Saturday, October 31, 2009

Last Words and Rocks In My Head

Sometimes I have to wonder why anyone would ever want to have an email discussion with me. I recently helped our friend Darev with a technical issue and this is the conversation that ensued.

Darev: That works. Cool. You Rock

Me: Sometimes I rock and sometimes I stone.

Darev: Just as long as nobody is taking you for granite...... hee hee hee!

Me: You are igneous.

Darev: Now you're just giving me shist. I didn't expect that kind of sediment from you....You realize we could be at this for days, don't you?

Me: I can only sand so much. I'll remove it from my slate.

Darev: Ok, you win. You ground me down. I gravel before your genius. And I have to go to work.

Me: Rock on!

Friday, October 30, 2009


I got an email this week from a new Rust reader asking me if I knew anything about the Astoria Elks Ballroom and if I had heard anything about it being haunted.

Funny thing about haunting; either you believe it or you don't. When I was much younger I worked in a Jacobean mansion for ten years. There were all sorts of stories about this place, however having worked there at all different hours as a librarian and as night watchman I never saw anything out of the ordinary except for the behavior of the priests that lived there.

The closest thing I've ever experienced which some may call a haunting was a creepy feeling I once felt on top of Mt Washington in New Hampshire. There were no ghostly images, it just felt creepy being there. It was cold and grey moonscape. There was a story in Yankee Magazine once about how creepy that mountain is.

The only other time I got totally creeped out was once when I was hiking in New York State in an area called Sterling Forest. I found myself in a laurel swamp where I had to bend over to walk through the laurels and I also had to step high over the low branches. This place was littered with thousands of deer antlers as though it were a bone yard. It was cool and I collected a half dozen interesting racks, but it seemed the more racks I collected the more lost I became and the thicker and more difficult the brush was to navigate through. Even looking back to where I had just come from it seemed like the trail closed into a wall behind me. I got the feeling that I shouldn’t be removing any of the antlers and as soon as I put them down the sun shined on a path for my exit. I left and never returned and I never shared the location with anyone.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm A What? No Way, No How!

I recently wrote about a local controversial topic where I live and believe it or not I don’t even recall what it was now, either something about LNG or the twisted people trying to recall several of the County Commissioners over a totally legal land use decision they made.

Regardless of the topic, the piece generated a lot of comments and even more personal email to me than usual. Someone mentioned that I was a journalist. I had to laugh, because I am only a journalist in the respect of Astoria-Rust is like a personal journal to me. It’s actually more like a diary to me so maybe I am actually a Diarrheaist.

Upon further thought I should never be confused as being a journalist and neither should the staff or a particular local paper. After all I reply to comments often with the words “Douche Bag” included in my reply. Christ, I even called people Puking Ass Clowns in that post. What journalist does that?

The funniest comment was emailed to me the next day. The reader said something like, “You write this article and get everyone thinking and reconsidering their position and instead of following up the next day with more of the same, you write about taffy. WTF?”

True and that crossed my mind when I opened the post the next day as well. I laughed at myself over it. I write these posts long in advance and after a day or two I forget what I have coming up. Sometimes I even shock myself at the ridiculous juxtapositioning of the articles. I can’t even imagine what article will come after this one.

Moving on…

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

For The Ladies Only

OK, ladies. It’s just you and me talking here. I know I’m not a woman, though I have been in touch with my feminine side. Syd and Trop have inducted me into a special club where I am considered an honorary lesbian, so I have no reasons of malice by wanting you ladies to answer a question about your secret lady language that men aren’t privy to.

I have been called “Mister Man” by three women that I can remember, and I’ve heard other men called the same by other women. What the hell is Mister Man? Is it an insult? Is it a denotation and recognition of a superiority complex or over-inflated ego?

Come on, Ladies, fill a fella in, please!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dog Hater? Not Me!

Last week in an email conversation with one of the readers here, I was called a Rat Bastard Dog Hater. This came out of the blue. There was some deep seeded resentment there that has obviously been building for some time. I mean I can’t recall the last time I wrote about dogs. I didn’t even know this person had a dog.

To set the record straight, I love dogs when they are in their appropriate place in a controlled environment. I don’t consider on a leash at Sunday Market to be a controlled environment. I don’t consider running around my property chasing and killing my chickens a controlled environment. I don’t consider off leash on the beach trying to bite my horses as a controlled environment. I don’t consider bringing your dog off leash for a trail ride a controlled environment.

