Monday, June 26, 2006
A FEW QUICK NOTES
So a lot has happened in the last few days, and some of it is worth chatting about:
First, I read over at Bil's Blog
about friendship. The study he quoted goes double for me. Since college ended I have watched my friends move off to bigger and better, whilst I rotted in the land of boredom. Really, I feel blessed to have several "close" friends. But at the same time, they live in Oregon, Fargo, North Carolina, and the cities. I only have one left here, and he leaves for California all the damned time!
But I do it to myself, I think. I have a very high standard for people, and I tend to drive anyone away who dares disrupt my delicate sensibilities. Ehhh.
Second, my supervisor quit. Her boss, and subsequently my boss, is an asshole. She is a backstabber, a liar, and worse yet, she is one of those nice all the time people, who are just faking. She drove my supervisor, and friend, off. It has created quite a stir around here. Our OTHER boss is caught in the middle: liking to say what she means, means saying enough to offend just about everyone involved. But I stand by her, and against the other, because she is honest. Everyone always adds "to a fault" to that statement, but I cannot find fault in speaking the truth. In fact, it should be commended, as she spoke it KNOWING it would not sit well with everyone. Good for you, Laurie. Shame on you, Linda. When I get back, I have some very big decisions to make.
Part of that, too, is the NEW supervisor. She is actually the old supervisor. The one I replaced for having a mental breakdown. She is a Linda clone, to put it gently. She is a whiner, and a gossiper, and worst of all, an idiot. She does not think things through, and goes off with half a plan all the time. She does not listen to other people's ideas, unless they already mesh with her own. And she CANNOT handle confrontation (leading to her first breakdown). Worst of all, she has already decided she hates me, and nothing I say is worth her time. Not a great work environment. If she were a man, boss or no, I would have already punched her out. Seriously.
But all of that pales for the next good news items. I will start with the small one: I got my motorcycle permit today. The test was sickeningly easy. I got one question wrong, though, about driving in which portion of the lane when being passed by a large vehicle. The answer to the "which part of the lane" questions is always middle. I thought I would move over for the big fella'. Anyway, step one to owning a bike is done, now.
But BIGGER, of course, is the wedding! I leave for the cities tomorrow. We fly out (early) the next day for 7 nights and 8 days in paradise (better known as Jamaica). During that time Carly Marie Walsh will undoubtedly make the biggest mistake of her life, and marry Joshua Paul Page. I will come back a happy man. She will come back a cautionary tale of college drunken dating. I kid, I kid. We were both drunk.
Honestly, though, I feel nothing but happiness as I get to spend this time, this most important time of my life, with friends and family. I will get to be surrounded by the ones I love as I enter into the most loving and lasting union of and for my life. Truly, I am blessed.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
MY FIRST MOTORCYCLE RIDE
didn't go as well as I had anticipated. It turns out that riding a dirtbike when you were 12 does not prepare you for riding a motorcycle down the street. No, in fact, it is quite different.
So my Fiance's father has a yamaha virago. He just go tit, and I wanted to ride it, to see if I was indeed going to buy a cycle for myself. Now, on a dirtbike, to get it going, you let clutch out and throttle up. I did that on the virago, and promptly ran it into a parked car. It has a wee bit more power, it does. But still Mike let me ride it. I got the clutch all figured out, and was riding down the street just fine, but I thought I had better get going back, so they wouldn't worry. I thought I could just whip it around, again like a dirtbike: slow down, plant your foot, give it gas and go. Too much power, too heavy, not enough turning radius. All that equals one rider, plus bike, in ditch. That's where I got a muffler burn.
But still Carly's dad let me ride. He took me out and showed me what I needed to know, and I did fine after that. The whole thing is to let the clutch do all the work. It is already getting plenty of gas. And don't fight the weight, use it. On a dirtbike, you lean into a turn, on a streetbike, you let the bike lean into the turn, and you stay upright. Basically, I was steering with my ass, not my hands. And I caught on after that, even though the story tomorrow will be how the future son in law is a moron on a bike, I did get the hang of it fairly quick, and feel confidant enough to buy my own.
An interesting sidebar on that one. I think Mike would have sold it to me, but Carly protested me having a bike so much he changed his mind. I am getting a bike, I am sure, and Carly will just have to learn to stop worrying so damned much. Going in the ditch the first time isn't all that bad, and getting muffler burn, if Andy and his dirtbike are any indication, is fairly common when you choose to ride in shorts, so no worries.
Another aside: Andy was giving me a lot of hell for going into the ditch. And he should, it was ridiculous. But I was there when he bought his new dirtbike, and I watched him lay it down in the wet grass three times before leaving the yard. And then I watched him lay it down when he came back, breaking the brake lever. I didn't bring it up, but I will only take so much ribbing before THAT story is retold.
Anyway, that's day one for riding. I will get out on it more, and get comfortable enough to take my test, before I buy my own.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
So, it is 13 days until we land in Jamaica, the site of Carly's future biggest mistake. But ours will not be the first, or last, wedding of the season. Oh no. My good friend and former college roommate Spike kicked off our season by getting married to the lovely Libby.
You may remember the two of them from my posts on Chicago. They went with us. No? You didn't read that one? You only come here for the pictures? OK, well here they are:
This is them coming in to the reception hall. Don't they look cute? Yes.
