Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Quote of the Day

As Jessica is doing dishes, Penelope (whom I am watching) decides to pull a chair up and help rinse. Seeing that she is occupied I leave the kitchen to do other things. To this Jessica says: "What happened here?"

I reply "she decided to help out". I then walk back into kitchen and Jessica says "How did I get suckered into this." I say "Suckered into what?" "Doing dishes and watching Penelope." I laugh. "I feel like you."

Funnier said than written but she has a valid point. :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Signs of a Good Run

What are some signs of a good run?

Yeah, those aren't farmer's tan lines folks. Grubbiness is one fine indicator of how a run went. (Oh yeah, don't pay attention to the toys or clothes in the background). This morning I ran in Big Cottonwood Canyon. I ran up Mill D to Desolation Lake, up to the spine of the Crest Trail, then down into Millcreek Canyon, over to Dog Lake, and back down to Mill D and the car. All told it was roughly 13 miles and 3500 ft of vertical gain and loss. I pounded it out in 2 hours and 26 minutes (that includes rests). I was surprised I got through it that fast. It was awesome. Nothing like hitting a trail early before most people get on it.

Here's a close-up of the ankles:

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Value of Being Outside

Being outside is a topic that I've spent a lot of time thinking about this summer. I've always been extremely fond of being outside but I think having a small child, who is at a very impressionable age, is what has spurred my recent string of thoughts on the matter.

Tonight I was asking myself "what is it about being outside that is so great?". I think this one picture gives all the reasons:

There's nothing quite like watching a small child run carefree, full of excitement, and having the best time of their life. It's really made me sit back and ponder how it is that people (including myself) spend way too much time hanging out indoors. We have become complacent and willing to just sit inside our climate-controlled homes, buildings, cars, etc. instead of getting outside and enjoying what this world has to offer. As I sat on our front lawn playing with Penelope for probably 2 hours tonight I stopped to look at what was around, just outside our door. The most striking view is Mt. Olympus (not to mention the small nursery across the street that is always abloom with flowers):

Then looking north up our street our neighbors have some big trees and more views of the Wasatch Mountains:

I feel that people sometimes forget it can be as simple as stepping out your front (or back) door. The power of being outside enables you to run free. You aren't confined by the size of your room or the size of your house. The only things that confine you are your will and imagination. You can interact with nature face-to-face, you get the real effect and as a result it effects you. You can't get that through a TV or a computer screen.

If Penelope and I would have played inside tonight we would have played with some toys, maybe would have read some books, or just sat around. Being outside Penelope was able to explore, she was able to run, unconfined. I enjoyed the beautiful evening, just sat and relaxed, undistracted. We made up a game where we ran around in circles screaming and then we'd suddenly fall down. There's no room inside to run in circles (especially for me) and screaming inside is way too loud. Here's a short, shaky video (Penelope made me run too) of our game:

Tonight was just another experience that helps to solidify my beliefs and opinions on being outside. Think back to some of most fun, most memorable experiences as a child, I bet you were outside.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Old Friends

I went climbing tonight with an old friend/co-worker/ski buddy from Logan. I haven't seen him in a few years. It was awesome to catch up and see how things are going for each other. Also climbing was fun, it's the first time out since Colorado.

It's always a good time to catch up with people you haven't seen in a while.

That is all.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer Concerts in the Park

Maybe I just didn't pay enough attention but it seems to me like there are more and more free community activities, like concerts, going on this summer. We just got home from the city of Holladay's "Summer concerts in the park". We found out about them because we randomly drove down a street two weeks ago and say the banner.

The concert was actually inside city hall tonight because they thought it might rain. The band was okay but it was nice to be out of the house, listening to music, and participating in a community activity.

We actually met a couple of people who chances are we wouldn't have ever seen. One conversation started around a pannier a guy had on his bike. It's nice to get out and do something that we typically don't do and meet people we typically wouldn't ever meet.

