Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I recently took a quickie work trip up to Toronto, Canada, and while sitting on the plane observing the stewardesses, err, flight attendants, I couldn't help but notice how incredibly anal they are about seat belts. They are so concerned with it, it has its own special light-up indicator above every seat and its own special little ding.

"Please keep your seat belt fastened during take-off until the indicator is turned off." "Please keep your seat belt fastened until the plane is through taxiing and at a complete stop." "Ooh, turbulence...everyone back in their seats immediately and fasten seat belt, NOW!"

I'm convinced there is some ulterior motive for the seat belt nazism. Because I mean let's face it...whilst on a flight one of two things is going to happen. A) The flight will go normally with the possibility of a little turbulence, none of which warrants actually wearing a seat belt. Or B) the plane crashes in a fiery blaze and everyone dies, seat belt or no. That's it. That's all that ever happens. So why the absolutely colossal waste of time with all the lights and dings and announcements? It just doesn't add up...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I was listening to the radio the other morning and heard an add for something known as the International Star Registry. I decided to write about it because I would like to shake the hand of the guy who came up with this scam. Nice work, my man...pure genius. For only $54 you get a freaking star named after you! How great is that?

I'm devising a copycat endeavor as I write. For only $29.95, a steal compared to that expensive star stuff, you can get a grain of sand named after you, complete with certificate of authenicity and a photo of the beach where your grain resides. Or for $19.95, an H2O molecule in the ocean of your choice. This is gonna be HUGE!

As a sidenote...I wonder if you get a discount if your star goes supernova? :)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Whenever I watch a video about Iraq I inevitably hear a soldier or some other military type mispronounce the word "cache" as "cashay" instead of just plain ol' "cash". As in, "We found the insurgent's weapons cashay." I've looked it up at least a half dozen times to verify that cashay is not some obscure alternate pronunciation that I was unaware of. And you know what I found? It's not.

So how does this happen? What is the explanation for this spontaneous mass mispronunciation phenomenon? My theory is that dumb-guy-A listens to prone-to-mispronounce-guy-B and then questions his own way of pronouncing a given word. Rather than look it up, dumb-guy-A starts to say it the wrong way, and then dumb-guy-C hears. And it snowballs from there until easily-annoyed-guy-D (me) hears it on CNN and is bothered enough to write a blog entry about it. :) I would love to hear alternative theories...

One other thing has been bothering me. It's December now and the stores are bombarding us with "seasonal" candy. Seasonal is a nice way of saying "only sells because of perceived affiliation with Christmas". A perfect example of a seasonal candy - the Candy Cane.

It's not a coincidence that the cane of candy is nowhere to be found in July. It's not that the candy cane is an uninspiring shaft of sugar, however, that I've chosen to write about it. What irks me most is the way they've chosen to package it. Innovative, year-round candies are constantly giving us new and exciting ways to minimize the "inside package" to "inside mouth" time. Simply pull this nifty red tab and watch as the packaging unravels effortlessly to reveal the now readily accessible goodies inside. That's technology at work, ladies and gentlemen...that's progress!

Alas, the candy cane makers have opted to remain in the packaging stone-age. You'll find no convenient pull-tab on these beasts, no reclosable slot/tab combo, no high-tech zip lock action, but rather a simple shrink-wrapping so tight that a wrapped cane and an unwrapped cane are virtually indistinguishable. Once you start the unwrapping process you'll find that seasonal candy must be mandated to use cheap cellophane that has this bizarre impossibly strong, incredibly weak characteristic duality which is somehow able to manifest itself at precisely the most inopportune times.

For example, the stuff is kevlar-esque when you first get a mind to break into it...but rather than just slip off the cane with one pull, it quickly loses all prior strength and you end up peeling it rather like a banana...only with an invisible peel. It's only once you begin to eat the candy cane and discover the cellophane shrapnel in your mouth that you realize that your peeling job was not thorough.

