Category Archives: doing it wrong

Burbot Factory

I actually went to a burbot hatchery but I keep calling it a factory in my head.

I am never in Idaho in February so this is the first time I was able to see the burbot and it was really cool. They are pretty. The Fish & Wildlife staff gave us a ton of interesting information that I am not smart enough to convey except to say, the hatchery is doing great and they are learning a lot about this species.

When your job is mostly paperwork, it’s fun to see that paperwork translated into a real life successful project.

Back at home I caught some fun wildlife action during the snow but nothing that would look great posted. Bunny came through at least twice. I never spotted the opossum but there are a couple of a raccoon galomphing across the yard.

I had the camera too close to the bucket so there were a number of not great clips. One of the raccoons was on the deck for about a half hour maybe cleaning a wound? I couldn’t see well enough to be sure but it seemed awfully detailed for regular grooming. I have another clip of one stirring the slush in the bucket.

There’s an open space in our neighborhood where the powerlines go through. There is a row of houses where the backyards face this open space. Yesterday we were walking and two pooches (Bailey and Igor) spotted us. They ran part way and I thought they would go back but nope, we had two friendly dogs very happy to see us and completely ignoring their people hollering for them to come back.

They eventually went back to their people. Then ran back to us. Wandered back to their people. Then ran back to us. We kept encouraging them to listen to their people and they cheerfully licked our hands and jumped on us to assure us we were friends.

Finally, Bailey had to be carried back home in disgrace and Igor happily followed.

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Old Lady Status


Photo from one of the main medical buildings looking out on what’s left of the barge building business that closed a couple of years ago.

A couple of weeks ago I went to OHSU at the South Waterfront to get some doctor tests. (Everything is fine!)

Part 1 of my old lady status is that for my tests I wasn’t supposed to wear any metal and I was unsettled about the idea of wearing sweat pants downtown. (I did but changed into real clothes as soon as I was back at the office.)

It was my first time down there. It’s quite a complex.

Part 2 of my old lady status is to mention that when I first moved to the PACNW 30 years ago I worked not far from this medical center only then it was all industrial. No high rise condos, no medical buildings.

My final old lady observation is that an awful lot of people venture out in the world in sweat pants and slippers — like the kind of slippers you would wear around the house.

The medical center was hopping. That was the most people I’ve been around in almost a year. Should we believe that a medical center is going to be safer or a bigger risk?

I attempted to nostalgia watch Grease the other night and did not get far. That movie came out when I was about 15 — the perfect age to LOVE it. We would have seen it numerous times if we could get someone’s mom to drive us to the mall. I had the soundtrack. The dancing! The story!

What a messed up ending. Was I supposed to think could find a dreamy guy, if I put on some black spandex pants and smoked a cigarette?

My nostalgia watch didn’t make it past the first musical number.

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Green Light Test

I went to the airport a couple of weeks ago.

As I arrived at the parking garage I passed a parked airport police car.

All the parking gate arms were open with a green light.

Obviously, this was some kind of test. I stopped my car and tried to take a ticket. The machine would not give me a ticket.

It seemed absurd that the airport would be offering free parking but it’s The Covid, who knows? Then I thought the police were laughing at me because I didn’t even know about the Covid free parking.

I parked my car.

As I exited, I saw people at the parking kiosks, paying. Uh oh.

Colleague was also at airport and I asked him about it. “That’s weird. I got a ticket.”

Now I’m worried because what am I going to do when I have to leave? Is there some way to go back and get a ticket now? Are they going to send me to the basement to shovel coal until I pay off my parking?

I called the Port of Portland and they were actually helpful. There was a medical emergency and the gates were open for the emergency vehicle to get through. Just go to the cashier window and tell them when you came in and they will charge you accordingly.

I was still anxious about it and turns out they treated it as a lost ticket which apparently they do on the honor system, but also collect all your data, driver’s license, license plate, etc., which I would guess to discourage people from always losing their tickets to get out of paying for long stays.

But I was also kinda mad because I did not lose my ticket.

