Friday, October 31, 2008

THE DAY THE WORLD ENDED(ok not really)

Aaron & I at the zoo, in a land rover..nothing to do with post.

Last evening, about a quarter after six, I was having a very frustrating time at the work shop. things just not working. Unproductive time on a set-price job = lost $ for company. Not good.

Then My Lovely wife, called me. "Honey," she opened, "Did you get upset with the computer this morning?" Um, what do you mean?" "I - just wondered if it really pissed you off or something?" "Um, what DO you NEED, hun? what's up?" More terse than I intended, already having a bad Day, here..... "Well, Did you maybe push buttons a little hard? It's REALLY DEAD..."

I Swear. I JUST turned it off, which I relayed.

bottom line - It's says it requires re-formatting the hard drive(which may or may not work-it already had bad sectors).

Hundreds of photos will be lost. Yes I know what back ups are. the last time I tried to copy to disc, it wasn't going for it. And don't even get me started on recording music to c.d.s.


We are not in a position to just go out and replace it.

Thank God, biz files are all on memory stick.

Right now I'm writing this at my Aunt's house on her computer.

I sort of knew how much the computer had become an integral part of our lives.

But, NO, I didn't really.....

Feeling Very vulnerable here.

That's just absurd. I went years with no t.v. NO problem. ok, need the cell phone for biz, understandable. but the Computer!?!

OH well, welcome to life in the twenty-first Century, in this "the Best of All Possible worlds"(Voltaire-CANDIDE)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

wearing my brother's uncle's shirt

The above photos: Part of why I like the Pacific Northwest - Blooming Rose & Color changing oak - Same Yard - Same Day.

This is a re posting of my most popular post - ever. Interesting, because I think I've had better. Anyone out there, what do you think?

I'm sitting here wearing a shirt that belonged to my brother, and before that to My Uncle Henry, now Deceased. Whenever I wear this shirt I think of them both.
My Oldest brother, a good guy, talented guy, Very unusual - don't see him near often enough. I remember him driving me in his '47 Chevy sedan, back seat like a sofa, living room's worth of space to the front seat.
Taught me my 1st guitar cords, showed me Hong Kong on Chinese New years.
Uncle Henry, died decades ago and I never did see him all that often. Nor were we especially close. But, for several years in the mid to late sixties, as I recall, I would go spend a couple of weeks during summer with him and my Aunt Bea(yes really, Aunt Bea) in Arkansas. Ok, I grew up in Kansas. Even so, Sixties Arkansas was kind of odd, though I knew that less then than now.

Doesn't matter. What matters is the feeling I get when I wear Uncle Henry's shirt. I remember him, Not very tall, in western cut khakis, cowboy hat & big old cigar, driving me around the small town of Mountain Home, in his Ford pickup, where it seemed from people's reactions that he was King. He was a good guy. kind of guy never had a harsh word for anyone. I once saw him riding his quarter horse next to Aunt Bea on hers. They both were sitting full Silver concho'd Parade saddle in a Rodeo Opening. Very happy & proud. Easy going as always.

I have a chambray work shirt of my Dad's. When I wear it I think of him, at home back in Kansas. Dad's older now than when he wore that shirt to fix railroad electrical stuff, or fix our barn, or sit at dusk on the old rock table listening to the crickets and watching the fire flies. He taught me about tools, and fishing, and being nice to animals while in shirts like that(him not the animals). I also don't see my Dad nearly often enough. 2,000 miles is very far, made farther by the limitations of personal economics.

I have a polo shirt that belonged to my other brother. Like wise, wearing it invokes memories of him. from that last time I saw him, back to when he taught me to walk train rails, carefully balancing along the top edge of the rail road track rails that wound around two sides of my Grandpa's farm. I think I was about seven then. It was summer, hot in Missouri, hound dogs & cotton mouths....hillside caves, crawdads in a minnow bucket in the well house, the smell of the old barn......I don't see that brother nearly often enough either.
Wearing someone else's shirt, someone you have looked up to, tends to cause one, to try to behave different. Interesting, that.
Okay, I don't own any shirts of my Mom's that would be just creepy.
but then, I don't need a shirt to remind me of Mom(even though I forgot her birthday until four days later this year - D'oh!) ...and I don't see her often enough either...Ya gettin' a common thread here?
I have had many shirts, bought at great prices, from a bunch of different thrift stores. I have no idea who owned them. I sometimes wonder......

