Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Ring of Fire

I'm not at all familiar with Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" franchise, but if his opinion piece on the mysterious silence of the gun-loving right wing in the wake of the latest absurd changes to airline security is any indication, it's great stuff.

In other news a Portland, OR ER nurse strangled and killed an intruder with her bare hands (!) who was actually a hit-man her estranged husband hired to kill her. She has left this message on her answering machine in response to the oodles of people who've tried to call her: "I am not able to answer all the calls that I've received. I'm being comforted by your concern and your support. I want you to know that our lives are all at risk for random acts, but more likely random acts of love will come your way than random acts of violence." Did I mention she also weighs 260 pounds? That might have had more than a little something to do with her success.

That's impressive. So, too, is the size of the lava dome atop the crater of Mount St. Helens. It's reported to be 1,300 feet tall and the size of the Empire State Building, which for me conjures up memories of climbing through now-aptly named Ape Cave, a lava tube. The volcanoes that can be seen from the Willamette Valley are awesome - that is - when they are actually visible! Mt. Hood is likable for its Fuji-esque shape & symmetry and its spectacular albeit irregular appearance at exactly the place along the Columbia Gorge highway that corresponds to the teeny tiny sign alerting passersby to its presence. I've never fully appreciated the beauty of Mt. Rainier until recently when I saw it closer up at the national park that bears its name. Too many tourists! Just like the Matterhorn in Switzerland... which is surprisingly reminiscent of Mt. Rainier National Park.

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