My Sky Color

A forty something Dad, Husband, Engineer guy living in Western Oregon. Reflections on all things in life. A few technical things and whatever else comes along.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

So here are a coupe pictures of the tree house. Tree houses in the country have some rules associated with them. The building materials cannot be new, they have to be scrounged. The lads did chores for the neighbors to earn most of their wood. The rope ladder is DMP's idea: 2 inch PVC pipe and 1/2 inch braided nylon rope. There is a trap door where they climb up, so when they are inside messing around the door can be shut to avoid, "that first step is a doozy." They have visibility from all sides. The window has a door because it faces the way the weather comes from. I staked down the bottom of the rope ladder to make it easier to climb.
One thing to note is trees don't grow straight, vertical or round. That is why the funny shape. I used lag bolts to attach the two main joist to the tree.
The mushroom picture is from our hike last Saturday. We went out toward Larch Mountain and walked some logging roads. I took along a shotgun for grouse. The best we saw was lots of mushrooms. We found one Chantrelle and lots of mildly poisonous Chantrelle look alikes. I double checked before consumption. Cami and Clancy were really getting into the schroom hunting. Where we live it is about 10 minutes to hunting and hiking with few people around. Gotta love it. DMP

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Creature of Habit
The Routine
1. The alarm goes off at 6 AM. I blindly grope around the night stand to find snooze. I sleep on the right side of the bed (from the sleeper's perspective on their back).
2. 7 minutes later - do I hit snooze again? Probably more than 50% of the time yes.
3. 7 minutes later- I groan, blindly grope for the off button. Hit it. Don't lay head back down for fear of falling asleep until who-knows-when.
4. Stagger to the shower, put bathmat on floor, turn on hot water only. The hot water heater and the master bath shower are seperated by the furthest distance in the house.
5. Shut the boys bedroom doors to avoid waking them.
6. If it is between April and October and Tuesday or Thursday... shave.
7. Shower - wash hair first, then body, and face last. Absorb hot water magic as long as possible. Shake self into getting on with the day.
8. Shut off water, exit, towel off, drying hair first with towel. Put scalp medicine on first then comb hair. Get on under clothes and carry socks to bedroom.
9. Decide whether it is okay to wear yesterday's jeans laying on the floor. Feel all pockets to make sure all standard pocket paraphernalia (PP) is there: left front- keys, right front - knife and pocket watch, left rear - wallet, and right rear - hankerchief. Day is messed up if PP is not all there. Balance, preparedness, habit...
10. Look in closet for the day's shirt. Reflect on previous day's weather and forecast, glance out window for today's conditions. Must be ironed. Wife won't let me out of bedroom for work in un-ironed shirt. Pen in left breast pocket from it's standard location on the top of dresser.
11. Put on socks and carry shoes to kitchen. Oh, kiss wife before leaving bedroom. Miss that step and that night get repremanded. Turn on light over dining table. Kitchen and dining are attached so kitchen is dimly lighted but nice for morning.
12. Pick cereal - reflect on accessories to go with cereal. If eating granola, don't need anything else. Otherwise toast a bagel or grab a little yogurt. Get small glass of orange beverage containing vitamin C. Get pills. Pour milk on cereal in square cereal bowl that was selected from shelf after cereal selection. Carry breakfast to table and select periodical for reading while eating.
13. Eat and read. Usually a disheveled, groggy wife staggers to kitchen and makes lunch. Lunch is peanutbutter and jam sandwich, crunchy something (chips, prezels, corn chips), piece of fruit (typically an apple) and cookies or granola bar for desert.
14. Lunch is left on counter top and groggy wife mumbles bye and leans my way for kiss good-bye. I put dishes on kitchen counter-top on right side of right hand sink. Brush teeth and slip on shoes. Put lunch in lunch box that has been in use since 1989. Select appropriate coat for weather conditions. Turn off light and exit quietly.
15. Decide which vehicle to take based on day of the week and wife's planned activity for the day, fuel level, and mood.
16. Drive to work. Listen to Mark and Brian on KGON. Make sure to stop short at end of driveway so log truck doesn't take off front of car. Take short cut way to freeway. Take I-84 to Woodvillage exit. At work park in outer parking lot in 3rd row, 3rd spot right of center. Leave car unlocked because no wants a 1991 Caddy and there is nothing of worth in the car.
17. Walk to office. Say hello to night watchman at front desk. Look right when walking to cubicle to assess arrival time and set departure time for 9 hours later.
18. Enter desk space. Hang up coat and put lunch pail in locker/file cabinet. Turn on computer monitor and see if message light is flashing on phone. Login using password related to a truck part. If I can't remember which part, look at sticky note on monitor. Security is about 4 levels deep here and the passwords have to be changed every 6 weeks, have to be 6 characters, and not similar to the last password. You have two different passwords network and software. My software password relates to a season or weather condition... its on the sticky. Start Outlook, Windows Media Player, and Explorer in that order. Look at Outlook calendar for day's excitement level. Start URL for KGON in Media Player. Look through favorites - blogs - 4 about Iraq war, two about shooting, Carly's and a few misc ones. Say hey or good morning to co-workers as they arrive.
19. Embark upon a day of directing e-mail traffic, answering questions, surfing, and generally being unstimulated mentally. Once a quarter I may volunteer to build something in the shop when waiting for the people hired to do that stuff are too slow. Attend meetings when required and direct some meetings when required.
20. Nine hours after glancing to the right on my way into work to see what time I need to depart, I leave. Drive home via. Marine Dr., truck stop alley, old town Troutdale, and along the Sandy River (no shortcut, it takes too much gas).
21. Arriving home is the unpredictable part. Some times #2 son is waiting for me (the best surprise), so he can drive up the driveway. Evenings are very flexible and can involve: working on projects, spending time with the goats, cooking dinner and doing the dishes, taking the boys to do something fun, going out to dinner (once a month), Cub Scouts, tee ball, wood cutting, house remodeling, Landcruiser work, helping neighbors, a nap (rarely)...
22. Between 7:45 and 8:15 PM start the lads to get ready for bed; pick up toys, showers, PJs, brush teeth, flouride, potty, say prayers, and read stories. Depending on whether it is summer or winter go back outside to work on something or stay inside and read, watch TV or blog.
23. Around 10 PM assess spunk level and decide if it is hit the hay time. If it is bed time, pants on floor in front of dresser, socks and shirt in dirty clothes, glasses on dresser, turn on bedside lamp and select one of the approximately 100 things to look at or read from the bedside library. (The bedside library needs straightening.)
24. Eventually turn off light before 10:30 PM typically. Lay on left side, put right arm under top pillow (I use two), put left hand on right shoulder, relax all muscles, think nice thoughts and be asleep in less than 10 minutes.
So item 21 is the best part of the day. I would say that at least 50% of my days go like this. I keep asking myself if this is it...? There has to be more to it. What's it? Life. Where is it hiding? There are always the weekends to add variety. The best part is the family

