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ShadowLion

Shadowlion Returns From Her Quest via the Plague Zone

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Friday went pretty well - new yard lap PR of 9, caught up on journaling, meditation on target, creative time on target, soda on target. 

 

Saturday, everything kind of went off the rails. D was exposed to the coronavirus at work and we got notice of that Saturday morning. Now we wait to see if he gets sick or not. In the meantime, I put all my exercise energy on Saturday into trying to get ready for that possibility. It pretty much flattened me. Spent Sunday just reading, resting, and trying to figure out what to do next. I did stay on track with meditating, journaling, creative time, and soda reduction.

 

Now, I'm holed up in the back bedroom isolating myself like when I was sick earlier this year. Then, my primary care provider treated me as probable covid and advised me to presume it was and behave accordingly. That worked. I got better and nobody else got sick. The specialist I am going to thinks there's a chance I had a virus other than covid and I might be at risk. No one really knows, though. So, in the absence of a positive test and knowing for sure I had pneumonia, the prudent thing to do is to behave as someone who is at higher than normal risk now. And, as the person who may be infectious isn't doing anything differently at all, I have to protect myself as best I can.

 

Angry about that? Yeah. I've considered everything from retreating to a motel to camping in the back yard to isolate (someone has to take care of the cats). With triple digit temperatures still, it's too damn hot to camp outside, and as I might be/become contagious, going anywhere else would be irresponsible. So, I'm left betting on the odds of D not getting sick or that I may have immunity. And even if everything resolves with no problem, the successive quarantining will totally blow a hole in my plans to go visit my mom (for the first time since February), and be there for when she.has hand surgery later this month. 

 

2020, you are a:

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That is a lot to take in. Hugs and positivity your way, stay strong and you know where to find me if you need to.

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Your roomie sucks. I really hate people who don’t take this thing seriously. Yes, most people who get it will be fine, but the ones who aren’t fine are really, really, really not fine. The more we learn about this covid bug, the worse it is. Do whatever you have to do to preserve your health.

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7 hours ago, DarK_RaideR said:

That is a lot to take in. Hugs and positivity your way, stay strong and you know where to find me if you need to.

 

Thanks, D_R. It is a lot to take in and there are so many unknowns it makes it difficult to know if I am making good decisions. I called my doctor this morning to get advice on how to proceed, hopefully I'll have some science-based info to work with soon. 

 

This certainly gives new shades of meaning to my challenge title. I hate it when that happens! And it always seems to, somehow... 🤔

 

 

3 hours ago, Emma said:

Your roomie sucks. I really hate people who don’t take this thing seriously. Yes, most people who get it will be fine, but the ones who aren’t fine are really, really, really not fine. The more we learn about this covid bug, the worse it is. Do whatever you have to do to preserve your health.

 

Yep. The relationship has been strained of late and I've been trying to figure out if I was going to stay or go. His behavior with this pretty much solves that dilemma. I'm still struggling just to keep up with work and the bare minimum of daily life basics, though. I am very lucky that I can work from home and I have been taking full advantage of not having to get out of my pajamas, or even bed,  if I'm having a rough day! I tire easily and by the end of the day, I don't have much left over for packing or looking for a new place. I certainly can't hire anyone to do the work for me. I'd be inviting them into a plague zone.

 

I am seriously considering getting a travel trailer. I could probably work out something with D to store some of my stuff for the winter, quarantine at my place up north (the place is trashed, can't live in it - long story) and be close to my mom. Maybe she can reschedule her hand surgery. Come spring, start renovating. Possibilities abound if I can just get enough better to take advantage of them. 

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Picking up where I left off on the quest saga... We've still got a lot of miles to cover!

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We left Flagstaff on the 14th of July and needed to be in Port Angeles by the 17th. It was a push to get all the way through Salt Lake City, Utah for our first night on the road. We were traveling fast and cheap, eating out of a cooler in the back of my vehicle and making mileage. We had a quick lunch in Kanab, Utah, and the trip from there to Salt Lake had some beautiful scenery. We went on a backroad that my folks had traveled before that bypassed the more trafficked areas of Bryce and Zion National Parks, but you could see similar formations in the distance. I started making my list of places to come back to in the future...

