Thursday, July 31, 2008

Are You Kidding Me?

Sometimes my blogs will make no sense to anyone but me, but that is OK. I just need to get a few things out of my system. Last night I watched a TV program on elephants in Zambia. Here they are crossing the Zambezi River. So this guy is making this study. He is wondering if human contact is causing some of the elephants to become rogue. In a few places in Zambia, natives are losing members of their families to rogue elephant attacks. So here is how he conducts the study. He goes around finding elephants and then gets close enough to pi#@ them off. Says things like, "See how it's ears are flaring? That's a sign that he is thinking about attacking me." He goes through a long list of things the poor elephant does to demonstrate how ticked off the elephant is at him conducting his stupid study. Now, here is what I am wondering. HOW STUPID CAN A PERSON BE? You can't go around intentionally making elephants mad and then wonder if human contact is turning them into rogue human killers. He probably turned a few of those he ticked off into rogues during his study. Once more, proof that we did not evolve from monkeys. You will never find a monkey stupid enough to do something like this. Never.

Friday, July 25, 2008

July 22, 2008
Tuesday night I had the opportunity of going with Stephanie on an anthropological expedition and with Jaxon on a paleontological expedition. Here's the weird thing about this whole night. A couple of weeks ago I bought tickets to the Emmylou Harris concert at the Portland Zoo. Little did I realize at the time how the night would evolve (catch that word, Mark) into something quiet different. When I bought my ticket Stephanie said she would like to go to the concert with me. I was grateful for the company. I faithfully arrived at the zoo at four in the afternoon with the other faithful. At five they allowed us
into the zoo where we stood in line again until five before entering the concert area. Here begins the anthropological part of the evening. Stephanie simply could not get over the makeup of the group waiting to go into the concert. Her first comment to me was, "Wow!, this is really your group, dad." Not meaning we were all pretty cool for wanting to see the Diva of Nashville, but that we were all freaking old. While we were standing there Steph noticed we were right across from the entrance of the dinosaur exhibit. "Why don't you take Jaxon through the dinosaur exhibit dad?" Enter paleontology. Now I am pretty excited about this opportunity. I am not much of a grandkid's grandpa so I needed to spend some special one-on-one time with one of my grand kids. Steph did mention that Jackson was a little afraid of the final part of the exhibit. I figured I could easily handle any concerns Jaxon might have so off we went. It cost $4 to get in. I will never get how people can charge you a price to get into something and then charge you again to see what you paid for in the first place to get in to see. We meandered down the trail to the first dinosaur. This little critter looks harmless enough, doesn't he? Notice the look of fear in Jaxon's eyes. Notice the long extension above the dinosaurs head. This extension was used to make trumpeting sounds to alert others of danger.

They have faithfully reproduced the sound here at the Portland zoo and it sounds something like the locking and loading of a space age bazooka. Hence, the fear in Jaxon's eyes. It took a long time and a lot of persuasion to talk him into standing this close to the creature. Shortly after this picture and before stepping another foot on the trail, Jaxon had a sudden urge to go the the bathroom I asked a girl further up the trail where the rest rooms were and when Jaxon found out they were in the direction of the monster at the end of the path, our adventure was over. He was out of there. I took him back to Steph and she talked me into going through the exhibit. I had paid, so why not. The girl who said she would remember me at the entrance was, of course, no longer there, so after a rather long discussion I was allowed back in. What was at the end of the trail that Jaxon did not want to see. Yep, it was a bit scary. It is hard to get the perspective from the picture but when you walk up to this T-Rex, it is about 20 feet tall.

Upon exiting the exhibit I was greeted with this scene.

From this distance, Emmylou was as beautiful as I ever could have imagined. Later evaluation from twenty feet out would not bear this first impression out, however.
I went back to the line and sent Steph down to see Emmylou warm up. She wandered back about five when we were let into the concert area awaiting the seven pm starting time. The kids were great and Jake called saying he would be by to pick the kids up from the zoo. I doubted they would appreciate Emmylou as much as me.
Here is Sage draining the last droplets of water from her cup.
Steph kept making comments about how she had never seen so many old people at one time, or , wow, dad, you really fit in with these people. I started to look around the grounds to see if there was a corner I could send her to, but there were to many rounded edges.
The concert began and I was able to walk right down within a few feet of Emmylou. I shouldn't have done that. If she looked the right way, she was as beautiful as ever. Any other way she looked like Joan Rivers. Why do women think that stretching old skin over old bones could ever make them look better? It is very sad.
All in all it was a great night. I got much more than I bargained for. I am very grateful to Steph for her willingness to go and see someone she had never even heard of before. I am very blessed to have such a kind, caring, and loving daughter, and the best of friends. Thank you Stephanie. Make no mistake about it, I feel that way about all of my daughters. They are all so very special, each in their own unique way.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What this is all about

I'm not really sure what I am going to do with this blog. It all seems a bit silly, and yet, very significant, to me. I cannot go further without paying tribute to the person who means more to me than any other who has ever lived. Ardie has been gone for over fifteen years now and I have lived two lives since her passing. It is impossible to express how much she meant to me when she was alive and how much I still miss her. If I ever find the faith to keep turning till all things turn out right it will be because of my love for her and the love my children show to me. I suppose I could recommend to any wife out there, if you want to be remembered as perfect, you need only die. Whatever problems Ardie and I had, other than the ones I caused, are long forgotten. I remember her only as the most incredible wife a man could ever hope to have. She seemed to care so very much for me and was so patient and loving with me. I am grateful for the passing of time. Last year I took a rather incredible hike up the upper Lewis River here in Washington. It was a beautiful, clear, fall day and during the six miles I hiked that day I saw one other person. I was passing above the river and looking down I could see how deep and clear and still the water was. I thought to myself how wonderful it would be if Ardie could be with me, and instead of feeling pain at her absence, I smiled. I have had only a few incidents where I felt her near since her death, but I see her hand in the lives of her children often. I am so grateful for her and wish to express my love in this, my first statement, to whomever may read it.