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mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 8, 2012 - 09:12pm PT
Yeah, they were someone to look at if not up to. I like to think we could have beat them at softball...
Tales of Brave Ulysses.
Tales of Brave Ulysses.
Credit: mouse from merced
Whillans, the Epitome of Hard:  The innocent looks of a Glen Dawson, t...
Whillans, the Epitome of Hard: The innocent looks of a Glen Dawson, the tenacity of Jack Black.
Credit: mouse from merced
The similarities are striking, but they are Rock and Ice.  We are Flam...
The similarities are striking, but they are Rock and Ice. We are Flames. No basis for comparison except looks, lifestyle, opinions, and we all could appreciate a shower on occasion.
Credit: mouse from merced
What's on down to the bridge, guv? 'ow's Tom?
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 12, 2012 - 04:14am PT
I've just put on the counter a plateful of really awful food involving fried cheese. I'm disgusted. I'm usually better than that. It must be the Niners getting tied by the Rams today. It reminds me that I'm sick to death of watching old vids of awful jokes delivered by John Cleese.

It's time to tell of cuisine at Apathy House and in the Black Cave and other sites in Camp 4 in the years the Flames were smoldering therein.

Apathy was in the second block up on 16th St. in Pacific Grove. We were up the street from Nick the Chemist and across the street from some sourpuss long-haired doofus that fancied himself a hip New Age artist but cheapened himself in our eyes by exhibiting his crapola de crayola in the gallery of MPC, the community college. Where he took art classes. POSE!

We were so crassly superior that we exhibited our own "art" out on the front porch (which was glassed-in on three sides, facing the sunrise and Patrick's "studio" across 16th)in the form of a frame from a piano, strung and everything, hung from a beam, playable if we had mallets of any form. (Lost Arrows, Chouinard biners, Leeper, all had their own distinctive sound. It was our "indoors aeolian harp.")

This was when I made the fateful decision to inflict a wound on the wall of my own bedloom, in the form of a piton driven into the corner of two walls, and from which I hung my Granada, the $75 wonder-girl from SF. She had a hole and a neck and she was easy to play. What could be better? A guitar and sound-art?

Two girl friends, one to cook, one to play the harp unstrung.

I didn't know it then, but I was a pale imitation of Joe Fitschen, because I was too old for acne (never suffered it, in fact), and couldn't play any instrument except the universal skin flute. I was quietly good at that, as Manny Men will attest as to his own proficiency at the age of twenty-one, much less sixteen. Manny used to go with Rosey Palmas. He should know.

But this is about food. How crude.
Food and, ahem, are just too rude.

But the fact remains, the seeds have been sown of how we ate in the days of Jesus Freaks and no Carmel Hogs. We visited a shop in Carmel to buy organic, to stock up on bulgar (sounds good, but WTF is it?), and Jeff wanted to hit on the woman waiting on us, who didn't know what bulgar was either, it turned out, so we left after buying it anyway. The groats, same story. My five pounds of granola were to make sure we ate SOMETHING I could eat wihtout experimenting with.

The groats (buckwheat--whothef*#k knew?) proved digestible if cooked long enough and adulterated with brown sugar or molasses. The millet was not satisfying. But the home-made granola that Larry concocted from ingredients from the grocery store was the cat's ass! Much better than the boat anchors-in-the-skylight that we hung from fishing line. Better by far than the mobile of leaden sourdough pancakes that hung alongside. Apathy gourmet Gallery. The Pig's Lair. And we had no roaches, imagine!

Other than the monumental pile of garbage in the kitchen, Apathy's pride and the most hazardous pitch of the "Kitchen-Pathy Traverse" route on the four walls beneath that great old skylight, the kitchen was ordlnarily orderly, things were actually labelled--apothecary jars that clearly did actually, really contain something, but which were nonetheless stickered with contents identified, large bins with clearly-printed labels doing containment duty on oats and rice and barley and flour, and sourdough cultures, yoghurt cultures, under wraps but out on the stove for all to see, all had their places, largely the influence of the Rev. His dad had one of the most organized shops at home I've ever seen, surpassing my father's father's mania for "everything in its place."

And we were graced by the presence of not one, but two cooks of seelf-reput, Larry and Jeff.

