I have taken a very long siesta from blogging and I have decided to come back and revitalize my blog. I will no doubt take a lot of effort but I have given it a facelift and will start to update on a more regular basis.
If I have ignored any comments it was not intentional and I will attempt to answer any outstanding questions. There is a lot that has changed in the last year or so and I definitely have a lot of queued posts.
This past weekend some friends and I climbed Mt. Whitney which is the highest mountain in the contiguous 48 states. The peak sits at an altitude of 14,497.61 feet and the campground is just around 8000ft.
We woke up around 2AM and started the hike around 3AM which gave us about 3 hours of night hiking. All in all the uphill hike took about 10 hours and we only got to 13,000 ft. We didn’t go the rest of the way because of improper equipment. We didn’t have crampons and ice axes which apparently were critical in order to make it past the ice cliffs
I took plenty of other photographs(205) and took some movies(16) that you can see at http://www.flickr.com/photos/damienhowley/sets/72157620426196020/.
I hope you enjoy
Melody and I moved apartments about 2 weeks ago and after a lot of hard work we’ve finally got the place looking good. It was very hard combining two apartments into one but I suppose we able to get rid of some unnecessary stuff. We also bought some new furniture and we have a spare bedroom for visitors.
The new apartment is huge, almost 1300 square feet and we have a balcony with a gorgeous view. We have a small glimpse of the ocean and San Diego Bay, a nice view of Cabrillo State park and Point Loma. Also we’re not disturbed by the planes, trains and fire sirens anymore.
We have ran into one problem, the lady below us is old and cranky. Before we moved in the landlord installed all new hardwood floors throughout the place and I suppose our neighbor below doesn’t like the sound of us walking around. I personally believe the hardwood floors are worth it!
Here are some of the pictures I took this past weekend:
Map of my move
This past weekend Melody and I took a trip to Lake Tahoe for the first time. We met up with my friend Greg and his girlfriend Leah and stayed in Squaw Valley. It was truly beautiful and the slopes were amazing. I snowboarded for about 6 years when I was younger and even though it was a lot of fun the slopes in Cleveland Ohio (Brandywine) were excessively subpar in comparison. We arrived in Reno late Friday night and went directly to The Dubliner where we enjoyed live music and some beers. The next morning/afternoon we headed out to the hills and got a half day pass. Melody and I rented the ski-blades which are really short skis. They were very easy to learn although I would definitely recommend using ski poles as we had a hard time maneuvering to and from the ski lifts. I took a bunch of pictures which I put on flickr. Here’s a preview.
We stayed with Greg’s aunt and uncle (Dr. John and Carol) who were very nice. On Saturday night they had a group of friends over for drinks and dinner which was great. I really enjoyed my weekend, however, next time my trip is going to be much longer. I’d really like to see more of the area.
About a week ago I wrote a post called “A San Diego winter day” which talked about a sailing trip to Mission Bay. I started the blog post of with thoughts about San Diego and how I absolutely love living here. I also added some pictures from my sailing trip that day which showed just how beautiful it was. Over the weekend I received a comment on my San Diego blog post questioning how I could enjoy living in San Diego so much if I have never traveled. On my walk to work today I was thinking about whether I have traveled enough to offer such and adoring opinion of this city and as a result I’ve decided to compose a list of places I traveled to in 2008.
- United States
- San Diego
- Los Angeles
- Hermosa Beach
- Manhattan Beach
- San Juan Capistrano
- San Francisco
- San Jose
- Santa Clara
- Mammoth Mountain
- Yosemite National Park
- Cabo San Lucas
- Puerto Vallerta
I only listed the destinations that I stayed overnight or longer and I’m sure that I’ll think of more. That’s not a bad list for one year and I think that means that I have actually traveled enough to confidently say I like San Diego the most. I’ve also circled around the US twice in my car and lived in 5 major cites (Cleveland, Cincinatti, Atlanta, Chicago and San Diego). Oh and I’ve rafted the Mississipi (not all of it) in a man made wooden raft and I saw quite a lot there too.
