by: Matt Simerson
Sunday 28 Nov 21

Dec 18, 2001: The holidays are going to be full of activity for Jen and I. We roll out of Atlanta on Thursday morning (12/20) and will arrive in Indianapolis later than evening. There we'll stay with Mike and Deb Surls until Saturday when we drive up to Martha's for family Christmas. Sunday we'll depart Lansing for Cadillac. In Cadillac we'll unpack the moving truck, visit a few friends, and head south again on Wednesday bound for Indy again. On the 27'th we'll leave Indy with the Surls bound for Atlanta, and maybe Florida. Wow, it'll be a very full "vacation."

Nov 16, 2001: Here's the itinerary for our "packing" flight back to Seattle:

Flight Number: Delta 1808
Departs: Atlanta, GA (ATL) Friday 23 Nov 2001 at 0955A
Arrives: Seattle, WA (SEA) Friday 23 Nov 2001 at 1209P
Seats: 16F 16G

Flight Number: Delta 122
Departs: Seattle, WA (SEA) Wednesday 28 Nov 2001 at 1140A
Arrives: Atlanta, GA (ATL) Wednesday 28 Nov 2001 at 0717P
Seats: 33E 33D

Nov 2, 2001: It's my birthday and today Jen and I celebrated by driving into one of Mtn bikings hot spots: Moab Utah. Tomorrow we'll go out and visit slickrock trail, see the Needles, and if we can arrange it, catch an aerial tour of the entire canyonlands area. After a good nights sleep, we'll pack up and head on to Denver to meet up with some of Jen's friends before driving the rest of the way to Atlanta.

Oct 4, 2001: Jen and I are off to Atlanta this weekend for to have a look around and look for a place to live.

Delta Air #528 SEA 11:40am ATL 7:19pm
Delta Air #1808 ATL 9:55am SEA 12:11pm

Sep 25, 2001:Matt's House is for sale! As part of the HostPro/Interland merger, my job is moving to Atlanta and I'm going with it. That means the house here in Washington is for sale about when I finally get the useless wall removed, skylights added, and the new deck built. Once again, I have the project done, it's time to move on and let someone else enjoy it.

It's been a long time since I've updated but I did go out and climb S. Early Winter this last weekend. It's over on the sunny side of the mountains and we had a gorgeous day with lots of sunshine, excellent views, and nice warm rocks to climb. I don't have any photos because my digital camera is with a friend who borrowed it for a trip to Israel. I'll publish a few of his photos on my site soon (if he permits it).

August 15, 2001: Mount Rainier photos are online! On Sunday the Matt'spedition (Matt Simerson, Matt Levin, & Matt Mussallem) departed for our first ever ascent of Mt. Rainier. We summited at 5:15 Tuesday morning and arrived back in Seattle a mere 12 hours later.

John Dindot had a BBQ at his place and provided shish kebab fixings. Yummy! I took some pictures.

August 2, 2001: Jen and I will be leaving for Michigan on August 18th to go to my class reunion. We'll be staying for a week and then coming back to Seattle in time to leave for a trip to Atlanta. Flight details are:

18 Aug - 1:00am - SEA-MSP flight 152
18 Aug - 7:00am - MSP-GRR flight 1284
25 Aug - 6:40pm - GRR-MSP flight 1287
25 Aug - 8:40pm - MSP-SEA flight 0165

August 01, 2001: It's been really crazy in since I got back from Michigan. I had a great time back there but brought home an airplane cold. I got a bunch of pictures from the Simerson family reunion, a day trip to Michigan's Adventure (the day before a ride broke), some Michigan countryside, dinner with my good friends Gordon & Cheryl, a French Onion soup cookoff at Ray & Betsy's, and a hike up Tiger Mountain.

