Sunday, August 26, 2007

N 45° 57.483 W 122° 26.698

We went for a little hike today. This is a location we found while Geocaching a few years ago and it was so impressive, we thought about going back. Finally got around to it.

It was a sort of overcast day, which was nice because it wasn't too hot. The hike was steady uphill to the top, though not really steep. We followed a logging road into DNR land north of Amboy, WA, up to the top of a ridge.

There were some pretty steep drop-offs! I wouldn't want to be wandering around here at night!

Found some nice little purple wildflowers along the roadside.

This is our old Old OLD AND USELESS GPS unit. Although it eventually found enough satellites to triangulate and help us find the correct road to park the car on, it refused to be any help after that. Time for a new GPS unit. This one hasn't been good for Geocaching for years anyway, since it's precision is fairly low. It'll get you within 10 yards or so of the cache, but after that you're on your own! That was fine for the old ammobox caches, but not nearly precise enough for the micros people hide nowdays.

When we got to a clearing at the top we found ourselves looking over the edge of the ridge, and down onto Lake Merwin. Spectacular!

A huge vulture drifted by at eye level while we sat on the edge and ate our lunch.

Dave, playing around for the camera :-)
Lake Merwin is HUGE! I always hear folks saying how it's so crowded up there, but here we are on a Sunday afternoon and only a couple boats in sight. Looks like there's room enough for everybody in the county on that lake. Then there's Swift Reservoir right up the road.

Seems like ridge after ridge just went off into the distance forever.

Mt St Helens had a cloud cap on, preventing us from getting a good look at her. That will just give us a good reason to hike back up here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another blue-sky, puffy-cloud day

These are my favorite days. I think I would be be happy anywhere in the world where I can see rolling fields of green, topped by blue skies and puffy white clouds. It's a perfect day!

Happy Alki

Cancer radiation treatments are done. Only time will tell what happens now. The important part is she's happy and playful and acting like her old self. We'll just enjoy it while we can!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Comic books at the drug store

No picture today, just a memory that I haven't thought about in years. I guess memories are just the pictures in our head, so it counts the same to me.

When I was a little kid in the 70s my Grandpa owned an auto repair shop on the corner of 115th and Sandy Blvd, in Portland Oregon. My Mom and Dad worked there as well. After school sometimes my Mom would pick me up from the grade school, about three blocks up the street (I was never allowed to walk), and bring me back to the shop. Hanging around the shop was kind of dull, what with nothing but Chilton's manuals to read, so I would be happy if I could beg a few coins off Mom, Dad, Grandpa, or one of the friendly customers or mechanics, and run over to the drugstore across the street.

The drugstore was a pharmacy with a real soda fountain right up front as you came in. They could pull you a real float, make up an ice cream cone, or just get a pop. They had a long formica counter and the little round stools you could spin around on, and a mirror on the wall behind. I remember the guy behind the fountain telling us jokes :)

Next to the door, against the big front window, was a low rack of magazines. All family-friendly titles as I recall. If they had the other kind, they didn't put them out front. Lots of comic books there. I remember looking through the Archies, Casper, Richie Rich, and Little LuLu. I would sit there going through them while right on the other side of the window the cars rushed by on Sandy Blvd.

It was a real treat to buy a comic and a piece of candy (bit-o-honeys were my favorite for years), and then go back and spend the afternoon in the corner of the shop, watching the comings and goings, reading a comic, and maybe sneaking a hot cocoa or a cup-a-soup (the kind where you'd empty the little envelope into the cup and fill it with hot water - I think it was just salt and artificial flavorings).

Ah, the little corner drugstore. An almost forgotten little bit of my history.

Oh wait, I do have a picture:
This is Grandpa, Chuck Waddell, doing a canned food drive with the Elks, probably back in the 60s. A bit before my time. He was a fine man, worked hard, took care of his family, volunteered to help out in his community. He taught me to take care of what I had, and help people who didn't have as much. He's been gone since I was in college, and I still miss him a lot.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

One more day!

One more day of cancer treatment! It's been a long month, but she's weathered it like a champ. She has been a little tired, and fighting a bladder infection, but otherwise is all good. Friday she even wanted to go for a walk at the park!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Spectacular sunset for a rainy day

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Weedwhacker funnies

Today we broke open the new weed whacker, trying to catch up on all the yardwork we are hopelessly behind on. Two things about it struck me as funny. Number one was this illustration on the side of the box:

Ultra lightweight, my foot! Looks more to me like Grandma's escaped from the home again! She's got a weedwhacker, and she's not afraid to use it! Everybody, run!!!

Second thing was this illustration of the 'Hazard Zone', which would be a good name for a blog, if it's not taken already :) The poor dog and child inside the hazard zone are both getting debris pinged off their heads! For some reason the depiction of the dog in particular had us lmao! The other little guy about to get it in the head with a ricochet off the tree was worth a few laughs too. I think he's going to need more than boots and eye protection - I prefer to go with a full mask! And yes, we certainly keep the dogs well out of the hazard zone when weedwhacking (usually safe inside on the couch)!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Half-way done with cancer treatment

Half-way done and we're all hanging in there. Alki's doing great, but she's as sick of the two hour drive everyday as I am of driving it. Luckily she gets to sleep it off on the way home!

Raindrops on a spiderweb

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Baby fish

For months my beautiful Severums have been laying eggs, but not getting any further than that. So I have been trying to make everything in the tank to their liking removing predators that might have been gobbling up the spawn before they could get the hang of protecting it. Finally, they surprised me yesterday by marching out a small herd of fry! Yea - finally! You go guys!