Friday, October 24, 2008


One for the education and edification of all you and your kiddies, though I suspect that many of you probably saw at least an earlier version of this before. It's called Power's of Ten - slide show starts out 10 million light years from earth and zooms in to an oak leaf, and then into that to the sub atomic level.

It will leave science-fan kids(like me) awe struck.

NO, really, it'll be fun, I promise.

Ok, I thought it was fun.

The site is called "MOLECULAR EXPRESSIONS: SCIENCE, OPTICS AND YOU" lots of educational resources for moms, dads, teachers or auto- didactic youngsters.

I'm really tired.

Doctor tomorrow. I.B.S. STUFF.

Dropped my cell phone in a parking lot, day before yesterday. it got run over before i realized & went back for it(oddly enough, only the functionality of the view screen was damaged) got new(rebuilt) one in the mail today.

Yesterday, dropped my favorite belt mount F.M radio in the river.(I know mp3 is now, I like the human connection of live radio when I don't see or talk to people all day some days)

No personal electronics lost today. YiPee!!!
The images above are NOT part of the powers of 10 slide show.
As usual, they're just there because I like 'em.
Ok, I obviously have nothing of any real consequence left to say, & no dependably, non fatigue affected cells to say it with. "WARNING COGNIZANT POINT OF DIMINISHING RETURNS EXCEEDED. PULL OVER TO NEAREST REST STOP IMMEDIATELY - - YA GOOF!"
Um, yeah..........
more later

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just Impressions

This morning, driving North West on Marine Drive, next to the Columbia River, between the Sea Scout Base and the Airport.......Uncharacteristically warm & sunny for October in Portland.

Kayaker going up the glass-flat river, I imagine with near silence - too far away to hear anyhow.

Black Cormorant sitting on the same snag as always, just ten yards off the near bank, wings held out and still, drying in the sun.

Red Tailed Hawk Crosses my path, maybe twenty feet off the ground, from left to right.

Why is it almost always left to right?

Looking then inland, across the Airport security fence, I see a Great Blue Heron, standing unperturbed as planes taking off and landing make an almost unbroken line of avionic commotion.

It's still close enough to the river to be HIS territory as far as he's concerned (which isn't far).

A mile down the road, passing between the Yacht club on one side and Country Club on the other, I come up to either a very new construction flager, or just the friendliest ever.
She's actually mouthing "thank you", grinning and waving to each slowly passing car that goes by - and there are dozens of us, at this moment.

Another twenty miles down the road, through St. Johns & over it's name sake bridge, my favorite in the area for it's 1920-ish cathedral window styled suspension towers....

North on Highway 30, "St. Helen's Road" out to Scappoose to do a little Gel Coat repair on a Silverton, then a pretty rugged six and a half hour wash and wipe on a fifty three Seline.

Couple of photos taken off the stern of the fifty-three, named "China Moon".

Little green "pocket cruiser", all of maybe sixteen feet or so in length - I like it.

Some Fella rowing his wooden boat up the Multnomah Channel, just at dusk, with Mt. St. Helen's through the trees in the background.

Just another day on the river.........not a bad life.

lattes & rainy days: You know you're from the Pacific Northwest if ...

I remembered seeing a thing about us Pacific North-Westers a while back. When I googled it, I got this blog spot blog. It may be that you have to live here to get it. I find it amussing.

lattes & rainy days: You know you're from the Pacific Northwest if ...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nothing profound, or even attempted profound here today. Just stuff.

We have early mail in voting in Oregon. Got my mail in ballot yesterday. All filled in, off to the mail today. I'm out of it. Just waiting for the rest of the country to catch up now.

