Monday, December 25, 2006

A Very lonely Christmas

Well, this is the first time I've spent Christmas completely alone.  I mean, for those of you who know why I did, you know I had good reasons and good intentions.... but it still sucked.  I wanted to go skiing but even that didn't happen because it was Cimg7180
pouring where I wanted to go.  My cousins had plans in Seattle so I couldn't make it up there and I didn't even have enough gas in my truck to drive anywhere because all the gas stations were closed on Christmas Eve last night as I barely made it home running on fumes.  My advisor invited me to her place but I would have felt super uncomfortable and I probably would have felt completely stupid as I always do when I'm around her.  So... I ordered Chinese and just hung out all day... Oh well, atleast I know that it can't get any worse than this! 

I definitely plan on doing something fun for New Years!


SkiBowl on Christmas Eve

Today I drove up to SkiBowl to meet up with Aaron Hartz and his brother Gerald.  I got there before them and took a few runs before catching up with them at the bottom lift.  The snow was pretty crunchy off the trails and difficult to ski but once I paired up with the two local boys we were able to find some softer, deeper snow inCimg7185
the woods.   It's great to ski with people who grew up on the mountain who also ski as crazy as I do!  After a few runs we headed to the terrain park.  It wasn't a big one but it had a small kicker at the top and some banked c-rails that we all worked on for a while.  That trail actually ended up being one of my favorite on the mountain.  It was short but fun and easy.  Hopefully they will add some more rails and jumps to it as the season progresses.

At around 1pm the two brothers wanted to stop at the warming hut for some coffee, which of course I changed to beers for the holiday!  I asked for the darkest beer the girl had and when I got halfway through it I realized it was a 16oz of 7.8%, so I had a Cimg7186
small buzz going when I hit the slopes again.  The funniest part of the warming hut was when two guys picked up magazines above the fireplace of the roaring fire.  The one guy had 'Snowboarding' while the other guy..... 'Vanity Fair'????  I said, "what?  you have to be kidding me.... who the hell brought that up to a ski warming hut???"  Everyone turned around and got a good kick out of it and I think the guy was a bit embarassed to blantantly be caught reading that instead of the snowboarding and skiing magazines around.

We took a few more runs then ended up at the bar at the bottom for a couple rounds of drinks before the boys took off.  Somehow we got onto the subject of old school WWF wrestling... Does anyone reading this remember the match between Hulk Hogan and Macho Man during like the 2nd Wrestlemania... because I do... and as a kid itCimg7187
was one of the most amazing things I'd ever seen.  I don't watch that crap anymore of course because it has gotten completely out of control but back in the day when it was first getting popular... man it was cool.   Then somehow Brooke Hogan came up...and after thinking about I said to the guys in a drunken state, "No, seriously... I'd date the girl just to say that I was buddies with her dad Hulk Hogan!, come on... what better story can you have then telling your buddies you just got back from barbequeing with the hulk!" 

Hahaha.... anyway.... The guys eventually left and I waited around to see what the weather report was going to be for Christmas because I had all my gear to stay overnight in Government camp but after dinner and a beer I heard it was going to pour all night on Mt. Hood so I booked it home.  Atleast I got to ski in my Santa hat all day!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Well, I got Tagged

Last night my buddy Brendan came over to watch Miami Vice with me and have a few bCimg7148rewskies.  It was all well and great until he got up to leave around 1:30am and I heard him laughing hysterically.  Yeah... my truck got wacked!  With toilette paper! 
When I got back from visiting home last week I heard a story at Bombs cafe over a few drinks that my buddies Chris Holm & Aaron Hartz's place was hit the tuesday I was at home by a bunch of girls.  The two assumed Anna did it but she didn't.  Although she did know who did it. 

Anna had bailed on us for the movie so of course Brendan and I assumed she must be in on it.... until I got an early morning call from her this morning saying that herCimg7151 Beetle got tagged overnight as well!  So.... Now I am at a complete loss as to who did
this.  I find it funny that Brendan's truck was left alone during the ordeal and that Anna and I were specifically targeted.  I doubt it was malicious and frankly I find it hilarious, although it sucked for 10 minutes picking up soaked 1-ply toilet paper off of rough pavement!  Still pretty funny.

