Oregon, Day 6

Today was the last full day on the coast. We got up rather late. I did my 5K training along the beach. It was a bit windy but I got through the entire set. Returning to the inn, we made breakfast. Actually, David made breakfast. It was eggs with onions, tomatoes, and avocado along with bacon and toast. After eating and cleaning up, we all went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory. It was interesting to see how they made cheese. I checked in there using Foursquare and Chris Zimmerman saw the tweet announcing the check-in. He alerted his brother, Aaron who works there and Aaron came and found me. Awesome! That was kind of the highlight of the trip. 🙂 We stuck around and played UNO in the eating area. Rizza won. A sneaky, come-from-behind sort of victory. Possibly illegitimate, but a win.

We returned to Cannon Beach and ate a late lunch at El Mariachi Loco. It was perfectly decent Mexican food. I’m rather proud of myself that I opted not to finish my plate of nachos after I’d gotten full. After returning to the inn, we all sort of went our seprate ways for a couple of hours.

Finally, we finished up the evening by playing some more cards in the girls room.

Tomorrow, back to Portland.

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.

Oregon, Day 1

Notable events of the past day or so.

Took a photo of Mt. Shasta from the car.  

Had a good 5K training this morning. Two 8-minute periods of jogging interrupted by a 5 minute walk. Sunday will be 20 minutes of non-stop jogging. w00t!

Arrived in Portland, picked up David from the airport. So far, Portland is not as great as I expected. But I’ll give it more time to really form an impression. I expect that I’ll like the suburbs better.

Tonight, Dave and I went to Christopher’s Gourmet Grill for dinner. I had the Louisiana Burger and he had the Chicken Burger. It was good food and the experience was very entertaining. Game 3 of the NBA Western Division Finals was on and employees and patrons of the place were quite free with their support and encouragement for Dallas. Dallas ended up winning.

Got to see Kate Jackson on an episode of Criminal Minds.

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.

The Politics of Personal Destruction

The college president, Dr. Loewenstein, resigned today. It came after a week of personal attacks on song lyrics he’d written over the years. Really, the attacks were because some people don’t like him/his decisions. Once again, the college will be leaderless in a very difficult time. And once again, some faculty are behaving very badly in reaction to his resignation; lining up to celebrate. In more ways than one, they have what every unemployed teacher has: no class. Thank goodness there are other examples of faculty reacting in a much more mature way. They’re not all bad.

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.


Fyona’s birthday party

Fyona’s birthday is today. Yesterday there was a party for her. The theme was sci-fi/futuristic/genre.
Here are a few photos.

Fyona's birthday - 03

Fyona's birthday - 02

Rob, Master of Meat and Flame!
Fyona's birthday - 09

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