Archive for the ‘People and Places’ Category

Travel Blog: California, May 2018

May 16, 2018

We’re on the Road Again

It’s been a while since we traveled south to SoCal to visit our relatives and friends. We drove this time instead of flying, lots of miles, lots of things to see.

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The drive down was fine, lots of gas stops because we decided to drive the Tacoma instead of the Prius, but we just wanted to take the truck on a long trip to check it out. My wife did the night driving (I hate driving at night), so we were in Red Bluff before it was my turn to drive. Most of the really scenic parts of the drive (southern Oregon, Shasta Lake, etc.) were done, so it was time to set the cruise control and enjoy the ride. We like audio books and were listening to a Harlen Coben novel, No Second Chance. The miles rolled on, and before we knew it we were driving up the Grapevine in southern California. A sky full of dark clouds and some brief rain were a surprise coming in, but the following days were very nice, sunny, and not too warm.

We Arrived OK

We arrived too early to check in so we had lunch with our sister-in-law, Mex food of course, at a placed where we had eaten before called Cocina in Santa Clarita. One of our  brother-in-laws joined us and our nephew and his friend. I got to try a new local craft beer that was good, which was a bonus.

Off to the hotel, we got our stuff unloaded and up to our suite. We upgraded to a bigger two-room suite this trip, very nice, on an outside corner of the hotel. We highly recommend Embassy Suites, nice amenities, including a full breakfast every morning. We’ve stayed there so many times, kind of feels like a second home. Later that first day we went over to JJ’s in Santa Clarita, one of our favorite spots, for dinner and drinks and to say hi to some folks we hadn’t seen in over a year.

The Rest of the Story

I’ll give you a quick recap of the rest of our time in SoCal and let the pictures tell you more.

Enjoying the sunny weather, relaxing at the hotel, some time in the pool and the hot tub. Bernie did some gym time, nothing major mainly just stretching and some PT for my knee. Bernie also got in two very nice runs (and didn’t get lost) on the streets around the hotel and on the trails. They have a great trail system for getting out and enjoying the  outdoors. Some of the other places (besides JJ’s) where we ate were Chi Chis (Italian), Chilis, and Mimis, a great soup and sandwich restaurant. The beach pictures were taken in Santa Monica, where we had a mother’s day breakfast for our sister-in-law at Shutters, another very cool place to eat in SoCal. It was great fun to get together with our relatives and friends that we hadn’t seen in over a year.

We’re back on the road tomorrow to go home. More pictures to come.

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What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (continued)

May 10, 2018

First, the Backstory

Actually the backstory, which happened almost 50 years ago, continues in this post. I invite you to start the Vietnam blog from the beginning, or you can just pick it up from here. I think the following eight-minute video tells the story pretty well of my year in Vietnam.

Vietnam: 1969-1970

Just a Brief Aside

Is dwelling or living in the past a bad thing? Probably, but revisiting the past is not the same thing. Look at all the people doing their genealogies these days, using Ancestry.com and other sites. How about revisiting events like wars? If the act of revisiting connects people and draws them closer together, that’s a good thing, right? I’m pretty outgoing, perhaps because of my Texas upbringing, and I’m able to start a conversation with a total stranger. If that person is wearing a Vietnam Vet cap, it’s a sure thing that we will have a conversation.

Blogger’s Note:  I should mention that a friend of mine at the gym, who said he really liked my blog and my writing, encouraged me to continue my Vietnam story.

John Kerry Served Where?

If you read my recent travel blog, you know I was in Texas recently visiting relatives. On our way down to visit some high school friends in a little town in southeast Texas, my younger sister and I were talking about stuff. We got on the subject of the Vietnam war. I always wondered about John Kerry’s military service – was he really a Swift Boat commander in Vietnam? You may remember the brouhaha about that when Kerry was running for president (2004). Anyway, as she drove, I googled him and guess what, he did serve in that capacity. And, amazingly, he and I served about the same time, and I’m pretty sure my ship supported his Swift Boat unit, Coastal Division 11. As I was reading the Wikipedia text, I saw An Thoi mentioned. An Thoi was the village near where my ship was anchored at the beginning of my tour – there are several photos in the video. The Coastal Division 11 crews used the APL-21 as a temporary base to clean up after a two-week patrol. How cool is that, a future famous person may have been on my ship while I was in Vietnam.

