Lack of AT&T service in Portland

Lisa called me in a panic this morning, thinking I hadn’t paid the cell phone bill. It turns out some part of Portland, and also Vancouver Washington have no cellular service for AT&T at all at the moment. The person on the phone thought it might be back by tomorrow, but she didn’t have an ETA.

It is an event like this that makes me more aware of how dependent we are on the cell phones for our daily lives. At least we still have a land line. I know people who don’t, and wonder how they are coping.

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A New Strategy Against Extremism and Terrorism

John Kerry makes an eloquent, refreshing and reasonable set of arguments about how the world should deal with terrorism.

TPMCafe | Talking Points Memo | A New Strategy Against Extremism and Terrorism.

It is a sharp contrast to the policies and attitudes that our nation have been following.

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South Twin Trip

Our family recently spent nearly a week camping at South Twin Lake, in Oregon.Georgia and I standing in front of South Twin

The lake is a nice place to take a family as no motors are allowed on it. It is stocked fairly frequently with trout, so fishing can be productive too. The first day we went fishing, Lisa’s father and I caught 8 fish between us, and we kept 4 of them.

The evenings (and mornings) were cool, with temperatures in the upper 40s. This is in contrast with the daytime temperatures of mid 80’s to 90’s. The lake is around 4400 feet (according to my GPS), which explains some of the temperature extremes. The campground we stayed at on the lake has lots of large trees, which help with shade, and also kept the wind off the ground.
The trees in the campground can be seen in this picture.
The nights were a lot of fun for everone. Georgia, Morgan and I enjoyed watching the bats fly around. You wouldn’t notice them flying over your head (they fly pretty silently), unless you happened to look up.

The kids enjoyed swimming in the lake, and also enjoyed taking a hike on the trail that surrounds the lake.
Lisa and Morgan taking a break on the hike
There are Osprey that fish in the lake. One evening, Lisa and I saw an Osprey capture a catfish out of the lake. I was surprised that there were catfish in the lake. On our hike around the lake, we saw catfish in the shallows, so I’m sure they are in there.

One of the more impressive views was at night, with the full moon reflecting off of the lake.

Moon reflecting off of South Twin

We also went to Crane Prairie for a day of fishing. It started off very calm.
Crane Prairie before the wind started blowing

The fishing was terrible. Lisa’s father and I spent several hours fishing with no action whatsoever. We came back later with Lisa, and the wind had come up, making things a little more challenging. We had the same result, no action. At least it was nice to look at. The lake is very odd. According to the fish finder, the channels were about 15 feet deep, and the rest of it was 8 to 10 feet.

Crane Prairie once the wind came up

From all the stories that the other people in the campground told, we should have spent the day on Wickiup, as people seemed to be catching larger brown trout there. It is something to try next time.

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Passion Flower has died…

I posted pictures back in 2004 of the Passion Flower on our fence. For some unknown reason, it just didn’t come back this year. I thought it did quite well last year. We didn’t have a particularly cold winter, so I’m not sure what happened. I’m not happy about it, though. I really liked the plant. I’ll have to get another one and just keep my fingers crossed that it doesn’t die too. The now-dead plant had been in the ground there for five years.

There is one sucker from the original plant that seems to be growing, but even half of that one is dead.

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A conversation about flowers…

As I was loading Georgia in the car the other day, a woman, mid twenties, bent down and picked one of our tulips growing along side the sidewalk. I figured it must have been bent over or broken, or something. She walked down the sidewalk a little further and picked one of our daffodils. That was just too much.

Me: “Do you always pick people’s flowers?”
Her: “No, just today.”
Me: “That is pretty darn rude.”
Her: “Oh, sorry”

And she left with a smile. I wasn’t smiling.

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Internet VD

There are a group of internet sites that exist for the sole purpose of generating advertisement hits. I see a lot of examples in the spam that gets filtered out of my blog.

While speaking with friends the other day, we came up with a term to describe these sites. They often contain no real content, and just referrals to other sites. Thus the term “Vacuous Destination” (along with its abbreviation “VD”, which has a whole different connotation, but I think appropriate as well) was hatched.

I hesitate to give examples of this stuff, as I don’t want to generate ANY revenue for them. If you have misspelled web addresses before and ended up at some odd search site, you might have seen one flavor of them. Another more obnoxious variety is the type that “hires” writers to provide “articles” so they have “content”. The articles are usually just a bunch of fluff, surrounded by advertisements. The best way to eliminate this sort of content from the internet is to not visit it AT ALL. Don’t certainly don’t click on any of the advertisement links on the sites.

Only you can prevent the spread of internet VD.

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We've been gnomed…

It seems that our yard has been turned into a prison for gnomes. It made my day! 🙂

Solitary Confinement

Deer Me

What we have here is a failure to communicate...

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Ate at India Grill

Lisa, Georgia and I ate at the India Grill last night. Neither Lisa nor I was feeling up to cooking (we both have some virus thing dragging us down), and Lisa was craving Indian food. Unfortunately, we won’t be going there again.

The food was decent, but there were several strikes against it: there were ants crawling around on the table, flies buzzing around our heads, and the food seemed expensive relative to other Indian places we have eaten. Georgia was a well behaved, which made things more pleasant, but Lisa was not at all happy about the critters on the table and wondered to herself (and out loud to me later) what the kitchen was like if there were ants running around the dining room.

I’m a little forgiving, the restaurant is in an older Portland home that has been converted, so I would expect a few idiosyncrasies. We had a nice selection of food, with three dishes, and an appetizer, a beer for me, and a mango lassie for Lisa all came to ~$50, which seemed a bit steep. Maybe I’m just getting old.

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Bush Not "A good steward of the land"

This article at the Washington Post is just more evidence to add to the pile that Bush was lying through his teeth when he claimed to be “.. a good steward of the land.”

Maybe Henry Waxman will be successful in bringing the EPA back into the role of actually protecting the environment.

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Oregon House Bill 3610 and Global Warming

It appears that Oregon House Bill 3610 has been put on hold. This bill was intended to help gather data on greenhouse gas emissions for the 2009 legislative session. Sounds pretty simple. It is ironic considering how Oregon wants to be “a leader in the fight against Global Warming”.

You can encourage your representative to take a different stance on the bill by going here.

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