Posts Tagged ‘People’

Hillsboro: A Photo Essay

July 11, 2017
The Who: Sparks (Tommy the Rock Opera)

A Rufous Respite from Serious Topics

I can’t say there was a specific reason why I chose Hillsboro, Oregon as a site for a photo essay, but I was there, and I did have my camera. Also, I was feeling great after a 60-minute deep tissue massage, which I got in Hillsboro. I just felt like taking pictures.

Rather than give you a lot of history in this blog, I’m including this Wikipedia link. Just a side-note, according to Wikipedia, Hillsboro pre-dates Portland. Anyway, check out the Wikipedia info, pretty interesting history. Now for some pictures and more music.


Huey Lewis and the News: Back in Time (from Back to the Future soundtrack)


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A Few Quotes to Get You Going

Carli Lloyd (American athlete), for anyone who has been through injuries:
“It’s always hard to deal with injuries mentally, but I like to think about it as a new beginning. I can’t change what happened, so the focus needs to go toward healing and coming back stronger than before.” Read more at BrainyQuotes.
Anonymous quote (on a mural in the swimming area at my gym, short, to the point, love this quote):
“Before you can accomplish something, you must expect it of yourself.”
Rachelle Mandik (Reader’s Digest, July/August 2017), puns are very cool:
“Sometimes I just want to go live in the woods and meditate, but other times I think that’d be Thoreauing my life away.”
Jonathan Winters, comedian (Reader’s Digest, July/August 2017):
“If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.”



My Mom’s Blog

May 14, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, in remembrance of you on this day!

Just a photo or two or three and some music to honor my Mom, that’s all.

A few notes about the music and photos. My Mom was buried in Liberty, Texas. I was able to honor her with a visit in 2015. The bird is the Varied Thrush. It represents my beautiful Mom, because I couldn’t find a good picture of her to share with you. The music is totally random but music that I thought was appropriate to express my feelings about her. The Glen Miller piece was from her era. He died in 1944. She died in 1964. Listen at your leisure to the music as I did when I was putting this together.

It was good to visit Mom's grave.

It was good to visit Mom’s grave.

Glenn Miller: Big Band (swing)
Stevie Wonder: You are the Sunshine of My Life
Norman Greenbaum: Spirit in the Sky

Varied Thrush

Lion King soundtrack: The Circle of Life
Vangelis: The Tao of Love

I miss you, Mom!

Thanksgiving Day – Just Pictures and Some Words

November 25, 2016

Dad and Son at the Beach

It’s good to step back from all the things going on in our lives and remember the important events, like Thanksgiving Day. Just some brief thoughts before I jump into a few pictures, some quotes, and maybe some music.

Huey Lewis and the News: The Power of Love

Giving Thanks

I am thankful for my family, because they have enriched my life beyond measure. Families should never be taken for granted.

Henry David Thoreau
“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.”
Read more Thanksgiving quotes.

I am thankful for my country and feel very fortunate to live in the United States of America. I was reading in the American Legion magazine about the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. A man who had survived the attack, a sailor on the USS Tennessee, described what it was like to be there when it happened. We should all thank the many men and women who have made sacrifices to protect our way of life.

Coldplay: God Put a Smile on Your Face
Ronald Reagan
“If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen.” Read more Reagan quotes.
John F. Kennedy
“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” Read more Kennedy quotes.

I am thankful that I have the freedom to worship my God freely and express my beliefs freely.

Take a minute and express your own thanks, not just on Thanksgiving Day but every day.

Just Some Pictures

I like taking pictures. More of my pictures are here.

Music from the Lion King: The Circle of Life

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Eagles: Spirit in the Sky


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J. S. Bach: Toccata in D


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Stuff Happens

August 18, 2016

Couch Potato Blues

If you read my last post, about Crystal City, I said something about episodes or turning points in our lives. Some turning points obviously are more major than others, such as what happened to people at Crystal City. My story here is a minor inconvenience by comparison.

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

It Was Only a Small Rock!

