Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter Has Arrived

(This is the front of my Apartment in OR on Sat. 12/21/08.  4-6" of snow and .25" of ice on top.)
(This is my car before cleaning it off Monday morning 12/22/08, another few inches of snow!)

Everyone out here seems to think this weather is weird, but this is the weather I expected to get living in the Pacific NW.  Apparently this is usually rain and not snow and ice.  I'm enjoying the snow after not being around it since the Salomon Ski Tour in '07.  The roads have been nuts, as apparently they also don't know what a plow is out here???  I bought myself some chains this morning so that I could get mobile again.

There is nothing new to report.  I'm applying for jobs left and right and not hearing much back.  I'm trying to put in hours at Google, but there doesn't seem to be work to be had.  I'm putting in my hours with Skagen, but it is a very part time job.  I'm talking to Julie everyday and trying to work out the logistics to build a life together.  I'm also running a ton and trying to stay on target for running a few ultras and marathons in '09.

I think about and miss my Grandma Devol on a regular basis and will miss not being with family for yet another Christmas.  This year I will be again spending the holidays in HI with Julie.

Stay well, keep in touch, and have a happy holiday.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Love to Travel!

(Sorry for the crazy photo sizes lately.  I can't seem to fix the problem, as I have no clue what the problem is!  Click on the photo to see the whole thing.)
(I grew a beard during the 3 weeks between Iowa and Maryland, shaved it off before my high school reunion.)

I'm sorry about not posting the past few weeks, but there has been little to report and no photos to go with the reports.  Over the past two weeks I have been back in MD.  The week before I was just hanging out in Portland and working for Skagen.  I did get to hang out with some new Portland friends for a quality Halloween party as well.  The MD trip was a lot of fun and I was able to collect some photos to hopefully make this post interesting:)

I flew back to MD on Friday the 21st and got to see the new Bond movie that evening with my parents, Jacklyn, Julie, & Rae.  The movie was entertaining, but not nearly as good as Casino Royal, the only post Ian Fleming Bond movie worth much.  On Saturday I attended my 10 yr high school reunion with Jacklyn.  It was held at the Red Star in Baltimore and was good fun.  It was good to see what people are up too, that you knew 10 yrs ago and haven't kept in touch with.  Lots of drinks and many years of catching up kept the conversations flowing.  I got the prize for traveling the furthest for the reunion as well.  On Sunday Julie left with her family for a three day trip to a time share in southern VA.  I managed to catch a cold and went out to my parents place to help move my sister into here new apartment, which was quite a job!  The first half of the week I spent with my parents fighting off my cold and cleaning out my old room.  Thursday was Thanksgiving and was a great to enjoy a feast with my family.  The senior Dorr's, John, Linda, & Jason Spence, my Mom, Dad, Sister, & Victoria all got to spend the day enjoying good food and playing cards.  My Grandma Devol was greatly missed by all:(  On Saturday I got up early and ran the NCR Trail marathon.  I probably shouldn't have, since I hadn't run all week due to being quite sick.  The weather turned out to be quite nice and I felt relatively good during the run.  I was shooting for under 4 hrs and managed a 4:00:13.  Those 13 seconds get to me every time I look at that result!  Saturday night was a big party at Julie's house that went quite well.  My family came and met Julie's for the first time, the UWS crew showed up in force, and many of Julie's old high school/college/& theater friends showed up as well.  Julie's Mom made some amazing food and everyone ate and drank quite well.  I woke up the next day feeling quite rough from the marathon.

The second week in MD was a bit more mellow, but still quite busy.  For the first part of the week I worked on cleaning up my Grandma Devol's house, as there is a lot of work to be done on that place before it can be sold.  On Wednesday Julie and I took a trip down to DC to check out some of the Museums.  We went to the Natural History Museum, Sackler Gallery, Freer Gallery, and enjoyed some shopping and dining at Union Station.  Friday night Justin & Sarah threw a party out at their place.  It was good to catch up with the UWS crew again and many of Sarah's Park Ranger friends came out as well.  Julie caught a cold earlier in the week and was feeling quite rough and my allergies were killing me from all the animals, so we only stayed out until about 11.  On Saturday I got to take my parents out for a nice B-Day dinner, as they both have B-Day's this week.  Sunday Julie and I both flew back to our places, Julie back to HI and me back to OR.

