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|Sunday, May 19th, 2013|
|Monday, May 6th, 2013|
|20130505 May Day Parade and Festival -- photos on FB
The day started cold, as predicted, but then got much warmer. By the time the parade started, I regretted bringing my jacket. But it was too late: No MN-StF picnic. So I didn't stick around for too long.
Because of the nice weather, attendance was very high. By comparison: Two years ago. it snowed. Last year, the parade was delayed a week due to the weather.
This year, the parade was underfunded but very nice, and what I saw of the Festival was great. Didn't stay for the music or whatnot. Probably just as well. I'm sore from all that walking and a bit sunburned on the back of my hands. Glad I was wearing a jacket after all.
Public FB gallery: 20130505 May Day Parade and Festival
|Thursday, May 2nd, 2013|
|Vegetology vs. BE-fit
An Examination of Major Religions
Special to Milky Way Today
by Religion Correspondent, Lloyd Preservus
(Intercepted by Etherwave Surfer David E Romm circa 1994 CE [YML 25], minor emendations by Baron Dave Romm circa 2013 CE [YML 44].)
Vegetology:Romm's Corollary to Clarke's Law: Any sufficiently advanced philosophy is indistinguishable from religion.Dateline: Year of Our Moonlanding 5,271,009
Everyone has a vegetable, spice and a condiment, which both reflect and rule aspects of your life.
You determine this by taste and experience: eg Eggplant/Ginger/Relish.
BE-fit, The Bowman-Emerson Fannish Inventory of Type:
Everyone's personality revolves around these four axes:
People are designated by their four letter Type: eg, PFZW, and if an axis is smack dab in the middle that designation is an X, eg. XSCJ
The hostilities between by the Curry System and the Fijagh Empire have concluded with the Broccoli/Hyphen Accord. While the big news is the end of the longstanding conflict which has caused the death of several billion people and three indigenous races, it is also signals the end of the religious conflict which has dominated the last two millennia. Much has been written about this conflict, but a brief overview of the root causes is warranted.
On Old Old Earth, two of the biggest phyla of pre-electronic hardcopy were Cook Books and Diet Books. The people were lost in the spiritual garden. Vegetololgy started as a series of Fanzine articles and testifying at Conventions by Founding Farmers Elise ("I Yam what I Yam") Mattheson and Sharon ("If it doesn't have onions in it, it better be dessert") Kahn. That the Root of Vegetology was nourished in the fertile soil of the BE-fit purview was later a cause of both indigestion and common ground. Soon, seedlings of thought had spread to the pulpits and talk shows all over the planet. Disbelievers were weeded out. Secular authorities tried to halt the growth of Vegetology with anit-stalking laws, but the flock kept coming to the Farmer's Market for spiritual nourishment. The religion can be summed up with this major tenet: You are what you eat.
As the religion grew and flavored more and more lives, cults and sects spread. The Fruitarian Heresy, after much strife, was allowed into the Recipe of Life. The Ovo-Lactorians claimed further restrictions on diet, but were constantly at odds with Jews for Cheeses. The Fiber Sects, the Oat Quakers and the Bran Davidians, tried to keep all life regular.
BE-fit derived from the proto-cult of the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory. The religion's catechism is a series of questions that determine where you are on four major personality axes. It started out as a system for modeling and interpreting behavior, not a religion. But then again, so did Dianetics. The original epiphany was by First Editors Jeanne Bowman and David Emerson, hence the name. They saw the how George HW Bush got burned, and was revealed to them that a test to indicate how you thought about issues relevant to Fandom was good. It's hard to believe now, but at the time of the revelation, Fandom was barely known outside of a small group and Fans had little political power. The original range of questions was developed by Editors of the Flame Steve Glennon and DavE Romm, and honed by Glennon, Romm, Emerson and First Consulting Editor Barb Jensen. Introduced at Reinconation III
, in Year of Our Moonlanding 24, it was an immediate sensation. The first True Believers and the necessary balance of the Doubting Unbelievers were revealed there.
Soon, BE-fit had expanded from a way to help Fans communicate with each other to a Way which Believers could establish their Special E-Mail Account with the Creator. They were granted Net Privs with the Sysop of Cyberspace. It was a matter of being in the right place at the right time; 'Beefies' and 'Fitters' were on the Fast Lane of the Information Superhighway.
