Sunday Roast: Sauvie Island

Soon, these flowers will be over-flowing the sides of these beds.

A view across the wheat field.

Cathedral Park, below the St Johns bridge.

The beautiful St Johns Bridge, located near Sauvie Island.

Photos by Charles Meier

Sauvie Island is a lovely and pastoral island in the Columbia River, just west of Portland.  The island has a quiet country atmosphere, with wheat fields, nurseries, veggie stands, several inhabited Osprey nests, and a “clothing optional” beach on the east side of the island.  I haven’t been…

This is our daily open thread — Enjoy

80 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: Sauvie Island

    • Mine was. Yesterday. Daughter Kris came to visit (along with Balta, her Siberian Husky, a marvel as well) and we all enjoyed the perfect afternoon. Hope things are every bit as pleasant for all the other dads out there!

      • I wouldn’t want to be a Siberian Husky in our area this summer. My golden retriever thinks it’s way too hot. Glad you had a nice day though with your grandson. Dogs are people. Corporations are not.

  1. My father was a WWII veteran who was in the Battle of the Bulge and received 2 Purple Hearts. He started a small manufacturing company in 1954 that is still in business.

    The above is the best I can say about him. Alcohol was his downfall and led to his children rallying around their mother to end the physical abuse he inflicted on her. He was 66 when he died in 1979 of a heart attack. He was not a nice person to his wife or children and his death was a welcome relief to his family.

    • Maybe he suffered battle fatigue, or was shell shocked as they said back then. Or maybe he was just an asshole. There are plenty of those that never went to war. Hope your day is a good one.

  2. Good day to all the fathers!
    Not being one, I’ll relate a bit about mine…
    A distant man who never seemed to know what to do with his two children, he spent his life pursuing “the American Dream”.
    To little avail, he attempted to fit in with the white collar cocktail crowd, started drinking at age 45, it got the better of him and he died at 70 of liver failure.
    In one of the few real conversations we ever had, he told me “I wish I had never left the shop to go into management.”
    At an early age I decided I did not want what he had bought into, the whole notion of status, stability and security, and began wandering.
    I may not live much longer than he did, but my life will have been very different, and the wealth of experience will have more value than ending this cycle on a note of disappointment and regret.

    I do expect to pay for this go-around in the next incarnation.
    In a hundred years or so I’ll be born into bondage in a Goldman-Exxon-Bank of Jupiter slave colony on some hydrocarbon rich moonlet.
    Till then, carpe diem!

    • Money can’t buy happiness. When my daughter was born I decided to stay home with her and get by on less. And although I work on paperwork for my husband I could really have gotten another job. I can’ believe how fast the almost 18 years have gone and I wouldn’t want to have missed a minute of the time I spend with her.
      I suspect Raven that your next incarnation will be awesome.

  3. God or Science?

    I’m stepping out of my normal shroud this week to stretch and get some air. I also wanted to share an interesting yet troubling encounter I had last weekend. We were at a family gathering and I found myself talking with a woman who managed to bring the mostly one-sided conversation around to the subject of god. “I talk to him every day” she told me. Then asked if I was a believer. I said no, and her reply was: “Then you must believe in science.” Needless to say I was shocked by this idea that these two concepts occupied such a narrow spectrum of intellectual possibilities. While she didn’t berate me for being a non-believer, she did take the opportunity to continue to rationalize her worldview.

    This rambling journey included the revelation that one of her cats had begun to urinate on her furniture. I shared how we had had that situation and that it often indicates an infection or other illness that should be investigated. No, she said, this was behavioral, and she put the cat down. “I couldn’t imagine giving the cat to someone else,” she told me. “They might abuse the animal.” Now I was feeling sick. To her, it was better to kill the animal than to take the risk that her “sweetie” would be abused by someone else. Is this not an echo of what we hear from so many spouse abusers to end up killing? “If I can’t have you, no one else can…”

    The next path she cut through the tumbleweed warehouse included this admission: “I didn’t vote for Obama. There’s something about him I just don’t trust.” Then, she said that she had in fact voted for “the right to life,” and that in that way, she had made a comfortable decision.

    Suddenly I was overcome by the strangest sense that I had just encountered an alien or had been listening to a talking dog that had learned to drive, get a job and vote. The entire encounter has stuck with me all week. Her intellectual laziness made her the perfect target of those who would exploit this weakness for their own gain. She and others have been manipulated to such a degree that they vote against, judge negatively and condemn people, but vote for, judge positively and praise indistinct concepts framed in absolutes that in effect serve as proxies for the people who are happy to serve by keeping a thumb on one side of the scale.

