Picard

I have had numerous people tell me I look like Patrick Stewart when he played Captain Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Barb strongly suggested I get a Picard costume for the Halloween party last Saturday night. She dressed as “a generic alien woman”. She was correct to make the suggestion:

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Photo by “Bettie Page”.

The number of complements and favorable comments I got were uncountable. They ranged from numerous guys merely saying, “Captain” as they walked past and multiple requests to beam us to some other location to, “I just wanted to say you totally rock in the Picard costume.” I even had “Bettie Page” sit on my lap for a while (she also sat on Barb’s lap so it might not have been entirely the costume).

Scam alert

At 11:46 this morning I received an automated call from 800-331-3172. They said, IIRC:

Your AT&T account has been flagged for possible security violations. Please enter the last four digits of your social security number to avoid service interruption.

I immediately hung up.

How do I know with absolute certainty it was a scam? They called my Verizon phone.

Dorks

ChiefJayBob sent Barb and I matching shirts.

Barb’s came with instructions. There was something in the instructions about wearing or not wearing them at the same time and being dorks. I don’t read so good and couldn’t really understand it that well.

Anyway, we appreciate receiving them and put them on this morning.

Here are the pictures:

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Update: In the comments ChiefJayBob said something about not in public and the rules that came with the shirt. Barb and I studied the comment for a bit and if we understood things correctly we needed a picture in public. So we went to the local grocery store and took another picture:

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Barb also studied one of his other comments about the shirts. He said something about wearing it when going to bars. I don’t really drink so going to bars isn’t something I have an interest in doing. But Barb said having a “Fire and Rescue” shirt is awesome for picking up chicks in a bar and says she will totally wear it when she goes to the bars. I don’t really understand this. Maybe people help you catch them if they think you are going to rescue them.

And I’m not sure I understand why there would be chicks at a bar. Sure, some bars serve chicken-wings but I’ve never heard of chicks in a bar. Are they attracted to leftover malted barley or something? I don’t really think there is a place to raise them at her house anyway. And chickens are very messy animals to have around. I wouldn’t really want them if I had to take care of them. She just going to have to demonstrate what she wants to do with these chicks she is going to pick up.

Elderberry fiend

When I was in Idaho last weekend my SIL Julie was making elderberry juice with the juice extractor I bought her last Christmas. I wanted some and brother Doug picked some more berries (as did I since I didn’t know he was doing it) and I ended with a full gallon of juice to bring back home.

Barb had said she would help me preserve any fruits I brought back but she was thinking apples, pears, and prunes. She didn’t know anything about elderberries. I happily informed her that you make jelly out of them. For some reason her enthusiasm did not match mine. Obviously she had been culturally deprived for all these years and once I informed her of this she would have the enthusiasm to match mine. For some reason that didn’t work out quite like I planned. She remained skeptical but looked up a recipe and yesterday she purchased the supplies.

Today we made elderberry jelly, cranberry jelly (from 100%, no water or sugar added, cranberry juice I bought in an Idaho store after daughter Kim told me about it), and 50/50 elderberry/cranberry jelly.

Here is the result:

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Barb, after I insisted that it was really good, tasted some of the cooled foam that we scooped off prior to putting the jelly it in the jars.

She became an elderberry fiend. As soon as we finished with the jelly she made elderberry syrup, elderberry liquor, and some sort of mix of vodka and elderberries. If there are still elderberries on the trees when we next go to Idaho she wants more.

I think I have been forgiven for bringing home the elderberry juice.

A different culture

I visit family in Idaho about once month. Something that I frequently notice is the huge difference between being on the farm in Idaho and working in a high rise office building in Seattle. I am sometimes driving truck, combine, or a bulldozer in Idaho one day and looking out over the Puget Sound from behind my computer in a skyscraper the next.

There are other profound differences as well.

Here are my daughter Kim and Jacob at their home in Idaho. I took this picture on Saturday:

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The sign isn’t anything particularly special. It is sold at Michaels, a national chain store for arts and crafts, where Kim works as she finishes her accounting degree at the University of Idaho. Yet the odds of seeing a sign like that in the Seattle area are asymptotically close to zero.

I imagine this sign would put people of the anti-gun crowd into an apoplectic state. It appears to me that the concept of property rights and being able and willing to defend those property rights is alien to them. They might give lip service to the concept of diversity and tolerance of other cultures but they make it very clear by their actions they are actively attempting to destroy certain cultures. They want to destroy one of my cultures.

The definition of irony

The University of Idaho vehemently opposed respecting the Bill of Rights and the Idaho State Constitution in regards to firearms. The legislature finally told them to suck it up and face reality. They have reluctantly entered the 21st Century screaming and yelling and they still don’t like it and they are doing whatever they can to make sure the students know they don’t like it.

