28 September 2008

And Just Like That, It's October!??

Wow. Summer is over. And it took me all summer to finish my postings about my Father's Day weekend ride home from Charlotte, so I guess that means I have to try to sum up the remainder of the summer in one fell swoop? I'll see if I can remember anything of particular interest and we'll go from there... er... here. Whatever.

the Trip Home -- Leg 3: Loveland to Salt Lake City





I had a couple hours riding in the complete dark of night which was colder than I'd expected, but I wanted to get back as early as I could, because it was Father's day and I'd already given up my entire weekend with Ian. I can't remember anything too extraordinary about those hours, other than the openness all around me and the lack of traffic on the roads. I stopped for breakfast at McDonald's in Evanston, WY. More to warm up than anything else, and those boneheads at McD's didn't have hot chocolate. Seems if you want a hot drink in Evanston, it's coffee. I didn't want to make another stop, so I skipped the hot chocolate, pulled my still chilly gloves back on and headed back out. Next stop Salt Lake City.

I don't remember how fast I had been riding to Evanston, but I do remember at some prior to that I wanted to check my rear tire before departing Evanston. The guy I'd bought my bike from said he thought there were about 2000 miles left on the rear tire. I guess I was a little distracted by the cold in Evanston so I skipped the inspection. It's probably good that I did, too, or I'm not sure I would have left Evanston before I had a new one. I came down Parley's canyon at 80 MPH to arrive home at about 9am. This is the state of my tire at that point:


Thank goodness most of my riding that particular day took place before the roads had time to heat up and have a more devastating affect on what was left of the rubber of my rear tire.

So I made it home. Ian was sitting at the window watching for me and ran out as soon as I pulled in. I barely had time to get my helmet off before I scooped him up and had the best hug of my life. Happy Father's Day to me. I had a new bike and my little buddy in the same place at last.

22 September 2008

The Trip Home -- Leg 2: St. Louis to Loveland


Once again, I woke later than I had planned, but a second hot shower inside of 8 hours and a free continental breakfast later, I loaded up the motorcycle and hit the road. The long, straight, flat road all the way across Missouri and Kansas. You, the reader of this blog (I'm assuming there's at least one of you and I'm not sure how extensive your own motorcycling experience is), may or may not know that the fun part of riding a motorcycle is in the turning. So why on earth there is a motorcycle museum in Kansas I will never know. Or a Harley Davidson store for that matter. Here's a picture of Kansas. If not for the windmills, It could be anywhere in Kansas. It's all I saw for about 700 miles.

The sky proved far more interesting than the flat, flat landscape with the long, long straight road.


The thing that struck me most about Kansas is that the people there still had southern accents. I've never considered Kansas part of the south, but right up until I hit Colorado, the people I encountered had a distinctly southern drawl. Perhaps the people in eastern Colorado also have a southern drawl? I don't know because I found the terrain too similar to Kansas to be inspired to stop anywhere before Denver. Note to travelers: when the Colorado tourism board says, "Let's Talk Colorado," they mean west of Denver. The mountainous, rocky, interesting part(s).

Seriously folks, from St. Louis, MO to Limon, CO it is one long straight road. That's 763 miles of straight, boring motorcycle riding. And I only saw 2 cops the entire time -- both on the other side of the freeway. I'm not going to admit in writing publicly just how fast I crossed most of Kansas... let's just say I'm pleased with the new bike and what she can do for hours on end. And here's a tip of my hat to Kansas' finest. Thanks for taking the weekend off.

