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notapplicable


Oct 6, 2009, 1:19 PM
Post #251 of 44865 (6133 views)
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Posts: 17752

Re: [donald949] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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donald949 wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
churningindawake wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
churningindawake wrote:
Just sitting here checking out all of the conversation in the new threads.


This morning was a bit chaotic. Too bad magnus wasn't around for it.
A bummer indeed.

Twas a fine opportunity for wholesale ++ing

Which thread?
I haven't seen any mashing of teeth this AM.

Refering to yesterday when bossman brought down the hammer


sungam


Oct 6, 2009, 1:20 PM
Post #252 of 44865 (6129 views)
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Re: [notapplicable] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
donald949 wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
churningindawake wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
churningindawake wrote:
Just sitting here checking out all of the conversation in the new threads.


This morning was a bit chaotic. Too bad magnus wasn't around for it.
A bummer indeed.

Twas a fine opportunity for wholesale ++ing

Which thread?
I haven't seen any mashing of teeth this AM.

Refering to yesterday when bossman brought down the hammer
you accidentally your ptftw.


notapplicable


Oct 6, 2009, 1:21 PM
Post #253 of 44865 (6129 views)
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Re: [sungam] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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sungam wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
sungam wrote:
I have an obscene amount of homework to do this week, I mean it's fucking sick. I already have at least 12 hours worth of stuff, and that's just one class. Catch-up SUCKS.

Well by all means keep posting. Homework often does itself if left unattended for long enough.Tongue
I plan on it.

Solid.

You will go far in life.


notapplicable


Oct 6, 2009, 1:23 PM
Post #254 of 44865 (6126 views)
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Re: [kachoong] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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kachoong wrote:
zeke_sf wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
Looks as if my outdoor climbing season is done. Ankle is doing fine, but the partner has found a man and she wants to get a weekend in climbing with him before the weather turns cold. That was the last weekend I was going to climb outside. Frown

Oh well. Disappointed but I understand. I'm not climbing consistently anyway because I'm trying to heal. So I can understand why she'd see him as a better partner (better / consistent partner & better / more romantic undertones).

That kinda blows. I think I got the boyfriend ditch recently. I planned to climb a classic tower in Sedona (The Mace) recently with this friend of a friend. I hadn't met her, but our mutual friend recommended we climb together. This girl stipulates she doesn't want to camp out with a guy she's just meeting on a trip. I totally understand. I offer to meet her before, maybe climb at a gym, but we never do. So, we're on track for a daytrip to do a cool climb. I'm packed and ready to go, and then, the night before, she calls up and says it just doesn't feel right. Oh, really? The NIGHT BEFORE it doesn't feel right? Could you have told me the week before? But, she says, we could still climb in a group or something to get to know each other. I tell her, I basically know you well enough now not to want to climb with you at all. Somebody flakes on you that hard right off the bat? Yeah, no.

I'm pretty sure she'd been tiptoeing around her boyfriend and then he found out or something and put the kibosh on everything. Besides the whole boyfriend thing - and no offense to anybody who subscribes - she's Christian, and, sorry, the last thing I'd want to do is get involved with that whole mess. I wanted to tell her, hey, this isn't about you, this isn't about you being a girl, this is about climbing a fucking climb! Get over yourself!

Man, that's teh suck! I had someone bail on me after I had taken a train into a different country (Germany into Switzerland) to go climbing. Lucky I had a friend in the area who was happy to take me out for a climb. Actually ended up being a great four days.

Phone bailing the morning of is one thing. That^ would have pissed me off.


sungam


Oct 6, 2009, 1:42 PM
Post #255 of 44865 (6114 views)
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I can haz reply 255?


donald949


Oct 6, 2009, 2:41 PM
Post #256 of 44865 (6109 views)
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Re: [notapplicable] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
donald949 wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
churningindawake wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
churningindawake wrote:
Just sitting here checking out all of the conversation in the new threads.


This morning was a bit chaotic. Too bad magnus wasn't around for it.
A bummer indeed.

Twas a fine opportunity for wholesale ++ing

Which thread?
I haven't seen any mashing of teeth this AM.

Refering to yesterday when bossman brought down the hammer
OIC

Nothing to do but hammer away at the post count again.


