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Inconsequentials & Trivialities » Travel

Oregon, Day 5

Today was a really nice day. We started by going to breakfast at Pig’n Pancake. I had a taco omelet and banana pancakes. Yum. Then we drove up to Astoria and spent some time sight-seeing. Among the attractions was the Astoria Column. (Again, photos will be forthcoming.) The weather was great the entire day, clear and mostly sunny.

In the afternoon, we went for another walk on the beach and decided that this would be the night that we built a fire on the beach. I left Dave and the girls out on the beach while I retreated to my room for a bit. An  hour or two later, Dave came up to gather supplies and we returned to the beach to build a fire, roast marshmallows and hotdogs, and enjoy the relatively warm night on the beach. It was a very pleasant evening and after a few hours, we all returned to the girls quarters to watch The Two Towers. Here’s the problem: David brought his Region 2 set of DVDs. So they wouldn’t play on the machine. Hahaha! So David and I had to take turns summarizing the plot of the movie. That took 30 minutes! Anyway, we started The Return of the King after that and we all took turns dozing off during the first disk.

Yeah, all in all, a very nice day.

Oregon, Day 4 – To the coast!

We wrapped up the first leg of our trip to Oregon this morning. The morning consisted of nothing more than sleeping in as best we could, a leisurely pack and clean, breakfast, and a scenic drive to Cannon Beach.

We arrived at about mid-day and checked in to a cute little five-room inn. The units are smallish; cozy would be a good way to describe them, but large enough for our needs. We met up with Rizza & Deb (true names withheld under threat of pain) and popped into town to acquire some provisions. The rest of the afternoon was spent walking along the coastline, chatting and taking photos. As it was too early to start a movie, we passed the next couple of hours sitting outside our rooms playing a card game I’d purchased for the occasion, Gloom. It was fun (except for Rizza who didn’t enjoy it at all!) and wouldn’t you know it, David won. Curses!

The weather, in typical Oregon fashion, changed several times over the course of the afternoon/evening. It’s several degrees cooler here at the edge of the ocean than it was 90 miles inland. I love it! But I wasn’t entirely prepared for it. Note to self: next time bring a sweater and sweatpants.

After a meal break, we gathered in the girls’ room to watch The Fellowship of the Ring. Rizza had never seen it so I promised/vowed/threatened months ago to bring the entire extended edition series to watch while we were here. Well, she was a trooper! She made it through the entire movie and even acknowledged that she liked it more than she expected to. Nice! So we shall see if everyone is up for continuing the series tomorrow night.

I’ll have several photos to post from the trip, but I’ll be waiting until I get home to process them all and upload. So in addition to a future post that will be photo-centric, I’ll be ret-conning some of these posts with the addition of some images.

Oregon, Day 3

Got up this morning and the first thing on the agenda was to do my 5K training. Today was 5 minutes of warm-up, 20 minutes of jogging, and 5 minutes of cool-down. I started off from my hotel and made my way to the Broadway Bridge. I managed to do the jog up the incline and coming down the other side was a breeze. I jogged past the train and bus stations and began my ascent of the Steel Bridge. By this point, I’d been jogging for 15 minutes, almost double my previous time, and I was feeling it. And I was jogging uphill. I though if I could make it to the top of the bridge, I could finish out my alloted time. Alas, it was not to be. I was out of gas. I forced myself to get to the 17 minute mark, then I hit pause and walked for a few minutes. I did resume jogging after a bit, and finished out the 20 minute total.

After a shower and breakfast, I went to Mass at St. Pius X. Overall I was pleased. If I had to make this my parish, I think I could tolerate it. I’ll keep looking but I sure could do worse. Here are some salient pros and cons:


  • Layout of the church – Tabernacle was to the side, worship space was wider than long.
  • People sang!
  • The worship resources in the pews were acceptable
  • There are a good variety of active ministries at the parish
  • The parish is growing
  • There were lots of families at Mass
  • The Presider sang the Eucharistic Prayer (and did it well)
  • Music group consisted of piano, organ, guitar, bass, and choir
  • During the Prayers of the Faithful, we prayed that people find it within themselves to forgive Osama Bin Laden and others who would do us harm. – This was really moving to me. I think forgiving isn’t so much for the transgressor as for those who have been wronged. It’s hard to forgive but so good for us if we can.


