Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I attended the Twilight Crierium in Portland's NW Park Blocks Friday night, and was able to capture a wreck on camera. It happened very quickly, and my camera is barely reliable at best, so I only managed to get 4 photos:

Here's a shot of the actual wreck; it occurred as the pack of riders turned the corner. The majority of the cyclists were able to strategically escape unscathed, however an unfortunate four became a tangled mess of spandex and metal.

These guys had to quickly get off the course because there were more cyclists quickly approaching. A few spectators ran out to help the guys up. The guy in the white got back on his bike and completed the race. He was in last place, but you got to give the guy credit for getting back on his bike all road-rashed up and finishing. I think the guy in the blue and orange rejoined also, but dropped out before the race finished.

This guy sitting here was really dejected and just scooted over to the sidewalk. I couldn't tell the extent of his injuries, but it seemed like his bike was rendered unridable.

He ended up sitting there for a while. We were mobile and moved around the course through the duration of the races, so after about 15 minutes we moved up the block for a different perspective. The corners were fun to hang out at because there were 10 near-wrecks for every wreck that happened.

If you're in Portland next August I'd definitely recommend to check this out. It's free to watch, there's a few booths with food, sponsors and vendors occupying them. It happens on a Friday night about the middle of the month, and is from about 6 PM to 8:30 PM.

I'll also be posting some more pictures over at Flickr soon.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Climbers Bivouac

Over the weekend we ended up hiking on the south face of Mt. St. Helens. We originally wanted to head over to Lahar Viewpoint and Ape Canyon, but the road out that way was washed out and we had to settle for Plan B. Plan B started at Climbers Bivouac trail head and trekked through the old growth forest up to the junction where the Loowit trail (east-west) picks up. From that point, we headed east on Loowit to June Lake, then grabbed a cross-country ski trail back up onto Loowit to hike a large circle. Besides offering different scenery, this loop avoided the treacherous tiresome boulder field we encountered in the Worm Flows on the high trail over.

I still have to process the 100+ pictures I took, but here's a few to preview. It was an overcast type of day, the mountain top was socked in the entire day and it was hard to get good mountain top and distance pictures. That wasn't a problem though; there were so many other great views and scenes to photograph.

Prehistoric flower?

trekking through the misty forest.


Heather (at the edge where the Worm Flows meets forest)

Chocolate Falls (canyon created from the 1980 eruption)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

the end of the mystery ritual (?)

I think (hope) the neighbor's mystery ritual has come to an end. It's been a week since I said something, and I haven't heard a thing.

Last Sunday things came to a boiling point. I had been tolerant, for the most part, while the neighbor behind me has been keeping his obnoxious mystery ritual to a minimum. Maybe I didn't hear it for a week, then the annoyance would commence for two or three nights in a row, starting at 10 PM or later and carrying on until midnight or 1. And the past few weeks it had been occuring on nights where I would have to get up extra early or have an extra busy day, the times when it's most important to be as rested as possible.

Sunday was one of these night. I had a big test on Tuesday that I had been studying intensely for, and had a really busy Monday planned. I went to be early Sunday evening, maybe around 9:30 and I was completely relaxed.

I was jolted awake by banging behind me about 11:30. I listened to the symphony of drawers sliding open and slamming shut, cabinet doors opening and slamming, the water turning on for 10-15 seconds, then shut off for the next 15-30 seconds, to be replaced by banging and really loud squeaking. I continued to try to ignore the noise behind me for about 15 minutes, then abruptly decided that tonight was the time for the confrontation.

I stumbled over to the bright lights of my neighbor's apartment patio door. I can see a pile of sauce coated pots on the counter near the door. I knock and the water shuts off; Harry Potter's girlfriend opens the door and I notice she looks really tired.

"Hi, um, I'm the neighbor behind you, the one on the other side of the wall," I explain, "and I"m not sure what you're doing over here, but it's really loud and woke me up from a dead sleep."

Harry Potter's girlfriend rolls her eyes at me and says, "I'm just doing dishes."

"I understand you're doing dishes, but my headboard is literally behind the wall where your sink is, and every time the water turns on and off every 15 seconds, the pipes make a loud thud. And I also hear alot of crashing, slamming, banging and loud squeaking." [Uncomfortable pause here] "So are you going to be doing this much longer, because I have to get up at 5:30."

Harry Potter's eyes roll again as she retorts, "I have to get up at 5." Well whoop-de-doo.

"So...are you going to be doing this much longer?" I ask again.

Harry Potter's girlfriend sighs heavily with one last eye roll, "No, I guess I can stop."

"Thanks!" I enthusiastically said, and gave a smile that wasn't returned. I went back to my apartment and now was so keyed up from the confrontation I laid in bed and tried to shut my brain off for the next hour. But that's not really a problem because for a whole week from 10 PM forward it's been nothing but golden silence between my headboard and the sink behind me.

The next morning my alarm went off at 5:30 and I hit the snooze bar until 5:45. I didn't hear any noise behind my wall until about 6:15, so I guess Harry Potter's girlfriend overslept too. I bet if she got the dishes done sooner she would have gotten to bed at a decent time. Our paths crossed again about 6:45, as we both were heading to our cars on the street. We briefly made eye contact and quickly looked away. For about five seconds I thought maybe I might have been bitchy last night, but then put it out of my mind when I think about the torture I went through.

I wonder if I'll run into them at the neighbor hood picnic next month?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Happy Birthday Le!

Today was Le's 64th birthday. I went over her house and joined some other neighbors earlier for some cake and ice cream.