Gmburns2000


Oct 6, 2009, 7:48 PM
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Re: [donald949] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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OK, so the knob Trip Report from Farm Aid won't be up until Wed, but the Facebook one is up as we speak.

I can't do the knob one because I have to upload the photos to a different site other than FB in order to post them here.


notapplicable


Oct 6, 2009, 7:54 PM
Post #258 of 44865 (6097 views)
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Re: [sungam] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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sungam wrote:
I can haz reply 255?

According to the post count on my page, that honor was mine.


sungam


Oct 7, 2009, 12:44 AM
Post #259 of 44865 (6088 views)
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Re: [notapplicable] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
sungam wrote:
I can haz reply 255?

According to the post count on my page, that honor was mine.
You had post number 255, mine was reply number 255.


notapplicable


Oct 7, 2009, 4:39 AM
Post #260 of 44865 (6083 views)
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Re: [sungam] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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sungam wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
sungam wrote:
I can haz reply 255?

According to the post count on my page, that honor was mine.
You had post number 255, mine was reply number 255.

wrong

it would appear that honor belongs to Donny's


sungam


Oct 7, 2009, 5:17 AM
Post #261 of 44865 (6077 views)
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Re: [notapplicable] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
sungam wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
sungam wrote:
I can haz reply 255?

According to the post count on my page, that honor was mine.
You had post number 255, mine was reply number 255.

wrong

it would appear that honor belongs to Donny's
ewe francising slutbag!


notapplicable


Oct 7, 2009, 5:23 AM
Post #262 of 44865 (6075 views)
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Re: [sungam] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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I'm off to do a bit of the cl***ing.

Ya'll have fun at work/school.


notapplicable


Oct 7, 2009, 5:25 AM
Post #263 of 44865 (6072 views)
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Re: [sungam] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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sungam wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
sungam wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
sungam wrote:
I can haz reply 255?

According to the post count on my page, that honor was mine.
You had post number 255, mine was reply number 255.

wrong

it would appear that honor belongs to Donny's
ewe francising slutbag!

You were just way to excited about having 255. No way I could let that stand.

Your happiness that is.


sungam


Oct 7, 2009, 5:28 AM
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Re: [notapplicable] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
sungam wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
sungam wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
sungam wrote:
I can haz reply 255?

According to the post count on my page, that honor was mine.
You had post number 255, mine was reply number 255.

wrong

it would appear that honor belongs to Donny's
ewe francising slutbag!

You were just way to excited about having 255. No way I could let that stand.

Your happiness that is.
bitch.


sungam


Oct 7, 2009, 5:28 AM
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Re: [notapplicable] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
I'm off to do a bit of the cl***ing.

Ya'll have fun at work/school.
Heh, I'll try.


sungam


Oct 7, 2009, 5:28 AM
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It's TR time.


sungam


Oct 7, 2009, 6:03 AM
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So I've moved in with a bunch of fun super-strong climbers.
This past weekend we went down to Shastoe, in Northumbria for some sandstone bouldering.
The group that went was Sam (my flatmate), Andy (his friend from highschool), Antoine (a Belgian student) and a friend of Antoine, Katia (who didn't climb).
We drove down and walked in with our multitude of pads, across the farm (Northumbria is just one big farm, rolling hills with small trees and the like) and we saw a table that had a bunch of eggs on it, and a few empty cartons saying "Fresh free range eggs - 6 for 1.50 or 12 for 3.00". I didn't have money but it was a pretty cool idea - the area is popular among walkers escaping from Newcastle for the weekend/afternoon.
Anyways, here's the pics and descriptions:


Walking in.


Northumbria.

(sorry there are no warm up pics)


Sam Flashing a 7a+ roof. It uses a small-ish undercling that you have to reach way above you for, so it's super shouldery. Then you had to make a big move to the lip, then pop again for a sloper, then just top out.



Antoine flashing said roof problem.


Me trying a hard 7b - the "dyno past the bad holds" beta did not work. I wuz too weak for this problem.


Andy using the correct beta. Yes, he stole my hat.


Andy *almost* sticking the sloper. He didn't send that day (only Antoine did) but he got damn close.


