Breakfast, Lady Ducks Softball, & The Oregon Coast

University of Oregon Lady Ducks softball team just beat Kentucky for the second time in the Super Regionals to advance to the final 8 that will compete  for the Women’s College World Series title. They’ve done well, starting out their season with a 36-0 win loss record which is an NCAA record. Sadly, they lost 6 games along the way and are now standing 52-6, winning their last 15 games.

Today’s win was super sweet because it finished their quest to reach the World Series. It’s a double elimination tournament so they had to beat Kentucky twice. Yesterday they did it 4-0 by playing stellar defense. Today Kentucky, in a must win situation, needed the win to even the series and advance to game three. The way the game started out I figured they wouldn’t have a lot of trouble because adrenalin got in the way of Duck defense allowing 2 runs to score on an error. Then they settled down and held Kentucky to 2-0 through 3 innings when they scored again making it 3-0 in the 4th. The Ducks loaded the bases in the 5th and scored 2, holding the home team Kentucky scoreless. All the sudden it’s 3-2 and the Ducks were closing.

Then the 6th inning happened where Kentucky scored 2 more in the bottom of the inning making it 5-2 and only 3 outs remaining for the Ducks. It didn’t look too good for them but they came alive and loaded the bases with no outs. Then, to the amazement of the ESPN crew reporting the game, the 3rd base umpire called Kentucky for an illegal pitch and advanced all the runners one base. Now it’s 5-3 with 2 on. The illegal pitch wasn’t explained but the way the announcers talked they didn’t think it should have been called “in a game like this.” Really? Don’t the rules apply at all times?

That kind of signaled Kentucky’s demise because the Ducks kept hitting, scoring 4 runs in the top of the 7th making it a 6-5 game, Ducks. Three quick outs against Kentucky and it was done. Game over.

Before getting home to watch that, we went to Portland to have a “late breakfast” with our friends at Elmer’s in Delta Park. There were about 14 of us there and it was a normal, noisy affair for which we’re famous. We can typically only eat at a place as a group one time then have to wait either a year, until they either forget us, or the facility changes ownership. We’re that noisy. But, the waitresses always get good tips for putting up with us.

Since the sun was out, and it was hot on this 4th day of summer for us, we rode home with the top down on the car. Yes, I know, it’s not really summer yet – it’s still spring. But, I count every sunny day as summer. Some weeks we have 2-3 summer days, some weeks we have none. With the temps in the high 80’s these past few days, I believe that qualifies as summer. Anyway, we discovered that we could carry on a normal conversation, at highway speeds, with the top down. Nice. That’s two people who spend many parts of a conversation, in a quiet room, saying, “Huh? What did you say?” It was a nice ride and reaffirmed our decision to purchase the fun car. That feeling will continue until it breaks and I have to go to YouTube School and figure out how to fix it.

When we got home from Portland Diane took her Mom, Jean, grocery shopping so she will have enough vittles to get her through our absence next week. We’re going to Nehalem Bay State Park on the Oregon Coast. It’s been a long time since we’ve been there so it should be fun. We’re taking Ziva again so there won’t be any food wars for Lydia to mediate while she fills in as Queen of the House.

That’s about it for today. Now I’ll just add some random photos that I may have taken today.

I didn’t take this one today. I just found it while looking for others and it’s one of my all-time favorites. Jennie, Lydia, Cedric, and Logan. Probably from 12 years ago and has absolutely nothing to do with today’s activities. I just like it.

This one was today. That’s Steve. He’s acting out a little because his wife, Ladeane, wasn’t there. He’s everyone’s favorite Undertaker. There’s more to that story, of course. For another time.

This Rick, Jerry 3, and Steve.

Nelda, and Rick. Nelda is married to Jerry 3.

Panzee enjoying a good day at the beach. Another one of my favs. Again, years ago.

Again, today. This is the most organized I could get everyone because no one would stop talking. We’re a noisy crowd, and we have a lot of laughs whenever we get together, which isn’t nearly often enough.

And, once again, Jerry 3 and Steve from today.

Need I say more?

A Fun Surprise

Yesterday evening we had a little fun at the house when Jennifer, our daughter, called asking if she could come up and print something. She does that once in a while and knows she doesn’t have to ask but she always does. What a gal. When I heard the car arrive I went to the door in an effort to keep the dogs from making a huge amount of noise but it was a waste of time. Any time they see someone heading for the front door they think it’s a signal to cut loose. So, they do. And it’s annoying. But I seriously suspect that anyone attempting to enter the house without permission would be a little intimidated.

With barking in progress I let them out to greet Jennifer but turns out she wasn’t alone. At first all I noticed was more than one person exiting the limping Envoy but it wasn’t until they made it to the door that I realized that with Jennifer, Lydia, Ahmed, and Solo (their dog), was Cedric. Apparently he planned this surprise with his Dad, Daniel, a week ago after his ship returned to Bremerton. He has a friend who has family in Portland and makes the trip on a regular basis when the ship is in port and she offered Cedric a ride to St. Helens which is on the way. How nice. He freaked his Mom out when he just showed up and walked into the house around 5 pm yesterday.

Then they came to us to share the surprise.

What a fun way to end the day.

Note: For those who don’t know, Cedric is a Navy cook stationed aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68), the Navy’s oldest nuclear aircraft carrier.

Day 9 – Beach Haven Reunion Banquet

Today all the attendees of this reunion gathered to eat a catered lunch by the hotel in which we’re staying. We already knew the food is good so the prospect of a cafeteria style banquet was not a scary thing. We embraced it.

The banquet was scheduled to start at 11:30 am so we all gathered in the gathering room, next to the banquet room, at 11:00 am to prepare. That, and to produce the gifts we were directed to bring for the auction for which many, many tickets were sold. Because Diane and I were sitting in the gathering room next to the banquet room door, we wound up selling raffle tickets by the dozens. To be precise, we sold $700 worth of raffle tickets. We were busy. One guy, Freddie, bought $80 worth of them.

After we sold all those tickets, we ate. Since Diane and I were the last people into the banquet room, we had to scuffle for a place to sit. That worked out, though, because just as we were heading to our table Ken stood up and ask the room how we should line up for the food. Since I was right behind him, I suggested that we begin with the row of tables next to the wall where Diane, Marvin, and I were sitting. My suggestion was accepted so I just turned around and got in line for food. It was pretty good, but I didn’t take a photo of it. Mainly because I loaded the plate so it wasn’t very pretty. Very good, but not very pretty.

Once the food was devoured it was time to start calling raffle tickets. Now, I gotta share some insight about raffles that I’ve gleaned over the years. The most profound one is that there are always one or two tables in the room that wind up with the majority of winners. It just happens that way Always. Perhaps you’ve noticed this. There were about 14-15 tables in the room, some longer than others and seating 10 instead of 4, so with each shipmate providing at least one gift, adding to those provided by the organizer, there must have been about 150 things to raffle off. Don’t question my math. It’s correct.

During lunch Diane hid the bucket of tickets behind her chair, in the corner. When Ken stood up to start the raffle,  transported the huge bucket to his vicinity so he could kick things off. Simply by virtue of the fact that I transported the tickets I was sucked in to helping out with the drawings, calling out the numbers in a loud voice that everyone bu Ed could hear. Ed won a couple of times but only because when a number was called and no one responded, and it was evident that Ed wasn’t looking at his tickets, Mary gave him a hand.

The rule of raffles is that the person who wins must draw the next number. That worked OK until Freddie finally won and he drew three tickets in a row that matched three of the vast array of tickets he had spread all over his table. As the drawings continued I managed to remember the sequence of tickets Freddie had making it easy to know when he won. Which he did. A lot. He was that guy. He finally got tired of walking to the next room to pick out his next prize and started appointing people to do it in his place. Those around him were very happy.

Every once in a while we stopped calling tickets so Ken could auction off. He was doing a pretty good job, but George jumped in and caused bidders to go way higher than they had intended. George made the group a lot of money on those auction items. Finally, all the auction and raffle items were gone and we were allowed to leave.

