Posted by: bkivey | 30 June 2019

Newberry National Volcanic Monument 2

Mid-morning the next day and headed South on US 97 to the caldera. After stopping at Lava Lands to get my pass (no waiting!), I turned left at Forest Service Road 21 (aka Paulina Lake Road) about 30 miles South of Bend. You can buy a pass at the Welcome Station, but it’s much busier than Lava Lands.

OR Bend ponderosa 190624

This is what central Oregon looks from about Redmond south. Unlike the Coast Range where there are hamlets stuck among the hills, there is virtually no habitation in this area off the main roads. I find the terrain relaxing in ways different from other scenery. It’s called the Ponderosa for evident reasons. Nearly all of it is public land, but there’s considerable ranching in the area. Wildfires are common, and everywhere you look is some evidence of a burn.

FS 21 runs up the western slope of the volcano, and you are climbing the whole way, gaining about 2100 feet in 12 miles to the caldera floor at about 6300 feet. Traffic permitting, some fun can be had on this road at or near the legal limit, but on the day traffic did not permit to the extent I would have preferred.

OR Newberry FS 21 scenic overlook190625

From a viewpoint looking Northwest over the Deschutes River valley toward the Three Sisters.

OR Newberry caldera entrance signs 190625

OR Newberry Paulina Falls sign 190625

The first stop was Paulina Falls, which turned out to be more of an attraction than anticipated. There’s a short trail from the parking lot to the top of the falls.

OR Newberry Paulina Falls overlook panorama 190625

OR Newberry Paulina Falls top 2 190625

The falls are at the lowest point of the caldera rim, so once you pass them, you are inside an active volcano. Currently having a bit of a rest, though.

There’s a 2-mile round trip trail to the bottom of the falls with 400 feet of elevation change. I considered that half the hike would be steeply uphill. And you are at 6000 feet. But while I was there . . .

OR Newberry Paulina Falls trail to bottom 2 190625

There are some pitches.

OR Newberry Paulina Falls lower view 1 190625

Worth the hike. Impressive work by the falls on volcanic rock.

OR Newberry Paulina Lake Lodge panorama 190625

Paulina Lake Lodge. Paulina Lake is the westernmost lake of the two inside the caldera. I postponed lunch because the restaurant was smaller than expected and over-subscribed.

OR Newberry Paulina Peak 190625

Paulina Peak is the highest point on the rim. There is a road to the top that runs around the back side, but this day it was closed due to snow.

Just past Paulina Lake and opposite the central cone is the unimaginatively but very accurately named Big Obsidian Flow.

OR Newberry Big Obsidian Flow parking lot 190625

I do not know how much obsidian you have seen in one place, but I’ll wager it isn’t this much. I’ve seen other obsidian deposits, notably at Mono Lake, but at over a square mile in area and 150 feet deep, this is in a different class. The flow is only 1300 years old, making it the youngest in Oregon.

OR Newberry Big Obsidian Flow golden mantled ground squirrel 190625

A golden-mantled ground squirrel looking for lunch. I saw a few of these critters.

OR Newberry Big Obsidian Flow sign 1 190625

OR Newberry Big Obsidian Flow sign 2 190625

OR Newberry Big Obsidian Flow trail view 1 190625

There are stairs to get you onto the flow, but after that, the trail is a sometimes barely discernible clearing through the rocks. You do want good shoes, and you do not want to fall. It’s not like the terrain is covered in razor blades, but it is glass, glass, and nothing but glass.

OR Newberry Big Obsidian Flow typical grouond 190625

OR Newberry Big Obsidian Flow sign 3 overview 190625

There’s 500 feet of elevation change on the 1 mile trail, and there are interpretive signs along the way. The signs can look a bit incongruous in the landscape.

OR Newberry Big Obsidian Flow small tree 190625

A good illustration of how hard it is for plants to gain a roothold.

OR Newberry Big Obsidian Flow looking down trail 1 190625

Near the top of the trail.

OR Newberry Big Obsidian Flow large tree 190625

About the largest tree to be found on the flow. It is entirely possible that this tree is older than the trees in the background.

