Sunday, July 05, 2009

Independence Day Weekend

Flag Wavy
We had many adventures around this family reunion, to which I connect through Northern Pacific railroad, on which Barbara was a nurse when she came to Chicago especially to see the new baby: me.

Barbara's daughter Alice is Lady of the Lake, living straight across by speed boat, whereas her brothers fly F18s and 777s and stuff, not sure what all, both top gun types though the one is a military attache i.e. attached to the ground, in terms of duties. Lots of eagle action this year, plus a blue heron joined our festivities.

Seattle in general is a more military establishment, starting with DuPont next to Fort Lewis, where the dynamite came from (destructive engineering requires explosives). One passes the American Lake Logistics Center along I-5, near the museum with all the rusty old stuff (some of it not all that rusty yet).

Back when I was a senior analyst for Asian-Pacific Issues News, I would pay more attention to the comings and goings. Bremerton, reachable by car and/or ferry, has a lot of Navy stuff too.

At the picnic, I got into pleasantries with a young Army guy at the same language institute Glenn trained at in Monterey. His mom (Barbara's cousin) is a recently retired high school teacher who enjoyed my patter about "world domination" (what I'm into per my "geek" ethnicity, a good opening for cocktail parties).

Speaking of Glenn, he gave us a call on my cell as we were heading north, one of two car loads this year, feeling upbeat about our next ISEPP season, a good lineup of MVPs already.

I used most of my "film" at the family picnic on my photogenic relatives, around Bill's place, which I'd not visited before, and at Marymoor Park. Bill is a scholar in addition to being a retired mining engineer. Great Uncle Howard was in Alaska, not unusual this time of year, glad Wilma could make it. Ed's wife and I talked about "socially responsible gaming" quite a bit, as she knows the casino scene, plus had seen this new TV show The Philanthropist.

Hey, the mirror says it's time to back off the beer, like I did after the Lithuania trip. I'm not as round as I was then, but summer is dangerous to those so inclined, when Portland's moniker "BeerVana" may become too omni-meaningful for some people. I'll never be as thin as Icarus, but that's probably just as well as hang gliding looks like a lighter man's game.

We barreled back along I-5 with hardly much traffic, fireworks going off in small municipalities to our left and right. I stopped in Centralia for a coffee and cinnamon role, on recommendation from relatives, some Chevron for Razz.

Today I've got meetings and a film, then teacher trainings as far as the eye can see. :)

Happy Birthday Julie (my sister), many fond things were said about you by relatives yesterday, lets start a plan for 2010.