Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The joys of guns and ammo

So in his book Conservatize Me John "Monkey Disaster" Moe goes to a gun range to squeeze off some rounds from a handgun. Fortunately he calls ahead and learns that if he wants to rent a gun he needs to bring a friend along (presumably because the suicidal won't bring friends to the scene of their, well, suicide). John calls a friend and hauls him along.

If only he'd waited until his son Charlie was old enough to be a Boy Scout he could have skipped that step.

Tonight was "Blue Moon" night for Troop 123. The Troop meets on Wednesdays, and in months where there's a fifth Wednesday they do something special. Bowling, for instance. Or swimming. Or tonight, shooting. So we packed in to a few cars and headed north to Everett where at Sam's Gun Range they comp Boy Scouts the cost of the rifle rental and just sell you ammo and targets. For the eight boys and four adults to each fire off 20 to 40 rounds (the kids got more)? A meager $35 or so. Definitely a sweet deal.

I'd go on about the various conversations I overheard, the insane noise of the guys with the large handguns next to us, and so forth, but I'm tired. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How did I not know about this?

Thanks to Frogma for directing me to the wonder that is garfield minus garfield. Amazing how much better that comic is without the cat...

Monday, April 28, 2008

The hike report, now with pictures!

So I promised a recap of the epic struggle of man and boy against gravity and sand, and I aim to deliver. With photos, even!

The excitement started Saturday morning with a relatively peaceful 2 - 3 hour drive east on I-90. The pass was clear, the sun was out, the kids were quiet, all was well in the world. We met up with the other drivers (Scoutmaster Mark and friend Paul) at a rest area east of George, then caravaned off the freeway and in to the wilds of the Columbia Basin Reclamation Project.

After a few turns and a mile or two on a "primitive road" (which means "dust and washboard", in case you've never driven on one) we made it to the parking lot and loaded up. Here's the boy, loaded up. And yes, he did take off the coat about 5 minutes in to the hike.

Half way across the parking lot and what did we find? Dinner, that's what!

OK, it wasn't really dinner, but it was a sweet looking coyote leg...Anyhow, from there we were off down the trail. The dirty and dusty trail. And by dirt I mean sand, and by dust I mean Mt. St. Helens ash. Which, if my math is correct, erupted 27 years ago. You'd think they would have cleaned that ash up by now...

Well, eventually (I didn't bring the Garmin so I have no idea how far we hiked...I'm going to guess it was about 3 miles) we made it to the lake and set up camp. Logan behaved exactly as predicted: moaned and groaned while wearing the pack (although for the first mile or so that was understandable, since he was saddled with a 6 pound tent...eventually he twisted his ankle a bit and the bigger guys took pity on him and took the tent and his Thermarest and he perked up a bit), then had plenty of energy once it was off. Once the camp was set up the boys went off to play a fun little game called, I believe, "chuck the little guys off a dune". After taking a nap Paul and I wandered over to observe this game, only to scare them back to camp.

Well, almost all of them. Logan stayed around long enough to pose for a picture with the old man.

Once everyone was back in camp the boys did a (very short) orienteering course. Logan and his tent-mate did the course together, with tent-mate manning the compass while Logan wandered around looking for the waypoints:

Which was an interesting choice, since some of the sage brush was as tall as he was. Or taller.

Eventually night began to fall, dinner was eaten (or, in Mr. Finicky Logan's case not eaten...I swear to God he's the only kid I've met who prefers his Top Ramen without the flavor packet. But then, my Top Ramen sample is pretty small...) and it was time for dessert. One big advantage to backpacking now as an adult is that I get to go with guys who know what the hell they're doing, and can produce a chocolate cake using a camping stove and a plastic bag. It was a cake-mix cake with canned frosting, but hey, that's what I have for my birthday so I wasn't complaining. Neither was Jeff, whose birthday we were celebrating.

The boys made a fire (which didn't turn out in the photos), then went off in to the dark to play "German Spotlight." Why "German Spotlight" 60 years after WW II? Well, because apparently it's OK to make fun of Germans, where "Vietnamese Spotlight" or "Gitmo Spotlight" didn't have the same ring. Anyhow, the game involves a guy (the German) with a flashlight, and the other guys hide in the dark and try to sneak up on him. It's great training for when they're inducted into the special forces and have to take out guards in terrorist training camps. Or sneak back in to the house after hours. One of those.