So... no clue who did it but if I find out REVENGE WILL BE SWEET AND TWO-FOLD. 


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Saving a Great White Shark

    A typicalGreat_white_shark_rescue_121606_012 day in my life.... saving a Great White Shark.  Anna and I decided we wanted to get out of Corvallis today and head to the Coast to check out the ocean.  We're friggin' oceanographers and haven't seen the ocean in months.  Anna had a bit
of a hangover from a very rough night prior so we stopped at a restaurant named "Mo's"to get her some fries and a coke to kill it.  By the time we left the restaurant it was about 2pm so we decided to go for the short hike down the beach at South Beach State Park.

    According to our book on coastal hikes it was a 2 mile round trip down the beach.  P1010010
When we first hit the sand we discovered really long kelp that had been washed ashore.  I had not seen anything like it on the beaches of the Atlantic so I had a fun time swingin' it around.  They look like really long whips and would also be painful if one was to hit you.  They are also hollow inside and would make great beer bongs if so inclined... haha.  As usual with things I find from the ocean I gave them a bite.... didn't taste so good but they did smell like pumpkins oddly enough.
    We continued down the beach to where we could see two objects up ahead - a seagull staring at some sort of flopping animal.  I instantly could tell by the way the Great_white_shark_rescue_121606_003
animal was flopping around that it was a shark.  Sharks are more muscular and thus can't flip around as violently as normal fish when on dry land.  They simply have too much muscle and can't flex as far or as fast.  The Gull obviously didn't know what to make of the thing and was bright enough to stand 10 feet back to avoid it.  When we got closer I amazed to see that it was a baby GREAT WHITE SHARK!  It was very much still alive (despite a couple who walked by and said it was a gonner). P1010014
Anna, always caring, decided that we must save the shark.  We tried tossing it into the waves but it was too shallow and the shark couldn't swim very far.  So.... I decided to pick it up by the tail and walk it a mile down the shore to a long rock jetty that projected out to the ocean.  The shark was about 3.5 feet long and about 30 to 35 pounds so it wasn't very easy carrying it that way.  Plus, I kept looking down to make sure it didn't flex and take a chunk out of my calf which was about 5 inches from it's head.  When we were nearly to the jetty the shark suddenly twisted itself so that it's face was looking right up at me (must have taken a lot of it's strength seing that it was dangling by its tail).  The damn thing stared up at me for several seconds chomping it's jaws filled with razor sharp teeth as if taunting me.  It was really freaky to see because it looked exactly like a killer, just a hell of a lot smaller. 
    When we got to the jetty we waited until a big wave came in and started to go out again creating an off shore rip current that we tossed the shark into.  The rip currentGreat_white_shark_rescue_121606_014
essentially followed the jetty all the way into the deeper water soGreat_white_shark_rescue_121606_013
we knew the shark would be carried out to where it needed to be.  It quickly dissapeared under the water and we didn't see it again.  Anna and I climbed on the rocks of the jetty a bit to make sure it didn't get stuck in any of the rocks but we couldn't find it so hopefully it made it.  Hopefully I have good karma with great white sharks now.  I told him to tell his buddies to leave me alone when I begin to surf off the shore later this year.  Oregon is known for the presence of great whites in the waters offshore so hopefully now I'll be protected by my new killer buddy. 
    We hung out a little bit longer until the sun began to set and watched some boats Great_white_shark_rescue_121606_021
come in after a day of fishing on rough seas, and I do mean rough seas.  The breakers off shore had to still be 10-20 feet high from all the rough weather we've been getting.  I ended up taking a 30-40 foot long piece of kelp home with me.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet but maybe Kenzie will have some fun with it when he and Jason get back from Christams with their family. 

Jon Ellinger (Aka Danger, Aka shark rescuer).

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Home for a visit

Went home for a visit this past weekend.  It was short but was really nice to see family (all my family).  Traveling sucked as always.  On the way home I was stuck next to a huge football sized guy who crushed me up against the window and I had to deal with a few nasty Greyhound employees again.  That company sucks!  It was really great to see my famly again.  When I left I wasn't sure if I'd see my father again so it was exciting to hang out with again at home.  I tried to pick them up a DVD player but after I had everything hooked up it didn't work.  I swear my parents home is cursed for electronics! 

