Saturday, April 26, 2008

the funky pergola

Made a pergola for the back deck.We are hoping this thing will keep the brick from baking too hot. In the midst of summer the wall, part of our bedroom, oozes heat way into the night. The deck is also way to hot to hang out on. Thus this constuct will allow us to hang out there late afternoons.

Alexi can run rabid from planter to planter sampling things he should not be getting into.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Biking season is upon us. Christy and I have plans to do much bike riding this summer. But one more ski trip was in order, The Tusars.

Christy was kind enough to let me go down.
The plan was to stay one night in a yurt then go set up a base camp below the monster southy on Mt Belnap. We were able to cheat a bit and bring extra stuff with a snowmobile assist towing in extra stuff the 4 miles to yurt, then 4 or so to the planned basecamp.
you could say things were a bit icy (note the glazed sheens on the snow and lack of tracks).

The wind blew hard stripping snow down off many a mountain face. It was an intense wind for two days strait. Good "corn" snow was difficult, if not impossible to find, on the high exposed faces. On the day of the planned assault on Mt Belnap the temps were forecast at freezing all day so, with the ripping wind, the mt would remain rock-ice hard. We still decided to make a one-day attempt. We spent all morning and into the afternoon just getting out to the Massive's base (Not it is the biggest peak in the left background of picture below).

Alas, conditions were deemed a bit to dangerous by the group for a summit attempt, so we found wind-protected aspects at lower altitudes that had just started to develop good corn by mid afternoon.

Although conditions were not that optimal, we had good fun. In fact, one moments leisure was found "surfing the wind" at the top of the world (video credit to J, tnx).

Sure enough, on the head-home day the winds died and sun started to blaze. Tired, but thrilled with memory of Tushar Magnanimity, we posed for the parting shot.

Since Daddy likes to wear a red helmet when skiing (aka as "Helmut", a foothillfreak nom du piste), we gots my little boy his own red Helmut.

It is quite useful at his stage, as without his helmet, he has been acquiring quite a few forehead bruises. So to avoid strangers thinking we abuse our little joy and report us to Children's Services, we have taken to letting him zoom around with the thing on.

Eating is an especially tricky endeavor as he has just discovered the thrill of throwing food on the floor to watch Lewie the Pug eat it. And those of you who know The Lew-ser, he is a rather aggressive Lew-cifer in his anxiousness to get at the tasty-bites.

And here is a casual moment before going on a chariot ride.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

dirt diggler

fresh dirt anyone? added to his growing list of nicknames we now have "dirt diggler."

This photo is courtesy of what he finds is the best dirt delicacy, the potted-plant dirt. It is soft and loamy, with a sweet jungley aroma. A spongy tongue texture complemented with a strong, low finish.

He cant get enough of the stuff. A few days ago in the garden I was turning the soil. I thought had him in a relatively safe spot playing with with toys. A moment later super zoomer crawled over to the dirt and was double fisting handfuls into his mouth. I quickly went to the rescue to put a stop to it. In seconds, he had dirt everywhere (much worse than the above picture). He chuckled and giggled as I wiped the dirt from his face. And he kept giggling afterwards, which was a bit strange. He appeared to be savoring the last grains of gritty dirt.

I was about to go back to digging, when he spat out a large, round rock. I was dumbstruck with shock. It was a about one inch in circumference .....perfect for choking on. The realization of this jeopardy, put an end to the garden tending. Now, when he stuffs foreign objects in mouth. I look in there and do the finger scoop to get rid of unwanted goop.

Amazing how diligent one has to be to keep these little buggers from harming themselves. I suspect it is only going to get worse. I'll feel quite lucky if we can get this little bug to 18 years with all his limbs still attached.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A little over a week ago a good friend from way back came to visit. (And you know he is still a good friend, when he shows up at the door with 3 cases of good beer. Yeehaw!)

Yes me and Scott Dubois (aka, Buckmeister Fullerine, Snotty da Boy, Bucky the Balls), go way back. Credit to him for keeping my marriage intact by saving my wife from drowning not once, but multiple times.

