Thursday, December 15, 2005

It's funny...I've only been skiing twice, but I feel like I've been skiing all my life. And it's only been 5 days since the last time I went, but it feels like a month. I can't wait to get out again.

The good news is...tomorrow's the day.

[Bursting forth in song]

Tooooomorrow, Tomorrow, I love ya, Tomorrow,
You're only a daaaaaaay, uhhhhhhh-waaaaaaaaay!!

[Back to normal narration voice]

Here's the deal. Normally, skiing on a Friday would be a double whammy to the checkbook. One hit for the lift ticket, and one hit for missing pay. But don't you worry, I've got them both covered. My work has this little thing called "Personal Floating Holiday." You get one extra day off with pay, on top of your normal vaction time. If you don't use it by the end of the year (read: 2 weeks from now) it goes away...for good. I can't let that happen.

"What about the lift ticket?", you ask. This is where I introduce my new friend - CANNED FOOD DRIVE! Yup, friday at SkiBowl, donating 4 cans of food get's you an all day lift ticket. A day of skiing...totally free. I bring a few sandwiches and granola bars...and I'm all set. I can't wait. Our plan is to hit the slopes early and get some good first runs in before the crowd hits.

Bring on the parrallel turns, BABY!


Thursday, December 08, 2005

I always avoid playing sports video games. The reason was reinforced last night. Jim and I rented NBA 2k6 to play while the girls were at choir. Neither of us had played the game before, and Jim was even on an unfamiliar gaming system.

It didn't matter. Within minutes, he had mastered the moves and I was left passing the ball to the bench and missing layups. He beat me soundly.

I hate Richard Hamilton and his sadistic puppeteer.


Friday, December 02, 2005

Something I wanted to write about earlier this week, but didn't have time...

Last weekend, Becky and I went to the coast (thank you Tompkins) and spent some time relaxing. A few notable events transpired:

1) We watched the entire 2nd season of Scrubs in two days.
2) We bought an entire turkey for the two of us even though we had just had 2 turkey dinners the day before.
3) I took a soothing bath and could almost fit my entire body under the water.
4) Lily got to run around on the beach entire-ly unleashed.

The forth event is the one I wish to discuss. I've always been a little sad that Beagles are so inquisitive. I spend so much time outside, and I hate having to keep her tied up. But it has been said that once their nose turns, their ears turn off. It's a little risky to let a beagle rome without a leash, due to their inherent desire to follow a scent. However, the last time we were in Florence (for the Cape Mountain Trail Run...woop, woop!), Maddie (the Marr's golden retreiver) and Sunny (the Thompson's beagle) got to run around on the beach, and I was literally sad that my dog was not there to run around as well. Ever since that day, I had evisioned bringing my beagle back to the dunes and letting her run free.

I'm pleased to say, the weather was perfect and my dog behaved like an angel. Over and again, she ran to the edge a dune and looked back to make sure we were coming in the same direction before she went down the other side. If we were headed in another direction, she came sprinting back to us. We played for a couple hours each day, and it was heartwarming.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

So I was reading my previous posts...yes, I am vain...and I came across this one:

Then I noticed something that made me sick. You see, I was totally stoked that the LOST cast was going to get a new plot-central girl character (because I was tired...and still am...of Kate's character). During the offseason--let me explain: LOST watching is now a sport...seriously, you can win medals and stuff--the entertainment biz was toting the fact that Michelle Rodriquez was going to be on the show.

Can you believe I was excited for her to show up?! Uggh! I'm disappointed. In all honesty, I didn't really know who she was (as an actress) but since everyone (all those people who care about TV) was cooing, "Ooooh! Michelle Rodriquez is going to join the LOST cast!" I had to be excited too.

Now, I want her character to die. Is that mean? NO, it's NOT. She's a te-le-vi-jun-cha-ra-cter people! need to get a life.

Unfortunately, I think she's with us for the long haul. Becky and I saw her on the cover of TV guide at Safeway, and both of us commented that she's actually pretty when she is not scowling. Sadly though, her motivation as an actress is "depressing angst" for she rarely smiles. I must say Ana-Lucia is a little conflicted...and emotionally constipated. But don't worry! Jack gave her some tequila at the end of last nights episode...that'll loosen her up.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

I unabashedly declare that I love the Harry Potter books.

Tomorrow, Stephanie and I (and some other people) are going to go see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

I haven't been to opening night of a movie since Independence Day in 1994.

Should be fun!!


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Maximus...Maximus the Merciful!

I hope you see this.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Why do I have so many stinking interests. I want to do everything!!

My latest obsession?


That's right: Foosball. Brad and I played non-stop foosball this weekend when we were in Wenatchee. It was great fun. Pretty sure I was up 2 games when we left? Right Bradley??

Anyway. I started to think I could get a foosball table. Then the fun would never end. Couple of problems: I don't have 300 bucks lying around waiting to be spent, and I think I would have to sleep or eat on the foosball table to make it fit into my apartment. So...the verdict is...not gonna happen (at least right now.)

Segway lovely wife.

