Sunday, August 19, 2012

Picture heavy...

I've spent the past four days at home, sick. I'll spare you the disgusting details, other than to say I went through about three weeks of toilet paper in that amount of time. So here's (probably too many) pics from my trip (thank God I didn't get sick then!). Be sure to click 'em to big 'em!

Heading through northwest MT and northern ID--some of the prettiest land in the country!

The original reason for my trip--Alison Krauss & Union Station!

Coeur d'Alene Lake - my happy place

Met up with some of my very first students. From 30 years ago.

Mt. Hood - from the north, and from the southwest

Bipolar Diva and Emmy!

Sandy - bestest bud from college!

HNTers from the old days - Audra and Addict (mother & daughter)!

Cannon Beach, OR - GOONIES!

Aberdeen, WA - monstrously tall bridge
crossing the Columbia River into Washington

The beaches from a couple of locations in Washington.
I must move next to a body of water sometime soon.

One of my former college students - Kelly.

Various parts of Washington:
Early morning misty road near Everett (excuse the windshield bugs)
Parts that look like Arizona
Leavenworth - embraced an alpine theme in town years ago
Wenatchee - at the east edge of the Cascades

I didn't get a chance to take pics of Bigfoot's home turf.
Too foggy/misty/cloudy, but damned beautiful!
The rest of Washinton is flat.
Which makes it easy for the cops to catch speeders...

Congrats if you made it this far!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Washingtonians don't trim their bush...

Thoughts and a pic or two from the past week, in no particular order:
  • With regard to the title--it was very difficult to read many of the highway signs, either on the interstate or the state highways, as most of them were hidden well behind the roadside greenery.
  • Three good things about coming home--my shower's pressure (why can't motels have that same wonderful pressure you could find in your high school locker room?), my own bed (though I might be convinced it's time for a new one), and the best gas prices (easily 40¢ cheaper here than Portland or Seattle).
  • Twitter--briefly considered signing up, just to keep my thoughts while on the road. Glad I didn't cave though!
  • Old-growth cedar forests--particularly in Oregon. Remember the scene in Field of Dreams where the players walk into the cornfield and simply disappear? The same effect must happen if you were to walk into these forests. So dark and have no idea what's back there! (keeps things pretty cool, too!)
  • Speaking of cool, part of the reason I headed west was to escape the heat of MT. Instead, I ran into the hottest weekend of the summer in Portland, along with all sorts of humidity that we don't get here. Ugh...
  • The humidity did provide some interesting mornings. The clouds from the coast stick around almost all morning, and the mist and fog over the lakes and rivers was downright eerie at times.
  • I took alternate routes for most of this trip, rather than interstate. I highly recommend it if you don't have a time commitment to keep. One of my routes took me directly through Bigfoot's neck of the woods. Seriously, there's no question that Bigfoot exists and lives somewhere along the U.S. Highway 2 corridor of western Washington.
  • Central Washington is ugly. Not South Dakota ugly, but ugly
  • Tried lots of beer that I've never heard of, including a very tasty homebrew that Emmy made!
  • Rush hour traffic in Portland & Seattle--pfffttt...I'm a Montana driver. No problem! Well, other than getting lost in downtown Seattle at 5:00-ish. Only because of an errant right turn in a construction area. Finally opted for heading to the area I knew best (the waterfront), but still took 45 minutes to get onto the interstate!
  • Actually, the worst traffic of all was from Sandpoint to Coeur d'Alene, ID. Two lane highway on the fastest growing corridor in the northwest. Toss in a major amusement park requiring a stop light to enter, and the northbound traffic was backed up for well over three miles. Fortunately, I was headed south, but I could almost hear my father's voice, had he been caught up in that line!
  • Coeur d'Alene, ID--I wrote in my FB that, while Montana may be home, CDA is my happy place. Always has been, always will be.
  • While in CDA, I met up with a couple of my students from my very first years of teaching. Pizza, beer and stories. I've learned that I have selective amnesia, and that's a very good thing.
  • My reason for even setting out on this trip was the Alison Krauss & Union Station concert in Sandpoint. A fantastic concert (as was expected), and I even snuck up to about 4 rows from the stage. Most impressed, though, with the volunteer corps involved at the site. I must figure out how they do it for my concert again next summer.
  • Teeth Cleaning--my sister is a dental hygienist. Short's been an obscenely long time since I've had my teeth cleaned (think decades). So she scheduled me for 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday. She was mildly pissed off with me. Not because it had been so long, but because I have, as she put it, "remarkably healthy teeth". There's the lesson boys and girls. Pay attention to your oral hygiene!
  • Apple Store--I have to admit, I wasn't impressed. The front line workers are as knowledgeable as McDonald's front line workers. And I had to make an appointment to see someone at the Genius Bar?? No thanks. I've got a somewhat serious question regarding the newest OS, but I'll wait to see if it's fixed in the next update.
  • I didn't expect to see these, but I suppose they make sense.

  • I got a speeding ticket in Washington. Driving 73mph in 60mph zone is much different than driving 80 in a 75. They don't look kindly upon it.
There's more to say, particularly about meeting up with former student, HNTers and relatives, but you'll have to wait a bit longer. :-)

Thursday, August 02, 2012

OsTour '12!

That's right! I'm going on the road again! Seems like the first week of August is the time to tour for me. In 2010, I was on Long Island at BTExpress' pool party. Got to meet up with some others (Shizzle, Veronica, Hubman, Minority Report) on that trip as well. Last year was my trip to see Redneck Eskimo (and the McKnobs and Lola & Jasper) in Wichita.

This year, I'm driving out west. My initial reason was to catch Alison Krauss in concert. Then I figured that since I was already on the west side of the mountains, I should just continue on. I'll be meeting up with the officially-documented 50,000th visitor to my site (oh, so long ago!). I'll also be meeting up with a couple of old college friends, maybe a high school friend or two, all of my siblings (in a bizarre twist of fate), and a handful of students from my very first years of teaching! Most of whom I haven't seen in 30 YEARS! If I get a wild hair, I might even visit a foreign country!

I'll hopefully be posting a picture or two per day (no guarantees) on FB, and I'll definitely be adding to the list over there in the sidebar. It's gonna be a great time!