Saturday, July 29, 2006

"My message is give up your nucular [sic] weapon and your nucular [sic] weapon ambitions. That's my message to Syria. I mean to Iran.

Yes, those are the words of our Commander in Thief. But you knew that, didn’t you?

I actually had to truncate the quote because it wouldn't fit in the title block. Here's the whole thing:
"My message is give up your nucular [sic] weapon and your nucular [sic] weapon ambitions. That's my message to Syria. I mean to Iran. And my message to Syria is, you know, become a... active participant in the neighborhood for peace.
And here’s another shrubism:
“I think -- tide turning -- see, as I remember -- I was raised in the desert, but tides kind of -- it's easy to see a tide turn -- did I say those words?”

These witticisms and more can be found on You, too, can amaze your friends!

(By the way, I also added the “Dubya” button to this blog. Scroll down to see it. But I can’t figure out the HTML command to add some extra space between the Wunderground and Dubyaspeak buttons. Any suggestions welcome!)

It's the end of a very crazy month, which included my trip to the writing workshop at Cannon Beach, finals week, posting final grades for my students, wizard school Conclave, a week of 100-degree weather, and chaffeuring and spending time with my Mom. It's been hectic but fun.

Above is a picture of the group--minus a couple of people--from the Grey School Conclave. We had a BLAST! It was also great fun to be able to camp with Scotty, Erin, and Rebecca.

Last night Bill and I saw the second Pirates film. It was fun to watch, but because of my hearing loss, I was stymied by my inability to understand more than about 9/10 of the dialog (if that). Any pithy thoughts on the film--other than noting that is was long, at 151 minutes--must thus wait for the DVD release.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Haystack Day Two!

Day Two began with a drive back to Cannon Beach, past funky fish places….

And then through Rockaway Beach, where I found gnomes….


and birds. Does anything beat beach hokiness?

I drove back over Neahkahnie Mountain—what a view!

Our class was to meet at 9:00 am at the foot of Haystack Rock. Walking through Cannon Beach, I passed a Christian Conference Center where 95% of the cars in the parking lot were mini-vans. Does anyone else but me find that humorous?

And there were more cute gardens….

And funny signs…. (Can you see my reflection in the shot?)

And even funnier cars!

It was low tide, and there was so much to see. It was a “fragile marine garden area”—we were only allowed into certain areas.

We saw mussels—some of which were 80 or more years old, and about the size of my forearm!

There were lots of anemones—these were about 4 inches across.

We also saw sea stars (a.k.a. “starfish”).

In the afternoon, we went to a different beach to look at rocks and lava fields. This is an example of a basalt intrusion (colored reddish form iron pigments) in a sandstone field. The sandstone is baked hard and black on either side of the basalt, from the high heat of the melted rock.

And here’s another basalt intrusion, under a sandstone cliff. This part of the beach was once under a few hundred feet of water. Of course, that was a few million years ago!

It was a wonderful time…. I definitely hope to return next year.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Haystack Day One!

(Yes, I took the above picture! This morning!)

Thanks to their free wireless, I’m writing this from my hotel in Tillamook. I ended up here because by the time I made my reservation, everything in Cannon Beach was full. It took me 45 minutes to drive here from Cannon Beach, but it was a beautiful drive--over Neakahnie Mountain and around Oswald West State Park--and well worth it.

Anyway, I got up this AM at 5:30, showered, waved bye-bye to Bill and Ernie, and was on the road at 6:10. Notwithstanding time lost backtracking after I pulled an Erin and accidentally took the US-26 turnoff to Tillamook instead of Cannon Beach/Seaside, I arrived in Cannon Beach at 8 am. Classes didn’t start until 9 am, and Xena (Warrior Car) and I were the first ones to arrive at the Cannon Beach Elementary School, a.k.a., Haystack!