I-70 turns northwest at Limon to Denver. From Dever I headed north to Loveland, where I hoped I could just show up at my Uncle Jerry's to crash for a couple hours. On I-25 traffic came to a complete standstill and, seeing cars jumping over the grass-covered median to the frontage road that ran parallel to the freeway, I followed suit. I wound my way north, trying to keep the freeway in sight so I could see what in hades was the matter. There was a wreck that was bad enough to warrant air-lifting the injured. I pulled into Loveland and called but got no answer at my aunt & uncle's. When I finally got them on their cell phone they were surprised to find out I was in Loveland. They were stuck back in traffic on I-25 but told me I was of course welcome to stay, to head to their house and let myself in, they'd be there as soon as was possible. I think they got there about a full 2-hours later than me. They hadn't jumped off the freeway as I had. We chatted for an hour or so after which I showered and crashed in one of my cousins' old bedrooms.

I woke right when I'd planned (4am) and tried to exit as quietly as possible. Thanks Jerry and Jeanette for your gracious hospitality. I enjoyed my brief visit and very much appreciate not having to sleep in a hotel bed.


07 July 2008

The Trip Home -- Leg 1: Charlotte to St. Louis

I had been planning to document my trip much better than I did. I was in a terrible hurry to get home so I didn't stop often to see or take pictures of anything. I wish I'd had more time. As it is, I'll just have to tell you what I can about my travels...

I left Charlotte around 10PM (8PM MST) on Thursday night, heading west on I-85 to Gastonia, then north on NC-321 to Hickory and the I-40 junction, although I overshot 40. Rather than backtrack I stuck to the smaller 70 just north of the interstate. It meant slower speed, but that wasn't such a bad thing for my first few real hours on a bike in years. I had hoped to get as far as Asheville, but I got tired less than an hour short. I found a campground near Old Fort, where I parked, unloaded all my gear, set up my tent then promptly fell asleep.

I woke later than I had planned. I found the campground was actually someone's property -- there was a mobile home where the owner lived, a central cinder block building with bathrooms (complete with showers), a covered area with several picnic tables and a BBQ grill, a small playground, and RV campsites with electric and plumbing hookups all round the circle drive. There was also a small creek running right near where I set my tent up, although I must have been too tired to notice it when I got in.


The owner came around as I was packing up. He asked me for $20 to cover the night of camping. I pulled in around 2AM and was packing up at 7:30 and he wanted $20. Call me crazy, but that seems a bit excessive for 5 hours of tent space. I talked him down to $10 and then we talked about motorcycles for a few minutes. He says "the Cong" used to chase him on his old Honda around Viet Nam. Don't know if I believed him or not, but I found this to be the first of many strange conversations that I wouldn't have had if I had been in a car like everyone else. It seems my motorcycle is a pretty good conversation piece.

Having consulted the map, I found I-40 and made much better time than I had the night before. I stopped for breakfast in Asheville's historic village — McDonald's. But in my defense, it was by far the coolest McDonald's I've ever been in. They had a grand piano in one corner that was programmed to play over and over a small, presumably Victorian, snippet of "live" music. I ordered an orange juice and the big breakfast — pancakes, egg, bacon, the trademark McDonalds hash brown patty thing and a biscuit. Didn't quite finish it all, but it sure hit the spot. And I must say it tasted better for the "live" music accompaniment. 

I had hoped to drive by the Biltmore Estate but I didn't want to pay the fee to get in since I just had time for a drive by. The very apt security folks weren't allowing any exceptions, either. Oh well, I tried. The grounds to the info center (much larger than my house) were beautiful. 

Back on the road and on through the Smoky Mountains to Tennessee. Amazing. I wish I had more time to take in all the scenery I rode through. Or that I had stopped to take more pictures. I can't believe how green everything was. And all I could see from the road was trees. I-40 takes me all the way to Nashville, and honestly I feel like Tennessee went about as quickly as it does here in this travelogue. I can hardly remember anything after the Smoky Mtns. I would have to check my receipts to even tell you where I stopped for gas or food. I do remember the day started very comfortably (although humid) as I left Asheville, but then quite quickly grew to bloody-well hot and even more humid.

