Monday, December 29, 2008

Name this photo

Oh my gosh!!! I can't believe how long it's been since I posted. In fact with the weather, work load, Christmas, I haven't even kept up with my e-mail. I log on download my mail and log off. I am requesting that everyone stop posting until I have caught up. No, really, I will let you know when I'm ready. No seriously.

As some of you may know, I am a sentimentalist. I save everything I think is important to family history, favorite toy, gift from a loved one, an item that might come in handy some day. It's a curse really. I have had to adopt a strict policy of "if I haven't used it in 5 years, get rid of it." My grandson learned to ride the same bike his Mom learned on.

So, how about giving me a title for this thermomater that doesn't work. See the snow? It's about 25 degres outside. But it's been hanging there since, lets see, 1991? In fact the frame it's mounted on is original to the house when we moved in (1980).

I have a hard time letting go...

What do you think is the best title for this photo?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Did I hear a snowflake fall?

If you look back a few posts you will see that I truly love summer. But I do love a good snowfall. Here is why. and There is also... Plus...

Teaching Gdaughter to ski.

Teaching Gson to ski.

But there is always the good ole' fashion toboggan!!!

Pray for snow.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Language Barrier?

An interesting conversation happened at work several years ago, and it has been one of my favorite stories to tell. Let me introduce you to a man I have worked with for years. I have know him for about 15 years and his name is long and difficult to pronounce, so he goes by an American name, Lon.

He was born in Thailand and moved to the USA when he was a young man. He still has a very heavy accent and leaves out words in his sentences.

Here is something he might say:

I watch you, I make sure you wuhk hawd, you do nothing ahh day.

He might say something like this with a big smile and thick mocking sarcasm.

At any given time you might be engaged in work dialog with any of the crew on my shift and find yourself talking just like him. We all do. Kinda like talk like a pirate day, only it's talk like Lon day, everyday. So, on with the story.

Lon walk up to a co-worker and says:

Lon: "You sea lion?"
co-worker: "What?"
Lon:"You sea lion?"
co-worker "Lon, what are you talking about?"

by now Lon is starting to get frustrated.

Lon: "You-sea-lion???"

Now the co-worker is equally frustrated, and their voices are escalating in tone and volume.

co-worker: "Lon, I'm not a sea lion. I can't tell what you want."

Lon now realizes that what his co-worker is hearing, isn't what he is saying, so he changes it.

Lon: "No! You see supervisor."

Now the light bulb comes on over the co-workers head.

Co-worker: "Oh!. Have I seen RYAN?

It's the classic, what you heard is not what I said. You sea lion, said with an Asian accent is translated, you see Ryan. You won't find that in any translation book.

This happened about 10 years ago and we still refer to Ryan as the sea lion.

Do you have a nick name? I would love to know what it is and how you got it?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Do You Believe?

As a homeschooler, I look for opportunity to teach things my child is interested in. We recently studied the Mariana Trench. The Bathyscaphe that explored the very bottom of the deepest spot on Earth is named the Trieste. In the articles I have read, it happened in 1959. It had a crew of two, and the dive has never been repeated.

More people have been to the moon than to the lowest point on Earth.

Since this is one of my favorite topic's, I was elucidating my information to a co-worker. He was very inquisitive and asked a lot of questions, which I answered. As our discussion continued, I realized he was skeptical to the point where he finally said, "I don't believe it, you must have misread it".

Later that day I printed the information, and took it to work. He was still skeptical, and said he was going to do his own research.

He returned the next day and told me that there is a following that hold to the belief that this is a hoax.

To which I replied, "you mean like the lunar landing?"

To which he replied, "exactly."

I was unable to find any solid info to support the theory that this is a subversive plot, except a few rants that stated it was not possible with 1959 technology to accomplish this feat. Plus, if it were able to be done, why has it not been repeated?

So I ask you, do you believe in the dive and/or the lunar landing?

After all, we are being asked to believe in things we have not seen by the people who launched the projects.

A new dive is planned in early 2009.