It’s not the dogs I have a problem with; it is their keepers that think it’s perfectly OK for a dog to behave like a wild animal. It is no consolation to hear their keeper say, “Oh don’t worry, he doesn’t bite” because I have been bitten by several dogs that don’t bite. You need to control your animals or I may control them in a way not to your liking.

I like to impress dog owners when I’m on horseback. My horses don’t fear dogs so when a dog comes along I turn my horse toward then and run at the dog. It usually frightens their owner knowing full well I that my horse is about to stomp Rover into sea gull food.

I also keep a 14 foot weighted lead rope with me when I ride and I've used it on dogs in the past. I call it dog polo.

I’ve had dogs in the past. Some were remarkable to the point where I feel no other dog could possibly be as good, but the best part of a dog or a horse or a person becomes apparent in their training. Any animal left to their own devices uses their reactionary brain, but the trained animal learns to use their thinking brain. Unfortunately many dog owners haven’t fully developed their thinking brains and society has to pay for their behavior and the behavior of their pets. If the owners haven’t developed their thinking brain, how can one expect their pets to have a developed thinking brain?

So there, it’s out there in public. I don’t hate dogs, just most dog owners. However I'll proudly admit I’m still a rat bastard if that makes you feel better about it.

Monday, October 26, 2009


I’ve written here about photography several times over the last few years. I was fortunate enough to study the art under Richard Mizdal. Richard introduced me to surrealism. We spent hours analyzing the works of Les Krims, Jerry Uelsmann, Duane Michaels and Diane Arbus. If a picture was worth a thousand words, the works of these people were ineffable. Words just can’t do it when the masterpieces of these photographers are displayed.

A few years ago I stumbled upon a neo-surrealist that to me is par with the greats that I mentioned above. Her name is Mary-Anne McNeney and she lives in Victoria, British Columbia. I subscribed to her Flickr feed long ago and I get excited every time she puts up a new piece. I immediately click on the thumbnail and drink in the beauty of the composition. I use the word composition carefully because it is composition that separates Flickr snapshots from art.

Her topics are wide and varied. She often uses herself as the object of focus. Notice I didn’t say model though she is modelesque, she transcends the limits of what a model can do. She dons masks, she can make time stand still and best of all she can fly. Each photograph usually has an attached text which further extends the the lusciousness of her work because not only can you see the images in her mind, but you get a taste of dialogue with the images. The Photos and text together are like individual blog posts. Even if a particular shot doesn't strike you, open it up and read the text and suddenly it all comes together.

Mary-Anne's work is smart, funny, sexy, and most of all flawless. I am stunned by the variety in her compositions. I also know what it is like to develop a portfolio like this and it isn't easy. Her body of work needs to be seen by more people and word of her talents needs to be spread through the art community.

If you want to see some beautiful work, please visit Mary Anne at


Sunday, October 25, 2009

I Saw The Light

I’m a lighting fixture kook. I think a cool fixture can make a room. I even make some of my own lamps and fixtures. One of my favorites is a lamp I made from a large stack of AOL CDs.

I know that for energy savings I should buy fixtures that use only energy efficient light bulbs, but sometimes they don’t provide the light I want so many of my fixtures require strange, non-standard bulbs that you can’t find at the hardware store.

My wife uses a light box for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and it is suggested the fluorescent lamps be changed every two years. We found replacements on the Internet for $15 each but when you figure in the shipping the whole deal would have cost over $50.

We went to Portland last Thursday and before we went I looked up lighting shops and I found the mother of all light bulb stores. This place is called Sunlan Lighting and is located at 3901 N. Mississippi in North Portland and is run by a woman known as the Light Bulb Lady and her very knowledgeable staff.

This shop is about the size of Godfather’s Books, but it seemingly has every light bulb known to man contained under its roof. They demonstrate and give you the scientific scoop on each item you are looking for. All colors, sizes and connection types are present.

This shop is worth a visit even if you aren’t in the market for weird bulbs. It’s worth a visit just to see the amazing variety and learn about the functions and benefits between each model.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Hoarders

Our Blogger friend Weese has become a bit paranoid recently because everywhere she turns there is a chipmunk invading her space. They are in her wood pile; they dart about nearly colliding with her. Though I fully understand her fear especially with the unpredictability of crazed chipmunks in the fall, but understand that it is the season that is doing it. The chipmunks are not out to get us.

When you reflect upon the seasonal behavior of all the animals you can think of there are only three animals to my knowledge that actually collect a larder for the winter. This behavior is manifest in squirrels/chipmunks, honey bees and humans.

