Friday, February 29, 2008

do it


i need to re-engage in this whole blogging thing. it's not scratching the itch that i set out to bury. i flirt with the target rather than going in for the kill. it's about the kill.






This guy is actually onto something. I like it, anyway. Keep it up. Killit, dood.

perspective


babymama
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
the world looks a lot different when you're closer to it. it's easy to forget what it was like when you get taller and further away.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I did it for the kids

I was recently "volunteered" by an associate to be "locked up" by the Muscular Dystrophy Association. When I got the phone call soliciting my participation in this event at Outback Steakhouse, I was reluctant, but whoever was on the other end of the line really hooked me with her sweet grandma "do the right thing" voice, and it was on. Not to mention, I've been giving my money to Jerry's Kids since I had a paper route when I was 12 and I actually had my own money to give. I guess it was just time for me to do something like this again.

Some readers familiar with this particular fundraiser may know that being "locked up" means that I had been handed the task of raising money to help local children with neuromuscular diseases get medical assistance and spend a week at a summer camp this year. I looked online here to find out how many f*d up diseases some of these poor kids get, and I was instantly motivated. I thought about how lucky I am to have 2 of the most beautiful and healthy kids anyone could ask for. Seriously, they're perfect. What did I do to deserve them? I don't know but I am planning on paying it forward for the rest of my life.

The people that I met at the lockup were pretty darned amazing...picking up the phone and getting their friends/family/vendors/co-workers/anybody to donate on the spot.



I didn't do too much cold-calling, as in the age of email and click-and-pay, I had already solicited just about everyone on my contact list. A couple of weeks ago I sent an email to a ton of people, and all they had to do was click on a link just like this one and plug those magic credit card numbers into the 'pooter and *voila*...charity happens.

I just want to take a moment out of my life to say how amazing the people that donated really are. Some of them I know real well, and some of them I just kinda know. There's even one dude I have never heard of or met, but he had the link passed on to him and donated $100 through me, a STRANGER! That speaks volumes about the worthiness of the cause.


The list of my personal heroes this year includes:


Zack Sheppard
Sarah & Kyle (Dave & Amy) Chapman
John Harvat
Patrick Crawford (Melanie & Abby, too)
Andie Wilson
Rabecca Rich

Gary MacDonald


You are all solid gold. I am proud to know you.



All in all, I raised $800, which is about 1/2 of what some of the real pros were throwing down today, but hey...between my donation and everyone else's, we sent one kid to camp. I'm kinda proud of that. I'm also very impressed by Amanda, Heidi and Brandi, who work locally for the MDA...you girls do a fantastic job, and are a shining example of what we are all capable of.


For the record, it's never too late to get involved, and if you want to keep the kitty growing you can click here too. Do it for the kids.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Catch Phrase of the week: "Play Ball"

No sarcasm intended in the title, but those words were most definitely thrown out by just about everyone who spoke at the SK Baseball groundbreaking ceremony yesterday. I'm not going to nitpick, however, because the speech makers in the "lineup" included Senators Raggio and Townsend, Mayor Cashell, Mr. Katzoff (one of the "K"'s in SK) and many other notables, all of whom are increasing the momentum and the excitement about the awesome project. I'm signing up for season tickets, and you should do the same through the website above. I can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon with my son next year than riding our bikes down to the park and watching some of the brightest stars of the future of America's Pastime.



Monday, February 25, 2008

Pirate Booty

So the story begins like this:





I come home Thursday night and ask Sean how his day ways at school. It was good...real good. As a matter of fact, he brought home with him a 'secret pirate treasure map'. It's strange how the writing on the map looked mysteriously like a 4-year-old had made it, but I was able to look past this insignificant detail in light of his extreme excitement. I'm including my own rendition of the map below so that you get the idea. It was time-consuming, but I feel it's necessary to grasp the severity of it all.







As Sean described the map, he pointed out the trail, which led from our house right up to the VERY SAME MOUNTAINS THAT WE TAKE BODIE RUNNING IN!!! Crazy coincidence, I KNOW, RIGHT!?!? He wanted to go get that treasure. Now.



Imagine Sean's disappointment in me when he found out I had to go to work on Friday. (Actually, I was a little bummed, too, but that's another story). Anyway, I begged him to be patient, and promised him that weather permitting, we would get up on the treasure hunt trail reeeeeeal soon.





Saturday morning rolls around, along with a splendid little hangover from having company over for dinner Friday night. Well, guess who was jumping on my bed bright and early? Yep, Captain Jack Sparrow and his map! There was no getting around the fact that WE WERE GOING TREASURE HUNTING TODAY! I was harassed every sip of my cup of coffee...every page of my newspaper. Every. Minute. Not. Huntingfortreasue!





So I put on my thinking cap and my big boots, because as the people around here know, there's still SNOW on the ground out there. Sean loaded up his backpack with the necessities: Binoculars, his stuffed dinosaur, the map. We grabbed my treasure-sniffing canine and we were off.






Up on the trail, we followed the map in a different direction than we normally go. Coincidentally, is was one where we would each have to cover a different side of the trail, looking for (to quote my son) "The X Mawks the spot".





Sean used his binoculars and looked hard, but ultimately it was Bodie who ended up sniffing out a very shallowly-buried treasure chest that was lodged in a snowbank, you guessed it, right underneath an "X" that consisted of 2 branches. I told Sean that he had the scent, and Sean hurried over to confirm.

Thank GOD we had remembered the shovel that's attached to the windshield scraper I keep in the truck...it's just Sean's size. He got to digging, and in a few seconds, pulled out the most glorious metal chest a little dood could handle.





Inside were some remarkably familiar items including an ancient watch-chain made by some craftsman from the 14th century by the name of Fossil. Also included were several copper and silver coins, a class ring, a fraternity cross pin, 2 silver chains and a WWI era Iron Cross Medal, which I will keep my eye on.





Sean's excitement lasted the whole ride home as he carefully sorted through the stuff. He slept with the box both nights, and will probably do it again tonight.






Being a kid rules.

Friday, February 22, 2008

lnchtme blg

fmly ruls. lnch'd w/thm @ blu moon ths wk.


wnt hm rly 2 ply n sun
dnnrtme brkdnce prty brokout. wckd awsm.




lv th staaaaaaallls. nc fnsh.

Let's get it started

Bibo steeze.

A little personal reward for closing a gnarly little deal.


And now back to work.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Real

I saw the MHD special on Jill Scott for like the 3rd time last night. Even after watching it over and over, I still got a thing for her...especially this song, which I am dedicating to my babymama, 'cause she's the Real Thing...in stereo.



Monday, February 18, 2008

Hut HIKE

After hearing and reading about the Sierra Club huts for years, I finally got the opportunity to stay in their newest one over the weekend: The Bradley Hut. This cool a-framer was relocated/re-built in 1997-98, right on Pole Creek about 2 miles North of Squaw Valley. Like the other 3 cabins that make up the rustic series of huts, Bradley sleeps 15 in the loft, and makes for cozy comfort from the weather outside. It's a step up from tent camping, and I was lucky to be invited by a great group of people that I recently met through my neighbor, Pat.

Unfortunately, Pat's little girl got sick right before we were scheduled to depart, so my three-night excursion quickly turned into a one-nighter. I killed the idea of packing in my alpine skis, (and heavy boots) knowing I wouldn't have time to do enough skiing, and opted to simply snowshoe in with my last-minute-parter-in-crime, Jess.


The J-meister and I strapped on the snowshoes at the trailhead, and made great time (about 2:15) on the 5-mile, 1,500 foot elevation gain trail. It was pretty easy going, except for the heavy gear I chose to pack in...including, of course, the 6-pack of Bud and the bottle of Makers Mark: necessary liquids that would stay in the mountains when I packed out their empty containers the next day!