OR Newberry east Lake panorama 190625

East Lake. The central cone is off to the left, with the rim in the background. The road continues halfway around the lake, but was closed for tree removal. Interesting to compare the life in the caldera after 80,000 years to the much younger features.

There were a couple more places to visit, but it was getting toward mid-afternoon, and I had a 4 1/2 hr drive home. The Lava Cast Forest is located about halfway between the caldera and Lava Lands, and features a trail through a forest engulfed by lava. I’ve seen lava casts before, and they are cool, but today the cool factor would not cover the 20-mile round trip over gravel roads. I’ve heard the High Desert Museum is worth a visit, but, the drive.

OR Newberry La Pine Vics Tavern 190625

OR Newberry La Pine Vics Tavern memorial190625

Stopped in nearby La Pine for lunch. The bar is covered in leather (or analog), and about half the stools have these signs in front of them. This is a bit creepy, actually. I had the chef salad, and will not shame the cook by showing it again. Nothing wrong with it, but presentation was uninspired.

OR Newberry La Pine transit map 190624

You can get there from here.

OR Newberry Hwy 97 convective activity 190625

US 97 North of Redmond with some convective activity. It wasn’t warm enough for the storms to really get going, but later in the year you can see central Oregon thunderstorms from the Willamette Valley.

OR Newberry US 26 storm 2 190625

Some rain on US 26. I’m headed West and the storm is going East. I stopped to take pictures, and the changes as the storm passed over were interesting and kind of fun. Strong downdrafts.

The deteriorating weather obscured the gorgeous Cascade views, even the in-your-face presentations of Mt. Hood as the road crosses the mountains.  But like the drive out, the Portland traffic was almost tractable. By the numbers, about 515 miles and under $200.

That was great. I’ll be back, maybe soon.

Posted by: bkivey | 30 June 2019

Newberry National Volcanic Monument

I scheduled 24 and 25 June off because I wanted two consecutive days off. I also wanted to go somewhere, and I’ve been to most of the interesting places within three or four hours. But not all.

The titular attraction is an absolutely massive active volcano in central Oregon, second in size only to Yellowstone, and larger than Rhode Island. Once topping 14,000 feet, about 75,000 years ago the mountain blew it’s top, forming a large caldera.

Mid-morning Monday I pointed the car toward Bend, South on I-5 until Salem, then East on OR 22.

OR East Hwy 22 190624

It’s about here you see the first sign for Bend: 127 miles.

OR Lake Detroit lower dam 190624

Lake Detroit dam.

Hwy 22 joins US 20 shortly before the summit at Santiam Pass (4817 feet). I stopped for a break at the pass.

OR Santiam Pass Belknap Crater North Sister 190624

North Sister on the left and Mt. Washington center. These volcanoes did not fare well against the glaciers. Pretty much the entire pass burned in 2003.

OR Santiam Pass decaying trees 2 190624

OR Santiam Pass wildflower 190624

OR Santiam Pass Black Butte 190624

Looking East toward Black Butte (6436 feet), a cinder cone that would be the major attraction almost anywhere else, but pales a bit in the heart of Cascade volcano country.

About three hours out of home, I stopped at an Applebees in Bend (3623 feet) for lunch.

OR Applebees safety sign 190624

The ‘safety’ sign in the bathroom was positioned such that you would almost trip over it on entering. I moved it back.

OR Applebees tortilla burger 190624

The Applebees Tortilla Burger. Depending on your tastes, as good or better than it looks. I ordered the wing Sweet Chili sauce for fry dipping. That was good, too. Local brewery Deschutes IPA on the side. I prefer a less hoppy brew when eating, but if you’re not a Hefeweizen fan, sometimes hard to find on tap in Oregon.

I knew there were hotel rooms available, so went straight to the Monument. And as is my wont, the only research I did for the trip was enter the destination in the GPS. Ready, fire, aim. In an age of instant and copious information, it’s still fun to just go.

OR Newberry caldera from La Pine 190625

Looking at the volcano from La Pine (4236 feet). Paulina Peak in the center is the highest point on the caldera at 7900 feet. As the Wikipedia article notes, the volcano is sometimes mistaken for an entire mountain range.

