The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Posts Tagged ‘devin

Cliff of the Day #2350

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Cliff of the Day #2350

I’ve been toprope climbing several times before, but not since I began bouldering at Bridges. In the past two years or so, I’ve grown accustomed to the quick, technical sprints that make up bouldering challenges, so it was interesting to return to the long-distance ascents at Ironworks.

I had to learn the ropes again, of course; the soft cables that cradle a climber’s life need to be carefully arranged for a secure hold. The mnemonic for the figure-eight knot is simple enough: make a little ghost, give him a collar, and punch him in the face. Still I felt inelegant when I first practiced the knot; I don’t usually think in those dimensions, and trying to form those shapes was at first as elusive as speaking the unfamiliar accents of a foreign language.

Routes at Ironworks differ from those at Bridges even more than Dogpatch does. The holds are indifferent to you, neither difficult nor obliging, and in no part of today’s routes was there any sort of crux – no single focus in the challenge that defined the route. Instead it was a long fight against my fading strength, and as I passed the halfway point I would start breathing more deliberately, my heartbeat hastening, my arms beginning to tremble. I came down from one route, a purple 5.11cd, with my forearms buzzing from exertion. I haven’t felt that in a long time.

Tomorrow morning I will be bouldering again – always moving upwards, solving more physical puzzles, getting stronger bit by bit.

even the gentlemen

Written by Umbrella Man

February 28, 2015 at 12:25 am

Posted in Miscellany

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Showdown of the Day #2122

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Showdown of the Day #2122

Pearce is wearing the perfect villain face here, appropriate for his status as an outlaw. His early riches in the game were met with an almost unanimous backlash, and soon he was shot down by his fellow outlaw Laurel. Sheriff Kara’s victory was short-lived, though; as the battle wound down, Pearce rose from the dead and blasted everyone with a surprise gatling gun, razing the field and winning the town for the outlaws.

Ah, the tragedy! It was the ending I wanted, though – struck down as the Renegade, I had to see the Sheriff meet her end.

Good times, good games, good pizza.

parks n rec

Written by Umbrella Man

July 14, 2014 at 11:37 pm

Donat of the Day #2118

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Donat of the Day #2118

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Devin. After our first year of Santa Cruz I found him around campus only rarely, always in a different state of beardedness. He and Kara have just moved into the area, though, so we and Pearce had a little reunion over dinner tonight.

Devin and Kara are both teachers, both adventurers, and it sounds like they’re finding the kind of life they really want. It’s good to see them again – and we’ll meet up a few more times before I disappear in August.

learn to laugh again

Written by Umbrella Man

July 10, 2014 at 11:39 pm

Posted in friends, people

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Shenanigans of the Day #538

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I don’t mean to burden you with such a long video – by all means, if you grow tired of my roommates’ tomfoolery, feel free to attend to other things. I could not bear to curtail the video and lose any of these precious moments, and Trevor was quite insistent that I preserve every one of them.

This is Trevor, Pearce and Devin after about twenty minutes of walking through blackness, beneath a sky thinly lit by stars and above a forest path soft and swollen by rainwater. We suggested to each other stories of forest killers as we walked, and by the time we reached the water tanks a subtle sense of paranoia had descended upon us. As you can see, this did not hinder our hijinks in the slightest.

It was much darker along the forest path tonight than last we went night-hiking; with no moon, and no clouds to reflect the glow of the city, we were very nearly blind, and without flashlights we could all have sunk into the mud, never to be seen again. The only light during this video was provided by my flashing camera, which afforded my roommates only intermittent glimpses of each other’s attacks.

I am a little sad that I was busy with the camera; I might have liked to engage in a bit of strobe-lit swordplay.

We all have quite a bit of studying to do, but nights like this, when we are free to act a foolish as we like, are of utmost importance. Tomorrow will be a proper workday, and soon after can come a wonderful week of play.

can you sing with all the voices of the mountain

Written by Umbrella Man

March 14, 2010 at 4:05 am

Posted in friends, music, people

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Ambience of the Day #441

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I must be careful where I take my mind as I study. I’ll wake up some mornings, with bleary eyes and muffled thoughts, stagger into the shower and sit under the water for a few moments, completely oblivious to the passage of time, and suddenly realize that I’ve unconsciously been trying to find the integral of a roast beef sandwich, or the 95% confidence interval for the proper way to give someone a hug. Math is fascinating, and I’m looking forward to taking physics and chemistry next quarter, but I worry that my thoughts will all be flooded with formulas and technical information, the whole world will disappear into a sea of static and endless computations.

Some time ago I woke at four in the morning, and lay in bed for an hour, thinking and thinking and thinking without being able to fall asleep. Most of those thoughts have since gone away, but I remember thinking that, if anyone happened to be able to hear what I was thinking at the time, it would make perfect sense, and they would still think I was crazy.

This is not a common thing, luckily. I enjoy my fair share of conversations and confections, and it is always lovely to see the delicate textures of the fading sunlight on the trees.

School is going to become more intensive as I take harder classes, so I would like for you to help keep the world from losing its color when I disappear into my books.

(But, for the time being, I am quite well – don’t worry!)

beautiful place

Written by Umbrella Man

December 7, 2009 at 1:54 am

Photo of the Day #408

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Our apartment is not entirely homey – it lacks the decorations and dusty warmth of the houses I grew up in, and the furniture is all bare and simple – but I am starting to get comfortable here. It’s not uncommon for us to make tea or hot chocolate for one another, and we’ll go to the dining hall together even if it means one of us has to wait, and fairly often two or three of my roommates will pull out their guitars and keyboard and jam for a while. I’ve gotten used to spending a lot of time with people every day, and I spend less time hidden away in my bedroom, which I did too much at home.

And there is something new in having the neighbors run up the stairs and knock on our door in costume, demanding that we dress up and come watch movies with them.

It’s strange how seamlessly I got used to this – it seems now like living alone would be far too quiet.

Guys, when we grow up we should all live in a big mansion together. If we pooled our resources, we could maybe pull it off…


Written by Umbrella Man

November 3, 2009 at 11:33 pm

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Photo of the Day #402

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There are, of course, the occasional nights where you stay awake till 2 in the morning doing homework. This is life! Ron and Devin aren’t doing their homework here, though – they’re finished for the night, and letting their brains cool down a bit before sleep.

Ah, sleep~

There is a rewarding feeling about finishing work late at night, but perhaps it is better suited for story writing than statistical analysis.

Ah, well.


will you still remember me

Written by Umbrella Man

October 29, 2009 at 2:00 am

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