Wednesday, May 20, 2009

STP #29

As May 20th ended, I was quite STumPed
Until to a logical conclusion I jumped
A poetic tribute would not be hard to STooP
As long as I highlighted Reeble Jar, his musical group
I knew it would be hard to know when to SToP
But I had to mention his Glass-blowing shop

It’s rare for him to encounter a hill that’s too STeeP
Though one once caused the demise of his first early Jeep
He’s always been one to take the next STeP
Since he’s a happenin’ guy who’s always quite hep
Who continues to leave his unique STamP
On the Eugene city that’s quite damp

So, in closing, it is with much glee
As the last year approaches of his decade three
That with the coming dawn
We celebrate all that is Sean
On the occasion of the 29th birthday of STP

Writing a blog entry as a tribute to Sean is like describing a symphony in 4 notes... it can be done but it leaves out a lot of highlights and nuance... (Try G-G-G-Eflat....)

At 6:30 PM on Wednesday, May 21st 1980, Sean Thomas Ponder arrived in Portland Oregon during the aftermath of the Mt. St. Helen's eruption and just missed by 6 hours being born on the least likely birthday among the current population. (Oct 5th is the most common...) This would be a harbinger of Sean's style of being unique. Music has been a part of Sean's life since early on and most people are aware of his current performance with his band but few people know Sean is one of only a handful of people to play the Theremin under the tutealge of Leon Theremin in 1991 at Stanford (who also gave Einstien lessons, but said he wasn't very musical) and to call up and talk to Bob Moog directly when 11 year old Sean decided to build a Theremin for his science project.

Sean's integration of music and glass-blowing also has followed an unusual path. He moved to Eugene and attended Lane CC and apprenticed as a glass blower and then when his bosses decided to close up shop, they handed him their customer list and Sean became a small business owner in his early 20's servicing accounts nationwide. It's an amazing balancing act, keeping the band going while working to pay the bills, so this summer's road trip with the band should be a great adventure after a lot of hard work. Reeble Jar will play in Portland at Goodfoot on May 30th and then leave June 2 for a month long tour of at least 11 states...

As the first person to meet Sean, I've always been honored by the privilege and am proud of who he is and the impact he's had so far. His grandfather was one of his biggest fans and vicariously shared in many of Seans adventures. I look forward to continuing to cheer for him - as long as I can stay up late enough...


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It's Later Than You Think (2:30)

This aging thing has never seemed nice
As no injuries for me would more than suffice
But I’m facing the truth
That I sprained my tooth
So I must elevate my mouth and fill with ice.

Brother, men can counsel and speak comfort to that grief
Which they themselves not feel; but, tasting it,
Their counsel turns to passion, which before
Would give preceptial medicine to rage,
Fetter strong madness in a silken thread,
Charm ache with air and agony with words:
No, no; 'tis all men's office to speak patience
To those that wring under the load of sorrow,
But no man's virtue nor sufficiency
To be so moral when he shall endure
The like himself. Therefore give me no counsel:
My griefs cry louder than advertisement.
Therein do men from children nothing differ.
I pray thee, peace. I will be flesh and blood;
For there was never yet philosopher
That could endure the toothache patiently,
However they have writ the style of gods
And made a push at chance and sufferance.
Much Ado About Nothing, 5.1, 21-39 Thanks to VagabondScholar

I understand the sequence of decline from muscle to muscle memory to memory but the aches and pains of aging still irritate. After lucking out with years of injury free athletic activity back in the 20th century except for a few rolled ankles and an unfortunate intersection of softball and eyeball, I thought the likelihood of injuries would diminish as I aged. I was embarrassed by pulling a hamstring for the first time when I was bowling with Rick 10 years ago, but I think I topped that recently. Last week I was enjoying some popcorn, bit down funny and hurt my tooth. It bothered me for a day and a half so Monday I made an appointment with our long time dentist.
Dianna and I both grew up with unfluoridated well water so we both carry amalgam accumulations that are reaching end of life, so I assumed I broke a filling. After poking, prodding & extra X-rays, Dr. Jarvis deduced I had injured a ligament holding a molar in place – effectively “spraining” it. He said it should recover in a couple of weeks and approved noshing, but no gnashing…
Thought the Shakespeare quote would add some class to the site…

On a more interesting note, I ran across a intriguing site at our monthly “Engineers for a Sustainable Future” meeting. We had representatives from newly named Neighborhood Natural Energy (nee Northwest Neighborhood Energy) , scaled district energy provider. Their ideas have interesting potential but they are affiliated with a social entrepreneur networking site for seed funding sustainable projects called The Change Exchange ( ) This site opens the door to a number of interesting projects and I look forward to following progress and reporting on ideas in future blog entries…

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Oh, Canada!


Adventures to the North are the latest thing new
As Victoria provided many enjoyable things to do
We walked and we ate
As the sightseeing was great
Plus we all avoided the "Moose" flu

We were able to get away for a nice 4 day vacation to Seattle and Victoria at the beginning of May to celebrate John & Sally's 25th wedding anniversay on May 1st and John's 67th birthday on May 4th. We drove up Friday afternoon with tempertures in the high 70's - quite a contrast to last year's commute in the snow. We had a wonderful seafood celebration at Anthony's on the waterfront in Edmunds Friday night and then took the Victoria Clipper hydrofoil to Victoria Saturday morning. A comfortable 2 1/2 hours later we made the 10 minute walk to our condo at Fisherman's Wharf, dropped off our luggage and headed out to explore Victoria.
As with our Hawaii vacation, things felt quickly familar and we were able to locate some favorite spots although we did add a new ice cream shop to our itinerary. A lunch choice from last year was closed so we had Chinese instead and then after browsing and checking in, we had dinner at the Marriott. We all gave positive reviews to our meal including the clam chowder and prime rib I had and our leisurely meal provided refuge from the storm that blew north from Portland and Seattle. By the time we walked home, the rain had stopped and we only had to fight the wind on the way home. The Church of Truth across the street from our condo was hosting Argentina Tango - and here I was without my shoes... We poked our heads in, but they could tell we weren't part of the in-crowd - Evan would have enjoyed it though..
Sunday dawned with possibilities as the weather system had moved through, so we booked a tour of Butchart Gardens and as the pictures above indicate, had a wonderful day of strolling through the flowers. Our dinner out was just across the street from our condo at the Superior, a hip jazz club with great food and unusual decorating style.
We originally had planned on staying until Tuesday, but John had an important conference in NYC that started Tuesday, so we arranged to take the 6:00 ferry Monday night. Since we didn't need to check out we lounged around our room and watched the DVD "Mame" and packed in fish and chips from Barb's on the Wharf. Packe dup and headed home and once again the weather hit during our commute but had stopped by the time we disembarked. Heavy rain hit Seattle overnight, but John made it to the airport by shuttling off at 6:30 and Dianna & I headed home by 10:00 AM. Smooth sailing by land through light rain got us home by 2:00 PM and we were able to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Merry with dinner and cards Tuesday night.
I highly recommend a Canada visit - exchange rate is good ( 82 cents US to Canadian $), sights are plentiful and Canadians are friendly. We're already planning next years visit in early May before we head off to Iowa by May 23rd to celebrate Evan's graduation.
Still waiting for May weather to kick in before it turns rainy for Rose Festival - stay tuned...