Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Glass Butte, Oregon's best obsidian!

Wow.. a trip to eastern Oregon. We had been talking this up for over a week and it was a week that had temperatures in the valley soaring as high as 107 degrees. But, we were determined to head across to the even hotter desert to Glass Butte for obsidian. And not just any obsidian, this stuff is choice and the site is host to the famous mahogany, gold and silver sheen varieties. Here's Jerry's truck at the milepost 77 turnoff. Glass Butte (officially Glass Buttes) is in the background.

Abel and I have finger shot this sign to heck. The sign for Obsidian Road has been down for some time. Needless to say, we were totally stoked for what lay ahead.

Jerry and Abel compare notes on their photography. Here on top of one of the lesser buttes it was 92 in the shade. That wasn't too bad with a wind of about 12-18 miles an hour. the vistas were great up here. We saw the whole valley and there were thunderheads forming to the east. Occasionally the clouds would cover and shade us as we dug in the pits.

Abel and Spencer swinging along in a mahogany pit. This hill top had great mahogany and mahogany lace obsidian. I got GPS coordinates for our favorite spots. I want to get into a routine of documenting our finds. I dug in the pit, too. It is quite a sensation to remove a rare substance from the darkness of earth and be the first to enjoy its beauty. I also walked around the pits and selected samples others had left. Some of these had been worked and had weathering that could be 500 or 5,000 years old, I just don't know.

After leaving Glass Butte we took a side road out to a place I had heard about for years...Pine Mountain Observatory. This place is owned by the University of Oregon and maintained by the Friends of Pine Mountain. Unfortunately it's closed on Sunday and we could only walk around the buildings. Here I am in front of the larger observatory. Next to this place is a Descutes National Forest campground that was deserted! I want to come back here with the tipi and a telescope.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Ginko Tree

Here's a leaf from the Ginko tree located at 350 Winter on the Capital Mall. Story goes that it was to be cut down for the improvements at the mall and Mark Hatfield stepped in to save the tree from destruction. It is one of Oregon's Heritage trees. This tree species is one of the only ones left from the time of dinosaurs. It's somewhere in the neighborhood of 150-200 million years old. Can you imagine..a Brontosaurus munching on these leaves. I tasted it and it IS good! I saw the fruit, but it looked too green to try. I will be back.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Portland Expo 2004

Well, today Jerry, my sister, Abel and myself went to the famous Portland Expo Flea Market. Held three time a year this antique flea market is the premier event in its class. It literally took 6 hours to walk all the aisles. The crowd was moderate and being a Sunday it seemed the vendors I spoke with were doing well. There was something for everyone, no matter what income bracket.

The guy pictured above is Dick Mitchell a vendor of transportation collectibles. I was looking for a taxi/cabbie hat with a badge. I saw his (not on his head) and asked how much? Its not for sale he says. He had about 25 badges all dated 1941 which incidently is his birth year. At current badge prices this was a thousand dollar hat.

We saw it all and returned to Salem exhausted. I wasn't able to find my hat either!

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Current Project: Mediaeval Book

Here's the knave himself, about the design and with a table littered with jewels. Basically, I am to create a grand prize for a large Dungeon and Dragons tournament. The prize is the rulebook/manual done up mediaeval with leather , gold and stones. The game has some aspects of the phoenix legend incorporated in the playing so I decided to use this in its design. Scott, who commissioned me, came by with some of the young men organizing the event. I showed them the process and answered their questions. Tomorrow I am going to Portland Expo and will scour the flea market for cool stuff to gaud up this cover.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Lookie who I saw!

In a small town like Salem, (150,000) you can't go far without seeing someone you know. At the art fair I bumped into Christopher, Gina and their 2 year old daughter. They looked great and the baby is soo cute. I told Gina I nearly cried when I heard they got her. They are probably going to be excellent parents because they had a lot of cats to practice with! Christopher has been a great friend in the past and I hope to have these guys over to get reacquainted. I know Lauren would love to show their daughter all her toys!

