Sunday, June 29, 2008

More Pageant info

Here is the program from the Coronation (with comment minus snark in peach):
  • Opening Remarks
  • National Anthem
  • Introduction of 2008 Egg Days Queen Candidates
  • Introduction of Guests and Dignitaries:
    • Grand Marshals
    • Piano player for the evening
    • Mayor of Winlock
    • Egg Day Chairman
    • Visiting Royalty
    • Former Egg Day Royalty (Cheese Days Queen, Napavine Royalty, Logging Royalty, Vader Queen, etc.)
    • Judges Panel
    • Float Drivers
    • Button Designer - Anyone who wants to compete for Egg Days Queen must sell buttons at $1 each. A person can be a finalist in the competition if she/he sells at least 500 buttons.
  • Vocal Performance "Tomorrow Needs Us"
  • "Rock Star" production by 2008 Contestants
  • Slide show presentation of "Memories" - A power point slide show of Egg Days gone by set to John Mellencamp's "Small Town" and John Mayer's "Say". I HATE that song. It is totally Emperor's New Clothes and the joke is on the listening public. Dude wrote a song based on one line that he just repeats over and over. Lame with a capital L.
  • Vocal Performance "You are Beautiful to Me"
  • Individual Talents by 2008 Contestants
    • Destiny Hughes - Dance "Nobody's Perfect" by Hannah Montana
    • Allison Morrison - Wrestling Demonstration
    • Shalene Allen - Singing "Colors of the Wind"
    • Gloria Wiltfong - Poem written and recited by her
    • Desiree Strong - Dance "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis
  • Winlock Martial Arts Studio Presenting Self Defense Demonstration No really! A self defense demonstration! Set to Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" Complete with board breaking action - see video

  • Interlude
  • Formal Presentation of 2008 Queen Contestants
  • Questions by Judges for public speaking portion. OK. I will try to walk you through the question answer portion of the evening without snark but some of these girls got robbed. Desiree got asked essentially the same question twice: How do you hope Winlock will have changed when you come back for Egg Days 2028? and When you return to Winlock when you are 60 what statue would you like to have in your honor? Allison was asked what restaurant she would like to have in Winlock. Answer: Panda Express. There was the garden variety: Why would you make a good Egg Queen. I thought Gloria gave the best answer: "I am not a leader or a follower. I just like people." You go girl. Play the game your own way. Props.
  • Last walk of 2007 Egg Days Queen
Raffle and door prizes - Guitar contest winner. Each girl made the guitar she used in the dance. The pageant attendees all cast a vote for their favorite guitar but there was no winner. I managed to cut my favorite guitar out of this shot. Sorry.
  • Announce 2008 Egg Day Queen
  • Queen's Reception in foyers - photo opportunities - open to everyone

So this is all I got during the photo op. There is nothing flattering about grade school lighting.

Matt got a bunch of pictures at the parade on Saturday but I have yet to comb through them to decide what to post. Drew and Stephanie came down and spent the day with us celebrating all things ova. It is 100 degrees here now and it was 97 degrees during the parade so I am not feeling too keen on sitting at the computer in my metal shed sharing the joys of my Egg Day. When it cools down a bit I will spill all my news.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Egg Days Queen Coronation

Alright people of the world - get ready for a bit of Egg Pageant action.

The girl in white (Shalene age 16) is our new Egg Days Queen. She sang Colors of the Wind for her talent. She hopes to attend the School of the Performing Arts in NYC and, as a backup, go to work for NASA. The girl in dark blue (Allison age 14 - second from the right) is the runner up. Allison's favorite color is pink and sparkle. Her talent was a wrestling demonstration and she hopes to become a make-up artist. I think the judges made excellent choices. I have more info to share about the pageant but I have to get up early in the morning to get out on the mail route in time to beat the parade so I will save the rest for later. Let me leave you now with this video of a dance number the girls performed during the show:

Well, OK, since it is a special occasion. . .

I never thought I would share this semi-secret with the world outside of Winlock but, in celebration of Egg Days, here you go:

Squeeeee!! It's Egg Days Weekend

We will be attending the Egg Queen Coronation this evening. I will miss the parade and a bunch of stuff on Saturday because of the mail route. Even so, I am really looking forward to everything and the things I can't attend I will enjoy vicariously through Matt and Drew. Here are a few highlights from the Egg Days brochure:
  • An Egg Queen contestant whose favorite color is "pink and sparkle"
  • Chicken races - $1 per bet
  • Free egg salad sandwiches and lemonade served from the elementary school cafeteria
  • The Egg-Lympics (even though the egg drop has been canceled we still plan to participate in the Egg Toss, Egg Relay and Egg Olequa (floating plastic eggs down the river to see whose egg crosses the finish line first)
  • Baked Potato bar @ the Winlock Senior Center with ALL the trimmings
  • THE CAKE WALK!!! I am going to miss this so Drew has agreed to win me a cake come hell or high water
  • The Dog and Owner fashion show
  • The Carnival and all it entails
  • The 5th Annual Dog Show
So as you can see we have a full weekend ahead of us. The only possible snag is my mail route. My route crosses the parade route so if I don't get to the crossing before the parade begins I will have a long detour to get around. If/when I make it through the crossing on time it will be smooth sailing to the end of the route and on into the party.

UPDATE: Winlock Egg Days has a blog. Why was this information so hard to come by? Or how did I miss it if it has been right in front of my face for months.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Unrelated to Eggtown in Every Way

According to Yahoo News:
New law prevents Ohio woman from bringing bear cub to work
This caused Matt to wonder how long it will be before he is banned from bringing his King Cobra to work.

Some laws just don't make any sense. Damn big government and its incessant meddling.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Conversation With Quinten

Quinten killed 2 birds today. The first thing I saw when I opened the door this morning was Quinten loping toward me from the Sister House with a Cedar Waxwing in his maw. He skirted around me and went into the bay via the cat door. I wanted so badly to get a picture but he was not down with that. Matt and I took turns kneeling on the ground in front of the cat door, between the living space and the bay, watching Quinten toss and play with his dead toy.

The other night I had a dream. All four cats were outside "playing" with a little white mouse. The mouse came up to me and pleaded with me to get her out of her four cat hell. I declined. I was happy to see my cats playing so nicely together and enjoying the great outdoors. I suck.

I had a little daydream today while I was mowing the lawn. Quinten and I were talking:

Quinten: I think I will start leaving my kills in a pile outside. I have noticed that those big black birds seem to like carrion.
Me: That is very kind of you. I am sure the ravens will appreciate it.
Quinten: Well, really what I want to do is catch me one of those big black birds.
Me: I don't think you can see from your perspective just how big those birds are.
Quinten: I have been practicing. I am sure I could take one down.
Me: You realize that both ends of those birds are business ends, right? Talons on the bottom and beak on top. And also you won't be fighting just one. They stick together. You will probably be bombarded by the whole flock.
Quinten: Sigh
Me: You can still leave your dead out for them. I would like a chance to get to see them semi-up close. I have always liked them.
Quinten: What do I care what you think, human?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wee, rolling garden - UPDATE

At the beginning of May I posted about my wee rolling garden. Here is an update. There are little green strawberries on the strawberry plants and the tomato plants are not dead. In fact they seem to be growing normally, if not exactly flourishing. The tiny trees all got a bit of new growth and I added a box full of basil, thyme and dill.

Matt in Action

Every interior wall that can be built pre-truss installation is up. Now we are awaiting the truss delivery to put up the remaining 2 interior walls. Then it is on to the next steps - roof and sheathing.

Matt had gotten pretty good with the hammer. He doesn't miss the nails anymore and can pound them in nice and straight.

Friday, June 20, 2008

All walled in

Notice anything different? No. It's not the bright blue sky although that is different and VERY welcome. Look closely. . .

Every exterior wall has been framed. A fellow from the truss company came out this morning to measure for our trusses. We expect them to be delivered in about a week and a half. Will wonders never cease?

Yes, Please

Yeah. I want one. Don't need one. Don't have a place for one. And yet, I want one. Doesn't mean I should buy one. Probably won't buy one. I guess what I mean is I am glad something like this exists. Makes the world a nuttier place. And that is a good thing.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Say Hello to my Leedle Friend

Meet our new (old) Massey Ferguson To35 tractor and Land Pride brush hog. They were delivered this afternoon. We have already managed to shear off the shear bolt on the brush hog. Apparently that means it is working like it should even though we freaked out thinking that this big piece of expensive machinery crapped out on it's maiden voyage. Turns out shear bolts are supposed to shear if there is too much torque on the blades. It saves the gear box. The people at the tractor dealership were very patient when Matt called wondering WTF? I think this means it is time for us to officially surrender our city mouse cards and admit that we have gone country.

Another Wall!

This is our kitchen wall. Matt, Tom and Vince push it into place.

Tom atop the wall securing the corner. Matt pushing the wall in to keep it square.

A long shot of the new wall w/ Tom sitting on top.

Kathy & Leslie supervise. The wall was raised early Sunday morning and they came over for coffee and conversation while the men did the heavy lifting.

444 is the new 666

Yeah. You heard me. I am not in the least bit concerned about jinxing prices by taunting the gas speculators with a $6.66 goal. It's going that way anyway whether I refer to the mark of the beast or not. $4.44 marks a 18% increase in prices since Memorial Day. Place your bets now. Will we reach $9.99 before or after the end of the world? BTW, it now costs me $30 in gas each time I run the mail route. Bah! Oh. I do get a vehicle allowance of $33 for each day I run the route. But that is also to cover maintenance and wear and tear so. . .

Egg Days

The Winlock Egg Days celebration is the last weekend in June. This is what our Egg Days queen rides in during the parade. Posh, non?

Also a part of Egg Days is the "egg"lympics. There will be egg tossing contests, egg drop contests and some sort of race involving plastic eggs floating down the river.

I keep trying to get my hands on more specific Egg Days info but I can't seem to find any. Matt, Drew and I have come up with a potentially fool proof plan for egg protection during the egg drop but we can't find any official rules so for all I know the materials we plan to us might be on the banned substance list.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fire on Video

Another hat tip to Metblogs Los Angeles. The video of the Simi Valley 2005 fire you will find after the link is worth the click. Promise.

time lapse photography of 2005 simi valley fires

Posted using ShareThis

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Morning Walk - Other Stuff

Welcome to Evergreen Meadows. It looks like a subdivision is going in down the street. I don't know how many houses are planned. Here is a question: If they cut down all the evergreens to put in houses should they still call the area "Evergreen Meadows"? I say "Evergreen In Memoriam" would be a better name for the subdivision.See fig. 1 & fig. 2 below.

fig. 1 My first thought was that they cleared out a lovely little nook for a few houses.

fig. 2 But then I looked closer and realized that more clearing was going on beyond what initially looked like the tree line.

Tom and Kathy told us that many immigrants from Finland settled in this area. For that reason, if you are shopping for an existing house, you are likely to find one already tricked out with a sauna.

The long gone "Lewis & Clark: Muzzle Loaders, Black Powder Gun Range". Smell ya later.

I have been meaning to snap a pic of these birds for a few months now. They are sitting atop someone's driveway entrance. I LOVE them. Semi-related:
We saw a buzzard flying around our property 2 days in a row. I wonder what is dead? Please don't tell me it is our house building dreams. And also, I inadvertently saved a chipmonk the other day on the mail route. I turned left onto Awmiller and saw an animal of some sort on the right side of the road. As I got closer I could tell it was a hawk (I assume redtail although it was much more vibrant in color than other redtails I have seen). Anyway, it didn't move until finally I was only yards away. It lifted up off the roadside and hovered a bit. I looked at the road and there was a chipmonk (also pretty vibrant so maybe I licked a stamp w/ LSD on it) looking like it just won the lottery. It waved at me (OK, not really but it's fun to think so) and ran into the bushes.

I know I have posted pics of these guys before but I am not tired of them yet. And neither is my mom so here they are again. The other day I passed another Brahma bull on my route. It was a rainy day and the bull was sitting out in the middle of a field with a large plaid blanket covering every thing but his head and shoulders. His head and shoulders, by the way, were resting flat on the ground and he looked like the definition of miserable.

The theme song for this morning walk was: Valerie Loves Me by Material Issue

My Morning Walk - Plantlife

And the Walls on the House go Up and Down, Up and Down, Up and Down

So we are moving at a rate of one wall up and two walls down. That just doesn't sound right, does it? At this pace we should be back to virgin land in a matter of months.

Matt, Tom & Bob admiring their destructive handy work. (No. Not really. They are figuring out the best way to raise a 6"x10" beam to replace the load bearing wall they just ripped out.)

A shot taken from the front door looking out into the wilds beyond. Half the living room wall and half of the back wall are now gonzo.

Tom, taking down the remainder of the back wall. Above his head you can see the end of the 6"x10" beam that it took all four of us to raise. In truth I think the three of them could have put it up without me. They might have included me in the process because I looked so pathetic hanging around the edges of the workspace whilst the menfolk did what menfolk do.

Update: Note the beautiful kitchen flooring. Sure will be sad to see that go.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Hey bidder, bidder

Don't have any pictures for this because I forgot my camera. I could kick myself. Last Sunday we went to an estate auction. It was held in "downtown" Winlock and the auctioneer had to stop whenever a train went by because it was too loud to call over the whistles. We got there about 15 minutes late and managed to miss some of the tools we wanted to bid on - specifically a belt sander. At the end of the day we walked away with a handmade patchwork quilt (I had to fight for it but I won out with a bid of $32.50), a collection of crescent wrenches and 2 giant stainless steel mixing bowls. It was really fun but we learned a few lessons:
  1. Bring an extra jacket. Even if you think it is going to be warm
  2. Bring a folding chair. Standing for 4 hours is rough.
  3. Eat before going to the auction. Donuts sold at the auction are neither tasty or satisfying.
  4. 10% buyers premium means you pay 10% more than you bid. May be obvious to you but it wasn't to me.
  5. Avoid bidding frenzies on big ticket items at all costs. They tend to go out of bargain range pretty quickly and enter into "huh. why didn't I just buy that new" range.

Tractor: No. Deer: Yes.

Now that Matt is home from Los Angeles and Utah and doesn't have any travel plans on the horizon we have begun tractor hunting in earnest. So far we haven't seen anything that compelled us to bust out the wallet. These pictures were taken when we went to go see the last tractor. I honestly can't tell you much about the tractor because once the deer wandered by I lost all focus. We will be going to a tractor lot later this week to look at used tractors.

Another Month. Another Wall

Last Friday we put up another wall. We needed help because this wall was really heavy. Ben and Nathan stopped by to lend a hand. Ben got off easy. When Andy came to help we dressed him in a spider suit and sent him under the Sister house to move cement footing bases around. Ben, you are the golden child.

3 Grasshoppers learn from the master.

Tom, Nathan, Ben, Kathy in the background, Matt

Nathan & Ben

And there it is. This wall faces north. The window is our bedroom window.