  • Marian songs were sung during Mass (twice!)
  • Only 1 verse of the Preparation Song and Closing song were sung
  • Some strange, unfamiliar Eucharistic Prayer was used
  • Psalm was a paraphrased version
  • The Fraction Rite was a little odd. – It looked like the Precious Blood was poured into cups held by each of the EMHC that were assisting.
  • There was poor line of sight to from the back of the church to the sanctuary
  • There was a long delay before singing started at Communion
  • The Presider directed us to hold hands for the Our Father
  • The Presider directed the assembly to stay seated for the Prayer After Communion


In the afternoon, David and I went to meet Suzanne and Mike at Powell’s Books. As advertised, the place is quite large. After this, we all went to see Thor. It was pretty good. Only a couple of story/continuity problems which I am willing to overlook.

Finally, we all went to the Brazil Grill where I, for one, had WAY too much meat to eat.

Pretty good day.

Oregon, Day 2

This morning, Dave and I drove about 30 minutes out-of-town and hiked up to Multnomah Falls. I had thought that because I’d been doing all that walking and jogging over the past couple of months, the hike would be no problem. I was wrong. It was difficult at times but I pushed through to make it to the top of the falls. I can only imagine how much harder it would have been if I hadn’t been exercising! I took several photos, but I have to wait until I get home before I can upload them. Stay tuned.

Afterwards, we drove to Vancouver, WA for lunch and to look around. We had lunch at Blind Onion Pizza. Pretty tasty. I made a point of driving around the city a good bit to try to get a feel for the place. I think I’m definitely more excited about living in the suburbs than in the city proper.

Back to the hotel for a couple of hours before going out to see a movie at the Living Room Theater. We saw Gods and Men. The theater only seats 40 people and it’s set up so that you can eat real food (and concession stuff) while watching the movie. So I had a pork and provolone Panini sandwich with a salad and a diet soda. The movie was good but very slow-paced.

Big, full day tomorrow. I’ll tell you about it in about 20 hours.

Travel day

I began my trip today. I left sweltering hot Modesto shortly before 2:00. I arrived in Medford at about 7:30. It’s much cooler here, thank goodness.
I really enjoy wandering around unfamiliar cities. I often feel alone even when surrounded by people I know. When I’m actually away from everyone I know, feeling alone makes sense. In a strange way, I enjoy it.

Looming departure

As usual before a trip, I have numerous things to do and feel like I won’t have time to do them all before I leave. I was able to do a little cleaning this evening after I got home from the ShadowChase Walking Group. I really liked meeting up with the group. It has the kind of structure that I respond to. Looking forward to being a regular with them. I was also able to cook up some food for tomorrow and Thursday. Meals are taken care of until I leave.

I had intended to play Haelindir a bit tonight, but some kinnies asked for help running the Great Barrows, so I switched to Danae and we knocked it out tout suite.

I learned some French txt abbreviations today. My favorites are mdr, short for mort de rire (dead/dying from laughter) and A+, short for a plus tard (until later).

Tomorrow I have some things to take care of in the afternoon so I’m taking a half day off. And then more stuff to do in the evening. I may never be ready to leave.


I want to hear the people sing!

A week or so ago, I recorded a PBS special on the 25th anniversary of Les Miserables. This weekend, I got around to watching it. Les Miserables is my favorite musical. I’ve seen it three times and I’d gladly see it many more times. It’s such a powerful story of redemption and self-sacrifice. My favorite characters are, of course, Jean Valjean and Eponine. Both of these characters sing great songs. I’m not sure which of the two stories is more moving.

Anyway, this special was presented concert style. Not my favorite. But that’s ok, the music was still quite powerful. Afterwards, I checked and sure enough, there is a US tour underway! It will be in Los Angeles in June/July, but it won’t be coming to San Francisco. It looks like I’m going to have to go down to So Cal to see it. Done! Maybe twice.

In other news, I’ll be booking my hotel accommodations for Portland on Wednesday. Yay!!

And finally, for supper this afternoon, I grilled steak and made rice and steamed French cut green beans. Tasty!


