Friday, January 30, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Uni-corns win again

Last night was our second soccer game as the Uni-corns. First off, I love playing at the MJCC. Not having to worry about rafters makes playing soccer so much more fun. While the field is a little smaller, I can't tell when I'm out playing. Competition-wise, we've steamrolled our first 2 opponents, 9-1 and 9-2. I've scored 3 (the max for a guy) each game, and while my 3 in game 1 were all cleanups, my 3 last night were actually nice goals. One was a close shot to the left of the keeper as he challenged, one was a nutmeg. Just before my third, I kicked a guy in the back of the leg as I was going for the ball. This stretched out a chronic injury in my ankle and really hurt badly. It was painful to stand but I could run ok. I got a pass from Nathan that I stopped with my left foot and immediately kicked it with the right, scoring my final goal. Ice and vitamin I were on the menu at that point.

It'll be interesting to see how well we do next week, as Nathan is no longer on the team. He has a job or something... I think we'll still do well though.

Plus, we have an awesome logo. Shirts to follow!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Glory be to jumproping

I can only imagine what happened to those boys if they messed up their routine.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Link Dump Jan 2009

I actually wrote a script to automatically dump my delicious links into a blog post, but it's not reliable because of Google's authentication stuff. Anyway, here are some interesting links. Enjoy!

Obama's first weekly address

Gotta love that he's actually using technology.

I finally bought some NAU clothes

Only because their warehouse sale last weak was SICK. I estimate I bought over $1000 retail for $270. $185 of that was a jacket and a shirt, so $85 of what I paid paid for about $650/$700 worth of clothes.

The clothes are really great. The jacket is stellar for riding. I can basically wear a t-shirt and the jacket in 35 deg weather and still be warm on my bike. I would have never bought any of it had they not slashed their prices ridiculously.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Condolences to Thad and his family

Brooke Colvin, a wonderfully cheery and compassionate person, died today on Mt. Hood. Her husband Thad was able to make it down the mountain to get help but Brooke didn't make it. We're all incredibly sorry to hear about this. Our thoughts to her family.

KPTV news post has a few more details.

Clif Bar Recall

Check the list here:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama's Inauguration

You can watch it live at if you're trapped on the computer. Obama looks reserved, almost regal.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Potrero Chico 08: Day 15 - Last day, Caves and Hot Springs

Well, we were going to climb today with the intent to finish off Conflict, the 12b in Estrellas yesterday. Mica had heard of a cave tour and needed a day off, so we jumped on. Grutas de Garcia is a limestone cave in the town of Garcia, not too far from Hidalgo. It had some amazing rooms, and our pictures don't do them justice. Surprisingly, it was quite warm up there. There was a shrine in the cave too, along with a heaven and hell motif.

From the cable car:

Some crazy features:

One of the lighted rooms:

We went back in to Garcia and ate some of the best food we've had here. I had asada de puerco, a pork dish that was amazing. Just about everyone else had the pollo de mole, which was at least 1500 times better than the crap we had at Homero's. It's 5 hours later and I'm still full, which is pretty rare for me.

Our next stop was the hot springs. We went to one of two springs in a tiny town in the middle of the nowhere. It was an interesting place. There were 3 pools, cold, cool and hot. The hot pool was in a little room filled with 20 locals. The water was cloudy and smelled of sulfur, but it was still really cool.

A cemetery on the way back:

On our way back we passed an old hacienda, and by old I mean this place was built in the mid-1500s. As you can see from the pictures, it was pretty run down, yet still a place for locals to congregate and hang. Inside there was a tiny chapel with many pictures of what I presumed to be people that had passed. There were many drivers licenses for people that might have died in traffic accidents. It was a somber sight but interesting to see into local customs.

Well, this concludes my Potrero Chico trip for the most part. I doubt I'll write about traveling back to Portland unless I need something to occupy my time. I will try to update the daily posts with links to each day's photos if I find the time once I'm back in the real world.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully I can come back next year and experience a few more adventures.

Today's pics

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Potrero Chico 08: Day 14 - V and G

Not a whole lot happened today. After a later start, we warmed up on the Wonder Wall, doing 2 easy 10s. We hiked up to Estrallas Canyon to get on Fear of Flying, 12a. It had come highly recommended, so I got on enthusiastic to see what everyone was talking about. For me, it was the worst climb I've been on here. The first three bolts (the only three I bothered climbing) were exactly the type of climbing I don't like: balancy technical face climbing with sharp crimps. If I want that kind of shit I'll go to Smith. So, with no shame, I backed down.

