roblog - Official Blog of Rob Hurvitz

31 Jul 2002 - 10:37:20 PM
Okay, my last post for July. I saw the Television show last night and, well, was a little disappointed. It was basically a shorter version of the set they played last year. They even played the same cover song in their single encore (last year I think they did two encores), the Count Five's "Psychotic Reaction." Oh well.

I had lunch with Sean today, and he told me that my climbing and hiking posts were getting to be a bit much. I thought I'd been keeping a reasonable balance, but I guess not. Certainly doesn't help that I just write general things about them and not include any pictures. Maybe after a couple more paychecks I'll buy a digital camera. That oughta spice up the outdoorsy posts a bit. I've heard that the Canon S40 is nice.

Anyway, in deference to Sean, I won't mention that I went climbing this evening at the Vertical World indoor climbing gym or that tomorrow I'll be climbing at Exit 38 after work. I'm sure he'll appreciate my restraint.

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29 Jul 2002 - 12:27:56 AM
I hiked to the summit of Alta Mountain today. Its elevation seems to be 6240', although I've seen it listed as 6000', 6250', and 6400'. Puzzling. I went what I thought was the standard route, via the Rachel Lake trail, but after a Google search, I found four trip reports (one, two, three, four -- the first two from the same guy), and all of them took the "secret" trail to Lake Lillian and then headed north to Rampart Ridge. They all have very nice pictures of Alta and the surrounding area, and I'm totally envious. I had fairly miserable weather -- low clouds, almost constant mist, and a cold, wet wind along Alta ridge soaking and chilling me. Closest I've come to hypothermia, actually. There are all sorts of amazing panoramas from the summit, as seen in the various pictures, but all I saw today was gray. There are four or five false summits on Alta, and, not having read those trip reports beforehand, at each one I thought, "Great! I've reached the summit!" Then I'd notice the little trail continuing on, and, if I concentrated on the wall of mist, the faint outline of ascending ridgeline. Got to be a little frustrating. At the true summit, of which I was doubtful at first, I celebrated by hanging out on the leeward side and changing into dry clothes. The way down was made fun by the mist wetting all the rocks along the ridge trail and all the tree roots as well as the rocks along the steep section of the Rachel Lake trail. The flat section back to the parking lot was mostly dry, though. Oy. I must be becoming a masochist.
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26 Jul 2002 - 8:59:14 PM
I've been somewhat remiss about maintaining my blog. Sorry about that. This whole working thing just takes up too much time. Diligence. Diligence is key.

Wednesday night was incredible. I saw Mission of Burma perform at the EMP. Mission of Burma! Who'd've ever guessed they'd get back together? They put on a great show, and and their live version of "That's When I Reach for my Revolver" was one of the best performances I've ever experienced. I think it was the most enjoyable show I've seen, actually, since Television played at the EMP last year. Television, as it turns out, will be playing there again next Tuesday. I'll be there again, as well. It's a fine tradition to have Television play a local gig once a year, I think. Now if only they'd put out a new album.

Thursday night was pretty good. I got a bit more writing done (yeah, I haven't mentioned the book in a while), and, most importantly, came up with a new first paragraph. Made me look forward to revamping the first chapter, in fact, which was something I'd been dreading.

Friday night (tonight) isn't turning out so hot, though. Passing out from exhaustion is looking mighty tempting right now. Mmm, sleep.

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23 Jul 2002 - 7:32:05 PM
My CD binge continues. Yesterday I picked up a variety of new and used discs: The Flaming Lips, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, my first Radiohead album (they seem to be kinda popular), and, on a lark, The Bevis Frond. When I got home, I found my first paycheck in over a year waiting for me. A lovely day, all in all.
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21 Jul 2002 - 2:23:55 PM
Yesterday I hiked the Snow Lake Trail with Greg (I apologize for his purple background -- blanched almond is so much better). The beginning flat part of the trail and the switchbacks up the south side of the ridge were snow-free, but the north side down to the lake still had a lot of snow. Between the two of us we had a pair of trekking poles -- not quite enough gear to make a safe descent. The snowy slopes were fairly steep, with boulders and trees poking through -- one slip and you'd be sliding fast and hitting something hard. We contented ourselves with the view of the lake from the ridge, a broken pattern of ice slowly melting across the lake surface -- very pretty. Headed west along the ridge to a spot with a good view of the lake and nearby Chair Peak, where we hung out and ate lunch.

