Thursday, May 18, 2006

Lunch with Cal Ripkin Jr.

Josh got a call today at noon from Jessica saying that the owner of the Old Brian Inn (also the owner of Longfellows where she works) told her Cal Ripkin Jr. had a lunch reservation for 1pm.  Cal is Josh's favorite player of all time so of course we had to go down and grab lunch.  Scan_2
We sat at the bar and had a couple beers waiting for him and when he came in Josh and I miraculously were able to grab the booth directly behind Cal and what I guess was his Rep.  Josh and I ordered our lunches and politely waited while a deluge of people said hi to Cal.  Josh was going out of his mind... I could tell he didn't really hear anything I said to him the entire lunch.  :) He is the huge sports fan so I let him sit in the booth facing Cal.  After we ate and paid the bill we politely stood up and asked Cal to sign a couple baseball cards we brought down.  He was very nice and I made sure to point out that Matsui wouldn't be chasing his consecutive game streak any longer (Matsui broke his wrist after 1700 something consecutive games - 2nd place but still well behind Cal's 2000+ streak).  Josh and walked back to our place ( I was then 15 minutes late for work) and he didn't stop smiling the whole way.  Meeting his favorite player was definitely one of the highlights of his life.  And I'm sure my signed baseball card is now worth a bit more.  :)


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Pearl Jam Recovery and MATHEMATICIANS!

Slept all morning after the very drunken Pearl Jam concert.  When I got home from my hike on Thursday my mom told me about the Mathematicians playing on Saturday at Cafe Lena on Phila Street in Saratoga so I called around and asked if people wanted to go.  Rick came over and we headed Cimg3446down to the alcahol free venu around 8:30 to catch the show that started at 8.  We were lucky to get in because the place was packed.  Shortly after we entered they stopped letting people in.  It was a great concert and I was front row dancing up a storm as usual as the kids I grew up with i
n Lake George rocked it out.  They had just come back from a 36 state tour in 40 days.  There were so many people inside the cafe that the floor beams were bouncing up and down like a trampoline.  The band had to ask us to be careful several times because it felt like the floor would collapse.  At one point the band blew a circuit breaker and had to freestyle for a bit.  You know that a band is goodCimg3444_1
when they can overcome and still rock out when something unforseen happens like that.  Then they replayed the song with power when it was restored.  The Mathematicians have so much energy.  They jump into the crowd on nearly every song to get everyone pumped.  They are going to make it big... I can tell.  I even got a "This one's for Jon Ellinger" shoutout from the band.  I had a great time and can definitely say that out of the two concerts I went to the last two nights the Mathematicians was the best!!!! Rock on guys!
    After the concert we met up with Mike and Rick's friend Dan and Travis (the guy I met when I got attacked by Jessie months ago at the Tavern).  We ended up heading over to the Tavern where we met up with Mike's friends from St. Rose.  We hung out there for a while then I went over to Gaffneys to meet up with Leah and Kate for a drink.  Dan and Travis were long gone chasing tail at the Venu which I now refuse to go to no matter what the condition.  I ended up taking off around 3am to head home for some sleep.  What a great concert!


Friday, May 12, 2006

Pearl Jam

I came home from hiking in NH and ME last night so that I would be ready for tonight....PEARL JAM!!!.  After sleeping in most of the morning Rick Spratt and Dave Long came over to join Josh and I to start drinking at about 3 in the afternoon.  We had about 60 beers in the fridge.  Jess showed up after work at about 4:30 to join us for a few before heading out 6pm for the Pepsi Arena in Albany.  Non of us were smart enough to piss before jumping in the car so by the time we got to downtown Albany we were all dying.  Finally, after not being able to take it anymore I dove out of Jess' car and ran down a side street to a parking garage where I pee'd behind a cement wall just yards away from mounted police directing traffic.  I caught up with the car again just two blocks down the road.  JessCimg3405 was pissed that I got to go because she was literally dying in the front seat with pain... haha.  Finally
we got to the parking garage and everyone went behind the open car doors.  About 5 minutes later I heard Rick say.. "hey, somebody puked on the car down there"... with a big grin on his face... Yup, our friend Rick Spratt had decided it was necessary to blow chuncks off the deck we were on, onto a blue car parked about 40 feet below us on ground level... and yes, it was pretty damn funny. 
    The concert was amazing.  Kenny Wilhelm even showed up.  Everyone took off in different directions to go meet up with friends and to go inside when we first got to the Arena so I wasCimg3415
walking around lost and drunk when I saw Kenny at the front door (that's his middle finger in the photo...).  We met up and found Josh and Jess and eventually Rick Cimg3421
and Longer at our seats.  I was hammered and walked around for a bit trying to get near the stage but security was everywhere so it was impossible.  I did manage to stand against the rail of the balcony we were on for a while with Longer (obsessed fan of Pearl Jam) next to me.  It was a great concert and I heard all the songs I wanted to - a good mix between the old and the new.  It took us forever (about 45 minutes) to exit the parking garage and by the time we got back to the apartment I passed out immediately.  It had been a long week and a long drunken night... and yes... all 60 of the beers were gone!