I'm so impressed with the way she puts up with my incessant dreaming. There's always some toy I want to buy, or some hobby I want to pick up. She calmly talks me back to reality and we usually end up making a wise decision. But then there are those times when I whine and constantly try to sneak the toy/hobby into our conversation. Then she has to put the smackdown on in order to overcome my "instant gratification" urges.

A wise and patient woman.


Monday, November 07, 2005


…such a simple little word that gets just a little airtime in the WORD. But even so, when it is used, it’s accompanied by a simply strong meaning. And I think it’s something I could strive to be a little more often. I imagine most people consider “meek” to mean submissive and weak. Half right. Submissive, yes. Weak, no.

Moses is called "meek" in Numbers 12:3. I immediately think of his initial unwillingness to go into God’s service and step up to Pharaoh. He was having a hard time mentally ditching his inadequacies and imagining what God could do through him. I think Moses became truly meek when he accepted his own weakness and became confident in God’s power. He was still a humble man…knowing that all the miraculous things surrounding him were not of himself. Then the rock/water/staff thing happened. And God rebuked him. He sidestepped the “power of God” issue and started allowing the great works to go to his head.

My problem applying “meek” is actually the opposite – its really an unwillingness to ditch pride. I have this thing about being right. Sometimes I get so caught up in having the right stance (on any issue) that even if I’m wrong, I can’t see it. And even if I’m right, why do I have to defend my position like it’s the Alamo? I (my flesh) can’t handle it when I make a statement and someone tries to correct me…I usually end up making a fool of myself trying to raise awareness of my “rightness.” Most of the time, when the air clears, the issue has been completely lost, and I’ve made a big fuss about myself…and my pride.

Moses didn’t get offended when Pharaoh said he (Moses) and his God were powerless. He patiently waited for God to bring judgment. I’m not saying that God is going to send plagues to prove my points…just that if I approach every issue a little more meekly, I’ll either be right and have been gracious about it, or I’ll be wrong and won’t have to eat my foot. Either one sounds good to me.

I guarantee it takes a lot more strength and courage to be meek than it does to go with whatever comes into my head. Submitting my own will/pride never comes easy…but I bet if I let it, “meek” will start taking over.


Friday, November 04, 2005

This morning I was attempting to find a perfect quote to describe my sentiments regarding our (Becky's and my) friendship with the Posenjaks. I considered Shakespeare:

"I count myself in nothing else so happy, as in a soul remembering my good friends. "


"The only way to have a friend is to be one."

Even Ali - Muhammed that is:

"Friendship is not something you learn in a classroom. But if you haven't learned friendship, you haven't learned anything."

But then I realized I don't need literary or pugilistic genius to back me up. I can say it best myself:

The truest test of frienship is one of resitance: resitance to distance and time, resistance to weaknesses and strengths, resistance to failure and to glory.

I can't wait to drive to Wentachee, Washington, next week and visit Brad and Lindsey (and Elliott and Wesley). I've always been amazed at God's providence in providing the friends at our deepest moment of need. Sometimes, that need is satisfied and those friends may fade away. But other times, those frienships are fired and fortified. They become a integral part of your much so that you feel like an expurgated version of yourself without that connection.

Becky and I had many relationships in college. None of them made an impact or connection like the Posenjaks. Despite the miles and hours between us, the blemishes and health in our natures, the successes and demises in our lives...we will always have a need to be connected to Brad and Lindsey.

See you soon friends!


Thursday, November 03, 2005

As you may have read, this was the “Summer of Completed Endeavors.” Fulfilling, exhausting, and…complete. It’s wonderful to revisit the memories of long dusty days with sweat, mosquitoes, and sunburns. I frequently peruse the collections of photos stored on my hard drive, and change the background of my desktop far too often just to squeeze another second of enjoyment out of those summer trips. But I hesitate to linger in those reflections…lest like Narcissus I fall into the beauty of what I see.

I long to look forward to what pleasures lie in wait…ready to ambush at any moment.

Today’s forecast calls for almost a foot of snow in the mountains. That’s good news for me. Not only will I be diligently pursuing the snowshoeing-caving-toe freezing that has come to be a tradition among the boys, but also, I hope to become proficient at another less “niche” snow activity – skiing. Becky and I have long talked about hitting the slopes, and this winter seems like a good chance for us to do that.

Someone once told me, “It doesn’t get any easier as you get older” when I complained of only being able to get outside once during the summer. I’m glad to say…that person was wrong…sort of. It may not be easy to schedule all the adventures on which we wish to embark. But I’m glad to be surrounded by friends who share the same desire to make outdoor activities a priority. THAT makes it easy.

For the last few days, my favorite website has been - a collection of webcams showing Government Camp, Mt. Hood Meadows, and Timberline Lodge. It feels good to slip back into habitual monitoring of snow levels. I eagerly await my friends - Gore-Tex, wool socks, and long-johns. They are calling my name!


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Any questions?


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I sleep. I sleep in the car on the way to the trail. I sleep in the car on the way back from the trail. I sleep on airplanes. I sleep on the couches. I sleep while sporting crampons and an ice axe halfway up the Palmer Glacier. I sleep anywhere, and I sleep everywhere. When the Siren’s song of sleep tempts me, I am defenseless against its allure.