Dentist yesterday. Had an Odd dark patch in left lower jaw bone. Finally, after much consultation, they decided it's "probably nothing". We will do more x-rays in six months or a year, barring any swelling or pain. Also calcification spots in flesh near same area - also "wait & see"

Heavy I.B.S. action lately. Big no fun. Going to the Dr. Friday to see if we can adjust meds or what. I know I GOTTA quit smoking.

I know it's past Sleeping With bread Monday, but I'm grateful for family, that I have paying work to do, that there is such a thing as music, that I have a decent roof over my head and that life is basically good.

the end.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Power in the Sound - two

Think of this as song lyrics not yet set to music:

The Power in the Sound(2)

It don’t matter -
Your political affiliation
Sexual preference
Dietary inclination

If it’s Hip Hop, Be-bop, Country, Classical or Rock

You know there’s Something Sometimes there,
Nobody can mock

It can Sho-nuff set You Free
If even for a moment,
Show you the face of God
Maybe even a lost Love

It’s the Power in the Sound
Lift you up to Above

Power in the Sound



Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Power in the Sound (an emotional thing)

In my Dad's old barn
(abstract association to post-at best)

I'm an emotional kinda guy (not always a good thing for one who has Irritable Bowel Syndrome - highly reactive to stress).

I find myself often profoundly effected by such simple things as a sight: like the wind or sun on the surface of the river; my wife - sitting at the computer in her bath robe, drinking coffee(being all comfortable and domestic); those "fingers of God" sun rays - coming down through the clouds.....that Rembrandt Ciaro-Scuro(sp?) side light/contrast that hits the trees and landscape, just before sunset on a sunny day.....Or, a sound.

More specifically the sound(s) of music. I'm probably the only guy I know who has been brought to tears(not lately) by ZZ TOP'S Two Thousand Blues(or the only guy who would admit to it).
The constant loud ringing from the Tinnitus probably doesn't help my auditory emotional stability.... but still....
Case in point: What is now the first song on my Play list on this blog - Sarah Mclachlan's Witness, from her 1997 release SURFACING. OK, it's not brought me to tears, but then, perhaps being a little more emotionally stable than once was, I just don't cry anymore - OK, the occasional single tear at a sad movie.
Witness is a prime example of THE POWER IN THE SOUND.

It's not just the hauntingly beautiful- heavily overdriven, yet delicately fretted guitar solos, or the generally strong instrumental arrangement, though both are contributing factors. It's also Sarah's strikingly, human experience saturated lyrics:
"Is Misery made beautiful, right before our eyes? "
"Will Mercy be revealed, or blind us where we stand?"
"Will we burn - in - Heaven, like we do - down - here?"
"Will a change come - while we're waiting?"
"Everyone is waiting"

There are a number of, for me, emotionally charged songs on my play list. Another one, also combining strong lyrics and instrumentals, would be Crowded House's Fingers of Love.
I guess this would be one instance when I'm glad I'm an emotional guy, because I think it allows me the ability to feel the rush from these kinds of things(really, hairs on the back of the neck time, here).
Maybe, just maybe, it makes all the general weirdness of strong emotions on a near constant basis worth while(even combined with an apparently wonky high metabolism and unstable digestive system). Yeah, I think it does.
I know the play list can make a slow computer(like mine) even more annoying while playing, but If you're not familiar with the tune(s) or just want to hear them again, it might be worth your while. like I said - number one on the play list. And there are other pretty cool tunes on there, if your is taste runs anything near to mine(when was the last time you heard Rhapsody in Blue?)
Perversity of the inanimate moment - tried like, six times to adjust the spacing -entering line spaces on this piece and the preview is just not showing any reaction - any hints out there?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

what is a lutheran

I don't usually do this, but this time I'm going to reprint some one else's words. This is from Mr. Keillor and I hope I'm not in trouble. I can join in the making the fun of the Lutherans - I are one.


I have made fun of Lutherans for years - who wouldn't, if you lived in
Minnesota? But I have also sung with Lutherans and that is one of the
Main joys of life, along with hot baths and fresh sweet corn.