The next morning, after a gourmet breakfast of French toast and sausages we encountered our second predator, this time much smaller. Don't know if scorpions like syrup, because this one didn't hang around long enough to ask and by the time we found the second one we'd cleaned up the dishes. Oh, and I don't speak scorpion (although I do know most of the lyrics to "Blackout")

Then it was time to pack up and hike back to the cars, drink some good ol' city water, eat some crackers and fruit leather, shake off some of the dust, and drive home. With the requisite fast food stop, naturally (at the Ellensburg Arbys where they were 0 for 3 on the order, screwing up all 3 sandwiches).

All in all a good trip, but I definitely appreciated my bed last night!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The hike recap will have to wait

Why? Well, it's late, I'm tired, and the bed is calling. Because it's oh so much more comfortable than a Thermarest on lumpy ground.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hike report

Logan survived the hike, with the expected whining, and found a new friend: a ladybug!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hiking? Really? Yes, apparently...

At least that's the plan. Not that a mile over rolling dunes can really count as hiking, I don't think...then again, I'm not ten and carrying my world on my back for the first time either. I'm expecting whining. I'm expecting groaning. And then we'll get to wherever it is we're camping (somewhere in Potholes State Park) and the whining and groaning will be forgotten in the fun and excitement of setting up tents and learning to use a compass. And then it will be dinner time and the whining and groaning will start again over whatever it is that's for dinner, but at least there will be a bit of a break...

Anyhoo, that's my weekend. Which means tomorrow will be the first test of the cell phone text / pix message posting method, something that will come in handy keeping the Blog 365 thing going during our big road trip this summer!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The guilt post

Totally forgot to post anything last night, so I threw up the LiveScience thing this afternoon to kind of make up for it. I know, lame, but what the hell.

So in other news, today was "take your kid to work" day and for the first time Logan tagged along. The company had a whole agenda planned for the kids, grouping them roughly by age (he was with a bunch of kids roughly 9 to 11) and having them play "The Game of Choices" which was, let's face it, basically the game of Life (the board game, not the computer cellular growth one) only without the board and with no plastic cars full of babies.

As in the board game, the object was to amass as much money as possible by making the right choices. Then at the end you had another choice: trade in your play money for raffle tickets, or fold it all in to origami bunnies. Logan chose the latter, and therefore did not win a shoulder bag or a gumball machine. But he does have a bunch of origami bunnies with currency values on them...

Thank you,

For letting me know that a Mind-Reading Hat Could Prevent Brain Farts. Unfortunately the article has neither a photo of the hat nor a graphic showing it stopping the cloud of noxious brain vapors emitted...

The big question is, why couldn't I see this yesterday so I didn't miss a day of posting?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Brief book review

It's late and I'm tired, so I won't go in to much detail, but I must recommend two books by Mary Doria Russell: The Sparrow and Children of God.

The Sparrow, first in the series, is far more dark: it's a tale of first contact gone horribly awry, and the structure of the book is such that you know at the outset that things went south but you don't find out until late in the book why.

Children of God, the sequel, picks up the story where The Sparrow left off as a group of humans head back to Rakhat (the alien world) to find how deeply the screwups from book one have changed things. This one is more straight forward, with a single timeline, and while it has it's dark moments is also relatively uplifting.

Russell is an anthropologist, I think (or maybe an archaeologist...), and has really defined the alien society well. Very cool concept, and good execution.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Car Talk on Nova?

Hell yeah!

Nova's all about science, right? At least, that's what I think...haven't watched it in a while, what with all the other craptastic TV on. But I'm coming back to the Nova fold tomorrow 'cause Tom and Ray from Car Talk are on talking about the car of the future. Which sounds like a display at the 1939 World's Fair but isn't.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Derby photos

Here are some shots from last night's bouts. Hopefully by next month I'll have a better flash...forgot to pester Dave to bring his last night, so it was all shot with the on-board craptastic flash. But hey, I've got that bike money burning a hole in my pocket so maybe I'll drop some on a flash. That and gas...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Snow Derby?

The morning started off with snow. Same snow as last night, but brighter since it wasn't dark out. That was followed by a drive to Mom's, where I expected more snow than at our house since she's at 1,000 feet elevation and we're only at 400 or so. But the vagaries of weather in Seattle didn't think that was such a good idea, and she had far less, as you can see from these find photos:

But, unlike in North Seattle, it was snowing lightly when I got there. And it didn't stop, in fact getting harder and larger.