Antoine moving for the sloper.


Almost sticking the sloper, he got it next go.


Sam working a 7b+ roof/lip thing. It was haaaard.


Antoine trying said problem.


Sam


Andy


Antoine.


Me


Then we went home.


kachoong


Oct 7, 2009, 6:23 AM
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Registered: Jan 22, 2004
Posts: 15304

Re: [notapplicable] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
kachoong wrote:
zeke_sf wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
Looks as if my outdoor climbing season is done. Ankle is doing fine, but the partner has found a man and she wants to get a weekend in climbing with him before the weather turns cold. That was the last weekend I was going to climb outside. Frown

Oh well. Disappointed but I understand. I'm not climbing consistently anyway because I'm trying to heal. So I can understand why she'd see him as a better partner (better / consistent partner & better / more romantic undertones).

That kinda blows. I think I got the boyfriend ditch recently. I planned to climb a classic tower in Sedona (The Mace) recently with this friend of a friend. I hadn't met her, but our mutual friend recommended we climb together. This girl stipulates she doesn't want to camp out with a guy she's just meeting on a trip. I totally understand. I offer to meet her before, maybe climb at a gym, but we never do. So, we're on track for a daytrip to do a cool climb. I'm packed and ready to go, and then, the night before, she calls up and says it just doesn't feel right. Oh, really? The NIGHT BEFORE it doesn't feel right? Could you have told me the week before? But, she says, we could still climb in a group or something to get to know each other. I tell her, I basically know you well enough now not to want to climb with you at all. Somebody flakes on you that hard right off the bat? Yeah, no.

I'm pretty sure she'd been tiptoeing around her boyfriend and then he found out or something and put the kibosh on everything. Besides the whole boyfriend thing - and no offense to anybody who subscribes - she's Christian, and, sorry, the last thing I'd want to do is get involved with that whole mess. I wanted to tell her, hey, this isn't about you, this isn't about you being a girl, this is about climbing a fucking climb! Get over yourself!

Man, that's teh suck! I had someone bail on me after I had taken a train into a different country (Germany into Switzerland) to go climbing. Lucky I had a friend in the area who was happy to take me out for a climb. Actually ended up being a great four days.

Phone bailing the morning of is one thing. That^ would have pissed me off.

Yeah it did for a few hours until I could contact my other friend. I was in Bern and he lived back over the border in Konstanz. I took the train there and then spent the week with him climbing in the Donautal. My original plan was to hook up with a friend from England and climb near Grindalwald (and possibly think about the Eiger). Maybe it's lucky I didn't go. Unsure


kachoong


Oct 7, 2009, 6:25 AM
Post #269 of 44865 (6061 views)
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sungam wrote:
So I've moved in with a bunch of fun super-strong climbers.
This past weekend we went down to Shastoe, in Northumbria for some sandstone bouldering.
The group that went was Sam (my flatmate), Andy (his friend from highschool), Antoine (a Belgian student) and a friend of Antoine, Katia (who didn't climb).
We drove down and walked in with our multitude of pads, across the farm (Northumbria is just one big farm, rolling hills with small trees and the like) and we saw a table that had a bunch of eggs on it, and a few empty cartons saying "Fresh free range eggs - 6 for 1.50 or 12 for 3.00". I didn't have money but it was a pretty cool idea - the area is popular among walkers escaping from Newcastle for the weekend/afternoon.
Anyways, here's the pics and descriptions:

[image]http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs252.snc1/9932_161352468112_719243112_2744361_285305_n.jpg[/image]
Walking in.

[image]http://photos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs252.snc1/9932_161352478112_719243112_2744362_6789841_n.jpg[/image]
Northumbria.

(sorry there are no warm up pics)

[image]http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs272.snc1/9932_161352493112_719243112_2744365_11519_n.jpg[/image]
Sam Flashing a 7a+ roof. It uses a small-ish undercling that you have to reach way above you for, so it's super shouldery. Then you had to make a big move to the lip, then pop again for a sloper, then just top out.


[image]http://photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs272.snc1/9932_161352508112_719243112_2744367_492302_n.jpg[/image]
Antoine flashing said roof problem.

