Friday, July 28, 2006

look at how close this asshole parked behind me

I left them a note that read:

"Dear Asshole,

Next time why don't you leave me a can opener so I can get my car out of the space. I took pictures and have your license plate number, my attorney will contact you regarding damages."

There wasn't really any damage, a little paint taken off but jesus for all the dings my new car gets, this one is obviously not an accident, and for every time a ding took paint off my car's appearance suffers and value depreciates.

Ideally I'd like to keep it as nice as possible for as long as possible. But that gets to be kind of hard with jerks like this sharing the community with me.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Mt. Saint Helens

These pictures aren't really in any particular order, but all taken on Sunday in the same couple of hours timeframe. I tried to put them back in order, but the battery on my computer is getting low, and I'm too sunburnt to mess around with these files anymore.

The mountain is really a volcano, and was active when we were there. Mt. St. Helens mostly sent up harmless plumes of steam and ash, but we were secretly hoping for an earthquake or a little magma activity.

Here's the path of destruction caused by the mud/ash/pyroclastic flow from the May 18th, 1980 eruption, the first looking west, and the second picture looking east.

Mountain flowers.

Prior to the May 18th, 1980 eruption, the areas depicted were heavily forested mountain areas. The force of the eruption was so great, several stumps that had the trees ripped from them lay dotted along the alien desert landscape. The trees lay as if a giant littered debris.

Tree's eye view of Mt. Saint Helens

More mountain flowers. These were pretty high up, at least at the 5000 ft elevation. There were many many hummingbirds around, but they were too quick to photograph. They seemed annoyed that we were hiking through their domain; the path cut through the side of a nearby steep mountainside.

Smouldering Mountain pictures...I really enjoyed visiting the North side of Mt. Saint Helens because the blast zone looked like an alien landscape, something from the surface of Mars (of course if they had oxyagen in their atmosphere and water in their environment).

The precarious trail barely carved into the mountainside.

More of the scary trail...

Spirit Lake, and Mt. Adams in the distance

More knarled trees. Amazing even this much survived the blast in 1980.

The trunk on the tree closes had a spiral twisted wood grain. Amazing!

closed due to be heap

It's been pretty hot lately, so hot, I think it's starting to affect people's spelling.

Tank you.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I was in Seattle yesterday

and realized when I was smack in middle of downtown during rush hour that I had never driven through the middle of downtown during rush hour, without a map, just winging it. There were obnoxious pedestrians and devil-may-care cellphone users lunging out in front of traffic, buses, delivery trucks and SUV's dwarfed my small and reliable Subaru. Additionally, I drive manual transmission and the hills in Seattle are steep and scary. I always forget how steep and scary until I'm at a red light on a very high incline. My hands usually start to sweat as I grip the steering wheel and jack the clutch down when the light turns green. After a really hot afternoon, my road rage meter was about to hit max. In desperation, my goal changed to getting out of the city, when I saw these two signs. They cracked me the hell up.


This past summer was the first time I've ever heard of Tayberries. I swear prior to this summer I have never heard an utterance of their existance. Sure, I've heard of Huckleberries, and Blackberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, even Salmonberries, but I personally think Tayberries are some kind of made up bullshit. Sure, when I first moved here, Marionberries were new to me. I chalked it off as a regional difference; there was so much everywhere you looked--Marionberry scones, Marionberry pies, Marionberry Jam, it was almost a regional given.

(I later found out that a Marionberry is a cross between a Blackberry and Raspberry).

The other day, I accidentially bought some Tayberries, thinking they were Raspberries. For the most part, they look like Raspberries, but a little bigger, beefier, and the flavor isn't as good. I think I ended up throwing the pint out after I'd had a handful.

I would have to say that Raspberries are my favorite. The flavor is out of sight, but I think my favorite part is the texture of the berry on my tounge and the roof of my mouth.

(So this picutre is completey unrelated to the passage above. I found myself sitting in interstate off-ramp traffic, and immortalized an often overlooked interesting but sublte visual situation).

Monday, July 17, 2006

stream of consciousness...

Well, my computer at home isn't quite working out at the moment, and since I'm between situations I figured I'd come down to my local coffee house and catch up on all things internet. There's music tonight, a three-piece band, bass, guitar and banjo, and they're banging out some nice music. I had a jasmine tea and the sun has just set, it's cool but not cold this evening, which is a releif after the weekend of warm tempatures.