The real irony to this, however, is that there really are no fruits resulting from your labors, so to speak. Candy canes just aren't good. But I will leave the infamous cane's taste leaving something to be desired for a different post. :)

Friday, December 02, 2005

I'm sure you've heard the quote "There are lies, damn lies, and statistics." Listening to the radio this morning I heard a seat belt statistic that made me think of this quote and about how you really need to think about what a statistic means. Here's what they said:

"53% of car accident fatalities were not wearing their seat belt." Your first reaction might be, "oooh, 53%, that's a pretty big chunk, they should have been wearing their seat belt!" But think about it a little more. 53%, with a +/- 3% margin of error, which is pretty standard, is for all intents and purposes the same as 50%. So in other words, 50% of car accident fatalities WERE wearing their seat belt. So what does that tell us? If half of fatalities were wearing a seat belt and half were not, then what that tells me is that wearing a seat belt has a NEGLIGIBLE effect on your survivability in a serious traffic accident.

As it turns out I happen to be a fan of the seat belt as it probably saved me from injury about a year ago when I had a head-on collision, but I just thought this was an interesting example of a misleading statistic, whether they meant it to be or not.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I actually have a couple things today. Last night, while at the rec. center, I made the mistake of getting on the machine before changing the channel on the TV that was in front of me. Normally they are pretty good about having the TV's on the channel of whatever the happening event is...the NLCS, Monday Night Football, etc. But, to my horror, when it came back from commercial it was women's figure skating. Doh! But I was already going on the machine and I didn't want to stop to change the I decided to wait for someone to walk by to ask to change the channel to the baseball game for me. In the meantime, however, I couldn't help but make some observations about women's figure skating.

Figure skating is stupid. First of all, it's one of those lame subjective sports where you're at the mercy of judges, who are probably corrupt. Second, there is really only one element to a routine which separates one skater from another. They can all do the easy, frilly, artsy, boring stuff backwards and forwards blindfolded in their sleep. You know, skating forwards, skating backwards, waving their hands around, showing off the glitter in their hair, etc., which comprises like 99% of a routine. The only thing anyone is looking for is whether or not the skater falls down on her jumps. That is the essence of figure skating. She who falls least gets gold.

So I have a proposal for a new system for figure skating that removes the subjectivity entirely without really changing the essence of the sport. Take the most difficult jump in skating, and then have each skater attempt it 100 times in a row. The person who lands it the most gets the gold. 2nd, silver, etc. Done. No controversy, no corruption, takes less time, no glitter, everyone wins!

The second thing I'd like to talk about are the lines on the freeway. Or more accurately, the OLD lines that aren't supposed to be there anymore. For some reason, many months ago, they decided that the lanes of the freeway on I-15 that I drive to work each day all needed to be shifted over about 12 inches. Now, I'm no traffic while it seems kind of odd, whatever. BUT, I have to take issue with their choice of old-line-concealment technique. Maybe it's just me, but giving the old lines a light coat of rubber cement just doesn't quite seem to do the job. Not only can you still see the lines plain as day, but now they have an annoying glare in the morning from the sun...which actually makes them MORE visible than the new lines. The result is that the freeway is now a confusing smorgasboard of lines making distinguishing between lanes a daunting task at the very least.

To summarize...we put a man on the moon, we can nuke the world 20 times over, but we can't make some simple traffic lines disappear. In the meantime bad drivers are driving willy nilly down the freeway, causing needless accidents...and my insurance premiums are rising. :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Oops, I have been slacking on this whole blog thing. Maybe it's not for me, I doubt anyone even reads it. Oh's free. :)

Two negative things happened this weekend. First BYU somehow managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory against TCU. 51-50, man what a score. I think this is like the first time in the history of the sport of football that someone has managed to botch two snaps in-a-row. Luckily I didn't go to it, nor was I watching it, because we were on our way to Mount Borah in Idaho. I had the ol' tivo recording the game in the unlikely event that BYU won, suffice it to say it didn't last long on the tivo's hard drive.

