Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Stumptown, Summer '11

Michele and I had been tossing around the idea of making one last Portland trip before she starts work for the last few months.  We finally made the decision to go on Saturday.  I called Tim and Lucy to get the okay to use a spare room and Sunday morning we were off.  Porter slept the majority of the way way down and we only had to resort to The Human Beinz on repeat for the last 20 minutes or so.  I'm telling you, it doesn't matter how crazy that kid is getting, nothing quite shuts him up as well as that song.  Okay, maybe the Colbert Report opening sequence also works but that's considerably shorter and I'm not so sure that iTunes has it. I know I have a strict no birds in my fucking house rule, but if we could get a bald eagle to do nothing other than let out a scream the moment the boy starts to cry, that rule might just find some flexibility.  Shit I get sidetracked easily.

After a quick visit to Pat and Leah's we headed of to Tim and Lucy's to find this in the driveway:

Tim and Lucy finally took delivery of their new Alaskan camper, all kinds of badassery on the back of a pickup truck.  I've been thinking a lot about something like this for a while but I think when I toss the Element it'll be for something a bit smaller, kinda like this.  Oh, and when I say "kinda like", I mean damn near exactly like.

We sat around and shot the shit for a while, ate dinner at the house, I spilled Michele's wine all over the couch, and some other things happened, but that's all inconsequential.  Porter would not sleep.  The kid was up forever, and much like a hotel, we don't feel like we can just let him cry it out in the home of others.  It took quite a while to get the kid down, eventually I had to resort to driving him around at 11:30 until he fell asleep.  Thankfully he is now at a point where I can pull him out of the car seat and he won't wake up.  Right, so Sunday night not so great.

Monday, Lucy had to work but Tim was free (retirement, am I right?) so we hit Bob's Red Mill for breakfast followed by some back to work cloths shopping for Michele.  After leaving Clackamas Town Center we headed into town to find lunch.  While driving along on SE 82nd all I could think about was how much I hated that road.  It's lined with all kinds of crap I want nothing to do with and there's a red light every 100 yards.  I remember very clearly thinking to myself "boy am I glad we landed in PA, this shit sucks".  Not 20 minutes later I'm sitting at Pok Pok on 32nd and Division drinking my "33" and eating The Best Wings I Have Ever Eaten thinking "yeah, I could have totally lived here".

After lunch we shot over to St. Johns to pay a visit to my grandmother who is now 96 (?) and can't remember anything at all short term.  It was a very pleasant visit and by the time we were leaving she was not only asked Porter's age repeatedly but also guessing it correctly before I could answer.  It's interesting how things start to stick after being repeated over and over again.  I made sure to subtly include all the answers to the questions she kept asking when I signed her guestbook.

We put a finished out the day with a visit to Red Robin with Pat's family as well as Tim and Lucy.  Yeah, that's right, Red mother fucking Robin in the land of other worldly eats.  However, if we had not gone than I would have never had the early 20s girl run up to me in the lot to say "oh my fucking god that kid is so motherfucking cute he fucking has my fucking boyfriend's motherfucking eyes, I just fucking love him".  By the way, that is a direct quote, it was delivered in a perfect Jersey Shore kind of way and it was awesome. 

The best part about the entire trip however, was Monday night.  Porter would not sleep, I could not sleep, and Michele could not sleep.  There was a lot of thrashing around, ineffective breastfeeding, and crying.  By 8 in the morning I had slept all of about 3 hours all night and had to drive us home.  We hit Pine State before rolling out and all was right with the world.

*It occurs to me that I have a hard time closing shit down here.  If I figure something out I may edit, but don't count on it.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Headed out today with TBFKaU in search of a some trail closer to home, and I found it.  The Olympic Discovery Trail runs from Port Townsend to La Push across the North end of the Peninsula.  It consists mostly of the shoulder of US 101 with some paved rails to trails thrown in.  The plan for the trail is to eventually get it all off the highway and protected from traffic, but it's not quite there yet.  Currently the main block of protected trail runs from Sequim to Port Angeles with minimal exposure to traffic.