[image]http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs252.snc1/9932_161352518112_719243112_2744369_1328075_n.jpg[/image]
Me trying a hard 7b - the "dyno past the bad holds" beta did not work. I wuz too weak for this problem.

[image]http://photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs272.snc1/9932_161352628112_719243112_2744384_5820047_n.jpg[/image]
Andy using the correct beta. Yes, he stole my hat.

[image]http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs272.snc1/9932_161352633112_719243112_2744385_6657210_n.jpg[/image]
Andy *almost* sticking the sloper. He didn't send that day (only Antoine did) but he got damn close.

[image]http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs272.snc1/9932_161352558112_719243112_2744373_3737726_n.jpg[/image]
Antoine moving for the sloper.

[image]http://photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs252.snc1/9932_161352568112_719243112_2744375_2117720_n.jpg[/image]
Almost sticking the sloper, he got it next go.

[image]http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs252.snc1/9932_161352618112_719243112_2744382_5242372_n.jpg[/image]
Sam working a 7b+ roof/lip thing. It was haaaard.

[image]http://photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs252.snc1/9932_161352623112_719243112_2744383_7382778_n.jpg[/image]
Antoine trying said problem.

[image]http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs252.snc1/9932_161352708112_719243112_2744395_171773_n.jpg[/image]
Sam

[image]http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs252.snc1/9932_161352718112_719243112_2744397_5084570_n.jpg[/image]
Andy

[image]http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs272.snc1/9932_161352688112_719243112_2744393_3968692_n.jpg[/image]
Antoine.


Me


Then we went home.

Looks cold! At least you got out to climb! Nice!

Were the eggs sitting in the sun?


sungam


Oct 7, 2009, 6:31 AM
Post #270 of 44865 (6057 views)
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Re: [kachoong] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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The eggs were in the shade under a small tree, not that it was sunny. It was cold indeed, and I had a cold, so I was well bundled.


sungam


Oct 7, 2009, 6:31 AM
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Re: [kachoong] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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kachoong wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
kachoong wrote:
zeke_sf wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
Looks as if my outdoor climbing season is done. Ankle is doing fine, but the partner has found a man and she wants to get a weekend in climbing with him before the weather turns cold. That was the last weekend I was going to climb outside. Frown

Oh well. Disappointed but I understand. I'm not climbing consistently anyway because I'm trying to heal. So I can understand why she'd see him as a better partner (better / consistent partner & better / more romantic undertones).

That kinda blows. I think I got the boyfriend ditch recently. I planned to climb a classic tower in Sedona (The Mace) recently with this friend of a friend. I hadn't met her, but our mutual friend recommended we climb together. This girl stipulates she doesn't want to camp out with a guy she's just meeting on a trip. I totally understand. I offer to meet her before, maybe climb at a gym, but we never do. So, we're on track for a daytrip to do a cool climb. I'm packed and ready to go, and then, the night before, she calls up and says it just doesn't feel right. Oh, really? The NIGHT BEFORE it doesn't feel right? Could you have told me the week before? But, she says, we could still climb in a group or something to get to know each other. I tell her, I basically know you well enough now not to want to climb with you at all. Somebody flakes on you that hard right off the bat? Yeah, no.

I'm pretty sure she'd been tiptoeing around her boyfriend and then he found out or something and put the kibosh on everything. Besides the whole boyfriend thing - and no offense to anybody who subscribes - she's Christian, and, sorry, the last thing I'd want to do is get involved with that whole mess. I wanted to tell her, hey, this isn't about you, this isn't about you being a girl, this is about climbing a fucking climb! Get over yourself!

Man, that's teh suck! I had someone bail on me after I had taken a train into a different country (Germany into Switzerland) to go climbing. Lucky I had a friend in the area who was happy to take me out for a climb. Actually ended up being a great four days.

Phone bailing the morning of is one thing. That^ would have pissed me off.

Yeah it did for a few hours until I could contact my other friend. I was in Bern and he lived back over the border in Konstanz. I took the train there and then spent the week with him climbing in the Donautal. My original plan was to hook up with a friend from England and climb near Grindalwald (and possibly think about the Eiger). Maybe it's lucky I didn't go. Unsure
Heh, maybe indeed.


