Zephyr 98 Archive

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Right now there’s just a blog with a free WordPress template applied. The front door opens right into the house, not much of an entryway, but the roof’s relatively leak free and the utility costs are low.

Nothing more to see here folks, move along.

And thanks for being a reader.



I just finished registering zephyr98.com as a domain (via namecheap) and contracting (monthly right now) with Webfaction as the ISP. Otherwise, I’m spending most of my writing time writing off this blog (young novel, children’s book mentioned in previous posts), and looking forward to attending my first Portland Wordstock (where they are offering a workshop for writers with full time jobs and families on how to get the writing done without abandoning everything else and/or losing your mind–at least, that’s the intent. The site is also a chance for me to practice some new skills–although, leaving time for writing, it’s likely to proceed slowly, the first task being to install WordPress and then migrate this blog into a free WordPress template.

I’ll post here when I’m moved into the new digs.

It’s always fun to google oneself. Especially in mid-afternoon, when I need a poke to stay awake. Good to trade a few minutes of productivity for hours of excellent results.

Googling “Zephyr98” I get my own blog as #1, followed by entries for a highly successful online poker player; a deviant sketch artist of horse heads; a registered player at the online (and I bet totally killer) gaming site, !Soul-Arena!; a 60 year old guy at TrueNudists.com; and, my second favorite, a stats-stealing site called http://www.isthisyour.name, where I learn that while my real name (Kurt Kremer) in binary is

01001011 01110101 01110010 01110100 00100000 01001011 01110010 01100101 01101101 01100101 01110010

…I am only modestly envoweled; but that my personal power animal is the mighty sphynx cat! (I sense a feline army waiting for my commands–you will all pay for laughing at my modest voweledge!) And that there are likely only 6 other people in the US with my name. (Since there can be only one, and I’m not a brawler, I hope we’re spread far and wide. Still, I better brush up on my fencing skills.)

And their final tidbit (and this is just plain creepy), my magic number:

“Your ‘Numerology’ number is 5. If it wasn’t bulls**t, it would mean that you are adventurous, mercurial, and sensual. You seek growth through adventure and different life experiences. Although you are a critical thinker, you can sometimes over-ponder an issue.”

Get out of my head, you freaks!

Here, though, is my favorite Google result. Do I really need to say why?

ZEPHYR 550 ’91-‘98 – Tasty Nuts the home of Pro-Bolt Ltd

Ah, I feel energized. Now to get back to Tweetdeck.

Good lord, I just remembered a snippet of a dream from last night that popped to the front of my skull while reading Nancy Angier in the NYT on New Creatures in an Age of Extinctions, the memory triggered by this sentence: “Yet even our most beloved mascots — the pandas, the snow leopards, the gibbons and the whales — remain a mystery to us, their wild lives unplumbed.”

In my dream, I wandered down a coastline to a very small inlet just wide and deep enough to contain an adult humpback whale and a Cretaceous-sized leopard seal (or pick a time period where everything was big box store Texas-sized) that I knew, in my dream, was the whale’s predator.

The whale pressed its knobbly head against the shore (the water was deep at the edges) and sang in hollow, mournful whistles while the leopard seal rolled menacingly in the background. The setting felt more like a massive indoor movie set, no real sense of the outdoors or the wild, other than the aggregate rock flow I scooted down to reach the whale, while it watched me from one its glistening, globe-sized eyes. I really only remember, as much as we “remember” anything, the rock, the song, the size of the whale’s head–as wide and long as a California king-sized bed–and the rich mottled flipper and sleak back of the predator seal.

I remember that the whale didn’t seem threatened by the seal but wasn’t at ease, either. It didn’t seem to want me to do anything about the seal–just to pay attention.

Someday, viewmaster reels will contain snippets of animation or live action instead of 3D slides, just like dreams. I’m disappointed that my ADHD subconcious ran out of patience after only a few seconds with the whale and seal and flipped to a new scene (which I don’t remember). I don’t like to make too much of dreams, because it’s just me talking to me, looking at my own shadow cast by firelight, but I like the way they typically don’t rebroadcast mundane reality, and remind me that, even in waking life, we barely know our world and often make damn strange intepretations on what we do see.

Like who should and shouldn’t have health care. (Hey, where’d that come from? Goddamn subconcious, sharp as a knife sometimes, slices through its pillowcase and takes control of my fingers at the keyboard.)