On the way down, we took the Source Lake Overlook spur trail, which neither of us had ever taken before, and were very pleasantly surprised. Lots of waterfalls, and the view of small Source Lake was fairly dramatic. A circle of water surrounded by thick ice and snow, with a slab of ice on the right about as big as the exposed portion of the lake calved in but not broken up or melted.

Although some areas still had a lot of snow, others didn't. It was strange to see Guye and Snoqualmie Peaks completely clear of snow because the last time I was there (5/17) the snow reached all the way down to the parking lot.

It would be nice to post some pictures of the hike along with this entry, but it'll probably be a while before I finish the current roll of film. Maybe when I start getting paid again I'll splurge on a digital camera.

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15 Jul 2002 - 11:27:23 PM
I couldn't help myself. It's been ages since I've bought some new music, and since I'm now working and all, I figured that I could afford to buy a new cd or two, even though I haven't actually gotten paid yet. So, I walked into Orpheum, one of the better record stores near me, and walked out with new stuff from Fugazi, 764-HERO, Sonic Youth, and Guided by Voices. Nice little fix. Check out my CD Shelf for details...
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12 Jul 2002 - 11:02:06 PM
Saw Men in Black II this evening. After all the horrible reviews it's been getting, I wasn't expecting much, and, well, I think that helped. The pacing did have sort of a reluctant feel to it (like getting up in the morning to go to work), and a number of jokes just kind of fell flat, but still, I was entertained, and some of the jokes were pretty funny.

Men in Black II gets: **1/2 (out of 4)

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11 Jul 2002 - 10:20:33 PM
Okay, that last post was pretty much incomprehensible unless you're a climbing nerd. Sorry about that. (But I led a 10a!) Anyway.

I'm not going to say how, but I stumbled across an article about a butt-fondling psychic yesterday and thought it was pretty funny. Sounds like a much more interesting line of work than the contract job I'm doing right now. I think I'd be a little pickier with my clientele, though...

If any psychics out there want to read my palm, though, here's a scan of it. I was going to write a post about a ganglion kind of thing that appeared one day (circled in the pic), but I never got around to it. Needless to say, it's very unsettling when something about your body changes so quickly. Supposedly it's nothing to worry about, though. A couple of Germans told me that, so it must be true. It doesn't hurt or anything, which is something.

talk to the hand
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8 Jul 2002 - 1:06:47 AM
Woo hoo! I led a 10a! I led a 10a!

Okay, perhaps a little bit of explanation is in order. (If you don't know what a 10a is, here's a page with descriptions of various ratings systems.) I've been rock climbing since 1995, basically, and leading since 1997 (my first lead was a 5.6 trad route called, appropriately enough, First Lead, located in City of Rocks, Idaho). I've done only one other trad lead since then, but lots of sport leading. Even though I've climbed 11a's on top-rope, the most difficult route I'd led was a 5.9.

This past weekend, however, a group of us met up at Squamish (both planned and by coincidence) for a little climbing. We spent the first day at the Chek area a little ways north of Squamish, at Foundation Wall. I led a couple 5.9's, then top-roped the 10a. It didn't seem too bad, so I pulled the rope, loaded up on quickdraws, and tied into the sharp end. Of course, the route felt harder leading it than it did on top-rope, but I managed to get the redpoint (lead it without falling).

So, yeah, it was a great climbing day for me.

The next day we did an absolutely gorgeous three pitch route named Star Chek in the nearby climbing area called The Gorge but somehow managed to break it up into four pitches. Spent a lot of time in the sun, enjoying the view of the bouldery, fast-flowing river, the cliff faces, the distant mountains, and railroad tracks on the other side of the river (even saw a train clatter past at one point). Too bad I didn't bring a camera.

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3 Jul 2002 - 2:02:27 PM
Here's the spookiest picture of Bill Gates that I've ever seen. Looks like some sort of weird satanic ritual.
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1 Jul 2002 - 10:23:33 PM
Yesterday, I hiked up Mt. Dickerman with Sim and Jill. Pretty good hike, except there were all sorts of low clouds around, blocking out the 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains at the summit. Small wisps of neighboring peaks and valleys drifted in and out of view, teasing us with what we would've been able to see if the weather had been nice. The good thing, though, was the clouds and intermittent rain kept away the crowds -- we had the mountain mostly to ourselves.

The nearby Mt. Pilchuck trail, which Sim hadn't yet hiked, ended up being closed down that afternoon because of a bear cub eating hikers or something like that. So, yeah, good thing we went to Dickerman, instead.

On the way back down to the trailhead, Sim listed off the peaks he'd so far reached this year, which got me thinking about my own list. Came out to twelve summits on seven peaks, which made me feel pretty good about myself. Here's the list:

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