A FALL morning.

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Friday September 28, 2007

his is a fabulous morning. It actually DID rain quite a bit last night, heavy shower this morning. This parched brown grass, yard, trees, desperately needed it. It squashed any fear of a fire. What was unsusual? IT’s been SO dry but temperatures cool, that I found time to actually prep for fall to the “T” the last couple of days before the wet arrived. Rain showers are now forecast the next week.

I got this done:
*Some wood moved into the garage awaiting use in a month or two.
*Began spreading some of the gravel just delivered down the driveway. This awaits getting spread onto the spot in back to be under the woodshed:
gravel
*bit more leveling on the woodshed dirt pile….awaiting shed building oct 4.
*appt for new oven Monday, Oct 1
*went to horse farm nearby, they loaded free Horse “M” (you know…) and spread that on garden….then, of course, washed out the truck….it’s really fairly composted, but you not be smelling lavender if you’re out there this morning when it’s wet:
horsemanure
*Used leaf-blower on roof getting rid of LOTS of fir needles piling up there since spring.
*Swept up and removed all the needles from around the house that came off roof.
*Cleaned out the chimney
*Cleaned out all the gutters all around the house (we NEVER get this done ahead of time)
*moved Ficus tree back indoors
*moved BBQ under the eaves
*moved some things to woodshed from garage
*cleaned up in the garage — organization a bit
*put away all watering tools
*hung ornamental window frame out by woodpile.
*mowed lawn where needed
*fried chicken for leftovers
*ran the dog!
HEY. That was a busy day, and the reward? raining last night!

Hillary on Iran Invasion.

Bloged in Bush,Political by mark Friday September 28, 2007

Hillary Clinton, according to the big business news networks, is the leading Democratic Contender so far. It is beyond me how that’s possible. She is a mini-Bush and follows the script of the Capitalist Agenda to the letter.
Her most powerful money contributor seems to be the Jewish community in New York where she is the senator of course. So how does THIS affect her allegiance in supporting Israeli militancy?

The Groan I had last friday was over her voting FOR that new appropriations bill for defense spending next year, aka, IRAQ WAR SPENDING.

(NOTE: OREGON’s wonderful little geeky Peter DeFazio tried to put in an amendment that would forbid the president from invading IRAN without Congressional review).

The REAL evil is that the Only Senator who truly doesn’t give a hoot about America but cares about Israel, the Jewish Joe Lieberman along with Kyl Sampson from AZ inserted a tiny amendment that would give BUSH & CHENY back-door authorization to invade IRAN without ANY more clearance form anybody. THAT amendment got inserted and the bill was passed with a 72 vote majority.

Frightening isn’t it? NOW. HOW did they get 72 votes if there were ANY Democrats who even READ that amendment?

Let’s see. HILLARY VOTED FOR IT. In other words, Hillary Clinton is NOT trying to shut this war down. BARACK OBAMA didn’t even vote period. THAT was playing chicken, and gives tacit approval for it.

I am ANGRY about the senate passing this appropriations bill to include that amendment rather than including DeFazio’s amendment. NO ONE it seems is really doing anything concrete about stopping this madness.

hillary

the Canby Flock and Fiber Festival ! !

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Tuesday September 25, 2007

We had an itch to go to something connected to Rodger’s new hobby: KNITTING.

Still. I had NO idea a large annual gathering of like-minded folk occurred every September in Canby, Oregon called:

The Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival

It’s hosted annually at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds annually pulling in hundreds of exotic sheep, goats, alpacas, llamas, and even a Camel! Barns and halls AND outside spots FULL of weavers, knitters, felters, clothiers, cooking demonstrations (gasp!), animal competitions, and all KINDS of vendors. Rodger’s group from the Science & Medical OHSU group who call themselves the “Neuro Transknitters” were going, and friend Nancy G met us there too.

This was one hypnotic 4 hour trip.

We arrived when it was just supposed to open at 0900, but it was already full of visitors. We decided to start in the animal barns and follow this process through to the yarn/thread conclusion of the matter…… OR, if you were there for nefarious reasons, perhaps the perfect Lamb Chop for Lunch.