See my links about John Kerry at the end of this blog.

A Dark and Stormy Night

It was a dark and stormy night, the rain fell in sheets, making it hard to see even a few feet . . . the opening of a Gothic novel, no just my segue to one very exciting incident that happened over there.

Blogger’s Note:  The following text is verbatim from a very old version (1979) of this story, just now seeing the light of day.

“But we were getting underway with our renovated libidos, sated after our long liberty in Cat Lo and Vung Tau, so we were not overly concerned with the war. The APL’s agreement with the tug, understandably for its crew members safety but unfortunately not for ours, was that the tow line would be cut if we got hit going upriver. As a precaution, we would traverse the 20 miles on the Mekong River in relative darkness, late at night. Our destination, Dong Tam, was to be my last duty station in Vietnam – in the jargon, I was “short”, with about two months remaining in-country. Just my luck, things were beginning to heat up near the end of my tour.

I was one of the watch standers on duty that night. We were nearing Dong Tam when four rounds of artillery, B-40’s, B-50’s, or something bigger hit the water near our starboard side.

General quarters, general quarters – this is not a drill, I repeat, this is not a drill.”

Back to the 21st century, I’ll summarize the rest of what happened.

I slammed a magazine into my M-16 and crouched behind a bulkhead, the adrenaline was flowing now. Some of the officers hit the deck, prompting one of our chief petty officers, who was standing on the forecastle of the ship in full view of anybody watching. He was a noted juicer (pretty juiced in that moment), waving his coffee cup (probably filled with bourbon) and gesturing and cursing loudly at the crew members flat on the deck. Thinking back, it was almost comical.

We stayed at General Quarters about four hours and nothing else happened. There was even some conjecture about the rounds having been fired by “friendlies”, mistaking us for the enemy.

That’s it for now, until someone inspires me again to continue these memories of that very interesting year in my life.

Wikipedia text about Kerry:
John Kerry military service controversy
Military career of John Kerry
Quotes:
“Your words are my food, your breath my wine. You are everything to me.” Sarah Bernhardt
On “War”, take your pick.

Travel Blog: Texas, April 2018

April 18, 2018
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I’m Back!

Willy Nelson: On the Road Again

Going Back for a Visit – Day 1, April 18

Late start leaving the house (my fault), but got to the airport in time thanks to my wife’s skillful driving. Going back to visit relatives in Texas.

People along the Way

Met Micah, young man going back to Hawaii to resume college and visit his parents who live there. We had a long conversation as we waited to board our flights. We talked about occupations, photography, and family, that kind of stuff. He told me he was a business management major, but wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do. I told him what I did and that I changed majors three times before I settled on what I liked. I suggested that he allow himself the time to choose what he really liked doing. His flight was announced, and we said our goodbyes.

Stream of Consciousness (my impressions)

Walking into the warm airport terminal from the chilly Portland morning air . . . noisy, people struggling with their cumbersome bags (I need a wheeled bag), checking departure status, people corralling their kids . . . going through security, empty my pockets, take off my shoes, raise my arms in the scanner, put it all back together . . . had lots of time and was hungry, ordered a big breakfast, ate only part of it, nice smells of coffee and food . . . walking to the gate, observing people, people with their devices, talking, almost got my camera out but left it in the bag . . . thirsty, refilled my water bottle, almost time to board, noticed a young couple with two kids, one very young, thinking to myself that group will be in the row behind me with their screaming kid (didn’t happen).

More later.

Antonio Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (Spring)

Going Back for a Visit – Day 2, April 19

Besides the wonderful sunshine, what else can I say about my Thursday in Texas? It was great! I did a long walk with my sister who lives in a small town near Austin. We walked along a creek near her house, exploring. After that, I did a nice run into town (also exploring) along the Brazos River, stopping along the way to talk to people, pet friendly dogs, and take pictures, which I included in my slide show. The town has many historic homes. To top off the day, my sister and her son and I had dinner and drinks in town at one of the popular eateries along the river and watched a beautiful sunset. It was a darn good day.

