Monday, August 30, 2010
Bolognese sounded good. But the recipe has 20 ingredients. Typically, when I see a recipe more than an inch long, then grilled fish sounds acceptable, if not good. But with encouragement, teamwork and perseverance, Allyson and I prevailed over the long list. We shopped. I chopped. She cooked. We cleaned.
Friday, August 27, 2010
At Thanksgiving, we give thanks that we are not turkeys.
Q: How's your wife? A. Still able to work, thank you.
These are the good old days you'll remember in the future.
Dad & Lorie (& Allyson) caught their flights yesterday. So, no more wonderful excuses to procrastinate on work, working out, or eating healthfully.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
As the six of us took turns dipping our spoons into the 3 shared gelatos, Ken remarked, “This gelato makes my mouth sore sting.” Or maybe he said, “gonorrhea sore,” or some other silly phrase meant to make us smile and make the people at the next table wonder. Of course, as one can see, Ken’s not too particular about with whom he swaps spit.
Pleasant, relaxing day hanging out (1) with Lorie around the Pearl District, (2) with Dad, Lorie & Ken at Ken & Ann’s house, and (3) with everyone at Cafe Nell and the Alphabet District.
When Ken says to get a fishing license, I always comply, regardless of whether I think we'll catch fish. I'm just happy to be on the boat. There's something about sharing a confined space with people you enjoy. Ken tends to all needs: food, beverage, fishing expertise. . . . Of course, I also like getting out on the rivers. I love looking at the rivers, and it's even better to be on them.
Yesterday provided perfect weather for a boat ride. We launched near Beacon Rock, zoomed on smooth water to a 94-foot hole to try our luck. Then, back up river, in view of Multnomah Falls, where Lorie reeled in a sturgeon. A cruise up to Bonneville Dam rounded out the trip.
Monday, August 23, 2010
16 years ago, I moved into this house. It had some shrubs and trees, and I planted a few more. It has been interesting to see how some plants have thrived with a little pruning and a bit more sunlight, while others have barely hung on or died off. Some developed as expected and others just did not belong where I put them.
It’s Dad’s turn to visit after a cross-country drive with Ken from Naples, Florida. Lorie took the shorter route, an airplane from Chicago. The kids have been watching things develop for over 50 years, and Dad has been watching the world turn for 83. It’s a pleasure to get together with family. So far, eating has dominated our time together. Feasts are a good way to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company.
Our lives have taken many turns over the decades. Ken, Ann, Allyson & I found our way to the Pacific Northwest. Dad ended up in the opposite corner. Lorie stayed put. We’ll never know how things would have differed if we’d planted ourselves in different places or had a bit more of this or that in our lives. Overall, I think we’re all thankful for our blessings, although we all miss seeing each other more.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Another week has flown by. How can it be the third week in August? Fortunately, more of a memorable summer is on the way. More family seeing the light and visiting Portland during the summer. August is the time to swelter, right? Not here, where it was about 70 today for the high.
The above view is sunset over Portland from the Noble Rot, a wine bar with pretty good food.
Beautiful day in Bird Creek Meadows. Dale sacrificed his vehicle on the rough road that gets people to the trailhead on the Yakama Reservation. He and his dog joined me for terrific hike through the woods, along the meadows, over several creeks, above huge lava flows, and looking out to 100-mile views.
I posted more photos on flickr.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I have no priest on my payroll, so I confess to the world through my blog.
1. There is no lake in Trout Lake. Decades ago, leaders decided that Trout Lake sounded better than Guler. I agree. But there is no lake. It kinda looks like a lake in February, but August puts the lie to the name.
2. We really should sell our house in Trout Lake. For the days we use it and the money we pay, we could have some incredible vacations elsewhere. Yet, neither of us seems too motivated to make a serious effort to sell. Maybe it is those glorious vistas on Monte Cristo or just a chance to relax.
3. Case in point, would I ever sit on the deck in Portland with a drink at 4:00p.m.?
4. I love technology. Sitting on the deck in Trout Lake, with the breezes cooling me, I can listen to good music in my iphone while I read the New York Times on the same device.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Tryon Creek State Park is only about 1.5 miles from our home. In past summers, I’d get up at 5:30 sunrise and jog the trails through the woods. In 2008, Allyson and I “Seg-walked” a few times on the paved part of the trails. That is, my bad hip relegated me to the Segway while Allyson used her own legs. So, last night’s after-dinner stroll represented the current middle ground: we walked together on the shady path.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Saturday in Portland means hunting and gathering at the Farmers Market. This time, Ann joined us. You see, it's not just farm fresh produce. There's craft cheese, lamb, hazlenuts, hard cider, baked bread, cookies, scones. . . .
There was one of those female fantasy books a few years ago about moving to Tuscany. In the book, she delighted the local market produce that burst with flavor into her mouth. Well, Portland has become more like other countries. Like old China, Portlanders ride bikes (while car ownership in China grows). Like the fabled Tuscan market, the local tomatoes burst in your mouth with flavor. Even more so than in Munich, local brews delight the palate. Like Northern Eurpopean countries, Portland & Oregon tax the Hell out of residents. (Strike that last setence.)
The morning market led to a fresh and delicious salad of crab, corn, tomato, basil, etc.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
We had some cool, marine mornings that clear, much like the days of intense work cleared by a couple of lazy evenings.
