Thursday, August 30, 2007


I have very few relatives, and I am proud to claim my Uncle Marc (Bud) as one of them! He and I have similar political concerns, although his life experiences, which include time in the Korean War, add some color to his observations that mine do not have. Please go check out what he has to say at . You will not be disappointed! Feel free to make comments too, once you are there! Cheers!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Day 1: Wallowa Valley, looking south from Oregon highway 82 near Enterprise.

Chief Joseph Mountain and Hurricane Creek Canyon as seen from highway near Enterprise.

Sheep Creek Canyon along Oregon highway 350 between Joseph and Imnaha (pronounced im-NA-ha).

The Post Office in downtown Imnaha, population 25 or so.

A pastoral scene along the Imnaha River Road.

This two-point buck mule deer was a visitor at our campsite.

"Chippy Camp".

Day 2 included a side-trip to the Hells Canyon Overlook. This is looking SE from the viewpoint. The canyon is the deepest in the United States.

Looking NE into Idaho, with Hells Canyon country in the foreground and the Seven Devils Mountains on the horizon.

Looking north at Hells Canyon Overlook.

The Imnaha River just below our campsite on the morning of Day 3.

More of the river.

The "sitting place", looking west up the Imnaha River Canyon.

On the way home, highway 350 looking west toward Joseph, OR offers a nice view of the Wallowa Mountains. Twin Peak is the high, pointy mountain to the left. Ruby Peak is to the right.

Hurricane Creek Canyon as seen from highway 82 near Enterprise.

All in all it was a great campout! I'm in no shape yet for backpacking or strenuous hiking, but car-camping is fine for now. In this part of the world, I may not care for the politics but the outdoor opportunities are tremendous! Hope you enjoyed the photos!

And yes, I know the dates say January 2000, but that's my fault for not figuring out how to get the date reset correctly on my camera! Heh!


On Wednesday August 22, I had the pleasure of seeing Wilco perform at the McMenamin's Edgefield Inn in Troutdale, Oregon near Portland. Above is a picture of the front of the Inn. From what I understand, it used to be the county "poorhouse" many years ago. Now it has all kinds of rooms, and something like nine pubs and restaurants on-site. Any beer you get at the Edgefield is made right there! And it's GOOD! Mmmmm! For more information, you can go to this site:

Sorry about the dates on these photos... I need to fix that on my camera.

Along the way from La Grande to Troutdale, I took some interesting detours. These first two pictures are of wind turbines in the area near Bickleton, Washington. Nice clouds, eh!

This is a slightly fuzzy photo of Rock Creek Canyon on the road between Bickleton and Goldendale, WA. The road goes through some beautiful country:

Above is a view from high above The Dalles, OR. I'm on the Washington side of the Columbia River, on the fairly precipitous Dalles Mountain Road.

Below is a shot of the concert venue at the Edgefield about three hours prior to the show:

Wilco opened their show with "Either Way" from their new album "Sky Blue Sky" and played all of the songs from that album during the course of the show. The only thing they played from the "Being There" was "Outtamind Outtasite". Tracks from "Summerteeth" (my favorite album of theirs) were "Via Chicago", "I'm Always In Love" and "Shot In The Arm". From "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" they played "Hummingbird", "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart", "War On War" and "Heavy Metal Drummer". They played three songs from "A Ghost Is Born": "Spiders (Kidsmoke)", "The Late Greats" and "Handshake Drugs". There might be a few I don't recall, but they played for about 2 hours and 15 minutes. My highlights were "Handshake Drugs", "Either Way", "War On War" and "Spiders". Singer/songwriter Jeff Tweedy played guitar on just about all the songs, and did all the lead vocals. He is a very dynamic performer. Lead guitarist Nels Cline played some very nice licks, including some jazz-based motifs and some Neil-Young-ish chicken chokin'. The whole band was VERY skilled, and they are a MUST-SEE band if you have not seen them yet. In my opinion, their live performances are much better than their studio recordings. I have their CDs, and I find I listen to those for the songs themselves more than for the way the songs are performed. Seeing the band live, I understand more about their energy and for my money Wilco is one of the best bands currently recording and performing.

Late in the show, REM guitarist Peter Buck joined the band for a couple of songs. I have never seen Peter Buck play live with REM, but I have seen him onstage two times, once with the Patti Smith band at The Gorge in 1997, and now with Wilco. In this regrettably fuzzy photo, he is behind Jeff Tweedy and Bassist John Stirratt. For some MUCH better photos of Wilco, go to:

On the way back to La Grande? More wind turbines... This time, I drove past some near the north central Oregon town of Condon. All in all, a great trip, lots of cool scenery, and one of the better, more professional live bands I have seen in quite a while!

