud to put my feet above my hands for a super hard move to get off the ground is not fun.

The week went by quickly, and next thing I know it's Friday night and Nathan lets me know REI's garage sale is at 8am the next morning. Now I'm always up for a deal, but waking up at 6am to stand in line for 3.5 hours to buy used gear doesn't quite do it for me. But, I did get a wicked nice $200 Osprey backpack for $65. We made it back out to Madrone yesterday and I did an extension to a warmup route, 10a, which was really fun. Gotta love jugs, and the weather was perfect.

Today, I woke up pretty late and got crackin' on some yardwork. When I was done, I drove out to Beacon to solo the SE Corner. Most days it's a super chill climb, but today it was windy, VERY windy. Any time I was climbing on the east face of the route, the wind could gust up to 60 or 70 mph. It was crazy, but exhilarating. At no point was I worried, as it's such a secure route. Keeping a cool head is key.

I spent almost 2 hours on the phone with my high school friend Burt. We chat every month or so. Today we talked about politics (surprise!) and the old days. Being reminded of my time in the martial arts always brings a smile to my face. Some day maybe I'll start training again. Someday.

The financial crisis has something to do with champagne

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dear Red States

We've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us.  In case you aren't aware, that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. It may even include Florida and Ohio, they are seriously considering it. We've given them until Nov. 4th to decide. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country. Since we're dropping the middle states we're calling it United America, or simply the U.A.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood. You can take Ted Nugent. We're keeping Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel. You get WorldCom. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get Ole' Miss.  We get Harvard and 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama. We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms, and the highest concentration of pregnant unwed teenagers. Please be aware that the U.A. will be pro-choice and anti-war.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines, 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT. With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia. We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the war, the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy Redies believe you are people with higher morals then we Bluies.

Finally, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

Peace out,
Blue States

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I know the solution

Divorce her and run for your life.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Vintage Elvis, er Johnny

Check out this funny footage of Cash doing Elvis.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The best part about Obama winning in Nov

is that I won't have to hear McCain say "my friends" anymore.

My dad's last day in town

The last week has flown by. My dad came out last Wednesday for his first visit to Portland. Short story: he likes it. Though I had to work a half day each day, we managed to hit the Ozone benefit, watch the VP debate, go to the Greek festival (twice,) go to the seafood place he's been talking about (twice,) go check out Vista House and the waterfalls, plus the fish hatchery, and he's fixed pretty much everything wrong with my house and car, AND cleaned the house. I have a great dad.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My 27th Birfday

I started out my day by meeting Gary at Carver for some bouldering. Though I've talked a bit of trash about Carver in the past, going with someone who knows the area, history and grades makes a big difference. After warming up at the lower area, we went up to work on Triangle Face, a solid v5 (feels hard for the grade.) I was too tired from the Madrone cleanup yesterday to pull the first move, but could do the rest, which includes a pretty dynamic move and a nice topout. I'm psyched to go back.

My Aunt Carol, Aunt Becky, and her friend Chris are all in town this weekend, so we went to my mom's cousin's beautiful townhouse on South Waterfront for dinner. I loved the modern and slightly minimal design. I especially loved the marshmallow carpet! Dieter made some great chicken kabobs and a lot of fun stories about the family were told. Makes me want to learn about both sides of my family.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Madrone Cleanup Was A Success!

A bunch of people got together to cleanup Madrone, a local climbing area that's been closed for years. It'll eventually be turned into a park, open to climbing. I went to a meeting about that on Wednesday and everyone seems on the same page. Anyway, we removed 3 washers, 2 refrigerators, a crumpled car body, a minibike, a trailor, and bunch of other garbage, along with 100 yards of blackberry bushes and other invasive plants. Though it'll be a long time before it's open, it feels good to put some energy into it. I'm hella sore though!

Friday, September 26, 2008

We as a nation have to ask ourselves

What the HELL is going on??!!?!!11!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chrome on Linux

CodeWeavers released Chromium packages today, so it was trivial to install Chrome/Chromium on Ubuntu. I'll be sticking with Firefox though, as Chromium is running under Wine, and it's sluggish. Moving forward through my Google Reader items it's probably twice as slow as FF, if not slower.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This is Clever

How to solve a maze
I did it and it actually works. Pretty sweet idea.

C'mon Google, There's a difference between FF and Chrome

Notice anything funky?

Yeah, maybe detecting the user agent would be a good idea.