I run. Sometimes I talk with others when I run. My left foot landed squarely on top of a rock, not large, but it fractured the fifth metatarsal bone – that’s the one that connects the little toe to the ankle. Metatarsals help provide arch support and balance. Sometimes called a stress fracture, people who do physical activities like dancing or running tend to be more prone to this type of injury. On my x-ray you could hardly even see the faint line that indicated a fracture – hopefully it will heal quickly.

Pink Floyd: Time (Dark Side of the Moon)

What’s Plan B?

When stuff happens that affects your life and your lifestyle, such as being very active (running, cycling, swimming, working out), then what? Maybe I’ll find some good quotes and include those – if life gives you lemons, make lemonade or whatever. You might like Ron White’s updated version of the lemonade quote below.

What the heck, try these quotes on for size.

Steve Jobs
Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.
Read more really good quotes about life.
Ron White
I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.
Pink Floyd: Breathe in the Air (Dark Side of the Moon)

What’s Your Point?

Actually, that’s what a family member (near and dear) says to me when I start rambling on about some run I just did – she’s not a runner, but I still love her. Not sure I have a specific point, just killing time while my foot heals. Got tired of Netflix, so I thought I’d do some blogging.

The pictures in the slide show I took after one of my favorite 10K runs in Estacada, Oregon. Very interesting place as you can see in the pictures. Be sure to check out Fearless Brewing if you’re in the neighboorhood.

Signing off for now, time for more boring Netflix. Never fear, I’ll be trucking on down the road before you know it! Enjoy the pictures and the music!

Willie Nelson: On the Road Again


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What Happened at Crystal City (Part III)

May 30, 2016

First Things First

In Part I, there is a picture with the caption, “What is It?”. Maybe you weren’t fooled ..

It was merely a garden ornament masquerading as a miniature planet (somewhat earth-like).

The Power of Love (from the Back to the Future soundtrack)

What’s the Big Deal?

OK, so what, the federal government decided to imprison a lot of people against their will because they might be a threat to America. That seems reasonable and justifiable, right? Obviously, not the power of love.

I had to think about what all of it meant to me after I started reading Jan Russell’s book, which as I said before, is really quite interesting and revealing. Note the following passage from her book. Go to Amazon if you want to snag a copy.

“By August 1945, the machinery of internment implemented during the run-up to the war in December 1941, was already being taken apart. Already many of the fifty-four internment camps  operated by the US military and the thirty camps operated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service had shut down. The camp at Crystal City, the only family camp, was still open, but with a reduced population That summer 2,548 Japanese, 756 Germans, and 12 Italian internees were left.”

The author estimated that there were approximately 6,000 internees incarcerated at Crystal City during its six years of operation. It was officially closed on February 27, 1948. I had just turned three at the time and was living in Texas.

In her preface to the book, the author talks about the 120,000 Japanese (62% of them American-born) who were forcibly evacuated from the Pacific coast after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She also talks about the executive order signed by President Roosevelt, which permitted the secretary of war to arrest and incarcerate Japanese, Germans, and Italians who had been declared “enemy aliens”.

Just an aside, as you mull over the previous two paragraphs, I want to comment on the effort and methods used to write the book, which author Russell describes in detail in the sources and notes. As a writer, I thoroughly appreciate the effort it took to compile the information. Interestingly, another book, Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, also involved internment during World War II and was very well-researched and written and also relied heavily on personal interviews.

It Is a Big Deal!

The answer of course is yes, it is a big deal. I may do more Crystal City installments, after going through the book in more detail and gaining more insights into how I feel about what happened and how I should respond. OK, it was just plain wrong, all of it – there, I’ve said it. Am I going to recommend to others how they should respond? No, it’s up to each individual to make up their mind how to respond.