It is difficult to call variants on BE-fit 'heresies' before the Dimensions of Life were established, but some did create false axes. There were attempts to add a Dog/Cat axis, but that can be determined in one question. Those who claimed the axes were too specific to Fandom were thrown into the Myers-Brig. One of the early tries at reconciliation was the genetically altered Vegetable/Spice/Condiment triple axis, but this got poor ratings during Sweeps Week.
After these humble and occasionally violent beginnings, the religions grew, supplanting local worship. Religions based on achieving an afterlife died off when contact with the Flatliner race determined that God did not communicate through one book, but by interactive media. By seeing a virtual afterlife, people could get a good read on how their life was going. After a few millennia, those diehards waiting for the Third Coming just couldn't find dates, so their race died off. Any religion based on ancestor worship found that there were too many people at family gatherings who couldn't get along. Recombinant DNA and nanotechnology made dietary restrictions irrelevant. Religions based on reincarnation couldn't find enough people for caste parties.
By the time of the first Meganium, Vegetology and BE-fit had become the dominant religions throughout Known and Suspected Space. These religions do not, now, seem mutually incompatible. There was no reason that, for example, Fourth Meganium Over-President McMoishe, a Celery/Pepper/Chutney, couldn't get along with Junior Executive Al-Ras O'Tomisha, a MSZW, but you know how it goes. They both kept admonishing the other until hostilities broke out, and the Scold War lasted over 5,000 years.
The Curry System established itself in the last Meganium by distributing favors among the followers of of Vegetology. It dominated the Spice Trade between Andromeda and the Cauliflower Cluster. That brought it into immediate conflict with the growing Fijagh Empire, who wanted to have a mustard-tasting panel at their Conventions. At first they didn't care that much, as Befitting their J axis, but after a few hundred years of store-bought yellow mustard, the leaders began to get testy. The Concom held an Organizational Meeting, and it was decided to go to war. The Curry Chefs responded with a Bamboo Shoot. Slowly, the conflict simmered, coming to a boil and adding other religious disputes as side dishes and apazines. At last, the stalemate in the Twiltone System forced peace talks last year, leading to the Broccoli/Hyphen Accord. The peace talks reached fruition despite initial disagreements about which hotel to use, and what kind of dip will be used at official functions.
Most major rhubarbs are more politically based than religion based, of course, and this one was no exception, being about control of trade and resources. But some of the more radical elements really hate each other on religious grounds. The Spicy Vegetologists and the XXXX Milksops will probably never sit at the same table. Still, many people did expand their philosophies to include both, and there is once again Good Food in Consuites.
So let us rest under the Palm Tree of Peace, as the Opening Ceremonies of a New Convention of harmony begin.Note: Originally published in Rune 85, March 1995 CE.
|Saturday, April 20th, 2013|
|Adventures in Culinary Multiculturalism: Vaguely Huevos Rancheros and Vienna Press Coffee
We have some corn tortillas. They fall apart if not heated, or something. I decided to use them in breakfast.
In a large Pam-sprayed pan, I fried four eggs to just under where I would normally serve them sunny side up. Separate the eggs in the pan. I cut slabs of sharp cheddar cheese as thinly as I could, which wasn't very. At the right moment, I used the spatula to lift the eggs, one by one, slid a tortilla in the pan and a slab of cheese, then put the eggs on top.
Let melt. While it was melting, I looked up a recipe for huevos rancheros
. I probably should have done that first. It had a much fancier recipe, cooking with oil and lots of ingredients. Oh well. I added leaves of cilantro on top, which made it look pretty. I took salsa from the fridge, but we never used it.
When the cheese melted and the eggs were slightly more done, serve. We had some ham spread, which we used as a side.
No spicing, no salt (except what was in the ham spread). Dee-lisch, but we needed a knife to cut the tortillas.
Carole needs coffee in the morning, and has this K-Cup one-cup coffee maker. Easy and fast, but I find the coffee is weak and not particularly to my taste. So my birthday present to myself was this campers coffeepress
. You need course ground coffee, and I've been experimenting with various mixes to extend the ground coffee I got for Carole which she doesn't use and I don't think is worth the effort.
Added cinnamon. Real coffee!
Aaah, now I'm awake.
|Monday, April 1st, 2013|
|Minicon 48 galleries
Minicon was great. Our Guests of Honor were wonderful. Programming was interesting. The music (most of which I didn't get to) was marvelous. Children's programming looked fun. The Teen Room and Next Generation events went well, even the ones that didn't have much Next Gen participation.
MN-StF President Carole wasn't assassinated. As I raised the scimitar, she proclaimed, "The pen is mightier than the sword!" and resigned. Well! We haven't had a President resign in more than 600 parsecs. So we convened a Council of Cards, and with three different decks played out a hand until Patricia was declared the new President.