Squirrels and chipmunks gather and hide food for the winter. This is where we get the term “Squirrel things away.” They know the foods they prefer to eat will be in short supply so they collect their foods like a farmer. It’s as though these animals know what they need to survive the winter in the worst case scenarios.

Humans put up, preserve, freeze, smoke, dry and can their harvests to hold them over through the winter and beyond. Though we’ve become accustomed to importing our food and going to the store anytime we run out of items, it wasn’t long ago in our past where we got anxious about getting our crops in and protected for future use.

Finally, honey bees often collect several times the amount of honey they need to survive the winter. This is why humans can take the surplus honey and the bees can survive when they are left sixty-pounds to eat through the winter. There is a certain panic with them as well when the nectar producing flowers are gone. They will often resort robbing weaker colonies to further build their larder. The robbed colony will usually starve.

This year will be a very hard winter for honey bees in Oregon. There wasn’t much rain in May and June which translates to very little nectar coming from the plants they rely upon to make their honey. Beekeepers will need to feed their bees all winter this year if they want their colonies to survive.

As one of the three animals that put up food for the future we all need to be sympathetic of other hoarders. We have it easy in comparison to those that can’t rely on the market for their survival.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Wedding in New Jersey

OK, I can see you all getting tired of my New Jersey series so I will eliminate the one I planned to run tomorrow. If anyone really wants to read it I will email it to you upon request.

Today I will close this New Jersey series with a wedding. I was a dopey 21 year-old when I got married for the first time. I’m still dopey at 54, but I was especially dopey at 21. It was a church wedding with a reception in a rented hall at a local lodge. There were tuxedos, brides maids, the whole nightmare works.

We hired a local band for the wedding. As you may know most wedding bands are assembled of musicians that happen to have the day open for each event. They don’t have the same members from week to week. You tell one person or agent what you want and how much you want to pay and they get some musicians together for what you want.

The band I hired covered all the pop tunes from 1976 along with jazz standards and wedding standards. They were good and tight and earned their pay. There was one song that was striking, simply because it was very un-wedding like. It wasn’t really a danceable tune, but I liked it. I never got the chance to ask about it, but a few months later I heard it on the radio. It was a new release from Dean Freedman. It was the same song. We got out the wedding photos and sure enough one of the guys in the band was Dean Freedman.

Dean was a quasi three hit wonder. He was pretty well known on the East Coast and he finally did some recording with Kiki Dee and others. I haven’t thought of him in years, but I was glad to find his New Jersey based song, “Ariel” on You Tube. So please listen to this song and picture me as a dopey 21 year old kid wearing a paisley tux and photo-sun glasses on August 21st, 1976.
Dean Freedman Ariel

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Like Jersey Best

As you can probably tell from the theme this week, New Jersey is a quirky place to live. Here is yet another example. I was hoping to get John Pizzarelli’s version of this tune, but the only one I found John was clowning around with it so I went for this Phil Bernardi Band version from 1981.

If you’re getting sick of this theme, bear with me; there are only two more days left and it will be over. Oh, there are even more New Jersey town names in this one. I Like Jersey Best

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Uncle Floyd

When one is young you get tuned into the underground culture. Even when it isn’t hip and happening, it’s underground so that makes it hip and happening.

When I lived in NJ there was a TV show way up on the UHF channels. It was called The Uncle Floyd Show and it was kind of like The Soupy Sales Show for those of you old enough to remember that. It was a kids show that was really meant for adults. There was a lot of inside and local humor. Floyd wore a plaid jacket and a funny hat. He had a cast of live characters and a cast of puppets. Floyd played the piano and did a lot of parody songs.

One song that we all loved back then was called, “Deep in the Heart of Jersey.” Again, my thanks to the people that upload this stuff to YouTube so you can all hear it. This one has no video, just the song.

Please enjoy Deep in the heart of Jersey.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Tribute

A long while ago I wrote a piece here exploring where people have a love and a patriotism for the State they live in. I wanted to link it, but somehow the Blogger search function isn’t working as I write this. I found that people seem to be really proud of Oregon, but at the time I thought Texas had highest ratings among its inhabitants in regards to State patriotism. I’m rethinking that now and I’m starting to believe that New Jersey may have the most fanatical residents.

I normally don’t have a theme week here. Sometimes one story will lead to another, but yesterdays post brought back a lot of fond memories for me so I’m going to run New Jersey stuff all this week just to give you a taste of what is myth and what is reality.

I lived in New Jersey for the first 33 years of my life. I often joke and tell people that it’s a nice place to be from, but in reality I really did enjoy growing up and living there until the sprawl got to me. There is a diversity of population there that keeps everything interesting. New Jersey is the epitome of a melting pot.

If you want to have a little YouTube fun and be entertained and educated about where I came from please click the blue text Tribute to NJ.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Towns With Funny Names

I was corresponding via E-mail with one of the readers here last week and I conceded defeat in one of the fun debates we were having. Their reply was, “No Way, No How!” I had to laugh and my reply to them was, “No Way, No How? That sound town names in New Jersey.”

Sure, all states have towns with funny names; Oregon included, but I have yet to see a state with such a fine collection as New Jersey.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the names of towns in the Garden State I have a special treat for you thanks to the wonders of YouTube. The late Dave Van Ronk sang a song called The Garden State Stomp.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Musical Stairs

I normally don't post videos here unless they are directly related to what I'm writing, but I found this video to be pretty cool.

Musical Stairs

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Vulgar Art

I’ve altered many of the words and phrases in this post because I don’t want to attract people that are searching for those words and phrases for purposes of gratification.

I find it interesting how creative English speakers are about coming up with vulgar statements and phrases. Many have been around forever and I can imagine that when a new one comes out the first person to utter the word combination just knows they’ve struck lexiconic gold.

Tango and I were recently discussing douche bags (hot water bottles). Douche bag sounds so insulting, but what could be more soothing than a bottle filled with hot water.

Heather loves the phrase F**K Face I asked her if in her mind does the term mean someone that has a face that looks like genitalia, or a face that has too much sexual remnants or someone that is sporting an orgasmic look; the O Face. She defined it as someone beyond being a dumb ass.

Dumb ass it a term all on its own with many meanings. It literally means a mule or donkey that cannot speak. Having known mule owners, silent mules would make one part of life much nicer.

A** Hole is more degrading to the anus than to a person being called such. You can pierce a cheek and then you have a hole in your ass, but an anus is a complex thing that probably has saved each one us from embarrassment on a daily basis. A little respect for anatomy please.

C**K sucker is a term that is homophobia at its worst.

D**K head is something you just have to visualize and shake you head at

As you all know Rat Bastard is my favorite term. I know it is pale in comparison to what you folks like to say, but to me I think Rat Bastard is just Swell.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bear Swamp

About seven miles up a windy, bumpy road from the abandoned stone home I wrote about yesterday was small community where my sister lived for a couple years. This community didn’t exist back when the stone house was occupied but established several years later. All the maps call it Bear Swamp and it was a marsh area until someone built a dam and created probably what was a sixty acre lake. There were some cottages built there; probably fewer than ten in total. Anytime someone called it Bear Swamp a resident would quickly correct you and make you call it Bear Lake.

My sister lived there because her husband was a police officer and the community felt safe having someone living there that could defend the community. They let them live there for free. My brother-in-law, being a man of vast frugality jumped at the opportunity even though one ever went up there. One needed keys and combination to several gates to get up there in the first place.

There was no electricity up there and I thought it to be quite the novelty to light the gas lamps on the walls any time I stayed with them. We had a battery radio and one of the main activities was to play Monopoly with some of the neighbors. Sometimes we played at my sister’s cabin, sometimes at the neighbors’ cabin.

There was a dock on the lake and I’d often go in their boat fishing for perch. The lake was great for swimming and even a swimmer with little confidence could swim to a large rock out cropping across the narrow outlet bay by the dam. I recall once swimming there and someone shouting from the dock “COPPER HEAD!” I looked and there was a copper head snake coming in my direction. I had never swum as fast before or since. The snake wasn’t after me; it was just swimming in the same direction which was the shortest path across the bay. I guess it was weary of the ruckus that was being made on the dock above where it lived and was going for the quieter side of the lake.

The lake has since been bought by the State, and those with homes there were allowed to live out their lives, but were unable to transfer their deeds to anyone else.

It’s funny how one thing leads to another. Heather sent me a photo of an abandoned place with got me thinking about abandoned places and then to an abandoned stone structure and finally to a community of lake cottages where I have many fond memories.

A post script on this post was that I was going to use a Google Earth photo of the lake, but it appears the State has taken out the dam and returned the lake to a swamp. I instead used a photo by Mary Ann McNeany that resembles what I remember, but there were no madrona trees at Bear Swamp.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

That's Entertainment

Maybe it’s my shortened attention span but it seems I no longer have the desire to see a full-length motion picture. Movies to me are a lot like baseball games where most of the time there is nothing going on and occasionally there is some excitement.

