Friday, September 29, 2006

Fall in Central Oregon

We had a nice few days in Central Oregon's Cascade Mountains.  The Fall colors are showing in the mountains, and the mountains are truly striking.  Unlike the Sierra Mountains, which seem to run together, the Cascade Mountains are discreet, each mountain standing seperate from its neighbor.

This time of year there are butterflies migrating and my car drove through many of them, I'm sorry to say.  Fortunately we didn't run over any deer or cyotes, both of which we saw a few times.  We didn't see elk in the wild, but we did see a big hurd of them near Sisters, OR.

If you click on this photo badge, you can see photos from the trip.  Look for photos tagged "CentralOregon".

This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from DFNoJunk tagged with CentralOregon. Make your own badge here.

Here are the notes:

20060925 Crescent, OR

We left home this morning at about 8:40 after running a
couple of errands, including getting me a cup of coffee at the brand new
Starbucks @ 9th & The Esplanade - oooh, drive through.

It took about 3.5H to reach Ashland, where we had lunch at a nice place
off exit 19 called The Breadbasket - not cheap for lunch but not outrageous.

We drove East out of Medford toward Union Creek and Crater Lake. The Union Cr area is in a beautiful part of a
National Forest (which one?). The Rogue River in that area is stunning as it rushes through tunnels it has made in stone and
(probably) lava tubes.

20060925 Crater Lake Lookout

Crater Lake is still a
beautiful blue gem in a ring on top of a volcano. The visitor area at the lake is under construction. The gift store is in a temporary smaller
bldg, but I found it and bought a knit top I like. At the overlook we watched a documentary film
about how the lake was created... volcanoes erupting from at least 400,000 yrs
ago. At about 7k yrs ago a ring of eruptions
caused the top of the mountain to fall into a molten cavern about 4k ft down...
a collapsing caldera.

The weather today was beautiful and Fall color is
starting. There were some beautiful red
leaved maples and yellow leaved birch and aspen.

20060925 Crescent Woodsman
20060925 Crescent Mohawk
So we ended up in a little town called Crescent, OR,
staying at The Woodsman. We had dinner
at a place next door with a sign out
front saying "Mohawk Restaurant, Animal and Bottle Collection, Welcome Hunters". The dining room walls were COVERED with
stuffed animals and collectible souvenir bottles. I felt like the animals were watching me eat dinner - I was careful not
to order any meat.

Room at the Woodsman is fine - clean, dish Network TV,
fridge, microwave.

20060926 Bend, OR

Today was spent on scenic driving and a couple of easy,
short walks.

20060926 Cascade Fall Color
20060926 Constitution Grove
The West Cascades Scenic Byway, Aufderheide Nat'l Forest
Scenic Byway, Forest Rd 19 - Westfir to Blue River.... It was beautiful, with lots of striking red
color in the maples. We picked up a CD
at the Westfir Ranger Stn which gave us history, some geology, and
suggestions for sites to visit. We took
a quick, easy walk through Constitution Grove where 200 yr old trees have wooden
signs affixed to them, said plaques bearing the names of the signers of the US
Constitution. It amazes me that only one
name was familiar - George Washington.

We traveled up along the north fork of the middle fork of
the Willamette River,
and then down along the south fork of the McKenzie River.  I can't say enough about what a beautiful
road this is!

20060926 Proxy Falls20060926 McKenzie Pass Lava ViewAfter lunch we traveled the McKenzie Pass - Santium Pass Scenic Byway, OR rte 242.  We stopped and took a short hike to  Proxy Falls, through lava flds
dotted with brilliant maple trees, thru damp dark forests. The falls were very pretty.  Toward the top of the McKenzie pass (5325 ft elev.) there
is a Huge (65 sq. miles) lava flow and views of the Three Sisters Mtns.

It was a besutiful day.

We were amazed at how much Sisters and Bend have grown!  We had dinner at Baskin Robbins and scoped
out a Subway for tomorrow's lunch to go.

20060927 Bend, OR

At 12:30, in the middle of the night, my snoring was
keeping J awake, so I went to the lobby and got my own room. J finally had some relief from my snoring
and I was able to sleep all the rest of the night.

20060927 Cascade Byway resort kyaks
20060927 Todd Lake DF
Today we took a ride on the Cascade Lakes Scenic
Byway. We stopped at several lakes, some
natural and some reservoirs.

Mt. Bachelor
looks like a good ski mountain. It was
beautiful, as were the other mtns nearby (named what?).

older downtown is nice enough, but the outskirts appear to have grown too fast
in a poorly planned way.
Dinner at Deschutes Brewery was fine - beer was good too.

20060928 On the road home

We took another scenic road (hwy 20, 22) to Silver Falls
St Pk, just outside of Salem. We took a hike by several waterfalls:

Winter Falls wasn't flowing, but if you stood there quietly you could hear water dropping
off of the top of where the falls would be in the winter.

20060928 Middle North Fork FallsNext was Middle North Falls, which was lovely. We walked behind it and didnlt even get wet because this time of yr the falls aren't raging.

Next was Drake Falls, which is really more of a cascade than falls. Nice.