I failed to mention that we had a group meeting after lunch, prior to the raffle, during which we talked about where we should have our next reunion. Since the last two were on the East Coast it was unanimously agreed that we should strongly consider the West Coast for the 2018 reunion. We do them every two years. That’s why I put 2018 instead of 2017. You may have wondered. The location discussed for the West Coast reunion was Bremerton. That will work great for us since we live on the West Coast. I wouldn’t be surprised, either, if Diane and I wound up taking care of all the details since we live there even though we didn’t volunteer. That’s how things seem to work out.

After it was all done, around 2:55 pm, Diane and I retired to our room where we sat on our balcony enjoying the breeze caused by bad weather that’s causing the waves to crash into the beach at an angle instead of coming straight in like they were doing yesterday. And the day before. It’s actually very stormy and the weather has turned cold making it uncomfortable to be out there even in a sweatshirt with a hood. So she went back into the room, but I stayed outside for a bit longer just to prove that I’m a man even though Diane already knows that. She’s seen me naked. A couple of times. When I felt I’d made my point, I also went inside.

Then I opened up one of the Xfinity apps on my iPad and discovered that I could actually watch TV shows that are recorded on our DVR at home. That’s amazing! So, I watched two episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and one episode of Quantico. Since Diane was sleeping I used my handy ear buds so I would wake her up. Since I was reclined I managed to fall asleep a few times myself but, since I had the buds in, I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss anything.

Now for some photos for those of you who ventured this far even though I didn’t take very many at the banquet. Just a few. I’ll find some more to share just for fun.

Here’s Diane wearing my Scappoose hat. It fits her way better than me so it’s now her’s.

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She looks good in any kind of hat.

Next is a photo of the head table at the banquet. I said earlier that the longer tables sat 10 people but I lied. There were only 6.

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This next  one Diane took of me helping Ken with the raffle.

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Until I saw this photo I had no idea my right breast was lower than my left one. I guess I don’t usually notice it because of the sports bra. Should have worn it today, I guess. That or that new push-up number I found at Goodwill the other day.

Now, on a more serious note, here’s a photo from the Albany Democrat-herald. It was taken during the game when our St. Helens went all the way down there to whip East Albany 4-3. I guess it was nip and tuck throughout the game, but our girls persevered. That’s our Lydia in the yellow goalie shirt. Jennifer sent four other ones that were also in the paper, all of Lydia doing her thing.

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I guess it’s OK to shove on the goalie’s face in Albany although it didn’t do them any good.

That’s about it.

88 on 8/8/15, Family, Kid Duties, & Devious Maids

Greetings dear Minions. I hope everything is going well with all of you. On this end, it just keeps getting better and better. That’s the upside. The downside is that folks on my TV set keep telling me what a horrible world we live in where police keep shooting unarmed teenagers for no apparent reason. It’s just terrible and makes me want to move some place. But, gee, where would I go when the whole world is going to crap in the same manner?

On a happier note, yesterday was a festive day because we celebrated Diane’s Mom’s 88th birthday. Even better, we did it at her house so we didn’t mess up our place even a little bit. Just hers and it only took a few hours to put it all back in order.

Diane’s been planning this event for a while, inviting people from all over the place and got RSVPs from most of them meaning it was going to be a fun time. The end result was that virtually everyone in the family who all live locally, in addition to a pair of sisters who don’t, showed up to eat cake. Having the entire family together to celebrate Jean’s 88th year was pretty awesome. In all there were approximately 30 people in attendance ranging in age from 1 month to, gee, 88 years old.

Here’s the long and short of it. Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma, and Great Great Grandma Eleanor Jean at a pretty frisky 88 years old.

MomD Then there’s Draiden Jeffrey Cate showing up at one month and one day old. He has some hard growing up to do because he has two older sisters in addition to three aunts who are not much older than him who will all be either giving him grief or daring anyone to lay a hand on their little brother or nephew

DraidenJeffreyOther attendees were … Ceirra, Lydia, Jerrie, Gilligan

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Diane’s cousin John, his wife Pam, and their son JonathanDSC_3759
Another cousin, Don, John’s brother, and wife Judy
DSC_3767 Father, Son, and UncleDSC_3769 Cousins … Julie, John, Diane, Don, & TerriDSC_3774 Jeff & Heather’s clan (minus Shene & Draiden who was eating) — Logan, Heather, Jeff, Gilligan, Baylee, Jerrie, Juliette, & Danyell. The three little ones on the left are aunts to the two on the right.DSC_3782 The Walker clan – Julie (daughter from Arizona – she came the farthest, but didn’t win anything for it), Carolyn (Mom), Jean (Sister & Aunt), & Terri (another daughter).DSC_3804 Great Granddaughter Lydia and the Birthday GirlDSC_3810 Logan & Shene’s clan – Juliette, Danyell, & Draiden. Aunt Jerrie photo bombed them.DSC_3834 More cousins — Cedric, Logan, & Lydia. Jeran was missing because he was having fun elsewhere.DSC_3853 The Walters clan – Jennifer, Lydia, Daniel, & Cedric. As noted, Jeran was missing.DSC_3873There were others, of course, but I’m sure everyone is tired of looking at family photos by now. So, I’ll just move along with a little narrative about happenings.

Now all I have to is ponder for a while to see if I can remember stuff. If I can’t, I’ll just make something up.

Beginning last Monday Diane and I both took a little trip back in time and participated in the taxi service normally enjoyed by parents who are much younger. In this case, however, we had a ball getting the kids to and from the places they needed to be. Since the kids needed to be in places far apart, at the same time, it’s good that there were two of us and that we are both still allowed to drive. Lydia to soccer training in Hillsboro at 0845, the same time Cedric was due at school and Jeran at Pacific Camps.

I drew Lydia so had to leave at 0730. That’s like 7 thirty in the morning! Really early for someone who is normally deep into his morning nap at that time. But, I did it, and did it well. I stayed and watched for the entire 3 hours of Lydia’s workout. Then we had lunch and I took her home. The rest of the day was a blur and I’m sure I didn’t do anything of importance.

Tuesday I took Cedric to his place of confinement. It was a simple task and I was proudly successful. While attending to this Diane transported Jeran to his dental appointment in Longview. Lydia had a ride to Hillsboro with Morgan’s Mom. Morgan is Lydia’s team member and is also attending soccer training. She was absent on Monday.

On Wednesday I repeated my Monday responsibility for Lydia and Morgan, staying for the entire three hours before taking them home. I’m not sure, but I think there was a nap or two during the afternoon. I think there were many naps involved with the remainder of the week with the exception of time on Thursday & Friday spent putting things together for Saturday’s birthday party. Diane put in a lot of overtime planning everything.

Saturday morning we made a trip to Oregon City for a St. Helens High School soccer game which St. Helens won 3-0. Lydia played awesome making some pretty great stops. As soon as we got home we started loading everything we own into the Impala for the trip to Grams’. I loaded ten (10) folding chairs, a folding table, a case of water and a very large sports umbrella into the trunk. It’s a HUGE trunk. With the back seats folded down I added a cooler, my camera & tripod, a large crock pot full of pulled pork, a box of assorted Avon items, a lantern, six cases of warm beer, and a small hot tub. The Impala also has a HUGE back seat. I must admit that I lied about some of the things I listed but it really does have a large back seat.

Today we went to church, ate breakfast there, came home with Mom and spent most of the day hanging out. After Diane took Mom home we walked next door to visit with Muriel and Bob who recently lost their son to pneumonia. It’s a long story but sad to say his passing was a good ending.

Now it’s getting late and I must watch the last few minutes of “Devious Maids” before retiring for the night.

