September 29, 2007
My old Pentax K-1000's shutter button has a place where you can screw in a remote shutter cable, and I've been able to take much better and less blurry photos with that. However the new cameras don't have a place to screw in the remote cable, not even on my Pentax Z-XM. Plus I can adjust the aperture and shutter speed on the K-1000, something I can't do with my digital camera.
September 25, 2007
September 23, 2007
After work today I see my podiatrist to go over the xrays he took of my feet last week. It looks like all I'll need is orthotics. Apparently my right leg is 1/4" shorter than my left so I stand and walk weird to compensate, and that is what's causing the terrible pain in my left foot and heel. Now, if insurance pays most or all of the orthotics, I'll be all set.
This Thursday Brian and I have tickets to see the Dark Star Orchestra at Pantages Theatre in downtown Tacoma.
They aren't a real orchestra with strings or anything, but a Grateful Dead cover band. However, they are different than most cover bands in that they don't just go out there and play a random selection of Dead tunes. What they do is take a show that the Dead actually played in the past, and recreate that show. However, you don't know which show it is till they get onstage. So we could see anything from the 1960's to the mid-1990's. I am hoping it will be a show before or after "The Donna Years", 1973-1979, because that was my least favourite era. Donna sang so off-key in concert. It's too much to hope to see a show that I might have been at, because I only got to see about 35 Dead shows (from 1988-1994) before Jerry died in '95. Brian saw about 118 shows between 1978 and 1994. Except for 2 shows, all the rest I saw have been with Brian.
I've heard great stuff about the DSO and seen a couple of their videos on YouTube and they really do sound a lot like the Dead. We scored 4th row tickets too, and Pantages only holds about 1,200 people. We haven't been to a concert since we saw the Dave Matthews Band at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, WA back in July, 1999. (Yes, you read that right, there is a town here called George Washington).
Saturday is the annual East Pierce County Fire & Rescue Open House in Bonney Lake. They get a great turnout each year. We always go just to get our flu shots, so that's what we'll do on Sat. afternoon.
Other than that, I'm very stoked for the new LOCI season. That promo they are showing on the USA Channel is intense so I know where I'll be next Thursday night at 10:00 p.m.! The rest of the new fall shows look pretty lame, although I do want to check out "Carpoolers", and maybe I will watch the first episode of "Cavemen" but it looks really, really bad and the early reviews are trashing it as well. As much as I love those GEICO cavemen commercials, I really don't think a half hour sitcom is going to fly. Yes, we get it - cavemen are sophisticated, metrosexual, educated. How many ways will they be able to say it in one episode of the show, much less a series?
September 22, 2007
We had the best time and I can't believe it's been one week already!!! I can't wait to do it again!
September 21, 2007
September 20, 2007
The Timberline is at an approximate elevation of 6,000 feet above sea level. To put this in perspective, the highest point in all of the 6 New England states is Mt. Washington, in New Hampshire, which tops out at 6,200 feet. The one thing that surprised me was that once we turned off the main road, it was only a short trip up to the lodge. I was expecting a long, arduous drive up a narrow gravel, switchback road with sheer dropoffs, which is what you encounter when you drive to the top of Mt. Washington. With a great deal of ear-popping, too, I might add. However, as you approach Mt. Hood from the highway, the elevation of the land steadily increases and you hardly even notice it. So the 6 mile drive to the lodge from the highway is a piece of cake.
The Native Americans who lived in the area called Mt. Hood "Wy'east", and there is a large day lodge called Wy'east Lodge below the Timberline's parking lot where you can get your ski tickets, store gear in lockers, shop at the large gift and pro shops or eat in a cafeteria. Yes I bought souvenirs.
The Timberline was used as the exterior of The Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick's interpretation of Stephen King's novel "The Shining". I say "interpretation" because the movie wasn't quite like the book, and let's face it, Jack Nicholson looked like he was going to come unhinged from the get-go. Stephen King was not at all happy with that movie either.
Stephen King based the Overlook on the Stanley Hotel, located in Estes Park, Colorado. When Kubrick filmed, he used the Timberline for the exterior and built studio sets for the interior, but based those on the inside of the Ahwanee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. So the inside of the Timberline looks absolutely nothing like the movie. And it's much smaller inside too.
In the movie, the dreaded room is #237, instead of #217 as used in the book. Apparently the Timberline's management asked Stanley Kubrick to please change the room number because they were afraid no one would ever want to stay in room #217 ever again. If only they knew! When I was in the gift shop, there was only one lame Shining-related ballcap available for purchase. The clerk told me that when they do get that stuff in, it flies off the shelves. I'm sure if #217 had been used in the movie, it would have been booked forever with a waiting list of people who wanted to stay there. And I'm willing to bet they get a fair share of people asking to stay in #237 (which doesn't exist).
The Timberline Lodge was built as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930's, one of the many programs designed to provide employment and income during the Great Depression. FDR really loved the Pacific Northwest, it seems, as he created the Olympic National Park here in Washington. There is a diningroom at the Lake Quinault Lodge called "The Roosevelt Room" because FDR stayed there.
This is a carving on the front door of the Timberline.
As you enter the hotel, the first floor has lovely exhibits of old ski patrol and rescue equipment, the building of the hotel, history of the mountain, etc. The second floor is where the restaurants and hotel rooms are. The entire third floor is a pub, and also has hotel rooms on both wings. This chimney is the centerpiece of the lodge and both second and third floors are open and airy. It's very comfortable and cozy and the wood carvings are amazing.
