Climbing At Red Rocks

It’s been over a week since I returned from spending four days climbing in Red Rocks, Nevada.  I’d have to rate it near the top of my rock climbing adventures probably only equaled to going up Monkey Face in Smith Rock.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed the quiet and terrain of the desert. One of my fondest memories was going on a road trip after graduating college to the desert Southwest, traveling through the Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, Arches, and Zion national parks.

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Climbers to our left in the Whiskey Peak area.

Red Rocks created a whole new set of memories.  I remember exerting myself, singularly focused on climbing and then setting an anchor.  When I looked up I saw the desert floor a thousand feet below me and surrounded by the deep colors of the rock, no sound except for a small breeze.

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Josh Strater climbing Electric Koolaid, rated 5.9+.

I took several hundred photos I’m still going through.  Going through them brings back memories of the trip and time I shared with the five others who joined me – Peter, Dean, Stan, Rich, and Josh.

I’ll share more soon.

Cloud Data at MIX: SQL Azure, Windows Azure DataMarket, and OData

Originally posted on the SQL Azure blog

Yet another great MIX event happened last week on April 12-14 and it was a fantastic opportunity to have personal conversations with web developers about how they’re using Microsoft development tools and the Windows Azure platform. For me, MIX was also an opportunity to step back and take in all the investment and progress Microsoft is making in the web, cloud, and mobile.

The dozens of conversations I had onsite this year were different than ones in the past and are indicative about the trend towards the pervasiveness of the cloud in the next generation of existing and new applications. While historically there have been distinct and separate conversations about the web, mobile, and the cloud – these conversations are now closely intermingled with developers creating multi-platform user experiences spanning both device and web, and utilizing the cloud run those applications.

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Mt. Baker in Summer

Late in the summer of 2010 we went out on an ice climbing outing with the Mountaineers to Mt. Baker.  From high on a ridge we encountered this view of the glacier – exposed and broken up after a summer’s worth of warmth and melt, now looking like ripples of water caught in an instant of time.

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We made our way down to the glacier, wearing crampons and utilizing ice axes, and winding our way up until we climbed some of the glacier ice on a top rope.  Up close the fissures were much more intimidating, with wide cracks appearing drop dozens of feet down.

Migrating My WordPress Blog to Windows Azure & SQL Azure

This week I decided to take on an interesting challenge and see what commonly available applications I could get running on SQL Azure and the Windows Azure platform. I remembered a while ago that WordPress had started making significant investments in partnering with Microsoft, and I was really pleased to run across http://wordpress.visitmix.com. Historically running only on MySQL, WordPress now runs on SQL Server and SQL Azure, utilizing the PHP Driver for SQL Server! The site has great how-to articles of how to install this on SQL Azure, and how to migrate existing WordPress blogs to your new deployment. Continue reading

Recap of CloudConnect, and the Future of Data

I originally posted this on the SQL Azure blog at: http://blogs.msdn.com/sqlazure. Re-posting here.

On Wednesday March 9th, I had the opportunity to talk at Cloud Connect about cloud computing, the Windows Azure platform – and I also took some time to talk about what the public cloud is along with some growing trends that will affect and shape the future of the cloud. If you”re interested, you can find the deck here. In our discussions with customers and partners, there are two things that are quickly converging currently separate conversations about cloud, web, data, and mobile devices: Continue reading

Facebook Profile Photographer, An Unprofitable Venture

Over the past year several of my photos have turned into the profile pic of my friends’ Facebook accounts.  I considered litigating them for copyright infringement, but I’d lose all my climbing partners.  So instead I opted to vent my frustration by blogging about it.

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This is my buddy, Gavin, during our climb of Lane Peak back in Feb 2011. That little hill behind him is Mt. Rainier. Due to the harsh mid-morning lighting, the b+w treatment worked best, with some gradient darkening of the top half of the photo to even out the brightness.

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This is Gavin’s wife, Sara, on the summit block of Lundin Peak in the fall of 2010.

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This is Rich, with Gavin in the background.  This was in Dec 2010 during a snowshoe ascent of Guye Peak.  The snow was coming down hard; I encouraged Rich to kick up some snow as I was taking pics and got lucky with this shot.

If you are friends with any of these people, please tell them they owe me a beer. Your help is much appreciated. Thank you.

Lane Peak Via the ‘Zipper’

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The ‘Zipper’ gully of Lane Peak. Photo taken Feb 19, 2011. 

Lane Peak lies within the Tatoosh Range, close to Mt. Rainier National Park.  This was one of the rare instances where the weather cooperated during the winter and we were able to climb on a bluebird day.  Gavin and I kicked steps for the rest of the party much of the way.  This view is back down the gully we ascended during a brief moment where I stopped to catch my breath and rest my legs.

Ruth Mountain and Over to Icy Peak

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View of Icy Peak from the summit of Ruth Mountain. Photo taken July 17, 2010.

Back in July I had the opportunity to climb Ruth Mountain in the Washington Cascades over three days. It can be done in a long day, but we wanted the opportunity to climb nearby Icy Peak and also get some landscape photography in so I packed additional camera gear.  Under the summit of Ruth is a large glaciated bench where we made our camp with fantastic views of Mt. Shuksan across the valley. 

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View of Mt. Shuksan from Ruth Mountain.

I was blessed to watch the sun go down over Mt. Shuksan and capture the beauty of the moment in this photo.  It’s one of my favorites from the entire year.