Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Eve 2014

Danielle, Scott, Tim, Lindsay and Colin drove up from Corvallis to join us for New Years in Portland.  I was a bit burnt out from 3 days of work straight off a late flight home on Sunday so I wasn't too pumped up to organize anything for anyone.  We started the night off with pizza and a bunch of shots and then headed to Alberta Street Pub with Tim behind the wheel (sober).  Unfortunately, Tim, not being used to medians all over Portland drove the Prius over a huge curb, blowing the front tire.  He felt pretty bad about it but it gave Emily and I a good excuse to put her winter studded tires on later that weekend.  Read on...

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014

I'll be honest, I was not looking forward to going to Upstate NY for Christmas.  I had promised my mom to help her downsize her home but I was not prepared for what I encountered.  I'm not going to write a lot about it except that her house is now 6,000 pounds lighter of what my mom's therapist and I call "static" and it is now ready for contractors to work on.   Read on...

Friday, December 12, 2014


This year was a big year for me at my job.  2014 was pretty much dedicated to boosting my career and position at Quantum Spatial.  From the start of the year I took on massive projects, the size of which our group hadn't seen before.  I worked long hours over the spring after our honeymoon, often staying till 8pm and during a few crunch weeks as late as 11pm for multiple nights.  I remoted in almost daily to keep processes running and often worked from home over the weekends.  By working in this manner I was able to save the company nearly $500,000 in budget savings.   Read on...

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

This year Emily and I joined Scott and Danielle for Thanksgiving in the San Juan Islands of Washington.  We stayed in a wonderful rental home on Lummi Island and enjoyed wonderful food, eagle and owl sightings, and great company for 5 days.  Read on to find out more...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

SCUBA Diving, Mushrooms, Clams and Coastal Good Times

This weekend Emily and I spent a terrific weekend on the coast with Holm, Paris, and some friends from work including Drew, Lennie, and even Chris Miwa along with a bunch of others.  We were invited along the weekend before by Chris and Paris.  We stayed with James Lawonn at his place in Netards.  James took over Lindsay Marcella's job on the coast when she left and we had met him before at an Easter Party at their place earlier in the year.  I definitely recognized him as soon as we saw him.  We spent the weekend SCUBA diving, raking clams, mushroom picking and clamming and feasted on all that we successfully hunted and gathered.  Read on for more photos.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween 2014

I’ve been so burnt out at work with a big project that I wasn’t too stoked to worry about dressing up for Halloween.  Thankfully, my terrific wife helped me out by picking out a costume for me, well, mostly just a wig as I used my own beard to make a mustache.  I didn’t dress up for work this year but when we got home I did get dressed up Scott’s Party in Corvallis that we drove down for.  Emily fashioned herself into a terrific scarecrow while I did my best Ron Swanson Impression.  Read on...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Ellie's 8th Birthday

I just had a wonderful weekend with my daughter for her 8th birthday.  Last year I made a promise to her that I would visit her on her birthday each year.  Finally, without graduate school and with a steady job and can now afford the trips and get her a nice present each year.  She really is growing up fast!  Let’s see, highlights… she can cartwheel with the best of them, she is getting pretty good at violin, and she’s quite the climber and gymnast!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Larch Mountain

Today Emily and I took Leo out to Larch Mountain for an afternoon hike.  It’s not too far from Portland and we hadn’t been up it before.  We started our hike at the base of the mountain to create a loop up and around the crater of the ancient volcano.  For the most part it was pretty uninteresting until we got to the top.  We did get to see a lot of mushrooms and it seemed like everyone around us was walking out with bags of Chanterelles but of course we didn’t have any luck finding any!  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cape Horn

Today Emily and I headed out to Cape Horn on the Washington side of the Columbia River.  This area is closed in the spring due to Falcons nesting along the cliffs so for a beautiful fall day it was the perfect hike nearby for us to check out.  We got there early afternoon and it turned out to be a pretty hot day for October.  Read on...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Base Camp Brewing Octoberfest

Today, Arley, Katie and Ryan invited Emily and I out to the Base Camp Brewing Octoberfest.  We had expected Nicole and Jesse James to come up for an afternoon hike and stay over with us but although she said she’d be here by noon we hadn’t heard a word from her.  We waited until 2pm and then decided to just go to the Briefest and meet up with her later if they actually came up.  Read on...