 

I was focused on driving and didn't take many pictures. The ones I have, taken with my cell phone,don't really give much sense of the sweep and scale of the scenery, so I'll put a few from Wikipedia in to give a better viewing experience...

 

Main Street/US HWY 89 through Kanab Utah. Yeah, that's pretty much the whole business district...

 

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The next day we headed north and west from Salt Lake and saw a grass fire just over the state line as we entered into Idaho. That part of Idaho sticks out in my mind as someplace I would never want to drive in the winter. Blizzard warning signs lined a highway that seemed to go on forever across the flat, treeless plain and conjured up visions of wind and whiteouts. Eventually, we entered hillier country and got caught in a "gully washer" rainstorm coming down into the Willamette Valley of Oregon. We made several stops in that area to read historical markers as we drove along sections of the Oregon Trai. It was eye opening to read the struggles the early settlers faced on their journey west, as well as learn of the cultures of the tribes that were already in the area. Lots of the place names related back to the even earlier Lewis and Clark Expedition

 

The Blue Mountains, the last range the early pioneers had to cross to reach their destination in the fertile Willamette Valley of Oregon. The highest peak in the range is Sacajawea Peak, named after the Native American woman who was the guide for Lewis and Clark.

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This was a route that my mom and dad had traveled a number of times over the years to visit my uncle. It was familiar territory for her and I got to hear a lot of her reminiscences along the way. It made us both miss my dad and my uncle a lot, but it brought a lot of good memories for her and I got to hear some stories I'd never heard before, too. We made it to Pendleton, Oregon that night, which was the place my folks usually stayed, taking an extra day or two along the way to sightsee. We got there too late in the day to see the historic woolen mill, unfortunately. According to my mom it is quite an interesting tour and as a knitter and spinner, it is on my list of places to see in the future. 

 

The Columbia River was a bit of a shock to me. I've never seen such a wide river! We followed it from the dry hills of eastern Oregon and down the narrow road that winds through the green, tree-lined gorge. It was quite a sight. There was an island below the Bonneville dam where there were hundreds, if not thousands of white pelicans. I'm not sure if it was a nesting area or not. but it was an amazing thing to see. There were groups coming in and taking off, kind of like a pelican LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) I tried to get pictures with my cell phone, but you can't even tell what that patch of white is out in the middle of the Columbia! I was really starting to get the travel bug and this is where I decided I really needed to get a good camera if I was going to start traveling these sorts of places. 

 

The mighty Columbia

Aerial View of Bonneville Dam. The pelican island would be just out of the picture at the bottom.

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This doesn't really get across the scale of the river, though. There were ships on it, large barges. It's huge. Im a western girl, my eyes would probably bug out looking at the Mississippi!

 

Jumping ahead a little - Bridge over the Columbia between Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon.

 

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All I can say is it's a heck of a lot bigger than the Colorado River that I'm familiar with, and you sure don't get boats like this on the Colorado...

 

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Obviously, I was impressed by the Columbia. It will turn up again in this saga. (With some of my own pictures!)

 

We stopped for lunch at the Bonneville fish hatchery, downstream/west of the dam, and my mom was going crazy over all the plants they had there. At some point, the hatchery workers started planting flower gardens around their small homes and it grew into an attraction beyond just the fish hatchery. Though that was cool, too, with a viewing area of the sturgeons. 

 

The picnic area was like an arboretum.

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And I got a good picture of Sasquatch (Bigfoot)! This particular resin statue must have been mass produced. They seem to be all over Oregon and Washington. 

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From Wikipedia: "Bigfoot has been regarded as the first widely popularized example of pseudoscience in American culture."

 

I would add, "though certainly not the last."

