Saturday, July 31, 2004
Mayhem in the Pacific Northwest...
Portland, Oregon Flügtag was spectacular. The sun was warm and the crowds cheered for short flights plunging into the Willamette River. The crowds were so large with 40-50,000 spectators that we eventually walked a few blocks further to a city park in the Historic District hosting the Portland Wine & Arts Festival with tastings from a few dozen wineries, live music and cool shade. Brother Dave, his wife Wendy and I then hiked back to their house, but we stopped along the way to cool our feet at the Lucky Lab Brewpub.
Thursday, July 29, 2004
Ex-Batavia, NY "Muck Dog"...
Ricky Williams now has the opportunity to play baseball again. Having quit professional football last week, he probably has better chance at success on the dusty diamond than did professional basketball star Michael Jordan.
The vision of some professional athletes never ceases to amaze me. Williams has muddied his football retirement with foot-garbled statements to the effect:
there were a hundred reasons for his retirement and that his desire to continue smoking marijuana was only one of them.
Gee, most of us are weighing the stay-out-of-jail thing while Ricky is dumping million dollar contracts in the crapper ;^(
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Movie houses in India
With my imminent return and being surrounded in training with my brown-skinned brethren, there's chatter of Chennai's Satyam theater. You might recall my previous experiences or find them archived. A recent post by Anand hits the target so well.
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
The company I'm visiting turns out to be quite progressive:
casual dress, VERY casual (shorts, sandels, jeans, etc.)
gym with lots of equipment
free soda and juice machines, coffees, teas, and hot chocolate
cafeteria with self-serve salad, deli, and soup bars
then there's the four cook-to-order specials daily
did I mention the made-fresh personal pan pizzas?
The protected outdoor dining area is a plus
and the place must be family-friendly with kids coming to eat.
If only someone had told me not to pack half a dozen ties ;^)
Next stop: Asia
Monday, July 26, 2004
Surprise! I took most of the weekend off from work
My middle brother, Dave, and his wife, Wendy, live in Portland, Oregon, and they offered me a side trip to the Pacific Ocean (Cape Meares, near Tillamook). While Portland was 100°F, the coast was 65°F and the ocean water 45°F. All of these variations merged into a terrific fog front. We stayed with their friends, all old hippies, and enjoyed an evening of merriment. There was great food, fine wine, micro brews, warm retrievers at out feet, intriguing music, and ribald stories to compliment the haze.
Sunday Noon, I borrowed one of their cars to drive Highway 101, the cliffside coastal road. I stopped at three different fish shacks selling nature's aphrodisiac: raw oysters. I also saw wild Croscosmia everywhere with a smattering of lighthouses and sea lions. Seven hours later, I was at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area where sand is king of all domains. As the sun was setting, I pulled back into Eugene in time for "I, Robot" at the local theater. I'll rate it 6 out of 10.
Hot times in Oregon
It was 102°F at 7PM Friday night when I went to see the local "A" League baseball team. The Eugene Emeralds are a farm club for the San Diego Padres. These are mostly kids fresh out of college and error-prone. The "Ems" may not win a lot of games, but they have a 66 year-old, classic stadium with wooden seating and a good selection of beer hawkers. There's a Summer's worth of enjoyment when someone can bring a microbrewed Pale Ale to your seat. In addition to the usual burgers, hots and sausage sandwiches, I can highly recommend the big-ass burrito ;^)
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
On the road again...
On Thursday past, I was asked to join a new project requiring travel to a client in Oregon and then back to India for HelpDesk training. I salvaged my Saturday and squeezed in a trip to gorges Groton, NY (just north of Ithaca). The weather was great and the fresh corn plentiful. I flew out Sunday morning via Chicago and Seattle, spreading a few Georges. Oregon is beautiful and clean. I've been warmly received by compulsive natives: Georgers and cachers ;^)
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Lance Armstrong, twice in one day
With the Tour de France running, he's on OLN, Outdoor Life Network, channel 69 on Rochester's Time Warner cable TV. Then I saw Dodgeball at the movies and there was Lance delivering an inspiritional cameo when Vince Vaughn was quitting on his team. If that wasn't too much to bear, Chuck Norris had his 15 seconds (also supporting the underdogs).