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Stevie  Wonder: You Are the Sunshine of My Life

Going Back for a Visit – Days 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, April 20-24

The musical introduction for this post was selected mainly because the sun has been amazing on this trip, warm and sunny all day, almost every day.

Friday we went into Austin to spend some with my oldest sister. She was in the process of unpacking and settling in to her new abode, an apartment complex in northwest Austin. It’s a great place with nice stonework and a nature preserve right there, with deer roaming in the woods. I included some pictures.

Saturday was another busy day, another sister and I traveling to our old hometown, Liberty. We had Mexican food with some of our friends that we hadn’t seen in quite a while. It’s fun to go back and see people you grew up with. We drove around the town to see what had changed in our old stompin’ grounds, quite a bit, but also some things that looked familiar like the house we lived in, back in that other century, still standing. Then back on the road to travel to my other sister and her husband’s home in the countryside not terribly far from Austin – they call it Sky Farm.

Sunday was our “sibling gathering” there at Sky Farm. Lots of things going, moving bee hives, relatives arriving with their kids and with food, taking the tour of the property that has a lake, but the most fun was sorting through and talking about our family pictures going back to our great grandparents.

Monday and Tuesday back in Austin to stay over at my sister’s new place. I got in a great run in the nature preserve and nearby neighborhoods.

Back to Portland tomorrow, it has been a great trip. Enjoy the slide show.

The Monkees: Last Train to Clarksville

 

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The X-Files: 2018 (Part II)

April 17, 2018

 

Building All is Love: “Where the Wild Things Are” (movie soundtrack)
“The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still, small voice of conscience.” Mahatma Gandhi

A Frame of Reference

Thinking about John 8:32 that I quoted in Part I – OK, admittedly I’ve taken a single verse from the Bible out of context, but I’m just trying to establish a frame of reference. The verse does make sense, right? Obviously, the misinformation, the subterfuge, the biased media reports, and, in my opinion, the indifference of the general public in wanting or caring about the truth have not served to establish an environment of trust in the good ole USA. When you go to the doctor, you want the truth, right – doc, what is the prognosis? I’ve had some very good doctors who were straight shooters and gave me good advice.

Does It Matter?

OK, you may ask, what’s the X-files connection? As Mr. They said in Part I, Does It Matter?” Hopefully, the issues I bring up and the points I try to make will help you connect the dots.

Imprimis Potpourri

Blogger’s Note: I give full editorial credit to the authors of the articles.

I’ll be including snippets from several Imprimis articles. Obviously, feel free to read each of the articles in their entirety, but as I said before, it’s thought-provoking but not light reading.

You Are Not Generation Z (Patrick L. Sajak, Host Wheel of Fortune)

Remember, this is an address to a graduating class in Texas in 2017.

“In short, I’m not sure there’s much need to inspire a group like this. So let me suggest  a pitfall to avoid going forward, a pitfall not only for this year’s graduating class, but for everyone in every corner of American society today. It has altered the way we talk to one another and perceive one another. It has perverted the notion of free speech and poisoned the academic environment. It has turned the American political system on its head, creating a situation where opposing views are not only unwelcome, they are deemed to be signs of evil intent. It has pitted friend against friend and has caused rifts within families. I’m talking about identity politics, the attempt to divide Americans and set us against each other. The attempt to classify and categorize us by all sorts of measurements and standards. To a great degree, those who are making these attempts are succeeding. And their efforts are changing our country in fundamental ways.” You really should read all of this one, especially on page 7, right column.

Next Up?

I’ve decided to continue the Imprimis material in a future blog.

I’ll be including:

  • Are We Free to Discuss America’s Problems by Amy L. Wax.
  • A More American Conservatism by Larry P. Arnn.
  • Immigration in the National Interest by Tom Cotton.
  • The 2016 Election and the Demise of Journalistic Standards by Michael Goodwin.

 

 

 

The X-Files: 2018 (Part I)

March 23, 2018
Vitamin String Quartet:  The Vitamin String Quartet Tribute to the Who – Tommy

 

What’s Up, Rufous Blog? (Blog of the Week: March 23, 2018)

What happened to the Rufous blog you may have asked – actually I did do a post on February 23, my birthday – but my so-called “blog of the week” has been more of a “blog of the month”. OK, multi-tasking doesn’t always work (some experts say that “single-tasking” is actually more efficient). Multi-tasking only works if you don’t forget to do the higher priority items on your list, which in my case is blogging.

