Monday, October 30, 2006

The book I told you about

It's called "The Gathering of Zion; The Story of the Mormon Trail"
It's by Wallace Stegner.
The cover has a picture by called "The Handcart Pioneers" by Minerva Teichert
From the collection of the Museum of Church History and art, Salt Lake City.
Looks like a rough trip.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Road trip

My wife wanted to go to Wyoming this time.
Friday we drove to Le grande, Oregon, seven hours on the road. Gassed up in Pendelton 10 gals, 28 mpg. We did not stop at the mill, unusual for her, she really must have wanted Wyoming.
Next days seven hours brought us to Kemmerer, or something like that. Hard to find a room because of the seasonal workers. They are digging for oil or building some secret government plot or some damn thing. Only place open to eat, a pizza parlor (no names, I'm not grtting paid for any advertizing) Had to drink a beer with an east european name that ends in "weiser". definately not my usual which is brewed by an Irish concern founded in 1759 and has a harp on the label. I drink that because of James Joyce and because of the harp (I am a musician, my composition teacher said so).
Anyway, we are now in Wyoming.

This is what driving in Wyoming looks like.

O.K. This is not a photograph. My wife left her new digital camera at a resturant near Yakima. I drew it in paint. But there is really not much difference.

Kemmerer is the home of J.C. Penny. we checked out his first ever store (I won't mention it's name {no ads, remember}) they let us into the museum which was his house.

Cute little place.


Wyoming is full of fossils (not just us). Fossils of a variety the very helpful Mormon guy in the Chamber of Commerce information shack (I don't remember what city it was) referred as "Your Dinosaurs". They're not mine Johnny, they're God's, for Chrissake! I wasn't even born then. Nice guy though.

Speaking of religion I spent most evenings of our trip in the reading rooms of the various branches of the great Gideon library for bible study reading various chapters. Malachi, Matt, Mark, Luke, and even some of Johnny, I believe.
Turns out all that eye for eye and pluck it out stuff is in the new testament.
With all the other interpretations, I wonder why our fundamentalists can't accept "If a foetus offends thee, pluck it out"

Screw 'em

Any way, lots of Dinosaurs and such. Wife loves 'em, I prefer finding social and religious anomolies to vent my botteled up rage on.

Lots of excellent museums in Wyoming, mostly having to do with the settling of the west. Mainly Mormons. One display featured a hand cart that several bands of these incredably stalwart pilgrims dragged across the country (Well, they started at the Mississippi) it had a treadmill and you could try it.
Like dragging a Volkswagen!! Thousands of miles!! No Motels!! They had to bring their own Bibles!!

I also read a book about this migration, you should read it next time you think you've got a tough job. I forget the name and I can't find it just now. Ask me and I'll get back to you.


Wyoming is a volcanic site. Yellowstone is a part of it. Yellowstone is on top of the biggest volcanic hot spot on the planet! Last time it blew it killed everything! Why worry about it? Sulfur and its various oxides smell. Hot springs smell like Sulfur and brimstone. I hate to keep going on about religion like this, but I have suffered at the hands of "Christians who believe in peace, love , and understanding". What's so much fun? I ask you.

Any way we looked at all that stuff and drove back to Yakima, found the camera (with a picture of someone's truck on it) and drove over the pass to Ohanapecosh side of Mt Rainier.

This is what driving in Washington looks like.

Why the Mormons wanted to stop in Utah is beyond me.

Smells much better here.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Cat Pictures

This is my cat before.

This is my shoe. Look closely. Hard to tell them apart, eh?

This is my cat after.

