News in the News

Amid all the shootings, and stories about people blowing each other up, is a scattering of nonsensical news items that make me pause and go, “Hmmm.”

First, I must tell you that I typically don’t watch the news and I rarely read the newspapers that are delivered to our door, so my news view is decidedly limited. Still, I have opinions about what I see when reading “Bing” news on my computer.

Using that handy doorway to the world I’m able to choose from many sources for any of the news items they deem noteworthy. I have my favorites, of course, but tend to look at the most recent entries available. I suspect the trivial items are included to dilute ones perception of news in general to keep their interest. You know, like scattering candy in a pile of crap to make it look more festive.

Take today, for instance. I’ve investigated the world and discovered that a “Popular Tucson TV Reporter Couple” have been charged with child abuse after their baby tested positive for cocaine. This was accomplished through the use of the former Miss Arizona contestant’s shapely left breast, while feeding her infant, after she ingested cocaine the previous evening. How fun. Now she’s newsworthy, but no longer reporting the news. Dumb.

Then there’s news about a Milwaukee woman who has been added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. She’s the suspect in the murder of her pregnant neighbor and her unborn infant because of loud music. One source indicated that Shanika, the suspect, is Milwaukee’s first fugitive on the ‘Ten Most Wanted List’, like it’s some kind of honor, like when the Bucks win a ball game. Kinda makes you want to move to Milwaukee, doesn’t it?

How about Mark Z, Mr. Facebook? He’s making all his new Kauai neighbors angry because he’s building a six-foot high wall around his 700 acre estate. That’s certainly noteworthy, don’t you think? His spokespeople said the wall is meant to be a sound barrier but I think it’s there to keep the wild pigs out. Or maybe keep them in. One resident of the island reported that she’s 5’8″ tall and when walking along the property all she can see is the rock wall instead of the Hawaiian scenery to which she’s accustom. They want Mark to tear down the wall because it’s an eye sore. I mean, really? It was built to code, using local rocks and, most likely, local artisans. I think it’s a nice looking wall. I also think a more simple solution to tearing it down would be for Mark to build platforms outside the wall, every 100 feet or so, where those who are less than 6′ tall can ascend above the wall and take in all of Mark’s natural beauty. Each ramp would have to have wheelchair access, of course.

 For the sports minded folks, there’s news about LeBron James who declined his player option and is now a free agent. The reason, I surmise, is due to his inherently greedy nature that propels him to seek more and more money for his “talents”. Yes, he’s pretty good but, like all pro sports icons, waaaaaay overpaid for what they do. Declining the option, it is reported, James salary will increase from $24 million to $27.5 million a year, a modest 14.58% increase. Not bad for someone who already has far more money than he needs.

I know, I sound a bit bitter talking about stuff like that, and probably smacks a lot like socialism. That’s not really it for me. It’s just that I find it amazing that professional athletes, and most CEO’s make such obscene amounts of money each year when we severely under educated kids, many of whom don’t know what having a full belly is like. It’s just sad.

There are many more topics, of course, most of them about people getting shot and places being blown to smithereens. You know, fun things to read about. The topper for all of today’s news, for me, was finding out that there might be a Tetris Trilogy in our future.

Stunning news.

Cedric’s Party & My Big Blue Yoga Ball

I gave Jewel my favorite Apple ear buds to use while working in the flower beds and the first thing she did was cut the cord with a pair of scissors. Consequently, she was tuneless for a while.

Diane and I were going to be camping at Big Eddy Park this week, but her Mom, Jean, decided to live on the edge last Friday and broke her wrist in 15 places. Trying to pull an unwanted tree out of the ground. To make a bad situation worse, it’s her right hand, the one she uses the most. So, with her right arm splinted and wrapped, she’s learning to use her left hand for all her needs and is doing a very nice job of it. Not bad for almost 89. It was only broken in one place and it’s not a complete separation, but I’m sure it hurts like one. Tramadol is making her life much easier and is also helping with her back pain. Mom is doing great and we could probably have gone camping but we’re more comfortable sticking around in case she get adventurous and breaks something else.

Yesterday was Cedric’s farewell party. He doesn’t leave for boot camp until July 17th, but the party had to be held early to ensure all of his friends could make it. It was well attended by all members of the family, many friends, and at least one new friend who recently arrived from Hawaii. We all ate a bunch of Subway sandwiches and had a great time. We even saw Cedric a couple of times as he passed through. He was a busy guy.