The other thing is we didn't make it to the top of Borah. I really really really hate to not summit, esp. when it takes 6 hours to drive there. But I think under the circumstances we made a wise choice. To continue in the conditions we encountered (5 inches of snow and ice on Chicken-Out Ridge) would have been suicidal at best I think. The one redeeming thing, however, was that the snow and clouds made the mountain incredibly scenic and I got an outstanding batch of Himalaya-esque photos out of the deal. Here's a taste...

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

We did Dark Canyon (near Lake Powell) and Mount Peale (near Moab, highest mountain in the La Sals and highest in Utah outside of the High Uintas). Dark Canyon was pretty cool. Risk of death was as high as ever! :) Between almost getting hit by lightning, freaky big yellow spiders & rattlesnakes, and rocks that would just break sporadically and fall down sheer cliffs as you stepped on them, it definitely made for an interesting Labor Day weekend.

One bummer though...because of the torrential rain we received it was flash flooding through Dark Canyon and the normal nice, clear water was replaced by what I can only describe as chocolate milk. Here I am from what could be a scene right out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. :)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Friday, August 19, 2005

I had a random thought today as I stood at the gas pump. I remember way back in the day when I was about 10 years old my friends talked me into buying a motorized uzi squirt gun. They all had one, and in the end I succumbed to the peer pressue and dropped the $10 that one cost. It was cool, we had squirt wars, it was all good.

Then my mom found out. Oh man was she pissed. How could I squander such a large amount on such a trivial, worthless toy? Money doesn't grow on trees, you know. I felt bad.

It was at about that moment, approx. 2.3 seconds from when I first depressed the pump handle, that the $10 spent mark on the LCD readout came and went like a blur.

Inflation notwithstanding, my how things have changed...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

We just got back from the Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City, Utah. I'd never been, have always wanted to check it out, so down we went. I originally wanted to go to at least one Shearepeare play, and one non-Shakespeare play (I just discovered that they have non ones there as well). But then I found out they wanted $35+ a pop to go to these things. Ouch!

So we decided on just one non-Shakespeare one called "Stones In His Pockets". It was pretty good. Every part was played by just two actors - all kinds of accents and acting styles, so that was pretty impressive. Two things of note, however. What an unreal amount of spit that left these guys' mouths. It was unreal. They are not mic'd so I guess they had to speak loudly...that plus the way the lighting was helped us see everly last saliva molecule spew forth. Or maybe there is something about an Irish accent that is condusive to spit projectiles.

The other thing is how they substituted all the swear words. I'd heard this play had a lot of F-bombs. Their substitute of choice, apparentely, was "feck". "What do you think about that, Jake?" "I think we're fecked!" "Are you out of your fecking mind?" Etc. :)

Lastly, during the intermission I saw something else which I found quite hilarious. They were, of course, merchandising like mothers. And for a mere $8.95 you could be the proud owner of your own Shakespeare Action Figure! Complete with removable quill pen, and book! Haha. Cracked me something out of Homestar Runner. Sweet Shakespeare removable quill pen action!

A Picture Share!


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

We didn't know it at the time, but it turns out Saturday we met a local legend high on the Cottonwood Ridge - Caine Alder. After we met him I mentioned the fact to Mick of Mick's Mountain Page, who then told me he recognized the name and that there was an article about him in the SL Tribune way back in 1996. So I dug up the article which I am going to post here. It says he was 62 in '96, so that makes him 71 today, and still doing the triple traverse! (Twin Peaks, Sunrise, Dromedary). Amazing. Here is a pic we got with Caine:

From The Salt Lake Tribune - October 14, 1996:

In the diary where Caine Alder writes about his latest hiking adventure, a Saturday milestone was recorded quite simply: hiking Broads Fork Twin Peaks for the 200th time.