Often elusive on the trail, sleep can make the difference between a bad trip and a great one. Consider the evidence: self inflating air mattresses, closed cell pads, down pack pillows, and sleeping bag contraptions to keep you glued to the mat. The backpacker’s sleep system is big business—and rightfully so! Any summit, trail or face is exponentially easier after a sound sleep.

If I have learned anything about sleeping outside, it is this: the rift between those who can and those who cannot is wide. The majority of my climbing/hiking partners have difficulty bagging a solid night in the backcountry. This fact, though not remotely my fault (I don’t even snore), often causes a great deal of angst to be channeled in my direction. In fact, I would imagine that I’ve already alienated half of you.

After one particularly restful night on a through-hike of the Oregon Coast, I awoke to the smooth sound of a coastal creek. On the previous evening, my buddies and I had discovered a heavenly cove on a secluded public beach. Even if we had desired to continue, the high tide prevented us from passing the headwall to our north. Rather relieved to be blocked in at such an unspoiled location, we pitched camp twenty feet above the beach on a massive outcropping of sandstone. This pristine paradise became the perfect venue for the Pacific’s evening light show. After a long day’s trek through the coastal forest, a shocking dip in the frigid waters, and a hot cup of tea in front of the campfire, the sunset’s sway proved too much to resist. I hit my bag and didn’t move for ten hours.

The morning was heralded by the cry of seagulls, and as my tent began to warm in the tepid July air, I awoke wholly rejuvenated yet pestered by guilt. I was certain my pals had not savored the same peaceful rest as I. Having slept through the surise (an unfortunate corollary of easy sleep), I emerged from my tent to see my sulking companions sitting on the rocks waiting for me to rise from my endless sleep.

We had entered the night harboring the knowledge that our morning departure presented two options: catch the low tide and circumnavigate the headwall, or climb back up the ridge from whence we came only to descend on the other side. The former was a much more desirable option. So when I arose and discovered our passage around the headwall was clear, it seemed only rational to move as quickly as possible and save ourselves the tedious elevation gain and subsequent loss. I ran back into camp yelling, “Let’s go! The tide is out! We can make it around the headwall!”

Let me say, that at this point, I began to recognize the deep-seeded resentment in my fellow outdoorsmen. After waiting for 2 hours for me to regain consciousness, they had no desire, whatsoever, to move quickly. Why would they—dragged from their restless sleep by sore hips, craned necks and cold feet—want to do anything at the bidding of the man who surfaced from his slumber with a stretch, a yawn, and a hearty, “What a great night!”?

But realizing the wisdom of my plan, they begrudgingly packed up their gear—still wet with morning dew. Feeling rather victorious as we rounded the headwall and set foot on the wet sand of the North Oregon Coast, we adjusted our hastily filled packs and set off toward our next stop – a family size, “carb-load” pizza in the next town. Our delicious ambition nearly proved enough to stifle the growing resentment in my companions. However, rather than closing in behind us, the ocean waters continued to ebb for the next four hours, and all hope of forgiveness went out with the tide.

As my understanding of my compatriots has increased, one might think my sleeping pattern would change. Unfortunately, I am not that compassionate. I still sleep. I still sleep in the car on the way to the trail. I still sleep in the car on the way back from the trail. I still sleep on airplanes. I still sleep on couches. I still sleep anywhere, and I still sleep everywhere. I will sleep again while sporting crampons and an ice axe halfway up the Palmer Glacier. But now I sleep on a mattress filled with the endless, good-natured heckling of my friends. Outdoor retailers could make a fortune on this mattress.


Monday, October 24, 2005

I'm going to be a skiist.

Jim and I went to the REI sidewalk sale for the Tualatin location (our second in a month). Once again, we decided to get in line 3 hours before the sale in hopes of grabbing some cool gear.

Let's analyze the purpose of a line. I feel it is safe to assume that most least in our society...understand the concept of waiting in line (or "waiting on queue," if you're British). Usually, a line forms when something desirable is in short supply or is offered for a limited time. In order to better their chances of receiving that thing, one might come to the location of offering before the time when that thing becomes available. When more than one person comes early, it is generally understood that the person who arrives first deserves the first opportunity to secure said thing.

However, there are cheaters. When Jim and I arrived at REI, there were approximately 15 people in line ahead of us...that is to say, approximately 15 people arrived at the location of the "thing" before we did. It would logically follow that when the time of the offering arrives, we would be the 16th and 17th persons to enter the sale. I would estimate that 40 people entered before us.

Now...I'm not anal-retentive, but something about the nonchalance and apparent lack of conscious haughtily displayed by 25 people CUTTING in line in front of me doesn't sit quite right. Especially when cheap gear is at stake. You might remember the Thompsonian analysis of the "gear-hungry mob" from the last sidewalk sale. Luckily, there were no elbows thrown or curses uttered (at least in my presence) at this event, but said attitude was certainly present.