Gmburns2000


Oct 7, 2009, 6:32 AM
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sungam wrote:
So I've moved in with a bunch of fun super-strong climbers.
This past weekend we went down to Shastoe, in Northumbria for some sandstone bouldering.
The group that went was Sam (my flatmate), Andy (his friend from highschool), Antoine (a Belgian student) and a friend of Antoine, Katia (who didn't climb).
We drove down and walked in with our multitude of pads, across the farm (Northumbria is just one big farm, rolling hills with small trees and the like) and we saw a table that had a bunch of eggs on it, and a few empty cartons saying "Fresh free range eggs - 6 for 1.50 or 12 for 3.00". I didn't have money but it was a pretty cool idea - the area is popular among walkers escaping from Newcastle for the weekend/afternoon.
Anyways, here's the pics and descriptions:

[image]http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs252.snc1/9932_161352468112_719243112_2744361_285305_n.jpg[/image]
Walking in.

[image]http://photos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs252.snc1/9932_161352478112_719243112_2744362_6789841_n.jpg[/image]
Northumbria.

(sorry there are no warm up pics)

[image]http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs272.snc1/9932_161352493112_719243112_2744365_11519_n.jpg[/image]
Sam Flashing a 7a+ roof. It uses a small-ish undercling that you have to reach way above you for, so it's super shouldery. Then you had to make a big move to the lip, then pop again for a sloper, then just top out.


[image]http://photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs272.snc1/9932_161352508112_719243112_2744367_492302_n.jpg[/image]
Antoine flashing said roof problem.

[image]http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs252.snc1/9932_161352518112_719243112_2744369_1328075_n.jpg[/image]
Me trying a hard 7b - the "dyno past the bad holds" beta did not work. I wuz too weak for this problem.

[image]http://photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs272.snc1/9932_161352628112_719243112_2744384_5820047_n.jpg[/image]
Andy using the correct beta. Yes, he stole my hat.

[image]http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs272.snc1/9932_161352633112_719243112_2744385_6657210_n.jpg[/image]
Andy *almost* sticking the sloper. He didn't send that day (only Antoine did) but he got damn close.

[image]http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs272.snc1/9932_161352558112_719243112_2744373_3737726_n.jpg[/image]
Antoine moving for the sloper.

[image]http://photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs252.snc1/9932_161352568112_719243112_2744375_2117720_n.jpg[/image]
Almost sticking the sloper, he got it next go.

[image]http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs252.snc1/9932_161352618112_719243112_2744382_5242372_n.jpg[/image]
Sam working a 7b+ roof/lip thing. It was haaaard.

[image]http://photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs252.snc1/9932_161352623112_719243112_2744383_7382778_n.jpg[/image]
Antoine trying said problem.

[image]http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs252.snc1/9932_161352708112_719243112_2744395_171773_n.jpg[/image]
Sam

[image]http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs252.snc1/9932_161352718112_719243112_2744397_5084570_n.jpg[/image]
Andy

[image]http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs272.snc1/9932_161352688112_719243112_2744393_3968692_n.jpg[/image]
Antoine.

[image]http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs252.snc1/9932_161352603112_719243112_2744380_4869285_n.jpg[/image]
Me


Then we went home.

Sweet! love the last pic with you on the ground.


Gmburns2000


Oct 7, 2009, 6:41 AM
Post #273 of 44865 (6054 views)
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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Aight - tmie for my own TR from Farm Aid 2009:


The year 2009 has not been a good one for me. I'm not going to go into details, but I've gone through the range of loneliness and frustration mixed amongst a sprinkle of disappointment and overzealousness (is that even a word?). The past few weeks have been particularly difficult.

I was nervous about this trip. I'm saving cash for my move to Chile next winter and I couldn't see spending extra money for a trip to St. Louis to see a bunch of bands I'd hardly go see if they were touring in Boston. But little by little, as I sucked myself into more aggravation, something changed inside of me and I said, "Fuck it. I'm going. Whatever happens will happen. I'm not going to stop having fun just because life hasn't been fun lately."