I once wrote a movie review where I wrote that I only wished I had worn a watch so I could spend my time watching time tick away rather than viewing the film. After that we went to another film that was stinker and my wife handed me her watch. We walked out five minutes later.

The thing I don’t understand is how I can be totally entertained by a thirty second commercial or a short film on YouTube where an entire story can be told clearly and succinctly in a short time, yet feature film makers have 90 minutes or more to tell a story and they often can’t or they blur it with filler and nonsense.

Here is an example of a 30 second masterpiece. A 30 Second Spot

The film industry has been at it for so long; you’d think they would understand the audience by now. I’ve heard that most films are targeted to 16 year old white boys and most of the rest are considered “Chick Flicks”, but why can’t they make films that are as great as some of the commercials I’ve seen. Come on Hollywood, wake up. I’d love to see something worthwhile on the big screen again.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Abandoned Stone

Continuing on yesterday’s topic I have a reverence for stone structures. Back on the East coast the abundance of stones picked from farm fields were used to build houses and stone walls. The older homes that were built from wood usually had stone foundations. Walls in wells were made with stone. I don’t often see stone homes out here. There is one out in Lewis and Clark, and occasionally I’ll see one with a stone façade, but very few stone homes.

Heather shared the photo above with me. She and her son took a trip to Mammoth Springs, and as I wrote yesterday she loves photographing abandoned places. This photo reminds me of a structure I was always fascinated with. It was on one of my hiking routes when I lived back East.

The first amazing part of the structure was that it was back in the mountains, probably a mile from the closest farm. Though there was a stream that went by the front of the house, but the land was far too rocky and the trees too mature even a hundred years ago to have a productive garden. The word was it was a home for pregnant girls that were unmarried. I was a history nut back then and I could never find evidence of that supposition.

When I first discovered the stone structure there was no surviving wood or hardware. It had long decayed back to the earth or reused. There was no evidence of fire. The structure filled me with dreams since I could easily see the ledges where the floor joists rested. I could see where the beams that supported the second story had rested. I could see the roof line because the stones went from the ground to the peak.

The setting was perfect for someone that wanted to live in the woods and fall asleep each night to the sound of the creek out front. That person was me, but I didn’t have the resources back then to take on such a project. Fortunately if I now had the resources I think I know better than to get involves with such a project. Sometimes it’s best not to go where a construction passion leads one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Abandoned Structures

I’ve noticed that many bloggers such as Heather, Danielle and Donna seem to love photographing old abandoned buildings. If a photo is worth a thousand words; photos of abandoned structures are worth countless words. Abandoned structures have viewers asking, “What could have been and what could be?”

In reality most of these structures are far beyond repair with insufficient foundations or roofs that have let in so much moisture that every board and nail needs to be replaced. However when we look at them we can’t help but see the spirit in which these structures were built. We can imagine the joys that were shared there, yet somehow we can envision the tragedies that took place to deliver them to the state where they now.

I lived in a time of trust in the town where I grew up. This means that no one locked their doors. If by any chance a house was vacant, one could just walk in and look around. There were several homes that were between occupants that had been built in the 1700’s and 1800’s. As I wandered through these homes I could see remnants of things left behind. Many things were of value, but respect was of a higher order. There was seemingly no vandalism back then.

I remember the best abandoned mansion I walked through. It was known as the Havemeyer Mansion, not the one in New York, but the one in New Jersey. The photo above is not the actual home, but somewhat closely resembles it, though the house in the photo is probably half the size of the mansion. Havemeyer’s son had another mansion on the property which is still there and maintained though he is no longer alive.

There were several remarkable things about the building and its contents. The front doors were large and heavy. The lighting fixtures were old but extreme quality. Some were converted gas lamps. The hardware in this home was absolutely stunning. It was all heavy and hand crafted. There were a lot of paintings of birds all through the house. I understand Henry Senior was an Audubon fan. He probably knew Audubon. This was a home that had servants, probably several of them evident from smaller bedrooms near where servants would work, such as the kitchen, laundry and the stables.