ISS, Reunions, Soccer, & Relative

Have any of you folks in the Great Northwestern portion of this here United States looked at the evening sky lately to see the International Space Station flying by? Three days ago we were gazing up, watching the stars pop out, when the ISS went zooming overhead and watched for the entire five minutes it took to transit from one horizon to the other. Initial speculation that it was the space station was confirmed, by me, when I jumped on my smart phone, figuratively speaking, and searched for information about this event. What I found on the APP Store (for my iPhone) was “ISS Spotter”, a pretty handy application that plots the station’s progress around the world and provides a list of times when it will be visible, if clouds permit, over your location. Because of this we’ve been able to see if the last three evenings at the times indicated. Pretty cool. It was especially great last night because big brother Jim, and his bride Donna, as well as our other brother Jack, and his bride Wynette, were visiting and we all stood at our deck railing watching together as this wonder of science whizzed by overhead. It was a special moment.

The occasion of Jim and Donna’s visit was so they could attend the All School Reunion for Scappoose High School, an event that happens every five years. For a small town it’s quite an event and brings folks back from all over the place. For my bride, Diane, it was even more special because her class celebrated their 50th reunion in conjunction with the five-year event.

As a result of all these festivities I’ve managed to regain the 12 pounds I recently shed, by studiously eating reasonable portions at reasonable times. During the past week there was no schedule for meals and it’s hard to say No when there’s an opportunity to share a meal for family we don’t often see. Especially when they’re buying. Now I must climb back on the wagon and pay attention before the doctor tells me I must start injecting myself with insulin every 3-4 hours. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Jim and Donna arrived last Wednesday afternoon and it’s been pretty much non-stop until this morning when they departed on their way back home to somewhere in Idaho. We visit them once in a while when they grant us permission to cross the border. That doesn’t always happen and it’s getting more difficult to get a visa for such visits because of all the shootings around the country. Coming in to Oregon isn’t a problem because we don’t have any border restrictions, yet.

At this point of my narrative there will be a rather long pause as I depart our premises to transport Lydia & Morgan to goalie training in Hillsboro at this undogly hour of 0745. I don’t normally doe things like that this early in the morning, but Diane is going the other way, to Longview, shortly thereafter to get Jeran to his dentist appointment. She can drive fast, for sure, but not fast enough to be in two places 60 miles apart at the same time. So, I get to take the east-bound leg, something I don’t really mind doing at all.

Now for the pause —————————-0719 to 1350 – elapsed time 6hrs 31min

What a morning. Picked Lydia up and had to skip Morgan because she wasn’t feeling well and stayed home. So, we arrived about 20 minutes early and Lydia was the only one there for a long time. I pointed out to Lydia that some of them didn’t show up until 0930 and she said “that was the twins (girls). Their dad is an actor and they’re filming “The Librarians” in the area so they are spending the summer here. Interesting.

 Lydia got a 3-hour workout on very little food and she did great. The group was composed of both goalies and what I call “shooters” so Lydia and the other goalies got a good workout from some kids that can really handle a soccer ball. Made me tired so I put the top down on the PT, parked in the shade, and took a nap.

One of my classmates shared a joke with me that I feel compelled to pass along. I must warn you that, though it doesn’t contain vulgar language, the subject matter is a bit racy. If that concerns you, please stop now …

The joke … two ladies had lunch together at one of their village’s nicer establishments and the topic of their conversation swayed a bit to the exciting side of their lives. This happened when one of them noticed a gentleman across the room having lunch.

“See that fellow over by the door? I had a date with him a few days ago and he was a perfect gentleman the entire evening. He opened doors for me, took my jacket, helped with my chair, stood when I left the table … it was very refreshing to be treated like a lady. I was so comfortable with him that it didn’t occur to me to say “No” when he asked me to his home for a nightcap. Once we got in his house everything changed and he became an animal, pushing me around the house and ripping my clothes off like a wild man!”

Her friend, hand to mouth, exclaimed, “so, you’re telling me I should date him?”

“No,” said the lady, “just wear old clothes.”

To end I’ll share some photos from the part of the weekend I remember. First is Diane’s class of 1965.

IMG_2103 Here are what I understand are the main trouble makers of the class. A fun group.IMG_2128And, here’s a selfie of the Cate boys …IMG_2134

Viva Las Vegas !!