We got to the hut in the early afternoon, and met some new friends, Alexis and Derek for a little R&R while we waited for the rest of the crew that was out enjoying a Randonee session in the surrounding peaks.
When everyone got back, we got down to the business at hand of building a sled kicker. We packed it down and built it up into the night, and eventually we had a pretty sweet jump that we could launch a sled off of about 20 feet or so. There were, of course, a few failed attempts while we got the track and the pack just right. I had my cameraphone in tow to get a few lucky snaps.









After some brain damage, we headed in for a group dinner of burritos, chips and salsa. Since my neighbor was on chip duty and never made it up, we freestyled some of the extra tortilla shells onto the hot wood burning stove until they crisped up...delicious. The group leaders, Cons and Tanya also surprised everyone with little personal pie-crust-filled pudding deserts, and we were all full and happy. I tried to hook everyone up with the makeshift cocktail creation of Makers and Cran-Tangerine over snow, which turned out to be quite a lovely Alpine Old Fashioned. With a good buzz on, we all headed back up to the moonlit kicker for some bad ideas.

Jess strapped on some borrowed skis and attempted a helicopter about 3 times before doing some light damage to his face. The brothers Erlach (Tim and Bill) turned out to have the best athletic competition going, however. Tim kept trying to pull a front flip off the kicker, and nearly landed it twice before resigning himself to the old-school spread eagle and daffy. Bill, in the meantime, was determined to be the only succesful sledder to both clear the huge landing AND stay on the sled. He accomplished that goal, screaming "Excriment" on the way down and hanging on like a bronc rider through some rough bounces at top speed when he landed. To use his own words he "Made that sled my bitch." Indeed.

Jess and I woke early and packed our bags onto our weary bodies to depart and leave the skiers to enjoy another beautiful day in the mountains. We vowed to return to the Bradley hut with skis next time. I'm going to save up for a Randonee setup of my own...it looks like the only way to go to get some pure backcountry time in.


The hike down was lighter and quicker, and in just over an hour and a half, we were at the Jeep and making our way down the mountain, talking about how cool everyone we met was and how killer of a trip this was and hopefully will be again.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Dance Party


Dance Party
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
So Marissa turns 31 TODAY. As my way of celebrating her, I actually threw her a big surprise party one week ago. I had her whole family and some of minethere, I had old friends going back to middle school show up, and I even put together a slide show of pictures of her and her friends and family. It was awesome, mostly because SHE HAD NO IDEA!!! She was at the movies with her sister, and when she showed up to a house full of about 30 people her face cried "What The F@#k"

It was awesome. I hope to get some pictures from her friends that had cameras, because I was unprepared, and let Marissa leave the house with our camera in her purse. Oh well. At least I got a couple of snaps, like this one of some of the girls gettin' down to the hippedy-hoppidy. There was a mostly-female dance party upstairs while there was a mostly-male drink-fest going on down in my bar. It was a smashing success, and all for a great cause: Babymama.

Gone...


Gone...
Originally uploaded by daddyisaninja.
...but not forgotten.

I actually made Marissa cry when I told her I sold it. That's why I'm keeping the wife and not the cycle.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Broken Heart

So if that last post sounds a little whiny or something, it's because there is a reason. I'm not one for loose ends, so here goes.

When I graduated from college in 1998, I made my way up to San Francisco to pursue my career with the big law firm and go to the big law school. While diving nose-first into what would turn out to be my first and NOT my only career path, I also took on a new part of myslef: my motorcycle. Towards the end of 1998, I bought a brand spanking new 1999 Harley Davidson Custom 883 Sportster with forward foot controls and a drag bar. I modified it, made it faster, polished it on occasion, kept it garaged...and RODE THE HELL OUT OF IT. It became my only means of transportation, even when I lived with my (then girlfriend) Marissa in Oakland, and had to ride accross the Bay Bridge every day to and from work and school. Even in the rain, I hammered the throttle and split between cars, and loved every second of it. I rode it over the pass to visit the relatives more times than I can remember, but I do remember one ride in February, snow still on the ground, in which I had to peel my hands from the handlebars with an ice-pick once I arrived in Reno. It was all part of the experience.