One of the highlights for me was that Ceiarra hugged me back. Made my day. She hasn’t done that in the past.

I had a new chair for my computer. It was a huge yoga ball and, surprisingly, it was very comfortable. It actually got me high enough that my keyboard was in an ergonomically correct position. Less tiresome to use for Jerrie’s little arms. Plus, I could bounce up and down a bit while working which satisfied my whimsical side. Everything was just great until about an hour ago when it blew up and dropped me about two feet to the floor. I landed on my little 72-year-old elbows, the back of my head (against the wall) and my skinny-ish butt. It was pretty exciting, I must admit. For about 1 second I was in total free fall so now I know how an astronaut feels in outer space. Really. I do. However, I bet their elbows, back and head don’t hurt once gravity returns.

I didn’t get up right away because I wasn’t sure if everything would work. This caused Diane concern and she wanted to call 911. I declined. I got up all by myself and don’t limp any worse from my sciatica than normal so I guess things will be alright. Until tomorrow morning, at least. My left elbow is already starting to swell from the impact so Diane will probably make me go to the doctor.

She’s gonna have to drag me there.

The Dead Golfer’s Agreement

So, I went golfing a couple of days ago and didn’t do too badly. I even counted most of my strokes for a change, unlike Doug who counts absolutely everything he swings at. Still can’t beat him.

Around the fifth hole we discussed some of the final aspects of our Dead Golfer Agreement and at which point in the process we should notify the affected significant other. The preliminary suggestion, mine, was to do that just after calling 911 once we’re done with finished playing.

Here’s a DRAFT version of the DGA …


We, the undersigned, hereto and forever after, agree, tentatively, to perform the following steps, without fail, if we are able, in the event one of us checks out, permanently, during a round of golf in which all three of us participate, as long as the game is played at the St. Helens Golf Club.

Article One: Dying during one of the following events voids this agreement and requires that one of the surviving members call 911 immediately, or as soon as they are done going to the bathroom, to report the death. The other member will call the appropriate significant other to let them know.

  • While in the process of paying for the round and the cart
  • Driving the cart to the vehicle containing the clubs,
  • Transferring the clubs from the car to the cart
  • Driving to the first hole, Walking to the tee
  • While placing a ball on the tee
  • Taking practice swings
  • Addressing the ball
  • While in the backswing motion
  • While swinging down on the ball without making contact with the ball

Article TwoThe game must be in progress for the articles of this agreement to be binding. To be in progress one member must have teed off at the first hole. Specifically, this means that the member has begun his swing and hits the ball. Since it will be difficult to know if a member dies at the moment his club impacts the ball, or just before that, the game will be considered in progress because he hit the ball.

Article ThreeThe member who discovers that a member has apparently entered a deceased mode is required by this agreement to verify if there is a pulse and if there is any sort of respiratory effort being made by the affected member.

  • If there is a pulse but no noticeable respiratory effort the vertical members will play one round of Rock-Paper-Scissors to determine who will perform mouth to mouth on the horizontal member. The winner of the RPS round is safe and can retire to the cart to prepare the bungee cords and rope in case they become necessary. Just in case.
  • If there is no pulse but the horizontal member is obviously attempting to breathe, one of the vertical members must perform chest compressions in an attempt to restart the heart. Apparently pounding on the chest is a valid form of CPR and may ‘scare’ the heart back into action. They do that in comic books.
  • If any CPR action works, the members will allow the golfers behind them to play through until the striken member is well enough to continue the game.
  • If the striken member cannot continue the round he will be declared the loser, and will be returned to his vehicle where he must wait until the other two complete the round.
  • Once the round is complete, one of the un-striken members should probably call a doctor, or call 911, just in case.

Article FourIf CPR actions fail, the horizontal member will be declared deceased. The time will be noted and written on the scorecard next to their name in this manner: TOD mm/dd/yyyy-hh:mm-am/pm.

Article FiveAfter recording TOD, surviving members will extract the bungee cords and ropes, which they are all required to carry, from their golf bags, and they will drag the horizontal member to his assigned cart and place him in the passenger seat. Bungee cords and rope will be used to the extent necessary secure the deceased member in an upright position and to limit the possibility of him falling out of the cart during the remainder of the round.