So, we’ve been in Las Vegas since last Friday (28th) which you may all assume is the reason for delaying this entry. You’d think we were out running the strip with the rest of the party crowd, adding to our collection of those girly cards that are given freely available to anyone, even children, to accept those evocative gifts. It’s evident that many folks aren’t happy that their children accepted those cards by the number of them littering the sidewalks and street. I’ve been collecting those cards for years and have successfully gathered 998 cards with unique renditions of very pretty girls with very little, or no clothing, no two alike. I feel that’s quite an accomplishment considering that most of the cards are duplicates. I haven’t collected any this trip, yet, but I’m after those illusive two needed to round my collection up to 1,000. I actually saw one that I needed, but it was in the street and I figured Diane would frown on me picking it up, so I sadly walked on by, watching it disappear in my peripherals as those unconcerned people revelers around me nimbly walked over it, grinding it into the pavement making it totally useless for a valid collection destined to become very valuable.

But, no, that was not the case. Instead we’ve been spending most of our time gazing out the window of our room at the millions of lights illuminating the pointy end of Nevada. Here’s part of what we can see from our room on the 54th floor of the Elara.

IMG_1517 IMG_1525 IMG_1527Quite festive. We can see, from left to right, Aria,The Cosmopolitan, Rio, Bellagio, Planet Hollywood, Caesars Palace, Paris, The Mirage, Treasure Island, Trump, Wynn, Palazzo, Encore, Ballys, Venetian, Harrah’s, High Roller Ferris Wheel, and the Stratosphere. Granted, we can’t see the fronts of them all, but enough to make for a pretty dramatic night sky.

The main reason for making Las Vegas our vacation destination this trip was to join a group of old folks with whom we’ve become acquainted over the years because of our mutual fascination with the Chrysler PT Cruiser. The 109 in attendance, including us, still own PTs, and a large number of them drove their vehicles to the party. The notable exception was our new friend from Sydney, Australia. Pretty cool that he came all that way to visit with us. There were lots of folks from Canada, and the US East Coast, too. This event was the brain child of our friend, Rick, pictured below with my bride, Diane.

IMG_1539This gathering was for breakfast at the Gold Coast for which we had to leave our warm beds at 0500 Monday morning. It was good. Rick, Rick, and Pat had microphones and went around the room giving everyone a chance to introduce themselves. Once some of them got the microphone, however, they were compelled to share some pretty involved stories about their love affair with the PT. IMG_1553Pat Chase, who is, oddly, the current husband of Pat Chase, gave an impressive dissertation on the PT Cruiser from its concept to production, and all the emotions associated with that little car during it’s production run from 2001 through 2010. In another 15 years our 2005 convertible will be a classic. Can’t wait for that. The downside of that is that I’ll be 86 and the state of Oregon probably won’t let me drive it.

The remainder of Monday’s activities for us, after breakfast, was to find a car wash so we could get the bugs scraped off the front of Diane’s new Impala. I found one really close to the Gold Coast that is strictly a hand wash facility. They did an outstanding job and made the car look awesome. This is the new ride …IMG_1491Monday night 58 of us took a 3-4 hour ride on The Big Bus tour of Las Vegas with Kate as our tour guide. Had it not been for her interaction with our crowd of old folks, the trip would have been kind of ho-hum, “look at all the pretty lights” instead of the incredibly detailed, historically correct narrative of every building or vacant lot we passed. She even gave us some pretty interesting back ground of many of the questionable people we passed during our travels. Kate is extremely funny and could easily, in my estimation, excel as a standup comic. Perhaps she is one of those already, but that wasn’t mentioned. She was, however, the Witch in “Wicked” and played all over the west coast for considerable amount of time.

DSC_3012Kate has a commanding presence and we all fell in love with her during that 3-hour tour. What a gal. Here she is making friends with one of the many Ricks who made the trip from Oregon. One of the other Ricks is sitting right there to the right in front of Linda. The other Rick, our leader, was sitting up front.

Sadly, the Rick pictured with Kate injured his knee on the way up the steps to this seat and had to be carted away in a wheel chair at the end of the tour. We trust he will be fine, eventually, but don’t have a prognosis at this time. He was taken to one of the local hospitals, of which I found there are many in the area.

