Thursday, March 31, 2005

So annoyed...

So yesterday, I took my car in to get an adjustment for the hail damage. They gave me an estimate of about $2500 in damage. Now what sucks, is that they aren't going to cover my windshield because it was damaged by rocks..yes..rocks that were on the roof of the building at my work, which were violently thrown around by the hail storm!!! Fuckers. Insurance fuckers. Ugh.

Tomorrow, I have to call for an appointment with the fixer upper guys and try to get a rental car. All this sucks. It's so annoying. Hopefully I'll get in early Saturday, so I can do some crazy long ass hike and have a full day.

Damn. Ugh. Fucking hail.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Fucking Bloody HAIL, part II

Well, today I finally saw my car in daylight, and realized that the hail damage is even worse that I originally saw...



A few visible hail damage spots...camera can't catch them all! Posted by Hello


Besides the dents all over the car...the windshield has a big crack in it, and a few smaller chips. Also, and a bad one...my tail light is busted. A huge crack across it. That's like a $300+ part, I believe...ouch!!!



A few more hail spots...there's a lot more than that, though Posted by Hello


So Wednesday after work, I have to take my car in to have an adjustor look at it. Boy, I bet they love us right now!!! But like I said before, I guess it *could have been worse*...still, pretty shitty though.



My poor tail light :( Posted by Hello


I'm really worried at how much (if there is one, and I bet there is) the deductible is. Like if it's $500..I mean shit, I don't have that kind of money to spend...but damn..windshield, lights...fuck!!!



Close up of the crack in my windshield Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 27, 2005

I Dream of Africa

I vowed to myself that from now on, I will leave the country at least once a year. That way, I can live my life at home, yet satisfy my desire to travel and throw myself in another world.

So for this year, I've got two trips slated. Argentina for late July-August, and Tanzania for Dec 23-mid Jan.

Yes, I said Tanzania.

I've decided to do something crazy. I'm going to summit Mount Kilimanjaro on New Years Day. Well, it's actually not *that* crazy. It's just a high altitude hike and requires no mountaineering experience...so..pending that my body gets used to the altitude, I should be fine. I dread altitude sickness...



My friend Mike's pic from the summit of Kilimanjaro Posted by Hello


I've been dreaming and thinking about this trip for a while. And now it's closer to realization...I put a deposit on for the trip. The first part of the trip will be the Kilimanjaro hike, the second part of the trip will be a safari to the Ngorongoro Crater, and the last part of the trip will be an island hop to Zanzibar for some fun in the sun and possibly a bit of diving.

I cannot help this desire...no...need to travel. It's in my blood.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Fucking bloody HAIL!!!

So yesterday after work, Sean picked me up so that we could go to the South Rock Gym. I left my car at work for the evening. Little did I know that hail went through the area. So after climbing, we go and pick up my car. The roads are a mess, with tree leaves all over the place, so you know there was some crazy storm that had happened..it had cleared up when we got there.

I completely forgot about the hail (I couldn't check out my car at night), until I read the local news. And so I went to look at my car about 15 minutes ago..and fucking hell...I've got hail damage. Now it's not *too, too* bad..I mean, at least my car doesn't look like a golf ball..like a car we had seen earlier today. But there are pretty obvious dents. Fuck. I filed a claim with my insurance company this evening, and I've got an appointment on Wed eve for them to check it out. Damn damn damn.

Latest DIY projects...


My first knitted scarf! Posted by Hello


So I finished my first knitted scarf today. Well actually, I had started one using size 7 needles, and it was just taking so damn long. Plus, it had quite a few holes it in (I was going to sew buttons over them to "disguise" the holes). I wanted immediate results! So I picked up a skein of extra bulky yarn and a pair of size 17 needles. I just did a regular stitch (I don't know the terminology), about 10 across? I finished it in a few sittings...not bad. And it's warm, fuzzy, and cute!!!

Modelling my new scarf Posted by Hello


A while back ago..actually, probably about a month ago? I finished my crochet hat. It was that one that started off as the penis hat/nipple cover. I messed up on it, tried decreasing since the pattern called for a larger size than my head, then increased it back. It has a dent in it, but when I wear it...you can't tell.

Modelling my crochetted (is that a word?) hat Posted by Hello

It doesn't quite match my dress... ;) Posted by Hello


I know I'm not really into the fancy schmancy yarns yet...just trying to learn and practice on the cheap acrylic stuff...but I went to visit the Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe in Cedar Park that just opened recently. I've never been to a yarn shop before, and was just enthralled at the colors and textures of yarn surrounding me. It's a pretty cool shop! And damn, expensive nice stuff too. I found one skein that was $20! Ouch. I'll wait till I get much, much better at this before splurging on one of those skeins. Needless to say, it was a pretty neat place! If my sister ever comes out here, we'll be shopping there ;)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Think Pink!

