Bloggerhood Etc. 9/1/14

Norv Turner loss map

The saddest map in the world (Image: SB Nation)

Happy Labor Day, Happy September, and Happy Back-to-School. There’s a busy week ahead, but let’s take a breath first and look back. Here’s the best of the week from around the blogosphere …

Best List.24 Maps That Explain the NFL” by Ryan Van Bibber at SB Nation.

Best Thank You.On Labor Day, 2014” by Robert Rummel-Hudson at Support for Special Needs.

Funniest Vacation Post.Hillbilly Vacation” by The Furry Bard.

Best Non-Shaggy Dog Story.Dog Days of August” by Matt Norman at And So It Has Come to This …

Best Summer Project.I Know What You Doodled Last Summer” by Brent Almond at Designer Daddy.

Most Disturbing.A Tale of Two 9-Year Olds: The One on the Playground and the One With an Uzi” by Aaron Gouveia at Time.com.

Best ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.Homer Simpson Ice Bucket Challenge” (via YouTube).

Best Question.Am I My Brother’s Gatekeeper” by Elisabeth Esther.

Best Photogallery.Oregon Explored: Astoria and the Columbia River Basin” by Evelyn Shoop at Momsicle.

Best Back to School Post.Lord Help Me! It’s Time for School Again!” by Kelly Langston at Not Alone.

Best Example of “Love Your Enemies.”Henry Gerecke, Minister To Nazis During Nuremberg Trials, Examined By Tim Townsend In New Book” by Kimberly Winston at Huff Post Religion.

Best Time Waste. “Benedict Cumberbatch Name Generator.” at Tumblr. (My favorite? “Bentobox Capncrunch.”)

Best Article.Care for Persons, Care for Planet” by Daniel R. Delio MTS at CHAUSA.org.

Best Idea.Catholic Kids Love Summer ‘Chant Camp’” by Joseph Pronechen at National Catholic Register.

Best Essay.The Right Thing to Do vs. The State of Florida” by Michael Kruse at SB Nation.

Best Video.Worst Game Show Ever!” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube)

“Circle gets the square!”

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Our Oregon Coast Journey, Part Three

Cloud bank over Tillamook Bay

Tillamook Bay

As part of her Brownie work this summer, Anna is taking the Wonders of Water journey. Because she’s currently between troops (for reasons I won’t go into here), she’s taking this journey over the summer with us, and our Oregon Coast trip was a big part of it.

Our first full day on the coast ended in a little town called Garibaldi. On our second day we visited the Tillamook Cheese Factory and the Blue Heron French Cheese Company, both in Tillamook, and then drove the Three Capes Loop down to Pacific City.

The first cape on the loop is Cape Meares, home of the Cape Meares Lighthouse.

Cape Meares Lighthouse

Cape Meares Lighthouse

At only two stories tall, it’s the shortest of the Oregon Coast Lighthouses. The height of the cape made a taller lighthouse unnecessary. Built in 1890, the lighthouse guarded the entrance to Tillamook Bay until it was deactivated in 1963. The lighthouse was spared from demolition by public support, but suffered several major acts of vandalism over the next few years before the State Parks department took over the site in 1968.

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Our Oregon Coast Journey, Part Two

Anna and the Seaside sign

In Seaside, Oregon

As part of her Brownie work this summer, Anna is taking the Wonders of Water journey. Because she’s currently between troops (for reasons I won’t go into here), she’s taking this journey over the summer with us, and our Oregon Coast trip was a big part of it.

After leaving Astoria, we drove down to Seaside to visit the Seaside Aquarium. The aquarium is small and easy to miss. It can’t compare in size or scope to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, but it features one activity that its larger cousin lacks.

Seal tank

Seals waiting to be fed.

You can buy fish and feed the seals.