*whew*20130327-29 Minicon 48 pt. 1
, from the Work Party through Friday.20130330-31 Minicon 48 pt. 2
, Saturday and SundayAdded 4/8/13
: 20130406 Minicon 48 Post-Mortem
The video I made of Richard's games, which we played behind the interview at the con: Richard Tatge on Gaming
I didn't get to everything I wanted to, but I was busy. Mom had a great time. Whee!
|Saturday, March 9th, 2013|
|Interview with Richard Tatge and tour of his game-filled basement
A long-standing project finally reaches fruition. Minicon 48 Fan Guest of Honor and MN-StF Foundling Father Richard Tatge, interviewed 3/7/13 in his home. Lots of video of his load-bearing games (he estimated he has between 5000 and 6000), and some of my photos of him going back to 1979.Richard Tatge on gaming, with a tour of his game collection. March 2013
There's actually more to our talk about light shows and filking and such, but I wanted to keep this short. It's just under 13 minutes. The thought was to show it at Opening Ceremonies, which might still happen, but I prefer Richard's idea of leading us all in "Golden the Ship Was Oh Oh Oh".
|Monday, March 4th, 2013|
|Sunday, February 24th, 2013|
|20110223 MN-StF Pool Party
Public FB gallery: MN-StF Pool Party
Carole and I arrived early, to help set-up, to find many people there for the Minicon meeting and things proceeding apace. Thanks to first shift host Mark Richards and everyone who helped out. And thanks to everyone for coming! We had to leave before the music got started, but had a great time.
Special consideration goes to Alex, who's first MN-StF event is now chronicled.
|Tuesday, February 5th, 2013|
|Comedy of Doom: A review
Claimer; I contributed to the Kickstarter program that helped Comedy of Doom get published, and heard several of the essays in live performance. I've watched Joe perform for a long time, and have interviewed him and his parents for Shockwave Radio Theater.Comedy of Doom
is scads of fun. I expected to have a scad of fun, maybe even a scad-and-a-half, since Joe's been on a roll recently. But I had scads. I lost track of how many.
Joseph Scrimshaw, live, comes off like Frank Gorshin as a perpetually petulant Kirk Douglas. (Feel free to Google any Geek Topics you don't recognize.) His controlled reading style masks a deep sense of theater and an ever-inquisitive mind. It probably helps to hear Scrimshaw as you read him. Not necessary, but useful. I recommend going to one of his performances even if you don't buy the book, but I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.
The book chapters alternate between longer essays, from his shows, and shorter bits, little slip-on-a-banana-peel gags. Here, let me give you an example of the latter:
THINKING OUTSIDE THE BRAIN
"There's a lot of meat in team." -- Zombie motivational saying.
There, that's the entire chapter, minus footnotes. The whole thing. I probably should have issued a spoiler warning, but forgot. Sorry.
As is often the case with Joseph Scrimshaw, a little leads to a lot. Really makes you wonder: How much movitation do you need
to be a zombie?
Responsible adult zombie: "Braiiiiins."
Teenage girl zombie: "Whatever."
Do zombies have
teams? What's their logo? Do they have leagues and announcers and playoffs? Can the coach put a zombie on Injured Reserve? Do they do ads for Sports Brain Drink and sell products by surrounding themselves with beautiful undead women? Do they have hoax zombie girlfriends and take illegal embalming fluid to pump up their bodies? Does the team with the most movitivation win meat?
The mind boggles, and that's just one sentence. Joe never keeps things boggled up. (<-- wordplay. You're welcome.)
I laughed out loud at For Your Expense Report Only
, but I'm a sucker for tales of bureaucracy behind world saving secret agents. Joe has an obsession with Star Wars
, Superheros, the Zombie Apocalypse, Word Porn, and The Muppets, among many other geek topics. Seems reasonable.
The book is meticulously put together by people who understand that books are different than social media. I like that. One can dip in and actually turn the pages; no hyperlinks here. Various bits of information and humor are scattered before and after the essays proper. I like that too.
I have a few complaints. Quibbles, really. Nitpicks. The index of Geek Topics doesn't include page references. Sorry, not geeky enough. And my name isn't mentioned often enough. In fact, it's only mentioned once, in the Hall of Gratitude
listing of Kickstarter contributors. Some, perhaps most, would say this is sufficient mention, if not too much, for a book that I had absolutely no creative input into. Hey, discuss what you like in your own review. How many times should I be mentioned? I leave that as an exercise for the writer.
