A trip around the Bend

I finished up my third McMenamins passport a couple weekends ago in Bend. It was really a very nice weekend. I drove over on Saturday and checked into my room at the Old St. Francis. The room itself was great! And the two new buildings on the property, including several secret rooms, made this terrific property even better. This might have been my favorite overnight at a McMenamins so far.

Mid-afternoon, I went to visit my friend, Angela, and her son, Henry. I’ve known Angela since we were in elementary school. We sat and chatted, took a walk along a scenic river path in town, then had dinner at Jackson’s Corner, a local favorite.

I returned to the hotel and did a bit more wandering around until some other friends were freed up to meet me for drinks. Nori, Nori’s boyfriend, John, Brian, and Amy came out and the five of us enjoyed an evening of conversation, drink, and really just being together. Taking advantage of the fact that I was staying the night at the same location where we were imbibing, I indulged with a White Russian, a beer flight, a pint of cider, and two Old Fashioneds. The Old Fashioneds were made with an apple whiskey which I found to be particularly good.

Sunday morning, I got up to walk across the street for Mass, but I’d gotten my information mixed up and there was not Mass at this location at this time. I returned to the hotel, had breakfast and checked out. I stopped in Sisters on the way home and attended Mass at St Edwards there.
When I got back into my car following Mass, I turned on the Vikings game. Ugh. The trainwreck that would be their first loss of the season was underway. Perhaps mercifully, the trip through the mountains would prevent me from listening to the game.

Finally, that afternoon, I caught a ride with Brit to our gaming session in McMinnville. It was a good session wherein Filibert got to kick much ass and even revivify a fallen comrade.


You know, life after derby might not be so empty after all.

Passport pursuits

My coworker has just one location left to visit for her McMenamin’s passport. In order to attend a Tripster party together, we need to both complete passports around the same time.

Unlike her, I have several locations I still need to collect. Among them, Bend, Roseburg, Eugene, Corvallis, Gearhart, Forest Grove, McMinnville, and Bothel, WA.

I’ll be in the neighborhood of Bothel this weekend, so I plan to stop by the Anderson School.

After that, I might be able to make some big loops to gather the bulk of what is still outstanding for me.

Trip 1 – Bend/Roseburg/Eugene/Corvallis (8+ hours)


Trip 2 – McMinnville/Forest Grove/Gearhart (5+ hours)

This would still leave a number of locations in/around Portland, but it’s theoretically doable over the next few weeks. If it comes to that.

Organizing chaos

Last RPG post for at least a few days, I promise.

Dungeons & Dragons, well, actually, Wizards of the Coast, does a public play thing. Every Wednesday, kinda wherever one may roam, there’s this thing called Adventurer’s League, D&D Encounters. It’s essentially the first few chapters of whatever the current campaign season is. The first season was Tyranny of Dragons. The second was Princes of the Apocalypse. And the third (current) season is Rage of Demons. So on Wednesdays, various game shops (and other places) host public play. It’s an opportunity for new and veteran players to come enjoy an evening of play. Every shop has a coordinator; towns/counties have a Local Coordinator. I guess there are area coordinators and regional coordinators, etc. Well, I am sort of the store coordinator for TimeSync Gaming in Salem. Mostly that means that I make sure that there are DMs to run the tables. On the one hand, it’s a good fit for my need for structure. On the other hand, my need for structure can make it a little frustrating when others don’t feel the same need.

For the past couple months, we’ve been running the main storyline, Out of the Abyss. But in November, we are giving the DMs a break and running a different series of adventures. We run three tables each week so we need three DMs. One of my DMs for tonight is calling in sick. I only have 2 DMs for next week, and possibly only 1 for the following two weeks (me).

It would be nice to feel like I didn’t have to go tonight, because I am flying to Minnesota early tomorrow morning (more on that tomorrow). But then there is that over-developed sense of responsibility.


Reading: Elminster: The Making of a Mage, The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag, Underwood and Flinch

Forgotten Realms current events

I’ve recently been playing D&D again. The setting in which we’re playing is the Forgotten Realms. Now, I used to read the FR novels back in the early 90s; I probably read around 30 or so back then. So I figured, I’ve got this; I’m familiar with this setting. But it turns out that my knowledge of ‘current events’ in the realms is 130 years out of date. I guess I need to get caught up. But where to start? My friends, if you know me, you know I have a sickness, a terrible compulsion. Yes, I’m a completionist. I can’t just start something in the middle. I thank God that I am often able to stop before I get to the end, but I MUST start at the beginning.

So, I’ve got some work ahead of me. 🙁 A week ago, I purchased a dozen FR books that I did not already own. I’m in the process of tracking down what I do have, and catching up from where I left off 12-15 years ago.

Fortunately, the interwebs have got my back. This page will prove to be an invaluable resource as I track what I own, and what I’ve read.


Wish me luck!

Challenge accepted

Rizzachill suggested challenging ourselves to resume writing on a daily basis. So, being a goer, here I am.

Let’s be honest, my writing isn’t what one would call compelling, or even interesting really. But that’s ok. This is really for me to attempt to exercise a little creativity. Very little as the case may be.
You can expect posts about roller derby, role-playing games, television, the Winnipeg Jets, the Minnesota Vikings, and whatever other randomness strikes me.