Blogger’s note:  The following quote is not totally  in context with my topic, but it struck a chord with me so I wanted to include it.
Quote from Life in Oregon, February-March 2018:
“Think about how the conversation in America, in Oregon, would change if each of us assumed the best of the person who disagrees with us. Together, let’s think about and interact with people on the other side of the issues as if they are potential allies, not enemies.” (ORTL president Harmony Daws, January 14, 2018, Oregon Right to Life annual Roe v. Wade Memorial and March in Portland, Oregon)

Politics or TV?

Did I tell you about John le Carre’, who writes his books out in longhand, then gives the manuscripts to his wife who types and edits them. He’s 86 and just published a new novel. A would-be writer could get inspired by David Cornwell (his real name). I also write out my content longhand in my bright green composition book before transferring it to the blog. Always, I’ll have several blog ideas going, like something political (always a challenge to be “correct”) or like today I have a blog about TV. Maybe I’ll include some “politics” too in this blog (spoiler alert).  :}

The X-Files – The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat

I was never a big fan in the past, but the new season 11 caught my attention, in particular episode 4, which I found very interesting on many levels. If you’ve watched it, you may have noticed that the stars (in my opinion), David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, have aged fairly well. OK, enough small talk, here’s my rehash of episode 4. Kudos to the producer and writer, Chris Carter, Darin Morgan, staff writers Brad Follmer and Benjamin Van Allen, and (wait for it) David Duchovny. Episode 4 has some humorous moments, maybe satirical/tongue-in-cheek is a better description, compared to the paranormal or whatever you normally expect from X-files – like a more recent episode with the drones spying on and pursuing Fox and Scully.

OK, having mentioned the producer and writers I think I’m OK legally in quoting the dialog (yes, I paused the TV and wrote it down). If you’re a fan and missed it, you should watch episode 4.

As Long as the Truth Gets Out

Continuing . . . take this scene, about 44 minutes into the episode, Mulder and another character named “Mr. They” are in this wonderful sculpture garden with all these statues. Mulder is having a conversation with Mr. They.

Mulder:  “As long as the truth gets out.”

Mr. They:  “They don’t really care if the truth gets out because the public no longer knows what’s meant by the truth.”

Mulder:  “What do you mean?”

Mr. They:  “Well, I mean, no one can tell the difference anymore between what’s real and what’s fake.”

Oh, ouch, OK, is anyone picking up on the political angle here? I have no idea what Chris Carter and his staff of creative people were trying to accomplish with episode 4, but it’s kind of fun to speculate, eh.

Mulder:  “There’s still an objective truth, an objective reality.”

(Transition to main story line)

Mr. They:  “So what? I mean, you take this Mandela effect.”

Mr. They (quotes George Orwell):  “He who controls the past controls the future.” (More quotes later)

Mr. They:  “Well, believe what you want to believe, that’s what everybody does now anyway.” (Slight break in the dialog)

Mr. They:  “All you really need is a laptop.”

Mulder:  So that’s what this has been all about, the spread of online disinformation.”

Mr. They:  “Maybe?”

Mr. They:  “You know, our current president said something truly profound.” He said, “Nobody knows for sure.”

Mulder:  “What was he referring to?”

Mr. They:  “Does it matter?”

The previous scene lasts only about two minutes and ends with a great shot of Mulder standing in front of a statue with its arms outstretched, as if to say, what’s going on.

The scene shifts to a parking garage, with Mulder and Scully talking to another character, Reggie, who says, “We found the truth that’s out there.”

Rather than risk spoiling the rest of the episode, I highly recommend you watch episode 4 just to see the ending.

The Red Mustang

The next scene shows Mulder, Scully, and Reggie driving down the road in a red Mustang convertible and then the final scene . . .

Tip: Google “x-files season 11” to get more reviews and analysis.
Definition/primer on innuendo:
  • Veiled or equivocal reflection on character or reputation.
  • The use of such allusions resorting to innuendo.
Example:
His reputation has been damaged by innuendo.