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Here are a few of the places we saw along the way down the strip.DSC_3026 DSC_3027 DSC_3030 DSC_3019 DSC_2999 DSC_2997 DSC_2992

Then we headed for the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino on Fremont Street. 
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We’ve been there many, many years ago, before it evolved into what it is now, so we weren’t prepared for the incredible transformation that’s been made in that area. It’s pretty amazing.

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Outside the Golden Nugget, Fremont Street is totally covered with a curved video screen that stretches over 300 feet. Below the screen, for the entire length, stretched 3 zip line wires on which people whizzed by overhead.

When we first got there it was displaying random graphics which were very pleasing. As we walked through the crush of people on the street, we were smitten with all the pretty lights and the great attitude of the crowd. We didn’t encounter any attitudes at all during our circumnavigation of this amazing venue. About halfway around all the lights along the street, and those advertising the various facilities, were extinguished and the overhead display lit up along the entire length of the street and the sound was cranked up as we were entertained with a Bon Jovi concert of epic proportions. It was mesmerizing and incredibly fun to watch. Even for an old guy like me. DSC_3049 DSC_3052

Inside the Golden Nugget all the lights are covered with these incredible artsy creations and all I could think about was how I’m so happy I don’t have to change the light bulbs in them. Pretty, but really sharp on the pointy ends.DSC_3055

Also inside the Golden Nugget is the Shark Tank. A swimming pool surrounds the tank and you can see a tube running through the center of the tank. That’s the end part of a water slide that starts a couple of floors above the tank and through which people fly, probably with their eyes closed. Kinda freaky.DSC_3061

Prior to the evening festivities, we wandered around the Miracle Mile Shopping portion of Planet Hollywood where Diane found a hat shop. She loves hats and looks great wearing pretty much anything on her head.
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That’s pretty much it for yesterday. We had a terrific time and are looking forward to the evening festivities today. We’re having the Old PT People Banquet (OPTPB) at the Gold Coast. Should be a hoot.

Highway 30 Cruisers, & a Reunion

Yesterday Diane took her Mom, Jean, shopping for groceries at Fred Meyer in Scappoose. On the way, Diane suggested that I go see what’s happening at the car show being held at the Spring Meadows Old Folks Home, which is almost directly across Highway 30 from Freddies. Thinking I might enjoy that, vs. wandering around the store with no direction, I agreed and took over the driver’s seat after Diane and Mom exited the vehicle.

The car show was put on by the Highway 30 Cruisers, a local car club which I’ve been asked to join because I have an old 1968 Chevy truck. Since the truck isn’t a piece of work one would normally display at a car show I’ve been hesitant but after today, I’m not so sure.

“Why,” you may ask, to which I would respond, “because they have a show category right up my alley. It’s called “In Progress”, and here’s the winner for the show …

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There was a little history on the old truck explaining that the owner found the truck at the bottom of a lake where it had resided for many years. There was no mention of how it got there, or if he was the original owner, but, considering his age, I would venture to say it may have belonged to his grandfather, or someone in that age category. Neither was there any mention of what it took to render the truck drivable after draining all the water out of it, but I’d guess it wasn’t an easy process. The did report, however, that nothing has been done to the body since returning it to daylight, and a quick peek around the bottom of the doors indicates it has a serious rust issue going on. Mine doesn’t. So, I could enter mine in this category with confidence that I could at least get second place. Now all I have to do is get the transmission fixed, replace the flywheel, and have someone with more knowledge than me adjust the starter so it doesn’t break anything when engaged. Once there, I’ll join the club and share my good fortune as it  happens.

Here’s an old 50-something Chevy hardtop that was pretty nice. It’s an interesting color. I talked with the owner for a while, another old guy, as are all the folks who had their cars in the show. He gave me the history on the car, but I can’t remember what he told me. But, it was a nice visit.