Pronunciation note: I’ve noticed that place names in Oregon tend to have long ‘i’s’. This appears to be an artifact from First Nations languages, as the peak is named for an original chief. So it’s ‘Paul-eye-na’.

I actually took this picture the next day, but included it here for reference.

South out of Bend on US 97 the first volcanic attraction is Lava Lands. Not a prehistoric theme park, the area is home to Lava Butte, one of the volcano’s cinder cones, and the Visitor Center for the Monument.

OR Newberry Lava Land Visitor Center 1 190624

Admission to the Monument is $5 per day per vehicle. There are multi-day discounts and all manner of Federal employee discounts, none of which I qualified for. I stopped here the next day for my pass, even though I was going elsewhere on the site, because the lines are shorter than at the Newberry Welcome Station. It’s nice to pass six cars and wave your pass at the ranger.

I always stop at visitor’s centers because it’s nice to have an idea what you’re looking at. The center here has a topo table and the sort of informative experience I’ve come to expect from Forest Service properties.

OR Lava Land visitor center State religion 190624

Still gotta represent the State Religion, though.

OR Newberry Lava Butte 360 190624

The panorama at the start of the trail. Lava Butte (5023 feet) in the center, about 500 feet AGL.  The most recent eruption was 7,000 years ago, and the butte is striking in that the northern half is vegetated, while the southern half is nude. A ranger explained that less than 18″ of moisture annually falls here, and the sun evaporates water so quickly on the southern exposure that none sticks around to nurture plants.

OR Newberry Lava Butte 1 190624

OR Newberry Lava Land end of trail 190624

Panorama from the end of the trail. It’s about a mile round-trip, and neither the surface nor the pitches are strenuous: elevation gain is about 150 feet.  It was about a week past peak flower season, but even in late June, the weather is variable, and you’re at a little bit of altitude. There was a front coming in, and the wind was brisk at times.

OR Newberry lava balls 190624

Lava balls, which until that moment I’d never heard of.

The only public access to the top of the Butte is walking or cycling, and if you don’t want to do that, there is a shuttle bus to the top for $2 cash. I elected not to do this, because Pilot Butte in Bend is of similar height, and you can drive to the top.

At the Visitor’s Center I picked up some literature, including the broadsheet every Forest Service attraction has, and found out about the Lava River Cave, a 1-mile long lava tube a couple miles South of Lava Lands. Well, OK!

OR Newberry lava tube sign board 190624

The last admittance to the cave is at 1600, and I was pretty close to that. You have to attend an orientation, which in my case was listening to a ranger warn against White Nose Syndrome, a virulent bat-killing disease, but of no known risk to humans. My last visit to a cave was four years ago, so no risk from me. At the site you can rent a light for $5: highly recommended. There are no lights at all in the cave save what you have, and I wouldn’t bet my life on a cell phone.

OR Newberry lava tube entrance 190624

OR Newberry lava tube stairs 190624

It’s 40F and really dark. There are much better images on the internet than what I took, because to get good pictures in a cave you need more than a cell phone flash.

OR Newberry lava tube walkway 190624

Looking back toward the entrance. The lights are other people. Much of the cave is about 35′ high and 20′ across. Of course, you can’t really see any of this, only get a sense of it from what illumination your light provides. There is a very good image of the interior at the Wikipedia Newberry Monument page.

OR Newberry lava tube interior 1 190624

The walkway ends not far into the cave, and then you’re walking on the natural surface. A good part of it is sand, but there are some rough patches.

OR Newberry lava tube US 97 bench190624

Bench located directly beneath US 97, 85 feet above.

OR Newberry lava tube lava shell on wall 190624

The walls were formed in layers as the lava cooled. Here, you can put your hand underneath the outer shell to the layer below.

OR Newberry lava tube low ceiling 190624

The lowest point in the cave, where sediment has filled to within 4 feet of the roof.

OR Newberry lava tube stacked tubes 2 190624

Remnants of a stacked-tube. As the flow subsided, a crust would form over the flow, but some lava would still flow above.

