Thursday, June 28, 2007

Wait, Wait at the Schnitz

'Wait, Wait' at the Schnitz

Here's some of Scott's pictures:

Originally uploaded by sweber4507

Originally uploaded by sweber4507

Scott and I just got back from the taping of Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall this evening. As a regular Wait, Wait listener, I've been anticipating tonight ever since I missed their last Portland visit a few years ago. I think Scott had a good time -- although I had to explain which of the boring Saturday public radio programs this was before hand.

The taping was really interesting. Surprisingly, the live taping is not very different than what makes the air. The pace is slower, but there was more banter with the audience. I heard many in the audience share their disappointment that Paula Poundstone was not on the show. But it was great to put the familiar voices to the faces of Peter Sagal, Carl Kasell, Roy Blount, Jr., Amy Dickinson, and Adam Felber. Peter Sagal sounds so calm and rehearsed on the show, I was surprised how much he danced around his podium and gestured. The celebrity guest was Columbia Sportswear's "One Tough Mother" Gert Boyle. I can't wait to hear the show on Saturday.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

second annual Can't Stop The Serenity screening

IMG_3134.jpg, originally uploaded by sweber4507.


Originally uploaded by sweber4507

Originally uploaded by sweber4507

Originally uploaded by sweber4507

Originally uploaded by sweber4507

Scott and I went to the second annual Can't Stop the Serenity screening Saturday hosted and founded by the local Firefly/Serenity fan group PDX Browncoats. We really enjoyed last year's event which introduced me to Joss Whedon's sci-fi/western creation.

It felt a little silly waiting outside in line for a half hour and then another hour inside during the pre-show raffle in anticipation of seeing a movie that we've already seen. However, Scott and I agree that Serenity is one of the best movies ever and it is fun watching it with fellow fans. It has a good pace, thoughtful story and entertaining dialogue.

The charity screening benefits Equality Now, an international group that advocates equality for women and girls. Before the movie, a clip of Joss Whedon's powerful speech at an Equality Now event was shown. It's a little long, but entertaining and worth hearing:

I can't wait for next year's event.

Friday, June 22, 2007

I'm not a dog person

Scott with Molly.jpg




I'm a cat person. I don't own a cat now, but I was raised with kitties and enjoy Scott's cats (see his Flickr). Since I've never owned a dog or have spent much time with dogs, I had just assumed that dogs are okay and they would grow on me. I read Walt Morey books (Wiki) in grade school like Kävik the Wolf Dog (Wiki) and The Lemon Meringue Dog. These books featured a sled dog and a German Shephard(?), respectively. So, I always thought I would prefer a larger dog than those small, hyper yappy things. That was until I helped Scott dog-sit this week.

Scott agreed to house-sit/dog-sit for a co-worker who is traveling for two weeks. Keegan is a cute, medium-size brown dog of some sort and Molly is a HUGE Irish Wolfhound. Keegan is hyper and needy dog requiring constant attention. Molly is sweet, gentle, and clever, but doesn't hesitate to use her size to get her way.

I've tried to keep an open mind and it has been a fun experiment, but I really can't imagine living with dogs permanently. They are like children. Maybe I'm not ready for kids either. :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Iraq War and 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'


In today's Fresh Air broadcast, Terry Gross interviewed Thomas Ricks. He wrote the bestselling book, Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. As always, Terry found the interesting gay angle to the interview and asked Ricks about Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Ricks argued strongly against DADT and made some excellent points:(emphasis added):

THOMAS RICKS: . . . My concern is this, the best way to counter a roadside bomb – and that’s the thing that causes most of our casualties in Iraq – the best way to counter a roadside bomb is not some high technology, electronic jammer, or overhead aircraft. The best way to counter a bomb is to speak Arabic – to be able to listen to people. Maybe they say it directly to you. Maybe they say it to each other as you’re walking by. Maybe they say, “Boy, those troops are headed straight for that bomb that guy just planted”. It would be nice to be able to hear that. Well, American troops don’t speak Arabic. By kicking out people who speak Arabic, I think that some American casualties have directly resulted from that action. If we have more people on the ground who speak Arabic, you are going to save more American lives.