So I hopped on a plane and, after being delayed by 1.5 hours in Boston and having my Minneapolis-to-St. Louis flight cancelled (and rescheduled), my sister (Ami) and her husband (Chris) met me at the airport late Friday night after a long day of travelling. Thankfully they only live 15 minutes from everywhere in the St. Charles area and it didn't take long before I was sound asleep on their pull-out couch.

Farm Aid was on Sunday. It was still Saturday and Ami and Chris had a full day of parenting ahead. Ami spared a few minutes in the morning and took me to downtown St. Charles where there is a very pretty midwestern Main St. down by the Missouri River. We walked around and talked, stopped at a local Scottish-goods store, and enjoyed the cool weather. I was tempted to jump on a rusted, abandoned barge just to see what was inside, but I thought the better of it and we continued back to the car. Then we headed back so that Chris could take the youngest son to a soccer game while I went went with Ami to the middle-son's soccer game. I don't know these kids. I had never met them until I arrived in St. Louis, but I had fun challenging the middle son on as he tried (successfully) to run around two soccer fields in less than five minutes (he was just over four minutes). He's 11 years old. I thought that was a pretty good time.

After that we had to prepare for the youngest son's birthday party and the local Chuck E Cheese. I haven't been in one of those places since I was a kid. Mom, Dad: you have my deepest respect. Holy cow those places are mad houses. Thankfully, though, I had to be in downtown St. Louis for the Farm Aid Eve party Saturday night. Chris's father drove me there and dropped me off on a party-hopping "The Loop" (the nickname for Delmar Blvd) at the Blueberry Hill restaurant (owned by Chuck Berry). I was hungry and so glad for the awesome food. Soon enough my Waltham Farm Board co-hort and Farm Aid staff friend (i.e. - she who hooked us all up with this) Alicia showed and I started to loosen up. The band, Seven Smart Fella's, was pretty good and I was starting to get the feeling that St. Louis wasn't the boring farm town I had thought it was. Farmers, it seems, know how to let loose and have fun in a good way. Yeah, people are friendlier in the plains. For the first time in a long time I relaxed and felt good about not being so up tight about things. In short, despite the fact that I've thoroughly enjoyed several things in 2009, I was starting to have fun.

Alicia had to head out early and I saw no reason to stick around much longer than that. Ami and Chris met me on The Loop and we walked around and took in the scenery. I was tickled by St. Louis's version of Hollywood's Walk of Fame, and I just felt good about walking around this part of town. I don't know what it was. Maybe it was the atmosphere. Maybe I was just letting go? Maybe I didn't have to be anyone or anyplace to do anything for once. Slowly I felt the knots of stress untie.

It was late, but I wanted to see the Arch and I didn't think I'd get the chance before I left on Monday. Ami and Chris were fine with that, so we hopped in the car and took a ride around town. Let me say this, despite the fact that it was dark, I could clearly see that St. Louis has one of the coolest, nicest, prettiest parks in any city I've ever visited. All the museums, fountains, and rolling green hills were impressive. I could easily spend a week just in this park taking in all the sights. I really wish we had more time during the day, but I was impressed with what I saw.

Then we went to the Arch. Getting there was a little adventurous due to street closures and the like, but we got there and it was just as impressive as I hoped it would be. I vaguely remember seeing it twice in my life: once when I was travelling across country by car (Mom, correct me if I'm wrong about this) and once again from an airplane when I was flying from somewhere to someplace else. I've always wanted to go up inside of it and see the land below me from the top. But it was midnight at this point and the park rangers were getting restless with all the people stopping to see it in the middle of the night. Still, I wandered all the way down to the Mississippi River (I didn't dip my fingers in. I kind of regret that now) to get a better angle, then I ran up the steps to shoot from directly below. Ami and Chris got shots of the moon underneath the silver metal. It was a cool night, but the smooth Arch was not cool to the touch. It was impressively blank and stark and calm and imposing and meaningful all at once. It is a thing of pure beauty.

The three of us were up early to be at the volunteer tent for an 830am briefing. Breakfast, the locally grown by local farmers kind, was about as good as I'd ever had. I even went back for more hashbrowns, and I've never been a fan of potatoes!