I got to spend a whole day with my girl Emily.  When I first moved out here I was pretty much overcome with excitement about graduate school and new friends and new experiences but as time wore on I thought more and more of her.  What I thought would be a fun summer relationship that I would be able to leave behind whenEmily_121106_001
I got here hasn't happened.  I think about her all the time and she thinks of me a lot too.  Being home with her really proved to me how much she means to me.  I love her and it's hard being in the situation that we are in.  Life is not easy as I have learned.  But if it is meant to be it will be.  I'm not asking her to wait for me and I'm sure she isn't asking that of me either, but to be honest I have no time for a relationship out here in Oregon anyways.  And any girl I meet out here I would have to compare to her and right now I don't think anyone could meet her standards.  I miss her a lot and I can't wait until she comes out to visit me.  The picture of us in front of her tree was taken about 20 minutes before I shaved my Oregon beard off. 

Tuesday night Emily and I met up with Rick, Mike, Mike Lomanto, Jess & Josh and myEmily_121106_003
friend Jen Miller from work at Wheatfields for some drinks.  They wanted to know all about my experiences in Oregon and I was happy to tell them all.  Hopefully some of them will be able to visit me while I'm out here.  Although they aren't really into the outdoors Emily_121106_004
(with the big exception of Jess) I think they would have a blast out here.  Jess dyed her hair blonder and looks wonderful.  Josh is a lucky guy.  Rick is still Rick (no classification for him) and Mike Lomanto has found himself a hot new girlfriend from work.  We all had a good time chatting before Emily had to bring me home to my parents.  It was so hard to say goodbye to her!  It was great trip home.... but way to short!

Anna and Brendan were gracious enough to pick me up from the airport in Portland and bring me back to Corvallis so I treated them to dinner (and a few tales).  Now back to research.... blah!


Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Dreams of Everest

    So I've been watching a series on the Discovery Channel about an expedition to Everest for the past week.  I feel as if I'm watching my dream in front of me.  Some mountaineers in recent years look at Everest with disgust because of the drama that has unfolded on it, but I still look at it as one of, if not, my greatest challenges to overcome.  I don't know if there can be any feeling like that of standing on top of the world and getting there under you're own power.   After I get my PhD from here I plan to climb it, and every day leading up to my PhD I plan to train for it, both mentally and physically.  I still have a lot to learn about mountaineering but I feel I am in the perfect spot to perfect my skills with Hood and Rainier literally in my backyard. 
    I have read so much about Everest from books to movies, to personal accounts, newspaper articles, etc etc, and actually watching in detail in this series as men struggle up the mountain is amazing.  Some fail, some make it but from my own climbing experiences (which are minor compared to 8,000 meter peaks) I can still relate to how they feel.  I've turned around on climbs before and I've struggled under enormous pain as well to reach some summits.  But they are nothing compared to what people go through climbing Everest. 
    I have the utmost respect for Everest.  When I climb it I will know when to turn around and when to continue upward.  I will never challenge it, because when you challenge it you die.  I will summit Everest only when I feel the mountain will allow me to.  And in regards to recent climbs and mountaineering ethics I will not leave someone who is visibly in trouble, to get to the summit for my own selfish personal reasons.  Human life is more important than any mountain, even Everest. 
    Anyway, that is my 2 cents on one of my greatest dreams.  I will climb Everest, even if it means selling my truck, or living with my parents for a year to save rent or mortgage payments.  I've climbed over 200 mountains in the Northeast, and Western U.S.  It is a passion that will only die when my legs fail me.  Next spring there will hopefully be posts of me on top of Rainier and next year possibly either McKinley in Alaska or Kilamanjaro in Africa. 


Saturday, December 2, 2006

Parties on Van Buren

Van_buren_parties_12106_002Well, last night was pretty much the last time I touch booze untilVan_buren_parties_12106_004
I'm done with Finals and it was a doozy.  Brendan and I headed over to Logan's "Ugly Sweater Party" after
having a few drinks at my place first.  It was a good showing there and everyone (but Brendan and I) had on really really ugly sweaters.  I think Logan took the prize with the pitiful looking Christmas kitty on his. 