Early on in my marriage to Christy, we were rabid kayakers (I say "we" and that is perhaps in the royal sense of "we", because in wiffies eyes, kayaking was not necessarily one of her "passions." In fact, I think she rather hated it.)

Many a time, I would come off a killer surf wave or great session in a play hole and find that Scotty was dragging my wife to shore on the back of his kayak. Apparently, there she had been, wondering where her absentee husband was, while she was sitting in her kayak and staring down the maw of some insane rapid. A monster of a lateral wave or carnivous hole would then consume her emotional essence as she tried to make her way down. Then, there she was, a swimming. And then, before you knew it, Buckster was there to save her.

Man alive I tell you, Scotty is da Boss, a real Super Dude Bro.
The kind of guy one can always count on to be there. Week long trips on Middle Fork Salmon. Many an extended weekend up at Alpine or Payettes. And the Selway, how can I forget the Selway at super flood stage. This was a weeklong self support at 9 feet. It was BIG, that is a capital "B", "I", and a "G."

It was on that wild trip that BuckNuts spotted the cougar.

Were talking the most massive farmcat kitty you have ever seen. Height and coat color of a large golden retriever, but torso twice as long. There was an eternal moment as it stared into our eyes, contemplating whether we were its next meal. Water dripping from its jowls, it saw us more threat than supper, so it turned to move up slope. But no hurry here, just smooth long strokes of its powerful limbs as it pawed it way up slope. In a brief few seconds it was 30 ft up a scree slope where it stopped and disappeared.

A bewildering moment of optical illusion was dispelled when suddenly it moved again, flicking its massive black-ring tail dismissively. Stopping now again more than 50 feet up slope it vanished again, its perfect camouflaged coat blending seamlessly into the mountain side. A creepy thought then hit me, a wonderment of how many times had I been this close to a mountain lion, and never even knew it was there.

Scotty's visit was a wonderful blast from past. It had been many years since I had seen him last. Many a tentative plan had been foiled by "oh too busy with work," "too busy with kids," or "I just dont have the vacation time." You see, Scott has not been idle over the ages, he has been busy breeding. He has two delightful kids, Harlan and Tobin. Scott and his wife Sara were here for the wedding of a mutual friend, and we were lucky enough to have him stay with us for an extended weekend.

First things first, we took Scotty for a icy terror up Memorial Colour on Mt Olympus. Starting out up Neffs canyon was a jovial reunion of old freinds
Weens, J and BuckNuts (and my arm) enjoying good company, in lew of good snow.

From the movie "Weens in the Mist" staring the pow princess herself, soon to be shrucking down into cloud shrouded oblivion.

This was less than ideal powder conditions and not warm enough to soften for "spring skiing" snow. But occasionally the turns linked less than terrifyingly.

The next day was a kids day and, for us, a little more mellow outing up Millcreek canyon was explored. This was to be Harlan and Tobin's first "Backcountry tour" day. Which involved Scotty schlepping the kids up in his chariot over one mile to the Elbow fork trail head.
Once up at the top it was a fine day to rest and eat snacks before the decent. (Note the Lewie doing his usual, looking for fortuitous droppings from on high.)

The slope is that of a resort "green" run and quite fun for his two troopers (my boy never woke up, slept the whole time).
Woohoo! Look Ma, no poles!

A two and 4 year old ripping it up.

(like the pug? He is a photoshop add in, can you tell?)

Buckers visit was great. Memorial weekend will be our turn to visit him in his new home town of Reno NV.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

1000 cookie award if captured alive.
aliases: Alexi-doodle, booger brains, two twooths, da crazy little monkey

Incredible consumer of food.
Also likes to eat plants, plastic bags, and pluged-in electrical cords.

Known escaped artist
Able to crawl room to room.

Does not stand being alone.
Disables adults with penetrating scream.

Quick hands set stationary objects to motion.
Prone to spills, thrills, and squeals.

If you see this person notify the proper authorities immediately!