Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New Photo Album

Well the month of July has ended and I am thankful to say I know that teachers are finally going to work! The filthy lay abouts.... hehehe. OK so I am a little jealous of the schedule they keep. Anyway I have produced a small album from my mother's trip. It was our Japanese Garden Tour. I am still sorting through 300+ pictures of the coast to bring you only the best so bear with me a little while longer. Without further ado I give you the new photo Album: Japanese Garden in July


Drop in, look around and leave a message of what you think.

PS. If it doesn't load hit refresh for some odd reason it was being difficult when I tried it just now. And as always if it is too small click on it for a larger picture.

Monday, July 23, 2007

My trip to the coast

My mom visited recently. She came in two Saturdays ago and on Sunday we headed west to the coast. I had never been to these areas before even thought they are less then two hours away. I was just as excited as she was. Sunday morning however I woke up with blisters on my feet. I sucked it up and just hobbled around. I wanted her to have a great time but I also wanted to as well. Even if that meant I had pain with every step. We started out in Seaside. We had breakfast and then walked around before we hit the road and headed South to Cannon Beach. We stopped and walked along the beach for quite a while. I took several shots with my mother's digital camera at this beach so I will share those later. They have a huge rock.... or should I call it a mountain.... that is called the Haystack Rock and it is very popular for us shutterbugs. I took several pictures but as opposed to a horrible long slide show that some people would force upon you, I will find my best 1 or 2. We went into a great art shop and had some wonderful tasting tea. We also picked up some taffy here. Then we headed South again. We were staying in Garibaldi, which is about 8 miles from Tillamook where they make great cheese. You might purchase it and might even be munching on it now, the cheese and the town share the same name. Anyway we stopped at a few viewpoints on the way down. Here are a few examples, taken with my 35 mm:

My feet were killing me when we reached Garibaldi, where we checked in and prepared for a trip South to Pelican Pub & Brewery at Cape Kiwanda right on the beach. After a brief Respite we headed to the car and headed South. Stopping at Tillamook Cheese Factory where we snarfed some free cheese and a small cone of their fantastic ice cream, then before leaving the town of Tillamook we hit the Blue Heron Cheese Shop and gobbled cheese there as well. Then we drove like mad to Cape Kiwanda and our wonderful dinner venue. We were eating vegetarian and I would have to say that there was not much on that stupid menu to find. We found a sandwich and split it then got a salad each. We had a weird gaspacho that looked nothing like any gaspacho I had ever seen. It was tasty but was more like a salsa in need of spice and some chips. The sandwich left a little to be desired. I thought it was bland and with a few small adjustments I think the sandwich could have been quite good but they didn't ask. The location of this place is so outstanding that I could have been eating dry rice cakes and I would have still enjoyed it. The beer was good. I have pictures of this beach as well from my mom's digital camera that I will share. We headed back to our motel and fell asleep quickly. The next morning we had our continental breakfast at the motel which was pretty decent. Then we headed to Cape Meares. A little West of Tillamook, which is the gateway to the 3 cape trek. Cape Meares was beautiful and I have a few of my 35mm photos to share and a few digital ones that will be popping up later in an album.

It was amazing how the beach seemed to be a bone yard for big ol' trees.

It was beautiful. We headed back to Tillamook and their wonderful cheese factory where we saw them churn it out. We had a really good 4 cheese grilled cheese sandwich and an ice cream cone. Then we headed North and ultimately East. We stopped at the Oldest Sitka Tree which is over 750 years old and 17 and a half feet in diameter. Unfortunately it won't be around too much longer as it seems it is dying and you can no longer get right up next to it so the full comprehension of the massiveness of this tree was not experienced up close and personal. When we hit town we took a detour to the Hoyt Arboretum and then to Powell's downtown. The we dined at an Indian food place and finally made it home. The next day we took it easy because rain rolled in. We went to Sauvie Island and got berries and other fresh vegetables and made dinner at home. The next day we went to the Japanese Garden and then I got my mom to the airport about an hour and a half before her flight but then her flight was delayed for 2 hours and she spent a long minute in the airport. When I get the Japanese Garden pictures from her I will make the photo album. And as always to see any picture larger just click on the photo.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Post coming soon....