Logan's house is amazing.  There are all sorts of neat gadgets and nicknack's Van_buren_parties_12106_012everywhere, including two giant elk antlers laying near the doorVan_buren_parties_12106_003
which Levi found recently.  It's an eclectic gathering of objects from all over that are intriguing and entertaining.  Logan pulled out a brass bowl which makes a unique humming sound when rubbed with a clothed wand around it's circumference.  I of course had to play it while wearing the retro aviator glasses I also found on the shelf. 

After hangin' out a bit at Logan's we all moved down the street a couple blocks to our friend James' party extravoganza with 3 live bands and a ton of people.  There we met up with Ashley, Aaron and a few other friends.  Hartz and I walked across the Van_buren_parties_12106_014
street to the liqour store (very convenient) and picked up a coupleVan_buren_parties_12106_017
Forty's and some tall Pabst to wash them down with.  When we got back to the party the cops stopped by for a little bit but then left us alone thanks to some quick talking by one of the housemates.  I had a very interesting talk with my friend Eva and Aaron in which I found out a little too much about each of them.  Hahaha (see pic).  I ended up staying late and playing foosbal with a girl named Emily and her ex-boyfriend Levi (super cool kid and fantastic at Ultimate) until about 3 in the morning.  I don't know what I was thinking and I was pretty drunk, so it was a stumble to get home.  I'm not that hungover today thankfully and I'm glad I got that out of my system because today, tomorow and all next week I'll be living with my face buried in text books!  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Snow in the valley

Yes, it does snow in Willamette Valley.  Not often and it certainly doesn't last long but iCimg6866t does snow
occassionally.  I woke up this morning to Jason walking past my room saying it was dumping out.  I of course decided to wear my ski goggles to class because of this.  I wonder if it's possible for me to get my pHD in Snow....


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Epic Day at SkiBowl

Today I went with my buddies Toshi (who we now call Kamikaze Kimura the Samurai Shredder - you'll see why later) and Aaron Hartz to SkiBowl on Mt. Hood for the 2nd day they've been open this year.  Aaron and I had heard reports of massive snowfall over the weekend up there so we wSkibowl_112606_003ere totally stoked to get out and hit some pow.  Toshi offered to drive and we got an early start around 6:45am from Corvallis.   We drove directly to the mountain with just a quick stop at a gas station for some coffee to wake up.  We hit the snow line just a few miles past Kathy's
Kabins which I had just stayed at over Thanksgiving.  Toshi didn't bother to put his chains on although a lot of people who were heading further over the pass did.  When we pulled in and started to unload the car we heard the resort bombing the slopes with shells to clear any avalanche danger which is always a good sign! 

    The resort wasn't that busy and we were able to get our passes quickly and hit the slopes.  The upper bowl was amazing and had plenty of gnarly terrain to thrash.  The lifts themselvesSkibowl_112606_008 were old school 2-person chairs with no safety gate.  I was beginning to really like this place.  It had snowed nearly 3 feet over the past 3 days so everything was soft and powdery when we got
there.  From the lift I picked out a line that dropped over a 10' ledge at the start, carved down a steep slope of pow then dropped over a bigger 15-20' drop at the end before heading into trees. The pic of the skier with the crossed skis is me  We gave Toshi the camera and got some film of Aaron and I crushing it.  We had to be very careful of what was underneath the snow still because the base layer was pretty much the same powder we were blasting through all day. 

    After a few more runs down that face they opened up the backcountry so the three of us Skibowl_112606_039
went exploring and were able to get fresh turns down some sick steeps intoSkibowl_112606_029
trees.  I got a great sequence of Aaron coming off a pretty good size ledge HERE.  Also in the pic on left. We made the hike to the backcountry twice before the snow got too sticky and warm at the bottom making the traverse back to the lifts difficult.  My skis aren't waxed and the snow became so sticky in the afternoon that I was able to literally "skin" up the trail from the snow stuck to my ski bottoms. 

    We took a quick break for lunch at the base lodge then went for a few more runs.  On our Skibowl_112606_019
second to last run I spotted some pillows (big rocks covered in snow) that ISkibowl_112606_032
wanted to try out.  Aaron guinea pigged the jump and I followed him.  It was a good 10-12' drop.  Toshi was standing above and I told him to give it a try... well I didn't have to ask twice.  I barely had time to push record on my camera as he came sailing over the edge leaving a big bomb hole below.  Check this video HERE.  On his firt drop Toshi pretty much hurled his carcass!  Aaron and I decided his new Skibowl_112606_054
name is Kamikaze Kimura the Samurai Shredder!  By this point Toshi's glassesSkibowl_112606_070
were completely fogged and it was dumping so he headed down while Aaron and I took one more run through the pow which was amazing.  Once again Aaron and I pushed each other all day to do things we both sometimes questioned but it always turned out fine.  Looking forward to a great season!