"Division of labor decrees Mouse [and later Howard, who never cooked anyway] are dishwashers most of the time, especially if we cook."--joint communique by the Rev-and-Larry cooking combine

So I came up with vegetarian spaghetti sauce, which rocks, especially with Parmesan cheese. I got no love for it. "Veggies are too soggy, whats matta you?"

But the duumvirate of dining had sourdough down; they combinded on a turkey dinner with trimimmings all plain or fancy and planned with no parents invited over from Merced to object to oysters in the stuffing (PUKE!); and, honestly, I could not complain about cursory dishwashing (the Bermingham Swirl originated with my discovering how to wash silverware without getting your hands wet) or regret the fact that I didn't know chive from cheddar, so I got by, with a little help from my friends.

And the home-made granola? Jeff bagged it up and took it off for rats for that spring season in the Valley, leaving us with the commercial grade granola, but we still had the recipe and more Food Stamps.

"It was only Food Stamps, WTF. Let's go to the coffee shop."

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 13, 2012 - 07:55am PT
I think this must be Mt. Lyell.  I get lost easy.  It's the highest pe...
I think this must be Mt. Lyell. I get lost easy. It's the highest peak in Yosemite so YAHOO for Jim and Mouse. "roper 4th class" happiness through the back door from Marie Lakes. Late '80s, October.
Credit: mouse from merced/Jim Shirley
Mt. Winchell, '82.  4th class happiness.
Mt. Winchell, '82. 4th class happiness.
Credit: Jim Shirley
After the Snake Hike, '86.  fifth class happiness.
After the Snake Hike, '86. fifth class happiness.
Credit: Jim Shirley
We are actual fair weather climbers! No sh#t, never have we toned it down because of weather gods. Straight ahead climbing, sun shining, clouds parting fair weather farers.

Lucky as hell, too!

Social climber
Nov 17, 2012 - 05:55pm PT
Climbing Grant=Unemployment and Food Stamps

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Nov 17, 2012 - 09:46pm PT
Manny use to go with Rosey Palmas.
She gets around, eh? lol


^ Sign I stuck on a buddy of mine's front door to great him when he and his new bride first returned home just after getting married.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 17, 2012 - 09:58pm PT
Lotta Hand, Rosie, Louise Krusteaz, all the gals!

And the Flames Mammas, to a woman, were great to gaze on. Some were great cooks, even.

Happiness is a warm woo-hoo!

Marlas 1 & 2.
Liz's 1 & 2.
Dolores, plural already!
Tire Biter.
Limber Linda.
Sheila Slattery.
Belle Coates.
And Millis' short-time bride (sorry, Love, forgot your name. Mrs. Miller?)

What Flame ever deserved the woman who lit up his life by being with him? Randy and Throwpie, obviously. The rest were all eventually doused by their spouse!

Shout out to all STopian companions, partners, bottle-washers and seconds!!!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 17, 2012 - 10:19pm PT
The plant produced 27 tons of ice a day when it closed its doors.--Dottie Smith on the Redding, CA, ice plant

Tad, and anyone else from the Shasta area, this was at Oregon and Sacramento, next to the tracks. Just across the street was Gramma and Grampa Bermngham's place.

We used to play in the ice chip mounc they dumped out off the fromt dock which formed a large cone about as high as the dock. We caught hell from the parents, etc., over this, and I could never figure out why. That was pure Cascade potable water, so WTF?

I checked this out on Google Earth. The front sixth of the building was burned through to the roof (obviously and old image). they've cut down most of the large sycamores on the corner. They were giants when I was a boy.

I began life living in the upstairs apartment my dad rented from his dad, directly opposite the Union Ice House, as we then knew it.

Quickie quiz: How many gallons of water are required to make one ton of ice?

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Nov 17, 2012 - 11:24pm PT
Is that before or after it melts?

One gigatonne of water has a volume of one billion cubic meters, or one cubic kilomter.(1 Gt water ≡ 1 km≥)Of course, one gigatonne of ice has a greater volume than one gigatonne of water. But it will still have a volume of 1 km≥ when it melts.

 Titanically yours, z_d'leShaunBrown

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 17, 2012 - 11:38pm PT
zBrown, do you have an accountant?

The last I heard, from various sources in Camp 4 and other places, like L'encyclopedie zBrun, give water the same weight as ice per gallon: 8.34 pounds/gallon.

Of course, ice climbers are curiously brain-damaged, so...You're thinking frozen waterfalls, I'm thinking in terms of ice nine.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 18, 2012 - 01:14am PT
Despite the big-time use of hippie lettuce my vocal chords never lost that audible "squeak."