Monday, August 27, 2007


Had to take the computer in to get a new hard drive. It should be back Tuesday or Wednesday this week. When I have it back again, I will put up two posts. One will be about a camping trip I went on from Friday through Sunday, and the other will be about the Wilco concert I saw last Wednesday. There will be plenty of pictures. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I don't know if I will be able to post a lot during the next few days, but I will try. This is what is on my plate:

- Heading to Richland, WA for back x-ray and check-up with neurologist today

- Going to Portland to see Wilco tomorrow, coming back on Thursday

- Going camping on Imnaha River Friday through Sunday

- Going to work Monday, getting ready for school year

- Going to Portland again on Sunday of Labor Day weekend to see Spamalot

Adding to all of this is that one of our two computers has crashed, and it's the one with all the photo software, printer and other things installed.

This past Saturday we took yet another trip to Portland and got ourselves a nice spotting scope for birdwatching. We will be learning to use it during the coming weeks as we save some money for a camera mount so we can (hopefully) use the set-up to take some professional quality pictures of wildlife.

I will have a camera along throughout much of the above, so maybe I'll post some pictures soon.

The usual ecstasies/miseries:

Michael Vick may actually have to do some prison time.

General Petraeus will give us the "progress report"... when else... on September 11!

The ugly specter of a Fred Thompson presidency continues to rear its ghastly head. He is active in Iowa right now, even though he hasn't declared his candidacy.

Obama would like to ease some of the Bush restrictions on Cuba to allow Cuban-American families to see each other more often and for those in America to send more money to families in Cuba.

Bloomberg says he isn't running for president but would like to "influence the dialogue".

And best or worst, depending on how you choose to look at it: 517 days left. I look at it this way... at least that number continues to decrease!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Monday, August 13, 2007


Karl Rove resigned today. While that sounds like very good news, I am hesitant to celebrate. What does the resignation really mean?

I have to believe that because Rove is not dead, he will continue to do just as he has been doing. We all know how much he is a man on a mission, and I doubt he has any intentions of keeping himself out of the picture altogether. Not being in the White House just means he will have a greater ability to focus on smearing Democrats as we get closer to the 2008 presidential elections. And we all know how good he is at that... so, more time to devote to smearing probably means more headaches for lefties during the next year. He may say he wants to get out, to go back to Texas, but I have my doubts. Anyway, resigning is a plus for Rove should he want more room, more freedom to operate.

Rove may no longer be in the White House, but I'll bet he will be on the phone to Bush and Cheney or sending e-mails to the White House on a daily basis.

If Rove is no longer officially part of the Bush administration, his resignation may be a calculated move to create a more positive White House image. Rove is under so much suspiscion for doing so many nefarious things, he may have been asked to go work somewhere else (but I'm sure the White House would have asked him to "stay in touch".) His leaving probably represents a plus for the White House.

Then there is always the possibility he is just getting burned out and wants to hang it up... but I really have my doubts there...

One question I have is, can the jerks still claim executive privilege and ask Rove not to answer subpoenas if Rove is officially no longer a part of the administration? Will the investigators even bother? If Rove was considered the prize target by the Democrats, and if he is now out of the picture for the most part, might the investigators turn their attention toward Cheney? Let us hope so... In that regard, Karl's resignation may be a plus for the rest of us.
Side note: one thing Rove said when announcing his resignation, is that he thinks Hillary Clinton is a "fatally flawed" candidate. I can't believe I am in agreement with him on that, but here is another interesting article that helps explain why I feel that way about about her... it talks about how she might end up being a "drag" on the Democratic party:


I have a near-mint Hank Aaron card from about 1968 stashed away in my safe deposit box. I want to be able to get it out in another twenty years when I'm about 70, and just sit and gaze on it. He will always be MY home run king.

I like to think Alex Rodriguez might be able to eventually catch Barry Bonds, but Bonds may end up in the AL as a designated hitter for a while. I can see Bonds trying to break Japan's Sadaharu Oh's professional players' record of 868 HRs, and if Bonds DHs for a while, I don't see why he couldn't at least get past 800 homers and into the 850 range.

I think it's a shame baseball has a drug problem. I love the game so much, I hate to see it hurting itself. Anyway, Barry Bonds does have the home run record now, love that fact or loathe it. I'm not sure what to think of Bonds, but I do know that when it comes to home runs, Hank Aaron will always be my guy.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


To me, this is just about the most asinine news story I have seen in ages... In fact, it's worse than asinine... as a late friend of mine and I used to say, it's "assi-ten". S ay what you may, but I just don't understand this.