Sunday, August 26, 2007


Today we did a little loop around our area -- on the motorcycle!I call these "Simpson's Clouds" =O)A nice local orchard, on a winding country road.

And here's our route.

~ Keith

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Technology Time Limits

This is an Apple iBook battery. I've shown it small here because mine seems to be lasting a shorter and shorter amount of time. Only about 90 minutes at this point.

But maybe that is a good thing. Maybe it would be good for me to only use my laptop until its battery is flat, and then sign off until it is recharged.

I just got a warning saying I have 1 minute before my iBook goes to sleep whether I want it to or not. I could choose to go plug it in and sit there and type. Instead I'll choose to go do something else!

I guess a technology fast doesn't have to be total abstention.

A Sunny day awaits,

~ Keith

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Road Trip: Detroit Lake

Here is my bike all loaded when I arrived on Monday afternoon -- sorry it is a little dark. I didn't have time to tinker with the camera settings since I was too busy getting rained on!
I filled the tank before leaving, and when I got there. Once more after a ride on Tuesday, and a last time when I got home on Wednesday. If I did my math right, I averaged over 53 mpg! Not bad for a fully loaded bike on the highway!

Here is camp all set up
with things hanging to dry once the rain let up.
Note the brightness of my reflective gear in the flash -- even my gloves drying on the rack by the fire! And here I am, happy to be there and done with the set-up. I wasn't dry yet, but I was on the way!
On Monday afternoon, the lake was gloomy and foreboding -- kinda cool looking!
Tuesday dawned clear and warm, yea! I went for a ride to see some of the national forest nearby:
I was hoping to get to Olallie lake (some of the signage is a bit nonstandard, put up by folks who don't work for the ODOT!):
I rode about 34 of the 37 miles there, only to come to a sign that said "pavement ends" -- not wanting to brave 3 miles of hilly gravel roads, I simply turned around and headed back. Bummer.

Tuesday night I had a nice fire, and let it burn down to rich coals. I wish the picture did it justice. There's nothing quite like getting away from it all, and watching something like this for a few hours instead of a TV.
After the coals died, I went out by the lake at around 11:30 pm. The sky was clear, and as I let my eyes adjust, I was amazed at the canopy of stars. It was dry enough to tinker with my camera settings, but I couldn't get the exposure right, so unfortunately I have no pictures of the night sky to share with you. I sure wish I could though!

On Wednesday -- another warm day, yea! -- I broke camp. As I was packing things up, I saw this:
That's my sleeping bag, and the bright green is the air mattress. Beyond that is the door to the tent, and my watch on the floor of the tent. See it? Right there at the seam between the door and the floor? Here's a closer look, with my watchface in the foreground for perspective:
I don't know if my impromptu roommate had been there all night, or if he'd come in at 3 am when I went to use the little camper's room, or if he had only been in there for the 5 minutes or so since I opened the tent flap to the world around me. Anyway you slice it it was pretty freaky. Normally I follow the catch-and-release policy with spiders, but this guy freaked me out a little too much. Look at the little spiky-pointed ends to his legs! I offed him with the edge of my flip-flop, and he made a loud sickening crrrrr-RUNCH as his exoskeleton crumpled. Here he is squashed, with my breakfast next to him for perspective. Two of his legs actually snapped off!

This is my bike all packed up and getting ready to ride home on Wednesday.
My trip back was uneventful, and I stopped at the DMV on the way home to get my Oregon license plate.

All in all it was a good trip. You can see the rest of the pictures here

~ Keith

PS -- for the serious inquirer's who just have to know, here is my route, and here are a few close up shots of how I attached things:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

First Rain

awakened a-listening
constantly intrusive whitewaternoise

cold wood cold cement cold feet
sparkling silvering shimmering

stepping out stepping under stepping in
face upturned arms upheld
spirit uplifted
2:48 am baptism

kevin joins david & paul
& three-in-one singing in my head:
the natural things
speak of the invisible
look around and see
who could deny the wonders
of His love
standing dripping
reminded refreshed renewed
reborn Oregonian
in the
first rain

~ Keith

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Oregon Weather

We've been here almost two weeks now, and the daily high temperature has been in the mid-high 70s to mid-low 80s. It hasn't been bright and sunny all day every day, but we've had quite a bit of sun! We've only had a very light sprinkle or two, but Autumn is on it's way, and I'm ready for some weather!

Where we lived in California, "a chance of showers" meant "it's going to be cloudy" and as for the rain, it meant "there is a chance it will rain either somewhere else or overnight -- so don't plan on enjoying it, nyah nyah nyah!" =O(

Growing up here in Oregon, I remember the forecast always included a specific %chance of rain if they thought it would rain at all! The old standing jokes were:
In Oregon we have two seasons:
warm wet, and cold wet.

Last year 2,762 Oregonians fell off their bicycles
and drowned.
To get acquainted with the new forecasting vocabulary here in Salem, I went to a few weather sites online. Here's how the weather continuum shapes up:

Mostly Sunny
Partly Sunny
Partly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy

(...and keep in mind any of the above might be days that are in the mid-50s or the mid-80s, depending on the time of year -- and any of the above might also have a %chance of rain listed!)

~ Keith

Perspectives on Gas Prices

Once upon a time back in 1985, I was leaving Orlando, Florida on my way to Saratoga Springs, New York. On my way out of town I stopped to fill my tank with Regular (as in leaded gas!) and was bummed that it had gone over $1* per gallon. I told myself to quit whining since people in Europe were paying almost $3 per gallon!

Recently I was leaving Redwood City, California on my way to Salem, Oregon. On my way out of town I stopped to fill my tank with Regular (as in 87 octane) and was actually pleased to only pay $3.05 per gallon.

Yesterday I drove past a gas station here and was amazed and's like two deals in one!
...and someone else pumps the gas for me!

~ Keith

* as a side note -- what is it with gas prices always ending in 9/10 of a cent? If you're charging me $2.65 9/10 per gallon, why not just charge me $2.66? Sheesh!

OK, side note done -- go back to reading up above where you were.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Goodbye. Hello.

You can click on any of these to see the whole album, or watch the slide shows right here.

Here are some pictures of our send-off from Spine,

and Vineyard,

and also of our trip to the Portland Zoo,

and The Oregon Garden!

~ Keith

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

So Long Stanford

Today is my last day at Stanford. I've worked here for over 9 years, and have been in my current job for over 6.

I started at Stanford on 28th June, 1998. I was a new grad RN and was thrilled to work for such a world-class hospital, in such a beautiful setting. I mean, just look at it -- it looks like something from a Disneyland Hotel brochure!I started out on C3 -- the Orthopaedics Med/Surg unit. I was taken in and shown the ropes by some great nurses and nurse's aides.

In February of 2000 I transferred to Stanford Home Care. Due to financial shortfalls, the department closed. I was disappointed since I was hoping to move into the Hospice) division at some point.

I started working at the Spine Center in April of 2001, and have loved (almost) every minute of it.

When I left the Navy in 1989, I'd been in for 6 years. I'd done a variety of jobs in a variety of places, but 6 years for a 23 year-old -- that was over 25% of my life!

Now I've been in this one particular job over 6 years, and have been at Stanford over 9 years!

It's the end of an era.

~ Keith