Seeing THIS guy reminded me of star wars:
yak
He was gorgeous, the coat rough, but you wouldn’t believe how soft Yak Hair can become.
I loved this young RAM awaiting his turn in the ring, he just had character:
ramcutie
The Churra Sheep were fascinating! Originally brought from Spain in the 1600′s, within a century they became the preferred fiber source for Navajo Indians:
churraram
Let’s not forget the adorable Angora Sheep though….we KNOW how soft THOSE sweaters were:
anglamb
Although we did NOT share the religious zeal the owner of this “pet” camel has (HE takes this poor guy to lots of Church Gatherings especially at Christmas):
camel1
I had never imagined a camel would be so domesticated as to actually LIKE being petted and scratched as much as this guy did. He was SO very tender with the kids, I liked him a lot.
Only a small amount of the yarns being sold were machine made (of course, that meant they were imported from China, or maybe Peru, etc). Most were hand cleaned, woven, spun, dyed and bundled:
yarns
I can’t imagine who would have NOT held deep admiration for the artistry and crafstmanship I could feel that went into these sweaters:
sweater1
I LOVED this one:sweater2
This felted piece was a gorgeous formal suit:
sweater3
There WERE moments of humor……which book do you think I almost bought:
nosheepforyou
And I have NO idea what this meant:
bunnybals

Yes, I admit, Nancy and I enjoyed a bit of Lamb for lunch.

Last thing: That morning was cool, I decided that to be properly attired, one SHOULD be wearing a sweater, to a flock and fiber show, right? I grabbed a hand-crafted sweater I bought at some earth fair 25 years ago and wore it. I don’t remember getting this much attention and admiring glances since I was a young guy with hair! Whew! I remembered why so many people try to stay young….. Hm.

Portland’s Artist’s Rep Theater Season Begins!

Bloged in General Home Life,Portland by mark Monday September 24, 2007

Thanks to the patient encouragement of Baird, Karen, and Karen’s sister Joy, we have finally joined the three in this seasons productions at Portland’s own Artists Rep Theater.

It’s a very intimate space:
artseating

Yesterday’s first performance is something very different. Artist’s Rep has two stages. The play we begin with yesterday is: House and Garden – GARDEN

Yes, if you clicked that link you have learned that your first viewing of this play is a cast performing it in the gardens at some English Estate….yes, adultery, sneaking around, garden party, etc etc….all through this lusty script, the players are disappearing and re-appearing…. WHERE are they going? At the VERY SAME TIME THEY ARE PERFORMING THIS Script, they are disappearing to perform the OTHER HALF of this play, “House and Garden – HOME.”

WHAT you say?
handg
Yes, the players disappear from the Estate Garden Scene WE, the audience are watching, to run off to Artist Rep’s SECOND Stage across the hall and perform the other half of this story from the INSIDE of the mansion…. to a SECOND audience. (WE SEE the INSIDE MANSION half Tuesday night).

How’s THAT for an innovative piece of theater?

Well……this first half WAS a little slow moving, but I couldn’t help wondering just HOW they’re pulling this off….remembering ONE set of lines here in the garden, running into the mansion to remember the other script and back and forth. Whew! Can’t wait to see how adultery works INSIDE the house.

An International Dinner at the Barcelona

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Monday September 24, 2007

As foretold, we DID get invited and attended the unforgettable evening with the international couples we’d met through Elena and Emilio. I’m posting this because this such an unforgettable evening to me.

Saturday night, we were buzzed in at “The Barcelona” on NW 20th to greet the players:
barcelona1
(l to r) Johannes, Danny, Inge, Michel, and seated Elena & Freddie.
**We really did NOT get a good picture of everyone so intend to at our next get-together**

Freddie – Austrian. Here running his Tech Company centered in Vancouver, WA
Inge - 7 mon pregnant wife. WAS working, but now they both will be returning home to Austria at October’s end so their 1st child, a little girl will be born at home.

Johannes - Austria. Works with Freddie. Plans to stay, but wanting to get to
Stanford to get MBA….. Ambitious guy!! Smart.

Elena - A doctor herself, she is doing Neuroscience research at OHSU and works with Rodger.
Emilio - Has just begun working here and is already the Lead Chef at Piazza Italia in Pearl! **The word of his cooking didn’t take long to reach “The Oregonian. They had a food critic there Friday, Sep 21 to interview him and that review is expected 9/28 !!

Danny - Madrid, Spain. He’s here representing his Spanish power company building some of the new WINDFARMS going up out in NE Oregon. Oregon’s NEW sustainable power.

