Sunday, September 28, 2008

Climbing, Not Knitting

Today was a day of many climbing firsts.

1) I red-pointed a 5.6 lead on slab (red-point means I got to the top without falling, slab means the rock was mostly smooth and at an angle). I think I like slab. I like using the downward pressure with my arms, rather than having to raise myself to my hands.
2) I climbed my first multi-pitch (which means that one person climbs to a ledge, then another person climbs, and so on, then you climb to another ledge, and so on) on mixed gear and bolts, also on slab and with no walk-off. I did two pitches and more than half of the third. It was the end of the day and I was the last to climb it, so when I got to a harder point I decided to just come down so we could move on. I wanted to get on that pitch, but it didn't matter to me that I reach the top. We were very high, which was exciting. I think that's the highest I've been. Does that count as another first?
3) I tied in to the middle of the rope.
4) I learned a mountaineer's coil (because I had to carry the end of the rope with me on the last climb--my first time carrying anything extra on a climb).
5) I learned to flake and to coil the rope.
6) I used a prusik on the long rappel down (tied a little differently).
7) I expelled some gas in front of the four guys I was climbing with. I was definitely the girl of the group today, but I think I held my own, even in the bodily-function department (though much less than they did).

I did a tiny bit of knitting while waiting for my turn, but it's hard when there's chalk on my hands. It's very drying stuff. I did a little sewing today, too. I was belaying Jason when I realized there was a hole in my pants. In the spot just below my chalk bag, and which would have been very noticeable while climbing. So I grabbed my knitting bag and the little sewing kit I carry with it and sewed up my pants. The guys were surprised I had needle and thread with me, but I was very glad I'd decided to bring my knitting bag up to the climbing area.

There may be a picture of me climbing, but I forgot to take my camera. I wish I had because the aspens are all turning yellow and were just beautiful as the sun moved through the canyon. We went down to the creek after climbing, since it had been a warm day and we needed to cool off. I was walking on the rocks and found a poor little rainbow trout caught in some fishing line wrapped around some sticks. Jason walked back with me to help the poor thing, but the hook was deep in the trout's throat. Jason broke the line, so I hope the fish went someplace nice to die. I'm mad at the person fishing, though. It's so irresponsible to do that--not just to leave the fish but to leave line tangled up like that. This is National Forest and should be treated with respect. Grr.

Next post will probably be about knitting, including a picture of a gift I'm giving. My last few posts have been without pictures. It's time for something pretty and knitted.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I've wanted progress bars forever. Thanks to Ravelry and a very informative forum, I followed some directions and made them work! I even changed the color to match my color scheme. Hurrah. Then I had to go into my Ravelry projects page to change the title of the gift so its recipient won't know what it is (until she checks Ravelry. Oh well).


This post sums up my relationship to television watching, minus clutching a radio to my chest as a child. Instead, my sister and I would sneak in snippets of St. Elsewhere and other such over-our-childish-heads dramas by opening the bedroom door a crack and quietly peeking out. Good thing nothing funny is on after ten o'clock. That's how I saw the first half of Poltergeist, which still terrifies me.

Sometimes I still feel like my TV watching is illicit. My roommate doesn't watch TV (until she gets sucked into whatever I'm watching) so there isn't one that gets reception in the house. I don't like to have a TV in my room because of the bad chi, but here I watch TV programs on my computer, which is in my bedroom. In some ways, I feel like I'm more discerning if I can't flip. But I'm not usually a flipper. Sure, I don't watch reruns of Bewitched anymore, but I also don't see new episodes of things I like (telling you what those are makes my admission too real, so don't ask). Thank goodness the networks replay some things. Thank goodness for Netflix.

When I had a TV in front of a couch, I would watch and knit for a few hours a night. I got a lot of knitting done. Now, I sit on my bed, perpendicular to the computer. Somehow, I don't seem to get as much knitting done. It just isn't as comfortable, for knitting or watching. I miss my couch and I miss getting so much knitting done. I even miss the TV*.

I have been knitting (and watching some things--will the new season start already?), but everything is for a gift. I'll show one thing soon (check my Ravelry projects to see what I just finished and what I'm working on), but the other is a Christmas present. I think I'm going to start the Druid Mittens out of some Shibui sock yarn in orange. I haven't swatched yet, so don't hold me to it.

*Disclaimer: I wouldn't trade my busy days for TV watching. I like this new, social, active life I'm living.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Awesome Job

Sometimes my job is incredible. Incredible because I'm seeing and doing things I never imagined I'd even want to do.

The Western Folklife Center and the Elko Convention and Visitor's Authority has brought in a group of journalists to learn about the Elko area and, especially, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. I didn't have to do any of the planning or organizing (thankfully), but I did get to meet the folks and share in some of the exciting things they are learning about.

Yesterday I headed to the 71 after work for dinner (which was ribs, so I only had dessert) and a concert by the campfire. Jay Dalton picked his way through quite a few songs as people took pictures and sang along.

Today, I headed back out to the 71 for lunch (Mexican, so I had a version of the served dish). After lunch we listened to a talk about changes in grazing cattle, and then we headed down to a barn to watch a horse be castrated. Fascinating. The vet threw the, um, removed part over the horse's head because "otherwise he looks back and won't be a good horse." In other words, they want the horse to see what's been removed so he doesn't think he can still, well, enjoy the ladies. Don't worry, the horse was knocked out before knife hit skin. His tongue was sticking out, which was awfully undignified and cute. After that we watched some cattle get roped and "doctored," which meant getting treated for an infection in their hooves.

Tomorrow I get to have dinner (which I also can't eat--this is the problem with being a vegetarian in cattle country) with Baxter Black, then go watch him perform. What a job.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Five Days Later

It's late, but I hate to break a promise. Here are some pictures from Burning Man.

The Man is behind this art piece, which was part of a larger piece.

Inside the Temple, which they burn on Sunday night. It was three stories tall, if I remember right. People add to it in memory of loved ones and hardships.

I think the helmet adds to the bug-like look. Another picture I have of this pose shows an art car with a giant green, um, thing on top. I thought I'd save that picture for another, less public time.

The woman working at this installation invited us inside McLightenment when the dust picked up. She was great. I got some Hope for a friend from her. My camera was having some trouble with the dust.

Here's a hat I knit this weekend (it's resting on my new comforter cover). I finished it tonight while watching The Outlaw Josey Wales after a rousing game of Frisbee and hanging out with new(er) friends over quesadillas. This weekend was quite good. I went to the car show and parade, hung out with a friend, made soft pretzels, and got around to some things I'd put off for awhile, like laundry and cleaning my room.

This Everlasting Bagstopper has been waiting for yarn forever. I finally got some yarn, finished knitting the bag, and then let it sit, waiting for straps. Now it's done. I haven't tried it yet, but I know Dan uses his, so I'm really looking forward to it. Or I might save it for a Christmas present. We'll see.

I know it's not much, but I did it: I found time to blog.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Completely Subjectless

It's been a rough and busy time lately. I'll post pictures from Burning Man soon. I don't have any knitting to show, though. Not really. Maybe I'll whip up something tonight just to have something to show for my absence. Thanks for hanging in there. More soon, I promise.