It’s been snowing a boatload. Almost three feet in a span of about a week. The free snowblower that I just finished rebuilding the carburator on, cleaning up, and getting running… just sucked in a screw from the throttle plate. It ran beautifully for about 5 minutes and suddenly, but mysteriously croaked. Everything is apart now. I took out the piston from the cylinder and sure enough, the screw did some damage. The damage seems to be localized to the piston. The walls of the cylinder are seemingly perfect, but there’s a hole in the sidewall of the piston, and a gouge running up the entire side. No wonder it has low compression.
/me orders some parts.
I didn’t have any last year. Or the year before that. I don’t think I’ve made any in a while actually. I think I’ll try out this New Years resolution thing.
So here goes the plan in no particular order:
1) Read daily
I am so behind in everything it’s not even funny. I have a free subscription to Backpacker and Outside. I read a few pages a week, it’s pathetic. I also pay for a subscription to Alpinist, I’m behind about 10 issues now. I need to get crackin.
2) Get 8+ hours of sleep daily
I really try to get to sleep early, but it doesn’t always work. If I have a solid goal, a personal rule for it, then I’ll actually be able to get some decent sleep on a consistent basis.
3) No junk food at all
My brother made it this whole year so far, I figure I might as well start doing that too. I’ve been actually really good about eating good stuff the past few years. Although I do have a piece of cake or a cookie or two on occasion. Sure they are tasty, but the tastyness is just temporary, and there’s healthier stuff that’s quite tasty too.
4) Eat organic for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as often as possible.
It’s just so terrible that even the pretty healthy stuff in the regular food isles has crap like our favorite High Fructose Corn Syrup. I’m going to make an honest effort to get some tasty organic stuff to chow down on next year.
5) Climb 5.11 consistantly.
This one is going to be a tough one. As more and more things are revving up at the job, I’m having less and less free time. Hopefully I can continue to code like a monkey and automate a lot of the stuff that takes up my time.
6) Try not to spend too much.
This has been a goal since I’ve been back home off the trail.Â So far it’s worked out realy well and I’ve been saving a bunch. Christmas and winter is a bit tough though and I couldn’t quite keep the spending low for this month. I got myself skiis, and a down jacket, and new boots. And since my job is all about phone systems, I couldn’t resist getting 3 new voip phones for playing around at home.
7) Buy a house.
My brother and I have been talking about getting into real estate for a long time now. We’ve been doing tons of research, learning a whole lot and getting rather interested in finally putting our skills to the test. Sometime around spring/early summer will probably be the time we start the process. This goal pretty much goes hand in hand with the previous, The more we save, the easier it will be to get the whole house thing going.
8) Find a female adventure companion.
This is always an item on the burner, but… if you make it a formal goal it’s more likely to happen.
Saturday the 13th, the Halloween climbing competition at Electric City. Originally the plan for this weekend was to go to the Catskills place and do what we could before it started getting cold and time to close things up. During a visit to the gym the week before last week I noticed an ad for the comp. Looks like we’ll have to change the plans… we can’t possibly miss a climbing comp!
I was only climbing a few times since coming back from visiting Cindi. I felt pretty rested up. It’s always good to taper off before something like this so that you’re back up to full stamina (or pretty close). I climbed once during the first week of October, found out about the comp, and then didn’t climb any last week. Should be a good enough break.
I remembered the time wrong and got there way early. We got there at 4:00, and it started at 5:30 (whoops). It worked out though, since I had some time to run a power line for the computer I built for Andy. Me and my brother played jumpnbump (very fun game involving two battle bunnies) until everything was ready to start. About 100 people showed up. I saw Ben, so I went over to say hi. Ben’s been climbing since March and is pretty solid at 5.11 in the gym. Nutty. He has the strength and power, I have my technique and endurance. We’ll see which set wins.
This was actually a climbing as well as bouldering competition. Most tend to be just bouldering. So this makes it interesting. I warmed up just by climbing on random stuff on the back traverse and after a few runs I did my first route, 120 points, probably a V1. I never start at my level at a comp, a warmup is a must. I’ve seen quite a number of other people in the past just hop on the high scoring routes right away and burn themselves out. I worked my way up to some 300′s that felt V2ish and then noticed this 410 pointer that looked doable. Usually 400 is where it starts getting pretty rough. I onsited it after watching some people try and fall off. That’s one of the main strategies for me, gain as much info as you can to put the odds in your favor. On average you get about 30 more points if you get the route on your first go versus after a number of attempts. I hopped on the 410 and it didn’t seem too bad. I finished it nicely. Woohoo.
