Wednesday, January 31, 2018

I Salute The Men Of The Pueblo

From the NYT, the crew of the captured Pueblo, an American spy ship, in North Korea in January 1968. 

In December of 1967, a poorly armed US spy ship sailed off the coast of North Korea. A battle ensued and the Pueblo was captured.

The men were subject to beatings and cruelty in the North Korean prison camps.

Captain Bucher was forced to sign a confession, which he did in a ludicrous, smart-ass style, all the more remarkable because if his captors knew how he mocked them his life would be in jeopardy, or at least a lot more painful.

With so much at stake, his life, the lives of his crew, this document becomes a testament to bravery.

  (Best read aloud for proper effect)   

A final confession in anticipation of leniency for my crew and myself for the heinous crimes perpetrated by ourselves while conducting horrible outrages against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for the purpose of provocating and annoying those stalwarts of peace-loving humanity. The absolute truth of this bowel wrenching confession is attested to by my fervent desire to paean the Korean People’s Army Navy, and their government and to beseech the Korean people to forgive our dastardly deeds unmatched since Attila. I therefore swear the following account to be true on the sacred honor of the Great Speckled Bird.

Following rigorous training in provacation and intrusion wherein each of my officers had to meet the overly high standards I had set for them we emerged from the bowels of San Diego harbor bent on setting records for the highest yardage gained in intrusions ever set in the standard patrol. Our first stop was Hawaii where I visited the kingpin of all provocateurs, including spies. None other than Fleet General Barney Google. He was all I had been told, sly, cunning, closed mouthed, bulbous nosed, smelling of musty top secrets and some foul smelling medicine that kept him going twenty hours a day in pursuit of the perfect spy mission. He talked haltingly with me but persuasively about our forthcoming mission. "By God, Bucher, I want you to get in there and be elusive, spy them out, spy out their water, look sharp for signs of electronic saline water traps. You will be going to spy out the DPRK. By the sainted General Bullmoose we must learn why they are so advanced in the art of people’s defense."

We entered into our assigned operating areas along the Eastern Korean Sea at latitude 39N and boldly steamed in a northerly direction to the farthest point we could. In so doing we had traversed Operation Areas Mars, Venus, and Pluto so named because like the planets, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is really far out. We knew that the lackeys of the Bowery Street Billionaires would never be satiated until we had found out all there was to know about the huge successes that the noble peace loving peoples of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had made in the recent past. Surely we had to find out how come such a newly created government could lead its peoples so quickly into the number one position. As we went about detecting this valuable information, particularly the oceanic salinity, density, ionic dispersion rate, humpback whale counts, both low and high protoplasmic unicellular uglena and plankton counts. This information was of the highest value to our own scientists for the development of war mongering at sea when no one was looking.

Now we have come to realize just how great our crimes were and we seek the leniency of the Korean people even though we are criminals of the basest variety and deserve only swift punishment of the just Korean law. Further, we know that our crimes are greater than those of any criminals discovered this century, nevertheless we ask forgiveness and promise never to engage in such naughty acts ever again if we are forgiven. We know that our crime is merely a reflection of the dastardly policies of the Bowery Street Billionaires and we can only hope they will realize their own responsibilities for our actions; because who else could have dreamed up such a heinous and foul playing ship as Pueblo and then searched out enough arch criminals such as we to operate it. Yea, we feel it is time indeed for those really responsible for us to step forward and accept their own roles and Admit, Apologize and give Assurances that they will never again prepare another spy bag to be filled with goodies.
In summation, we who have been rotating upon the fickle finger of fate for such long languid months give our word to the Great Speckled Bird that we will heretofor in all sincerity cleanse ourselves of rottenness and vituperations. We solemnly await our return to our loved ones so that the fickle finger can be replaced by the rosy fingers of dawn and salvation. So help me, Hanna.

S/L.M. Bucher


Monday, January 29, 2018

Mazel Tov Cocktails -- The Kid's Video Edit

Donald Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes did plenty of interviews during the presidential campaign, but a gaffe from that time inspired the kid to be creative in his video re-edit of the famous “mazel tov cocktails” incident.