We skipped Double falls because we were running out of steam and the falls appeared to be nothing more then a trickle.

Finally, Lower North Falls which I have skant memory of.

The hike back to the car was all uphill and we stopped
frequently to let our hearts slpw to a normal pace.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hollywoodland, Water, Fun with Dick & Jane

We saw three movies lately.  One in the theater: Hollywoodland (*** Good).  Two on DVD: Water (**** Very Good) and Fun With Dick And Jane (*** Good).

Hollywoodlandposter_1Hollywoodland was better than a summer movie, but not Oscar material.  Ben Afleck gives a really good performance as George Reeves, the actor who played Superman on TV in the 1950s.  He wanted to be a serious actor and was unhappy with his role as a TV action hero.  (I loved him when I was a kid.)  In 1959 he either shot himself or was murdered.  The official ruling was suicide.  Adrian Brody plays a private eye who tries to find the truth.  Diane Ladd is wonderful as a film maker's wife who supports Reeves and loves him.  Bob Hoskins is, of course, wonderful as the film maker.  With all these good performances, you'd think the movie would have been better.

Waterposter_1Water, a wonderful film, was released in 2005.  It is set in India in the 1930s, when Ghandi was alive.  Hindu women are forced to live the rest of their lives in an ashram when they become widows.  Actually, there are three choices:  They can burn with their husbands, marry the husband's younger brother, or go to an ashram.  Sending them to an ashram is a matter of money - the family no longer has to support them.  This is the story of the women living in such an institution on the banks of the Ganges river.  The youngest and newest resident is a 7 year old child, married young but still a virgin when her husband dies.  The ashram supports itself by having its women beg, and also by pimping one beauty to rich men.  The beauty travels at night across the river to the home of a rich man.  There is a love story/tragedy involving the son of the rich man and the beauty.  The real tragedy is that the practice of hiding women away in ashrams still goes on today.

While I was nursing a pulled muscle on my rib cage, I watched Fun With Dick And Jane, on DVD, originally released in 2005.  It must have been funny to me, because I remember hurting every time I laughed.  Jim Carrey, one of my favorite actors, plays Dick and T�Leoni did a great job as Jane.  It's the story of a couple fallen on hard times because of an enron-like situation.  They take to robbery as a way to support their family.  Finally D & J setup the nasty CEO (Alec Baldwin) in order to set things right.  T�Leoni is just wonderful in this.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Fiber Arts


This is a Leif Parsons illustration from a NY Times article about digital music.  Cool.


This is what your brain looks like after too much knitting.

The artists are Marjorie Taylor and Karen Norberg.  See Oregon University's Scientifically Accurate Fabric Brain Art.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Knitty's Fall Issue 2006

Image I like this issue of  (The picture is a link to the Fall, 2006, issue.)

As usual, there are various technique articles and a spinning/dyeing section too.

Also as usual, I would pass on most of the patterns because I'm not as young as or as thin as the models, upon which most of the garments looked fine.  All the women's sweater patterns I looked at had sizes up to 3X.  Knitty is very good about remembering large people.

Here are the items I liked.

Tamarah, by Iris Schreier, is a nice, small shawl that will work with variegated yarn.  It's made with two yarns:  1) 100% silk and 2) 70% mohair/30% silk.  It is pictured in this post.  It looks like the construction of this one would take a little thought, which is a good thing.

Avast, by Jesse Loesberg, is a smashing man's sweater with a horizontal cable around the hem.  It has raglan shoulders so it would need a broad-shouldered body.

Sugar on Snow, by Lee Wood Juvan, is a fun, cabled hat that turns into a neck warmer.  The idea is that you start out cold and then the day gets warmer, so you slip it loosely around your neck.  The crown of the hat is drawn closed by an i-cord tassel that you loosen when you want to change the hat into a neck warmer.  Cute, and sized for children and adults.  Good gifting item.

Lizard Ridge, by Laura Aylor, is a beautiful (really beautiful) afghan.  You can make it all in one piece or in small pieces that are joined.  It works very well in Noro's Kureyon yarn.

Back to School, by Star Athena, is a collection of washcloths with letters (words = "study" and "party") duplicate stitched onto a band in the cloth.  You could fit your own words of choice onto the cloths.

Lucie, by A.L.

The Illusionist

The Illusionist (**** Very Good)
was definitely worth a trip to the local multiplex.

I don't remember what else I've seen Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, or Rufus Sewell in.  Of course, Paul Giamatti is memorable for Sideways.  The acting was fine.  Even so, I didn't fall for the illusion, but I'm not sure we were meant to fall for it.

The short story this is based on, "Eisenheim The Illusionist" can be found in S. Millhauser's The Barnum Museum.

