Saturday, September 11, 2010

Check out my Wordpress blog

I'm coming out of blog-retirement for a while to write about my upcoming knee replacement surgery, so check out new posts at

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I'm trying something new

I've been playing around with WordPress as a blog host/template to see if it's any less annoying than Blogspot. If you want to see how it's going, check this out:

Monday, July 26, 2010

The End of the Line

Well, my faithful readers, after 18,826 page views of 450 posts over almost 3-1/2 years, I'm going to retire from blogging for a while at least. StatCounter tells me my readership is down over the last few months, and I admit that posting for me is becoming more of a pain than pleasure. It's likely those two facts are related.

Anyway, it's been fun while it lasted. Check back once in a while. You never know when I may just have to post a political rant or distribute some pictures from some exotic (or mundane) location.

'Bye for now....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


No, I haven't been taken hostage.

Yesterday I listened to Jere Van Dyk being interviewed on the local NPR morning show. He is a journalist who had been in and out of Afghanistan since the '70's and who went back in 2008 to the "tribal" areas on the Afghani-Pakistani border to find and interview various Al Qaida and Taliban types. To hear it said that way, I make him sound like one of these swashbuckling, adrenaline-loving writers who put their lives on the line just to prove their manhood. And maybe he was at one point, but I enjoyed the interview so much that I called Megan up and asked her to go with me to hear him speak at Townhall that night.

He's on a book tour promoting his book Captive, about how his best-laid plains in Afghanistan went badly awry. He ended up being held in chains by the Taliban for forty-five days. In person, he does look like the swashbuckling, adrenaline-loving kind of guy. He's 60ish, very fit, and with near-Hollywood good looks. But in his talk he came across like he did on the radio: a very soft- but well-spoken  and intelligent storyteller with a great deal of humility. I think he may have gone there as a swashbuckler, but he had the crap scared out of him, and came back a different man.

His talk was so engrossing that I bought his book (a dead-tree edition, not for my Kindle). I've just started the book, but so far it's a pretty good read. I'll report back when I'm done.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Birthdays and World Cup Soccer

As much as I wanted to watch the World Cup final yesterday, Megan had a better idea even though I had no idea what it was. I trusted her, and it turned out my trust was not misplaced. She can be a truly devious woman, and she managed to keep her true intent a secret until we were there. Where was there? It was Sunday brunch at the restaurant at the end of two chairlift rides to the peak at the Crystal Mountain ski area.

The weather and views were truly spectacular! For all you flatlanders out there who might not recognize it, that's Mount Rainier in the background.
Here's Megan, looking rightfully pleased with herself for her deception!

Not only were the views spectacular, the food was great! A good spread of fresh fruit, the usual bacon and eggs and hashbrowns, and a lovely roast of lamb with a horseradish a cream cheese condiment. I'll have to try and re-create it the next time I prepare lamb.

But what about the World Cup? Megan was able to keep me updated with an app she downloaded on her very smart Droid phone. I was cheering for The Netherlands, but it was hard to be too despondent on a wonderful day in the mountains. Thanks Megan!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Report from the CITW

Here it is. The first post from the CITW. The fiber optics cable that resides inside the conduit I so lovingly installed is now officially lit, and I am now connected with the outside world.

I installed the orange stuff coming out of the ground. The PUD installed the rest.

The internet company hooked up a wireless modem and turned the internet on.

And I even have a phone attached to a plug in the wall! How '80's is that? The phone is not absolutely necessary, but cell coverage out here in the wilderness can be pretty spotty at times. And there is something to be said for a phone that is associated with a place, not a person.

While all this was going on, I wasn't sitting by idly watching. I built this 22 bottle wine rack.! Now all I have to do is fill it up. Those two bottles there look pretty lonely.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

World Cup Soccer

I'm not much of a sports fan. I think American football is ridiculous; baseball is boring; basketball is a game for mutants; and hockey is only moderately interesting (in my Canadian genes or something). I do watch golf once in a while, especially the major tournaments, but I can certainly understand the feeling that it's like watching paint dry.

But not so with World cup Soccer. The game at this level is fascinating and spellbinding and has me hooked. I've watched several games, and for the most part I've watched them alone, so it's not like it's a social thing. I've jumped up and down and yelled at the TV to point that Farley retreats to his cage when I'm watching a game.

The Ghana v. Uruguay quarter-final game was heartbreaking. Ghana, the underdog and the only African team left at that point, scored first and were taking it to the Uruguayans. Then Uruguay scored and it was tied. The game went into 30 minutes of extra time, and on the last play of the last second of extra time, the Ghanaians kicked what should have been a sure goal. The goalkeeper was way out of position, and the ball was only stopped at the goal line by another player using his hands. The result - a direct penalty kick, is a goal about 80% of the time. The Ghanaian missed his chance, time was up, and the game went to the penalty kick shootout. The Ghana team lost the shootout 4-2. This had to be one of the best games ever in the history of sport.

Other games I watched and enjoyed included Ghana v USA, 2-1; Brazil v Chile, 3-0; Germany v Argentina, 4-0; and The Netherlands v Uruguay, 3-2. In a couple of hours I will be watching Germany against Spain; on Sunday I will be watching the final; and in 2014 I think I'll go to Brazil for the next World Cup.

In the meantime, does anyone out there want to come over to Fremont for a World Cup final party?