A few months after I walked through, the mansion was burned to the ground by what we called back then, a fire bug. I don’t think anyone was ever arrested or convicted of the crime. I remember clearly the first time I rode my bike past the smothering ashes. I was sad that someone could actually do that. It saddens me still.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I’ve recently realized that I don’t have much of a concept of trouble. The condition of being troubled is an interesting one. Troubled is what we call those that are depressed. We also use the term for those with demons. One can get into trouble and be in trouble. One can even describe a person as “Being Trouble.”

It seems that no good comes from trouble. With trouble you will either end up in jail or in an institution. You will be estranged from family and loved ones. At the very least you will not sleep well with trouble on your mind.

Trouble never seems to be a simple thing. It is made up of compound actions and events in opaque onion skin like layers. Peeling back each layer often reveals deeper and deeper layers and influences. Sometimes the layers consist of long gone ancestors at the core and they may even be able to be peeled back to pre-historic times.

Trouble, it’s a bitch and I'm glad I don't have any right now.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Spider and I

I’ve often mentioned the flora and fauna that lives on or in my truck, be it composting hay sprouting new grass seedlings, the termites from wood chips and let’s not forget the ferns and moss.

I’ve been aware for quite some time that there is a spider living in my drivers’ side door mirror. At first I thought the webbing was an over-lay from a larger web that I backed through, but after a couple days of clearing the web I noticed its prompt return. When I washed the truck a couple weeks ago I was careful not to flush the creature from its home. I never saw the spider, but I knew it was there.

Last weekend I had to drive a horse over to Brownsmead and I got stuck in a traffic jam due to a flipped chip truck. There is no way around these wrecks on the curves in the John Day area. If you have to travel Route 30, you wait. During my wait I became well acquainted with my new pet. There were some gnats that triggered its alarm. I saw it dash in and out several times.

I wonder, what shall I name it?

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I know you long time readers remember I did this post on the subject a couple years ago,Isn't That Swell, but I think it's high time we started using the word "Swell" again. When was the last time someone told you that you were "Swell" or that they were "Just Swell."

Come on everybody, try it out just on one person today. You'll see them smile and who knows you may be a part of the resurgence of a word that described all things good in the 50s. Wouldn't that be "Swell?" It would be "Really Swell!" Don't you think?

Friday, October 09, 2009

Bonomo's Turkish Taffy

I don't know if it was ever distributed nationally, but those of you that are my age may remember Bonomo's Turkish Taffy. This was a candy that came in a flat package like a Hershey Bar. It was a hard taffy that came in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry or banana flavors.

When you wanted to eat it you had to smack it in a hard surface once or twice to break it into little chunks. Smacking it too much turned it into crumbs or taffy dust.

I've mentioned this candy to a few people that grew up out here and they have no idea what I'm talking about. They think I'm talking about salt water taffy, but it's nothing like that.

When you try to find it on the Internet your search is always taken to French Chew, which is a totally different candy; it's not even a taffy, but if you freeze it it will crack and taste like Turkish Taffy. Not close enough for me.

The company was bought out by the Tootsie Roll company and discontinued in 1989, but they are coming back. They are currently producing the candy with Warrell Corporation of PA and expect to have the original Turkish Taffy in its smack-it crack-it formula widely available sometime in 2010.

Bonomo's is one of those things you would assume would always be around so it is difficult if not impossible to find any photos of a wrapper or its content, But here is a video of a couple Bonomo's Turkish Taffy commercials and there's one with a very creepy clown. Bonomo's Turkish Taffy Video

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Let's Be Reasonable

If you have been following the comments from Monday’s sick day post I want to present a challenge to those of you that have totally fallen for the anti-LNG platform.

Can you at least admit that an LNG facility isn't as dangerous as they are making it out to be?

Can you at least admit that the environmental concerns are extremely distorted and that Bradwood it proactively mitigating and their salmon enhancement plan isn't all that bad?

Can you at least admit that dredging has had no ill effects on salmon population especially in consideration of the record runs that have been coming up the river in spite of the Columbia Deepening Project

Can you at least admit that if Bradwood happens our schools and public safety will benefit greatly from this partnership?

Can you at least admit that construction workers will prosper in this poor economy if they can work on a project such as Bradwood Landing over two years?

Can you at least admit that having 60 (as predicted) family wage jobs in the community is better than not having 60 additional family wage jobs in the community?

Finally, why is it that the opposition isn't talking about any of these positive benefits to our community?

It is because if they do talk about the benefits they will lose their base. Their house of cards will fall. Their egos and all the time they have invested in being contrary is at stake. It is quite an investment, not unlike a pyramid scheme.

Like a cult, they have used fear to control the minds of their followers. The followers have been told that there will be explosions, dead fish, restrictions on travel and river traffic, fishing and cruise ships. We will have military gun boats patrolling our shores. There will be leaks and we will all die.

These cult-like distortions are the center of the constant diatribe of the local news paper, the Daily Astorian; whose editor and publisher by the way, was a big fan of the Rajneesh Cult in Oregon. We all know how that all turned out, don’t we. They took over local politics in Antelope Oregon and tried to poison the local water supply. Is it starting to sound familiar with the red shirts and the recall campaigns?

Please, if you consider yourself as someone with an open mind, read the points above again and ask yourself if there are some possible tangible benefits that Bradwood can provide to our schools, our public safety agencies and the community as a whole in the tune of 8 million a year, every year. Then honestly ask yourself if it’s possible that you’ve been duped by the opposition. Think of this as your personal intervention.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Truck

Sooner or later I always come to realize it’s time to get the truck fixed. This year has been a hard year on my truck concerning all things electrical. Earlier this year I blew out my speakers listening to Marilyn Manson, then my radio/CD player quit working. Then the two rear windows stopped working then the drivers’ side window would only go up or down if I held the switch and banged on the door. Since my air conditioner stopped working last year, my windows are my only air option. The blinkers only worked when I manually moved the lever up and down. Finally the drivers’ side head light would blink on and off at random. I could get under the hood and wiggle a wire and they would go on until I hit the first bump while driving.

So I replaced the stereo and the speakers. I replaced the directional control unit. Yesterday I replaced the master window switch and one window motor and the plastic piece that holds the head lamp. I’m pouring hundreds of dollars into this truck, but it’s less expensive than a payment on a new truck.

The truck seems to be holding its own now. It’s relatively clean. All I have left to do is replace the air compressor and the cracked windshield and it will be like a new truck, except for some of the dents. I may need to find something else to harp on.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

It Aint Over Yet

Maybe summer isn’t over just yet. I was able to score two artichokes at the grocery store. They had been missing from spot next to the corn for weeks and suddenly they reappeared. The corn is gone but the artichokes are back.

Another remnant from summer is that my beefsteak tomatoes are finally ripening in the green house. This called for the purchase of another package of bacon. This will be the last bacon I buy for the year, folks.

The corn is finally ready in the garden. We started the garden really late this year, but the stout ears are on and in their prime. It’s fun to feed an ear of corn to a horse. Horses also enjoy eating husks, so there is no need to litter a compost bin with bulky corn husks when horses can turn them into fertilizer and compost over night.

I made four loaves of zucchini bread yesterday and I’m going to make four more today. We are drying tomatoes and picking pears and I’m still able to dry the laundry on the line. It still feels somewhat like summer though I am wearing flannel shirts in the mornings and evening.

We have had some fall rains, which I greatly appreciate. It is bringing new life to the pastures and washes away the dust. Fire season will so be over and the smell of wood smoke will be in the air again. We will be given glimpses of the past summer until the deciduous trees lose all their leaves. Fall isn’t very colorful here since this is the time of year when the green returns. Aside from the few maples there isn’t much colorful foliage to see with all the evergreens in the forests.

I will enjoy the fall as I always do, but I will keep a cautious eye on December when the winds will return.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Sick Day XXIX

I am sick of outside influences. You know how we have been taught how the white man came to America, robbed and raped the Indian's land, introduced them to foods they shouldn’t eat, alcohol they had no enzymes to process and brought them diseases they had no resistance to? Then there are missionaries that screwed up cultures all over the planet along with constant imperialist colonization.

People seem to think what they think is best, regardless of the indigenous culture that existed before their arrival. I once lived in a wonderful little town and had a remarkably perfect childhood there, but within my first 33 years there so many people moved there with each new arrival erasing some of the history and quaintness. It got to the point where my home town was no longer there and there was no reason to stay.

When I started blogging here over three years ago I used this place as a soapbox for my vision of what I thought would be best for this community. After the first two years it finally dawned on me that I had no business telling people how things should be here. I haven’t earned that right nor had I paid my dues to the point where my opinion actually matters here. I don’t have any ancestors here. None of my relatives occupy graves nor have their ashes been scattered here.

Some would be of the opinion that if you live here and pay your taxes your opinions matters as much as those who were born here. I don’t feel tenure to the land and the culture of its people is a matter of residency; it isn’t. It all has to do with earned mutual respect.

I look around and see all the people that are causing a stink about LNG and the Commissioners and I realize that very few of them are from here. The people that were born here see all the outsiders as puking ass clowns. These outsiders have given no consideration or respect to the desires of the life-long residents that had a vision for this area. They had a vision long before the invaders left the towns where they lived to come here.

We all wonder what it would be like to give the continent back to the Indians. It’s a nice fantasy but you can’t get that Genie back in the bottle. There has been too much destruction to the land and the culture that existed in balance over a century ago. However, it’s not too late to start showing some respect for those with ancestors that built this area making it possible for us to live the wonderful lives we live here. Have some respect and honor their visions of prosperity. So far they have shown much tolerance for the outsiders, and all you’ve shown them is cultural ignorance and insensitivity.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Coyotes Howl

Back when all the trees were standing before the 2007 storm I could occasionally hear the howl of coyotes in the distance. Sometimes they sounded closer and sometimes I’d see them or their scat on my trails. However lately I’ve been hearing them several times every evening and night from a nearby clear cut. Neighbor dogs reply to their calls.

I once knew a trapper here who told me that when beaver pelt prices were low there would be a coyote population explosion. If the trappers weren’t killing the animals, their population would go up giving rise to a rise in predator populations.

I don’t know if anyone still traps anymore, but I’m thinking the lack of trees has created thriving environmental conditions for small woodland creatures which coyotes eat. Though coyotes are noisy it’s still pretty cool to be woken up by them at least once a night. It’s probably payback for the machinery I run at times when they are sleeping.

Saturday, October 03, 2009


It isn’t often that I write about my appreciation for a blog, but there is one blogger out there that visits here that is doing a magnificent job of chronicling her life on her farm often leaving me envious because she makes it all seem so easy.

Donna at usually posts several times a day, and she doesn’t post mindless junk. He posts are thoughtful which shows me how full her life is and how passionate she is about the life she lives. She can be showing us her crops or what she just canned. She uploads videos of her horseback rides or her cows doing whatever odd thing cows will do. She writes about trips that she and her husband, Cliff take on their motorcycle. She posts photos and stories of her family history. She tastefully works Facebook, which many people can’t seem to get the knack of.

Donna is an engaging writer that has a brilliant command of the language and written word. She plays the guitar, writes and sings songs and can kill an opossum in the dark. She loves John Prine, Greenday and Iris Dement. Donna also visits many of the blogs of the people that comment here. She always has kind words and good advice.

I didn’t want to let another day go by without my saying just how much I appreciate her and the stories she shares with her enormous audience. Donna, you are simply the best and I’m proud to know you in this reality we call the internet. I wish we were neighbors.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Happy Birthday Heather

I have been corresponding with Heather Kathleen from A Mouthy Irish Woman? Ridiculous! Today is her birthday. Happy Birthday, Darlin!

Anyway, we were having a discussion about something I wrote long ago on how remarkable every days is and if you don’t find something remarkable about a day, then it wasn’t much of a day at all.

If you reply to this post please make note of something that makes today a remarkable day unlike all others. I want to show her that her birthday has been a remarkable day for others as well.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


I’m suspicious about how well things are going here from those that comment on these posts. Writing this blog over the last three and a half years I’ve had my share of goofy people that come here to comment. Some I wish would go away and forget I exist, and I think they all have, but I’m sure new ones will pop up from time to time. I’m not going to mention the names of those I don’t miss because I’m sure they would come back if they got any attention.

I do miss some perennial readers that seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth like Matt, Loopy B Paul, Boo, Trish and Gearhead , I’m sure they are doing more productive things with their time.

I can usually figure out where the readers that visit came from. Whenever I get a mention on Donna’s or Syd’s blog my stats go through the roof. It’s funny how it works, I found Donna through Mel and from Donna I gained Pauline, Amy and several readers from Texas, which is odd because Donna is in Missouri.

I still get a lot of Syd offshoot readers. There are first generation Syd readers like Trop and Weese and Bayou and Lori and Dalia, but then there are people that found me through offshoots of that branch. Like Mouthy Irish Woman found me through Beth, who found me through Trish, who found me from her sister Boo, who found me through Syd.

Now when I go read the comments at Mouthy’s or Tango’s or Darev’s I see several of my readers have migrated over to their sites as well. It’s quite a family tree.

While I’m on the topic of comments, I want you all to know that I do read your every blog post. If you’ve commented here in the last year or so and you have a blog, I read you, but I’m not very good at commenting. I figure I chatter enough here. I'll try to be more responsive in the future.