MW Mobile Blog

For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600, 700, Prē, HTC Evo, Samsung 5, Pixel 3, Pixel 6 Pro. Now it serves as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Who will stop the rain in the shed?

We interrupt this blog to bring breaking news from Upper Peninsula of Michigan:

Harlan repaired the shed roof.

As all camp visitors have noticed this (very) rainy year, the woodshed was leaking like a sieve.

In addition to being a travelogue and journal of favorite activities, this blog also serves as the family reference document for Shag Lake House repairs. As an example, Harlan notes in his text that he thought the last roof repair was completed in 2004. In point of fact, it was Thursday, August 29, 2005. Twelve years ago to the day:

"The shed repair is complete, and I believe made solid for at least twenty/forty more years.A new complete rolled roof, with about 5/8ths new plywood decking, plus proper drip edges." - HDW - 8/29/2005
That shed repair has held up remarkably well, but additional maintenance was now needed. Once again, Harlan stepped into the breach.

Thank you Harlan. Your efforts have now been documented in the official blog of record. 

I will also be recommending to the governing authorities that a plaque be commissioned and prominently displayed on-site commemorating your efforts. Said plaque will officially rename the structure and the outhouse it contains as "The Harlan Wallach Memorial Woodshed."

Thank you Mike for assembling this documentary roof repair post and video. I accept the renaming honorific, but since it has the word "memorial" in it, I would humbly request that any such bronze plaque not be created or affixed to the shed until after I have shed this mortal coil. 
I would also suggest, that a new roof be put on in about 10 years. That be appears to the the life span of the rolled roofing material. -HDW September 1, 2017

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Eclipse Epilogue - Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Statues

On the day after the celestial extravaganza, Harlan and family continued Jonah's college tour with stops at Oregon University and Oregon State, then proceeded to Portland for an early flight back to Chicago.

I intended to  ride with them to Eugene on Tuesday and catch the Amtrak Coast Starlight overnight train back to the bay area.  Due to an overabundance of eclipse tourists or an underabundance of planning on my part, the first ticket I could get was the last coach seat on Wednesday the following day.  Which gave me another day to spend with cousins in Philomath, whether they still wanted me there or not.  

We had a relaxing day, worked through the leftovers from numerous feasts of the last few days, organized pictures and worked to bring this blog up to date.  With leftover abalone steaks we prepared a favorite - the BLAAT -  a Bacon, Lettuce, Abalone, Avacado, and Tomato sandwich. Simply the finest sandwich in the history of this or any other universe. 


Rob and Paula entertained us with a screening of La La Land (👍). Enjoyable, well acted, well directed, innovative - but not sure it measures up to the hype at the Oscars. Unintended consequence: After experiencing Rob's blue-ray home theater setup I am determined to rip out my obsolete system and initiate a forklift upgrade. But I digress.

Wednesday Rob drove me to Eugene to catch my train home. I had a few hours to kill exploring the area around the train station. Found a decent lunch special at Sushi Ya ....

... then settled in at the Jackalope Lounge across the street from the train station.

Finally it was time to catch the train and bring our eclipse adventure to a close.

The train ride itself was about 15 hours from Eugene to Oakland - Jack London Square Station. The seats are comfortable - about like US airline business class. It's great to travel without being strapped in and to wander freely from your seat to the lounge or dining car. The food in the dining car is mediocre and wildly overpriced...

...and some AMTRAK staff hate their jobs and show it, but in general I found the trip to be pleasurable and a civilized way to travel. It's all relative. Compared to your typical commercial airline flight, it was great. I'd do it again, but for a night route like this I'd spring for a sleeper car.

Pulled into Jack London Square about 9 AM Thursday.  I generally don't pay much attention to municipal statuary, but it's apparently become the most pressing social issue facing the country in recent weeks. So I took note of the most prominent statue in my departure and arrival stations:

Eugene and Oakland 

Eugene features a hexagonal, pyramidy, towerish public art installation ensconced with decorative flower mosaics and a metal compassy thingy on the top. Engravings of apparently significant time and space milestones circle a granite layer cake foundation. Among them - the distance to Tombouctou (6,799 mile) and the year Jerry Garcia died (1995).