OR Newberry lava tube Sand Garden sign 190624

OR Newberry lava Sand Garden 1 190624

I expected a sign at the end of the cave, and there was. It’s not a wall, but the sediment gradually rises until it meets the cave roof.

Having walked enough for one day, I headed North on US 97 back to Bend. As it turned out, I stayed at the same motel I’d stayed at when I went to John Day two years ago. I joked with the owner that the last time I was there the power went out (True. It’s on the blog.), and he smiled and gave me nice discount.

OR Bend hotel room 190624

Better wall treatment than the Vegas room. The major annoyance was that the lamps weren’t wired to the wall switch, so they had to be switched individually. My goodness.

Off to a downtown bar for dinner, and went down to the local river walk on the Deschutes River.

OR Bend Deschutes riverwalk 1

This is an enhanced image, because the original is very dark, but does give an idea of what it’s like. It’s pleasant.

Back to the motel after dinner, and engaged one of my guilty pleasures on vacation: watching TV. I don’t have TV at home by choice, so enjoy the chance to veg. The very first thing I turned on was 10 minutes into The Expendables 2. I’ve heard of the franchise, and had little desire to watch it.


They are filming a cartoon, and know it. Every single trope is checked in every department, and purposely so. There is a lot of star power on the screen, and the movie is just smarmy enough to be entertaining. And it was.











Posted by: bkivey | 12 May 2019

Blazers Win!

Portland’s NBA team defeated the Denver Nuggets in Game 7 of the Western Conference semi-finals to advance to the Western Conference Finals and end a 19-year drought in that contest. The Blazers’ run has been a bit improbable, and the recently finished series was a nail-biter. Game 3 went four overtimes before Portland secured a victory. I think the last time a team for whom I was rooting caused so much anxiety was N.C. State’s championship run in 1982. The Blazer’s are grown men (Zach Collins excepted), so ‘Kardiac Kids’ won’t do, but this team needs a nickname.

And that nickname probably won’t be coming from the national press. I listened to some ESPN radio while working on projects the last week, and it was all Golden State, all the time. The Denver – Portland series was barely mentioned, and Portland was pretty well dismissed out-of-hand. Huh.

Although it was my letter sport, basketball isn’t my favorite sport. That would be baseball: a sport I never played on a league team. Basketball has moved ahead of football on the personal favorites list, mostly due to the politicization of the NFL. I’ve spent the last couple of seasons paying attention to the game and how it’s played at the elite level. Not just how players play the game, but how coaching staffs manage games. And I thought the Blazer’s coaching staff did something very interesting this season.

Head Coach Terry Stotts divided his team into two teams, the starting unit and the second unit. Then he played them during games as units. Of course, personnel decisions are largely dictated by the run-of-play, but more than any other NBA team, the Trailblazers would play for minutes at a time with four and five guys off the bench. And they would stay on the floor in leverage situations. The second unit’s primary job was to either hold on to a lead, or not increase a deficit. But as the season went on, they would make runs. They would turn a deficit into a lead, sometimes against the opponent’s starting five.

This approach does require that everyone buy in to the system. Elite professional athletes have large egos; it’s a requirement to perform at that level, and it’s difficult accepting the second-banana role when your whole life has been first-team. But at the start of the season everyone seemed willing to give it a try, and as players adjusted and adapted to their roles, the team’s effectiveness increased.

This strategy suggested that the coaching staff would use depth of experience to overcome difficult match-ups during the playoffs, and that’s what has happened to date. It is becoming a bit of a Trailblazer’s trademark to insert bench players late in games with the specific job of impacting the game however their skills may allow. Late 3’s, solid rim protection, crucial free throws, shrink-wrap defense: all provided by the Blazer’s bench in critical playoff moments.

The athletic ability and organizational success has been fun to watch as the home team makes good, but I find the unfolding real-time management case study to be as fascinating.

A True Story

I was sitting at the bar the day after the 4 OT Blazer win, and someone asked one of the patrons when the next game was.

“It starts tomorrow at 7, but should be over by 10 or 11.”

Columbia and Clatsop Counties

A day off recently found me with sunny skies and an itchy right foot, so I drove out to Astoria for the afternoon. Astoria is about 2 hours from the house, 3 in season. After a pleasant drive out, I had lunch at Astoria Brewing Company.

OR Astoria Astoria Brewing Co exterior

OR Astoria ships from Astoria Brewing Co

OR Astoria ships in roads 190507

The second ship from the right was under way, and arrived before my food.

OR Astoria pilot boat and ship Astoria Brewing Co

Pilot boat in the foreground. The freighter had it’s anchors nearly touching the water, and I wondered why. Maybe just moving to a new anchorage.

OR Astoria Rueben Astoria Brewing Co 190507

The serving board isn’t actually wood, but a plastic or ceramic. I had the ‘mild’ house IPA, because I was driving.

OR Wolf Bay wetlands panorama 190507

I took US 30 East back home because I hadn’t driven the section between Astoria and Ranier. Along the way is the Wolf Bay Wetland, also home to the Twilight Eagle Sanctuary. The sanctuary is used by a pair of bald eagles nesting about a quarter-mile behind me to the South. No eagles sighted but a nice view.

OR Twilight Eagle sanctuary 190507

OR Wahkiakum ferry (2)

The town of Waldport is about halfway between Astoria and Ranier, and the Oregon terminal of the Wahkiakum County ferry. It’s about 60 miles between the bridges at Astoria and Ranier, so the ferry saves considerable driving.

OR Clatskanie toward ferry

Standing in downtown Waldport looking down the ferry road.

OR Clatskanie looking East

More of Waldport. Well, that’s pretty much it.

OR Clatskanie railroad bridge

Just West of Clatskanie is this railroad bridge to the Simpson Lumber mill about a quarter-mile to the right. US 30 is on the left. The spur appears to be out of use, as overhead photos don’t show any rail cars.

I visited Clatskanie last Summer, and I’ll likely make a couple more trips to this part of the state this year. Clatsop and Columbia counties are the heart of Oregon Coast Range logging, and besides being interesting to visit, are a pleasant place to be.



Posted by: bkivey | 23 April 2019

Things Around the House

The house backs up to Turner Creek, so there isn’t a backyard so much as a back wood. There are at least two woodpeckers in residence, and our part of the creek is in the range of three owls. Last week one of them roosted next to the house:

OR Hillsboro Owl in backyard (5)

OR Hillsboro Owl in backyard (6)

OR Hillsboro Owl in backyard (4)

I’m cautious around birds-of-prey; this one’s street name could be ‘Eye Pecker’ for all I know.


OR Hillsboro backyard 190317 tree 2

Three years ago the first big Winter storm nearly knocked the top off this tree. The tree is very much alive, and has held on. Another storm will likely finish it, and it will fall into the creek below.

OR hanging limb in backyard

A storm this year knocked this branch off an adjacent tree, and now we have our own widowmaker hanging about 10 feet off the ground.

A Bit Further Afield

OR Hillsboro McD winter fountain

A McDonald’s water feature during the last snow of the year.

OR Hillsboro March tstorm

Heading East on Sunset Highway toward Portland in the evening. Ahead is an uncommon and very early thunderstorm. I took this picture the first Tuesday in March, because I was going to

Kung Fu Theater!

I’ve posted on this before, and I’ll let the page’s description speak for itself:

“Shaolin monks. Animal fighting styles. Flying guillotines. Old school sound effects. White-haired villains with maniacal laughter. This is Kung Fu Theater. Rare 35mm prints of Hong Kong action films from the 1970s and ’80s, presented by Hollywood Theatre programmer Dan Halsted, who has dedicated himself to saving these films and presenting them to modern audiences.”

The March movie was ‘Dragon Princess’, a 1976 film starring ass-kicking stone fox Sue Shiomi. Martial arts film legend Sonny Chiba gets starring credit, but he’s gone after the first 20 minutes. It’s a standard revenge film, complete with training montage.

This is a Japanese film, so the primary fighting style is karate. The movie is a bit of a departure for Kung Fu Theater, and acknowledged in the pre-movie warm-up, but one I hope is not often repeated. I’ve seen about fifteen of these movies, own several, and the limitations of Karate as a martial art compared to Kung Fu are apparent. The choreography is performed by the best in the business, but the style isn’t as fluid, or, it seems, adaptable.

