EOU Softball

I may have mentioned previously that I have a relative, Maryssa, who plays softball for Eastern Oregon University. Diane and I like to go watch her when she’s playing close to us, but that doesn’t happen very often. Still, we keep track of her shenanigans.

Last weekend they played somewhere near Pendleton, OR and won all four games. I know that’s true because Diane told me and I believe everything she says, even when she’s wrong. In this case, however, I’m pretty sure she’s correct. She told me that Maryssa hit at least one home run during those wins and because she’s related, I’m sure she played a major role in all four wins, even if she didn’t hit. She’s the 2nd baseman.

This weekend, ending today, they played in Montana and only got the Saturday games in because the Sunday games were cancelled due t0 snow. That’s a first for me. Cancelled because of snow. I guess that happens in Montana. Anyway, EOU won the two games on Saturday running their current streak to 6 in a row.

Just wanted to let those girls know they have fans in places they’ve probably never been, and we’re proud of them.

Keep it up!

This is Maryssa holding Kylo, Lydia’s puppy.

Money, Peeps, My Lawn Mower, and some Photos

Two things of concern

  1. Why so much money is spent on political campaigns
  2. Why movies are ranked by how much they earn instead of how many people watched.
  3. Peeps

OK, Three things. I was wrong, or I just can’t count. You choose.

First, lets discuss Political Campaign Money – it is my asserted opinion that spending billions of dollars on political campaigns is an astounding waste of money that could be used in a far better manner. Like, feeding hungry people in the world. That, and I think we can all agree that those who collect the most money aren’t necessarily the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

Movie Money – just because a movie earns a ton of money doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most popular. I’ve actually spent good money, more than once, to see movies that I didn’t like at all. When I shared that information with friends, they went to see it, too, and didn’t like it either. Still, the fact that they went added to the monetary total for the period of time covered. I think those who attend movies should fill out a brief survey about how they liked the movie. And how good the popcorn was. Each theater would then upload their data to a central collection point where popularity of the movies would be accurately captured based on LIKE or NOT LIKE, not on the price of a ticket.

Peeps – In case you aren’t familiar with Peeps, they are a marshmallow confection that has miracle healing qualities that aren’t well documented in medical journals. I know this is true because Diane told me so and I’ve been complicit in helping her carry out unauthorized use of Peeps to help her. So far she’s convinced me that Peeps cure hiccups, something she discovered a long time ago. I’ve seen it work, numerous times, for Diane and multiple Grandchildren. Our Grandchildren. Another Peep solution is they’re great for removing popcorn hulls that are stuck in your throat. So far, those are the only two significant cures about which I know. Since both hiccups and stuck popcorn hulls are unpredictable, Peeps must be administered as those events occur. By taking them, however, we don’t know if taking them for those events also serves as a preventative solution for other maladies that aren’t allowed to manifest. We’ll probably never know. If anything changes with this medial miracle, I’ll let you know.

Oh, wait! There’s four! My Mower. The weather here is probably the important news because it’s been so nice everyone around here has been able to mow their lawn using the grass catcher. That’s significant because normally this time of year the grass is too wet for any mower to actually propel the clippings through the plastic tube into a bag. The clippings just jam up the tube making a nasty mess that needs to be cleaned up. When I mowed it I didn’t take a chance on the tube getting plugged up by just leaving the grass catcher laying there on the ground. I’ll make another tour around the yard tomorrow to pick it all up, after I play golf. It’s going to be 70 degrees, I’m told.

This is Jeran, Jennifer and Daniel’s youngest, waiting for a concert to start.

These guys were the concert: New Legacy Project from Nashville.

Our back yard after I mowed it a couple of days ago. Really. A couple of days ago.

Our cat, Breezie, sleeping on her head.

I dog I encountered some place. I’m getting a sign like this, and another one that says, “I’m not working now, you can pet me”

Lydia visiting with a lizard on her shoulder.

My mower before I mowed it.

Desiderata

No doubt most of you have read, or at least heard of this poem. It was  written by Max Ehrmann’s in 1927. I don’t read it often but every time I do a sense of peace settles over my soul, making everything right with my world. There are many experts out there who have analyzed Max’s poem in an attempt explain what Max is ‘saying’, but the true analysis, in my opinion, is what it means to each reader.

I share with you simple words of peace …

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann – 1927

Cedric Comes Home

It’s really, really wet at our house, and it’s cold. Seems like all this rain should be snow. It won’t be long before that becomes reality, I’m sure.