And here are the rest of the crew, sans John, who could not be there. I must be saying something rather important. Maybe they listen because I am big.
We thought it would be funny to add our underwear to the Groom's car. I hope those weren't too old.
Josh truly is the Lord of the Dance. He was showing off this awesome move so much, the other two had to join in.
We tried to get Chad some play, but the pickings were slim. We told him she was pretty, but he had not had enough to drink to fully buy that one. Chad, and this chick, went their seperate ways. (I hear, though, Andrew got some, thoguh I have no photo evidence)
And it wasn't as if Chad wasn't drunk...just not drunk ENOUGH, I guess.
Here's just a cute picture of my fiance dancing with some little girl. She is getting less nervous around kids. Which is good, because I want a lot of free labor.
But in the end, the night was about Michael Patrick Sabotta and his new bride, Elizabeth. Though they both look tired, look at the happiness in their eyes. These two will be happy for the rest of their lives, and they deserve it.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
PICTURES OF ASSES
There are two types of climbing pictures: those professional ones which depict snarling finger grabs from above, the climber flexing and growling as he looks directly into the camera; then these, taken point-and-shoot from below, showing, mostly, the asses of the climbers. Still, they serve to prove that we were indeed out climbing, and even showing off some moves.
A few terms need to be addressed before I can move on, they are just climbing terms, and no one will be asked to take a test on them later, I promise.
Arete: pronounced A-rate
A sharp, narrow mountain ridge or spur.
Dihedral: pronounced die-he-drawl
Formed by or having two plane faces; two-sided
Buttress: pronounced but-ris
in climbing: rock resembling a support buttress, four sided, standing alone.
Jamming: pronounced jam-ing
using your hands or feet as a wedge inside a crack for leverage.
Those should do it, now on to the pictures:
We arrived at Taylor's Fall's around 6:30, and already it was light out. I feared we would not be able to find a decent climb. I should not have worried. It was empty in the park. So much so that in the 7 years I have been visiting TF, I have NEVER seen it so dead. I had to ask a park ranger why no one was there. He had no answers, but assured me the park was open. And so we ventured back. I had never been to an area known as "Delicate Dihedral" before, so we decided to set up there.
DD is actually a buttress standing about 30 feet high, and sporting about 6 decent climbs. It is not as high as most of the things we climb, but the cracks looked like they could be fun, and since we had a first timer with us, we thought the shorter climb was ideal.
This is a good illustration of what we were looking at. Chad is up there climbing a fun little 5.6. He is trying to make it harder by avoiding the obvious crack to his left.
I was there for a neat little 5.8+ named after the area. The climb takes you under an arete, and up an off-width crack to the top. This pictures shows me balled up under the arete, waiting to dyno (a dynamic move) out.
Here is the completion of that move. I am on the crux, or hardest part of the climb, now. To the left is the crack Chad and I would climb next. It is a 5.7ish, which means it is a little easier, and I flashed it in about 30 seconds. Still, it had some neat looking moves, and we both enjoyed it.
Carly had her first real climb here. She is on the same climb as Chad was in the earlier picture. See her dipping for more chalk like a pro? She made the climb no problem.
When we got done we moved to the taller climbs, but we were all so beat, we just let other people climb our set. I got to take a couple kids up again, and like last time, it was a blast. Kids put everything they have into climbing, and they enjoy it so openly and honestly. Chad also ran into some friends and got to send one up. He is turning into a climber right before our eyes. He totally gets why we are out there.
At the end of the day we ate at Smitty's: it is tradition now. I will make sure to get photos, though I have to report Smitty no longer owns the bar. Ask Chad who is next in line, sometime, he came up with some very clever names.
Then, as you already read, on the way home I got a speeding ticket. Luckily I was still on a climbing high, or I might have also picked up assaulting a police officer. At any rate, I think we will be taking a different route next time, but I hope the rest stays just the same.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
I'M PISSED OFF, THAT'S WHAT I AM, CHUCK.
Tomorrow I will probably post the first picture sequences from my climbing this year. I got some very good ones of the three of us in action, and the scenery is amazing. So stay tuned for that.
But right now, I just cannot do it. I am so pissed form the ride home. I got pulled over for speeding, which, technically I was. The ticket was 117 dollars, which legally is allowed. Here's the rub: I was going FOUR FUCKING MILES OVER THE SPEED LIMIT. And it wasn't a school zone, or hospital, or even a town. It was 64 in a 60. SIXTY FOUR IN A SIXTY!
Who the hell gets pulled over for four miles over? And who the hell gets 117 dollar fine for that very minor transgression?
Is this what speeding laws are really for? To overtax people who hardly speed? I don't want to hear ANY slippery slope arguments here, this is NOT a slippery slope. I understand that the limit is 60, but does hand eye or recognition actually change at 64, verses 60? If it does, I will gladly admit I was wrong, and you won't hear another peep out of me. Even though the fine is STILL excessive. But I just don't think it does, significantly, alter my ability or safety to be driving four miles over the suggested speed. It is almost accepted people will drive five over at any given speed, and certainly traffic moves, normally, at that speed. I was on a completely unpeopled road, with no traffic in either direction, and was very marginally speeding, and for that I am now 117 dollars lighter in the pocketbook.
I hope the cops get a steak dinner with that money. They really do a good job otherwise, and I forgot to pay in to the police fund this year. Enjoy, boys!