Back to the Future Main Theme (City of Prague Philharmonic)
A Quick Tour of Washington and Yamhill Counties in Oregon

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What Happened at Crystal City? (Part II)

May 9, 2016

Gospodor Monument

Note about the pictures and the music: One of the structures in the monument represents the Holocaust, which seemed to be an appropriate photo for this blog. Please Google Gospodor Monument for more information. The picture in Part I, if you’re still curious about it, will eventually be explained. I guess I’ve always had The Police song on my favorites list, and one day while I was swimming laps I decided it was a good choice for this blog. Did I hear someone say “what an understatement”!
The Police: Every Breath You Take

Introduction to Part II

Giving the appropriate credits and attributions is always a necessary part of what I write about in my blog. Without good sources for information and inspiration, the creation process would be much harder if not impossible. One of my sources is a book by Jan Jarboe Russell, The Train to Crystal City, published in 2015 by Scribners, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. I will annotate any direct quotes with her name in this and any succeeding installments. Other credits will be included as needed.

The Five W’s and the H

I highly recommend Jan Russell’s book. The following synopsis comes from Amazon where I bought my copy.

“During World War II, trains delivered thousands of civilians from the United States and Latin America to Crystal City, Texas. The trains carried Japanese, German, and Italian immigrants and their American-born children. The only family internment camp during the war, Crystal City was the center of a government prisoner exchange program called ‘quiet passage’. Hundreds of prisoners in Crystal City were exchanged for other more ostensibly important Americans—diplomats, businessmen, soldiers, and missionaries—behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany.”

Jan Jarboe Russell focuses on two American-born teenage girls, uncovering the details of their years spent in the camp; the struggles of their fathers; their families’ subsequent journeys to war-devastated Germany and Japan; and their years-long attempt to survive and return to the United States, transformed from incarcerated enemies to American loyalists. Their stories of day-to-day life at the camp, from the ten-foot high security fence to the armed guards, daily roll call, and censored mail, have never been told.

Combining big-picture World War II history with a little-known event in American history, The Train to Crystal City reveals the war-time hysteria against the Japanese and Germans in America, the secrets of FDR’s tactics to rescue high-profile POWs in Germany and Japan, and above all, ‘is about identity, allegiance, and home, and the difficulty of determining the loyalties that lie in individual human hearts’ (Texas Observer).”

Most of us older types and others, perhaps younger history buffs, know about the internment camps that existed during the war, on the west coast and other locations. Manzanar in California is the one that I remember. However, Crystal City was the only family internment camp during World War II. I’m including a Wikipedia link. Be sure to check it out. Wikipedia has included a very interesting map and photos. The number of locations is kind of mind-blowing.

Also, the following caption from a photo in the Wikipedia piece is interesting and ironic.

“The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was composed primarily of Japanese Americans, served with uncommon distinction in the European Theatre of World War II. Many of the U.S. soldiers serving in the unit had families who were held in concentration camp in the United States while they fought abroad.”

More to come in Part III. Read the book if you get a chance.

Two parting quotes

The first quote is off-topic but appropriate for the holiday (May 8), and the other quote is on-topic and also very good.

God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers. Rudyard Kipling
The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men. Lyndon B. Johnson


What Happened at Crystal City? (Part I)

April 25, 2016

What is It?

Journalism 101

  • What’s the hook?
  • Five W’s and the H
  • The Inverted Pyramid

As Journalism majors in college, we learned that these were the basic requirements of every good news story. The hook was what grabbed your reader’s attention and made them want to continue reading your story. The five W’s and the H were basic components of what happened – who (was involved), what (happened), where (it happened), when (it happened), why (it happened), and how (it happened). These elements weren’t always clearly defined, but they were a good starting point for a reporter who was gathering the facts. The inverted pyramid meant composing the story with the most important facts at the top, in case your reader lost interest before finishing the story.

Time Travel Back to World War II

Back in Time (from Back to the Future Soundtrack)

OK, so picture yourself as a reader of a newspaper story during World War II. Actually, as an aside, let me divert from the main point of this blog. Like many bloggers, I’m opportunistic – I see and hear something, and I get an idea for a blog. Beyond that, it’s a matter of putting it all together. Some ideas and projects obviously require more time to research and figure out, “America’s Social Ills” for example is one on my list. Also, I get ideas from people that I talk to, at the gym or other places – sometimes I think people who go to gyms (myself included) spend more time talking than working out. A classic example, is a conversation I had about Crystal City, Texas.