I have to say that life is a bit rough at the moment as Julie and I have tried so hard to find a way to be together again.  In the end I need to find a job and a location for us to be.  Julie is very interested in becoming an art teacher and will probably be pursing that path sometime soon.  For now I have most of Dec. planned out with work for Google and Skagen.  I'm also searching for jobs and running everyday.  Hopefully things will come together soon.

(This is one of the aid stations along the NCR Trail marathon that I ran back in MD.)
(My sisters new kid is getting big!  Victoria at 2 months.)
(Julie threw a great party on the 29th at her parents place.  Much of the UWS crew were in attendance.)
(Sarah was nice enough to bring her chocolate fountain for Julie's party.  Julie's Dad was in the party spirit with his HI shirt and cacua nuts.)
(This is Julie in any moving vehicle.  This happens to be on the DC metro headed down to the museums.)
(Julie enjoying all the animals at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.)
(This was one of the many amazing photos in a temporary exhibit at the Natural History Museum.)
(This is a very cool natural sculpture formed by sand and crystal that can be found in the Hope Dimond room at the Natural History Museum.)
(Julie and I really liked this plate in the Sackler Gallery.)
(The arcitectue and sculptues go hand in hand at the Sackler Gallery.)

(Party photos by Rae Borsetti)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Portland Life

Sadly there really isn't much to report.  I'm still in the Portland, OR area working to find a job and doing some odd jobs to make ends meet.  I finally started the Google quality rater position and now need to put in 10-30 hrs a week in front of the computer.  For the most part a really boring job, but the money is okay and I have rent to pay.  Julie and I talk everyday and are still trying to make plans for the future.  Basically she is looking at a number of paths and I'm still looking for a job to settle into.  I did get out kayaking both days this weekend and had a great time.  I love steep creeks!  I have also been running a ton trying to gear up for yet another marathon.  I figure if I'm going to be unemployed than I should at least be in good shape and happy about that.  I will be running the NCR Trail marathon back in MD the Sat. after Thanksgiving.  Well, that is about it.  I'm looking forward to another couple of weeks back east with family and friends.

(Sorry for no photos again, but it has been rainy and cloudy here all week!)

Monday, November 3, 2008


This past week was a rough one as I had to bury my Grandma Devol.  She was an amazing lady and someone that cared about others deeply.  She was an integral part of my close family and someone who will be missed greatly.  Her memorial and burial was held in Des Moines, Iowa, her hometown.  My parents did an amazing job of organizing everything, following my Grandmothers wishes, and making it possible for the entire extended family and friends to spend time together.  It was really good to meet many extended family members that I had heard about over the years and reconnect with family that I hadn't seen for years.

I'm back in Portland now trying to organize my life.  I'm still working to find a new career, create a future for Julie and I, and make ends meet now.  I'm also still working to increase my fitness, mostly through running.  I'm looking forward to spending some more time with the family and Julie back in Maryland around Thanksgiving.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Julie in OR!

(Julie and I enjoying a little hike at Indian Beach)

This past week Julie came for a visit in OR.  We had a great week exploring Northwestern Oregon.  We got a chance to check out the coast, Portland, and the Hood River area.  It was really great to have Julie back on the mainland and enjoying the amazing fall weather in Oregon.  We are still working out the details to again combine our lives on an everyday level, but we both have a number of decisions to make.  For now Julie is enjoying her life in HI and I'm still working on finding a new career on the mainland.  I'm now in Iowa attending my Grandmothers Memorial/Funeral, more on that next week.