Salem Art Fair 2004

Wow another year and here comes the Salem Art Fair. Hot, dusty, great food, music and, oh yea, ... ART!  Abel, Spencer and I went down on Friday evening. I saw many acquaintances including; Bill Dorney and his wife, Glenda, Eric Vanderwall's dad and stepmom, Christopher and Gina and their precious adopted 2 1/2 year old, people from the UU, a recent client who said "follow  that guy he just got all my money"., George the wax sculptor and Jackie and Jeff from Mission Mill.
  Almost every one there was well behaved, but these two yodels have been coming to the art fair way too long. It's got to be my all time favorite booth. Its the one with the tea strainer basket sunglasses and the fork shades. I have got to go back and get my bug eye goggles!

I sampled small piece of elephant ear (yummy!) and a small piece of Octoberfest sausage. Oh, and I asked a lady to lift the cover on the tomales and I took a great big sniff (10 calories). We managed to see the entire thing save the Kidddie's circle. (shucks!) Thank God we went on Friday evening the crowd was just right and you didn't feel guilty if you stopped in traffic to sat hi to someone. I really would like to go back Sunday evening when the bagpipes come marching through to close the event. Well...we'll see.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Checker cabs

Here's a nice shot of a New York style checker. I have this idea to start a small tour company for a select group of travelers. These would be people who want to get off the beaten path and having the "real" Oregon experience.

What is the real Oregon experience? It's not just taking a picture of the coast, but digging clams. It's not having a glass of wine at a theme park winery, but driving through the vineyard to have a gourmet lunch on a hill overlooking the Willamette. It's not standing at pedestal binoculars looking at distant peaks, but walking an old growth trail to a meadow at the foot of Mt. Jefferson.

Seeing Oregon with a guide could be a delightful experience. Enjoying the secrets and common knowledge of the locals is much more the attitude of the traveler.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Salem First Wednesday + Car Show

Today after work we came home had a quick bite of Boca burgers with grilled peppers, onions and garlic over Jasmine rice. (About 450 calories) Then it was off to the Salem First Wednesday which featured antique cars this time. With a few streets blocked off, a mess of vendors, antique cars and brave musicians you get a sampling of what this "First Wednesday" is all about. Sis was wearing a poodle style skirt with a pink top. I told her there would be a pink or black car which we could use as a background for her outfit. And there was!

We started by going to the Capital. Here we saw a couple dozen classics of which a 1939 Buick was my favorite. Its' owner said it was considered a Doctors racecar and could clock a cool 100 miles per hour. After viewing the cars we went inside the Capital. I tried to get a shot of the interior of the dome, but my photo was blurry and dull. As we left the Capital we saw the Trolley getting ready to make a stop and scurried over to ride it downtown.

Once downtown we saw musicians on every corner. They all had low power amps and a small group of listeners. Chemeketa Street was closed from Church to Commercial. Here many food and crafts booths had located. In between everything there were rows of the old cars. For the most part, every car was really well restored and many were breathtaking. The paint was deeply shiny and the chrome's mirrored surface was a temptation to every photographer.

Lauren was captured by a display of kittens from the Willamette Valley Humane Society. These little creatures were very animated and it was dificult to say "no honey we can't take one home tonight." We managed to see everything and found our way back to the Trolley for one final ride through downtown. As we passed one corner I thought I heard my buddy David Birch's Calliope. When we got off the trolley I told Dawn and Sissy we would drive the Volvo to where we heard the Calliope. Sure enough, we did find David and stopped to have a listen. It is a wonderful thing to hear a Calliope. It reeks of circus, childhood and indoor roller skating arenas.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Karaoke...yea baby!

Abel takes a turn at karaoke in our gameroom/bar/garage. We were all sooo bad, but I did create a makeshift stage and have been thinking about getting some simple lighting system for our soon to be stellar participants. Seems one can get a DVD/CD-G player off eBay for about a 100 clams. I have a Shure SM 58 (standard Rock n Roll mic) and can run the sound through the Kenwood into the Bose 501s. My buddy Frank says he'll give me a set of 500 greatest songs and by adding a simple TV (for the words) we will be in some serious Karaoke business.