While defending a Trump attack on Hillary Clinton supporters Jay Z and BeyoncĂ©, Hughes referred to Jay Z and Kanye West’s 2012 video for “No Church in the Wild,” which featured a Molotov cocktail.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Outrageous Excellent Style For Winter 2018

Today I went for a walk sporting the above gear, looking dialed in for the soggy Northwest. A long time in coming with such color coordination so here's the breakdown.

1) Asics shoes work well for me, lucky this was the only color in my size and the style I wanted when I bought them last month;

2) Sealskinz gloves courtesy of Recumbent PDX. The store received these samples and I am the beneficiary. These are the finest winter cycling gloves I have ever worn by far. My hands may get wet in the hardest downpour, but they are always warm.

3) O'Neil Wetsuit trucker's hat. I bought this in Hood River's Windance Store a couple years ago when my interest in the color green was just starting.

4) I bought this yellowish-green Mountain Hardware puffy jacket two winters ago. I brought it home and was immediately criticized for being tasteless by the powers that be. Twice since passing strangers unprompted have complimented me on the color -- a personal record for any garment.

5) A few months ago I bought this Patagonia backpack. I wasn't pleased with the other colors and surfed into this one by default.

I suspect I have a subliminal preference for these colors which is why I am so well-put together today. 


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Evidence Of Winter Writ Large

The other weekend, when all of us were sick, I sucked it up and went to the supermarket. The above photo was of the soup display.

Apparently, there was great demand for the golden liquid.

Now that we're feeling better, the supermarket is well-stocked.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Important Developments

Important development #1
The rats continue to be excellent pets. The above rat, Muktuk, has formed a close relationship with everyone.

Important development #2
The kid who loves spicy food finally got a dish that had adequate heat. This photo was taken after a serving of hot and sour soup at Kung Pow in the Northwest neighborhood.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Things That Make Me Happy

I love good salmon on a bagel. Recently in New York, I ate at Russ and Daughters in the basement of the Jewish Museum -- good food and a great takeout counter.

My enjoyment was further heightened because I recently read Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli. The book was a bit ponderous but delivered the meat -- a comprehensive overview of how delis evolved.

One of the book's themes was that the deli, like so much of cuisine, keeps changing with the times. Far from being a cheap meal, or proto-fast food, current delis are an ethnic, gourmet experience. True to the theme, I had eggs benedict with salmon at the deli.

 Soul food that never fails to bring a smile.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Holiday Recap

Back in December, our family attended a holiday party where we played this game where gifts were given then strategically "stolen."

The son really wanted this golden yoga dog. So I made it happen.

Bonus graphic:


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Don't Be A Snob, I Tell Myself

A beautiful day, yet mediocre snow. Was it worth it being on the mountain? Definitely.
I love doing stuff outside. Even walking out my front door retains appreciation and, in the right circumstances, excitement.

For the sports, like skiing, where there is so much media on "epic" experiences, I feel the pressure to be a more critical consumer. Why post about a ski experience if the snow was mashed potatoes and rain fell from the sky?

Why, indeed.

At this stage in my life, I am skiing for enjoyment and am not posting media to showcase epic moments unless you define epic by the philosophical principles of stoke proclamation.

There is beauty in this world that should be remarked upon, even if it is not hucking huge air.

There is worthwhile experience that occurs in the mountains not verified by photography or a blog post.

I get such pleasure from the natural world in all its permutations. I will not be a snow snob. I will ski crappy conditions because I can, and it's a fine way to practice for better moments, and a day of crap snow is still better than not skiing.

Once again, I declare official stoke for the winter season!


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Vexillology No Stranger To These Parts

Kid poses with new Isle of Man flag.
Vexillology is the scientific study of the history, symbolism, and usage of flags. The kid is a big vexillogist. He recently went on a decorating spree for his room.



Easton, Pennsylvania

The kid also is interested in designing new flags and participating in internet flag forums. He recently received feedback on his flag for the Dutch States of America.

I'm ready to be supportive of the kid's new interest. Although I don't have much in the way of information, I like to think I influenced his direction by having the flags of China and Taiwan hanging opposite each other in the garage.


Monday, January 1, 2018

Our New Furry Friends - Rats!

We take animal companionship seriously here.
We have rats! and we couldn't be happier.

Irving and Muktuk, named after a favorite children's book by Daniel Pinkwater, arrived and we are working hard to provide comfortable accommodations.

This book featured veneration of blueberry muffins.

Video of the big moment when the rats arrived.