As a nice change from my often travel-intensive schedule, I had the luxury of being in Portland
for the months of July and August. Here are some fun notes from the state of Oregon.

My roommate Jason Stowers and I went to do some climbing at Smith Rocks for a weekend in August. As it turned out,
a herd of cattle broke down a fence at our favourite free campsite and so woke us up at 6 AM this morning. Here
is Bessie beside the men's room at Skull Hollow.

This climb is a two-pitch trad climb called Sky Ridge . Jason is right on the obvious arete. The climb starts
at Asterisk Pass and finishes near the top of Wherever I May Roam

Jason, at the top of Sky Ridge , having extra-protected the traverse just in case I fell off (Thanks J).
I gave him a hard time about this picture, both because he really needs a haircut, and because his ears
look monumentally large under his helmet.

Me, trying to lick the Monkey's Face. Thanks to Ha N for leaving his Oakleys at my apartment for the summer.

So, after climbing for the morning, Jason and I went for lunch to avoid some of the heat of the day. While
in Redmond, I saw this bread truck and thought the name of the bakery was gold. I also thought it was funny
that it was from the city I work and live in!

I guess you do, in fact, find gold at the end of the rainbow. It's just a little different kind than you
were expecting. This picture was just after I led my first full trad lead, Cinnamon Slab , a 5.6
slabby climb.

Playing tennis in Washington Park

Here is Ha N (of law school fame) blasting out a monster serve.

Paul Dehaan powering back a huge forehand. Paul, Ha, and I had a battle royale for tennis supremacy.
The title is still up in the air, but I think we'll wind up with a tennis ladder. Feel free to email me
if you're interested in joining the ladder, Email The Tennis Ladder

Here is me completely missing an overhead near the baseline. I think I need to play more than once every
few years...

Small video of Ha serving with perfect form. This should be studied for instructional purposes.

Celebrating the end of "The Bet" at Erin and Juan's, August 28, 2004.

So, someone decided that tattooing a dog is funny. This is Chris Otzenberger's dog, Jake, now tattooed with
"I love Ots" on its back. I think this will make me laugh for many days to come.

Here is my friend Avie Meadows, enjoying some suds and some good times.

"The Bet" consisted of Juan Rodriguez, Ian Caroppoli, Erin Gentry, Paul Dehaan, and Ha N betting
who was going to make the largest "overall" improvement to their climbing skills and to their overall health.
Paul wanted to lose weight, Ha wanted to get stronger, Ian wanted to climb hard, Erin wanted to get better too,
and Juan wanted to move from good climber to savage climber. At the end of the bet, it would be judged on
who made the biggest overall improvement, and that person would get to go climbing at Squamish for free
for the Labour Day long weekend (paid for by the other participants).
In order to establish the winner, we all got together, enjoyed some great
chocolate cake (Thanks Erin!) for Ian and American Paul's B-day, and had the contestants write essays for
why they should win. The rest of us then voted on the winner. Erin backed out, due to an unfortunate incident
with her bike and a 6 foot hole, but the rest of the contestants gave great speeches, and I have recorded them
for posterity. Plug in your headphones and enjoy some good-natured jibes.

Contestant #1 - Juan Rodriguez

Juan's speech in WAV format

Contestant #2 - Ian Caroppoli

Ian's speech in WAV format

Contestant #3 - Ha N

Ha's speech in WAV format

Contestant #4 - Paul Dehaan

Paul's speech in WAV format

Here is some of the audience enjoying the festivities.

The candidates, prior to voting.

Ian won a notable third prize, and was awarded a guide to Squamish.

Paul came in second, and won a pack of Skittles.

Leaving the first place and the trip to Squamish to Juan. Here he is seen dancing the "Dirty Martini".
Yeah, I don't get it either, but he does it all the time as a victory dance.

Who do YOU think should have won? Email to My vote for "The Bet"!

Ian and American Paul blowing out their candles. Apparently, you have to wear green on your birthday.

Inspired by the tattooing on Jake, "someone" (not pointing any fingers Avie...) added the phrase:
"I'm w/ stupid ->" on Chris Otz's other dog. Again, too funny for words.

Otz's dogs also like to drink beer from the bottle, and here's some proof of that. I guess this gives credence
to the commonly-held opinion that pets pick up traits from their masters.

Here is American Paul joining the two dogs to drink beer from the dish. Paul, I know that you had a few too
many beer, but really! There was at least a beer or two left in the fridge! I guess he's anxious to put
back that 25 pounds that won him second place in "The Bet".

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