Finished another quarter

Posted by on December 14th, 2012  •  0 Comments  •  Full Article

I’m looking at 2 weeks of freedom. It will be awesome to leave the job behind and just be me, whoever that is. I get lost in my job. Teaching is a lifestyle. To do it well requires so much more than just going to work. Over the 11 weeks I rewrote 2 classes from scratch, and half of another one. The 4th class used a new book I’d never seen before. So basically I had 4 new classes in one quarter. I was working almost every weekend for the entire quarter, developing curriculum.

Plus we were having meetings about a program merge, and reworking both our old program, and the one we were merging into. Out of all that chaos I managed to teach one of my better quarters.  I love teaching new, state of the art materials. But it’s so hard to find them. Impossible in fact, which is why I created 100 new pages of lesson plans from scatch, and 8 new tutorial videos on cartoon animation. You can see the results here in my students pages:

This is Wil’s page.

This is Lois’s page.

I’m extremely impressed with how well these two students did with my new lesson plans. All of my students did well. I hesitate to single any one individual out, as I had about 20 students in the class.  But these two were simply exceptional, and they had never built web pages before. They did those websites in one quarter, working 2 days a week.





Surgeon told me to stop whining and go climbing

Posted by on November 30th, 2012  •  0 Comments  •  Full Article

I saw Doctor Y. yesterday. He did my sons ACL knee surgery, my mother in laws hips, Fletches hip, and advised me on my knees 5 years ago. He told me that my ankle pain was related to the old fracture of my talus bone from 1982. It healed less than perfectly. He said there was nothing he could do surgically to improve my ability to climb. He gave me a cortisone shot and told me to get arch supports at a running store (Route 16 by the skate park), and some boots that support my ankle better.

“I could put you in a cast for 6 months, immobilize that entire leg. But when you came out of the cast your ankle would be trash. It needs to be used, so go climbing, do what you love, those endorphins are good for you. Nothing you do will make it worse than it is already.”

“What about ankle replacement surgery?” I asked.

“If you were an inactive 85 year old, I might think about it. But those devices are very fragile. Their popularity goes up and down quickly. They invent one, it works well for a few years, and then it fails. Fusing the ankle would severely limit your climbing as well. Forget about it.”

He showed me my x-rays and pointed out the difference between a normal ankle joint and mine. My joint healed crooked. I don’t have the normal smooth curve at the contact points between talus bone and tib/fib. He said I should expect it to hurt, but that it might improve with better, more supportive foot wear.

As he pointed out, it doesn’t hurt at all when I climb, it’s just the approach that gets me. Supportive shoes and or an ankle brace could help with the approach. I ordered a 200 pair of wide work boots online and I’ll go from there. If I can get some good boots to have as supportive a foot bed as my chacos, plus stabilize my ankle, things might be looking up!


Sidelined by an old ankle injury

Posted by on November 12th, 2012  •  0 Comments  •  Full Article

I climbed at Vantage last weekend. Everything went very well. I didn’t have to hang on anything, even George and Martha or the 10B that Ritchie recommended at Riverview collumns. But Monday I was limping…and it just got worse. Wednesday I saw my doctor who took x-rays. Friday she gave me the bad news. I’m not going into details here, but it’s not pretty. I’m using a cain, and have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon in a couple weeks.

We drove down and visited dad today. I looked through his old family albums and found some cool old photos of Sue, me and Lisa.

Lisa and her cousins doing up Ed's hair

Lisa and her cousins doing up Ed's hair


Sue in 1979

Sue in 1979


sue 1979 dishes

Dad at 88

Dad at 88







Wyatt the dog

Posted by on November 1st, 2012  •  0 Comments  •  Full Article

Clint bought a blue heeler puppy. Lisa came over looking for some decoration for her knew apartment. I have 40 pounds of unsold paintings in a box. She prowled through them looking for something nice enough to frame. I was surprised at how good some of them were. In my mind they all sucked because the gallery hadn’t been able to sell them. But some I hadn’t even tried to sell, I’ve  lost interest in selling them…got too caught up in working as a college teacher, or climbing. The rains have started, New York flooded, time to start to walk away from climbing and take up winter hobbies. I’m going to miss climbing, I was just getting good…






The Lucky One

Posted by on October 26th, 2012  •  0 Comments  •  Full Article

I like to to ride my Schwinn Aerodyne exercise bike while watching a movie. The movie keeps me on it far longer than I would normally ride, especially on a work night. Today I watched The Lucky One on Amazon for $3.00.

It’s about a soldier who finds a photo of a girl in the rubble after a firefight. On the back of the photo it says: “stay safe”. It becomes his lucky charm, like a guardian angel. When he gets out, he is physically whole, but scared emotionally.

He looks up the girl. It sounds like a chick flick, and it was written by Nicholas Sparks…but it’s very well done, awesome acting and plot lines. I found it very moving.

Karate Crack, Smith Rocks

Posted by on October 20th, 2012  •  0 Comments  •  Full Article

I led Karate last weekend. It may have been my best effort ever. I hung once at the very top, right before the traverse. I could have run for the anchor, but it’s downhill, and I had to protect my follower. We went down there as a big group from the local gym to celebrate my buddies last trip before his hip surgery.

I’m 63 pages into my new textbook on Web Design, I will post pictures later. I have to write 20 new pages this weekend, and they take an hour a page. It’s 10:30 on Saturday and I haven’t even started. The class will have no lesson if I don’t get this done.