It took 27 years to complete the first 100 treks. Seventeen years later he doubled it.

"Just don't go up a 300th time, will you,'' jested hiking partner Rolf Doebbeling at the end of a 10-hour day.

Alder retorted: "Let's see, I'd be 79. Yeah, I could do that.''

Before the sun poked its head above the Wasatch, Alder began the trek with a 15-member entourage of daughters, hiking partners and work acquaintances.

Broads Fork Twin Peaks at 11,330 feet attracts experienced mountaineers, said John Veranth, author of Hiking the Wasatch. In 4 1/2 miles this Big Cottonwood Canyon trail climbs 5,130 vertical feet over boulders, skitterish scree and a gravity-defying wall.

"Panoramic views, the magnificent alpine setting, the enormous vertical reli! ef and the prominent position on the Salt Lake skyline make this peak a popular objective,'' said Veranth.

Even after 200 trips to the peak? Alder answers yes.

"I love Broads Fork Twin Peaks,'' he said. "Just look at the variety of trees. Look at the quartz rock; it's yellow, red, orange. I'll show you a rock on top that's blue. I love that rock.''

Age has not slowed the 62-year-old's sojourns into the Wasatch Mountains. He hikes almost weekly, climbing Mount Olympus almost 300 times now. His secret to hiking longevity: pacing and proper breathing.

Leading the pack Saturday, Alder's hike went so smoothly it appeared he entered a walking meditation. His steps were uniform, whether on the flats or a steep upward haul. Heavy breathing and gasps for air were unheard. He slows or speeds up according to the trail's pitch. And he never chews gum on the uphill; it makes breathing difficult.

Often his pace results in a game of "Tortoise and Hare'' with other hikers, said cousin Jeff Burton, who joined the m onumental trek.

"The first time I hiked with him 21 years ago, this group of young hikers burned past us,'' Burton recalled. "My young muscles were aching to join them. But I stayed with Caine, and soon we passed those hikers. Then they burned past us again, and we eventually passed them as they rested on a rock. Finally, we reached the top, but we never saw them.''
Alder's final tip for effortless hiking is to avoid talking, a pact broken Saturday because of the celebratory nature of the hike.

"I made my first climb when 2 1/2-years-old,'' said Alder, twisting his beret-covered head to address the single-file crowd that followed. A glimmer in his milk-chocolate-colored eyes revealed that a story soon would unfold.

When his father leaned a ladder against the house, Alder climbed up and sat on the rain gutter happily swinging his legs until discovered by his mother. After that he shimmied up the house's pillars. Trees were next. Alder and his si! ster began haunting Hugh's Canyon along the Wasatch Front. And in 1952, the Salt Lake City native learned about other trails riddling the mountain range.

"I'd never kept a diary, but for some reason I wrote about my first hiking trips because to me they were really fun events I wanted to remember,'' said Alder.
Forty-four years later, the diary continues.

An entry in the 1960s tells of a fog settling on Broads Fork Twin Peaks that disoriented the group. With his hands, Alder found familiar rocks and led the hikers off the steep crags.
Twenty years after that a redtail hawk claimed a 400-foot stretch of the peak's trail as its territory. When the raptor spotted Alder's hat, it swooped down and stole the cap from his head.
"After it took the hat, it came and I had to fight it,'' he said. "I went home with cuts all over my arms. My wife said, 'That was a quick trip.' When I told her what happened she laughed so hard she was stooped over.''!

Trauma did not plague Alder's 200th hike to Broad Fork Twin Pe aks. Instead, he watched the canyon's charm unfold as the sun crossed the sky, and renewed his love for hiking.

"I do this because it's fun,'' he said. "That old stuff about climbing it because it's there. . . pshaw.''

