Saturday, December 27, 2008

I'm Melting, Melting...

The temps are up. The snow is melting. Fast. What a difference a couple of days make.

We got the girls cold weather gear on our Boxing Day shopping trip. Now it's heading to the 40's and raining. Oh well.

It was a good day. We blew our own ornaments at the Glass Works. Went to a party and had dinner at Everybody's Brewing. And now, we're trying to watch a pay per view movie.

Easier said than done. We've never had trouble with this system in the past. You find the movie you want. Because we don't have a land line, we can't just order over the TV we have to go to the internet. Well, I clicked on the showtime I wanted, which was 10 min away, and it said fine, You can watch the show at 10 pm, an hour and a half from now. No matter what I clicked on, it came up saying I had to watch at 10 pm. So we called customer service.

This show was better than the tv, according to the girls. The tech directed Lloyd to double click on a button and it went to a system summary. After many go arounds with a clueless tech, who was not listening at all to the problem, Lloyd asked for a supervisor. Now he's going around with the supervisor. We should have been able to get the 8:30 show on channel 507. Now it's 9:04, and we still don't have the 9:00 show set up.This isn't rocket science. I think DirectTV might be getting a new customer.

It doesn't help that Dishnet is in a pissing contest with the local ABC market and we haven't had ABC for a week.

Oh, I think it's straightend out. Gotta run!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Visibility is Good

I actually saw a patch of blue sky when I woke up this morning. What a Christmas present! It didn't last long, but it was there, I saw it. The flight to Boston went off this morning, so here's hoping it brings the girls back tonight. I booked a room at the Hampton Inn in case it's a horrid drive down I84. If it's bad in daylight, it will be worse at night.

We'll head out early. It will probably take a while!!!!

Update: It was a pretty snowy drive, but we made it to Portland. The snow turned to rain in Troutdale, the snowy highway to slush, the drivers from cautious to crazy, so we turned off and went to McMenamin's Edgefield for a pint of porter and some early dinner. The kids' flight was delayed a couple of hours so they'll be in around 10. We're camped out at the hotel, waiting...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tragic News From Up North

Thanks to Dorothy H. for the best laugh of the night, as we added 6 more inches of snow....

Don't Have to Dream about White Christmas

Our internet was missing in action yesterday. Bad enough to be snowed in, no mail, no papers, but no internet? I guess I'm okay with that. We have electricity. That's most important. But Santa's elves must have worked overtime last night and miraculously, the internet was back this morning. AND there were TWO newspapers in the box this morning!!! I84 is open again, hurrah! here is a shot of the icicles and the Subaru that won't be seen until spring.

The DeKay Deck Index was 26 inches yesterday morning. Add a couple more for last night. Another 10-18 due by the end of this wave. This is a shot of the deck lights and snow.

We took the opportunity yesterday, during the hiatus in snow, to go over to 'the big city' aka Hood River. I had an ophthalmologist appointment, and we did a little restocking of supplies at Safeway. It was messy on the roads but we got there OK thanks to our 4wd. On the way back we stopped in White Salmon to do a little shopping with our local merchants.

I stood in the middle of the street and took pictures of downtown. Not a lot of traffic!

After we got home, we got out the snowshoes and went for a walk. It's perfect snowshoe snow.

The internet crashed again. It was because the dish was buried. So Lloyd got on the tallest ladder we have, and took a broom to poke at the snow until it avalanched off the roof. We're good to go! No photo, I was busy holding the ladder, directing to the piles of snow, and ducking falling snow and icicles.

Today I put up the tree. Finally. The table saw is out of the living room, the wood is stashed in the office cubby, and the cookies/veggie doggie biscuits are ready to go out to the neighbors.

My Christmas list is very short. Please Santa, let this all stop long enough for my girls to get here, and for us to get them in Portland. That's ALL. Really.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Solstice!

I know the sun is up there somewhere...but it's been a week since we had that brief respite of blue sky. Yep, it's STILL snowing. I84 is STILL closed between Hood River and Troutdale, meaning no one goes in to Portland, and no newspapers make it back out here. My morning ritual is seriously impaired. Good thing I got the coffee least I have caffeine.

And internet. For a great Winter Solstice piece, visit my friend Hal's site.

