Monday, January 29, 2007


Tonight is my first foray into cooking with Chorizo. It smells great right now, but with a cracker like me cooking it who knows how it will come out. Fern gave me some good tips, including the validation of my opinion that the chorizo initially looked like something the dog left in the front yard. No matter though, if it tastes half as good as it smells I'll be happy. Bon appetite!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My socks have been blown off

I'm easily entertained, not very critical, and usually generous with praise. I usually have something good to say about most live music that I go to see. So it comes as no surprise that I really liked last night's show by the Avett Brothers. But this was different, I really really really enjoyed it. The show blew away everything else I have recently seen despite my usual protestations of excellence after each show. The Avett Brothers are based in bluegrass (a banjo, guitar, bass viol, bass drum, and cymbal) but their music ranges wide. There are tastes of punk, ragtime, and folk, but with a bluegrass foundation. Regardless of the music, the energy that the trio brought to the stage was incredible. They weren't the best singers I've ever heard, but the songwriting made up for that and more. I knew it was a good show when halfway through I realized I hadn't even thought about going to get a beer. Crazy.

I had a twenty dollar ticket for the Keller Williams show that overlapped the Avett Brothers' show. I couldn't bring myself to leave the Abott Brothers early, so I only caught the second set of Keller's. He was good too, a better musician, but the energy and passion wasn't there, so I had that long awaited brew.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Today I skied for the first time in a decade. Normally I cuss under my breath as I try to fly past skiers who are taking up the whole run. Today I was one of those skiers and I was certainly taking up the whole run. I had my first troubles before I even got on the lift. I managed to get tangled up in an entry gate to the lift area. Once I got the assistance of a lift operator I freed myself and got on the lift. I chose an easy run that I can do in my sleep on my board. Once I was on the run I was cussing myself out for getting into what seemed like a certain death situation. I managed to get down the run simply due to my inner Norwegianness that simply requires the ability to ski. Nevertheless I humbly made my way to the really easy runs. I got my feet under me in five or six runs and went back to conquer the seemingly near vertical blue run that got the best of me earlier. I kicked its ass and went home feeling quite good about myself. I will soon be off to hear some good twangy bluegrass and hopefully dance the evening away.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I'm an expert at everything

Unfortunately, modesty is not a character trait that gets you far with NPS applications. While filling out apps over the last few weeks I thought that I was selling myself quite well, while still maintaining a fair appraisal of my abilities. Apparently the extra dose of modesty I received from wherever such things are doled out got the better of me. Today I was told by the hiring official at Black Canyon National Park in CO that I should have ranked much higher than I ended up ranking. This likely resulted, the official said, from selling my abilities short. So from here on out, I'm not going to make the same mistake again. Can I tame a wild bear? Sure I've done it many times. How about delivering interpretive programs about the grandeur of Yosemite NP? Shit, my middle name is John Muir. Can I replace the propeller on boat motors (an actual question on one application)? Yes, I spent my youth exploring the South Pacific with Jacques Cousteau.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Going to the dump

I finally managed to take down my Christmas tree today. It was a really easy task given the scant amount of decorations on it. Nevertheless, there now seems to be a hole in the room where the tree once resided. The tree had one more gift to give though. After I hurled it off the balcony to the driveway below I pulled the truck up to tie it down to the roof and haul it away. I observed that my neighbors had a tree sitting in their driveway too. I knocked on the door to ask if they wanted me to take it away. No one answered so I decided to take it away anyway. As I was putting both trees on top of the truck, another neighbor whom I have never met walked by with his white pit bull. He excitedly asked if I was taking the trees to the dump. When I answered in the affirmative, he offered to give me ten dollars to take his to the dump as well. I quickly agreed and struck up a conversation with him. He turned out to be an ex pot grower from Alaska. I was really surprised, since I took him to be the meth tweaker type at first. He was really interested in my roommate's snowmobile because it was similar to one that he "borrowed" while he lived in Alaska. As I finished taking with him, the first neighbor, whose Christmas tree I had put on top of the truck, approached with her and her roommates' three dogs. She introduced herself and the dogs while they fought over which one got to put their nose on my butt. I think I managed to mutter some coherent sentences while trying to ward off the dogs. Anyway, I was happy that my Christmas tree prompted the meeting of two interesting neighbors. I should make a habit of lingering in the driveway more often - stoop sitting you might call it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Off the hook until 2012

Being my day off, I rose late today, and began making the most important decision of the day-what should I have for breakfast. One requirement of all my breakfasts on days off is that they involve eggs. I love eggs, thus I love the idea of omelette's. The problem is that I don't like the actual omelet at all (at least the omelette's I make), only the idea of an omelet. It just sounds so good, like a calzone, but with a fluffy egg crust. About five years ago I figured out that I don't like the omelette's I make. I then stopped trying to convince myself to like them and simply stopped making them altogether. It has taken me five years to forget why I didn't like them and to re-convince myself that an omelet would taste good. So I made one this morning with red bell peppers, mesquite turkey, onions, cheese, Tobasco, and salsa. I love all of these things independently, but together the reaction was quite the opposite. The way I figure it I have now relieved myself of the need to make another omelet for five years. Hopefully 2012 will yield better results, I want to like omelette's oh so badly.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Heck Yes!

