Thursday, July 17, 2008

Canadians Don't Get No Respect

Rush appears on the Colbert Report...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

OCF-Part II

OK, after all the fun and excitement of opening day, I thought I'd head straight back home on Saturday...but I wasn't sure. Went to Glenwood for dinner again, and walked around the UO campus whilst talking to my sister in New Hampshire...it was a lovely evening. Hung out back at the motel and watched trash TV (Ocean's 13, etc..) until WAY too late. Got up, got stuff together and checked out of the hotel one day early and saved some bucks. B-fast again at Denny's and a gas fill up at Shell...and as I drove out of the lot, decided then and there to go for one more day! Headed out and got there around 9:30 am...and couldn't find my Saturday parking pass! Had to pay $5...found it and walked all the way back to the attendant who gave me $5 back-Yay!

This time I decided to go check out some exhibits they have in an area between the Cabal gate and the big parking lot-a labrynth, Cascade Water Project and a Quaker Peace Exhibit called Eyes Wide Open . I took some pictures of the Iraq memorial, it was very moving.
This picture has empty army shoes representing all the Oregon Military Personnel killed in the Iraq war. One you can see has several pictures of the young man, with flowers in his boots. (Sorry for the blurry images, it was a snap & go camera..)

There were several placards at the edge of the field with info..at the tops and bottoms of most of these placards are the names and ages of Iraqi civilians killed in the war as well, even though you can't read them in the picture..
This one shows the impact the war would have if it happened here in Oregon, with the corresponding loss of life. Food for thought.... It brought a bit of gravitas to the beginning of my day, but for me, a renewed commitment to oppose violence and war ALWAYS and to work for postive change in my community, like volunteering for REACH.

By this time, it was around 10:15am, so the Cabal bag check gate was open, and I walked right through just holding my purse open. I hung out in the shade of a bush by the Dragon Gate , chatted with some friendly fellow attendees and then on my cell w/some friends & family. Before I knew it, us 3-day wristband folks got let in early at 10:45! Yay! This time I just wandered all around, checking out Energy Park, the Community Village (where I bought a luscious piece of pineapple at the Organic Food stand), and got some DEET Wipes (finally!) at a White Bird (First Aid) station to save me from those pesky mosquitos! I stopped and looked at some more vendors, mostly for next year, but had just enough money left to buy a beaded ankle bracelet and a pasta lunch. It was ALOT hotter on Saturday than on Friday, and getting more crowded by the minute...Saturday is THE big day for attendance at the fair, I usually pick a stage, get a spot in the shade and STAY THERE until the crowd thins out later in the afternoon.
So along about 1:00pm , I said "Goodbye" and headed out for the long, hot walk to the parking lot. Met the the Security guy from the first day on the way out..he still hadn't found his wallet or ID...but his mom came and saved the day-got new ID on Friday! I started the long drive back to Portland, still all dressed up in my Fair "regalia"...so Snabby got to see my 2nd day outfit, and all my fun stuff. Mini-Snab LOVED her tank, so I hit a right one with my choice this time around!

Bye Fair Friends! Hope to see you all back in 2009...the 40th anniversary of the Fair and our 10th Anniversary (but 11th year...:P)!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Oregon Country Fair Rides Again!

(One of the Bike Parks at the entrance to the Fair)

Part I
Wow..what a weekend! Decided to get the 3-day wristband and got on the road by 10 am Thursday-by myself! I had planned to stop in Salem maybe to eat lunch...but since I wasn't that hungry I just kept on all the way to Eugene. Didn't stop 'til I got to my exit, ate at the Denny's right next door (had a great sandwich and a Hot Fudge Sundae!) then checked into my hotel. It took awhile as the computer's weren't working...but no prob. Settled in and promptly had a nap! Got up went shopping at a nearby natural food store on Franklin Ave. and then went to dinner at the Glenwood Restaurent (the UO location). We discovered it last year while looking for a reasonably priced food place...it's fun, friendly and the food is GOOD!