The original plan for the morning was for the kids and I to help with Mom's community lands work party, but with the snow and all the kids weren't overly enthusiastic. So we didn't get out of the house until 10:30 or so, wandered up the trail through the swamp, trimming a few branches here and there, then they decided they were cold and I went off to take pictures of neighbors working (several of whom I found, rugged adventurers of the Northwest that they are).

The evening plan was for Roller Derby. Tonight's bouts: DLF vs Sockit Wenches and Grave Danger vs the Dairyland Dolls, the travel team for the Mad Rollin' Dolls from Madison Wisconsin. Both bouts were blowouts, and in both cases the team I was rooting for (Wenches and GD) was on the receiving end of the ass-kicking. Ah well, it was fun anyway. And tomorrow I'll have photos up, hopefully...

Friday, April 18, 2008

What was that I was saying yesterday?

Oh, right. It's too cold. Damn straight...went to see my friend Rob in a play in North Bend tonight (pretty good show, some funny lines, some reasonably good acting, and the price was right) and drove home through a blizzard. Seriously. On April 18th. Not quite white-out, but definitely that "Millennium Falcon going in to hyperspace" effect with the headlights on. And since I couldn't bomb along at my usual 75 it took like an hour to get home, where we found noticeable amounts of snow on the grass and plants. Again, on April 18th.

Clearly La Nina doesn't want to leave quite yet...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's just too cold to post

I haven't whined about the weather in a while, and I've got nothing better to write about, so what the heck.

Let's see...checking the calendar it's April 17th. Almost a month in to spring. And they're forecasting snow above 500 feet this weekend. Here's the proof, courtesy of KOMO's Weather page:

Saturday, the day with the snowflake, I'm planning on working at my mom's community work party, clearing overhanging brush and whatnot from their nature trail. The kids are excited to help. It should be fun.

Unless, of course, it's 37 and raining, or 36 and snowing, or some combination of the two. 'cause that's just too damn cold.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Now podcasting for all to hear

So as I note over on the right, I do a little radio thingy on Indy Radio / Radio KYA out in Grays Harbor (not to be confused with Grey's Anatomy). You can stream either if you like...Indy Radio is a lefty talk station that rolls my "culled from the bowels of the internets" weird news bits in to some semblance of a lunch show, while KYA automates the same bits in to a more "standard" music radio program, repeating every couple hours or so.

The other item I do for these fine Low-Power FM stations is a little 2 minute 30 second (ish) daily item called "Scott Chicken's TV Party", a recap / preview / whatever of the evening's prime time entertainment. This way while I rarely have time to watch prime time TV I can at least feel like I know what's going on in the world of entertainment. Or at least that's what I tell myself.

So anyway, I found out yesterday that TV Party is now available in podcast/mp3 format from some site called "radio4all". Not sure if you can set it up to automatically download to your iPod or Zune or whatever, but if you're curious here's the link!

Attention geniuses...

No matter how cool it looks on TV, it's just not a good idea to try to run across the freeway. Last week we had this guy, hit by a truck while crossing I-5 in Seattle, and today we've got this guy, hit by a car north of Centralia. Neither of them survived, so your chances are probably slim too.

Monday, April 14, 2008


The last two bikes walked out the door tonight. Let the Atami go for $75 and the Sekai for $80. And now that I'm no longer doing the STP I'm not really in a hurry to buy a road bike, which means I can put that cash toward something more useful. I mentioned new computer yesterday, but maybe what I really need is a replacement for the busted xbox. Or I could just save it to spend on boring is that?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

It's time to admit defeat

Well, maybe not exactly defeat. In fact, let's label it "re-evaluating mid-term goals in light of schedule constraints", with a follow-up of "shifting activities to reflect new goals". That sounds much better than "I'm a big woos" and also shows that I didn't spend all that money on the MBA for nothing.

