Sunday, September 30, 2007


My fam and I spent Saturday at the Sunset Classic marching band compettition at Hillsboro Stadium. It was cold and blustery, but it managed to stay dry as the various high school bands played.

Tigard had a great first competition performance of the year, scoring 61.15 in prelims and taking first place in our division and the awards for high music and high visual effect. Our high placement meant that we didn't play again until 7:35 p.m. -- possibly the latest the Tigers have ever taken the field. The evening show wasn't quite as good, but we did still gained a few points. Of course, my pit crew kicked butt!

Next week, we head to the University of Oregon for the Festival of Bands. I hope to snap some photos to share with y'all.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cool beans!

During my volunteer hours today at Medical Teams International, a container was loaded and sent on its way to Romania. After it was filled up (and I mean FILLED!), the warehouse workers and volunteers all gathered to pray over the shipment of medical supplies and such. I'd never been there for a sendoff, and it was really amazing. I packed hundreds of washcloths, combs, soaps, toothbrushes and toothpaste for that shipment, and it was an awesome feeling knowing that I was a part of something so important and so much bigger than myself. In the words of an old friend, cool beans!

Ah, fall!

With the shorter days, the warm furnace and the new flannel sheets, it's getting really hard to get up in the mornings. And how come your bed never feels as good as the moment you're supposed to get out of it?? Soooo cozy!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Getting crafty!

My new-found freedom just allowed me time to do something really cool -- I made a homemade birthday card for my long-time friend, Laura. We've been sending each other birthday cards for years and years, and I had time to make it with my own two hands. Now I just need to go buy stamps so it will get to California by Oct. 1!

Happy Birthday, Mauri!!!!

My musical friend, Mauri, is celebrating his birthday today! I hope it's fabulous!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Race Time!

Yesterday was awesome! Early in the morning, we joined with tens of thousands of other women, men and children for the Race for the Cure in downtown Portland. It was chilly, but the excitement, energy and crowd kept us warm. Eryn, Brad and I ran the co-ed race at 7:30 a.m. The group size kept our times slow, but that's not the point. It was about supporting each other and, of course, raising money! Our team, Positive Margin, has raise nearly $40,000! Thank you to everyone who donated to my campaign -- I appreciate all your contributions.

You can read all about our team leader, Devon Webster, on the front page of Sunday's Oregonian. It's a great article -- worth the read if you still have it around.

PS - It's not too late to donate. Just click HERE!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Quote of the day

From Eryn: "I don't need a $20 monkey rug."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm a top fund raiser!!

OK - we just got an e-mail from our Race for the Cure team leader. Positive Margin's 330 racers have raised more than $36,000. The No. 1, an awesome survivor named Barbara Brunner, has brought in more than $13,000 by herself - incredible! I read down the top-10 list and saw my name!!!!!!!!!

I'd love to push that number closer to Barbara's and maintain my dominance ;) Please help me if you can. Click HERE if you'd like to donate -- any amount will help. If you've already donated - THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

PS - More than 40,000 men, women and children will be participating in Sunday's massive event in Portland. Awesome!

Duty calls

Today was my second experience with jury duty. I received my first summons two years ago, sat in the Washington County Courthouse basement and read for half a day (Lance Armstrong's "It's Not About the Bike") and went home. Today I sat for a couple hours in the basement (reading Vince Flynn's "Consent to Kill")....... and then my name was called to go upstairs.

Outside of "Matlock", "Law and Order" and "A Few Good Men", I didn't really know what to expect. As the judge pointed out, jury selection is rarely highlighted on those shows. I have no problem doing my civic duty or spending the day in Hillsboro. But I was really nervous about the responsibility of it all.

For the DUI trial, they would choose six of the 15 of us. I was No. 5, but when they found out that I'm a member of MADD and, because of my strong opinions about drunken driving, was not 100 percent sure that I could be impartial, I was dismissed. I turned in my yellow juror button and headed for my car.

I feel strange about the whole thing. You know when you leave a bad job interview and second guess all your answers? The defense attorney grilled me, and I don't think I responded well. I also feel bad that I had to admit in front of a room of people - and myself - that I couldn't be impartial. That's sort of a letdown.