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Bloggerhood Etc. 7/21/14

Anatomy of a diaper

Photo: Lunchbox Dad

Remember when you had a little one in diapers? Those of us who look back fondly at those times are guaranteed to have all their kids potty-trained! Now on to the source of the above photo, and the rest of the best of the week.

Best Dad Roundup.29 Essential Pieces of Advice for a New Dad” by Mike Heenan at HuffPost Parents. (Reads like a “Who’s Who of Dad Bloggers”—great stuff!)

Best Guest Post.(De)Tales: Paddleboard” by Kelli at Cara Strickland’s blog Little Did She Know.

Best Travel Post.Nobody’s Leaving This Fun Family Vacation” by Evelyn Shoop at Momsicle.  (Side note: We took our coast vacations the same week and even ran into each other at Cape Mears Lighthouse.)

Best Special Needs Post.Why Are We So Afraid of Disability?” by Ellen Stumbo at Not Alone.

Best Bad Comic. “Champion” by James Breakwell at James Breakwell’s Unbelievably Bad Comic.

Bravest Post.Gynecomastia and My Traumatic Day at the Beach” by Lorne Jaffe at Huff Post Healthy Living.

Strangest Story.The Cornish Beach Where LEGO Keeps Washing Up” by Mario Cacciottolo at BBC News Magazine.

Best Question.Who Will Hold the U.S. Accountable for a Rush to Deport the Most Vulnerable?” by Shaina Aber at Ignatian Solidarity Network.

Best Parable.Jesus and the Attempted Exodus” by Mark Sandlin at The God Article.

Best Advice.Brave, Brave, Be Brave” by Ashley Larkin at Draw Near.

Best Commentary.Unfinished Houses” by John J. McLaughlin at America.

Best Satire.Mile-High Baseball” by Spencer Hall at SB Nation.

Best Video. “Fun Healthcare Alternatives!” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

Our Oregon Coast Journey, Part One

The Columbia River Maritime Museum, in Astoria, Oregon.

Photo: Steve Morgan (CC BY-SA 3.0)

As part of her Brownie work this summer, Anna is taking the Wonders of Water journey. Because she’s currently between troops (for reasons I won’t go into here), she’s taking this journey over the summer with us, and our Oregon Coast trip was a big part of it.

Our first stop on our way to the coast was Astoria, Oregon, the earliest European settlement on the Columbia River and a major West Coast port. While there, we visited the Columbia River Maritime Museum and learned about the river and its perils.

Wall display with buoy.

Reading about the perils of crossing the bar.

The Columbia River Bar is where the outward flow of the Columbia River meets the inward flow of the Pacific Ocean. The collision between two massive and opposing flows of water creates one of the most dangerous shipping areas in the world, long known to sailors as the “Graveyard of the Pacific.”

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Where I Belong

Heceta Head lighthouse and cove

Photo: Anna Ozab

When I’m on the Oregon Coast, I feel like I belong there.

I love the sound of the waves and the smell of the ocean. I love the beautiful rock formations, the stunning cliffs, and the cold wind. I love the wildness of the beaches, so untamed compared to the tidy and overcrowded stretches of hot sand in Southern California.

I love the lighthouses. I’ve visited all eight on the Oregon coast, and several in Washington as far north as Puget Sound. I own a collection of lighthouse figurines made by a regional artist—one for every beacon I’ve visited.

I love the coast and I got to spend the last four days there. Now that I’m home, I miss it but I realize that I don’t belong there.

I belong here, in Eugene, with the fans running throughout our apartment to keep cool as the temperature climbs closer to 90°. I belong here at my laptop typing these words. I belong here, with the laundry laid out on the bed waiting to be put away.

Why? Not because of Eugene, with all it’s quirky charms, or because of the heat that I’d rather do without, or because of laptop that I barely opened in the last week, or the laundry that I’ll put away eventually.

I belong here because Julia and Anna are here. We were together on the coast and now we’re together at home.

And wherever they are, that’s where I belong.

Five Minute Friday