The Readerman Chronicles

The Readerman Chronicles

The entire catalog of Rod’s book reviews and blog over the years has been turned into a downloadable pdf document. The document is 1,535 pages and over 85 MB. Downloading may take some time depending on the speed of your internet connection.


This site will no longer be available as of July 28th, 2019

Portland to Petco, Day Two

This morning while Robert and Phil slept in I went down to the restaurant at the Red Lion in Eureka and availed myself of the buffett. I had eggs, french toast, potatoes and fruit. After the guys got up we went and checked out and then headed into Fortuna to go to church.  We were going to check out the church our family had gone to when we lived here between 1962-1965.  We were a little early for church so we drove into Ferndale, a real small town, but the home of Food Network star Guy Fieri.   We drove most of the way out to the base where Dad had been stationed, the road didn’t look like much had been done to it since we left in 1964.  We got out to the last big turn before the base and that was when I realized how much had changed.  There used to be a big house right there and a statue of the Virgin Mary in the hillside and that was all gone.  We then turned around and I took a road back to Main Street and there it was the building I started my formal education in.  Ferndale Elementary School, I don’t remember anyone from there at all or any teachers.  After snapping a couple of pictures we headed back to Fortuna to go to church, we used the navigation from our phone to get to the church which looked vaguely familiar.  We went in and talked to the Pastor for a little while, he was from Dallas, OR, had gone to seminary in Portland, had attended Trinity Baptist and had work with Cadence in Germany. So to get to the point he knew of , or knew people that Robert and I knew.  His name was Mike Schellenberg, and then he conducted the entire service by himself.  It was like attending a church service from the 80’s or 90’s.

After church we got on Highway 101 and headed south, we stopped in Rio Dell to get gas, stopped for lunch in Willits at Subway (Robert really likes Subway), as we headed south along the highway I kept looking for my oldest son.  He is working in California for the summer and had mentioned that he might be along the 101 went we went past.  But didn’t see him even when we went past the road to where he is working.  We got to Petaluma and kept hitting construction projects and so traffic slowed to a crawl for many miles.  We got off 101 so that we could cross the Golden Gate, traffic was pretty heavy there also.  The fog was too thick to go up to the viewpoint so we went across, we were scrambling to find money to pay the toll, but all the signs said don’t stop and pay by plate, so we have no idea if we paid the toll or not.  We then rolled through town listening to Tony Bennett sing I Left My Heart in San Francisco.  After we left San Francisco we rolled on down the Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Cruz, talking about Mavericks as we went past Half Moon Bay and Robert reading the Mavericks entry in wikipedia as we rolled by.  We got to Santa Cruz and checked into our room at the Comfort Inn, two blocks from the  Boardwalk.  We got to the Boardwalk at 8 PM just as they were closing down.  We walked up and down the boardwalk and I talked about coming to Santa Cruz with the youth group from Lakeside Baptist in Oakland, CA and with Rick Lindholm.   We found a little Mexican restaurant just across the street from the Boardwalk, it was pretty good.  Then we came back and tried to find the Beavers game but they had finished blowing out K-State.  Robert blew up his air mattress and the only way to fight it in and move stuff around so that we were barricaded into the room.

