Monday, April 28, 2008

Ripped from the Headlines

Heads up to my buddy in TX, you're gonna love this one! You know it's good if I am sitting here posting after 11 pm at night. Not often I hear something worthy on the 11 o'clock news. The Oregon Voter's Pamphlet is out. Yep, everything you want to know about the election coming up. And if you still have questions, there's even a phone number you can call.

A letter from Secretary of State Bill Bradbury encourages you to call for voter assistance. The number is conveniently posted in 11 places in the pamphlet. Problem is, the 800 number should have been an 866 number. Oops! Minor detail. But wait...
Callers to that number are directed to call another 800 number that promises "an exciting new way to go live one-on-one with hot. . .girls" and invites the caller to provide a credit card number.
OK Oregon, the number to call is really 866-673-8683.

"One of my biggest priorities is to provide voters with all the resources they need and clearly we erred with the listing for the voter hotline phone number on one page of the Voters' Pamphlet," Bradbury said in a statement. "So I sincerely apologize for any confusion that may have caused and I'd like to reiterate -- don't call that wrong number."
That's quite a 'hot line', Bill!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Road Trip 2 Review

Well, it was worth the four hours driving (round trip) and half tank of gas to hear Bill Clinton yesterday in McMinnville. My sister, niece and I were picked up by the Yamhill County Sheriff, no less (no sirens- personal car) and we parked in the driveway at a friend's house near the high school. The line was loooooong and cheerful. We got to go in through the press door, where our names were checked off the VIP list. Somehow they had left the Sheriff off, but he was in his uniform and armed, so he had no trouble getting in! The gym had one set of bleachers pulled down, and the lucky 'vips' got the pick of the seats, unless they wanted to stand near the podium. Hearing that he was going to be late (no surprise to me after seeing the schedule of talks) we opted to climb up to the top row of bleachers. Fortunately Sydney brought her gameboy. It got a little warm in the building aptly nicknamed "the furnace", and the flames painted on the walls weren't helpful!

Once the masses were let in, the place filled fast. The floor was packed, so they opened up an upper level of bleachers above us. I guessed about 1500 people. I was pretty close, as the paper estimated 1600. We were too high to be reached by the T-shirt tossing Katie, who warmed up the crowd. A campaign guy in a suit came and got Mary, so we figured Bill was getting close. She got to go backstage and be in the handshake line, and took something for me to get autographed. I couldn't believe how long he talked! I figured it would be a 20-30 minute drive by, but he stayed over an hour! The crowd was great. He gave a fantastic speech on behalf of Hillary, and on the importance of electing a Democrat to the presidency in November. Then as quickly as he rolled in, he rolled out...after shaking lots of hands near the podium and signing a few of his books that people brought along. This guy loves crowds. Not me. I was happy up in my perch. I did work my way in a bit through the masses during the handshaking, and got a closer picture. Then he was gone... off to the next stop, even more behind schedule! I'll be he was glad to get to the airport last night.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Road Trip 2

OKAY, I've got a bunch of stuff to write, but it has to be put on hold. I'm heading to McMinnville to hear Bill Clinton speak tomorrow afternoon. My sis, Ms Commish, has good seats for us!!!!!! Check back lay-tah!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Patriot's Day!

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.
On the eighteenth of April in '75
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town tonight,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,
One if by land, two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore shall be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.

Longfellow's Paul Revere's Ride goes on a lot longer. I have a goal to memorize the whole thing before I die. Someone who still knows all the verses to American Pie SHOULD be able to do this, but I memorized that when I still had free brain cells. I've only gotten this far. No sixth grade teacher to make me do it. Sorry Mrs. Libby. I still remember most of "The Children's Hour" though. That HWL was quite a guy. This poem was written April 19, 1860, and first published in 1863 as part of "Tales of a Wayside Inn".