My plan for Nashville had been to make one stop at Hatch Show Print -- what may be the oldest operating letterpress printshop in America. It's also part of the Country Music Hall of Fame. As it turned out, Nashville has a similar "belt route" freeway (155) around the city so I ended up skirting Nashville almost completely and saved myself hours, although I would really have liked to stop. Now I'll have to go back, you know?




From Nashville, my course heading changed from West to Northwest as I took I-24 toward Clarksville and on to Kentucky. At some point on the road to Kentucky it started raining just a little, and you can't tell it from these photos, but I was bout to hit the worst weather I've ever driven any vehicle in. The clouds opened wide and all I could think of was a waterfall. I kept on, though, passing other motorcyclists who'd sought refuge from the downpour under overpasses. When I started passing 4 x 4's that were pulled over to the side of the road I decided to get off the freeway myself. I took the next exit and pulled into a truckstop, where you'd think I might have the sense to pull the camera out, but you'd be wrong. There was an older couple who were heading the direction I'd just come on their Honda Goldwing. Everyone else I encountered there was driving a 4-wheeled vehicle, and none of them could believe anyone would try to drive a motorcycle in weather like that.

After a while one of the UPS drivers who'd come from the Northwest said it was clearing so I ventured back out. My goal was to make it to St. Louis before bedtime. I-24 took me to I-57 which runs due North to I-64 which leads to St. Louis. In St. Louis I needed to stop and buy a charger for my phone because I'd been planning to plug it in on my motorcycle but it didn't have an electrical accessory charger. That also meant I'd have to stay at a hotel rather than camp as I'd been planning. Oh well, I guess there's nothing wrong with sleeping in a bed and having a hot shower. I found the charger I needed at Target in O'Fallon, Illinois, just a few miles East of St. Louis, and just an hour or so before sunset. Then it was across the mighty Mississippi and a quick wave to the arch as I experienced the only really frightening part of the trip -- merging the freeways of St. Louis. I had decided to get as far West of the city as I could so as to not have to fight any rush-hour traffic the next morning, and I'm not sure if it was just the fact that I was trying to read the signs so I got on the right freeway, if it was the fact that it had just gotten dark, or if St. Louis drivers are just crazy, but that was very literally the only time I'd been even slightly nervous about being on a motorcycle. Not even the torrential rains of a few hours earlier were as bad as that. I ended my day's ride in O'Fallon, Missouri, which is just about as far West of St. Louis as O'Fallon, Illinois is East. If that's not confusing, I don't know what is.

23 June 2008

Looking for Love in Charlotte


I flew out to Charlotte, NC on June 12 to pick up my new bike. I packed all my gear in my old hockey bag, which came in just under American Airline's size limit and left about 10 lbs to spare:

1 borrowed GS Tank Bag (thanks Matt)
1 REI Hoodoo 3 Tent
1 Wiggy's Sleeping Bag
1 Thermarest Pad
1 REI Bivy Sack
Fieldsheer Riding Gear
Toiletries
3 pr underwear
3 pr socks
3 t-shirts
1 pr shorts
1 pr pants
Flip flops

All of which fits quite nicely on my newly acquired wheels. Now all that remains is to get acquainted and get on my way back to SLC before I loose my entire weekend with Ian.

I spent about half an hour just driving around Charlotte -- I wanted to get lost, if you want to know the truth, but I felt great on the bike. I stopped at some kind of fast food joint (I'd never heard of it and don't remember at all what it was) and consulted my map while some guy who thought he was sean jean cranked gangsta rap from his convertible in the parking lot.


My plan is to make it as close to Asheville as possible and find a place to camp for the night.

No Time Like the Present

I've had a bit of motorcycles on my brain since meeting these two guys in Mexico on their way from Alberta, Canada to Patagonia. They seem to have piqued an irreversible interest that has quickly consumed me with obsession.