portland to petco, day one

Back in February my friend Robert Jones, founder and CEO of Tren*, told me that he had an event to attend in San Diego, CA on June 12.  He wanted to know if I would drive down with him, as he didn’t want to drive the whole way by himself.  His son, Philip, would accompany us but he doesn’t drive.  I began to make arrangements to take time off from work, which was fun (not).  I had to make arrangements for someone to cover for me, which involves moving people around a bit since I am the only paid employee at the bookstore.  I took Friday off to do laundry, pick up a few things I still needed for the trip and pick up some things for Ruth Ann.  We had run out of dog food for Sith and I filled up the car.  I took my change that I had been accumulating since I returned from my reading vacation** last year.  I am not accumulating as much change since I stopped drinking Coca-Cola on April 25+. I took it in to the local US Bank and had them count it and deposit in my account, $142.62. Robert and I went out to Tigard Friday afternoon to pick up the Chevy Captiva we would be driving.  We live in Northeast Portland and I asked Robert why we were going all the way to Tigard to pick up the car.  We saved $100 in taxes by going outside of Multnomah County, the trip was worth in my estimation.  I got almost everything packed and ready to go by the front door, left the computer out till this morning and didn’t load up the cooler until this morning.  Robert and Phil showed up right at 8AM and we loaded up the Captiva, we were on the road by 8:30 and didn’t stop until Eugene, we went to the Best Buy, because we needed to pick up a memory card.  Then we got on the road and I gave Robert a history lesson on World War, interspersed with other bits of trivia.  Like as we crossed the Willamette River in Eugene on I5 I pointed to the hill where Steve Prefontaine met his end.  We drove on to Grants Pass where we stopped to gas up and have lunch.  We ate at the Subway in downtown Grants Pass in the shadow of the Caveman Statue.   From Grants Pass we continued south on the Redwood Highway, just before crossing into California we passed the Great Cats World Park and the Tiger Preservation Center outside of Cave Junction.  We crossed over into California just before two pm.  We came down 101 and saw two herds of elk just along the road, more elk in one day than Richard Smouse has seen in all the times he has been hunting.  Drove through Crescent City looking for the anchor that had been tossed into town in the 1964 tsunami, but didn’t see it.  I noticed that the ocean seemed to have a  saltier smell than the water off the Oregon Coast.  We crossed the Klamath River bridge which has two golden bears at each end.  We stopped at Trees of Mystery, I remember going past the giant statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe when we would drive up 101 from California to Medford to visit Grandparents, Aunts, Uncle and Cousins.  It was a beautiful drive through some awesome redwoods, some so close to the road that it was if the repeated passage of vehicles had shaved it to the side of the road.  One of the both entertaining was as we went over the Little River we were listening to Little River Band sing Night Owl.  We arrived in Eureka about 4:30 and checked into our room and then went to dinner at Applebees and watched the OSU Beavers and K State Super Regional College World Series game.  When left the restaurant the score was 2-1 OSU.  We came back to the room and watched K State score something like 5 straight runs and win in 10 innings.  We then proceeded to utilize almost every outlet in the room to charge two computers, three phones, a camera, an ipad and an ipod.  I read the story of Barrington Bunny to Robert and Phil, Robert read a poem about Mt. Tamalpais to us.  Phil is watching youtube, Robert is sleeping and I am finishing this up.  I will read a little of Robopocalypse and go to sleep.

*Theological Research Network/**I go to my cousin Johns’ place every year and spend a week reading/+My friend Diana challenged me to drink less soda, so I stopped drinking soda on April 25, it hasn’t been as hard as I thought.


High School Part 3

5 People I remember from the classes of 1973 and 1974.

Bruce Dugdale

Cindy Hiller

Kim Nutting

Vicki Shear

Tim Losaco

High School Part I

I went to two high schools in two states between 1971 and 1975.  I started at a four year high school in Carmel, CA and finished at a three year high school in Eugene, OR.  I started at Carmel High School and finished at South Eugene High School.  My class from South is having a reunion this Saturday and I will be unable to attend due to attendance at a wedding in Portland that day.  This week I will be featuring list from both schools as a way to the very un reunion I will be having on Saturday.

Five random things

Carmel High School                                                                        South Eugene High and gray                                                                                  1. purple and white

2. The Padres                                                                                    2.  The Axemen

3. 30 mile bus ride (each way)                                                   3.  rode my bike to school

4. John Stein went undefeated in wrestling, he only        4.  chair races down the hallways

weighed 93 pounds

5.   saw Clint Eastwood on the way to school                    5.  saw the red devil streak

Monday Music

Tomorrow is the annual baseball All Star game.  Tomorrow is a day that I take off every year to spend the day getting ready to watch the game, hoping each year that the National League wins.  This year it is special because if the National League wins that may mean the Padres will have home field advantage in the World Series.  One of the best things about watching the Cubs on TV was watching the late Harry Caray lead the crowd during the seventh inning stretch sing along.  Click on the sheet music to watch a clip.