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I have cousins all over that area. It is gorgeous. My sister was born in The Dalles. Went for a visit a few years ago and took the paddle wheel cruise on the river. Got a behind the scenes tour of Bonneville dam, one of the cousins works there. Please tell me you made it to Powell’s bookstore?
Loving the travelogue, by the way. Thanks.

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It's Tuesday, and that means...

 

TRUCK PORN TUESDAY!!!

 

A whole bevy of beauties and lots of sirens in today's video! Type I structure engines, tenders, Type 3 engines, command vehicles and trucks hauling in dozers to build fire line for a large grass fire threatening homes.

 

I will add notes to this with timestamps later.  In the meantime enjoy the parade...

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Emma said:

I have cousins all over that area. It is gorgeous. My sister was born in The Dalles. Went for a visit a few years ago and took the paddle wheel cruise on the river. Got a behind the scenes tour of Bonneville dam, one of the cousins works there. Please tell me you made it to Powell’s bookstore?
Loving the travelogue, by the way. Thanks.

 

It is gorgeous and I definitely plan to go back and spend some time. We just blasted through on the trip up to WA. I'm a total book hoarder and the famed Powell's is on my list for when I go back! 

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14 hours ago, ShadowLion said:

That part of Idaho sticks out in my mind as someplace I would never want to drive in the winter. Blizzard warning signs lined a highway that seemed to go on forever across the flat, treeless plain and conjured up visions wind and whiteouts

LOL - This is where I learned to drive in the winter!  That particular section of road is the worst and it is known for its many crashes from weather in the winter and sheer boredom in the summers.   

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On 10/6/2020 at 10:50 AM, Terra said:

LOL - This is where I learned to drive in the winter!  That particular section of road is the worst and it is known for its many crashes from weather in the winter and sheer boredom in the summers.   

 

Respect! It certainly has all the hallmarks of being a dangerous highway.

 

I've driven in blizzard conditions a few times in the mountains of Arizona and I try to avoid it whenever possible. That stretch of road and its signs got my attention and is one of the reasons why I went a different route to Port Angeles this past March! 

 

One of the stories my mom told me on the trip was that on a solo trip to see my uncle a few years ago she nearly dozed off along that stretch. She was smart, and lucky that there was a rest stop nearby. She stopped and took a break and walked around for awhile before continuing.

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Oh this takes me back...I lived in SLC, Utah about 30 years ago, went for a weekend ride and ate at a restaurant that I swear was on that same street...enough time has passed that I don't remember the name of the town but I'll never forget the scenery.

 

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On 10/8/2020 at 1:07 PM, RES said:

Oh this takes me back...I lived in SLC, Utah about 30 years ago, went for a weekend ride and ate at a restaurant that I swear was on that same street...enough time has passed that I don't remember the name of the town but I'll never forget the scenery.

 

 

It probably was that street - it's the main drag and there's just the one main intersection where it intersects with another 2 lane highway (it narrows back down as soon as you get out of the middle of town), where you see the stoplight in the picture. That's pretty much it for downtown. Beautiful area!

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FIRE AVIATION FRIDAY!

Fighting Fires with the Force

 

It's still Friday here in Arizona and I have a good excuse for running a bit late. I tabled the Fire Aviation Friday I had started in favor of something a little different.

 

You may or may not have seen this story in the news. I will only summarize it here in order to focus on one particular aspect. It's well worth taking the time to read the background first, though. It's not long. I'll wait.

 

TLDR - A five year old boy wanted to do something to help the firefighters who have been battling the blazes near his home in Oregon. He thought that many of them might be lonely being away from their families for such long stretches of time. (He's right.) So, he asked his grandmother to buy a Baby Yoda doll; they donated "The Child" to a local drive meant to buy food and other things the firefighters might need. What happened from there is heartwarming. You can see more details on the "Baby Yoda Fights Fires" Facebook page, which is where I found what follows.