    She didn’t vote for Bush, she voted for the right to life, and against Obama. Instead of having to choose between character, intent, and intellect, these aliens (who walk, drive and vote among us) can remain lazy. Bush, Romney, Gingrich, Santorum et. al. are never put to the scrutiny of a direct comparison that might reveal deeply flawed morals or reasoning. Instead, they hide behind a proxy, a single light that creates a shadow with hard edges. It is easy to see. Anyone can identify it. On the other hand, when an object (or an idea) is illuminated from all sides, these shadows disappear, but its character is revealed, whether it is an object, a faith or a politic.


    • A path too often tread becomes a rut which becomes a trench which becomes an abyss.

      • Emily Dickinson understood the nature of such an abyss:

        To fill a Gap
        Insert the Thing that caused it —
        Block it up
        With Other — and ’twill yawn the more —
        You cannot solder an Abyss
        With Air.

        IOW, we who are not already dead from the neck up must find the means of driving each and all of “them” back into the hole from which they emerged. Only that will work; speeches, talking, yelling, screaming … nope, no good. “You cannot solder an Abyss with Air.”

        • My now former (huge sigh of relief) supervisor had this quote as a header for his e-mail:
          “Stare not too long into the abyss or you will find it staring back at you.”
          I never really got it until recently, when I realized that he was the one staring out of the abyss.
          Myself, a quick glimpse of the abyss is more than enough.
          Hang out around the edge and someone is liable to drag you in, if for no other reason than the company of misery.

          Look to the summit.

    • Couldn’t have said it better. The prefect summation of the typical wingnut. These people would be funny — laughable — if they were, collectively, rare. But they’re within a point or two of being the electoral majority in this sick and crumbling nation, a fact which I suppose explains why I don’t laugh a whole lot anymore.

    • God or science? Can’t I have both? Who am I to tell the almighty what tools he may use, or attempt to bind the infinite with the constraints of my own narrow perception?

    • These people have Fox News feeding them lines all day so they can say ignorant things and believe they are mainstream and intelligent and we are the abnormal ones. Before Reagan deregulated everything and GOP made allowances for Rupert Murdoch would this propaganda have been allowed?

    • CheeseFlap – this reminds me of an old C & W song, “She used to do acid and now she found Jesus but she still has that look in her eye.” I’m sure you get the meaning of that. It must have been a very boring conversation as she was totally focused on herself. I found that conversations with Republicans are like that.

  4. I hope everyone realizes that we would not be recognizing fathers if it wasn’t for women’s VAGINAS!!

  5. My contribution from Sauvie Island. Ralphie and I discovered a nesting box (huge) out in the river, well away from the shore. There are more photos in my Picasa page, including a nice close view of a huge freighter heading out to the Pacific.


  6. Metaphors!

    Experiencing a birth today. Or rebirth as it is.
    Nine months ago I decided to create something different, and went about it.
    Tomorrow sees the results of the sculpting, and the raw material I had to work with. Some trepidation, as always; stepping out into a new world, but at least I’m back up on the ridges again, and can at least see the next one…

    • I read a metaphor about transitions once… it likened transitions to being a trapeze artist. in order to get to the next bar, the trapeze artist has to let go of the first one, the one he is holding firmly in his grasp.

      May you have a safe flight!

  7. My father died young, a heart attack at age 45. I actually had a nearly perfect childhood. The only time I ever even heard my parents argue they had no way of knowing I was even in the house. My dad encouraged every dream of the future I ever had as a child, whether I was planning a career as an astronaut or ballerina. He was a committed christian. I never once heard him condemn another human being for their beliefs or attempt to impose his on others. He loved all things scientific and passed that love on to me.I grew up with the idea that being a christian meant being required to serve others. We helped vaccinate people, we fed people, we cleared trash from city parks, but never did we preach to anyone. I wish my father had lived longer, there are many things that I wish I could discuss with him as an adult. I wish I could say more about this good man, but I’m finding I still have a few tears to shed for him, even after 40+ years.

    • I’ve had numerous men such as your father who became mentors and teachers, and they more than made up for what I didn’t receive from my own.
      Acknowledgement and gratitude for the men and women who saw a greater family beyond the immediate one.

  8. My Mother-in-law is on a plane flying from Chicago to LA as I type. The woman is 88 years old and flies alone, well except for the tank of oxygen she has to have with her.

    As you could guess, the TSA at O’Hare gave her the terrorist treatment and weren’t going to let her on the plane because the letter she must show from her doctor was a year old. Nevermind that the doctor didn’t give her a new letter but just initialed the old one with a new date — does the TSA really assume that as your age increases from 87 to 88 you’ll have less need of oxygen?

    • Wife #2 has been suffering from MS for about 15 years now and qualifies for SDI. Every few years she has to complete a 20-page document for confirmation, apparently, that she hasn’t miraculously cured herself and is now spry enough to go back to work.

  9. You may have had Rodney King in your dead pool, but did you have him dead in the pool?

    Al Campanis would nod knowingly.

  10. Forty years ago today, the most infamous third-rate burglary in history pushed the first domino that would topple a presidency and make the suffix “-gate” ubiquitous.

    • Curiously enough, the name of the campground I’m at as I begin the next game is Hell Gate.
      Too funny.

      Squirm Tricky Dick, squirm.
      Squirm like a worm.
      We haven’t forgotten you.

  11. “The mind creates the abyss, and the heart crosses it.” Sri Nisargadatta.
    Nice pics of Sauvie, Charles. I especially love that island in the fall.

    • “The mind creates the abyss, and the heart crosses it.”
      Beautiful. Thank-you.

  12. Happy Pater’s day, all you Latin lovers!
    I’m spending the day at the in-laws. calling my dad right now to wish him well…

  13. This dragonfly is dancing around in delight after a surprise visit from the youngest daughter. My cover has been blown! I may have to become normal again. 😯

  14. A123 Systems Introduces Breakthrough Lithium Ion Battery Technology

    A123 Systems, a developer and manufacturer of advanced Nanophosphate® lithium iron phosphate batteries and systems, has introduced Nanophosphate EXT™, a new lithium ion battery technology capable of operating at extreme temperatures without requiring thermal management. Nanophosphate EXT is designed to significantly reduce or eliminate the need for heating or cooling systems, which is expected to create sizeable new opportunities within the transportation and telecommunications markets, among others.

    According to A123 Systems’ wiki page, the company received a $249 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in August 2009. This is the kind of high tech research we need to do in the US, and the GOP would prefer we leave that to other nations that are willing to subsidize companies to get ahead of us. Also, once these new technologies are developed, the GOP believes letting those subsidized foreign companies dump cheaper products here to kill off American competition, in other words, ‘WalMart’ our companies out of existence, as they were able to do to Solyndra. This type of research used to be done by NASA, or at secret facilities like Lockheed’s ‘Skunk Works’. The GOP was just fine using taxpayer money for those purposes, when we were engaged in the Cold War with the Soviet Union. What’s different about now, except that these energy companies are a direct threat to compete with the ‘fossil owned’, fossil fuel industry?

    • What’s different about now, except that these energy companies are a direct threat to compete with the ‘fossil owned’, fossil fuel industry?

      That would be the answer!

      Unless and until CU is abolished there will be very difficult times getting any meaningful r&d. (we can’t trust the ‘private’ sector).

  15. Happy Father’s Day!

    Legendary NY Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner once opened a game with (and this is true, I heard it when he did it), “It’s Father’s Day, so to all you fathers out there, Happy Birthday!”

    And there’s this for those struggling with Tea P1arty people.

  16. Worked hard today on two iPad cases — one made by request and already sold, and one for the shop. Pictures tomorrow.


  17. Ok… This is pretty cool. My husband had to leave today and fly to Washington DC for some meetings tomorrow.

    He texted me that Senator Al Frankin is sitting behind him on the plane. No, my husband doesn’t fly first class, he flies on Southwest Airlines.

  18. Finally got to talk to my dad today. He sounds good, and he’s getting married on July 2.

    I am ambivalent about the whole thing.

          • They both like old movies, and went to the same high school.

            She won’t watch his stupid Fux and Bildo, and he won’t watch her “commie news” on MSNBC. I couldn’t bear to be with someone I couldn’t discuss current events with, but maybe when I’m in my mid-70s and still alone, my thoughts on that will change.

            • Those that I know that marry late in life do so to share common interests, passion is a gift, not a requirement. I sincerely doubt you would ever marry anyone who did not love every part of you, including your fine mind. I know a lot of folks who are married yet still alone.

            • That’s why I’m divorced…and single now. Passion is lovely, and subjective, but there’s a lot to be said for having someone interesting who you’re just really happy to have around.

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