Jim put me at ease with two simple words, "Gear Karma." Simply meaning, all those rude people would not find anything of note, and we (with Liberty and Justice for all) would find exactly what we were looking for at a price much better than expected. And it came to pass. I finally took the plunge and purchased downhill ski gear. I've wanted to ski since 1987 when my dad's planned winter trip was prevented by a torn ACL. The best part is...I got all I needed for $35.

I can't wait for the snow.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I'm extremely tempted to blog, "Oh sweet...beans!" over and over, but I will refrain.

Today is the first in a few weeks that I feel relaxed. Apparently I'm not the only one who plays golf in the winter. I've been overwhelmingly busy of late, and I was getting a little tired of it. But today is nice. I had a chance to wrap up many loose ends, and I even get to leave early to play golf today...albeit in the rain. Luckily, they make gear for that sort of thing, and lucky to another degree am I - working for a golf apparel company. So I will head out in about an hour and hopefully squeeze in 13 or 14 holes before it gets too dark to see the ball.

The best news of all, however, is that LOST is on again tonight. I can't wait to find out what happened to the tail-end Lost-a-ways.

"Oh sweet....Lost!"


Friday, October 14, 2005

Oh sweet…beans!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Man...I like golf. I went to the range last night and hit that borrowed club. It will be difficult to give it back. the midst of long and straight drives, my left big toe started feeling tingly. At first I thought maybe I tied my laces too tight and I was cutting off the circulation to el dedo grande. So I kept swinging. Then...BAM...I hit an especially powerful drive and it felt like someone stabbed the tendon on the top of my big toe.

The heck?? I thought maybe it was just a fluke, so I swung a few more. The...BAM...there it was again. A little disconcerted, I left the range and headed back to the car. As I was stepping up into the driver's seat...BAM! Again with the severe pain! I'm a little worried. I took off my shoe to see if I was bleeding. No blood. So I drove home hoping it would be fine by the time I got there. As I stepped out of the car...yep, there it was. Limping in the door I whined to my wife about my semi-severed toe, and proceeded to ice it and watch disc 2 of Scrubs - Season One with Becky.

I thought I'd be going to the doctor this morning, but it seems to be feeling better (though I am walking kinda funny to protect it). Hopefully it will all go away like a bad dream.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Harry and the Hendersons is a great movie!! I had completely forgotten about it, and the other day as I was hanging-ten, there it was on UPN. Awesome. I didn't know John Lithgow was in that movie! Crazy.

Aaaanyway. I bring this up because I've got "Bigfoot" on the brain. Nike Golf has a new driver on the market called Sasquatch. It is aptly named, as the size of the clubhead (aka footprint...clever, huh?) is enormous. Somehow they figured out the perfect mix of size, size, and size, and created the SQ 460cc driver. I all probability, I will not own one of these drivers for quite a while, but I was fortunate enough to have one loaned to me for a few days. Yesterday, I wanted sooo badly to go the driving range, but I had to work late, and by the time I got home, I didn't have then energy for anything but a 4 hour Scrubs marathon!

So today after work, I plan to head to the range, bomb some golf balls down the turf, and fight off covetous feelings toward all who currently own SQ drivers.


Thursday, October 06, 2005

This is PB broadcasting live from RG1010B (the cube next to mine).

Unfortunately, yesterday at 3pm, I was cursed with the "Blue Screen of Death." Apparently, I had an "immenent hard disk failure" and could not use my machine for the rest of the day. Thankfully, I was "Priority 1" at the help desk...but that does not mean much, as I sat around until 6 waiting for someone to come give a prognosis.

No one came until 9 this morning. It's now 11Am, and I'm just about to go back to my cube/home. Yipee.

I've yet to see how much data I lost...hopefully, none of the pictures of Eric are gone. I don't think I could handle that loss.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005 is like that scene in that Tom Cruise movie (I think it's Tommy??) where he's caught between two subway trains and holding on to the post...and his hair is all blowy-aroundy...and his face is contorted in concentrated agony...and his fingers are when the trains go by....

First off, I really shouldn't have played golf yesterday. I had way too much to do to leave work early. But who can blame me? You can't turn down free golf at Pumpkin Ridge (unless you're name is James Marr). Also, my knee pain flared up again. I thought I had rested, stretched, and iced enough following our run through "Coastal Temptations" but apparently not. I limped the last 4 holes because the grinding of joints and cartilage is not pleasant.

But today will soon be over, and tonight I will either sing the praises of or utter curses at J.J. Abrams.


Friday, September 30, 2005

"...there's a great chase scene!"
"Have you seen Steele Magnolias? So sad!"

I really hope you have seen that commercial. Also I just needed to set the tone for my entry today. As you might remember, tomorrow, October 1st, was the day set aside for Jim and I to conquer the Timberline Trail. I came to work today intent upon leaving for the mountain as soon as the clock struck 4. However, as Jim and I perused the weather report, we noticed a trend of increasingly nasty weather and decided (reluctantly) to bag the trip. Here's my thought...I've known all along that the physical act of encircling the mountain in day would be difficult slash miserable. I can handle that - the end goal is a efficacious motivator. But the thought of spending 15 hours in the rain slash snow and not really have a shot at finishing the trail...NO THANKS.