Maybe they can find my sunglasses I lost in Hawaii.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

There ought to be a law!

This is my first rant! We moved into our house in 1980. It's an old neighborhood and the houses are on big lots and range in styles. Ours was built in 1926. When I moved in, the old man across the street, in conversation said, I have live here for 40 years. I was 25. He had lived in his house longer that I had been alive! We were the only ones in our immediate neighborhood that even had children!

The older couple that lived behind us has died and the house went up for sale. It was a sprawling ranch with a basement and a mother-in-law wing. Back in the day it had a small basketball court that was lit with a flood lite for the neighborhood youth activities. Our backyards are back to back and with the slope of our yards, I could just see the top of the roof over the fence.
I am hopeful that a new family would move in and have an 8 year old boy for my gson to play with. The house has been razed and several trees have been cut down.

After the re-working of the land and debris hauling, the foundation was poured and the building began. Here is the next phase of the project.

Notice the height above the fence line. I'm thinking, Ok, it's going to be a little taller than the previous home. But it's not too bad, I think I can live with this. I knew it was going to be two stories and more bedrooms than the old home.

I then discovered that this was actually the first level and that the garage was under the house and there was one more story to go! Here is what I see from my deck now!

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that when the sold the old house, they subdivided it and they are going to build TWO HOUSES back there! I can hardly wait...NOT!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It seemed like a good idea...

After reading a deee-licious post from But I had a Tiara it reminded me of something I did as a teen.

My family was part of The Portland Dune Buggy Club and I spent many a long weekend at Sand Lake. We all had trucks and campers, and there were dozens of kids, and late summer nights around the campfires.

It was middle of the day on one of these trips that I was hungry between meals. I foraged around the camper and found Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup. Hot soup sounded good. It would have been better if someone were willing to cook it for me. No worries, since I intended to eat the entire can, why not just eat it out of the can? This is the day I learned the true meaning of "condensed". The intense flavor and thickness were very tasty. But now I was kinda thirsty. I drank water. Still thirsty. More water. I could not quench my thirst. I have now consumed 5 times the required cooking directions, still thirsty, and now I am as swollen as a fat bloated tick. But it seemed like a good idea at the time.

For real soup click the button below, you won't be disapointed.

Have you ever had an "it seemed like a good idea" episode? I would love to hear about them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Boyz will be Boyz

I love being a boy. The world is full of adventure for boys. I'm sure that there are girls that feel the same, but I wouldn't know. Most boys don't grow up. There is a saying that goes, the only difference between boys and men is the size of their toys. Hopefully my female audience will get a little insight on what it means to be a boy from what I am about to illustrate.

The neighbor girls came to my door, they are 13 and 14. they only come to my house when they are looking for their little brothers, ages 9 and 11, who come to play with my 8 year old grandson. Today the 3 boys were outside playing somewhere and the teen girls came to give me a phone number that I requested. I asked them where the boys were and this is what they replied.

The 2 younger boys are hiding in the bushes across the street with a broken electronic device and are spying on people passing by, and the other is in the recycle bin reading and doing his home work.

I love being a boy.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I love a good practical joke. I love doing them and having them done to me. The more clever the better. Here are a couple of favorites:

I love it when someone is vacuuming, and I am out of sight. When the vacuumer is not in the same room as the plug, you wiggle it loose for just an instant and then plug it back in wait and then do it again. Now to be really effective you need to do it at different intervals and duration of off and on's. This is really good at work or if the victim is vacuuming the car. I did this at work in my warehouse once, and he had a 50' extension cord so I was far enough away to watch. He was convinced there was something wrong with the switch, because every time he clicked it off and on, I would plug it back in. Then I poured salt in the wound. I would unplug it, and as he reached for the switch I would plug it back in before he touched it. As his hand would pull back I would unplug. He is now just moving his hand to and from while the shop vac goes on and off. I laugh out loud, he looks up, smiles and hits his hand on his forehead. I left the scene.