I always think of interesting topics I want to write about when I'm not near something to write with, so I've taken to carrying a notebook and writing instruments around with me. Of course, inspiration will strike at other inopportune times, like when I'm driving in traffic or saluting out onto the floor of my martial arts class.
The martial arts class is an instance I can't help; there's pretty much nothing I can do because I'm supposed to be clearing my mind anyway. However when I'm driving, I've taken to putting a small notebook onto my visor, and making sure there's plenty of pens around to jot down an interesting blurb, such as "I hate traffic" or "this pen smells like hot dogs."

Acutally there's alot of significant things I jotted down, but now that I'm here, I'm without my notebook and drawing blanks (not literally) about future blog topics and other written points.

Anyway, next time I'll remember my notebook.

I'm sure as soon as I unlock my bike I'll remember something.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Mo Duk Pai Camp, June 10th-11th, 2006

These pictures are of the Mo Duk Pai Kung Fu Annual Camp, taken by Sifu Shannon Carey. Here are some of my favorites. I took pictures too, but the great thing about Sifu Shannon's pictures are they are taken during the classes, and it's great to see all the action going on around me while I was participating. My picutres are of any downtime we had. Sifu Shannon's entire set of pictures can be viewed by visiting

Drilling outdoors...the camp was beautiful, on Mt. Hood.

Fun outdoors fight!

This drill was particularally fun becuase we could use items in our environment to fight with. We didn't make too much actual contact, and did the drill at a speed slow enough to block most attacks.

Another class, indoors. We also had use of a large indoor space with nice wood floors.

Professor King, founder of Mo Duk Pai (left) demonstrating a technique on my teacher, Sifu Kyle Alexander (right).
I had a great time!

Monday, July 03, 2006


hippy magnet-target

so, I don’t know, maybe it’s the colored pretty glass in my windows, or having my apartment on a busy corner, but it seems lately all the petitioners and political activities come to my door and chat me up about this candidate or that organization. And I moved my computer into the kitchen, which has a nice windowed view of the happenings in the neighborhood, but unfortunately makes me extra visible to anyone approaching my door. Sure, sometimes if I see someone coming I hit the deck and silently creep into the living room, so I can watch my unwelcome visitor through the peephole fidget and flounder at my door. These instances are fun because I pretend I’m a ninja who’s completely infiltrated the enemy residence, and if I make one noise, one creak of floorboard, one joint cracking, I’d be turned into hamburger meat at lightning speed.

But this time I was caught at my seat; I saw the environmental tattooed pierced college student/hippy approach, and ring my doorbell. He looked to his right, and saw me sitting at my computer, staring back at him. I got up to answer the door and totally give him a piece of my mind, but I ended up getting sucked into his cause.

He has a lisp, not that lisps are funny (well, a little funny) and I didn’t know where to look he had so many odd piercing in his ears, face and neck. The first thing I thought when I saw his face was infection. “Hello, ma’am, how are you doing on thish fine schummer day?”

Strike one: He referred to me as “ma’am.” I know I don’t look that old. I should still be referred to as “miss” for all intents and purposes, especially by someone who wants me to sign their stupid petition. Maybe he was lisping because he has some hardware in his mouth. If that’s the case, I feel extra not-sorry for him.

“Fine, what can I help you with, chief?” I asked him. He went on to give me a prepared 5-minute synopsis on his organization and how they are going to help the environment. He asked for a donation, and I told him I was broke but would still sign his thing. He then informed me that I could only sign his thing if I made a donation. Exasperated, I told him “well, I guess I’m not signing your thing.”

Why is it my responsibility to fund bureaucracy?

A few days ago something similar happened: there was a volunteer for a local guy who wants to run in the next gubernatorial election. I let the campaign worker give me his schpeil, but I think I was spacing out on him. I know it seemed like he said “medical marijuana” a few times. He asked me if I ever heard of “Ben Westland” or someone, and I swore I had never heard of him. Then this volunteer bends down and picks up a dirty weatherworn post card with his guy’s face and info on it. “Well, it seems we stopped by and left you this,” he said, as he wiped the dirt and cobwebs off and offered it to me. “Oh yeah, look at that,” I sheepishly agreed. I guess I had been stepping over that for a couple of weeks to go in and out of my apartment. I think I just blocked it out. Now I felt obligated to sign his petition, and after doing so, he went on his way to the next audience. I haven’t been able to forget the look on his face, when he looked down and realized that I completely ignored the un-recyclable offering one of his brethren left me. It was like a mixture of hurt and smug contempt. The whole encounter took on new meaning for this guy from that point forward, and possibly changed his night.

I think the next time someone comes by I’m going to sit right here and ignore them. Maybe even look right at them but make no move to get up or open the door. Now that would be funny.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Cottage Grove, OR

We went to Cottage Grove, Oregon in the beginning ofJune to visit a couple friends of ours who moved there. It was a nice clean small city nestled on the edge of the valley and next to the foothills of the Cascade Range. Cottage Grove sits about the half-way through the state of Oregon on I-5.