We were stationed at a donation booth and it was our task to set it up, decorate it with hay, cornstalks, and pumpkins from the press conference. Then the gates opened at noon and the show started. We were close to the stage and could hear all the early acts go on and come off. The crowd was building in ancipation for the main acts later on. I wanted to see Willie, Neil, and John (I couldn't have cared less about Dave Matthews, but he did a PHENOMENAL duet with Willie on some song called Graveyard (or something like that) and I was suddenly impressed with someone whose music I've never liked much). I was looking forward to Wilco. I wanted to soak in the atmosphere. I couldn't wait for our shift to finish (and man, by 3pm, I WAS HUNGRY!!).

I've had a lot of dissapointment the past few weeks. Some of it I knew was coming (such as having to stick it out at work another couple of months). Other parts I was taken by surprise. I've always been someone who feeds off chemistry with people but it seems that when I've sensed it was present it turned out to not be true. Since my divorce 2.5 years ago I've worried that I'd never feel that again, and I'm perpetually wrong still, and it still sucks, and I did nothing but drag my heart around with me all day Friday through the frustrating flight delays and cancellation. But we got busy at the donation booth. The one thing I learned about farmers is that they really care about Farm Aid. We were selling programs for whatever donation people wanted to give. A few gave a buck, but the vast majority of people gave five, ten, twenty, and even $100 a few times. Some of those folks who gave more than $20 didn't take the DVD they could have had for that price. It was crazy. And it was fun. And even though my stomach was turning from hunger, and even though the second shift was 45 minutes late to relieve us, I was so satisfied with what I was doing that I forgot for a few minutes that I was supposed to be sad.

Of course, once the final person came to relieve me, I was immediately saddened by the fact that the food tent was closed until 430pm. "DAMN!" I said to myself. The food was so good that morning that I refused to buy from a concession store. I had 45 minutes to wait until it opened again. I had lost Ami and Chris only to find out that at 330pm they managed to score box tickets for only one hour. By the time I realized this it was closer to 4pm. In order to get a ticket for myself I was going to have to track down one of the Farm Aid employees. These folks were running all over the place in an outdoor stadium that easily holds 20,000 people. How was I going to track her down, get a ticket, and get to the box seat in time to catch the latest act? It seemed impossible, so I figured that I would let someone else have the ticket instead.

But then my boredom got the best of me and I decided to take a chance to see if she was at the Volunteer Tent. I figured that all the tickets would have been given away at this point. I held out no hope. I was hungry and the alloted time to be in the box was almost up. But, to my surprise, the woman was there with the ticket. I had 15 minutes left to get a wristband from someone (apparently the ticket is not enough to get you in) and get to my seat. "OK," I said, "I can do this." At the very least I knew I'd be reunited with Ami and Chris.

Well, an odd thing happened along the way. I learned that the wristband was one of those sticky ones that one gets when going to a nightclub. They can't be taken off easily for a reason: they aren't supposed to be swapped out (only one person can use it because the only way to take it off your wrist is to rip it, thus making it invalid). The woman with the wristbands said that she'd come and get us at 430pm. She wasn't sure how this was going to work, but she only had one wristband for every ticket. Somehow they were going to try to get the wistbands off the current squattors and onto the wrists of the new lucky recipients.

I caught the last few minutes of the show that was on stage (Country singer Jamey Johnson - maybe?) and 430pm soon came. I wanted to dash off to get food, but I knew they were coming to get us. I didn't want to screw over the next person by disappearing, so I waited. And we waited. And then Gretchen Wilson came on (funny story about this in a minute). And soon it was quarter to five. And then it was five. We didn't know what to do, so we just stayed there listening to our stomachs compete with the on-stage talent. Finally, Chris recieved a text message that said something like this, "Hey folks. We can't figure out how to exchange the wristbands. Enjoy your night."

WOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!

We grabbed dinner and brought it back to the box to enjoy the rest of the show. I felt much better after that. We watched the rest of Gretchen Wilson and then Wilco after her. Wilson at one point shouted out to the crownd, "Any of you folks out there proud rednecks?". Half the crowd went nuts. And then Wilco got on stage later and shouted, "Any of you folks out there NOT rednecks?" The other half went nuts, too. I smiled and enjoyed that moment. While I enjoyed Wilson's upbeat music and performance in general, I gotta say that she's all gimmicks pandering to a specific population. I was a little embarrassed at how she took advantage of the flag and all. I believe every bit that she's a good patriot, but I don't believe one bit that she's a tolerant citizen.