I have a young friend named Jesse who'll be disappointed he didn't respond to my movie invitation. It's never just one movie, it's usually a doubleheader. Last night's extra was Spiderman 2. If you've seen the first, the second is vastly improved. The sequel goes beyond the comic book: you'll meet Spidy the Man, the Sensitive Lover, the Laggard, the Hormonal, etc.
In recent weeks, there have been MANY movies that I need to review sometime (better yet, you can ask me):
Day After Tomorrow
Man on Fire
Kill Bill 2
Monday, July 12, 2004
Anybody viewing the Space Station tonight from Rochester, NY?
It rises in the SW around 9:26PM and shold be quite visible in the early twilight. It will arc over a period of 10 minutes 15 seconds, setting ENE. The halfway peak should be SE, about 53° above the horizon (directly overhead is 90°). Here's the data on the next few days:
SPACE STATION approx. vis. mag. -1
Date Dur. Lit Dur. Max.
mm/dd Rise Set mm:ss mm:ss Elev.
7/12 09:26:05pm SW ENE 10:15 10:15 53 SE
7/12 11:01:55pm W NE 09:45 09:45 25 NNW
7/13 09:55:04pm WSW NE 10:15 10:15 46 NW
7/14 08:48:29pm SW ENE 10:15 10:15 69 SE
7/14 10:24:27pm W NE 09:45 09:45 23 NNW
Saturday, July 10, 2004
Finally got my urns filled with various sedums
I found them growing around my parent's cottage, 200 miles northeast on the St. Lawrence River. There's Hens and Chicks, including some about to bloom. And Dragon's Blood, a taller sedum in rosy bloom. Two low-growing carpet varieties will have yellow and white flowers, respectively. And there's a few clumps of pink flowering
scabiosa armeria, AKA Thrift, that I originally bought from Suzy's Perennials.
Friday, July 09, 2004
Minor league baseball in Batavia, NY
From rookie to near-pro status, the minor leagues are ranked A, AA, and AAA. I've previously posted about the Rochester Redwings, the AAA team one step below their professional parent club, the Minnesota Twins. Batavia is about 25 miles west of Rochester and their "A" team is named the MuckDogs (associated with the top level Philadelphia Phillies). Batavia's stadium is called Dwyer Field and it seats a few thousand with every $3 seat close to the players. By comparison, Rochester's Frontier Field holds 12,000 and tickets start at $5.50 for seats far off the field. A beer at Rochester's field is $4.50 while Batavia is $2.25 including the excellent Labatts brand imported from Canada. A sausage sandwich in Rochester is $5.50, but in Batavia, it's grilled to order for $2.25 by two hotties. While the MuckDogs may not be the best players (yet), there's nothing "minor" about them ;^)
Sunday, July 04, 2004
Say goodbye to Angelo
On Thursday, while riding his motorcycle, Angelo was fatally struck by a car driven by Pamela Nelson, 3245 Leeward Circle, Walworth, NY 14568. Angelo leaves behind a wife, two young girls, and a new job.
Motorcycle awareness is as bad in the U.S. as it is in India. I'm a rider and every time out, I see criminal behavior that will kill someone. As I approach cross roads, there are cars rolling hard thru stop signs. By "hard", I mean that IF they stop, they're a vehicle length or more beyond the sign. Whatever happened to stopping behind the sign (or light) and inching forward for visability? Daily, I see drivers not using indicators, whether changing lanes or turning a corner. Yesterday, I had a guy turn in front of me as he hurried into a grocery store parking lot. I avoided the crash, but pulled up next to him as he parked. He immediately apologised, saying he didn't see me. Excuse me, but my motorcycle headlight goes on as soon as I start my bike. I can't turn it off. What's not to see?
Saturday, July 03, 2004
Summer has arrived
and my front porch had an empty flower pot sitting in front of since November. I finally bought some perennials. The Gerbera, S. African daisies, are in bloom and the Gazania in the forefront are close behind. I found two large strawberry urns in a trash pile this week, but strawberry plants appear sold out for the season. I think I'll substitute various forms of Hens & Chicks, sedum, etc. to fill them.