Friday, November 24, 2006

Best Thanksgiving Ever

This Thanksgiving my friend Karen reserved a cabin for us near Government Camp on the slopes of Mt. Hood.  I really had no clue what to expect as I got a ride up North with Eleanor and her friend from Humbolt College Larry.  On the way up we stopped in Boring, OR (yeah, IThanksgiving_2006_008
spelled it right) at a Safeway so I could pick up some food for the feast that night as well as to get some snacks to hold us over.  I got some great chili - God I love chili... Anyway, we had heard on the radio that the passes were all snowed in and pretty bad but luckily we were just a few miles below the snow line when we got to Cabin so we didn't need any chains.  We got to the cabin around 1pm and, after a little confusion from Eleanor as to where the key to the place was (in the lock box next to the door.... haha) we found our way in and the only words I can come up Thanksgiving_2006_009
with to describe the place was amazing.   Check out the pics.... Hot tub on a beautiful wooden porch outside with a swing over the Sandy River, fully stocked kitchen with a bottle of wine and candy left for us, a huge living room with a cozy fireplace and Brookstone Massage Chair (that was the icing on the cake for me) and a freakin' antelope hanging on the wall with two shot guns!  This place was the ultimate ski cabin.      
    After about twenty minutes of freakin' out about how cool the place was we went for a walk outside which took us across a pedestrian suspension bridge over the river.  As we were walking across I jokingly commented on how cool it would be if we found a grocery store on theThanksgiving_2006_016
other side... yup, there was one, and a DQ (Dairy Queen) just up the road.  We really couldn't ask for anything more in a location.  The bridge was super slippery in the rain which I took full advantage of HERE. 
    Shortly after we got back from our walk Karen, Bart, Esther, and RobynThanksgiving_2006_053
showed up and began to prepare dinner as Eleanor, Karen, Larry and I chilled out in the hot tub for a while.  Bart even brought out a tomato mozzerella plate for us to snake on while we waited.  In the 3+ hours I sat in the hot tub I was able to polish off a fifth of captain with a little help from my friends.  Eleanor was able to polish off nearly two bottles of wine herself as well.. which she later realized were a hell of a lot stronger than the 5-6 Pabst she usually drinks.. haha. 
    We ate dinner around 7pm which was a feast of turkey, ham, green bean salad, mashed
potatoes, gellatin salad, stuffing, apple pie with ice cream, pumpkin pie, champagne etc.  It was absolutely amazing!  Hats off to the chefs.  Bart did a terrific job on the turkey.  Check out the picture of him cooking in the kitchen.... yes he has a bathing suit on... speedo, Euro Style... and yes that is hand on the other side of his crotch! Ha! 
    By the time we ate dinner several of us were pretty damn drunk.  Eleanor Thanksgiving_2006_026
even went for seconds in the bathroom before she realized it wasn't actually the kitchen.  We then tried to play a game of Cranium but it was way tooThanksgiving_2006_037
complicated for the state we found ourselves in.  Eleanor at this point decided it was best to pass out which of course is a no-no around me... so I had to dress her up a bit with some plants, a shotgun and gaselle (antelope).  After a little while chillin' in the massage chair I noticed everyone was crashing but it was only around 10pm (Damn turkey making people tired) so I plugged my Ipod into the tv and played Anchorman for everyone.
    After Anchorman we all pretty much hit the hay.  I climbed into a King size bed with Eleanor Thanksgiving_2006_051
and Karen (so big I didn't even bump into them all night long).  I slept in for a bit in the morning then got up to help finish off atleast one of the egg nogs weThanksgiving_2006_045
had bought the day before and to help clean up (I felt bad because everyone had cleaned up before I pulled my lazy ass out of bed).  Bart and Esther took off for home and Eleanor and Larry took off to meet up with friends in Portland.  Karen, Robyn and I headed to Portland to pick up Karen's boyfriend Chad from the airport and then to the annual wine tastings at local vineyards in Dundee, OR.   We ended up going to Torrii Mor and Bella Vida wineries.  It cost about 10 bucks each to get in but we got to try some amazing wines, eat some exotic cheeses with great homemade breads and were able to keep the wine glasses afterwards.  I'd never been to a wine tasting before so it was a neat experience and the acres and acres of grape vines was cool to see as well.
    It was a terrific Thanksgiving that we are definitely going to make a tradition from now on.  Next year we hope to rent Kathy's Kabin for both Thursday and Friday night to make it a longer stay.  It's only 300 bucks for the first night and 200 for the second so split between 10 or so people that's not bad at all.  Only 364 days to go.. :)