Fast-forward from Mexico a couple of weeks. I'm back at work, back in the daily grind. Brandon, the new kid at work, mentions something about Ewan McGregor riding with one of his buddies around the world on a motorcycle. "What?!" I say. "Yeah, they have this documentary about it. I have it on DVD. I'll let you borrow it." I borrow it. I watch the entire 10-episode series in one weekend -- that's 10 hours of TV in one weekend. Yeah. 10 hours. I start looking for a motorcycle and begin the harder task of trying to figure out how I can manipulate the budget to make it fit...

It's been 5 years since I had a bike so I begin by snooping the BMW owners group forums where I find a relatively well-stocked flea market. I zero in on the model I want by going out to the BMW dealership for some test rides.


The GS is coincidentally the same model Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman rode around the world and again later rode across Africa -- it's also the model my friend Willy (R.I.P.) considered his dream bike. I start talking to various sellers online. I find one in Baton Rouge, LA but it's sold before I can make an offer. I find one in Charlotte, NC; one in Chicago, IL; and one in Sacramento, CA that I'm interested in. The Charlotte bike is an '06 Adventure model (larger gas tank, extra crash bars, better suspension, etc.) and just a little ($1200) more than the '05s in Chicago and Sacramento. I call the credit union to see about raising my preapproval amount. They do it. I offer to buy the Charlotte bike and start making plans to fly out to ride her back.

And Just Like That, It's June


Obviously I'm still playing a little catch up here... 

We ushered in June by spending another great weekend with the Vander Meydens at their cabin in Tabiona. With Sidekick in his crate taking up the entire back of the Subaru, we had to tie Ian's 4-wheeler to the roof to get it there, but I think Ian, Spencer and Matthew enjoyed having it. 


Ian really enjoyed the S'mores Andrea made using Melissa's modified S'mores technique -- Keebler Fudgestripe cookies instead of graham crackers and chocolate bars. I must say they were much easier to make. We slept out on the deck one night and watched the clouds roll by until the stars came out. Ian was asleep by then, but I was awestruck by the city-lightless summer night sky. I should get out of the city more often.

12 June 2008

Adios, Mexico


I'm finally concluding my travelogue to Mexico. What a great trip -- I can't wait to go again, next time with Ian for sure. During most of what I experienced there I kept thinking how great it would be for him to have been there too, although I must say the time without parental or work-related responsibilities was very welcome -- a true vacation.

I woke up early to watch the sun come up over the ocean. It amazed me how fast the clouds blew by -- a perfect metaphor for the previous 7 days and my time in Mexico. I found evidence on our beach of a little confrontation between a bird and a crab. It appeared to me that the bird won. A quick final sweep through the casa to make sure I hadn't forgotten to pack anything and it's off to the aiport to go home. Gra├žias, Mexico. Se cambia mi vida.

Deep Sea Fishing, Take 2


This post is alternately titled, "Fishing with Jesus Pays Off."



Quite unsatisfied with Monday's fishing experience (you could really just call it a boat ride), Bob was looking for another excuse to get out there when, on Thursday, we by chance ended up at a restaurant where they'll take you out to fish and then cook your catch up for you that evening. Bob made arrangements to for himself, Steve and I to meet Vidal and Jesus the next morning for another shot at reeling something in.

Things started pretty slow this time out too. We'd paid for a 3-hour tour (try to read that without singing it to the tune of Gilligan's Island, I dare you.) and for the first hour, it seemed as if it might be another expensive boat ride. But all of a sudden, 2 of the lines started and before Jesus and Vidal could get the other 2 lines out of the water, they also went. we'd caught 4 Mahi Mahi all at once. For a few minutes things were pretty hectic while we (Bob, Steve, Jesus and I) ducked and dodged each other in what looked like a choreographed effort to keep our lines from tangling while the fish swam back and forth and all around the boat trying to thwart our efforts to pull them out of the water. At the end of a chaotic half hour, Steve had pulled in 2, and Bob and I each had 1. We'd already been 400% more successful than our entire first day of fishing.



Not long after, we caught another Mahi Mahi, which Bob pulled in (and which I had a chance to photograph this time).


