Category Archives: Phiends & Phriends

Spo Shirt Charity Tour

I did get a short break from all the stress early in January when my blogger buddy Michael at Spo Reflections wrote to inform me that I’d reached the top of the list on the Spo Shirt Charity Tour and would soon be in possession of his beautiful shirt of shirts.

For those of you who may not have heard of this by now, let me fill you in. Michael makes beautiful/fun/funky Hawaiian shirts and he decided to send one out on tour to raise money for one of his favorite charities. The deal is, take a picture of yourself in Michael’s shirt, post it on your blog and choose which of his worthy charities should receive the money.

Well, the shirt arrived mid-winter and during our coldest spell which immediately limited the photo ops in his summery shirt.

My plan was to get a picture featuring each of our many bridges. I made it to two before freezing my ass off and going home. Well…two is better than none.

Once at home, Mac decided he wanted to get in on the fun. Of course his motivation wasn’t the possibility of a donation to the Humane Society as he’d led me to believe. His true motivation was the possibility that Harper, Michael’s sweet bitch, would see his picture and hopefully fall for him. I have to admit it wasn’t so far fetched an idea, after all, everyone falls for Mac, especially when he’s working a look like this?

Thanks Michael for the entertaining distraction and if you ever need a little pocket change…give me a call…that shirt was impeccably tailored and you certainly know just where the hem should hit!

[NOTE: I was a little disappointed that when the shirt arrived it smelled freshly laundered. All those sexy men who’d worn the shirt prior didn’t even leave a hint of manscent on it. Not even around the lower hem…Sean.]

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning

I slept in this morning after spending the evening enjoying the company of our dear friends Toni & John, and their new little girl Maeve. Of course….being at the mountain….my first thought was “look out the window” and was I ever rewarded!


(click on pic to truly appreciate description)

Hetero Block Party or Gay Dance Party?

You decide.

Phun Photo Phriday

My dear friend Doug has a knack for slipping a little insect porn into his blog posts. So, in homage to Doug, I give you terrestrial mollusc porn.

Banana Slug (Ariolimax colombianus)


Like Homer here…

I was planning on showcasing the fabulous desserts he made for us last week but Mark beat me to the punch.

So I’ll share these shots of Homer at Multnomah Falls eating the ice cream that ruined his self portraits…

And posing all pretty like…

He can be very obedient.

Specimen Daze

Doctor T dropped in for a visit this past weekend. Not that Doctor T but this Doctor T. He showed up carrying a butterfly net and specimen bottle. Evidently that’s his MO.

Is that a speciman bottle in your pocket...?

Is that a speciman bottle in your pocket...?

I’ve been looking forward to meeting the handsome Doctor for quite some time now and have been very jealous of all the bloggers that got to meet him when he’d go collecting in their insect laden states. Oregon’s cool, wet weather just doesn’t pull in the bugs, or their admirers, like Arizona or Texas or anywhere in the South. Fortunately for us though, the Oregon Zoo has a butterfly breeding program, and butterflies are Doug’s passion.

I was a little nervous at first as is usual for me when meeting new folks but that all went out the window before we even left the train station. Doug was Doug…the same chap I swap snarky remarks with in the blogosphere, so I knew we’d have a grand time.

Friday night’s conversation was a lot of fun and even though we’d consumed a fair amount of wine, Doug agreed to join us and our neighbors as we walked the dogs in Forest Park the following morning. The weather was rather cool and there weren’t many insects to be found but the good Doctor prodded along, enduring our many questions about local insects. He listened, without rolling his eyes, as we described the black beetles about an inch or two long that often cross our path on these walks. “They’re really common and the wings are kind of dull” and “They look like the other black beetles only shorter”, scientific descriptions that I’m sure had the good Doctor chuckling, on the inside. But Doug continued to smile and talk to us as though we’d all made it beyond the third grade.

About an hour into the hike, in one swift, unexpected move, Doug pulled a specimen jar from his pocket, swooped down on a rotting stump and came up with not one, but two carabid beetles, like some sort of insect-hunting superhero with insectivision. The neighbors were excited that he’d bagged bottled the very beetles we’d been describing and stood gawking at them frantically trying to escape their prison.

I stood wondering, “who carries a specimen bottle in their pocket?” But the answer was obvious, the same one that carries a butterfly net in his luggage.