To conclude, let me finish by ending. I highly recommend Comedy of Doom
for anyone who has enjoyed Joeseph Scrimshaw's work over the years, and still recommend it if you haven't. Written comedy is a different art form than spoken comedy, but Joseph has mud on his boots from both worlds.
Geek Topics Covered: Geek Topics, Comedy of Doom
, Shockwave Radio Theater, Frank Gorshin, Google, teenage zombie angst, write your own damn review.
|Monday, February 4th, 2013|
|2012127-31 Trip to Oregon Bonus: Photos by Legend
Carole let Legend, her seven-year-old grandchild, use her lighter camera for a few days. By Native America culture, he's also my grandkid, and you can tell by these photos! Here are my favorites, which I cropped and edited. Sorry for the photo-heavy post, but he's got a great eye! I'm not entirely sure what to do with his photos (or with the photos Carole took with her other camera), since I don't necessarily want to post other's photos in my FB galleries. But I'm proud of Legend, so maybe. In the meantime, enjoy seeing the world from a kid's viewpoint!
Legend Self Portrait, Spaghetti Factory, Clackamas, OR 12/27/12He saw me taking photos of myself by holding the camera at arm's length, and wanted to try it.
Dave and Carole in Spaghetti Factory, Clackamas, OR 12/2712I scouted a good locale, and asked him to take us together( more photos by Legend under the cutCollapse )
|Thursday, January 31st, 2013|
|20130105-6 Trip to Oregon and Back: Zipping home through South Dakota and Minnesota
Continued from 20130105 Trip to Oregon and Back: Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial
We left the Crazy Horse Memorial after dark, letting the GPS direct us to I-90.
Within 36 hours, Carole had to be at work and I needed to get cracking on delayed projects. I had planned no more touristy things to do, just get home without stress and arrive early enough on Sunday to get a good night's sleep. The tactical plan here was to pick a hotel as far east as we felt comfortable driving to on Saturday night, to make the last leg as short as possible. We picked a place about three hours drive east, and took off.
Along the highway, well away from any city or building, we made a quick stop at a truck pull-over to change drivers. I looked up, and saw stars! Here in the middle of nowhere, the whole panoply of the universe was on display. Most of our journey was bitterly cold and we didn't go outside at night on the open road. The night was warm enough that we opened the moon roof. Wow.
Red Rock Restaurant, Wall, SD 1/5/13Carole admires the horses
We hadn't eaten since Custer. We could have made it to the hotel and grazed on the various mixed nuts and other emergency food that seemed less necessary now, but in keeping with the winding down
theme we picked an exit with "Food" signs. Avoiding any chain restaurant, we took our chances and kept going down the rural Wall, SD road until we came to the Red Rock Restaurant/The Rock Lounge & Casino
. Another winner!
The walls were graced with photos of horses, apparently owned by the family who ran the restaurant. Carole was happy. She had the Prime Rib with baked potato. I went with the "local favorite" of country fried steak with potato oles
. ("is it really a local favorite?" I asked the waitress. "Well, a lot of people order it." Good enough for me.) The prime rib was excellent; the country fried steak was nothing to write home about, but was solid fare. They, and the included salad bar (western states have a different version of soup/salad bar than around here), made a very full meal.
We talked a bit with the couple at the next table. He was a trucker from Montana who had driven to Florida to pick up his mother who was moving in with him. *whew* An even longer trip than ours! I ducked into the bar/casino next door. People who knew each other were conversing, one person playing pinball. Maybe not the most exciting Saturday night, but everyone was having a comfortable time hanging out at their familiar watering hole.
As an added bonus, the Vikings were playing. We missed the last two weeks of the regular season, including the surprise of the Vikings in the playoffs. Well, perhaps bonus
is the wrong word, as the Vikes got trounced by the team they'd beaten last week. Oh well.
The Super 8 in Murdo, SD
nicely fit our needs, and had the added psychological boost of being just to the east of the line separating Mountain Time and Central Time. Interestingly (at least to me), the timer on the GPS in the Camry connected to the sattelites, and updated when we crossed into the Central Time Zone. The clock in the car didn't. We set it manually.
Super 8 Motel, Murdo, SD 1/6/13didn't have amenities like an elevator to the second floor and one of the chairs was falling apart
The next morning, we were off again. An easy 430 mile jaunt back home. Clear weather, reset clocks, bags repacked. Ah, but it was nice enough for the State Troopers to be out as well. One warning later, we were off again, a bit slower... until we got to Minnesota.
