Sunday, July 29, 2007

the Three Capes

Wah-Wah decided to she wanted to get out of the house this weekend for a little vacation, so we headed to the Three Capes on the Oregon Coast. These are cape Kiwanda, Mears, and Look Out. Basically it's called the Three Capes because they are all pretty close together. They make a good weekend trip because they are only about an hour and half from Portland. Here's some pictures from our weekend:

Here's Monty on the top of a giant sand dune at Cape Kiwanda. It was a steep climb (about 600ft)all in sand and Monty and I were the only ones to do it. I didn't think I was going to make it. I was more impressed that Monty made it. Tough climb for a little dog.

This is Tillamook Cheese Factory. My sister actually was hospitalized after eating some cheese curds there a few years ago. I still think it's a pretty neat place were you can get some free cheese. They also make ice cream there which you can get in about every flavor.
This is the Blue Heron Winery right next to the cheese factory. Inside is a quaint little store and restaurant. They also have some wine tasting for a couple of bucks. We ate lunch here and picked up a bottle of some type of wine that taste like grapes. One day I'll learn more about wine and give a better description.

Here is the Octopus Tree at Cape Mears. It is right on a cliff and pretty unique the way a bunch of trees starting growing together into one. I'm glad I didn't drive out of my way to get to it.

I can't get enough waterfalls and Oregon seems to have plenty of them. This is Munson Falls outside Tillamook. It's gorgeous but there is no way to get much closer to it. Supposely there is a trial up to the top, but there is so much vegetation and over growth,nobody could find it.

Here's Monty and I on the giant sand dune at Cape Kiwanda. We could both use some water. It only took us about a minute to go back down 600ft.

Here's Monty playing fetch at Cape Look Out. It was a beautiful beach and Monty is getting used to going into ocean. I found the water invigorating.

More waterfalls. These falls are unmarked and unnamed. They are right off the road on the way through the Coastal Range.
Here's a better view of Cape Look Out.

After enjoying a couple of hours on the beach, Wah-Wah was ready for a hike around Cape Look Out.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Another Don Miller book

I so seldom complete a book. It's not for lack of trying, I'm just slow. While the rest of the world was reading Harry Potter, I finally finished "Searching For God Knows What" by Don Miller. When I started attending Imago Dei (which Don made so famous) I decided to read all of his works which are sold at Imago. I enjoyed "Blue Like Jazz" and "Through Painted Deserts", but I wasn't as impressed with "Searching For God Knows What" .
It's not say that I didn't get a lot out it and didn't enjoy it, but I found Miller makes a lot of assumptions about the Bible and it's writers that I thought were a bit of a leap. That would be only criticism of the book.
Don spends the last couple of chapters writing about Romeo and Juliet and drawing the parallel between Christ and the Church (with the church being Romeo and Juliet is Christ). It is a interesting theory that Don says Shakespeare might of did this on purpose, but not being a scholar on the subject, I find it a bit of a stretch.
I did get a lot of the book however. Miller does have other good arguments which I totally agree with. One is the reoccurring "Lifeboat" theory. Basically Miller says that we as a society operate as people who try to appear worthy to be saved on a sinking ship with only a few small lifeboats available. He says we find some people are more worthy of saving because they are attractive, have money, etc. Consumer culture feeds right into it. Christ operated in reverse from the life boat theory and found worth in anybody he would come across. He would hang out with those deemed as "less desirable."
Another point I strongly agreed with was Miller 's argument that Christ's love cannot be understood through bullet points. I feel that Miller is right that love is an emotion that is felt, not numbered. Please be aware, that this is only a little of what Miller is saying through out the book. These are just the points that stuck with me.
I think I might take a break from Don Miller books for a while and find out what's the deal with Harry Potter. I feel like the only person on earth who isn't excited about The Deathly Hollows.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Top of the falls

Since I've first started coming to Oregon, I've always been impressed with Multnomah Falls located about 20 miles outside of Portland in the Columbia Gorge. It's the second largest waterfall in the nation going up a total 620ft. In all of our "premoving" trips out here we always make a point of visiting, but we have never made it to the top, until last Sunday when I decided it was time for a challenge and decided to go for the hike to the top.

Unfortunately Wah-Wah and the kids didn't go. Woogy would have complained too much. He complains a lot on our hikes when he gets tired. We've done a lot of hiking since moving out here, but the climb to the top was probably the hardest hike I ever did. The trial is only about a mile, but it is steep, really steep. It's a whole lot of switchbacks heading up the side of the mountain. My only climbing companion was Monty who was getting pretty tired as we neared the top. I thought at one point I'd have to carry him. There were a lot of people who were resting along the trial asking anyone going down "how much farther?"

When I finally reached the top after about an hour, I felt pretty good like I accomplished something. The view was gorgeous (of course, I forgot my camera). You could go out on a ledge that hung over the falls and you could see the people below in a cloud of mist. I took my shoes off and put my swore feet in the cool water and it felt refreshing.