Sunday, August 07, 2005

We sometimes jokingly say that a particular activity is more fun if there is greater "risk of death". And while it sounds like something kind of stupid to say, there actually IS an element of truth to it. The difference is that "greater risk of death" is a relative term. Activity A may have a greater risk of death than activity B, but that does not necessarily mean that activity A's actual risk of death is all that great. For example, it may be riskier to hike a trail with sheer drop offs that are 1000's of feet high than to, say, walk down the sidewalk with a sheer drop off of 4 inches to the gutter. But that doesn't necessarily make the trail very dangerous in an absolute sense.

So why am I rambling on about risk of death? Yesterday we tried to get to the top of both Dromedary Peak and Sunrise Peak, high and rugged peaks along the Cottonwood Ridge, and numbers 15 and 16 in my goal to bag all the 11,000+ foot peaks in the Wasatch Range. Once again, to make a long blog entry short, I will just say that I flirted with an unacceptable risk of death far too much and for far too long yesterday. Between the most rotten, crumbly, sharp and unstable rock known to man, sheer cliffs and exposure around every turn, tiring and frustrating route finding, I found myself as sketched out as I believe I've ever been...for probably a solid 2 hours. We actually did make it to the top of Dromedary by way of some probably questionable decisions and sheer will. I really wanted to get to the top of Sunrise as first. But by the time we'd gotten to what would be the final ascent of Sunrise, I'd had enough. We instead made a premature bail off the main ridge down another scary-as-hell chute and decided to just get the $#@! out of dodge.

And to add insult to injury, on the way down a nasty thunderstorm formed overhead which I swear covered exactly the boundary of the Twin Peaks Wilderness because there was blue sky all around the horizon. We saw several bolts of lightning frighteningly close and heard a few of those ultra-loud cracks of thunder - the kind you can feel in your gut and make you want to drop to the ground in the fetal position. :) We found some overhanging rock and decided to wait it out there. Once the storm had passed we made quick work of the trail back to the car.

In hindsight I am kind of bummed that I was not able to close out my goal (esp. since this means I have to climb Broads Fork AGAIN sometime in the future), but I guess in the end I'm happy just to be able to be writing this entry.

Damn you Sunrise you WILL go down! :)

Brent and I at the top of Dromedary:

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Yesterday marked the official launch of the newest addition to Ask Michelle. Yet another side project that I decided to do for the "sheer hell of it". :)

Why, you ask? Michelle has a cornucopia of knowledge, both trivial and useful, and this is my meager attempt to harness and channel this knowledge for the good of all. If you question my view of her knowledge, you need only play her in a game of Trivial Pursuit (any edition) and get your teeth kicked in by her, just as I have.

So what are you waiting for? Ask Michelle a question today! :)

Monday, August 01, 2005

A Picture Share!

At the top of thunder mountain

Friday, July 29, 2005

Colorado can be a crazy place. I forgot to mention in my last post our nutso experience driving up and over Monarch Pass on our way from the Black Canyon to Denver. Monarch Pass, like many passes in CO, are pretty high up there. Monarch sits right on the continental divide at an elevation of 11,312 feet...that's higher than the majority of the peaks in the Wasatch.

Anyway, we were driving along up this pass when it started to rain. No big deal. Then it started to rain a little harder, still no big deal. The wipers went from intermittent, to always going, and then finally to full bore as the rain kept getting harder and harder. Then it started to turn to hail...then bigger hail...harder and bigger still.

By this point people are slowing way down as visibility is not good and you wouldn't want to drive off the side of this road, that it for certain. But THEN something happened that I have never experienced before...the inside of my windshield almost instantly fogged up. No problem, I thought, just fire up the ol' defrost...which I did. But it seemed to have no effect. So flipped the fan to turbo, turned on the A/C, started messing around with the temperature dial...nothing seemed to even put a dent in this strange, new, death fog that had encompassed the inside of my windshield. Soon it was to the point where I could see basically nothing, so Bart starts wiping the windshield with his hand.