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Week in NH & ME Day 4 - Mt. Isolation - Very Appropriate Name

Today I drove down Rt. 16 past Mt. Washington to the Rocky Branch Trail leading towards the very isolated Mt. Isolation on the flanks of Mt. Washington.  I called my mom after climbing Mt. Moriah Cimg3372
and asked what the weather would be for today and she had told me it would be mostly cloudy with just a few showers... well it ended up nearly pouring the entire day...  I started up the very nice Rocky Branch Trail towards the first ridge I had to cross and passed through several very nice birch stands.  When I go to the ridgeCimg3375
and started to descend towards the Dry River Trail the path I was on turned into a stream, literally.  I had to rock hop down the trail for nearly a mile to meet up with the Dry River Trail which presented another big problem.... the Dry River wasn't so dry... it was swollen and flowing pretty fast.  Thus far I had managed to keep my boots dry so I took them off along with my gators and decided to wade across the river which worked fine, albeit a little dangerous.  After putting my boots and gear back on I soon came to another spot where I had to cross the Dry River again.. Damn.... apparently the trail criss crosses the river the entire way... so again I took off my boots.  It was then a while before I had to cross again... thankfully I had gained enough elevation where I could hop across the river on rocks because it wasn't as big at the higher elevation.  I barely made my last lung across... almost falling back into the river.  I crossed one more time (for a total of 4 times) before heading up to the final ridge and Davis Path Cimg3395
Trail.  The trail was still basically a stream from all the rainfall and I continued to rock hop until I hit snow near the ridge and lost the trail.... I wandered through a very flat section of woods a little bit confused (look at the picture... can you easily see where the trail goes from there? Don't cheat by looking at my footprints!).  I was in the middle of the White Mountains in a very isolated place and I couldn't see anything in the distance for a frame of reference.  The map I had printed out was soaked and disintegrated in my pocket so I turned once again to my topo maps on my phone.  I ended up walking through an open section and stumbling onto the trail again.. but with so many trails around Mt. Washington I didn't know if it was the right one and I saw a campsite area that wasn't listed on my map.  I pulled out my compass and took a reading... I was going the wrong way - towards Mt. Washington.  Something in my head told me to go a little farther just to make sure.  I'm glad I did.  Because about 40 feet further through a heavily blown down section of trail I stumbled upon the Davis Path trail towards Mt. Isolation.  I changed out of my soaked t-shirt into my capilene top and rain coat so that my core would stay warm at that elevation.  It was then an easy ridge walk at nearly 4,000 feet over a very snowy trail to the summit which was completely socked in.  I had left the car at 10am and it had taken me nearly 4.5 hours to reach the summit over 7 miles, and 3 different trails later so I didn't waste time.  I quickly laid down on the ground next to the geological surveyCimg3382
marker, took a picture at the summit and headed down the very unstable trail.  It seemed like with every step the snow would break away and collapse under my feet.  On the way down I was able to follow the trail easier through the winding streams back down to the, now even more swollen, Dry River.  Every inch of my body was now soaked except for my core which was still semi-dry underneath the rain coat I had on.  Because I was soaked I decided to just wade across up the river, balancing on rocks along the way.  I was up to my waist in fast running water and it was sketchy at times but I Cimg3399
crossed it all 4 times until I got back to the Rocky Branch trail again.  My ankle was very sore from the wet weather and the rough trails and river crossings even after taking about 4 Aleve throughout the afternoon.  I limped down the mountain and made it out to the car around 4:45pm... much later than I had expected to get out.  It was a very tiring long day and the nearly 4 hour drive home was also exhausting.  I got back to my parents around 8:30pm and had some late dinner with them before returning to Toga for the night... beat after a week of hard climbing.  I usually never get worried in the woods but twice this week I had doubts in my mind that I would get out ok (bushwacking through deep snow on tuesday and today getting lost 7 miles in the woods briefly in pouring rain and 50 degree weather).  But I returned to NY triumphant after summiting all the mountains I set out after.  :)