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sushi and Godzilla

Tonight Emily and I had our 2nd movie night in Portland.  Our first movie night was a week ago where we ordered pizza and watched Old School which Arley hadn't seen before.  This week we  invited Conrad, Ryan, Arley, Katie, and Anna over to roll some Sushi and watch the new Godzilla movie.  Ryan of course brought his amazing cooking skills and helped teach the half of us who had never done it before how to do it.  Emily and I had done it with Jason and Jen before but I think Ryan knew how to cook the rice better this time.  We made a bunch of rolls and ended up having too much to eat.  

Godzilla was of course amazing despite Ryan falling into a food coma during the 2nd half of it.  Not sure how many movie nights we will have as we all have busy lives but this one was certainly a success.  Plus, its just so damn fun making sushi!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Cannon Beach, Cove Beach, and Oswald West State Park

 This weekend Emily and I decided we wanted to get out of the city and see the Pacific Ocean again.  We also wanted to get Leo out in the sunshine for some adventure.  So, on Saturday after a late rollout from bed we headed towards Cannon Beach.  It was cloudy in Portland but once we got over the Coast Range we found ourselves in beautiful warm weather on the beach with lots of other people out and about with us.  Read on...  

Friday, September 26, 2014

Chapman School Swifts

Today after work Emily and I joined Annie, Thomas, Jon and others at the Chapman School in Northwest Portland for our first time watching the swifts there.  According to Nate, whose birthday it also was, there weren't as many this year as previous years because of the dry summer or something.  Still, it was pretty cool to see them circle around in a huge twisting mass trying to find a way down into the school's chimney for a night.  Unfortunately for them, there was a small hawk perched on the rim just waiting to pick off the first few that tried.  A brave swift sacrificed itself and got nabbed by hawk allowing all the others to swirl down like a cloud of smoke re-entering the chimney for the night.  It took about 20 minutes for the hundreds and hundreds of swifts to all finally get into the chimney.  It was pretty cool to see and definitely something we plan on taking my mom to when she moves out here.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Race for the Cure

This Saturday Emily and I woke up early to run in the 5k Race for the Cure to raise money for Breast Cancer research.  Emily had signed us up a month before and I was a little nervous as I hadn't been running in weeks.  But, as it turns out the 5k really wasn't that hard and I had a really fun time running it.  There were a ton of people and I got the same feeling as tree skiing darting in and out of them trying to make my way further up in the pack.... Perhaps I'd actually like running more races!  

We were part of team GP who had a booth set up there but Emily and I got there too late for the team photo.  After the run we grabbed some free food and water and hung out for a bit before jumping back on our bikes and biking home.  We had run with Amy written on our number tags and one of Emily's relatives who also had a form of cancer.  Hopefully, science will find a cure soon!  We got back home by the time we'd usually get up on a lazy Saturday anyway! 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Septembeerfest in Corvallis

This weekend Emily and I drove down to Corvallis with Leo and our bikes in the truck to go to both Amy Jo's baby shower as well as Garrett's after-defense party in Avery Park.  We stayed with Tim and Lindsay in their new place so we drove there first so I could drop off Emily at Amy Jo's, park at Tim's and then jump on my bike to ride the short distance to Avery Park.  Leo stayed with Emily at Amy Jo's.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

After work in Peninsula Park

Tonight after work Emily and I joined Arley, Katie and Ryan for a nice little picnic in Peninsula Park near our new home.  We stopped at New Seasons and picked up a bunch of yummy meats and cheeses and Emily also brought over a box of wine with Mr. Leo.  We ended up staying there until nearly 10pm eating, drinking, and enjoying some great conversation and the occasional swing on the swing set nearby.  Great evening with friends.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Gunsight Ridge to Dog River Trail

This weekend Eric Porter joined Emily and I for great day of biking down Gunsight Ridge on the flanks of Mt. Hood.  Gunsight ridge is pretty much the northern section of the same ridge that Surveyor's Ridge is on that we had done earlier in the summer but it is a bit more technical in places.  We decided to take both the truck and Prius again to do a shuttle so we could ride down the fabulous Dog River Trail at the end. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Eagle Cap Wilderness Lakes Basin

This Labor Day I was able to go on an amazing backpacking trip with Anna and her boyfriend Nate to the Lakes Basin are of the Eagle Cap Wilderness in far Eastern Oregon.  We had at first planned a very ambitious 40 mile loop but instead cut out one pass and a lake to make it a more relaxing 30 mile loop over 4 days.  I decided to climb up Eagle Cap one early afternoon so I totaled out at 34.5 miles for the trip.  We didn’t see too many animals but I agree with everyone else that has been to the Wallowas, that it might be the most beautiful place in all of Oregon.  Read on to see more photos and details.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Deschutes River 2014

