Wednesday, January 24, 2007

And I Shall Name Her...

A couple of months ago, a deer helped me decide to purchase a new car. I did. I now have a '01 Chevy Impala. I like it. I think I'll keep it for awhile. Now that I have decided this, a long-standing tradition must be satisfied. I have, with the cars that have been under my care, given them names. Now, only having gone around the sun but twenty-two times, one may not think this an oft utilized tradition. But let us examine the list thus far:

  • Oldsmobile (its hard to determine with any certainty what exactly the was, but we DO know it was an Oldsmobile) -- affectionately known as Poor White Trash because, well, homeless people have nicer automobiles. I cannot even begin to describe the thing, but I will say that the transmission went out on her within 2 weeks of being given away (that's right, a car given away).
  • the Bonneville (a.k.a. Bonny) was named for obvious reasons. And I also like to be as anthropomorphic as possible when naming my vehicles.
  • the '86? Mustang doesn't count because I drove it for a week at a time when I couldn't drive manuals (giving morning rush hour a new and exciting flavor). However, the provisional name of "Tang" was given by a Mr. Beau Durham... but the name sucked and was just as temporary as the car was for me.
  • '91 Buick Century -- it was grey (sometimes) and was as mechanically sound as the transistor radio I made in 3rd grade. Its name was "Leprosy" because things were always falling off of it (e.g. mufflers) and it spent more time out of commission than operational.
  • '99 Grand Am -- the victim of a Venison Gang drive by, this car was not around long enough to officially be christened during its lifetime, however, post-mortem, we know it only as the "Jeff Buckley Memorial" car because just like the talented singer-songwriter, it died way before its time. We shall miss you.

And now, we shall reveal the name of the most recent addition to my automotive family...

I present to you... "Paula"

If you see her, say "hi". But if you call to her, call her by name.

"How fine ya're ta me!"


Song of the Week: "Rocks" by Ben Jelen

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Nerve Damage

Canada is cold. I'm sure this isn't really news to most of you. But I find it difficult to stress cold in such a way as to make you, the audience, actually grasp what I mean by it. Think about this... freezers (a machine built for purely cold purposes) do not get as cold as Canada. This was my weekend.

Granted, I was not in Canada the entire trip, but I might as well have been. Someone not cartographically inclined would not know the difference. We (by "we" I mean Will, my former roommate and some other fellows) headed northward in search of ice. Not the cubed version perfect for soft drinks, but the kind that tends to form on rock faces. Indeed, we sought ice to ascend upon. This was not my first foray into such things (cf. my facebook picture); I had climbed frozen water last year. Yet that experience paled in comparison to the ice we were after.

Our group had connections at a local bed and breakfast who allowed us to stay free of charge. Amazing! Anyways, unless one has previously prepared for winter hikes or ice climbing, one would have difficulty understanding the planning process that goes into it. Its a bit more intricate than you might expect. Alot of safety and cold weather considerations involved. This was simplified by the fact that every other member of the party worked at climbing retailers and had their own equipment for these excursions. I did not have these things, but fortunately their employers have very liberal borrowing policies for employees (perhaps you will have noted that I was the novice of the group). They furnished me with my own pack, appropriate clothing, a helmet, a harness, climbing boots, cramp ons (the spikey things on the feet of ice climbers) and a pair of ice axes.

But apparently I am simply not meant for the cold because every minute of it, well, I was bloody cold! Yet, because my companions had bought that which worked specifically for them, they were not cold. Oh well, I lived through it.

I'm not a very experienced climber (though I have mounted my fair share of trees in my day) and ice is a hard medium to start with. But from what I was told, my form looked fairly solid. I guess that's comforting. Oh, except for the time my foot grips failed and I fell 7ft, bashing my knee into the wall of ice. Perhaps my form has room for improvement.

I'd like to describe the weekend in a way that does it justice, but such things are beyond the grasp of my prose. I cannot describe how the ascent feels or the incredible view from above the trees or the feeling of being only an inch from death (literally at times as not all our ascents involved ropes).

And I definately cannot describe how bleeding cold it is!

Hopefully, I can get some of the pictures that were taken and post them. Until then, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

"We go riding on the abolition grain train"


Song of the Week: "Winter in the Hamptons" by Josh Rouse

Friday, January 12, 2007

Interim So Far

Here's a quicky just to update ya'll on how my J-term's gone thus far...

I'm in a freshman level business class with no tests or papers
I've only had to do one day of homework
I scored a 3 out of 10 on a quiz and 5 out of 10 on another and I'm still above 100%
I've picked up extra hours at work
Last weekend I spent in Des Moines chillin' at Ben and Bry's (woot!)
This weekend I'll be ice climbing in Canada pretty much for free (woot woot!)

I'm doing well for myself. Oh, and since I'll be in Canada, my cell will be outside of range and since I don't have voicemail set up, don't bother calling. I'll be back on Monday. Later daters!

"...they went on to say that the Pearly Gate has some eloquent graffiti..."


Song of the Week: "Simple Life" by The Weepies