Article SixWhen the round is complete, and all golfers are safely back at their vehicles, one of the survivors will call 911 and the other one will call the correct significant other. Waiting for the authorities to arrive would be a good time to alert other golfers in the area about this event so they can express their condolences and to receive a commemorative golf ball from the deceased member’s bag.

This agreement will, of course, need revision but I think you get the drift.

Golf & Pain

Happy First Day of Summer! It’s finally here! Now we have to start watering the front lawn so it will grow giving Diane a reason to play on the lawn mower. She can’t do that, however, until she finishes up out back. It’s a mess.

Rumor has it that I have to go golfing tomorrow because our weatherman, JP, said it’s going to be a good day for it. So, we go golf. The problem for me is that I had my pneumonia booster today and my left arm is incredibly sore. The young lady who stabbed me did a good job with the needle, but when she mashed the plunger I almost cried. She said she was sorry, but there wasn’t much that could be done at that point. So, now I have to swing a club with all that pain in my left arm in addition to the rotator cuff pain in the right one. Yes, I have to go swing that club. Should be a good day.

Does anyone know someone at this number: +93 8808191 ?? According to my phone it’s somewhere in Afghanistan. I don’t know anyone there.

I’m keeping this short because it hurts to sit long due to my sciatica piraformis.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Have a great day.

Cedric, Jewel, Diane, Doug, Junior, & Taylor

Gee! It’s been a week since my last post and I can’t comprehend that amount of time slipping past me without registering. Just a blink of the eye and it’s gone. Perhaps I had a bunch of naps which could account for some of that time, but certainly not a week. I don’t think. Now I must reflect and see if anything interesting happened. If not, I’ll make something up.

First up is Cedric. He was 19 years old last Monday, the 13th. If you’ve read a few of these, you may already know that he’s poised for a trip to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center next month to begin boot camp. He enlisted on the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) a few months ago but had to wait for a spot. He’s excited about getting on with his life and we’re happy that he is finding his way. There will be more news about his progress as information is made available to me.

Last Monday, the 14th, was a double duty day for me because I was out of the house shortly after 6am to go help put out flags around town. Why did we do that, you may ask? It was Flag Day. One of those days that not may folks know about any more. So, now you have it. Keep that in mind for next year. It’s not a paid holiday, but one that gives us another opportunity to pay tribute to our Stars and Stripes.

After flags were in place, I made a trip to the St. Helens Golf Course for another round with the Peal Boys, Doug and Junior. That’s always a fun time. I actually played a pretty good round, too. Had two pars, one of which was a potential birdie. My drive made it to the green, something I’ve never done before. What fun is that!? Jimmie O wants to team up for a round at Wildwood soon so I’ll have an opportunity to see if I can survive 18 holes. There will be a report on that later, too, if I do good.

After golfing, we had a McBurgerville lunch then Doug dropped me by the doctor’s office for a scheduled visit with my cardiologist. This was the followup regarding the cardiac event I had a few weeks ago. I think it was a few weeks ago. I forget. Perhaps some of those brain cells that help me remember stuff got messed up somewhere along the road. That happens, and it’s OK. We all forget stuff. The one thing about forgetting stuff is where I am doing something up stairs and find I need “something” that’s in the basement but can’t remember what it is when I get down there. When that happens I walk around in my work shop and talk to my tools, and random pieces of wood, trying to get some help from them to remind me what I’m after. Generally I remember and find what I want, but sometimes I just find something else more interesting that what I was previously doing. When Diane discovers that I’m missing, she gets me back on track to finish the original task. She knows I forget, and I told her that it’s really only going to be a problem if I rush from the living room to the bathroom than can’t remember why I went there. I believe she has a stash of Depends somewhere to assist when that moment comes.

Thursday morning I had coffee with my friend, Larry. My other friend Larry played hooky so we didn’t have a quorum for the weekly meeting. Got to have three in case something comes up for a vote to ensure we don’t wind up with a tie. I believe the rest of that day was spent slumbering. I’m not sure. Diane may know. You’ll have to ask.

Friday we made a trip to Scappoose to pick up Jewel, our new gardener and dog sitter. She’s been on Hawaii, the Big Island, for the last 38 years, or so, (I’m guessing, of course), and is pretty much a native of Kailua/Kona. Coming back to the NW is like coming home for her. Thankfully the weather has cooperated, giving her a warm welcome. The sad thing about her return is that when we visit Kona we won’t have her to visit with. Because of that we may just not ever go there again. The good thing about her being here is she likes our dogs and she likes to pull weeds so we are applying a lot of pressure on her to just come live with us, like forever, or at least until she gets settled. She and I graduated from Scappoose High School together and it’s fun getting reacquainted after all these years. Because she was our Prom Queen I didn’t have a chance of ever dating her and now, look! We’re living together. It’s ok, though, because she and Diane are long time friends.