I decided to grab my camera and take a walk on the beach before class. On the way, I walked through one corner of “downtown” Cannon Beach. There were flowers and beautiful gardens everywhere—literally every yard had flowers, and the businesses had them tucked into pots out front, or sidewalk plots. There were lots of sprays of Crocosmia luciferi…

And lots of pretty multicolored gardens, like this one full of nasturtiums and gladioli:

I found the beach access, featuring the obligatory “Tsunami Warnings.” Cannon Beach is absolutely flat—if a tsunami came along, we’d be screwed.

My first look at the ocean, as seen past a really cool whale sculpture:

And here’s Haystack Rock, one of the most photographed sights on the Oregon Coast….

Before long I had to head back for class. My class has nine people in it. Our teacher is Ellen Morris Bishop, a geologist and writer who wrote In Search of Ancient Oregon. We spent some of the time in a classroom, but most of the day down on the beach, working on observation exercises. Below is our outdoor “classroom.” Ellen Bishop is on the left.

We all did our own thing for lunch. I found an amazing seafood place and had just about the best crab melt I’ve ever had. There must have been a cup of fresh crab on it, and thick slabs of Tillamook cheese. It looked so good, I took a picture of it. And then I ate it!

We finished the day inside, with a lecture on the geological history of Oregon. I really hated that. (snort)

Before long, our class was over and I headed for Tillamook. I pulled over about a dozen times to catch all the different viewpoints. Here’s a shot looking back toward Haystack:

And a seamount, even further south….

The view toward Tillamook Head….

As you can see, it was a gorgeous day at the beach—sunny and about 70 degrees. It’s only about 8:30 pm right now, but I’m beat. I have reading to do, and then go to bed. Must be up by 6 am so as to find breakfast and get back to Cannon Beach. The class is meeting at the bottom of Haystack Rock at 9:00 am—low tide. Class goes until 4:30 or so, and then I head home!

P.S. The summer edition of the Grey School newspaper, Whispering Grey Matters, is available here! (Look for the "Summer 2006" button.)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Heading for the beach tomorrow

Haircut this morning, house-tidying and reading this afternoon, dinner this evening and early to bed.

Tomorrow morning I'll leave very early for Cannon Beach (above), and my 'landscape geology' seminar. I'm excited! Should be home late on Sunday. It looks to be gorgeous weather at the beach, so the whole thing is going to be one big treat-- a mini-vacation.

Then next week will be the last week of the summer term, and there's light at the end of the tunnel!

I watched 'Sideways' this week-- interesting movie. Quirky, touching, and stupid all at once. The acting was top-notch, but while I was entertained by the story, I didn't believe most of it. And I don't really get the title, other than in the most obtuse way. So, there you go.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pretty quiet here

All's quiet here-- I'm in week 3 of the 4-week term, both teaching and taking classes. It's been fun and gone fast-- two important requirements for summer classes!

Not much else happening. Next weekend I'm going to the PSU "Haystack" summer arts program at the beach, to take a class in writing about Landscape. The weekend after that is the wizard school campout, which should be lots of fun.

Also, I set up a second blog page so as to have a place to post Grey School info.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth!

How's everyone? Staying out of trouble?

We've had a nice holiday. Went to Mom and Joe's on Saturday-- Ernie house-sat for us. We had a nice visit with Mom and Joe and Gussie (left, with catnip).

'Ate good barbecue and watched the first half of an amazing film that I highly recommend: The World's Fastest Indian, with Anthony Hopkins. A motorcycle flick, a helpful transvestite, biker gangs, creative use of kitchen tools, and land speed records on the Bonneville salt flats work with quirky, wonderful characters to make a movie that's just plain fun to watch. Thumbs up!

It was a beautiful drive home across the high desert. Mt. Jefferson (top) looked especially gorgeous.

Yesterday was a work and schoool day, which felt odd. Today was an out-in-the-yard day, which felt like Saturday. Tomorrow it's back to work and school, but only for two days. then I'll have Fri-Sat-Sun off. I'm really going to be screwed up.