I was at the gym when I met Luis (not his real name), an older fellow like me. I noticed that he had a very unusual walking stick. I suppose that’s a sign of aging, my fascination with walking sticks. Anyway, I learned that he once lived in Crystal City, Texas.

Crystal City is a city in and the county seat of Zavala County, Texas. The population was 7,446 in 2013, and it has an area of about 3.6 square miles. It is 116 miles southwest of San Antonio.

Luis lived there during WWII when an internment camp was there. He was very young at the time, but the stories about the camp and the evidence of its existence remained long after it closed. He told me about it.

You’ve probably figured out the “hook” for this blog, but you’ll have to wait for the next installment to get more details about Crystal City. Trust me, you’ll find it very interesting and shocking.

Priorities – Are They Important?

April 16, 2016

In this blog I’ll be sharing some photos from recent memorable runs and hopefully some thought-provoking ideas about priorities.

First the runs – actually, let me rephrase that, first I’ll tell you about two of my recent runs with words and pictures.

You may have seen my piece about What is Serendipity? a while back.

Run 1 – Big Bird Lives

Interestingly enough, referring to one of the two run/walks I’ll tell you about in this blog and speaking of Great Blue Herons, a couple of my Tuesday running/walking group buddies and I saw one at Commonwealth Lake this week. Commonwealth Lake is in a local neighborhood near where I live. “It was amazing” to see this magnificent creature standing on the shore line of the lake not more than a dozen feet from the path where we were walking. The bird didn’t flinch, just stood there looking around. They’re actually very large birds. Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera.

By the way (just a quick note) about my walking/running – sometimes, due to various and sundry aches and pains, I walk rather than run. I enjoy both running and walking, the main thing is getting off the couch and going out to get some exercise.

The Allman Brothers – No One Left to Run With

Run 2 – Another Run in the Sun


Mike & Jim along the Columbia River

On the second run on a Wednesday with a couple of other running buddies – be patient, I’ll get to the part about “priorities” eventually. Someone had suggested we run in a location where we hadn’t run in a while. We met in Vancouver across the river from Portland. It was a bright sunny day with a bit of a breeze, and we took off east toward Mount Hood and ended up on a paved trail that follows the river. I’m including pictures that I took. Afterwards we had a late lunch and drinks sitting in the sun. Everybody was out enjoying the weather. Eat your hearts out Californians, you take your sunny weather for granted, we Oregonians relish those wonderful sun-filled days.

The “Priorities” Part


What would your ribbon say?

The topic presented in my church one Sunday this year was about priorities, mainly how to focus on worshipping God, loving people, and using things in that order. I guess the first two priorities are pretty obvious, although you can substitute another word for “God” if you prefer. On “using things”, that covers a broad area – spending time texting, etc. – I guess the point is that “using things” should be the lowest rung on the priority ladder. I think the pictures illustrate that choosing your priorities carefully is what’s important. If it’s a choice between going for a run or spending time with my family, which one do I choose? For me for years, running took priority over everything. One day I realized that there were other things that should have a higher priority.

Take a look at the pictures. I was walking along the trail in Vancouver when I saw “The Soul Tree”. At first I didn’t know what all the ribbons were about until I stopped and read the sign. I decided to add my own ribbon (“My Family”), and I took pictures with my phone.

I’ll end on that note, but hopefully your priorities are well chosen.

Just a few quotes to end with . . . check out Brainy Quotes for a lot more.

Tony Blair
It is not an arrogant government that chooses priorities, it’s an irresponsible government that fails to choose.
Whitney Houston
I have priorities. Maintaining my daughter is my first.
Myles Munroe
Our life is the sum total of all the decisions we make every day, and those decisions are determined by our priorities.