Hopefully, when I'm summoned again in two years, I can better fulfill my duty.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I'm almost there!

Next Sunday, I will be joining with tens of thousands of others in the Portland Race for the Cure. My fund-raising goal is $250, and I'm ALMOST there. Please click HERE if you'd like to donate -- any amount will help. THANKS!!!! :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

High Flying Fun at FLIR

I had a unique opportunity at work this week to participate in the test flight of a new camera system. The camera we were testing is a High Definition TV camera typically used on TV news helicopters. (Similar to this one: )

I'd never flown in a helicopter before, so this was a fun experience as well as an opportunity for me to see how FLIR's products are used in the field. I even got an opportunity to run the camera in the air, which would definitely require a lot more practice if I wanted to become proficient.

The aircraft we used for this particular test flight was a UH-1H Huey from Sunset Helicopters in Aurora This is a relatively large helicopter, so we could fit 5 people + the pilot. The first flight was a bit chilly, as we had both doors all the way open and I was sitting on the outside seat. It was a surprisingly smooth ride and not too windy, until you put an arm out the door!

Awesome new time waster

Blogger just launched this new feature called Blogger Play - a real-time slide show of photos being uploaded onto the image servers. If you click on a photo, it takes you to the blog. Warning - they filter, but you might see something offensive.

Check it out, but be prepared to waste some time :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's a dirty job...

I spent yesterday morning helping out my dad at Medical Teams International (formerly Northwest Medical Teams). I've volunteered there a half-dozen times, maybe, and now that I'm not working, I hope to get in there more often. My dad saved the dirtiest job for me. I had to pull 13 cases of surgical gloves off two pallets and move them to the other end of the warehouse. They were heavy, stacked above my head and covered with dirt (at least I hope it was just dirt!). I got the job done, but I was sweaty and covered in grime by the time I finished. I think he gave me that task because he didn't want to do it himself!

Because it's around the corner from my house, I rode my bike this time and last. The commute takes just 2 minutes!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Act of Treason

I recently discovered author Vince Flynn, who writes CIA/political thrillers. I have read several of his books, including Act of Treason, which I just finished this morning. I really like his writing and the mystery, excitement and adventure of the plots. But I have a hard time with the morals.

The books follow super-agent Mitch Rapp as he solves terror plots and the surrounding mysteries. But usually there is killing and torture used to stop the plot or get the vital information from the suspects just in time. In fact, this book poked fun at Amnesty International, saying that its attorneys would be lined up to defend the suspect if they knew what Rapp had done to him. The book literally ended with Rapp being promised that he could kill another one of the players when the time was right.

The books take a peek into a different side of the terror situation and what some people think is necessary to fight it. They always leave me a bit conflicted.

Overall, a great read!

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Mom, Eryn, Brad and I just finished the Tigard 5K Run/Walk! It was our second time at the event, which starts at City Hall and ends with a free pancake breakfast at an LDS church across town. I wasn't feeling terrific about my running but still came in under 30 minutes, so I'm feeling great about that! Brad ran ahead but waited for me near the end and we finished together - what a guy :) The breakfast was a little weak this year, but heck, it's still free.

Someone forgot to order the shuttle bus to take us all back to City Hall, so instead of piling in a volunteer's minivan, we decided to head back on foot. We ran for quite a bit until Brad's bum knee started giving him trouble. We ended up doing run/walk intervals. I'm really pleased that I was able to keep up for another 3 miles - yippee for me!!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007


I have a kink in my neck this morning - I can't turn all the way to the left. I suspect it has something to do with waking up at 2 a.m. with my 18-pound feline stretched out on my pillow, pushing me off the front edge! Bad kitty.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Good day

