Oregon Mountain Ninja turns 30

Gorgeous snowshoe weekend celebrating oregon mountain ninja’s birthday out on the south side of Mt. Hood. The OMN acquired access to some remote huts through Cascade Huts. It was about 5 miles each way, to arrive at the huts, which were fitted with bunkbeds, propane (heat and stove), and other basic gear.

Our group met at the snow park where we began the route at around 11, and were on the snow shortly after. Some cops out for a training weeked were nice enouh to snap a few mugshots.

The road in was uneventful, a gradual decline, until we forked off the snowmobile trail and came across a small river canyon. We trolled the banks for a way to cross for awhile, then built a bridge from dead wood. Not too far beyond that we came across the hut.

Because we didn’t have to carry tents and some other heavy gear we were able to pack in extra beer and booze. And we did. Saturday was fairly raucous (yet respectful) in the one-room hut. One chair suffered from our stay, but that was due to its inability to support the fairly massive mountain ninja than anyone behaving like a jackass.

New friends were made. At one point, Joe asked me why Chris and Jay had been calling him Joe Rogen all night. My response was…it’s the same reason we call Chris “Chris Smith”….that just his name. Joe Rogen looked at me blankly, smiled and nodded. The next day it came up again, but this time he explained that his last name was Jones. Well, now it’s Rogen.

Chad was the chef, making pasta with marinara or cream sauce (I mixed) with shrimp, and a salad for dinner, and banana pancakes and tons of bacon for breakfast. The rest of the night we finished off two bottles of Jager, a liter of SoCo, some Evan Williams premixed with coke, some Bushmill, and beers and Sparks. It was pretty ridiculous. Tired, we got to bed fairly early, but not as early as the Mountain Ninja birthday boy.

Oh yeah, and my sunglasses got busted so I had to wear goggles to do the dishes.

Ignite Portland

Went to Ignite last week, it was pretty sweet. The premise is a bunch of presenters get up and talk about something presumably interesting for a little while. The catch is that they have exactly five minutes, 20 slides (power-pointish), 15 seconds each, and they roll automatically. That keeps things moving and keeps you on your toes. And from experience (not at Ignite), talking about something for five minutes can be tough. It’s about two minutes longer than is comfortable, and you could see that. After about three minutes, almost every presenter went through a change, momentum slowed, the words didn’t come as easily. But they all remained stoic, and the presentations were really good.

My favorites were how to be an undercover prostitute and the one about eating sushi. But that’s because they’re the ones that apply most directly to my life. Depending on what you’re into, you may relate best to a discourse on pepper, the history of stick figures, wtf is biodiesel, or venture capitalism in portland. Or one of the others.

I was a bit surprised, as I’d expected there to be a bit more of a technical focus. But this was fine, I love random stuff too. But what I don’t love is lines. And there was a huge line to get into the place. Getting off the bus I ran into a fellow nerd-buddy heading to the event as well, so we walked the line down thirty-seventh, and took a left on Clay where the line bent, and continued nearly to the end of the block. As we walked, blowing off the show and grabbing a pint sounded like an increasingly good idea. Some lady friends remained in line while we went to Oasis Cafe for some tasty malty beverage. They called us when they got in to say that it looked like there were still seats. The line still extended into the distance, so we continued sipping our pints. We finished and decided that we’d give it a shot. They had stopped letting people in, but we were queued up near the front and with a little luck and conniving, we were able to join our friends on the “inside”.

The event was around two hours, for the most part is was good. Informative and/or entertaining. It’s still young, so I imagine that things will get smoother. I think they should do away with the free food part. It’ll help eliminate freeloaders and fence-sitters. That or move it away from the center of the city. The size is good, the energy is great, I’m excited to see where Ignite goes.

UPDATE: added actual link to the event.