Progress on the deck snowpack:
Check out the cool railing piles.

And the ever deepening stack on top of the table and grill.

And the Subaru which won't be seen until spring. The kayak is completely under.

Yesterday we took a walk with Brindle. She's has wicked cabin fever. We walked until she couldn't stand the snowballs accumulating between her toes, just after the two hills so we got our heart rates up. I stuck the camera in my pocket. Here are our blackberry bushes. They're under there somewhere.

This was a pretty red berried tree.

Later Lloyd went out with his new back country skis. He said the road was fine, but the nearby meadow was too deep to do anything with. He sunk in snow deeper than his gaiters.

I guess I'll make more cookies today. And get the rooms decked for the girls, who I hope and pray make it out of Boston on Thursday. Oh, and I hope and pray we make it in to Portland to get them!!!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Another Day, Another Foot of Snow

Don't mean to bore you all with this snow stuff, but it's the only game in town. This morning we cleared off the deck so we could get a good measurement. The Official DeKay Deckside Snowfall is 19 inches as of 10 am PST.

We're due for blizzard conditions later today, and another foot by tomorrow night. We might not see our grill and deck furniture until spring.

I told you we were going out yesterday between flakes. Well, it never really stopped. First we waded up the path to the car, cleaned it off, and headed for The Dalles.

I had my camera out as we headed across the bridge, and caught this spectacular sight: a kiteboarder on the snow. See the blue kite in the center? There is a person attached to it to the left. That's Hood River for you!

We got to Home Depot and found that the vanity tops would fit fine widthwise in the car. Lengthwise, not so much. So Lloyd strapped them in and we drove 25 miles home with the tailgate down and the hatch strapped to the boxes. I'm sorry I did not take a picture of this rig. It was too icy in the Dalles to think about photography. On the way back, however, I was leaving fingerprints in the arm rest so distracted myself with photos of I84.

The big trucks had to pull over and chain up. One lane was clear, the other was a bit rugged. I was wishing I'd pitched a fit and stayed home. But then I got this nice shot of Lyle, WA from the OR side of the river. Quaint, eh? Trying to time the utility poles so they didn't get in the picture helped with the diversion. That and a call from Alan in California.

We made it home okay. Next dilemma: How to deliver the vanity tops to the house? Easy. We slid them like toboggans (in their carboard boxes) down the hill to the front porch. They can stay there until they get installed next week.

Stay tuned for more adventures in Snowland. I do hope it doesn't turn to freezing rain late tomorrow, as forecast for Portland.

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's STILL Snowing

We had one day off, Monday, when it looked like this out the back windows. If you look closely, you'll see the moon setting over Underwood.

Since then, it's been snowing constantly.

This is the view when I opened my eyes this morning:

This is getting serious, folks. I only have enough coffee for tomorrow morning.

The birds are battling furiously at the seed feeders. I hope it's not this crowded in the coffee aisle, if I ever get there.

The Oregonian carrier was able to deliver the paper this morning, no problem. The snow was over the top of my boots wading out to get it from the box. We parked the Outlander at the top of the driveway so we wouldn't have to shovel our way out. You can barely see it top left center.

Note the empty spot next to my Subaru, which I might see again in the spring. That's where the Outlander usually parks. I'm laughing at the snowflake mobile...

When I went out for the paper, I took my trusty camera. Here's the car, ready to go, after we sweep it of course.

And here's the view back to the house. Rather Christmas Card looking, I'd say.

Here's an amusing photo of our skylight. Looks like obscured glass...frosted pattern.

They finally called from Home Depot to say our vanity tops were in last night. Great, I said, I'll ask Santa and his sleigh to stop by and pick them up. The next photo of these cabinets should have a sink and faucets. Perhaps even tomorrow, if we're lucky.The radio just said it should break later today, and not snow Saturday. Should be enough time to get the vanity tops and coffee. Then it will start up again, with an even bigger storm. Time to make a run for The Dalles. This time I'll bring my camera so you can see how beautiful the gorge looks in snow. Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Winter's Here!

It finally snowed. There were a couple of inches on the deck this morning and it snowed all day. No tracks heading out this driveway today!

Temps were in the 20's today but are down in the teens tonight. Good thing the heater is working.

The bird feeders were very popular all day.

Now for the Good News/Bad News.

