Thursday, August 30, 2012

Our Weekend in Winthrop

 At Tom's graduation, Maddy's parents invited us to come to their cabin for a weekend.  With such a busy summer at work and having to work so many weekends, this weekend was really the first opportunity that we were able to take them up on it.  Tom has been there several times to go fly fishing, cross country skiing or enjoy their annual crab feed on Labor Day weekend.  Because it is a full day's drive to get there, the only way we could really manage it was to fly.  Saturday was the perfect day to fly.  So perfect that we took a route that we have never taken before--over the Cascades between Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier.  Bill often takes people for flights around Mt. St. Helens but he has never been that close to Mt. Rainier either.  And I have never seen the north side of Mt. St. Helens from the air so it was quite a treat.
The first thing we did after they picked us up at the airport was to go to the Farmer's Market in Twisp. Then we went to their cabin to eat a little lunch and head out to the Chewack River to let their dogs, Emma and Ariel, go swimming.  They had the best place place for Marian to make her way down to the beach all scoped out.  The dogs are so funny.  Emma likes to chase rocks.
 And Ariel likes to chase sticks.  It was a beautiful spot on the river to enjoy the afternoon.
 After spending a little time at the river, we went into Winthrop.  It is a cute little town that has a western theme.  It is like Leavenworth in that every business in Leavenworth has to look like it is in Bavaria.  Every business in Winthrop has to look like it is in the Old West.  We stopped at a glass blowing shop, a book store and had some drinks at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery.  They had some cutouts to take pictures so we had a little fun with that.  Marian really wanted to do the picture in "drag".  She and Pete have often gone to Halloween parties dressed as the opposite sex and have always won the best costume award.  She was disappointed that she couldn't get herself high enough to be the cowboy in the picture. 

 After that we went back to their house to enjoy the view from their deck, have a nice dinner together and play games in the evening.

The next morning, we went to the place that Marian rides horses.  She is in a horse therapy program trying to help with her stroke recovery.  They have a lot of accommodations for handicapped people to be able to ride.  They have a ramp for her to get up to sit on the horse and she has a special stirrup on her saddle and special reins to be able to ride.  Then we went up to Sun Mountain Lodge to enjoy the view from that part of the valley and have a little lunch.  Then it was time to come home.
On the way up to Winthrop, we saw a portion of the wildfire near Ellensburg with some hotspots still burning.  On the way home, we wanted to land in Ellensburg for fuel and got to see how really close the fire got to Ellensburg.  There were something like 50 homes and 25 outbuilding that were lost in the fire.  And it is scary how close it actually got to Ellensburg.

So it was nice to go see a part of Washington that we hadn't seen before and to get to spend more time with Maddy's family and get to know them a little better as well.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

First Phase of Training-Check

Tom finished the first portion of his Air Force training yesterday by passing his checkride in the DA-20.  He has been in Pueblo, Colorado for the past month learning to fly.  It is a required course for all pilots, combat systems officers and remote controlled pilots.  It is a pretty intense course of ground school and flying lessons.  They expect a certain percentage of students to washout at this point.  One of Tom's friends from CWU didn't make it.  He wasn't able to pass the written test after two tries.  Since this course is so contingent on him being able to continue in his combat systems officer training--I have been anxious for him that he do well in it.  So he has managed to pass and is on his way back to Pensacola for more training.  Congratulations Tom!

 Here are a few more pictures that one of his friends took celebrating their successful completion of the course.

Trek in the Park-Journey to Babel

 A couple of years ago, Bill and I were introduced to "Trek in the Park" by a friend of ours.  Her daughter had a part in the play.  It is a free play in the park featuring an episode of the old Star Trek series.  Bill was a big Star Trek fan and remembers the episodes that they have portrayed.  This year there was a change in venue.  It was moved to Cathedral Park in the St. John's area of Portland--directly under the St. John's Bridge.  As you can see by the picture of the bridge, the name of the park came from the gothic look of the bridge supports and it appears cathedral like.  Very cool visual.  Our friend, Kim, and her new husband were there and we sat with them to watch the show.
 Margaux--our friend's daughter--didn't have an acting role in this year's production but she sang the theme song at the beginning and end of the show. 

 All the familiar characters were in the production--Captain Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy, Chekov, Scott, Uhura.  Included scenes from the bridge

 and sick bay.
And a few great looking aliens.

There were at least a couple of thousand people there.  Huge crowd.  It was featured on CBS Sunday Morning news so we figured that brought even bigger crowds than they have had in the past.  Very fun and campy. 

Bill and I enjoyed a dinner out at The Rock afterward.  Fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon and evening.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Busy Week of Charity Events

This last week has been a busy one for Bill and me.  There was something going on practically every night.  We weren't home at all in the evening this week between the events we attended and going to have dinner with Beverly.

We started out our Monday with going to "Paws on the Patio" at the Hilton.  The Humane Society had a fundraiser going on there.  We stayed there for a little bit and then headed to La Bottega for dinner.  I had never been there before and Bill had only been there for lunch--not dinner.  So it was a fun night to explore a new restaurant as well.

Wednesday night we went to PIR to go to the Beaches Cruisin".  Beaches sponsors a Cruise-In there every Wednesday night and has for several years now.  We used to go when it was being held at the Pearson Air Museum but haven't gone since they moved the venue to PIR.  Bill went to work at the Children's Center booth.  He put flyers for donating in Ali Novinger's name in 500 of the cars that were there.  Ali is going to be "Pretty Woman" at the Glamorous Gams event the end of September and so she is trying to garner funds ahead of time toward her winning the competition.  I just went to look at cars and take pictures.  I love looking at some of those beautiful old cars--especially from the 40's and 50's.  And so many of them are restored to such beauty.  

The Glamorous Gams contestants are doing a lot of pre-event parties and events to raise money--they have really gotten into it in trying to win the competition but ultimately to benefit the Children's Center.  Bill and I had already attended "My Big Fat Greek Birthday" party for Tonya Rulli last month.  She wore a portion of her Wonder Woman costume that night.  Thursday night we went to another pre-Glamorous Gams fundraising event for Troy Van Dinter.  Nelson Holmberg sponsored a margarita party and silent auction at his home to go toward The Children's Center.  Troy is going to be Fred Flintstone at the big event and he was wearing his costume at the party.  He has already had a bowling party to raise money too.  We didn't go to it but I thought that was a great idea since the Flintstones were always going bowling.  Local artists have decorated mannequin legs and have them on display around town to advertise the event in September as well.  I got to see the one in the picture at the margarita party.
Switching gears from Children's Center events, we went to a Keiretsu Forum event at the Sego Herb Farm.  Kathy and Roger have this party at their home every summer.  It is always the same weekend around Kathy's birthday.  Bill doesn't really belong to any of the organizations that are invited to the event but he goes to some of their functions so he always gets invited.  It was a much bigger event this year--over 120 people.  It was held as a bit of a trade show with 10 entrepreneurs from Portland and Clark County having displays to show off their products.  Our friend, Steve Hix, who is a serial entrepreneur having already started In Focus and Planar Systems as well as six other companies, was promoting his new company, Circle Technology.  The product he has invented is a tablet based presentation package including software making the tablet its own secure encrypted WiFi hotspot enabling presentations to other tablets within 75-100 feet of it.  The application would be for sales presentations although I am sure there are plenty of other situations that it could be used in.

Sunday night we went to another Children's Center fundraiser arranged by Troy Van Dinter--a Britnee Kellogg concert at the Three Brothers Winery.  She has auditioned for American Idol in the past and plans to again.  We went to NW Best Fish before the concert to have fish tacos with Jeff and Julie and then we headed to the concert.  It was a wonderful concert--lots of country music that I could sing along too.  I was surprised to see that Justin Klump was in her band--but I have found that there is a lot of crossover among the music community in this area.  Britnee is also the lead singer for Five Guys Named Moe--another popular band in this area--so she has a few gigs going on as well. 

So it was a really busy week--but in a good way.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Initial Flight Screening

Tom has been in Pueblo for almost two weeks now--learning to fly.  He doesn't have a camera so I have no pictures of him in his flight suit or with the plane that he did his "first dollar flight" in--but this is where he is for the next month.  I am definitely going to have to get that boy a camera for Christmas so that I can scrapbook all these new Air Force milestones.  DOSS--or DOSSowitz as Tom referred to it yesterday when I talked to him--is where all the Air Force pilots and navigators (and maybe other job categories) go to learn how to fly small aircraft.  The place that he is staying and going to school is right on the Pueblo Memorial Airport.  So they live, sleep, eat and breathe flying while they are there.  He passed his written exam and had his first flight instruction on Wednesday--which is called the "first dollar flight".  It was also the day that he got his first paycheck--so it was a big day for him.  I asked him if he gave his dollar to his instructor yet and he said he was going to do it on Monday.  He said he needed to spend some time decorating it.  Not sure what his plans were but he said that the ones that are on display are pretty elaborate so I guess they must try to outdo each other in the dollar department too.  He has a little more than two weeks left there and he has to be able to do a solo flight before he leaves.  So lots of exciting things going on in his life right now.