Lucia - Madrid, Spain. Danny’s wife. Pregnant also! This couple plans to stay 3 years.

Michelle
- Romania. Here for some years now. Left Romania during all the turmoil.
Jerry - Romania. Also here for years, Michelle’s friend. Jerry is a DESIGNER at NIKE in Beaverton!!

BOB D. - The Barcelona Landlord. Sadly, Bob just lost his wife Sandy one month ago to Heart Disease! He’s a real character, and it’s fabulous how Freddie and Inge have almost adopted him.

The Menu? Just a few of the highlights were:
Cucumber wraps (Inge), Chicken Schnitzel (Freddie), Austrian Potatoes (Inge),
Sacher Torte (inge), Austrian. Deviled Eggs, Berries, lots more appetizers, Apple Pie & Ice Cream (Rodger) AND Lots of International WINES ! ! ! !

(NOTE: I’ve saved a recipe for that Sacher Torte, and intend to learn how to make this. THANKS, Inge!)
sachertorte

The Hours? 7:00 PM to: Well, Mark & Rodger left at 2:30 IN THE MORNING and were almost the first to leave.

Conversation: EVERYTHING.

The Languages? Spanish the most common heard, English next, then some Italian.
Sometimes Mark & Rodger were unaware of what was being talked about. My heart was SO VERY FULL that night absolutely feeling deeply how universal our humanity is. WE ALL shared our deep worry about the wars created by Bush. We ALL shared our love of life itself and how much we all shared living on our tiny planet.

This was an ungorgettable and truly Fabulous Evening. WE DO plan to host Freddie & Inge’s “GOODBYE” party near the end of October…………..with this same cast.

A U.S. I no longer know.

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Monday September 24, 2007

65mil

Let’s start on the upbeat side. This news story is only about real estate in San Francisco. But it’s representative of what’s happening in this country. The divide between what is NOW wealthy vs. a vanishing middle class is well illustrated here: *Fixer Upper Goes for $65 Million

I’ve heard it and agree completely: The millionaire in 1990…..would have to mean being a BILLIONAIRE in 2007. FOR those billionaires, there is NO pause in real estate land grabs…. at ANY price.

That’s the happy stuff. I’m already so fed up with Alan Greenspan’s structured public outcries to sell a book about capitalism and free markets. He deftly avoids answering REAL questions about the consequences of what “Free Markets” have done and preaches to, I suppose, those who’ve become the billionaire’s by wisely following his regulatory massages of our economy. I don’t think I’ll forget until the day I die his saying, on his Daily Show interview how “dangerous” it would have been to this country if we moved into surplus side economics and people became secure financially.

Doom and Gloom would happen! The world trade system would collapse! He ends by saying his OWN private investments mean holdings in several currencies other than the U.S. Dollar, and foreign markets. Hm. After all those years of his running OUR economy, the result is that he’s made globalism the success story and FOREIGN investments safer and more profitable than our own. Yes, I think that’s what’s happened. I still believe supply side living produces the benevolent society, not war profiteering and scamming capitalists.

YES, it would be a different economy. There would NOT be a burgeoning class of super-wealthy crooks scraping money from the poor. YES, things would be very different.

Then on today’s Democracy Now interview with Naomi Klein and Amy Goodman, he just simply skirts any question asking about missing billions of U.S. Treasury Dollars, Crony Capitlism (“I know nothing!” bull!). Oh well.

greenshit

The saddest part of leaving summer behind

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Sunday September 23, 2007

Summer officially ends tomorrow. Night temps and light changes have sort of told things around here it has ended already. Here’s the 2007 garden pic taken last week:
grdnlastweek
Here’s the Garden space taken today:
grdntoday
Here’s the very LAST few tomatoes left on the vine (other than a whole bush of greenie GREEN ZEBRAS THAT WILL, yes, very likely be FRIED, Thanks Tater!):
grdntomatolast
Here’s the last lettuce crop showing stress of some colder night temps and a bit of slug munching:
ltcstate
Those incredible HUGE marigold bushes are STILL fabulous….MANY of the outside branches have collapsed under their own weight, but this is STILL what’s left:
marys2

Of course, the Garden “year” isn’t finished. NOW begins the work of cleanup, renewal, restoring the soil, mulching, and dare I say it, Manure! Digging up some weed business, moving some perennials to better spots, planting bulbs, etc etc. Then deeper into the fall and winter, pruning trees and shrubs. Planting fir trees along the property line that someday soon will need to be a barrier against the encroaching development.

