Post Thanksgiving Real World

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Tuesday November 30, 2010

The 2010 Thanksgiving Gathering at John, Toni & Baby Maeve’s Double-With-Ranch will be remembered well into my tale telling period at the “home” in a few years. There is something spectacular about waking up to the realization you’re just truly a FEW miles from one of North America’s famous volcano summits, Mt Hood:

**Embiggen the picture to feel the real size of this mountain**

The best ever home-made Thanksgiving Dinner (ALL had a hand in making it) climaxed a 4 day holiday that included snow-skiing on Thursday (snowshoeing for Mark & Mac), dining at the Sawtooth Roadhouse (a GREAT pizza), watching baby Maeve grow, and just enjoying a wonderful friendship with the Cunninghams.

ON the way home, we DID stop at famous Multnomah Falls because of the spectacular ICE walls in the gorge (THE ENTIRE DRIVE BACK was spectacular….that gorge is somehow, completely memory making no matter the time of year you come through it)…… Rodger got this picture:

**You need to click on THIS picture to see the RIGHT SIDE of the FALLS….all encased in ICE. Enlarge it and get the feel of the Gorge in a better way***

We returned Saturday….and it seems we owed the Kharma some kind of bill. We stopped at the “famous” (only “famous” here…on “tv”)….Charburger at Cascade Locks in the Gorge and had bad food…the salad bar was turning BROWN, I tell you!)…. We got up the next morning to go get our Christmas Tree at the fabulous Furrow Farm place….. to find:

***Rodger last went to work in the pickup Wednesday for a few hours. He returned home, parked the pickup in the right side of the garage….. and we left a bit later in the car. So, when I went around to THAT passenger side to get in, I found the scrapes, and dents left by an unknown driver …..who had obviously parked BY Rodger at OHSU last Wednesday, and scraped the truck (for about 3 feet….!!!!) ….then left without leaving a note. There HAS been some construction going on at this Park Lot, and judging from how HIGH the scrapes were on the door, he’s sure it’s one of the construction guys. HOW do you prove ANYTHING 5 days later? On Monday morning, Mark filed the claim, friend Arnie accompanied Mark to Mackin’s auto repair, and there the truck will sit. So, now, we have one car for Rodger to get to work, there will be $500 deductible here at Christmas, and we’re annoyed.

***At any rate, we WERE able to get the truck door open on Sunday, and drove to Furrow Farm.

***We stopped in North Plains for breakfast after discovering that the Rogue River Brew Pub there was “now serving breakfasts” ….. hey, their not bad when they’re making a hamburger! IT WAS the WORST breakfast I’ve ever had, didn’t finish it. Rodger’s Chicken Fried Steak was COLD in the middle….and my Strip Steak was RAW in the middle. The building itself was COLD. Well, lesson learned.

***We finally arrived at Furrow Farm. The “selection” early that Sunday wasn’t huge, but we brought home a tree that will stand about 10′ high…and, after trimming, began to assemble the Tree Stand that was “guaranteed for life”. . . .so IN the house with the tree, get it standing UP, getting the stand attached…..and it BREAKS!

Rodger loses it! He’s had enough! We sit down for a while. Much calmer a bit later, we drive with the broken stand out to Tualitin to the farm that built the Tree Stand “guaranteed for life” . . . ..HERE was a pleasant experience. The builder himself glanced at that stand and said, “Yea, they built that weak brace for a while, let’s get you something better.” He quickly replaced the stand, we came home, and by DARK, had the tree up lookin’ good. Lights can go on later this week. As will the outdoor lights.

Monday was Mark’s day of rest. He did nothing. Rodger worked, a bored Mac also slept.

Today, I’ll BEGIN to get back into the groove a tiny bit. Will get down all the holiday boxes from the garage, bring ‘em in to warm, get a bit more done on the conversion from PC to IMAC (Thanks, GAVIN!)………. and …………

All that whining being expressed, it won’t erase the memory of a most fabulous Thanksgiving holiday!

***Mark began feeling a little congested by Sunday mid-day…..by bedtime, he was taking NyQuil. And by Tuesday, as I write, I’m I can “tell” I’ve turned the corner, but will probably live in a thick head cold fog for another day or two. Not having had a head cold for years, this is just annoying…… MAC needs exercise, BUT….with a thick head, I just did NOT feel like walking in the rain today.

