Monthly Archives: September 2023



Monday, 31-July-2023 (And before)

Anduril, Flame of the West, forged from the shards of Narsil.

The blade of the king. The blade that was reforged, the blade that, when weilded, can summon an army more deadly than any that walks this earth.

My sword.

Since I first read The Lord of the Rings…

Since I first read fantasy books, even…

I’ve wanted to fence, and to own a real sword.

I took fencing lessons, years back. Even taught at a summer camp that I worked at.

I made practice swords, and fenced with friends of mine in Middleschool and Highschool.

I competed in a fencing tournament, at one of the conventions that I went to… didn’t do half-bad, either.

I bought a “replica” sword, and was given a “combat ready” axe… but neither were truly real, and both broke more quickly than their price would have led one to expect.

This year, I had some money that I’d earmarked for a trip that never ended up happening. I also had a friend who wanted to know a good birthday gift for me. I asked for her help with researching something – a place I could get a real, combat-ready, copy of Anduril.

It arrived today after being shipped all the way across the world, from Pakistan.

I can’t express how excited I am.

Dinner and Donuts, Dining Dates!


Monday and Wednesday, 24-July and 26-July

Two separate events, but easier to combine into one – Date night, and Date morning! Or… Date afternoon?

For date night – Mussels and fancy Belgian dining!

For date afternoon – Mini donuts, and a flight of Chai lattes!

I don’t really know what else to say about this. If you have to have a doctors appointment in the middle of the day, take yourself out to Pip’s Mini donuts to celebrate getting through it? And if you want to go to a great Mussel restaurant in Portland… you can’t, because this was their last week open. Booo….

Anyways it was tasty!

Camping and hiking up on Rainier!


Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – 21-July-2023, 22-July-2023, and 23-July-2023

I’ve never really been up to Mt. Rainier.

I think I know why – but at the end of the day, it was just a confluence of circumstance that had kept Rainier out of my target-list for places to go adventuring. When Jess asked if I’d be interested in car camping and doing some day hikes around the Rainier National Forest… well, no time like the present to explore a new spot, right?

I had Friday off, while Jess didn’t, so I spent some time packing up and relaxing. Blueberry bacon pancakes, coffee, more bacon… yeah, it wasn’t a bad start to the day.

After Jess was off work, we packed up her truck and headed North. Through the highway, into the woods, and onto the back roads we went, braving the challenges of finding a good dispersed camping spot. More of a challenge than we were expecting, interestingly, as the area that’d been recommended to us… was actually houses. In the woods. Banjo noises thankfully not included.

We found a good spot, though, and soon enough camp was set and stars were being gazed upon.

In the morning – bacon and veggies and coffee!

Then – A hike up to Noble Knob.

Yuip. Yup Yuip. I may have picked the hike based on that name alone, but you can’t prove it so it’s fine.

It was a nice hike. Long, but not too steep. Dusty and warm, but not too exposed or brightly sunburnt. We found a lake, we swam, and I even flew the drone around a bit. We chatted, spent some good woods time together, and even met a couple with their two Malinois who were heading in to watch the sunset. Watching the pups play was definitely a nice bonus to the evening!

Dinner, more stargazing, and a beautiful sunset… What more could I ask for?

The next day brought with it another quick breakfast, a medium-length hike out to the Rainier viewpoint (on the aptly-named “Rainier View trail”, along with another drone flight and some good reading on top of the hillside. Then a drive home, some excellent burgers and onion rings from a roadside fry-shop, and a quick stop to grab some equally excellent roadside flowers.

Yay adventures up to Rainier!