We went to the Wayside Inn in Wayland (shout out to Jill) for a field trip in about 4th grade. We went to the old mill, where they were still grinding cornmeal, I think, at that time. I remember our 5th grade field trip to Boston (a long time before Duck Tours). We went to Old North Church, and Paul Revere's House, as well as most of the rest of the Freedom Trail. But we Boston kids loved the whole Paul Revere thing. I loved that Longfellow said "Through every Middlesex village and farm" because I lived in Middlesex County and I knew he was talking about my 'home'. My cousins lived in Concord, we went to Walden Pond a lot when we were kids, and Lexington was our next door town. I had a cool Minute Man pin. I wonder whatever happened to that...I do still have the pamphlet I bought with my own money at Old North Church on that field trip, with the whole poem on it. I also got some penny candy sticks, and a piece of maple sugar candy to take home to my mom. Stories of Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane, the Louisa May Alcott stories...what a great place to grow up. I found this cool interactive link for Paul Revere's Ride.

Today was Boston Marathon day. My Boston College freshman was heading out with her friends to cheer runners on as they chug up Heartbreak Hill. My sister Mary has run the Boston Marathon, and told Alina how much the cheering students from Wellesley and Boston College help them. My sister Linda is probably working in the medical tent again, she had such a blast doing that last year. Patriot's Day is ONLY celebrated in Massachusetts. I like that too. It's cool to have your very own holiday. I'm thinking B&M baked beans and brown bread tonight. And maybe some clam chowdah.

Even the Red Sox like it. They played an early game today, and swept the Texas Rangers with a good portion of their offense out of commission.

Now I think I'll get to work on the next stanza. Two down, 11 to go:

Then he said "Good Night!" and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide....

Caucuses, Wine, Poker and Other Things

Whew! What a weekend!

TGIF for me was frantically writing a 5 minute candidate support speech for the County and LD15 Caucus in Dallesport Saturday morning. I wrote one, changed it, asked a wonderful friend for some perspectives on leadership, rewrote it, got more info late that night from my buddy, rewrote it, oh, yeah, there was a glass of wine in there, too. I finally went to bed at 1 am. You can tell I don't give speeches much! So I get up at 6:15, get stuff together to head out by 8:15 (including brewing 3 post of coffee to fill my big pump thermos), rehearsed it once for my main critic, then got in the car and started reorganizing and cutting.

It was so busy at sign in, so I didn't have a lot of time to work on it. Just a bunch of 'circles and arrows' (I wanted to add here : and a paragraph on the back of each one explainin' what each one was to be used as evidence against us...a prize to the first one who tells me who said this and the title to the song) to numbers go here 1, go here 2, etc. Then the chairman wanted the credential committee report (that was me, at least half of it was me), so NO time to fine tune. But I survived, gave a good speech, got lots of pats on the back from my Obama supporting friends as well as my fellow Clinton supporters. I never did meet Mr Obama Supporter, sender of irritating emails. But he saw me, up close and personal.

I was happy that all 28 of our delegates showed up, and most our alternates. The Other Guys were short 7, had 3 alternates available, picked up a noncommitted, net down 6 but it didn't affect the proportions allocated at the precinct caucuses. Then two of my delegates defected! A husband-wife team, the only delegates for their precinct. Glad it wasn't mine, I'd have been ticked. Fortunately, it didn't affect the proportions, either, so on we went to the subcaucus. There we elected our two delegates, one man and one woman, as per the rules. We flipped a coin for the alternate's gender, and it came up tails (heads was woman, get it). Our delegates and alternate are VERY committed, and vowed not to budge at the next level. No drama at our subcaucus, we were done and moving on before the other crowd.

The resolutions part of the caucus went on and on and on and on. I stayed long enough to vote on the couple of resolutions I really cared about, including one to abolish this insane caucus to elect our presidential candidates. I have nothing good to say about it. Except maybe it was nice to work with the County Dems to put them on, and nice to meet so many people, but hey, we could throw a BBQ and accomplish that!