The second thing that really bothers me about this is that you hear people say, “Maybe we should change the policy, but it’s the wrong time to change the policy. You don’t change the policy in the middle of a war.” Well, that’s just historically ignorant. The times when US policies change tend to be in the middle of a war when manpower is most needed. So, for example, it was during the Korean War under Harry Truman when you had large scale integration of black troops into – out of segregated units in – across the army. And everybody now agrees that that was the right thing to do. It’s war time when policies tend to change – when you tend to get the most radical shifts in how we view gender, sexuality, and racial issues in the military. . .

Terry Gross also had a short interview with Stephen Benjamin, a Arabic translator that was dismissed for being gay.

Benjamin was raised in a conservative evangelical family and believed that he could change his sexual orientation. He was not out before he joined the military and he had to quickly tell his parents that he was gay and being dismissed from the military before the media coverage.

TERRY GROSS: Why did you feel like you couldn’t tell them [your parents] before?

STEPHEN BENJAMIN: I grew-up as a conservative evangelical – my parents are as well. So, I was told my whole life that being gay was wrong and I struggled with that for a long time. Especially when they tell you that you can change. And, uh, a decade later I realized that’s not going to happen. But it was still difficult to tell them because I knew what they believed and I really didn’t want to challenge their beliefs. It took me a long time to realize who I was. I didn’t even want to think about what it would take or what they would be feeling when I told them.

It sounds like Benjamin is referring to Exodus or one of the ex-gay ad campaigns. Could Benjamin be a ex-gay survivor too?

Benjamin has catapulted from the military closet into the national DADT debate with his New York Times Op-Ed and an appearance on the Colbert Report. I don't envy his pretend sparring with Stephen Colbert:

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Portland Gay Pride Parade (UPDATE)

Portland Gay Pride and Darcelle.jpg Dan and Mark in Gay Pride Parade.jpg

Scott and I met Kevin & Kevin at our traditional spot in front of Nordy's to watch the Portland (Gay) Pride Parade. Scott's co-worker, Heather, and her partner, Antoinette(?), also met us. Later, Scott's roommate, Paula, and her sister-in-law, Heather, joined us. Kevilu's and my favorite community group name was "P.L.O.P.": Parenting and Pregnant Lesbians of Portland.

The parade itself is, well, predictable. It's a bunch of gay and gay-friendly community organizations, businesses, employers, and churches coming together to congratulate and support each other. Even the tiny group of anti-gay protesters are predictable (although I did notice they had a bigger "God Abhors You" sign this year).

Since this is the final of three consecutive weekend city parade, I can't help but compare it to the Rose Festival's Starlight and Grand Floral parades. The Pride parade does lack floral floats and only has a few marching bands. However, the Pride parade is much more of a grassroots community event than the bland, scripted, sanitized, corporate-sponsor-friendly Rose Festival parades. What other city event allows churches and political organizations to participate?

Seeing so many familiar faces in this year's parade, I can't help but think about my first time. I "accidentally" attended my first gay pride parade about ten years ago when I was just coming out of the ex-gay process. Having believed the right-wing hype about gay pride prades, I was not surprised to see the embarrassing aspects of the parade like the topless Dykes on Bikes, Radical Faeries, leather/fetish groups, and go-go boys. If anything, the lewdness did not meet my expectations and I found the parade to be pretty tame -- almost boring. What surprised me was that churches and PFLAG were and continue to be some of the largest groups marching in the parade.

I think there are murmurs (at least in the back of my head) about whether a gay parade really is necessary anymore. After all, gay issues are openly discussed. Pride parades have succeeded in their most basic mission of making the gay community so visible and its just fun to get together and see all the different gay-friendly groups. I suppose that is why I still like to go to what is otherwise a predictable and boring parade.

06/18/2007 11:14 AM PDT UPDATE AND REVISION: Added screen shot of Dan and Mark from KGW's report last night. Revised my first draft.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer: C

Ciné Live Magazine, originally uploaded by f4moviesdotcom.