Anyway, I wasn't too thrilled about seeing the next two performers (Jason Mraz and Dave Matthews), so I went to find Alicia. She was taking down the booth that she had worked during the day. Once we took down her stuff, we brought it all backstage to the Farm Aid trailer. Wow, what a mad house it is backstage. So many buses. So many roadies. There's a lot that goes into putting on a show like this and I was glad to see first hand what that was like.

Alicia headed off to do some work and I went back to the box. I caught the tail end of Dave Matthews (and the awesome duet with Willie Nelson) and Alicia joined us in the box.

"So," she said turning to me, "you want to get up close?"
"Yeah," I said. "When, who, how?"
"I can get you up there for Neil Young if you want."
"Sweet!"

She took off and grabbed her spare all-access Event Staff pass and I met her down by the stage midway through John Mellencamp's performance (btw - surprisingly, John Mellencamp is one damn good performer on stage. I wasn't expecting that at all, but he knows how to put on a show and take care of the crowd). We wanted a good spot for Young, so we went in before Mellencamp was done and we joined the photographers in that space that is between the stage and the front row of seats. That was incredible. We were so close. I mean, we were less than five feet away from the performers. In fact, when Willie Nelson came on I could actually hear his guitar straight from his fingers on the strings before I heard it on the speakers around me. We were that close.

We got good seats for Young, but then he requested no photographers or staff in front of his mic, so we all had to cram off to the sides. I'm claustrophobic a bit and I thought I was going to die for a while, but then the photographers cleared out and we all raced across to the other side where the newly empty seats were located. I was the odd man out, so I sat on the ground, but still, what a rush to be so close.

Then Willie Nelson came on. The Farm Aid staff had to leave, so Alicia left me alone to watch Willie from up close. I was surprised by a lot of things when he came on. Firstly, the guy actually has a nice voice. I wasn't expecting that. But what really surprised me was that even though he seemingly had no clue what was going on (he stopped singing in the middle of lyrics, his incredibly beat up guitar was way out of tune, and he often stopped playing altogether to watch his son Lukas, who played with his own band earlier in the day and was awesome, carry the show), he was still obviously the biggest star on stage. I guess there is a following from him, but it made sense that he was the last person to go on and play. He played duets with several folks thoughout the day, and each time he came on the performances was incredible and the crowd went nuts. Again, he was the least talented person to perform that night and yet he was without question the biggest star. Some people just have it, I guess.

The night then ended and we retreated back to the house. We were tired from a long day and all of us were soon sound asleep. Chris was gone by the time I woke up the next morning and that gave me a bit more time with Ami before I left. Ami's been through a lot in her life. By far and away she's had more downs than I have. I have to say that I'm proud of where she's made it to in her life. She likes St. Louis. The pace has been good for her, and so has Chris and his family. While I could never live too far from the sea, I can see why she likes it here. There's a friendliness and calming that blows through the fields. I felt it and I was happy. This was the best weekend I've spent in all of 2009. I won't forget this weekend for a long, long time.

PS - the pilot on my flight home was Capt Picard and his co-pilot was Kirk. I guess we know how that story turned out eh?

Linky to all the photos


sungam


Oct 7, 2009, 6:49 AM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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Nice writeup.
Hopefully I'ma get out this weekend too. Still on the weight cutting, but I got sick of broccoli so now I'm on cabbage.


Gmburns2000


Oct 7, 2009, 6:57 AM
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Re: [sungam] Sty's Post Count Increaser [In reply to]
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sungam wrote:
Nice writeup.
Hopefully I'ma get out this weekend too. Still on the weight cutting, but I got sick of broccoli so now I'm on cabbage.

Thanks.

I just joined a conventional gym for the first time in a long time. Since I shouldn't be climbing, I figure I'll get other workouts in.

It's funny how exercise curbs my appetite and makes me desire healthier foods. It's a win-win.

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