I loved that bike, and that bike loved me, even when nobody else could. There was a time when that bike was all I had in the world. I vowed never to get rid of it. When Sean was 2 I would ride him around on the gas tank, and I told him that some day I would give it to him. Alas, the motorcycle has sat in a garage for nearly 3 years. I have taken it out for the occasional ride, but it just hasn't had the love or attention it deserved. That baby needs to be worked. I posted an ad on CL a while back, and today, the right person showed up and said the right things, gave me some money and rode off into the sunset. I lost a part of me today.

I'll get another bike someday. It will be cool and fun, but will never replace the one I just let go.

1 and a day

This post marks 1 year of blogging on this site. Actually, I had been previously blogging in more of a hard-core non-fictional sense of the word, recording stories about my wild past for posterity. I decided on about 2.13.07 that I would kill that blog and start writing more fluffy-like and relevant to the now. So I'm pasting my post from a year ago below for all to enjoy. It's as close as I can get today to the spirit of the Hallmark Holiday.







Tomorrow is Valentine's Day...have a good one. If you are like me, the you might want to splurge for some custom-made sweets.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

Coelho on flowers...

The woman was strolling through a shopping mall when she noticed a poster announcing a new flower shop. When she went in, she got a shock; she saw no vases, no arrangements, and it was God in person who stood behind the counter.
“You can ask for whatever you want,” said God.
“I want to be happy. I want peace, money, the capacity to be understood. I want to go to heaven when I die. And I want all this to be granted to my friends too.”
God opened a few pots that were on the shelf behind him, removed some grains from inside, and handed them to the woman.
“Here you have the seeds,” He said. “Begin to plant them, because here we don’t sell the fruits.”

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Not to be missed

OK, so there's this guy here in Reno named Ryan Jerz. I think he's one of the "O.B.'s" in the area...(original bloggers, in case you're just not cool enough to pick up what I'm throwin' down). Anyway, he's been at the blogging thing for a long time. I like to read his prolifically updated blog on a semi-regular basis, although I must admit that I find myself either disagreeing with or scoffing at a small percentage of his input. No matter...it still makes for a really interesting, and mostly well informed read. I have to add him to the "Hit This" blogroll on the sidebar for the following reasons:

- He apparently has a dog named Uncle Rico
- He is a Dodger Fan
- I just now noticed he has me on his "A List"

Actually, had I not been on that list, I should have probably added him in some kind of patriarchal mob-like "paterfamilial" show of respect for one of the godfathers of the sport. And believe me, he treats it like a sport. Wanna see for yourself? Just click over and start reading throught the posts, and then the commentary. It's engaging.

So Jerz, if you're out there: welcome to my own "A List".

And mellow out on Joey.

Go Dodgers.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

It's going to be a tough one to call, but I just want to post a couple of awesome "when they were young" pictures of two of the strong candidates we have competing today. Tell me you wouldn't vote for either of THESE guys.


I "stole" the pictures from a political lobbying email I got last night from one of my favey American companies: American Apparel. They are wieghing in heavy on the immigration issue, and being headquartered in L.A. with a major manufacturing operation, who can blame them. FYI, they sell killer, simple clothing for better than reasonable prices. They also happen to have a pretty sexy advertising campaign and rumor has it that their once-failed-and-then-risen-like-a-phoenix-again leader is involved in some kind of sexual harassment lawsuit...but I don't know enough about that, so I'm not going into detail. Google Dov Charney for yourself and make your own judgement. Personally, I like the guy, and I think he's a fine example of the resilliance of the American Spirit.


And I like sexy advertising.