Friday, June 30, 2006

Day 2 - Mendocino

Mendocino has the city-as-art-gallery concept down pat. Ferndale (up the road) and La Conner (in Washington) don't got nothing on this place. ... Doesn't mean I'm into it, though.

I skipped a few of the redwood sights along the way down, since I got plenty of trees up in the national park. Like so:


And here are the ferns (and me) at Fern Canyon:

And the elk near the exit of Fern Canyon:

The bridge over the Klamath River, near Klamath:

I did go to the Drive-Thru Tree in Leggett, however. How could I resist?

It's not really all that small of a hole. The car ahead of me was a Lincoln! It's just a big tree. Note the gift shop beyond. . . I went in, but bought nothing.

Highway 1 so far is a blast to drive. Plenty of curves and twists to make any non-driver a bit queasy.

Day 2 - Eureka

Tall, tall trees. This computer has been dumbed-down, so I won't be able to show you pictures, but you'll have to believe me. The redwoods make the twenty-foot-tall rhododendrons look tiny. Still some in bloom. It's still quite foggy, so the Redwood Creek overlook was not much of an overlook. The Lady Bird Johnson grove was quite satisfactory in the crane-your-neck department. The tops of the trees were lost in the mists.

Fern Canyon is also a marvelous place. Fifty-foot-high sheer walls covered in maidenhair ferns, with a flat, thirty-foot-wide gravelly creek running between. Giant redwoods and lesser trees have fallen off the cliffs and lie askew at the bottom, still leaning on the far wall. One tree actually flipped when it fell and speared itself into the ground, rootball up in the air.

Day 2 - Crescent City

Maybe I should call it "Day 1" since I'll be leaving town soon, but it's day 2 now, so day 2 I'll write.

Greetings from California!!


I left Seattle yesterday at 7 a.m., hit a little traffic at the Ship Canal Bridge, and turned off the freeway in Grants Pass, Oregon, at 2 p.m. Rolled in to Crescent City, California around 4:30. Cloudy and cool.


Not much to do in town after 5 p.m. except go to the shore. Well, maybe the movie theater or bowling alley were open.... Anyway, this morning it's time to move on. I was planning on driving out of town, but then I saw that this cafe was open, so I stopped in to see if they had a computer, and they did, and I'm using it. But enough of that. ... But maybe a scone first.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Today is my thirtieth birthday on the Narakan calendar (tomorrow on the Gregorian). It's kinda anticlimatic, actually. Just another day.

I had someone tell me recently that I look like I'm 26 years old, but act much older. I think I've been acting over thirty for many years now.

Today is, of course, also the Holy Day of Píríuso, the God of the Sun, which makes me want to quote from a Bruce Springsteen song that Manfred Mann's Earth Band popularized:

Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun
But Mama, that's where the fun is

Some brimstone baritone anticyclone rolling stone preacher from the East
Says, "Dethrone the dictaphone. Hit it in its funnybone. That's where they expect it least."

Okay, maybe only the first part of that was relevant. . .

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I'm completely packed now, except for stuff I'll use tomorrow and my backpacking gear that's still airing out.

I guess I should unroll my thermarest and unstuff my sleeping bag in the trunk. I won't be using them for a week and it's bad to leave them confined so long.

I want to leave now! Or at least in the morning. I'm a bit tired at the moment. . .


I have a shadow of my head on my computer monitor. Sunlight is reflecting off a car in the mall parking lot a quarter mile away and reflecting straight at my back. Thankfully my screen has a diffuse matte finish, otherwise I'd be blinded no matter which way I faced.

Monday, June 26, 2006


Our office gets the Daily Journal of Commerce, a Seattle & Pacific Northwest business paper. It usually sits in our lunchroom for everyone to read at their leisure, with about a week's worth of its past compatriots. So here's the headline sprawled across the front page:

"Paradise to get $34.7M improvement"

If it's paradise, why does it need to be improved? Hm??