As always, I let go begrudgingly of this feast that gives so richly in just 4 short months! Damn!

Oh well, all isn’t lost. Tomorrow, I accompany Rodger to a new venture: The Canby Flock and Fiber Festival where with his work pals, will learn MORE about how sheep wool is harvested, spun, weaved, and becomes the stuff of which he’s now knitting scarves, preemy baby hats, and maybe a gift or two….It’s helping him relax at least, and during this pressure time at work, it’s been good.

The Senate Stalemates. Again.

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Sunday September 23, 2007

I was not surprised the Democrats failed to gather -60- votes to help out beginning an end to this catastrophe of OIL control in Iraq. But. I KNOW they don’t HAVE that majority.

HERE is the source of MY flaming anger yesterday after looking behind the scenes at the vote:

Republican senators who voted WITH the democrats: No surprise. Olympia Snow, yea! Gordon Smith, Oregon (desperate he’s going to lose his next vote here at home), and Chuck Hagel (as expected). **and you KNOW how the Jewish Senator Lieberman voted.

Republican Senators who didn’t vote: Trent Lott, MS (WHO does HE think HE’s fooling? Oh, yeah, that’s right….the electorate in Mississippi!).

Here’s the Flame:
DEMOCRAT SENATORS who did NOT vote:
**BARBARA BOXER, CA. (WHAT? One of the most important votes she could be present for?) **Dick Durbin, IL. (WHAT? After his preaching against the war??)
**Bernie Sanders, Independent, VT (WHAT? WHERE WERE you Bernie?)

Democrats had better get their lame act together or they have NO hope of winning anything.

But then. I suppose I’m not really sure if it makes any difference anymore. We’re NOT a democracy anymore.

Sad.

Todd Rundgren the musician & a groupie

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Thursday September 20, 2007

The Musician’s Musician. Todd Rundgrens been creating every kind of music not just on his own, but in collaborations for over 30 years. He’s my age. You’d think he would have peaked years ago after writing the quiet silly love tune, “Hello It’s Me.” But No, he’s evolved, warped, outlasted his original band members, and always fascinated Rodger, and at a lesser level, me.
tr
At 59, he played in Portland last night at the intimate Aladdin Theater.
marquee
I went hoping for his softer rock music, Rodger in hopes of a more hard core rock show. Rodger won. No, I didn’t love all the music but nonetheless respect the absolute solid musician and artist that he is. We had a good time.

What struck me, once again, was the average age of the audience. All ages were there, but no doubt a small majority were my age. Some of those my age not only came with there adult children, but in a few cases grandchildren. A couple of the grandchildren had big bug eyes watching the idiot who not only timed his drug induced state wrong, but had a little too much of it.

HE found his way to our seat (empty because we were out in the entry at the moment) even though coats were on the seats. When we returned, he resisted, but finally moved over when he realized coats were there. As things started, it appeared I would be stuck next to him.
gmich
**note: no, this g. michael picture isn’t OF the stoner, but one much like him.

He could NOT sit still. He could hardly get his jacket off….but I enjoyed watching that. Do you think I was going to help him? Are you kidding? That was a show. But then he got weird. Staring into my eyes, occasionally raising his hands, stretching out in front of me. Nice folks in back of us told us the aisle seats in back of them were empty. We moved up there. In a minute, the stoner couldn’t stay there either, and moved up a couple of rows. We moved back to our seats. Well after the show started the stoner returned eyeing my jacket in a belief that it was his. We tried to tell him where his jacket was, but he’d have none of it. He was trying to get into the aisle and grab my jacket, so I finally stood up and pushed back, Rodger got up and the guy, in a stupor, was trying to hit him. Rodger went out & the stoner followed….he got security who took over. Later, stoner slowly snuck back in, slowly made his way to the back of the mosh crowd and spent the evening happily rocking back and forth, waving hands, and clapping. Whew!

Not only did It seem so hippy 70′s to this wasted, but that this man was way beyond the age he could hope to pull this off.

What do you know! I saw a serious rock and roll concert and saw someone completely wasted on drugs up close. All in one night!

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