Monday, December 21, 2009

Darwin on Marriage

The Lady Wife and I are pleased to announce that today is the 35th anniversary of our marriage. We were thinner then, but just as happy now.
Last spring I had the honor of presenting the following reading at the wedding of our niece Elana to our new Nephew-in-law Seth. The notes on marriage by Charles Darwin were apparently scribbled in the margin of one of his notebooks. Read and enjoy:

Deciding Whether or Not to Marry:

Not Marry?

Freedom to go where one liked
choice of Society and little of it.
Conversation of clever men at clubs
Not forced to visit relatives, and
to bend in every trifle
to have the expense and anxiety of children -
perhaps quarrelling -
Loss of time -
cannot read in the Evenings -
fatness and idleness -
anxiety and responsibility -
less money for books
if many children, forced to gain one's bread (But then it is very bad for one's health to work too much).
Perhaps my wife won't like
London, then the sentence is banishment and degradation with indolent, idle fool.


Children - (if it please God) -
constant companion, who will feel interested in one
(a friend in old age) -
object to be beloved and played with - better than a dog anyhow
Home, and someone to take care of house
Charms of Music and female Chit Chat -
These things good for ones health but terrible loss of time
My God, it is unthinkable to think of spending
one's whole life, like a neuter bee, working, working, and nothing after all
No, no won't do
Imagine living all one's days solitarily in smoky
dirty London House -
Only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa
with good fire, and books and music perhaps - compare this vision with dingy reality
Marry! Marry! Marry!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Awkward Family Photos

Have you ever looked back at the family photos and thought "What was I thinking?" These things tend to be committed over the Holidays, so by way of warning I offer the following exhibits for your consideration. These examples of photographic excellence are brought to you courtesy of Penny. Where she got them I do not know...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

You Face

Fair Reader,

You may be aware that I have railed on occasion against the current fashion of "social networking" on line. It is with no small amount of chagrin that I am hereby announcing my intention to set up my own Face Book page.

I have been inspired to do this by the fact that I have been receiving an increasing number of e-mail type messages and highly valued comic content via the Lady Wife's Face Book page as well as those of others. So, I want to make it quite clear that I am not taking this step because I want to Friend you, but rather in self defense out of the fear of being left out of the loop. Let's face it. I can little know (nor long remember) when anyone reacts to or comments on the contents of DRF.

More important however, than my profound sense of insecurity about being left out of something, I am keen on mining the comic potential of having my own Face Book Page. Last week I was watching the most recent episode of the NBC sitcom, 30 Rock. The characters introduced a social networking site called You Face. You can enjoy this in full streaming glory at:

So, if you receive a request to be "friended" by yours truly you have two choices:
1. Respond in the affirmative exposing yourself to my world and its inherent psychological risks.
2. Quietly stand up, carry your notebook computer to the kitchen sink, fill sink to a depth of 6 inches and submerge the computer for a minimum of 5 minutes. This should take care of the problem.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Air Piano

Fair Reader,

If you are a lover of comic genius, or Beethoven, or both for that matter, the following video should be most pleasing to you.

Domino Strikes Back

I have mentioned in previous posts that our dog Domino has "issues". Herewith proof:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wii Pray

Fair Reader,

Please forgive me as I have not been writing much lately but merely passing on video content. The following comes to us courtesy of Jack Bog's blog.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cognitive Dissonence

We recently, and I might add very generously, purchased a new bed for Domino (dog). He had previously been cramming himself into a laundry basket full of dirty towels. The cat, Dexter, apparently decided this was a good oportunity to establish some small measure of hedgemony over the dog who of course is measurably more stupid than the cat who is no slouch in the retard deparment either. The dog's response to this sudden and unexpected move was a decided "What the Fuck?"

The Lady Wife and I have enjoyed watching a most excellent television drama filmed on location in Nova Scotia. Our favorite character is Bubbles (pictured at right) who is a great lover of cats. There are 8 years of episodes available on Net Flicks and YouTube. Following is a link for my personal favorite episode "If You Love Something, You Must Set It Free". This is a touching tale of Bubbles love for a rather large cat. Let the viewer beware however that TPB reflects the common argot and culture of low level criminals and losers who inhabit a trailer park but don't have a clue that they are not socially successful. While the language is a little on the rough side, your can't help but enjoy...

Roll On Columbia

On Monday, driving up the Columbia River Gorge while bound for Eastern WA and OR I again enjoyed the spectacular beauty of the mighty river. Woody Guthrie wrote a pretty much forgotten song while working on one of the dam projects on the Columbia river called Roll On Columbia. Please hear him below:

I stopped at Eagle Creek for a rest and enjoyed watching the Chinook Salmon spawning in the beautiful clear water. These are fish (native or hatchery) who have survived their journey to the Pacific and returned to spawn and die.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dom is Back!

