August 31, 2003

Oh my, my.

The fruit flies in our kitchen? They were coming from a bag of very colorful and very rotten corn.

I boxed it up and mailed it to you.

August 30, 2003


Today the wind forcast is suggesting needlepoint.


August 26, 2003

’tain’t nuttin’

I’m pseudo-taking a week or so off from blogging, here, so don’t ya’ll fret. This is the week when things start crazying up before winding down in Hood River, and our shop is busy lining up homes for all our rental gear, tip-toeing around booking windsurfing lessons, and cleaning house before the crowds leave and the rains drift into town. Lots and lots and lots has happened and will happen and keeps happening, but I’m not so certain I can keep up with it all. Excess is the best kind of cess, I always say.

What’s been goin’ on, lately? Friday night we started partying at Horsefeathers and went over to Jack’s for karaoke. I tore the roof off the mutha sucka with a ripshitkickass rendition of James Brown’s I Feel Good (not the actual name of the song, incidentally but the one everyone knows it by). Once that was said and done and all the girls of Hood River were whipped into a tizzy we headed over to Savino’s Lounge, where a nice folky trio let some of us get our groove on. Liz and Jason were there, and Liz and Jason were also getting married the following afternoon.

I went to bed around 3:00, got up at 9:00 and went to the shop to fix my kite at 11:00. I changed into my rhinestone cowboy outfit, went to Liz and Jason’s wedding and played in our band Samba Hood Rio for the reception. The wedding was outside atop the cliffs overlooking the Hatchery, and every so often someone would nail a jibe and your eyes would get hit by the sun reflecting off their sail.

Saturday night some of the gang and I hit up the Slingshot party at the Copper Salmon. The people there were creepy and really drunk. All you need to do to be a pro kiteboarder for Slingshot is to be an albino midget with long hair. We left Slingshot and met the rest of the crew at Savino’s. A funk band named Dr. Theopolis (or something like that; I’m never thinking very hard by the time I reach Savino’s) was playing outside, and who should be in the audience but Liz and Jason. Liz wore her wedding dress to the after-party. She’s originally from Michigan, and it seems that wearing your wedding dress to the after-party is a midwest thing… people find it strange and don’t do it out here. Liz was ecstatic.

When the band stopped playing I got bored really quickly. Watching the crowd afterwards I found that the reason I was so unlucky with the girls on the dance floor was because most of them were dating guys in the band. Typical. I went to bed early that night around 2:00.

Sunday night Motoshi cut his finger open chopping cabbage so we got to visit the emergency room. They glued him shut and he’s just fine. The hardest part? He’s not supposed to get it wet for a week, he leaves Hood River on the 31st and there’s still wind to be had. The nurse gave us a million latex gloves and a fat roll of waterproof tape.

Monday night I hit up a jam band from Frisco called New Monsoon at the River City Saloon. The place was crawling with smelly hippies, and they played a lovely counterpoint to this bronzed and chiseled summer. I shook my booty off for a couple hours, got bored during a long setbreak (seriously, setbreaks are painful) and went home.

Fell asleep at 1:00 or so. Woke up at 6:45 for work.

And tomorrow? The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, live at the River City Saloon in Hood River. Greta and Tyler are in town, too, so we are sure to have a good, good time.

Ain’t nuthin’ but a party, ya’ll.

August 21, 2003

Best. Idea. Ever.

Meanwhile, back at the farm…

Help this man cover Enger Tower in bedsheets. Eight sides, each ten feet wide and 51 feet high. This sounds like a job for the Coolest Club Ever, says 2003 president and founding member Dane R. Petersen.

It is lovely to know that nothing at home has changed in my absence. Keep it arockin’, suckahs!

Surprise is Latin for Rubber Room

Surprises found while cleaning out my car:

I went on a 1,600 mile road trip to make my fortune out West and I forgot a tire iron. I really have no idea where it went or how long it has been missing. In its place was a chocolate chip granola bar.

Car speakers don’t work well when they are FULL OF WATER. Truth, they don’t really work at all.

