SKS postcard: Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda

A place where we have both visited together!  Also, apparently Shawn picked this card. I’m not sure if he picked it out at the store, or picked it as the one for Sara to write to me, but either way, good pick.

Sara reports that summer is hard this year due to lack of people.  So she is taking herself to a coffee shop to do some work.  Tangential people are better than nothing.

Backyard progress: adding the landscape cloth and edging

Memorial Day!  What a great day to get up early and put down the landscape cloth and edging!  And that’s what I did. (This picture also nicely shows off the asparagus.)

I love how tidy it looks! It’s so tidy looking that I’m a little sad it will be covered soon. And of course, it won’t stay that tidy forever, so it’s probably good I’m putting other stuff down.

I’m also a fan of the edging. That is the edging I wanted for the side yard project, but Lowes didn’t have enough last fall and wasn’t going to be getting more in until spring.

Dead Relatives Tour 2018

It’s time for another tour of some of the family grave sites.

The Anastases were my grandfather’s grandparents. “What do we know about these people?” I asked this year. Both of them had been dead nearly a decade by the time my oldest aunt was born and I was curious what had filtered down through the ages.

“I know that he just coughed once in the middle of the night, and then died,” my mother said.  “I’m not sure why I remember that.” Good to know.  Other things: they lived in Southeast Portland and their neighbors behind them were a very large family.  That would be my grandmother’s family, the Whitmores, with 15 children.  I asked to see if anyone knew what their jobs were, or such things, but no one did.

That is what’s come down through the ages. If I had more time, it would be fun to research them a little and see if anything comes up.

I don’t know Gene Wesley Hinds, but I do like the pinecone decorations someone used to decorate his grave.

This year’s entry into the Dead Relatives Tour grave decoration.

Then we ate at the delicious Verde Cochia.

Three sentence movie reviews: The Best Years of Our Lives


A rather lengthy film* about how coming back from war is tough. Harold Russell is quite good (especially for a non-actor) as Homer Parrish, the veteran who has returned from war without his hands. Given the focus on the amazing accomplishments of the “Greatest Generation” this is a nice reminder of some of their tough times.

Cost: free from library
Where watched: at home.

*Three hours, and I felt each and every one of the 180 minutes.

Of note.  This was my fourth time requesting this from the library.  Normally, I check movies out and renew them as they come due; eventually I watch them. Not this one. Three times the due date came up, and three times I was unable to renew due to holds. The library has six copies.  Who is so interested in this movie (that is not very good)? My theory? There were six other people who also were obligated to watch this for some reason and had no deadline. The seven of us kept checking out, returning, and reserving the same six copies of the movie and we never, ever watched it.  I’m glad to have exited that cycle.

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Though the movie was boring, I find this to be a good scratch off.

This is also a solid one.

Let’s face it, this artist doesn’t excel in the art of depicting faces.

Do you want to scratch your movie poster itch? Get the scratch off poster here.

Three sentence movie reviews: Solo: A Star Wars Story

The suspicion I developed while catching up with Alden Ehrenreich’s oeuvre prior to the release of this film was confirmed: Erinrich is a little too stiff to properly carry off a young Han Solo. That unfortunate fact aside, I enjoyed the standard adventure plot of this movie. I think the interesting parts of this story–L3-37 and Qi-ra*–were unfortunately overlooked, which made for a movie that wasn’t quite as awesome as it could be.

Cost: $5.35
Where watched: Regal City Center Stadium 12 (after attempting to watch it at McMenamins St. Johns Theater, an attempt that was thwarted by a broken projector. The nice part about living in Portland, the land of the many movie theaters, is that we had our admission refunded and headed for another theater. We even stopped along the way to buy supplies for the yard rehab project.)

*When someone says, “I’ve done terrible things!” more than once, that is the plot I’m interested in. What terrible things has she done? Are they really that bad? Has she really done terrible things, or has she just moved on from this relationship? Does she plan on continuing doing terrible things in the future?  I would be interested in watching the reveal of all of these things.

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Backyard progress: the end of grading

When we finished the side yard, I had the happy thought that we wouldn’t have to do all the dreadful digging when we renovated the backyard. That wasn’t entirely true. The four inches of dirt we excavated from the side yard ended up in a pile in the backyard, and so we did dig for the back yard project. In this case, it was digging to move dirt around, which is slightly less taxing than excavating.

Here’s what things looked like early on. You can see the dirt mound at the apex of the yard. That had to be smoothed out. In grading the yard, we ended up adding dirt to the part of the yard nearest the house and taking it away from the part farthest from the house. The added dirt came from the mound. Plus, there was the excavating of asparagus roots. That was full-on hard digging.

But look!  We have finished. Matt stands where the mound used to be!

From the other end of the yard. You can see how we had to pile up the dirt near the point of our triangle in order to excavate it to the proper depth. You can also see the piece of plywood that served as our tamper. Plywood and body weight does the trick.

You can also see that the asparagus crowns have taken hold.

Here is our “mothership” stake. That was the stake most likely to not be disturbed, so we measured from it to find our proper grade.

I’m happy to have gotten through this phase of the project.

Three sentence movie reviews: Tully

Hoo-boy can Diablo Cody write mundane normal life in a way that is both interesting and realistic. I loved that this movie easily could have had a villain–checked out husband Mark Duplass–but there wasn’t because he wasn’t the bad guy, there is no bad guy, there’s just life. Charlize Theron is her usual excellent self, and I loved watching the relationship between Theron and Tully (Mackenzie Davis) develop over the course of the movie.

Cost: $6.00
Where watched: Laurelhurst by myself, which was too bad because it’s one to discuss afterward.

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