Lake Dorothy backpacking pics






Most of the campsites at Bear Lake were still covered in snow, so we really didn't have much choice in stopping at Dorothy. But we did go up to Bear as a dayhike Saturday. Went swimming in both lakes. Very refreshing.

Friday, June 23, 2006


I'm not quite used to my new internal-frame backpack yet. It took me a full hour to pack for my hike this weekend!

Hippies Invade Naraka!!!

A group of 25,000 hippies is descending upon Gorodu County, just north of Síporozorígí! They're going to destroy the forest!!! They're going to destroy my kingdom!!

One proud Narakan from Síporozorígí has been quoted as saying, "I hate hippies," and, "When it's over, all that's left is going to be one square mile of feces."

The police have issued some "citations" for panhandling, but they should start arresting people just for being hippies.

The evil, smelly hippie group, the Rainbow Family, says its purpose is "an alternative society for those who wish to leave the mainstream." Hm... Maybe I should join.

Have a donut...

It's coco-licious!



Only during a couple weeks around the solstice can I get this shot. The sun is high in the northwest, shining down over my building to hit this street sign. The super-reflective paint shines back directly at the light (intended for headlights, but it also works with the sun), even at at 30-degree angle. It bathes my wall and television with an eerie green light from below. . .


Rice lost. Twice in a row to Oregon State. So now it's OSU vs UNC in the championship game, best 2 out of 3.

Go Beavers!!


In other news, Ukraine clinched its advancement this morning with a win over Tunisia. The only group left is a tossup between Switzerland, Korea, and France. Only two will advance. If you win, you're in. If you tie, things get complicated.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

my teams

At the risk of boring Alyssa to tears...

The US soccer team lost to Ghana, so the Americans are out of the World Cup. Ghana advances, though -- the first non-Europe/Latin-American team to do so. Australia and Korea both have good chances to advance, also, but they're not in yet.

That would mean three of the original twelve non-Europe/Latin-American teams advanced to the second round, and thirteen of the original twenty Europe/Latin-American teams. 25% to 65%. Hmmm... Where do you think the good teams are?

Over in Omaha yesterday, Rice lost to Oregon State. They play again tonight to decide who gets to face North Carolina in the championship. GO OWLS!!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Down in the comments of that "Bob" post, AnotherAnnoyingCousin pointed me to Weird Al's webpage, where's there's a new song for free download. Go listen to it now!

It's called "You're Pitiful," a parody on that slow, acousic "You're Beautiful" song, by some band or another. Very good. Nice intro. And bonus points for the Halo 2 reference!

UPDATE: I fixed the link. ... I guess Mamurd was the only one who tried it!

Happy Solstice!

Congratulations, Southern Hemispherians! You have survived to the shortest day of the year. For the next six months, every day will bring more and more and more sunshine! Yay!

For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, you probably had a hard time staying asleep this morning because of all the sunlight streaming in your window at 4:30. . .

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Don't chew your fingernails!

Don't crack your knuckles!

Space News

Earth Surrounded by Giant Fizzy Bubbles!

You think it's a joke, don't you?

Monday, June 19, 2006


Rice won!

It was a close one, 3-2 over Miami. Tomorrow, Miami has to play Oregon State in the losers bracket. A few days ago, the Hurricanes beat the Beavers 11-1, so I don't doubt there's a good chance Rice will see Miami again very soon.

Ah, the joys of double-elimination tournaments.


So Poland, Costa Rica, and now Serbia-Montenegro have no chance of making the second round. I guess I can stop rooting for them now.

Australia and South Korea are still both in the thick of it, although Australia can't lose against Croatia on Thursday, or else they're out. Oh well, I guess I'd just root for Croatia in that case!

Ukraine is playing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia later today. Orange Revolution versus no revolution. Go Ukraine!!


Today marks the sixth anniversary of the first day I worked at my current company. It's been a long time. A lot of people have come and gone in the meanwhile. College seems very distant. . .