(Indian Beach on an amazing Fall day in Oregon, 60 degrees and sunny!)
(The lighthouse off Tillimook Head, OR.)
(Julie and I enjoying the sunset on the "Prom" in Seaside, OR.)
(Sea lions taking a nap in Astoria, OR.)
(Julie staying warm while enjoying the sea lions in Astoria.)
(It has been awhile since Julie has seen leaves!  This is a great overlook in the Columbia River Gorge.)
(One of the many waterfalls we got to check out in the "gorge".)
(Julie and I enjoying Bridal Veil Falls.)
(Julie at Multnomah Falls, the second largest waterfall in the US.)
(Julie feeding the alpaca on the "Fruit Loop" drive outside Hood River, OR.)
(Julie enjoying a beautiful fall day at a local Hood River fruit stand with Mt. Hood in the background.)
(Julie in a really cool ravine on the Southeast side of Mt. Hood.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sad to Say Goodbye:(

(This is my Grandma Devol kissing me on the cheek the night before she passed away.)

The really sad news this week was the passing of my Grandmother.  She was an absolutely amazing woman and the best Grandmother anyone could ask for.  She cared for people so deeply and tried to help anyone and everyone she could.  She passed away this past Friday morning in her sleep.  Her standard of living was going down considerably because of numerous health issues and she is now in a better place and not in pain.  I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to spend the past two weeks visiting with her and letting her know how much she is loved.  Most of the important people in her life had a chance to show her their love and admiration over the past few weeks.  Memorial services will be in Des Moines, Iowa next Monday.

I am currently back in Portland and have been working hard the past two days doing Skagen watch merchandising in the area.  I'm still looking for full time employment, but haven't been getting any luckier on that front lately.  On the positive side I'm super excited to have Julie coming for a visit this week.  She'll be here Wednesday morning and then leaving Sunday midday.  I will be flying out to Iowa at the same time.

My love and thoughts go out to my amazing parents.  I can only strive to be as good a son as they have been to their parents.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Family Time Back East

(My niece Victoria)

I've been back on the east coast all week spending time with the family.  My grandmother isn't doing so well and I've been spending time with my parents taking her to her medical appointments.  My other grandparents are doing quite well.  My sister and her new baby girl are also doing quite well.  I was supposed to fly back west today, but decided to stay through Saturday to spend some more time with the family.

I did get to catch up with my friends Justin and Sarah on Saturday as well as the Edelstein's.  We had a great afternoon out on the water wakeboarding.  Beautiful weather, warm water, and good friends made for a really great time.  I also caught up with my old high school friend Jacklyn over a nice dinner.  Helene and I also got to catch up over dinner tonight.

Julie spent this past weekend in Maui with her friend Liz.  They had a great time and got to see an amazing sunrise.  I'm looking forward to Julie coming to Portland for a visit a week from Wednesday.

(Victoria & I enjoying some time at my parent's place)
(My Sister Nicole with her new baby Victoria & my Mom's Mom, Loraine)
(My Father's parents, Marilyn & Ken, and I)
(Dick, my Mom's Dad, and I)
(Justin driving the Edelstein's wakeboard boat)
(Me being goofy for the camera)
(Airing it out with a stylish grab)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Marathons & More Flights

Well I managed to get a few of my goals for last week completed at least.  I got the Google job, but won't start for a week or so.  I also did two Phix demos that went well.  Most of the week I was just taking it easy trying to rest up for the Portland Marathon.  I got two 5 mile runs in early in the week and managed to get some solid shin pain in my left leg and knee pain in my right.  I also had a major kink in my neck all week from the beating I took in my surf kayak last weekend.  One way I took it easy was by playing some poker at the local casino.  I managed to go home with a few hundred in profit both times I played.

