Sunday, August 29, 2004

Whole Foods

Our big adventure this weekend was a trip to Whole Foods Market in downtown Portland. I'd read about it in this article, and decided that it sounded interesting. It is, like Nature's Fresh Northwest, an upscale grocery store with an emphasis on natural, organic and world foods, though they try to carry locally grown produce whenever possible.

It was a lot of fun, and we spent over twenty bucks on healthy junk food, such as four varieties of cheese, vegetable juice, and wheat berries. Yum yum. I think I'll go back for their cheese selection alone. The guy at the counter said they carry something like two hundred types of cheese, and I can believe it. They let us sample any cheese we were interested in, which was a diabolical plot, considering the amount we ended up buying.

Next time, I'm going to buy some of their Peary, and perhaps a cider. What a glutton I am.

Friday, August 27, 2004


While I already own the DVD, purchased at last year's Anime Expo, I was thrilled to see that Hero is actually showing in a fair selection of theatres in town. Not just the downtown art theatres, but the megaplexes in the burbs, too.

So I took some vacation time, and went to see it on the big screen today. Wow. One very neat visual treat. If you have the DVD, don't think you've seen the movie until you watch it in a darkened theatre, on a big screen. Of course, if you don't like Wu Xia movies, never mind.

Fruit Loop

Finally with the images! Go to my usual Flickr site to catch more images like today's banner image. Nine photos from our trip haunting Hood River and the surrounding area.

About Flickr

So some guy named Peter asks if I recommend Flickr. The answer is that it works for how I use it, but you really need to go read their FAQ yourself. I've no idea how any other person uses the web for photography, and I know at least a couple who are not all that impressed with Flickr. So judge for yourself. It's only a few minutes of browsing to get the idea. Good luck!

Sunday, August 22, 2004


Okay, that's not a Fruit Loop shot. I just had to take a shot of the Heron sitting on the roof of our building at work. There are two full size images here and here. These were taken with the camera we keep at work for whiteboard snapshots, so it isn't the best telephoto camera around, though for close work it's pretty nice.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Not Without My Daughter

Saturday we picked up Kelly from Camp Collins, and she was already asking about going next year. Fortunately she didn't come up with the innovation Jean feared, asking to stay another week on the spot. Kelly then proceeded to catch up on her television viewing

Today Kelly's been more active, doing the shopping rounds with Jean, and lopping branches off defenseless bushes in the back yard. I had the brilliant idea that she and I should drive to Tryon Creek State Park (which I always catch myself calling the Thomas Tryon State Park) and walk the trails.

Kelly had other ideas. She decided that she wanted to ride her bike. Her bike, however, is one we bought her several years ago, with the training wheels still attached. When she sits on it, she crouches with her knees not-quite-topping the handlebars. I followed her around the neighborhood as she struggled with it, but it's clear she can no longer use the pathetic thing. She's been asking for a new bike, and she renewed her plea today. I'm hesitant since I don't really believe that she's all that interested in learning to ride a two wheeler, but I checked G.I. Joe's online, and I can get her a Huffy girl's bike for around $80, so I suppose we'll be going to the store in the next week or so...

After that misadventure, and Kelly's gardening, we hopped in the car and drove to the park. We walked the trails for an hour, visiting Fox Trail Bridge, Iron Mt. Bridge and Obie's Bridge (bridges were our landmarks for progress). By the time we were done, I was pretty soaked with sweat, and wishing I'd brought more than one water bottle, but I was happy we'd gone.

Next weekend, we will very likely be doing the Fruit Loop. My kind of trip: a day trip by car, with plenty of stops.

Friday, August 13, 2004


Yesterday evening, Jean and I watched Pieces of April, a nice understated family comedy which wasn't afraid to touch on mortality a bit as well. I suppose in the minds of the creators, mortality is what makes family special.

Today, while my work group was out jet boating the Willamette, I went to see Alien vs. Predator. They have pretty well put the torch to any sense of continuity to these films, but then I never cared for some of the continuity anyway. And hey, so long as you admit this is a movie about scary monsters and things that go boom!, then you're in the right place. Better than I expected.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

H.M.S. Pinafore

Before Kelly went to Camp Collins, she joined the cast of the Willowbrook production of H.M.S. Pinafore, where I got this highly posed shot, which she assured me was her impression of George Washington.

More photos can be found at my Flickr site. If you're not on the list and wanna see it, contact me and I'll send you an invite.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Kelly Grows

Jean called me earlier today with Kelly's status. First some background...