Friday, June 16, 2006


It only took me three evenings to html it just the way I like it (more or less):

The Pantheon of Narakan Gods!

Yankovic as Dylan


I, man, am regal - a German am I
Never odd or even
If I had a hi-fi

Madam, I'm Adam
Too hot to hoot
No lemons, no melon
Too bad I hid a boot

Lisa Bonet ate no basil
Warsaw was raw
Was it a car or a cat I saw?

Rise to vote, sir
Do geese see god?
"Do nine men interpret?" "Nine men," I nod

Rats live on no evil star
Won't lovers revolt now?
Race fast, safe car

Pa's a sap
Ma is as selfless as I am
May a moody baby doom a yam

Ah, Satan sees Natasha
No devil lived on
Lonely Tylenol
Not a banana baton

No "x" in "Nixon"
O, stone, be not so
O Geronimo, no minor ego

"Naomi," I moan
A Toyota's a Toyota
A dog, a panic in a pagoda

Oh no! Don Ho!
Nurse, I spy gypsies - run!
Senile felines
Now I see bees I won

UFO tofu
We panic in a pew
Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo

God! A red nugget! A fat egg under a dog!
Go hang a salami. I'm a lasagna hog

College World Series

Rice University is in the College World Series, which begins this weekend. They won the tournament a few years ago. That was Rice's only national chamionship in any sport.

This year, they're ranked #1 in the country, but seeded #2 in the tournmant. How does that work?

And if you go the CWS website's schedule, they already show Rice in the loser's bracket, even though no games have been played! What's up with that??

UPDATE: Okay, now they're off the loser's bracket. Thankfully.

I notice that most of the eight schools in the tournament are from the Southeast: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Clemson, North Carolina, Miami. Doesn't the rest of the country know how to play baseball? No schools from the Northeast or Midwest. Just Rice, Cal State Fullerton, and Oregon State from the West. And I'm sure a lot of you would place Rice in the Southeast category. . .

Thursday, June 15, 2006


A prestigious art gallery in London proudly displayed a block of stone which was meant to be a plinth for a sculpture of a human head, with the little bone-shaped piece of wood meant to hold up the sculpture, but without the sculpture itself.

It was part of an open competition hosted by the Royal Academy. Apparently the plinth was shipped separately from the head sculpture, so the exhibitors got confused. The academy explained it thusly: "Given their separete submission, the two parts were judged independently. . . The head was rejected, the base was thought to have merit and accepted."

What does it say about art galleries -- and art critics, for that matter -- when they accept a block of slate as a valid and meritorious work of art, but disregard the sweat and toil of the artist?

When Animals Attack!

I had a blackbird attack me just a minute ago.

I was walking back from the mall with my lunch, when suddenly I felt someone's fingernails clawing together atop my head. I spun to see who it was (assuming a coworker), but nobody was there. Just a blackbird swooping away.

The blackbirds outside the mall have divebombed me before, but this is the first time one of them has made contact. What is it about my head they like? Hm... I cut my hair last night. Birds like shiny objects, don't they?

World Cup

Two of my favorite countries' teams are already out of contention. Both Costa Rica and Poland lost yesterday for the second time. Now neither have a chance of catching Germany or Ecuador (the other two teams in their group) with the one game remaining.

I guess I'll have to root for the Serbia-Montenegro team instead, now that they don't have a country anymore. . .

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Flag Day, Red vs Blue style

Here's my transcript from the Red vs Blue Flag Day public service announcement:

Rooster Teeth Presents:

Red vs Blue Public Service Announcement:
Raise ’Em if Ya Got ’Em

DOC: Well, Tucker, if he wasn’t Scottish and he wasn’t Irish, I don’t know what you think he could be.

TUCKER: Doc, for the last time, that wasn’t a kilt. It was a dress.

DOC: Then how do you explain the bagpipes?

