Monday, July 25, 2011

Aunt Bonnie

Be forewarned, this post has nothing to do with climbing.

This summer. What can I say. Personally, professionally, it hasn't been all that great. Workwise its been one of the most stressful, high intensity times of my life and while that can be good at times, it has instead been overly chaotic without much to show for it.

While the shoulder has been less than ideal my need for climbing has been slowly replaced by a vague enjoyment of running, something that I never enjoyed previous to this summer. It has been frustrating to feel the shoulder at 90% for 3 weeks now. So frustrating that I'll be going back to the doc later this week.

Big, positive changes happened with Katie and her working environment which were awesome and she's already doing good things at the gym. A known result of the change though was that I'd be seeing less of my wife throughout the first bit. Knowing it doesn't make it suck less though. I like seeing my wife and when that changes a bit it's tough to deal with.

Another side effect of the extremely serious case of "Bitch-itis" has been seeing my friends less than I'd like to. Not wanting to be "that guy" that awkwardly comes into the gym, plops down on a couch and just "hangs out" I've been at the gym maybe once a month. It's really staggering how much I miss being around my friends and how much of my time is normally spent climbing. It's really surprised me even if it shouldn't have.

None of that matters though. We're all healthy. The shoulder will heal up. I'll start climbing again. I'll see my wife more often and work will slow down. It's all fixable. There are things that aren't fixable though and those are the real issues in life.

A couple weeks ago on the 13th I found out that my Aunt Bonnie had liver cancer. The type of cancer she had was particularly devastating and not many make it through. The doctors gave her 3-4 weeks to live at the time. She passed away 5 days later and was only 50 years old.

When I found out, Bonnie had known for roughly a year. She didn't want people to think of her and remember her as "Bonnie with cancer", but rather just as Aunt Bonnie. She kept it from all but her closest friends and didn't want to burden her family, whatever that really means.

The speed with which it all happened was absolutely shocking and I'll be honest in saying that I've never experienced a loss like this before. So unexpected and sudden with no warning or chance to come to terms with it. Katie and I went to the memorial last Friday and it was obvious the impact she made on everyone who came into her life.

It's absolutely agonizing to think that Bonnie won't be at Christmas this year. The simple fact that I'll never get a chance to see her again destroys me.

Sadly there aren't any lessons learned or a neatly packaged silver lining in this story. I lost a family member that I care for deeply and I won't get her back. Instead everyone should just go home and hug someone they care about. Life can change so incredibly fast.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

NIC O WILL NEVER CLIMB 8B!!!!!!! ALL CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BOMB.COM!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Katie and I went to Nic's wedding yesterday. Molly didn't even stand him up. Congrats dude.

I learned a few things though.

1 - Nic will never climb 8B. He's gonna pop out a fleet of kids within the a year(I'm predicting triplets) and he'll be done climbing. I'm guessing he'll pick up professional putt putt golf instead.

2 - Nic gets ripped on ALL THE TIME. Seriously. Every speech was focused on his downfalls. Molly's sister even called him "The older brother I never really wanted". Awesome.

3 - Josh wiped his mouth with his tie and didn't even know it. So good.

4 - Kelly is the nicest person ever. Even when she's being mean.

5 - It was so hot out that Josh had to change shirts between the ceremony and the reception.

6 - Nic tried to off Kelly and Katie. We're sure of it. There were Almonds in everything and dishes of peanuts all over the place.

7 - The Koreans LOVE my videos. Who knew??

8 - We got pulled over on the way back home and somehow Katie got out of it. I think she racked up some sort of record and got 5 warnings. 5! Speeding, burned out taillight, burned out headlight, no proof of insurance and expired tags. Insane. Who gets 5 warnings?!?

9 - Kelly grabbed both of Katie's boobs. Hot.

10 - My Bursitis is now known as 'Bitchitis".

11 - Josh actually eats these when I give them to him. Who knew??

Seriously though, it was a really nice wedding and I'm happy for both of them. Molly will be really good for Nic. Also it was good catching up with Jeff, Kelly, Josh, Liz and the whole Minnie crew. Apparently their summer has been hellish up there.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Product Launches

Launching a new product is an odd thing sometimes. It seems the Outdoor Industry has backed away from attempting to keep everything a secret until the day it actually hits the shelves. Now there is an absurd amount of buzz coming out of OR every year and people already know what's going to be new a full 6 months before it even makes it out of the factory.

On top of that some companies are doing an even earlier launch to beat out some of their competitors and to make sure there aren't any leaks. It's honestly kinda nice to see and now it's really only a matter of time before someone launches a new product and then ships it a month or two later. I'm excited to see that it's the direction many companies are making.

Last year Petzl did a large early launch with the GriGri 2. It was hugely successful and at the OR trade show the Petzl booth was absolutely going OFF! It was incredible to see everyone trying to pile into the booth to play with the new toy.

One of the reasons Petzl did such an early launch was the Friedrichshafen tradeshow in Germany. It's the first show for many companies and after that, a lot of the info is already out so it was a nice way to beat that by a little bit. The put the info up literally the day before that show started.

Fast forward to yesterday and I saw a note on Mountain Project that Black Diamond had a "Major New Climbing Product Announcement". They said they'd tell everyone on the 13th, coincidentally, the day before the Friedrichshafen show starts.

And they posted this earlier today:

I'll be honest and say that, personally, I was a little let down. See I figured they bought someone, had an autolocking belay device or had some sort of crazy new product that would change climbing as we know it. Instead we get two new lockers.

Even if reactions are decidedly mixed currently they're getting a lot of buzz and getting people psyched. So that's good.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Aaron tells me I need to drink more milk and then my shoulder will be better. How bout Vodka? Will that make it better??? I think so.

Not much to say but a couple of cool things I saw today.

1 - Nic is finally doing more of his Pad posts. I'm glad. It's actually really interesting and I think we can all look back at our pads and remember a few stories. Good idea Nic. Go here.


3 - RV has been in India for like an hour and dudes already gained 5 pounds. Fatty.

4 - I'm drinking right now.

5 - Saw this video profile of Andy Raether that I thought was super cool. Nice to see Andy getting a bit of play after voluntarily walking away from the spotlight. One of the strong midwest dudes that I'm happy to have met and hung out with a couple years ago at OR.

I'm always inspired by people that train their asses off and Andy is one of those dudes.

That's all

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Aaron's Chops

Aaron........You'd better get yourself some facial hair. The people want it. Badly. They want two of em.

Two Mutton Chops for Aaron!!!! One for each side!!!!!!!!!!!!

Personally I'm a bit sad that the single side chop didn't get more momentum. I really figured people would got for it in Mullet fashion. Bizness on the right, Partay on the left. Oh well.

Katie and I set up the Badminton battlefield this weekend. OMG I'MGOINGPRO!!!! So good it hurts.

I think Eggballs is back in town. Don't know though. I also think Aaron and company went out climbing yesterday. Not totally sure though. Katie and Ian have climbed a few things but I have no clue what. Gotta say, not climbing is really hampering my ability to make fun of you fools and downgrade your problems without even doing them.

Instead we'll just make fun of Nic. The countdown to him getting left at the altar is a mere 11 days away!!!!!