Software developer, climber, and soon-to-be dad living in the Pacific Northwest. The blog is dead, but my web-based narcissism lives on over at Facebook.

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Saw it last night. It's a mess of a movie, but there are bits so funny that my face was hurting. The production values were awful: awkward shots, home-movie composition, clunky editing. I wonder if the director was even on the set most of the time. I'm pretty sure more than half of the script was improvised, which made for little continuity but some insanely brilliant moments.

Democrats Hate Hillary

Democrats in New Hampshire dislike Hillary Clinton with a passion. She's in the same league as Joseph Lieberman in my eyes: a pandering, slimy politician. She sponsored a Constitutional amendment against flag-burning, the ultimate gesture of right-wing ass-kissing available to the modern American politician.

This Week on the Futon: Emily

Our good friend Emily, who recently moved away to Boston, is visiting Seattle this week and staying with us. She and I climbed at Stone Gardens this morning and met Betsy for an Indian buffet lunch. It's been good to talk with her about life and future plans, since she and her husband Matt are walking a path through life similar to Betsy's and mine.

The girls are out looking at wedding dresses now.

San Juans photos

Photos from last weekend in the San Juans are online.

San Juans this week

Betsy and I will be joining the brothers Kluh for a few relaxing days on board the Klu Maru, cruising around somewhere in the San Juan islands. The dinner menu for the week reads something like this: crab, crab, crab, steak. Tune in for photos sometime next week.

Japan photos

I finally uploaded all the rest of my photos from our trip to Japan last month. I'll try to write some more about the trip, but in the meantime, here are the images: Japan 2006.

Eating like a sumo wrestler

This past Sunday, Katsumi, my company's Japanese sales guy, took Betsy and I out with his family to a restaurant owned by a sumo wrestler. Naturally, the place specializes in chanko nabe, a hotpot sumo wrestlers consume daily to maintain their physical prowess. We sampled two taste variations on the dish, salty and miso. Only two days in-country, we were eating like kings and loving it. Dave, veteran of many business trips to Japan, keeps telling me I'm going to return home a fatter man.

Betsy and I had a great time talking with Katsumi's wife Tomoko and his sons, Kaoru (just turning 14) and Shunsuke (five). There was enough language shared between us that we could laugh and joke with each other. We brought gifts for our hosts, beer for Katsumi and chocolate for his family. The Immortal IPA was a big hit.

The next day started a busy work week for Katsumi and I, but by then his hospitality had made me feel quite at ease. I was already smitten with Japan.

Arrival in Yokohama

Betsy and I are watching Sesame Street (Gomamichi?) in Japanese in our hotel room in Yokohama this morning. We arrived yesterday afternoon at Narita airport and took trains for about and hour and a half to Yokohama, just south of Tokyo. I called Katsumi, my business contact in Japan, and he rushed over to take us out to dinner. It was an epic meal: asparagus and mushrooms wrapped in bacon, scallops, three kinds of sashimi, two soba noodle dishes, grilled oke fish, tempura, and Katsumi's favorite, bamboo shoots and pork kinpira (finely chopped and cooked with spicy pepper). And peach sorbet. I'm sure I'll be writing more about food in the next two weeks.

Now we're off to explore the city. Here's the view out our window:

NYC

Betsy and I just got back from visiting my brother Chris in New York. My mom was there, too, and we all stayed at Chris' apartment, which he rents from my cousin Scott. A real family reunion—and I finally got to meet Scott for the first time. We toured the city under Chris' patient guidance for four days.

Photos are here. Click "read more" for some talk of what we did and saw.

Tieton River Climbing, Day 11-12

I left Spokane Friday evening and made it to Frenchman Coulee after dark to camp. The wind and the voices of partying campers bounced off the cliffs, so I stayed awake for a bit reading Alaska: A Climbing Guide. I cooked breakfast in a wind-sheltered spot next to the Port-a-Potties and drove off toward Yakima.

The plan was to meet up with my friend with the quarry (see Day 1) and do some climbing in the Tieton River canyon. Around 10am I showed up, but didn't see the car I was looking for, so I meandered up-canyon, spotting crags and campgrounds for future reference. While leafing through the guidebook at a pullout, I caught a glimpse of the car I sought, cruising back down the canyon. Sure enough, a Corolla station wagon with red handprints on it was parked at the Royal Columns when I arrived. Seven of us climbed sun-warmed andesite the rest of the day and devoured a satisfying Mexican meal in Yakima. (They say there are 168 Mexican restuarants in the Yakima Valley.)

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