July 31, 1999
Information about Ty Davison straight from the horse's mouth.
Years worth of mind-numbing details, ponderings, and events.
External URLs that have cropped up in the course of the News history.
July 31, 1999
We celebrated yesterday's five-year wedding anniversary today by driving up the Columbia River Gorge and seeing the various sights. We traveled as far east as Umatilla before deciding that this was really way too far up I-84 to find anything interesting or meaningful. (Apologies, sort of, to the people of Umatilla.) I insisted we stop in a second hand store there to make sure this was so, and sure enough it was. I've not seen that much junk for sale in one place since I visited the auto wrecker.
Further west, we stopped at the Washington-side World War I Stonehenge replica, a rather odd memorial but one with a great view of the Gorge. Given the bright sunny day and pleasant breeze, I think that in hindsight we probably should have lunched there, but perhaps that'd be considered a faux paus given the nature of the site.
The Dalles Dam tour was an interesting stop. After a short walk-through of the visitors' center, we hopped on a train which took us out to the Dam where we received a free 30 minute free tour. I'm not recommending either the Dam tour or The Dalles as a major tourist attraction, but they both beat the pants off of Umatilla.
Romantics that we are, we concluded our adventure with dinner in that 50s-style burger joint known as BurgerVille. The fries were too salty and the burgers were so-so, but man alive those were great milkshakes! In future, we'll probably go drive through Burger King for the burgers, McDonalds for the fries, and BurgerVille for the shakes. It'll be mix-and-match fast food success.
In sum, we had a strange and wonderful day celebrating five years together.
July 27, 1999
Erin's jumped in and started the second session of summer school teaching for Cascade Academics. This session is morning only, which is a marvelous bonus. This afternoon, for example, we hit the fitness room, and after lifting some weights, Erin took to the pool while I slogged out my 30 minutes on the treadmill. (Her activity was more fun, but that's the virtue of high metabolism for you.)
July 25, 1999
Did The Mummy and The Matrix thing again, but this time with Matt, Ginger, and Dennis. I needed to see The Mummy again like I need a third eyebrow. The Matrix, however, was even better upon second viewing as Erin and I were able to pick up even more religious symbolism. Definitely one of my favorites.
July 24, 1999
We returned to Salem this evening after celebrating Dad's birthday in high style with Bret, Mom, Grandma, and, of course, the birthday boy himself. Dad, Erin and I went to see one of Bret's soccer games, and I'm happy to report that he's playing on the best amateur soccer squad I've ever seen in Oregon. Finally somebody up here that knows something about tactics and teamwork. Very refreshing.
I followed up this event by losing by 1 point in cribbage to Grandma. This sort of defeat happens so frequently you'd think I'd have quit playing by now. I led the whole gamesignificantly, toountil the final couple hands when Grandma came roaring back. As is almost always the case, I pegged to within 1 point of winning and then lost because she counted first. The painful kicker? My final hand had 28 points in it. Shoot me now.
Upon returning to Clackamas, we turned in our 30-day notice at the apartment complex here in Clackamas. Although we're very tempted to buy a house in Salem, the odds of pulling that off in 30-days are virtually nonexistent, so we'll be looking at apartment living again for at least the short-term. Moving/free pizza day will be August 21 for those interested!
July 23, 1999
Our latest in an on-going cycle of Big News: Erin has been hired at my alma mater, Sprague High School. Sprague (Class of '87 rocks!) is a public high school in south Salem with over 2200 students. In my day, it was around 1500. Erin will be teaching French 1 and/or French 2 as well as Freshman Basic English Skills and Junior Expository Writing. This French/English combination is ideal for her talents and exactly the position for which she was looking. In addition, our friend Ginger was just hired for Sprague's English department as well, so we really couldn't ask for a better situation.
Time to celebrate!
July 22, 1999
The noble and no-longer-inexpensive-what-a-deal Mazda 626 returns to the shop today, this time for elective surgery in form of a retrofitted air conditioning system. No freon for this baby, no sir! [Update: It's technically still freon, it's just not the environmentally damaging kind.]
Erin successfully completed the first session of her summer school credit recovery classes. Most kids passed, some failed. Those that tried typically did well and showed dramatic improvements in their writing. Second session starts on Monday.
We tuned into UPN's Seven Days, a time-travel sci-fi show. Our expectations of quality programming were dashed in well under an hour, but we perservered through the full 60 minutes anyway. Won't do it again, though, and I can't recommend that anyone else does either.
July 20, 1999
Up late working some more on the loligomusic.com site. Expect big (and hopefully worthwhile) changes soon. I'm learning a lot about ImageReady, Photoshop, and GoLive.