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The Nature Report

A couple of weeks ago I had a couple of opossum frolicking around the backyard. For a moment I thought it might be a NSFW clip or in the alternative way of thinking, an educational video.

They ended up looking for snacks and continuing on their way.

The bunny also showed up again, paused in the middle of the yard and then headed for the exit in three giant leaps. On the video the bunny was so small it would have been to hard to see in a post but it was a hilarious clip.

We also have cats coming through regularly, often cats I’ve never seen before. They look in the bucket and then possibly shudder and keep going without touching it.

I am constantly astonished by the quantity of TV shows coming out. Who can keep up with all this TV? I try to make notes of things that are up for awards or made by people I admire.

I’m still working on shows that are airing now. Every time I turn around I am blasted with ads for new shows or another season of a show I didn’t know existed. For some reason I am enjoying gloomy international detective shows. Tonight I have the last episode of season 1 of The Break.

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A Raccoon and A Bucket

This guy in the bucket is so funny.

At Thanksgiving we bought so many groceries they gave us a free turkey.

We already had a turkey so we put the free one in the freezer and I made it this weekend.

The free ones were gigantic. This was an 18 lb. bird. I’ve never cooked one that big. It was too big to spatchcock.

I broke it down which I’ve never done before. Afterward I told Bob: I feel empowered but also traumatized.

The legs are in the outdoor fridge doing a fancy brine thing. We roasted the breast and wings on Saturday and shared with my bro/sis-in law. I used the back to make broth. I picked over everything and set aside a bowl of shredded turkey.

It took most of the day. Bob and I were talking about what the next few meals would look like and I kept saying: Turkey! Turkey! We have to eat turkey!

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Smokin’ In the Boys Room

One of our neighbors in the post-holiday spirit.

I listened to an audiobook of Rob Lowe’s memoir last year (recommend!) and wanted to nostalgia watch St. Elmo’s Fire which originally came out the summer between my jr and sr years of college. The movie is available on Prime right now.

It’s really not a great movie but somehow I still like it? Everything is over-the-top. The characters are all terrible. Their relationships are dysfunctional. It’s hard to imagine that group realistically being such close friends in real life.

That said, I enjoyed my rewatch. I owned the soundtrack and listened to it to death. The music is terrible but I like it, too.

But the smoking. UGH, so much smoking. The opening scene is in a hospital and they are smoking. The smoking was distracting.

I also watched the first season of Prime Suspect which came out in 1991. Again, so much smoking. Every scene starts with someone lighting a cigarette.

And both shows, sexism. That was part of the plot in both shows, less so in Elmo.

Man, poor Helen Mirren — getting her big break as Detective Chief Inspector and having to full time emotional labor her crybaby boyfriend who is burnt that she works so much and isn’t home on time to make his dinner.

Things aren’t perfect but they have improved since then.

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Happy New Year

Three for drinks!

I still haven’t figured out how I can make gifs on my own. Well, I can make the gif but the file is huge. When I use the tips to make the file smaller, the gif looks like caca.

So for now, we’re stuck with embedding from a third party.

This is 2020

I intended to do this yesterday but time got away from me. It’s going to be a half-assed year end wrap up.

I got to go to 4 soccer matches. Grateful I went to preseason matches or it would have been only two. Among the last “normal” things I did.

And now that I’m sitting here, I can’t figure out what to say.

We’re doing okay. We’re grateful for what we have. We’re hoping things get better soon. We worry about the world.

Walk at Klamath River bar. Mom likes to tell people she’s going to bars.

I was going back through my old posts. Remember when one of my teeth epically failed? I had to get a root canal. We had the crud. Then I had that weird spell where I would get disastrously dizzy when I turned my head a certain way (luckily resolved on its own). This was all in January and February! Before the protests, and the smoke, and not getting into the writing workshop, and people we lost, and other disappointments that aren’t even related to Covid.