Kelly was feeling very uncertain about the whole Camp Collins trip, and expressed anxiety to both of us in the days bordering the event. We finally made a deal with her that she'd have to try at least two nights, and could call to be bailed out on Tuesday morning if she needed it. I had my fingers crossed, as I knew she would enjoy it if only she gave it a chance.

So the report came in today. Kelly has decided to stay the entire week. In fact, according to her councilor, she'd made up her mind on Sunday night. I am truly surprised at the magnitude of my feelings at this news. I'm downright bubbly. I feel like Kelly has taken a giant step forward, and it feels really good!

Happy days. She could still have a backslide and end up calling for a bail-out later this week, but this step alone is just great.

Monday, August 9, 2004

Godfather's Daughter Mafia Blues

So I finished another Yukari Oshima epic. She was pretty young in this one, but still a stunning fighter. The storyline is a bit dry, unfortunately. A lot of these late 80's / early 90's triad movies are like that. But the martial arts is what I came for, specifically the martial arts of Yukari Oshima, and that was worth the price. If you split the cost of the DVD over the two movies, this one cost $7.50, and I got three good fight scenes with Yukari-san, so I'm happy.

What's next up in the Asian movie train? Probably Jiang Hu. Another triad movie, but this one is from just this year. Lots of big name HK actors. James got it for me at Anime Expo this year. He must have too much money, as this is a boxed director's set. Really nice. As usual, I'll post a report, if only a simple thumbs up/down, after viewing.

On the other hand, Tom just gifted me with a copy of Master of the Flying Guillotine, that uber-classic of chop-socky schlock. I was fortunate enough to see this the way I think it was meant to be seen, in a crappy theatre with ripped seats and a stained screen (the Clinton Street Theatre). And now, thanks to another friend with too much money, I own a copy on DVD. And it's not some pirate junk either, but the sanctioned American disc with some nice features besides, such as original trailers. Too much Kung Fu goodness!

She's Leaving Home...

Kelly is off at Camp Collins for a week (or less, if she chickens out). Jean and I dropped her off yesterday, and we're supposed to pick her up next Saturday. It's a really nice camp; I wish I were staying there a week. But this is Kelly's first extended away-from-home trip, and while the head councilor assures us that lots of kids get homesick, Kelly, like me, doesn't like being away from home for long periods. Add to that being away from her parents for more than one night, and things are dicey.

I tried to be positive, in my Finnish low affect way, last night, since I knew Jean would be feeling the Mommy Jitters. But apparently I ticked her off instead. She wanted to have the phone nearby in case there were an emergency, and I showed her how to set the ringer on. Then she asked me if I wanted the phone, and I declined, saying the odds were much higher of getting woken by a wrong number. "Well, you're a superior human being," she quipped. So my plan to spread contagious calm failed miserably. Dunno how well she'll hold up over the whole week...

Tuesday, August 3, 2004


Lemme see, now...

Thursday night, take Kelly to Willowbrook (her day camp) for a 'singing play' performance she's in.

Friday night, drive to Sherwood to see a co-worker's digital art exhibition.

Saturday night, attend NOVA, possibly hit a movie afterwards.

Sunday afternoon, drive Kelly to her YMCA camp, ostensibly for a week, but given her waffling, probably for a couple of days.

Sunday night, nurse nerve-wrecked mother over absence of daughter.

Guess I better get to bed early Wednesday night!

Budding Naturalist

Kelly likes to visit with the neighborhood cats. Some are friendlier than others, and she sits with them and plays with them and feeds them and on and on.

One cat is a bit tiger tom, and he's somewhat standoffish. Kelly has run out on a number of occasions to visit with him, only to have him skitter when she shows up. This weekend she went out to meet him, while I was working in the kitchen. After a bit, I realized that I couldn't see her down there in the back yard, but I could still see the tom.

Craning my neck, I could see her on the second story deck, 'pawing' at a tree branch and 'nibbling' at the leaves. She was trying to win the trust of the tom by acting catlike.

Jane Goodall's got nothing on this kid.

The White Stripes

I have come to the conclusion that a little bit of The White Stripes goes a long way. I bought "Fell in Love with a Girl" and "St. James Infirmary Blues", and obviously like them both. But I've heard some other samples, among them "Hotel Yorba" and "Jimmy the Exploder", and, well, do they ever sound any different?