TUCKER: Dude, those weren’t bagpipes.

DOC: Ew.

DONUT: Hey, guys! What’s going on?

TUCKER: Donut, what the hell are you doing with that flag?

DOC: Hey, put that back! You’re getting it all flappy.

DONUT: But guys, we’re all supposed to have flags today. It’s Flag Day!

TUCKER: It’s *what* day?

DONUT: *Flag* Day. The day we all take time out to celebrate how wonderful it is to have a flag!

DOC: Oh, man. I don’t have a flag. I don’t even have a side.

TUCKER: Please. That’s just a made-up holiday designed to get people to spend money, like Double Hanukkah and Thanksgiving Extreme.

DONUT: Nuh-uh! It’s real and it’s today!

DOC: Donut, do you think I could hold your flag? Just for a little while?

DONUT: No way, because guess what happens to anyone not holding a flag on Flag Day? That’s right. They get pinched.

TUCKER: No they don’t!

DOC: Wait a minute! Isn’t this just like what happened on St. Patrick’s Day?

DONUT: That’s right. Only, this time, Donut’s in charge! Now line right up for some good, old-fashioned Flag-Day pinching! I promise I’ll only grab the meaty parts!

TUCKER: Oh my god. Dude, you are fucking weird.

DOC: Just when I thought we were beginning to bond.

DONUT: Hey guys, don’t go. We haven’t even played any holiday games yet! Like “Raise the Flagpole”!

This message was brought to you by

DONUT: You know you want to!

It's so ... flappy!

Happy Flag Day!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Condi Rice for President

If she wants the job, it's hers. Seriously.

Well spoken, diplomatic, charming, strong. She has a good resume.

And she's black and a woman, so she's sure to get some liberal votes.

Who else will you vote for in 2008? McCain? Giuliani? Kerry? Rodham-Clinton? Get real!

Monday, June 12, 2006

another victim of Liberalism

I had a friend--a woman--complain yesterday about the relative lack of "ladies' nights" at bars here in Seattle when compared to cities in, say, the Midwest. Ladies' night is when bars sell drinks to women for extremely cheap prices (or for free), and to men for the regular price (this is how the bars rake in the money, of course).

She's a dyed-in-the-wool socialist liberal, so I don't know why she was complaining. Here in Seattle, men and women are equal! No special treatment for the fairer sex. If you want that kind of thing, you have to go to the backwards fly-over conservative states.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Here's some flowers from my grandparents' front yard:

And my mother taking a photo of a poppy. She has a better macro setting than me:
By the way, the lens is pointing right at the blossom. It rotates.

And my grandparents' cat:

My dad, his sisters, and their parents:

Just my grandparents:

The view coming back to Seattle, along Lake Keechelus:

Oh, and here's the Yakima River just west from their farm (another highway shot):

Quiet conversations. Lots of cameras: mine, Mom's, Dad's, an aunt's, and a cousin's. Five cameras for ten people!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Just Asking

Now that Pedicularis has his own blog, does this mean he'll stop emailing me all the time? Because most of his emails were quite bloggish, but to a limited audience. . .

Four feet good! Two feet bad!

Today is the Holy Day of Névazhíno, God of Animals. (As if you didn't know!)

Névazhíno created all the animals way back when. Be nice to animals or else Névazhíno will get mad. You don't want to see Him mad. Some people sacrifice animals to Him, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea.

Névazhíno loves all animals, except for dragons, which has put him at odds with Kérasa over the years. Névazhíno especially loves gnats and deer, and they love Him right back.

Névazhíno is the brother of Hívuítoví, who got all jealous of Névazhíno's animal-creating skills. She retaliated by stealing fire from Zhíanoso and giving it to the mortals. Don't ask me to explain it. She's a goddess. Maybe She just wanted something to extinguish with Her rain. Névazhíno went on to marry the first mortal woman, who made a whole mess of things. . . but that's another story.