I went to THS early this morning to help with the first day - just freshmen. I ended up handing out schedules for just 45 minutes before they sent me home. (Tomorrow I will be posted outside the career center for 5 hours - it's a waiting room for students with schedule problems) All dressed up with nowhere to go, I climbed back into bed to finish watching "The Queen", which I started last night. (I liked it, by the way. Interesting peek into the Royal Family) Then it was off to Bi-Mart, WinCo, Hollywood Video and Office Max.
I have a whole bunch of recipes clipped from magazines and such. I decided they need to be organized, but before I put them in a binder, I want to test them out so I only keep the keepers. So I got to work on several that I'd pulled for this week, including a maple oatmeal pie for my pie-loving husband. I threw in "Happy Feet" to pass the time while I prepared dinners for the days ahead, as well as some freezer lunches for the aforementioned husband. (The movie was really cute, though a bit depressing about human abuse of the ocean)

This evening, we're headed out to Davidson's for some great Mexican food with Jacob and Lindsey. Overall, a good day!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I got tagged

My friend, Sherry, tagged me. So here goes:
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/stories about him or herself.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and to read your blog.
1) I once held an elected office. I got a couple people (I think it was me and my parents - I only needed three) to write me in for a Democratic Precinct Committee Person position. We also wrote in my mom and we served together.

2) I can recite the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution and the alphabet backward in one breath - one breath each, that is.

3) If I'd never met my super-active husband, I'm sure I would be a couch potato now. Instead, I'm a mountain climber, rock climber, camper, hiker, runner, cyclist, skier and snowshoer with too many hobbies and not enough weekends.

4) I have a strange gift for organizing stuff. I get all excited just thinking about it. I've used this skill to rearrange my room (lots of times), drive my hubbie nuts and earn a little money on the side.

5) I had five great grandparents until my junior year in college. One called me Bob. I still miss them lots.

6) Patience is my biggest struggle.

7) I'm a sucker for marketing. I am easily swayed by holiday packaging - like the orange Oreos in the fall and the holiday-shaped crackers in the winter.

8) I have an 18-pound cat who loves to cuddle.

I don't know many bloggers... so I'll tag Brad and Eryn :)

Monday, September 3, 2007

Three Finger Jack-8/25/07

To be honest, I hadn’t heard a lot of good things about this mountain, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tackle another major Oregon peak and gain some additional alpine rock experience close to home. So, when applying for climbs with the Mazamas this season I chose 3 Finger Jack as one of my objectives.

Our sizeable group of nine climbers spent the night at a rustic A-frame cabin that was built in the 1940’s near the Hoodoo ski area. We left the trailhead by headlamp at around 4:00 a.m. As the sun came up the eerie shapes of naked tree trunks that had been burned by the B&B complex fire slowly became visible.

After 4.5 miles we headed off the PCT on a climber’s trail up the South Ridge of 3-Finger Jack. The trail quickly turned to rock, which only got looser the farther up we went. After some class 4 scrambling we ended up at the first roped pitch known as, “the crawl.”

The crawl is an exposed traverse that involves mostly 4th class moves. We protected it by placing a fixed line, making use of two fixed pins and large boulders at either end. The next section involved more 4th class, which we simul-climbed using mostly natural protection. This brought us to the base of a short chimney leading to the summit. Our leader setup a belay and a rappel line at the top of the chimney which we took turns ascending and descending to the small summit.

I don’t have a lot of good things to say bout the mountain, but I did meet a lot of new and interesting people from the club. The route wasn’t nearly as sketchy as I’d imagined, but I was really glad to have a leader who knew the route and was willing to setup ropes on the technical parts.

Though the rock was crummy, the approach and climbing were easy. The trip was definitely fun and worthwhile. I’m glad to cross this one off my list, but I can honestly say this mountain gave me no reason to return.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Lazy holiday

Sarah and Nathan joined us for a lazy holiday weekend at the family beach house in Oceanside. We ate lots of good food (including the Netarts firefighters' pancake breakfast!), watched a couple movies, stayed up too late and relaxed.

We took a stop at the Cape Meares Lighthouse, getting inside the visitors' center just as they closed the doors for the day.
Then it was a walk on the beach at Bay Ocean...
... where we spotted an alive-but-injured jellyfish stuck in a puddle. We contemplated trying to move it to the ocean but decided it couldn't be done. Rest in peace, little jellyfish.
We bushwhacked our way back to the car, working up an appetite for ice cream and cheese at the Blue Heron and Tillamook cheese factories.
Good friends, good weather, good food, good times!

Beach signs