Saturday, January 26, 2008

CMRU Winter Training

Today we had our winter rescue training up at Tombstone Pass. There were a lot of us there for the training. Kalin and James from the mountain club came along and really enjoyed themselves I think. We conducted two scenarios in two teams. One patient packaging and the other system rigging to pull the patient up a steep, snowy slope. Things went really well and then we had a great bbq of sausages and hot dogs on the grill Jason and Todd brought along. After lunch we dug a snow pit and looked at avalanche danger before heading home. It was a nice afternoon in the very snowy pass!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Suds and harrassment by a little person...

Last night I discovered an amazing bar named Suds & Suds which is literally 3 blocks from my home behind a great pizza parlor. They have 50 different micro brews at the place, most on draft. Along the walls of the bar are placards with the names of everyone that has drank all 50 of the beers. They give you a card with 50 numbers on it that they check off as you go through all the beers. I started my card last night and got 3 pints of delicious Oregon micro brews. I met up with Ashley, Meghan, Christina, Brendan and Sergio there. Later in the night a little person hung out with us. I'm not sure where she came from but she seemed nice so we all took off to Christina's for one last quick beer at her place. After drinking there I decided to head home and the girls and Brendan followed as they had to walk past my place to get home. This is when I found out that the little person was hammered... how did I find out you may ask...? Well, I found out when she walked behind me reached her hand between my legs and grabbed my junk very firmly to the shock and horror of all those in the room including me! I don't know why these odd things in life always happen to me... but I guess I can now add "being sexually assaulted by a midget" to my long list of life accomplishments and stories.... Wow.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Paulina Falls

Well, this weekend was absolutely amazing for me. I debated it for a while but decided to go ahead and hit up the Mountain Club weekend at Sunriver. They had secured a massive vacation rental house with hot tub, plasma tv, and plenty of room. I couldn't afford a $60 lift ticket to Bachelor so instead I rented cross country skis from the Rec Center at OSU and we all skied into Paulina Falls on Saturday after a very drunk Friday night.
I have never been rock climbing before so I was super stoked to get up to the falls to check it out. It took us a little while to ski the several miles up to the falls because some of us were not as comfortable on skis as others. Eventually, Logan and I just took off ahead of the pack and met up with Levi and several others already climbing on the furthest falls. Just before I got up to the view point of the falls I heard a massive crash and Levi mentioned that some ice had fallen while Rob was climbing... Later, upon looking at before and after photos, we realized that it was a massive section of ice, clearly two thirds of what Rob had been climbing had just given out as he tapped his ice tool against it. Check out the top photo in this post. I photoshopped the two images (before & after) together and colored one to show how much Ice had fallen away from Rob.. It was amazing! Thank God nobody was below him when the ice released or they could have been crushed. Luckily most of the collapsing ice just fell into the waterfall itself. The orange in the photo is what collapsed.
We tried the ice again to see if the thin curtain that was left could be climbed but it fractured at the bottom (eventually collapsing there too) so we decided to move to another location on the other falls. We then all got two rounds of some serious climbing on the 50' frozen waterfall. It was really amazing hearing the water rushing down all around you as your perched on the frozen ice with just an inch or two of metal penetrating the ice from the axes and the teeth of the crampons on your feet. I definitely enjoyed ice climbing more than I've ever enjoyed summer rock climbing. I even took a spill and dropped 5 feet before levi caught me on belway. It wasn't scary at all, I just had to be careful of the very sharp tools strapped to both my wrists. We had a great afternoon, staying there until dark and then skiing out a little past sunset as the winds started to really pick up. That night I was tired and exhausted from the long night before and the big day of exciting climbing so I took it easy.
Today people took off to Mt. Bachelor and other skiing adventures but I stayed in and watched the Patriots advance to the Superbowl along with Giants who barely won their game with an amazing 40+ foot field goal in overtime. Later in the evening I got a ride back with Ian and Colleen in his company truck over a very snowy and windy pass where we saw several accidents. I'm truly happy that I went on the trip and I had a lot of fun with the mountain club guys. I really enjoy learning rope skills from those guys (mostly rock climbers) and I can't wait to do more with the club as I have time this spring and summer. For a very long slideshow of nearly 600 photos click the title link.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Update on my life