Good news, we finished putting in the Pergo floor this week, and got a new fridge. See the new floor? It took us two days but we got the hall, kitchen and dining room done on Thursday. Note the icicle lights on the deck. That's as far as my decorating has gotten.

Friday Lloyd and Terry picked up the fridge and bath cabinets before the weather hit.

The bad news is, we had to tear up the floor today because the water hook up on the fridge leaked and collected under the flooring and it started to buckle. Agony. We didn't have to tear up the hall.

Now everything is drying out, and we'll pick up some new boards tomorrow to reinstall with the undamaged ones we picked up. Nothing like having to do the job was SO much fun the first time!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

No Where to Run to Baby, No Where to Hide

How did I miss this? I am a news junkie. Seriously. I read the paper every day. I listen to NPR. I check online and all my favorite blogs. Big OOPS.

Yeah, I heard that there was some media downsizing going on. I noticed that my USNWP subscription is now every OTHER week. How timely. They say it means more IN DEPTH reporting. Right.

Some friends in the biz let me know they still had jobs. I googled CNN cuts, to see what the damage was.

Here's a real kick in the gut for anyone like me with a science degree. CNN has decide to eliminate its entire science, environment and technology reporting team, including Miles O'Brien. Gone. Like so many glaciers and endangered species.

“We want to integrate environmental, science and technology reporting into the general editorial structure rather than have a stand alone unit,” said CNN spokesperson Barbara Levin. “Now that the bulk of our environmental coverage is being offered through the Planet in Peril franchise, which is produced by the Anderson Cooper 360 program, there is no need for a separate unit.”

So pretty boy Anderson Cooper can do just about everything. I doubt it.

At this particular time to cut this lack of quality reporting seems more than a little bit crazy. Have the execs taken the dreaded 'dumbing down of America pill'? Seems so. CNN, you have lost what little respect remained...With that, I will send another check to PBS.

Update: Not only did they let Miles go, they also graciously allowed Jamie McIntyre and Kelli Arena to 'explore other opportunities' so to speak. Time to watch Idiocracy again and cry.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wild Beauty

Tonight we went over to the 'big city' (Hood River) to the Columbia Center for the Arts. There was a slide show promoting the book Wild Beauty, photographs of the Gorge from 1867-1957. The slides were presented by Terry Toedtemeier, Portland Art Museum's curator of photography, and coauthor John Laursen. The room was packed, people sat on the floor and craned their necks from the sides of the theater.

The exhibition at PAM consists of more than 200 photographs, and is a historical journey through the unique geography of the Columbia River Gorge. Our guides Toedtemeier and Laursen explained the circumstances and significance of the photos shown, related to the times and technology.

Many of the photos have never been available to public view. The original prints or negatives are fragile, and are preserved in archival collections. I checked out the book, it costs $75. But on Amazon, you can get it for under $50. I have no room for more coffee table books. Heck, I don't even have room for a coffee table. And I can look out the window and see the Gorge every day. So no book here.

The slide show was great, and made me want to go see the photos. The exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art runs until January 11th. Sounds like a good thing to do with the girls when they come for the holidays!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Salmon

Today was the second of our annual 'Nights in White Salmon' sponsored by the Arts Council.
Lloyd and I set up and manned the fire pits and supplied s'mores fixings from 4-6 pm.

We had a spectacular sunset sky.

The tree lighting was around 5. The new LED lights look great. No snow this year.

We'd run out of graham crackers by then but let the kids go nuts with the extra marshmallows. It was fun feeding them all sugar and knowing we wouldn't have to deal with the aftermath.

Once everyone left, we put screens over the fire pits and headed to Hooba's to try the Saturday Night Special: Memphis style dry rub ribs from the hillbilly smoker. They did not disappoint, so if you local types haven't tried them, head on over and help keep Hooba in business. The ribs are great but the BEANS are not to be missed. They are so much more than a side dish. While we were there, the mushroom lady came in with a batch of chanterelles she'd collected. Hooba didn't need them all so he sold me a pound. Can't wait to try them! I'll let you know what I do with them in the next few days.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sox Fans to the End

My buddy Jill sent me this. I love it. It was bound to happen. The only thing that would be better would be to have your ashes sprinkled on the warning path....