One or Two (or Three) More Quotes

Voltaire: “To hold a pen is to be at war.”
Voltaire:  “What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly – that is the first law of nature.”
Read more at:  Voltaire Quotes.
John 8:32:  “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (NIV Bible)
Next Up:  “The X-Files 2018 (Part II)”. Just a hint, expect some content based on my favorite Imprimis readings. No surprise there. Feel free to peruse the Imprimis issues.
Definition of “Imprimis”:  In the first place used to introduce a list of items or consideration.
Antonio Vivaldi:  The Four Seasons, Summer (Presto)

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To Do or Not to Do: Birthday Blog, 2018

February 23, 2018

My birthday blog for last year is here. I have a new birthday today.

I’ll start with some music – it’s Winter – and some quotes to set the tone for this piece which could go anywhere, hang on . . .

Takako Nishizaki: Very Best of Vivaldi, “Four Seasons, Winter (Largo)”

This BrainyQuote’s page has a wealth of quotes that relate either directly or in some weird, tangential way to this birthday blog. I started reading some of the quotes after doing the search on Shakespeare’s famous quote, “To be or not to be, that is the question,” which is the hook for the rest of this creative dissertation. I’ll explain more in a minute. Check out Jean-Luc Godard’s quote, “To be or not to be. That’s not really a question.” All you ex-English majors, like me, and grammarians should get a chuckle out of it. And check out Chuck Palahniuk, wow, some powerful, some witty, some head-scratcher quotes. By the way, his birthday is February 21, two days before mine. I should find him on Facebook and wish him a belated Happy Birthday. I’m not sure I can compete with the wisdom in some of the quotes, but as I get back on track here, maybe some of it will make sense to you. Nobody has quoted me yet.

To Do or Not to Do

Many weeks ago I got the idea for this blog. I started a draft on paper – I do that a lot as do many famous writers. Not that I’m famous, but John Le Carre’ is famous and well-published. I was just listening to his latest novel today, A Legacy of Spies. I watched a 60 Minutes interview with him several weeks ago. He lives in England in a remote place called Land’s End and has a separate little house where he writes his books in longhand. His wife types and edits his manuscripts. I thought that his lifestyle was extremely cool. His real name, which he prefers, is David Cornwell. Here he is in Wikipedia if you’re interested.

Back on Track

If you look at the “intro” parts of this blog, Looking for a Rufous, you may have picked up on the whole Rufous thing. Looking for things in life that really, really provide meaning and fulfillment, rather than just “living.” Also, there’s a great quote in Me and My Blog, probably my favorite quote, that says it all in my opinion. Of course, like someone said, if you already know the answer, don’t ask the question. Maybe you’ve figured it out already. Power to you, go for it, I’m perfectly fine with not perpetuating the search for meaning.

Takako Nishizaki: Very Best of Vivaldi, “Four Seasons, Spring (Allegro)”

An Average Day

Early morning sun (unusual for us in our Oregon winter) coming through the living room window, the dogs horsing around, listening to a Chicago song, “Wake Up Sunshine”, feeling good, an upbeat start to my day. I hope your day started on an upbeat note. But not every day starts that way, some days are more of a struggle. More caffeine, doesn’t help. Does that sound familiar? Such is life, eh, ups and downs, it’s normal. But what about the “baseline” parts of your life, the ongoing efforts that help you transcend the temporary mood swings and dark days? Is your baseline OK?

Tom Robbins: “To be or not to be isn’t the question. The question is, how to prolong being.”

I look at the best-selling authors, the scientists who discover cures for diseases, the athletes who strive to do their best, the volunteers who stack sandbags to stop the flood waters, and the others who strive to do things beyond themselves – I look at them in awe, admiring what they do. I’m not saying that being average is bad or that winning second place is not something to be proud of. You were there, that’s what counts.

N. Tonchev, Montana Chamber Orchestra: “Four Seasons, Summer (Presto)”

Parting Words on Starting this New Year (for me)

  • For this year, my plan is to try to stay healthy. If you’re active doing stuff, that’s a great place to start.
  • Do new things like meditation, early in the day. Even if it’s only 5 minutes, just relax, clear your thoughts, and focus on your breathing.
  • Journal, listen to music, watch the birds, cook dinner, talk to your kids or your friends or your dog (you’d be surprised how good a listener a dog can be).
  • Get involved, open up your mind and figure things out by relying on good, solid information. Segue to the Imprimis site, check it out, pick an area that interests you. I love the latest one, Are We Free to Discuss America’s Real Problems?.