I made my way down which didn't take too long but really began to hurt my knees and feet. There is a lodge at the base of the falls which was serving ice cream which really hit the spot after that hike.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Kickball at Imago

Today was the annual Imago Dei kickball tournament. All the home communities came out to have a little fun and competition. Most of the teams try to go with a theme to make things more interesting. I played on the "Woodstock Superfriends"(Woodstock is the area the home community is in). Basically, it was a last minute idea to have everyone come out in capes and just look silly. Not being the most custom creative person, I tied a pink baby bed sheet around my neck (A little tribute to the Flaming Lips). Being a little outnumbered, we recruited Wah-Wah and a few other people on our team.
We lost our first game but fortunately it was double elimination and we came back and won our second game. By the time we played our third game, the heat was starting to get to everybody(especially since we all had capes on). Imago provided snow cones which were pretty satisfying. We went on to win our third game which gave us hope we could win the tournament. However, by the fourth game, we were spent and lost. We did go on to win the coveted Imago Dei robe for best customs.
Here's some pictures of the day's events

Here is our team photo before we played. Everyone was impressed with Monty's fetching abilities and considered making him a player.

We had a few extra masks that Nibbles wanted to wear to get in the spirit of things.

I think this is me before my first kick. Sadly, I slipped right after I kicked and ate dirt. Got a banged up elbow too, but like any devoted kickball player, I played on.

That's Wah-Wah on first base. She was pretty good and got on base a couple of times. She played outfield with Nibbles by her a couple of times. Unfortunately she had to leave early since the kids were getting pretty hot.

This is our last team picture after our games. We were all pretty tired and made it a lot further than anyone expected. Good times.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

badly burned

The fourth of July is one of my least favorite holidays. This is mostly due to the fact that it is one of the hottest days of the year, but also because of people setting off fireworks outside my house all night. This fourth of July, I decided to take the family swimming, however, Portland doesn't have a lot of public pools. Locals say that people mostly go to the rivers around the area to swim.
We decided to go to the Rooster Rock state park up the Columbia Gorge. It was a really hot day even for Portland standards, and the mountain water felt pretty good. However I wasn't wearing any sun tan lotion. Since it is cloudy here 200 days a year, I thought I'd probably would be OK for a little while. I think I found myself enjoying the water so much that I lost track of time and ended up with a really bad sun burn. My whole back is about as red as a lobster. I didn't realize I was burning so bad until it was too late and we were home.
Days later, I still hurt. It's been pretty hard picking up the kids or finding a comfortable position to sleep. Yesterday was my birthday and I got a lot of "pat-on-the-backs" which have hurt like no other. I guess the sun shines as bright in Oregon as it does in Kansas.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

June's music

As always, I like to reflect on the music that I picked up this last month. A couple of these albums I picked up in KC, so when I go back and hear them I remember my fond memories of visiting my old hometown.

Blonde Redhead 23 After I read A Forest's review of this album, I decided to check it out. I was pretty impressed. It had a lot of the "wall of sound" and "ethereal vocals" that I dig in music. I haven't heard anything else from this band's catalog, but this album is beautiful. Not very polished, but real "indie" sounding.

The Winter Sounds Porcelain Empire
I first heard this group on the radio in Portland and thought they would be a little more popular by now. I found their album in my favorite record store in KC -Need More Discs. The owner of the store recognized me and asked how I liked Portland (I was one of his most loyal customers). I was planning on driving up to Iowa and wanted some new music for the drive. I found the album pretty heavy sounding in the vain of The Killers. It's a mix of deft, rhythmic indie rock. Hopefully their fan base will grow to more than me.

Vega 4 You and Others Probably my favorite new pick, Vega 4 reminds me of Snow Patrol. This is probably because they have the same producer--Jacknife Lee- who also produced the last U2 masterpiece. "Life Is Beautiful" is about as appealing as Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars." I also picked up this disc at Need More Discs. I was pretty stoked after picking up two great discs in one visit. When I came back to Portland, I found out they were playing in the area soon but unfortunately cancelled.

Bloc Party A Weekend In the City
A Forest and I went to go see this band in KC on one of the last nights I was in town. Neither of us really knew the band's material but I think we both had a hankering to see some live music. By the time they played their latest single "I Still Remember" they were beginning to win me over. Another great album produced by Jacknife Lee who has a knack for polishing up a band's sound and bringing guitars to the forefront.

On a Friday Union Street Demos
Before becoming the second most critically acclaimed band on earth (U2 being the first), Radiohead were known as On a Friday. Their demos have been floating around the web for a while, and I was able download them (along with a few extremely rare Radiohead tracks). This was before they did "Creep" but you can tell this band was destined for greatness. Most of these tracks are better than what you find on Radiohead's debut Pablo Honey, but along the same college rock sound. I can't believe that they would just throw these songs away, but apparently it just wasn't meant to be.