The NY Times Summary says:

Even the most diehard rationalist, in his heart of hearts, longs to
believe in magic. That�s why Neil Burger�s film �The Illusionist,�
which tells the story of Eisenheim (Edward Norton), a fictional
conjurer who enraptured Viennese audiences in 1900, rouses your
slumbering belief in the miraculous. This screen adaptation of Steven
Millhauser�s short story, �Eisenheim the Illusionist,� gives Mr. Norton
a role that perfectly fits his disturbing inscrutability. His face,
with obsidian eyes that take in everything but reflect nothing, and a
tight little mouth, is an impenetrable mask of either innocence or
cunning; you�re never sure which. Throughout the movie Eisenheim
remains a man of mystery whose few, carefully chosen words project a
wary, possibly phony omniscience. � Stephen Holden, The New York Times

Friday, September 8, 2006

Toyota is not ass

I learned a new slang word today... "ass" is bad, but "not ass" is good.  Toyota is not ass.

JLG and I jointly own a 2001 Toyota Prius (and a 2004 Toyota Prius).  That's two Priuses.  The 2001, pictured left, has had an odd, intermittent steering problem since it was a newish car.  It was undiagnosable, since it only happened when the car was cold at slow speeds - like when you are backing and turning out of the driveway in the morning.  All of a sudden the steering wheel would have a fit and start shuddering mightily, and scare the owner-operator almost to death.  This is ass.

Finally, on the most recent visit, the dealership said that Toyota had issued a bulletin saying that cars with this problem would need a new electric steering rack (whatever that is).  Toyota will pay for the parts ($1K), but not the labor ($700).  The car is out of warranty so Toyota was being kind to pay for the $1K parts.  I didn't agree and thought Toyota could pay for the labor as well, since the problem has existed since the car was a baby.

So, I talked to the Customer Relations person at the dealer, and I talked on the phone to Toyota.  I got a case number.  I explained I thought Toyota should pay for the labor.  Toyota thought about it and called me back today.  We still have to pay for the labor, but Toyota will reimburse us for the labor costs!  Not ass, not ass at all :-)

Thanks, Toyota, for standing behind your products!

A Happy Prius Owner

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Invincible & Little Miss Sunshine

Lms_poster Lately we've seen two good movies:  Invincible (*** Good) and Little Miss Sunshine (*** Good).  Invincible was a feel good movie:  the good guy gets a break and does well.  Worth cheering for.   Little Miss Sunshine was smarter and funny.  I recommend them both for theater viewing.

Quoting the NY Times:

tells the true story of Vince Papale (Mark Wahlberg), a 30-year-old
substitute teacher and part-time bartender who, in 1976, was signed to
play for the struggling Philadelphia Eagles. Battling inexperience,
hostile teammates and an excess of slow-motion photography, Vince is
soon being pummeled in summer training and body-slammed in a losing
game against the Dallas Cowboys. As Jackson Browne mopes on the
soundtrack and the football fans wilt in the stands, Vince�s embittered
dad, Frank (Kevin Conway), cautions against optimism. �A man can only
take so much failure,� he warns. While Disney piles on the uplift, the
director and cinematographer, Ericson Core, counters the story�s
predictably inspirational trajectory with close attention to historical
detail and blue-collar hardship. � Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York

... and

A bittersweet comedy of dysfunction, �Little Miss Sunshine� tells a
tale about genuine faith and manufactured glory that unwinds in the
American Southwest, but more rightly takes place at the terminus of the
American dream, where families are one bad break away from bankruptcy.

It feels like Fall

Image Image We went for a quick walk in Bidwell Park this morning.  I'm still breaking in some new shoes so I wasn't able to go far or fast.  I hate new shoes :-(

There are berries on the bushes and the air is cool in the morning.  Come on Fall!

Big Bear Lake

On Friday we went for a walk in the Lakes Basin area.  This is Big Bear lake which is only about 1/2 a mile from the parking area.

We got there late (around noon), so it was already on the warmish side (mid-80s).  There was only a minor up and down and by the time we got back we were hot and tired.  We had to stop several times to let our hearts slow to normal-ish.

Boy am I out of shape and swimming, which is nice and my favorite exercise, just doesn't get my heart going as much as it should.  Maybe I should consider an uphill treadmill at the gym. ... yeah, like that's ever going to happen on a regular basis.

Saturday, September 2, 2006

A Day in the Life

Today was a work day at the library.  Very few crazy people came in today, and since the internet was down it was quiet.

We've been having a theft problem.  People have been stealing the movie DVDs out of their cases and leaving the empty cases hidden in the book shelves.  Creeps.  So, now we have to keep the movies behind the counter and make it difficult for the general public to browse the DVD collection.  It's a shame that a few (one?) bad apples (I can think of more descriptive words to call them) have made it inconvenient for the rest of the people.

Our volunteers are wonderful.  They do all the shelving, and the circulation people who are paid to work there are stuck behind the counters being available to JQP (Jane Q Public).  We do have a couple of volunteers who think the circulation folks don't do much.  It's true, there are times when we sit and rest for a bit, but on the whole the circ folks work pretty hard from the beginning to the end of the day.

"Check 'em in. Check 'em out" Diane

Went to Lake Almanor

This is a photo which has had a brush stroke effect applied.  It was a beautiful day at Lake Almanor, and you could see Mt. Lassen across the lake.

I thought I was going to drop out of this blog, but I have paid for a year, so I'll keep it up.

There is an air show at the Chico Airport, so yesterday and today Chico has been buzzed by fighter jets.  The cats are not happy.

So, that's about it.  I'm back, more vocal than before.