One unexpected side affect to my trip back to Michigan was realizing how much I love the weather in the Puget Sound area. Michigan was having great weather (mid 70's) which was a reprieve from the miserable 90's they've been having most of the summer. When my plane landed in Minneapolis at 8:30am, it was already 85 degrees and about 80% humidity. It was heavy, sticky, hot weather. When my plane landed in Seattle it was the normal 60 degree cool sea breeze that welcomed me home even before I got off the plane. Jen also welcomed me home. :-)

July 10, 2001: I'm getting a little more fancy with the digital camera. I've taken some of the output from my Coolpix 950 and seamed the photos together in Photoshop to make some impressive looking panoramas. Have a look and let me know what you think. :-)

July 09, 2001: Jack & Crater Mtn. photos! On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I climbed with a private group of Mountaineers. We were attempting to climb Jack mountain but Jack won this time around. She bagged one climber after only 4,000 feet and she got me after 8,000 feet (6 up, 2 down). She got the last two of us on summit afternoon so we opted to bag Crater Mtn. which we had to climb most of anyway to get to Jack.

June 24, 2001: The Tooth summit photos! On Sunday I climbed the tooth with Bob Geiger and party. We had great morning weather, nice and dry all the way to the summit. It rained, snowed, and was otherwise unfriendly the rest of the day but we got our peak bagged. That was my last required climb to graduate the Mountaineers Basic Climbing Course. From now on, climbs are strictly for fun. Fun is good. :-)

June 18, 2001: Snowfield summit photos!

June 14, 2001: Wow, the summer is under way and so is climbing season. Three weekends ago I completed the Snow II and Crevasse Rescue field trips on Mt. Rainer. It was a long weekend playing in blowing snow and whiteout conditions all weekend. So, I have now completed all the "classroom" and "field trip" portions of the Basic Climbing Class and to complete the class I have to get in one Basic Alpine Climb, one Basic Rock, and one Basic Glacier. The May 21st weekend I climbed SnowKing which was an Alpine climb. That leaves me with a requirement of one Glacier and one Rock.

This last weekend I was on a Glacier climb of Baker. We hiked into Base camp in rain and snowy conditions and got dumped on overnight. We scrubbed the climb early Sunday morning when the weather showed no signs of letting up. I had a Rock climb scheduled for Tuesday but that got scrubbed also because of weather. So, this weekend I'll be out climbing Snowfield which is a Glacier climb and we've got next Tuesday scheduled for a Rock Climb. If the weather holds out and the parties are in good shape, I could have all my required climbs completed by Tuesday of next week.

Looking forward, I'm on a wait list for Clark next weekend and I want to climb Shuksan the weekend after that. I also have my Mt. Rainier climb scheduled for July 10-12. That'll be fun. :-) Some of you might have noticed that I've been getting good about getting photo's online fairly quickly. I've finally purchased another digital camera (it's been 3 years since I've had one) and it's quality is almost as good as film! I got a Nikon Coolpix 950 with 2.1 Megapixel resolution. It fits the camera pouch on my Mountainsmith pack, is fairly light, and the photos are just fabulous. It's last years model so I got it on clearance at half off. To complete the deal I purchased a Epson Stylus Photo 780. It's a 2880x720 dpi color printer and it prints just beautifully. I absolutely love it and it only costs $139 through Costco.

For those of you photo hobbyists, for under a grand you can get an awesome digital camera ($479), a 128MB CF card ($119), and a Photo printer ($139). With that combo you take up to 130 high res photos on your camera, pop out the CF card and stick it into the CF reader that came with your CF card. Copy them all to your hard drive and when you've got enough, burn them onto a CD. My camera came with a program named Cumulus that catalogs my photos and makes a HTML page of the catalog. Very convenient. If you want a paper photo of an image you shot, just print it out on the Epson Photo paper (you can print edge to edge w/no margins) and voila. For those of you that are good at math, you'll notice that you've got $240 of the original thousand left. Just wait until you start buying Photo paper and ink for that printer. Ouch! However, I still think that it'll end up being far less expensive than buying film and paying for processing. With digital, it costs nothing to snap a bunch of extra shots and just print out the few that you actually want to keep.

May 29, 2001: Memorial Day Weekend! Since we had a three day weekend, Jen, Jay and I took off to get out of the city. We ended up on a hike up to a couple Alpine lakes (Stewart & Colchuck) in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area.

May 21, 2001: Summitted SnowKing! This weekend I got on my first Basic Climb. On Saturday morning at 6:30am I left for the Northern Cascades. We arrived at the trailhead at 10:00am and climbed 3000 feet to base camp in 8 hours. It was a pretty long day of slogging up and down through deep snow. It's about as strenous a day as my body can handle. On Sunday morning we woke up at 4:00am, had breakfast as were sitting around on the summit by 8:00am. After summitting we downclimbed to base camp, packed up and headed home.

