Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Milligan-Wiser Method

John and Mike, Intrepid Explorers

There is something to be said for planning.

Pick a destination. Go to Google Maps. Plan a route, taking in the scenes along the way. But keep that final destination in mind. In the eye. And on schedule.

There are, of course, other schools of thought. Take John Milligan and Mike Wiser’s approach to climbing a central Idaho mountain peak, which started with Google Maps but ended up with he and a friend using their climbing gear to build a raft so they could paddle around on an icy Idaho alpine lake with the unclimbed mountain pouting in the distance.

Both methods make for fun vacations. Both make for spontaneous vacations. But the latter method, hereafter known at Uncharted as the Milligan-Wiser Method, is the one that holds the most appeal to me as a guy.

So go read about John and Mike and their adventures in Idaho’s central mountains. Then go and don’t plan a vacation just like it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Goonies Never Say Die

Most of the catchphrases I use come from two movies.

The first is Ghostbusters. The second, well, let’s see if you recognize them:

Something goes terribly wrong and I’ve discovered the evidence. I say: “It is Chester Copperpot.”

One of my kids has wandered off, but I can see a trail that might lead me to them: “Follow them Size Fives.”

A child o’ mine has to go to the bathroom in a place that’s less than sanitary: “This isn’t the kinda place you wanna go to the bathroom. Because there might be daddy longlegs . . . and DEAD THINGS, Mikey! KILLER dead things!”

Someone’s having trouble getting something, anything, to open: “Let go of the handle, Francis!”

Mom wants the kids to do something they’re reluctant to do: “Trust your Mother, boys! Throw ‘er into four-wheel drive!”

Any helpless, innocent person is instantly named Missus Rosalita.

Every time I encounter a dead bird in the yard or a dead mouse in a trap: “IT’S A STIFF!”

You Goonies understood. Immediately. Even before I mentioned Chester Copperpot. Because the best catchphrase is in the blog post title – which I use whenever I’m asked to do something difficult that I don’t want to do.

Last year, I got to go to Goonie Astoria (and nearby Cannon Beach) before the hysteria of the 25th anniversary of the film’s release hit the town this year and swelled its population far beyond its ordinary 10,000. I found Mikey’s house and saw where Chunk performed the Truffle Shuffle.

I saw Chunk’s bowling alley. I walked on the pier where Steph went bobbing for crabs. I saw Mikey’s Dad’s museum, the County Jail, and other Goonie landmarks as I took my family on our own Goonie adventure through northwest Oregon.

The most heartbreaking thing I learned as I read about the film’s 25th anniversary: This from the Washington Post:
According to Sean Astin, who played Goonies leader "Mikey" Walsh, he was allowed to keep the treasure map used in the film. Several years later his mother discovered it, thought it was just a crinkled piece of paper, and threw it in the trash.
It hurts just thinking about that.

But I’ll tell you what doesn’t hurt: My wife’s a Goonie, though of the Andy variety (real Goonies will know what I mean). I’m so glad she is. My kids are Goonies, because, hey, what kid wouldn’t want to be?

I can easily see my kids doing this same thing. Riding off, getting into trouble, manufacturing and using fake puke, then expecting a Domino’s pizza after it’s all over. Especially my five-year-old. He’s dangerous.

I have my sister Chris to thank for turning me into a Goonie. She saw the film in the theater and insisted the rest of the family had to see it. We didn’t believe her. Later, when it was out on video, she rented it and made us watch it. Now, almost every time we see each other, well, you know: