Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Andy's Star is Rising

Hi All,

My brother Andy, the filmmaker, entered an Obama '08 commercial contest through Based on votes from the public his ad as been selected as one of 15 finalists from an original pool of 1,100!

You can view the 15 finalists and vote for which ad should receive the people's choice award. In addition to the people's choice award, another winner will be chosen by a panel, aired nationally and receive a prize of $20,000.

Andy's ad is "Little Girl and One Nation United". Show him some love. They only had 5 days to conceive, write, cast, film and compose music for the ad and I think it turned out great! By the way, Andy composes all his own music for films he makes. What you hear was made by him!

Help my little bro make some dough.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Here's a story for you

I took my mail wagon to get serviced today. I was at a Jiffy Lube. You know the drill. They call you up to look at the computer and tell you all the things they recommend be done to the car. Anyway, I sat back down after my "consult" and 2 minutes later my "tech" was back in the waiting room. He asked me to step out into the bay. Kind of ominously, especially in hindsight. As I walked toward him he asked if I have cats. It sounded conversational but totally random. Then he got more specific. "Do you have a black cat?". "Um, yes. Yes I do. (hesitatingly) Why?". "Well, sorry to have to tell you this but there is a cat in your engine and, um, it's dead, obviously".

I walked up to the car and saw the furry back of a black cat. All my instincts told me that it wasn't Una. The fur wasn't right and I was sure that she was sleeping on the bed when I left home. Still, I couldn't look too closely until I called Matt to double check. My heart was beating really fast. Matt picked up the phone and the first thing I said was, "Is Una sleeping on the bed?" No hello. He was all, "What? What are you talking about?" and I'm all, "Please just tell me is Una sleeping on the bed." He said yes and asked what is going on. I told him there was a dead black cat in my engine and he said, "where are you that you are suddenly aware that there is a dead cat in the engine?" Jiffy Lube, blah, blah, blah.

The tech put the cat in a box and then put the box into a (clear) plastic bag. He came back in the waiting room and asked me if I could take it home and bury it. He said he could do it but it would be really hard to find a place. I've got nothin' if not space so the cat, box and bag went into the back of the mail wagon and off I went.

When I got home Matt and I decided on the best spot on the property for our pet cemetery. He was still working so I hoofed it out to the back of the property and started to dig, and dig, and dig. I don't want a coyote getting wise. All the while I had been so relieved that it wasn't one of our cats that I hadn't been able to absorb what I was doing until I unwrapped the cat and put it in it's grave. I began to cry. It was much more difficult putting the dirt (clay) back in the hole than it was getting it out. Matt came out to help me.

We can't figure out where the cat came from. We haven't seen any strays around. Matt was thinking maybe it crawled in while I had the car somewhere else but that cat seemed to be rather freshly dead so I feel certain that it got into the engine here. So sad. It was a little thing. I am guessing only six or seven months old.

When we were finished we hosed off the shovels and as I walking away to take them to the shed Matt squirted the hose at me!!! Have you ever? Seriously!! It would be one thing if it were summer but it's not. It's freakin' cold and crap. He did not look properly ashamed of himself. I have yet to decide on my retaliation.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Mark this down on the list of things I never thought I would say: We are in the market for a tractor. That's right. An honest to goodness farmer john type tractor. We are looking for an old Ford 8N or similar. I can't believe I am learning tractor model numbers! First and foremost we need something with a 3-point hitch to which we can attach a brush hog. Mowing 5 acres with a hand mower is tough and we don't want a riding mower because it is so singular purpose. Now a tractor, there's a multitasking beast for sure. Useful in the garden, useful for mowing, useful for pretending we know what on earth we are doing up here tending to our land.


Congratulations to Sarah, Clint and the boys on the addition of Trace to the family!

No Clams for Me

On Friday afternoon Tom, Kathy, Matt and Walker left for the beach house. This weekend is a clam tide and they hoped to get a bucketful. I was to join them Saturday evening after my mail route. Things didn't go as planned. I ended up doing Route 02 on Saturday instead of my usual Route 01. I am not up to speed on Route 02 yet so it took me an ungodly amount of time to sort the mail. The weather has been crap here and by the time I got out on the road everything was slushy and slippery. Not being super familiar with Route 02 I wasn't quite sure which boxes would be problematic in the snow. Plus I hadn't driven my mail wagon in the snow yet so I didn't know it's particular snow foibles. I slipped around a bit but managed to avoid any disasters. The day had everything: snow, hail, rain, sunshine. Sometimes the hail blew sideways, sometimes the wind blew snow off the trees and the car got pelted with wet, slushy snowballs from above. Fun stuff. I keep a plastic bag in the car to protect the mail on days like this. It got so full of hail from the open window that I had to regularly unload it out the window!

I was kind of strung out by the time I finished my route. Matt called to tell me that nobody got any clams on the Saturday morning tide. He said the weather was bad at the beach too. You see where I am going with this?

  1. I don't eat clams.
  2. The tides are out at around 5:30am so if clams are to be had that is the time to be out on the beach.
  3. It is stormy and super cold on the beach in the wee hours.
  4. I was not too keen on an additional 2 hours of storm driving to get to the beach on top of my 4.5 hours of stormy route driving in order to dig up things I don't eat under lousy conditions.

So I stayed home, watched a movie, ate a bag of potato chips, finished a book and called it a day.

Wild America

Breakfasting on the lawn.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I am warming up to Portland part 2

On Thursday Apr 10th we headed back to Portland to see The Avett Brothers. Before the show we had dinner at Park Kitchen. We ordered the chef's tasting menu. The menu regularly changes and the food just kept coming and coming so I lost track of what we at. I know there was a nettle soup in there somewhere, chickpea fries with pumpkin ketchup, sunchokes with new potatoes, crackers with sheep's milk cheese and rhubarb compote, squash with greens rice and mole and a bunch of other stuff. I am telling you, we ROLLED out of there. Here's the thing though. The sublime mixing and blending of flavors and textures we had at Wildwood were too fresh on our minds. Something just didn't gel all the way at Park Kitchen. Maybe we just ate too much and our palates got muddled and confused. Dessert didn't help. That is the one area Park Kitchen did not excel. The desserts they sent out with the tasting menu were a mediocre chocolate cake with kumquats in a simple syrup and and also a lime custard with rhubarb sauce. See these desserts sound great and look good on paper but the execution just didn't work. Unlike the heavenly turnovers at Wildwood that sounded so-so but ended up rocking my world. I ordered the turnovers there on the waiters suggestion. I hadn't planned on selecting them. Yay for helpful waiters.

We had a short walk from Park Kitchen to the Crystal Ballroom for the show. Man alive were we uncomfortably full. Neither of us wanted to go to the concert anymore. We just wanted to get home and get our fat selves into bed. I am glad we didn't bail. The Avett Brothers are good stuff. I highly recommend that you pick up a CD or catch a show if you can. Here are a couple of videos to set you on your way to Avett fandom.

I am warming up to Portland Part 1

This post is a little late in coming. Last week I convinced Matt to take a half day off work and come to Portland with me. The way I see it, he has spent so many weekends in Los Angeles for work he can spare a few hours for me on a Monday afternoon. The purpose of my trip was to get some running shoes. No, I am not running. Yes, I am walking with the hopes of working up to running later. Does anyone else feel like their body was not put together in the right manner to run? Nothing about it feels natural to me.

First stop of the day was lunch at Wildwood.

Wildwood is a restaurant opened by Chef Cory Schreiber. He specializes in recipes utilizing ingredients from the Pacific Northwest. I am ashamed to admit that I can't remember what we ate other than it was moaningly delicious. My entree was akin to liquidy/cheesey/creamy ravioli with greens on top. The combination was sublime. In the chef's eyes I probably committed a cardinal sin by not eating the hunks of fried bacon dotting the plate but, eh, dead flesh, not for me. I didn't realized there was bacon from reading the menu description and I wasn't about to send the beautiful dish back. We noticed on the way in the Wildwood has a cookbook. With each bite I was more and more inclined to buy it. What absolutely convinced me to make the purchase was dessert: Hazelnut Chocolate Turnovers - caramel sauce, hot fudge and butternut crunch ice cream. Sounds like a pretty generic collection of ingredients but the crust was hands down the best I have ever had and the total package took the sum of parts into the stratosphere. Matt agrees.

After lunch we made our way over to the Portland Running Co. A helpful clerk had me running up and down the sidewalk in a variety of shoes until we found the pair that kept my ankles from rolling in and messing with my knee and hip joints. Matt said he found it funny to watch my gangley self running back and forth in front of the window. I came away with a really fast lookin' pair of silver/purple/white shoes. I swear they work better if they are pretty.

A quick stop at IKEA for another CD shelf and we were on our way home. We had signed up to stuff envelopes at the Lewis County Democratic Committee offices. How delighted are we that there is such a thing!

Again with the signs.

In what is apparently going to be an ongoing series here at Eggtown, here is another homemade grievance sign.

This sign is on our road near the Highway. We wonder which Shell Station was robbed (I know! Crazy that there are 2 gas stations in our tiny town) and we wonder what was stolen to prompt such a sign. You know it wasn't just a Snickers bar and a can of Rock Star.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's come to this.

I don't know what to think. Either we completely caved into the vehicular related bullying of the local drunks and/or kids on spring break with nothing better to do. Or we are smart enough and fiscally responsible enough not to wait for our mailbox to be demolished on a regular basis. Our beautiful mailbox will not be coming back. If you need to mail anything to the Washington Conrows please us this address:

P.O. Box 626
Winlock, WA 98596

By the way, Stitch, from Lilo & Stitch, originated as Experiment 626. We LOVE that movie. Perhaps this is a sign that the winds of our mail fortune are changing.

Update: Since this is such a small town, things sent to the old address will still make it to us. For example, Catherine sent me some music (THANK YOU!!!) And it came after our box got smashed but before our mail forward went through. The envelope still made it into the PO Box. Go Winlock Mail Handlers!

On the Mail Route(s)

Met a turkey on Route 02. Just hanging out on the side of the road doin' his thing.

Remember this shaggy donkey from a few posts ago? Well, Matt and I took a walk last Sunday past his pasture and got a close-up view of him.

LOOK at his hooves!!! I don't know if this is neglect or deformity. None of the other animals in the field were in such bad shape - hoofwise. Seriously! He was walking (hobbling) on his ankles.

How in the world is he going to be able to run from this furious cow, his pasture mate? This cow looks like a brawler.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Goodbye fair Mailbox. We hardly knew ye.


50 yards on down the road:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Buried Treasure

I admit to the hope that we might find a D.B. Cooper style stash of cash inside the walls of the Sister House. We have now ripped out most all the walls and ceilings that need demo. Our bank accounts are none the richer. We have found a few things of note.

Matt just pulled what looks to be some sort of ancient quilting frame down from the rafters. We might be wrong. I will ask Tom and Kathy if they know what it is. On Sunday we found a skeleton key on the floor. No idea what it is/was for but it looks neat.

Inside one of the walls we found a newspaper from 1929. That makes sense. I recall reading somewhere that the house was built in 1930.

Finally, we came across this nest of mummified mice. This might be the only find to impact our finances in any way. Perhaps ghost mice will negate the need to purchase real cat toys. When we move into the finished house and the cats jump at imaginary spots on the wall we can chalk it up to this pile of dead rodents.

Breaking News: Atheists invade Western Washington

(Mom, don't read this one)
Dateline: Safeway, Chehalis, WA 04-02-08 11:45am
Cashier: Hello. Did you find everything you need today

Atheist Customer: Yes. Thank you.

Cashier (to Bagger, Atheist Customer and Next Customer In Line): So this atheist and this Christian were talking. The atheist said to the Christian, "There is no afterlife. When I die and am buried I am going to grow into a tree above my grave." To which the Christian replies, "I hope they take that tree, cut it down, turn it into pulp, make it into paper and print a bible on it."

Cashier looks to his audience for laughs and communal appreciation. Cashier gets "amen's" from the Bagger and Next Customer In Line and a blank look from Atheist Customer. Cashier points to box of organic cat litter in the Atheist Customer's cart.)

Cashier: The leaf logo on that box reminded me of the joke.

Atheist Customer: That or you must have sensed that I am an atheist.

Cashier: I apologize. (uncomfortable looks all around plus laughter as Atheist Customer rolls eyes and exits store after transaction is complete.)

End scene.

(In the above dialog the Atheist Customer was played by your friendly Eggtown Blogger.)

Here's the thing ladies and gentlemen: the joke itself is 100% inoffensive. What IS offensive and drives me batty is the smug ignorance of it's concoction and delivery. I wasn't quick or clever enough to give a snappy reply at the time so you, dear readers, be you Christian, atheist, Scientologist or Other, are subject to my belated thoughts.

Point one: Someone who thinks they will turn into a tree is not an atheist, they are more akin to a reincarnationist.

Point two: The punchline of the joke flat out doesn't work. An atheist upon whose grave, or scattered ashes, a tree grew wouldn't know or care what happened to said tree. Turn a tree over me into toilet paper for all I care.

If there is going to be verbal bashing of atheists, I would appreciate it very much if it is done in style. Wish me a Merry Christmas, knock on my door to sell religion, assault my eyes with billboards and crazy cars (more of an L.A. thing but I have seen a few here), but don't, in the name of all that is holy (ba dum bum chhhh), continue with these lame jokes. Ridicule away but make it funny, or else I might have to start recruiting your children to my wicked ways.

Photo courtesy of g33kgrrl. (whom I don't know and is in no way affiliated with the preceding semi-tirade)