I spent about an hour pondering this decision, sinking lower into the Slough of Despond. Here, therefore, I wallowed for a time, being grievously bedaubed with the dirt; and I, because of the burden that was on my back, began to sink in the mire.

Then Jim had a brilliant idea. Instead of going to the mountain, we could hit the beach! Last year we did a 25 mile hike along the coast, and it would be the perfect substitution for our challenge. So tomorrow we will depart. It's not as lengthy, and it's not as prestigious, but we're doing something we've never done, and it will definitely be a significant accomplishement. Plus, there's this great pizza place in Canon Beach...can anybody say "Family Size!"? Woop, woop!

So let's foucs on the connotative meaning of that commercial (funny guy making a fool of himself), rather than the denotative meaning (actual sadness).


PS - Remember Brian Dunkelman??

Thursday, September 29, 2005

"Could it be? Yes, it could.
Something's coming, something good,
If I can wait!
Something's coming, I don't know what it is,
But it is Gonna be great!"

Word to the West Side. I have a love/hate relationship with the show LOST. It's tragic that I have a relationship with a television show, but true nonetheless. With mounting anticipation, we watched the encore run of the season premier last night, and at 9pm the new episode came on. Here's the problem - It wasn't really a new episode!!! Literally until the last 30 seconds, the show repeated the timeline of the season premier. Sure they added some meaningless crappola (accent on the first "a" - i.e. Francis Ford Coppola) about Michael (or Mike as nick-name-boy calls him) and Walt. Blah!! Give me some action. Finally we see something new. And Michelle Rodriguez appeared in the credits again but she was a no-show...unless you count the "next-week-on-lost" segment. This is why I hate the show...A good producer/writer would understand my needs. MY NEEDS WERE NOT MET.

I need some suspense...some action...some intrigue. Kate almost getting shot and Michael and Sawyer fighting on a little boat does not count!!! I've said it before, and I'll say it again - if they don't do some major revealing soon...they're going to LOST me!

I have hope however - next week looks pretty cool. So, review the song lyrics at the top of the page and you will understand how I feel.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

It's about time.

It's been a while, and I know all of you have been perched on the edge of your mental seats...ready to be blown away by the next piece of dramatic, dynamic, another "d-word adjective" prose uttered from the lip-slash-fingers of PB. Well here it is.

I'm sitting in my Sister's living room listening to Carson Michael wimper. I think he really wants to cry, but there's really no reason, so he is containing himself. He's a cute little you've seen in Jim's pictures. Jen and Trent are excited beyond belief, but also really tired right now. They're already great parents, and I'm sure they will get better every day.

Speaking of another set of good parents, Brad and Lindsey came to visit this weekend. We had a blast! Friday night we met at the Clark County Amphitheater to see Third Day - Lindsey's favorite band. Thanks to a parent at Becky's school, it was a free gig, and we chillilly (sp?) enjoyed the music from the grass. Saturday was a nice day to relax and play video games. Sunday was the kicker!! I've always heard that pro golfers think bunker shots are easy...I wouldn't go that far, but I've got to mention I had 4 amazing bunker shots when I played 18 at the Reserve with Jim, Brad, and Eric. Brad and Linds left on Monday morning, and we're stoked to visit them next month in Wenatchee. WooHoo. We were glad to hang out with them, but we sorely missed Elliott and Wesley, their two stellar boys.

I have to say that work sucked today...but I hardly remember it. Isn't it nice that meaninglessness disappears in the light of the true joys we experience in friends, family, and new nephews?


Friday, September 23, 2005

Carson MICHAEL!!

That's too much. My family is soooo sappy. I thought it was weird that everyone I talked to yesterday (before I got to the hospital) was a bit vague....Even my dad lied to me and said "Ummm...I don't know his middle name." Come on! So then when I did arrive, Jen showed me the request for SSN form and there it was!! Carson Michael, etc.

I almost lost it (see above reference to sappy family) but just managed to catch myself and give my sister a hug. It's crazy: I already felt love for this little baby...even before he was born. Then when I held him at the hospital it was even more real. But THEN I saw that paper...and it was like automatically, I will always be a part of his life - guitar lessons, camping trips, beer and cigarettes, shotguns...wait, got a little carried away. Crazy...

Oooohhh..I just figured it out. It's a ploy to get me to babysit more often!! They are so smart! Well it probably worked. I can't wait to hang out with him.

PB (Uncle Mike)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Yesterday was quite a ride! My mom called at 5:30am to tell us that my sister, Jen, was having contractions, and would be going to the doctor's office at 9 to see if this was "it." So, of course, we immediately sprung into action!! No...actually, I went to sleep for another hour. THEN I sprung into action. I called all the peeps who needed to know, and said I would keep them posted on the progress.

Figuring I had at least a few hours till the baby was born, I decided to go to work. I had an all-day meeting/seminar, and figured I could duck out if needed. I perched on the edge of my chair, waiting for the punctuated vibrations of the cell phone in my pocket. Now...this is one of those meetings where they expressly tell you to turn of your cell phones. So I felt a little sheepish getting up to check in whenever the phone beckoned. But this is much more important than the history/culture/motivation of my company.