Friday afternoon we all went to the Riverfest Beer Garden down by the old court-house where we attended a OLCC training session about checking IDs for folks entering the area. We had to do that because Diane signed us up for a two-hour stint Friday evening. The training we received amounted to someone reading us a brochure that indicated the necessity of ensuring only competent adults were allowed in to drink beer then quickly shifted to “Signs of Visible Intoxication”. Here they are:

  • Bloodshot, glassy eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Spilling drinks
  • Rambling conversation, loss of train of thought
  • Difficulty handling money, picking up change
  • Lack of focus and eye contact
  • Difficulty standing up
  • Stumbling
  • Swaying, staggering
  • Speaking loudly, then quietly
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Slow response to questions

After that list is a reminder to the trainee that drinking while on duty is against the law because serving alcohol responsibly requires a clear head. That kind of got me because we weren’t serving alcohol. We were just checking IDs. Still, it was part of the training. After that little pause, another bulleted list of “More Signs of Visible Intoxication”.

  • Can’t find mouth with glass
  • Mussed hair
  • Disheveled clothing
  • Loud and unruly
  • Urging other people to have another drink
  • Annoying other guests or servers
  • Aggressive or belligerent
  • Making inappropriate comments about others
  • Foul language
  • Sullen, moody

After having all of this read to us I was convinced that the list was made specifically for me because I have almost every one of those problems without ever consuming alcohol. The first set of bullets apply to me from the time I get up in the morning until after I have my afternoon meal. After the meal, the bottom set of bullets apply. Except for the foul language. I don’t do that. Can’t say I’ve never been guilty of that, but I don’t practice that form of communication any more. It’s not productive. Diane said.

While at Riverfest, I had a chance to greet Taylor and find out how school in Las Vegas is going for her. She was working in her Mom’s Yo Place Frozen Yogurt trailer.

Yesterday was a fun day in the yard for all of us. Jewel is a gem, no pun intended, and a hard worker. It’s to our advantage that she loves digging in the dirt. Diane decided that she would try mowing the lawn which turned into an adventure for both her, and me. I found some really good face masks that allowed her to be in the open air, covered with grass clippings, and still breathe normally. Without it she would have been so choked up she’d’ve had to stay in side. Grass is her main nemesis. That and strong perfume.

Anyway, I got her moving on the lawn mower, after jump starting it, then turned her loose. Since I forgot to show her about putting the ignition key in the correct position for mowing in reverse, I had to drag a battery and cables to her and get the mower going again. Then she did an absolutely perfect job mowing the front yard. Things went south when she moved around to the side yard and she discovered that getting around trees posed a problem for novice lawn mowers. First, she ran into the holly tree and killed the engine. That required another jump-start. Then she dropped one of the front wheels into a hole and killed the engine for another jump-start. The last one was when she got tangled up in the grape vines and couldn’t extract herself. Another jump-start. It got to the point that whenever I heard the mower stop I just deserted my blackberry vine eradication efforts and took the batter to wherever she was. The most entertaining episode, however, didn’t involve a killing the engine, but almost killing herself, so to speak. She was mowing around a low hanging forsythia, thinking it couldn’t be all that hard to slowly mow under the dangling branches. I just happened to look up and saw her flying out from under the branches at full speed, leaning back as far as she could to avoid contact, and it looked like she was riding a bucking bronco. All she would have had to do was put one hand in the air to prove she wasn’t hanging on with both hands. What happened was when she leaned back she pushed the forward hydrostatic clutch lever all the way down and didn’t realize it as she fought to extract herself from the scratchy branches with minimal injury. It took her a good 30 feet to stop because she was going downhill, and when I got to her she was in hysterics, having a great time. It was really funny, and I’m glad she didn’t hurt herself. Just wish I could’ve had a video camera at the ready when I saw her take off.

Since nothing can top the mower episode, I’m going to quit. Diane’s looking forward to finishing up the back yard tomorrow. I’ll be standing by with the camera this time.


Birth Control Breakthrough !

