Friday, April 28, 2006

Let us toast to the joys of sunny Friday afternoon BBQ's. Nevermind...I don't have any sparkling cider or champagne handy. But I'm raising my empty hand...litetrally...I'm typing with one hand right now...

Okay, enough with that silliness. But seriously, what a great afternoon. My boss's boss' boss decided it was a great day to celebrate our corporate successes. And indeed it was. Burgers, hot dogs, gardenburgers (I ingored the third...), and some relaxation in the sun. We all thoroughly enjoyed the few moments in the sun (I'm a little pink) and then headed back to work. Herein lies the inherent problems with a Friday afternoon BBQ. I don't want to work right now.

I just want to go outside again and play golf, or swim, or ski, or Frisbee, or nap, or bicycle, or hike, or eat, or rollerblade, or dance...i mean jog, or raft, or geocache, or climb, or swing a bat, or throw a ball, or shoot some hoops, or slip-and-slide, or surf, or play golf, or play golf, or play golf, or play golf. Anything but work. And guess what - my boss just emailed and told everyone to go home and enjoy the sun.

Good Bye!


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I can't believe it's taken me till 6 pm on Tuesday to write about an incredible weekend. Jim previewed our intended endeavors as "hitting for the Oregon cycle." An apt metaphor. We definitely got a handful of this state's outdoor activities.

Saturday (our base hit) started well. We woke fact, I woke up sharply at 5:20 - 15 minutes before my alarm was set to go off (that doesn't happen to me). Because I was really early and because I am a nice guy, I stopped at Starbucks to pick up my vanilla latte and an Americancano [sic] for Jimbo. We drove to the mountain, happily anticipating our adventures. Arriving around 8:15, we had to wait a while before we could mount the lift. 9:00 am came soon enough, and we met up with my buddy Brian from work. The three of us hit the slopes hard. The snow was a little thick, but nonetheless, a brilliant morning of skiing ensued. At lunchtime, Brian departed (season pass holders can do that) and Jim and I met up with Trent and Dakota. We immediately dragged Trent to a double diamond. He fought the hill like a champ and made some great turns. After a few runs together, the boys took off, and Jim and I squeezed a few more runs out of our exhausted legs. I skied the two most difficult runs I've ever seen. Even though my turns were labored and clumsy, I quite enjoyed the exertion. Jim, of course, skied like an elf (let me clarify...with the grace of a "Legolas" elf...not the Keibler kind) and made quick work of the daunting runs.

We rounded first with a great (and spicy / cheesy) meal at the lodge. The road to second was a little rocky. We made our way down Hwy 26 toward the forest road that would take us to Bagby Hot Springs. About a 1/4 mile down the NF 42 we encountered a problem. The road was covered in about 4 ft of snow. Apparently, the recorded message saying the road was open had been voiced last summer. Nice work Forest Service phone message lady. Undaunted, we revised our plans and rerouted. Rather than driving back to the mountain, through Estacada and Salem, we chose the longer but more scenic road through Redmond, Sisters, and Detroit. I had forgotten how much fun road trips could be. We saw Smith Rock, the Crooked River, a scary old Native American, and some beautiful wide open land. We talked about big porches facing the east, college memories, friends, food, faith, worship and many other important topics. Our hot springs double turned into a road trippin' head first slide into second. Finally, pulling past the golf course at 10 or so, we found a nice open area off the side of the road and pitched the tent for a stand-up triple.

It was chilly night, and Jim and I discovered the need for a little extra air in the mattress on a cold night. But the sound of the river, and the mere fact that we were sleeping outside cause us both to remark that we loved camping. Even on the side of a dirt road, with the occasional obnoxious cars grumbling by, it was better than sitting on the couch (I did kinda wish I could watch the Masters. But (congrats Posenjaks) Phil won nevermind).

The home run (jack, dinger, bleacher creature, clout, moonball, poke, round-tripper, salami, the big tomato) was a good one. Ill-advisedly, we returned to Elkhorn Valley. This course has eaten more golf balls that all other courses combined. There are so many trees and creeks and lakes and ravines and anthills, that any stray ball disappears forever. However, Jim and I wisely ditched the scorecard in the garbage at the first tee box. I must say, despite all my competitive inclinations, I was still able to enjoy myself fully. We had a few rocky holes...both of us lost a ball here and there. But when you're not keeping score, the only shots you remember are the ones that could be on CBS Sports some Sunday afternoon. And we both had a few of those. Lest the fish start growing, I'll let those beautiful shots inhabit our memories. And I'll propose this challenge to anyone who appreciates this state as much as I (and Jim): at some point in your life, cram a week's worth of Oregon outdoor activity into about 30 hours.

It's well worth it.


Friday, April 07, 2006

It's time.

I'm leaving. This weekend will be great. I consider myself a fairly even-keel guy. Not too easily riled up, and not too often melancholy. But I've noticed a pattern recently. On Monday, I was extremely slothful and sulky. Tuesday through Thursday I was my normal self. Today, I walked around my team area in plaid shorts and totally gangster jacket with platinum tags, chipped a "almost golf" ball up and down the hallway, and tore down the wall between my cube and the next. I feel giddy and excited, and I actually can't believe I'm sitting here typing instead of.............