So what to do once you skip out of the caucus? Play winery poker, Wind Card Wild, of course. Lloyd was designated driver and keeper of the credit card. We hit some of the east side wineries: Marshal, Cascade Cliffs, Maryhill, Waving Tree and Cor Cellars. It was a pleasant afternoon, and we even met some of our Pucker Huddle neighbors at Waving Tree, which was the furthest east winery participating. We picked up some interesting wines, and a lousy poker hand. At the end of the day I had two 5 of hearts, a queen of spades, an ace of diamond, and a 7 of clubs. That meant I HAD to go back out on Sunday.

Sunday I went up to Wind River for a quick books and procedures lesson from Kris, and drew a 7 of spades. Now I had two pair, so that was good. We stopped down at Northshore, hoping to pickup another bottle of their awesome cherry wine, but they were out. Next bottling will be on the shelves soon. I drew another useless card, and turned in my sheet. Done with that!

We ended the weekend with a nice homemade salad with shrimp, and mango salsa, and watched the last installment of John Adams on HBO. If you missed this series, catch it on reruns or something. Now I'm waiting for the ABIGAIL series.

Did I mention we had hail and snow flurries this weekend?????? We did.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wine Tasting?

Update: My debut has been postponed. To console myself, I'll be hitting at least 5 wineries to play winery poker. Here's how it works- go to winery, taste, get card, go to second winery, taste, draw card, etc. At last winery, turn in best poker hand, winners get prizes. Sound like fun? Wind River is on the list, so go there even if I'm not pouring. Kris will take good care of you.

Guess who is holding down the fort at Wind River Cellars tasting room on Sunday???? Come on by and I'll tell you all about my favorites...

Talkin'Trash: Uniters and Dividers

It should be against the rules, whoever makes the rules. No inflammatory emails until after a person's had their second cup of coffee.

I got an email around 9 am this morning that went on at length about 'things you should know about HRC'. It would not have phased me a bit, I would have put it in the trash and not even bothered with it, like so much other spam. But this was sent to delegates for our Saturday legislative district caucus. Clinton delegates.

I took a deep breath, wrote a terse response telling the author:
As a long time Clinton supporter, I don't appreciate your Obama generated Clinton talking points, all of which I could debate with you but won't waste my time. Go to the caucus and support your candidate, and let us Clinton delegates support ours. I believe all good democrats will rally around the winner when this is over, but getting an email like this, at this point in the process, doesn't help motivate me to go out of my way to get Obama elected. We Clinton supporters believe in our candidate as strongly as you believe in yours, and we need this process to play out before we get on board the Obama train. It is insulting to me and to the process.

Yours in democracy,
Fenway Fran
I really didn't write Fenway Fran. This guy has no clue who I am. Even with my real name.

My Obama supporting friends would not do this. The content of the email was very nasty, and most was easily countered. There was no reason to send it. Period. If this person truly believed in his candidate, he would be working positively, making sure all the Obama delegates showed up, because the final allocation of delegates depends on who shows up. Obama won our county caucus, but if more Clinton delegates actually show up, then Clinton would get that proportion of the six delegates moving on to state. Is it worth alienating people who you need in November for a minority proportion of six delegates??? I think not. We all want a big D beside the name of the next president (and Senator, and Representative, and...and...).

An Obama supporter told me the other day that delegates are not bound to vote for the one who brought him or her to the dance. They may not be legally bound, but I dare say they are ethically bound, morally bound, and democratically bound. We are not 'superdelegates'. We were chosen in our candidate sub group to represent all those who supported our common choice at the next level. I can't imagine ANY delegate changing their mind at this level. Heck, 99% of the people at our caucus kept their initial choices. Only a few 'undecideds' went one way or the other. If this email sender was trying to sway votes for Saturday, he didn't score ANY points judging from the responses he got from Clinton delegates who hit 'reply all', as I did.

My candidate has warts. I know them well. The whole world knows them well. So does Obama, probably more than we know. No one is perfect. Politicians are always ready to point out the opposition's warts. That's the way it is. Even if you say you want change. People who don't respond in kind get buried. Think Gore, think Kerry. And if your warts aren't pointed out 'in house' they darn well will be pointed out in the general election. I've looked at the warts, the resumes, and the people under a pretty bright light, and I've chosen my candidate with all this in mind. I believe she will be the best leader for our country at this time. Half of the Democrat electorate agrees with me. I'm not an outlier. So Mr. Obama supporter, don't insult my intelligence by sending me any more of your trash.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Curses, Foiled Again!