In short, I've decided to bail on the STP this year for the following reasons:
  1. I'm waaaaaay behind on the training. By this weekend I was supposed to be riding 50 miles each day for the second week in a row. I haven't managed 50 miles yet, and while I came close yesterday (45 or so) only put in 25 today.
  2. I started the training with a low level of fitness. After the 2006 Seattle Half-Marathon I basically took a vacation from exercise for, oh, a year. I went to the gym on occasion, but not regularly. I gained a bunch of weight. I became a slug. Slugs don't ride bicycles.
  3. There are too many conflicts in upcoming weekends to stick to any kind of training program. Next weekend my mom's community has it's spring work party, and I'd like the kids to experience that kind of communal effort. The weekend after that I'm going camping / hiking with Logan's Scout troop. The weekend after that we're going to Wenatchee. Then there are other camp-outs, overnights, and conflicts.
  4. Training while we're on our big road trip home from Wisconsin in late June/early July will be a logistical nightmare:
    1. Getting the bike there on the train will require boxing it up.
    2. I'll have to figure out how to pack the bike rack.
    3. I'll be riding instead of driving and sight-seeing with the family.
    4. As Paige pointed out, if I crash or something in the middle of BF Wyoming, how will the people who stumble across me know who to call?
    5. And where will they take me?
  5. Did I mention I'm a big woos?
So...I'm no longer in the market for a new bike, I don't think, since I can commute on my Mountain Bike and riding it 40 miles on the Haul Ash ride won't kill me. And now I can take the money I would have put into the road bike and use it for something really useful, like a new computer!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hoo...busy day

6:45 - get up, eat oatmeal, mix up NUUN electrolyte stuff someone gave me, get on bike gear, head out
7:50 - finally on the road. Hey, what's that scraping sound? It didn't do that before...
8:00 - stop, try to adjust front dérailleur so it won't rub, succeed to a moderate degree
8:05 - back on the road
8:50 - stop at Matthews Beach park to stretch, pee and eat some Clif bar
9:45 - stop at that park in Woodinville, you know the one, right next to the trail. Eat a banana, drink some of the NUUN stuff (which isn't great, I'm sorry to say, but that might be the "total berry" flavor. Maybe Orange would be OK...) and listen to people talk about the AARP
10:50 - pause at Matthews Beach again to rest my aching butt and pee. Again.
11:35 - call the wife from a light about 2 miles from home and ask her to start the cold bath
11:45 - get home, put away bike, add ice to the bath, strip and climb in. JESUS! I haven't done the ice bath since my marathon days back in 2006. Did it really hurt this much then? Probably not, 'cause then my feet were hot and sore where now it's my quads and butt. Damn. How much is an ice sitz bath?
11:50 - drain the tub and start the shower. Cool at first, then getting warmer...don't want to cause more pain than the ice water did!
12:00 - get out of shower, dry off, get dressed, slam some pizza and gatorade
12:40 - pile in the car and head off to Town Hall Seattle to see the Vagabond Opera. 1:10 - arrive at Town Hall, sit down, watch all the kids running around like monkeys
1:30 - show time! Paige and I liked it, the kids not so much. The hulahoop girl was a-freaking-mazing, but based on the web page I don't think she's a regular.
2:30 - show's over, pile in the car, head down to the Scout Shop
2:45 - arrive at the Scout Shop, look at backpacks, buy a Kelty Yukon 2900 for Logan (who will be going on his first official hiking camping trip in 2 weeks)
3:00 - head over to Mom's house to pick up the Atami bike I'm trying to sell. Dang, it's really warm out!
3:30 - get to Mom's, load the bike, move her recycling to the street, take a walk on the trail with the kids, sit and talk, and sweat
4:45 - decide we're hungry enough to have an early dinner, invite Mom to Red Robin in Factoria
5:15 - eat
6:00 - leave Factoria, stop at Smashed Foods to buy dessert and snacks for tomorrow's M's game
6:45 - get home, eat ice cream sandwich, boot up computer, begin this recap
8:30 - get dragged away from computer to see "that one commercial. You know, the funny one I was telling you about?" No, Logan, I don't. Oh, the "Old Spice Hair and Body Wash" one. Yes, it is indeed funny.
9:00 - read The Mouse and the Motorcycle to Maya, wonder if it will make her want a motorcycle when she grows up like it did to me
9:30 - come back downstairs and finish this post.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Olympics controversy galore!

