Sierra


The wrong dessert to get me for my birthday: Bacon Burger Pie

The wrong dessert to get me for my birthday: Bacon Burger Pie

Yep, it’s my birthday tomorrow (thanks for the early wishes, everyone!). My honey ain’t feeling too hot so I probably won’t have a cake, so if you want to stop at Sweet Life and grab a Vegan Tiramisu or something, that would be cool. While you’re at it, a Vegan Chef’s Choice from Pizza Research Institute and some Oakshire beer, maybe the Vit or Duck Billed Platypus or the Ill Tempered Gnome, would go down quite well, too.

If you really want to splurge, get me a gift certificate at Best Buy (I probably would have said Frys but they’re not local and I’ve already got some old gift certificates at Best Buy). I can use it to get another external hard drive for the music, pictures and video. A print server would be nice, too. We could also use a couple extra Wii MotionPlus remotes for when the visitors come and want to gang up on New Super Mario Bros. Wii! ūüėÄ

<geek>Not to mention the fact that it would be nice to get another Linksys WRT160Nv3 router in case I happen to render mine useless trying to flash an Open Source firmware called Tomato USB onto it. After SimplifyMedia made me mad and gave up the ghost, I’ve been trying to find a good solution to accessing my files from abroad. Maestro.fm crashes and has literally no support. Remobo— is just plain weird and looks like it will have issues with firewalls. This lead me to virtual private network solutions. Hamachi would be GREAT but there’s no support for anything but Windows (ew!) anymore. There was Viscosity but I didn’t feel like spending money for it.

So that lead me to OpenVPN solutions. Tunnelblick held some promise but it was going to take me forever to figure out how to configure the thing (I have a couple BOOKS now on the subject) and then I wasn’t sure it would work with a Bonjour-based service like iTunes Home Sharing. Looking for other options, I stumbled across a few different Open Source firmwares like dd-wrt and the original Tomato, complete with built in OpenVPN server. Now it’s just a matter of implementation but I’ve been a bit nervous without a backup option. So, yeah, that would be cool. I can always return it if all goes well.</geek>

But in all honesty, I don’t need any presents or surprises. I can’t complain. Even if I got nothing, I got a great wife who I am so proud of for going back to school to persue her dream (art) and constantly and delightfully surprised by for gaining new interests (biology) and who is just the best friend I could ever have (tandem kayaking and whale watching last weekend was fabulous!). I also got a remarkable little daughter who could out-swim me any day, who’s excelling reading standards and who continues to challenge and astound me every day.

Besides, I’m a geek. I don’t ever get bored, so it’s hard to feel sorry for yourself if you don’t get any presents or no one remembers your birthday. ūüėÄ Not like I have that to worry about…

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Sierra taking off on 25 meter breaskstroke

Well, as aforementioned, the 2009 Big Kahuna Open happened this weekend.¬† We only showed up for Saturday, the day of Sierra’s two events.¬† It was a long hot day and we couldn’t see and we were perched on the side of a hill and there were people everywhere but it was a good time and we had great fun bonding with the rest of the team and their families.

Sierra ran the 25 meter freestyle and the 25 meter backstroke.  For the first, she was one of the few (even among older kids) to dive off the blocks, which were significantly higher than the ones at home.  For the latter, she thrust off the wall with such velocity (see above), it was really delightful to see.

Most of all, she had fun, even despite the fact she had to do the backstroke twice.¬† There was a long whistle and then a short whistle and then a horn to at last signal the start.¬† This confused one of the girls who took off on the short whistle.¬† I was confused, too, so I yelled “go” and off they went.¬† All of the kids finished the whole event and after 5 more heats, ran again.

Sierra’s coach was very proud of her, as were we.¬† Also, we had a lot of fun and look forward to future events, especially if it ends with a little ocean swim.¬† We had a get together at Sunset Bay State Park where we actually managed to get in and not be cold.

Click on the picture above for the usual shots and please enjoy a movie by clicking on the one below.

[blip.tv ?posts_id=2479697&dest=-1]

Sierra takes off in the freestyle relay

It’s official:¬† Sierra’s a ribbon-holding¬† competitive swimmer at the meager age of six.¬† The Emerald Aquatics team (that’s Sierra’s) took on another group at whose name I did not catch because I was too interested in encouraging Sierra and making sure she wasn’t nervous and had a happy experience.¬† The atmosphere was relaxed:¬† no official times, everyone got a ribbon, free food, but to her, it was still her first meet.

Grandma came down from Portland to watch the action took a number of great pics (see more by clicking on that picture above).  The weather was warm at Echo Hollow Pool and after a long bike ride (and for Grandma, horrible traffic), we were all looking forward to a dip.  Too bad the pool was filled with kids!

After some 150m of warmups (!), Sierra took on the 25m breaststroke and got 6th, then the 25m freestyle and got third.  Lastly, there was time for freestyle relays and her team got 2nd (though they got 3rd place ribbons for some odd reason), each of the four of them doing 25m.  Sierra was the second of the four in the relay sequence and did great.  You can see her launching off in perfect time while the competition stares in stock.