Erin will be in her last day of the first summer school session tomorrow. I think most of the kids will have successfully completed the course, though there are the inevitable dropouts. Considering that one had to pretty much flunk to get into this credit recovery program, it's not too terribly surprising to have some of these kids flunk again. That's unfortunate, of course, and not always an easy thing for a teacher to detach from emotionally. Erin's done a good job of it, though, and has recognized that ultimately it's up to each individual to put forth the effort necessary for success.
At this point, it looks like Erin will on be teaching a morning class in the second session (as opposed to the morning and afternoon classes she did this go-round).
July 18, 1999
The big event for the day was our friend Dennis' birthday BBQ where we had the chance not only to fete Dennis, but also to finally hookup with our ever-working friend Joe. Somewhere along the line I signed myself up for a 28 mile bike ride, but how this happened is still somewhat hazy. (Expect the painful details of that adventure in August.)
Garr's band, loligo, has a concert on August 5 at the Ash Street Saloon. Details will follow as I learn them, but for now mark those calendars!
July 17, 1999
Following my morning soccer scrimmage, Erin and I hopped into the now-running-fine Mazda 626 and traveled south along the backroads of Highway 99E. We stopped in various small towns like Canby, Mt. Angel, and Silverton and checked out the atmosphere. A very enjoyable little drive.
July 16, 1999
After four hard days of work this week, Erin and I took the day off. We visited my grandma Norma and took her out to breakfast at the world's greatest pancake house, King's Omelets. (Yeah, the omelets are okay, too.) After a brief rendezvous with Mom and Dad at Grandma's pad, we headed to the local theatre to catch a double bill of The Mummy and The Matrix.
The Mummy is the type of movie that gives special effects a bad name. It wasn't terrible, but special effects almost literally made the movieremove the scenes with special effects and you've got almost nothing left. Fortunately, these are state-of-the-art Industrial Light & Magic tricks, so it's all quite watchable. Just adjust your expectations so that plot, character development, dialogue, and just about anything else you can think of doesn't matter. It's pretty eye candy, but you'd think that if they were going to spend so much time and money on special effects, they'd make a better movie. Erin thought the male lead, Brendan Frasier, was hunky, too.
The Matrix was excellent throughout. True, it's long in the exposition, and a little better editing would've helped avoid a bit of lag toward the end. But that's to pick nits with a movie that not only features top-rate action and special effects but uses the same to delve into issues of reality and artificial intelligence on a scope rarely seen in a Hollywood flick. Quite well done and highly recommended.
This evening's indoor soccer game was an 8-3 victory in which I tallied a goal and an assist. Didn't play particularly well, but I was dominate enough, I suppose, and certainly it was terrific exercise. Outdoor soccer practice tomorrow morning.
I've not had a chance to "pretty it up" yet, but Garr's band's web site is up at www.loligomusic.com.
July 10, 1999
Thanks to Dennis for hosting a Women's World Cup TV party. Great fun, and really can't top the USA v. China finale for suspense, can you?
Speaking of soccer, played an indoor rec coed game this evening where I came big with 2 goals (the maximum allowed for guys) and had two assists. Both assists were to women and since women's goals count as two points, that made me responsible for 6 of our team's 8 points. Final score was 8-1. (Forgive me for tooting my own horn here. It's been a long time since I played and I'm enjoying the feeling of success.) Thanks again to Dennis, this time for inviting me to play. (Dennis was huge in goal, btw.)
Spent a good portion of the day with more QuickTime 4 work. Discovered how to add a text track to the music. This means I can put the lyrics up as still pictures while the music streams, a cool bonus. Of course this "cool bonus" takes a lot of work, but that's part of what makes it cool.
Received the necessary paperwork from the Secretary of State to register for an assumed business name and start up my web design company. I'm still rather undecided on whether I should do this immediately or wait until Erin and I have moved to a more permanent location. Since such a move is likely less than 60 days away, I'll probably wait.
July 9, 1999
More digitizing workman, am I learning a lot about QuickTime 4for loligo's web site. The domain name pointer is still directed to the old server, so everything probably won't go active until Monday at the earliest. No matter. It just gives me time to get more songs set up for streaming. If all goes well, the entire album should be available for an over-the-Internet listening.
Although Erin's interview went well, she had a heck of a time getting there. I-5 was so severely backed up that it took her an hour and 10 minutes to travel 10 miles. She ended up pulling off and calling to tell the interview committee she would be late and they graciously waited for her, but it made for a rougher start to the affair than anyone would have preferred. Everyone on the committee heads out on vacation for a couple of weeks and apparently they have a few more interviews to do, so we won't know about this particular position until about July 28. Since it's a French/English split both Erin and I think it would be an excellent opportunitynot to mention that she'd bring the ideal skill set to itbut whatever will be, will be.
Thanks to Ma and Pa for swapping cars with us and taking our 626 in for another tune-up. This one added a cooling fan relay that, given the current heat wave, was essential to our car's survival. Will probably look at an air conditioning retrofit next.
July 8, 1999
Witnessed firsthand the incomparable music of loligo, my friend Garr's band, who played at Berbati's Pan this evening. This was the release party for their first CD, scarlet fever, and the rest of the audience was clearly as impressed as I was with loligo's performance. At the end of the gig, the line to buy the CD was snaked back a good dozen people or so.
I spent most of today working on the loligo web site. For the most part that's consisted of digitizing songs from the album and preparing them for Internet audio streaming via QuickTime 4. The site itself will go up as soon as we get the go-ahead from the server guys. Expect to see www.loligomusic.com active by Monday at the latest.
[Spelling note: The band wants "loligo" and items relating to the band (like the album title) in all lower case. Now you too can be hip and spell their name correctly.]
Erin has her first teaching interviewthis one for a split French/English positiontomorrow in Salem. Everybody think good thoughts.
July 7, 1999
Received an email from The Oregonian's News Editor admitting that they should've noted that the white supremacist loser isn't speaking to the press. The editor followed this up by saying "we stand behind the tenor of the article," which is like saying "we were vaguely correct; we goofed up some things, but it's close enough for our readership." I'm already pining away for the San Jose Mercury-News.
July 6, 1999
What a day. The car dies about a quarter of a mile from the apartment while Erin's on the way to work. Revs just fine, but put it in gear and it sounds like the Falcon's hyperdrive in Empire Strikes Back. After numerous phone calls, I get it towed to Salem to the mechanics' place, and it turns out to be related to the work they did last week. The towing was covered under our auto service plan and the mechanics' work was obviously free, so the only cost was time, but what an exhausting day for having so very little accomplished. [Erin hitched a ride with coworkers to and from work.]
Wrote a rather biting complaint letter to The Oregonian's Public Editor about their lopsided coverage of some white supremacist doofus. He sounds like a racist loser, but even losers should have a chance to defend themselves in print. They didn't even bother to interview him. (Never mind that he claims not to stand what everybody else says he stands for.) So much for the notion of balanced coverage and journalistic integrity. We'll see if my complaints have any impact.
I'm not holding my breath.
July 5, 1999
Ginger was nice enough to show me the culinary ropes of making ginger snaps, a dessert that gets my vote as the most excellent cookies of all time. In short, they're delicious, and I usually have to be physically restrained to keep from eating them all.
This was my first major cooking adventure in a good long while, and I'm happy to report that under Ginger's tutelage, everything came out great. We made 8 dozen cookies and each took half. My 4 dozen will be gone by the end of the week, I'm sure.
July 4, 1999Independence Day
The best part of today's Wimbledon coverage was easily a quarterfinals mixed-doubles match of Steffi Graf and John McEnroe versus Venus Williams and some tall white guy. Seeing McEnroe's beautiful serve-and-volley game again was almost indescribably wonderful. It doesn't hurt that age seems to have mellowed his argumentative tendencies either. Graf and McEnroe won, but Graf withdrew from their semi final match leaving a somewhat angry McEnroe to wonder what success might have been for him even now, at age 40, on the famed Wimbledon courts.
We followed the morning with an action-packed Fourth including a Women's World Cup soccer game at Dennis' place (USA 2, Brazil 0), a BBQ and round of Claim to Fame at our place, and a night sky-view of area's fireworks at Matt and Ginger's. Along the way we also engaged in discussions of ethics, lucid dreaming, emotions, and just about anything else one can think of. We might have played a little Tomb Raider II as well.
July 3, 1999
Watched the Wimbledon semis, then Matt came over and we spent the remainder of the day studying the intricacies of QuakeWorld, which means for the most part we ran around shooting people on the computer screen. Not the most productive Saturday in the world, but it sure was fun!
July 2, 1999
Thanks to Dad for his recommendation of D Best Autoworks as the place to go to get your car fixed. These Salem-based mechanics strike me not only as trustworthy, but their per hour labor charge is also almost half of what I was paying down in the Bay Area. Of course, that said, we've just dumped another $400 into the Mazda 626 this time for CV joints, axle shafts, a variety of belts, fix of the dashboard lights, and inspection of everything. We'll throw another $100 into a new relay for the cooling fan next week.
So our February $2400 steal of a deal Mazda 626 is now at $3900. It'll probably bump up another $350 to retrofit the air conditioning so that it accepts the newer R34 instead of the old environmentally damaging (and very expensive) R12 freon. So $4250 for a low mileage 1986 Mazda 626? Yeah, it's probably still worth it to me. It's more than I'd hoped to spend certainly, but on the whole it's a very nice car and quite fun to drive.
July 1, 1999
Met with my friend Julie for lunch and wished her godspeed on her move to New York for graduate school at NYU. Julie plans to continue belly dancing, a career she's pursued in the Portland-area for the past few years with good success. New York is, of course, a much bigger pond, as it were, but if nothing else the opportunities to learn should be enormous. It should be a grand adventure for her.