This has been a very exciting week. My mom's visit, my dad's visit, the arrival of my Ricky (Anto's son). I have some things to share and some pictures to post but first I have to deal with a very big event. It happened last night about 12:30 AM. I was up all night with it and I don't feel like doing anything until I get through it. I don't think anyone could possibly not know what went up for sale last night at 12:01 AM but there are some strange people out there. Anyway I have the said item in my possession and besides the few things I have committed to already I won't be doing anything until I have dispensed with this task and have reached the inevitable conclusion. Hope you all have a good weekend, I will.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Get Fuzzy

This is a great comic.... it almost makes me like cats. The dog is awesome. It is a comic made by Darby Conley. If you don't read this comic you are missing out it is great stuff.

This one is funny because this girl at work got me saying "I'm just saying..." and it is true that it is always after something offensive or wrong.

And one more for good measure.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Portland Blues Festival: Now with Friday & Sunday Reviews

Hello Kids,
This week is pretty big for blues lovers it seems like there are several blues festivals going on across the country. One of those blues festivals belong to Portland, the claim is that they are second in notoriety only to Chicago's blues fest. I can't deny or approve such a claim I am only repeating what I have heard and read. I do know it seems to last an extremely long time. It is called the Waterfront Blues Fest and can be read about at: http://www.waterfrontbluesfest.com/.

It started July 3rd this year for people doing a blues cruise, where you buy a ticket to cruise the Columbia while one of the many bands play, this goes on the entire time and certain cruises have some of the big named talent performing. Anyway it starts Tuesday and lasts until Sunday this year. That is 6 days of blues and most of those days 8 bucks gets you in, the cruises are more. Either way I had never made it to this festival before this year but had always meant to do so. It seems every July I am flat broke so I just stay away figuring the cost for such a festival is beyond my means. The fact of the matter is it is a fundraiser for Oregon Food Banks so the price of admission is actually a recommended donation of 8 dollars and 2 canned goods. More is always welcome and less although not promoted is also not turned away. Anyway I headed out there last night with a friend. We parked on the East side of the river and walked across the bridge to the West side where the event was being held. We were going to see The Animals play and they were supposed to start at 9:15. We arrived a little before 8 and ended up walking around checking out the 4 stages. We ended up right in front of a stage as Savoy Brown came on. The crowd was amped and I was too but I had no clue who this group was. The minute they got on stage I realized this was going to be an outstanding set.

Kim Simmonds is a great guitarist and totally rocked his hour away. He did an old song of his that set the crowd on fire called Tell Mama, in the middle of playing the holy heck out of a little black and white electric guitar he told us a story. It was a story about his first guitar, a mail order job that had to be assembled by him when he was 13, and ended up with him telling us about a $130 guitar he bought at Walmart a while back. Then he revealed the guitar he had been wailing on was that guitar. Totally blew us away, I thought man this guy is so good he probably could make anything sound good. It was a great set and I am now a huge fan of Savoy Brown and would jump at the chance to see the band or just a solo Kim Simmonds again. After his set we migrated across the lawn to the main stage where The Animals, billed as Eric Burdon and The Animals, were starting. They were playing a song I was sure I had never heard before and then the chorus started and we realized it was a horribly distorted version of a song we were familiar with. The second song started without any improvement and we decided to call it a night. I have some pictures I will be putting up tonight so if you don't see them just be patient.

If I go Sunday I will update you all on how that turned out. I was looking at the week and saw a group I liked and a group I am really interested in seeing live had come through earlier in the week. One was the Blind Boys of Alabama, I saw them in Roseburg and they were great (yep Roseburg has some free summer concerts and some of the groups are pretty cool). The other was the Hot 8 Brass Band, I saw them in the Spike Lee Documentary about the Katrina disaster, When the Levees Broke, and really want to see them live. Maybe next time.