And not long after that, a line went again, so I pulled in the Barracuda, which Jesus said wasn't very good eating and released back into the ocean. I don't even have a good picture of that guy. -- just this one with Jesus covering most of the fish with his hands -- I guess you don't want a loose Barracuda in your boat.



At that point, Bob and Steve seemed pretty satisfied, although Bob was still chanting, "Here fishy fishy fishy." As we started back, one of the lines went again. Steve jumped up and grabbed the pole and then we saw what he was reeling in -- a huge Sail fish. All of a sudden, Bob wasn't satisfied with is trip anymore. He also wanted a Sail fish. Don't you worry about Bob, though. Before we beached the boat again, he'd have his very own Sail fish to brag about. The Sail fish, like the Barracuda, were released back into the ocean. I think they may be protected or something. In any case, we'd caught a total of 8 fish that day, and the Mahi Mahi would be cooked up by the good folks at the restaurant, so you can't beat that. Back on the beach people swarmed to look at our fish. Vidal and Jesus were boasting about the morning's successful venture.



How I Ruined the Trip

The names have been removed from this post to protect the childish...

For Thursday, we had discussed going to see more ruins at Tulum and then to Xel Ha for some calmer seas snorkeling. (The ocean at our beach was a little strong -- I was the only one who could get out past the relentless current to the reef. At one point I made a makeshift tow rope with some cord and a couple of carabiners which I used to tow Bob out.)

Anyway, my decision to stay behind gave a few more people permission to opt out, and pretty soon more people were staying than going. This had the people who wanted to go a little put out. Sorry everyone. I just wanted a day to kick it by the pool, you know? Catch some rays? I mean here it is Thursday and I'm not even sunburned yet. I'm WAY behind schedule. 

We had 2 cars. There was no reason whatsoever some couldn't have continued on as planned. The fact that I didn't want to go should have had no bearing on whether those who wanted to go went. Speaking for myself, I hope I'd never let someone else have so much influence on my own happiness. There were hours of not speaking and general grumpiness. Sheeesh.

The Ruins of "Chicken Pizza"




Tuesday we went to see the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. I hope I can find the list I made of the songs they played on the only American music radio station we could find on the dial. At some point dad said, "They're really playing some great songs, you know?" I really hope I can find the list to give everyone in blogdom a little insight to my pop's taste in music... but I digress.

The ruins were amazing. Our guide, Javier who was of Mayan descent, told us his ancestors were, like himself, "very short, very smart and very handsome." What struck me most was the astrological configurations of their architecture. The main temple (photo #1 above) is situated such that on the days of equinox, the sun hits the steps of the pyramid and the shadow that is cast forms the body of the snake whose head is at the bottom of the grand stairway. Elsewhere in the ruins is a statue of a reclining figure who, on the day of summer solstice appears to hold the sun on a platter as it rises.

We spent several hours there. We paid our guide $50 american. At one point a couple of the ladies needed to rest so they sat in the shade of a tree and Javier fanned them with his hat. Dad and I went shopping for souvenirs. Dad got a couple carved Mayan masks and a Mayan calendar carved out of bone. I got a carved wooden snake toy for Ian and a mask that depicted the Mayan month of January, the month of both Ian's and my birthday (although their months are shorter so I don't think my birthday actually would fall in January according to the Mayan calendar) and was out of money. When another peddler pressed me to buy something, I said I was out of money and he said, "Yeah, but you have a watch." So I traded my aging Timex Ironman watch for a carved Mayan Calendar. I've always wanted to know more about the Mayan calendar -- ever since I learned in Coach Ohai's history class that it was "more accurate than our calendar" and that it had an ending date -- December 24, 2011. It's the one thing I remember from that history class. I don't even know if it's accurate.