We make fun of Lutherans for their blandness, their excessive calm,
Their fear of giving offense, their lack of speed and also for their
Secret fondness for macaroni and cheese. But nobody sings like them. If
You ask an audience in New York City, a relatively Lutheranless place,
To sing along on the chorus of Michael Row the Boat Ashore, they will
Look daggers at you as if you had asked them to strip to their
Underwear. But if you do this among Lutherans they'll smile and row that
Boat ashore and up on the beach! And down the road! Lutherans are bred
From childhood to sing in four-part harmony. It's a talent that comes
From sitting on the lap of someone singing alto or tenor or bass and
Hearing the harmonic intervals by putting your little head against that
person's rib cage. It's natural for Lutherans to sing in harmony. We're
Too modest to be soloists, too worldly to sing in unison. When you're
Singing in the key of C and you slide into the A7th and D7th chords, all
Two hundred of you, it's an emotionally fulfilling moment.

I once sang the bass line of Children of the Heavenly Father in a room
With about three thousand Lutherans in it; and when we finished, we all
Had tears in our eyes, partly from the promise that God will not forsake
Us, partly from the proximity of all those lovely voices. By our joining
In harmony, we somehow promise that we will not forsake each other. I do
Believe this: People, these Lutherans, who love to sing in four-part
Harmony are the sort of people you could call up when you're in deep
Distress. If you're dying, they'll comfort you. If you're lonely,
They'll talk to you. And if you're hungry, they'll give you tuna salad!

The following list was compiled by a 20th century Lutheran who,
Observing other Lutherans, wrote down exactly what he saw or heard:

1. Lutherans believe in prayer, but would practically die if asked to
pray out loud.

2. Lutherans like to sing, except when confronted with a new hymn or a
Hymn with more than four stanzas.

3. Lutherans believe their pastors will visit them in the hospital, even
If they don't notify them that they are there.

4. Lutherans usually follow the official liturgy and will feel it is
Their way of suffering for their sins.

5. Lutherans believe in miracles and even expect miracles, especially
During their stewardship visitation programs or when passing the plate.

6. Lutherans feel that applauding for their children's choirs would make
The kids too proud and conceited.

7. Lutherans think that the Bible forbids them from crossing the aisle
While passing the peace.

8. Lutherans drink coffee as if it were the Third Sacrament.

9. Some Lutherans still believe that an ELCA bride and an LCMS groom
Make for a mixed marriage.

10. Lutherans feel guilty for not staying to clean up after their own
Wedding reception in the Fellowship Hall.

11. Lutherans are willing to pay up to one dollar for a meal at church.

12. Lutherans think that Garrison Keillor stories are totally factual.

13. Lutherans still serve Jell-O in the proper liturgical color of the
Season and think that peas in a tuna noodle casserole adds too much

14. Lutherans believe that it is OK to poke fun at themselves and never
Take themselves too seriously.

And finally, you know when you're a Lutheran when: It's 100 degrees,
With 90% humidity, and you still have coffee after the service.

You hear something really funny during the sermon and smile as loudly as
You can!

Donuts are a line item in the church budget, just like coffee.

The communion cabinet is open to all, but the coffee cabinet is locked
Up tight.

All your relatives graduated from a school named Concordia.

When you watch a "Star Wars" movie and they say, May the Force be with
You, you respond, "and also with you".

You actually understand those folks from Lake Wobegon, MN.

And lastly, it takes ten minutes to say good-bye

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

rock stack productions

I come from a family mad about wait,that's another post.

I come from a family prone to stacking rocks. Not to any purpose other than just to stack rocks. It's not worth any money(hmm, maybe it SHOULD be....or not). It gains us nothing tangible to the world at large. It's just fun. like stomping in a puddle...only someone else can come along, some time later, and see what you did.....maybe understand what you meant....even if you're not sure what you meant

Usualy, about five. round river rocks seem to be our favorite. less than five is too easy. more than five is just showing off(and maybe a little obsessive).