The last relay was with the older age group 2 and it was neck and neck.¬† The crowd, myself included, was really getting into it.¬† I had to ask one of the finishers who actually won because I couldn’t tell!

We had a blast and we’re looking forward to the big meet (the Big Kahuna hosted by the Gold Coast Swim Team) in Coos Bay at Mingus Park Pool August 7-9 if anyone wants to show up!¬† Warm ups start at 8am except at 11:30am on Friday.¬† If I understand the information I find correctly she should be racing in the middle to near the end of the day.

Lapchynski Christmas 2009 - Sunriver, ORThe snow is thick (in fact, I swear we gained a whole foot last night) in Sunriver and Christina, Sierra, Grandma Cheryl, KZ and I are having a great time.  Looking forward to some  more sledding today with Sierra and who knows else.

Now might be a good time to finally post the video of Sierra’s Christmas performance at church wherein she pulls off a fantastic solo in “The Friendly Beasts“, so here you go. ¬†You should be able to just press the play button and it will play in your web browser but if you have a problem with that then you can download it there, too. ¬†Now if you still have a problem with that, drop me a line and I’ll drum up a DVD for you.

 

Sierra 2008 Christmas program solo

Anyways, Santa was good to us. ¬†Sierra’s love for the American Girl series (which, I think is cool because it teaches girls about the important contributions girls have made to history) continues to be appeased, this year with Nez Perce (the people of Chief Joseph) sweetheart Kaya, complete with teepee¬†and corresponding fire!

As for us, interestingly, one of our presents is to come back to Sunriver for a couples retreat!  I also get to take a class on foraging for wild food and Christina gets a class in landscape painting.  Santa also made sure to get us thank you notes, which is indeed going to be useful!

 

But Christmas ain’t about the presents, right? ¬†No, it’s a time to cuddle up against the cold with our loved ones and celebrate the seed of new hope that has sprouted. ¬†No matter what you believe in, whether it be in the birth of Jesus or simply looking forward to the coming of spring, may it be a blessed one for you.

By the way, this was composed to Silber‘s annual winter/Christmas compilation, “Winterizing,” which you can download and/or listen to free here. ¬†It’s an interesting mix of psychfolk, ambient, shoegaze, and electroacoustics from an ever-interesting label. ¬†Their tendency towards emotional yet not goth stuff has always delighted me since I landed a copy of their first release many moons ago, especially when it comes to covering traditional Christmas songs. ¬†Sadly, that’s lacking here, but it’s a good one none the less, especially given the price.

Bike Friday has been alive with activity lately, so much so that this blog is a nagging memory every now and then while I ride to get to work, so I can in turn work like crazy and then finally get to ride home into the sun to my beautiful family.

Needless to say, things have been good. We had a nice vacation on the beach in Newport. We flew kites in a state wayside right down from our hotel that thanks to knowing the right people was less than it costs to stay in the Motel 6 on the freeway here in Eugene. We didn’t do much of anything. That was a nice change of pace.

After which, Bike Friday went to the Oregon Country Fair in custom-built (folding, too!) tie dyed polo shirts and showed off the bikes. We showed Ted White‘s classic “Return Of The Scorcher,” a movie that’s not only well known for showcasing bike culture around the world (read: see it if you haven’t!) but also for inspiriting the first Critical Mass (and also much less so for including a little interview with Kash, who runs our SF tikit agent Warm Planet, as he washes some underwear on tour). We made a whole skit out of it, explaining that our power source wasn’t working and that we’d need to bring in the back-up ROB unit. ¬†As it turns out, the “ROB unit” was Rob English, fastest British man and 7th fastest in the world according to the hour record, atop Hanz’s desk which is entirely pedal powered. ¬†He was all decked out in a huge Union Jack in the form of full-on time trial gear. ¬†Anyways, it was a blast, but we didn’t get to camp because the Fair’s weird like that. I guess.

The girls left me last weekend and I went to Paul‘s well-named “No Car Party” as well as the even better-named “Kidical Mass.” The latter really sticks into my memory because it was a heck of a lot of fun on bikes. I’ve appeared at a Critical Mass or two and kind of like it. The police reaction to it I don’t like. But Kidical Mass was none of that. Just a family-friendly group touring about the neighborhood with the kids, enjoying the ride and following the traffic laws along the way. It was not like we were blocking traffic (yes, yes, I know, “we are traffic”), but it was like the other traffic didn’t exist. We went down to the¬†Whiteaker Neighborhood River Festival¬†I didn’t even know existed and then rode all over. Then they were playing “Labryinth” at the park and the plan was to go to Laughing Planet beforehand but I thought the dog might miss me.

