Tag Archives: beach

#Travel: Cornering #Oregon – #photography

portland-astoria-loopOregonians know well the distinctive shape of their state. It’s found on key chains, souvenir shot glasses, business logos, decorative plates and innumerable wood-carved thingies. I feel bad for states like Colorado that have an outline about as exciting as a rectangle.

Colorado, Wyoming and Utah are the only states which have boundaries defined solely by lines of latitude and longitude. (Thanks for the arcane knowledge, Wikipedia!)

After hearing about all of the sunny and warmer days that have been happening on the Oregon coast, this weekend my wife and I decided to go see for ourselves. The plan was to leave cold and foggy Portland behind and go all the way around the NW corner of that unique Oregon shape.

Here are a few photographs from the trip. I’ve left them full-size to they can be clicked to enlarge.


The Portland Oregon skyline on the way out of town.

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Positive Feedback

positive-feedbackIt’s not every day when the universe provides something like this. So I thought I would share.

“Unicorn” is the codename I’ve given to one of the technical people who came on board after I quit. She’s been working on my stuff.

To: Tom B. Taker
CC: Former Boss
From: Unicorn
Subject: Kudos

Hi Tom,

I just wanted to take a moment to give you some positive feedback on the scripts you created to manage vendor/product information.

Your extensive, clean documentation, stable code, and useful logging / script echos has made this transition run much more smoothly than I have experienced in other small businesses. Well done.

Warm Regards,

Note the date and time in the ship’s log. I’m speechless. I have nothing negative to add.

iLife’s an iBeach

Not too long ago I took a wee trip to an old-growth forest where I frolicked in a shady glen with frisky elves. (See: Forest Grump.)

But that’s not the only place I went. Driven as a lemming I set off on a quest to find where America ended. (And I got the answer I was seeking in more ways than one.) But, alas, there weren’t any cliffs from which to jump onto craggy rocks. Only a beach. A remarkably flat and wet piece of transitionary property where if one tried to throw himself down people would only laugh and children would point and ask, “Mommy? I thought whales swam in the water?”

As always I had to settle. Dammit. I can’t blame the children, though. It’s not their fault I was born with a blowhole.

And yet it turns out that I given the gift of photogenic scenery for a travelogue pictorial post. And this is that very post. If the subject line didn’t provide enough iClues see the inset image for a preview of the journey that awaits.

When he arrived in the New World, Cortez burned his ships. As a result, his men were “motivated.” If you click the link to make the jump you’ll be doing exactly the same damn thing. Beyond here there be iDragons.
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Short Story: Waikiki #BlogShorts

by Tom B. Taker

Moonlight reflected from her eyes as he fiercely pulled her close.

With waves of Waikiki lapping at their feet, they embraced.

Plunging to the sand, they fused. The ocean roared.

This post is part of the BlogShorts challenge. June 2011 – 30 stories – 30 words – 30 days.

Five-year marriage hiatus

Source: National Institutes of Health

This is not a story of how I got married. No, the tale is far more sinister than that. It begins a little over five years ago…

It was the weekend of our wedding. The plan was a three-day trip to the coast. (My job didn’t offer vacation time.) We arrived at a bed and breakfast on the coast on Friday, August 26, 2005. Our wedding was scheduled for Saturday, the next day, on the beach at 5pm.

On the day of the wedding two notable things happened. First, the weather sucked. It was overcast, cold, foggy and dreary. Second, I woke up with the hiccups.

Annoyingly, the hiccups were immediate and kicked in right from the moment I awoke. They hit hard, fast and furious. Only irritating at first, the longer they lasted the more they really pissed me off. They started to hurt after a while. As the day wore on we began to wonder if they would impact our tiny wedding that was rapidly approaching.

What the hell is a hiccup, anyway? I’d call them a design flaw in the human body. Just like eyebrows, I submit they are another piece of evidence that there is no God.

I must have still had some optimism left in me at the time. We gamely tried everything we could think of to get rid of the damn things. Holding my breath, drinking water, drinking water upside down, deep breathing, and much much more. Nothing worked.

Oddly enough, as the time to get married finally rolled around, two things happened. You might call these events our wedding day miracle. First, the weather suddenly cleared up and we found ourselves on the beach on a quite beautiful day. Second, the hiccups suddenly stopped.