As the hours passed, I checked in with my mom and brother-in-law, and relayed info to the rest of the gang. And then....the meeting was over. I was sure that I would "have" to leave early, but I made it. So I went home...around 3. Thinking for sure the baby would come at any minute, I was sad for Becky, because she was in class, and couldn't leave until 7! She might miss it. So I watched the clock, and I watched an airplane make an emergency landing in LA, and I watched the clock, and I watched Jepardy, and I watched the clock...waiting for the call. NO CALL. Becky comes home at 7:15, and we decide to go to the hospital. It's a good thing too, we made it JUST in time!! Just kidding. We arrived at the hospital with our other friends, and chatted with Jen & Trent until the nurse kicked us out for blood-drawing time. We all decided to crash at Jim & Steph's until the phone call came...supposed to be sometime around 1 or 2am. We waited and watched the LOST season premier. (I hate JJ Abrams). Eric and Sarah decided to go home, but Becky and I stayed so we could be closer to the hospital for the big moment. I fell asleep shortly after lost...only a few minutes into "The Man from Snowy River"...and thought the phone would wake me up at any moment.

6am. No call. I phoned my dad to see what was up...and NOTHING! Still waiting. So Becky and I drove home, showered and headed off to work.

So here I am. Sitting at work...working...sort of...waiting for a call. Any Time, JEN!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Okay...this will be quick (I'm about to go get my butt kicked in Sculpt).

This weekend was extremely full but satisfying. Beck and I had dinner and a movie on Friday. Saturday was a day of waiting in line, buying things at rediculously low prices, running, golfing, shopping, barbeque-ing, eating, drinking, watching Family Guy. Sunday was great too! Enjoyed playing guitar at church, napping, putting my gear together and watching "Fever Pitch" with my wife.

Sorry this post was BORING. I don't feel Jim's urges to be clever today.


Friday, September 16, 2005


I am ready to go home...and I will in 13 minutes. This morning Eric and I rode our bikes to work "together". We scheduled a meeting place and set the time for 6:30am. That would give us enough time to get to work, shower, and head to our desks. Problem is, we both left late...

Nonetheless, I got to our meeting spot right at 6:30 (after riding harder and shorter than I had planned). Eric was nowhere to be seen, so I piddled (not pedaled) around for a few minutes waiting for him to arrive. After about ten minutes, I assumed one of the following: Eric slept in; I misunderstood the meeting place; Eric crashed and was a bloody limping mess; or Eric got lost. In any case, I needed to take off in order to make it to work in time. So I left (but not before arranging some sticks on the ground in a big E formation with an arrow point the way I went) and sped off to work.

After I showered and began dressing for the day, Eric shows up (not bloody, but really sweaty) in the locker room. "HEY!" I exclaimed. He proceeded to tell a tale of he had seen me leaving the meeting place, but was too far away to get my attention. Since I am a MUCH better cyclist (not really, I just have a road bike versus his mountain bike) He trailed me for a while, but then I left him in the dust. Let me take a moment here to relish this taste, because in every running race we ever do, I'm always looking at the backside of Eric...until he's too far ahead for me to see him.


Thank you. So at least next time, we'll have a better idea of how long it takes to get to the meeting place. And maybe we can actually ride together...and not "together."


Thursday, September 15, 2005

To borrow a theme from Jim - I've got great friends.

Yesterday, Jim invited me (actually, I invited myself, but I'm pretty sure he wanted me to come) to play golf with some of his buddies from work/college. It was nice. It's strange how you can get become subconsciously accustomed to a situation, occurrence, or pattern without even realizing it. I've golfed with Jim, Eric, and Trent for so long, playing with someone else was....well, different. Honestly, it was not better or worse, but I noted a distinctly different feel to the way we all played the game, interacted with one another, and even the way I played. Just different. But I digress...

It was extremely pleasant to play golf last night, and afterward, Jim invited me over to his place for some refreshment. First of all, Stephanie deserves credit for allowing me into her house after she was in her PJ's...and THEN she cooked me (and Jim too) a Brushetta Pizza [woop! woop!]. It was tasty, and I will be picking some up at Costco at my earliest convenience. We enjoyed a few moments from "I Can't Believe that Happened on TV - 3" and then I hit the road. Great friends.

You might think the night was over, but NO! Eric was flying in from Toronto at 11pm, and thought it might be nice for me to accompany Sarah to the airport. It was very pleasant in spite of Sarah's threatening wave of sleepiness! We enjoyed the semi-cushy seats as we waited for Eric's plane to land, and chatted about babies (she's due in February), blogs, and memories. It was very satisfying to know that either of them-Eric or Sarah-would gladly sacrifice sleep to pick me up from the airport. Great friends.

