Update. Next Publication is: Under Strange Suns, available digitally August 2015, print version due December 2015, Twilight Times Books.

by ken

The Web Log Takes a Sick Day

The web log is taking a sick day. I’ll spare you the details of the atrocities this virus has committed in my bowels. And the subsequent unspeakable horrors committed in my toilet bowl. “Unspeakable” may be hyperbole and thus not a literal prohibition or impossibility. But I’m going to honor the word in those latter senses anyway. You are welcome.

You’d think with a few days out of the office I’d be able to get some writing done. You’d be wrong. This is the most I’ve been able to concentrate since Wednesday afternoon. I’m on the mend. The headache is gone. The bowels are growing quiescent. The lethargy, however, remains. Though it is lessening. Enough for me to write this though the simple effort of thinking and typing is tiring.

Enough. I’ll be back next week with more of my regularly scheduled inanity. No virus can long contain me, no pathogen long cage me, not infirmity long dissuade me. I’m in my prime.

Fine Dining, NW Style

Once you have a kid, selecting a place to eat requires factoring in considerations other than quality, cost, and distance. Locating kid-friendly restaurants becomes a constant, background, priority. For those of us who enjoy beer and brewpubs, this search demands even greater focus. One approaches a new prospect with both hope and trepidation.

2018 Plans

I did not make any New Year’s resolutions. I’m rather content, in general, with life. I always strive to improve, of course, for myself and for MBW and the HA. But I don’t plan to drop ten pounds or start exercising. I already maintain a healthy weight and workout regularly. I don’t intend to quit smoking; I never started. I’ve got a steady job and roof over my head. There is always room to grow, to do more, to increase in prosperity. I’ll continue striving. But I don’t feel the need to make any concrete resolutions.

I do, however, have plans for the year.

Happy New Year from Vancouver, B.C.

Happy New Year’s Eve to you all from sunny Vancouver, British Columbia. Yes, sunny. I just peeked out through the curtains of the hotel room and that is indeed blue sky.

The drive up from Portland was in constant, pounding rain. It did not bode well for the rest of the trip. But come the morning, the weather cleared and we’ve had beautiful, but frigid, weather.

It has been thirty years since I spent any significant amount of time in Vancouver. It no longer resembles my memories of the place. All to the good, I suppose.

MBW enjoyed the view over Lions Gate Bridge. The HA adored the aquarium. But then, she always has. She’s an aquarium junkie. This particular aquarium includes an Amazon exhibit, so along with fish she got bonus marmosets.

The beer is good. I mean, British Columbia is still the Pacific Northwest, national border or no, so of course the beer is good. Speaking of beer: What the hell, B.C? I wanted to put a few brews in the hotel room refrigerator, but the nearby stores don’t carry beer. Apparently, outside of certain rural areas, one must purchase beer at liquor stores. Frankly, this is barbaric. I expect better of a civilized nation. I ended up buying a couple of bottles from the hotel bar. Something called Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale, which bills itself as the Pride of Nova Scotia. Honestly, Nova Scotia, unless you take pride in producing an IPA sans hops, a beer that tastes more like a sessionable Scotch Ale than an IPA, I’d look for something else to hang your toque on.

See? You get vital travel advice and trenchant political commentary from this web log.

Now, time to find a family friendly, early New Year’s Eve event. Those of you still in possession of the domestic logistics to stay up until midnight, enjoy the ball drop for me.

Wassail On, Wassail Off

Yuletide greetings. Many happy returns. Etc. Merry Christmas, is what I’m saying. I hope you all are enjoying the whole shebang, entire shooting match, soup-to-nuts holiday extravaganza.

MBW wished for a White Christmas. Looks as though she might get her wish. It is not precisely blizzard conditions out there, but more than a dusting has fallen today. We drove farther up the foothills this morning, got the HA some snow time. Then we came home for a combination sidewalk shoveling/snowman building operation.

Both MBW and I come from a tradition of holding the majority of Christmas events on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas morning. So in about an hour it will be time to prep the turkey, get the oven heated, and begin assembling a dinner of absurd proportions for a family of three.

And then, presents. Really the gift is watching the HA open hers. She’s entering the sweet spot of Christmas appreciation. The entire season remains magical for her. And we can leverage Santa Claus for good behavior. Everyone wins.

So, cheers to you all. Get your wassail on and enjoy.