Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Disneyland Top 10 (Top 3)

And the Top 3...

(read the previous entry first!)

3. PhotoPass – professional photographers stationed throughout both parks; digital photos “beamed” back to a central location; buy all the photos on CD for $50 (and they shoot as many as you want).

2. AstroBlasters – my favorite attraction/ride; cool effects, neato ray guns to keep you coming back time and time again; little green men to worship your sharp-shooting skills.

1. Character Meals – the BEST way to get autographs, take photos, and spend some “quality” time with the characters; all you can eat buffet; kid-friendly and/or health-conscious choices.

Disneyland Top 10

Just back from Disneyland, and still reeling from the crowds, the heat, and the overstimulation. But reviewing our 300+ photos, here are the highlights…

10. Pirates of the Caribbean attraction – the first (and last) ride we take every trip, and many times in between. Even with the “updates” to reflect the movies, it is still an entertaining, imaginative excursion.

9. Pin Trading – an excuse to purchase souvenirs, talk to strangers, and horde your treasure.

8. Fireworks – sentimental journey through the rides and attractions of Disneyland set to pyrotechnics [Um, SUPER cool].

7. Fantasmic – water, laser, music, character spectacle that gets cooler every time I see it.

6. Electrical Parade – still gives me goose bumps and makes me weep with joy.

5. Pirates on Tom Sawyer Island – well-acted, thematic use of the whole island.

4. Aladdin Musical Spectacular – live theatre, updated Genie jokes, and a serious “magic” factor.

(see next post for Top 3)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Captain

Scott L. Boley
Published: June 6, 2007, Curry County Reporter
March 31, 1948-May 27, 2007

Scott L. Boley, 59, of Gold Beach, passed away May 27, 2007 at his home unexpectedly of undetermined causes.

He was born March 31, 1948 in Klamath Falls, OR; son of Ivan H. "Buck" and Madge (Fitzhugh) Boley. He was raised in Klamath Falls, and graduated from Klamath Union High School in 1966. He attended Portland State University for one year before transferring to Oregon State University where he earned a general Engineering Degree and in 1973, a Masters Degree in Ocean Engineering. While completing his Masters Degree, Scott was employed as a graduate assistant at O.S.U.

On June 13, 1970, he married Dixie Dawn Evans. The couple made their first home in Corvallis while they completed their degrees.

In 1975, they moved to Gold Beach where Scott purchased a fishing boat, the F/V Frances and began his career as a commercial fisherman.

In 1978, their son was born, and the Boleys fished full-time as a family for several years. Scott was still actively employed as a fisherman at the time of his death.

He had served as a Port of Gold Beach Commissioner, a member of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council and a member of the Pacific Marine Conservation Council. He enjoyed fly-fishing, snow skiing, and woodworking.

Scott was an ethical man, and had a strong sense of what was good for the fishing industry, and for the community. He was a creative and irrepressible planter of "idea seeds"; and was forever challenging himself and others to think beyond their paradigms.

Survivors include his wife, Dixie, of Gold Beach; son, Evan T. Boley of Gold Beach; mother, Madge Boley-Walker of Gold Beach; brother and sister-in-law, Vernon and Julie Boley; niece, Charla Boley, and nephews, Brent and Cory Boley of Vancouver, WA.

A Celebration of Scott's life will be held in July at Pistol River Friendship Hall. The family requests any memorials be made to the Curry General Hospital Health Foundation, 94220 Fourth St, Gold Beach, OR 97444, or to Pacific Marine Conservation Council Fish Genetics Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 59, Astoria OR 97103.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Cutting Chicken

When I moved out of my parents’ house and started living on my own, I was thankful for any money-saving, practical advice and tips. Things like “You only need about an eighth of a scoop of laundry detergent to wash a large load” are not written on the packaging, because, of course, the manufacturer wants you to buy more detergent. But it worked, and saved me a bundle of money.

One of the money-saving tips my dad, Mr. GoGoGo, passed along was how inexpensive whole frying hens are. For about $5 (less, if you watch the ads), you can get an entire chicken. With a slow-cooker, you can cook the whole thing and feast on it for days. Or, you can cut it up yourself, and have the pieces for other sumptuous dishes at a fraction of the price of buying the butcher-cut pieces.

Dad showed me how to cut up a chicken a million times. He got me the fancy filleting knife, with its thin and slender blade that fits neatly between the joints for easy disassembly. He taught me how to remove the skin off the pieces to reduce fat intake. And he’d disinfect the knife, the entire counter, and the cutting board when he was done. I also watched Alton Brown’s episode on cutting up a chicken, too, with the nifty dinosaur skeleton as a visual aid to show joint locations. For a while, I actually hung on to the “how to” pretty well.

I think I’ve cut up 1 or 2 chickens in my day. The fact of the matter is, I think it’s gross. I simply don’t like how it feels between my fingers. I don’t like pulling the skin from the muscle (gross), snapping the leg joint (gross), or even reaching inside the “cavity” for the little baggie of innards neatly packaged so I can throw them away (super gross). Not to mention the carcass. My dad always cooks the carcass for broth – or freezes it to cook for broth later. Um, that means a chicken skeleton in the freezer (gross).

And I’ve discovered a few things about eating chicken, too that made this ritual even less desirable. Once you cut up a chicken, there are still only 2 breasts, 2 backs, and 2 drumsticks. No one eats the wings (too bony), and with the distribution of the parts according to my family’s preferences, I always ended up eating the back (also pretty bleepin’ bony). If I wanted pure, un-bony chicken breast, well, that’s another chicken… So I stopped buying whole fryers and cutting them up myself. The $6 I spend on fresh chicken breasts means I get to eat the good stuff, too, and I don’t have to stick my fingers where the sun don’t shine on dead poultry.

And why is all of this relevant now, you ask?? Well, I’m working on an overall quilt. It’s a quilt made from old jeans – a tradition my grandma started when pristine bolts of fabric were a luxury. She came through the Depression, and learned not to waste the “good” parts of a worn-out pair of jeans. The first step in making an overall quilt, naturally, is to cut up the jeans. I was struck suddenly how similar cutting up the jeans was to cutting up chicken.

Depending on the size of the jeans, in the end, you get 2 breasts (the large front portion from which you can cut the “prime” large squares), 2 backs (the back pocket – bones and maybe some useful meat), 4 drumsticks (strips big enough to cut smaller, clean, no-seam squares), and a couple of wings (strips where a smaller square is possible, if you include a seam). There’s a carcass to toss (the waistband, thick seams, and often the front/back pockets). And some juicy bits that are too small for the main meal, but perfectly good for soup (seamless pieces that could be turned into a strip quilt… but that’s another entry…)

See, Dad, I was paying attention.

The whole "chicken".
The cut-up pieces.
The good bits, too small for the main meal.
The carcasses.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Fractional Bookends

Amidst some sad tidings this week there were some marginal, or rather fractional, observations on Thursday.

As I pulled out of the driveway to take Critter to an early morning choir rehearsal at the high school, I inquired about the progress on her reading book. “How many pages do you think you have left?”

She shrugged. “I dunno.”

“Well, just a rough estimate. 100 pages? 150 pages?”

“I dunno.”

“Well, how much have you read?”

She sighed. “I’m about a quarter of the way through.”

I did some mental calculations. The paperback she was carrying around was roughly 200 pages. 250 tops. And she’d been reading this book for several days, including two hours over the weekend. “Critter….”

“Well, it’s more like a third. I’m about a third of the way.”

I paused.

“More like half.”


“I mean, I have about a quarter left in it.”


“Enough pages that I’ll finish by June 7th!”

At least Critter has learned her fractions…

That evening at the high school, parents were greeted by over a hundred students from both schools welcoming them to the concert in a lively African song. The band teacher played drums in the front of the stage and the choirs from both schools ringed the back of the auditorium, raising the rafters.

After this rousing welcome, the band teacher brought forth the jazz band who performed the high school standard Witchcraft. It was a small group, not more than a dozen performers, and five of them played saxophone. It was fun to watch and listen but I was a bit distracted by... something. I finally figured it out and sent the following text message to CrafterKat at Intermission:

Is it bad that three different sax players are tapping out 3 dif beats?