Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mt. Hood Ski Bowl

This weekend's adventure took us to Mt. Hood Ski Bowl. We were up here a few weeks ago, but the park was sold out to a company for the day. Today, it was all clear. The Ski Bowl is a park at the base of Mt.Hood which has such activities as go carts, alpine slid, bungee jumping, and sling shots.

Here is the view from the parking lot of Mt. Hood. It's a little over an hour drive from our house to this point. I have to say that it was actually chilly up there. I actually felt cold for the first time in 5 months. Cool brisk mountain air-I love it!
Here I am going down the alpine slide. When I was much younger, I went down an alpine slid in Colorado and I loved it. Years later, I don't know if I could of handled much more. It's a lot of bending over and pushing down on the break to go. I went down twice. The first time, I got stuck behind some lady with a kid that were taking their time going down. Being the "thrill seeker" I am, I was a little annoyed that I had to stop a couple of times to get some distance. The second time down, I was on a pretty crappy sled and the break kept sticking making me look like a slow poke.
Here I am going up the ski lift to the top of the alpine slide. I enjoyed the ride and it gave you a good view of the mountain.
Here's Wah-Wah and Woogy on the go karts. I think the last time I took Woogy on some go karts, he hurt a tooth really bad when I took a corner a little too shape. Wah-Wah I'm sure is a safer driver.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More Waterfalls

Lately we've started a little tradition of spending Saturdays hiking around the area. There are more hikes in Oregon than you can do in a lifetime, but not all are very "kid friendly". Wah-Wah has tried to find some in a handy book we got when we first moved here called "100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon."

This is Mirror Lake which is towards the base of Mt. Hood. Wah-Wah already blogged about this, but it's worth blogging again. It was a rather up hill hike to this natural lake and it is very isolated from everything else.
Here are the kids playing in the lake after we had our picnic. The water was a little chilly, but refreshing. Since it's kind of rocky, I couldn't go out very far because I have tender feet. I've got to get me some water shoes. It's nice to visit a fresh mountain lake that isn't polluted and is relatively clean.
Here's a picture of the Columbia Gorge that is right outside Portland. I took this picture at a little museum on top of the mountain. The Gorge is were all the out door action is including Multnomah Falls. They have cruises up the Gorge which I wouldn't mind taking someday.
Here I am at the bottom of Latourell Falls the other weekend. I love hiking to water falls because it gives you something to look forward to. Otherwise, you are just walking in the woods. Latourell Falls is about 250 foot waterfall. Pretty small to Oregon standards. It would have been cool to stand directly under the water fall.
Right up the road from Latourell Falls is Wahkeena Falls. This picture is the top of the 242 ft triple cascade. This is definitely one of the more pretty falls in the area. There were a number of photographers and artist in the area capturing this gorgeous waterfall. It kind of reminded me of Rivendale in Lord of the Rings.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

the Diet Mountain Dew Ferret

A few weeks ago, I was watching TV and a Diet Mountain Dew ad came on featuring a ferret in a hockey mask chasing a couple through the woods with a chain saw. Being a former ferret owner, I found this commerical hilarious. I also found it extremely cute as well and instantly missed my "long gone" ferret-Basil. For what it is worth, Basil did use to chase me, but not with a chain saw. He usually did it as a game (he would crawl into a plastic bag then I would shake him like a bag of "shaken bake" and he would come out and chase me. Hence, we called the game "shake and bake").
The truth was I found this ad misleading to people out there who might never have owned a ferret. All three of my ferrets- Basil, Baby, and Binky- never attacked anyone. Over the years, I've handled many ferrets in the pet stores and in some homes that I've been to and never once been attacked. They might jump on your back when you don't have a shirt on and dig their claws into your skin as they try to climb up you, but they are just being curious. Why ferrets have this reputation as "mean" is beyond me. Next to my dog Monty, my ferrets have been the most harmless pets I've owned. Less can be said about a certain hamster, bird, and a couple of cats I've owned. All vicious. So don't let the Diet Mountain Dew ad fool you and go hug a ferret.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

So long old friend

Old ipod (July 2004-August 2008)

For the past couple weeks, I have been having difficulties with my ipod. It will freeze up and stay that way for a couple of hours. It will go back to working after a couple hours sitting in the charger but who knows when it will freeze up again. Last night I talked to a friend who knows a lot about ipods and he said it sounds like the hard drive is going. He said he knows a few shops that could fix it, but it would be costly. I got so depressed. My ipod and I have been through so much together. It goes everywhere with me. It provides so much entertainment and asks for so little in return. It has always been dependable until now. When you loss faith in your ipod--what can you do? My ipod is a part of me.
I have had my ipod for about 3 years now and it has more than paid for itself. But ipods have changed so much in recent years. They have more memory and can now play movies and videos. Not to mention they have gotten slimmer with bigger screens. In an attempt to alieve my suffering I went out and got a new ipod--the 80GB. So far, I'm feeling a little bit of buyers remorse, since, technically, my old ipod still works and the new ipod wasn't exactly cheap. But I am impressed with the new one. I was on the itunes store and saw all the great things I can download like videos from U2 and Coldplay. I can even download some classic Star Trek episodes for a $1.99. I can download shows for the kids and movies for about half the price of buying them. Best of all, there is a cable you can get to plug that plugs into the TV so you can watch your movie on a bigger screen. I'm not saying I'll take advantage of all these new features, but it's nice to have the option.
New ipod (August 2007)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

July's music

July was a pretty good month for music. Lots of goodies came out this month and a lot of announcements of good shows in the Portland area:

Smashing Pumpkins Zietgeist After seven years the Pumpkins return, well only half of the original line up. I hear Billy Corgan a real jerk to work with (but a lot of good artist are). I hear from every Pumpkin fan that they haven't done anything good since Mellon Collie (1995) and I've gotten tired of defending their later material. I really liked their last two albums Adore and Machina because they are experimental. Unfortunately, Corgan made an album that should satisfy older Pumpkin fans. The garage band sound is pretty evident on Zeitgeist. Still, it's not a bad album with some good tracks. Unfortunately, Corgan listened to his critics too much. I've got tickets for their upcoming show here in Portland.

Editors An End Has A Start Early reviews were not kind with this album. Many called it a Coldplay rip off, but I kind of dig it. Yes the sound is bigger and more polished but it just makes the band sound more grand in scale. The opening song "Smokers Outside the Hospital Room" sets a good tone and does achieve the heights of Coldplay's X & Y. Another band visiting Portland soon that I wouldn't mind checking out.

Innocence Mission We Walked In Song
Pretty much the same Innocence Mission album they have always made. Good tasteful folk music. I have to admit, not a lot of tracks really stood out here and the album put me to sleep. I liked their last album Befriended better.

The National Boxer The only album recommended by A Forrest in a while was pretty good. It reminded me a lot of the brit pop band Pulp when I first listened to it. Both bands draw on influence of Leonard Cohen. Yet another band playing in Portland soon.

Interpol Our Love to Admire I was a little cautious of this one at first, but it is a pretty great album. Interpol really tries to grow into their own sound on this record. They are trying to get away from that retro-new wave sound which they helped bring back. It's a pretty mature sounding. Yes, they are visiting Portland too.