Monday, December 31, 2007

New found love of an old sport, SKIING!! and stuff....

So about a month ago a friend of mine, and avid skier, Patrick gave me a pair of 185cm Salomon Pocket Rocket shape skis. They did not come with bindings so I had to get a new pair, but I had kept my old Dachstein boots that I bought new in Boone over ten years ago so I had boots. I picked up a pair of Look Pivot 12 demo binding super cheap on eBay and had them mounted and the skis tuned at the Tacoma REI. I got some powder baskets for my Leki trekking poles and went skiing on the 23rd with Patrick and Billy up at Crystal Ski Mountain. I had a blast and picked it (skiing) right back up even if it has been almost 10 years since I last skied (my ski bibs still had a lift ticket from Sugar Mountain Ski Resort, NC from 12/26/97!!!). Unfortunately after about the third run down the mountain I took a tumble and felt my right thumb bend almost all the way back after getting caught on my ski pole, OUCH!!! I skied everything Patrick threw at me including Upper Ferks Run and Sunnyside (a black diamond run!) full of steep soft snow. I finished skiing out the day regardless and we went home around 1pm due to the fact that it started to RAIN, ugh! My leg took a beating too but I left with a BIG SHIT EATING GRIN on my face, I was hooked again!!

I came home and fell asleep on the couch and the next morning my thumb was bright red and very swollen. So off to the ER at Tacoma General on Christmas Eve day. After a few X-rays I did not have a fracture but a severe sprain, given a soft thumb/wrist splint, some pain meds, and sent on my way after almost 4 hours! I now have a pretty bruise and it is getting better but is still very sore. I have an appointment to see a hand specialist ortho doc on the 7th. I also got a get out of work free (as do not pass go or collect any income) note from the doc since I can't really build bikes with a bum right thumb, I can't shift or turn a spoke wrench. I am having, what I hope to be the seventh and final, surgery on my leg to replace the nail/rod in my tibia on January 3rd. So since I knew I would be down for the rest of the season I wanted to get one more day on the slopes.

On the the 29th my best friend, Eric Ewing, came over from Spokane with his three boys for the weekend and New Years. On the 30th Eric, his 7 year old son Noah, and Patrick went up to Crystal to go skiing again. This was Eric's first trip to Crystal as well and, well, conditions were great! Crystal had received almost a foot of new pow! It snowed on us the entire drive up and was almost white conditions at times on the mountain. Patrick went off to ski the deep steep and Eric and I skied down the green and some blue runs taking turns skiing with Noah and helping him up when he took a spill. I did not take any falls and I had prepped my left leg with mole skin and a neoprene sleeve to prevent any rubbing on my misshapen bony shin. I actually felt great at the end of the day! The only thing missing was bright blue skies and then it would have been "THE" perfect day of skiing! I am hooked and even though I am out for the rest of the 2007-08 season I will be back for it next season with a private lesson session to hone my skills and I plan of starting Abigael next year as well! Hmmmm, I just need some new boots now.......

Unfortunately I do not have any pictures due to my camera finally taking a dump. One to many trips to a wet Capitol Forest finally did it in... RIP.

On an awesome note I did build up and give to Christie a new used Specialized Epic mountain bike, her first ever!, for Christmas. It is a medium silver 2003 Epic comp that I stripped down and rebuilt with discs and pretty nice components. I put a 50mm stem and straight Thomson seatpost on it so that it would fit her. She has expressed interest in taking a mountain bike boot camp/skills class in the spring to learn the necessary skills to be able to go riding with me at some point next year.... Christie and her parents got me a new pack for Christmas, a Wingnut Hyper 2.5! I can't wait to try it out! I also will be getting the last bit of wood to wall in the last of the shop! I will be getting some help from my dad and Trails Unlimited to help design and plan a multi use/mountain bike park trails proposal/plan for a local area called Wapato Hills Park not far from my house. I have received a few responses from the proper people to start the planning process!


Late edit 1/1/08: Woke up this morning to find the hatchback window in our Subaru busted out and vandalized!!!
(What happened to 2008 being a better year???)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Busy being a dad....

Christie went back to work a little over two weeks ago and I've had my hands full with two kids, work and other news in our lives.... Christie seems to be doing "OK" with going back to work but she did not go back easily! She reluctantly went back to work kicking and screaming after almost 3 months off! I don't blame her but we have a mortgage and a new car payment now and we have no other choice.... I on the other hand have been enjoying working swing shift building bicycles for REI (working a modified schedule now, in at 5pm instead of 2:30pm) but the strain of the extra drive time for Christie to dive to my work to meet me and pick up the kids then drive home is going to be a challenge.

I have not been able to get out on my bike as much as I would like due to helping take care of the kids but I am working it in when I can. I have been able to steal away the past two Saturdays to the Super Secret trails close by our house for about a 2 hour ride.

In the past two weeks I/we have been dealing with some sad news. A very good friend of ours miscarried, three former messenger co-workers and good friends went missing in the backcountry of Crystal mountain snowboarding presumed dead, and Christie's Grandfather passed away. I also found out that two of my closest friends that have been in the process with me trying to get hired on as a paid professional firefighter just got the good news from Seattle Fire Department that they will be starting in the next recruit class in February, while I am overjoyed form them and their families it is just another reminder that I tried and failed to become a firefighter...