This was the first Sue Shiomi film I’d seen, although I’ve seen trailers for two of her other movies, Sister Street Fighter and Sister Street Fighter 2. She can (and does) school the boys, and looks great doing it. It’s a 1970’s Japanese martial arts film, so there is sex, including one scene where the two leads get busy on the go-go dance floor. The movie itself is mediocre, without some of the subtleties and story lines of the better Hong Kong and Chinese efforts. Three flying guillotines.



Posted by: bkivey | 28 February 2019

None So Blind

Ken Levine’s By Ken Levine blog (link under Blogroll at right) is intelligent, witty, and generally a pleasure to read. Mr. Levine has edited his ‘About’ link since I last looked, and there doesn’t appear to be any personal information available, but he’s spent his professional career in the Los Angeles entertainment business. A native Angeleno, he wrote for shows like MASHCheers, and a few others. Currently working as a playwright, he has also worked in MLB as an announcer for a few clubs. His stories are as good as anyone’s, and I enjoy his work.

Mr. Levine is also an unapologetic blue-blood Social Liberal Democrat. His political bent rarely intrudes in his work, he is a professional, but anti-Trump runs deep in him, and he gets his digs in. I really don’t mind this; it’s his right and privilege to have an opinion. As intelligent people will, Mr. Levine has many opinions, and he writes about his entertainment business opinions and experience. The last several years he has increasingly complained about the industry trend toward censorship.

Not a government restriction, but the self-censorship required of all good Hollywood Liberals. His distaste for this has reached the point that it is a reason why he is contemplating ending his Academy Award reviews. Culture will survive, but consider the implications.

I’m going to say with a some confidence that Mr. Levine has reliably voted Democrat, and that Party has come to a defining degree under the control of the radical Left. Mr. Levine is having his style severely cramped, and it ain’t the Republicans. But Trump is evil.

You can make a very direct, very clear, connection between Mr. Levine’s voting, and his dissatisfaction with the professional environment. You could also note that the Big Picture ideas Liberals love to trumpet haven’t changed (“. . . the struggle must continue!), but your personal life sure has.

He’s living in the world he voted for, and doesn’t like it.

But he does not see that. In their social circles, Progressives are directly living with the results of their voting, and they don’t like it, but don’t make the connection. There are a lot of (CA) political refugees where I live, and they don’t get it, either. And so there are in other States. This promotes societal angst in the national conversation. People know something’s wrong, but can’t pin it down. It’s really quite maddening. IT’S RIGHT THERE! (sorry).

The ideal of a free society is that you can create your own reality. And as a society we have done that, and lot of the progenitors are unhappy with their creation, but cannot recognize the failure. That’s more than a little worrisome.


As in the movie. A young gentleman in his mid-20’s and I were talking and this movie came up. I was surprised, because it’s a 1974 movie that few have seen, but scores a solid three stars. Richard Harris and Omar Sharif. He enjoyed it and so do I, and I have a copy. If you’ve got two hours, it’s worth a look. What are Millenniels appreciating now?




Posted by: bkivey | 6 February 2019

The Social Media

I had a couple of children’s electric scooters I’d acquired free with the thought of selling them. Nothing broken or missing, and they were in good shape. They ran, but the batteries needed replacement, which I didn’t bother with as I was selling them anyway. After three years of intermittent selling efforts, they hadn’t moved, so along with some other things I was going to take them to the dump.

But I really don’t like throwing perfectly usable items away, and these scooters sell new for around $250 each. Maybe I could give them away?

Within fifteen minutes of posting the ad, my phone blew up with some three dozen texts and voice mails. I pulled the ad. I had no idea that free scooters would be so popular. Because we live on a dead-end street, there is no casual traffic. I didn’t put the address in the ad, because Craigslist. I’d also expected some manageable number of responses. In order to streamline things, I wheeled the scooters out to the street, gathered the text responses into a group, and sent the address out with the caveat that if the scooters weren’t on the street, someone had them. It’s free stuff on the street: if you want it, come get it. The hope was that when someone picked the scooters up, they’d text the group so no one else would waste their time.