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What Come Around Goes Around
Now that I am "middle aged" one has enough water under their bridge to be able to reflect and regret things in the past. I don't normally talk about my past relationships with anyone but sometimes you just gotta blurt it out. Or get it out.
My first love really was my dream girl, let's call her Sy. We were high school sweethearts then lost touch. Four years later we picked up where we left off. In the meantime I had met this wonderful girl that was just sweet and a great person, let's call her Cy. During my time as a missionary I kept writing to both Cy and Sy. Sy knowing about Cy but Cy not knowing fully about Sy. Upon my return to civilian life I saw both girls in the same week. Sy was moved to the top of the list (the list of 2) and Cy was let down softly. It that immature state of communication ability I never knew the magnitude of Cy's love and dreams of a future together. I wanted to remain friends with Cy, not knowing that I had absolutely broken her heart. We have never communicated again.
So Sy and I pursued out relationship and looked to a future together. As poor college students we became engaged. She living in Utah and I in Idaho. After a time I was the recipient of the broken heart. Oh man! I was devastated. I don't know that Sy ever knew of the plunged into the abyss she caused. I didn't realize the heart breaking I had caused Cy until I experienced it.
As retrospective adults it would be nice to have an open conversation with these people. Be able to apologize all around and wish them well and happiness in life. It is tough to have the steel trap memory. Never forgetting, and if allowed, always remebering. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have little memory paths of the brain get washed clean. Maybe I should take up a brain cell killing habit to fix the steel trap. Nah! It just doesn't appeal to me. A rusty steel trap is bad, I really like stainless steel.
Luckily I have a great wife and family. If the present wasn't so good the past could be a haunter. As you have seen in past posts I am busy and have a good life. DMP

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

One Sweet Bus Stop

So the bus shelter is complete except for the cosmetics. It could use a coat of paint and a brick walkway. The brick path is a must otherwise the bus driver will be cussing the boys with their muddy shoes. We just happen to have some bricks on hand. They came with the place. I love free stuff.