Scott and I saw Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer ( this evening. I don't know. Maybe I just don't like comic book movies, but this movie was too predictable and boring. At the risk of once again sounding like an old, catty queen, I have to admit that the men's superhero physique was the only aspect that kept my attention.

Oh well, at least it was shorter than Spider-Man 3.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Body Worlds 3: meh.

Body Worlds 3, originally uploaded by

Scott, Sheena and I saw Body Worlds 3 at OMSI this evening. Sheena raved about a similar exhibit she saw in Europe a few years ago. We almost took a day trip last fall to see Bodies The Exhibition in Seattle, but we got sick the day we had planned on going. So I've been looking forward to finally seeing this exhibit.

It is an interesting exhibit. The bodies are displayed in very artful poses and there are some amazing displays of human and animal anatomy. However, the posed anatomy became a little monotomous after a while. I suppose if I worked or studied in the health field, it may have been a little more interesting. In the line, I noticed there was a guy in scrubs who was buying a ticket.

Sheena was disappointed that there were not more "freak show" bodies like the exhibit she saw in Germany. She has a good point. The obese person cross section, stroke brain cross section, and the smokers' lungs were definitely the most interesting to me. If anything, there were too many beautiful, athletic bodies posed. There is something dramatic about seeing what happens when the body goes wrong.

I'm glad I went to the exhibit. It was definitely worth seeing, but I hope another more interesting exhibit comes to town.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Star Trek's Christian episode (UPDATED)

Stone Pillars of the Earth
Originally uploaded by Rexton
(I couldn't find a good religion-related Star Trek image. However, I did find this photo of a church with Star Trek crests.

Here's a copy of a topic I posted at GCN:

I just saw the last half of the 1968 Star Trek (The Original Series) episode "Bread and Circuses". I was surprised by the overt Christian reference at the end.

[SET-UP: The Enterprise crew visits a planet technologically similar to 20th century Earth, but with a government similar to the Roman Empire. The transcript below is the series' typical final scene in which the cast reflects on the episode's adventure. (Transcript from]

MCCOY: Captain, I see on your report Flavius was killed. I am sorry. I liked that huge sun worshiper.

SPOCK: I wish we could have examined that belief of his more closely. It seems illogical for a sun worshiper to develop a philosophy of total brotherhood. Sun worship is usually a primitive superstition religion.

UHURA: I'm afraid you have it all wrong, Mister Spock, all of you. I've been monitoring some of their old-style radio waves, the empire spokesman trying to ridicule their religion. But he couldn't. Don't you understand? It's not the sun up in the sky. It's the Son of God.

KIRK: Caesar and Christ. They had them both. And the word is spreading only now.

MCCOY: A philosophy of total love and total brotherhood.

SPOCK: It will replace their imperial Rome, but it will happen in their twentieth century.

KIRK: Wouldn't it be something to watch, to be a part of? To see it happen all over again? Mister Chekov, take us out of orbit. Ahead warp factor one.

CHEKOV: Aye, sir.

The music soars throughout this scene emphasizing how special the realization that this is about the Christ the Son of God. It almost seemed like there should have been an alter call or telephone number at the end.

As a devout Star Trek fan (and Christian), I know I've seen this episode several times previously and vaguely remember seeing this scene. However, watching this scene more carefully now really surprised me for a couple of reasons. First, Star Trek rarely mentions 20th century religion -- in fact in ST:TNG, Picard practically ridicules Earth religions as nothing more than superstitions that are no longer practiced. Secondly, it's so rare today for any commercial TV show to risk offending its advertisers' audience by promoting one religion -- let alone referring to Jesus as the Son of God.

Has anyone else seen this episode?

This is the same episode in which Dr. McCoy jokingly reveals his god complex:

SPOCK: Then the Prime Directive is in full force, Captain?

KIRK: No identification of self or mission. No interference with the social development of said planet.

MCCOY: No references to space, or the fact that there are other worlds, or more advanced civilisations.

KIRK: Let's go.