Boy scouts used to stack rocks, or so the handbook said, to mark our trails. We never went anywhere we needed to mark the trail. We were all there together, and it was hard to get lost very far at Camp Wilderness in Kansas. Indians did that too. The hand book said so. I kinda think maybe they KNEW where the trail was. It was okay for the Boy Scout manual to call us/them Indians then. Or Native Americans as we're called now, even we "mixed bloods"..and yeah "Indians" is just too confusing - Indians like New Mexico or New Delhi?)

I believe my brother Michael probably first incited me to stack rocks, though I'm pretty sure our oldest brother, G. has also indulged in a bit of rock stacking of his own over the years. I would not be surprised to find out that my Mom or Dad or maybe one of my Grand Dads had stacked a few for no good reason either.

Michael, he seems to always have been stacking rocks, at home, in public or out in the middle of nowhere. by the river. next to a tree. water seems to increase our urge to stack. I think it's like the urge for him to fish. Michael is always ready to fish at the drop of hat, or the flip of a single fin above the water surface. The Main family fisherman. No big Bass Masters aspirations or big deal buddy drinking trip out there in the woods, or pasture, or hills, down by the lake, the river, the creek...just him and the fish...and the rocks to be stacked and left for someone or no one...either way is fine.

It's something kinda primal. it touches the artistic, the architectural, the spiritual, the communicative. It says to whomever finds it "I was here. I came, I felt, I stacked - and I left it for you" Occasionally, I find a stack someone else has left. It always brings a smile to my face, "gotcha, I see you. I understand."

I once googled stacked rocks. I was surprised how much I came up with.

One report from Northern California was about some hikers, way up in the Sierras who found what appeared to be recent stacks, which they seemed to think must have been done by Sasquatch because "what human would do this way out here so far from anything" Um, My brother & I absolutely would. Sasquatch...maybe. Barnes....definitely.

So, if you're out in the woods, next to the creek, or walking down town, at the edge of the park, and you happen to look over and see five rocks stacked up for no apparent reason, think of us. we're out there. We stack rocks.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Pumpkin patch

Mt Hood Rail Road Great Pumpkin Express.......big fun for all the kiddies. It was very good with/for Aaron. About a fifty mile drive up the Beautiful Columbia River Gorge to Hood River, Oregon. Bas-xactly where they created both windsurfing and kite-boarding. BIG RIVER-BIG WINDS. lots of River GORGE(it deserves all caps). Small tourist/river recreation/ orchard and vineyard town. Old train. kid pumpkin patch excursion on Sunday afternoon. about an hour train ride each way to and from the pumpkin patch/pasture. They had a little three piece band playing everything from Old McDonald to Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison and Neil Young covers, a small hay ride around the pasture, little Hay maze(it was great-Arron could see over it-no freaking out), "bouncy house"-avoided like the plague, and he didn't mind, and all the other stuff you'd expect. Aaron behaved just fine, even totally wound up - we just kinda let him go. As usual, things seemed to go better for him when he wasn't trying to interact with other kids, though he did have a great time running around the pumpkin patch and throwing hay at/with the other boys about his same age.

Hood River is one of those charming, heavy on the Artist/craftsman populace little shopping/gallery/micro brew-winery places where I would love to live - IF I could figure out how to make a living without having to commute sixty miles into Portland(the Gorge frequently gets snowed or iced in during winter)

.....and that was our Sunday - the end.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

what's important

There is a lot of stuff going on in the world around us all right now. BIG STUFF. important stuff. Or is it just URGENT STUFF? One of the differentiations I think we all seem to miss sometimes.....the difference between URGENT and IMPORTANT.

Not to be too light about THE WAR, or THE ECONOMY or HEALTH CARE or, or or..........

But, in reading the blogs of these wonderfully lucid and articulate writers I follow(I hope you know who you are), I find none of those things often mentioned. Not hardly even in passing. These things are BIG. These things are IMPORTANT. But - They're not what matters MOST. Obviously, what matters most to us is our FAMILIES. Politics, Wars, Economies, etc., these things change history. But family IS our history. IS our future, our past and our present.