Fair Reader,

You may recall an earlier post when I lamented the fact that the Lady Wife and I were forced to "adopt out" our Jack Russell terrier, Domino, due to his repeated displays of destructive behavior (eating the living room, etc.). We assuaged our guilt with the fact that we had found a home for him in the country with a loving family who were homeschooling 8 children. When we visited, Mom, Dad and the kids professed enthusiasm and dedication to taking on this new responsibility. There were a few clues that I chose to overlook: The giant velvet painting of Jesus on the wall, the two kids who looked mildly retarded, the fact that Dad had been layed off from his job repairing copy machines, the unmowed lawn etc. Nevertheless this tribe seemed keen on Domino and stated that if there were any problems they would call and if necessary we could come and pick him up.
About a week later we received a reassuring e-mail stating that Dom was sleeping on the bed and was becoming a "member of the family" I am glad that I was not a member of this family! Five months later we received a call from a veterinarian in Canby OR. He had read the chip in Dom's neck and learned our contact information. Dom had been abandoned on a farm about midway between Canby and Molalla. The folks who found him were keeping him on their farm but apparently could not do so on an extended basis. I called the Family and "Mom" informed me that the gave Dom away. This of course was bullshit. They dumped him in the country.
We retrieved Domino and found him none to worse for the wear. He had lost a few pounds, had a couple of broken teeth and a scarred ear. On the positive side he seems better able to ride in the car without puking! At the end of the day it is clear to me that Domino is our responsibility. Giving him away because we weren't doing a good enough job of caring for him was not my proudest moment. I am very glad to have Domino back. I won't be "adopting him out" again.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let's get Europe over with!

As you our Fair Reader are no doubt aware, the Lady Wife and I recently returned from our trip to Europe and of course, you did not. In order to share our experience with you I have (at the terminus of this post) provide a link to a slide show which summarizes in photographic and chronological form our recent trip. The basic itinerary included:

The Netherlands .....................................................Germany

Switzerland............................................................. Belgium
To see a complete slide show click on the following link:

Sorry you couldn't join us. If you can get together the scratch I encourage you to improve on our experience.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Basel to Liege

So, Tuesday morning 9/29 we sadly depart Basel Switzerland for Belgium. We started out the day by carefully following our host’s detailed instructions for closing windows, shutters, unplugging this, turning off that, carting food stuffs to the neighbors, and generally fortifying the house against marauding Gypsies and Romanians.

We boarded the IC train for Basel SBB in Liestal like this: Train pulls in and I stab franticaly at what appears to be the Open button with no success. Ready to bolt to the next open door, the Lady Wife casually reaches out and depresses the actual button providing access to the 1st class carriage. Feeling much like Pa Kettle I schlep my suitcase, European carry all, and big plastic bag of lunch, souveniers, wine etc. onto the train. We collapse into our seats to the tune of our own laughter and sighs of relief that we hadn’t spilled the coffee clutched in our third hand(s). We proceed to fold ourselves around our luggage and chatted voluably (tres Americain) as our 10 minute trip to Basel SBB begain.

Just as we began a very nice young woman seated across from us took it upon herself to advise us that we were in the Quiet Car. This of course resulted in abject apologies and added more weight to the ever growing sensation of cultural incompentence which seems to follow us like the the cloud of dust which follows the Charles Shulz character “Pigpen”.

Arriving in Basel SBB we noted with consternation that our ICE train to Frankfurt was departing not from platform 11 as shown on our schedule but to our (my) horror from platform 10! This of course brought to mind the paranoic concern of what else may have changed. Was platform 10 going to yield up the train to Frankfurt Main enabling our connection to Liege Belgium on time? Would we be diverted to some remote Romanian village for a life of servitude and cultural anomie?

Our tickets stated clearly that our seats were to be in Wagen 9. I was hoping for a nice first class car but apparently the local custom is to put the foreigners in a Wagen. Again to my horror I noted that the cars (turned our these are Wagens) were not marked with der Wagen Number! While I began to flail frantically to and fro the Lady Wife noted that the range of seat numbers were clearly shown in the Wagen Window (pronounce Vagen Vindow).

So, here we are on the beautifully appointed ICE high speed train bound for Frankfurt. Imagine my delight to find that our reserved seats not only face backwards but are situated in a window desert limiting our view to a narrow glimpse of the very rapidly receding German country side. The seats, however, are leather just like a BMW! The Lady Wife, ever sensitive to real or imagined discomfort, pointed out to me that the aging farmer and his wife seated directly behind (see photo) were in fact giving off a very strong essence of farm, cow, BO?

We arrived in Frankfurt Main in the very old grand station. I proceeded to the ticket wind

ow tbe

next leg of the journey to Liege Belgium. I was informed that there were no more 1st class reserved seats available but we should be able to sit in seats not marked reserved. How Kind! Next we exited the station to find a street of food stalls selling, brats, shchnitzel, crepes, wine, etc. to a ravenous crowd of office workers. We joined them for bratwurst mit brot und appel juice. MMM!

