Ambassador PLQ, Old Diary, Travel

A new record

Just a quick one as we’re on the road with serious mileage to accumulate.

We set a record for us,  423 miles in one day, and a late start at that.  Not my favorite thing but for this trip it was necessary. I hope to have  more to say tomorrow, as we have learned more about our coach and driven in a very hot day 99 in Pasco WA when we drove through about 5 p.m.

We’re spending the night with Uncle Wally in Post Falls, ID.

Check out at Guaranty went smoothly.  We fueled in Junction City before heading out.  And we stopped in Portland to check out mattress toppers in case we decide to add that to our Sleep Number bed.  I’ll talk about that in the future too.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

Old Diary

Four on the coast

Well, it’s been couple days since I posted and the whirlwind has left town.  (Much to our sorrow)  We enjoyed 4 days with the girls and four days aren’t enough — they are what we had and we’re thankful — but they aren’t enough.  With Melanie in her final semester at University of Wisconsin we know she’ll be leaving the family nest after graduation and life will never be the same again.  But… life is sweet.  And we’re thankful for what what we get. (a couple of these pics I just shared but I wanted them all here together)

We picked the girls up in Portland, spend the afternoon snooping around Portland — which is family-speak for showing Melanie around (specially the things she had on HER list)  We did a few food carts for lunch, hit Powell’s City of Books, Buffalo Exchange for some shopping and a stop at Hair of the Dog brewery for a little sampling and some terrific braised spicy duck wings (simmered in beer and habanero).  After a break at the hotel (Springhill Suites near the airport)  we stopped for dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory.  [We have been visiting OSF locations for about as long as they have existed — so there’s some family history here, and a lot of memories too]

Friday we headed back to Florence and we spent Friday evening at the Waterfront Depot (the same place Peg and I had our 45th Anniversary dinner) and ate up a storm.  It’s fun exposing the Grand Kid to different dining experiences and she’s turning into her own foodie — though she has yet to learn to actually READ a menu.  Little things like skipping over the $4.00 price for artisanal focaccia and seeing only the $1.00 price tag for the parmesan sprinkling or pesto to enjoy with the bread and then telling her mom that mom hadn’t read the menu carefully.  But — hey — when I was 21 I was probably worse!!! and she’s so much fun to be with I wouldn’t dream of mentioning it at the time.  I love seeing which traits she has gained from her parents, which have skipped a generation from both sets of grand parents.  It’s kind of like observing ‘wildlife’ — observing but not wanting to alter the behavior of the one being observed. 🙂  And, she’ll learn as she gets old.  And there’s no better way of learning than having someone call you on your little character idiosyncrasies — specially someone OUTSIDE your family.  Like any 21 year old she has lessons to learn — we all did, and we all still do.

Saturday we had Forest and Dunes to show the girls and we did.

And when we returned to Portland on Sunday we didn’t have a lot on our agenda — make a safe trip up through the I-5 valley, try to get some nice pics for Katy and  Mel of Mt Hood and get a little swimming in at the really nice pool in that Springhill Suites where we stayed Thursday night and returned to on Sunday.

This morning we had plenty of time to get them to the airport by 11:00, so it was quiet conversation and departure anticipation.

A good trip all in all.

Peg and I stopped at Camping World on the way home; nothing wrong just checking out the store.  We also noticed that there is a NEW camping world under construction in Eugene.  We’ll have to stop by after it opens this spring.

Tomorrow it’s back to the grindstone.  Peg’s gonna take a day off, I have a big meeting at the office with the Regional Forest Supervisor. I’m kind of surprised that I was invited — as a volunteer — but I was so what the heck — I’ll see what goes on at a management meeting and learn a little more about the Forest Service.

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see if I can find something to talk with you about tomorrow.

Old Diary

Another Day Off and a Short Week

Monday is a Federal Holiday so we’re off again.

Thursday we meet Kathryn and Melanie in Portland for a 4 day visit.

So that means this week we work… all of… Tuesday and Wednesday….

The following week the ladies don’t leave until Monday, so we’re still off on Monday.  Another 4 day work week.

Oh how can we bear it?

I thought I’d share the other two loves of my life, our daughter and our grand daughter:

Now who wouldn’t want to spend time with those lovely ladies!

I’m not exactly sure what we’ll do while they’re in town.  Often when we travel together we have an agenda but this time, not so much.  I know the ladies will want to see more of the Oregon Coast, and we don’t get tired of that either.  We’ll try out some food trucks in Portland, go to a big bookstore there, have a few meals out and enjoy the local seafood/cuisine, and certainly show them around our digs here, and in the location to which we’ll be moving.  But mostly we’ll chill I suspect. We have a lot of catching up to do.

I haven’t been taking pictures lately.  Just too busy.  Ironically we have been stopping along the road to just LOOK at the scenery a little more.  When we got here we were pushing to learn our caretaker job.  Then when we found out about the Coordinator opening we were sort of pushing to GET that job. And most recently we have been pushing to dig ourselves out of the hole we got into by OBTAINING the job.  This is kind of the first time since we’ve been out here that life is actually starting to slow down and take on some semblance of a ‘normal’ schedule.

We have sort of settled into regular 9 till noon office time.  Sometimes we’re still there at 1:00 or 2:00 — but I’m pretty adamant about getting out around 2:00 at the latest.  Even once we leave we sometimes have a stop to make on the way home.  Yesterday we left the office at 1:30 and never made the 15 mile return trip to Journey until after 3:00 p.m.   You see something and you stop; or you want to ask a question of a volunteer and … a 1 minute question turns into a 45 minute gabfest — or in the case of one of our volunteers, a complaint session.

The forest service is looking for an honest 20 hours a week from us.  No one has ever said we aren’t working hard enough; and Lord knows we honestly put in a lot more than that because we choose to; call it pride of accomplishment or whatever you want.  But, if we work three to 5 hours a day IN the office and take care of our volunteer visits when we leave we are well over that 20 hours without even trying hard.

I can see that once we get some of the development work out of the way this will be a reasonably easy pace to maintain. It may not sound like it, but it will be.

1229013761The jobs like revising Operating Manuals aren’t going to be that hard — just a lot of photocopying — once we decide how to revise them and simplify them.  I discovered that we have a comb binder.   Yeah — I was snooping around in the warehouse and there it was.  Almost unused. I have been considering converting our looseleaf manuals to comb bound products.  Still thinking on that.  No one takes the pages out and the multiple fingers help prevent pages from falling out for a longer time than three bigger holes do.  We have several large sections that are interchangeable  and rather than put the manuals into a 3″ or 4″ diameter three ring binder it might be a better idea to produce a 1″ host manual with procedures and maps and forms, as well as a separate 1 ” manual with all the MSDS data and power tool manuals and other miscellaneous stuff that rarely get looked at.  The latter are hardly every revised, but the operations manual will always be in a state of flux.  And, 3″ binders don’t last long, they just get abused and disaligned.