Sunday, July 6, 2008

Eighth Issue - 6 July 2008

The 4th of July. What did you do… I was prodded into going to the Balloon Park (here in Albuquerque) to spend the afternoon walking around in the heat, smelling all the different scents coming from the vendors, to eventually sitting in the third row for the evening’s main event, that being Blood, Sweat & Tears. Now, I know most of you remember these guys. We may not have appreciated their music as a rock n’ roll band since their forte is more blues/jazz with a twist of rock. Anyway, BST are actually better now than I remember 40 years ago. If you get the chance to see them, take the time to do so. They sound great. And the lead singer can still sing! The best part of the evening… parking was free and entrance was a buck. So, on that note, here’s some music events coming to the Portland area for the remainder of the summer, thought you all might have an interest in. Of course, I didn’t see any great deals like the one I just experienced, but hope you find something to make a lasting memory.

What’s Coming Up: Concerts (Portland Area)

July 14-15
Eddie Izzard, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 8pm, Tickets avg $160
July 15
Wolf Parade, McMenamins Crystal Ballroom, 9pm, Tickets $15 general admission
July 16
Jimmy Eat World, Roseland Theater & Grill, 8pm, Tickets avg $56 – must buy in pairs only
Catherine Russell, Oregon Zoo, 7pm, Tickets avg $10
July 18
Hot July Nights, Esther Short Park, Vancouver, gates open at 4pm, Opening Act is Norman Sylvester at 6pm, Headliner is Peter Frampton at 8pm, Tickets $35
Toby Keith, Amphitheater Clark County, Ridgefield, 7:30pm, Tickets $24.50 - $73.50
Ray Davies, McMenamins Crystal Ballroom, 8pm, Tickets avg $140+
July 19
Aimee Mann, Aladdin Theater, 8pm, Tickets $35
July 20
Ringo Starr, McMenamins Historic Edgefield Manor, Troutdale, 7pm, Tickets $42 & $75
July 23
The Zombies, Wonder Ballroom, 8pm, Tickets $25
July 24
James Taylor, Amphitheater Clark County, Ridgefield, WA, 8pm, Tickets $20-$60
July 27
Lyle Lovett, McMenamins Historic Edgefield Manor, Troutdale, 7pm, Tickets $37 - $69
The Hold Steady, McMenamins Crystal Ballroom, 9pm, Tickets $65
July 29
Chris Isaak, McMenamins Historic Edgefield Manor, Troutdale, 6:30pm, Tickets $35 - $65
August 3 (Not sure how this is going to work…)
The Faint/Jaguar Love/Shy Child, McMenamins Crystal Ballroom, 8pm, Tickets avg $65
The Faint, McMenamins Crystal Ballroom, 9pm, Tickets avg $18
August 7
Dolly Parton, Theatre of the Clouds – Rose Garden, 8pm, Tickets avg $160+
August 9
Crufest (Motley Crue), Rose Garden Arena, TBA, Tickets avg $173+
August 23
Melissa Etheridge, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 8pm, Tickets avg $202+
August 29
Sheryl Crow, Edgefield – Troutdale, 6:30pm, Tickets $175, $230, $406

Movie Review. Not over-powered by old clichés, Get Smart is a good, fun movie. B+ If you enjoy comedies, you won’t be disappointed. The older generation (that would be us) laughed on que while the children (that generation behind us) didn’t quite catch the schtick. Entertaining… Got my recommendation.
Hancock… Give it a B for effort. The unexpected twist carried the movie. Enjoyable.

FYI. Bonus/Purse for the following sports:
2007 Superbowl
Winners: $73,000 each
Losers: $38,000 each
2007 World Series avg $280,000 each
2008 U.S. Open (golf) Purse: $1.08M
2008 Wimbledon (tennis) Purse: $1.4M

Granted, football & baseball players receive paychecks where golf & tennis players are on their own. I choose golf as a professional sport in my next life…

Summer’s Get Together. Sunday, 20 July BBQ at Dave and Edna’s (Beguhl); Monday, 21 July dinner at Dave and Paula’s (Bearson). Need directions to either place, drop me a note (preferably before 15 July) and I’ll be happy to send those directions to you.