When teleportation is finally possible, where will you beam yourself first?

Inherent in the question is the idea that this new technology will allow me to go someplace that I really want to go or someplace that’s difficult to go to. I mean, why would I say, “The kitchen”? That would be really stupid and a waste. Will this technology be more cost effective than what we have now? You know, it is possible to purchase trips to space, to the international space station. Just takes money. Will teleportation cost as much? Will it be cheaper to drive or fly to any of the places I’d like to go? Will teleportation be a novelty and ultimately nothing more than a fad? I’m not one to jump on bandwagons for their own sake.

Let’s assume that it’s cheap/free to use this technology. When will it actually arrive? Tomorrow? Then I’ll go to Portland. 5 years from now? Then it will depend on where I haven’t gotten to by then. I’ll tell you what it will do if this is a cheap and ubiquitous means of travel. It will prompt me to live in a more remote area than I would currently accept. If I can get back and forth to people and services, why live in a crowded area at all?

Now for the rest of the story

Ok, so in my earlier post, I had arrived at the church. The church itself was sort of unimpressive but the campus was pretty nice. What was impressive was the number of people in attendance. There were so many people there who loved my uncle. That was really nice. Mass seemed haphazard and rather lazily put together. I won’t get into the specifics but it was a little frustrating and disappointing. My uncle had served in the army and received military honors at the cemetery. The Church could learn a thing or three from the military. These guys understand the value and power of ritual. The lone bugle playing Taps and the words spoken to my aunt when the soldiers presented the flag to her were the most moving moments I’d witnessed in some time.

Back at the house, there was a seemingly endless influx of people bringing food or coming by to spend some time remembering my uncle. It really was a wonderful celebration of Doug’s life. I got to spend lots of good time with family.
I did sneak in a nap, and when I woke up, almost everyone had gone. I and my cousin, and a friend of his finished up the evening playing some games.

I’d hoped and intended to leave to come home at 8:00 or so, but didn’t end up leaving until 9:30. I had something to be back in Modesto for at 2:00. I was an hour late. But that’s not too bad.


Despite the long road trip down south and the rapid turn-around to come home, nevermind the accompanying lack of sleep! this was surprisingly one of the most restorative weekends I’ve had in a while. Maybe it had something to do with it being a four day weekend. Or maybe it had more to do with seeing family. Maybe it was about who wasn’t going to be in the office when I came in this morning. But I actually felt rested when I went back to work today.

Sometimes I feel like the only cab on the road. But not in LA. Never in LA.

I went to bed at about 10:30 Thursday night. I set my alarm for 2 AM, but I woke up at 1 and knew I wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep. So I got up, showered, dressed, made a pizza, and departed for points south. At this point, I had ½ tank of gas and $20. My monthly paycheck hadn’t hit my account. So I had to take it on faith that it would before I really needed to fuel up.

I stopped for gas in Bakersfield. It was either going to be the $20 or…. I checked my account and my paycheck had hit! Yay! So I filled up and continued on.

I was actually making really good time despite the thick fog. I’ve had lots of practice driving in the fog. You do have to be more careful, but it’s quite doable. There were only three points at which I needed to slow down, but they passed quickly. When I hit the Grapevine, all fog disappeared. I was feeling very good about my ETA.

Then I hit LA traffic. Good God! I hate LA traffic! But at least I was still moving. Until I hit OC traffic! It was even worse!! It didn’t help that I was a little tired, and uncomfortable (I really had to take a bathroom break), but traffic was so thick that I couldn’t readily move over to exit in the right places and I ended up taking a couple of detours. Grr. So I was getting more and more physically uncomfortable. It was looking more and more like I wasn’t going to arrive in time. And I couldn’t see a place to stop and use a restroom. Finally, I took a chance and exited so that I could look for a stop. I found one but their bathroom was out of order! I am not too proud to say that at that point, I resorted to improvising.

Feeling much better, I contined to follow my iphone’s map to the church. Indeed I arrived at the appointed destination with 5 minutes to spare!! Only to realize that my phone had sent me to the wrong church. *Sigh* I reprogrammed the map ap, and quickly made my way to the correct location. I ended up being only about 10 minutes late. But it was only the rosary, so no biggie.


To be continued….

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