We continued this way for a few more minutes when Shelley radioed that Mike had pulled over at the top of the pass to "wait it out". I was happy to do the same. We pulled right up next to the gift shop they have at the top and decided to go inside to kill time while we waited out the hail. In hindsight, I think I made good time the whole 15 feet from my car to the front door of the shop...but that didn't keep the entire rear half of me from getting completely and totally soaked from the torrential hail onslaught. Mike later commented that he was slipping around and was doubtful he would even make it to the top. Crazy-go-nuts. It was nice and sunny at Black Canyon of the Gunnison earlier that morning. I guess it comes with the territory. Here's a pic of our cars parked at the gift shop at the top...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Maybe I'm just a big pansy...but driving in the rain kinda scares me. We just got back from our Colorado trip (summitted two 14ers, visited two national parks) and on the way home we got caught in quite the torrential rain storm between Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction. There's just something unnerving about driving through standing water going 75 mph and having your car move sideways a few inches.

But luckily once we got back to the great state of Utah the weather got much better and we (Bart and I) survived to drive in a storm another day. :)

Friday, July 22, 2005

I stopped at Walden Books today at lunch to buy the book "Deception Point" so I would have a book during our Colorado trip. I find the book, take it up to the counter...and dialog I had with the clerk went something like this:

"You realize that this book is part of our 'buy 3 get the 4th free' deal, would you like to do that today?"
"Okay. Would you like to donate $2 to our reading program for children? You get this (stupid) purple rubber bracelet thingy."
"Uhh, okay, whatever."
"Thank you. Oh, would you like to buy one of our (gay) truffles today? Only 56 cents with a purchase."
"Okay. I'm only gonna bug you one more time, would you like to fill out this card so we can (spam) email you with special deals?"
"No. DAMN you Walden I just want my STUPID BOOK now leave me the hell alone!"

Okay, I didn't say that last sentence out loud...but I was thinking it. :) You suck Walden. People come to your store to buy books, not for your relentless harassment. B. Dalton just gained a new customer today. :)
Shelley and I attempted to climb up to the Bridal Veil Falls restaurant yesterday, but ultimately had to turn back due to crappy conditions and worsening weather. But, on the way up we saw something I thought was pretty cool. Some crazy fetchers had run a slackline (a piece of webbing stretched across where ever and then tightened) across the top of the upper falls of Bridal Veil. We're talking WAY up there. I took this pic:

It was kinda windy and cloudy, so we never saw any of them actually try to cross on their feet, but they did plenty of this dangly stuff (see in pic) which I guess was kinda fun for them. I think I'd like to try a crazy slackline like that sometime as I pride myself in having an above average balance. Or maybe I don't but just like to think I do. :) I guess we'll set one up sometime and see...

Monday, July 18, 2005

An interesting thing happened to us on Saturday while we were down in the Lower Black Box in the San Rafael Swell. We were hiking along in the river, passed through some large boulders, turned the corner and noticed something sticking out of the water. My brother was the first to pull it and soon realized it was a backpack strap.

It gave enough resistence, however, that it freaked him out thinking there might be a dead body connected to it, so he quickly dropped the strap. Then I pulled the whole thing out (no dead body - whew) and found a fairly large pack, totally full of stuff, that had been sitting in that river for who knows how long. It had tons of mud all over it and the zippers had gotten silt or sand in them and had totally seized up.

I broke out my leatherman knife and we cut into it, not able to withstand the curiosity about what we might find inside. Well to make a long blog entry short, we found a lot of stuff. The most interesting of which you'll find in this picture:

There was a GPS, camcorder, a pair of binoculars, compass, first aid kit, and a bunch of other stuff as well. I don't know who lost this pack or how, but I'm guessing they were not very happy about it.

We debated what we should do with our find, but ultimately decided to just pack it back up and leave it there for the next group to find...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

A Picture Share!

Nephew Caleb at Fazolis

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I caught some Tour de France coverage tonight and just had a couple quick thoughts...