Deep Sea Fishing, Take 1


Monday Bob, Steve and Deb, my mom and I decided to go fishing with the guy who anchors his boat down on the beach behind our house. That's him in the blue hat off my left shoulder in the photo. He's a man of very few words, most of them monosyllabic. For $150 USD he'll take as many people as will fit in his boat out fishing for 3 hours. Or as it turns out, about 2 and a half hours. He told us to meet him at 8 am. The fact that he didn't arrive until 8:30 didn't change the end time of our 3 hour tour. Our 4 poles trolling on the back of the boat managed to lure 1 fish in the 2 and a half hours we spent out there on what I would describe as fairly rough seas. With about an hour left, mom got sick and threw up over the starboard side of the boat. I was quickest on the draw so I got to reel in the Mackerel we'd hooked. Our stoic guide filleted it on our beach when we got back and I cooked it on the grill for dinner that night. 

The First Stamp in My Passport

Part of my Sabbatical was spent sitting on a Caribbean beach in the Yucatan. My first opportunity to use my passport. My first passport ever. I'm going to have to break the trip up. There's just too much to write in one post...


the journey to mexico
After spending the day on Friday with Ian, I dropped him back with his mom, went to my parents' house, finished packing and proceeded to get very little sleep. (Finished packing around 2AM and left for the airport at 6AM.) We've rented a house on the beach in Akumal, about an hour and a half south of Cancun. At this point, all I know is that beside myself, our party consists of my parents, Bob & Fran Riemenschneider (family friends), Steve and Deb __________ (friends of Bob & Fran), and someone from Deb's work who's joined the party at the last minute because my brother and his girlfriend can't come after all. There are 2 blog entries (essays, books, movie rights...) in my future entitled, "Never travel with your parents" and "Never travel with your parents' friends."

The trip to Mexico was your average uneventful flight. I drew a picture of the airplane seat back in front of me. Will see about scanning that so I can post it here -- that's definitely something worth preserving for future generations.

What struck me as interesting was the actual arriving in Mexico...

the long wait
Off the plane (down the stairs and onto the runway tarmac) in Cancun, they had 2 buses waiting to shuttle passengers from the plane to the airport, one for those who deplaned at the front exit, and one for those exiting at the rear of the plane. They have armed guards to keep passengers who unwittingly happen to choose to exit the opposite door from the rest of their party on the correct bus. I found this out the hard way but thought better of it when my bus left first.

Clearing customs was incredible. I have never felt more like a sardine in my life. I have no pictures because we were told no cameras were allowed -- in fact, we were told no electronics of any kind were allowed to be on until we'd cleared and exited the building. I chose what looked like the shortest line and settled in for the long, long wait, pushing my luggage with my feet every few minutes when forward progress was made. I watched and waited for the rest of my party to show up.

I saw Bob & Fran first -- they're easy to spot because of Fran's wheelchair. And Fran's wheelchair serves as a sort of free pass to the front of the line. Their long wait would be on the other side, waiting for the rest of us to clear. And as it turns out, the wait through customs was just a warm up for me.

Deb's friend from work was on a later flight. This was actually a huge relief for me, because I'd seen Deb talking and laughing with 2 women at the airport back in SLC who were on our flight. They were both very large women, with short cropped hair. The age difference suggested they were related -- mother and daughter? (Deb confirmed this later, they were actually aunt and niece.) They were both wearing black t-shirts (because they thought they were slimming?), shorts, sandals with socks, and the brightest colored straw cowboy hats I've ever seen. They were LOUD, and I'm not referring to just the hats here. I was mortified that they were our last minute additions and would have considered abandoning the trip altogether had I not been already checked in for the flight.

So once we were through customs, Bob had already collected our checked bags and everyone was ready to go get the rental cars. Everyone but Deb who wanted to stay and wait for her friend to arrive. Somehow I'm the one who got to stay and wait with Deb, so we sat on our luggage on the other side of the glass doors, watching the herds of people come through customs. For hours. I saw every kind of lesbian couple you can imagine. For some reason, they were everywhere. Butchy bull-dikes, hippy treehuggers, high-heeled fashionistas... you name it and they were there. I doubt if there are enough Subaru Forresters in the entire country of Mexico to accommodate the number of lesbian couples that walked by Deb and me as we sat and sat, waited and waited for Madeline.



a great hiatus

Alright, so I've taken a leave of absence. A sabbatical. I've been on hiatus. Let me see if I can catch up because I'm actually about to embark on an adventure worth blogging but there are a lot of things from the recent months that I'd like to record first...


