Wednesday, January 28, 2009


A few days ago, the Captain's friend Gil saw his blog and asked him, "What does it mean when you say, 'I like to hash?'" Well, let the Captain tell you about hashing...

Hashing means participating in Hash House Harriers events, or hashes. There are about 2000 HHH groups around the world, and it dates back to 1938. It's simple, fun, and cheap. If you like to run, like to drink, and don't take yourself (or anyone else) too seriously, you should give it at try! If you google "Hash House Harriers + (your city)" you can almost certainly find a hash, if not several- Portland alone has 5 or more.

Now of course we all know the Captain loves to climb. But he can't climb all the time. And he doesn't want to spend every weekend in some stinky tent with Mr. Clean or some other mountain goat. Sometimes, the Captain needs to play a little. And that's why the Captain likes to hash.

The Hash House Harriers is a drinking club with a running problem. So there's always running, usually in unusual locations. Sometimes you run through a stream...

Sometimes you run through a stream, carrying your bike, even though there's a perfectly good bridge right there...

Sometimes you run to the top of Bald Hill, drink beer, and take pictures of your muddy feet...

...and then take pictures of the group...

Sometimes there's a super-soaker full of beer...

Sometimes you fall down, get your butt wet, and feel compelled to stick it out at the Captain...

Sometimes you feel compelled to stick your butt out at the Captain just for the hell of it...

But after all the running and butt-showing, there's religion. Religion is where you all get together, sing songs, tell stories...

...and accuse each other of "crimes on trail."

If you are accused of a crime on trail, people sing drinking songs and jeer you while you chug a beer. Sometimes out of a bedpan...

Sometimes after you drink the beer out of the bedpan, you feel compelled to wear the bedpan as a hat...

But after the running, the falling down, the butt showing, and religion, comes the partying...

Lots and lots of partying...

And girls...

Sometimes everyone wears red dresses...

And when the Captain says everyone, he means everyone!

Somtimes you cross-dress...

Sometimes you cross-dress and stand next to a guy wearing toilet lid...

Sometimes you cross-dress and chug from two bottles while sitting on the lap of a hot, lingerie-clad girl...
Sometimes you get to hang out with girls who are way too young and hot for you- like Scrubs...

And Trunk Monkee...

Sometimes you get to hang out with guys who are very cool even though they are better looking and more successful than you, like Ethan...

Sometimes you wonder, "Uh, is there a line?"

Sometimes you get really drunk...

...and start dancing...

Sometimes you get drunk and start dancing and take off your clothes...

Sometimes, you get so drunk that you need help dancing and taking off your clothes...

And that's all before ten on weeknights! Imagine hash camping trips, road trips, weekend getaways, etc.! But really, it's all just good clean fun. And all about the running. Really, I swear!

Well, If you're still reading this, and you haven't decided that the Captain is a slimeball, you may well be the kind of person who would love to hash. So go give it a try- Captain's orders!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Pictures from Tents

We've all taken them. Sometimes they're lame, sometimes they're rad, but it's always fun to take them. Here are a few of my favorites, and I'd love to see yours. You know the drill- "I'll show you mine if you show me yours!" Well, here you go.

Bibler El Dorado

Bibler El Dorado

Marmot Equinox

Marmot Home Alone

Marmot Home Alone

The last one is my favorite. It pretty clearly says Marmot- even if it is reversed. Maybe they'd buy it from me? Actually, I'd happily settle for free gear!

Okay, now it's your turn! Send me some of your favorite pictures from tents- Captain's orders!

Obamacize Me!

I found this through a friend's blog, and messed around with it. It is very fun but, I should warn you, also quite the timsesuck! So, got some time to kill? Obamacize yourself!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Some Thoughts on Gran Torino


Here, in no particular order, are some thoughts I've had since seeing Gran Torino last Sunday.

-- Clint is my fashion icon. The way he dressed in this movie is about the way I dress every day. So needless to say, I loved his "wardrobe." Unfortunately, he makes it look better than I do. Which leads me to my next thought. . .

-- While I find Clint's level of fitness inspiring, it also makes me sad to know that although he's 41 years older than me, he could easily kick my ass. No, I guess I don't feel lucky!

-- I'd rather have the white pickup than the Gran Torino.