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Week in NH & ME Day 3 - Mt. Moriah in the clouds

Today was an easy climb Mt. Moriah.  I got up 8 and paid Don for my last night at the Stratton Hotel Cimg3337_1
and headed towards Gorham, NH.  It was about a 2 hour drive down the desolate Rt. 16.  I saw about 
6 or 7 moose on my way and actually had one running next to the car for a bit.  It took me a while to locate the trailhead for Moriah in the town of Gorham but using some topo maps I put on my new  Palm Treo Phone I was able to find it.  I started at 11am and was down the mountain by 3.  The Carter-Moriah trail was very well maintained.  I wrapped my ankle up and took a few Aleve before
starting off but quickly realized that my ankle felt a lot better with nothing on it in my leather Asolo boots so I unwrapped it and left it as it was for the remainder of the hike.  Cimg3349
After I climbed over th
 e very small Mt. Surprise the trail became very steep over large sections of slick rock.  A family from Maine was camping around Mt. Surprise and asked me how the trails were.  They were older and I simply told them to be very careful coming down the slick rock.  I was hiking in rain clouds the entire day.  I didn't hit snow until nearly 3500 feet near the ridge and was able to negotiate it on the trail easily.  The summit was exposed but there were no views at all and a lot of mist flying at meCimg3352
so I took a pic of myself 15 feet below the summit next to the sign and then another pic of the summit geological survey marker for my logs.  On the way down passed a huge glacial erratic called "Quimby's Pillow" precariously balanced (check out the Cimg3363
picture on the left.... you can see the outline of the giant boulder through the trees.  It was balanced on 3' diameter area even though it was atleast 20' round)  Although I was in clouds the entire day it only rained a little bit on my way down luckily.  My ankle was a little sore on the way down but it held up for the entire hike and I felt confident I could go one more day on it.  I Drove to Bethel, ME for Chinese and to see Mission Impossible 3.  Stayed over night at "Hikers Paradise" Hostel for 17 bucks and had the whole place to myself.  The owner was a very crotchety old Polish guy who had no sense of humor whatsoever.  I decided to dry my rain soaked boots in the oven while watching some tv before bed. 


Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Week in NH & ME Day 2 - Crockers, Reddington & a busted ankle