What I’d thought would be a reasonable, efficient way to handle the responses quickly turned in to a social media free-for-all. I was vilified for creating a dystopian melee with people racing and fighting for these scooters for my entertainment (?!). There was talk of damaging the house (which is exactly why they were on the street). We’re not talking food in a starvation situation here, people. I considered calling the police for some extra patrols for a few hours. People complaining that I didn’t take reservations were denounced as ‘babies’. Bear in mind that a half-hour prior none of these people knew the others existed. It was disturbing and a bit frightening. I didn’t respond to any of the texts, because that fire didn’t need to be fueled.

There is no decorum in society. And if the definition of integrity is doing the right thing when no one is looking is valid, there’s no integrity, either. Or perspective. There is a hell of a lot of entitlement, though. A large percentage of people seem to believe that if they are behind a device they can act any kind of way. ‘Lord of the Flies’ exists in cyberspace, and people seem to think that’s OK. It’s not, because you’re the same person regardless, even if you hide it in public. A jackass behind a mask is still a jackass.

Someone did get the scooters.

Winter is Here

Well, it’s been here officially for a while, and folks East of the Rockies have been having some real Winter weather, but that’s why I don’t live in Chicago. Winter locally has been rather nice: reasonable temps and most of the rain has had the good grace to fall at night.

Until this week, when the weather went right off the cliff. For the foreseeable future our highs will struggle to reach 40F and lows are below freezing every night. Yeah, I know, but I don’t live where you live. Fortunately, not much precipitation in the forecast, because whatever does fall isn’t going away. Still, only about six weeks of Winter left.

Some Big Game 53

This years Container of the First Water was generally panned as boring because the two teams could only manage a soccer score for three quarters, until a late scoring outburst by the Patriots yielded the final tally. I liked the game. It was interesting to watch the two head coaches make move and counter-move as they adjusted their game plans. And both coaching staffs had good plans to negate the other team’s strengths, although the Rams were seriously hampered when they found out kidnapping Tom Brady wasn’t an option. It wasn’t fun, exactly, but entertaining in the way baseball is. And I suppose soccer.

I was happy to see that the refs for the most part let the players play, and the game moved along. After the respective conference championship refereeing debacles, the refs may have swallowed their whistles a bit.

The only commercial that stood out was the Amazon spot with Harrison Ford. Entertaining enough that I didn’t notice it was an Amazon commercial until the second viewing. And I don’t remember the company, but I do remember they made dog dishes look cool for 30 seconds.

Posted by: bkivey | 31 December 2018

Random End-Of-Year

Miscellaneous things on the last day of 2018.

It was sunny today:

OR TV Hwy looking West 181231


Looking West down TV Highway in Hillsboro toward the Coast Range. The mountains are about 20 miles away.

OR TV Hwy looking East 181231

Looking East. Mt. Hood is about 60 miles distant.

OR Spangrish


OR Hillsboro Jesusmobile

Jesus rolls deep with a Lincoln Navigator.

20 year old Brother printer

I had to replace this printer after 20 years of service. I bought it because every contractor’s office I was in had one, so I figured it would work well. It has. All I’ve ever done is replace the ink. Print quality degraded some the last year, I imagine as the print nozzles wore, but up until last week, all it did was work. The scanner still works, so I’ll keep it for that. Any machine that works this well deserves recognition.

2018 saw the completion of a two-year, $15k project to renovate my mouth. After decades of crappy, painful teeth, my mouth looks and works well, and should for the rest of my life. Worth every minute and every dollar. Thank you, Dr. James A. Miller and staff.

Wishing everyone a prosperous 2019.

Posted by: bkivey | 26 December 2018

12 Days of Christmas (PC Style)

The 12 Days of Christmas traditionally run from 25 December to 6 January (Old Christmas).

On the 12th day of the Eurocentrically imposed midwinter festival, my potential-acquaintance-rape-survivor gave to me,

TWELVE males reclaiming their inner warrior through ritual drumming.