The rules for the day were stated that your top 5 routes count (which is pretty standard), and you must select 3 bouldering routes and 2 ropes, or 2 bouldering routes and 3 ropes. I needed another high scoring bouldering problem, so I walked over to the 60 degree wall to see what everyone was falling off of. People were working this route that looked kinda tough but doable… I studied the movements… I started up and got half way and got into a weird body position and couldn’t continue. I thought about what I should have done, got back up on the route and finished it! A nice 400 point route for the list. Now to head for the wall.
On average you get 20 more points for leading routes on the wall. I looked at this 300 pointer lead route and decided to give it a go. It felt 5.9ish, not too bad. On the right side of the wall I watched a guy attempt and fall off a route. After studying the holds I went to lead up it. I finished the route in nice style, a 375 point route for the card, nice. I eyeballed the next route I wanted to lead, a pink route for 430 that looked about 5.10ish up the middle. I went for it. The beginning and middle weren’t too bad, but at the top was a nasty sloper that spit me off. Rest time.
My brother pointed out a route in the left corner that was 310. I needed more wall routes for my score card so I did that one. It was really awkward and reachy but I got it done. So now I had 400, 410, 375, 310. I need either another high scoring wall route, or another high scoring boulder route to finish it up. I looked and looked for another wall route to do, I settled on a 350 in the middle. I got about 15 feet up and buttered off. On my second attempt I got about 20 feet up and buttered off. Rest time.
I gave the pink route another go. I got to the SAME spot with that nasty sloper and couldn’t make it. Time is running out, we have 30 minutes left and I need another route. I headed off to the bouldering room and checked out this sloper funfest that was 350. I gave it a go and fell off. Oh well, so much for the onsite bonus, now I can only get 330. I tried it a few more times… each time I got a little further. Man I’m tired. I sat down, drank some water and watched my brother climb.
I gave it a few more go’s. Twice I made it to the end and couldn’t stick the last hold. Andy walked by and I asked him if there was a hold missing tape towards the end. He looked and said, you know, this little thing here should be in. Noooooooooooooooooooo. All that effort to JUMP for the last hold and hold on, when I could have used the foot chip to balance over. Andy said that the missing hold was out the whole time and so it would be unfair to use it now. I tried the route again. And he said, you know, with both hands on the last hold, I’ll count that. Yes! 330 points. 1825 total, not too bad. Now to see what other people had.
The guy who won intermediate last year had 2300, dang, so much for first. Ben had 1940. If only I had gotten that pink route Aughh, now I might not even place at all.
Since people enter which ever category they feel they most likely belong, many people wind up in categories too low for them, and so the people who run the competition will bump people up to the next category if their score is too high. Everyone with more than 2000 got bumped to advanced. So that put Ben in first, myself in second, and my brother tied for fifth. Ben won a bouldering pad, I got some nice techware clothing, and my brother got a travel cooler pouch filled with organic energy bars, not bad for fifth. Ben deserves it, he works hard, he has the heart too. I already have a bouldering pad and I was thinking of getting a new under armor shirt anyway, so this works out great!
The next day after climbing outside is always so rough.Â You would think after having been climbing for years I wouldn’t be all achy the next day, but alas.
Saturday we went to the Catskills place and checked out the storm damage. Berry Brook Road (the main road) is in pretty bad shape.Â Everywhere that the brook goes under the road through a pipe was ripped apart.Â What tends to happen is that when the brook overflows it’s banks there is so much water that the pipe can’t handle it, so the water runs over the road and grinds it down.Â One house washed away and everything else looked okay.
Our road wasn’t nearly as bad as our neighbor said it was.Â She claimed three foot deep ruts in the road.Â Even the last huge storm in 96 that washed out our road wasn’t that bad.Â You can only go down so far until you hit bedrock, and it’s way less than three feet.
The road was obviously worked on since the flooding.Â We have a feeling the electric company that maintains that little section of road is responsible.Â Thanks guys.Â There’s only one section that’s bad.Â Whoever fixed up the road also pushed dirt on top of the drainage pipe along the road.Â Now we have a little frog pond there.Â There are in fact frogs living in it.Â That has to be dug out, we need some gravel on the road, and that should do it.
The house is okay, the pond is okay, the fields need cutting badly (but that’s what happens when you haven’t cut the grass for three years).Â The wood piles need to be redone and the chimney and house need repainting.
Many thanks to Ewoud Kohl van Wijng. He has sent me an updated MyTcl that will work with MySQL 4.0. MyTcl 0.85 is available for download overÂ here