Friday, July 28, 2006

My First 14er

Me, Jerry, and Canyonero

If it doesn't kill you, it makes for one heck of a story.

Jerry came to visit me this week for an action-packed adventure week...none of which was specifically planned, but climbing a 14er was on my list.

Things started out well when the compact that we reserved wasn't there, so they rented us a Jeep Commander...which we nicknamed "canyonaro" after a Simpsons episode.

Day 1: Mountain Biking. We rented Jerry a bike and hit the trail...and subsequently went pretty much straight uphill, sucking wind the whole way. (Yes Jeff, you have to EARN the right to ride downhill) It was quite exhausting, but we made it fine, then had quite the ride downhill.



Needless to say, we were EXHAUSTED when we were done. So we did exactly what any normal person would do...sat down and planned our hike up a 14er. (In laymans terms, thats a 14,000ft mountain).

We picked out Mt Evans, so Wednesday morning we loaded up Canyonero and headed about 50 miles into the mountains. After searching in vain for the mysterious trailhead, we asked for directions only to be told that it was too long of a hike to be starting that lake. We were then pointed in the direction of Mt Bierstadt, also a 14er. So off we set.



So we lost the trail pretty quickly, and decided that it would be a great idea to Bushwack our way through the shrubs in the general direction of the mountain. Not to mention the swampiness of the land. Jerry ended up with soaked shoes and socks not 20 mins into the hike.



Eventually we spotted someone walking in the distance who undoubtedly was laughing at us, or he was very concerned about us, because we were WAY off.

But we saw him and headed in that direction and eventually found the trail and headed up the mountain. We weren't too sore from the day before, so it went pretty easy. We discussed everything from girls to the President. We stopped periodically to rest and eat (btw, we basically ate nothing all week except for PBJ and Wendys.)

Around 13,000 ft all hell broke loose. Jerry started slowing down because of altitude. Both our heads started swimming, but Jerry started to become nauseated. And on top of that, there were storms moving in. I knew the dangers of lightning, but no way I was coming all this way and not making it up to the summit.

I would hike up a little, turn, and yell "Jerry!!! We've got to go NOW if we're going to beat this storm!!!!!" We were so close but the storm was moving a whole lot faster than we were. The first wave passed us without incident, leaving us with a small window of blue skies to get up and get down. People coming down off the summit kept telling us that we were almost there, but not to stay very long.

Finally, after about 3 false summits, I spotted the ledger that was in a tube so we could seal the deal that we had summitted a 14er. As soon as we got up, the clouds let loose....It began to hail.

It wasn't safe to be up there, but we had stuff to do. We signed the ledger, writing in the comment box "HAILING!!!!", then I whipped out my camera to snap a picture of Jerry, who was wiping his nose...I was in a hurry, so I SCREAMED "JERRY!!! LOOK AT ME WILL YA????" And this is what I got.

Then I gave him my camera and heres me. Notice the bed head.

Then we got out of there.

Only to get 1,000 feet down and see perfect blue skies.

Of course.

We got to the bottom a couple hrs later, and thats when Jerry really started feeling the altitude sickness. After all, he flew in from Baltimore, and once in colorado, we had gained 9,000 feet in one day.

Once we got out of the mountains he started feeling better, but we both had splitting headaches.

We took it easy the next day, taking a simple day hike and driving up to the peak of Flagstaff, then having Mexican with a friend that night. And Canyonero was good to us, even though he ate up about $100 worth of gas.

So thats my story. Cya

-JJ

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Vomit Man!!!


I've tried telling this story the last 2 days, unfortunately both times were over dinner and it hasn't fared very well. So put down the easy mac for a second, will ya?

I've got a new nickname. Maria and J.C. have dubbed me vomit man. Go ahead and give me a cape, because its well deserved.

Yesterday I had to work three flights. Chicago-Baltimore-Norfolk-Vegas. I had 3 people puke. 1 on each flight.

The first kid made the entire mess in the little baggy that we give you in the seatback pocket. (Complimentery, I might add). He just asked for a little air-sickness pill. No problem.

While landing in Norfolk, the guy in the back row starts yelling at me to get napkins, cuz the kid next to him just spewed. He made half of it in the bag. The remaining chunks went on himself, the floor, the seatback, and the other guy's shoe. Unfortunately neither I nor either passenger could get up out of our seats because we were seconds from touchdown.

"You can stew in the puke for a couple of seconds, sir. It won't kill you."

Not actually what I said...but that is what he had to do.

We got both of them cleaned up and off the plane, then I started working on the seats, and get it all cleaned up, not seconds before somebody else sat there. For real, I cleaned it up good, you couldn't even tell.

From the beginning of our trip to Vegas (5 Hrs en route, by the way) this guy was going to the bathroom. He'd gone twice in about and hr and a half, and I asked him if he was alright. he said he was fine, to not worry about him. Before he went back to his seat I made sure that he knew where the COMPLIMENTARY puke bag was. He assured me that he did, and he was on his way.