ELEVEN pipers piping (plus the 18-member pit orchestra made up of members in good standing of the Musicians Equity Union as called for in their union contract even though they will not be asked to play a note…)

TEN melanin-deprived testosterone-poisoned scions of the patriarchal ruling class system leaping,

NINE persons engaged in rhythmic self-expression,

EIGHT economically disadvantaged female persons stealing milk-products from enslaved Bovine-Americans,

SEVEN endangered swans swimming on federally protected wetlands,

SIX enslaved fowl-Americans producing stolen nonhuman animal products,

FIVE golden symbols of culturally sanctioned enforced domestic incarceration,

(NOTE: after member of the Animal Liberation Front threatened to throw red paint at my computer, the calling birds, French hens and partridge have been reintroduced to their native habitat. To avoid further animal-American enslavement, the remaining gift package has been revised.)

FOUR hours of recorded whale songs,

THREE deconstructionist poets,

TWO Sierra Club calendars printed on recycled processed tree carcasses

and a Spotted Owl activist chained to an old-growth pear tree.

Posted by: bkivey | 25 December 2018

In Hoc Anno Domini

Written in 1949 by Vernon Royster and published in The Wall Street Journal annually since.

When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the known world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.

Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so. But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression – for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the le­gions or to fill the hungry treasury from which divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impresser to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the emperor proscribed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?

There was persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?

Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.

And the voice from Galilee, which would defy Caesar, offered a new Kingdom in which each man could walk upright and bow to none but his God. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. And he sent this gospel of the Kingdom of Man into the uttermost ends of the earth.

So the light came into the world and the men who lived in darkness were afraid, and they tried to lower a cur­tain so that man would still believe sal­vation lay with the leaders.

But it came to pass for a while in divers places that the truth did set man free, although the men of dark­ness were offended and they tried to put out the light. The voice said, Haste ye. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you, for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

Along the road to Damascus the light shone brightly. But afterward Paul of Tarsus, too, was sore afraid. He feared that other Caesars, other prophets, might one day persuade men that man was nothing save a servant unto them, that men might yield up their birthright from God for pottage and walk no more in freedom.

Then might it come to pass that darkness would settle again over the lands and there would be a burning of books and men would think only of what they should eat and what they should wear, and would give heed only to new Caesars and to false prophets. Then might it come to pass that men would not look upward to see even a winter’s star in the East, and once more, there would be no light at all in the darkness.

And so Paul, the apostle of the Son of Man, spoke to his brethren, the Galatians, the words he would have us remember afterward in each of the years of his Lord:

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Posted by: bkivey | 24 December 2018

The Night Before Christmas, Legally Speaking

Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property (hereinafter “the House”) a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse.

A variety of foot apparel, e.g., stocking, socks, etc., had been affixed by and around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick AKA/St. Nicholas AKA/Santa Claus (hereinafter “Claus”) would arrive at sometime thereafter.

The minor residents, i.e., the children, of the aforementioned House were located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations, i.e., dreams, wherein visions of confectionery treats, including, but not limited to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams.

Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as “I”), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the House with the parts of the second part (hereinafter “Mamma”), and said Mamma had retired for a sustained period of sleep. (At such time, the parties were clad in various forms of headgear, e.g., kerchief and cap.)

Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the unimproved real property adjacent and appurtenant to said House, i.e., the lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance. The party of the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the cause of such disturbance.

At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter “the Vehicle”) being pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8) reindeer. The driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact was, the previously referenced Claus.

Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance to the approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically identified the animal co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen (hereinafter “the Deer”). (Upon information and belief, it is further asserted that an additional coconspirator named “Rudolph” may have been involved.)

The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted that the Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or nature. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express or implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus entered said House via the chimney.

Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the aforementioned packages, toys, and other unknown items. He was smoking what appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local ordinances and health regulations.

Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stocking of the minor children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small gifts. (Said items did not, however, constitute “gifts” to said minors pursuant to the applicable provisions of the US Tax Code.)

Upon completion of such task, Claus touched the side of his nose and flew, rose and/or ascended up the chimney of the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as “lookouts.” Claus immediately departed for an unknown destination.

However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus from said House, the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim:
“Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!”
Or words to that effect.

Author: Unknown

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