Sunday, December 14, 2008

A winter haiku

It's zero degrees,

Outside my nostrils freeze shut,

No fishing for me.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Swan Falls

Ever notice how the slightest taste of something can bring you back to a time forgotten?

Sitting in my office as the clock strikes five, having just wrapped up the last-minute details on a rather oppressive report, I had just such an experience. The report I just finished was the culmination of tons of research, an extensive writing-by-committee experiment gone awry, and a series of deadlines that always seemed to move up without warning. Nothing like finding out on Saturday night that you unexpectedly need to rush a project to completion by Tuesday--and not receiving needed comments on a prior draft version until Monday afternoon.

All this is a long-winded way to say that I'm drinking beer. More precisely--OE. Ah yes, the 8-ball of yesteryear. For the uninitiated, it's a rather vile malt liquor most commonly consumed 40 ounces at a time by those who can't afford anything better. Its only redeeming quality is that it is produced by the Miller Brewing Company of Wisconsin fame.

While I began drinking before the legal age of 21, I didn't start drinking until I was out of high school. It was during this initial post-high-school-graduation period of discovery that I was initiated to Olde English 800. What a terrible concoction--I'd probably have been better off staying away. But I didn't.

A good friend of mine and I used to work together at a local restaurant and, at the time, I owned a 1970 Chevy Blazer. While it was more monster truck than effective mode of transportation, and may even have violated the neighborhood restrictive covenants when parked in the driveway, it got us around--9 miles per gallon at a time. On more than one occasion, following what typically would have been a terrible shift in the kitchen, him and I would load up on OE and take the Blazer down to swan falls. With OE in hand, we'd find a remote campsite and build the largest bonfire around. Drinking OE by the 40, we'd listen to the sturgeon jumping in the Snake River and tell stories until sun-up.

I imaging generations of 18-year-olds have similar experiences. It doesn't get much better than good friends, camping and cheep beer when you don't know any better.

Friday, December 5, 2008


In case you missed it, Oregon dismantled Oregon State in last week's Civil War. While not couch-burning exciting, it was a great win--most likely sending Oregon to the Holiday Bowl while denying Oregon State the Rose Bowl.

However, it wasn't all fun and games. You see, although I'm a proud alum of the University of Oregon, my entire immediate family either graduated from or is attending Oregon State University. Thus, I offer sincere condolences to my family. While I decided it best not to send roses given the current circumstances, please know that I am keeping you in my thoughts. As they say, time eases all pain.