Full disclosure, I’m starting a few days late so these first couple posts are being backdated. Hey, at least I’m honest about my cheating.

Full, but not too busy

Had a good weekend.


Friday after work I went over to Liz’s place to feed her cat, water her plant, and do laundry. Watched an 80s movie on Netflix while I waited for clothes to cycle. Had plans to meet some people for dinner at Don Pedro’s Time on Portland Road that night, and in order to get in my scheduled run, I timed my departure to put me at the restaurant (3.4 miles away) at the correct time. Had a couple tacos, rice & beans. The point of going to this place was to check out their alleged cabbage salsa. #fail 😉 My source had mistaken what was available there. The food was good nonetheless. Afterwards, I ran back to pick up my car and laundry, taking a shorter route (2 miles). Rather surprised that I was able to do the distance and especially that running after I ate seemed easier than the first leg!


Saturday I went to help paint at the Mad House, then tried another Mexican place, El Grullense, for lunch. No cabbage salsa there, but a delicious fried chicken meal! Later in the afternoon I rode up to the Grand Lodge in Forest Grove to complete my passport. Nice place. Fed cat, watered plant.

Couple hours later, rode in to Portland to Darth Bling/Andy Oakley’s place to stay the night. Bling had fixed up some rice and curry (which was delicious) and we spent the evening watching derby movies (Brutal Beauty and Blood on the Flat Track).


Early Sunday AM, Bling and I rode our bikes up to Centralia to get some breakfast. The Rainy City Roller Girls were doing a fundraiser at Applebees. Nice ride. Cold on the way up, but pleasant on the ride back.

Made it back to Portland by 12:15/12:30, took a few minutes to stretch, then back to Salem. Fed cat, watered plant.

Spent the late afternoon/early evening with my gaming group getting started with Shadowrun. I think I’m going to like this game. Finished off the evening by re-watching the last 3 episodes of series 1 of Dr Who and watching episode 1 of series 2. That endeavor is going to be painful.

Blue Monday

2 things of note today.

#1 I was informed that, once again, I am being bumped by someone more senior with the district. I will be unemployed after July, 31st. This sucks. I’m tired of fighting to continue working in a place that has done none of my requested/suggested things to ensure that they retain me. I don’t want to lose my job, but I’m at the point where I feel I just have to make the best of it.

#2 I went to the bullfights tonight. Photos tomorrow.

Walk on Wednesday

I skipped my lunch walk today. But I did go for my wellness break walk and Mary came along. And then, after work, I joined up with other walkers from the college out on the track. There, I began a training plan to get up to running a 5K. The first day of the plan called for alternating walking and jogging for 30 minutes. The app on my iPhone alerted me when it was time to switch from one to the other.
So I feel pretty good about it, but I bet I’ll be sore tomorrow.

Oscar Sunday

Tonight was the 83rd Academy Awards.

There weren’t any big surprises. The hosts were ok, but not great. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to see all the nominated movies over the past few months. My final count was 44 out the 56 movies nominated. Not bad. But it didn’t help much when it came to guessing the winners in each category. I only correctly guessed 9 out of 24. My coworker, Ruth, having seen only 10 or so of the nominees, got 11 correct. Part of my problem is that, yes, I could have selected the movie I expected to win, but I went more with the choice that I felt should win. Clearly the Academy and I do not see eye to eye. That’s ok. Everyone is entitled to be wrong; even the Academy.

Salsa Fest, Week 2 roundup

Salsa fest has come to an end; but it shall not soon be forgotten!

Here are my observations about week 2.

Again, I will use the following scale to rate the overall awesomeness of each salsa: 7 will be the lowest score. It represents a dismal state of suckitude analogous to how uplifted one is likely to feel after seeing Biutiful. 42 will be the top score. It is also the number on the football jersey that my friend Tim sent me for my birthday. A score of 42 is a theoretical score, unlikely to be found in nature. This grader tends not to give perfect scores as I feel it leaves no room for something better. So an average score would fall in the 23 – 28 range, while a score upwards of 33 indicates great approval.

Tuesday – Vicki’s Cowboy Caviar. This was a big hit in the office and the only reason that the bowl wasn’t emptied by 1:00, is that Community Ed had counter-scheduled a mexican food themed lunch for this day. Nevertheless, rave reviews. 37.

Wednesday – Dorinda’s Salsa con Queso. Definately one of my favorite things into which to dip a chip. Dorinda even spiced it up with some extra seasonings. This is a way that I would eat my chips at home so this offering benefits from comfort and familiarity. 35.

Thursday – Angie brought in a Watermelon Salsa that impressed everyone. And there was a food pairing! She also brought in lime flavored chips for the dipping. Now I’m not a fan of the lime chips, but the combination of flavors really worked! Angie had everyone asking for the recipe. 36.

Friday – Sadly, I was not present on Friday to sample Vicki V’s salsa & cream cheese combo. It must therefore remain unscored.

So there you have it. A successful salsa run. I’m not sure what we might attempt next along similar lines, but I do believe there is interest in doing something.

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