MCCOY: Once, just once, I'd like to be able to land someplace and say, Behold, I am the Archangel Gabriel.

SPOCK: I fail to see the humour in that situation, Doctor.

MCCOY: Naturally. You could hardly claim to be an angel with those pointed ears, Mister Spock. But say you landed someplace with a pitchfork.


(UPDATE: I also fixed some typos and grammar issues in my original post.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

bad -- but funny

Al Qaeda Also Fed Up With Ground Zero Construction Delays

Scott's Rose Festival pics

Here are a few more pictures Scott (sweber4507) took of the Rose Festival happenings along the waterfront last weekend.

Picture 559.jpg, originally uploaded by sweber4507.
Waterfront at sunset during Rose Festival.

Picture 606.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507

Picture 603.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507

Picture 584 copy.jpg, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Picture 646 copy.jpg, originally uploaded by sweber4507.
Waterfront Park during Rose Festival as seen from the Hawthorne Bridge.

Picture 633.jpg, originally uploaded by sweber4507.
Swing ride at the Waterfront Village (aka tacky carnival).

Picture 640.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507
Swing ride in motion.

Picture 645.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507
Ferris wheel

Picture 620 copy.jpg, originally uploaded by sweber4507.
Canadian (far left) and US Navy ships.

Originally uploaded by sweber4507
Twin US Navy ships

Picture 629 copy.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507
Steel Bridge walkway at night.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

waterfront during Rose Festival

Tall Sailing Ships, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

The Hawaiian Chieftain and Lady Washington from the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority engage in a mock sea battle on the Willamette River between the Ross Island (background) and Hawthorne bridges.

Picture 363 copy.jpg, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

On Friday night, Scott I walked the Vera Katz Esplanade-Tom McCall Waterfront Park loop around the Willamette River. I thought it would be fun to see all the navy ships docked for Rose Festival.

With all of the boat activity and festival noise, I was surprised to see so much wildlife on the river. A gaggle of geese floated along the river and approached a Coast Guard patrol boat that was guarding the navy ships. We also watched a pair of beavers swim along the river. (Unfortunately, it was dusk and Scott couldn't get a picture.)

In addition to the above pictures, I'll post some other pictures Scott took as he uploads them (hint, hint).

Friday, June 8, 2007

taking back the streets!!!

Just in time for the Portland Rose Festival 100th anniversary grand floral parade tomorrow, the Merc led an effort this evening that could lead to brawls in the morning:

Mercury Civic Clean-Up Crew

Taping-off public property is unfair and the city should prohibit the practice (which they may do before next year). Scott and I drove-by the Merc's "Civic Clean-Up Crew" gathering this evening, but I thought it would be unwise and mean-spirited to participate (and I was chicken).

Interestingly, old fashion city pride is behind the effort to oppose parade hogs. The very people who are calling for the removal of the tape (such as myself) and also probably the least likely people to watch the long, boring parade.

What's really behind the conflict is the urban/rural conflict. The whole point of going to a civic celebration is to be with people you wouldn't normally be with. Instead, the first thing the suburbanites do is claim their property to avoid having to deal with city dwellers.

So, let's take back the streets! If you really have to reserve a good spot, then do what really is parade tradition and arrive early or camp out.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Mama Jams with Jenna Elfman

Scott and I like this clip -- some great trash talk:

(Naughty language, so probably NSFW depending on your workplace.)


Will Ferrell's The Landlord is also really cute.

'nothing worse than a gay hero stopping terrorism'

As Pam mentioned, Jon Stewart made a great observation about the Republicans' irrational and cowardly defense of don't ask, don't tell on last night's Daily Show:

"Yes, apparently the only thing worse for these candidates than another terrorist attack would be a gay hero stopping it."

Here's TDS's coverage of the debate:

Here's one of the Iraqi war veterans the Republicans disparaged:

Here's HRC's transcript:

Former Marine Officer Antonio Agnone Speaks Out Against 2008 Republican Candidates’ Debate

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Hello, my name is Antonio Agnone. I’m a former officer in the United States Marine Corps.

