Caveat: Tree #1767 “Fog”

This tree was ensconced in heavy fog at our motel parking lot in suburban Seattle. We journey today and tomorrow, return to Rockpit, Alaska.


CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 2km;]

Caveat: Poem #2672 “Buy now, at a discount”

Mikkerbauk fantasie Joe - 
Ah, blue hills of quiet paradise.

The captain-people will take it all away
in fancy flying rocket-planes of self-individual, 
hallucinatory love of masses - 
squalid suffering folk with homes of cardboard, 
you see, don't you,
the danger?!
(Buy now, at discount).

– a free-form poem from my own ancient past. I wrote this poem in April, 1988, in a paper journal I was keeping at the time. Don’t ask me what “Mikkerbauk” means – I frequently produced such vaguely Joycean nonces in my journal-writing of that era. The captain-people were ubiquitous, however.

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Caveat: Tree #1765 “The aliens and the Christmas present”

This tree is a guest tree from my past. I drew this “holly” tree in December, 2013, with accompanying aliens and Christmas present, on the whiteboard for one of my elementary school English language debate classes that I taught in South Korea. Drawings of silly aliens in various strange contexts was a staple of my standard just-before-class whiteboard art of the period.

A crude drawing on a classroom whiteboard of a tree in green marker, with some strange-looking aliens of various shapes and with lots of googly eyes, coming from their flying saucer to the left of the picture to examine a small christmas tree with a large present on the right

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 3km;]

Caveat: Tree #1763 “Backdrop”

This tree was a backdrop for some people being photographed at the Oregon Zoo today.


That’s me on the left. Beside me are Rita – a woman who was my 3rd grade and 6th grade teacher, among other things. Beside her is Jeannine, Rita’s daughter, one of my closest childhood friends, who I haven’t seen since high school graduation, maybe. And Jeannine’s child, River, who is recovering from Covid right now. So it was a kind of little reunion at the Oregon Zoo, which was sunny, not too crowded, but quite chilly, down in its little canyon west of downtown Portland.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 6km;]

Caveat: Tree #1762 “A tall yellow tree”

This tree is down by the gate to the road that goes up the along the Tualatin river.


Juli and I and the dog took a long walk along the valley today. Then a bunch of Canadians showed up, including Wayne (the annual visitor to Rockpit, Alaska – a close friend of Arthur’s), who are Keith’s relatives, so we had a kind of pre-Thanksgiving. We’ll do the main Thanksgiving on Saturday, which is Juli and Keith’s tradition.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 6km;]

Caveat: Tree #1760 “Southwest Portland”

This tree was in a neighborhood in Portland, southwest of downtown.


Arthur spent about 5 hours receiving a “cognitive evaluation” with some psychological specialists at the VA. I had a pretty boring time just waiting around for the whole thing to finish, so I walked around outside.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 5.5km;]

Caveat: Tree #1757 “The fake lake”

This tree was out next to a fake lake, which was lacking in water. It’s called Hagg Lake, or Scoggins Valley Reservoir. The Reservoir was quite low. We drove there, but it’s really not that far – a few miles. We went there and walked around, Juli and Keith and Arthur and I, and their dog.


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Caveat: Tree #1755 “Have a heart”

This tree is in front of Arthur’s infamous yurt, his bedroom-away-from-home since times immemorial (about 20 years).



Before the yurt, he had an ancient school bus converted to an RV, parked in a similar location in Juli and Keith’s yard. So Arthur calls the yurt “the bus.” Keith worries about Arthur being in the yurt, but I think he’s better off there than in some location (e.g. the guest room here) which is less familiar to him.

Art and I did another appointment at the VA hospital and clinics this morning. This time, he got an echocardiogram. The tech was very chatty and explained to me what he was doing and seeing as he did it, which made it pretty interesting for me. Art’s arhythmias were quite noticeable.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 5km;]

Caveat: Tree #1754 “Orange and yellow under the sun”

This tree was along the road just up above Juli and Keith’s. Apparently, it is Autumn.


I took Art to the VA hospital and clinics in downtown Portland, today. We saw doctor Kim, who is a very personable doctor and who is one of the few doctors I’ve interacted with, with Arthur, who seems to “get” Art’s mental style. It was a bit intense, as Dr Kim used the word “dementia” with Arthur directly for the first time. I really haven’t ever dared to use that word – Art has always been of the clear and firm opinion that that is something that happens to other people, not to him. So I guess I was relieved to let Dr Kim bring it up, in a medical setting. It could be between him and a doctor, and I wasn’t implicated except as a witness.

Next step is the comprehensive cognitive function evaluation, scheduled for next week.

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 4km;]

Caveat: Tree #1752 “Upper Tualatin Valley”

This tree was down by the upper Tualatin River in the hills about an hour west of Portland, just a short walk (maybe 1km) down the slope from Juli and Keith’s house, where I’m staying. We didn’t see any salmon jumping, which we often do this time of year, here.

A narrow but deep rushing river with a green, grassy embankment in the foreground and mossy conifers and late-fall yellow and faded orange deciduous trees on the far bank

I decided to enjoy an uneventful day, and just hung out. Sorta officially “on vacation.”

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 5km;]

Caveat: Tree #1751 “Chocolate and Flashlights and other very important things”

This tree is in Juli and Keith’s yard in western Oregon, where I’m visiting. The Fall weather is milder here than in Southeast Alaska.


I went to town to do shopping errands today. Into the giant Fred Meyer store (like a Walmart or Target, for those unfamiliar with Pacific Northwest). After all the time living and working in a tiny town on a Southeast Alaskan island, it’s a bit overwhelming, but not in a bad way, at least for me. You have the thought: this store feels bigger than the whole town!

There was an amusing incident. Arthur insisted on coming along on the shopping trip. He’s been quite anxious, since leaving home, about his lack of a certain brand of chocolate that we’ve been planning to “refresh his supply” on this trip. It’s a kind of separation anxiety, almost. We had run out of his brand back in August or so (we keep a lot on hand, and refresh once a year shopping down south, or order online), and we’d been unable to re-order online: vendors were “out of stock.” It was a distressing situation for him.

So he wanted to come along, so we could stop at the big stores and look for his brand of chocolate. We found it at Fred Meyer, and we bought 24 “giant size” bars of chocolate – maybe (only maybe) good for a year back up in Alaska. But it was all they had in stock.

The thing that was so striking: the moment we put the chocolate bars in the shopping cart, Arthur’s anxiety melted away. You could see him visibly relax. And then he announced he was tired, and he went and sat down at the front of the store to wait for me to finish the rest of my shopping.

So I got to spend a few hours with Arthur in a less anxious state. Of course, within a few hours, he’d found himself a new thing to worry about: flashlights! He wanted to make sure all the flashlights worked, that he could find in his yurt (his room-away-from-home at Juli’s, since time immemorial).

CaveatDumpTruck Logo[daily log: walking, 3km;]

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