First, I can't believe how close they let people get to the riders. I mean, they're all along the sides of the road mere inches from the riders as they pass by. What's to keep some disgruntled Frenchie from picking up a stick and jamming into Lance Armstrong's spokes as he rides by?
"C'est NOTRE tour. Yankee pigdog!"

And second...does anyone else find it ironic that you're watching Team Discovery Channel on OLN (Outdoor Life Network)?

Oh, and a bonus thought. :) Will the "Discovery" Channel please change their name to reflect their odd choice of programming? Something like, I don't know...GCN (Goofy Chopper Network). Or...BMD (Bickering Motorcycle Dudes).

Good night now!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I came home tonight, fired up the tivo and saw that it had recorded some show called "Supersize She". I was a fan of the documentary "Supersize Me", so I decided to check it out. Turns out it was about women's bodybuilding...and I've got to tell ya...that has got to be THE most disturbing thing I think I've ever seen.

These "women" are SO GROSS looking. The obviousness that every last one of them is juiced up out of their minds is on par with, say, the grass being green or the sky being blue. Sorry "ladies" can throw on some makeup and do your hair and whatnot, but you still look like freaky dudes with bikini tops.

Dahh, stop it. Go away. Embrace your femininity, it's not too late! :)

The following image may not be suitable for all readers:

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Yesterday we (Mike, Joel, Brent, and I) hiked to the top of South Timpanogos, or Timp's "Second Summit". I'd done Timp's main summit 21 times previously and was looking to switch it up a little bit. Plus, while having slid DOWN the glacier many times, I'd never tried climbing UP it before, which we also did yesterday.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to lament the fact that I was unable to take a picture with my phone from the top and have it instantly appear on this blog (which I thought would have been pretty cool) because when I reached into my backpack to get it...the STUPID BATTERY WAS DEAD! Doh! So the following pic isn't instantaneous, but at least it's a better quality one, since my phone camera is pretty lousy at best. :)

I overheard the ranger saying that everyone making it to the top had ice axes and crampons. Almost everyone. ;) In hindsight we probably should have had that kind of gear...just haven't gotten around to buying it yet, I guess...

Friday, July 08, 2005

A Picture Share!

Dougie's birthday

Just got back Wed. night from our Banff/Jasper trip. Wow, what a place. So many amazing things concentrated into such a relatively small area, you begin to take things for granted. There are peaks and waterfalls around every corner that would be the HIGHLIGHT of most areas.

Not only did we score with the scenery, however, but with the wildlife as well. I saw my first bear while backpacking in Banff, and not some scrawny little black bear, but a full grown grizzly in its natural habitat. I thought that was pretty cool. Here is a taste of some of the wildlife we saw:

From left to right, top to bottom: The grizzly bear near Egypt Lake. Some baby big horn sheep. An...adolecent big horn sheep (little horns). A black bear we saw from the car along the side of the road. An elk. And finally a baby mountain goat (kid) and its mommy losing her winter coat apparently.

I will probably have more to say about Banff/Jasper later...maybe some Canadian idiosyncrasies. :)

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Post from Mobile Phone

banff update - got to denver okay...but gay flight to calgary is delayed 2 hours...sitting here bored out of our minds...oh well, we'll be there soon enough...

A Picture Share!

Waiting at denver airport - stupid flight delayed...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A Picture Share!

Bocce at byu

This has been bugging me. Maybe I'm alone in this opinion, but these stupid "Support Our Troops" magnets are driving me know, these:

I think the position of "supporting the troops" is all good and fine. But when you buy one of these bad boys and slap it on the back of your car what are you supporting really? You're supporting the shameless magnet creator who is cashing in on a national sentiment caused by tragic American deaths. Lame. I know, I know, I've seen the "All proceeds of sales go to sending packages to our Troops"...but c'mon. I'll bet most of these things are created in China.