Once again this year Emily and I joined Nicole and Cody on the annual Deschutes River Rafting trip!  This year Martin and Shannon, Ian and Colleen, and Sarah and Adam joined us as well making it officially a couples trip this time!  After some debate we decided to leave early on Saturday morning to make it to the Warm Springs put in by 11am on Saturday.  Read on for more photos and details.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

Just a quick post to say that Emily accepted an ice bucket challenge from her friends.  This has become super popular lately on the interwebs.  You either have to donate $100 to a charity for ALS or dump a bucket on your head, learn about the disease and challenge your friends as well.  I think it is a worthy cause but I fear that too many people just take it as a silly social experiment and dare rather than actually donate money to the cause... But, in any case Emily accepted the challenge and took a bucket of ice water over her head with Leo and I watching!  She challenged me, but I never did end up taking a bucket myself.  I do still need to donate some money though!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Quantum Acquisition Flight

On Sunday I finally, after 6 years, got to go up for an acquisition flight in one of our company's Cessna Caravan's with our UltraCam Eagle camera.  We were acquiring 3 inch resolution imagery for the entire Portland Metro area and I will be the project lead for the data when it is all acquired.  That, and the fact that it is now the city we live in and our house will be imaged with both LiDAR and hi-res photos, made this flight even more special.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Dude's Night Out!

Dude's Night Out... This was just plain epic.  Aaron, a friend from work, who's last name I'll leave blank decided it would be a fun time to invite Eric and I out for a dude's night out at some sketchy bars along North Lombard Street in Portland.  Eric bailed and after several of his friends called off I was ready to bail too but he was determined and said he was going out regardless at 8pm to the MouseTrap and that I should meet him out... Challenge... Accepted!

When I got to the bar I found Aaron with about 5 friends.... including a heavily inked girl whose name for the night I was told would be "Steve" I believe... All of them were great people.  A couple were co-workers and a couple were his old bandmates.  They all welcomed me warmly to the drunkfest.  Game on!  

I'm not going to go into details about what happened because what happens on Dude's Night Out stays there.  Some highlights though.... skeevy bars (Mouse Trap, Sweet Home and The Perch), scary drunk old men, massive amounts of arm wrestling (which I won until the 250lb Karoake WWE wrestler dude finally beat me), stolen shopping carts, really, really bad karoake skills, and steering Aaron on his bike into a bush.  Thankfully, besides my dignity, I didn't lose anything and actually made it home by 3am all the way from St. Johns which I don't even remember biking too.  Needless to say my Saturday was a total waste.... but worth the epic memories.... perhaps.... :)  Oh, and although we were drinking all night and had many many many beers and cocktails I don't think any of us spent more than $30... yeah, those kind of bars....

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Northeast Parkways and Adia's Birthday

Emily and I had missed the North Portland Sunday Parkways earlier this summer as we were busy moving into our new house but this time we had the weekend free for our own neighborhood's Northeast Sunday Parkways.  Basically, it is when the neighborhood shuts down certain streets to create a bike corridor for bikers to move from one city park to another.  Along the way there are people giving out snacks and playing music and at each park there are booths setup from local vendors with free games and bike obstacle courses.  We really appreciate a town like Portland that really goes out of it's way to support the local biking community and we think it will be something my mom will really enjoy when she moves out here (more on that to come this fall).  Read on....

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Surveyors Ridge Mountain Biking

On Sunday after a surprisingly peaceful sleep next to rumbling freight trains in our campground we got up late in the morning and headed into town for some breakfast at Egg River cafe.  It was pretty busy and we ended up eating at the bar in the back but the delicious food made up for it.  By the time we drove all the way to the trailhead for Surveyors Ridge it was early afternoon and I was little concerned about how long it would take us to ride the 20 miles back to the Prius we had parked at the lower trailhead, seeing that it had taken us nearly 8 hours to bike the 25 mile Mckenzie River trail just a few weekends prior.   Read on for more.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