The first born was so excited the first morning after construction was complete. Mom couldn't figure out what had him bouncing off the walls. No sugar cereal on school days...? It was the maiden voyage of the bus shelter! Duh.

AAhhh to be a hero Dad. It is nice to make someone happy. It is also nice to know your kids (children) won't show up to school looking like a drowned rat and smelling like a wet dog.

Now to get plywood for the roof of the woodshed. Will the E-toaster haul 6 sheets of 4 ft x 8 ft material? Everytime I turn around I need a pickup... Better get the LC on the road. So much to do, so little money and who has the time. PowerBall is 240 million right now, what are the odds... DMP

Monday, October 10, 2005

Chinese Wisdom Coincidence
When you go to some Chinese food establishments the placemats are the circle thingy with the year of the XXXXX chart. You look up the year you were born and it says you were born in the year of the Rat, Dog, Llama, etc. So my wife has her small flock of egg laying fowl, chickens. I have my small herd of mostly small goats. She was born in the year of the Rooster and I was born in the year of the Goat. Maybe there is something to this "circle thingy." Just something to think about... DMP

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

DMP Important Facts of the Day

Mule: A domesticated, hybrid animal that results from crossing a mare (female horse) and a jack (male donkey).
Donkey: A domesticated ass. Which, of course, begs the question "What is an ass?" Thankfully, Mule Barn also provides a definition of this particular animal.
Ass: A four-footed, hoofed mammal related to the horse, but smaller, with longer ears and a shorter mane, shorter hair on the tail, and a dark stripe along the back. So, it seems the aforementioned jackass is simply a male ass. The main difference between the jackass and the donkey is their domestication -- the ass is wild; the donkey is domesticated.
But what about the burro? Turns out that the burro is a small donkey that is often used as a pack animal because it is particularly sure-footed.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Rooster Wrangling and Aquatic Carpentry
So the ornery rooster has a new home at the neighbors. When I was getting ready to relocate him to his new coop, all kinds of thoughts were running through my head. Is he going to peck me, spur me to pieces and jest go bonkers? So I put on my old Carhartt coat and a pair of welding gloves. I go in the coop where the flock is roosting and talk to them all, innocent like. I grabbed the rooster's feet with my right hand and put him in a bear hug with the left hand. He went for the walk like a happy kitten. There was no blood or even squawking. I didn't even get pooped on. Well that wasn't very exciting...
The number one son has to wait for the bus by the road. Last Thursday the first big rain in a long time arrived. Right away the requests came in for a bus stop shelter. On Saturday afternoon between rain showers we (the whole family) started building a bus waiting shelter. This is Oregon and it's Corbett. This means weather proof and wind resistant. We got some bricks and cement blocks that came with the place and dug in a level "foundation." It is just cement blocks at each corner. The free wood supply proved its usefulness once again. The shelter is 4 feet square, 6 feet tall in the front and 5.5 feet tall at the back. The base frame is 2x6's with 2x6 decking. The walls and rafters are 2x4s. The exterior is 3/4 concrete form plywood, free from the neighbors. Is has the DMP standard single pitch roof sloping up from back to front. Hopefully the wind will push the shelter down instead of over, like the wing on a race car. I like single pitch roofs on out building because they consume the least lumber. The roof is 6 feet square to give 1 foot over hang all around. It rains here... I'll post a picture when it is close to complete.
By the way my Dad hauled the free 2x4's from Canby to my place on Saturday. Getting rid of the road worthy truck cramps my hauling style. For you 4-by nerds check out this Toyota FJ-45 1960's stationwagon frame off restoration.
This guy is thorough and does nice work. This is getting my LandCruiser jiuces flowing. DMP