Thursday, September 30, 2004

For The Record

It is true that I recently - less than two weeks ago - made my first trip to Mt. St. Helens. It was on a whim, actually... the kids and I went with our friend Sandy and her kids to the Columbia River Gorge to see some waterfalls, leaving the husbands at home to do their thing, however they defined it (for Stephen, it was working to remove stuff from the backyard in preparation for some landscaping work we're doing). We decided that on our way home we'd stop off at Mt. St. Helens for a brief visit; Sandy had been before but I hadn't yet made the trip.

The drive itself was really amazing both for the incredible vertigo-inducing vistas and for being able to see signs of both the devastation that occurred when the mountain erupted in 1980 and of the recovery that the mountain has made since. The kids were pretty geeked that they were on a real live volcano, keeping their eyes out for "hot lava" when they weren't whining about being in the car or asking for candy.

It was partly-sunny at the base, but by the time we got further up it became clear that we weren't going to be able to see much (read: anything) of the crater. We stopped at Silver Lake, the first visitor's center (there are three), and then continued on to Coldwater Ridge where we had some lunch (Volcano Dogs all 'round), peered out through the clouds and mist (Sandy pointed me in the direction and I took her word for it that the mountain was there), and then left for home after deciding that continuing to the Johnston Ridge Observatory would be pretty pointless.

Imagine my surprise last week when St. Helens started rumbling again, beginning with frequent small earthakes just a few days after our visit. As of yesterday, the alert level for possible eruption moved to a level 2 (I think that equals taupe when cross-referenced with the terrorism alert color chart... though it might be eggshell, I always get those confused). Scientists are predicting an eruption, possibly as early as this week, though right now it looks like it will small-to-moderate, not like the killer blast of 25 years ago. Hiking trails have been closed but, as yet, the mountain is still open.

So yes. I was on Mt. St. Helens a mere 4 days before it reawakened, I'll admit it (though due to the weather, no photographic evidence of this exists). I may have wondered - aloud even, and with some gleeful anticipation (because, really, it is pretty cool to live so close to an active volcano) - when it would erupt again. However, I'd like to take this opportunity to quash any rumours that I had anything at all to do with the current seismic unrest. I'd also like to state that my kids were in view at all times, and consequently I can vouch for their innocence in this matter.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, September 27, 2004


Note to Self: When starting a new routine, pay *enough* attention that you actually get on the correct bus.

Note to Universe: Thanks for making the bus I got onto one that let me off relatively close to the office (instead of, say, Renton) and that actually got me to work much earlier than I would have gotten there otherwise. Thanks too for the lovely swirling mist that gave way to perfectly clear sky and a nice view of Venus.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Time Capsule

Wednesday, September 24, 1969

Detroit Tigers:
Lost a double-header to the Washington Senators, 8-4 and 7-4. Denny McClain and Mickey Lolich were the losing pitchers. The Tigers went on to finish with a 90-72 record, 2nd in the AL East behind the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles went on to lose the World Series to the New York Mets, 4 games to 1.

Top News Headlines:
1st Elvis convention, 2500 fans attend in Cincinnati
NY Mets clinch NL East pennant
Trial of "Chicago 8" (protesters at Dem Natl Conv) begins

US President - Richard M. Nixon
US Vice-President - Spiro T. Agnew

Academy Award Winners - 1969
Best Picture: Midnight Cowboy, Directed By John Schlesinger
Best Actor: John Wayne in True Grit
Best Actress: Maggie Smith in The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie

Top Songs for 1969
Everyday People by Sly & the Family Stone
In the Year 2525 by Zager & Evans
Honky Tonk Women by Rolling Stones
Wedding Bell Blues by Fifth Dimension
Get Back by Beatles (with Billy Preston)
Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In by Fifth Dimension
I Can't Get Next to You by Temptations
Sugar, Sugar by Archies
Dizzy by Tommy Roe
Crimson & Clover by Tommy James & the Shondells

1969 Prices
Bread: $0.23/loaf
Milk: $1.26/gal
Eggs: $1.14/doz
Car: $3,400
Gas: $0.35/gal
House: $27,900
Stamp: $0.06/ea
Avg Income: $10,577/yr
Min Wage: $1.60/hr
DOW Avg: 800

People born on September 24
1896 - F Scott Fitzgerald St Paul Minn, author (Great Gatsby)
1936 - Jim Henson Greenville Miss, muppeteer (Sesame Street, Muppet Show)
1946 - "Mean" Joe Greene NFL tackle (Pitts Steelers), Coke spokesman
1948 - Phil Hartman, Brantford Ontario, actor (SNL, Peewee's Playhouse)

On TV in 1969
I Dream of Jeannie
Hee Haw
The Mod Squad
Green Acres
Hawaii Five-O
The Carol Burnett Show

Hot New Toys in 1969
Silly String
Easy-Bake Premier Oven
Nerf Ball
Toss Across
Barrel of Monkeys

Top Books in 1969
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
The High King by Lloyd Alexander

Thursday, September 23, 2004


Things that made me weepy thus far today (and it's only 10:30 a.m.!):

  • Reading a short story to Sophie on the bus from Highlights magazine. It was based on a true story about how George Washington, after being defeated at the Battle of Germantown by General William Howe, returned Howe's dog who had become lost during the battle. He does so, as he says to his men in the story, "to show the enemy the true character of Americans." Sadly, I believe that were this scenario repeated today, the little dog wouldn't be so lucky. How have we gone SO wrong?

  • Listening to the radio broadcast of the moment the Tigers clinched the AL East championship in 1984. I remember it well, can see it happening in my mind's eye. The simple joy of a season well-played and a title well-earned.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Damn Straight

"9-11 wasn't a triumph of the human spirit, it was a fuck-up by a guy on vacation."

-Bill Maher, on why our craptastic pResident shouldn't be basing his campaign on our country's darkest moment