First, you've got the whole China / Tibet thing. I'm all for Free Tibet...Tibet's been over-priced for years, and I'm sick of paying for it. Tibet, like information, wants to be free and you'd think in this Internet age we'd have all the Tibet we want at our fingertips.
Then there's Marion Jones, who used antelope hormones back in 2000 to make her run faster. Or maybe they were dolphin hormones to help with her underwater breathing. I haven't really been keeping up on that one.
But this story takes the cake. As if the IOC didn't have enough problems what with the corruption and the expensive Tibet and the squat toilets in Beijing, now they have to figure out if a new swimsuit makes people too fast. Spedo has come up with a new suit that has magical properties that make you go faster. So much faster that you don't really have to swim in order to win, and can instead enjoy a sandwich and maybe a dolphin ride (just stay away from Marion Jones). I'm pretty sure this is a picture of the suit, although I'm not sure about the headphones. I think those are only for training.
This has other countries, whose teams are sponsored by other suit manufacturers, in a snit because the fairy dust in their suits only allows them to talk to sea turtles. And they don't come with an underwater electric boomarang. Or Oxygum.
Clearly there is only one answer to all this: They need to roll the Olympics back about 3,000 years or whatever and do the whole thing commando. And by "commando" I naturally mean "nude". There are several plusses:
First, Olympic athletes are all hardbodies (well, maybe not some of those curlers). Second, boobies. Third, flopping junk lends a comic element to the hurdles. Fourth, the beach volleyball people are practically naked already, so no big deal. But most importantly, no more swimsuit controversy.
Oh, actually most most importantly, much higher ratings and a chance for lucrative pay-per-view revenue.
Seriously, I don't know why the IOC hasn't thought of this already...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Live at the Showbox SoDo, it's Circulator!

They're on tour promoting their new album "You Can't Help It". Because you can't. It's just that good. Almost as good as the One Way Jesus sign in the window on their album cover. I'm totally going to see these guys if, you know, they ever become a band and go on tour, rather than just being a made-up album cover based on some blog meme...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

My new hero

OK, maybe "hero" is too strong a word, but haven't we all wanted to yelle at someone talking too loudly on their cell phone? I know I have, and it's usually some punk-ass kid on the bus, yacking with his or her punk-ass friends about something that requires both volume and an endless stream of profanity. The profanity I can handle, although it is pretty repetitive, but the volume? No.

Anyhow, being a good Seattlite, I just turn up the volume on the Zune and stew about it. Ol' John Clifford, on the other hand, is from New York and prefers the direct approach. We could probably use more of that...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tired and out of ideas

Got any? I'll take either:
  • Sleep
  • A road bike that fits
  • Someone to buy my other bikes
  • All of the above
Man, I'm like bike obsessed these days, aren't I? Had a fine commute home in the rain. Well, half in the stopped in Fremont, so I could dry out a bit before I got home. or, rather, the outside of the rain coat could dry out, while the inside got wet from the sweat thanks to the mile-long hill.

As for the sleep thing, I think I'll go get me some.

Monday, April 07, 2008

One down, three to go...

Sold one of the bikes tonight, so I'm a hundred bucks richer and have slightly more room in the basement. w00t! And someone is supposed to come tomorrow night to look at the Sekai, so by tomorrow night that might be two hundred bucks richer and a double-w00t!

In case you're still interested, here's what's still on the market:

  1. Sekai Grantour 2500 10-speed, circa 1980-ish. It was my Dad's bike, a bit too big for him, really, and it's been sitting in Mom's garage since probably the mid to late '80s. As far as I can tell it's got a 62cm frame (down-tube), with a 34" stand-over height. It's a 10-speed with the classic "fingertip shifters" that were all the rage back in the day. Here's a picture:
  2. Atami Grantour 10-speed, early '80s vintage. This was my bike before I went insane and got the Fuji, and even IT is a bit too big. Man, my legs must have shrunk. It's a 52cm frame with a 31.5" standover, fingertip shifters, fenders and a rear rack. There's currently no seat, but hey, seats are relatively cheap, I think...
  3. And finally, the newest and smallest of the bikes is a Fuji Newest, maybe a 2005 model. It's all super-modern, 18 speeds (or maybe 21...I didn't count), those fancy-pants rapid-fire shifters on the brake levers, street-level camouflage (meaning it's gray...), etc. I bought this one off of Craigslist last month thinking it was the right size, but clearly my 18 years of mountain biking have warped my sense of size, 'cause it's way too short. The guy I bought it from billed it as a 49cm frame, but looking on the Fuji site (based purely on the frame color) I think it's really a 44. If only I could get it to breed with the Fuji Royale I might get a bike that's the right size...
Anyhow, if you're interested in any of these, let me know!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sunday video

Here, since I'm sure you all wanted to see it, is video evidence of Miss Maya's newfound love of skiing. And my crappy camera work. Not to mention my abysmal lens cleaning abilities...

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Last day of the season

Ski season, that is. And by "last day" I mean "last day as far as I know."

Skiing? On April 5th? Why yes, thank you. And it wasn't bad, either. The weather held out for the most part - a few icy flakes on occasion, but generally reasonable. And there were a few inches of new from last night's snow. It got a little slushy in the afternoon, but not as bad as it was the last time we went to Snoqualmie back in February. Which is good, 'cause I really don't need any more thumb injuries, thank you very much.