Well, a lot has happened since I returned to Corvallis. I returned knowing that I would not have any funding for the winter term so I've decided to take a brief leave of absence until I find funding and switch departments from Oceanography in COAS to Geography in Geosciences. I was lucky enough to find a brilliant and very personable advisor, Anne Nolin who seems very excited to take me on as a graduate student next fall. We talked about skiing, mountaineering and her extensive research on glaciers and debris flows with aerial photography and satellite imagery. She has promised me 2 years of TA position funding when I come into the geography program next fall and I'm very excited to begin working with her extensively on my Masters.
The other good news of the week is that I've had several job interviews and have started working at Ruby Tuesday's as a server to bring in some extra cash. At first I'll be waiting tables at lunch but hopefully by next fall I'll have some dinner shifts and will be able to use the job as a great supplement to my TA position income. I've also interviewed at a place called Watershed Sciences downtown to look at LiDAR data that Anne Nolin will be using next year. I'm not sure if I'll get that job because the owner may be too hesitant about hiring on someone who will be leaving them next fall after being trained. So, I'm not keeping my hopes up for that one. I did get to interview with FEMA in Salem for a GIS position there working on the massive flooding that devastated Northern Oregon a month ago. It pays $18 and hour with time and a half overtime. It's a temporary position from 3 to 6 months long but would be great pay if I get the job.
So a lot of good things have happened for me this past week and I feel a lot better about my future out here. Hopefully by the end of the month I'll know exactly what I'm doing for work.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Disco Party

After a great day of skiing with Chris Holm at Timberline and trying out my new helmet camera Emily got me for Christmas I went to work for 3 hours at Ruby Tuesday's then headed over to the Disco party at Logan's. I wore white pants and my bright green disco shirt which I stapled closed because the top button was missing. I walked over to the party with my ipod in case they may have wanted some of my disco music but they had the music pretty well covered I thought so never mentioned it. The party was rockin with a keg of Oregon Trail local brew and box wine courtesy of Eva. I'm still on my week of no buying alcohol so the party worked out pretty well for me. Eleanor showed up with roller skates on and it seemed like everyone I knew was there minus a few people like Brendan, Julie, Chris Holm and Tiffany. When a few people saw me they inquired why I was back because a silly rumor had been floating around that I wouldn't return and was kicked out... wrong. I simply switched departments and am taking a brief leave of absence until I can resume classes again.
Eva and I played darts for over an hour at the end of the night. She is definitely an interesting girl and a lot of fun to hang out with. And I love joking with her about being 6 foot 6 or however tall she is. Throughout the night it seemed like the guys kept losing their tops at the urging of the women in the party. I even had the staples ripped out of my shirt although I kept my shirt on. The other strange thing was that it seemed like the guys in the room were helping to undress the other guys in the room. This I find very skeevy. That type of behavior should be limited strictly to the female gender of course. I mean, just because it was a disco party, it doesn't mean that we all have to act like the Village People does it? In any case, great party guys! Too bad Toshi wasn't around for it. For a slideshow click the title as always.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Emily's Soccer League

While home I got to watch Emily play in a few soccer games with her friends. She is really fast and is amazing handling the ball. The first game in early December was against some older people who they easily beat but the 2nd game later in the month was against one of the top ranking teams and because the other team had no girls they played Emily's team down a player resulting in Emily's team nudging them out by a point for the win.
At first when I heard about Emily hanging out with her neighbors all the time (all guys) I was a little concerned but not too much. After meeting them all I'm not concerned at all. They are all like a big family. I was able to hang out with them all on multiple occasions throughout the month including going to a Christmas party at her friend Dave's who has a giant game room with a projector that creates a 7x10 foot wall screen perfect for video games or loud movies with his surround sound system and subwoofer built into the room. Emily and I are definitely going to have a game room when we get a house! Anyway, it's good to know that Emily is in very good hands at home and there are a great group of guys watching out for her.

New Years 2008

For New Years this year Emily and her roomate Cassie decided to have people over to their place to pre-game before going out for the night in Saratoga. I had just gotten back from visiting Ellie and was tired but ready for a big night as well. The girls had gone out shopping and made soup, chip dip, etc and had plenty of booze including a handle of Captain Morgan's for Emily and I. The girls took about an hour to get ready for the night so I just wandered over to across the street and watched some TV with the guys before heading back for the party.
At Emily's I threw on my ipod and started a game of Bullshit Pyramid to get the night going. By the time we left for the bars around 10:45pm I was a bit drunk... drunker than I thought because I ended up wandering off from the bars several times and even ended up at Wheatfields to say hi to my old boss and bartender there who told Emily to "take care of me". I don't remember too much of the night but I know I had a great time and I was able to kiss Emily on New Years this year for a change! That definitely felt good and I remember that part!
Thus starts my New Years resolution (one of many) of not drinking for a week each month and not buying alcohol for another week in the same month. Last year was a very eventful year for me with all that happened and I'm looking forward to a more stable year in 2008 but that first will require me finding a job and funding for next year when I get back to Corvallis which I'm very worried about at this point...