I woke up at 9 and started hiking at about 10:15am.  The Caribou Valley road was very rough and I had to stop a half mile before where the AT crossed so I wouldn't tear the bottom of my dads car out (your welcome dad).  The climb up South Crocker on the Appalachian Trail was very steep with many Cimg3293
views from within the glacially carved cirque in the mountain.  The shape of the land in the glacial cirque indicated that the mountains once held their own glacier years ago.  The summit of South Crocker was wooded with only a sign marking theCimg3295
summit that I stood next to.  After climbing South Crocker I quickly traversed the ridge to Crocker by noon.  Thankfully there wasn't much snow on that part of the ridge and I was able to traverse it quickly.  Once again I saw moose tracks above 4,000 ft on the ridge which always suprises me.  How the hell do giant moose climb up the steep icy slopes?  (I think there is Cimg3299
more to know about meese than we currently do).  The summit of Crocker was also wooded with very few views.  I Came back to South Crocker and could not find the herdpath to Reddington.  I had brought along a hike description of a couple who easily followed the herdpath to Reddington from South Crocker but they had done it in the summer... now there was snow covering everything and I could not tell
Cimg3298 where the well trampled trail led through the woods.  I looked for broken branches and everything I
could think of but with 2-3 feet of snow in some places still it was a lost cause...  The next 2 hours was a mega struggle.  I struggled with every step,Cimg3304
sinking in the snow up to my thighs.  Every time I sunk in sharp branches underneath the snow would stab at my legs.  My gators protected my calves but my knees and thighs were exposed and got pretty cut up.  I had to bash through thick spruce groves and dead branches that cut and stabbed my arms as I went.  Then, after my arms and legs were bleeding the branches feltCimg3309
like dry bath brushes rubbing my wounds raw... Then I twisted my ankle and found myself limping across a logging clearing to a logging road.  I could see the summit was about a half mile away but once again lost the path in the deep snow and struggled, yelling in pain and frustration for another half an hour before stumbling onto the trail. 
Cimg3310Reddington was nearly 7 hours from Saratoga Springs and was my last mountain in Maine besides Katahdin so I was damn well gonna get to the summit regardless of how painful it was.  I finally reached the summit canister and toppled wind tower.  As I signed the
register at the top I noticed that I was the only one there since March!... no wonder I couldn't find any stomped trail toCimg3314
follow... no one had been there!  I Slowly limped down logging roads with Sugarloaf in the background until they ended and then again bushwacked down the ridge through thick brush.  Occasionally I found moose and deer paths that were easier to follow through the thick new growth forest.  Finally I came to a large stream that I had to cross on a fallen tree to get back to the Caribou Valley road.  As I was limping down the road two kids passed by me in an offroad truck and offered to pick me up on their way back but I refused to finish on my own.  After the exhausting long painful hike I looked at my ankle and decided I had Cimg3317
just bruised my ankle bone good.  I ate a burger at a roadside shack called 'Boneheads' after showering at he Stratton Motel then also later got a spaghetti dinner at the Stratton Diner across the street.  I also took a little drive towards Canada (30 miles away) and took some pics of the mountains I had cliimbed over the last few days.  I stopped at a local store in Stratton and got some gauze wrap for my ankle and some Aleve for the hike in the morning up Moriah.  The hike wasCimg3324
supposed to be about 7 or 8 miles but after all the bushwacking, traversing and the extra distance down the Caribou Valley Road to save my dads Taurus the hike turned out to be nearly 12 miles and nearly 4 miles of that was limping.  I ended up watching a movie about Bird Flu hitting the U.S. and everyone dying... (love how hollywood over dramatizes everything....) and then good ol' 'Scarface' before closing my eyes for the night.


Monday, May 8, 2006

Week in NH & ME Day 1 - Sugarloaf and Spaulding

I left my parents at 8:30 and got to Sugarloaf at 3pm.  Climbed up very steep Lift Line trail to theCimg3244
summit.  On the way up the grassy trails I saw many small snakes so I grabbed one for a picture.  They were out basking in the sun next to the melting snow.  Dropped my skis on a ski slope just before the snowfields.  Had a little trouble finding the trail from the summit towards Spaulding.   Can't believe I forgot my ipod...  As I first started to descend down the back side of Sugarloaf I heard a Cimg3253
russling in the woods next to me and noticed a grousse.  It was a silly fat looking bird that hopped along the ground and made crazy gobbly noises (yes, that's the best way I can describe it.. pretty sad right).  I was able to get pretty close to it to snap a few pictures and I wouldn't have evenCimg3258
heard it if I had my ipod on so I guess there were a few perks for leaving it behind.  The trail to Spaulding was longer than I thought and very snowy.  Passed by a plaque commemorating the linkage of the Appalachian trail.   
Can't believe I forgot my Gators...  My boots were completely soaked from the snow falling into the top of them.  It Ttok longer than I thought with a lot of post holes on the way to Spaulding sinking up to my knees.  I quickly hiked back over the top of Sugarloaf to get back to my skis I hadCimg3278
dropped.  The trail was incredibly icy.  Check out the picture on the right of what I had to balance on... The trail looked like this for miles and had a lot of blowdown from the winter across Cimg3266it I had negotiate as well.  I can't shoot a basketball for my life but thank God I have the balance of a cat when it comes to hiking or I'd have broken ankles and legs on every hike.  It was nearing sunset and the surrounding mountains looked amazing.  I could see the White Mountains in the distance and what I thought was Katahdin in Northern Maine.  Ended up skiing down at sunset at 7pm.  Made it nearly to the bottom on snow.  Drove to Stratton Motel and Cimg3281
owner Don provided me with a homemade spaghetti dinner and a 40$ room for the night.  I had talked to him a few weeks before about staying over there but the weather was bad so I didn't go.  He remembered me calling.  I had about an hour to relax before my favorite TV show came on... '24'...  It was a great first day to start the week off and so far I'd climbed all the mountains planned.