I thought about asking the trooper to have his picture taken with us, but that seemed like tempting fate.
Empty street, White Lake, SD 1/6/13not really a ghost town, but we didn't see anyone outside of the restaurant
Nick of Claudia's Cafe, White Lake SD 1/6/13
I bent my "keep at least a half-tank of gas" rule for our final push, but a hundred miles from the hotel we needed gas and could use a good breakfast. So around noon we pulled into White Lake, SD. Not much activity on a cold Sunday. We drove down the street to what may have been the only non-bar restaurant open, Claudia's Cafe
. Just what we needed! Friendly service, decent breakfast (really brunch at this point). We were served by a nice kid with an arm damaged from playing HS sports. Carole had all sorts of advice for him. He nodded politely.
We found a gas station down the street. Well, some place with a gas pump with no attendent. The pump took my credit card. I filled up, didn't get a receipt, and we were off again.
Map showing location of Adrian, MN rest stop. 1/6/13
The rest of the trip was uneventful. We zipped through various highways in Southwestern Minnesota, with a pit stop along the way. At some point, I began to recognize the city names and the territory looked familiar.
We turned off the GPS and I came home by familiar roads.
We arrived after dark, tired but happy. The Cosmic Starship drove 4212.4 miles with grandeur and good mileage. We dragged some of the suitcases upstairs but left a lot of stuff.
Dashboard of the Cosmic Starship showing 4212.4 miles, Mpls, MN 1/6/13
I eventually replaced the windshield, pitted from rocks thrown up by trucks in the mountains. A month later, the car still smells like sweat, coffee and mixed nuts. Ah, good times.
We're not quite recovered; Carole's knee is still not finished healing. I still have a cough. I've processed my photos, though not the few minutes of video, but Carole hasn't started on hers. Or the photos Legend took with her camera. Now that I'm done with these reports, I may look over her stuff.
Thanks for reading through all the trip reports! I hope you got a taste of the fun and excitement of the Epic Trip to Oregon and Back!
|Wednesday, January 30th, 2013|
|20130105 Trip to Oregon and Back: Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial
Continued from 20130104 Trip to Oregon and Back: Salt Lake City and Antelope Island. More images at 20130103-06 Road Trip 5: OR, ID, UT, WY, SD, MN
Approaching Mount Rushmore 1/5/13
Approaching Mount Rushmore 1/5/13All the states are represented
Dave at Mount Rushmore 1/5/13
Our last day in the Mountain Time Zone was a brilliant strategic success and
a brilliant tactical success, but the day started off inauspiciously.
The hotel near Casper, WY was okay. Cheap and old, for a hotel, but we didn't demand much. Still, breakfast was skimpy and the tv was blaring some anti-government rant instead of useful weather information. I mean geeze, I know Wyoming is a red state, but the hotel in Montana was great. Waking up to hatred every day hardly makes for good customer relations.
Driving through Wyoming in the daylight was great. We were still in the mountains, though not the sharp rise of the Rockies, and the countryside rolled by pleasently.
The highway connection between Casper and Rapid City took us through more back roads than any other leg of the journey. Back on US 20, and only on an Interstate for a short shile, then through a series of local roads. 25 mph in the SD mountains with no guardrails...( more narrative and photos under the cutCollapse )
The Crazy Horse Memorial has a museum complex of 80,000 square feet. I'm not sure that includes the restaurant or the artist's workshop or outside walkways. The museum and gift shop were open much later than dark. Just exploring the museum took several hours. Carole, with limited mobility, stayed to see the movie about the sculpting while I went deeper into the museum/workshop/quarters. We met back in the gift shop. One of two gift shops: One just for products made by natives, the other more touristy shop, both in one big room with separate registers (but either could ring up any purchase).
We asked when the gift shop closed. "Oh, we'll stay open as long as anyone's still here." We had made the right decision as to the order of the monuments. *whew*
Crazy Horse Memorial at night 1/5/13
To be continued... and finished... in 20130105-6 Trip to Oregon and Back: Zipping home through South Dakota and Minnesota
|Tuesday, January 29th, 2013|
|20130104 Trip to Oregon and Back: Salt Lake City and Antelope Island
Continued from 20130103 Trip to Oregon and Back: Down the mountains to Boise. More images at 20130103-06 Road Trip 5: OR, ID, UT, WY, SD, MN
Our trip to Utah was strategically brilliant but tactically squirrely.