So last night, I decided to use the Red Passion Manic Panic I had leftover to take care of the blond and orange parts in my hair. Now my hair is black (roots) and vibrant hot pink! It's supposed to glow under a blacklight, too. Maybe I'll have to test that out...

pink...brighter, but something like this Posted by Hello

Monday, March 21, 2005

Birthday blahs

Today's my birthday. Blah. I got a slice of turtle cheesecake from my boss, which was cool. Other than that, it's been extremely non-eventful. Sean's got class tonight. He just called me to wish me happy bday, and said he'd try to bring me an ice cream cake, if he gets there in time.

Hair today, gone tomorrow!

Last night, I had the urge to chop off all my hair..so I did. I cut off about 8 inches!!! It's so short now, but will be nice for the warm weather to come. And I actually really like it right now! I don't have to worry about getting it caught in the bench grinder or flex shaft, so that's nice. Check it out..my new hair cut...

short hair! Posted by Hello

short hair!!! Posted by Hello

Brushy Creek Lake Park


Labrynth at Brushy Creek Lake Park Posted by Hello
Yesterday, I took Shadow to the Brushy Creek Lake Park for a hike, and a swim for him! He loved it. He kept on pulling for the water every time he saw it...and I just had to say, "Not now".

Shadow swimming Posted by Hello
But I got to a low area by a dock, and let him go lose. I got his football out, and threw it for him. He seemed to be the happiest dog on earth at the moment.

Wet dog, Shadow Posted by Hello
I walked about 2.5 miles. Trying to keep my ass in shape!

Brushy Creek Lake park Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Experimental night pics

Sean took me to the rodeo on Tuesday evening, to go see Maroon 5. It was a surprise for my upcoming birthday. I wanted to take my camera to take pics of the rides with long exposures, but we weren't sure if we'd be able to get in, so we left it in the car.

The rodeo was neat, except for the parts where they roped the calves by the neck and another guy roped the feet, or when they'd rope the calve and hog-tie it. Didn't really like those parts. The rest was pretty neat.

The concert was good. I felt old, though. I'd say most of the population was under 21. Lots of middle school girls with tons of eye makeup on, trying to look old. And here's something new to me. Waving lighters in the air to a song..no more. Kids now wave cell phones that are lit up in the air. It was so bizarre, it was really creepy actually. But I had to participate a bit, so I screamed like a 14 year old girl..always followed by a laugh, because I just couldn't hold it in. And Sean gave me his cell phone to wave in the air..that lasted..oh..2 seconds, before I couldn't stop waving it because I was laughing too much.



Power plant pic Posted by Hello

Another power plant pic Posted by Hello

After the concert, we went back to the car. It would be a while for us to get out, so I whipped out my camera and took some fun pics. Most are brakelights or parking lot lights. Now I can't wait till the carnival comes to Cedar Park, so I can take some experimental shots of the rides!

Here are some pics from the rodeo parking lot...

Brake lights Posted by Hello

More brake lights/headlights Posted by Hello

Cigarette lighter Posted by Hello

Brake lights and more Posted by Hello

Brake lights/Head lights Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Climbing Texas Limestone - Seismic Wall

I went climbing on Sunday...here's the story :)



Seismic Wall Posted by Hello
It was a sunny, warm weekend. Sean, Brian and I decided to hit up Seismic Wall on the Barton Creek Greenbelt. We met Brian at the parking lot next to the Barton Creek trail access off of 360, but he said the creek was high, so we headed up 360 just past the bridge and parked on a gravel area. We hiked down a concrete drainage ditch that lead to huge rocks. A bit of a precarious hike down...I had thought of strapping on my climbing shoes!


We got to the creek level and hiked a bit to the Seismic Wall. Brian had been there a few years previously, but it was Sean and my first time there and first time climbing Texas limestone. There were three other climbers when we got there...the guys were climbing, and their family..wives/girlfriends and kids were playing in the creek. The creek was pretty high. Brian said that he had belayed on routes under the roof, such as "Magster" and "Diving for Rocks"..but the spot he would belay was now underwater. We went to the far right side of the wall, and started from there.


Brian lead "Roo Dog", a 5.7 or 5.8 depending on which guide you look at. He seemed a bit nervous...moreso out of practice, as it had been about two years since he's lead outdoors. The way to the first bolt of Roo Dog was a bit tricky. For one, the route goes by a tree with a thick broken branch that points up...if you fell off before the first bolt, chances were very high that you would get a tree enema...ouch! And secondly, there was a nice ledge..but it was so slickly polished, that it may have been useless. Brian lead the route well for being rusty. When coming down, Brian had cleaned the route up by taking the quickdraws out of the bolts. I told the boys that I wanted to top rope the route first, then see if I was confident enough to lead it.



Me on Roo Dog Posted by Hello
After Brian got off the rope, I geared up and top roped Roo Dog. I felt like an idiot at first, because I couldn't figure it the bottom part out. I tried to use the ledge, but it was way too slick for my skill level. I tried a few more things and couldn't get a good start. I decided to cheat and use the tree, since I didn't want to risk getting a tree enema. After that initial part, it was pretty nice. Limestone climbing is much different than the granite climbing that I've done before. Nice huecos here and there, but no pink granite crystals to look for. I do like the texture of the limestone. About half way up, I got to a nice ledge that I used for a resting spot.