 

Baby Yoda has gotten around the western US - Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and is still traveling - fighting fires with hand crews,  engine crews, and...

 

Helping out the crew of this Colorado Department of Public Safety observation plane

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With their preflight checks of equipment

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True to their name and mission - Safety First!

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The Child assists in the important work of monitoring the fire and weather conditions, collecting data, and being incident command's eyes in the skies. 

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Word is that firefighters in California and Canada have requested Baby Yoda visit them. I wouldn't be surprised if he eventually visits Australia or Brazil.

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I'm sorry to hear about your covid situation and the strain on your relationship. Hoping things improve soon.

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8 hours ago, Xena said:

I'm sorry to hear about your covid situation and the strain on your relationship. Hoping things improve soon.

 

Thanks, Xena. Things are improving! The big news is that one of the jobs that D was on required all outside contractors to get tested before coming onsite, so D had to get tested. Good news there - his test came back negative. He's still not entirely through the recommended quarantine period, however, so still keeping infection controls in place. That's kind of a pain, but only a few more days left and he remains symptom free. 

 

All of the chaos and stress kicked up my auto-immune symptoms late in the week, so I spent most of the weekend resting, meditating, and doing all my protocols to get my challenge back on track. I'm calling last week "Hell Week" and moving on. The only thing I did maintain consistently for my challenge goals this past week was to continue cutting down the soda consumption. Everything else was pretty spotty, but I am now back on track.

 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Walked 5 yard laps; currently at 40% original soda consumption and on track to be at my goal of 20% by challenge end. Back meditating and journaling at goal amounts, and maintaining my daily half-hour creativity time. 

 

I spent about an hour today reviewing and revising my life goals for the next couple of months  based on how I am doing physically and emotionally at the moment. It also helped me clarify what I want to accomplish in the next couple of challenges, too, which is giving me a boost and some clarity heading into this next week at work. This is the week I expect to formally get yanked from the team I have been working with (and greatly enjoying) and put back full time on the old team (which is having a hard time on a variety of levels and I am somehow supposed to be a "good influence" on). I'll do my best, but it has all the hallmarks of one of those work situations where you are given a bunch of responsibility, but have no authority. It is something I will do my best on, as it is a mandate from on high and my only alternative would be to quit. I'm not ready to do that yet, not in the middle of a pandemic and the associated economic and political woes here in the US. My plan is to stay gritty and keep focused on reaching escape velocity on my side work as soon as I can. Staying healthy and keeping my stress level down is a top priority to making this all happen... 

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So, back to mid-July of Summer 2019...

 

We finished our lunch and left Bonneville Fish Hatchery and focused on making good time the rest of the way. Zipped through Portland and across the Columbia to Vancouver, Washington on Interstate 5, and on to Olympia. There we turned onto Hwy 101 and continued on the two lane road that runs up the east side of the Olympic Peninsula alongside the Hood Canal. 

 

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Dense forest to the left and a steep drop down on the right to the waters of the Salish Sea, it is the kind of road that takes concentration to drive and my mom was pretty quiet over in the passenger seat. She commented more than once on how few guard rails there were.

 

We kept looking for these guys, but we didn’t see any…

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There were numerous bridges along the route that crossed over the many streams and small rivers coming down out of the Olympic Mountains.

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It was sunny, though, when we came through. More like this: 

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We arrived in Port Angeles in the afternoon and got a motel room. There was a car club that was staying there as well, in early for the Lavender Festival that was happening in a few days. The weather was pleasant and sunny, much as it had been the whole trip so far. I actually took a couple photos with my phone.

 

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We had dinner with my uncle’s best friend and he caught us up on everything that he’d been doing and what our itinerary would be the next day.

 

The next morning we woke up to a mist and drizzle that turned into rain and lasted most of the day. I’d never been to my uncle’s place, so did not quite know what to expect, though I had heard my mom’s descriptions of it many times.  The pictures of his place are things I pulled from the later real estate listing. At the time, it was hard to see much of anything for the mist and rain.