September 19, 2007
September 16, 2007
September 13, 2007
September 12, 2007
September 11, 2007
September 10, 2007
Needless to say I'm really looking forward to seeing the Timberline Lodge, as it stood in for "The Overlook" in Stanley Kubrick's interpretation of "The Shining". The interior shots in the movie were from a lodge in Estes Park, CO, but the exterior was shot at Timberline. There's no hedge maze though. I so want to throw open the door of the lodge and announce, "WENDY? I'M HOME!" But I'm sure they've heard that a million times.
Julie's planning a hike up to the Palmer ski lift once we get there, so I'll be hanging out up at the Lodge and shooting pictures till she gets back. The summit of Mt. Hood comes in at a bit over 11,000 feet, so I'm guessing that the Lodge is somewhere in the 6,000 - 8,000 foot area. I'm not at all aclimatized to high altitudes like Julie, so that's one of the many reasons I'm staying below.
Oh and that reminds me, I would prefer not to take, or post, any pictures of my fat ass self either, so don't hold your collective breath.
And speaking of my fat ass self, I'm getting used to the black hair. Brian sent me what he thought was a funny email the other day, when it was cloudy in the morning. He says, "Looks really dark down your way...is your hair sucking all the light out of Tacoma?" So I shot back, "At least I have hair...."
Weekend was quiet....just watched football, football and more football. UW Huskies, WVU and Cal all won so that was cool. Seahawks won their home opener as well. The Michigan and Notre Dame games were pretty ugly though. Spent the rest of my time doing errands and putting the rest of my photos into my various photo albums. Now all I have to do are a couple of scrapbook pages for Sagan's scrapbook and I'll finally be caught up. Just in time for me to take tons of pictures in Portland.
I've been having a mental block regarding what to blog about. I think we can all agree that the anniversary of 9/11 affects us all, consciously or subconsciously. This is the first year that it's fallen on the same day of the week too. And of course it is now the biggest "where were you when....." since Kennedy was killed. I just can't believe it's been 6 years. Last night we watched a documentary that addressed the conspiracy theorists who have opined that there is some deep, dark X-files'esque government-involved element to the disaster, especially regarding the manner in which the WTC collapsed, specifically WTC 7. I have to admit, being the distrustful person that I am added to my absolute disgust and hate for the current Administration, I allowed myself to think that anything was possible. But after watching the documentary, I no longer think that our government was involved, other than knowing that an attack was imminent. Sort of like FDR knew Japan was going to attack us, but let them so that it could justify our getting involved in WW2. I mean, you have to admit, the collapse of the buildings did look like a controlled implosion the way they came straight down. But the engineers showed computer graphics of the way the buildings were built and because of the placement of the trusses in WTC 7, it had no other way to fall except straight down.
Brian had planned on playing Mozart's "Requiem" on his Shakedown Street show yesterday, however, despite the fact that he'd loaded all the music that morning, it absolutely refused to play, so his show was an hour of silence. On September 11, 2002, we went to see one of the "Rolling Requiem" concerts in Tacoma and it was extremely moving.
Summer's hanging on up here like grim death. We had a stretch of cool, cloudy fall weather a few weeks ago, but now there's a stupid high pressure ridge off the coast and it's sunny and hot. At least the sun comes up later and goes down earlier. I'm really hoping this is summer's last gasp.
In other Northwest News, I'm sure you've all heard that 5 members of the Makah Tribe at Neah Bay, Washington, slaughtered a California grey whale with a .50 mm rifle. I'm absolutely sick over it. It took that poor creature 8 hours to die. IMHO, the Makah are the biggest ASSHOLE tribe in this country. I am all for Native American rights and treaty rights, but I fail to see the benefit of allowing the Makah to hunt for whales just because their ancestors did it. At least in 1999 when they killed a whale, they used a hand-thrown harpoon which is at least a bit more sporting than opening fire on a whale with heavy artillery. The photo below depicts various calibers and the .50 is on the far left. The Makah Tribal Council have denounced the act by the 5 so-called "whalers" and promise that justice will be done, but in the tribal court. Brian and I were really involved with the American Indian Movement in 1992, during their "500 Years of Resistance" which was held to coincide with the 500 anniversary of Columbus' invasion. We also ran a Leonard Peltier Defense Support Group for a couple of years, and I was really involved in many writing campaigns for various and sundry Native American and First Nations issues in the USA and Canada. But I will not support whale hunting of any kind, by anyone, for any reason.
Growing up on Cape Cod as a child in the late 60's and early 70's, we were taught to be proud of our whaling heritage. There was this old coot in my hometown, Colonel Clark, who was a whale or whaling expert of some kind. All I know is he used to come to Sandwich Elementary School with slides and films of whales and whaling; and I have to tell you, I was pretty horrified by the whaling films, which showed in graphic detail whales being killed and slaughtered on deck. He even had a giant jawbone in front of his house, like a gate entrance.
Liz may or may not remember our 3rd grade class trip to New Bedford, to the Whaling Museum. Nothing about that trip stands out except for our teacher, Mrs. Alvezi, showing me a sea captain's trunk. The name on the trunk was "Mendonca", but the "c" had the little cedilla squiggle under it and the reason my teacher pointed it out is that she knew my father quite well and knew that our last name, "Mendonza", had been changed from "Mendonca", and perhaps the captain had been a distant relative of my father's family. Maybe, maybe not. He was from British Guiana, South America and his parents came to SA from Portugal or the Canary Islands.
All of us kids knew what a "Nantucket sleighride" was and us girls all owned at least one piece of scrimshaw jewelry. But of course all that stuff fell out of favour by the end of the 70's.
So anyways, if any of you are so inclined to vent your outrage to the Makah Tribal Council over the killing the grey whale, I urge you to do so at http://www.makah.com/. Let's tell them that we won't settle for anything less than full prosecution!!