Carole and Mormon missionaries, South Visitors Center, Temple Square, 1/4/13
When the mapping software showed that the sourthern route back home went through Salt Lake City, I smiled. Another city and state I always wanted to visit. Still, we had maybe half a day for exploration. After consulting various touristy listings, I concluded that I wanted to see two things: The Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City and the Great Salt Lake.
Mindful of Carole's lack of mobility, we booked a hotel just across the street from Temple Square. SLC is laid out with the Temple in the middle, and parallel squares of streets as you get farther out. For a place right in the heart of the city, the hotel was cheap. Not completely cheap: Breakfast was extra and parking was separate.
Indeed, I found Utah to be glaringly commercial. After a nearly billboard-free drive in Oregon and Idaho, the proliferation of roadside ads in Utah looked garish and sleazy. Close to the Temple wasn't too bad, but I could see where a snake oil salesman like Mitt Romney came from.( more narrative and photos under the cutCollapse )
Driving through Utah, 1/4/13
I didn't really have any tourist plans for Wyoming. Carole made vague mentions of Devil's Tower, but that's too far off our path.
So I'm glad we picked a great truck stop. We got gas, looked at windmills, and had a marvelous trucker dinner. We could have had seconds on the steaks, if we ate them there.
Somewhere on this drive, we passed a small sign indicating the continental divide. We had to be careful of time zone changes, now the water direction changed too.
We got to our hotel near Casper, WY, a nice place but a bit on the antiquated side. Still, it worked for us and we fell into a deep sleep. One more night on the road and we were headed home!
Continued at 20130105 Trip to Oregon and Back: Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial
|Sunday, January 27th, 2013|
|20130103 Trip to Oregon and Back: Down the mountains to Boise
Continued from 20121231pm-0102 Trip to Oregon and Back: High Desert Environs.. More images at 20130103-06 Road Trip 5: OR, ID, UT, WY, SD, MN
We left Bend early Thursday. We headed East, which means that we were going to lose the two hours gained on the way here, but the sun would be behind us in the evening. Basic plan was to do touristy stuff in the morning and daylight, then drive in the afternoon and into the dark. This worked splendidly.
Starting off: Getting down from the mountains. More than 300 miles from Bend, OR to Boise, ID, almost all of it on US 20.
The mountains and lone gas station within miles, Riley, OR 1/3/13
A word about our return route. My basic wunderlust on long trips is generally to go back a different way. The fastest way home was to go the way we came, North through Spokane/Coeur D'Alene/Butte/Fargo, and the second fastest way was to diverge at Butte to visit Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. But we had an extra day, and we demonstrated that being in the car, even driving, wasn't too bad on Carole's knee as long as we took it easy. The longer way wasn't that much longer and wouldn't take that much more time overall.
So taking US 20 scratched several itches: First, we would be driving in the mountains during the day. We'd already seen the northern route on our side trip to Portland. Hence, south. Second, we could see several cities neither of us had been to.
Third, we got to drive on a western part of US Rt. 20
. I went to college in Albany, NY, and lived on or near US 20, which starts in Boston and goes almost all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Ever since then, I've wanted to drive US 20, or at least see other parts of it. Forty years later, another itch was scratched.
And I must say: A brilliant move. The drive down the mountains was spectacular. Most of the trip was on a two-way road with a speed limit of 65 or 70, iirc. At night in bad weather the trip would have been a nightmare. For us, the roads were clear and the weather fine. Terrific. No sceneic overlooks or any one place I could say was more exhilarating than another, but I'm so very glad we did this.( more narrative and photos under the cutCollapse )
Dave in front of Basque mural, Boise ID 1/3/13ETA:
Oh, I almost forgot. We managed to accomplish something great on the trip: We (probably) found a game that Richard Tatge doesn't have! We'll get it to him.
Plan A went off without a hitch. Okay, we got lost in Salt Lake City at night, but eventually found our hotel and crashed. A long day, but a good one.
Continued in 20130104 Trip to Oregon and Back: Salt Lake City and Antelope Island
|Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013|
|20121231pm-0102 Trip to Oregon and Back: High Desert Environs.
Continued from 20121230-1231am Trip to Oregon and Back: Bend. More images at 20121230-0102 Road Trip 4: Bend and environs Pt 2
Carole and I had a great time with the kids in Portland and the High Desert Museum, but I was itching for more. I needed mountains
The Crooked River Canyon, Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint, OR 12/31/13
As detailed in the last installment, our Adventure began with breakfast. Onward.
Most of the activities in the high desert of Eastern Oregon are seasonal and closed for the winter. Even one Native American Museum Carole looked at was closed.