I know I’ve already addressed my concern regarding all the sexual misconduct going on in the but since I get daily reminders about those who have offended someone, in some way, I’m compelled to just offer up my apologies for all the times I may have inappropriately bumped in to someone during the course of my life.

Now, about all those congressmen and senators who have been using a publicly funded cash account, hush money I’ve heard, to pay off those who may have been assaulted.

Before I take that any further, I’ve just gotta say that I honestly believe that the majority of our elected officials in Washington DC are good guys and it’s the minority we’re hearing about now. This Hush Money Account, however, has me concerned because it’s apparently something they all know about. If that’s indeed true, then I deem them all guilty for allowing that to happen even if they didn’t use it to pay someone off. It’s truly a sad state of affairs and, frankly, I’m getting pretty tired of hearing about it every day. Seems like the media could find something uplifting to report once in a while.

I demand that our 535 lawmakers split the pot and pay us back for the $17M they unlawfully borrowed from out taxes. Divided equally, that works out to about $31,775.700934579439252 each. I’m willing to round that up to $32,000 each just because. Turns out that more than half of those 535 people are millionaires so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Once the legal system gets a handle on who used the fund and how much they used to pay off those with whom they practiced  sexual misconduct, those folks should pay back what gave away in addition to the previously mentioned $32K fee. It’s only fair.

Additionally, those who used the fund should be levied taxes on the money they gave away because they did so as if the money was theirs. That would be unearned income, like a bonus, which is taxed at around 48%.

Then there are those who received the pay offs. What about them? Personally, I think that taking the money makes them complicit and should also pay taxes on the portion of that $17M that was given away. Yes, I understand that they are the alleged victims but I suspect that’s not true for all of them. I bet some of them knew about that fund, also, and knew how to use it. That, of course, is just a guess and strictly my opinion. I haven’t heard anything about that on the news so it must be true that the victims are all just that. Victims. Still, taking a pay off for something stupid done to them by an ignorant, arrogant, elected official is, in a way, condoning the acts committed. That’s just another opinion.

Maybe someone from the IRS will jump in here somewhere and give me a hand. Until that happens, I’m moving on to something more interesting, and closer to home.

Our Grandson Cedric returned to his home port yesterday after completing his first deployment. He’s stationed aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68), the oldest nuclear powered super carrier still afloat. The Nimitz was one of the three carriers that took a cruise up the coast of North Korea toward the end of their deployment. What fun that must have been, right?

They are home safely now and Cedric’s Mom, Jennifer, and I drove up to watch the ship enter port and parallel park at their assigned pier in Kitsap Naval Base Bremerton, WA. Jennifer and I left St. Helens at 0800 and arrived about 1100. Parking turned out to not be much of a problem for some reason and we were able to get a spot only about a block away from all the festivities. Easy peasy. Then we walked to the pier and claimed a spot in the middle of the quay wall between the piers where the Nimitz would moor. We got there at noon after a leisurely lunch at the conveniently located Wendy’s on the base.

We joined about a zillion other folks where came to welcome the ship home. This was new for me because I was always the guy on the ship coming in to port. It was an extremely slow and interesting evolution. Parking an aircraft carrier isn’t a minor task. It’s all done in slow motion.

Jennifer was über excited to see Cedric again after the six-month deployment and we were there to take him home for a few days. He brought one of his shipmates home, too, and he’s currently palling around with her and his St. Helens friends. Yes, I said ‘her’. He brought a girl home. Shocking. It’s OK, though, because it was pre-approved by Jennifer. She’s a great young lady. When we met I told her my name was Jerrie but she could call me Senior Chief. She took it well but neither Cedric nor Jennifer saw the humor and severely chastised me while Elisabeth laughed.

It took a while to get off the base because of all the traffic so we parked in Wendy’s lot, had something to eat to tide us over for the trip home, and waited for Elisabeth to show up. We finally exited the gate around 1600 and arrived home at about 1930. In all, it was almost a 12 hour day for Jennifer and me. I used to be able to deal with stuff like that a lot better. Considering that I didn’t drive either direction you’d think I had it pretty easy, right? Well, being the Navigator is important business and doesn’t allow one to sleep on the job.

I’ll close with a bunch of photos I took of the day. Enjoy.