It's like voice acne when I sing...

I wrote this when I found the False Ascent of Agassiz Column had been down-graded to a First Descent.

Then I adopted the pink ball cap. Things go better with pink.


Social climber
Nov 18, 2012 - 05:04am PT
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 18, 2012 - 06:03am PT

Jem Suis, live wire.

Kweskin can't finish.

Say it again.

Oprah say...

o, o , o, o, o . o . o.

Say swallow.

Honi saw.

Kay, yeah, ya, ya, ayah.

Ba-bp-ba-bp, clack, clack, clack, clack

Un de ma favorites! Merci beaucoup.


Trad climber
Nov 18, 2012 - 10:49am PT

my heart to you in your Camila wants to know if you're feeling better? She's worried about your heart boo-boos. She loves her presents from Mousie and covets the wonderful box.

We are late to the gym -- I had so much fun reading your thread -- keep on keepin' on -- gotta go do my medicinal swim or the wheels are going to fall off of the bus. ")

You hang in there, ya hear? Thinking of you.


Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Nov 18, 2012 - 11:05am PT
let me give you a little tip, mah frien - there's thirty-five cents underneath that napkin on the table.

"Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are 'It might have been.'"

rigorously quoted to short-circuit allegations of piracy


Social climber
Nov 18, 2012 - 11:06am PT
Me on the summit of Mt. Lyell
Me on the summit of Mt. Lyell
Credit: Randall Hamm

Social climber
Nov 18, 2012 - 11:32am PT
Randy and Ariel on the summit of Sourdough Mountain &#40;big fans of J...
Randy and Ariel on the summit of Sourdough Mountain (big fans of Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder) (1977 or 78)
Credit: Gypsy
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 18, 2012 - 11:50am PT
I'll be driving this bus quite a bit furthur, maybe, providing, good lady willing.

I believe this song may have been originally inspired by 10,000 maniacs, or I just might be crazy.

See ya on Paiute, Illillouette, or Poets' Corner in our National Cathedral, Jack and Gary! Who the F knows where Cassidy will be then?

TP and craziness forever!

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Nov 18, 2012 - 12:23pm PT
flammingly groovey

"Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before," Bokonon tells us. "He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way."

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 18, 2012 - 12:53pm PT

Today Is a Gray Peak Day In Peachtree Merced.

It is cloudy and gray here today in Merced.

It could be cloudy and grey if I were somewhere in England (because of the vowel change, don't you know).

It is a gray peaked day over in the Clark Range, too.

It reminds me of a Randall Hamm photograph I saw once, with a barely discernible human subject standing atop Mt. Lyell like Ernest Hemingway at his typewriter--just standing there looking gravely and discerningly at the lens of another's creativity.

I guess that it's just my imagination. It gets fired up by lovely women. Especially when they are on the best possible, the highest, the Betty of Yowlsemite peaks. Or behind a library circulation department desk.

It is a good day to read a book.

It is a better day to watch football.

It is even a still Betty day whenever I go to visit our local County Library, which I can see from my window--along with Mt. Clark, all grey and granity on the horizon, backed up by his posse, Gray Peak, Red Peak and Merced Peak,running south.

Ho! for Southern yowlsemite and eastern Madera County, the friendly neighbor to the south, which has a fine Central Library of its own, I've heard. I get to Madera only about never any more. I only care about their lovely mountains. And the history of the place is part of Yowlsemite's history, so there it is.

And I shall tell you why it's a Betty day whenever I go to visit the library, but first please give me a couple of seconds to find a bookmark (I said in an aside).

[Thanks. I'm reading Going Up, standing up at a bureau-dresser-clothes- storage unit, like young Papa Hemingway did, according to many, whenever he wrote; and it's going slow because it's really climbing porn and I want it to last. I usually use a bookmark made of pink thread, but it ran away with the jazz thread, so I am using an old piece of TP, autographed by JK--the beat poet? He goes well with Fitschen. They were contemoraries, nearly. I'm not positive of that, but it fits my mental time frame. See how time telescopes when you talk of others' lives and loves? I like that about life. I could talk about myself for hours, just like Joe, only my life wouldn't be nearly as interesting nor as lust-ridden as Joe's, to be sure, but it just might help me to live longer. But I digress--at signifiant risk to my longevity, and then there's the Forty-Niner game, too.]

There is a library here where the books sleep under their covers on shelves in rows like a climbing hostel in the Gunks.

The librarian calls the shots on who is allowed to check them out.

What do you want--she's a County Employee, hardcore about rules, but with a gushy heart. She controls some of my beta, some of my entertainment, but is concerned that I don't have to work very hard to acquire my knowledge or to entertain myself with the words that she has graciously provided.

Each time any client leaves with a stack of books or has paid a fine for forgetfulness, laziness, or just plain rude behavior with "her" books, Betty faithfully utters these words, "Have a peachy day."

She's a black woman, wearing a different daishiki each day, one that corresponds to the fruity avoir of that day, because I got her started by telling her one day, "Your routine is too routine, liven it up."

As the astute lady in green one day; the wise woman in kiwi brown another day; or miss melange of lilac and pink and fruit-ka-bab blue with a head scarf of black and white booka-dots, she took to using a different kind of fruit with each person she served.

"Have a raspberry day, honey."

"Go on and have a honeysuckle day, y'all."

She was from Baton Rouge originally, so it's just not any wonder she is so colorful.

I still owe her two and a half dollars for a late return on Confederate General from Bigster, NV.

It's not exactly money well-spent, as you might not think, because he's such a good writer, that Ron Anderson; and the stuffed teddies he encountered in the woods that day--what a special treat!

I had simply misplaced the book and finally found it ten days later in my stack of porn.

The wages of sin.

I would sin with that sweet-talking librarian.

She swings.

I wonder how she looks in a grey teddy--I'm taking Betty to London.

We'll visit Poets' Corner, Cenotaph Corner, and play like we are Roger Miller on holiday.

"England swings like a penjulum do, climbers on two ropes, tw0 by tw0..."

At almost the very second I finished editing this ramble, the phone call came. A friend had called to tell me that a film about an expedition to the Shark's Fin in 2008, involving Conrad Anker, "the most famous American alpinist in America," was on TV and that I might like to see it. Well, I might.

I never met Mugs Stump. He was a hero of Mr. Millis. Good job, Conrad and The North Face!

(We saw Conrad present his show at the Facelift in the East Auditorium and he talked of this climb to honor Mugs, and two other friends in similar ways.)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Nov 18, 2012 - 07:54pm PT
From the Sherry Anderson Apper...apper...appreciation thread--

"So the zap to this is why the f*#k are climbers so funny, goofy, hilarious, silly and yet only one magazine ( Alpinist ) will publish humour?"--Tami

They may think that they have mediocre talent, are not up to chancing ridicule, something like that. It seems to go against the grain of the independent spirit of climbing as well as the spirit of brotherhood. Somebody's going to laugh, you're not that different from the rest of us. To me, at least, that's ironic and a zap in the comic sense, Tami.

I didn't try to hold back when I started posting. I have lost any inhibitions I had. I even take your challenge.

My original idea was to use a Twinkie, but this is old Pencil Neck we ...
My original idea was to use a Twinkie, but this is old Pencil Neck we are seeking, a rare exotic. Is it single malt or buttermilk?
Credit: mouse from merced
As to the other half of your question, "comics" and "cartoons" are two different things, as you are well aware. Or are you? A magazine may have space for a single frame. They can sell the rest of the page. The comic takes the whole page, quite often. So it boils down to money, but then the editors are responsible for keeping us occupied, and unless the readers complain, what are the chances things will change? Laissez-faire.

Randall Hamm was the exceptional artist of the Flames. He wasn't like SA, he didn't do much work related to the climbing lifestyle that I saw or remember. It was stylized ducks, mostly that I remember, though there's that damned Indian in the vest and Stetson.

Toker Villain mentioned in the same SA thread--

"Then Sheridan was gone. Then Randall."

Which Randall were you speaking of? Did you know Hamm?

And one final thing appropos Sheridan is that I did not know Millis either, Steve.
Dillis Millis. aka Dennis Miller.
Dillis Millis. aka Dennis Miller.
Credit: Larry

I'm sure thre will be more about what we don't know about this actor, this jokester, this artistic SOB that kept me in the game after Mathis lured me into it. Time will tell William Tell and time will never tell, normally. but this is Millis. He's up there or out there with Batso and so forth and St. Galen and the Dolt and the others. It's good to think of the dead, Gypsy and Mikel.

Memento mori.
Memento mori.

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