Happy Névazhíno Day!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


For the past couple days, instead of writing, I've been distracted by gods. Or more precisely, by, a website devoted to providing a comprehensive database of all the gods, saints, and slightly-divine creatures of the entire human sphere of knowledge. A big task, but they're getting there. Quite impressive.

Of course, I'm thinking about Narakan gods as I peruse. I've made a family tree of all thirty-two gods of the pantheon, working off the little bit I'd done years ago. For instance, did you know that Hivuitovi, Goddess of Rain, is the daughter of Zhake, God of Rivers, and Rihivi, Goddess of Poisonous Water?

Anyway, here's an excerpt from

ATHENA: Famed Greek Goddess of War, Wisdom, Art, Technical Skill and Creative D.I.Y.

The daughter of ZEUS and METIS, she almost didn't get born at all after GAIA predicted that doom, woe and Olympian take-over bids would be the result. ZEUS, remembering how he'd overthrown his own father, grew nervous at the thought of having a daughter with attitude.

With the birth rapidly approaching, he finally hit upon a plan and swallowed METIS just before the crucial moment. But it wasn't long before strange tapping and banging noises began to emanate from inside him. What on earth was she doing in there? He was getting a headache.

A little while of this and the pain began unbearable. HEPHAESTUS, hearing the cries of agony, came running in and bashed his dad over the head with an Olympic wrench.

And from the split in ZEUS's skull sprang forth his daughter ATHENA. She was fully grown, fully dressed and fully armed with newly forged weapons and helmet. That's what all the noise was about.

Although wise and thoughtful, ATHENA is no shy maiden. Her best friend is NIKE, the Goddess of Victory, and she carries the Aegis, a flashy-looking device for zapping enemies.

She is, of course, highly skilled in arts, crafts and matters of intelligence. Her symbol is the owl, and in matters of wisdom she is always right. After all, who's going to argue with a War Goddess?

See also PALLAS.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Is Fleetwood Mac racist?

Because, of course, their song, "Don't Stop (Thinking about Tomorrow)" is based upon a Future Time Orientation, which not all cultures share. So says the Seattle Public Schools, who want to make life easy and happy for the "(Sha-la-la-la-la-la) Let's Live for Today" crowd headed by the Grass Roots.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Serbia declares independence from itself

Serbia is now the sixth former Yugoslav republic to declare independence. The only probem, though, is that they have nobody left to be independent from!

Slovenia left (with no war), Croatia left (with a big war), Bosnia-Herzgovina left (with a bigger war), Macedonia left (with a smaller war), and just a few days ago Montenegro left (with no war). They all declared independence from Belgrade.

So what were the legislators in Belgrade thinking when they declared independence? Oh, I know, they had to lower the S-M Federation flag and raise the Serbian banner in its place. But did they really have to go through the formal declaration? It seems a waste of time.


By the middle of the morning on a Monday, I am quite ready to leave work. I get a taste of freedom (the weekend) and three hours here is too much!

I'm fine, thanks

Still a little sore in the lower back and hamstrings, but that's okay.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Israel Caves In

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in a speech earlier this week, "One more suicide bombing and I'll give them whatever they want." If the Palestinians don't end their terrorist attacks, "whether outside a popular nightclub in Haifa or in a crowded marketplace in Be'er Sheva," then the Israelis will just have to pack up and leave. "Even as I speak, the full might of the Israeli military is standing by to surrender should another suicide bombing occur."

Call me a cynic, but this doesn't ring quite true. Maybe I should check my source. The Onion is a reliable news organization, right?

It's Friday

Where's my donut(s)?? Gimme gimme gimme!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Is Frank happy? Is Frank sad? Who can tell? This is Frank:


Frank camped with us over Memorial Day weekend. Nice dog.

Movie Idea

I'm surprised nobody has yet made a cross between _The Sound of Music_ and _Friday the 13th_ . . .