 

 

People with Power, My Wet Lawn, and Dogs

Apparently there isn’t much news to report that doesn’t have something to do with sexual misconduct of politicians, TV personalities, or entertainers. It’s reported on so often and at such great length that both Diane and I are becoming immune to it. When it’s reported that another woman stepped forth accusing, say, Al Franken, of touching her a few years ago, Diane changes the channel. Neither of us view that as condoning the behavior but rather we’re tired of hearing about it.

This morning I was reading Bing News, which provides info from a variety of sources, and was treated to another repeat of the things Roy What’shisname, that ex-judge in Alabama, … Moore, that’s his name … and learned that it’s apparently OK to round up certain things to make the story more interesting, I guess. The article, by Marina Fang of the Huffington Post, reported that Roy has “… been accused of sexual misconduct by nearly 10 women, with several incidents allegedly occurring when the women were teenagers and he was in his early 30s.” Since Roy is now 70, I guess that means these alleged early events occurred nearly 40 years ago, or thereabouts. When reporting news like this I guess the Huffington Post editor is OK with reporters just getting close to the correct number of accusers. Using the ’round up/down’ rules I learned in school, the proper number could be any number between 6 and 14. That’s about 10, right?

Nearly 10? Really?

I may never read the Huffington Post again. Ever.

Actually, I will, and I’ll be looking for stuff like this and totally miss the point of the article, no matter what it’s about.

Now – about all this misconduct by all these people, all of a sudden. I think it started with Bill Cosby, one of the more notable offenders, and has recently created a kind of mob mentality that’s causing women to come forth with all these really old accusations. This is just my guess, or course. There’s safety in numbers and they’re finding it easier to share stories of their abuse. I get that. I have no doubt that this kind of behavior goes unreported all the time and I find it distressing for both the victims and the accused. There are people on both sides who don’t believe the other side. It seems the only resolution lies in the hands of lawyers who are allowed to warp the truth, for either side, in defense of their clients.

OK. As I’ve got into that dissertation and struggled to find a way out of it and then it turned into a lawyer “thing”.

Sorry I went down that road and hope I didn’t offend anyone in the process. Just so you know, I tend to believe the women in nearly all of these accusations because I’m a guy. I actually know how easy it is to offend people – men and women. In all cases, when I’m made aware that I’ve done something inappropriate, like reach out to tap a lady on the shoulder to get her attention and she turns just in time for me to touch her breast. It wasn’t my intention, but it happened. I snap my hands back to my chest and apologize. That’s simple, right? My most mortifying moment of inappropriate touching happened when I was walking with a co-worker in Portland. I was a little bit ahead of her at a crossing and started to move when a car came around the corner with no intention of stopping. Like my Mom used to do, I put my right arm out to block this person’s progress so she wouldn’t get splattered on the road. She stopped and I held my hand in place until the car had passed and I decided that I had apparently missed her arm and had my hand planted firmly on her left breast. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that it didn’t feel like an arm should. To confirm this, I looked at my hand, then into her eyes, and snapped my hand back out of her space. I apologized and we continued on. It never happened again and I’m confident to this day, maybe 20 years later, that had we been in that same situation later on, she would have been run over in the cross walk.

Not really. I would have stopped her somehow. Honest.

The problem with these folks in the news is I believe they do stuff like this with intent, not accidentally, and they do it repeatedly because they are in positions of power over their victims. This is an opinion but I’m sure it’s true.

Done with that.

So, it’s been raining like crazy since August and all the grass that withered in the 90+ days of sunshine has found new life. Too bad I can’t mow it.

Gotta stop and go brush the dogs. One of them doesn’t like it so wish me luck.

Take a Knee

I’ve hesitated to chime in on all the commotion about NFL players not standing to honor our flag during the National Anthem because I think it’s just stupid. The clearest definition I’ve heard about why Kapernick started this was to protest black oppression. I’ve heard all kinds of discussions that support those who choose to kneel and I can only respond with a mess of opinions of my own.

First, I believe the vast majority of those who think kneeling for our national anthem are not of my generation. I’m old. When I was in school, the first thing we did as a class, to begin each day, was put our hands over our hearts, face the flag, and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Second, my first career encompassed 27 years in the United States Navy. When leaving a ship in port the last thing a sailor does is salute the flag. Upon return, saluting the flag is the first thing they do. On all US bases world-wide colors are observed twice a day: 0800 and Sunset.

No where in any of my activities that relate or refer to a flag was I required to kneel. Nope. When in uniform, and I heard the national anthem, I saluted the flag. When in civilian clothing, I placed my hand over my heart just they way I was taught.