In the Bike Friday front, we’ve never had a July like this. Usually things start slowing down now. They’re ramping up. In other news the tikit line hit a real milestone in production today, being a sure sign of the ease at which we’ll be able to keep up with the increased desire for transportation solutions. Season tikit? Yeah, it’s pretty much ready. We’ve got a blinged-out fiber Express tikit in the showroom we’ve been calling the Carbon tikit. Kind of like a carbon credit, but much more useful for getting the groceries.

I’ve just been riding (actually so has Sierra, both on the Tug-a-bug and on her own Bantam NWT) and hope that I’ll take the Pocket Llama to Cycle Oregon Weekend and the tikit to the Bridge Pedal. The 54×15 will be perfect. Hope to see you there!

In honor of the Last Friday Artwalk (the much better of the two in Eugene) as well as Critical Mass, I propose we change the name of our most ridiculously-category to “Bike Friday Fabulous First/Final Friday Fixed Gears.” There will be one every month or else!

Lastly, go see/hear Panasonic‘s new release if you haven’t. Yes, I know they’re now called Pan Sonic because of that silly electronics company, but I still remember them at Panasonic when I saw them play with Merzbow and Masonna. Indeed, that was probably the most memorable show of my life. Their cold, mechanical, form of minimal techno is unlike anything else, all pink-noise and square-wave. The latest is another live set, just brimming with raw, powerful energy, like a technology-current Esplendor Geom√©trico. I just wish it were a LOT louder. Just put it on headphones in the dark on turn to tracks 8 until the end to feel the full frontal force.

On the same trip, 1/2 of the aforementioned, aka Mika Vainio, who usually seems to have more in common with minimal glitch composers like Ryoji Ikeda or Alva Noto than anything else, also put out a great album called Oleva under his ‚ąÖ alias that even has a cover of Pink Floyd‘s “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” to rival Psychic TV‘s. It’s dark, throbbing, almost ambient at times and highly recommended.

What’s new in ya’ll’s world?

I’m back in school again so communication may be a bit sparse from me. If you need to get a hold of me, you can find my schedule via the calendars on the right and, more specifically, you can find my Bike Friday schedule and various ways to contact me here. To make matters worse, I’m already behind on new news. Frankly, I’m behind on posting the Christmas videos. I hope to have them up here soon. I also have videos of Sierra’s school’s Christmas program which are as delightful as I’m sure you imagine they are.

Right now, though, I’d like to share another event in Sierra’s life: falling in love with snowshoeing. Last week we took a trip to the Ikenick Sno-Park and had a nice little time together, as I’m sure you tell from this video (click on the picture to get it, too, if you like). There’s some fooling around on our way to the Sno-Park, a little interview with the girls, some footage of shoeing the trail, and some shots of driving through the winter wonderland. Next time we’ll get some actual shots of people snowshoeing!

Speaking of which, hopefully that’s this weekend. Atlas Snowshoe has a Racing Team. One of its members, Teri Smith, just so happens to be the lady in this neck of the woods that gives presentations called Women’s Winter Workshops to help introduce women to the sport. On her own time (this is not published on the Atlas events) she’s inviting women (and their families) to show up at the Trillium Lake Sno-Park, which is part of the family of Sno-Parks around Mt. Hood, to do some snowshoeing! The $15 she will collect from each person will go 100% to the Breast Cancer Fund so we get to do something fun and get to give back for it.

Because we’re going to be in the backcountry, something we’re inexperienced with as of yet, and because we’re going to be led by at least one hardcore athlete, we’re going to leave Sierra with Grandma while we’re gone. I’m sure it will be fun, though, especially given that in spite of the fact that on average the contiguous U.S. was warmer this year we were pretty darn close to the lowest temperature on record in Eugene today (only 10 degrees off) and we actually got snow in the valley. And it’s stuck for more than a couple days. There’s bound to be some killer powder on the top of Hood. I absolutely cannot wait!!

Whatever you may celebrate, allow me to present your present. Click away for pictures of Sierra’s winter school pictures, a shot of her and Santa, and some really cute studio pictures to share for the holidays.

As for us, we’re still alive but have been busy dealing with Stressmas among other things. Now that we’re all set, it should be smooth sailing from here. I’m finishing up a late night stint at the Hampton. The girls will pick me up and take me to Portland where we will stay and celebrate Christmas with various family and friends until I need to come back here to work a swing shift at the hotel on Christmas. Yeah, I ended up with the short end of the stick. The good news is that the girls get some more time with Grandma, since I’ll work at Bike Friday on Tuesday before coming back to get them.

Then we get a little rest– well, except for when I’m working at Bike Friday throughout the week– before we get the joy of going to Bend and taking advantage of the employee discount at the Hampton. We’ll be doing some playing in the snow (can’t wait to get our snowshoes which is what Christina and I gave each other for Christmas) and general whooping it up which will surely be a blast.

And then shortly thereafter I’ll need to go back to school. Or maybe not. Won’t say much more than that until I know something definite but let’s say at this point that another more lucrative possibility has presented itself. Stay tuned for more details.

Meanwhile, be well and hope you enjoy some leisure time with those near and dear to you.

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