The fall semester just started which is the first semester since the law went into effect on July 1 of this year. One professor, Dan Hickman, put the following into the syllabus for one of his classes:

The University of Idaho bans firearms from its property with only limited exceptions. One exception applies to persons who hold a valid Idaho enhanced concealed carry license, provided those firearms remain concealed at all times. If an enhanced concealed carry license holder’s firearm is displayed, other than in necessary self‐defense, it is a violation of University policy. Please contact local law enforcement (call 911) to report firearms on University property.

Apparently he wants to ostracize people who go through several hours of training and a FBI background check in order to exercise a specific enumerated constitutional right.

Daughter Kim sent me this picture from the Memorial Gym, the same location as the ROTC gun range:

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They create a victim disarmament  zone and then declare it a “Designated Safe Zone”?

And, as Kim pointed out:

It also bothered me that the only sign I saw in memorial gym was that one on the door to the women’s center which is supposed to be about women empowerment.

Irony. Find your definition here.

Traumatic hair cuts

Barb was in downtown Seattle today and had an appointment to get her hair cut.

Fortunately it was at a different location and time than this incident:

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There were six people injured and the structural integrity of the building was compromised.

Can you imagine laying back with someone shampooing your hair, you are all relaxed, and mellowed out then CRASH! The room explodes with broken glass, flying debris, a car zipping across the room, and the ceiling sags down toward you?

On this day there were advantages to being bald.

What is it?

I built this gadget around 20 years ago. It’s been in use on a mountaintop ever since, until being brought down to my shop today. Three of the cylinders are marked “C” and the other three are marked “L”.

I remember having it the back of my 1966 Chrysler Town and Country station wagon parked across the street from the Federal Building in Moscow, Idaho right after the Oklahoma City bombing and wondering if I was going to get hassled for it.

The Gadget

The Gadget

And people think I’m a packrat

Son James has often said he is glad he didn’t inherit the packrat gene from me. Barb has hinted at similar thoughts on more than one occasion. I’m a long way from being a hoarder but I admit I keep things most people would throw away.

I heard this story over the weekend when visiting Idaho but SIL Julie blogged about it so I’m comfortable telling about a relative of hers:

The funniest find of the day was a small box I pulled off the top shelf of the pantry.  I opened it and there was wedding cake!  Very petrified wedding cake.  Their parents were married 64 years ago…

Summer Trip

I grew up in Alaska, and still have most of my family there. Summer is a great time to go places with the kids, and visiting home is always an item high on the list. But, because Alaska Airlines normally has a defacto monopoly on flying into Juneau, it’s usually around $500 a ticket from Seattle. When Delta decided to give them some competition this summer, priced promptly got cut in half. The daughter has been there once before, when she was two, and the son only in utero. So, we went. Continue reading

I’m the reasonable man

I took a firearms class today to get the new Idaho Enhanced Concealed Weapons License. Mike (from the link) taught the legal portion of the class. During the class he said the criteria for many lethal force self-defense situations is what a “reasonable man” would have done in the same circumstances. He used me as an example of such a person, “We need an EE as our reasonable man, right?” He also suggested I send him a picture of myself to add to his slide. So, within five minutes I had taken a selfie and emailed it to Mike.

This evening I received an email from Mike without text. It just contained a PDF of the slide:

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Therefore, just so you know, I’m the quintessential Reasonable Man.

Idaho sunset

I’m in Idaho for my nieces wedding and although I could have stayed at Dad’s house the weather is really warm and I like sleeping under the trees in a sleeping bag. So I went to Boomershoot Mecca and put pads and a sleeping bag and pillows down. As I was getting settled I saw the sun setting.

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The picture doesn’t do it justice.

It’s a full moon tonight too.

I wish Barb could have come with me. It would have been perfect.

Huffman wheat in the news

I mentioned Huffman wheat a couple weeks ago. There was some more news about it yesterday on the local television station when they interviewed Brad’s parents and his boss:

Last summer, a University of Idaho alumnus passed away suddenly in his sleep at the young age of 22-years-old.
Today, his family and peers honored his life by presenting a new variety of wheat that he helped create to the public. Rachel Dubrovin brings us the story behind the U I–WSU Huffman variety.

There is an article about it in the Lewiston Morning Tribune (account required for the full article):

Bradley Huffman’s interest in plant breeding began at an early age – and to some, he was a natural.

That’s why Jack Brown felt it was fitting for the new wheat variety released jointly from the University of Idaho and Washington State University to be named after the recent UI graduate, who unexpectedly died in June 2013 at age 22.

Waterbeds

Someone I know is skeptical of the benefits of sleeping on a waterbed. I have a really nice waterbed with a mirrored canopy (only partially assembled in this picture):WP_000575HighContrast

So I was thrilled when I ran across this newspaper article recently:

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I’ve had problems with my back in the past and this article says waterbeds are great for your back.

There is just one problem with the article. Check out the date on the newspaper: LmtWaterbedArticleDate