He dosn't look too bad here, but I didn't want to annoy him by trying to get a full-face shot. He's getting better.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Draincat update

Every four hours, I squirt food into the tube that the vet sewed into the cat's neck.
He seems to like it, he lies there and purrs the whole time. The antibiotic (or whatever it is) goes with the food. There is also a small vial of pain killer that gets squirted into his cheek. We're almost out of that, his face seems healed enough that we can wash it a bit. He looks much less gruesome with the goo and dried blood off.
Unfortunatly, he seems to have become partially blind. When he walks around the kitchen, (vinyl flooring, easier to clean than rugs) he seems to walk in one direction untill he bumps into something then change direction. Takes him a bit of trial and error before he finds the catbox.
Hence the proscription on rug perambulations.
His name is Polalie, Which is a Chinook word for dust. Just calling him "Dusty" wouldn't be very sophisticated, would it? But it is what color, or range of colors,he is.
He blends nicely with my suede shoes (Pictures to follow, if my picture posting capabilities ever return).
Chinook is a trade language used by the local tribes (must have been a lot of them, there seems to be a casino every five miles or so) to trade with each other and, thier big mistake, with whiteman.
You don't need to speak Chinook to go to the casinos, however, so don't worry about that.
We once had Sherman Alexie come to our house to talk to our book group. we were reading "Reservation Blues" that month. "Indian Killer" is a much better (and scarier) book.
He's not exactly a local. He is Yakima. Over the pass where they have sand in thier
socks and eat rattlesnakes or something like that.
Tribes in the wet side of the mountains, are, like, Muckleshoot, Leschi, Duwamps (Duwamish), Makah (my nephew, Wally, is married to a Makah, the have the lovliest 2-year-old girl (Ruby) Two years old last sunday the 15th) and many more.
Apparently some of them used to "bury" thier dead by stashing them in a tree.
One imagines that, if that is true, loggers must have had some interesting surprises
when they started denuding the place.
I kind of doubt that thay took thier pets to vetrinarian surgeons or ever ended up feeding them through a tube in the neck. Come to think of it, they probably didn't have much trouble with sewer pipes either.
Mutatis mutandis (I'm not sure what that means, but it sounds like "everything changes around all the time" or even "que sera, sera", {quod fiat, fiat})
or Verdi's opinion of "la donna", who apparently are as mobile qual piuma al vento.
Ah, but I digress.............

Sunday, October 15, 2006

It figures

It seems that the instant I get a digital camera, the picture thingey quits working
and I cant post 'em. It obviously used to work. There is my ugly face and my stupid amphibian. To whom do I complain? I am going to run through all the menus again and see what I can find.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Emily again

Emily, Emily, I just read in a book catalog where you are quoted as saying "How Strange that Nature does not knock, yet does not intrude".
I suppose I love you for your ethereal qualities and not for any practical reasons (you are dead, after all)
For one thing I love the way you always capitalize nouns. The language must not have been as divorced from it's German roots as it is today.
My capitalization tends to be random when I am writing by hand, but then, my hand writing is illegeble even to me, so it really dosn't matter much.

But Emily, Dear Emily, Nature does not knock, She pounds, blasts, explodes,
And She certainly does intrude
She intrudes roots into one's drainpipes and smashes cats heads.
Among many other things too painful to mention.

I am disappointed that you had not noticed this, but my love is neither diminished nor attenuated. There is a permanent place for you in my heart, behind the bullet proof vest (see previous post "How war damages us all")

Howcome you never write?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Meow, or how a clogged drain saved my draincat's life.

I'll tell you about our recent road trip later. This drama happened after that.

We determined that the basement floor was covered in water because the drain was clogged. It couldn't possibly be the new one put in just seven years ago with modern plastic pipe that will last forever. NO! Cant be.
Was, however.
We live on a bluff overlooking a main arterial (and the lake), so the drainpipe runs down a steep weed covered slope. The weeds (ivy and laurel) hold the slope with their roots, so that's good.
The weeds get into the pipe and clog it, so that's bad.
SO...I had to walk down to the street to see if I could find the sewer main whereupon
I discovered our cat huddled in a bed of grass. When I picked him up, I noticed his face was all bloody and swollen up.
At the emergency vet's we determined that he had been hit by a car and that his palate was split but otherwise He was more or less O.K.
He now is recovering (we hope) from surgery, but is very lethargic and won't eat or drink.
So we wait and try to get the medicine in him.
You wonder about coincidences like this, is this a message from God or something?
Wouldn't it be better to e-mail me?


Thursday, October 05, 2006


From "Everything is Illuminated" by Jonathan Safran Foer;
"Humorous is the only truthful way to tell a sad story"

From "Secret history of Eddypus" by Mark Twain;
"Truth is the most precious thing we have. Let us economise it."
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