Making the Grade

Having a 'pinched nerve', I think, is a general misnomer that covers any and all types of nerve-style pain with which many of us, at some point, are afflicted. I am, of course, referring to a variety of pain that feels much like an electrified ice-pick stabbing into a very specific area, radiating outwards with all the discomfort of being covered in stinging nettles. Straining my Trapezius muscle has become a favorite pastime of mine; the aforementioned pain receptor short circuit is secondary to my latest muscle tear. When I turn my head, it feels like a needle covered in battery acid is being driven into the margin of my upper spine.

What better time, then, for physical granite rock climbing? I can think of none better, which is why I spent the last two days straining and mantlepressing my way up vertical to just-under-vertical rock. Surprisingly, I feel better after the experience than before; this is a somewhat unheralded result and I'm not sure if it betters or worsens my approach to injury prevention.

In any case, a friend of mine recently established a free variation* to an old bolt ladder on an old, somewhat forgotten climb called Swim at my favorite climbing area, Index. I believe the name refers to the way in which one must 'swim' up a sea of blank-looking granite whilst attempting the climb. Having done the route in the past via the 30 feet of bolt-pulling, I wanted to try the new pitch. We started the climb with an optional pitch which includes another hard bit of climbing that is somewhat height dependent. I pride my 5'6" (or 5'7"?) self in having a 5'9" reach that just barely negates this disadvantage. The first bit went well, as did the second pitch, despite copious amounts of dirt on the latter. Rain seems to coat this section of the Index Upper Town Wall with moss and dirt that collect on features and act as small ball-bearings when one attempts to grab them. A steep but easy crack then led us quickly to what I assumed would be the effort of the day. I wasn't entirely wrong.

The new variation begins from a wonderful, spacious ledge with a great view and a memorial plaque. Difficult from the get-go, this section of climbing features a strange mix of rock types (there is a band of finer-grained rock about 60 feet high and several hundred feet in length in the middle of this section of the Upper Wall) and a rather perplexing crux section. After several minutes poised contemplating the possibilities, I cast off on ten feet of thin holds and slipped off midway through. In my estimation, I missed the first-attempt (onsight) completion of this pitch by a thumbpress (or about 2 inches worth of movement). Although dwindling daylight prevented another attempt, I feel pretty good about my effort: after all, 5.11 at Index is a difficult grade to just waltz up with confidence and a fall is nothing to be ashamed of. At 5.11d, Swim is a classic testpiece on Index granite. The new pitch certainly falls into the category of 'hard 5.11d'. Although few will choose to pursue the outdated but extremely satisfying style of standing on one's feet and trusting them absolutely while searching for tiny handhold features on a wall that is barely vertical in angle, the rewards are numerous: sore toes, raw fingertips, bruised egos; yes, this pursuit is truly that of the purist, a trial-by-fire for any aspiring climber.

After years of crawling slowly up the climbing-grade ziggurat, dividing my time amongst the different rock climbing disciplines, I finally feel ready for the real challenge, the one that has been waiting benignly in my own backyard climbing area for decades: face climbing on the Index Upper Town Wall.

*free climbing is pulling on features inherent in the rock; aid climbing is placing gear (including bolts) and using them for upward progress. Disclaimer: climbing is a game with rules.


All Your Turkeys Are Belong to Us

It turns out, much in my favor, that killing turkeys whilst fucking them for the enhancement of sexual pleasure is a well-established component of a larger category of human sexual expression known as avisodomy. I'll just type that word again, because the letters fall into place so wonderfully: avisodomy. I would argue that the actual killing of the animal while fucking it crosses boundaries of another form of *ahem* sexual expression: that of sadism. But each to his or her own. To wit, the Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices, written by the rather aptly-named Brenda Love, chronicles a number of different fetishistic human sexual practices, including one that apparently occurred in brothels: namely, that the proprietors would issue a goose or turkey to visiting customers who would then...

...and I've described the rest already!

So: keep reading my blog, because I've now shown proof that turkey killfucking isn't a fantasy materialized from my alcohol-addled brain; rather it is an entry, nay, a mere footnoot in a rather interesting volume written and compiled by a licensed pilot, skydiver, columnist and sexologist:

I truly enjoy the book, despite my making light of the turkeykillfucking (or was it geese?) described therein. It really would be a useful curio to most and, presumably, a wonderful idea farm for others. I stole this picture of Brenda Love from Amazon.com; I can only assume that no one gives a shit.


Doublepost for Positivity

I just finished ranting about my favorite topics, which notably include politicians and their shameful denial of their participation in publicly-funded sexual activities with animals and some other root-Shakra filth I'm always dwelling on/in.

