I’m Back from the Brink… and Happily So!

Drivel Starved Nation!

Here is an update that nobody asked me to share. Pretty generous of me don’t you think?

This past February Portland experienced a crazy destructive ice storm. How crazy you ask?

A fallen tree wiped out both of our cars. A branch from a Douglas fir tree smashed into our deck and wiped out part of the deck and the stairs, while also destroying some furniture and an outdoor kinetic sculpture. None of that really matters, it was just a giant hassle that is all covered by insurance.

What really was bad was the 10-day power outage. The first five days we weathered it in-house with the internal temperature at a constant 52 degrees. It was a two-dog night every night. The last 5 days was spent at a dog friendly hotel that we were lucky to find.

In summary it was one of the best things that ever happened! Why?

On the day of the snow storm, this guy showed up in my back yard;

With an ice-crusted face, and the ground covered with 6 inches of snow, this dude was hungry. The visit was a gesture to remind me to quit whining and enjoy the fact that all life faces adversity. I love this image and I am sure I will love my new natural gas generator when it is installed later this summer.

My annual work retreat was this past March and the muse came by on week 3. And that is all I am going to say about that at the moment until I grasp what is spinning in my mind.


    Finally, the Pencil Precision kits are shipping. I received a pre-production unit and was playing with it at the shop when the electricity went out. I will follow-up with pics of my pencils later this week.

    In the meantime, here is the latest video;

    I can share that this gizmo is just the most fun you can have in 10 minutes. (That statement should really rattle the perverts that visit this Totally Awesome and Worthless Blog…)

    Lastly, below are a couple of bird pics I took this past January. Thanks for looking!



    Green Jay

    Golden Breasted Woodpecker

    Great Egret

9 comments on this post:

  1. Sorry to hear about the ice storm! Beautiful pictures as usual. I think I recognize a golden fronted woodpecker, but what is the spectacular looking bird in the first picture with the blue head? Thanks!

  2. I just can’t get over that coyote picture, John. It’s truly amazing. It reminds me a bit of that haunting girl on the cover of National Geographic about 35 years ago – the intense look, and the striking eyes.

    And I’m always amazed at how colorful North American birds are. We mostly see the sparrows, starlings, crows, and pigeons. But if you make the time to really look, we have birds every bit as striking as the ones you’d see in the Amazon. And you’ve captured some of that so beautifully in your photos. I can hardly imagine how many pictures you had to take to get that one of the green jay. Wow.

    I’m so sorry about your cars and deck, etc. But at least it makes a good story! And kudos on the generator – better to have it and not need it…

    I suspect I speak for all of us when I say that we can hardly wait to hear what your neurons have brought forth this time from your work retreat!


  3. Sorry to hear what the ice storm did to your property, but nobody got hurt, so that’s a good thing. Like you said, it’s a hassle dealing with the insurance company.
    My niece just moved down to Texas last summer, and she had to deal with the snowstorm down there. She handled it with ease, since she was born and raised right here in Michigan. Ain’t no thang! Unfortunately, the Texans didn’t see it that way, that’s a whole ‘nother story.

  4. Health is wealth.
    Glad you and yours were not hurt.
    Yes, as always absolutely beautiful photos.

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