I found a really big black t-shirt that says “Certified Psycho”. It’s cool, but it’s an extra large, and I have no use for an extra large anything. I was talking to myself, trying to figure out if I wanted to keep it in my car or not:

D: “What am I going to do with this?”

D: “Why would I want to keep this in my car?”

D: “To stop the bleeding.”

D: “…”

In it goes.

Skunk Day

Today looked like it was going to be another skunk day, which would have been a drag because yesterday was also a skunk day. Skunk days have nothing to do with skunks and everything to do with wind. There’s an old Gorge saying that goes, “When it doesn’t blow, it sucks.” When it isn’t windy in the Gorge we get skunked.

When we get skunked on our day off from work we cry. Fortunately I was sitting at the computer in the shop all day taking thick draughts of carpel tunnel, so I wasn’t too bummed that the wind was down. Nevertheless, I checked the wind conditions every ten minutes just to make sure I wasn’t missing any fun. I wasn’t, until 2:00 when someone turned the spigot and it was suddenly blowing 15 mph at the Event Site. The wind went from one to fifteen in twenty minutes, and was holding steady. “C’est la Gorge,” we often say, which is French for “It’s the shit.”

And it is. Screw work, there was wind to be had! I grabbed a North Defender 150 kiteboard from the rental shop, swung by my house to pick up Motoshi, and cranked the Green Dragon on down to the Sandbar. Motoshi spent most of his time teaching Mike’s son how to kiteboard, so I was pretty much on my own the entire afternoon. I did really well keeping the kite flown, and I only threw my control bar at the kite twice (quack … quack … BLAMBLAMBLAM … bwe-dop-buh-doo-buh-dop!). Pretty soon that dog is gonna have to find another line of work, cuz I’m workin’ this sucker in the hiz-ouse. Blow up!

I got up on the Defender, which is impressive in its own right because simply getting the kiteboard on your feet while trying to keep your kite flown is an art in itself. I had some pretty good rides, nailed a few turns and managed to stay upwind fairly well. I also nearly killed a family building sand castles.

Then there was my Obligatory Gauntlet of Pain. The wind had picked up and Motoshi had just returned from a run with my Naish Boxer 9. I had been running on a Wipika 6.5 meter kite, but figured I could handle a bit more juice. Motoshi launched the kite for me, but I forgot to check the power level on the control lines (which Motoshi had cranked up to eleven). I immediately got yanked up in the air and skittered fifteen feet across the sandbar before returning to the ground. The leash for emergency depowering got caught in my harness so the kite stayed powered up, threw me to the ground and dragged me twenty feet through the sand before crashing. When all was said and done, I had long red scrapes across my torso, bloody sand-filled wounds under my arm, grains of sand stuck between my teeth and a punctured leading edge.

Motoshi was concerned about whether I was ok or not. I was concerned about how cool the last four seconds of my life just were. I untangled my lines, launched the kite and went out boarding for another half-hour. We finished around 7:00 as the wind and sun were busy winding down. Lately the forests around the town of Sisters have been busy burning down, too, and they made for a beautiful sunset.


D: So Wayne, are you going to Hatteras with everyone else?

W: Yup.

D: Who will run the shop?

W: You will.

D: Oh. Are you going to be in Hood River this winter?

W: Hell no, I’m going to Baja.

D: Baja, eh? Do some kiteboarding?

W: Yeah. To survive the winter here I’d need to hide all the knives and develop a crack habit.

D: Oh.

W: It sucks.

D: Maybe I’ll just find myself a syringe and some high-five.

Screw trying to survive the summer. The hardest part will be surviving the winter.

August 19, 2003


I could tell she was a gypsy by the shape of her nose. She was waiting in the checkout line at Wal-Mart, buying 12 bottles of propane, 24 bottles of Gatorade and 20 gallons of SAE-30 Bar & Chain Oil. And a pack of Marbs. I had no desire to know her evening plans. Strange devices for stealing children, I thought.

Her son was wearing a shirt for the Sunshine RV Park and looked like he got kicked in the face by a gypsy muel. He wheeled the shopping cart out to their wagon in the parking lot, where the horses were pawing at the asphalt and cold lanterns were clanking in the wind.