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.