Thursday, November 30, 2006

Christmas Ships!

Well, here we are again, and it's time to freeze yer butt off waitin' for the Portland's festive lighted boats wander down the river...(and you can choose the Willamette or the Columbia). Bring your own hot chocolate, hot toddy or "whatever" and all you'll have to pay is for is the gas to get to a dock parking lot! Title bar link takes you to the schedule for both river fleets!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Friday Kool-Aid Blogging

THEN AND NOW



Kool-Aid Photo Archive (caution: this is a Tripod free web site and contains ad-ware popups and annoying dancing baloney)





From the Kraft Foods official Kool-Aid site... Kool-Aid Man's House

Some Random Image Fun

Google Mapping

Taj Mahal



The Great Pyramids





Farking Around

I saw the image below on a Fark.com forum thread and thought the HP Lovecraft admirers here might enjoy it...good Job Cygnus Darius!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday Kool-Aid Blogging

How to Tie Dye with Kool-Aid

Also, another short flick...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mysteries of the Americas, eh.

Between YouTube and Google Maps, you get a barrel full of fun. I received an interesting e-mail from my brother showing a Native American visage in the landscape listening to an iPod.



Zooming out, we find out that this face is in Canada, not the SW of the US or South America. Take off, eh!

My sister then wondered about the Nazca lines in the dry pampas plains of Peru and sent along these links:

Nazca Lines and Culture

UnMuseum: The Lines of Peru

So I went out on Google Maps and looked for some cool stuff on Las Pampas. Clicking on the image will take you to the proper Google map.

Overall View of some Nazca lines



A criss-cross pattern



I almost see something here...



I found this dragonfly all by myself. :D



Cool stuff. If you can find any of the cooler stuff, leave a link in the comments.

UPDATE: Definitely some cool stuff here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

From the Mountains to the Sea

The bosses from work came to town last weekend and we scheduled a day to tour my home region. After giving them some options, we decided on checking out the Mount St. Helens volcano and the Oregon Coast.

The week preceding our day out was rife with heavy rains, mud slides, and road closures. Some of the routes I wanted to take were affected, but I found plan B and alternative routes.

On a showery morning with sun breaks, we drove towards the Coldwater Visitor's Center near Mt St Helens...and we almost made it. However, we ran into this instead...





Our rental SUV, which the salesman assured us was AWD (all-wheel drive) all the time, had front-wheel only drive. When the snow was nearly a foot deep and there was only one set of ruts ahead of us (presumably the park ranger), we decided to head back down. It was sad leaving without seeing the volcano.



However, the views of the Toutle River valley were spectacular.





You can see how the river course was altered by the boiling mud and ash picking up debris and barreling down this valley 26 years ago. It is a good example of how a peaceful place is often made from violent moments in nature. We stopped off and toured the visitor's center at Silver Lake, then it was off to the ocean.

We pulled off the highway in Astoria to get a better view from the town. The streets there are reminiscent of San Francisco with their steep inclines.



We drove through some very heavy showers before reaching Seaside. I pulled off at Avenue U for a first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean.





We shared some space with a large mob of seagulls. Their territorial squabbles made for some interesting bird watching. We then loaded up and continued to Cannon Beach for a late lunch/early dinner. We ate at Mo's...



They are purported to have the "best clam chowder in the world," and it was good, but not the best I've had. The nicest part was watching the heavy surf from the window while we ate and watching the beach shrink as the tide came in. A wedding went on outside while a jet black wall of clouds edged towards us and inland. The couple was apparently from North Carolina and, while I don't know how wise their choice of an outdoor wedding in Oregon in November was, I did admire their pluck and tenacity in gutting out the cold winds and threatening clouds and carrying out the wedding.

After lunch, we drove past Arch Cape, dodged a crumbled lane on Highway 101 (another mud slide effect), through Oswald West State Park, and onto a headland flank of NE-AH-KAH-NIE mountain. From there we viewed a precipitous drop into the ocean...



...and beautiful views of the Nehalem valley beyond.







The watchword was reduced speed and heavy rain traversing the Coast Range of mountains heading back to Portland. There was even a lane closure for mud slide damage there as well. All in all, it was a fun and beautiful trip and Mother Nature cooperated just enough to make it all worthwhile. (That last sentence brought to you by All brand detergents)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Kool-Aid Blogging

What if the shoe was on the other foot?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday Kool-Aid Blogging

From the Family Guy...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Dia de los Muertos

The Day of the Dead, (most often celebrated in the Mexican way) is a holiday I love. It follows the Halloween, and it's a celebratory remembering of relatives and friends who've passed through the veil to the next world. As a child, we only "celebrated" by going to church, but the Latin home-based version is becoming more and more popular, with shops selling the ubitquitous skeleton folk, papel decorations, marigolds, candle and decorated sugar skulls. Here's another take on this holiday from Vancouver, B.C. Of course, a little explanation is in order for non-Catholics. Halloween is an abbreviation of All Hallow's Eve, (with it's present day influences from Ireland-the trick or treat and turnip lantern carving-which evolved into pumpkin carving in the North America), Nov. 1st is All Saint's Day, and Nov. 2nd is All Soul's Day. Think of a Xian Memorial Day in the fall instead of spring, and you've kind of got the idea.