Checking the AAA app and getting advice from Justin, I planned today's itenerary around three places not too far from Bend, and not too far from each other. After breakfast, we were on the road at last, not too far behind schedule.
First stop: The overview missed on the way back from Portland.
Bangii, Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint, OR 12/31/12
The Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint
is part of a larger park area. As it turned out, we never did make it to the scenic viewpoint itself, but explored the bridge over the Crooked River canyon.( more narrative and photos under the cutCollapse )
Dave and grandkids, with Legend holding some of the wood he brought inside, Bend, OR 1/1/13
I allowed four days of return travel time instead of the pell mell three on the way here. But that's for next time.
Continued in 20130103 Trip to Oregon and Back: Down the mountains to Boise
|Monday, January 21st, 2013|
|20121227-29 Trip to Oregon and Back: Portland, OR
Continued from 20121224-26 Trip to Oregon and Back: Christmas in Bend, OR. More images at 20121227-29: Road Trip 3, Portland OR
Once again, a long, photo heavy report. Taking pics of grandkids is more interesting than pics of dinosaur bones, I guess.
Spaghetti Factory, Clackamas OR 12/27/12
I envisioned a side trip to Portland in the planning stages of the epic journey, but implementation details were always sketchy. Various friends in Portland gave us advice and such, but meeting up in our narrow window was tricky. Maybe I should go alone, leaving Carole and the kids overnight? We eventually decided to take the kids and go for two nights. Wenonah and Justin agreed, which also gave them time for some hiking. This schedule gave us time to do a couple of Portland Things and still make the 3 1/2 hour drive in a leisurely manner.
We checked the weather, checked for kids things to do and arranged a hotel. Transfering the kids' seats to my car, we gathered all our gear and took off through the Oregon mountains.
Beautiful. We had missed the scenery by arriving at night, and finally had a chance to see the mountains in their glory. The weather cooperated, and all the "carry chain" areas (where you could be fined if you didn't have tire chains or studded tires) were clear. We occasionally encountered "Runaway truck" side roads: How much of a problem are they?( more narrative and photos under the cutCollapse )
On the road back to Bend, OR 12/29/12
A great experience with the kids, but I wasn't a happy camper. I was itching to explore a brand new (to me) state. Don't make me eat
Continued in 20121230-1231am Trip to Oregon and Back: Bend
|Friday, January 18th, 2013|
|20121224-26 Trip to Oregon and Back: Christmas in Bend, OR
Continued from 20121223 Trip to Oregon and Back: Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. More images at 20121224-26 Road Trip 2: Bend, OR part 1
I'm way behind, so forgive the photo-heavy report.
Carole and grandkids Legend and Bangii. Bend, OR 12/24/12
Dave with Bangii and Legend. Bend, OR 12/24/12
Carole and I managed to arrive in Bend, OR the day before Christmas. We had time to wrap our presents and get acquainted with the kids. Legend, 7 and Bangii, 4, are Carole's grandkids by her homeless son, and she had spent much of the early part of 2012 getting them out of foster care in northern Minnesota and to her daughter in Oregon. Legend had visited with us one day, about two years ago, but I'd never met Bangii (pronounced with a very short first vowel and a hard 'g', sort of like "Bun Ghee").
I kind of wondered what they would call me. "Dave" seemed to be consensus, though the kids latched on to "Steve" (not uncommon, if you slide over "this is Dave"). Carole, the Native American cultural teacher, said that they didn't distinguish between genetic family and proximate family. So I was, at least on occasion, "Grandpa Dave". Not unexpected, to be sure, but it was still a bit strange to have sublimed from "Uncle Dave" when visiting my neice at Thanksgiving and my nephew the day before in Coeur D'Alene right to "Grandpa".
The kids were great. Maybe they were in Christmas Mode, and maybe they were on Best Behavior For Grandma. Whatever the reason, they were fun and bouncy and hardly ever misbehaved. They took to me immediately.
I'm generally pretty good with kids, largely because I can explain things to them. When they ask "Why?", I can give an age-appropriate response. Once, Legend, reading from a cereal box, asked "What is Vitamin E?" By itself, rather advanced for a 7-year-old. So I tried to answer in kind: "It helps keep your blood red." They asked further questions, and I told them it was complicated, but they seemed satisfied.
"You know everything
!" exclaimed Legend. "No, but I know a lot."
Still, the most valuable answer I gave was "I don't know."
