Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I went to the eye doctor about a month ago. It'd been... 6 years? Something like that.

My contacts were beginning to bother me, which, it turns out, is expected because the lifetime of gas permeable lenses is 5 years. Oh, and the fcsking cleaning product tells you to clean it in a way that warps the lenses.

So I go and get some soft contacts. I like the gas permeable, but they shape your eyes a little bit. And that's a problem if you want to get LASIK. So I'm in soft lenses, and my eyes are slowly changing shape - reverting to whatever their "natural" shape is.

It's been 5 weeks and my eyes are settling down pretty well. With my next set I should have 20/10 vision.

For Fox Sake

I've been debating with a guy about a variety of things, he's arguing from the standard GOP talking points.

I've come to the conclusion (broad generalization coming) people like him live in a constant state of fear: fear of Marxists/communists trying to subvert the government, and fear of the global Muslim jihad. It's not a grip of fear that controls every aspect of life, but a constant fear nonetheless.

Another theme also seems to be that the liberal media is just not giving their viewpoint the time it deserves. If the rest of us (non-Republicans) just knew what they (Republicans) know...

While I don't think Comedy Central is necessarily the place to look for objective reporting. I do think this recent Daily Show segment sums up how I felt during the debate very nicely:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Oh, for Fox Sake
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Plus, there's the classic Stephen Colbert quote, "Reality has a well-known liberal bias."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Climbing Through The Eyes Of A Five Year Old

Simone drew some pictures of Sam and I climbing Mt. Hood. I think they're great.

The first is just the two of us on the mountain.

But, as the second drawing shows, as Sam and I reached the summit, a blizzard began.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Horror

We babysat a monster this weekend, reminiscent of Jack Torrence in The Shining.

Words can not describe the horror, I'll let the photo speak for itself.

Note: she got along swell with both Jupiter and Hazel - actually chasing Hazel around.

Friday, June 10, 2011


So, I've been debating/arguing with a guy on facebook. He's someone I knew at Intel, and also works at Mentor too.

He initially commented on my status about Osama Bin Laden:

Note: Obama said "justice has been done" - and that pretty much sums it up. U.S.A. where we either hold you indefinitely without charge, ore we kill you without trial. You're either with us, or you're against us. And you'd better hope you fall on the right side of that line b/c there's no recourse if you don't.

And we began a discussion. It turns out he's more of a GOP/Tea Party/Fox News kind of guy, and I'm obviously not.

I've been hoping to learn something about the way folks with his view point think. I figured, he's a highly paid engineer, he must have somewhat an analytical mind, maybe he can shed some light on the views I clearly don't understand.

Clearly I was wrong. It's almost as though we were speaking two different languages. I'm certain he's making absolutely no credible arguments, and he's probably thinking the same of me. At one point I mentioned that he was throwing around wild accusations without any proof, kind of like Glenn Beck. And this guy said that he loves Glenn Beck.

I've found some value in the discussion - I've certainly looked into some of the things I believe in a little closer, and found them to hold up pretty well. I've also read most of the links he's sent my way, and I feel comfortable saying that (for the most part), they are a series of diatribes about people with barely any connection to reality.

One of the threads is about George Soros - it started with a post of his pointing to an article showing how Soros has given a bunch of money to journalist schools and organizations. I had heard the name Soros a couple times but didn't know anything about him. I posted that the Koch brothers spend lots of money and asked what the difference was. Turns out, Soros is evidently a Marxist (whatever he wants that to mean), along with Obama, and he's undermining the country. It took an untold number of posts for him to actually point out something that Soros has done that could be interpreted as undermining the country. And, of course, the two things that were "undermining" seemed either very loosely connected (friend of a friend kind of relationship), or weren't very malevolent.

Long story short, my foray into arguing with someone from the right hasn't given me much of a basis to understand their side. So far, it just seems to be a bunch of fear mongering, vague accusations w/little to no evidence, conspiracy theories and name calling.

Oooh, some more responses. Back to the battle.


I climbed Mt. Hood with Sam Wednesday night.

We'd wanted to climb last year, but the weather never cooperated. This year things looked better, and the weather opened up nicely this week. We'd planned on climbing Thursday night, but things looked good a day early, so we pulled the trigger and went up early.

You can read Sam's riveting account, and check out the pictures he took.

We took a nap at his place, but both woke up after less than an hour, which was a little disappointing. I packed up a bunch of things I borrowed from Sam, the gear hound, and we headed up the mountain shortly after two guys Sam knows showed up.

It was raining a tiny bit as we drove up the mountain, and rain just turned to fog as we turned off to Timberline and continued driving up.

I put my old school leather boots on while Sam put on his fancy boots with integrated gaitors, and we began the trek.

We started in the clouds, quickly stripping off layers because it was pretty warm. After about an hour of hiking up we started to come out of the clouds. The moon was half full and kicked off enough light that I didn't use my headlamp until it set, an hour later. The clouds were a dark gray, and looked like the fake clouds you saw in the movie Airplane - but they were very real. There were even a few shooting stars.

We got to the top of the Palmer lift after about two hours where we took our first big break to eat and drink. The pace was good, the snow was even better.

Sam had been feeling a little ill before we left his house, some stomach cramps, but he was climbing stronger than the rest of us. I was feeling a little winded but fairly good - all my hill climbs were paying off.

Sam pointed out Illumination rock to the west, which you could barely see silhouetted against the horizon. I then looked to the east and saw a an even larger face of rock and snow (don't know its name) looming over us.

The snow got steeper and the going got a little tougher. We found some steps people had already kicked in, but they disappeared as we passed some tents where folks were camped out. At that point we had to make our own steps, and it was steep enough that it was difficult walk with your heel on the ground. Sam kept the pace up, but I caught up when he slowed down on the ascent of the Hogs Back. The snow got a bit soft and it took us a little longer than we expected, and we were happy to reach the saddle for our second rest, some food, water, extra clothes, and crampons.

Sam roped us up and headed up the saddle, and I waited for the slack to get out and then followed him up. Other people were starting to climbing up the Hogs Back.

This last push was definitely the most strenuous. I took several rests on the way up - the calves were pretty tired from standing on my toes for an hour. Sam kept making sure I was doing OK, but kept lying about how close we were to the top.

One couple caught up to me but decided to go up a different chute than what Sam had chosen. We saw them about 40 minutes later to find out the chute was a dead end and they had to back track. This was important because...

Sam and I reached the summit first. boo-yah!

We were up there before everyone else and in time to watch the sun rise.

Sam broke out the cocoa (made from half and half, wow that was good) and we relaxed for a short bit. I don't know that I appreciated it enough, but it was pretty amazing to have reached the tallest point in Oregon. And to think, 25 years earlier, dad and I did the same thing.

We started climbing down as bunches of people started up. Sam and I talked and I decided to go down un-roped. I felt pretty solid going down the steepest part - the foot holes had been enlarged by all the other people coming up and I just took my time. The worst part was that my toes started getting cold and my hand got cold holding onto the ice ax head I put into the snow.

We made it to the hogs back, snacked, and headed further down. After we got to a not-so-scary-steep part of the mountain, we slid the next 3 miles down the mountain, only having to walk the last 1/2 mile or so, making a quick exit.

I put up some of my photos here.