Oakland features a bronze statue of C.L. Dellums striking a heroic pose in front of the Amtrak station. C.L. Dellums was a labor leader, organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, fought for and served on the Fair Employment Practices Committee, and was the uncle of Ron Dellums - corrupt U.S. Representative and incompetent Mayor of Oakland.

Make of it what you will. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse Day!

Series of 8/21/17 eclipse photos in Philomath - credit cousin Kamal
I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. Up with first light, Rob already had coffee brewing, quickly followed by blueberry pancakes and a crust-less spinach quiche. I don't know if I mentioned it, but we are eating too well.

We were a little concerned by some early morning haze and clouds. No worries - it quickly burned off and we were greeted with blue skies and clear air.

Outfitted with certified eclipse glasses, we settled in on the deck, on the grounds and in the quince orchard for the big event.

Just in case anyone missed the 1,247,595 warnings about staring at the sun that saturated the media in prior weeks...

 ... everyone received warning alerts on our smart-phones from the emergency broadcast network as the eclipse began.

This was my second total eclipse. The first was 26 years earlier during a holiday in Costa Rica. I remember it as a magical experience then, and that sense was not diminished by the experience today. Totality only lasts a couple minutes, but it is simply a wonder to behold.

We had a couple of real photographers (brother Harlan and cousin Kamal)  loaded for bear with quality equipment and mad skills in our eclipse watching party.

These are the best eclipse photos for each of  us. See if you can identify which is the one I shot (hover over photos for credit):

It was over all too soon. We basked in the afterglow of the celestial event, compared notes, impressions, thoughts and wondered why anything that passes so quickly can seem so important. It just is. Was it worth it? Yes. And the evidence is the first question we googled after it was all over: "When and where is the next total solar eclipse?"  [It's Chile on July 2,2019].

The rest of the afternoon we enjoyed a burger and hot dog barbecue,visited with more extended friends and family, took a walk in the Oregon countryside, sorted and shared pictures, posted on social media and...

... enjoyed yet another wonderful dinner of grilled salmon.

By the end of the day we were full, in every sense of the word.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

West Coast Eclipse Adventure Day 4 - A Quincidence of Cousins

We arrived as planned (more or less) in Philomath, just outside of Corvallis, situated squarely in the path of totality with a day to spare.

Our original plan was to take the day to assess the weather forecast for eclipse day and, if necessary, head east looking for clear skies. Predictions of traffic nightmares made that plan problematical, but thankfully moot, as the weather is cooperating.

Eclipse T-Minus 24 hours - brilliant sunshine.
Cousins Rob and Paula are our hosts. We spend the day relaxing and getting to know our relations. Cousins Rob & Paula, 2nd (3rd?) cousins Mindon & Athena, and me are first at the breakfast table.

Rob introduces me to Mindon and Athena, but I think we've met before. Turns out - we had - six years ago. They were somewhat smaller then.

Rob takes us on a tour of the family farm and quince orchard. His Quince Essentials Membrillo spread is now a staple in our house. Sigrid and I become very possessive when we are down to the last jar. It can get ugly.

Zillions of blackberries that fence the farm were ripe and sweet.

The big event of the day was a gathering of multiple clans for a feast.

Art & Design Students - One and All

I contributed abalone...

... Harlan prepared a faux piccata lemon sauce ...

... which was accompanied by Rob and Paula rice specialties, salads and desserts.

We are eating well in preparation for the celestial event.

In the commentary on our Facebook post, there was some discussion about what to call a grouping of cousins like this. I suggested the correct term is a "Cavalcade of Cousins" (you know, like a "pod of whales", "herd of deer, "pack of wolves", etc.). Others thought we should consider a "gaggle of geese" or an "exultation of larks".

Clearly there is a great deal of linguistic latitude in this nomenclature.  After due consideration, I decided to settle on language I've used before - a "Quincicidene of Cousins."