Sunday, May 7, 2006

Out with Rick, Mike and Kerri

Went out with Kerri tonight after I got out of work at Wheatfields.  We met up with Rick and Mike and headed downtown.  After a little time at Gaffneys we went to '13' so Kerri could see what the new bar was like.  It was completely packed and full of Skidmore kids.  We went down to the bottom floor area and sat in a bunch of comfy couches for a few before heading out.  While there, a girl was Cimg3233
sitting next to me thumbing through a newspaper.... then promptly passed out next to me on the couch... Being a little drunk I then took the paper and covered her with it like a bum!  hahaha.  We then made our way to Gaffneys again where Kerri met up with Eric Huus.  We ended up heading towards The Venu where Mike's cousin Gabe got us in despite me not meeting the dress code.  Rick had taken off and Mike refused to go in but I had to follow Kerri who I made pay for me to get in.  That's right... if she's gonna drag me there she better pay for me to get in... haha.  I stayed for about 20 minutes making several rounds of the dance floor getting approached by what I'm sure were under age girls several times.  It was about 3:30am and I wasn't feeling it anymore so I left Kerri with Eric and took off. 


Friday, May 5, 2006

Feeder Canal Trees

Today I went to my parents house to visit and to go for a ride on the bike trail before work at 4pm.  I got there around noon and after helping my mom with her computer AGAIN I hit the bike trail on Glen Lake road around 12:15 and rode all the way to the end of the Feeder Canal in Fort Edward. It was a great ride and I was scoping out the terraces of the Feeder Canal for my next stupid stunt.   There are about 5 of them and they are 5-8 feet tall with grassy landings.  This summer when I have Feeder_canal_bike_ride_5506_002
health insurance and hopefully body protection for downhill mountain biking I'd like to come back and hit these.   And if I get good at balancing and trials there is a long pipe about a foot and half wide spanning the Feeder Canal near the Cement Factory that I may try to cross one day... the water is really nasty below so I defintely don't want to fall in.  I got back to my parents house around 2:30 and hung out with my pops for a bit before I had to run to work a little past 3.  It was a beautiful day and a fun ride on the bike trail in a direction I usually don't take.. Stay tuned... I'll post later this summer when I actually go off these terraces. 


Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Treo 650... Yup, I'm a nerd

Well, finally the class action lawsuit against Verizon and it's V710 phone is finally over and settled.  I myself have the Motorola V710 phone so I was part of the lawsuit. 
    Basically, Verizon advertized the V710 as having many bluetooth capabilities such as syncing with PDA's sending photos via bluetooth etc etc, but when people bought the phone (myself included) Verizon blocked all these features because the greedy company wanted consumers to have to pay 10 cents to transfer photos and such... thus the lawsuit was started. 
    I chose the option to cancel my Verizon plan without a penalty (because I didn't know whereTreo650large I was going to Grad school when I filled the form out) and to get a $200 rebate on the phone.  Well because I chose that option I was forced to change my phone number and start a new plan with verizon.  My new phone number for anyone that wants to get a hold of me is 518-935-3275. I decided to upgrade my phone to the Treo 650.  I chose to stick with the palm software instead of the Windows Mobile 5.0
Treo 700W because all my stuff is currently in Palm and I don't want to change.  Also the Treo 650 has a better and bigger screen for movies and pictures.  Thus I have a new smartphone pda and can get rid of my Tungsten T3 now.  If anyone wants it let me know and offer me a price :).  Check out the pic to see what my new phone looks like :)