I’ll admit it. It was weird. I felt a bit like a Y-Wing pilot navigating the Death Star trench and taking heavy fire when, suddenly, “The guns – They’ve stopped!” In that case, of course, it was because Darth Vader and his wingmen had just maneuvered into position behind. In my case, however, it was all good.

Here’s where it gets just a bit weirder. The wedding went flawlessly and was a very beautiful occasion. The weather remained beautiful and the hiccups stayed away.

After, however. BAM BAM! It was game on. The cold, foggy day returned and so did the hiccups. And how! Still, it was pretty amazing how everything seemed to come together for the 20 minutes we needed. It almost is enough to make you start to wonder…

I’m now going to share all of the intimate details of our wedding night. If there are young children nearby make sure they read this part. Especially this part. They need to understand the true nature of the universe.

Frustrated beyond all belief with my hiccups, we finally gave in and called our doctor. He was basically worthless. He recommended the same tired and lame home remedies we’ve all heard before, remedies that are basically guaranteed to do jack shit. By that point we were in no mood and told him so. His medical advice? If it got too bad, then I had better go to the emergency room. Gee, thanks a lot, Doctor.

I’m not going to lie to you. The night got bad. I was extremely angry, pissed off, and frustrated with the hiccups. By this time they were racking my body hard. My chest cavity was really in pain. Of course, I handled it all in stride in typical abyss fashion and aplomb. In other words I flipped out. We have pictures from that night. They are not pretty. At one point I prattled on and on about “kill me now” and took up the habit of smacking my head into a wall. Just about what you’d expect from me.

Somewhere along the way my wife came up with a Plan B. It must have been a plan that was hatched in cold desperation. We had brought along a bottle of Jack Daniels. She suggested trying some shots of Jack. Gamely I knocked ’em back, many of them, desperate for something to work. No dice.

So, they we were, on our wedding night. There was, of course, absolutely no hanky panky. There was me, my body racked by unending pain, with the world’s best attitude, bravely acting the fool and drunk off my ass. I’m told it was a night to remember. I wouldn’t know. I don’t remember it.

Somehow I was able to fall asleep, even with the hiccups, and they temporarily went into remission. I have a stark and vivid memory of what happened next. I woke up in the morning and, without missing a beat, was racked with a fresh hiccup to start the day. Dammit! They were back, hard as ever, and they were back full throttle.

It was a rough time. But eventually, sometime on that day, they finally departed for good. I don’t exactly remember how. My wife could probably say, in general she has a much better memory than me, but she’s currently asleep. As I write this it is the middle of the night.

And that is pretty much the whole story of our wedding weekend. Fun stuff, huh? 🙂

To this day when I experience a hiccup my blood runs cold and I flashback to the hiccups of my wedding day. You might say that I suffer from PTHD or Post-Traumatic Hiccup Disorder. A single hiccup can’t sneak by without me going on full alert and I breath a heavy sigh of relief that the incident has never been repeated.

Until now…

Yesterday morning the hiccups returned. And they stayed with me all day long. There were brief periods of time when they’d stop for a short time, but they always returned. Last night when we went to bed I did the deep breathing thing and somehow, against all odds, I was able to fall asleep. Praise God!

But then, a few minutes ago, I opened my eyes, took a breath, and as conciousness returned to my brain … wait for it … BAM! Hiccup!

Even here in the safety of the abyss I can’t repeat what went through my mind after that. And so the hiccups have continued, right up to the point that I’m writing these words, every single one of them, including this one right here. Dammit.

Now I realize that my hiccup session never really went away. They’ve just been on a five-year hiatus.

Thanks to the Google I have just learned there is at least one thing we didn’t try for hiccups. And that, of course, is digital rectal message. And for that I am very, very thankful that we did not have this knowledge on our wedding night. Here’s a brief abstract on the subject from the National Institutes of Health:

A 60-year-old man with acute pancreatitis developed persistent hiccups after insertion of a nasogastric tube. Removal of the latter did not terminate the hiccups which had also been treated with different drugs, and several manoeuvres were attempted, but with no success. Digital rectal massage was then performed resulting in abrupt cessation of the hiccups. Recurrence of the hiccups occurred several hours later, and again, they were terminated immediately with digital rectal massage. No other recurrences were observed. This is the second reported case associating cessation of intractable hiccups with digital rectal massage. We suggest that this manoeuvre should be considered in cases of intractable hiccups before proceeding with pharmacological agents.

Now that I think about it, maybe the hiccups aren’t so bad after all.

There is no musical pairing from our chef for this post. He’s out back throwing up…