Besides, who DOESN'T support the troops? You might as well slap one on that says "Child Abuse is Bad" or "Crap Tastes Yucky" while you're at it.

Lately I've been seeing cars with TWO magnets on the back. To these people I're DOUBLY stupid. :)

Monday, June 27, 2005

A Picture Share!

Weiners @ Carol-Lyn's

A couple quick Yellowstone thoughts while they're on my mind. First, after researching the web for the "must see" attractions, the constant #1 attraction was Old Faithful. Well I'm here to tell you that Old Anticlimax is overrated, overhyped, overcrowded, and over(insert word-of-choice here). I'm not saying you shouldn't go see it, just pluck it from your #1 must-see spot please.

To spice up our OF visit, Mikey had this brilliant idea...which was more difficult to execute than you might imagine, but turned out reasonably well, I thought:

I guess you could say lunch at the Old Faithful cafeteria did not sit well with him. :)

One other thing. If not to see Old Faithful, it is painfully apparent that people come to Yellowstone in hopes of glimpsing some sort of wildlife...but only if they can do it from the side of the road. One car stops, someone gets out with their binoculars or spotting scope, and within seconds 20 more cars stop and mass hysteria ensues. Whether or not there is actually wildlife to see is immaterial. "What is it? A bear???" "I don't know, but it's brown, and it's WAY out there." "Sweet, let me borrow your binocs!"

The best is when you're driving along and see a bunch of cars checking out a herd of Bison (or is it Buffalo?) which are like 2 miles away...only to turn the corner and see 2 or 3 like five feet off the road. Haha. In other words, it's easy to tell who has JUST arrived at the park.

Yellowstone was awesome though. #1 for me: Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. Both the hike to the brink of the falls, and the Uncle Tom's Trail down the crazy stairs built right on the side of the cliff. #2: The Grand Prismatic Spring. The way the steam rose in different colors, how vivid it was...surreal. Yellowstone is good times!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Just got home from Yellowstone. Man, what a trip! I'd write more here, but I gotta get pics up, not to mention the new POTW. Look for them hopefully tomorrow...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A Picture Share!

At Red Robin waiting for food...Dave's birthday.

So apparently the AFI (American Film Institute - never heard of them before now) has come up with what they consider the top 100 movies lines of all time. I quickly skimmed the list and I recognize probably a little over half of them. Not unexpectedly, the top 20 or so was dominated by movies that came out before your grandparents were born. Never underestimate the power of nostalgia. Frankly, I don't give a damn about most of them. ;)

There were, however, some key snubs which I would like to give their due credit here on my nuevito blog and its vast readership.

"PC Load Letter? What the &!%$ does THAT mean?" - Office Space

"Hudson! This little girl survived longer than that with NO weapons and NO training." "Why don't we put HER in charge?" - Aliens

"I'm sorry I blew up your mom, Ricky" - Better Off Dead

Those were 3 that came to mind. Feel free to add any that you think got snubbed. Here's a link to the top 100 list:

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Pistons win! Pistons win!

Man what a choke job by Duncan. Can we please stop calling him the best player in the NBA now? Who did they give the ball to in crunch time? Ginoblili. Who also pulled a nice choke job I might add. Is it just me or does Ginobili resemble a rag doll when he plays? All floppin' around and getting knocked over and stuff. And it looks like a bald spot forming under that mop of a hair do. Go Pistons!

Dahh, gonna miss game 7. Gonna be on our way to Yellowstone. Looks like I'll be firing up the ol' TIVO...
So I finally took the blog plunge. I've known about these things forever but never really saw the point. So why am I creating one now? I don't know. One cool thing though...I can take pictures with my phone and they instantly get put on this blog. That's pretty sweet!

I'm guessing this will die off soon and I'll remove the link and pretend like I never created it in the first place, but you never know! Time will tell...

A Picture Share!

HR woman extraordinare

A Picture Share!

Do the diet Dew!