My other fav is the time I got a sales call on the phone offering to have my windshield replaced. Here's how it went down. This was before caller ID or auto-dialing sales calls, they just went through the phone book name by name.

(phone rings) I answer, hello.

(Sales woman says) Hi, my name is Veronica, and I work for an auto glass company and we can replace your windshield for no cost to you by waving the deductible. Do you have any that need replacing?

(Me) No, I,m sorry I don't.

(Veronica) Ok, thank you for your time.

We hang up.

5 seconds later my daughters phone rings. Their name is next in the phone book.

I pick up the receiver and instead of just saying hello, I say, (in a dark and Omanis voice) "Hello veronica, I've been waiting for you to call". I wait for her response.

There is now absolute silence from her end. I continue to wait without speaking. The seconds tick by and after about 20 real seconds, she finally says in a hushed and apprehensive voice, "how did you know it was me?"

I brighted up and told her she had just called my other line. She laughed and said something to the effect of, way to freak me out. We laughed again, she thanked me for my time and we hung up.

I would love to hear her tell the same story.

Today it was my turn to be the victim. My grandson is a funny boy. He's still learning, but coming along nicely.

My wife and her sister and my grandson and I had gone into the basement. We were looking at a giant projection tv that a friend had given me. It's not very good but I am trying to make a man cave on a limited budget. Anyway...after a short time he goes to the top of the stairs. Bored with adult conversation he requests to go to the neighbors house to play. We say ok, and the door at the top of the stairs closes and we hear the backdoor close on his way out. After a bit we head up the stairs to discover he has locked the door and we are trapped in the basement. We bang on the door and wait. The three of us standing on the stairs looking like a phone commercial for more bars. No response. He really did go to the neighbors. I had to crawl out one of the little swing up windows that were so popular in houses built in the late 1920's.

I am glad he has a great sense of humor. He is learning from the master! We just need to work on delivery.

For more practical jokes go to Absolutely Fabulous and ask about camping with her new husband at Flying M Ranch. I still feel "kinda" guilty.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Adventure VS Common Sense?

We as a family decided to take an adventure. We considered many different options and finally settled on the Mt. Hood railroad train ride. This turned out to be great fun on a summer afternoon. The train was moderately occupied and we watched out the window at the passing farms and orchards. we wondered from one end of train to the other, making the daring leap of death across the gated openings where you go from one car to the other. The constant clacking of the tracks and the swaying of the cars was delicious and new. We even went upstairs and stuck our heads out the window to feel the wind and smell the smells.Eventually the train pulled into the station and we headed home.

We decided to continue our adventure and took the back roads towards home. This should be where the red flags go up.

We turned onto a winding lane and it soon turned into a gravel road. There were quite a few mountain bike riders and a few cars and trucks going both directions. We kept going and were greeted by small streams and vistas to die for.

By now we had driven for about an hour and the road had split and forked many times. There were now no more riders or other vehicles. We were now on roads that were meant for trucks with 4WD. Good thing we had new tires on the Minivan. Convinced that the main road had to be close, we drove on.

Finally, we decided to abandon ship and turn around. Funny thing about gravel roads, they look exactly alike. Exactly. EXACTLY.

Have you ever been lost? I mean really lost? Not just misplaced, lost. We were to the point that our dialog had alerted our 7 year old that something was wrong. Maybe it was the fact that we were comparing cell phones to see who had bars and who didn't. Or maybe it was hushed statements like "ok, we still have over half a tank of gas and it will be light for at least 4 more hours.

My spouse was especially concerned about having to "make the call to 911." Because that's where she works. We imagined news broadcasts like, 911 dispatcher calls herself for rescue. Co-workers laughing in the background.

We finally see a truck going the opposite way, and the look on his face said it all. He pulls up next to our dust coated mini van, stopped in the middle of God's country and says, "you don't have a clue where you are, do you." I mustered up my man voice and replied back, firmly and directly. No.

