Bunchgrasser’s World

My unique filter on life

Archive for July, 2008

Bunchgrasser’s quote of the day

Posted by bunchgrasser on July 31, 2008

“And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

-Abraham Lincoln

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Metal Detecting – Treasures in the soil

Posted by bunchgrasser on July 31, 2008

My family and friends know that I’m into metal detecting as a hobby. Two things that I’ve always been interested in are old things with some history, and coins. So using a metal detector to locate and recover old coins, jewelry and other assorted metallic objects is a great activity for me.

I had a toy metal detector as a kid, but I didn’t buy my first real detector (Fisher CZ-70 Pro) until I was in my late 30’s. I’ve since bought another one (White’s MXT) which is my detector of choice these days.

I recovered this 1926 silver Mercury dime a couple of weeks ago in a school field in Portland. It’s only my second Mercury dime so I was pretty excited. It was about 3 inches down in very hard soil. I have some other recent finds that I will post as well.


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Yep, the heel is still sore

Posted by bunchgrasser on July 30, 2008

I took my first run in 3 weeks yesterday morning. I was confident that waiting 3 weeks would be enough – but unfortunately I was wrong. My heel started hurting mildly within the first mile and pretty much stayed the same through the entire 5 mile run. It wasn’t excruciating – just enough for me to know something is still not right. So, what to do…

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Bunchgrasser’s quote of the day

Posted by bunchgrasser on July 21, 2008

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; We grow old because we stop playing.”

-George Bernard Shaw

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Heel pain sets me back a few days

Posted by bunchgrasser on July 14, 2008

Well, for the first time in a long while I’ve had to stop running. Some time last week, most likely after that 12 miler – my heel started hurting. At first I thought maybe I’d just bruised it, but on subsequent runs it showed signs of the dreaded plantar fasciitis (PF).

Reading up on PF on the net was somewhat depressing. if I do indeed have PF (I still hold some hope that I don’t), the recovery time could potentially wipe out my plans to run the Portland Marathon. Wait. Take a deep breath. Think positive thoughts. Yes, this is just a temporary setback and in no time at all I’ll be back on the pavement – pain free.

I’m depressed now because I had to miss my Portland Fit 25k benchmark run last Saturday. You know, I really wasn’t a runner when I was younger. I played other sports of course, but just running for the sake of running held no interest for me. Back then, I needed a reason to run – driving for a layup, stealing second base, running from my girlfriend’s dad (jk).

Today things are different. The concept of “Me Time” is much more prominent (and necessary), and running solo miles is just the ticket for that. Just me and the road. Just me and my Ipod. Just me and the…heel pain? Wait – something isn’t right here. All I know is that running used to be something that I forced myself to do. Now it’s something I can’t live without. Running is insidious the way it gets inside of you. Like a parasitic monster that must be fed every couple of days. If you starve the monster – it makes you pay, but I digress.

where was I? Oh yeah, so I’ve got this heel pain and I haven’t done any running for a week. I’m considering going out for a short, light run to gauge my recovery. I know it’s too soon but I just can’t help myself. It’s like pulling on a hangnail – you know it’s going to hurt like hell but you can’t stop yourself. I have to know – is it a heel bruise? Or something worse? Wish me luck…


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2008 Oregon Country Fair

Posted by bunchgrasser on July 14, 2008

On Sunday we joined my Brother-in-law and his family for a day at the Oregon Country Fair in Veneta, Oregon. This was only my second trip to OCF and I had almost forgotten how interesting this annual event is. In it’s 39th year, OCF has certainly grown and evolved, but without losing it’s character and purpose. The organizers, vendors and volunteers do a great job of keeping everyone safe, entertained and happy.

Our decision to arrive at the fair early for the 11:00am opening allowed us to park closer (parking is located in fields adjacent to the wooded fair site and can be a long walk for some arriving later in the day). On this day, with temperatures soaring into the 90’s, it seemed like a wise move. For those that plan to make it a multi-day event, I believe there is camping nearby as well.

The fair is set up mostly in a wooded area in a shape similar to that of a figure eight. Once you move past the entrance you basically meander through a wide trail, lined on each side with hobbitt-like vendor booths hawking everything from “hippy” noodles and vegan burritos to crystals, pottery and elizabethan hats. There is something for everyone here, even if you only require a snow cone heavily laden with Portland Punch.

In addition to the various vendors, there are several performance stages featuring live music and some entertainers simply perform along the trail, where it takes only seconds for an appreciative crowd to form and begin dropping coins and bills into the hat.

Truth be told, this festival is one of the greatest people-watching locations around. In fact, the fair’s attendees are one of it’s greatest attractions. Many come in colorful, garish renaissance costumes. Many of the women go topless (with or without body paint), but it is accepted and seemingly appreciated (especially by us hack photographers).

Among the things you won’t see here are: processed food, soda pop, alcohol, video cameras, corporate sponsorships, tables of factory-made tourist junk, etc. From my observations, most, if not all food is prepared on site and items for sale are handcrafted.

I left the fair in the afternoon, hot & tired – but strangely invigorated. I couldn’t really put my finger on this feeling the last time that I attended. But I think I’ve figured it out – OCF is different because it encourages everyone to be different. To be themselves and express their own brand of creativity without conforming to a societal standard. Case in point, one of the photos in my 2008 OCF Flickr set is of a man wearing nothing but body paint and a small sack around his genitals. I just happened to follow this man through the front entrance and later saw him again inside the fair where I photographed him. Care to guess how that would go over at the Oregon State Fair?

I can’t say whether I’ll attend OCF next year. I haven’t felt the need for an annual visit in the past, but this year I think I realized just how unique this festival really is. Who knows, maybe I’ll be back next year – in body paint!


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Bunchgrasser’s quote of the day

Posted by bunchgrasser on July 2, 2008

“A lot of people run a race to see who’s the fastest.  I run to see who has the most guts.”

-Steve Prefontaine

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Athlete dies while competing in the Pacific Crest Triathlon

Posted by bunchgrasser on July 2, 2008

I just heard about the tragic death at the Pacific Crest Triathlon in Sunriver. We’re all aware of the risks we take when pushing our bodies to the limit, but it is just so shocking when something like this happens.  

 Per Katie Braun’s, The Bulletin article:

Patrick Findlay, of Renton, Wash., was swimming in Wickiup Reservoir, the first leg of the three-stage race, when he suffered an unknown medical problem and swam to a nearby boat for help, said Sgt. Ronny Dozier of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office. Volunteers helped Findlay onto a jet ski and took him to shore, where they attempted to resuscitate him.

Emergency personnel from the Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Forest Service and La Pine emergency medical technicians were alerted at 9:40 a.m. and responded to the scene, but Dozier said Findlay was pronounced dead before he could be taken to the hospital.

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