Red Light Cameras, Walnuts, Poodledoos, and OTI

A month or so ago, while Diane was driving around Beaverton, randomly, she had the misfortune of making a right turn on a yellow light that turned red before the turn was completed. This caused what I’m sure is a very expensive camera to snap a photo of both the front and rear of Diane’s pickup. The resultant photo, which we were able to view using a handy URL provided by the Beaverton Red Light Camera People (BRLCP), provided indisputable evidence that the light was indeed red before Diane’s truck completely entered the intersection. The URL also revealed that Diane was to make an appearance at the Beaverton Municipal Court on the 26th.

So, that’s what we did. We went to court. Well, Diane went to court. I just watched. The original fine was $260. Paying the fine is an admission of guilt and the ticket goes on her record. To avoid that she paid $200 to the court and agreed to take an online training course that costs $40 which she agreed to do. Doing this keeps the ticket off her record. So, we saved $20. What a deal.

Fortunately, we had other things to do in the greater Portland area so the pain of a trip to court was attenuated by the prospect of snagging a good deal on a bag of walnuts. We tried to get some before flying East last month, but they weren’t ready. They didn’t become ready until we’d been home from that trip for a couple of weeks when the grower called to say they were ready. We opted for 20 pounds of cracked walnuts. Cracked means that they weighed the nuts before cracking then shoved everything back into the bag. So, the task upon returning home, was for us to separate the shells from the edible parts. We did that yesterday, the three of us, sitting around a cloth laid on the rug in the living room. I made an epic mess while sitting Indian Style, knowing I might never regain my feet without a 911 assist. In the end, I was able to attain a vertical position on my own and managed to stand in place for only a couple of minutes before regaining the ability to move my feet in a manner that would result in forward motion without falling down. It was all good.

Once all the shells were removed from the 20 pounds we purchased (for $52) we were left with 10-12 pounds of useable walnuts. using basic math, at which I’m an expert, because I graduated from Scappoose High School, I determined that our $52 purchase resulted in walnuts that cost between $5.20 and $4.33 a pound. For comparison, Jewel reported that 4 pounds of walnuts from Costco cost $15 which works out to $3.75 per pound. On the surface it looks like Costco was the better deal but that price doesn’t take in to account the family time required to obtain the reported results. It also doesn’t take into account that between the three of us it’s possible that we consumed a pound of product which certainly skews the end results and dollar amounts which I’m not inclined to recompute because I just don’t want to do it. That, and I’ve reached my equasional limit for this weekend. The Costco purchase also doesn’t take freshness into account  which our which our walnuts certainly were. They are really good which is the reason approximately one pound went missing during the processing effort. And, we know exactly where our walnuts were raised to maturity. In Oregon.

Last Thursday I took Ozzie to his hair dresser for his monthly poodledoo. He was in dire need because the appointment had been moved out twice. He was a mess, ready for the original appointment, so moving it out a couple of more days gave him ample opportunity to just make things worse. He’s good at doing that. Matter of fact, he has no problem at all of taking his brand new $37 haircut into the lower field where he follows the big dogs around and does his best to pee on them while they’re peeing but only manages to wade through peed on grass which kind of counteracts Kaykay’s efforts with the shampoo and clippers. Kaykay is his hairdresser. She’s the only one Oz will allow to wash him. He’s very picky, but I don’t know why when he really doesn’t care if he gets a haircut or not.

Later Thursday evening Diane and I took Lydia to Wilsonville where she was being courted by Oregon Technical Institute (OTI) for her continued education when she graduates from High School next June. Ahmed, the exchange student who has been assimilated into the Walters’ clan, also went along for the ride. While they were being wined and dined, Diane and I retired to a nearby Shari’s restaurant for a snack. Then we visited the Goodwill store that was also nearby. I only lasted half of that visit before finding a need to return to Diane’s truck where I read my iPad book until Diane returned.

OTI released their guests shortly after 7:30 pm and we drove them home in about an hour with no mishap. It was a good day.

Today Diane and Jewel did a lot of running around town buying stuff while I stayed home with strict instructions to not do anything dangerous. Actually, Diane asked me if I intended to do anything dangerous. The only answer to that was “Yes” because it was true at that moment in time. After they left, I had no idea what I was going to do. But, keeping the “dangerous” aspect in mind, I simply weeded the new little garden out back that was being overrun with unwanted grass. I also perched a very nice bird house on top of a tall 4×4 post. Doing so required my use of a power tool. Battery power, but power none the less. Thankfully, I did not sustain any visible injuries in the process so my secret is safe.

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