Next morning, up at'em early, b-fast at Denny's, quick change to Fair "Phunalia" then out Hwy 126 to Veneta! Got there by 8 am or so...a whole hour before they open the gates...but I gotta trick - go down the service entrance (may need to show your ticket), plus you park close. Put on the mosquito and sun stuff and was out by the hay bales at the Cabal entrance by 8:15...(hey I TRIED to convince Security I could wait at the Dragon gate, but no way!). Had to wait around 'til 10am when that opened up, and while doing so had a long conversation w/a security guy who lost his wallet w/$400 inside..he was bummed. Also met an old stoner who's been coming since it opened in 1969...except for the 4 years he was in jail. Was also a Disabled Vietnam Vet who got in a mess of drugs (coke, heroin, & pot), courtesy of the US Army after his 2nd tour which was pure hell, where he got hurt. Finally kicked everything in jail..but does a little "bud now & then" -he LOVES the fair, the whole mellow atmosphere , his 2 girls grew up going to it every year. Camps across the road at Darling Reunion Campground...where they have food, showers and a whole lotta vendors that don't wanna pay the OCF "booth fee", (which he implied was quite hefty). He doesn't own a car or drive, so gets around on the bus, train, or arranges rides sometimes. He was a really interesting guy and had alot to say on the legalization of Mary Jane and other such subjects...

Then we FINALLY move to the Dragon Gate to exchange our ticket for a 3-day bright pink wristband...and I move right up as close to the front as possible. I want to get some of those 2008 Commemorative items at the History Booth!

We stand around for an hour longer (until 11am) and voila! We're in! I get to the booth in time to get a poster, a shirt for MiniSnab and this year's batik sarong (I've got all 3...they just started having them in 2006). I was a little disappointed in the sarong, (it's beautiful, don't get me wrong!), but except for the OCF Peach Logo, the year and and "Oregon Country Fair", it's otherwise an image of Black Tara...no reference to the local land, or the fair as the previous ones were...could be any old hippie batik somebody picked up in Thailand... Oh well...
Then it was off to the Button booth for this year's big button, and wandering along, I took a couple photos of a food booth, near the entrance to a side path I like by the showers.


The path is called "Open Sesame"...The closer you get to the shower area, there are some nice comfy chairs in the shade! They are some old vinyl seats ripped out from a torn down theater somewhere. They painted 'em up all crazy ...it's sure nice to have someplace to sit that has a back on it! It's a great place to hang out and people watch too..

I got a another lantern at the Touch the Earth booth, then headed out towards Chela Mela Meadow to grab a knish (they're cheap!). As I wandered I looked at some other items I'd been thinking of..and bought a broom, some rainbow horns, and a cute fishing toy for some neighbor boys. I also came across one of the ubiquitous Parades the Fair is famous for...


Part II will be coming soon....

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Tusen Takk for 4th of July

Since becoming homeowners, filling the street with blackened cardboard and the air with sulfurous smoke has been a family tradition...another consumer feeding frenzy surrounding fireworks and celebrating a day whose significance is all but forgotten by those who celebrate it. We found out today that some are allowed to break the law without consequence with the passage of immunity from FISA for a group of well-connected lawbreakers and otherwise innocent people can spend decades in prison for victimless crimes.

Luckily, the burgers, beer, and blasting anesthetize us from those harsh realities. This year, we changed the 3 Bs to Bratwurst, Beaujolais, and Beauty, we also escaped the specter of naked aggression against representational government perpetrated by those we voted for and some we didn't. We went off to a friend's farm near Salem to reconnect with old friends, kindle a few new ones, and catch a break from munitions this year. It was a wonderful time indeed where freedom rang and minds met. There were 3 Norwegians among the throng so we brought the Betsy Ross flag (original flag of the 13 colonies) and Norwegian flag to preside over the ponds, people, and great open pit cooking.



The morning threatened drizzle but the sun broke through the clouds just as 5 o'clock rolled around and the setting for a great evening and comfortable temperatures was set.



The fire pit used an old rock crushing cone to contain the flames and the meat and beans were heating up in no time. A few of the guests make their own wine, so there was always a few treats at hand. Luckily for me, Ladybug consented to drive home so I was able to have a few glasses without worry.

My friend restored a little old farmhouse into a much larger and nicer structure with a cupola, lots of decking, and unique features. Here is a picture of the main photographer, the MiniSnab. Behind her flies the Bennington flag. It was never an official flag of the nation but flew during the revolutionary war against the British. You can't see it here, but the year "76" is emblazoned on the blue field below an arc of stars. (My friend has the same dissident qualities that I do and we didn't even confer about it)



Here is the cupola that some grandkid would have loads of fun hanging out in.



The MiniSnab later amazed everyone by beguiling a deer in front of our very eyes...



She later fed the doe a small chunk of jicama and stroked its neck. Sadly, she had the camera so no picture of that. Instead of sulfur and bangs, a joyous noise.



No firework can match these beauties...





If there is a God (and/or Goddess), surely THIS is the America he would bless. This little corner of the farm is an America of love, sharing, coming together, and fellowship.



I will take this over the America of power, naked force, compliance, and elevated non-accountability any day of the week. Thank you good people for a truly independent Independence day.