Ann and Hunter stopped by for a visit Wednesday. It was a perfect-weather evening on the deck. Nothing like family to put you at ease. No food in the house? No problem; we made do. Some friendly conversation and a glass of wine helped place into the context of work the troubles of people who call me for help:
“We were recruited to work as bartenders in Lakeview. She fired us, and told us to leave town by noon tomorrow. . . .” Or, the woman from Milton-Freewater who left work at noon because she could not handle another disciplinary write up for things others do without write ups, “ever since I was off work with my carpal tunnel surgery.” Or, the local man fired at age 50 as part of a “young-sizing” effort by the company. Or the man from Califonia whose 18-year-old daughter was killed in a car wreck. Or the Gresham woman whose knee is wired back into place after falling on pavement. Or the daughter whose dad suffered mistreatment by the medical community in a small town before he died. Or the Minnesota man who believes a legal malpractice claim might help recover money that should have been his. Or the guy still limping one year after the botched hip replacement.
Yes, a glass of wine and friendly conversation provides a good way to unwind after absorbing the worries, grief, and perceived injustices from around the nation.
Thursday, Allyson & I made it up to Kruger Farm for a get together with friends and their children. The band provided the excuse; the acreage give the boys room to roam; and the prepared food and wine made it easy for the adults.
Friday, it was just Allyson and me for happy hour on the deck before we noticed that a little bit of Trout Lake was coming to Portland. So we dashed out to hear Lincoln Crockett and his friends play folk music at an Alberta Street Public House. It really was a gathering of his friends and few others. I enjoyed the mostly folky music from the singer-songwriters. Also, I learned the latest fashion for men seems to be capri-like jeans. It’s those dirty-looking, yet (no doubt) expensive jeans that look rolled up to below the knee. How ironic: these men with the personas of not caring being so fashion conscious. Makes me wonder how much of all of this Portland-Local-Green-Bike-Folksy-Organic stuff is just all of us bowing to peer-enforced fashion.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
It’s a quiet & refreshing Sunday evening in Portland, Oregon.
Allyson started the week in Grant’s Pass to finish her trial. She drove hundreds of miles to Portland on Thursday, while I was driving 3 ½ hours to Sunriver from Portland. Friday, after morning seminars on the psychology of how people realize / make decisions (and how to persuade them), I met with some potential clients in Bend. Then, more hours in the car to Trout Lake. Friday night, Allyson and I finally met up for the first time all week.
The people of Trout Lake held the annual fair this weekend. We missed the community pot luck Friday night, but stumbled upon and enjoyed the parade Saturday morning. We purchased some locally-made cheese the Saturday Market, and then wandered on to the main fairgrounds at the former school. On display inside were the blue-ribbon and other winners of the various contests: best yeasted and non-yeasted breads, best flower, best flower arrangement, cakes, pies, etc. Other tables displayed other things of interest, and a silent auction raised money for the local scholarship fund. (We donated our tickets for that night’s Natalie Merchant concert ~100 miles away.) Outside, people mingled and enjoyed food, music, a zip-line, mini petting zoo, and other wholesome activities.
While Eugene, Oregon remains a vestige of 1960s hippiedom, Trout Lake, Washington remains a vestige of 1950s Norman Rockwell America. It’s good to feel like we are even a small part of it.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Life is good. Tonight, I sit in the Lara House Lodge near downtown Bend, Oregon. I drove over the beautiful Santiam Pass to the Oregon Trial Lawyers convention in Sunriver. There, I actually enjoyed the seminar on a new procedural tool for my attorney toolbox and the other seminar on how jurors / people think.
Following the legal seminars, the outdoor bar was open for attendees. It is always good to see people I’ve known for 25 years and some I’ve known for only five weeks. I’m a bit disappointed that I did not plan on coming sooner and for more time. The convention goes through Sunday, but I’m leaving at noon on Friday. I resolve to get more involved in OTLA.
When I made it back to the Mill District for more food, a band was playing at the amphitheater across the river. Many were enjoying the concert free on this side of the river, as the sun set on a 77 degree night.
When I finally dragged my bags into the Lara House, a band was playing in the park along the river in town, and many young people were milling around. I did a quick walk around a few blocks to soak in the air and atmosphere.
Life is good. I enjoyed and survived the visits from nieces and nephew with no long-term injury. I had three solid days of work. And today, I got emotionally reinvested in my identity as an attorney at law.
Now, if I could only stay in shape without working out, then life would be better than good.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Busy work days with the phone ringing off the hook. But in the spirit of CarpeSummer, it is much better to unwind with a concert in the park along the Willamette River than in front of The NewsHour. Beautiful summer evening and a pretty good band: Casey Neill and the Norway Rats.
It’s good and right that the older generation try to impart knowledge and inculcate sound values to the younger generation. Some people are successful in this effort (e.g. Ken Griffey to Ken Griffey, Jr.). Some people are only partly successful (Geo. H.W. Bush to Geo. W. Bush).
While Kent was in town, Uncle Ken did his best to share his knowledge of winning poker strategies to young Kent. Uncle Ken has devoted countless hours and who knows how many dollars to learning the art of Texas Hold ‘em. Among the lessons taught was to look around the room and try to determine who you can beat and who will take your money. Play with the chumps or be the chump.
Uncle Ken took Kent to a tournament, and Kent got a couple hours of entertainment among the strangers in the stark confines of the place in a sketchy part of town. When Kent was offered another opportunity to practice his skills and earn money from strangers, he declined, noting that he’d rather spend the time with family.
One could argue that such a decision demonstrates that Kent has absorbed the sound values of love of family. However, when looking at the stack of chips, above, it might also indicate that he knew where to find the chumps.