One Year Wedding Anniversary

This weekend Emily and I headed out to Hood River for our 1yr Wedding Anniversary!  It's hard to believe it has already been a year!  In the morning Emily gave me a wonderful anniversary gift.  It was an amazing house with heart balloons coming out of it but the house and balloons were map cut-outs of significance in our lives together.  The hearts were Saratoga Springs where we met, Hawaii where we got Engaged, and Hood River where we got married while the house was Portland, OR where we now have our first house together!  I didn't have anything to give her but I did inform her I had finished a well thought out wine box letter that we were supposed to put in there before our wedding!!! Shhhh don't tell anyone we didn't!  I think Em still needs to finish hers as I didn't see another one in there.... hehe.  Read on to hear about the rest of our anniversary.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mckenzie River Weekend 2014

This weekend Emily and I joined Nicole, Ian, Coleen, Jake, Richard, ____ and Chris Harmon for a wonderful weekend on the Mckenzie River in central Oregon.  We left Leo with friends in Portland and headed south on Saturday morning to meet up with everyone else who had camped Friday night at the McKenzie Bridge Airfield in Blue River, OR.  We got an early start and met everyone around 10am at the upper trailhead for the Mckenzie River bike trail near Clear Lake.  They were a little late to arrive which was good as it took us a little bit to get our bikes put together from the back of the Prius.   Read on for all the details

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pizza Night at Arley and Katies

Tonight we had a wonderful night of wine and homemade pizza at Arley and Katie's.  Of course Ryan was there to teach us how to make everything correctly.  Anna also joined us for the good times.  This was special for Emily and I as it was the first time we had gotten out of our new home for a local get together.  We were so excited we put Leo on a leash and biked over to their place which was a little far for poor Leo who was out of shape and too hot in the summer heat.  He made it but looked pooped for the rest of the night and thankfully Ryan gave us a ride home in the Red Dragon.  We finished off the night with a great bonfire in the backyard.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Our New Home!

Our first home!  This past April, after about two months of looking, our wonderful realtors Karim and Jessica showed us a wonderful looking home in the Piedmont neighborhood of Portland.  We checked it out for about 20 minutes on a Friday after work with Karim.   We asked Karim if we should put an offer in... we were hesitant and worried about the chances of a better place coming up. He looked at us and simply said, "you two need to buy this house".  Well.. that was that and we put an offer in that night along with a nice letter about how amazing it would be to start a family there.   Read on for more photos.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Painting Jerry the Shed

This weekend Anna Li asked a bunch of friends to come over and help paint her shed which she affectionately named "Jerry".  She and a few friends sketched out an amazing scene and outlined it with markers.  All we had to do was fill in between the lines with paint.  It actually took a bit longer than we thought but by the time it began to get dark and Anna and other left for the Portland naked bike ride we had pretty much finished.  

This year there were 10,000 people who got on their bikes buck naked for the ride.... definitely not for me but super cool that that sort of thing happens in our wonderful city.  On Sunday they wrapped up the mural and the shed turned out amazing.  Very creative Anna Li!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Glacier Peak Summit Ski Descent - Most Remote Volcano in US

I had been planning a ski descent of Glacier Peak for 2 years and this past weekend I was finally able to accomplish that goal in an undertaking that proved to be the biggest mountain ascent of my life thus far.  I had met Brayden a few months before on our ski descent of Mt. Hood and he luckily had the flexibility in his schedule between job and school to join me on the adventure.  With 50-60lb packs we traveled 32 miles over 4 mountain passes, 4 glaciers, and ascended over 10,000 feet all so I could ski from the summit of my last US volcano in perfect weather.  Click the title to read more about our adventure to the most remote Cascade Volcano in the United States… Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the video as well.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Rafting the North Fork of the John Day River

This past weekend Jason, his fiancĂ© Lindsay and their friends Adam and Mark joined me on a drive out to Eastern Oregon for a weekend rafting the North Fork of the John Day river from Dale to Monument, OR with Dennis Feeney and friends whom I hadn’t seen in a long time, some for years.  It was a great trip through beautiful terrain over mild rapids.  Except for the afternoon of the first day it was sunny and pleasant weather throughout.  Click the title to read on….

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lake Wahtum and Mount Chinidrine

Today, we had a great day hiking on the Northwest side of Mt. Hood with Eric and Adia, and the dogs Milo and Leo.  The weather was great, the views were pretty good despite some clouds and we even got to see a bear on the way to a wonderful dinner and drinks in Hood River.  Click the title to read on…

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Flipping on the White Salmon

This weekend Emily and I got our first rafting trip in with friends from work.  Susan, a co-worker and guide at Wet Planet on the White Salmon River in Washington took us for an quick afternoon run down the very fast flowing river.  It was a beautiful, warm day and we had a bit more excitement than was planned…. click the title to read more…