I don’t normally expound about things concerning planned parenthood, or anything regarding sexual issues, but had to share this in support of the little guy.

Warning! The following contains sexually explicit information that may (or may not) offend your sensibilities, so view at your own risk.

Condoms for normal people.


NBA Playoffs

Golden State just proved their superiority this evening by beating Cleveland 108-97 in Cleveland. While in the process of doing that, they sank a play off record 17 threes.

It is my opinion the Warriors could have won in 4 straight, but didn’t give it their all in game three so they could go home and win the championship on their home court. The statistics are on the Warriors’ side because no team has ever come back to win after being down 3-1.

Just an opinion.

If you disagree, that’s fine.

I don’t care.

Good News, Bad News, and Just News

Yesterday was a lot of fun, sad, and brutal. Contradictory terms, I know, but it’s all true. Fun because, well, I was able to attain a vertical position, again, we were able to stay up until eleventy-thirty for a farewell visit with Ashlee and Mike, and the Walters clan joined the fray in to regain custody of their vehicle which they loaned Ashlee and Mike for the duration of their apartment hunting visit. Sad because we were saying goodbye to the newest members of our extended family. Brutal because we stayed up until eleventy-thirty then had to get up Oh-Dark-Thirty (2:00 am) for the trip to the airport.

OK – that’s all done now. Diane and I dropped Ashlee & Mike at the United sign, got goodbye  hugs, then returned home around 4:00 am. We were in bed by 4:01 and both of us slept like logs. Well, one of us did. I was up at  7 to feed the dogs, who were confused with all the commotion, then went back down until 11:30. Diane remained prone until 12:30. She always has to outdo me on things like that. I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure she knows when the dogs wake up but pretends to sleep so I’ll get up and feed them. Her fitbit backs her up so I can’t really challenge her about that. Besides, it’s the least I can do, get up to feed the dogs, when she feeds me so well. I really don’t mind. Honest.

The really good news about the A&M visit is that A found an apartment to rent and will be returning soon to take up residence and begin her doctoral studies at Pacific University. Here are a couple of pics taken to commemorate the visit – Mike & Ashlee are the young ones, in case you didn’t know.


This is of all the ‘kids’ who were left standing at the end of the night from tallest to smallest.IMG_0427

Since we got up late enough to have breakfast for lunch, and it’s pouring buckets of rain, I’ve been given the day off. Can’t mow, can’t pull weeds, can’t trim “stuff”, can’t weed whack, and it’s too humid to mow anything so I’ll just fiddle around. So, I read the news.

With all the news about Muhammad Ai passing, a sad loss I confess, but there is a lot more happening out there in the world. And other places.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft, for instance. The JUpiter Near polar Orbiter was launched on August 5th, 2011 and is scheduled to enter orbit around Jupiter on July 4th, a mere 24 days away. That’s quite a hike. I can’t help but wonder what the citizens of Jupiter will think when they see our JUNO buzzing around their planet. Will they be happy? Will they feel threatened? Will they retaliate? Guess we’re going to find out.

Then there’s the knucklehead, and his knucklehead sister, who wandered off a designated path and fell into a very hot acidic pool in Yellowstone National Park. I wonder what their drug of choice was that caused them to think it was a good idea. There was no further news about the sister, and her brother’s death is purely speculation because there was no body left to recover. He’s probably headed for Arizona where he will hide out while his sister waits the required seven years to cash in on the 2 million dollar life insurance policy she took out on her brother just a few days before the plunge. That’s a guess, of course. It might be 3 million.

That’s enough news. I’m going to quit, now, and maybe draw something. Diane bought me a $60 set of water-color pencils (for $4 at Goodwill) and I have a new drawing pad, so should give it a shot and see what happens. Could be interesting. Never done anything like that before. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Home At Last, and Other Stuff

Yes, we’re home. At last.

After a leisurely transit of I-84, an overnight stay at the Wild Horse Casino in Pendleton, and past the site of the Oil Train Fire in Mosier, we reunited the dogs with a great deal of happy barking. It quickly became annoying because we haven’t heard if for over a week. Once they sensed our displeasure from our repetitive request to stop, they stopped. I suspect, however, they stopped simply because they wanted to do. We had no influence on their decision.

