Thursday, November 19, 2009

Berkeley Iron Works Comp

Last week I attended a bouldering competition for the first time in ages. As has usually been the case in the past, I was not a competitor. For this event I offered my services (read: obligated) to shoot HD video and put together a short piece for the my good friend and gym manager, Paul Barraza. I had a great time doing this, and I really relished the opportunity to have a creative release. I'd love to hear some feedback on this, the video was an experiment for me and I had a high standard to meet. Also, I would be remiss not to acknowledge Becky's role in this project. In addition to providing me with a camera and lenses she deserves a credit as Key Grip. Invaluable.

TBS 5 Berkely Iron Works from Princess on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Not Out of the Woods Yet

Turtle eating her dinner out of her dog-bowl, I swear her head is in there.

So the pet health issues have continued.

About a week after Turtle's surgery Becky and I came home from a late dinner to an apartment that smelled absolutely horrid. Rotting flesh. We were dismayed to discover that a patch of skin adjacent to her sutures was decaying and had become infected! I of course panicked assuming that the chunk of skin would fall off and her intestines would spill out onto the floor and Turtle would die.

Thankfully, this did not happen. Initially I was told a skin graft might be in order, but that it would be risky considering her condition. I was not keen on putting her through another surgery anyway so I was relieved when I was told that we could treat it as an open wound. It might just take longer for it to fully close up, and she would be left with a sizable scar.

The most difficult part (for me) about this course of action has been dealing with the sight of the wound because of the immense pity I feel for her every time I look at it. I can't escape feeling a little guilty for putting her through all of this because, unlike a human, I can't explain why we're doing what we're doing to her. As a result, every time I clean the wound or take her to the vet Turtle gets very unhappy and makes no effort to conceal it. That said, she's been a great patient overall. I know I'd squeal a lot more than she does if someone where scrubbing an open wound on my body.

For now she's improving and that's all I can ask for.

Something a little more light hearted...

Facial hair! I decided to shear the beard off much to Becky's great delight, but to her dismay I had a little fun with the remaining fuzz.

First up was 'the Deadwood,' inspired by the HBO show of the same name. I thought this was a winner that could be worn with pride for months, I'd probably be single for those months though so I opted instead for the...

...Anybody want a mustache ride? Hell yeah! This is the look for me. Fathers lockup your your daughters because here I come!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Destination Climbing

Last weekend, while on nursing duty, I realized I needed to get out of the house for a bit to unwind. Since Yosemite was out of the question, I went for the next best thing...not Castle Rock, not Mortar Rock, not even Mickey's Beach, no I headed to Vacaville!!

The rock there is actually really cool in my opinion, there's just not that much of it. It's a really slick blocky basalt that unfortunately gets heated up pretty quick, definitely not an ideal quality in the sunny central valley. There is a project there I've wanted to do for a long time, so I thought I'd go give it a try. Its a lower start to a problem I established in 2004 called "Blood Sport" (I split my forehead that day when I broke a hold on another problem). Somehow this problem has made it into the Supertopo guide, but the description is totally misleading. Anyhow, I tried and came close but to no avail. I think it would be nice if it were about 20 degrees cooler for this problem because the crux sloper was just too difficult to hold in the heat.

For climbers debating where to go on your next climbing trip don't even bother with Font, Hueco, or the Rocklands head to Vacaville instead. To help convince you of this infinite wisdom I made a radical video that will blow your minds.

Vacaville Boulders from Princess on Vimeo.

The Tumor

The "Cone of Shame"

For the past week my attention has been focused on getting Turtle healthy. About a week prior to leaving for South Africa I noticed a small growth on the left side of her abdomen, which closely resembled a nipple. I thought it was strange but was not overly concerned. When I returned, I noticed that it had grown, but not that much. Nonetheless I became a little worried. Fortunately for me I have several friends that are veterinarians and one of them, Heather was kind enough to take a look at it. She was definitely worried and recommended that I take her in to have it removed. Heather is no longer practicing, because she's working 0n a PhD, so I took Turtle in to see another friend, Jenny. Within a matter of days Turtle had the tumor removed and the results of her blood work and biopsy were in. The good news is we think she's out of the woods, though she has a higher risk of future tumors than a dog that has never had one. Now we're just waiting for the six inch incision to heal and she'll be set to go.

It was a stressful week for sure, and I want to thank everyone that gave us their well-wishes and support either by Facebook, phone call, or in person. Also, an extra big thank you to Heather and Jenny, Turtle is the most important thing in the world to me so I'm forever grateful for all that you've both done.

Jenny and Turtle post-op