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The next photo is of a card attached to the inside of the windshield of an old model A (I think) with a rumble seat. I’ve mentioned in the past, many times, I’m sure, that Mrs. Roney picked me up at school in one of these and drove me to her house for my piano lessons. She did that for five years, second through sixth grade. I always rode in the rumble seat. What fun. I don’t think anyone’s likely to ride in the rumble seat on this rig.
DSC_1927The next one is owned by an old friend, Gary, with whom I played drums in the high school band in 1961, or so. It’s a 1936 Plymouth in pristine condition. We had a good time in the back row of the band. When I got to his car I saw Spud & Leonna. That was odd, because Spud was a year ahead of me in high school and I inherited the #1 drummer position when he graduated, and there we were, three old Scappoose High School drummers. Small world, huh? Well, it’s not a large town so it’s not really unusual.DSC_1921

This Corvair belongs to Dave, one of my classmates from high school. Someone told me he had to push it to the show, but I later learned that was a bald-faced lie. He drove it there just fine. He’s married to Janice, one of Diane’s high school classmates.

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I’ve decided that I’m not going to do anything with the body of my truck, but I’ll do this under the hood. The only difference will be mine has a 454, not a 427. Should look nice in a rusty grey truck, don’t you think?DSC_1926As I wandered around, aimlessly, looking at the vehicles on display, I encountered one of Diane’s old boyfriends, Pinky, who still owes me $20 for a pair of chrome rims I sold him. I’ve been reminding him about that for the last 50 years, but he won’t pay me. I think they’re worth more now, but he says he no longer has them so it’s really a moot point because I can’t prove I sold them to him. I will, however, point out his failure to pay whenever I see him. We do, by the way, get along just fine. I just like to rub his fur the wrong way a little. Besides, I got Diane, he didn’t. Maybe he figures that took care of the $20 he owed me, but I don’t see it that way. I’d expand on that a little, but I see absolutely no way I can do so without digging this huge hole from which I would never exit. So, I’ll move along.

This morning we got up early and left the house at 0900 and headed for Big Eddy Park over by Vernonia on Highway 47. Jennifer, Daniel, Lydia, and Jeran spent the last few days there for their Church Camp, when we’ve attended in the past with them, and Daniel was delivering the message at their out-door church service in the park. We made it in plenty of time and really enjoyed the service. There was a lot of singing, a little praying, then Daniel gave us a sermon that was spot on. He explained how he had plenty of time to get his talk all written out, but he put it off in favor of other things … like TV, video games, books, etc. Suddenly, it was time to produce the goods and he wasn’t quite ready until he realized that his actions were the topic … about how we get sidetracked by mundane things instead of focusing on God and the wonders He provides. It was pretty perfect and we’re really proud of Daniel.

After the service we headed for the car while everyone else got in line for the potluck. It was best that we didn’t stay because while walking to the service from where we parked, next to Jennifer, I was carrying a jar of salsa. Jennifer was walking in front of me and just as we got to the table, the lid came off, like magic, and the motion of my swinging arm provided exactly the right momentum to expel a large amount of the salsa all over the back of Jennifer’s legs. It was a mess and I was properly embarrassed for a pretty short time, until another Jennifer got our Jennifer all wiped down, and I was able to kick dirt over the other remaining evidence of the mishap. It was completely innocent, but it’s something I will probably hear about for a long time. Not staying for the pot luck also ensured that we didn’t find it necessary to eat any of the remaining salsa, leaving more for others.

Our destination from Big Eddy was the old Trojan Nuclear facility just south of Rainier on Highway 30. That’s where the 2014 picnic was happening for the class of ’62. We do picnics every year so this was, in reality, our 53rd reunion. Trojan is where I worked for a couple of years for PGE right after getting out of the Navy in 1989, so it was familiar territory for me. I used to take care of all the computers for everyone there. All by myself. For two years. A daunting task for someone with no formal computer repair training. I figured it out, however, and managed to stick around with PGE for 21 years.

There were 25 classmates and many spouses at the reunion, so we had a great time visiting. Here’s what we looked like today …

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I’m in there somewhere. And, thanks to my handy little remote, I took this photo. We’re a pretty varied, and ambulatory group of old folks who are all pretty much 70 years old. Considering that we only had 99 in our graduating class, I think we’re hanging in there nicely.

Now, since i didn’t get to finish my morning nap, I’m going to bed.