Last night, the Republican candidates for president gathered together for a debate televised live to the world over CNN. They were asked on simple question — raise your hand if you support repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Not a single hand went in the air.

A little over a year ago, I finished my tour of duty in Iraq where I led a platoon of men to seek out and destroy IEDs — the weapon responsible for most of the casualties of American troops. In April, I chose to end my military service because of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

To Republican candidates “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” clearly means an opportunity to score a few political points with an anti-gay base. To me, it meant the end of a career and a family legacy of service. To our country, it meant one less person on the battlefield doing his part to return America’s sons and daughters home safely.

Over 60,000 gay and lesbian Americans are currently serving on active duty around the world. It makes me think about the Arabic-speaking gay soldier on the streets of Baghdad. What must he think when he hears a candidate running to be commander in chief calls his life a “disruptive issue.”

On Tuesday, June 12, in Iowa, I'll join with other veterans to kick off the Human Rights Campaign’s national tour to repeal “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.” The tour starts in the battleground state of Iowa — at the epicenter of presidential politics. Because last night those candidates did more than just not raise their hand. They dishonored my service and the sacrifice of my brothers and sisters. And we’ll never forget.

Agnone is a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” fellow for the Human Rights Campaign, and on Tuesday, June 12, 2007, in Des Moines, Iowa, he will join other veterans to kick-off a national tour to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

'08 Republicans candidates on "Don't Ask Don't Tell"

(Here's a copy of what I posted at GCN.)

IMG_5460-15.jpg, originally uploaded by Saint Anselm College.

According to a HRC press release about last night's CNN Republican presidential debate in NH:

When asked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to raise their hand if they support the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” not a single Republican candidate’s hand went up in the air. The position of every single Republican candidate on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” not only stands in stark contrast to the unified support of repeal by all Democratic presidential candidates but it is also out-of-step with the majority of the American people.

We're in a time of war. The military is having problems meeting its recruitment goals. Its even lowering its standards and discharging much needed linguists. And yet none of the GOP candidates were willing to reconsider DADT. Some even defended continued discrimination against the men and women who are currently serving (from CNN transcript, clipped and bold added):

[SCOTT SPRADLING, WMUR MODERATOR]: Congressman Paul, a question for you.

Most of our closest allies, including Great Britain and Israel, allow gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military. Is it time to end don't ask/don't tell policy and allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military?

[RON] PAUL: I think the current policy is a decent policy.

And the problem that we have with dealing with this subject is we see people as groups, as they belong to certain groups and that they derive their rights as belonging to groups.

We don't get our rights because we're gays or women or minorities. We get our rights from our creator as individuals. So every individual should be treated the same way.

So if there is homosexual behavior in the military that is disruptive, it should be dealt with.

But if there's heterosexual sexual behavior that is disruptive, it should be dealt with.

So it isn't the issue of homosexuality. It's the concept and the understanding of individual rights. If we understood that, we would not be dealing with this very important problem.


[WOLF BLITZER, CNN MODERATOR]: Governor Huckabee, I want you to weigh in as well.

Do you believe it's time to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the United States military?

HUCKABEE: Wolf, I think it's already covered by the Uniform Code of Military Conduct. I think that's what Congressman Paul was saying: It's about conduct; it's not about attitude.


BLITZER: . . . But right now, we're talking about allowing gays to serve openly in the military. But you're opposed to that?

HUCKABEE: I just said I think it's a matter -- it's not -- you don't punish people for their attitudes; you punish them if their behavior creates a problem. And it's already covered by the Uniform Code of Military Conduct.

BLITZER: So you wouldn't change existing policy.


BLITZER: You wouldn't change existing policy.

HUCKABEE: I don't think that I would. I think it's already covered by the existing policy that we do have, in fact.

BLITZER: Mayor Giuliani, recently we've learned that several talented trained linguists -- Arabic speakers, Farsi speakers, Urdu speakers -- trained by the U.S. government to learn those languages to help us in the war on terrorism, were dismissed from the military because they announced they were gays or lesbians.

