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Rafting Trip!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
This past weekend I went on a company rafting/camping trip.

I'm going to start by saying that I've never been to Trout Lake, WA, and - honestly - I didn't even know it existed. Camping was fun outside of this tiny town, although it did get MUCH colder in the middle of the night than any of us expected (by about 15 degrees!)

Rafting was an awesome experience. We went on a guided trip provided by Zoller's Outdoor Odysseys. The idea was great, though we were hitting the White Salmon river at its lowest water level all year, so we did ground on several underwater boulders early on. Another fun fact? The water was 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Thank goodness we all had wetsuits; hypothermia was not how I wanted to spend a company retreat.

Can you find the 7 people ini this raft?

The highlight of the trip was the drop down Husum Falls, a 10-foot (give or take) waterfall. It was exciting and - despite the dire warning of the guide - not scary at all.

I can't wait for the next adventure!

OMSI... After Dark!

Friday, September 25, 2009
OMSI is a wonderful place, full of learning and science. Perhaps that's why ther are so many parents and children there, engaged in the science. This is great for them, but perhaps not so great for a childless adult with a childlike interest in blinking lights but an aversion to elbowing kids out of the way. Lucky for me, OMSI has "After Dark", a 21-and-over time for grown-ups to have a drink and play withthe exhibits.

OMSI After Dark:

I had a ton of fun. The crowd was light since they were between main exhibits, and I was able to play with EVERYTHING!

OMSI After Dark:

So if you want to wander around OMSI sometime while the faint smell of beer wafts around, check out After Dark. It's the third Wednesday night of every month. Go!

The Nicest Pirates Around

Saturday, September 19, 2009
Avast, land-lubber! Today is once again that most merry of holidays, Talk Like A Pirate Day! Celebrated every year for at least several years, September 19th is a day to remember.

Also of note, today is the first day of the Portland Pirate Festival, held over in Cathedral Park.

Thanks to  ebygomm.blogspot.com

So let's be like any nice pirate and tell tall tales, plunder some booty, and maybe even make the occasional mutineer walk the plank!

Art Trippin'

Tuesday, September 15, 2009
This past weekend I did something I'm going to shamefully admit to not having done before: I went to the Portland Art Museum. It was the last weekend of the M.C. Escher Virtual Worlds exhibit, and I wanted to see it.

Metamorphosis III

The exhibit itself was amazing. Seeing his take on perspective, patterns, and infinity was a rich and wonderful experience, and I'm glad I had the chance to go before the exhibit ended.

There was one facet of the museum that I found amusing. Most of my "museum" experience is at OMSI (the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry), where interactivity with the exhibits is encouraged on almost every level. Not so much at the Portland Art Museum, where touching is frowned upon and conversations take place in hushed tones.

It was, all in all, a fun trip and one that I'm looking forward to repeating.

Boding Ill

Tuesday, September 08, 2009
I'm going to be honest... this is one of the creepiest "fortunes" I've ever received:

Be Careful in Whom You Share Your Confidence

I don't know what to do with this. Any suggestions?

Movie Review: District 9

Saturday, September 05, 2009
I had the distinct privilege of seeing District 9 the other night. I'd heard a bunch of good things about it and let me start this review by saying they're all well-deserved.

Poster linked at AngryWeb.net

Without ruining the movie, the basic plot is that it's 20 years in the future and a group of lost, starving, disorganized aliens has found its way to Johannesburg. Local governments built them a slum to house over a million aliens, but the local residents, increasingly dissatisfied with the presence of non-humans, demands that the slum be moved to an internment camp further from the city. With this in mind, a human force sets about evicting the aliens and that's where the movie picks up as the main character is forced to see both perspectives with the escalating tensions.

That said, for a science-fiction/action movie, District 9 is incredible. The story is engaging, the acting is solid, the writing is phenomenal, and the special effects don't look special at all. All I could say about the movie when it was over was, "why don't we get more films like this?" It was creative, deep, entertaining, and unique all at the same time.

Final word on District 9? See it in the theaters, while you still have a chance!

Choose Her Own Adventure

I just wanted to give a shout-out to my friend Lindsey and her current adventure.

She describes it thusly:

Here's the scoop: I'm unemployed, I'm unattached, and I'm over-educated. For the month of September, I will give online voters three options for things I will do throughout each day. The more followers on twitter I get, the more daring the options will be.

It's great to watch and ever better to participate. Anyway, follow her on Twitter and help her have fun!

Movie Review: Up

Friday, September 04, 2009
So I finally had an opportunity to see the movie "Up", Pixar's latest addition to their hit collection. Yes, for the record, they've had 10 in a row, a feat otherwise unheard of in the movie industry.

Pixar Planet's Up poster

The plot of the movie focuses on Carl, a widower who attempts to go on the adventure he never got to take his wife on. With urban development encroaching on his home, he escapes by filling a bunch of balloons with helium, anchoring them to his house, lifting off and flying away to South America. Of course, nothing goes quite to plan and he has an accidental guest in the form of Russell, an eager, young "Wilderness Explorer". Hijinks, of course, ensue and we are reminded again that life's not always about the destination - sometimes it's the journey, too.

The movie was, of course, fantastic. With plenty of humor for the kids and adults (and dog lovers, too), there's an amazing depth to the characters. It's impossible not to tear up at certain moments, but that's just part of the Pixar experience and why they're the gold standard for animation studios.

I have nothing bad to say about this movie. Sitting in the theater and watching it was, well, worth every dollar paid and more. But I can only gush about one film for so long...

Final word on Up? Absolutely worth seeing, and I'll definitely be seeing it again!

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