About another hour later, I'm standing in the back with J.C. and Maria (who doesn't DO vomit) when said gentleman comes screaming to the back of the plane, cheeks puffed out like my picture at the beginning of this post, straight for the bathroom. Unfortunately the Lav was occupied, and as J.C. scrambled for a trash bag and Maria practically jumped into me trying to get out of the way, the gentleman just let it ALLLLL go right there in the galley. We finally got a trash bag to him, and he went some more.

Really, it was pretty gross.

Maria escaped towards the front of the plane, leaving me to clean up YET ANOTHER spill with the help of J.C. Luckily its a lot easier to clean it off the galley floor than the carpet.

So yeah, I guess new nickname fits. Maybe they'll make a movie of me someday.

-JJ

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Crocs are a Croc


Ahhhh, fads at its best.

Crocs. What the heck are they? I have an idea. Ugly. Stupid.

Some rich "genius" up on a 50 floor office building is looking down on all the "suckers" down there and laughing his head off. For real. This whole thing is right up there with the pet rock.

Don't even start with me. I know the arguments. Or, check that, THE argument, since there is only one. That they are comfortable. Fine. I understand that. But honestly, if we wore the most comfortable things in our day to day lives, we'd all look like this.

If only we were so lucky.

I'm all about function over form. But there is a line. Otherwise you'd see me driving around a Subaru Baja.

IN FACT, those who DO wear crocs don't look much better than this. I'm just shocked that in the "fashion" age that we live in, where looks are always OH SO important, and this is the best we've come up with.

Oh, and wait, you claim that they are so comfortable, but I'm finding it hard to believe that we've got nothing better. Nike just came out with a shoe that simulates you walking completely on air. Air!!! At least they are improving on a GOOD idea.

You're wearing crocodiles on your feet for cryin' out loud!!! Don't you all get it???? You've been duped!!! Would you wear these around??

But, I guess in the end thats what makes fads great. That in the years afterward you can look back at all those pictures of yourself with your mulletts, Jams, Puffy shirts and crocs and realize what an idiot you were.

-JJ

Friday, July 14, 2006

Spilled Milk

Yesterday i had MAJOR plans to lay around all day, maybe run a few errands, must mostly do absolutely nothing.

But about those errands. Around 12:30pm I wandered outside to my car, only to...well..not find it at all.

Earl was gone.

My first instinct was the thought "well, maybe I parked it somewhere else." But the longer I stood there, the more I realize that I don't park it anywhere else. seriously. It was FOR REAL gone.

I didn't have my license number, so calling the police at this point was pointless. So I called my dad, who, and I quote, "Well Jeremy, that doesn't make any sense! Who would take a car like that??"

I dunno, but the bottom line was that the car was MIA. We eventually tracked down the VIN number, so I called the police. The lady looked it up, and told me that it had been impounded that morning b/c it was involved in a theft investigation.

Wow, huge sigh of relief from me. I figured they thought it was stolen, so to be safe and while they had the chance, they grabbed it and impounded it. Now all I had to do was get it. So she gave me the state police's number to call to get more info.

I called them, and the lady there looked it up in they're system and then took my address.

"Thats not the address they took it from."

Then it hit me. Somebody had stolen my car, taken it out to do who knows what, ditched it, then the police found it.

She told me that the officer who found it would call me when he got the chance.

So I waited around most of the day, with this vision of my car up on cinder blocks, no tires, and smoldering in ashes.

The officer finally calls me back, tells me that he found it on a dirt road in Bennett, CO (1 hr east of denver, I didn't have much gas in it so it probably ran out there). He then proceeded to tell me that there was A) No Radio B) No ignition switch and C) a shotgun sized hole in the undercarriage. (I'm still confused about this one.

Great. Poor earl was mugged.

"But" the officer continued "the good news is that your bike helmet is still there."

Nice. thanks a lot.

The next 24 hrs were dealt with getting the police hold off my car and getting it towed back into town (which the insurance company thankfully picked up, since it was 500 bucks).

So this afternoon before i left for work the tow truck arrived with Earl. he didn't look so bad considering all he'd been through, but the jerks had torn him up pretty good. Even wrote some kind of gang sign or something on the center console with a pen that I had in there. I forgot about the hole underneath so I didnt' look.

I've tried to keep a good attitude about this whole thing, since I do subscribe to the whole "no sense crying over spilled milk." I'm just dealing with it as best as I can.

But seriously, why can't people just leave other people's stuff alone?? And why my car?? If your gonna take a 94 accord with 195,000 miles on it, at least make good use of it. I'm not sure it's a good "joy ride" car.

My friends Nate and Patty took me out to eat last night and bought me a margarita. Most of the dinner I didn't even think about the whole incident. I was really grateful for that.

When I spoke to my mother, she said "Jeremy, its about time you come home. You've had enough of the big city!"

Maybe this is one of those "get a new car before it breaks down on you in a really inconvenient time" kind of signs. Thats what I'm gonna take it as. I guess its time to start lookin.'

