Bill Hastings

Listen to me, college boy, you can
keep your museums and poetry and string quartets
’cause there’s nothing more beautiful than
line work. Clamp your jaws together
and listen:
It’s a windy night, you’re freezing the teeth out
of your zipper in ten below, working stiff
jointed and dreaming of Acapulco, the truck cab.
Can’t keep your footing for the ice, and
even the geese who died to fill your vest
are sorry you answered the call-out tonight.
You drop a connector and curses
take to the air like sparrows who freeze
and fall back dead at your feet.
Finally you slam the SMD fuse home.
Bang! The whole valley lights up below you
where before was unbreathing darkness.
In one of those houses a little girl
stops shivering. Now that’s beautiful,
and it’s all because of you.

-Todd Jailer

 

Thanks Tootie for sharing this poem with me!

The ash of lives that burned well

I can’t say I’ve ever been a big poetry fan. Often, I find poetry somewhat inscrutable. However, there are poems that I do like, and perhaps I will have a greater appreciation for poetry now that I’m in my middle years.

I’ll try to feature poems that I like from time to time.

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.

Out of the Abyss – Prisoners of the Drow

As previously mentioned, I’m DMing an online Out of the Abyss game. Last night was our second session, the first where we actually played.

**Be aware. Spoilers for those who may one day play this campaign.**

Players/Characters include:

  • Caitlin – Elven mage
  • Dante – Elven rogue
  • Jason – Human warlock

The above PCs, along with 10 NPCs, begin the adventure as prisoners of the drow. They are all locked in a cell in an underground outpost. They have no weapons, armor, spellbooks, or other equipment.
Between work shifts that include preparing food, cleaning waste buckets, and other menial tasks, the characters take the opportunity to interact with some of the other prisoners. Keeping their eyes open, they do manage to find and acquire some items that may prove useful as improvised weapons. After a few more days of captivity, one of their drow captors surreptitiously approaches the characters and offers to help them escape. The characters agree to his offer, though they are suspicious of his motives. Talking amongst themselves about how to escape, the characters realize that their manacles are just loose enough for the characters to twist and strain to slip out of their restraints.

To be continued…

Skol, Vikings!

Skol

Might not last, but it feels good for now!

Paulo

Got to hang out with Paulo last night. Paulo is a buddy of mine from back in California. He was part of the Portuguese community in Turlock. Man, I loved going to the festas and dancing. It’s one of the small set of things I miss about my life in California. Anyway, during the summers, it seemed like there was a festa within driving distance every weekend. I and some friends (people like Kathleen, Patricia, Cesar, and others) would drive out to a Portuguese Pentacost Association hall or church or whatever, to go dancing. One of the very cool things about Paulo was that he, along with another friend, Joseph, would try to come up with new dance steps. We would then demonstrate and teach them to each other. It was great fun.

Paulo has been living in New York for the past seven years and is now moving to Nashville. He took a vacation road trip across the county to see people, discover  new places, and generally recreate before settling in to his new life. It was good to see him. We had dinner and then a drink before bidding each other ciao.

Regular viewing

It has gotten to the point where I don’t even know what night the various TV shows air, nor when a new season starts. As has been true for many years, everything I watch is something I’ve recorded on TiVo… with some new exceptions. Added to the mix now are shows that I watch on demand. I feel like I’m having an increasingly difficult time keeping up with my shows.

Among the shows that I watch these days:

  • The Good Wife
  • Elementary
  • Big Bang Theory
  • Marvel’s Agents of Shield
  • Grimm
  • Person of Interest*
  • The Flash
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter*
  • Galavant*
  • Supergirl
  • Into the Badlands

*Not currently airing/season hasn’t begun

I also record Dr. Who, but seriously, I’m so not interested in the characters.

 

I also (binge) watch, on Demand:

  • Daredevil
  • Jessica Jones
  • Homeland
  • House of Cards
  • Sense8

 

Finally, I have some things on the TiVo that are waiting for me:

  • World War II in HD
  • How the States Got Their Shapes
  • (um…. some other history shows that I can’t remember the name of)

 

Anything I should be watching that I’m not? I recently gave up on Blue Bloods and The Bastard Executioner. I long ago abandoned The Walking Dead. So don’t recommend those.

Green thumb in absentia

Well these guys didn’t suffer in my absence.

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Against all odds, I’m doing something right.

Veteran’s Day

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James Sperto Fornelli  –  June 2, 1925 – May 12, 1989

 

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