Is that, in your mind, appropriate?

GIULIANI: This is not the time to deal with disruptive issues like this.

Back in 1994 we went through this. And it created a tremendous amount of disruption. Colin Powell, I think, was still the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before he left at the beginning of the Clinton administration.

He came to the view that this was a good policy.

And I think in time of war, in a time where we're trying to deal with this transition to a new kind of warfare that we have to be fighting -- and we haven't gotten all the way there yet. We need a hybrid army, we need to look at nation-building as part of what we have to teach our military. I don't think this would be the right time to raise these issues.

BLITZER: Thank you.

GIULIANI: And I think we should rely on the judgment of our commanders in a situation like this. They know what's disruptive and what's not. And at a time of war, you don't make fundamental changes like this.

BLITZER: Thank you, Mayor.

Governor Romney, the mayor referred to the don't ask/don't tell policy, which was implemented during the Clinton administration, after Bill Clinton became president.

In 1994, you were quoted as saying that you advocated gays being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation's military.

The question to you is, do you still feel that way?

ROMNEY: No, actually when I first heard of the don't ask/don't tell policy I thought it sounded awfully silly and didn't think that'd be very effective, and I turned out to be wrong.

It's been the policy now in the military for, what, 10, 15 years? And it seems to be working.

And I agree with what Mayor Giuliani said, that this is not the time to put in place a major change, a social experiment, in the middle of a war going on.

I wouldn't change it at this point. We can look at it down the road. But it does seem to me that we have much bigger issues as a nation that we ought to be talking about than that policy right now.

BLITZER: Senator McCain, you've been involved in military matters virtually your whole life. What do you say?

MCCAIN: We have the best-trained, most professional, best- equipped, most efficient, most wonderful military in the history of this country. And I'm proud of every one of them.


There just aren't enough of them. So I have to rely on our military leadership, in whom we place the responsibility to lead these brave young Americans in combat as we speak.

So I think it would be a terrific mistake to even reopen the issue. It is working, my friends. The policy is working.

And I am convinced that that's the way we can maintain this greatest military. As much as I revere the greatest generation, as much as I love my own generation, this is the very best. Let's not tamper with them.

BLITZER: Is there anyone here who believes gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the United States military?

If you do, speak up now.

. . .

Stunning, deafening silence.

According to HRC, all of the Democratic candidates support the repeal of DADT.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Memorial Day weekend at the coast (re-updated)

Scott, ma and I had a great time at the coast during the holiday weekend. We stayed at the same little motel, Trollers Lodge, in Depoe Bay my family used to visit when I was a kid. The motel had a lot of kitsch charm such as the beach-themed decorations in the rooms (with price tags in case we decided we HAD to have the lighthouse or seashell lamps). We'll keep the motel in mind for future beach trips.

Saturday: Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Newport Bayfront

Picture 485 copy.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Picture 497.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Picture 517 copy.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Picture 478 copy.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Picture 512 copy.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Picture 513 copy.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Picture 216.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Picture 305.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

We finally visited the Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport. Scott and I tried to see this classic lighthouse in previous trips, but it was either closed due to construction or we arrived too late in the day. The park is now run by BLM and is called the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. I thought the huge, new interpretive center was overkill (it's larger than the lighthouse itself). However, the lighthouse restoration was impressive and it was my first time inside the lighthouse. We then took the new trail to the tidepools. I thought the tidepools were just a colorful as the ones we saw in Hawaii.

Picture 166.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Picture 061 copy.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Picture 063.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Picture 610 copy.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

We then visited the Newport bayfront and watched the sea lions sleep. The sea lions took over a boat dock in the middle of the fishermen's boat docks and canneries. It was a little too real when we saw one sea lion vomit all over itself and sleeping companions then go back to sleep.