The election in the U.S. will happen. it will or will not change the course of many things. The economy, likewise will do it's thing. Money will be tight(I'm used to that, though it's tighter lately-ho hum). The War, which ever one you're following or not, will progress. We pray for all those directly in Wars path.

Again, What is Most important to all us is our families.

I find in that something so human, so universal(and not just of humans).

Watch people of different cultures with their small children and I think you will see that we all love our kids most, no matter who we are, where we're from, what our socioeconomic place or ethnographic. Or, watch animals with their's the same.

It does a heart good.

I thank you for the insights into your lives, and those of your wonderful families.

....and I'm still reeling over Beck's lines about her grandmother, the part about her grandmother's father, coming across the snow to meet his child - on the other side.
Is that not the epitome of what we all hope for in the end?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Yes, a big fat Homer Simpson "DOH!!!" I was mistaken. About having always bought Aaron's Haloween costumes(bad sentax, I know). Last year Ginny and his Grandma Doris spent an afternoon making him a beautiful ghost costume-which he LOVED. a lot! Which I will try to find the phot files of.

The forgotten school in service week

Above: Aaron gets out two puzzles. mixes up the pieces. builds one puzzle. builds the other on top of the first.

Aaron's early special ed school is closed down for "in service" this week. Naturally, like a dork, I forgot that yesterday before dropping him off at the sitter's. Now he's convinced that it's "school closed down now", forever. NO amount of discussion will convince him otherwise. He's kinda bummed about it. Obviously he'll learn that its open next week. This sunday we will go on the Mount Hood Railway's Pumpkin Patch Express. His first train ride. Hay Maze(hmmm, not sure how he'll react to that. it'll be ok, it'll be ok, it'll be ok) Pumpkin Patch(also his first) He'll be wearing his new spiderman costume(which he doesn't yet know about, but has expressed a wanting of)

I or her mother almost always made my daughter's costumes(she's 27 now, she can bloody well make her own;-). partially out of creative intent, partially out of fianancial necessity. I kind of fell guilty about just going out and buying Aarons. Hmmm - fell, not feel guilty - Fruedian slip? We always have bought his. It's not that we have so much more money than Amelia's mother & i did, just less time. He's always enjoyed them. That makes it ok, right? right? not a bad daddy, not a bad daddy....not.....Whew, get a GRIP man! "it's not like yee pee'd in the wee laddie's cherrios ye knoo!" Sorry, too much Terry Pratchet Wee Free Men.......or maybe coffee.........

Going for my six month dental check up at the huge local medical university complex this afternoon (locally it's called Pill-Hill) dental insurance and they're really cheap-and good.

Working on reproducing the lost "Schedual-C" from last year's taxes for the City business tax people....Yes, I'm THAT late getting my "I only made this much last year so I get a pass on paying any local biz tax" papers in.

I had it. Of course I had it. I HAD to have had it to file Fed & state taxes(done on time-really)....Just don't know where it got to. filing is not one of my good things.

Re-read Madeline L'Engle's THE WIND IN THE DOOR. Fine Good vs Evil, do what you gotta do, "there are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in all your philosophies, Horatio" kinda thing. Yeah, I know it's a "Young Readers" book. Ya wanna make somthin' of it, pork pie?......Pork pie? Where the heck did THAT come from? "never mind"-done in classic Gilda Radner/Emily Lattella character voice.

This doing late tax papers thing must getting to, honest, I'm not like this usually.....oh, ok, so maybe I am.

I've edited the blogs I read gadget to not include the title of most recent posts. It's somehow not keeping up with the timing of the actual new posts.
Check out the latest in my favorite group of entertaining, touching, mostly women bloggers - it's the Killing Flies with a Ukelale one from Queens land, Australia. While it's starting to snow on Beck(frog & toad-still friends) in Canada, they're hating "naughty geckos on my windows" there. good/entertaining stuff, i think.
Maybe I just like Australians...ever since those fine conversationalist/beer buying fellows I met back at Ned Kelley's Last Stand, across the street from the Pennensula Hotel, in Hong Kong, in 1976....'nother story.............

more later