 

Hidden among the many trees

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My uncle had sold his landscaping business in SanDiego and moved to Washington 40 years earlier and had built the house, garage and the workshops himself. He supported himself as an artist and craftsman, and had a following for his bird carvings and the unique birdhouses that he made. And though my mom said the place had gotten run down due to his illness and resulting inability to keep everything up the last couple years of his life (he was just shy of 90 years old when he died), his love of plants and woodworking still showed everywhere.

 

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Custom stair/ladder to loft. The light area on the cabinet back was where he had a driftwood shelf that held carvings. 

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Old workshop - note the variety of trees

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We only had the one full day before we needed to head back south, so his friend had gathered his artwork and woodcarvings for us to go through and pack and I made it a point to go through my uncle’s papers and books to find as much of his poetry as possible. I found some of his sketchbooks and art supplies, too, along with his art books and saved them. We were on a mission, despite the rain, to sort and save as much of his artwork as possible. 

 

Two of his friends were there and we were deciding what my mom wanted to take and what they would take, and what would be stored to be shipped later. There were several stained glass windows that his best friend wanted to try and remove and either send to my mom or that we might make a trip back to get, along with his tools and woodworking machinery, which she wanted, too. 

 

It was tough seeing the works that he had left behind, as so much of it showed the struggle he had had in trying to make art after a stroke that messed up his eyesight and the unsteadiness in his hands that caused him to give up carving and turn to working in clay. It was cool to see his clay works, though, as his humor and sense of whimsy came through in spite of the medium not being what he preferred. 

 

And, what I saw was really a tiny fraction of what he had made over the years, and I know that there are wonderful pieces of his all over the area and beyond that continue to bring joy to the people who have them.

 

I’ll see if I can get my mom to send me some pictures of his duck carvings and I’ll post them. We were so pressed for time to get as much done as possible before the memorial service at sundown, that taking pictures was the last thing on my mind.

 

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My mom sent me a couple of pictures of my uncle's carvings. He had two different styles he'd do. This first one is minimally painted, somewhat simplified, and maximizes the look of the natural wood. It has less texture in the carving and features driftwood and other items he'd collect on his beach walks. 

 

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This next one looks to me like one of the second type that he didn't finish. That style of his carvings have a lot of texturing on the feathers and are totally accurate as to the number and types of feathers and all the other details. The reasons I think that are the feet are painted very realistically and the feathers all have the texturing, plus any of his Wood Ducks I ever saw were completely painted. This one has the typical underpainting in white areas that he used, and all of the other colors would be layered on after that. My uncle would make special cases for these with a glass enclosure with a wood base and top, glass etching of the bird's natural habitat on the back panel, and an etched glass duck name on the front. The base on this one looks like something my mom put it on as I don't think she found a matching case while we were there. 

 

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Soda consumption - complied.

Six yard laps today. My joints hurt, but they do that whether I walk or not, so I'm walking!

Not doing the strength training again yet. Rib cage is better, but still tender.

Gentle stretching, breathing exercises - yep.

Meditation and journaling - 2x each, yep.

Creativity time - been going through my sketchbooks and critiquing my work, figuring out what my next project will be. I've put the owl on the back burner for the moment. I'm considering changing that one to a traditional medium - either watercolor or gouache - and see what I can do with that. There's something about the digital work that seems kind of harsh and I'm not willing to put all the time in on those cactus spines if it's going to be a dud. I'll at least do a few studies and see if real paint frees me up a little. 

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I loved seeing that custom staircase. So beautiful!

 

On 10/12/2020 at 12:07 AM, ShadowLion said:

This is the week I expect to formally get yanked from the team I have been working with (and greatly enjoying) and put back full time on the old team (which is having a hard time on a variety of levels and I am somehow supposed to be a "good influence" on). I'll do my best, but it has all the hallmarks of one of those work situations where you are given a bunch of responsibility, but have no authority. It is something I will do my best on, as it is a mandate from on high and my only alternative would be to quit. I'm not ready to do that yet, not in the middle of a pandemic and the associated economic and political woes here in the US. My plan is to stay gritty and keep focused on reaching escape velocity on my side work as soon as I can. Staying healthy and keeping my stress level down is a top priority to making this all happen... 