Monday, November 20, 2006

Timberline on Mt. Hood

Yup, I went skiing before Thanksgiving this year.  I drove up Saturday with my buddies Toshi and Aaron to Timberline Lodge today on Mt. Hood.  I was absolutely blown away by the terrain we were driving to. Cimg6758
The massive volcano just seemed to rise out of no where.  I've never skiied on a volcano before.  In the Northeast you can look around and see other mountains in the distance at the same elevation that you are skiing at... not out here.  Even at the base of the mountain below tree line I was about 5,000 feet higher than anything else below.  The only other mountains as high as we were were Mt.Cimg6760
Jefferson and the 3 Sisters to the south which were both snow capped volcanoes.   Look closely in the picture and you can see them in the background.  The weather was perfect, 45 degrees and plenty of snow for the 50% of the mountain that was open.  Lift lines weren't too terrible and everyone around was incredibly nice.  There were dogs running around barking and I found out that the main lodge was where they filmed The Shining with Jack Nicholson. 
    Toshi was a great skier but with Aaron I think I finally found someone that is at the same level of skiing that I am at and can push me to get better and ski harder.  We ski at the same pace and with Cimg6761
the same style, spinning off ridges and hucking ledges and drops.  We are definitely going to feed off each other on the slopes all winter long.  I'm going to hold off on getting a pass this year but next year I definitely will.  We lost Toshi by accident at the very end of the day but he caught up to us as the mountain was closing down for the day.  We stopped for Burgers and beer at a cool bar in Government Camp on the way home.   It was a terrific day and I would have gotten more pictures if my camera's battery hadn't died on me.  The first picture is of the massive omelette I got at a dinner on the way to Hood. 


Friday, November 17, 2006

Dinner Party then Amadon at Platinum

Tonight Gwen and Cosmo had another dinner party at their place which was fantastic.  I even ended up bringing home a bag of socks... (long story).  We had pumpkin bread, some vegetarian stuff (actually really good) garlic bread, burgers, and plenty of wine.  Gwen got a bit tipsy which was entertaining to all of us.  It was a very relaxed evening and Anna and I convinced everyone to go down to Platinum to see Amadan play.  I had picked up a Jeep Grand Cherokee Loredo last night through my insurance company because my truck isn't done getting repaired yet.  I managed to pile Abby, Brycen, Robyn, Isaac, Anna, Eleanor and I into the vehicle to head to Anna and Eleanors new joint at 420 9th street for some pregame drinks.  I decided to stay DD for the night as I'm planning on skiing tomorow with Aaron and Toshi. 
    Well, can't believe I found myself at Platinum again.  This time it was for a good reason.  AMADAN! They are a fantastic band.  A lot of people showed up after they went to squirrels first.  Cimg6755
They put on a great show and it was nice seeing everyone out having a good time.  I ended up walking Anna home later that night so she got home safe, then took my rental back to the club to begin transporting people safely home.  I finally ended up getting home a little after 1 am.
Throughout the night Eleanor was pounding down her favorite booze - PBR, but this time she got one for Brycen and added a little sophistication to it... check out what's in his drink... then check out his suprise... hahaha.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Day in Eugene with GirlyMan