Before stopping at Wild Horse Casino we made a stop in La Grande to get gas and visit our Niece-Niece Maryssa who is attending Eastern Oregon University which, happily, is in La Grande. We had a nice visit sitting in our trailer, near the tennis courts on Sixth Street. It would have been nice if we could have enjoyed lunch together but we had the Big Black Dog (Ziva) and it was too hot to leave her alone in either the trailer or the pickup. As a lunch alternative, and a farewell gesture, we gave her all the frozen food remaining from our trip. I believe that caused a little remorse for all those times she ignored us when she was 6-12 years old. That’s an incentive to bring her food every time we see her. We’re making plans now. Something about strawberries I think.

Pendleton to home was uneventful except for an extremely windy 20 miles or so before exiting the Columbia River Gorge in Troutdale. It’s always windy there. I didn’t worry about it because Diane was driving. If the trailer had tipped over, it wouldn’t have been my fault. Wouldn’t have been her fault, either, but, you know, she was driving.

We got home on Monday, as planned. Then yesterday Diane got up early so she could make it to PDX by 0900 to get Ashlee and her fiancé Mike who flew in from Wisconsin. I couldn’t do it because I had to visit my dentist, Dr. Grim and get my teeth cleaned by Cheryl at 0900. Ashlee is half of a set of twins belonging to Lars & Barbara; Lars belongs to Butch & Margo, our long-time friends who live in Wisconsin. Mike and Ashlee’s flight arrived early so we all got home about the same time. The reason for the visit was for Ashlee to find living accommodations while she attends Pacific University to get her PhD in physical therapy. Mike is a Manufacturing Engineer seeking employment in the greater Portland area.

Today I went golfing with the Peal brothers. Diane insisted. It was a good day for all of us because none of us died out there on the course. I informed Diane of the agreement we golfers have in case one of us bites the big one while out there having all that fun. No matter which hole it happens on, we will finish the round. The two remaining golfers will play best ball for the deceased member who will be strapped into one of the carts we use. I initially thought we would have to drag the non-playing member from hole to hole, but Doug suggested just putting them in one of the open seats. Bungee cords are now part of our golfing equipment to ensure we have enough to hold a body on the cart. Then, once the round is complete, we will call 911 to report the loss then go hold a memorial lunch at Burgerville. If one of the married guys check out, the losing wife will be notified so she can attend the lunch. It’s the right thing to do.

We all made it through our standard nine holes so it was a successful day. I couldn’t attend the lunch that normally follows our golf game because I had to be home in time to take Ozzie to his hair dresser at 1300. I also had to get some drain cleaner for the kitchen sink. It’s been running a bit slow and finally jammed shut this morning. I figured we’d need to wash dishes some time this evening so it was necessary to visit ACE. That’s my first trip to ACE in a couple of weeks which is a modern-day record for me.

The cleaner worked and the sink now drains just fine. I’m sure you are all happy to know that. I can smell the chemical at the top of the basement stairs so the Pro drain cleaner I used may have eaten a hole in one of the drain pipes. I looked around down there but couldn’t find any evidence of a leak but I don’t go down there very often so I don’t view it as a problem. Diane’s washing machine, dryer, and ironing board are down there, however, so will let me know if she discovers something amiss. She has to go to the basement because it’s her job. I’d help but she won’t let me. Apparently that chenille sweater I dried in the dryer 8 years ago, and subsequently extracted most of from the vent filter, ensured I wouldn’t have to do laundry for a long time.

Since I’m not making a lot of sense, and because my right foot hurts, I think I’ll just terminate this. My foot hurts because I have a bout of gout in the large toe. We don’t know why. No doubt it’s something I ate but, since I’ve eaten a lot of “stuff” lately it would be are to pick out one thing that may have caused it. So, I will just continue to limp and eat whatever Diane gives me.

It’s 2000 now, and we haven’t seen Ashlee or Mike all day. We were considering that it might be time to start worrying when Ashlee texted Diane to let her know they were on their way back to St. Helens. That’s a good thing.

Now I’m eating popcorn for supper so I really gotta quit.

Wallow Lake, Nampa, Oil Trains

As I write this portion, I’m sitting in a 26-31 foot travel trailer in Wallowa Lake State Park with my First Wife, Diane. The 26-31 foot reference is because Oregon DMV and the seller were at odds as to how long the trailer really is. Of course we went with DMVs 31 foot guess because that allows us to pay more for license plates. But, I tricked them because I invoked my right of licensing one vehicle using my VA entitlements and chose to transfer them from Diane’s pickup to the trailer. Saved me $200.