I love the fact that I live in San Diego and although I regret to say this I do a pretty damn good job of rubbing it in everyone else’s face. I really only do it because I want them to live here to and enjoy this beautiful city. Anyway, today was March 1st and whereas most people across the country are putting on their hats and gloves my friends and I headed to Mission Bay for a day of sailing. It was absolutely beautiful weather and the wind was quite good. Roy, Melody and I rented a 16′ sailboat and headed out to sail bay where we met up with Max and his group.
The wind was just perfect and because it was my first time sailing the 16′ (I’ve rented the 18′ and 22′ many times before) I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Because of the strong winds we had no problem leaning the boat and at some points even took on water. I captained the sailboat for the first 2 hours and then I gave it to Roy and Melody to take care of the rest. When I was free I took the opportunity to take some photos with my new camera which I was quite happy with.
As you can see it really was a beautiful day out. I also took my point and shoot digital camera for video but I left the memory card at home. I can’t wait to take video next time.
It’s funny how we all value things so differently throughout our life. I feel like I have good values but sometime I question whether my perception of value is appropriate.
In June I will be running the San Diego Rock N Roll marathon for the second year in a row. I am part of a great organization called Team In Training. As a member of Team In Training I get access to professional coaches who train and prepare us for the 26.2 mile endeavor. We also get to be part of a team with mentors and teammates who support and motivate us. In return we agree to raise a certain amount of money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. Last year I raised $1700 for the Sand Diego Rock N Roll marathon and $1100 for the Nike Womens Marathon.
Yesterday was my first day of training. I wasn’t very motivated to be honest. I live downtown so I first ran towards the convention center. I ran the length of the convention center and looped around the back of it to run by the marina. As I got to the marina I saw a homeless man in the distance holding a sign. I thought to myself “well I obviously don’t have any money because I’m working out.” I guess he thought the same so all he said was “look at the dedication! way to go. keep up the good work.” For some reason, maybe because I was trying to avoid conversation, I yelled back “thanks, I’m raising money for Leukemia”. I didn’t really slow down for the conversation so I was already past him when he responded “really. wow. good job.”
I didn’t really think much of it and why should I, I was able to make a typically uncomfortable conversation sort of positive. Anyway I kept running. I went past the Marriott and the Hyatt. I passed seaport village and also past the USS Midway. I turned around at the Star of India and headed back. By this point I had already forgotten about the homeless man who had cheered me on.
About 20 minuets passed and once again I saw the same homeless man off in the distance. As I got closer he looked, stood up and started walking towards me. I wasn’t really worried because I remembered my last interaction with him. As he got closer he said “are you the guy running for Leukemia?”. I told him I was and this it what he said in return:
“When you ran past me earlier and told me that you were running for Leukemia I was very moved. I cried while I thought about my life and how I wish I could help others. I don’t have much. It doesn’t get too busy back here. I only have $1 and I want you to have it. I want you to donate it to the Leukemia fund.”
I quickly responded by saying “Sir, I can’t accept your dollar. I just can’t.”
He replied with “No. I do a lot better than most of the homeless.” I said ok as long as I could give him credit and I asked his name. He said “anonymous” which I agreed to. He then said “I only want the best for everyone. Here’s my sign.” The sign said “Hi, my name is —–. I will always do my best. I will always pay it forward.” We talked for about another 15 seconds. I told him that he was a good man and that Karma was on his side. I said “God bless you” and went on my way.
As I ran away I didn’t know what to think. I was sad but also inspired. This man had given away all his money. I know it wasn’t a lot but that could have been his next meal.
I was very moved by the generosity of this homeless man who had nothing. He really impressed me. Furthermore he was the very first donation to my Leukemia and Lymphoma fund. I am definitely going to donate his dollar to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and I’m also going to match it 100x ($100.00).
You can find my Team In Training donation information at: