Sunday, August 31, 2008

Obama Rally in Dublin

Yesterday our family went to the Obama/Biden Rally in Dublin with some good friends. After a lunch at the North Market, we headed to Dublin Coffman High School to wait in line. Good company and the good fortune of being the the right spot in line to get to stay in the shade made the 3 hour wait go by quickly.




Once we got inside, it was another 2 hours before the rally actually began. We got lucky again - seats in the bleachers with the sun behind us and a great view of the podium. After speeches by several Ohio Democrats and an introduction by John Glen, Barack Obama and Joe Biden took the stage.


Here is a video clip of the tail end of Obama's speech:
video

Everyone is still smiling after a long but exciting day.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oregon Trip Summary

Lots of time slipped by since the last post, and we are home from Oregon. A trip as great and as full as the one we just took deserves many words, but I’m afraid that waiting for enough time to write a lot will result in not writing in too long.

But, if a picture is really worth a thousand words, then I’ve got 279 thousand word right here. The pictures were mostly taken by Mother and by Misty, who enjoyed their cameras to the extent of over thirteen hundred photos.

A brief summary:

After the time at the coast, including a magnificent walk to Haystack rock – real live starfish! and Ecola parks beautiful views, we spent a wonderful couple of days at Black Butte Ranch, riding bikes on beautiful trails, swimming, exploring a natural spring, and wondering at the scenery. It’s spectacular.

The last days were spent at Roderick and Misty’s home in central Oregon. Before catching our breath we were rafting the rapids of the Deschutes River, with daughter on the bow, or stern, or helm, or whatever the front of the boat is called, and Youngest squealing and yelling and shouting and loving every dip, splash, and minute of it. How many six-year-olds do you know who have gone white-water rafting?








We also enjoyed a wonderful lunch near the top of Mount Bachelor, dipped our toes and hunted for frogs at Todd Lake, and took a breath-taking walk along the Deschutes River.

There were also terrific “down days,” spent watching the Olympics, reading, and knitting, with the kids playing video games, and spending much time on Facebook and Youtube, resulting in a lack of good blogging time for yours truly.

Also in Bend, Oregon: Lots of great food. Lots of great beer.

And the scenery in Oregon never stops taking your breath away, including the great views of the mountains at Roderick and Misty’s new home site.

We had one tough evening, when Eldest fell on one of the every present, ever razor sharp lava rocks. A trip to the urgent care resulted in four stitches in his shin. Traumatic at the time, but he’s fine.

An evening barbecue at our hosts’ home was built around sharing music, and Roderick and I were joined by several of their friends – and their kids - playing and singing in what was a very relaxed, very cool evening. This was fun, but was also preparation for a gig with Roderick and his friend and musical partner Chris several nights later. We played outside a nice, music friendly restaurant, and I was surprised at how excited and enthused people seemed to be to stumble upon live music. I haven’t played out like that in a long time, and while I maybe tried to learn too many songs in just days before the gig, all-in-all it was a wonderful experience, fed by good beer, a beautiful evening, great friendship, good music, and an appreciative crowd that was larger than we expected.

This post does not do the vast entirety of the trip justice, but hopefully the pictures will help with that a bit.

Of all of the wonderful things: the scenery, the adventures, the relaxation, the reading, the luxury, the food, the beer, nothing about the trip came close to the satisfaction we get from the fun, meaningful, and growing friendship between two families two thousand miles apart. It is only through Roderick and Misty’s generosity that this trip happened. They read this blog, and I thank them again for their hospitality and for our friendship.

And the beer. The really good beer.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Day Two On The Oregon Coast


Yesterday, the first day, was a day of sloth and laziness. And a little bit of shopping.

Today was a great day, but the hour is late and the energy waning, so briefly:

Took big run, almost to the top of Tillamook Head, a cool outcropping into the ocean; fantastic kite flying while mist and fog went out and then came back in, making the bright stunt kite seem almost magical; some reading and hot soup; a bike ride on an old, rusty, woman's bike all over town (first stop: bike shop, for tire air); sand castle wars with plastic army men; crazy attack of a kazillion birds on fish trapped in a tidal pool; an evening walk to a terrific dinner.

An amazing, wonderful, vacationy day all around.




Saturday, August 2, 2008

Arrival at the Pacific Coast

It’s almost too ideal, this moment here, sitting by a fire in a lovely quaint living room, over-sized windows to a sunset on the Pacific, wife with great new haircut doing crosswords over there. Roderick’s wife sitting doing Sudoku puzzles, quietly saying song titles to keep the music going as Roderick just there picks tastefully at a cool, black, graphite acoustic guitar. (A graphite guitar? Da hell?)

“Mr. Lucky,” she requests.

Roderick’s wife does not yet have a blog name. Misty she shall henceforth be.









I write two blogs, which is excessive, yes. One is this one, about my family, and the other is about my creative pursuits and related or not so related topics. It seems this trip may not fit neatly into either category.

What to do? This is clearly a family trip. But there is also a keyboard set up just over there, a barbecue / jam session is scheduled, and a gig with Roderick, a friend of his, and me forthcoming. There is more than a little talk about creativity and music and all of that.

“I Will.”

We woke at 4:00 AM to catch an early flight, stopped a moment in Minneapolis, where I’m pretty darned certain I bumped into Bobby McFerrin, who has had a pretty profound effect on me in a whole lot of ways, but I wasn’t sure enough it was him to say anything. I don’t want to be the white guy who is wrong when he says to the black dread-locked guy "Aren't you Bobby McFerrin?"

“Blackbird.”

We arrived in Portland at 11:00 AM West Coast Time. Our family had an elaborate scheme planned, based on an old, too-hard-to-explain inside joke. So we walked out of the gate with each member of our family wearing a fake mustache. We walked around the corner, and there they were, Roderick, Misty and their two boys, all wearing fake mustaches.

“Crazy Love.”

A terrific meal at Moe’s – believe it, I had never had clam chowder before. This was a very good place to start. I had a cup of clam chowder as an appetizer, then crab stuffed avocado, then a cup of clam chowder for dessert. So I'm not sure what the marionberry cobbler was if the chowder was dessert. I was just surprised that the crack smoking mayor of D.C. could bake so well.

A long walk on the beach to wait for check-in time, and then to the house from which I'm typing just this moment.

“Why Georgia Why.”

I’ve never been to the west coast, and am struck by the different character here. I’ve only been here half of one overcast day, but it seems to me that this end of the county has it all over the other end. I've always loved the ocean, both of them, but while I'm way over here, out of earshot, let's be honest. The Atlantic coast is great, but it just tries too hard. The Pacific just has it the whole beach thing down. It doesn’t try to be a bad ass with how hot it can get, it knows the classy impact of a big land mass here and there, maybe some rocks to break up the sand. You wanna bring a beer or twenty-four down here with you buds, maybe have a fire? 'scool. The Pacific knows you’ll take good care of things; you’re responsible, good folk, after all, and it trusts you. And your dogs. Dogs are cool.

“These Days.”

So, we got here. Beautiful house. We settled in, kids shot pool and tried to fly a broken kite for a while. I had a big self-indulgent run on the beach, and now here we are.

“You’ve Got A Friend”