Here are a few more pictures of Savoy Brown.

***************UPDATE! SUNDAY UPDATE!!****************
I went back to the Blues fest today and saw Voice of the Wetlands Allstars (Tab Benoit, Anders Osborne, Cyrill Neville, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Jumpin' Johnny Sansone, Waylon Thibodeaux). They played some good stuff and some stuff I didn't care for but it was definitely a rocking show. I took a whole bunch of pictures of these guys, especially Big Chief who came out in full regalia and was rocking out. I probably had 25 - 30 pictures and at least half were looking good from what I could tell. I went to download them and it said it had but all it had done was delete the pictures. So there is not going to be a separate entry for the Sunday Blues musicians. Anyway go check out the Voice of the Wetlands Allstars. They are raising money and trying to get America to notice that Southern Louisiana, especially New Orleans, is still not repaired from the Katrina disaster. Tab Benoit said the next time it floods he thinks New Orleans will be done and he says at this point it doesn't even have to be anywhere near as strong as Katrina was. The full force of Katrina never even officially hit New Orleans.... according to the documentary I saw, so that says a lot. Here are a few sites if you are interested:

We left to get something to eat. Then came back in for The Neville Brothers. We stayed for half of the show but I was all peopled out. Every where I looked people were avidly dancing like they had no sense. The people that were dancing couldn't dance and this old couple in front of us were dancing and it was so horrifying we had to relocate. I am not exaggerating, they were actually making me feel so ill I had to turn away. Plus there was this lady with a face of a 50 year old who had had too much cosmetic surgery on a body of a 90 year old, she scared me and it was time to get away. I was wishing for a tazer again.... We relocated to an area and everything was going fine when some drunk English guy insisted on talking to me and high fiving me. To be fair I was wearing a Borat shirt that says "High Five!" but the third time? Give me a break, go away and die or something. I am never wearing this shirt around drunk people again. Or at least not while sober. So the Nevilles' were crooning as we left. It was a really fun night but nobody electrified me like Savoy Brown had. I was a little disappointed but overall I was happy. Then I got home and my pictures disappeared. I had been looking at them on the computer and a few were awesome, especially one of the shots of Big Chief. Then I tried to save them and it ate them. I am really really pissed about it too. I feel like breaking something or screaming but instead I settled on typing. Less gratifying but still it's a little bit of a vent for this righteous anger boiling in my gut. People that don't vent go postal.... that is the message for the day.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Berry Picking!

I went berry picking on Sauvie Island with a few people from work. It happened relatively spontaneously while we were passing yet another long call-less Saturday at work. Christopher mentioned he was going berry picking at the Pumpkin Patch with a couple friends of his. It sounded like fun but until a girl from work asked if he minded if she tagged along I didn't really think about joining in. With her as part of the entourage it soon expanded to include me so at 8 AM I left the house and met up with everybody and we headed North. Sauvie Island is located in the middle of the Columbia River, Multnomah Channel and the Willamette river. It is part farms and part Oregon Parks and wildlife land. They have quite a few farms where you can do the "U-Pick" option. Which is always enjoyable because you "sample" as you collect. Apparently there is more to it then farms though. The island boasts hiking, biking and chilling on the beach as well. A place to go back for sure.

We arrived before most people and we picked: Raspberries, Marionberries (Not the DC mayor that has a penchant for cocaine but actual berries from a bush), Blueberries, and a few super small but super sweet strawberries. The strawberry season is finishing up so decent berries were few and far between but I got a great strawberry shake out of the deal. The marionberry, raspberry blend was a little tart but still a great shake. I am freezing some of these berries for later use. My colon does not need a work out, in fact I banned myself from any more fruit for the day.