Settle in Portland Area

Settle in Portland

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I arrived in Vancouver, WA on December 20, 2002 and it was s nice to see (and hold) Karyn after 16 days of separation (a record for us). As we had considered that we really liked being together and hated being apart, we had mostly decided that I probably wouldn't be heading to LA come January 6th, so that evening I proposed to Karyn and she accepted. It was a wonderful moment with some stumbling about on my part but a very nice ending Karyn's help. Of course, really Karyn only dreamed those moments when her 'bad boyfriend' said things so poorly (hey, most people don't get a lot of practice at stuff like that) but it was 'real' when things came out right. Christmas at Karyn's.
Alex's dad, Rob, was a real sport and had agreed to take Alex for the two weeks around Christmas and New Year's. So Karyn and I had a good amount of time to wrap packages and such. We went to a local restaurant Shari's for Christmas eve and the head waitress, Valerie, noted how happy Karyn was and told me I had better take good care of her and Alex as they are real sweethearts (and I agreed wholeheartedly to all). On Christmas morning Rob brought Alex over to open presents at Karyn's house (the second stage of his Christmas). Above are all the presents laid out (but no tree as Alex wasn't around much) and here is a picture of Alex opening a game for his new computer (the big present for him). Alex.
Here is a picture of Karyn as she was watching Alex open his presents. We spent Christmas eve together and on Christmas morning Karyn and Alex went to her family's gathering. They came back in the early afternoon and Rob picked up Alex. Karyn.
Here is a picture of Alex and Karyn together as Alex was opening a present. Alex's main present was a new computer He got a 1.6 gigahertz Pentium 4 computer with 512 megabytes of memory and an 80 gigabyte hard drive. She didn't need to get a new monitor as she had a spare 17 inch monitor from Alex's old (dead) computer. For Christmas Karyn paid for a new motherboard and CPU for me (AMD Athlon 2000XP+) and my mom paid for a new hard drive (120 gigabytes). I had verified that Alex's old computer was truly dead (hard drive failed and was out of warranty) so was going to upgrade it to make a usable system for me. I made a trip to Fry's Electronics the day before Christmas and got the stuff I needed. Alex and Karyn.
The picture is of the townhouse across the street from Karyn's house. There wasn't snow anywhere else, so presumably someone went to the mountains (or just a mountain pass) and brought back several snow balls (the kind you use to make snow men). I presume that they put them into the back of a pickup truck for transporting. Anyway, it gave us a touch of a white Christmas which are pretty rare in the Portland area proper. I took this picture in the morning and by afternoon there were only remnants of snow left. When I had been out to Fry's Electronics I had seen good prices on Wireless Network Routers with four port hubs built in, so had gotten the Router for Karyn (she had said she wanted one) and a wireless PCI adapter for Alex (so he could connect his computer to the home network and we could play multi-player games). After Christmas we got into a drill of Karyn going off to work while I stayed home. First I got Alex's new computer working with a swapped hard drive and then got the network working. Portland area snow man.
Then after a couple more trips to Fry's (to get a replacement power supply and new memory and such as Alex's old computer had a really old version of ATX power supply and an older type of memory). Then I got it connected to the network. We spent New Year's eve together and just went out for dinner. We stayed up til midnight, but I won't say what we were doing when the New Year started. That week I had two goals to complete by Friday, Jan 3, 2003: 1) to get my computer all working so that there wouldn't be any contention for computers when Alex returned from his dad's and have found a room to rent so that I would have a place to go at night when Alex was there. I tried the local papers for rooms for rent but there was nothing. The internet had lots of listings, but I never actually got a response from anyone. However, the local Fred Meyer had a free ad area with five listings. Only one seemed interested, but on Wednesday we agreed to the terms and I moved my stuff out of my car on Friday. My room is accessed via the second to last entrance and is on the third floor. Vancouver James' Apartments.
On Friday evening Alex came home and I spent my first night in my room. It was also Karyn and my first night apart in two weeks so was a little of a shock. Then on Saturday morning we all three went to Newport, OR to visit with Karyn's brother Chuck and his new wife, Debby. They live on a boat and were hosting a party for themselves and their friends (it was their turn). Their boat is too cramped for that and Chuck's work, so they have leased space in a 'warehouse' shown here. It start out like a regular storage area, but is about 40 feet deep and two stories for the back section. Chuck and Debby's 'Warehouse'.
Here is a picture of Chuck at the party. Chuck.
Here is a picture of Debby. She is really cute, but this picture doesn't show it. She doesn't like to have her picture taken, though, so I wasn't able to get another picture of her. Drats. Debby.
The back of their 'warehouse' is set up like a living room with a sofa and chairs and an entertainment center. Here is Alex with his bear and red snuggly blanket on the sofa. We tried to get him to sleep on the drive down (over three hours) or during the party, but you can see how successful we were (no naps for this kid on this day). .
Two of Chuck and Debby's friends were there for the whole afternoon. They were Sid (shown here) and Donovan and they are, apparently, 'trailer trash'. They explained that in Newport I would be considered very upscale as they have 'bush trash' who don't even have cars. Sid was talking to Alex in this picture (not very good picture). He was just amazed that Alex was only four. He noted that Alex seemed much cleverer than one would expect for a four year old. We all played 'Frustration', a travelling variation of 'Sorry' and Sid said that he would look forward to playing that game with his nieces and nephews. Sid.
Chuck and Debby had originally suggested that we stay the night, when Karyn considered the expense and hassle of finding a hotel in a tourist area she had decided to just make it day trip. However, Chuck called on his friends and found a reasonably priced place (just over $50 a night after tax) so we decided to stay the night. Here is a picture of the beach we visited just before sunset. Alex had a pretty good time running around the beach looking at rocks and such. However, it was pretty cold and windy so we didn't stay very long. Newport, OR Beach at sunset.
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This page was last updated on August 29, 2004