Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Take A Tour Of The 11-year-old's Clean Room

Your Spam Folder Is Empty, So Here Is More Spam

Above is a screen shot of the spam folder of my Yahoo account. When I empty the folder, instead of being rewarded with blank space, as previously occurred, the deep-thinkers have monetized the space with commercial video feeds.

So instead of seeing unwanted commercial solicitation, I can now view unwanted commercial videos.

It's hard to see the improvement here. At least the subject matter of videos has the potential to be of a higher order than the spam I regularly receive -- let's hope.

Monday, August 29, 2016

First Day Of High School

Today the daughter got out of bed without being yelled at, ate breakfast, made herself a sandwich, and went to her first day of high school -- she is in the ninth grade.

Of course I felt older and crustier than ever before, but I was proud that all was progressing as planned.

My role in her continued development will be to ineffectually remind her to clean her room. I had my chance to influence her upbringing, but, I guess, that day is past.

Here is the video of the historic moment:

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Cape Lookout State Park Always The Right Choice

The beach at low tide at sunset.

Out of all the Oregon State Parks, Cape Lookout is perhaps our favorite if we consider how many times we have camped here -- four times by my estimation.

This time was no disappointment as we had perfect weather, the temperature even hitting 90 degrees one afternoon -- an absolute rarity as the Oregon coast has only about 10 sunny days a year. I had the brilliant idea to fling my body into the sea to cool off. Cool off I did, as the water was a balmy 53 degrees and I began to get an ice cream headache the instant my head went underwater. Needless to say I stayed a brave 2.87 seconds in the water.

The coastal rain forest is fantastic in that the trees are so contorted from growing out of nurse logs and stumps. A tree will fall, a new tree will grow from the log, and when the log completely rots away the existing tree will have an interesting shape like the one above.

Despite this park being one of the most popular, there was no indication it's beauty had been diminished by overuse.
The beach was huge and the ritual was for campers to gather to watch the sunset.

Despite the good weather there was hardship. I bought unsweetened instant oatmeal by mistake. The Daughter had to make due and sweeten the oatmeal herself by tearing up marshmallows into small bits. 

This trip we had hammocks which added to our enjoyment. Even though we had two, the kids still managed an argument or two as to who had the right to use one or the other.

The trusty Coleman stove has never let us down no matter the weather -- a tough piece of gear that has stood the test of time.

The happy campers.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dad Worried Gift May Have Plunged Him Into Subculture

Me wearing the Butt Cat shirt.
For my birthday the Daughter gave me a green T-shirt with a picture of a cat with an ass crack.

I liked the design, it seemed humorous and playful, the cat having a serene look that signified all was okay in the world.

This week I was in the supermarket and a young couple, perhaps early 20s, complimented me on the shirt. They were so enraptured with it that I became nervous it signaled something I wasn't aware of.

"My teenage daughter gave me this," I said.

"Dude, I don't know you, but that shirt is you!" the man said.

I'm happy to receive the good will of the world, but if anybody has any input about the perceived deeper meaning of the Butt Cat, please let me know.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Summer Photo Essay #2

This is the Beer Barge, a human powered sternwheeler, that participants drink beer on while pedaling. Now it is a common sight on the Willamette River.

This is an actual barge on the Columbia River. Notice how it is significantly larger than the Beer Barge. I can't say enough how awesome it is to windsurf Doug's Beach on a windy summer day. Stoke!
Portland is a political city, with many causes being championed simultaneously. The above rally is to protest the Trans-pacific Trade Partnership.
The Daughter was very proud of the way she applied condiments.
The final camping trip of the year means everyone is given her/his own bag of trailmix so as to avoid a competition to pick out the choice bits (chocolate) before someone else does.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Hot Weather Brings Evening Walks Around Downtown PDX

Morrison Bridge at sunset

We've had a mild summer until this week when temperatures in the triple digits arrived. Our home is such a mossy, shaded place we don't bother with air conditioning. But when the temperatures get crazy hot we begin to feel the burn.