Anyway, that's not what I  was really interested in today, and that's not where I went.  I found the Olympic Discovery Trail Adventure Route.  Oooo, it's even got adventure in the title, this has to be good.

I started at the east end, on the shoulder of the 112 and headed west.  The singletrack starts up a mild grade through dense woods and stays like that for about a mile until reaching a clearing with a beautiful view of mountains to the southwest.  The clearing doesn't last long and it's back into the woods.

I picked a great day to ride, but I picked the wrong bike.  When I rode Miller a few days ago I kept thinking to myself that I could have easily ridden SS, it was almost too easy.  Today I figured "What the hell?" and busted out a bike I'm still not quite ready for, and haven't really ridden in nearly a year.  The mile of mild grade right out of the gate took its toll and by the third mile in I was toast.

I can't say for sure it was the fault of the SS so mush as it was the 34:18 gearing that somehow slipped my notice, but I was hurting and I turned around.  Back at the car I was just shy of six miles and beat.  I'm quite certain I found my go to trails but I'm going to need help in the gearing department.

Back at home, I went right to work on fixing the problem with TBFKaU.  After all, I've switched out to my pavement wheelset on the El M. and that's not easy to switch back...

Swapping to the 32 up front is easy, but doesn't feel like quite enough so I got to work on the back.  On goes the removal tool...

...and into the vice.  With a little grunting and a lot of muscle I finally broke that damn thing free.

Hmm, only two other freewheels to be found.  I could have swore I had a couple more lurking around somewhere.

In case you haven't figured it out, I went with the 21 over the 17.  Seems awfully low.  Like really fucking low.  The last time I ran the 21 was WOR '07 and even though I came out of that alright I remember thinking I went to low then as well.  I'll try it out and probably jump back down to the 18 right away.  32:21 just sounds stupid, what was I thinking?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

First Ride a resident of the Olympic Peninsula that is.  I've been pretty busy since the move, there's been a lot of unpacking, a whole bunch of work to be done on the old house back in Seattle, and a kid to follow around all over the place.  Seems like we're finally starting to settle into a grove and so I took advantage of the time I had to go spin the pedals a bit.  I choose Miller Peninsula even thought it's a bit of a haul (all of 20 minutes) to get over there.  It's a known entity and I really wasn't wanting to explore, just ride mindlessly.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

We've Landed

Made it to Port Angeles on Thursday night, about 12 hours ahead of our stuff. Unloading went exceedingly well, I didn't have to lift a finger after all. Gorgeous panoramic view of the mountains from the living room and we can kinda see the strait past the hospital from the other end of the house. The kitchen blows big time but these are only temporary digs so that's not a big deal. The place is big, affordable and it's home for the next six months. Still waiting on internet and a garbage can though, not sure which is worse...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

T -2 Days

The last time we moved I swore up and down that it'd be the last time I did it myself.  In the fourteen plus years that Michele and I have been together we've lived together at nine different addresses, each time we've moved we've picked up more and more crap, and each time I've been solely responsible for getting everything from point A to B.  Don't get me wrong, I've had help every time, but sometimes the help isn't all it's cracked up to be.  This time, I'm not lifting a finger.  Turns out it isn't exactly cheap getting our shit packed across the Sound, but thankfully someone else is picking up the tab.

The packers are showing up tomorrow morning to put the entirety of our life into cardboard boxes, Thursday the truck shows up to get loaded, and Friday morning it all gets unloaded into our temporary rental house in Port Angeles.  All we have to do is unpack, and that's going to be pretty minimal since the plan is to move again (still in PA) within six to eight months, again on someone else's dime.

I've still got to come back to the old place for a few days once it's empty to do a little paint and patch work but on the whole it's going to be playtime for us through the month of August.  A trip to Portland is in the works, and maybe a little something else.  It's certainly going to be nice to not think about working on the house for a little while.

Just for shits and giggles, here's a gratuitous picture of my kid, because I guess that's who I am now.