Hodge Podge

Its been well over a week since I even thought about blogging.  And although life seems super busy, there hasn’t been much to report.

The date has been set for my step-dad’s memorial service.  This has been a year-long event.  He passed last Thanksgiving but there was a ton of stuff to deal with and sell his house and get through probate.  Now I am not taking credit for any of that work, my sister has taken the brunt of all of those tasks, physical and emotional.  My involvement was monetary and being a venting / sounding board.

But now a road trip next week up to Washington.  Eighteen hours in a van with my sister, nieces and great-niece.  Hilarity will ensue I am sure.  We have rented a house for the time we are there which will make life with the baby a bit easier.

Besides planning that trip which all I can say is it’s a good thing we have an unlimited text plan, school started this week.  So we are sliding back into the usual routine.  Lori has multiple classes a day on three days and a combo of classes and committee meetings on the others.  She is asleep when I get home which is now always after midnight, or 1:30am if I go to the gym.  I see her briefly in the morning while she is getting ready for work and I try to get breakfast made for her.  Back to the usual schedule of prepping food that she might want to eat when she gets home, except it is so late the likelihood is low.

We spent some time this last weekend working in the back yard again.  Weeding the back and putting down cardboard to put the gravel on.  I moved a bag of gravel on Monday, one on Tuesday and one today to fill in where we had been working.  The end of the gravel project (at least for the back) is near.

2 Years

My great-niece is two. TWO.  I only see her about once a month, well except pictures I get those almost everyday.  She is so tall.  Here is the 1 year comparison.

My niece threw her a “pool” “donut” party.  The donuts were a big hit with her guests and the kids had a blast in the pools they had set up.  Coral may only be 2 but she has quite a few friends already.

Silent Key W7GTO

I became a ham radio operator because my darling friend Diane was into them at the time.  I also had the knowledge and familiarity of my uncle Tom, and my dad Pat being life long handheld amateur radio enthusiasts.

But I used my ham radio more with my dad than anywhere else.  It gave us a connection and a purpose.  He got me to volunteer and become part of the medical services team in Seattle.  We went to meetings once a month for years together, which always meant lunch out with him.

He was always working the parades, all of the neighborhood parades and the big torchlight parades.  He enlisted my help into being a ham for the parades as well.  My first one was a local (small) parade up in Greenwood.  The next few Summers he got me to do the torchlight parade.  Such a huge parade and although I was there with him several years in a row there was always so much to do I didn’t really see him except before and after the parade.

However it was always wonderful to call from my station “KC7OXM to net Control” and my dad answering “Net Control, W7GTO go ahead”

I sadly don’t have many pictures of our ham adventures, the one attached is a comm academy event in 2009 that he brought me along to sell raffle tickets at for him.

Sadly he passed away yesterday.  I am glad I got to tell him last Monday that I love him, but it is just not enough.

Comm Academy

Happy Birthday Mom

You would have been 77 today.  We lost you 27 years ago, TWENTY SEVEN, that alone seems impossible.

I can’t imagine you past this photo as it was taken soon before you died.  I miss talking to you, there is so much I wish I could tell to you about.

Our fabulous brothers!!!  My lovely wife!!!  Your new great-granddaughter who turns a year old in less than a week! We are back in California where our lives with you started and it feels right.

Miss you.


Wishes and Dreaming

When we were young, by we I guess I mean the end of the babyboomers and Gen X-ers (Anyone born before the early 70’s). Life was just a little simpler.  Not in the we walked 5 miles to school in the snow ect ect from the generation before us but simpler than our lives are now.

I mindlessly spin the stem on my apple and say the alphabet with each turn until it breaks.   Today was “L”  As kids we did this and whatever letter you landed on would be the letter of your future love.  This was great if you had a crush on someone with any letter in the beginning of the alphabet.  A-D was pretty typical.  Since I was a V I always figured no one evvvvvver got to me.  Sometimes if you wanted to get past D  you would spin delicately and try to extend the count.  If you were trying to get an A or B you pretty much had to rip the stem off to make it happen “naturally”.

I still do this with nearly every apple I eat. No longer wishing for a good name to associate with the letter.  But old habits die hard.

One practice from those days was to cross your fingers-place them on the ceiling in the car-hold your breath-and make a wish whenever you crossed railroad tracks. We would drive in and out of the city on a regular basis when I was young and I always, always made the same wish.  (Don’t let him get me (today, this weekend, next time)).  I gave up this practice of crossing your fingers and placing them on the ceiling of the car probably about the time I started driving and needed to have them on the steering wheel.  However whenever I pass over as the passenger I always still hold my breath.


Movie Release

My co-worker left early tonight to attend THE PREMIER.  Yes THAT premier for the long awaited and possibly even longer advertised movie that opens on Friday.

The Force and all of it’s cohorts are not my kinda thing.  Not in a shun kind of way just in a I haven’t really ever followed so don’t get all the hype kind of way.

In fact the first one was released on my mothers birthday in 1977.  Not that I really new that or followed it then, but have heard or read the date at some point and what can I say I’m good with dates.

I remember being in Haines, AK for the Summer and waiting for the movie to make it up there.  It didn’t make it up there until the middle of the Summer.  Della and I and probably mom saw it after pizza in the tiny theatre in Haines.  I remember being so excited because everyone else was excited and had been talking about it forever, at least to a twelve year old it felt like forever.

I don’t remember much of the movie and may or may not have seen Empire Strikes Back Movie.  I mean I don’t recall the plot but I remember certain elements but that clearly could just be from movie clips, previews or reviews.  The same goes with the Jabba the hut one (Return of the Jedi perhaps).  Parts of the movie I think I remember but not I’m not sure, although that came out my senior year in high school so I probably did see it.  All of the prequels that came out more than a decade later I know for sure I did not see.

Anyhow, I think that if there is ANY OTHER movie your interested in, this weekend would be a nice weekend to see it.  There will probably be empty theatres for other shows!  Just Sayin!


IMG_2425Since I got the car in January, I have been taking the truck on and off of standby insurance to do things like move gravel, or to move the girls last weekend.  Then just like last weekend, it ends up just sitting under the tree and not being used.

I happened to mention selling it at work and one of the managers asked that I bring it in.  So I extended the insurance out another day and drove it in.  Yesterday when he decided to buy it I was then on a limited time frame.   After work I got one more 1,000 pound bag of gravel, got it unloaded, cleaned out the truck and got it back to the work parking lot prior to midnight.

Today I signed over the title, deposited the cash, removed it from my auto policy completely and am just down to the car now.

It has been a great truck.  I never loved this Ranger like the one before that was totalled.  But it took hundreds of trips to the dog park.  Allowed me to join the farmers market and transport lots of cakes.  Moved me to California and then became a work horse for bricks and gravel.

When I cleaned it out last night I kept thinking where did all this stuff come from.  I had three atlases, a bird guide, binoculars, emergency kit and six books in this thing and there is no trunk!!  That doesn’t even include all the miscellaneous things like gloves, sunglasses, umbrella, pens, change, tarp and other junk in the truck.