He smiled and said, you can keep going that way but I don't think your car will make it, and it's about 3 hours to town. Or if you turn around you can go back, just turn at the rock that looks like a bear, go 2 miles and turn left at the bear that looks like a rock, head towards the second star on the right and straight on till morning. Well that's what it sounded like. I replied, uuhhh...

He said, or you can just follow me.

We look back with fond memories of that day. My Grandson refers to it as "get lost Mountain." He wants to go back.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Want to play a game?

This is a stolen line from the movie, War games. No one under 40 will remember it. I toyed with, here's an easy thing to say, here's an easy game to play, as an alternate title. No one over 4 will know it, because this is stolen from the Dr. Seuess book, Fox in Sox. But I am staying from my game.

DotBlogger and I have played this off and on. We find it quite interesting.

Here's how it works:

I will give a word, and you post a comment with a simple sentence using the designated word.


Don't read others comments before you post your sentence. Here's an example.

Word: Fire.

Possible sentences:

The boss is going to fire me. (Termination)
The house is on fire. (Flames)
Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes. (Shoot)

So, want to play?

Let's use:



PS: I am not just using this as a way disguise for begging for comments...uuuhhh.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Kid logic, or obvious solution?

I went into my grandson's bedroom and he had abandoned a wrapper from pop tart and a small pile of crumbs.

I pointed out the offending debris, and waited for the clean-up.

He came right over and proceded to brush the crumbs onto the carpet. As any good parent would do, I said, STOP!

He immediatley froze in mid brush.

I asked the obvious question, "who is going to pick them up off the floor?"

Without making a sound or moving any part of his body except his hand from the wrist down, he points to our dog. I hadn't noticed her sitting patiently at his side with her eyes gleaming and tail wagging.

I hesitated only for a second or two, while pondering 8 year old boy logic.

What would you have done next?

Sunday, October 26, 2008


My Dad recently went in for surgery and had a portion of his lung removed. We made the decision to take our 8 year old grandson in to see his great grandfather, "Papa". They have a close bond, and it was good for both. I was moved to tears when they held hands and my grandson asked his great grandfather, in his most serious little boy voice, "Papa, how are you feeling today? Compassion is trans generational.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Invention?

Once again I am reminded of the joy of being a child, the feeling of anticipation and wonder that pours out of children when they excited about something in particular.

Last Saturday we went to the pumpkin patch and brought home 3 really nice pumpkins. We placed them on the porch for future carving. Late Monday, Mason says "lets carve the pumpkins!" As it was late in the evening, I told him it would have to wait until tomorrow. Besides, they are freezing cold, they will need to warm up for carving. He said OK and we brought them in to warm.

The next day when I get home from work, all three pumpkins still in their designated warming spot, had sweater placed neatly over them. I am greeted with "OK Grampy, they should be nice and warm by now."

Watch for pumpkin warmers in stores next year.

I love kids.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Amazing things

I really enjoy photography, and the interesting things that are captured in the image. Sometimes a point and shoot opportunity gets the most intriguing aspect of the moment.

This was taken on a fishing trip at Loch Ness. I didn't catch anything, but I did have a great trip.

This was taken near the Trojan Nuclear Plant. We caught a bunch of crawdads, which are very yummy. Most were pretty small, but a few were quite large.

I bought an unusually large egg at Saturday Market. I had no idea that it would even hatch! I had to flush it and get a dog.

I tried to tell this pilot that we didn't need rescuing. Besides, my nephew sells helicopters. Maybe you have heard of his company. Travorski Helicopters.

Do you have any amazing photos? I would like to see them. I can be reached at Please not photoshopped pictures.

If you haven't been on any adventures, send me a picture of you and I will send you on one.

The images you have just wittnessed are not real. Do not be alarmed at the strange and mind bending photos. If you become dizzy or lightheaded, simply look away until the feeling passes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I love summer!

I love summer. It is my favorite time of the year. I love it when it gets hot, hot, hot! I like being able to walk outside at night, when the air is still, and it's 75 degrees. I like that it stays light until 10pm. I like BBQ'ing. I like the sound of people mowing their lawns on a lazy afternoon. I could go on and on. I do enjoy the other times of year, they have their good points to be sure, and I look forward to them in their time. But not like summer. I could live with just summer.