Synchonicity update: My horoscope from today’s Onion. Make your own interpretations. Statistically, coincidence is no big deal. Knowing that, it can still make us feel a little freaky….

Taurus Apr 20 – May 20
The lion shall lay down with the lamb this week, before looking around, realizing no savior has in fact returned, and ripping out the poor, unsuspecting animal’s throat.

As I thought, “translating” the original story of the blue bear to text was hard, but not completely in the way I anticipated. I found myself adding details in text that I could overlook when telling out loud–when theatrics are at least as important as details, and logic isn’t always necessary (or even desired, depending on the age of the audience). But text is something else. I finished a solid draft and am reviewing it to see what makes sense as illustration notes or what can be implied with nudges for the illustrator, and what works fine alongside an illustration, even if it’s redundant. Good progress, though–I’m happy with the results so far, especially since (intentionally) I wrote it on notebook paper during a car drive to and from a day hike at Silver Falls.

My job this weekend, stated in this journal,* is to put to paper the story I’ve been telling to my successive kids for years on why bears are earth toned, shy, and easily annoyed. While I fantasize otherwise, I don’t expect it to be easy to translate a never told twice the same tale to paper, capturing what always made it work (and writing text that encourages children to interact the way mine have naturally). Then find an illustrator–perhaps one of my older boys…. It would be fantastic to find a publisher and if that fails, I’ll self-publish for extended family and friends and still be happy.

So by Monday there’ll be a new page on this site (not a blog entry), populated by a river run of salmon, a idiosynchratic blue bear, a large enough boulder, the bear’s patient friends mountain lion and moose, and a crafty racoon. There, signed my name to that promissary note. Now to keep everything under the sun from frightening me into home maintenance tasks and not writing (that new fence needs staining, but there’s summer enough left).

*Does anyone but me detest the word “blog,” which sounds too much like blop, flop, blip, splat, and other words that resonate with the smack of slung mud or cowpies, or the slap of hot taters on plastic plates in school cafeterias (not that I don’t have fond memories of all those things). Or, maybe,”blog” gives the writer permission to throw or serve up anything and run away laughing and the reader to dodge or dig in, indiscriminately. Or, in comments, return service.

Blog also sounds like a volume of pages stuck together with jam or, in the case of some I’ve found, with bodily fluids. It also sounds like snog, which, following the trail of crackling synapses, reminds me of how I would tease my (not yet then) wife when we were in (gasp) high school, chasing her round the room declaring, “I kiss you now!”

…or was it a shark hunt? Or a micro cache hunt?

Scenes from last week’s camping trip to the north side of Tillamook Bay:

Teens find 3′ blue shark on the beach, drag it back to camp, ponder pulling its teeth for a necklace until Mother steps in for the kill.

Youngest son finds his sense of balance and becomes one with his bicycle, joining his cousins on roundabouts round the campground. (Dad gets an appropriate amount of exercise running alongside till son achieves equilibrium.)

Children of all ages go geo-caching (with GPS and printouts in hand):

  • Front wheeling (in a minivan) up scary logging roads with National Geographic views
  • Clambering to the top of the bent and hoary forested rock known as the largest of the Three Graces, accessible (on foot) only at low tide
  • Probing the intimate undersides of parked steam trains at the local “train and chain” park
  • Poking between windswept, storm giant-sized boulders in the mini Hadrians wall known as the North Jetty
  • Discovering the cleverly disguised puzzle box at another roadside attraction

Dad (me) kicks back at the top of the big dune that overlooks Tillamook bay and its raucous and sometimes deadly bar, a view that on sun-baked days makes me want to radiate ad nauseum about brush stroked blue-gold sparkling waters and foaming wave crests against the improbably rugged emerald studded crenelations of the Oregon Coast Range. (I warned you, and I was showing restraint.) Then there are days when competing pressure zones lock the bay in sun and the ocean in fog, where boats crossing the bar enter or exit from alternate dimensions (Stephen Kingish, Lovecraftian, or Dunsanyan). Those days are indescribably cool for people (like me) who grew up on fantasy literature.

Everyone eats like sunburned and sandy royalty when different parties return at days end with fresh bought oysters in the shell, fresh dug clams, fresh caught salmon and sea bass, so mouth watering that we replace our differences in politics and religion with Dionysian exclamations of wonder and, yes, tears of joy. In between mouthfuls. (If you don’t like seafood, fresh or otherwise, then there’s no help for you. None at all.)