What kind of summer activities do your communities do?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Feeling Sheepish

You know how every once in a while you do something thoughtless and it's completely ridiculous? Well I had one of those experiences tonight.

Jessica left today for girls camp and won't be back until Friday afternoon (yes I'm lonely already). This evening my dad called and asked if Penelope and I wanted to come over and swim at the pool at his fiances townhome. Of course I said yes. Penelope and I put on our swimsuits before heading over. As I was going out the door I put my keys and my cellphone in the pockets of my boardshorts (if you don't see what's coming by now you must be slow).

When we got to the pool I was wicked excited to get in with Penelope that I took of my shirt and our shoes and hopped in with her. We were playing around having a good time when I start getting this weird vibration from my pocket. Yup, it was my cellphone, fully submerged for a few minutes. Needless to say I think it's fully fried. The screen was solid white and it just vibrated. I took the back cover and battery off and let it dry. When I got home I pried the phone apart to let the insides fully dry. Fortunately it dried quickly and seemed to turn on (but the screen was white). I could push buttons and it would make noises, but that was all.

So now I am on my backup phone, which hopefully will work for a few more months. Fortunately Sprint did away with their activation fees.

I feel completely silly and thought everyone would enjoy reading about my thoughtless experience!

Friday, July 04, 2008

4th of July Festivities

Today was a great day. You might be saying to yourself "Eric it's early". True, but we're tired.

We wanted to go swimming today because it was ho-ot, but that didn't work out. So we ended up at the Target getting some things for an evening canyon bbq. We grubbed on a Domino's pizza for lunch and then hung out at the house while Penelope napped.

Once she woke up we headed up Millcreek with the Buchanans for some bbq action.

We hauled our little grill up the canyon (we weren't sure if there was going to be fire restrictions) and spent the evening hanging out. We dined on shishkabobs, chips, baked beans, and sodas. It was delicious!

Finally broke out the hammock. We don't spend enough time in that thing. It is so comfortable. Penelope loved climbing in and sitting with us. She did lean too far over the edge once and fell out. I did catch the back of her pants before she hit the ground.

The girls had a great time running around, playing in the dirt, and scooping dirt into the empty yogurt containers that we brought. Penelope loved it so much that she ate a rock! Well we think she did. We turned away for 2 seconds, she starts coughing, and we turn around and she's spitting some dirt out of her mouth. I figure we'll make sure she drinks a lot of water for the next day or so.

There's the ladies of the evening. You can't fully tell but the two little ones are grubby. Ryan is sporting her signature scowl. The camera (or cameraman) was a little too slow to get the full scowl.

The canyon rocked hardcore. Now we're going to watch a movie. Once it's dark we might step outside to see if we can see any of the fireworks from around the city.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Mt. Olympus Update

My legs are killing me, especially my quads.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Mt. Olympus Assault

Just got home about 40 minutes ago from laying down a solid assault on Mt. Olympus. I headed up with Jamon from work. The guidebook said it is 6 miles round trip and 4050 feet of vertical gain (one website said 6.4 miles and 4200 feet of vert). The guide book said 3 hours 35 minutes one way, the website said 6 hours round trip. Well we beat those estimates by a bit.

We made it from the parking lot to the summit is 1 hour 55 minutes. We spent about 15 minutes or so on top and headed down. We made it down in about an 1 hour and 10 minutes. All told we made it up and down in about 3 hours and 25 minutes. No idea if that is fast or not, however, we felt good about it.

The way down was crushing, I fell twice. Once when I went to grab a tree to help me make a tight turn but my hand slipped off it. The second time when I caught my toe on a fin of rock sticking up in the trail. I caught myself but ramming my palms into two other fins. By the end my legs were jello and felt like they were going to give at any second.

It ruled. At the end Jamon said "it's been a long time since I've done something that 'stupid' during the week. I said "it's been a long time since I've done something that 'stupid'".