A Short Story… He Was a Good Man Grandpa Was by Chris Pack

Well… didn’t get any negative feedback on Chapter 1. So… here’s Chapter 2.

CHAPTER 2 – Snipe Hunting

Lot of times on those summer weekends, my aunts and uncles, along with all my cousins, gathered at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Most of them lived somewhere close by while we, Mom and Dad and my two sisters, lived the furthest away. Those summer weekends were about the only time we came visiting on a regular basis. During the school year, we might visit once a month. Anyway, one summer get together, we had all stayed pretty late, way past dark. Us kids were, as always, somewhere out in the berry patch back near the tree-line to the forest, just far enough we could barely hear the music being played in the back yard. Although it was pitch black with a bit of a breeze, this night we heard rustling just beyond the tree-line and we all got a bit spooked. Being the oldest, I made the decision that maybe it was time to head back to the house. About that moment I thought to myself, “I don’t hear no music.” We all started back to the house in a manner faster than we came in, and out of the trees comes a hoot’n and holler’n from Grandpa, my Dad and all my Uncles, just a scaring the daylights out of us. We started running and screaming like a bunch of fools, but then the holler’n stopped and I could hear the laughter after running about twenty yards. I figured then, the joke was on us. They’d all come down to scare us first, then wanted us to help with some bird hunting, snipe birds they called ‘em. My cousins looked at me for an answer, like I knew what a snipe was. Of course, I’d never heard of no snipe bird, but who was I to question Grandpa. Grandpa described them as nocturnal creatures, meaning they only come out at night. He said they’s about the size of a pigeon, have a long beak and a short wing span, which makes them prefer to run on their long legs rather than fly. Not that they can’t fly Grandpa says, but when they do fly it’s only short distances in a zigzag pattern low to the ground. At night it’s too hard for them to see, so they run instead of fly. Grandpa also says we need to be careful not to catch the black-tailed hootie owl instead of the snipe bird. The hootie owl is nocturnal as well and chases the field mice for its dinner. But the hootie owl is mostly black with a small flat face, about the same size as the snipe bird. However, the snipe bird has the long thin beak with long legs, light brown feathers with white spots on its back and wings, and a white chest of feathers. Grandpa says to catch the snipe we must stand in an open field real still like, holding a gunny-sack open between our legs and a flashlight next to the bag. Then a bunch of folks go out and pound the ground with sticks, scaring up the birds, which then run towards the light and into the sack. Once we got one or two in a sack, you had to tie it with string and put it aside, then open up another sack, and wait for another to come running. Sometimes you’d get more than one or two at a time in a sack. We just had to be ready to close the sack so they don’t get away. Grandpa had brought down a bunch of gunny-sacks and string, handing them out to us kids. We were all given a flashlight and Grandpa told us all to spread out whilst he, my Dad and my Uncles would go up yonder a ways then start beating the ground and chase them snipe birds towards us. Oh, and Dad did mention we needed to be careful of snakes because the light might attract them as well, unlikely he said but keep in mind just in case. So, we spread out across the berry patch like Grandpa said, while they all headed back in the direction of the house. Of course, you couldn’t see the house because we were out in the back forty somewhere and the house was over the ridge, only a dim glow of light gave away its location. I got in position like Grandpa said, turned on my flashlight only to see a dim glow. I saw my cousins spread out as well and their flashlights didn’t look much brighter than mine. Soon we heard the men folk a hollering as we all got ready for a herd of snipe birds to come stampeding over us while trying to keep an eye out for snakes. After about what seemed to be a good twenty minutes at most, we couldn’t hear anymore hollering, then my flashlight went out. So too, did everyone else’s flashlight. And now, here we stood in the berry patch, in the dead of night with no light, anticipating any moment to be trampled by a herd of snipe birds and hootie owls, or bit by a snake. But no bird stampede came, nor did we see any snakes. In fact, the only thing we heard was some of those hootie owls off in the distance. Then a thought came to mind what Grandpa once told me about the coyotes coming out at night, looking for something to eat. Of course, stupid me had to mention coyotes to my cousins, which then caused the girls to start crying. Well, I was starting to feel a bit scared myself and realized then Grandpa was playing a trick on us, leaving us out there in the dark like that, probably back at the house laughing so hard he was probably crying himself. We picked up the sacks and headed back on a dirt path to the house. The whole time the girls were crying and would scream at any little sound they heard. The rest of us jumped each time they screamed. Finally, we got back to the house, where Grandpa sat in his Lazy-Boy, asked what took so long for us to get back, and then the laughter broke out. Yep, our family is just full of comedians.