The woman next to us was saying the same thing, that she didn't like that type of climbing and agreed it's not that important to stick it out if you're not enjoying it. Her boyfriend seemed to agree. She had called him V, and I asked what his name was: Vadim Vinokur. I knew of him from climbing news back when I started climbing. He's onsighted 13b and redpointed 14d. Homeboy used to be SUPER strong, but since he started law school he's had to prioritize. He was walking up the 12s and remembering every piece of beta about each route.

Not only was it cool to see him climb, but we talked about the financial crash, as he's interested in practising financial and securities law. He also lives in Brooklyn and has friends that were employed by some of the big investment banks that went under. It was interesting to hear his perspective: If things don't change soon, the devaluation of the dollar will lead to hyper-inflation, and our money will be better used to heat our houses than pay for them.

We also met some Canadians and we spoke a bit about US politics. That'll have to be a separate blog post. Good night!

Update: Vadim onsighted one of the 13bs up at Surf Bowl. So freakin' strong!

Today's pics

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Potrero Chico 08: Day 13 - Follow the stream

So remember when you were a kid and you'd go exploring? The trail in the woods, the stream bed, the old warehouse or the train tracks? That's what today was like for us. After a late start, and not a lot of motivation to climb, we decided to rent some mountain bikes and check out the interior of Potrero Chico. The bikes weren't great (they were rentals after all) but they got us around without any problems.

A good ways into the park we noticed a stream, and at that point the mission had been set: find the source and any sweet waterfalls in between. After the cool looking tree

we set out to find deeper waters. What we found was a cool little waterfall that provided a good deal of entertainment later. We hiked the streambed all the way to the start, hoping to find a pool. What we found was some concrete and the stream disappeared. We then made our way back to the waterfall and had a bit of fun.
Mica trying it out:

Nathan with the front-butt:

Me after I finally got in:

Exploring like that took us all back to some very happy times in our childhoods. Next time you get the chance to do something like that, just do it.

Today's pics

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Potrero Chico 08: Day 12 - Big Market, New Knot

Today we went to the big Tuesday market. It was cool in the sense I had not been to a market that size before, but really there were 7 things being sold:

  • socks

  • shoes

  • clothes

  • food

  • candy

  • cleaning supplies

  • bootleg CDs and DVDs

We got back around 12:30, ate some lunch and hiked up to the Dihedrals, right next to the Surf Bowl. We did Dead Man Walking, a super classic 5.9, highly recommended. Then we walked over to Surf Bowl so Nathan could put down Guppy. It didn't happen today, after a few tries, but it'll happen. I got on Surfer Rosa, 13a, and yeah... it's hard. I had set my mind on sending an 13a here but I'm not sure I'm in good enough shape, so I might project Bottom Feeder, 12d, mostly jugs, one hard move. That sounds more my style.

We met a group of climbers from Mexico City who were very cool and spoke English very well. Javier, the dude that sent the 13b on his second go, taught us a new knot. It's a cross between a figure 8 and a bowline. Encontrado is what he called it, but basically it's a self-water knot. It's pretty badass.

No pictures today, at least none now since I forgot my camera. I think we're going to crag tomorrow with Mike and Micah. Should be a good day.

Today's pics

Monday, January 05, 2009

Potrero Chico 08: Day 11 - China's last day, Brrrrrr!

We got up pretty early today so China could get in a few climbs before her departure. We went up to Estrellas Canyon since it was close and got on a 10b warm-up, right down by the road. Besides having 2 more anchors than necessary, it was a fun route. China felt warm, so she got on Planet of the Marklar, which was given 5.11 in the book. We agree it's more like 11d; it comes with 3 cruxes, the 2nd one being the hardest. Super fun though.

Here's China on it:

and here's China falling:

It was pretty cold up there since the sun was still behind the other walls. On my way up the 3rd route I finally got into the sunshine, which was quite nice. Here's Nathan putting up the 3rd climb:

Our last picture together:

And their last pic here after 3 weeks:

Nathan and I went back up to the park and did a 2 pitch route, Bubba Louie, 5.9/10c. I wanted to practice some multi pitch stuff with him, so we did some simul-climbing and simul-rappelling. Simul-climbing is when both people climb at the same time. Nathan was on lead, and I followed on top-rope with a gri-gri, that way should he want to get belayed for a section, I could immediately do so. The weight of the trailing rope made the whole thing a bit harder to manage, but manage we did.

