dem doggone bloggin’ blues …

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home (m)ownership …

house

I just bought my third home. The American Dream. It wasn’t my choice, but my mother-in-law is 83 and could use some help. Come live with us we begged, but don’t hold us accountable! Our family lives here. We raised our family here in this little coastal mountain community, population 1600. My three grandsons have dinner with us and we watch movies together every Friday. I take them to school. We camp at Mount Rainier on weekends and watch the stars huddled as one in our sleeping bags.

The house buying process is a well-oiled machine. Everyone has a hand out and everyone has the answers. That is the easy part. Next, you find yourselves at the Grand Mall, at Sears to be specific, ordering the stainless steel mega-refrigerator, the matching dual-fuel Range (that I didn’t know existed, nor did I know the unique advantages of electric convection heat). Oh .. it doesn’t end there. Now, your $5000 outlay has just garnered points that allow you to buy even more items on sale and as a gift to you now as a proud member of the Craftsman Club. I am feeling so special.

Ninety days to spend it all or the points vanish .. so there I am looking at stacked toolboxes, pancake air-compressors, tool sets, table saws, weed-wackers, leaf-blowers, patio sets, microwave ovens, dining tables, sofas, lawnmowers, snd wet/dry vacuum cleaners. I am exhausted … I am a home owner.

I once lived on a boat. The happiest I have ever been. Every day brought a new adventure, every cove something new and unknown. Simple.

We’ll also be building a home down the coast in Manzanita, Oregon. On the beach. Simple. 100′ from the surf. Seagulls and sand crabs for pets.

Still .. I miss my boat. My biggest concern in life was whether or not the anchor would hold thru the night. Life was far less complicated.

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hood to coast …

newbike

New home, new town, new bike!

Living now in Oregon it makes sense to take advantage of the bicycling opportunities here. Ultimately, it’s riding from Mount Hood to our coast .. not next year, but who knows.

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heading home …

hh

Six weeks in Europe.
Time to head for home and go camping with our grandsons.

Dan & Debbie
Seaside, Oregon

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disjunctive syllogism …

cockburns

Cockburn’s Port Tasting Room (Vila Nova de Gaia) – Porto, Portugal

I wonder about all this new technology we use .. at times it actually seems to drive us further from each other. Much like Social Networking. Watching families at dinner, party of five, all yielding cell-phones and seemingly disinterested in each other or their meal. And then, here I am traveling 150mph on a train to Lisbon, First class, with high-speed WiFi, posting my thoughts via RF. Radio Frequency. The very medium I have spent most of my life studying. Magic by any stretch, moreso if one delves into the inner workings of electromagnetic fields.

I mean, it is amazing. I sit here studying Logic formalism on my Kindle, disjunctive syllogism strikes a chord, and within a minute I have downloaded George Boole’s 1854 classic treatise on Logic, ‘An Investigation of The Laws of Thought‘ via Amazon’s Whispernet. Behold a miracle!

But I miss real books too, at times … almost becoming impractical in our modern world it would seem. I can carry a thousand books on my Kindle all across Europe, on the beach at Aveiro, Portugal yesterday, on the plane returning home.

And still, having said all this … I don’t want to forget what it feels like to turn a page of a really great book, made from wood. It’s nice having options, isn’t it?

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Holding Luna …

lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal

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Potter in Portugal …

lello

We are in Porto, Portugal!

I have no idea what we have gotten ourselves into. Clearly, I am the only person on our planet that has never read any of the Harry Potter books. We are, we’ve been told, in the city where J.K. Rowling started writing the series, and tonight will host the World Premier for the new book at the Livraria Lello Bookstore just down the street where Rowling frequented for inspiration. This just might explain why, as we started investigating hotels, we found everything suddenly booked!

Dare I attempt to read the first book? It might be a nice break from the mathematics I’ve been reading on these long train rides.

The big event starts at 12:01 … I am sure I will be fast asleep!

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Flamenco’ing in Sevilla …

Sevilla1

Sevilla … takes your breath away. I mean, it’s to be 108-degrees today and it does indeed … take your breath away. It’s also unbelievably beautiful and leaves you gasping for air as well, but in a good way!

We are gobsmacked with the beauty of Spain. The people, the food, the wine, the weather … ok, scratch the weather part. Did I mention the Rioja wines? Actually, we stumbled upon an odd meteorological anomaly to find Madrid coolish! Low 80’s and a delightful breeze that lasted into the evenings. I think it has dissipated however and now all of España has turned the temperature dial up to ’11’ (past maximum). Mucho caliente!

Not to be discouraged, and hitting the Sangria hard, we have fallen in love with Sevilla and just changed our hotel reservations to add one more day to catch another Flamenco concert here. And here is the back-story – one of the goals in coming to Spain was to pursue learning Flamenco guitar. The investigative part .. at least. It’s one of those ‘twilight years’ goals .. like running with the bulls but with less risk of dying! We are in the heart of Flamenco and after attending a concert in Madrid I’ve hit the streets of Sevilla looking for more music.

Serendipity is a huge part of traveling. We were having dinner last night, some of the best food of our travels, and Debbie sneezes. The woman at the table next to us says ‘bless you’, which leads Deb to ask ‘where are you from?’ and later I ask her husband ‘and what do you do in Fresno, California?’. ‘Oh, I teach Flamenco guitar and am studying here in Sevilla for a month’. Wait … what?! Have I just hit the motherlode? Si! A little more conversation and Olé .. I now knew the Flamenco venues, upcoming concerts, the best beginning Flamenco guitar to buy, and how best to convince one’s wife that buying a guitar from a luthier in Spain will afford enough savings (over a similar guitar back home) to pay for the flight back to Sevilla when the guitar is finished. A free vacation! Tickets for two of course!

I just love that logic … Adios

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