Too funny. A Red Sox fan/construction worker at the site of the new Yankee Stadium apparently decided he needed to take things into his own hands and curse the new stadium. So he buried an Ortiz jersey while construction was underway. Unfortunately, loose lips sink ships and word got out about the 'curse'. And the NY Yankees had to act fast.
After locating the shirt in a service corridor behind what will be a restaurant in the new Yankee Stadium, construction workers jackhammered through the concrete Sunday and pulled it out.
"The first thought was, you know, it's never a good thing to be buried in cement when you're in New York," Levine said. "But then we decided, why reward somebody who had really bad motives and was trying to do a really bad thing?"
I'm giving the guy points for trying...but he'll never work construction in NY again. You KNOW his name is on a list somewhere...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Road Trip

I'll be away for a couple of days. I'm running away from home to visit my gal pal Edie in Bend. Lloyd says "Go, Have Fun, Leave the Dog". That's love for ya!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Jayhawks Rock

Tonight's adventure was a trip to Husum for the NCAA final on the new flatscreen TV at Hooba's. Hooba is a Kansas alum who should be given a stipend by KU. I'd never heard of the Jayhawks before meeting Hooba. Last week he promised if KU made it to the final, dinner was on him. So we joined the faithful, ate Posada, cornbread and crispy brownies (accident), and cheered on KU as they went head to head vs Memphis. It was an awesome game. We screamed. We gasped. We only got beer refills during commercials. Hooba took several 'smoke breaks' outside. I don't know what he promised during his outside meditations, but whatever it was, it worked. There is blood on the ceiling to prove his devotion, as he hit his fist on the vent in triumph as they tied the game to go to overtime. Way to go, Jayhawks! We're now official fans. I have the souvenir beer coaster to prove it.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring Choices

Tuesday was beautiful.
We took one look at Mt. Hood that morning, decided to squeeze in another ski day, and headed across the river on up to Pocket Creek Sno Park. There was one other car there, and we met that lone skier as he approached the parking area. So it was all ours. A lot of work, but it was a pretty day an nice to be out. All I kept thinking as we trudged up was: It will be fun on the way back. We tried to find the trail we took with the club a few weeks back, but took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up on a longer loop than we wanted to do, so we turned around after an hour or so on the trail. Brindle was getting a little tired. We got back in time for Lloyd to go register for his community ed classes, and for happy hour/dinner at Horsefeathers in Hood River. They have a new seasonal brew, Nutcracker- 9.5% high octane, which Lloyd ordered and I tasted. I stuck with my usual, McStallion Scottish Ale. Both highly recommended.

Wednesday was recovery day (especially for Brindle) so we just did 'the walk'. But Thursday was another beauty, so we headed back over to the Coyote Wall area to check on the status of the wildflowers. There were a few mountain bikers enjoying the day. You can see the parking lot from this view from the top of Coyote Wall. On a weekend, there are cars everywhere. This place is a mountain bike mecca but hikers and bikers all seem to get along and repect each other. We saw some new flowers, which Lloyd worked hard to ID while I took pictures. His camera is still in the shop. Here are a few to share.

Lloyd found this neat "hole in the wall", which he thinks was formed when a tree was surrounded by lava. The rock inside looks like bark casting. Pretty cool, huh?

There were lots of flowers for us. We need another wildflower ID hike!

Here is some desert parsley:A new find, shooting stars!:
Lloyd identifying some emerging lupines (just starting to pop out):
Pass the popcorn!
View back towards the River:
Brindle relaxes and waits patiently:

It's wonderful to have this so close to home. We got back for the last hour or so of warmth on the deck (after a hot tub soak), and had snacks/wine to christen the new furniture. Now we just need some visitors to fill the chairs!