More to come in the next blog.

N. Tonchev, Montana Chamber Orchestra: “Four Seasons, Autumn (Adagio-molto)”

Always Pictures

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Is It 2018 Yet?

January 29, 2018

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Joe Cocker: Feelin’ Alright

Is It 2018 Yet?

OK, it’s a dumb question on this fifth week of the year, but I’ll just segue into my blog notes written about five weeks ago. Did I mention that one of my New Year’s resolutions was NOT to procrastinate? Life in the fast lane, commitments and distractions, a tooth ache, babysitting grandkids, gym workouts, running, etc., you get the drift, I’ve got millions of excuses for not doing my blog. So, pretend like this is five weeks ago and keep reading.

Stepping Back, Just a Bit

What needs to be said at this very “early” juncture in 2018? Did YOU make resolutions for 2018? My gym friends and I, in our locker-room conversations (as we complain that the gym always seems overly crowded early in the New Year), talk about people who make “fitness resolutions” and show up at the gym for a few weeks. Then, mysteriously, you don’t see them anymore.

Myself, I’m as regular as the sunrise, three times a week I’m in the gym. It keeps me fit, it relaxes me, and it’s important to me, being fit I mean. I tell people that I’m inspired by my Dad (God bless him), who was younger than me when he died because he did not stay fit.

My advice to you is to “do stuff”, turn off the big eye and get off the couch. You don’t have to be as dedicated as I am (swimming, running, Nautilus machines, etc.), but do something to keep yourself healthy. I also tell people that being fit is not automatic. Your body will appreciate it if you make the effort to stay fit.

The Who: Sparks, Tommy

 

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Blog of the Week: December 10, 2017

December 11, 2017
Pink Floyd: On the Run

What’s the Scoop?

Regarding this particular literary exercise . . . you’re reading a rehash of my week, hopefully interesting in that you may able to relate. We live lives of “quiet desperation” someone once said. Did I learn anything last week and am I now wiser for having learned new things, always a good question. I do a daily journal, bits and pieces of which may appear in this series of blogs – I’ll leave out the really mundane stuff, grocery lists, etc. Of course, sometimes the mundane stuff provides its own drama in our daily lives such as signing up for medical insurance after going through the myriad of available options and trying to make the right decision. Thank heavens for my own stress relief in the form of gym workouts and running, which for me is meditation. For example, in my Daily Word booklet that I read, last Monday’s word was “Meditation: I experience oneness through the art of meditation.” The accompanying Bible verse was from Psalm 49:3, “My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the utterance of my heart will give understanding.” Tuesday’s reading was about “world peace”, Wednesday was about “letting go – to open the way to new and bountiful good.” Not easy for some of us to accomplish. Thursday was “Pray for Others” in a vision of wholeness for people you may not know. Friday was “Forgive: I appreciate my innate capacity to forgive.” Obviously, another challenge for many of us. Saturday was “Prosperity: My life is filled with an overflowing measure of God’s goodness.” For me, starting the day with a positive affirmation is a real boost.

Saturday’s Run

What a nice run, it was chilly and hilly, but dry. The Portland area has been enjoying a dry spell. I bundled up and took off on one of my familiar routes, a paved trail near where I live. I wanted to run about seven miles. I didn’t run fast, party because of the hills, but the run felt good, no major aches or pains. I had a few “dog encounters.” There were many people out with their animals. I always try to stop and pet the friendly ones. Two big German Shepherds were out enjoying the sun. The owner told me their names were Nola and Harley. Toward the end of the run, the sun was going down, the wind was kicking up, and the temperature was dropping. I was at the top of a big hill looking down at the valley. I noticed a little kid in a green jacket. As I ran down the hill I rounded a turn and he and his mom, pushing a stroller, and their dog were coming up the hill. I said hi and headed for home.