-- Only an actor/director with Clint's clout could have gotten away with making this movie. I appreciate the fact that he's willing to be politically incorrect and make a movie that can be so shocking.

-- I appreciate that he doesn't shy away from the idea that just because you're a blood relative to someone doesn't mean you will automatically be close. And that if you're not, it's not necessarily because you're screwed up. I get really sick of these sappy movies in which someone comes home to their family- from whom they're estranged- and two hours later they're all on the love train together. The message seems to be "Your family is great- you're screwed up. If you would just lighten up, talk a few things out, maybe not take yourself so seriously, all would be well and you'd finally be a whole, healthy, happy person by New Years." Nice thought, but I don't think life is that simple.

-- I enjoyed the way this movie explored the concept of personal vs. private self. Clint's character deliberately put on an air of being a crotchety, bitter, hateful old guy when in reality, he was a deeply caring man. I find that fascinating and often true to life. I've also known the opposite to be true; known people who outwardly were caring, thoughtful people but in reality were anything but. I also liked the way the female lead, Sue, was able to see through his facade, while even his family couldn't. Occasionally you meet people who just get you, and they're not always who you'd expect.

-- I think Clint really nails the way many men interact with each other. The smack-talking, argumentative, insulting conversations between men who are clearly friends rings very true to me. Not just in this movie either, I've seen it in many of his films. Especially between him and Morgan Freeman in Million Dollar Baby.

-- It's been a long time since I've laughed so hard at a movie.

-- It's been a long time since I've cried so much at a movie.


-- The ending really tore me up. It was a great ending- the only way it could have ended- but still painful. The last few moments leading up to it, when you knew it was coming, were very, very intense and difficult to watch. I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I freely admit that I wanted him to go all Dirty Harry on their punk asses. That would have been satisfying in its way, but the fact that he found peace and redemption in the act of sacrificing his life to save the people he cared about is far more compelling. Has a much more (ahem) Sudden Impact. I'm not a religious guy, but Jesus called this one- "True love hath no greater than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friends."

-- I don't cry at movies, but I cried at this one. It had everything- hilarious moments, devastatingly painful moments, emotional turmoil, moments of clarity, loss, discovery, redemption. You'll laugh, you'll cry. Just like real life- only with Clint Eastwood in it.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Return of the Captain

Well, it's been a while since I've posted. One of my New Year's resolutions is to post more. Another is to have enough interesting stuff happening that I've got something worth posting about! But meanwhile, I am just going to post a bunch of pictures. I've been wanting to do that for a while. Friends have accused me in the past, after viewing my pictures, of being a little vain. You may perhaps come to that conclusion as well. If so I can only respond that I am not a little vain at all. I'm a lot vain. Hope you enjoy the pictures!

With my son on San Juan Island. Best vacation ever.

Climbing buddies and mentors. Keith Garlinghouse, Jay Avery, the Captain.

Rest break on the way up Mt. Washinton.

At Timberline Lodge with three of my closest friends.
The Captain, Robyn Smith, Tim Smith, Mr. Clean.

Home away from home.

With my good friend (and one of my favorite musicians),
Ellyn Whyte.

Mt. Rainier.

Portage Lake, Chugach National Forest.

An old favorite of Nolan and The Captain.

On the way down from Mt. Washington, Near the PCT.

Washinton again.

Resurrection Bay, Alaska.

The Captain with Ed Viesturs. I guess he's some kind
of climber or something?

Captain Hairdo and Mr. Clean.

Tonsina Point, Alaska. Near Seward.

Middle Sister, way too early in the morning. Gotta lovethose alpine starts...

With my buddy Smokey. Chugach National Forest.

With my buddy Nolan in Friday Harbor, Washington

My buddy Cyrus. Such a sweet old dog.

The Captain and some climbing buddies.

Ingraham Flats.
Camp Muir.

Mt. Hood. The Captain, John Petrie, Mike Rudy, Sue Nelson.

Captain Hairdo and Mr. Clean. Middle Sister.

I told you I was vain!

Well, that's all for now. I'm sure I've bored you all enough for now. But don't worry, the Captain will bore you plenty more later!

Sunrise over Little Tohama, from Ingraham Flats, 2007