 

Wow, that's frustrating. The best positive spin I can put on it is that it's an opportunity to practice "managing up" and various forms of "social aikido" 

...but yeah, focusing on 'escape velocity' and self care sounds like a good strategy.

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You're uncle was a very gifted artist. Loved all the pictures. Living in the NW, I've seen the Columbia often, and I  while I always admire it's beauty, I don't really think about how big it is. But you are right it is huge.  I've never been to Pendleton, even though it's within a half day's drive. I need to go sometime

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15 hours ago, Xena said:

I loved seeing that custom staircase. So beautiful!

 

 

Wow, that's frustrating. The best positive spin I can put on it is that it's an opportunity to practice "managing up" and various forms of "social aikido" 

...but yeah, focusing on 'escape velocity' and self care sounds like a good strategy.

 

He had custom touches like that throughout the house. I wish I'd taken pictures of the stained glass windows he'd made. We were so focused on getting the smaller items boxed up, we didn't think to take pictures of the things that were still there when we left. Plans had been made for those, but none of us dreamed that someone would break in and take them. Someone did, though. My uncle had made a stained glass window of a bald eagle in flight and installed it high up on the living room wall on the second story. You could look out and see the blue sky and clouds moving behind it and it almost looked like one was flying past.

 

Good suggestion on dealing with the work situation - I will add to my strategic repertoire!

 

13 hours ago, Elastigirl said:

You're uncle was a very gifted artist. Loved all the pictures. Living in the NW, I've seen the Columbia often, and I  while I always admire it's beauty, I don't really think about how big it is. But you are right it is huge.  I've never been to Pendleton, even though it's within a half day's drive. I need to go sometime

 

He really was. In an amazing array of media, too. 

 

Coming from the dry Southwest, the Columbia seems enormous! 

 

My mom really was impressed with the woolen mill when she and my dad went there. There are supposed to be  some good places to eat, too. She talked about someplace that used locally grown stoneground corn. I think that was Pendleton. I'll ask her about it and see if I can get a little more detail. She said it was the best cornbread she'd ever had. 

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TRUCK PORN TUESDAY

 

The view (and the radio traffic) from inside the truck...

 

 

Well, I had it ready to post on Tuesday, at least. Then got distracted and never actually posted it! 🤦‍♀️

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10 hours ago, ShadowLion said:

 

He had custom touches like that throughout the house. I wish I'd taken pictures of the stained glass windows he'd made. We were so focused on getting the smaller items boxed up, we didn't think to take pictures of the things that were still there when we left. Plans had been made for those, but none of us dreamed that someone would break in and take them. Someone did, though. My uncle had made a stained glass window of a bald eagle in flight and installed it high up on the living room wall on the second story. You could look out and see the blue sky and clouds moving behind it and it almost looked like one was flying past.

 

Good suggestion on dealing with the work situation - I will add to my strategic repertoire!

 

 

He really was. In an amazing array of media, too. 

 

Coming from the dry Southwest, the Columbia seems enormous! 

 

My mom really was impressed with the woolen mill when she and my dad went there. There are supposed to be  some good places to eat, too. She talked about someplace that used locally grown stoneground corn. I think that was Pendleton. I'll ask her about it and see if I can get a little more detail. She said it was the best cornbread she'd ever had. 

The place for stone ground corn might have been Bob's Redmill- which is in Oregon somewhere. 

That is so sad and maddening that your uncle's place had things stolen from it. I'm sorry

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Tubbs fire is something I will never, ever forget. I was running for my life at 1 am. Spent the rest of the night in a parking lot in Sebastopol listening to the local radio station until they had to evacuate their building. The Diablo winds were a major factor-hot, dry winds from the east.  And tonight we are expecting them again.