Sunday: Sea Lion Caves, Oregon Dunes, Heceta Head Lighthouse

Picture 932.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Picture 841.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

We drove south to the Sea Lion Caves and the dunes. The Sea Lion Caves is a cheezy tourist trap featuring an elevator that desends 200 feet down to a huge cave that is home to sea lions. Unfortunately the viewpoint in the cave is limited to one angle. Worse, an annoying fence makes for poor pictures. There were a few sea lines on a distant rock; however, most of the sea lions were outside enjoying the sunshine. While the cave itself is impressive, the sea lions on the Newport bayfront were more interesting to watch.

Picture 1041 copy.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Picture 1029 copy.jpg
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

We walked the Oregon Dunes Overlook trail in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. I've always wanted to walk this trail through the dunes to the beach, but never had the time during prior visits.

We were all out of shape for the hike. The trail signs said it was a half mile to the beach, but halfway along the trail we ran into another half mile sign so it may have been a mile(?). Either way, hiking in deep sand is hard.

We drove down to Coos Bay just to see what it was like. I was hoping for a tourist-friendly area to have lunch, but I didn't see anything appealing (other than The Mill Casino). Coos Bay looks like an old logging city that had seen better days. We (well, I) were really hungry so we ate at what has to be one of the fanciest Arby's I ever visited.

We then turned around and headed back north stopping at the bridges and viewpoints Scott chided me for not stopping at on the way down. There are so many beautiful bridges along the Oregon Coast Highway that it's impossible to stop at each one.

Picture 1656, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Picture 1649
Originally uploaded by sweber4507.

The Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge (Wiki) (aka "Coos Bay Bridge" or "North Bend Bridge") from a distant approach looks like an ugly green truss bridge like Astoria's long Astoria-Megler Bridge (Wiki). However, on a closer drive-through, it is a beautiful cathedral-like bridge with many appealing architectual details. It definitely competes with Newport's arch Yaquina Bay Bridge (Wiki) as one of the largest and most visually appealing Oregon coast bridges.

ScottAtHecetaHeadLighthouse.jpg HecetaHeadLighthouse.jpg

beach at Heceta Head Originally uploaded by sweber4507

me at Heceta Head Originally uploaded by sweber4507

The Heceta Head Lighthouse was an unexpected surprise on our way back north. At first glance from the highway, it seems like just another cute lighthouse. However, the park is spectacular. The Cape Creek Bridge (Wiki) is impressive. Its stacked arches reminded me of the Roman aqueduct (Wiki). The lighthouse was impressive and the lightkeepers house was really cute -- it's now a bed and breakfast. The highlight though was watching the incoming tide surf through a rocky channel below the light house and crash into rocks. Although the park was pretty crowded, Scott and I seemed to be the only couple that ventured onto the rocks.

Monday: Depoe Bay Fleet of Flowers, Whal...Boat Cruise


Fleet of Flowers banner on Depoe Bay Bridge Originally uploaded by sweber4507

Coast Guard boats leads Memorial Day Fleet of Flowers out of the Depoe Bay. Originally uploaded by sweber4507

On Memorial Day we watched Depoe Bay's Fleet of Flowers from the bridge. After a lengthy and inaudible ceremony, the Coast Guard led a fleet of about two dozen flower-covered boats into the ocean. The boats were supposed to form a circle, but the waters were a little too choppy. A Coast Guard helicopter dropped a wreath into the middle of the boats followed by the boats dropping their flowers. Unfortunately they were too far out too see much and by then we were really cold from the wind.

Whale Cove Bay Originally uploaded by sweber4507

another tour boat races our boat to the harbor Originally uploaded by sweber4507

Depoe Bay Bridge from the dock Originally uploaded by sweber4507

Whale Cove Bay Originally uploaded by sweber4507

After the ceremony, we took a one-hour whale watching tour. We didn't see a whale due to the choppy waters. After his second failed whale watching attempt, Scott is convinced there are no whales and its just a ruse. However, we always enjoy a boat ride.

Over all, it was a nice, relaxing time. I'll post Scott's beautiful pictures soon.

UPDATE 1: Added some of Scott's (aka sweber4507) brilliant photos. I'll add more as he uploads the rest.

UPDATE 2: Posted a selection of Scott's photos, re-arranged photos, and edited post.