Birthday Blog – 2016

February 23, 2016
19447_divers at Poipu

Diving with my son and others off Kauai

A song, a quote, and some favorite photos

Joe Cocker: Feelin’ Alright (Live)

Just thought I’d jump in here and post something on my birthday. Lots of folks have sent me birthday greetings, which is very cool – thanks, ya’ll! Anyone else who happens to have a birthday today, Happy Birthday to you too!

I’m off to buy myself a new pair of running shoes and go to the gym this morning. After that, I may just goof off for the rest of the day.

The following quote, one of my favorites, is from a book, Up Country, by Nelson Demille.

“The journey home is never a direct route – it is in fact always circuitous, and somewhere along the way we discover that the journey is more significant than the destination and that the people we meet along the way will be the traveling companions of our lives forever.”

Bonus Quotes: Love What You Do

By the way, the “Donald” quote wasn’t intentional, so take it or leave it, but I like the messages presented in this collection of quotes.

Bonus Photos:
  1. Ducks on Creekside Marsh
  2. Man Feeding the Gulls at Cannon Beach
  3. Bernie taking a picture while driving (keep that a secret please)
  4. Gospodor’s Monument on I-5 south of Centralia, WA
  5. Tree of Life, mural on a building in Estacada, OR


California Dreaming

February 5, 2016


It’s Good to Take a Break

We Oregonians brag about our wonderful state, its beauty and all the things there are to do there, and it’s all true – come up and see us and we’ll give you the grand tour. My dad (God bless him) used to call it “God’s country”. Perhaps God lingered a bit when he created Oregon. Speaking of lingering . . .

Mamas and the Papas: California Dreaming


Has Anyone Seen my Sunscreen?

Sunshine is probably overrated, but I have to admit I do like it. Sitting in the courtyard by the pool, with a cup of coffee, writing in  my journal, it felt great! I actually had to go to Walmart and buy sunscreen yesterday – hey, it’s February, and I live in Oregon, what can I say, I wasn’t prepared for the sun.

What about People?

I wrote a blog post last year about people – you can go take a look.


I’ve always considered myself a “people” person, perhaps growing up in Texas gave me that personality trait, that willingness to talk to a total  stranger. Everyone you meet can be your friend, just say hello. Anyway, we were in SoCal last year, same place, same hotel. We came down for my brother-in-law’s celebration of life. I’m glad we did, it was a well-said goodbye to Chris, who was a good man. One of my favorite quotes says it better than I can. Here’s a piece of it – “the people we meet along the way will be the traveling companions of our lives forever.” Use the link to see the whole quote and some other quotes that talk about life and people.

Case in Point, about People.

As I was saying, I like meeting people. On that trip about a year ago, I was sitting out in the courtyard enjoying that wonderful morning sunshine and drinking coffee. I got into a conversation with Jack. He was a Spurs fan, but he wasn’t from Texas, said he had driven down from Seattle the night before. Anyway, he told me about himself, ex-Navy, an Aviation Mechanic who served at Oak Harbor and El Salvador but no carrier duty. We talked about how boring that long drive on I-5 was, which is why we decided to fly on this trip. Maybe our paths will cross again in the future.

I met Theresa on the way out on the plane, she was in the seat next to mine. She was on her way down to California to see two of her eight grandchildren. The people you meet . . .

On this 2016 trip I’ve met a bunch of people, some who are friends of relatives, spending time at our favorite pub in Santa Clarita, enjoying the dart tournament (Bob throws underhanded), music and food and drinks (I got to try three new craft beers!). I met Terry, an ex-Alabaman, who is thinking about moving to L.A. and came out to look for a house. In the hotel fitness center, I met Mo from Simi Valley. He asked me about the thing going on Burns, if it was affecting me where I lived. We got into a brief political discussion about the federal government and the “compulsory” laws that we were supposed to obey. I decided not to argue the point since he was lifting a lot more weight than I was. :}

What’s Next

Not sure what my next blog will be – content now to enjoy one more full day of sunshine before we leave to return to the rain.


That small bird was really proud of himself – I drank the whole thing!


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