Thursday, July 30, 2009


No, not "The Family", my family.

See you next week.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Mrs. Snave and I went to the local theater to see "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" on Monday. As devotees of the Potter books and films, we went with great anticipation. After all, this is Cinematic Installment #6 of the seven-part series. We were not disappointed!
As usual, the movie version did a pretty good job of cramming multiple hundreds of pages of intricate, nearly-OCD-level detail into about 2 1/2 hours of film. (If any of you have read all the books, have you also noticed this about the movies?) It wasn't quite as monumental as cramming so many of the J.R.R. Tolkien details into the "Lord of the Rings" films, but Mrs. Snave and I agreed that Potter author J.K. Rowling represents a sort of modern Tolkien. It's no mean feat to streamline such stories to this extent, and to keep plotlines comprehensible.
The special effects were great, the cinematography was impeccable. Shadows, dark, light, fire, explosions, it's all there in "Half-Blood Prince".

What really seemed to jump out at us this time around were the individual performances. Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore and Alan Rickman as Severus Snape can always be counted on to give good performances. But the maturity of the young actors portraying Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), and Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) struck us both. These young people all look to have promising futures in the movie business. They get better with age, and are now capable of imparting some very nice emotional depth to their characters.
I think this might be my favorite movie of all the Potter films thus far.

Mrs. Snave and I are looking forward not only to the final installment of the Potter series, but also to what these young actors and actresses go on to do from here.

If you are a Potter fan and haven't seen the movie yet, please do so. If you are not a Potter fan, you might consider giving it a try, regardless of dire warnings puritans may give you re. the magic, wizardry, etc. The stories are all about the triumph of good over evil, about the importance of friendship, and about empathy and fair play. What's wrong with any of that? It's good for adults as well as kids!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


It's hard to believe I have been doing this for five years. I guess yesterday was the five-year anniversary.

I really wonder if trying to maintain this weblog is worth the effort sometimes, but I will admit that overall I find it enjoyable. Or is just part of a larger condition?

Oh well... like they say... Whatever!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


This is Moses Coulee in central Washington. I took this route between Ephrata and Waterville. I could have taken Interstate highways all the way from La Grande, OR to Seattle but the Interstates practically bore me to tears. Instead I look for out-of-the-way routes through places I haven't seen before.

Badger Mountain Road from Waterville to Wenatchee goes over a very high ridge and offers up some great views of Wenatchee. This view is looking west from near the top of the hill on the road.
Safeco Field is a great place to watch a major league baseball game. There are really no bad seats in the ballpark. My friends and I were sitting in the centerfield bleachers for the 7/11/09 game against the Texas Rangers. I believe this view looks to our right, toward the left field bleachers.

We moved down toward some empty seats closer to the field for the 8th and 9th innings. This is David Aardsma in the 9th, pitching to some hapless Texas batter. Seattle won the game 4-1.


Music time with eternal bandmates Kevin, Dennis and Bill? Priceless! I was in a band called The Graphics with them and with our friend Stephen during college years in Eugene, OR. Stephen wasn't able to be with us this time, but maybe next. It was a blast getting together and playing all kinds of music. There may be a Graphics reunion gig in La Grande, OR sometime during the next year! I will be making arrangements for that to happen.

This is Magnolia Park in Seattle. Mrs. Snave and I were married in this park 8/17/85. I was glad to see that the park looks pretty much the same now as it did then.

Casey is such a good boy! He lives with my friend David and family. David, J. Marquis and I had a very nice evening at David's house!

On Monday I headed south from Seattle on I-5 toward Tacoma, and ended up with a rock chip on the windshield that became an 18-inch crack by the end of the day. While driving south on WA Highway 7 from Tacoma, I drove through La Grande... There is another La Grande besides La Grande, OR. This La Grande is much smaller than the one in Oregon, but it is also nice and quiet, and I doubt very much more or less happens here than in the La Grande in which I live.

Taklakh Lake on the flanks of Mt. Adams is a beautiful and wondrous place, even when the mountain is not visible. On the way up the hill to the lake from the main road, I blew a tire...

... and by the time I got to the lake the tire was flat. The mosquitos at Taklakh Lake are among the most vicious I have encountered in a long time! They made changing the tire particularly difficult. Thanks to Matt from Centralia, WA for the help and the bug spray! In the picture, you can see it was my left rear tire that blew. This necessitated a long, slow drive south on the baby spare to Trout Lake, WA and then to the Columbia River, and THEN a 2+ hour stop at a tire store in Hood River, OR.

This is Mt. Adams as seen from the Trout Lake, WA area. Of the Cascade vocanoes, Mt. Adams is my favorite. It is a 12,000+ foot peak.

Here is the Columbia Gorge looking east from the Rowena Crest Viewpoint between Hood River and The Dalles. From here it was about a three hour drive home.
It was a great weekend. The visits with Kevin, Bill, Dennis, David and Jim were the best part. Playing music, seeing a major league baseball game, eating at a nice restaurant one evening, and seeing lots and lots of nice scenery were the bonus material!

And of course it is always great to have family waiting for me at home!

Friday, July 10, 2009


I'm off to Seattle for a few days to play some music with four good friends I was in a really fun band with in college, to see a Seattle Mariners baseball game, and to have a visit with good friends J. Marquis and David. I'll be back here next Tuesday or so. I will post a few pictures from the trip.

A quick parting political note: I was listening to NPR this morning, and Steve Inskeep was interviewing Eric Cantor. He asked Cantor, who has already declared Obama's plan a failure, how long would he give Obama? I.e., what is a reasonable amount of time for Obama to fix the mess he inherited? Cantor didn't answer the first time, but sidestepped the question. Steve asked twice more, and Cantor still wouldn't give an answer like "six more months" or "the first few months was enough", etc. Go figure! I hope things start to show some dramatic improvement during the next year, or things could be pretty tough in the '10 election cycle...