Sunday, July 31, 2011

What day is it?

Right. Yay for computers and cell phones: it's July 31st. I knew it was Sunday at least, because yesterday was Saturday, Dungeons & Dragons day, and we hadn't had a good opportunity to play the last few weeks, so we spent maybe 10 hours in the game store. They have a little upstairs area which overlooks the larger room where tabletop wars take place rather noisily below us, but we're sort of secluded and relatively unbothered by other store customers and gamers. Once we brought chili in a crock pot, with a little tupperware container to give the guy that runs it something besides a cup of noodles to eat. This time we stopped at the grocery store first and got some deli grilled chicken and coleslaw, some plums and kiwis, and cheese sticks.

Oh! Jamie has a job! He is the kennelmaster of the veterinary office where Tig works. Ok, maybe kennelmaster is not quite the right term, but he cleans and fixes the kennels, plays with the animals, and other things. He and Tig now have lengthy conversations about work things and I listen as they chat about the frisky new dog staying with them, or the wedge-head crazy siamese cat.

The reason I just now remembered that detail is because he forgot to take his lunch with him and so yesterday he came home starving at noon, which is why we went to Jalepeno's and had tacos before shopping and going to the game store early. Their food is very good, but I got a quesadilla the first time. I like crunchy, or at least not soggy tortillas, and the filling was delicious, but watery. So I ate the middle out of it and left the gooey flap. This time I got beef tacos and they were a nice surprise because it wasn't your regular crunchy taco shell, but slightly more fluffy and most likely homemade. So it was a satisfying crackle crunch and then the tasty ground beef, lettuce and cheese.

Otherwise, life here is sort of simple. It's hard to remember the date because I'm not working, but we're doing P90X so I know what day of the week it is. Tomorrow is Monday- Chest and Back day. We just finished the second week, so one more like this, then they throw in a "recovery week" of mostly cardio and core work before they put you back to the grindstone in a different order to vary things up. Instead of Chest and Back it'll be Chest and Arms, then Back and Biceps, that kind of thing. It's the same, but different. /shrug   It seems to be going by fast.

I'm very happy, (and surprised) to say that every penny I spent to get my Florida license updated to the Oregon version will be refunded. $135 that we could really use back. Jamie will be getting paychecks soon, which is awesome and we can get credit cards paid back down after putting them to hard use lately. My work starts in September, but its a monthly check, which means I won't see any money until October. It's sort of strange, but hey. I walked out of one job and literally into another all the way across the country without even being interviewed first. Hows that for job security? Unless they stop sending kids to school, they'll still need to be driven there by somebody. It's neat, the buses here have little cords hanging out the back end like mice tails where they get plugged in to keep the engines warm in the winter. I'm excited for the school year to start.

Happy Sunday everybody!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July 19 2011

Today marks day 2 of what hopefully becomes a full 90 days of exercise success to fitness. We have limited workout space, we left all the weights back in Florida along with mats and hubby's push-up bars. All we have are the workout booklets, some bands, and a television. And two friends willing to give it a go with us and sacrifice their tiny living room for 45 to 90 minutes of exertion. Woo!

We went shopping yesterday at around midnight for some snacks and fruits. Plums, by the way, are decidedly delicious, with a sweet juicy inside and tart skin. I've had a plum before, but I usually forget how yummy they are, and after walking around Wal-mart late at night with a slighty empty stomach, its good to walk out munching such a tasty tidbit.

We woke up today, played our game for a little while, then decided that today is a beautiful day, and we went to the park for some frisbee golf. I'm better at throwing the disk this time, though I still mess up in angle or aim enough to be funny. Especially because these disks curve depending on how you throw them, I sometimes use the wrong arm. I should use my right arm to have the disk go out and curve left, and my left arm to make it curve right. It ends up being interestingly off-course when I forget which is which. But, I did better. Frisbee golf is like putt-putt but with baskets instead of holes, and obviously a frisbee instead of a golf ball. You throw, and once everyone has their turn, you advance to the disk furtherest from the goal basket, and they throw. Gradually you work your way to the closer disks and I suppose if you kept score, you'd keep track of how make throws it took to sink the frisbee. You don't want to be in front of a person winging a disk because sometimes they fly rather erratically, and our last game in the woods saw the side of my face meeting a rather badly thrown disk. Open fields are better, in my opinion!

Anyway, its a great day and now its time to raid. Fun fun!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lava Bed caves

Today we went to the lava beds in California!

The caverns there were made by lava flowing in tubes, and a sign told us there are 777 discovered caverns, as of January 2011. That's a lot!  There is a loop you can drive with areas to pull off to see some of the major named caves. Ones like Hercules Leg, Lava Brook, Labyrinth and Catacomb. The first one we could walk into, but most have a steep stair going down into them. So steep that you sort of duck between or under rocks looming an inch past the railing. Sometimes it pays to be small! I would go down them facing out.

Going into them is sort of annoying. There is sunlight, and then none, and your eyes can't adjust that fast. Mine can't. It seems like your flashlight is a useless gesture, and you pick your way slowly and flash it around a lot to try and keep track of the floor as well as the ceiling. They sell hard hats for $6 at the visitor's center. Flashlights are free but need to be returned. If they don't get all the flashlights, they know someone is still out there, so its sort of nice that way, even if you don't have to take their lights.

