Saturday, May 24, 2008

Why I still like PalmOS

There are lots of palmos-like phone gadgets out there. The iphone got a lot of free advertising recently, but nokia has something, as does the blackberry company Research In Motion. Then, there are the Windows Mobile devices, and google apparently has some mobile phone software.

But PalmOS has a distinct advantage: it's really really old, and folks have been writing programs for it for a long time. There are myriad neat applications that I use regularly.

Pssh, for example. It has a bad random number generator, as i'm told regularly, but it's very nice to have an ssh client.

There's also pcash. I've been tracking personal spending in that for years. It's another free application.

The grump recently pointed me to some old free palmos games from pdamill. I've never had use of a palm game before. It's pretty nifty.

There's also calorieking, which I crank up to monitor my eating sometime. And the Olive Tree BibleReader.

And besides those, many other applications. I'm sorta like PC users who can't switch to macos x because of all the PC applications they can't get for Mac. I might switch to iphone, e.g., if only it had the applications I use.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Visit to Parkdale and Mount Hood in Oregon



Last Saturday, we arrived in Portland, Oregon, and drove to Mount Hood. The drive took us east, through the Columbia Gorge. It's the valley of the columbia river with mountains and rock faces on both sides. The rock walls go almost straight up; they're covered with fuzzy moss and ferns. There are numerous waterfalls on the Oregon side of the river, where we were.

The most grandiose that we saw was Multnomah Falls, (named so because water falls from a height to the bottom). There's a place to park, then you walk under Interstate 84 to reach the falls along with the attendant gift shop. The whole place is misty and damp because of the spray from the falling water. Fine, fuzzy moss covers almost everything. Of course, because of the cold, damp mist, ice cream is a big seller at the base of the falls.

We drove through Hood River, Oregon on our way to Parkdale. The path is called the "Fruit Loop" because of the Pear and Apple orchards lining the roads. The stony rock walls have less moss this far east, and at place resemble southern Utah.

We stayed at the Old Parkdale Inn in Parkdale. The innkeeper seemed to be a compulsive cleaner, an we were glad for it. It's normally a bed and breakfast ("B&B"), but their kitchen is being remodeled, so it was only a B&. Our rooms there were very nice; we stayed in the "Georgia O'Keefe" suite. It had two rooms and a private bathroom. The living room had small kitchen in one corner. Everything seemed very clean and everything important was in good working order. We'd definitely go back.



We drove up Mount Hood to the Timberline Lodge on Sunday, May 11. The drive up was remarkable -- there was snow at least ten feet deep in some places. The fir trees lining the road had snow in the branches. When we arrived at the Timberline Lodge (so named because there are no trees above the area of the lodge), we had to walk through blowing snow from our car to the lodge. We tucked Oren into my coat for the three minute walk to the front door. Snow was piled up to windows on the second story around the building.


We had Cheese Fondue, Hot Chocolate and Coffee in the Ram's Head Lounge at Timberline. With snow piled outside the windows, it was an ideal menu for a May winter lunch.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Soarin' Oren

Hayden and I got to fly with Oren for the first time yesterday. I didn't know what to expect.

Our flight had two legs with a brief stop-over at the Cincinnati airport. We had to wake him at around 4:45 to get to our first flight. He normally sleeps until at least 7:00am, and I imagined he'd fall right back to sleep. But he didn't. He stayed awake the whole time, and was generally just curious.

Vanessa, Hayden's sister, had mentioned how handy an umbrella stroller can be in the airport. We had been planning to use our Baby Bjorn strap-on Oren-pouch. But we did splurge on an extremely lightweight but sturdy-enough stroller. It was $13 well spent at K-Mart.

We got to the plane near the end of, but it wasn't very full. We had a lot of stuff with us: a roll-on suitcase with some of his stuff and ours, my work backpack, and a miniature diaper bag for him. Fortunately, we had room to put all that stuff, and even an empty seat nearby. Oren gobbled down his breakfast (at around 6:30am) and finally fell asleep.

We don't normally rock him to sleep; when we're holding him, he normally stays awake. He normally dozes off on his own in a chair or in his crib. It seemed to me he didn't want to fall asleep while we were holding him on the plane, either. But, fortunately, he did....just in time for the plane to land and for us to carry him off. He dozed back off for a short nap Cincinnati airport.

Our second flight was packed. Fortunately, we got our stuff on board, and packed in next to the window and in the middle-man seat. A patient lady sat next to us.

Oren got bored on the second flight, and a little fussy about it. He did doze off some. He's recently learned how to roll over from back to front, and he likes being on his tummy. So he spent some tummy-time spread across Hayden's and my lap (both laps at the same time).