I guess what I'm saying is...It's amazing that all of us (you know who you are) have each other. I obviously count it a MAJOR blessing to know guys that have the same interests, integrity, and sense of humor that I do, but it's just as wonderful to be able to have rewarding friendships with their wives. Great friends.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I made the "mistake" of reading someone else's blog before I wrote mine. That's bad news, because now all the random thoughts that were so close to coagulation have returned to complete chaos. But note the quotes. Unlike Joey, I know how to use them. ("Thank you!") Some "mistakes" are not mistakes, and today I'm pondering the focus of my life...something I should do far more often.

Go Here.


Tuesday, September 13, 2005


So I'm in this class at my gym called "Sculpt." Not a lot of aerobics, but quite a bit of core training. I hadn't gone for 2 weeks out of reverence for the aftershocks of the Timberline Trail practice run. I decided to go yesterday, and enjoyed it (the enjoyment was solely from the expectation of results, not from the actual experience). I returned to my desk (after a shower) feeling quite invigorated.

Then Jim told me he ran 9 miles to work, and he was running 9 miles home. Jerk.

Since I don't want to be left in the dust when we do our trail run (literally, the trail is very dusty) I HAD to do more! So I decided to run home too! Sure my run was only 5.5 miles, but did Jim do so many lunges that he felt like his legs would explode?? NO, I don't think so. I ran home.

And THEN, Eric told me that he has a day off during his business trip to Toronto, and not only is he going to go to Niagara Falls, see the Blue Jays play the Red Sox, and go down his hotel's water slide, he's also going to go for a run this morning...and I'm sure it'll be somewhere around 15 miles!

So I HAD to do more. I ran to work this morning. The invigoration I felt yesterday at 1:30 when I came back from Sculpt is gone. But that's OKAY! And no matter how many miles Jim or Eric run today, I will not run home. I'm good till tomorrow...


Monday, September 12, 2005

I’ve had a magic number for quite some time now. I think about this number often. Sadly enough, I have even dreamt about the number.

Yesterday, I met it face to face.

As you know by now, I hike and sleep (one more than the other). However, there is another venture that I would pursue above all others, had I the financial stability or spousal approval to do so—GOLF. I work for a major golf equipment and apparel company, and one of the job perks is the ability to play at some of the nicer golf courses in the area.

Usually that spells bad news for my score. Nice courses are, in general, more difficult than the 10-bucks-a-pop courses I frequent. Yesterday, however, I was on. I opened the round with a birdie, something I’ve never done on the first hole at this course. Following two bogies on 2 and 3, I birdied the 4th – a looong par 5 with nauseating 3-tiered green surrounded by bunkers and OB. Eric has nicknamed this “The hole on which I’ve never scored better than 10.” Somehow, my drive was amazing, and with a little one-two punch, I hit my 3-wood 235 yards onto the front of the green. Left with a 50 foot put up 3 tiers, I picked my line and whacked the ball within 6 inches. Tap in for birdie. It was a great moment. The rest of the front seemed mediocre, but I finished with 43 – my best on the front nine at this course.

It was at this moment that I stole a glance at the magic number. As he made his way to the car, my brother-in-law, Trent, shouted to me, “Par for the back nine!” (He was planning to attend the Broadway interpretation of “The Lion King”, and couldn’t finish 18 with Jim and I). Though I knew par was out of the picture, I usually play better on the back. Holes 10-15 passed by in a fairly standard, uneventful manner. Then we faced a monster. The 16th is a downhill, short par 3 with impregnable bunker defenses and an enormous drop-off waiting to devour any ball long or left. My tee shot was nice. Straight away, but a little short, leaving me a 15ft putt for birdie. GOT IT! A little curly friend at the end, and the 2 was mine.

The next hole makes me giddy. Usually playing at 275 yards, I’m able to drive the green with a straight shot. Unfortunately, my drives are not usually straight, and yesterday the tees were back to 300 yards. Undaunted, I laid into the ball like the lady banging the cat against the wall in Monty Python’s Holy Grail (“Bring out your dead!”) The ball was straight but left, and ended up pin-high in the rough. My chip shot was nearly fatal, as the ball flirted with edge of a hill that would have left me 30+ feet away. Fortunately, the ball hung on to hill, and I sunk a 6-footer for back-to-back birdies. I finished with a lousy 6 on the 18th hole.

Then the magic number apparated (for you Steph). Jim read my score, “80.” The number may not seem impressive to many, but for me, it was Elysium. It’s a good thing too, for I fear I may never see it again.


Friday, September 09, 2005

Two words: Nyquil Hangover

In order to avoid another restless night, I decided to drown my sorrows in a bottle of the night-time sniffling, sneezing, coughing, so you can get your rest medicine. Well I slept. I don't even remember turning over. I really believe I got some good sleep! But at the moment, I can't resolutely tell. I'm so groggy, it required a few attempts just to type in my password this morning. And the spell-checked, orchestrated prose you see before you is not the first draft that came off the tips of my fingers (remember when Robin Williams shoots OJ out of his finger in Bicentennial Man? I was screaming, "OSCAR!").

Quick...somebody pinch me! I really hope I snap out of this, or it's going to be a long day.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

I slept in today. Unfortunately, my slumber had again been disrupted by the constantly itchy healing process of sun-burned thighs. I finally fell asleep around 4, and in no time, it was 6, and my alarm erupted in annoying audio pulsations. Blah...I grabbed the phone and left a message for my boss, "Ummm...I'm going to be late," then smothered my face into the mattress and gobbled up another hour of sleep.