May 18, 2001: Last weekend Jen and I went river rafting. BlueSky Outfitters took us for a fun little stretch of the river. The best part was riding through boulder drop and the big waves. It was a beautiful day, nice and warm and the water was about as high as it gets on the river. That means we had lots of big waves and ample opportunity to get very wet while inside the raft. We didn't lose anyone from our raft but our other raft did. :-P We even saved them from capsizing by bumper rafting them out of the wallow they were getting sucked into. It's something that's definately worth doing again.

May 8, 2001: I have completed yet another phase in the quest to be a mountain man. Over the weekend I participated in the Mountainers Snow I field trip. That consisted of setting up camp at a nearby ski resort. After setting up camp we ventured out and found nice steep hills to throw ourselves down and practice arresting the fall with our ice axes. After a nice refreshing sleep in a snowbank, we got up Sunday morning and did it again except this time roped to a couple team members and arresting their falls.

May 2, 2001: I got published! Check out bsdtoday's page

Apr 9, 2001: It's been one busy week (last) but I'm making progress. On Tuesday night I helped treat and rescue six injured hikers and on Thursday evening I fell and broke my back three times. Thankfully a rescue party showed up within minutes each time and treated me. I must say that MOFA training is more fun and valuable than I would have guessed.

I've now completed my MOFA training, have my Red Cross First Aid, and Red Cross CPR cards. I've also completed my wilderness navigation course and this weekend completed my second Rock II field trip. That leaves three more classes and field trips before I've completed my Basic Climbing class. I still have to do: Snow I, Snow II, and crevasse rescue.

On Friday night Jen took me to a Brazilian Dance Theatre which was entertaining. Sunday I spend the day out at Mt. Erie climbing up a lot of rocks and rapelling down. I really like climbing. :-) Today my finger tips are ultra-sensitive after clinging to rock all of yesterday and my forearms keep reminding me they we worked pretty hard too. Just think, I call all this pain infliction fun!

March 20, 2001: I got wind that my high school class is having our 10 year reunion this summer. I think I'll have to be travelling back for that one. It's on August 18th so I expect to be in Michigan for that weekend. I'm also planning to be back the weekend of July 28th for the Simerson family reunion. It'll be nice to get back and visit family and friends for a bit.

I had a great time skiing at Whistler last weekend. I'm actually getting quite a bit better. I skied all the double black diamond slopes with the rest of my ski buddies although I still don't look quite as pretty doing it as they do. I'd say I've gone from low intermediate (all the skill necessary to ski anything in Michigan) to the upper end of intermediate. A few more weekends on the slopes and I'll be getting more comfortable with my ski legs. I also _really_ need a new pair of skis. After skiing on a pair of Rossignol Bandits over in France I opted not to ride my old sticks and on Saturday I demoed a pair of Rossignol Rebels (nice ride but too soft) and on Sunday I demoed a pair of Solomon XScreams (really nice). So, you can guess what I'll be watching to pick up dirt cheap. ;-)

Saturday the slopes were absolutely beautiful. It has snowed a bit and the slopes were covered in several inches of nice powder over the groomed slopes. We had a great time on Saturday and got in around 20,000 vertical feet. Marco and Helen bought me a gag gift which they presented on Saturday night at dinner. It was a little tiny squeegee for goggles since Helen had caught me laying down on the slopes and dusted me good. A little later in the day I got in a couple of really nice faceplants too. Fortunately they were all in nice deep snow which I haven't quite figured out how to deal with.

Sunday it was snowing when we woke up and we awoke to the sounds of dynamite explosions as they began inducing avalanches. The snow was wet and heavy and lots of it was falling. They never opened the top slopes (above 3000') so we skied all day on the middle of the mountain. It was work and lots of it. On the mogul runs I'd plant on a mogul and when I cut in on the downhill side of it I'd sink right up to my knees (or deeper) in thick snow. By 2:30 when we broke for lunch we were all pretty wet all the way through. You would not believe just how useful a goggle squeegee can be on a snowy wet day!