For those of you who aren’t acquainted with Oregon, Wallowa Lake is just south of Joseph, Oregon in the NE corner of the state, and the Wallowa Lake State Park is at the extreme southern end of the lake. Unless you want to travel on some unchartered roads, there’s one way in, and one way out. On that road is Joseph, Oregon which is named for, and the burial place of, Chief Joseph of the Nez Pierce tribe. We stopped to ponder our shadows in the stream that runs through the town. That’s Ziva on the left, Diane, then me.IMG_3500

The lake is beautiful, surrounded by mountains known as the Little Alps by locals. From the distance, say I-84, the Little Alps are always visible and almost always topped with snow. Very pretty. They are also visible from the lake and I’m here to tell you that the nice warm days don’t turn into nice pleasant nights. I gets down to freezing this time of year. That’s true because the Ranger told me so, and I went out side at night to see for myself. It was cold. Made parts of me shrivel right up.IMG_3504

The trip to get here from our designated domicile took about 9 hours. In a car it would have only been around 6 hours but we were towing a trailer, and we had Ziva, the big black dog, with us. So, 3 hours were spent stopping for gas, stopping for the bathroom, and stopping to eat.

Ziva is a very good traveller who didn’t whine one time for us to stop, and never once asked “are we there yet?” Then, after we arrived, she was perfectly content to just lay on her new cushion in the trailer all night and didn’t wake anyone up at all. Because of that we figure that Ozzie is the culprit who instigates the 5 am rise time. The big girls are OK, but he wants out so everyone has to get up. Here in the wilderness, Ziva finds the dog exercise area lots of fun. No leash to ruin whatever mood may strike her.IMG_3489

She also thinks hanging out in the trailer is pretty OK.IMG_3508

Here at the lake, Diane’s been treating me with some very fine meals. No doubt I’m going to get fatter. Currently, I don’t care. It’s all very tasty. All meals have been totally consumed, then today we had hot dogs and chili. The chili was all consumed, but there was a minor accident when I discovered some mustard had spilled on my Dickies. Fortunately, I was able to scrape and scrub it off before our trip to Joseph this afternoon. I was happy I wasn’t wearing Levis because Dickies is far more fun to say.

… here’s a pause …

It’s been a few days since I started this so please forgive me if specifics get a little jumbled and out-of-order. Then, again, it’s kind of normal that way, isn’t it?

Since I messed up my Dickies, things have happened. If I’m lucky I might remember some of them.

From Wallowa Lake we motored to Nampa, Idaho where we wound up parked in the driveway of a long-time friend of Gracie H. It’s my understanding that they’ve known each other for more years than most people have been alive. I’m sure that’s true because our hosts were pretty specific about that. Now, I’m saying Gracie is old, but it doesn’t matter, anyway, because she’s at least older than me. Considering my limited seniority, that leaves a lot of wiggle room for corrections.

We’ve been here in Nampa for two days and think our hosts are trying to tell us it’s time to move along down the road. Instead of sitting on their back patio, our chairs were moved to the front, next to the trailer. Looks like a pretty specific suggestion to me.IMG_0425

I took three naps on Friday (yesterday), and had a great dinner at Honkers to celebrate Bob’s birthday.  No one knows how old he is so I’m just going to guess he’s 40-something. He just has the look. I ate steak, Diane and Daniel had French Dip, and everyone else had Steak Fingers. Sadly, Gracie was unable to make it so we just sat around and talked about her.

After dinner we returned to the trailer and began the process of shutting down for the evening. It’s getting really hard to visually determine bedtime because it doesn’t get dark until 10:30 pm here.

Around noon on Friday an oil train, the kind that explodes and kills people, derailed in Mosier, Oregon which sits next to I-84, the desired way to get home. Reports are that the freeway will be closed for at least the next 3 days while officials can deal with the fire that ensued after the derailment. Fortunately, no one was injured. One person, it may have been Bob, speculated that some oil official probably caused the accident so they could raise the price of gas. Wouldn’t surprise me.

Today, Saturday, Diane discovered that I-84 has been opened to traffic both ways, “with restrictions.” Perhaps by tomorrow, our required departure date from this driveway, those restrictions will have been lifted. We’ll see. Our hosts are going to church in the morning and we have been instructed to be gone before they return.

Perhaps next time we come to Nampa we’ll just stay with Gracie.