I can't possibly let that post stand alone for more than 5 minutes: people might get the idea that I deal only in negativity with disgusting descriptive prose as accompaniment. I want to prove that I have other interests that positively influence the world, like climbing. I know, I know--it's a purely selfish pursuit. But it makes me a better person so it allows my light to shine on those around me, ya dig?

I had a sort-of-fun day in the mountains on Friday. We hiked in to the Enchantments with another goal in mind but ended up getting sandbagged into simulclimbing* Prusik Peak via the South Face and hiking the whole loop trail in about 13.5 hours (OK it was 15 hours). I don't present that time as something even impressive because I'm sure someone else has done it in less than 6. Anyway, who cares? I've never hiked 20 miles in a day and especially not with 6700 or some such feet of elevation gain. Despite being afflicted by various pains during the last couple of miles, I will remember the experience with some amount of fondness. The climbing was great and although the we were moving too fast to really soak them in, the views were unparallelled. I don't necessarily recommend the so-called car-to-car thing with this area, but the permit system for the Enchantments seems like it might be frustrating so this might constitute a solution to that, albeit arduous. Anyhow, back to your regularly scheduled program. And maybe some pictures to follow at some point. Idaho out.

*Soloing with a rope: simulclimbing is where both the leader and follower are tied together on a rope at some distance (100 feet in this case) apart and are both climbing at the same time. The leader puts places gear in the rock at intervals to prevent catastrophe but for obvious reasons, neither climber should fall, especially the follower.

Bla, bla, bla

Despite my general aversion to dwelling on American politics, I couldn't help but take note of the frontrunners for Republican presidential candidate:

Michele Bachmann: Poorly spoken, evangelist Tea Party wingnut; unabashed in her opposition to, well, everything that amounts to a social liberty or program.

Mitt Romney: Former Mormon missionary.

Rick Perry: Some shithead that is also governor of Texas or something.

Ron Paul: Many of his stances seem good from afar: he is against the so-called 'War on Drugs'; he voted against the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; he is somewhat of a contrarian when it comes to status quo Republican politics. There's just one problem: he's an isolationist. Oh: and a religious nut. What does that mean? It means that rather than treating immigration as a reality and working within that reality, he denies its existence and advocates closing and enforcing borders. This smells a lot like Tea Party politics and in fact, Paul is somewhat of a godfather of the Tea Party movement whether he likes it or not. It also means he opposes social freedoms like abortion and same-sex marriage. For everyone who thinks he's cool because he--tacitly at least--advocates legalization of marijuana (for reference, he thinks states should be able to decide): have you learned anything about one-issue voting in the past decade or so?

I'm not sure whether to be amused or worried. With the social climate present in this country, I should probably be worried. Given the way Facebook and Twitter have taken over both our collective consciousness and our vocabulary, people identify with representatives such as Bachmann more and more because, well, they're IDIOTS like her. They understand (dimly) her obfuscating nut-job doublespeak and the polarizing scripts prepared for her by the mercurial aliens that are tugging on her puppet strings and also overseeing this entire experiment that we on Earth call 'politics'.

"Well Cletus, I reckin I ain't remembr a thang them uther folks said, but that Bachman is AGINST ABOURSHUN! God bless! Elsewise how'd we evur have our 18 blessd little ones? Huh?"

Yeah, wouldn't want to prevent any of those bulbs from shining dimly through a sheen of filth and shit, now would we?

I guess you might call me a one-issue voter too because I despise religious nuts, rapacious lunatics and all the ridiculous demagoguery that issues from their bile-ridden, blood-stained rots. Hey, I'm Libertarian too: everyone should be able to do whatever he or she wants as long as it's also what I want! As long as everyone shuts the fuck up and stays off my lawn, I'm a happy God-fearing American. Michele Bachmann can killfuck turkeys to her heart's desire (although it be murder most fowl...mwahahaha); It really wouldn't bother me if she weren't funding the activity with federal agricultural subsidies for her failed family farm in Iowa payed for by...um...our federal income taxes. But alas, I digress into repetition: I've already expressed my disgust at publicly-funded turkey killfucking by our elected representatives. Sigh.

Somehow it would be less insulting if these assholes just admitted that they enjoy bathing in the blood of freshly slain children. If one word that issued from their putrid maws was true, no matter how horrific and disgusting to behold, it would be a real blessing for all of us not to have to hear these ridiculous lies and charades continue ad nauseum, ad infinitum. Oh, and a third party would be nice too. Actually, I'll settle for a true second party. Amen.