I managed to run a 3:59:47 marathon, just under my 4 hr goal:)  It rained the whole race and never got over 50 something degrees.  I was running a 3:45 marathon until about mile 17 when I backed off a bit.  At mile 21 my legs started to completely seize and cramp up.  I ended up walking a few times because my legs wouldn't bend far enough to get a running stride.  At about the 25 mile marker it started to rain harder and the 4 hr pacer passed me.  At that point I just put the pain aside and told myself that I wasn't going to let my 4 hr goal slip through in the last mile or so.  I ended up sprinting that last 1.2 miles and finished a few hundred feet in front of the 4 hr pacer.  My legs are completely broken today, but hopefully with some rest and ice they will recover quickly:)

Today I flew back to Maryland to visit with family and see some friends.  I'm looking forward to visiting my Grandparents and seeing my niece, Victoria Ariana.  I'll be flying back to Portland next Monday.

I'm still working on plans for the future.  A solid career is still one of my primary focuses, and still not happening very fast:(  I am very much looking forward to a visit from Julie in a few weeks in Portland.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Google Time

This week has been full of time on the computer in my new apartment near Portland.  I've been settling in and working on the normal things, finding a job and keeping up with friends and family.  I did manage to get out surf kayaking yesterday and had a blast as usual.  I've also been training hard for the Portland marathon coming up this weekend.  I think I'm ready for a sub 4 hr. marathon, but we'll see how it works out:)

On the work front not much has changed.  I've looked at a ton of things, sent out a few applications, and heard nothing back from the MANY applications that I still have out there.  I did start doing demos, just one so far, for Phix energy (www.phix.com).  It should be a fun and easy side job.  I've also been working all week on a test for a job with Google as a web site rater.  It would be a solid part-time very flexable job that I could use to pay some bills each month.  I'll be working late to get it done by tomorrow morning's deadline and we'll see what happens from there.

Julie and I are still going strong and trying to figure out what the future holds for each of us independantly and together.  Julie's big news from yesterday is her completion of the Molokai outrigger canoe race!  This is a 40+ mile 6 man outrigger canoe race across the open ocean channel between Molokai and Oahu.  Julie worked really hard to accomplish this goal and had an amazing experience surrounding the race.

The family is having some crazy times to say the least.  My sister is in labor currently, I think?  I might be a uncle before the day is out.  My Grandma Devol is still in the hospital and on my mind all the time.  From what I hear her spirits have slightly improved, but physically she is still struggling.  Please keep her in your prayers and thoughts.  My Mom and Dad are amazing for handling all this chaos with such grace and composure.

My goals for this week are to: get the google job, schedule some Phix demos, run a sub 4 hr marathon, find a full time job, and take care of a ton of little things that I just haven't had time to take care of.  Wish me luck as this might be a tall order!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Cispus Video

Cool video of me running the big drop called Behemoth on the Cispus River in Washington.  I wrote about this run a few weeks ago.  If you look closely I had a helmet on at the top and none at the bottom.  Luckily I had a good run and my helmet popped up undamaged next to me in the eddy a few minutes later.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hood, Kailua, & now in Portland

(Kailua from the air, you can see the Mokalua Islands just off Laniki Beach)

It has been a crazy week.  I've been running a ton prepping for the Portland Marathon in two weeks, Oct. 5th.  I managed a 20 mile run yesterday in exactly 3 hrs, a 9 min/mile pace.  Low water has kept me off the rivers and it seems that the wind only blows when I'm leaving town, so no kiteboarding.

On the job front there is very little to report.  I'm working on three part time jobs now, more on that next week.  The one I worked a bunch early this past week was the Skagen watch merchandising job.  In two days I spent over 12 hrs at 6 different Macy's stores in the greater Portland area.  I'm still looking for that career move and will be working even more this week to really focus my energies on getting something to happen ASAP.

The big news, and craziness over this past week was a very last minute trip to HI.  I bought a ticket at 4 am Thursday and was in HI at 3:30 that afternoon.  I just got back into town this morning from a wonderful few days with Julie.  I figured out a few months ago that I had made a huge mistake leaving her in HI back in June.  I needed to see her in person and show her just how much I love and miss her in my life.  Julie and I have an amazing friendship and a love for one another that is extremely rare.  We have committed to each other to work things out and find a way to be together in the future.