But some good things: my wildlife camera has been super fun. We thoroughly enjoyed our yard this summer. Bob just got me some bird-feeding equipment so looking forward to getting that going. Bob’s enjoying retirement and has taken over the cooking which is fabulous. Braces are off. Zoom calls with people that I rarely see or have lost touch with.

I’ve picked a new writing project — get ready for the ups and downs of that.

I probably won’t keep this updated but for fun:

989 / 90000 words. 1% done!

Some shows we enjoyed: Ted Lasso (10 million gold stars, I watched it twice.) Ozark. Chernobyl.

I’m trying to think of movies we saw. I loved The Hunt for the Wilderpeople. We just watched On The Rocks.

We enjoyed the Creem Magazine and GoGos documentaries.

Even this guy knows the importance of washing hands.

I managed to read a lot this year. LOVED LOVED LOVED Murderbot (Martha Wells). I am precious with my reading time because I have so many books I’m dying to get to but I read the novellas twice and considered reading them again this month. Olive, Again (Elizabeth Strout). The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss is phenomenal and needs a new title and a new cover because it should be huge. I loved the Broken Earth Trilogy (N.K. Jemison) and the Farseer Trilogy (Robin Hobb) even more. The Liveship books are sitting on deck. Barkskins by Annie Proulx was fantastic.

I don’t think turning the calendar over is going to be magical but it’s a great time to refresh our optimism.

Happy New Year.

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Getting Crowded Around Here

I actually have a funny clip of three raccoons on the porch but I can’t get the weakass web gif maker to do what I want it to do.

Looks like there are some fun tricks I can learn with the Adobe apps that a few months ago I swore I was going to learn to live without, but I can’t learn them this afternoon.

So here is a photo from September.

At this rate we’re going to need a velvet rope for this hot spot.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Highlight of 2020

Yes, I know the bar is low but getting my braces off this week was the highlight of my year.

The whole idea that they make my teeth look better is of little consequence. I am so happy those things are off. I complained about them almost every time I ate. They rip up your toothbrush so you need to replace it every month. Flossing is completely unsatisfying. I always felt like I had bad breath. Thrilled to be done.

The before picture is right after I got the top braces on December 17, 2018. I couldn’t find a decent shot of me with the bottom on, too.

The after picture is when I exited the building after getting them removed.

I have eaten caramel, mixed nuts, a wide variety of crunchy things, raw vegetables. I have snacked and not brushed my teeth immediately after.

Tomorrow I get a retainer that I will need to wear full time for 6 months so back to more careful oral care. But probably for the better of none of my pants will fit.

This is not the clearest view but I put it up because if you enlarge the video and watch the little turd on the right, he is pulling off the bottom of the drain spout. Those raccoons throw wild parties. I put it back and they haven’t touched it again.

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The Last of Bites of Summer

Before I pulled up the tomatoes I picked as many green tomatoes as I could deal with and lined them up on the windowsill. We’ve had them in our salads this whole time. They don’t taste the greatest but we still like them.

I can’t remember how it came up but I mentioned something about the original The Bad New Bears movie that came out in 1976. Bob spotted it in the TV guide (is it still called that?) set it to tape for the DVR.

It would be difficult to overstate how obsessed I was with this movie. I was the perfect age – right around the same age as those kids. I had a crush on all the boys. I had a girl crush on Tatum O’Neal — that outfit when she goes to the arcade — brilliant. Back in the early days of cable there would be 5 movies on over and over for a month. I watched it a million times when it was on. I had the tie-in novel, too.

It’s hard to know what to say watching it in 2020. My deep inner 13 year old self still loved it. But my adult self was horrified but also laughing my face off. Where were the parents of these kids? Letting them go off and hang out with Walter Matthau, piled into the back of his convertible, cleaning swimming pools, serving him cocktails before he got back behind the wheel to drive them to the ball park. The coach falling down drunk is played for laughs. The entire movie is a phone call to child welfare services.

My favorite moment when I laughed the hardest was at the end when the coach passed out beers to all the players. Inappropriate bits aside, still a classic. Isn’t it the template for all the kid sports movies that came after?

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