For the past few nights I've walked downtown around sunset when the temperature was perfect -- something around 85 degrees. I enjoy being out of the house, seeing what's going on, and wondering what the hell all the other people are up to. In this last regard, I've made no progress.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

RNRCFG: Queen Machine Delivers Awesomeness Times Ten

Once again Rock `N' Roll Camp For Girls delivered an excellent showcase, full of verve, talent, and, of course, maximum rock `n' roll.

The Daughter's band was Queen Machine and their song was Red Means Go. Lyrics below:

Big shoutout to all the staff, interns, volunteers, who made the camp such a terrific experience.

Friday, August 12, 2016

50-year-old Chair To Get Retrofit

This has been one of those projects talked about for years but never undertaken -- until today.

I finally called up the store, explained what we needed, and started the process of bringing our beloved chair back to form.

I remember this chair from my childhood and am happy it is in our house.

We are starting on a revamp of our family room and hope to have a good result in a few months' time.

Will keep everyone posted.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Old Joke Continues To Amuse

Once again I am punked by the Daughter, who concealed herself beneath the puffy comforter. This has happened before.

I suppose she has a greater chance of surprising me now as I get tired earlier and my senses become less acute. Still, she is getting to be a full-size person, so I may have a fighting chance to avert catastrophe going forward.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Taste Of Independence: Kid Goes On A Trip

The Daughter went on an Audubon Society trip and learned all sorts of natural stuff and enjoyed herself. Around her neck is a whistle and a "wood cookie" -- a section of a tree with her name written on it.

Although she was gone only a week, she returned markedly more mature. Still, some things are eternal.

She threw her duffel down by the stairs where it remained for many days. At the strident urging of her parents she moved it to her room. We actually wanted her to unpack, but had to settle for her moving her crap off to the wasteland of her room.

This is our life and I wouldn't have it any other way. Stoke!


Monday, August 8, 2016

Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action

برنامه جامع اقدام مشترک

I don't usually get political in this space, but sometimes my need for expression gets the better of me.

One year after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the Iran Deal) was signed with Tehran, there are still those in our government and other countries who doubt its efficacy. 

Today I was looking up something and came across the JCPOA in Persian. I then realized this platform, Blogger, is enabled for Persian script, and the black letters above reflect that.

That the technological basis for further engagement with Iran is already in place is no mistake. Cooperation, exchange, interaction, is what we need to do as a global society to work out our differences.

Why the Republicans emphasize bellicosity and aggression with their rejection of the JCPOA over a nuanced diplomacy is a question beyond my purview. 

The JCPOA is proving a successful measure to curtail a regime whose intentions are unknown. Security experts in Washington and Tel Aviv are attesting to this.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Audubon Society Trip Fills Kid With Wonder

Clearly this kid is wonder-filled.

With a quick decision, the kid went off to Northern California on an Audubon Society trip. She's back now, having had a wonderful time.

She saw birds, marine mammals, and learned about the famous Frito Pie (chili and cheese on top of Fritos). She got along fine with the other kids, councilors, and assorted humanity.

But, of course, the real evaluation of the trip is if it filled the kid with wonder.

The wonder-meter peaked at 7.89 with 10 being the maximum reading -- a success!

She 's already thinking about the trip for next year.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

6th Graders Leave For Camp

I will share any stories of short-sheeted beds or other mayhem when the kid returns.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

11-year-old Writes Home From Camp

Dear Family,

I don’t know when you’ll be reading this, but right now it’s cleaning time in day 2 ( I am a runner today. So I don’t clean). I arrived yesterday, and nothing exciting really happened.: except two things at dinner. ONE: They served the diarrhea Brownies, but they changed the ingredients so nobody had it. TWO: There was an LIT that looked like an older version of me. AND He was WEARING THE EXACT SAME SHIRT that I was! It was like looking into a mirror!

Other than that, It was pretty boring. I heard today that we’re supposed to go inner-tubing today! I know that I shouldn’t say this, but I miss you guys.

P.S. A guy just walked into the cabin announcing skill builders. I got basketball, Yay!