Thanksgiving 2010 . . . . .

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Wednesday November 24, 2010

Life changes……………….. Today some few events reminded me simply of being 17, my first fall away from parents at college… I was lucky to know someone with a car that invited me to ride along…… we grabbed a few things, traveled after the last class across frozen roads, some blizzarding snow, getting home very late …..where ALL was warm, welcoming, and the first chance to relax since leaving for college. Parents greet the newly fledged as if they’d been missing for 3 months, not just a baby freshman at college. Truly grand meals were enjoyed all weekend, and BOY were they welcome at this point after 3 months of dorm food.

Well, we’ve enjoyed some fabulous Thanksgiving holidays in the intervening years. I even was one of those stuck working the night shift many times when I was younger. THIS YEAR, even the anticipation was exciting. We prepared, cooked, packed lots to bring along for a thanksgiving celebration near Oregon’s most famous volcano, Mt Hood. SO, at the last minute, we loaded all the preps up, including a very excited pup, and took off in 24 degree weather. As we traveled through the gorge, all the cliffs along the way showed massive ICE formations, some light snow on the ground, and then turning south from Mt Hood toward Parkdale, the roads too got more icy, the windshield sprayer froze up, windows became cloudy, and I once again felt like that college kid trying to get home.

We made it, shoveled snow off paths to woodshed, walks to house, fired up the stove, unloaded goodies, welcomed hosts John, Tony & Maeve and now we’re enjoying the best of life: the finest of Friends, Food, Music, Talk. NOTHING in this life is better than this.

And, tomorrow, it will be even nicer. I’m feeling lucky ……………………………….

IMAC news

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Monday November 22, 2010

Well, this project is going slow, data recovery, that is…….It’s going a document/folder at a time . . . .. since the formatting was lost. Tedious, long, and I want it over with. I AM throwing out a lot of docs from the past…..it all takes time to reflect. At least, the diary is there ……….. so ….

BUT IN the meantime….

*Tonight: Almost record lows for Portland coming up next 3 days…..and a small snow storm ahead of that. 1-4 inches expected by commute time (I HOPE Rodger gets home with the Subaru………remember LAST winter’s BIG storm….unexpected and not in the forecasts…. that was so big, his truck never got off the lowlands and he was stuck in a motel) . . . . . . . TODAY, we’re watching radar very closely by about 3:00….and see what happens.

NO MATTER, the snow will be WELCOMED and beautiful, crispy, COLD down to 19 at night…….. a Crunchy dog walk into the forest tomorrow?

**IT does seem a few things are aware of what’s up: TWO flickers were just here gorging at the suet feeders, Anna’s hummingbirds are drinking sugar/water, squirrels looking for seed, while “I”…..made sure outdoor water faucets are off, or opened, covered, insulated, capped. A cold snap is fun….there will be a WARM fire in the wood stove the next 2 nights.

**Prep work continues for our Parkdale Thanksgiving to be shared with Toni, John, and newborn Maeve ……John’s nephew Keith and partner Jessica are coming on up from Hood River…..EVERYBODY’s making a few things while John takes on the Turkey Roasting…… So far, Rodger and I have Crispix snacks, 2 fresh Cranberry Preserve/Salads ready, a pie, a LUSCIOUS potato Chowder (Rodger made up the recipe…), and then green beans, winter garden salad, etc still to do tomorrow or Wed morning. This HOLIDAY will be spent in the very direct north face of our famous volcano Mt Hood…..snowshoeing, cross-x-skiing, and truly enjoying good company. **I AM hoping for a few great snow pics of hiking, and hope MAC enjoys some romps in the white stuff and maybe a swim in the upper reaches of ICY Hood River. I’m very intrigued to see baby Maeve take a ride in her little Baby Carriage MADE to hitch up to a cross country skiing parent.

Now, must decide: 1) SHOULD I make the great Butterscotch Chewies to take? 2) SHOULD I make a nice fudge topped with thick Cream Cheese Frosting? OR…..just keep going thru docs….I think I’ll make some treats!

Gonna be an inneresting week here……………..