1300 Calories

As I write it is 9:38pm and I have put 1300 calories in the bag today. Visions of later having a sausage dog are dancing before my eyes. As I type I am somewhat satiated from a really filling dinner of sweet potato, fresh steamed green beans and 4 ounces of grilled chicken. I chose to eat a cup of the sweet potato without regard to counting the calories first. It so happens it was 250c for a cup. I have been trying to drink more water by having it in a green sun tea version. Last night I said to hell with it and had Guiness Stout and a fine cigar in celebration of this great country's birth. Rive a rittle!

July 4th Celebration

Here we are yesterday having a healthy meal of shishkabobs and whole grain rice. I actually liked this shot as a "before" of me. God, did we forget to look in the mirror 50 pounds ago? Linda came over and was so tired from moving her stuff from southern Oregon that to keep awake she talked nonstop. I laugh, it really was funny. Abel managed to eat two meat kabobs and then grilled 2 extra hamburgers. I won't do the caloric math for that one!

Friday, July 02, 2004

Frank Prince

Here a quick portrait I took of Frank Prince, my neighbor at Mission Mill. Frank and I get along really well and it has been a lot of fun since he moved his Farmer's insurance business here about 8 months ago. We never run out of stuff to gab about. He's part owner of the Oasis Restaurant & Bar. They are big time into Kareoke and have over seven thousand tunes. I really want to go down there and have a few cold ones!

Food for July 2nd

Breakfast: 1 egg (125) dry toast (100) cup of milk (130)
Snack: rice cake (35)
Lunch: tuna (175) rice cake (70) tomato (35) blackbean soup (175)
Dinner: cup of rice (200) chicken (300) cup of milk (130) nuts (100) salad (100)
Total: 1675

25 calories shy of my 1700 daily hmm...

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Food...what I ate today

Weight: 237 pounds
Breakfast: 2 eggs (250) dry toast (100) cup of milk (100)
Lunch: cup of green beans (100) 2 slices ham (150) small banana (150) 1/2 cup milk (50)
Dinner: cup rice (200) cup of chicken (200) cup of carrots and broccoli (50)
Snack: Got 350 to play with!!

Idea: My body consumes 2200 calories a day.. if I deny it 500 calories and eat 1700 per day in 7 days I will have burned one pound of excess fat. one month = 4 pounds 12 months = 48 pounds 237 pounds minus 48 pounds equals 189 pounds ... throw in a little exercise 15 minutes a day for 20 years equals 121 days and that gives you an extra 3 years of life

Me and food

OK, I guess this picture expresses it well enough. I have decided to diet. I'm 53 and according to whoever's chart you use miltary or civilian I am about 52 - 55 pounds overweight. That's about twice what Lauren weighs and I know what a pain it is to carry one of her around. Or it would be like carrying around 8 gallons of milk.

So, I've started a change with a long term plan of losing a pound a week. I don't remember how I found it, but I found John Walker's "Hacker's Diet". I like this guy...he's not selling an image, dream or time share to happiness. He doesn't have t-shirts, low carb bars or vitamin water. John Walker is not related to John Walker Lindh, either. I can't even find a picture of the guy on the internet and to top it all off he has nothing to do with anything or body making money from fat people. If you're interested he's the guy that first developed AutoCAD and looks at fat from the perspective of an engineer and manager. His idea is to calorie count as you put in and let out the average 13.3 pounds of weight we process each day. We don't eat that much, but we breathe it and assimilate it. The food and beverage part can be rationally (thought and portioned) brought into the body at about 500 calories less than what we need to maintain equilibrium. (no gain no loss) At this rate in one week (7 days x 500 calories) you can lose one pound of fat. (one pound of fat equals 3500 calories)
I bought a scale...and I am going to return it or get another. It is a nice large dial analog style and I know now I need to get a digital. The thing's scale reading marks are simply too small even with the large dial face. I understand the digitals read to the half pound. This will be more easy to keep my day to day readings. Daily readings are usually a crummy way to watch your weight, but with Johyn Walker's diet he gives you excel macros that can smooth your bouncing weights to a real calm averaged line.

Just a beginning

This is sure to be edited later, but I would like to get a start on this for a few reasons. One, I want a place where Erik can see what's going on in my life and the family, two, I would like to follow my weight and diet here, and three, in general have a focal point where I dump my week to week interests and passings.