Sooooo,when winter is just wet and dark and dreary, I look for some way to remember that summer is just around the corner. Like the time I put the Hibachi into the fireplace and BBQ'ed a couple steaks. Yes, I stood around the fireplace mantel and drank a couple of brewskis while I BBQ'ed. I had video of it, but can't find it.

There is also the time I combined my love of summer with being the king of fun and best grampa ever (I am up for challenges). Watch the video below it was taken a couple of years ago, but illustrates my point. I am sure it cost a fortune in hot water, but it was worth it.

It's a little hard to tell from the video, but the pool is set up in the laundry room in the basement of our house.
It takes a long time to fill a pool in the basement using just the water heater. But it makes for a good afternoon project. I am going to call this a home school lesson. Controlling our environment. Is that too much of a stretch?
What is your favorite season?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Meet the Fam

I have the all american family. We are just as normal as everyone else. I even have the pictures to prove it. All names have been left out to protect the innocent. Feel free to click on any photo to enlarge. If you dare!

Keep Portland wierd.
Pink is my signature color!
What you lookin' at?
Dos cervaza por fa vor!
12 stops at Starbucks!
Don't make me use em'
Raccoon Fighter!
Airline chair tester?
Mom said my face will freeze like this!
You can't see me...
You wanted what?
Bobbing for frosting?
Life is good. Soooo good.
Say ahhhh.
Deep undercover top secret agent.
Mom? I lost a nickel!

This man accused ME, of riding the short bus!
I got a plate stuck in my eye!
Some people didn't have memorable photos. They were not left out, just not available. You can pick you friends...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ya gotta wonder

I love the way children's brains think, process, and reason. But sometimes ya gotta wonder, whats going on in there. Here is an example of two prayers from the same child:

On the way home from school today, I read out loud from the reader board on the freeway, "Crash on highway 26 just past the tunnel." Mason says, I better pray. He clasps his hands together, bows his head, and says,

"Dear God, I hope that everybody is OK, and that it's not a bad crash, and nobody has to go to the doctor." He opens his eyes and looks at me and says "it's OK God is on it. He' doing his job."

This is the other:

We, like so many others have begun homeschooling. So today Teacher Grammy, and student Mason were reading from the school book and the poem was reflecting all the things God has made. At the end, he and Grammy prayed, thanking God for His creations. Grammy's prayer reinforced the beauty of nature, and the animals that were in the poem. She then paused, waiting for Mason to continue. With his eyes slammed shut, head bowed, white knuckled clasped hands, he simply adds,

"and thank you for the Mariana Trench." Amen.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I have been collecting snow globes since 1990. I have admired them since I was kid, and one summer vacation to the Oregon coast,I picked up one that represented our trip, bought it, and decided I would get one from all the places we visited. This is my first one.
This is from Seaside, Or. 1990
Some where along the line, someone said " I am going to (somewhere I've forgotten) for vacation. So I asked them to pick me up a snow globe. My only criteria was it had to be cheap and represent the location. I now have over 60 from around the world. I wrote on the back of each one with a sharpie the date received and who gave it to me. I later discovered that permanent marker doesn't mean forever. So I have lost some documentation of the origins to some. Here are just a few.
This one is from son in law. Holland, 2001
This is from Kirsten. Paris 1993. It has a changeable calendar on the front that is in French.
This is from someone named Sue. Singapore 2000.

This last one is my new favorite. It is filled with water and bits of rock and plants, assembled inside a water bottle. On the front it says Happy Birthday Love Jill. The location it represents? My grandaughters heart. I love it there...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Boys of Summer

Home plate is a rock. No bases or even real base lines. The backstop is a tipped over wagon. Two plastic bats and a tennis ball that showed up in the front yard. A friend from down the street, and your Grampa to pitch. It was a great game. You are invited...