This new version of my textbook is 80 percent new material, and covers html 5, and CSS 3.

Here is a video I recorded on my lunch break about using the Photoshop CS6 healing brush to remove a climbing rope from a photo.

my textbook, cover page






story time after climbing at smith


Lisa following me up karate, photo by Kyle

A little climbing, a lot of Overtime

Posted by on October 5th, 2012  •  0 Comments  •  Full Article

I broke away from lesson plans Sunday to climb at Index for a day. Sue belayed me up Toxic Shock, a 5.9 finger layback and splitter crack. I’ve been climbing that darn crack for 30 years, and it has spanked me many times. Sunday though, I climbed it easily. The finger layback at the bottom went nicely. It’s muscular laybacking on fingertips, but it’s over quickly, and the pro is awesome all the way up. The upper splitter hand crack went smoothly too. As long as you keep raising your right toe, and jamming it in to support the less than perfect hands at the crux, it’s a blast. At one point, I had two manky hand jams, and a manky toe jam, and had to stretch for the nice jam at the end…but again, the pro is awesome.

We went down to K cliff where I was not impressed. The routes have discontinuous cracks, so you are face climbing on runnouts between placements. The really nice one on the left has one piece in about 40 feet. I backed off it. I don’t do runnouts with ledges, I don’t care how easy they are.

Later we ran into Kyle and Lisa. They offered to follow me up Princely Ambitions, which I also led cleanly…for a change. It was a lovely day of climbing for me, though Sue was frustrated at not being able to climb. Her toenail hasn’t grown back yet after a long hike with bad shoes, and she can’t wear rock shoes.

I have written 36 pages in my new book on web design. I’m staying ahead of my class, which eats pages at a rate of about 16 a week. All of today, and most of the weekend I will be creating more pages in my  textbook.

The only way to make this quarter survivable is to simply hang in there and get the work done. Had I been willing to stay home on my vacation and work, I’d not be in this situation. But that I was not willing to do.

The good news is that I will be able to use this book to teach for a couple years, and it’s customized to exactly what my students need to learn. My classes in web are meant to give them both a finished modern website, and prepare them for the advanced classes that are coming their way in future quarters.

It’s a fine line I’m treading. I can’t step on other teachers toes, I can’t get too advanced, and I can’t make it too simple. And it has to make something functional, and pretty that can be used for a portfolio web site, should they decide to buy their own domain name. I’d best get to it. We had a saying back in my previous career as a pressman when faced with a huge project that wasn’t going to go away, and required massive overtime: The only way to it, is through it.

Working Weekend – writing another textbook

Posted by on September 24th, 2012  •  0 Comments  •  Full Article

I’d hoped to get out for a day of climbing this weekend, but couldn’t find a date. Turns out that was a good thing. It forced me to stay home and work on lesson plans. I created 22 new pages of content for my web classes.

I’m writing these from scratch, and the finished product looks like a book. Pictures and arrows, numbered pages and bulleted lists.

I did not want to create entirely new curriculum, but of the 3 books I purchased on Responsive Design, HTML 5 and CSS 3, none were suitable for use in a college classroom.

On the plus side, I love to create things, and writing textbooks is very creative. By the time I’m finished, I will have written a unique 100 page text book that I can use for a few years…until the web changes again.

Smoke Bluffs climbing

Posted by on September 17th, 2012  •  0 Comments  •  Full Article

Climbed at the Smoke Bluffs for 2 weeks with James. Chris and family, Ritchie and Karen joined us for 2 days. By day 14 it was starting to feel more like work, despite the fact that I was at the top of my form. The aches and pains, split and bleeding fingers, scraped shins were taking the fun out of the awesome climbing…and I missed Sue.

I’ve already written an anotated trip report on fbook, so this is going to be just pictures.


J. is a neurosurgeon, and leads 10c thin fingers.

Skywalker Traverse - may the force be with you...

Skywalker Traverse - may the force be with you...


Deidre, 5.8 slab and finger jams

This lady and her husband were taking turns holding their 8 month old baby.

The trip is over when there are too many bandaids to climb





Toleak Point, 13 mile Washington Coast hike

Posted by on August 18th, 2012  •  0 Comments  •  Full Article

Sue and I hiked Toleak Point, a 13 mile round trip out on the Washington Coast south of LaPush. You can also do it as a 17 mile one way hike. I carried out my Canon 7D and 24-105L lens. The images were great, but I wished I’d brought my paints along. I was trying to go light and did not bring my sleeping bag, which led to some chilly dreams in my bivy sack.

Since we got back I bought a two pound tarptent and a 10 ounce titanium cook pot. I also cut the legs off my steel easel and cobbled together some hose clamps that substitute my hiking sticks for legs.  I’m hoping that by bringing a lighter tent that Sue and I can share, and bringing painting gear instead of the heavy camera, my backpack weight will be about the same. I weighed 205 pounds including my backpack, which had 2 nights of gear and camera.

This stuff drifts in and people hang it up for decoration

This stuff drifts in and people hang it up for decoration



burning man

I burned some old bad drawings to lighten my backpack on the return hike

Now that I've taken all the pictures, I will go back and paint it

Now that I've taken all the pictures, I will go back and paint it


weird fungus growing on leaf by the tent

weird fungus growing on leaf by the tent


That was our first overnight backpack on the coast in 20 years. I stopped hiking because my knees hurt. They’ve improved since I started hiking in chaco sandals.