Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mrs Elliott Falls, Fears Concussion; Convoy Underway

Mrs Elliott took a tumble this morning from the cab of one of the trucks and struck her head on the ground. Witnesses (Mrs Elliott herself) said that she was talking to our friend Dai who was seated behind the wheel of one of the trucks when she stepped backward to get down to the ground. She had forgotten how high the cab was and fell, striking her head on the pavement. She called this reporter from the cab of the second truck (they are on the road now, she's not driving) to report that she has a painful lump on her head the size of a horse chestnut (however big a horse chestnut is--medical articles always describe the prostate gland as being approximately the size and shape of a horse chestnut so I assume that the nutlike seed of this tree is considered a common unit of size in medicine*) and to inquire whether Tylenol was contraindicated when concussion was suspected. I told her that Tylenol is fine, and asked my son to examine her pupils and he said they were the same size. No slurred speech, in fact she sounded pretty chipper, so I think she'd going to be all right. She's a spunky lass, the little engine that could, I'd hate for anything bad to happen to her. We'll keep an eye on her. (Update, 1pm: she reports that she's feeling fine, that the bump is tender but she is otherwise unaffected.)

* Just as the Volkswagen beetle is used as a unit of size in other fields of reporting. For example, "The Johnsons returned home to find that a rock the size of a Volkswagen beetle had crushed their living room."

The Lawn Ranger (Doug Simmons) dropped by to take a gander at the yard and offer yard care service just as I was about to head out for my morning bike ride. He seems to be a nice fellow, and he recommended that I speak to Chester out at that Eastside Gardens to figure out a plan to spiff up the front a bit and develop the back. The back yard has a nice view, as shown on this picture. Also boasts two pear and two apple trees. The apples are small green jobbies that taste like childhood to me, like the apples I used to filch off trees when I was a kid living in northern California.

As suggested by totoro, I had breakfast at Chow after my morning ride (could the weather be any better for morning rides?) and ordered my "test" meal: egg scramble with one egg and six egg whites, and a mess of chopped tomatoes. You can tell a lot about the cook by how he scrambles his eggs, and these were perfect: light and fluffy, indicating that he used low heat and more time. Instead of taters or applesauce (I think those were the choices) I asked for slices of tomato. Now, your run-of-the-mill restaurant would just plunk some tomato slices on the plate. At Chow, they sprinkled polenta over two thick slices and put them under the broiler -- a nice touch. The sourdough toast had a nice crust, but in the taste and texture departments it wasn't noteworthy. The term "sourdough" doesn't mean that the bread needs to be sour, it means that it was leavened with wild, rather than commercial, yeasts and other critters, so while sourdough bread needn't taste very sour, or even sour at all, I like a little more of that distinctive sour "tang" from a sourdough. But and all, add in some spicy tomato juice and fine, cold Bend water and I was good to go for only $9.

The deck is being worked on now by James Creel of JKC Construction and he's doing a bang-up job brightening this old cedar. His 11 year-old son, Zack, and Mark Thomas's kids (Mark runs Cobble Creek Construction) Trevor and Jacob are all helping to clean the garage. All these kids are great--enthusiastic and bright.

I took Mellow Yellow, my 84 Vanagon, out for a little shopping this afternoon and bought it a wash, the royal treatment from the Summit High School Cheer Dancers -- this as reward for being such a stout and worthy vehicle and delivering me and my goods to Bend with zero trouble. Cheered me up no end to see these young go-getters out raising money for their group on a hot day, and probably cheered Mellow Yellow nearly as much to have the road grime wiped off. Forgive the crummy cell phone picture. I plan to bring the van to the good Vanagon service shop for a checkup after that mighty voyage. (Members of the mailing list who live in or near Bend have recommended Youngs Ole Volks Home on SE 3rd.)

And later that same day . . . I wish to tread--ever so gently--into the world of pizza. Now, everyone has their own idea of what your ideal pizza pie should be like. Some like the thick crusts and tons of toppings, some like your thin crusts with fewer toppings. I, myself, am a proponent of pizza as the Neapolitans developed it: a thin crust cooked in a super hot oven, with only a few, but very high quality toppings: pizza napoletana, to be exact. The photo shown in the wikipedia entry for "pizza," captioned "Authentic Neapolitan pizza margherita, the base for most kinds of pizza" is what I'm talkin' about. That, to me, is the Holy Grail of pizza. Finding a restaurant that knows how to make a proper pizza margherita can be a challenge (finding a proper pizza margherita while camping is, of course, impossible . . . impossible, that is, unless you cook your own. See my blog page "Campin' Pizza Margherita" to see how I do it when camping).

But how lucky could a fellow be if he discovered a restaurant that not only makes pizza in his fav-o-rite style, but has been certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association? Pretty lucky, I'd say. I am happy to report that the simple pizza margherita at the VPN-certified Flatbread Community Oven in the Old Mill District was wonderful, just wonderful. Just the way I like it.

And finally an update from those on the road. It's nearly 10pm as I write this and Mrs Elliott called to say that she and the crew will be overnighting in Klamath Falls.


  1. Yikes! What WAS Mrs. Elliott thinking about when the step-down attention drifted I wonder. I wish she would be more careful with her self. Does it mean anything to her that the children need a mother with a good noggin on her shoulders? While still concerned, I am comforted to know no signs of serious injury persist at the moment.

  2. More like her grandchildren (and husband) still need her with a good noggin. Where did her attention wander to? I dunno. Maybe 'cause she's blond? She real smart but she sometime a little ditzy.

  3. So that's her natural hair color then -- humph, never would've known. Some in old age get benefit from an attendant, a nurse, to watch them on stairs, icy walks, to guard against falls and slips. Children, grandchildren, same difference -- we all need her in excellent health, less knocked and banged-up rather than more, so she can make good cookies for the kiddies. Did she have open-toed shoes on, shoes untied, or god forbid wasn't going bare-foot I hope! Where I used to work there was a training class for those incident prone souls to learn mantras like "eyes on path" and "use the hand rail" -- stuff that keeps the mind together with the body on the basics of navigation. Slips and falls, not a the kind of example to be setting in the family! Best wishes for being incident-free for the rest of the unloading and packing into the new house.


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