Card from the kids. Bend, OR 12/24/12( more narrative and photos behind cutCollapse )
Duck on the Deschutes River. Bend, OR 12/26/12
A great Chritsmas (not my first), but Carole and I hadn't really fulfilled our prime function of baby sitters. That will be the next installment: 20121227-29 Trip to Oregon and Back: Portland, OR
|Wednesday, January 16th, 2013|
|20121223 Trip to Oregon and Back: Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon
Continued from 20121222 Trip to Oregon and Back: Montana. More images at 201220-23 Road Trip to Oregon Part I: MN, ND, MT, IDGeek note: After two days of taking images on the road and posting them via the iPad, I decided to make things easier on myself. Uploading images taken with the iPad is considerably easier than transfering images from the camera to the iPad and then uploading, for a variety of reasons. While this system has many advantages, the main disadvantage is that iPad images are in a separate sequence than the camera images. I'll try to integrate the two threads into a proper timeframe and/or coherent narrative. The camera on the iPad is pretty good, but the Fuji FinePix is better, so you might see various quality shifts along the way.
The third day of our trip was going to be problematic... or not. Basically, it was our longest drive through the (potentially) worst conditions. Indeed, rushing through North Dakota and Montana bought us an extra night. Being delayed would mean we arrived in Bend on Dec. 24; in time for Christmas and even Christmas Eve, but not enough time to wrap presents or get settled before we met the grandkids.
Carole was having none of that.
We left Belgrade, MT comparatively late, around 9am. A good night's sleep, a decent breakfast, but too early for places selling tire chains on Sunday. The hotel staff checked the weather and road conditions for us; they were great. Still, I was just as happy driving up the mountains in daylight.
The Silver Dollar Inn. The brown vertical wall mountings are just some of the silver dollars on display. Note wax figures seated in foreground. On I-90, 12/23/12( More narrative an images under cutCollapse )
Then we got to Bend, OR. The kids had gone to sleep, but Carole's daughter Wenonah and boyfriend Justin greeted us. We unpacked some of the presents to be wrapped later, and went to sleep.
Carole, her daughter Wenonah and Justin, late at night in Bend, OR 12/23/12
Continued in 20121224-26 Trip to Oregon and Back: Christmas in Bend, OR
|Monday, January 14th, 2013|
|20121222 Trip to Oregon and Back: Montana
Continued from 20121221 Trip to Oregon and Back: Minnesota and North Dakota. More images at 201220-23 Road Trip to Oregon Part I: MN, ND, MT, ID
Museum owner Steve and Carole under model of Pterodactyl, Makoshika Dinosaur Museum, Glendive, MT 12/22/12
Carole and I got an early jump out of Bismarck. The next stop was planned; part of Plan A, actually, as I'd been aiming for this since we left Minneapolis. Namely, the Makoshika Dinosaur Museum
in Glendive, MT. I spotted this Place of Interest on the AAA map, and it looked interesting, and on the way. I figured it would take a couple of hours to drive, at which point we could have lunch and go to the museum.
But first, we had to decide how far we'd get today. The weather was clear but cold. No snow, but 0° temps. Carole was still not up to snuff, and with the stop I figured the 550+ miles to Bozeman would be sufficient. We secured a hotel in Belgrade and set off.
While I had technically been to North Dakota before (staying overnight in Fargo while heading to the Winnipeg Folk Festival in 1983), the visit was short and I never felt The North Dakota Experience. This visit was longer, and while we only scratched the surface of what the state has to offer, I feel much better about waying "I've been to North Dakota" than I had.
And when we got to Montana, the first rest stop claimed a Visitors Center. Mostly (while we were there), unstaffed, with restrooms and maps. Again, it was very cold, so we didn't linger outside much. The sign proclaimed, "From this end of Montana to the west end is about the same distance as from New York to Chicago." which isn't quite true. The farthest distance in Montana, along the Canadian border, might be that long, but not the interstate route.
Arriving in Glendive, with the Museum's address in the GPS, we couldn't find it. We were initially fooled by the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum, which was closed for the season but visible from the highway. We continued on, and didn't see anything like a museum. Hmm. So we stopped at the Best Buy across the street from where it should have been to find that it was across the street. After a little business at the electronics store, we meandered over.
The Dinosaur Museum was created by Steve, the owner of the Hell Creek Music store at the behest of his then-12-year-old daughter. She went off to college (and I bought her music CD, made with her sister) and he moved the museum from its separate location to its present place attached to his store.( more narrative and a few pics under cutCollapse )
To be continued: 20121223 Trip to Oregon and Back: Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon