Heavy metal

Hi! We’re home!

Here’s a little quiz:

Since I had all the metal put in my ankle, I have flown out of these airports:  Cincinnati OH, Seoul Korea, Dayton OH, Portland OR, and Denver CO. Guess at which airport my ankle set off the metal detector.

Welcome back to humidity. Yesterday we drove up into Rocky Mountain National Park hoping to get to the top but the snowstorm that blew through prevented that. Today we came back to 93 degrees and high humidity.  Ugh.



a) On Thursday we stayed at the Hoh Humm Ranch near the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park, WA.  We chose it for its cheap price and the fact that it advertised being a working ranch on 200 acres w/ lots of animals. Sounds charming, right?  We could hardly believe we were in the right place when we pulled in the drive. A ramshackled house with an overgrown yard full of weeds and defunct swimming pool.  Chickens were resting in the shade of a minivan in the driveway and a big black and white cat greeted us on the back porch.  The innkeeper was an older man in overalls and was quite friendly as he greeted us but the wife said nothing to us and seemed intent on watching the Oprah show that was on.  There were quilts spread across all the furniture to keep the animal hair off, I suppose, and the entire downstairs front room was panelled in faux pine panelling and floored in industrial linoleum.  The carpet on the stairs looked like it had been eaten by the dog.  Had we not stayed in much worse places, I suppose it would have been off-putting.  But everything was clean, just old.  So we spent the rest of the day and night feeling sorry for these poor elderly people trying to earn an extra buck to support their old farmstead in their declining years.

Then at breakfast, at which the innkeeper’s wife was much more chatty, we learned that in fact they were both retired, that the woman had been the first, or one of the first, female zookeeper in the U.S. and her husband had been an engineer in Seattle.  They were both very intelligent and I guess just weren’t interested in interior design as a marketing concept.

So you just never know about people.

b) One thing I DO know, the U.S. must have horrible literacy rates. It seems that almost no one can read.  At many of the parks we stopped at yesterday there were large signs clearly posted in obvious places asking people to not trample all over the fragile ecosystem but to stay on designated paths and trails but, judging from the numbers of people who were NOT doing so, one is forced to conclude they are either a) idiots or b) illiterate. Or maybe both.

c) Finally, big congratulations are due to my brother Brandon as he found out this week that he passed his first Naval exam and will be promoted to Petty Officer 2 Class. This test involved such exciting questions as “if you take the second note of the 16th measure of the Star Spangled banner and add it to the tonic of the third chord in the 8th measure, what kind of chord do you get”.  So big cheers to Brandon for his promotion and congratulations on not having to worry about the next exam for another 3 years or so. (Correct me if any of this info is wrong, B)

Canadian Joke

Being here, Troy was reminded of a joke that one of our Canadian colleagues in Korea told us:

Q: How do you get a group of Canadian to clear the swimming pool?

A: Say: Hey, guys. Can you get out of the pool?

Enormooouuus amounts of walking today. Went herehere and here as well as here all via foot power.  Somehow it is a lot harder to keep up the energy when there’s a baby on board as well.  Usually I am a good walker but my tolerance has been lower than normal this trip!

Canada Rules

We are staying here at Trutch Manor in the Parlour Room.

We went to Butchart Gardens today, which was amazing and splendid and absolutely spectacular.  Afternoon Tea also was had in the Dining Room (click the link to view the tea menu, if you so desire).  Despite the fact that the roses were not in bloom and that we got stuck behind a Korean family who not only took pictures of each other every 3 seconds, they also took not one but 3 pictures of these pictures every three seconds, thereby causing all those who were intending to use the walkway as well to have to stop and wait for not one but 3 pictures to be taken and then, when they were finished, ushering us on by say ‘ok’ to us (not, ‘sorry’ or ‘excuse me’ but ‘ok’), it was all very wonderful.  The tulips and the blue and pink and white forget-me-nots and English daisies and the masses of enormous rhodedendron trees blooming energetically plus the lovely 60 degree weather with nary a cloud in the sky.  Well, it was a perfect day.

And, we I have decided that Victoria is a paradise on earth and should be moved to immediately if not sooner.  It’s like Canada but better since it is also an island culture, which = laid back so you can be sure if it is Canada + more laid back, things are EXTREMELY chilled.  Did you know that Victoria is a temperate micro-climate?  It gets up to about 70 in the summer and down to about 40 in the winter. They garden ALL YEAR LONG here. What could be better? There are palm trees here, people. In Canada.  I tell you.  It is a definitely good place to visit and/or live.  Except for the high cost of everything, that is.  But, free health care.  So.

The Drops(y)

Apparently my fingers are under the impression that it is far, far easier to just drop and break dishes instead of washing them.  As the time taken to clean up the broken glass coupled with the cost incurred in the replacement of said articles in fact do not give any advantage over the actual cleaning of said objects, I hereby register a complaint regarding aforementioned digits and would like to encourage them to cease and desist forthwith, without passing Go and without collecting $200.

Ok, maybe they can collect $200.

Did you know?

According to the Salt Museum in Korea, both the French Revolution and the collapse of the US Confederacy were caused by salt shortages.

Just thought you would want to know that since our history books are sadly lacking in that fact.

Spring Haiku


Stormy raindrops fall

Creamy petals tumble down

Slips of silken dreams

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