First and foremost, Ian — I love you so much. I love getting to spend my weekends with you. I miss you when you're not around and I know your mom feels the same when you're with me. You're just a cool little kid. I'm so amazed by you and how much you've grown to become your own little man with your own ideas and your unique personality. I love you one hundred bigillion trillion.


On May 2, we did a photo shoot with all the cousins so we could give Grandma an updated portrait with all her grandkids. We went to Thanksgiving Point. Would've been MARVELOUS if all the kids could've cooperated at the same time just long enough for one photo. As it turns out, with something like 200 photos between 3 cameras, at least one of the kids needs to be photoshopped in from one of the photos in which they were cooperating. Oh well, eh? Kids will be kids whatever else they are.

23 March 2008

a very busy easter weekend


Ian and I kicked-off our weekend together with a trip to Brighton for a long-overdue day (er, couple of hours--including drive time) of snowboarding. Ian did awesome on the chairlift, which I thought might be a little scary for him. He was totally relaxed and comfortable on the rides up and is getting pretty good at riding down the hill as well. a few more trips and he'll be an honest-to-goodness little shredder.


Saturday morning Ian had a date with mom to do an Easter egg hunt, so it was a quick breakfast at Hagermann's, then off with mom for the morning. Immediately after that Easter egg hunt was the annual Easter event at Jim and Joan's. Great to see all the Nichol cousins and catch up a little. HUGE thanks to Jim and Joan for this great Easter tradition. The new kitchen looks AMAZING.


From the easter egg hunt, Ian went with Riley and Parker to their house to play the Wii and I went climbing. Let me just say I haven't been climbing for about 15 years -- I use to go with some high school buddies, and while I really enjoyed it, they were the ones who were "climbers" while I was merely a "tag-alonger." So fast forward 15 years and more pounds than I care to expound upon... Dallen and Liz, who're new friends and not-so-new-neighbors that I've just recently actually met and started hanging out with a bit, invited me to go climbing and for some crazy reason I took them up on it. I bought some shoes and a harness (we'll just call it my Easter basket since the Easter bunny doesn't leave anything for dad at our house), so now all that remains is to shed those unexpounded pounds so I can carry myself up the mountain a little easier. Thanks Dallen & Liz for getting me out in my mountains. And congrats to Dallen on the first ascent of the new route.

so much for playing hookey

My prayers for snow were answered on March 15th -- my dad's birthday. My plans, for those of you who may not remember the intricate details of my life, were to play hookey the day after a good storm to go snowboarding. I guess I learned to be slightly more specific in my prayers because as it was snowing, I just on the mend from a good bout of strep throat and had just missed 2 days of work. It's hard to play hookey when I'm already 2 days behind, even for my underdeveloped sense of responsibility.

I do very much appreciate the prayers for snow in my behalf and in spite of the grouch on the couch's comments Thanks to all.

11 March 2008

this year's first round of golf



I was able to talk my dad into getting out on the links yesterday. Those of you who know driley sr. know and understand the very persuasive effort that was involved in this, and the whole process quite honestly left me exhausted.

We were starting late (I don't get off work until 6) and actually started even later because I got a flat tire on my way there. I guess we put the new daylight savings schedule to the test, and you know, I think the daylight passed with flying colors. We finished at 8PM with just enough light to see the green from the tee box. I guess I can't use poor light as an excuse for the sad, sad round of golf I had. But then, BOTH rows of scores are labelled, "DRILEY" so maybe I didn't to that bad.