Lake Cottage Grove (City's namesake)

How "small town" is this sign?

nice clean small downtown area (don't blink you'll miss it).

city's claim to fame

and it's reassuring to know on every picnic bench across America, there's the same sex-drugs-rock n' roll themed detailed opinions permanently inscribed with Sharpies.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

history of Disney deaths (from 1989 - present)

While we're on the subject, and just to keep things interesting:

June 29, 2006
Michael Russell, 12, of Fort Campbell, Ky., went limp while riding Disney-MGM’s Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster. He was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Preliminary autopsy results indicated he died of natural causes.

April 12, 2006
Hiltrud Bluemel, 49, a German tourist, died one day after riding Epcot’s Mission: Space at Walt Disney World. Preliminary report showed Bluemel died of brain bleeding. She also suffered from severe high blood pressure.

Aug. 4, 2005
Jerra Kirby, 12, of Newport News, Va., collapsed at the Typhoon Lagoon water park in Orlando. He later died from arrhythmia caused by early stage viral heart infection.

JUNE 13, 2005
Daudi Bamuwamye, 4, of Sellersville, Pa., died after riding Epcot’s Mission: Space. An autopsy determined that he died of an irregular heartbeat linked to abnormal thickening of the heart muscle.

APRIL 30, 2005
Ryan Norman, 30, of Mooresville, Ind., died after going on the Dinosaur ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Norman lost consciousness and later died at a hospital. A medical examiner’s report said the ride wasn’t related to the death.

Gloria Land, 77, of St. Paul, Minn., lost consciousness after riding the Magic Kingdom’s Pirates of the Caribbean and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

FEB. 11, 2004
Costumed Walt Disney World worker Javier Cruz, 38, was killed after being run over by a float during an afternoon parade.

SEPT. 5, 2003
Marcelo Torres, 22, of Gardena, Calif., died when Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain locomotive hit a tunnel roof. The ride’s first car then ran under the locomotive. Torres’ body had to be extricated by paramedics. Ten others were injured during the incident.

An 81-year-old woman had a heart attack on the Universe of Energy ride at Epcot. She later died at a hospital.

NOV. 5, 2000
William Pollock, 37, of St. Petersburg, Fla., was killed on Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World when he climbed out of his boat midway through the ride and was struck by another boat.

JUNE 25, 2000
Cristina Moreno, 23, of Spain had a severe headache after riding the Indiana Jones attraction at Disneyland. She suffered a brain hemorrhage, ran up more than $1.3 million in medical expenses in Spain and died in September 2001.

FEB. 14, 1999
Part-time park employee Raymond Barlow, 65, of Clermont, Fla., died at Walt Disney World when he fell from the loading area of the Magic Kingdom Skyway.

DEC. 24, 1998
Luan Phi Dawson, 33, of Duvall, Wash., was fatally struck in the head when a metal cleat ripped loose from Disneyland’s 84-foot-long ship Columbia. His wife and a Disneyland employee were also injured.

MAY 16, 1995
Linda Elaine Baker, 4, from Galveston, Texas, died while riding with her mother on Body Wars in Epcot. An autopsy concluded the ride did not contribute to her death.

A woman was killed in a boat collision in Disney World. No other details are known.

After reading this list, it seems most of the deaths occured because there was a pre-existing condition. I think only a couple of the deaths were due to ride malfunction. I remember when the September 5th, 2003 incident occured. It seemed extra grisly. Another tragic death (in my opinion) is the employee who was run over by a parade float. Can you imagine his immediate family explaining what happened to the rest of the family and the employees friends?

What a way to go!

follow up to latest Disney disaster:

(view entire story by clicking on link below):

Boy who died at Disney had heart defect
Kentuckian rode roller coaster

By Travis Reed
Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — The 12-year-old Kentucky boy who died after riding a Walt Disney World roller coaster had a congenital heart defect and there was nothing mechanically wrong with the attraction, it was determined yesterday.

Doctors performed an autopsy on Michael Russell, the son of an Iraq war veteran, one day after he stopped breathing while riding Disney-MGM's Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. The cause of death was left pending until additional tests are conducted, said Dr. Sara Irrgang, an Orange County associate medical examiner.

"No evidence of injury was found but congenital heart abnormalities were detected, which will be further evaluated," the office said in a statement.

The boy's father, Byron Russell, is a part of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) based at Fort Campbell, Ky., said Maj. Jim Gregory, Special Forces Command spokesman.

"You can't even put words to how devastating this would be," Gregory said.

my cat hates you

Here's a funny link I found, all cat owners can really appreciate it: