Sunday, October 29, 2006

You Can’t Make this Stuff Up

After a platelet donation at the Red Cross the other day I was offered refreshments by an older gentleman. When I sat down to drink his OJ and polish of a rejuvenating Krispy Kreme, he joined me.

He told me he hadn’t worked for money in 24 years, and that he had been a volunteer at the Red Cross for 20. He retired from the City as a manager in charge of issuing various business licenses. As I stuffed doughnut in my face he explained that he and his wife raised 2 sets of twin grand-kids. It seems his daughter was not fit to be much of a mother and could not care for her 4 children, so he took them in.

Now this is where he got me. One pair of twins is girls. One of the twins from this set lives here with 3 kids and the other lives in Florida. Recently the Florida twin had her 2nd miscarriage, so the Portland twin went to visit. Apparently after a miscarriage there is a procedure to clean out the uterus and the Florida twin postponed the procedure due to the Portland sister’s visit. When she eventually went in for the procedure they did a pregnancy test and found that she had been pregnant with twins and that only one had miscarried.

It was his understanding that the second, surviving child may not have been detected if the procedure had not been delayed. She is now looking forward to her first baby and expects her grandparents to be in Florida for the birth.

I guess he won’t be offering me juice this summer.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Righting Wrongs

The last picture of my dog on this site was more than 40 images ago. That is just wrong.

I shot this with my friend Johno's 70-200 f4 L lens a few months ago. You can see a few more from the same shoot here.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Risky Business

So remember a while back when I was talking about my new van that was going to be the perfect roadtrip rig? And how upon returning from the sweet roadtrip to Wyo and Montana I was going to sell it? Well, I still have it. Yup, it’s been 2.5 months and that 4-wheeled, piece of family-toting joy is still in my driveway.

But, weren’t you just going to drive it for 2 weeks and then come home and put it back on Craigslist? What happened?

We hit a deer. Yeah, one night while finishing a monumental day of hiking to Porcupine falls, trekking up to Medicine Wheel, and then heading to Cody for some famous Montana beef; a deer ran out in front of us and committed suicide on my van. We were driving a stretch of road than connects Powell to Cody—a drive that my family has driven hundreds of times with nary a swerve to avoid a deer—when I came high beams to antler with what can accurately be described as a deer-in-the-headlights.

He jumped out, I hit the brakes and swerved slightly (remember the road has on-coming traffic), he froze, and then turned my perfect investment into a liability. No passenger was hurt, the van is still drivable, and I guess my day ended better than his. However, the van’s hood and fender are dented severely enough to require replacement. Don’t forget that this purchase was all about saving money, so I am carrying a $1000 deductible on the van. Meaning: I’ve spent the last 2.5 months saving for the repair.

And even after all of this, I’d do it again, hopefully without the deer.

Remember Aron Rolston? You know, the guy who hiked into a Utah canyon and got his arm pinned beneath a boulder? I read a few excerpts from his book a few years ago and I’ve adopted a bit of his philosophy. Everything has risk. When he chose to hike alone into the canyons without informing anyone of his whereabouts, he took a risk. And, at the time of his choice, he determined that the reward for hiking that canyon outweighed the risk of becoming trapped and not being rescued. So, when he became trapped and realized that no rescue was coming he was not surprised, nor was he upset-for he had accepted the risk.

Before I bought the Sienna, I knew there was a risk. I understood, and even considered that a mishap could render it unsellable. I accepted that if that happened I would value it as a trade for the reward of driving my very own mini-van on a cross-state roadie. I have no justification to feel cheated, I made this choice fully understanding the risk.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday Fun

CJ is from my hometown of Powell, WY and is often running some wacky contest on his blog, usually with real prizes! He's got one up there now, so go try your luck--you could win a song from iTunes.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Marathon that Ate My Lunch

And a friend who beat it up and took my lunch back.

Today was the 2006 Portland Marathon. It started at 7 am just as the sun was stretching into the sky. I don't know exactly how many participants joined us downtown for the start, but I think it was somewhere between 6 and 8 thousand.
When my training for the marathon started to lag a bit I enlisted my old running partner Shawn to join my on this journey. His steady pace and faithful spirit have been a joy on many long runs and I sure needed him today.The first few miles of a marathon are a kick. Thousands of people, fresh legs, and cool weather make it hard to stick to a slow pace. We were constantly reminding each other to keep the pace down. At mile 1.5 we got our first encouragement from our very own cheering section, Anne & Brian Diedrich, Darren & Stephanie Nielan, and Christa Hill. (Later we would see Nancy and Cameron Jones.)Seeing friendly faces in the crowd is like being greeted at the airport after a long trip.
We made a loop and came right past the same spot 3 miles later and surprised the photographer.Next, the crew moved to a spot near 12 miles and waited for us to appear. We spent miles 6 through 11 on a dull out and back in NW industrial Portland. Our pace was lightened as we passed a praise band: Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, Your love makes me sing!
The next section took us past Montgomery Park and then out highway 30 to the St John's Bridge. We passed the time by convincing each other that we could certainly run 2 more miles. And at one point, Shawn had to break it to me that my math that had figured there would only be a 10k-to-go after we reached mile 18 was wrong, and the 10k-to-go mark didn't hit until mile 20.
After the bridge we got to see our crew again, this time with Nancy and Cameron. We stopped and stretched briefly.
Our old running buddy Jimmy Young appeared in a few miles and ran with us for about 3--not bad considering he had to run back to his car! His energy was appreciated. It was during this section along the bluff, and leading to the Steel Bridge for the finish, that wheels came off. All of the major muscles in my legs began to cramp. Quads, hamstrings, and calves all let me know that I was pushing them well beyond their ability to perform. I was forced to walk much of the last 4 miles. Shawn choose to sacrifice his finish time to stay with me. I cannot think of a more self-less gesture and I am touched by his friendship. His encouragement and patience meant a lot to me out there.

We finished in 4 hours 22 minutes and 5 seconds.

Here are the mile splits:

  1. 10:18
  2. 00:00, (never saw the marker)
  3. 20:47
  4. 8:57
  5. 8:15
  6. 8:57
  7. 9:20
  8. 8:34
  9. 9:00
  10. 10:17
  11. 8:58
  12. 9:49
  13. 9:35
  14. 9:37
  15. 9:14
  16. 9:39
  17. 9:28
  18. 10:04
  19. 11:26
  20. 9:50
  21. 9:52
  22. 10:59
  23. 9:50
  24. 11:32
  25. 12:41
  26. 12:30
I was carried home and I soaked in a cold tub and then took a long nap. Later we got the whole crew back together for some post-race replenishment at El Indio's.
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