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Blog of the Week: December 3, 2017

December 4, 2017
Doobie Brothers: Listen to the Music

My “blog of the week” (BOTW) for November 5 has become “blog of the week” for December 3. Time flies, eh, especially when you’re sidetracked with dealing with Medicare enrollment, etc. Also, I wanted to just tell you that I added a video to my Vietnam blog, but, I’ll go ahead and introduce this BOTW series, which, ironically for a procrastinator like me, is supposed to take away my excuses for blogging as I do my short and pithy (or pissy) blogs more often than every month or less as I’ve been doing.

By the way, I was inspired by writer friends and others who do daily or weekly blogs. Also, please know that I’m amping up my blog frequency partly because I like writing and partly because I feel it’s important to inform folks about mainstream issues in a different light and, of course, provide an alternative to mainstream media. I don’t have a long list of specific topics for my BOTW, just whatever floats my boat for that week. Just wait and see, you might find it very interesting.

For example, did you know that Pat Sajak wrote for Imprimis? Check it out. In the July/August 2017 issue, A Time to Scatter Stones and a Time to Gather Stones is Sajak’s piece on page 5. You should sign up if you haven’t already done so, it’s free you know and always well-worth reading. Sajak, in case you’re not a “Wheel of Fortune” fan, is the host of the show. I was surprised and totally impressed when I read his piece. The piece about Frederick Douglass is also very intriguing.

I hope you realize – pardon my preaching about this in my blog – it’s essential that we all untether our thinking about information. By that I mean, be critical and discerning about what you read, hear, and accept as the “truth.” As John said in his Gospel (John 8:32), “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

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A Street in Centralia, Washington

 

Hood to Coast – 2017

September 11, 2017

Experience & Guile Blog – 2017

Travis Morgan: Four-year-old child laughing
Blogger’s Important Note: I’m posting this update late on September 11, the day in 2001 when the Twin Towers went down in New York City. I submit this blog in memory and in honor of the victims on that day.

Craig and I had gotten out of our van (actually a very cool 6-passenger truck) and were walking along the left shoulder of Highway 202 with the Leg 29 runners – I was in street clothes, Craig was suited up to run Leg 30. The problem was the big backup going into the exchange, more than a mile away. We knew that Julie, running fast down the hill, would reach the exchange before the van if we didn’t hoof it. We hear a voice, Scott, our van captain, saying you’d better hurry, so Craig and I started running. We barely made it in time for the hand-off at the exchange.

Pink Floyd: On the Run (Dark Side of the Moon)

“Experience and Guile” is our Hood to Coast (HTC) team name. Not sure about who came up with the name, but we have at least one attorney on the team if that’s a clue. Names of Hood to Coast teams are off the charts in terms of variety – try these: Killer Wanna Bees, Griswold HTC Vacation, Running Bandits, the Third Leg is the Hardest, 24 Feet to the Beach, the F.A.R.T.’s-Fabulous Amateur Running Team, What Happens in the Van Stays in the Van, and Not as Slow as your Mom – just to name a few of the 1000+ teams in the event. By the way, for the uninitiated who’ve never heard of the Hood to Coast Relay (where have you been?), here’s a link to the official web site that may help and a previous blog I did in 2015, which also has an explanation of the event.

The Who: Tommy’s Holiday Camp (Tommy)

OK, aside from the sheer magnitude of 1050 teams, 100 high school teams, and many walking teams, there’s the music, the amazing enthusiasm, the high 5’s, and our van opening the windows to ring cow bells for our teammate as he or she moves down the road to the next exchange. What’s also noteworthy is the camaraderie that seems to drive all of this effort. But, make no mistake about it, it does take effort for each participant, including the hundreds of volunteers who help with the parking of vehicles in the exchanges, handing out water, and other things to keep it all going smoothly.

What’s Special about E&G?

It’s like a family reunion, getting to see people I haven’t seen since last year, staying in Randy’s house at the beach, dancing on the beach, the food and drink, swapping stories about our relay experience and our lives. It’s a pretty special way to spend a weekend once a year. I can hardly wait for the 2018 relay.

Glen Miller: In the Mood

Quotations for this Blog:

“Live as brave men; and if fortune is adverse, front its blows with brave hearts.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” Khalil Gibran

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