When If Not Now?

Whoa!  Whoa!  Whoa!  It’s not a blog fired by the coals of discontent or stoked by the bellows of hot air.  This is going to be a blog about a personal challenge met and conquered.  Wow!  Now that sounds impressive, doesn’t it?  Remember I said a personal challenge?

I went on vacation.  What?  What’s the big deal?  It was a bucket list item, too.  I went on a cruise for vacation.  My biggest memory of the ocean was deep sea fishing with my dad.  I should say, he fished and I…um…chummed the waters.  I tried again in the my early adult years.  Several times.  No change.  I wished I could die!  No remedy, neither pharmaceutical nor holistic, could cure my ills on the deep briny.

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So it was with great trepidation and a new found resolve brought about by my faulty memory and a stubbornness inherited from my father that I looked forward to The Cruise!  How bad could it possibly be, right?

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What my mind said the cruise would be like

I survived.  I not only survived, I thrived.  This was one of the best vacations I’ve had!  The food, the movies, the stage productions, whale sightings and did I mention the food were out of this world.  The crew made each of us feel as if we were their only concern even though there were close to 1800 passengers.

 

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I encourage all of you to NOT put the bucket list off too long.  Start checking things off now.  If your bucket starts to empty, fill it back up!

 

‘Cause Your Eyes Have A Mist From The Smoke Of A Distant Fire

This isn’t a post about global warming.  Though I believe the current version is called climate change.  This isn’t a post about the failed forestry and grasslands management policies of the last decade.  Though it very well could be construed as that.  This is a post about the consequences of those protocols by which the timber and agriculture industries must abide.

Many of you have seen the air quality in the Pacific Northwest.

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Sunset on a “clear” day

It’s not pretty

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This a shot from a previous post of the sunrise over Mt. Hood.

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This one is taken from the same vantage point this week at the same time of morning.

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The Tualatin and Chehalem Valley are famous for their wine and grape production.  Your Merlot may have smokey undertones after this year.  In case you didn’t know, the Coast Range should be visible as a backdrop to this rolling farm region.

Life goes on in spite of the mayhem humans try to cause.

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Life and Nature will always win.

Giant Sloths And Giant Shave Ice

I’m a little bit of a history buff.  Some say I’m just a plain, old history nerd.  Everyone in town knows that Tualatin Oregon is home to a Woolly Mammoth.  There’s a statue of it outside Cabella’s.  Do these same people know that a Harlan’s Giant Sloth’s bones were also  found in Tualatin?  It was a big bubba too!  The beast weighed three to four tons and stretched up to 20 feet long!  Just a little cuddle bug.

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Now here’s a little known fact.  An innovative and exciting food cart was almost history in Tualatin before it ever got to be.  Let me introduce you to the Pupu Shack!

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The Pupu Shack is a whimsically decorated purveyor of shave ice.  Shave ice is the light, snowy ice creations that are so tasty and cooling on a hot summer’s day.  “Big deal, its a snow cone” you say?  I would beg to differ with you on this.

The beautiful and smiling Sadie was our guide to the magical world of shave ice this week.  (Yes, its SHAVE ice, not shaved)  Her menu is extensive.

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The tastes are simple to exotic.  This much is certain though, whatever you decide on will be an adventure in fun, color and taste.

Can you believe the Pupu Shack almost didn’t happen?  Red tape, city council skepticism and zoning problems for Tualatin’s inaugural food cart were abundant.  The Pupu Shack family stuck it out though.  With the support of its fans it now has a permanent location and a traveling van in the city!

All that is in the past.  Surf’s up and it’s time for shave ice!

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For locations and more info please go to www.thepupushack.com

A Year(book) To Remember

It may appear that the young man in the picture above is almost…ready…to…doze…off. I will admit that discussions about font style and paper texture did could get a little tedious.

The lessons learned in Mr. Cannalis’ classroom though were much more useful than I realized. I learned the value of setting and meeting deadlines. I learned sales techniques in order to fund our yearbooks. I also learned what it feels like to be rejected midway through a sales pitch only to have to shake it off and go to the next prospect.

I learned the rush that cracking open a brand new yearbook could bring. I can still tell you what font, photo technique and layout decisions were mine.

In the end, we published a pretty darn good book. And I learned valuable life lessons even though, as a teen, you’d never get me to admit it.

One thing I will admit. I miss my hair.…

If At First You Don’t Succeed

It was a glorious day here in the Willamette Valley in March.  A perfect day to take a ride to Mary’s Peak.  A spot I’d heard a lot about but had never seen.  Some of you may remember my post from that fateful day that could have gone better.

For those that need a little nudge, try these:

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So in other words, no fun!

Fast forward two short months.  Another glorious day in the valley.  I felt it was time to try it one more time.  With a new car, full tank of gas, Starbucks in the cup holder and more than a little trepidation we head back to our appointment with destiny!

OK.  So we got a little lost on the way.  The point is that we didn’t get as lost this trip as we did on the first.  So we had that going for us, right?

We made it all the way to Mary’s Peak and it was breathtaking:

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Willamette Valley from North (L) to South (R)

The wildflowers didn’t let me down either!

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So if at first you don’t succeed, try try again.  I would recommend waiting two months, filling the tank and maybe looking at a map.