Sunday, May 20, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Last weekend was Mother's Day, and a gorgeous day it was.

After I went on an awesome ride in the forest, we drove to Dancing Oaks, which was giving tours of their grounds.  We'd never been there and figured it'd be a good excuse - plus they were giving away plants to all the mothers.

They have bunches of pretty plants, and they're located out in the hills way north of Corvallis (there are some stunning views out there).  We all had a good time (Simone was happy to see the treats, not so excited about the plants).

While we were there we saw Mary's friend who'd actually recommended the nursery (long before Mother's day), and we ran into some other friends too.  The second set of friends were heading further north to Falls City where The Bread Board makes pizzas in their wood-fired oven.

Not to turn our noses up to a good idea, we drove out there and had amazing pizza - the best I've had in years.

All in all, a great Mother's day.  Here are some pics:

Simone's First Experience With A Barrel of Monkeys
Not only did we play with A Barrel of Monkeys, we played Connect 4, and introduced Simone to the Magic 8 ball - oh I should have gotten that on video.  Simone was entranced with the answers that were coming back.

Filbert by Simone

Trying to be Artsy

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


A fading tulip still graces my window...

My little helper

Simone is quite adept at helping with all sorts of things now.  This past Sunday we woke up and worked on my mountain bike a bit before breakfast.  On Saturday I picked up two water bottle cages (somehow I've gone without them for 7 years...) and Simone installed one on my mountain bike.  Other than the initial turn to loosen the bolts, and the final tightening turn, Simone did the whole thing.

Then she sat in the sunshine and had tea and toast for breakfast while I worked on replacing the shifting cables on my bike.

Taking the bolts out

Putting it all together

Happy to complete the job
You'll notice the pink construction hat - we picked it up at the farmer's market the day before.  She was wearing it because it's her "work" hat.

Hiking In The Clouds

A week into the new year I hiked up Dimple Hill (which I used to do weekly with Hazel) through the clouds.  I didn't get out quite as early as I wanted, so some of the clouds were gone by the time I made it to the top, but it was still a gorgeous day and hike.

Hiking up into the clouds

A view from (near) the top

Love the spider web

Roads half way down

Bend in the trail, at an old logging boundary

Back down into the clouds
I used to hike this trail once or twice a week - even before Hazel came along.  It was a great workout as it goes pretty much straight up 1000' and takes 25-30 minutes.  It's how I got into shape for climbing Hood with Sam.

A Fine New Year's Day Hike

New Year's Day was beautiful.  Mary, Simone, and I went on a hike in King's Valley at Beazell Park.  We've hiked there before, and it's lovely.  The hikes are pretty short and not very challenging - good for a 5 year old (though at times it was like trying to herd a cat...).

We did a little loop which ended up crossing a stream, going through some Oak forest, a newly planted fir forest, and past a gazebo.  I believe all had a good time - we even got a little family photo.

I'll have you notice - this is probably the last photo of me wearing glasses as I had Lasik not two weeks later.

Singing into a "microphone" we found.

Nifty Bark

The gals posing for me

Family photo - I looked the same in all of them

Entering the planted forest

Tree pose in the trees

Climbing in an oak

Mary phto-bombing Simone

Playing on the bridge crossing a tiny stream

Standing in the stream

Snow In March

Not only did I get to ride in snow several times this spring, we got enough snow in Corvallis one day for Mary and Simone to build a snow-cat!

A Walk In February

Wow, I've taken nearly no pictures this year.  I just looked at my camera and found some from Thanksgiving!!!

One particularly fine day in February, Mary, Simone and I took a lovely walk through town - lunch at Sam's station if I recall correctly.  I took a few photos.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

FBI and Bombs

It was just May Day, and five guys were arrested by the FBI for attempting to blow up a bridge in Ohio.

The first thing that occurred to me was that they weren't charged with terrorism - whereas the guy in Oregon who tried to detonate a bomb at a Christmas celebration (same thing, no?) was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.  What's the difference in these cases???  My bet is white guys versus non-white.

The other thought I had was that this is yet another case where the FBI works for months to set up a string to get people to try to blow up bombs.  It just seems that they're putting a lot of effort into convince people to buy bombs and then (attempt to) blow them up, as opposed to actually catching people who are making/detonating bombs on their own.  The FBI claims it's preventing countless terrorist attacks ... but it just seems like entrapment for the sake of good publicity.  Let's see them actually catch someone who has a bomb that they didn't get from the FBI in the first place.  That would be saving us from terrorist attacks.