So, why after three great days of skiing at nice ski areas like Baker and Crystal did we head up to Snoqualmie again? Well, for one thing it's "free" since we've got passes. And for another it was the final make-up lesson for all those weekends lost to avalanche control. But it wasn't just a normal make-up lesson, was also "Webbski Fun Weekend" or whatever. Which meant the kids got to wear numbers like they were in a race:

And race they did. At least once, anyway, in a double-slalom thing. Logan apparently won his race, thanks to his opponent falling down. But hey, a win is a win, right? Right!

And now that ski season is officially over, it's time to focus more on the bike. Like, oh, a lot more.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Cleaning out the phone...

Cell phone shot of the day, although I'm not sure what day it was...

Update: Just figured out when that was...well, roughly anyway: it was taken at Everett Memorial Stadium last summer during an Everett AquaSox game. So now you know.

Today's video

Not as good as the original, or the subsequent "I'm #$@&ing Ben Aflek" response, but what the hell...

And thanks to nephew Matt for pointing me to it!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

It's baaaaack...

What's back, you ask? Why only the finest reality TV show of them all. No I'm not talking about that Survivor stuff or the Amazing Race or whatever, I'm talking about the only reality show on TV where the contestants are not just allowed, but required to beat the crap out of each other in order to win. That's right, it's time for a new season of The Ultimate Fighter on Spike. And to make it even better, rather than just bringing 16 guys to Vegas and breaking them in to teams of 8 this year they brought in 32 guys, paired them off, gave them 2 days to train and cut weight, and threw them in the ring with the winner of each fight staying on the show and the losers going home. This, as UFC President and reigning bald guy Dana White said, will "weed out the pussies" (or words to that effect...).
In last night's opener they showed 3 or 4 full fights and "highlights" of a couple more, ranging from a couple stand-up slug fests to a nice, boring wrestling match, with a couple of tap-outs, one knock-out, and a few decisions (like, oh, the boring wrestling match). The previews for next week's episode (the final 8 "qualifying" fights) looks good as well, with the overly dramatic announcer mentioning "the hardest knockout in Ultimate Fighter history" - complete with video of an abulance and audio of sobbing, moaning, and sirens. Woo hoo!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The end of the season

The next to the last day of the Chicken family ski season has come and gone. We spent Sunday and Monday at Baker, where Maya decided that she actually does like skiing and Paige remembered that, while it hurts, it is kind of fun. So today we got up early, left the house early, and drove the 8 bagillion miles (OK, so it only felt like that) to Crystal Mountain.

Paige and the kids hadn't been there before...I went for the Vertical Express for MS ski event back in February. It was a gorgeous day - sunny, cool but not cold, and there were very few people there...pretty much ideal conditions!

We started out on the Discovery chair, the Crystal bunny hill. Maya, as you can see from the photo, was excited.

Heck, even Paige and Logan seemed to be pretty psyched!

After a few runs on Discovery the kids were bored with it and even Paige was ready to move on to something a bit harder, so we headed over to the Chinoook Express six-pack chair, then moved on to the Forest Queen Express. This was the only mistake of the day...while the Queens run down from the top of the chair is rated a green circle, there's a pretty steep section of the hill, and Paige don't do the steep. She had to side-step down a chunk of it, but once she got to the bottom she did fine. The kids, meanwhile, rampaged their way down pretty much every hill in their way.

Once we got back down to the base we had lunch, then headed back up. While Paige stayed on the low runs from the top of Chinook Express, the kids and I headed back up to Forest Queen until they were worn out, then went back down to meet the wife. For our final run, Logan and I went up to the top - not all the way up to High Campbell, since we're not up for that double-diamond stuff, but up the Rainier Express to take in the view. And what a view it was! The mountain was out in full force, looking even more impressive than the crappy cell phone camera can communicate:

So, the up shot of three great ski days in one week?
  1. Maya is now stoked on the skiing and ready for lessons next year
  2. Paige is smitten with Crystal and is now stoked for next year's Vertical Express
  3. My legs have been sore for pretty much a week.

In other words, everything's bitchin'!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Things I don't want to find on the beach

  1. Oil-coated sea creatures
  2. Dead, rotting sea lion (been there, done that, it stank)
  3. Birds snared in 6-pack rings
  4. Beached whale
  5. Human head in a plastic bag

OK, the others would be bad, but the head in the bag thing would give me nightmares.