Did you know that traffic is bad in the morning? I thought "Rush Hour" was a movie with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker...but apparently, it also means "too many cars in one place at one time." The word "hour" is key: when I normally leave the house at 6:50 (okay - 7) the traffic is minimal. I can usually pull out onto the main road within 10 seconds. NOT TODAY! I sat in my driveway for about 4 minutes just waiting for a clear spot. Then, because my car is old and hates me for not using high-mileage oil, it decides to choke just as I dash for a gap in the flow that is way too short in front of a soccer-mom Hummer. Luckily, after a short sputter, the engine engaged, and I squealed (well, the tires squealed...I'm not that much of a girl) into my lane.

Usually after about 10 minutes on the road, I pull into my parking lot at work. It's also usually about then that the leaking oil from the engine starts to burn on the top of the engine block, spewing blue smoke from the hood, and I think, "if I drive this thing any farther, the car is going to burst into flames, and I will die along with all the people who stop to help at the exact moment the flames reach the gas tank, and the whole thing goes KABOOM!" Not a pleasant thought (maybe that's why I have trouble sleeping). But today I spent more than 10 minutes on the road.

Good news and bad news: Good news is, my car did not explode in a flurry of rotten seat foam and flesh. Bad news is, it might happen tomorrow. I hope that doesn't sound pessimistic, but I really can't help being a little on edge every time I drive that thing. "Fix it!" you say. Yes, that would be nice, wouldn't it. The problem is, the car is not worth fixing. It would cost more to get it in tip-top, than to by another car. I don't really feel like doing either at the moment, so I'll just pretend the problem does not exist.

Pray for me tomorrow. I'll try to leave early enough to miss Jackie and Chris, and save hundreds of lives by not detonating my car during the commute.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005


I had a terrible night. [The evening was actually quite nice. My wife and I had dinner together and watched a hilarious movie - Waking Ned Devine (thoroughly recommended). I should have been born Irish.] Let me paint a picture for you. I'm 6'2", and I usually wear shorts with an inseam of at least 10". I feel quite comfortable with my WHITE upper legs veiled behind a nice khaki or denim. However, when you're running* long shorts are not exactly practical. I'm pretty sure the shorts I wore on Monday could stand toe-to-toe with Daisy's.

It stands to reason that under-exposed flesh (i.e. my upper thighs) will BURN when unveiled in the sun for 6 hours. One might propose the use of sunscreen**. This is a logical suggestion, and I probably should have overcome my angst regarding the application of anything slimy to my body (sunscreen, lotion, bug juice, etc.). But, alas, I did not, and last night I suffered the consequences.

My only consolation is that next time, my nether regions (okay...semi-nether regions) will be a little more acclimated to the solar influence. And maybe I will be smart and put some sunscreen on.

Long live Tulaigh Mohr.

*see note in previous post on liberal use of the words run, ran, or running.
**Jim did, in fact, offer sunscreen to me.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The majestic and very popular Timberline Trail encircles the mountain for 38 miles often crossing panoramic alpine meadows colored with summer wildflowers and through creeks that may rise dangerously in June and July when snow melts rapidly.

It's most certainly with a mix of enjoyment, challenge, and even pain that I enter into the mountains. On October 1 (weather permitting) Jim and I will be circumnavigate Mount Hood (Oregon's highest peak - 11,239 ft.) via the Timberline Trail. As indicated in the above quote from Backpacker Magazine, the trail is quite popular. Many people spend 3 or 4 days enjoying a panoramic experience of the multi-faceted volcano. However, we intend to complete the trek in one day - under 13 hours.

[Enter Pain]

Yesterday, wishing to take full advantage of the extra day off work, Jim and I decided to do a training run (we're not completely foolhardy). We ran one quarter of the Timberline Trail out-and-back. I use the term "ran" loosely, for in all actuality, there was very little running. We walked whenever the trail was uphill, and we jogged whenever the trail was level or downhill. We're not on par with the great trail runners of the world, but it seemed to be an effective strategy. We completed a distance (19+ miles) equal to half the total in just under 6 hours, and we're are fairly confident that the section we ran is representative of the rest. I've never gone 20 miles under my own power in one day, let alone 6 hours, so I cannot help but feel some sense of accomplishment.

I'm not sure what to think today. My body hurts. But at the same time...we completed what we set out to do. Obviously, physical ability is an integral part of accomplishing a feat like we hope to do 4 weeks from now. But I surmise that mental preparedness is just as vital.

So today, I will train my brain...and let my legs rest.


Timberline Trail between Cloud Cap and Lamberson Butte.

Friday, September 02, 2005

I'm feeling that it is quite cliché to begin my blog like this. But sometimes I feel like being dis-original.

So...This is my first attempt at blogging. If you're reading this, you are probably already my friend, and therefore have no desire or need to be impressed by me. Thanks for coming. I might even try to put some interesting things here.