After Tubbs fire the ALERT Wildfire cameras were installed monitoring the back country where fires start. Those cameras made the all the difference when the Kincade fire started.

In late 2017, the devastating North Bay Complex and Thomas fires brought into sharp focus the need to quickly expand coverage across the western US. Two years later, the ALERT North Bay network provided real-time monitoring of the Kincade Fire from inception and helped provide an environment where no lives were lost nor injuries in the first 24 hours of the fire during wide-spread evacuations—a first for a large escaped, wind-driven fire in California. 

 

http://www.alertwildfire.org/about.html

 

Video below was taken early in the Tubbs fire by a strike team from Berkeley, shortly after it hit Santa Rosa. The neighborhood was Coffey Park. 1500 homes burned there.

 

 

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On 10/14/2020 at 8:52 AM, Elastigirl said:

The place for stone ground corn might have been Bob's Redmill- which is in Oregon somewhere. 

That is so sad and maddening that your uncle's place had things stolen from it. I'm sorry

 

Bob's Red Mill is in Milwaukie, OR, south of Portland. That may have been it, as my mom and dad spent time on a couple of trips to the PNW when my brother lived in Portland. 

 

It was really sad. My mom so wanted to save all of those things, but there was no way we were going to have time to properly crate a stained glass window. It would have fallen apart in transit. 

 

On 10/14/2020 at 10:00 AM, Emma said:

Tubbs fire is something I will never, ever forget. I was running for my life at 1 am. Spent the rest of the night in a parking lot in Sebastopol listening to the local radio station until they had to evacuate their building. The Diablo winds were a major factor-hot, dry winds from the east.  And tonight we are expecting them again.

After Tubbs fire the ALERT Wildfire cameras were installed monitoring the back country where fires start. Those cameras made the all the difference when the Kincade fire started.

In late 2017, the devastating North Bay Complex and Thomas fires brought into sharp focus the need to quickly expand coverage across the western US. Two years later, the ALERT North Bay network provided real-time monitoring of the Kincade Fire from inception and helped provide an environment where no lives were lost nor injuries in the first 24 hours of the fire during wide-spread evacuations—a first for a large escaped, wind-driven fire in California. 

 

http://www.alertwildfire.org/about.html

 

Video below was taken early in the Tubbs fire by a strike team from Berkeley, shortly after it hit Santa Rosa. The neighborhood was Coffey Park. 1500 homes burned there.

 

Oh, Emma, that must have been terrifying! I knew you were somewhere in Sonoma County and had to evacuate before, but didn't realize that was the fire. (Or one of the fires? I think you said you've had to evac more than once..)

 

The thing that surprised me about the vid I posted was that the pictures in it were from the first responding units and the fire was already running across the landscape to that degree. Your post really drove home how far and how fast it spread.

 

Engine Strike Teams are typically some of the earliest mutual aid units called out for structure protection in WUI/Wildland Urban Interface incidents, so they can have time to coordinate and prepare to defend neighborhoods and business areas. The fact that they were only an hour away (usually enough time), their intended staging area was already surrounded by burning buildings when they arrived, and then their reactions and the video of what they saw as they moved further into the area was just jaw dropping to me.

 

I had an instructor that was on the Oakland Hills fire in 1991 and he told us what it was like to watch a firestorm sweep across neighborhoods and be completely unable to change the course of the destruction. It made a big impression on me, not only because a dozen years afterwards he still choked up talking about it, but he warned us that we would undoubtedly see more fires like that in the coming years. We had a big discussion of what was happening in the west, drought, climate change, the WUI and forest management, bureaucratic inertia, and more that would need to change if we were to have any hope of getting ahead of what was coming. He was doubtful that we would. Kind of like listening to some Old Testament prophet, looking back.

 

So glad to hear about the ALERT cameras. A good use of technology!

 

I hope the winds are still calm and that you are safe.

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