Simul-rappelling is where both people rap at the same time. I would lower on one side of the rope, Nathan on the other. It's a much faster way of getting down, and it was pretty cool too. Neither one of us brought our cameras, so you're just going to have to imagine how it looked: like a Stephen Segal movie, where he battles ninjas with the aid of Chuck Norris.

Yeah, just like that.

Today's pics

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Potrero Chico 08: Day 10 - Outrage Wall caused outrage

Today was China's last full day, and we had not yet been to Outrage Wall. So, we headed up there, only to be totally confused by the worst descriptions of routes I've ever seen. ASDF starts 20ft left of FDSA, which starts 5ft left of JHLJH, which is 30ft left of HEDH, which is 15ft left of 3u22y, which is 60ft left of SOMEPOSROUTE which is 10ft left of the rope. Seriously, it was too relative for us. We bailed and walked up to Plutonia Cave, a boulering cave on the Front Side. Here's China messing around, avec helmet:

We made our way up to Land of the Free and did 2 routes, the 10d and 11c on the left side. Both were really fun, and the other routes look good, but I doubt we'll make it back up. We belayed from the entrance to a mine shaft, and you can see Nathan descending through a hole in the top:

Tomorrow we're going whever China wants before she flies out, then I'd like to concentrate the rest of the trip on Surf Bowl. Werd.

Today's pics

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Potrero Chico 08: Day 9 - Rest Day with some futbol

We all agreed to take a rest day today. China has 2 more days to climb, and it worked out for Nathan's and my schedule too. We walked into town, and as you can see, it was hot. So hot, in fact, Nathan needed to cover his head.

Once in town, we stopped at one store for a cold drink, where I noticed this rad bread:

<ralphie>tastes like promiscuity</ralphie>

We walked all the way to what we thought was the new, nice grocery store. It was more like a Winco. It being a hot day, I thought it'd be a good idea to wear my flip-flops. What a stupid idea. Hello blisters.

We started up a game of futbol with a few kids, and though we added a few players on each side and each scored many goals, I have a feeling we lost. Wouldn't have been a real trip to Mexico without some futbol!

Today's pics

Friday, January 02, 2009

Potrero Chico 08: Day 8 - Kawai's last day, no up then down then up then down

Today was Kawai's last day, and since we were all tired from a few days with a lot of hiking, we stayed low. We warmed up on a few 10s on Central Scruitinizer, which were fun but nothing special. Kawai then lead Gringo Disco, a 165ft 11a. It was a nice lead because it's easy to get off route. The only thing we really didn't like was the decent. You have to rap to anchors on another climb, which was occupied. The rap after that to clean the draws wasn't much fun either. Happy to have done the route; not gonna do it again.

We then turned the corner so Kawai could send his nemesis: Don Quixote, 11d. He had tried it on one of his first days of climbing and couldn't battle his way mentally through the crux. It was a running joke that he had climbed up, then down, then up, then down many times trying to get the mental fortitude to climb the crux. Today was no problem, and he sent without a problem. Nathan and I both flashed it, doing it a bit differently than Kawai and still differently than each other. China also lead it, taking at a few spots but finishing it out in style.

Me on DQ:

Nathan at the crux of DQ:

Kawai killing it:

China, way up high:

My ascent was probably the freakiest for everyone as I forgot to bring a draw for the last clip. You can see I ran out the last section for 25ft or so. Luckily the holds were good!

Cute pug that was running around all day:

Today's pics

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Potrero Chico 08: Day 6 - Rest Day, New Years Eve

Kawai and I took a rest day today, as we needed to get some food. We got a ride down into town from Tami (of Tami's Cafe; what a character!) and got some lunch at a badass seafood place. The fish fillet was bomber.

We got a ride back and read for the rest of the day. I finished Malcom Gladwell's Outliers which was given to me by my mom's cousin Karen. It was a really interesting book, which investigates not how, but why certain people are successful. Short story: It has almost everything to do with your community and the opportunities presented to you. It was a quick read, and I suggest you give it a try.

Happy New Years!

Today's pics