PC to IMAC

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Saturday November 13, 2010

Weekend lost…..sort of. . . . . Spent recovering data from an external drive based on Windows ….. and getting it onto a MAC OS . . . . reformatting Quicken into IBANk (and I don’t like IBANK)……

Learning lots about patience, and remembering what the heck these things have done to our lives.

Hah.

Imac . It’s NOT for Mac

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Friday November 12, 2010

Mac sees this new machine as a complete waste of time.

I’m learning a lot, but trying to figure out how to recover a couple things.

1. I have the old 15 year old OUTLOOK pst file……it’s HUGE, yes, with a lot of history saved. I just realized this PM I cannot import it into Thunderbird . . . . … . it must be exported into a csv file from a windows pc first. Well, if the PC hadn’t crashed I coulda done that. FIX? I’m not sure.

2. I have the old 10 year quicken data file . . . .that ALSO shoulda been exported FROM windows if you wanna import it into your new MAC OS. Oh well. . . . . I don’t know about a fix for that either. Unless I find a PC guru who knows how to make a QIF file out of this thing some other way.

3. ALL other data…..is NOW sitting back at home on the external hard drive awaiting a plug in and copy to the new IMAC.

In the meantime, I have NO access to all my CONTACTS (other than a few on e-mail) other than looking at the PRINTOUT of that file from a year ago……. I may have to go back to the way Grandpa used to do things. Write or Call………hm hm….

And so on and so on.

I may have to take a nap.

How is it possible that the old PC would crash 1 month ahead of Xmas

Bloged in General Home Life by mark Monday November 8, 2010

Just began a backup tonight on the 10 yr old windows PC XP machine that HAS done all we asked it to. Not tonight. 10 minutes into it, a clanking noise began, and it crashed. Noisily. NO boot up here. It will be rushed in the Subaru Ambulance in the morning to Jim Grate’s “Grate Computer” in St Johns for a prayer of hope.

It currently has (the last backup 3 weeks ago) . . . .all important things, plus current XMAS spread sheets, etc current.

That event has begun the eternal discussion “IF” the worst happens…… Do you buy a MAC or another slow clunky PC to replace it? IF it’s a MAC……. a lot of re-training will have to happen for a 64 yr old creature of habit.

Hm.

More tomorrow.

**BTW, I AM making this entry on Rodger’s MAC.

And how was your Friday……

Bloged in Fall,General Home Life by mark Friday November 5, 2010

La Nina is due soon according to “the experts” we will likely see, occasionally, some very wet windy weather episodes up on our hill. In episodes, past, that also means a possibility of a power outage or two.

Hence: A little fire in the wood stove’s a good thing if you’re out of power that week temps don’t get above freezing. We’ve had a bit-o-wood stored, but not enough should the forecasts come true.

Therefore: I scoured The C-List today and found a wood source I could load seasoned & dry split NW Hardwoods (yep, exercise TOO!!). I went there….saw lots of beautifully split wood, and more being cut & split by two very muscular tanned men about half my age. I joked with them, “I guess you don’t NEED a gym membership.” They laughed. They continued working. My heart rate sped up just a little. I decided on a mix, backed up the truck and began loading……

Then it happened. When I was almost done, from the other side of the pile the guy tosses a newly split piece of wood that gives my forehead a DIRECT hit, that knocked me back a little, then it hit the arm, then fell. My body yelled (likely very gay sounding……..) “Owwww!!!”…..

The worker from the other side says, “Are you okay?” He came around the corner, to discover HE is the cause….. “Did I Hit YOU?”. . .. .I said, “Yes!” . . . . He runs off saying he was getting bandages………… My mind thought, “why?” I rubbed the spot with the sweatshirt….. It was red…………. Woops. **YOU KNOW what you dread then: E/R, X-Ray, $$$$, etc etc.

He returns with the manager, another very solidly built man who says, “Whoa, are you alright? I respond with……….”WELL, I can’t see it, you tell ME!”

At this point, I calculate I’m NOT seriously injured, thinking in my best theatrical voice, “It’s ONLY a flesh wound!” …………. And THEN, the shirtless tanned muscleman came up to my face and began cleaning the injury with bandage material……inches from me.