Julie is racing in the 6 man outrigger canoe race from Molaki to Oahu this weekend.  I wish her and her team a safe and speedy crossing of this grueling and challenging channel.  I'm so proud of the huge amount of work and effort that Julie has put into this amazing endeavour.

My Grandma Devol is in my thoughts everyday.  Her health is not getting any better and she is back in hospice care after another trip to the hospital this week.  Please keep her in your prayers.

My sister Nicole is expecting her first child within the next two weeks.  She seems to be doing well with all of it and I wish her the best.  It is crazy that I'm going to be an Uncle!

Please keep in touch, as you can see I've been busy!  Please also keep me in the loop if you know of any job opportunities.  I moved into an apartment near Portland today with a paddling friend, EJ Etherington, but can still move anywhere for the right career move.

(Honolulu Airport)
(Julie ready to tackle the Coco Head Hike)
(Julie and Bryon happy together again)
(Hawaii Kai and Honolulu with some rain rolling through, from atop Coco Head)
(Sunset over Hawaii Kai from atop Coco Head)
(Julie prepping the paint for another outrigger canoe)
(Julie spraying in the first colored gel coat)
(Julie showing off one of her creative masterpieces)
(I got to check out some serious RC airplane and helicopter enthusiasts in Kailua)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Still Working Hard to Find Work!

The headline tells most of the story.  I'm putting in most of every day trying to find a new career, or at least a descent job.  I have accepted a very part time position, like 12 hrs a month, doing merchandising for Skagen Watches in the Portland area.  This is the same position that I had with Skagen in HI.  I'm also working on a part time position with Google rating websites.  Other than that not much is happening on the job hunt side of things.

My Grandma Devol is having some more medical issues and I keep her in my thoughts everyday.  My parents are amazing and are dealing with a lot to make sure that their parents are having the best lives possible at this time.

The water is drying up fast around here and there hasn't been much in the way of whitewater to be had.  I got a low water run in on the Green Truss and hit up a dam release on the Tieton.  The winds have also been dead most of the week, and only blowing when I need to get work done:(  I have been running really hard though, trying to prepare for the Portland Marathon on Oct. 5th.  I feel pretty good about my speed and distances, but the marathon is going to hurt with the minimal time that I've had to prepare.  I'm shooting for a sub 4 hr marathon, anything below that will make me happy.

Joe and Rachel have been great hosts here in Hood River, but I don't want to overstay my welcome.  I'm working on finding a place to live in the Portland area, which will also hopefully get me closer to some job opportunities.  The commute to the kayaking and kiting will be a bit further, but I'll be closer to the job center and only a little over an hour from the coast.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Surf Kayaking on the OR Coast

(Indian Beach, OR)

Overall this has just been another week.  I have been running a ton, preparing for the Portland Marathon on Oct. 5th, and searching for jobs.  I'm still sending in new applications and following up on old ones every day.  The job search is getting old fast and my funds are running dangerously low.  I've even contacted a few local car dealers to see about selling high end cars again!  Bills need to get paid one way or another:(  I managed to sneak in a short kite session as well as a mellow kayak during the week as well.

All the photos this week are from a trip on Saturday to the Oregon Coast to go surf kayaking.  A big group from Portland as well as Joe and I headed to Indian river and got some solid 7-9 ft. surf.  Joe and I spent more than 5 hours out on the water trying to catch all the big ones in our surf specific boats.  It was an exhausting day, but was well worth the long drive.  On the way home we stopped at this really cool old logging museum/restaurant.  The brownie desert is amazing and you might get a glimpse of Sasquatch while your there!

(The North end of Indian Beach)
(My first Elk spotting in OR, rite on the coast.)
(Joe spotted Sasquatch!)
(Sasquatch and I making a run for it!)