On returning to the station we boarded our train for Liege on the first class car and settled in. We enjoyed laughing in an experienced superior way about the travails of two young Americains seated incorrectly in the 1st class who had to move up to the more crowded 2nd class car. Ha Ha! Glancing up at the LCD display in the front of the car imagine my horror when I noted that the train we were on was apparently bound for Dusseldorf and Amsterdam instead of Liege and Brussels. I raced to the door and asked the conductor if there was time to disembark. Nein! Oh Fuck! It must be some kind of Romanian plot. The conductor advised that the train was divided into two parts which would separate in Cologne with the front end heading for Belgium. We unwisely decided to embark on a forced march through the 2nd class cars to the front of the train, only after massive schleping to find that the only way to access the front of the train was to disembark at Cologne and walk up to the front section. Totally stressed out, jambed in with too many passengers and way too much luggage we proceeded to stress our way to Cologne, where we easily “moved up” to our richly deserved 1st class accomodations for the remainder of the trip to Liege.

Arriving at Liege we were to treated to the sight of what is probably the most extraordinary train station in the entire world. Just inaugurated on September 18th the station, designed by a big deal Spanish architect will probably throw Liege into poverty for the next century. Please watch the following video!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cochem Germany

The Lady Wife and I decided to visit Germany on the way to Switzerland. We spent two days in the little village of Cochem on the Mosel River. It was quite picturesque and relaxing. We were completely surrounded by septegenarians, mass quantities of vitamin P (pork) and of course castles. We found ourselves returning to the hotel in the afternoon to sleep off the vitamin P and mass quantities of beer and auslese wine. Following are some photos which should be self explanatory.

1. Germans love Kitsch

2. This place is castle crazy. They are everywhere and can be seen with German language tour for euro 4.5.
3. Vitamin P - Pork is a way of life.

4. Wine, beer and great motorcycles.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dutch Surprise

The Lady Wife and I are now enjoying our first days of the great Eurocation! To the right you may see the remains of our first party. No wonder everyone seems so happy here! This morning we drove into Germany.

Whilst stopping to hit the ATM we came across the first potato vending machine which I have encountered. You can actually purchase a 2 and 1/2 kilo bag 24 hours per day. Go figure!

The main event of the day was our visit to the
little village of S-Heerenberg. We enjoyed our visit to the Huis Bergh castle . We enjoyed drinking the local brew and listening to our in-laws join in a music "session". Everyone there was really old. The music included many rousing Irish and Scottish folk tunes. The enjoyment extended to the gustatory delight of devouring a plate of deep fried dough balls with meat bits chased with a fine dry Pilsner.

Below be sure to click on the video below for actual evidence of the aforementioned hootenanny!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sorry for this...

Fair Readers,

My apologies for not having posted anything for such a long period. I have been busy dragging the local economy out of recession in a vain attempt to enrich myself. The big excitement is that the Lady Wife and I are scheduled to depart for a rerun of last year's aborted European vacation. I am fully confident that this expedition will provide fodder for real blogging.
The Lady Wife is recommending that we visit a Dutch Cheese Market as we speak. We can also visit a miniature city in The Hague or perhaps meet the Giant People of The Hague. Maybe I can learn why it is The Hague instead of just Hague City, Hague Town or Hagueville. Here in Oregon we have The Dalles (same dilemma). We can also hear the deer hollering for their mates at De Hoge National Park.

Before going abroad I will be donning my new 3 Wolves T-shirt for a 4 day float on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Hopefully there will not be an excess of babes on the river. I don't want them to loose control on exposure to the shirt. For more information on the effect of the shirt on hot women check out the excellent anecdotal evidence lurking in the above highlighted link.

Lastly I am looking forward to catching trout in the river. I will be enjoying fly fishing probably amongst some serious types with lots of gear and teen tiny dry flies that I couldn't tie on with an electron microscope. I will of course be packing some hardware and large leach flies which bear a disconcerting resemblence to a small dead kitten. I have also been seriously contemplating the manufacture of some dry flies based on the use of various types of cigarette butts.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

No Tattoos?

The following video features one Danny MacAskill. I am wondering if this is his real name or perhaps a pun. The young man's balance and skill is astounding. His apparent lack of X generation tattoos is equally remarkable. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Found Art(ist)

So, I got up this morning with a minor hangover, staggered out to the living room and to my dismay saw an old pickup with what looked like construction debris in the back. After breakfast I went for a walk in the Canyon at Reed and on my return found two young men standing at the pickup. On closer inspection I found that what I initially took for construction debris turned out to be canvases and other format works of art. The young artist, Brett Bowers, was happy to pull out the pieces and display them against the side of the truck for me. Photo below is of Brett and his works. Turns out he is living in a rental just down the street and using the garage for his studio.

The Lady Wife came out and was immediately taken with Brett's work. It is bright, comical and very local. We immediately scraped together some cash and bought the painting below. It is done in acrylic on birch plywood and is called Hawthorne Slide. This is Brett's interpretation of a view south from Riverplace to the Hawthorne Bridge.

Following are some of the works he had in his truck.

You can (and should) visit Brett's website at I suspect that I have made a very good investment! Stay tuned to DRF for announcements of upcoming gallery shows in Portland...