Saturday afternoon on the Wilson River Doug showed us another of his many talents…he has the quickest net swoop in the country. If butterfly netting were an Olympic sport, Doug would be Michael Phelps. No billowing net flowing above his head as he frolics across a park lawn chasing that elusive Swallowtail. (well…not this trip anyway) Nope. Doug is all business, sidling the net up behind his prey, gently prodding the rocks nearby, and just as his victim launches…SWISH!

The net people, the net…stay with me here.

His net has the headspeed of Tiger Wood’s driver, I’m telling you! I sure wouldn’t want to come face to face with him at the Butterfly Corral…I might end up in a bottle…in a freezer…like the carabid beetles.

But I digress…

Although I know that Doug’s work is also his hobby, spending time with him you get a true feel for the passion and enthusiasm with which he carries out that work. It’s also more than a little contagious; it’s changed the way I “see” when walking the trails or simply passing a shrub. Insects beware!

I also learned that it takes less than two glasses of wine to get his tongue to wag. He spent a good share of Saturday night sharing secrets stories about bloggers he’d met, and I, of course, kept on pouring! Actually, we spent most of that time talking about everything from bloggers to music to relationships to water polo players.

It was the most enjoyable weekend in many, many months. Good company comes easy but great company happens and this was one happening weekend.  I’m truly looking forward to our next visit and hope there are many more to come.  You see…I have this spider in my garage I can’t identify.


Yeah, yeah, I’ve been totally slacker-assed about my blog lately but damn, work has been crazy and I didn’t feel much like getting on the computer when I got home. If I had, I’d have spat out a bunch of expletives and that’s not good reading, unless you’re talking about the Bush Administration.

On an up note though, I did get to see my blogging inspiration, Emily, last week. Emily and I worked together for a while before she took a job in France where she started a blog to keep her family and friends up to date on her adventures. Emily started a blog for Mark and I as a Christmas gift in aught three but I was a bit of slacker at blogging then too and Mark took the reins. It wasn’t until last year that I decided to start my own blog, but I digress.

Emily moved back to the US a year ago and took a position in San Francisco; I haven’t seen her since her return. Fortunately, she came home for the holiday and I was able to pry her away from all her family commitments for a few hours and a few pints. It was great to hang with her again if only briefly and she looks freakin’ fantastic!! Don’t ya’ think?


Okay…she could open her eyes but she still looks fabulous and you can’t even see the figure she’s packing. Thanks E, it was great seeing you and we’ll get together in the spring when I head to the homeland for a visit!

After a couple miserable days at work I was thrilled with the turn that Thanksgiving brought. I was up fairly early and parked my ass on the couch to catch the latter part of the Thanksgiving Day Parade on the East Coast feed on the satellite. I know, commercialism at its finest, but hey, it took me back to my youth and as long a trip as that is I really needed it. I was in a dark place. Somewhere between the Koons Rabbit (way cool!) and Shrek balloons I decided I needed to take a shower and get dinner started. Yeah…it was early but our slow roast method requires an early start. About an hour later I put the bird in the oven and had just turned on the football game when I heard a knock at the door. I figured it was one of the neighbors in need of some butter or sage but when I opened the door I was THRILLED to find our wonderful friends Nancy and Carol. Now I hate when folks stop in without warning because I’m usually dressed in sloppy torn t-shirts and sweat pants but this time I couldn’t contain my excitement. These are two of the greatest women I have ever met in my life and we haven’t spent a lot of time together this year due to Nancy’s mother’s recent passing and Carol’s new grandkids. If there was ever a time for someone to just drop in…that was it!

For the next four hours we talked, a lot! We laughed, we watched the birds, we ate, we wallowed in the joy and love this spontaneous visit wrought. Life just doesn’t get any better! Those few short hours were the very essence of Thanksgiving and a great reminder that it’s the simple, pure moments, that make our time here so worthwhile. You can’t plan that…it simply happens. I wish they could have stayed for dinner but they had other plans and I wouldn’t want to get in the way of fate or karma or whatever force was guiding us that day because everything was perfect, absolutely perfect.

The turkey turned out to be the best I’ve cooked in the past few years but the potatoes had too much garlic (yes, the possibility surprised even me), the gravy was a bit salty and we even forgot to make dinner rolls (the horror!), so we weren’t caught in some “perfect” event in the space-time continuum that afternoon. But we were close…awfully close!