Saturday, March 24, 2007

Climbing Day

Today was the first big outing of the year. I went up Little Cottonwood Canyon with a co-worker to get in some long trad-mileage. We met at the mouth of LCC just before 8 am. We went up to the Gate Buttress and started in on the fun. We put in 4 routes and a total of 6 pitches. That was a very long trad day for me. It was awesome because it was a great way to work on crack technique. In all of those climbs I did get my first trad lead in of the year. Other firsts from the day were: first time seeing a cam used as a stopper and first time climbing a flaring crack. It was awesome. I got home about 2:00 and had lunch with Jess and Penelope. While we were eating Jess said "I want to get outside". So what did we do? We went bouldering. Back up LCC to boulder. We met up with Matt and Bri shortly after we got there. We got in some good climbs.

Jess, Penelope, and I enjoying the afternoon in the mountains.

Warming up

Jess is excited, can you tell?

Jess working the start of Mud

Overhanging mantle problem that defeated me this time.

It was a very good day. Penelope LOVES being outside. We had her in the front carrier most of the time. She was constantly looking around to see what was around. She would just look up and marvel at the tall lodgepole pines.

On our way home I was talking to Jess and I realzed that between 7:30 am and 8:00 pm I spent a total of an hour and a half inside today. It was awesome.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

First Hike of the Year

Yesterday was an extremely active day for us. The weather has been absolutely beautiful as of late. It was in the low 70s yesterday so we decided to go for a hike.

We cruised up to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail just behind the UofU for a short hike. Penelope went in the front carrier with a big sun hat and away we went. We were only out for about an hour, but it was perfect for the first outing of the season.

It didn't take long for Penelope to fall asleep.

The usual Miller self-portrait.

I am eagerly awaiting the baby backpack so we can head out on longer hikes.

We came home for lunch and quickly tired of being inside. We packed up the car and went up to Ogden to do some bouldering at the 27th Street boulders. We completely forgot to take pictures. It was a good time. Penelople hung out in her carseat, she slept for little bit, but when she woke up she had a good time watching us climb. She would actually laugh at us a little bit when we were on the rock. Jess did really well for her first time bouldering outside since being pregnant last year.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Site Counter

I finally got a site counter. I have been curious for awhile now how many people come to my blog. I don't think it is very many but I am curious anyway. This should prove to be very interesting.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Why can't we be like this?

This is one of the best stories I've seen/read in a long time. It's about the island of Samso off the coast of Denmark, it is virtually energy self-sufficient. Not only do they produce all of their own fuel and power, they do it without carbon emissions and they do it sustainably. The residents of this island are extremely resourceful. Why are we as a nation so far behind? Why is there no push or support from the government to pursue such activities?(avoiding small political rant...). The Danish goverment and the citizens of Samso are excellent examples of people and government working together to find alternative methods for energy and fuel. They definitely deserve kudos for the strides they've made and will continue to make.

I recommend watching the video.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

By Popular Demand...

I'll be honest there was only one request for the canvas grocery bag pattern. I did some google searches thinking there would be lots of patterns to choose from, I was wrong. I mostly ended up with results of people selling bags. I did find one pattern that we use. You can find it here.

It is an all right pattern, the bags seem sturdy enough (so far they've worked), but the part about adding the gussets wasn't explained very well (that is mine and Jessi's opinion, perhaps we aren't very smart). It took doing it wrong once, being mad about it, Jess making her own bag and figuring it out, then me unpicking mine, and resewing it to figure out what the instructions meant. Good luck and if you want tips on the gussets just let me know.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Am I a Hippy? - Part Two

The previous post was about making our own canvas grocery bags (hippy?). This post is about an environmental viral marketing campaign.

Over the past few months I've spent a lot of time thinking about living a more environmentally conscious and sustainable life. One of my recent topics of thought has been waste. I've been paying additional attention to the amount of junk mail we receive, the amount of papers I print at work, the amount of paper towels people use in the restroom, the amount of napkins used at restaurants, etc. I had thought of ways that I could reduce my personal consumption but I hadn't thought of any effective ways to get the word out. I was more than excite when I found a blog titled These Come From Trees. It is " An experiment in environmentalism, viral marketing, and user interface design with the goal of reducing consumer waste paper!" (from their blog header).

The "These Come From Trees" (TCFT) solution is exactly what I was looking for. It is an easy way to remind people that those 23 napkins they took (of which they will only use two and throw away the rest) came from trees or that they don't need six paper towels to dry their hands. They are reminded by a carefully placed sticker on the paper dispenser.

I can fully get behind TCFT and support what they are doing. The thing I like the most about this is it is subtle. It isn't chaining yourself to a tree or fire-bombing the paper plants. I think it will be more effective because it is speaking to the consumer, not the producer or anyone in the supply chain. If the consumer reduces their use then the producer will manufacture less and then less trees will be cut down. That is a very simplistic view and it may be viewed as naive, however, a small change in consumer usage will effect a large change higher up.

I am signing up for some stickers and will enjoy putting them up.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Am I a Hippy?

So this may be a multi-part post. I don't really think I am a hippy but a few posts may make it seem like I am.

For Christmas we received a sewing machine from Jessi's mom. My first project with the sewing machine was making canvas grocery bags. It was a fun project. I found a short how-to on the internet, bought some on-sale canvas, and away I went.

I made the first bag which was a definite learning experience for me. It had been awhile since I had sewn anything (probably since home-ec class in the 7th grade) and needless to say I was very rusty. The bag turned out far from professional but it will serve our needs.

Jess made the second bag and it is by far the best one we have. I made the third bag. This one turned out better than the first, but still isn't as good as the one Jess made.

The result, three canvas bags, all slightly different sizes. I am excited because it will significantly reduce the number of plastic grocery bags we use. I like the idea of the canvas bag because it is reuseable and will reduce waste.

Apparently I'm Spammy

It has been awhile since I have written a blog and I am glad that I logged in today. Apparently Google has bots crawling blogs now and they are flagging some that have "spam" characteristics. Mine was one of those. I had fill out a quick verification and should up and running in a couple of days.

I am curious though what part of blog resembles spam. There was a quick summary of what a "spam blog" is but I didn't read it.

More to come in about "two business days" once my blog has been reviewed.