SO. Was it simply an accident, or was the Fundamentalist Christian God warning us gays about the coming revenge now that Tea’ers (Palin will be president in 2012? IF it was, HOW come I had a kind of smiley moment when I had such a mixed experience. Bleeding forehead, not seriously or deeply wounded, yet my flesh wound being massaged by a stranger.

Well, after all that we ALL had a big interchange of every kind of joke about injuries, musclemen always picking on wusses, finding a good lawyer, “come on, is THAT the best YOU can do?” or….how pathetic I’ll look in the casket NOW with this bump…hah, etc etc etc.

I finished came home, and with Mac’s help, feel NOW we’re ready for La Nina! There’s some wood ready to go by the stove:

Some in the garage:

And finally there are 3 rows of stacked seasoned wood out in the woodshed:

Ah! The experiences of LIFE !!!! I’m JUST thrilled that, after cleanup, it seems no more than a little bump on the head:

I guess I’m also glad that it didn’t end involving the Health For Profit industry.

It’s hard not to . . . . . .

Bloged in Bush,Political by mark Friday November 5, 2010

Say how depressing this election was.

Before the elections offices have shut off the lights for the evening, Rethuglicans and Tea-ers have begun making demands for U.S. President to cave in, which he did immediately the next morning. On WHAT issue?

(note: I feel “suddenly” as if I’m living in a different nation than I was on Monday. I’m living in an OLIGARCHY. Or a Plutocracy. The system running is something very close to Fascism. The ground rules and demands are laid out by Corporate Billionaires through their Fundamentalist Christian thug spokespeople.)

Republicans SAY they won “partly” because of deficit spending, the soaring debt that’s breaking their wealthy constituents backs. The SAME constituents who have NOT paid their full Tax burden for 10 years now. Republicans WANT to EXTEND those tax breaks for the wealthy EVEN THOUGH THAT extension will add $700 Billion, with a “B” to the SAME deficit they are whining about.

What will be tea-party victors DO when arriving in Washington with “claims” they will NOT compromise about cutting spending?

I foresee MASSIVE cuts in ALL social services.

I do NOT hear a “breath” about reducing the endless WAR which will end, as did Russia’s 20 years war there, in a nation (America) BROKE and enslaved to it’s owner, CHINA.

NOTE TO RETHUGLICANS: You did NOT win a “MANDATE” as you claim. In almost EVERY case you won by BARE margins, and 2-3 cases aren’t even yet decided. TRY TO REMEMBER there are almost as many voters AGAINST you as for you.

NOTE TO OBAMA: Grow a pair. Man Up. Those are cheap words, but you have shown NO leadership since Tuesday. You’ve shown you are simply a puppet of the Republican demands. In September you stated THIS nation could NOT afford any more years of those Bush Tax cuts. ONE DAY after the mid-terms this week, you say you’ll go along with the extensions. Harry Truman didn’t begin his term as a popular president …….too weak…….but by his 2nd term what was the mantra? “Give ‘em Hell Harry!” THAT, my dear, Mr. Obama is the ONLY way YOUR presidency will survive a failure rating in history……. Become the hero that you speak of in those warm smooth slathery speeches.

LAST NOTE to ANYONE who LISTENS to FOX NEWS CORP: Turn it off! You’re minds are being poisoned. You’re hearing propaganda and outright lies about any opposition that’s repeated by every one of their broadcasters until it’s believed by the public (latest example? “Obama is spending $2 B on his trip to India…34 warships going to protect him, 3000 staff, all staying at 5 star Taj Mahal Hotel”…..THESE SMEARS we’re repeated all day until it began to be a “news story” It was ALL GARBAGE…. ***DO YOURSELF A FAVOR IF YOU EVER WANT TO LEARN WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THIS COUNTRY: TURN OFF FOX NEWS!!!!!****

Options? *MSNBC’s commentators in the evening, *FSTV, LINK TV, Democracy Now, Bill Moyers, CommonDreams.org, Huffington Post, and dozens of other fact based commentaries.

Thank you for letting me whine…………it doesn’t change things, and no one will hear this, but I’ll have felt better. WHERE COULD I SEND THIS that leaders would listen……I feel helpless, but AM happy to note where WE live, we’re surrounded by those who feel close to what we feel.

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