March 8, 01: It's a lot of fun when you have life by the coat-tails but it's also quite interesting when it's life that has you by the coat-tails and you're getting dragged around by it. I recovered from the bug Jen and I caught on our flight home from France (had us both forcefully purging our systems from both ends) and hit the ground running. I haven't slowed a bit since. (sigh).

On the career front I've been really busy at work. That's a good thing, I'm actually earning my keep these days and that makes me feel good. My million user mail server has needed it's share of my attention, The Art Farm's new server has also needed some Matt love and all this in addition to the new servers I set up for Ilink while I was there. It's conspired to make me a very busy guy during the workday. Then, since I've become the defacto mail expert at HostPro, I've been called in to fix some major problems with another mail system we have in our LA Network Operations Center (NOC). I just know they're going to want me to go to LA which I can't do this month because of MOFA.

In addition to work my mountaineering course has been pretty active as well. Last weekend I was climbing on Spire Rock in Tacoma as part of the course. The weekend before that I was out at Exit 38 climbing a few basic 5.7-5.9 routes with my mentor group. This weekend Jen and I are heading up into the North Cascades (Pasayten Wilderness (almost to Canada)) with some Volleyball friends for a weekend of x-country skiing. Next weekend we're skiing in Whistler (Canada(great snow)) and the following weekend is my Wilderness Navigation outing where I get to bushwhack around Index with a map and compass and try not to get lost. :-) Whew, I'm exhaused just writing it all.

On top of this fun stuff I have MOFA (Mountaineering Oriented First Aid) which encompasses the entire Red Cross First Aid/CPR training and another 20 hours of additional mountaineering oriented first aid. So, every Tues and Thurs. nights that keeps me busy. Somewhere in there I'll find time to order me a new scanner so I can scan a bunch of photos and get them onto my web site.

February 28, 01: Wow, I just got to ride out my first earthquake! It was pretty neat. I was talking with Ray and Cameron in Rays office when the ground started rumbling. I looked at Ray as said, "Hey, that's an earthquake!" The realization struck as the intensity picked up and we all loitered in the dooryway for the next 30 seconds as the building swayed around a bit. It was neat!

It didn't cause any real damage to our building or my house. Here at work it caused the drywall seams to split apart in the stairwells.

February 20, 01: Whew, it's been a while since I've updated this. Lifegot pretty busy as I was preparing to leave for France, deal with a couple rather large projects at work, and cram in all my mountain climbing cources during my "spare time."

As most of you know, I got back from France last night. I had a great time over there. Jen and I spent some time touring around the South of France, eating lots of cheese, touring vineyards, tasting wine, skiing in the Pyrenees, and parasailing. It was a great trip and now I'm digging myself out of the piles that accumlated in my absense. I'll have some pictures here on the site soon.

January 17th, 01: Last night I played homeowner. I finally got my chinup bar mounted and then had a lot of fun enhancing my skills as a heating contractor. My furnace got a new control unit transformer this morning after I figured out that it was the part that the magic smoke leaked out of last night.

January 16th, 2001: I went skiing this weekend at Alpental. I have determined that I can make it down a "real" double black diamond hill on skis but I don't call the manner in which I do it skiing, yet. I cleaned out my ski bag and found a couple Boyne Mountain ski info pamphlets from a ski trip last year. Jen got a big laugh at one of our premier resorts 500' vertical. The bunny slopes out here have 500 feet of vertical. :-P We don't have a lot of snow yet but wow, is it a lot of fun going down big hills.

Climbing News: Some of you know I'm becoming a mountain climber. I've taken my first course and learned how to tie a lot of different knots. I also took my little "requirements list" shopping with me and bought some of my basic gear. Just a few things are needed: 1" nylon webbing, perlon (for prusiks), harness, helmet, carabiners, rescue pulley, ice ax, belay devices, and a major portion of the hiking gear I already own.

January 5th 2001: Yawn. Martha & Keith arrived this morning at 3:28am. Wooppee, hopefully I'll find something to entertain them with for a few days. :-)

France III: In February of 2001 I'll be heading back over to France for a week or two. I'll take as much time as I can steal from work. I'm going over to help out a buddy of mine with his ISP as then spend a few days skiing in either the Alps or the Pyrenees. 'facetious comment' Jen doesn't like skiing much so I really had to twist her arm to convince her to go along with me.'end facetious comment'