Next Month: Chapter 3 – Pheasant Hunting

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Seventh Issue - 13 June 2008


The Flower of Eighth Grade. I was always such a goody-goody, but one time someone (I can't remember who) talked me into writing some graffiti in the girls bathroom. Thinking no one would ever know that I did it, I was shocked to be called into Mr. Means’ office! I loved that man; he really was the kindest person! He point blanked asked me if I had done the writing and being a basically good girl, I confessed. I never told him who else was involved (and I can't remember anymore) and that person was never caught. Apparently, Mrs. Flatt recognized my handwriting and told Mr. Means that she thought the handwriting was mine. I spent that day, after school, scrubbing the bathroom walls and removing the handwriting! Mr. Means was very kind even as he was giving the punishment and wrote in my yearbook, "To the flower of the eighth grade." Hopefully, no one else will say that he also wrote that in their yearbook, because he made me feel very special! This incident and one skipped day in high school (and that is another good story!) was the end of my wild & criminal behavior while attending school! I guess I am pretty much a goody-goody after all! Debby (Weiss) Haner

Movie Review. Indiana Jones & The Crystal Skull (or something…) The anticipation was more overwhelming than the movie. And I’m a big fan of the series… First one still the winner. Good… not great.

Update. Last issue there was a question regarding Clay Zimmerman’s… health. Latest report from an Alumni states some time ago, they had come across the name in the local obituary. Not recalling the cause of death or when they read the issue, only Clay’s name was remembered. For me, that’s enough proof and all I really need to know. Clay was a good friend. And I would like to share a moment in time with you all. It was a nice day, a Saturday I believe. Duane, Clay, and I had stopped by Tab’s house for whatever reason. None of us really had no reason for stopping by a friend’s house… we did it all the time. “What you doing? Not much, what you all doing? Nothing…” was our typical line of greeting. Well, this day must have been an exceptionally boring day for all of us. Seemed when Tab got bored, he needed to take it out in a physical way. For some reason, Tab got on Clay’s case. Duane and I sat back and watched while Tab picked on Clay. Tab kept it up for a while, taunting Clay; I think just to see how much Clay would take. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, Clay took a roundhouse swing and caught Tab square in the nose. Knocked his butt on the ground. Clay did his little “Ali” butterfly dance while Duane and I laid there on the lawn, laughing hysterically. Even Tab was laughing. As he got up, ole Tab threatened to take Clay out. And the butterfly dance turned into a Carl Lewis sprint. Didn’t see Clay the rest of the day. Tab went in for some ice, hoping to stop his nose from bleeding. Duane and I… went home. Clay did things suddenly, without warning. Might have been stupid things, but was fun to have him around. I’ll miss him.

Recipe. Fiery Angel Hair Pasta
1 pound angel hair pasta 1/2 cup Chili Oil, recipe follows 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves 1 lemon, juiced 2 tablespoons lemon zest Coarse sea salt Dried crushed red pepper flakes 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel, optional 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the angel hair pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
Stir the oil, parsley, lemon juice and lemon peel in a large serving bowl. Add the cooked pasta and toss with enough reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and red pepper flakes, to taste. Sprinkle grated lemon peel over pasta for extra flavor and texture. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve.
Chili Oil: 2 cups olive oil 4 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper flakes
Combine the oil and crushed red pepper flakes in a heavy small saucepan. Cook over low heat until a thermometer inserted into the oil registers 180 degrees F, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Transfer the oil and pepper flakes to a 4-ounce bottle. Seal the lid. Refrigerate up to 1 month.

Summer’s Get Together. Think we got it figured out. Edna will be hosting again this summer. Mark your calendar for 1pm Sunday, 20 July. I think if we all bring a dish of some sort, something to drink… we can all enjoy a great day together catching up. I personally look forward to chatting with ole Dave Bearson and his golfing experience… A HOLE IN ONE… please. Is the gloating over yet? (If it were me, I’d bring pictures with autographs for everyone.) And RSVPs would be great… call Edna or send me or Rosemary an email if you haven’t done so yet. Hope to see you all there…

A Short Story… He Was a Good Man Grandpa Was by Chris Pack (A short story I’ve been playing with… I guess I’m throwing it out there looking for constructive criticism. If you find it worthwhile, can continue the chapters… I’m either getting brave by tossing this out there or had too much to drink if I send this...)

CHAPTER 1 – Good Neighbors
I reckon I can remember back to when I was about 12 years old, maybe a might bit younger. I can see my Grandpa almost as plain as the lines on my hand. He stood about six foot tall if not an inch or two from it. Seemed tall for a man in them days. But then I wasn’t much more than four foot myself, which might have deceived Grandpa’s height some. I recall his larger-than-life smile, a nose longer than most, which Grandpa said was French, and short black hair but looked gray to me. Summer days didn’t matter much when he would come in from the berry patch dust covered after a full day of plowing fields. He’d get down off that old orange oxidized Fordson, look me in the eye, rub my head and ask how long I’d been there. Think he was always more concerned as to how much longer I’d be staying. One time I stayed pert near most the summer so seemed. Mom and Dad dropped me off and showed up the next weekend, only to leave me there again for another week. I didn’t much mind since my Uncle still lived at home. He was the youngest of five and still had high school to finish. Only five years older than me, he was usually around most days.
The fun usually began sometime after dinner. Seemed all those neighbors liv’n down that dirt road would come over, bring their kids and some sort of musical instrument. Some instruments looked recognizable, others I’d question their authenticity as a musical instrument. I mean, a fiddle is right easy to figure out, and those squeeze boxes had to be with all the noise they made. But those jugs them men folk blew into or the washtub with a wire and stick were kind a questionable. And the sound of a spoon and washboard… toss in a couple wind harps and, well somehow it all came together and sounded pretty good it did.
Some of us kids, we’d run around in the berry patches, through the barn, play hide n’ seek most times each night. Before it got dark enough to play, we might hunt garden snakes. I recollect them snakes being pretty easy to find. The girls didn’t care much for chasing down snakes. They’d come along but didn’t want to touch them. Grandma didn’t care for them snakes much neither.
One day, us boys had caught a mess of them snakes I’d guess, keeping them in a box we’d found in the barn. We were pretty excited to show someone how many we got, so we brought the box in the house where the women folk were, just to show them is all. Tommy was holding the box and all the moms wanted to see. I suppose we should a told them first what was in the box but we wanted it to be a surprise. Well, we guessed after show’n the snakes-in-a-box it wasn’t a surprise they really wanted to see. Tommy dropping that box in the kitchen like he did where all the women folk gathered around us become a bigger surprise. You should a heard the screaming. Was so loud, scared all the snakes and they were just a going in all directions. Then too, were all the women folk. They’d scream so loud Grandpa and all the men folk come running in, most getting knocked down by all the women running out the door. When they’d seen what the screaming was all about, they had a pretty good laugh, but told us kids to catch each one of those snakes and get them out of the house soon. We were picking them up as fast as we could catch them but was hard work, because them garden snakes were a going everywhere. We’d caught what we thought was all of them, and got out of the house quick. Grandma was hollering that we’d best got all them snakes, but I didn’t think we had, ‘cause I remember some little ones and I wasn’t seeing any little ones in the box. But they were all a hollering at us to hurry up, so we called it good and got out of there. Took those snakes out to the barn and let them go we did, then headed out to the back part of the berry patch. Occasionally, we hear some screaming come from the house… I was thinking we must of missed a few of them snakes.

Next Issue: CHAPTER 2 – Snipe Hunting…

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sixth Issue - 19 May 2008


My Summer Vacation. I was on vacation. Sorry about making you all wait for the next edition. Bet you all thought I gave up… HA !!! Fat chance. Took a trip down to Carlsbad, NM to see the caverns and the bats. Saw the caverns but the bats didn’t feel much like flying the night we were there. Temperatures this time of year are usually warm to hot. We lucked out and the high was only 65 degrees that day and while waiting for the bat performance, temp dropped down to around 50 with a slight breeze. Anyway, it wasn’t bat-flying temperatures and we didn’t get to see one bat come out of the cave. BUT… the experience of going thru the caverns was great. So, accomplishing one feat out of the two I’ll have to live with for now. However, should any of you ever plan a trip to Carlsbad Caverns, go in mid-September, stay at the Days Inn in Carlsbad (about 20 miles from the Caverns), and eat dinner at the Red Chimney. Dang if they ain’t got the best smoked bbq! And we visited Riodoso during a motorcycle rally. Fortunately found a place to stay. Made a trip out to White Sands outside Alamagorso… something about the first atomic bomb being tested there. Amazing how these white sand dunes just pop up out of nowhere… Spent some time (and money) at the casino in Riodoso. Nice place… And that about highlights our summer vacation. Next… Mindy heads to Kennewick for her daughter’s high school graduation; I’m looking forward to my trip to Portland in July (which I hope to see most of you then…) and then Jeffrey, my son who just loves his job, will be home in September so we’ll be heading up to Utah for a visit along with my daughter… And dat’s my suma vacation…

Recipe. This issue of “Recipes” brought to you by Rosemary… Sounds good!
Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger

1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
1/8 cup canola oil
4 pounds ground turkey breast
2 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. black pepper
2 tsp. chipotle Tabasco™
1 lemon, juice and grated zest
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup Major Grey's Chutney, pureed
Sauté the scallions, celery and apples in the canola oil until tender. Let cool. Place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add sautéed items and the remaining ingredients. Shape into eight 8-ounce burgers. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Season the turkey burgers with salt and pepper. Place on a preheated, lightly oiled grill. Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked. Let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with a side of Mar-a-Lago Pear Chutney and your favorite toasted bread, pita or hamburger roll.

A True Confession. Remember the last issue regarding Bart’s misadventures with Clay? Bubble gum in the hair moment? Well Bart, the sport that he is, has another confession to share…

“That was me but it was no mystery who did it. I was caught and sent to the principal’s office who promptly called my home. I was in big trouble. They tried to get the gum out with butter but all attempts failed. When I saw Clay again he had a big bald spot. He was not completely innocent. He had spit his gum on my completed paper. Poor Mrs. Flatt we just about did her in. Do you know what ever happened to Clay? I know when we had paper routes together he had brain surgery. I lost track of him after grade school. He was a good guy.

Another confession that got me expelled and sent home, was an event I am not proud of but can still appreciate the sic humor. It was either 6th or 7th grade. During the Union 76 antenna ball craze. It was lunch time and of course I had some stolen balls in my Sur Jac. As I was walking around the ball fields, I happened to see a fresh dropping from a dog. I proceeded to put a 76 ball right into the dropping. I then went looking for a victim. It did not take long. To save her the embarrassment, I will not tell you who. But I walked up to her and said, “Hey look, there’s a 76 ball out in the field.” She immediately took off running, I gave her a head start and took off chasing her. She scooped the ball at full speed. I could no longer run because of the fact I was laughing too hard. My sic humor. The next thing I knew I was being dragged to the office by my ear by a teacher. She had watched the whole sic plan develop. I got sent home and had to go to this girl's house that night and personally apologize. Those were the days.” Bart

Aw yes… those were the days. Clay had another brain tumor during high school. I lost track of Clay after my senior year. Should anyone have an update on Clay, or anyone for that matter, and would like to share the information, send to me and I'll get it posted in the Review.