For the naysayers out there, perhaps you view all this repetition as a form of brainwashing. I agree. Taken to the extreme, I believe all forms of teaching involve a bit of brainwashing to drive a point home. I know that for me to retain pretty much anything requires repetition. Lots and lots of repetition.

I think those folks who kneel for the anthem didn’t have the kind of education, and/or exposure that I had as a child or in the military. And you know what? It’s OK. We have that right, correct? Laws have changed over the years to the point where we don’t have to participate in any kind of ceremony to which we object, for any reason. It’s kind of like going back to live in a commune during the 70’s when pretty much everything was just plain OK. So I’ve heard.

The NFL can kneel all they want, to protest … to protest … what was it they’re protesting? … oh, ya … they are protesting President Trump’s comments about them kneeling for the National Anthem. By gosh, they’re going to show him, aren’t then?

Huh. I don’t think Kapernick had that in mind when he took a knee, but that seems to be what it’s about now.

Funny how things change.

 

Run the Gut & Other Stuff

I’m saddened that I can’t find very much about Running the Gut, Dragging Broadway, or something similar on the internet. The most pertinent match was for an event, Dragging the Gut Festival in McMinnville, OR. They claim this cruise in started in 1903 which makes it the oldest one around by a long shot. The sad part for me is that these moments from my youth mostly have a totally new meaning nowadays. Using “Dragging” as the verb I found references to LBGT folks dressing up for an organized walk, or medical procedures that will clean you out and make you feel all better. With “Running”, it’s all about that – running. Foot races through the streets of many towns.

Now, I’m not against any of those things, but I cling to the memories I have of driving my car along with a bunch of other folks up and down Broadway, 1st Street, or which ever street is the main one in town, for hours. It was a harmless social event.

Yesterday I re-created a bit of history here in St. Helens when I took Diane’s Mom, Jean, home from the Sassy Ladies’ Estate Sale at the church. Mom will be 90 in a little over a week and she’d been at the church for a number of hours when I arrived to fix a light, and it was decided that I should take her home to a more comfortable chair. I was glad to do it, but Diane wanted me to swap cars with her so Mom wouldn’t have such a difficult time getting in and out of the Crossfire convertible. I consulted Mom on that decision and she vetoed the swap, choosing to zoom home in the hot rod.

I took the long way home, of course, which meant I had to daringly insert us into a mass of traffic on Highway 30, then almost immediately exit on to Old Portland Road. The insertion was flawless, as was the exit. It’s a very quick little rig.

Many people who drive by St. Helens on Highway 30 are doing just that … they are ‘driving by’. Old Portland Road takes the traveler to the heart of St. Helens which is down by the river which cannot be seen from Highway 30.

Mom’s hair was flying all over the place and she was making a gallant effort to keep it in place until I suggested that it wasn’t going to get any better so she may as well just let it fly. She did and was more relaxed by not having to keep it neat. And, she never stopped smiling.

We drove Old Portland Road to where it ends at 1st Street down town, which is the St. Helens Gut, drove the length, turned left at the Klondike Restaurant (great food), then followed it around the loop, past the old court house, then right on 1st Street past the Columbia Theater. This entire downtown area was transformed in 1998 to film Disney’s “Halloweentown“.  St. Helens was also used for many scenes for “Twilight“. It’s a fun place.

After turning right on 1st Street from the Court House Square, you are forced to turn left about 2 blocks down and the road turns in to Columbia Blvd. It’s almost like magic if you aren’t paying attention. Then again, if you weren’t paying attention you’d probably run into the house at the end of 1st Street and earn a visit from one of the town Constables.

Columbia Blvd comes down from Highway 30 in a more direct route than Old Portland Road, in case you’re interested in visiting. Going back, however, Columbia Blvd splits at 13th Street and becomes St. Helens Road, a one way street, which ends at Highway 30. Going right on Highway 30 takes us to Pittsburgh Road where we turn left and meander our way into a large residential area where Mom lives.

Now, Diane’s fear about taking Mom in the convertible was her ability to get in and out of it. She’s got a bad knee, sore back, and, as previously mentioned, she’ll soon be 90. I’m happy to report that getting in wasn’t a problem at all because all she had to do was back in a ways and sit down. She was careful because I warned here it was a ways down to the seat. Once buckled in she started smiling and didn’t quit until well after I’d dropped her at home, I’m sure. Oh, and she got herself out of the car just fine, all by herself. Made me proud.