Today and went to Eugene with Anna, Isaac and their friends Julie and Craig.  We stopped in at REI to check out all the stuff and I picked up some new 2nd hand clothes at Buffalo exchange.  From now on I'm only buying 2nd hand clothes or technical clothes onsale on the net that I can use in the outdoors... no more will anyone see me at Abercrombie or Structure... 2nd hand clothes are coolerGirlyman_in_eugene_111106_002 and more stylish anyway!  And out here there isn't the pressure to dress like everyone else like there is in Boston or on the East Coast.. thank God.  We also went down to 5th street market to walk
around which was very cool.  Check out the pic of the pet bird that was free to walk around the inside of the market place.  If you look closely you can even see it's feed bucket in the background.  In the East something like this wouldn't make any sense at all but out here I wasn't even suprised to see it.  We stopped in a kitchen appliance store called Hartwicks which we all were fascinated by.  Seriously, the place had the coolest kitchen gadgets I've ever seen including a blender that was so powerful it actually heats up whatever it blends and a garden called AeroGarden that grows veggies 10x faster than soil through hydroponics and nutrients... Cool shit!
    At 8 we headed over to the Luna Jazz lounge next to Adam's Place restaurant for a performance by GirlyMan, Girlyman_in_eugene_111106_004a band that Isaac's brother plays with occasionaly.  They specialize in cool folk music and a little bluegrass banjo.  Not really my type of music but I had a really great time.  Everyone I was with ordered fancy martini's etc but I held myself back still and actually got to drink a beer that was a
mistake anyway.  Usually on Saturday I like to go into the outdoors and push my body to it's physical limits but today ended up being a leisurely relaxed day that really enjoyed with great friends.  I just love being out here and I love all the people I've met and am friends with now... I really feel like despite everything in my life that is going on right now I am really meant to be here.  It finally feels "right" to me. 


Borat - Cultural Learnings

Last nigBorat_narrowweb__300x4950ht I went to see Borat with Eleanor, Mac, Anna and Isaac.  They didn't like it too much (thankfully I left to pee during the naked guy wrestling part) but I thought it was hilarious... until I found out that it was the same guy who plays Ali G!  I friggin' hate Ali G!  But oddly I love the
character of Borat so I guess that guy who plays the two (and another Russian character) is pretty damn talented!  I think that he makes fun of America as much as he does Kazakistan in this movie.  He's not biased towards either country.  He just likes to poke humor at everything.  I'm so sick of everything having to politically correct these days and how everyone takes things too seriously.... Come on world... learn to take joke!  Everyone should be able to laugh at themselves and get a chuckle out of stupid comedy which this movie definitely is.  Anyway, I thought it was great - so go and see it!  Just close your eyes when the fat man starts to undress! hahaha.


Thursday, November 9, 2006

Coriolis Billiards

This week has been pretty exhausting for me.  I finally decided that I needed to drop my math course Matrix and Power Series because I was completely lost.  I had no right being in that class after 6 years of having no math whatsoever.  My advisor should have told me how to prepare months before I came out here when I asked her repeatedly too.  Now I just feel lost and I'm having to work incredibly hard (think 12 hour days 6 days a week). 
    Anyway, enough complaining and boo-hooing... Here's what took place today.  In my Physical Oceanography class we had to make a presentation in lab on the effects of the coriolis force (ForceCoriolis_playground_11906_004
that deflects water to the right of it's path of motion in the Northern Hemisphere due to the earth's rotation - simple explanation).  Everyone was going to use pottery wheels, water buckets, etc but I of course wanted to do something Coriolis_playground_11906_008
memorable...  So I decided that we (Brycen, Karen, Brendan and I) should buy a kids pool table from Walmart and rig it up to a merry-go-round and shoot pool to demonstrate it.  So today Brycen picked up the pool table and we went down to the playground at the pre-school on 29th street to shoot some film of Brendan and I playing pool.  Well, as soon as we go there kids started to pour out of the building for recess, and we were't supposed to be there.  After talking to the principal (Princi-Pal) he agreed to let us do our expirement which thoroughly entertained all the liltle kids who instantly got excited about the science experiment! 
    We had a great time playing pool on the spinning merry-go-round.  Everytime we'd shoot the ball straight it would get deflected to the right which made for some great hook trick shots... Check out the video we made for class HERE.  At the end I got down to the ground so that all the kids could seeCoriolis_playground_11906_017
themselves in the video on my camera.  As we left they all ran up to the fence to wave good bye to me.  The project wasn't even for a grade but we definitely got a few laughs in the class when we presented... and we even got to buy something from Walmart, rip the box apart and then return it (I hate Wally Mart!).