Me on a ledge on Roo Dog Posted by Hello
From there, it was pretty easy. Actually, I think the most difficult part of it was the beginning. Otherwise, it felt really good as a first limestone climb.
Sean climbed the route next, and I belayed him. He struggled and struggled in the beginning of the route as well. The rest of the route was a cinch to him. He cleaned the top, got the gear, and rapped down -- his first time, and what an excellent job he did! I'm..well..a bit too chicken to do that for now. Maybe next week ;)


The first climbers gathered their gear and left. But a second group of people came to the area. Two guys and a lady, and 2 young boys and a young girl. They weren't climbing, but I saw they had gear. They just sat around with the kids. The lady took off her shirt and sat there in her bra. Not exactly a beautiful site to see. I heard her say that it was too hot to have her shirt on.


The three of us rested for a bit, took a look at the route map, and decided that "Butt Scratch", a 5.8, would be our next climb. Sean decided to lead it, his first outdoor lead climb. I belayed him in the efforts. He climbed to the first bolt pretty easily. Then struggled a bit after that bolt, rested, then got back on the rock. A successful effort. Sean finished the climb, and cleaned the route along the way down.



Brian on Butt Scratch Posted by Hello
Brian climbed the route next. He did pretty well. We're trying to get him whipped back into climbing shape, so we can all climb together. While Brian was on the wall, I noticed that two of the kids of that group, a little boy and a little girl, were running around butt naked. The lady had put her shirt back on. But naked kids? It was well, kind of strange. Both kids were about 4 years old, while the older boy (with clothes on) was about 6. They were just running around, playing in the creek, and whatnot. The naked little boy ended up riding on a tree branch. The older boy was shaking it up and down. Hmmm...can we say..."Ouch!!!" But it didn't phase the little boy. Climbing with naked kids running around..kind of strange. It's not Hippy Hollow...but then again, the adults with them were smoking a joint earlier.



Me stuck on Butt Scratch Posted by Hello
I jumped on Butt Scratch, and effortlessly climbed it. It was much easier than Roo Dog. There's one huge ledge on the route where Sean said that it was so big you could have a picnic up there. And truely, it was a huge ledge. Butt Scratch was a nice route.



Belaying Posted by Hello
We rested again for a bit. Then decided to tackle "Jiggle Butt" aka "It's a Wiggle Butt", a 5.8 or 5.8+. Sean, Mr. No Fear, decided to lead this one as well. It took him a while to finish it. Looked pretty tough. And surely, I really wouldn't feel comfortable leading this one if he had that much trouble on it. While he was still leading Jiggle Butt, another group came - a fairly large group. I had seen one of the guys at the rock gym before. They were working on Roo Dog. And the other group, the ones smoking a joint with the naked children running around, started to climb "Over Easy", a 5.9.



Sean leading Jiggle Butt Posted by Hello
After Sean cleaned the route and came off of it, I climbed Jiggle Butt. It seemed easy at first. Well, until I got to a ledge, and looked around...everything around me looked pretty polished. I started feeling around the rock, to see if there were good hands that I couldn't see. I stood there, bewildered, for several minutes. Wondering..what the hell should I do? I looked for the chalk, marks of previous climbers, but could not reach any of them. Sean yelled to me that it was all crimps around there. Great! Crimps I can't see, and can't really get a good foot on anything either. By feeling around above me, I finally found a decent crimp, pried myself up, tapped my foot up to a little crystal, and pulled out of the polished area. That was the crux. After that, it was easy.
Brian went climbed after me, and came to a halt at the exact same spot that I did. While he was climbing, the stoner's little girl (now with clothes on) came to talk to me. She wanted to play with my chalk ball, so Iet her for a bit. Then she just kept on patting it, like annoying kids do at the gym. So I took it back from her. But she wanted me to put some chalk on her cheek, so I dabbed some from my hands on her cheek. It was really cute. She told me that she forgot her swimming suit at home (hence that would explain why she was running around naked). Then she practically crawled on my lap to talk to me and play with my hair. Then she went and told her mom that she had to pee. Her mom told her to find a place to squat. The girl said, "Like in grass?" The mom said, yes. So the girl goes behind the big group of climbers, and finds a tuft of grass - out in the open for everyone to see - and pops a squat right there. It was so hiliarious! Mind you, this is a 4 year old girl I'm talking about. It was pretty comical.


After Brian came down, we were all pretty exhausted with the heat. So we sat around, rested a bit, then called it a day for the Seismic wall. We headed back up the rocks and drainage pipe to the cars - a tricky hike and a calf workout!

And even after the outdoor climbing, I wanted to practice leading, so Sean and I went to the south gym and climbed even more!!! I lead one route that I had top roped. I felt comfortable, except at the very top, where the hand holds were smaller, I started to get nervous. I was pretty tired, too, then it kicked into my brain..oh, grab for the top of the wall..duh. then I clipped the rope into the top clips, and was done! My first lead climb!