I can confidently say that Saturday was one of the best, if not the best, of my days in Central Oregon. I had three "firsts" on Saturday.

1. I called in sick to work without actually being sick
2. I drove a snowmobile (thousands of rednecks can't be wrong...can they)
3. I made some real backcountry turns on my snowboard.

I would normally be elated to experience just one of these three "firsts" on any single day, but to have three of them is a real treat. My roommate, Matt, recently bought a snowmobile. He made it known to me that he was going snowmobiling on Saturday. I figured that "I came to Bend to do one thing, snowboard," so to be true to my goals I had to skip work. I felt terribly guilty, but I got over it as soon as I strapped on my snowshoes.

On the drive to the trailhead, the thermometer in the truck registered -22. But that was no reason not to have a good time. Riding bitch on a snowmobile is also not a reason to have a bad time (though close). Overall, the experience of being out in cold temps all day, blazing your own trails, and gazining stupidly at a crater on the top of a volcanic butte (duh, its the Northewest after all) is a recipe for a great day. Fresh tracks were made, snowmobiles were dug out, disasters were averted, and good times were had all around.

I hope to continue a least two of my "firsts."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Do one thing and do it well

I've been enjoying living with a nice dog named Charlie for the last couple months. She belongs to my roommate. She's part chocolate lab and part Chesapeake Bay retreiver. It's great having a pooch around to play with and pet. She has warmed up to me quite well. But lately my role in her life has been pingeonholed. I used to be a multi-purpose petter, normally of the ear and neck area. I was even good for a tasty morsel from time to time. Now, though, she approaches me and when I reach out my hand to pat her on the head she immeaditely turns and faces her butt at me. She loves the butt scratches more than anything else and apparently thinks I should provide her with them to the exclusion of all else. I guess that I am glad that she likes my scratches the best, but it is kind of like being a garbage man. Everyone agrees that the job has to be done, but no one really wants to do it. Here's to all the garbage men, ditch diggers, etc...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Perhaps my age is starting to show. Tonight I eagerly busted out my "Flavor Scenter Steamer Plus" vegetable steamer/rice cooker. As I write, the scent of steaming veggies is wafting my way. The steamer has a nice feature that allows the user to add spices to the steam, thus flavoring the vegetables as they cook. I haven't been this excited since I learned how to put my pants on one leg at a time while standing (this morning). Just for the record I also received collapsible ski poles for Christmas as well.

Also, for all you Eugenians/Euginites/residents of Eugene/or whatever you are called, be notified that Keller Williams is playing at the McDonald Theatre on the 25 of Jan. He's in Bend the 24. It promises to be a good show, he's a great musician.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Last night was the Skjersaa's employee holiday party. The owner of the shop went all out and rented on an entire restaurant, called the Blue Fish Bistro. The Blue Fish is known to have some of the best food in Bend. Since I am back in one of my non-cooking ruts (far too many of my meals have been coming from boxes), some real food was awsome. I had the filet mignon. It was as tender as any steak I have ever had. The appetizers were great as well, but not to be topped by dessert. Of course the wine flowed freely and the deceptively large 16-oz wine glasses had everyone quickly on their way to Drunksville. Of course, being the new employee, I was the lucky one to get to work early this morning. No matter though, I've had the bad habit lately of going out on the nights before I work the next morning and not going out on my weekends. With that, since it is my Friday night, I'm off to bed to catch up on some sleep.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


The craziness of the holidays seems finally to be subsiding. At the snowboard shop, sales were at all time highs. At the mountain, the reams of tourists who don't maintain their equipment, and then subsequently demand that shop guys like me fix it immediately, made for many busy days in a row. I was keeping track of how far people were willing to travel to ski Mt. Bachelor, going to untold lengths and difficulties to plan their trips, without ever thinking to see if their gear was functioning before they left. The largest distance traveled was from France. Apparently certain French skiers can be just as dumb as the American gapers.

Now to the point. I have three, yes three, days off in a row. I slept in, ate oatmeal with cranberries in it, and watched the Today show. Exciting stuff.