-JJ

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Time Off..and missed time


Ok so check this out, some of you may not appreciate this, but what we have here is me sitting at a stop light in Colorado. In front of me, on the right is a Dodge Viper and on the left is an Aston Martin Vantage. (Rarely seen) Both cool seen alone, but together at the same stoplight? Amazing. And even better, when the light turned green, they raced!


Man, I havn't had internet access for quite a while since I've actually had time to spend at home, where I don't have internet. So it looks like I missed quite a bit of arguing about the last post. (I did, however, get a phone call from a friend who threatened to comment and say "who freaking cares!!!")

But while I was away I did think about some of my arguments. And after getting to read some of the comments, I came up with some thoughts...

-Maybe AL pitchers face tougher hitters and tougher lineups due to the DH, and therefore when they face NL lineups that..well...don't hit well without an extra David Ortiz hanging around in the lineup, well its easy for them.

-Maybe DH ball is flat out superior to NL ball, but IN NO WAY DOES THIS MAKE IT A BETTER GAME.

-I have no clue as to why AL pitchers can magically hit when they get the chance. I heard a comment by an NL player saying that maybe they are more focused since they never get to do it.

-Mostly I'm bitter because the FAKE AL teams are beating up on my NL teams. It's like someone burning Cooperstown to the ground. Tragic.



OK for real moving on. I have another sappy plane story. Theres a little girl..lets say shes 3...sitting towards the front in an aisle seat. Shes sitting next to her parents..lets call them..BRIAN AND LESLIE...we'll even give them a FICTIONAL last name of Miller...and shes a happy child sitting there enjoying her toys.

We speak a few words to each other..words that i don't remember, but really no extended interaction.

So I'm going about my duties, and about halfway through the flight, I walk past her and she stops me, looks at me, and says "what are you doing??" ( you have to act this out with a little childs voice)

I look at her and tell her that I'm getting people drinks and things..whatever they want!! She kind of stares up at me like a little child does, and I look back at her and ask her

"well, do YOU want anything???'

she looks up at me, smiles, and extends both her arms up at me, indicating that she just wants a hug.

So I laugh, bend down, and give her a big hug, then go get her all kinds of goodies like playing cards and what not.

Kind of made my day.

-JJ

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The AL is Dead to Me

MAN LAW: Man must have a firm and defendable stance on the designated hitter rule. Good Call.

In May of 2005 I wrote a post about how I had chosed to follow the Chicago White Sox now that I had moved to Chicago. I'm a devout NL guy, but I didn't necessarily hate the AL, so I thought it was ok that I make such a choice.

Well, things change in a year. I've recently decided that I hate all that is American League. The whole shabang. If any AL team plays an NL team, I will wholeheartedly root for the NL team even if it is the Cubs.

Ok I'll go ahead and say that part of this change of heart is the fact that my astros have recently lost 5 of 7 to the AL, and the entirety of the NL is getting completely ANNHIALATED by the AL. It's not sitting well.

Why do I hate the AL? They're cheaters. Ok, thats too harsh of a word since they do follow the rules of the League, but I will say the AL is built upon a lie, that its a bacteria to the game of baseball.

When the first baseball players got together in the 1800s to play the friendly game, the pitcher dug in the box and took the same kind of stuff he dished out. AL pitchers these days can throw at hitters and not be afraid of getting hit themselves. If this isn't sissyish, I don't know what is.

No no its ok *pansy* you had a rough inning. just sit here, put on your jacket, we'll get somebody else to work for you. Here, Derek Jeter will give you a manicure while you wait.

The DH first appeared in 1973 basically because American League fans all had ADD and wanted to see more scoring, and probably because AL managers were lazy. They basically abandoned the one thing that is the glue to all of baseball. History. It's really all we have. I say we get congress to disband the AL alltogether unless they give up the DH. (Hey, if they can get the wright amendment passed, I think we could make this happen)

And yeah, it gives the AL an advantage over the NL in interleague play. AL teams carry an extra big hitter while the NL carries an extra arm in the bullpen. Now tell me that doesn't make things slightly unfair. And especially in the world series when the AL gets home friend advantage, all of a sudden theres 4 games where the AL has Jim Thome as the DH while the astros put in Chris Burke. Don't get me wrong, I love Chris Burke, but it'd take 4 of him to trade for a Jim Thome.

And about AL managers: they don't do jack. They sit there, mouth off (guillen), fill in their lineup cards and sit back, relax, and watch their players play ball. Theres no strategy involved. NONE. Baseball IS strategy. And when you take that part out of it, its just a cheap form of entertainment where all you're interested in is big hitters, home runs, and scoring. AL fans think witnessing a no-hitter is a wasted ticket.

But bottom line is that the AL is a PLAUGE and needs to be dealt with. True that this season the AL has been pitching a lot better than the NL, but ditching the DH (or maybe just the entire American League) would even things up. (Yeh thats right Yankee fans, you guys can go too, we're better off)

I'm just glad that I moved to an NL town.

Go ahead AL fans. comment. argue with me. I welcome it.

-JJ