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[photos|travel] The Star Wars Shop in Aberdeen, WA

Yesterday, Donnie Reynolds, [info]the_child and I headed to Aberdeen, WA, to the Star Wars Shop there.

Donnie and [info]the_child were shooting footage for a short film documentary project on the store and its owner, Don Sucher. I was along as a lower-tier assistant and generally just to watch.

The place is amazing. Nutso amazing. There’s an estimated 70,000 pieces of Star Wars memorabilia in the store. Along with a bunch of other stuff, including some Kurt Cobain memorabilia, and other science fiction tv show and movie stuff. Even minor sidelines in Lord of the Rings and The Simpsons. It’s a toy collection that metastasized then miscegenated with a pawn shop.

[info]the_child worked second camera, did some interviews of store employees and customers, and shot a lot of stills. It was great fun to see her working, engaging with people, being thoughtful and smart and creative. Me, I wandered around and took pictures and mostly listened.

There are stories to tell here, but I’ll wait for Donnie and [info]the_child to tell them on film.


[conventions] Cascade Writers, Day 3

Yesterday was the third day of Cascade Writers. A nice morning’s walk, another long critique session, a lunchtime pizza-and-cake birthday party for the Scholes twins, then some writing time on Other Me and an afternoon of one-on-ones with the attendees in my critique session. I bugged out yesterday evening for a while with Amanda Clark to attend a friend’s birthday party, then came back to close out the evening in the Applebee’s bar across the parking lot, where I was apparently neither as mouthy nor as flirty as advertised.

One does so hate to disappoint.

Another short round of critique and discussion this morning, then a group lunch of an unspecified nature, then I am out of here. [info]the_child comes home this afternoon from her latest 100% parent-free out of town adventure, and I haven’t really seen her since last Monday, so that will be good.

Plus more writing, of course.

[conventions] Cascade Writers, Day 2

We just had the second day of Cascade Writers. I worked a full day of Day Jobbery (beginning Quite Early), got a bit of editing in on Other Me, then spent the balance of the afternoon in a long critique session covering four of the seven stories in my teaching section. After that, we had a quick group photo, then [info]casacorona and I caught dinner. I eventually wound up chilling in the lobby with a handful of folks.

In other words, a very busy day.

Up a bit before 5 am today for an hour’s walk, breakfast shortly with Amanda Clark, then a morning of critique, followed by an afternoon of professional one-on-ones, with a Scholes twins birthday part in the nmiddle.

In other words, another very busy day.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

[links] Link salad thinks Saturday night’s alright for fighting

Fernweh for Magellanica — Fernweh is what the Germans call that longing for faraway places, the poetic certainty that things are better elsewhere. But there is a superlative degree of geographic desire, a Fernweh even more sublime: the ache for fictional faraway places.

The Cost Of Free Doughnuts: 70 Years Of Regret — The risks of categorical change.

Why horn size matters when picking a mate

Older worker termites become exploding, toxic defenders — I know people like this.

In Sweden, Taking File Sharing to Heart. And to Church. — Uh, yeah. (Thanks, I think, to Dad.)

Three-planet system’s regular orbits hint at orbital chaos elsewhereSystems evolve from one disk then have orbital interactions destabilize them.

Civic Virtue — Ta-Nehisi Coates on voting and citizenship. Worth the read.

Jeff Bezos Kicks Straight Support For Gay Marriage Up A NotchJeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie, announced their donation of $2.5 million in support of Washington’s gay marriage legislation this week Huh. Good for him. A case of doing the right thing in a fairly big way. However, Amazon is still prima facie a predatory business that victimizes authors. Bezos certainly isn’t buying back his reputation with me given his company’s business practices. On the other hand, he doesn’t care what I think.

Busted: Republican candidate’s companion voted for 5 years… after her death — Yep, that liberal voting fraud is rampant.

The Republican misinformation machine tackles the Internet — Speaking of Republican lies, and not letting the facts get in the way of a good bout of conservative outrage.

Phoniness and DiplomacyI was struck by how several of Romney’s missteps were the result of his saying true things that he ought to have known not to say publicly.

Romney Abroad: Candidate Obama Did It Better in 2008Mitt Romney’s clumsy start to his overseas trip is shaping up as a stark contrast to candidate Barack Obama’s tour of the Middle East and Europe in July 2008, when he managed to strike perfect pitch at press conferences and in visits with foreign leaders.

Questions for Conservatives About Healthcare ReformI frequently hear insured people say that if the ACA survives, it will mean they won’t have access to timely medical care. This tells me they not only believe they have a right to health care, but that they have a right to the prompt delivery thereof. And yet, they don’t seem to think people like me and my son have any right to it at all. Well, I disagree with them. I need heathcare reform and I think I deserve it, not from “the government,” but from the society that my family and I have contributed to and served for most of our lives. I’m not saying Obamacare is the answer. I’m only saying that we need to solve this problem and the uncaring rhetoric of my conservative friends is speaking so loudly that I’m finding it difficult to hear anything else they’re saying about healthcare reform. Written by someone who is apparently a religious conservative, demonstrating once again that no one, not even conservatives, likes conservative policies when applied to them personally. (Snurched from Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

?otD: What are a couple of the sounds that you really like?

Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hour (60 minutes on Other Me)
Body movement: 60 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 6.25 (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems by Henry Petroski

[conventions] Cascade Writers, Day 1

Yesterday was the first day of Cascade Writers. Kind of a weird one for me, as I’d been home from North Carolina all of fifteen hours when I left again for the conference, and I’d slept half that time. Cascade Writers is in Vancouver, WA, which the other side of the Portland metro area from me, so it wasn’t exactly a haul.

We had a registration gathering, then a handful of us went out for dinner. Mmm, Burgerville onion rings. After that was the conference opening, then I gave an hour long talk on revision and editing. The evening wound up with me spending a bit of time in the hot tub. I retired earlier than is my wont at conventions and conferences due to needing to work today.

Up early for a long walk this morning.

[personal|photos] The Siouxan Creek Hike

Yesterday, [info]mlerules and I went hiking with half of Team E— and their dog N—. It was a comedy of errors getting there, as we hadn’t agreed on a trail in advance as we usually do. So we hit the road toward the Gorge in the Genre car (me driving), while the other two consulted trail guides. We finally settled on the Siouxan Creek Trail in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington State. (“Siouxan” rhymes with “Tuscon”, apparently.) Our plan was to do a 7.4 mile loop from the trailhead at the end of forest road NF-5701.

Unfortunately, the trail guide we were using had inaccurate directions to get us to Amboy, WA, the town nearest NF-5701. We didn’t realize they were inaccurate, so we didn’t think to double-check with Google Maps. So we wound up taking an extensive tour of rural Clark County, WA. Therein we were diverted, repeatedly, by sheriff’s deputies protecting the route of a long distance foot race. We got seriously lost, took several wrong turns, and spent quite a bit of time driving on the wrong side of the road because of the runners.

When we finally approached our destination, the forest roads themselves were in dreadful condition, some of the worst paved roads I’ve been on in the United States. We had of course brought the Genre car instead of [info]mlerules‘ SUV, and I had to creep along at idle speed at a number of places. It wound up taking us over two hours to make the 70 miles or so from home to the trailhead. Which, if anyone is interested, can be found at 45 deg 56′ 47.40″ N latitude, 122 deg 10′ 40.20″ W longitude. On the plus side, we saw a coyote and several deer.

Once there we shoed up, watered down, and hit the trail.

There’s an initial long, steep descent into the Siouxan Creek watershed. Experienced hikers will note that this means a final long, steep ascent at the end of the day. Not a desirable situation. Once on the trail itself, the slopes were gentle enough, and the views incredible. Including one of the best natural swimming holes I have ever seen. We also saw birds, bugs, flowers, berries, and all manner of natural splendor.

We didn’t make our planned 7.4 mile out-and-back, as we turned back around 3 miles in due to fatigue. (We were at 45 deg 57′ 41.40″ N; 122 deg 8’ 23.40″ W at that point.) We estimate about 600 feet of elevation gain net, though a lot more hill work than that due to all the ups and downs. We were on the trail a bit less than four hours. On the way back I managed to leave my Birkenstocks in the parking lot at the trailhead, but by the time we figured that out, it would not have been worth the extensive trouble to go back for them 45 minutes each way over the terrible roads.

This is a truly lovely hike if you’re in the Portland area and looking for something of the sort. I experienced it as an intermediate level of difficulty. If the weather were a bit warmer, I would have loved to try out some of the swimming holes. But don’t forget your shoes.

Photos, of course… (more…)

[personal|photos] Hanging at the beach

[info]the_child and I have been spending the weekend at the beach house belonging to my parents and [info]lillypond (a/k/a my sister).

Yesterday after a slow morning, we headed down to Long Beach for lunch at Doogers. Subsequently we went to Scrappacino in search of Anna Lena’s fudge. There we found this delectable comestible:


Which I tried a sample of:


It tasted about like what you’d think garlic and fudge mixed together would taste like. Two great tastes that really don’t taste great together, in this case.

The store also featured scrapping and fabric arts supplies.


Outside, we wandered by the world’s largest pair of chopsticks.



We then faffed about a bit, including me not finding the putt putt golf course in Long Beach, before heading down to the Neptune Theater to see Braveimdb ]. Nearby I saw the following sign, which I present without further comment:


Later, after the movie, the sun finally came out, so we hit the beach.


In which I present as astonishingly unattractive



After that, we laid low until everyone fell asleep. This morning, [info]lillypond and I walked across the peninsula to the bay side, during which walk we saw both a coyote and a raccoon. No bears, though.

Home to Portland after lunch.

As usual, more at the Flickr set.

Photos © 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

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This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

[personal] Chilling at the coast

Chilling at the coast, at my parents’ beach house. They’re here, as is [info]the_child, as well as [info]lillypond (a/k/a my sister) and the Niece.

I worked Day Jobbery yesterday, then spent a couple of hours on galley edits of Kalimpura, plus batting cleanup on a few miscellaneous tasks. I’ll spend more time on the galley edits today. At some point, we’ll probably go out and do something. When, what and where depend a lot on the weather, which is currently chilly, gray and wet. Back to Portland tomorrow afternoon.

Low key is the way to be.