The rock was all liquid at one point, but its not smooth like you sometimes see in tv shows or movies. Apparently as the surface cools, the inside is still liquid and moving, and is constantly breaking up the smooth surface so that the rock is all jagged and torn up. The ceiling and walls of the lava tubes are melted, like millions of tiny stalactites or candle drips. A hardhat is not a bad idea with all those sharp points hanging around. They aren't brittle. It's really rock, and I couldn't break off even tiny drips from rocks which were already on the ground (I wouldn't mess up the actual ceilings, in case I could break one- but I needn't have worried!). Also, the rock seeps water. There aren't actual drips usually, though if you stood still you could hear some drops, just millions of tiny beads of water clinging everywhere like diamonds in a flashlight beam. Combined with the yellow mineral traces left all over, we thought it was fool's gold at first. It's gorgeous.

The footing is sometimes smooth, and sometimes craggy and more like climbing. You can walk in a lot of places, but you also duck down a lot (even little ol' me) and the more extensive caverns require duck-walking or even an outright crawl to get into the deeper parts. We did a lot of the duck-walking and a few times we crawled, but you'd want more than just jeans for anything major. Sometimes the floor has as many sharp jagged points as the ceiling, which is to say ouch!

We're told the temperature of the caverns stays mostly the same, so that now they feel cool, while in the winter they'd feel warm. I want to come back in the winter-time. I feel like I should bring some knitted socks though, because they don't have toe seams, and having my feet move around in my shoes the little bit they can made me wish for better socks. I was also lucky not to step in any puddles, which sometimes were there waiting for an unsuspecting foot. Seems like they teamed with the low ceilings so you'd be more worried about banging your head and less concerned with feet, hehe. I actually only banged my head once, and that very lightly because I knew the ceiling was low and right there, but I did need my light shining down at the rocks for my foot because my other foot was losing its place. But only once! Several times we laughed when Val's helmet let out a screech as it touched the ceiling.

We joked about dungeons and dragons a lot. Anytime we came to a hole which might be a tunnel or a tight spot we'd say "send in the halfling!". They are only 3 feet tall. I did, being the smallest, get to scout out a few choices. We found one nice chamber which would make good living quarters with a possible chimney vent, and a separate area for sleeping. Neat! We rested there a bit, because it was at the end of one route we'd been following. Most of the caverns would end and you'd come out the way you went in.

After a whole morning of exploring, I think five hours, we had lunch that we'd packed- roast beef sandwiches and cookies, and drove home.

I like it here!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Yay bowling in Oregon!

So, we just got back from the coolest bowling alley ever. I have no complaints. None. We even had our lane glitch once and a guy came out and sat on the swing arm and fiddled with something, which was highly entertaining as our friend's dad was miming throwing a ball at that moment. Would have hit the guy in the butt, hehe. But after a minute of flailing legs, all was well.

They, like most alleys I'm sure, do the rock'n bowl thing. Only they do it well, unlike mom's local alley (not mine anymore, yay!) The Epicenter has blacklight fluorescents at the edge of each regular light, so the effect is bright and even. The alleys are a strange color, so that under the light they look ghostly white. It's a really cool effect to have your lane glowing. The gutters have the usual cap over the ball return chute, only these have lights set in every few feet, so they have nifty patterns going on if you look out over the whole scene. They aren't bright to be distracting either. The music I think was great. I found myself moving a whole bunch- practically dancing at some parts and at the very least bouncing or tapping toes to most else. It was a great mix of music, lots of songs I knew but not heavy on rock or rap, or any one genre.

Some weird looking teenagers were in abundance. One girl had pierced her pudgy cheeks, it looked very odd. I'm not sure if she had dimples or if the depressions were from the piercings. They weren't spaced evenly and were lopsided, anyway. Weird.

I threw a 13 pound ball! I had trouble keeping it secure in my fingers, but I could aim really well with it. It started hurting my ring finger and when we found a pink 8lb ball with nice smooth and well-spaced holes- I nearly fell over. It was so light! And boy could I wing it down the lane. Can't control it worth a darn, but I was getting better. Jamie started fooling around with our friend's brother's ball so I started throwing left for giggles. Given more time I'd have gotten good with it again, but it takes a bit of practice to control my left arm well enough to aim.
I've decided I need my own ball, eventually. But I'll make my own bag. No way am I messing with that silly ring like in the bottom of Jamie's- I'll get some foam and make it a little nest and dare it to get lopsided in there.

So I am beyond thrilled with our bowling alley. Score another point for Klamath's awesomeness.

(So the bad part about being on the west coast at 9pm in the coolest bowling alley in the world- its midnight for them and therefore rude to text your family and share this exciting news with them when the impulse strikes you.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Trying to decide if I should keep this blog or not. A few people have told me they'll read my emails, but not the blog. Which then defeats the whole purpose of the blog. It's not that difficult to blind carbon copy to everyone when you're all organized into groups already anyway. Friends, Family, Co-Workers. Done.
Actually you all on my lists should have just gotten a July 4th booklet update :)

So, should I kill the blog? Or keep it?