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Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 - 2:14 PM

"Richard Swanson, Breakaway Brazil"

Richard Swanson
John Swanson, Breakaway Brazil

I don't feel like I can do much justice to this subject without spending a ton of time collecting my thoughts and editing the snot out of my writing. I don't presently have that kind of time on my hands, so I'll be relatively brief.

Today I was given a link to an epic story, that of Richard Swanson. His life was much more than the few breaths I will exhale to write this post. I learned of his existence, his passion, his soccer juggling journey, and his death all in about five minutes. If only I would have known of him before that.

Richard Swanson set out from Seattle, Washington with the plan to walk all the way to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, for the World Cup. All the while he would juggle a soccer ball and raise money for charity. Talk about awesome! That's about three or four of my own passions and dreams combined. Had I heard about all this before today, I might have made an effort to at least meet Richard as he passed through Oregon. I know I would have experienced significant temptation to do even more... join him in his walk!

It is pretty rare to find a fellow juggler. Well, some of the news articles describe his trek as "dribbling," which is different from juggling. Juggling or dribbling, either method of reaching Brasil is impressive! Only a few times in my short life have I found people to juggle a soccer ball with. Most people want to play a game instead, but I only like to juggle. It would have been an honor to juggle or pass a ball back and forth with Richard as he was passing through Oregon - and to hear a bit of his story firsthand. Of course I also have great appreciation for Brasil, having been there four times. A significant part of my short life story was wrapped up in those trips and the time surrounding them. The idea of walking or driving from Portland to Brasil has also occurred to me. The P.C.T. has immense appeal to get to Mexico, and then on from there. But it was never more than a dream for me. Here was a man living the dream!

The journey was not meant to be, at least, it had a far more tragic end than anyone would have wished. Richard was hit by a truck while still in the Oregon part of his trip. I was very sad to hear the news, almost as if it was a dear friend who passed away. I have enough interests in common with this man to feel this loss more than an average tragic news story. Mom and I were even walking along highway 101 a couple weeks ago, probably where Richard passed by days later. I can definitely see the danger. I didn't feel super safe walking on the nearly nonexistent shoulder. I can't even imagine trying to juggle or dribble a soccer ball in those conditions!

I wish Richard's journey would have been completed. Many, after hearing the story, have casually or officially pledged to help complete parts of his journey. I might not be able to make a significant contribution, but if I can, I might: maybe juggle a couple miles in his honor. Good Lork. 777.

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Saturday, December 20th, 2008 - 5:56 PM

"Got Blast?"

Listen

as waddle: adverb

Also. In addition. Origin relates to pronouncing "as well" in an Irish accent, so there is almost a "rolling R" or "D" sound. However, there is no trace of such an accent, but rather the described attribute, which becomes quite literally pronounced as the English word, "waddle".

Additional Information

Portland Arctic Blast 2008

I've been spending the weekend with my good friend Dave and his family. Friday night Dave and I went over to Jibbidex Pribu's place (aka Mr. Pukis, Hannon, and a plethora of other mostly random names). We played video gabu and ate candy junk (Davenai, not Jim so much).

I decided to spend the night at Dave's house, since my weekends are otherwise boring and uneventful. I also considered the likely possibility that if I went "home" to Beaverton Friday night, I'd likely not see anyone for the rest of the weekend (ew, horrid thought these days). Even church will likely be canceled for the second week in a row... must... get... spiritual recharge... soon! (Captain Kirk style)

Today the snow blast finally came in. It's been snowing continually all day, albeit it tiny flakes and windy gusts. The accumulation might not be extremely deep as far as inches or feet, but the wind makes for some fairly impressive drifts.

Dave and I went out to lunch with his sister Toff, Shaun, and Allie. We went to Wei Wei, a local favorite restaurant of theirs. Albert, the owner, always comes over to their table and talks with them for a considerable time because they are such regulars. Great food. Yummy to my tubby tummy arterummy (huh?).

I'll probably end up spending the night again here at the Ruecks'. Otherwise, I might see if someone might venture me over to my parents' house a bit later... but it's of little difference to me at this point in time. Don't really want anyone to endanger themselves on my account, so I'll probably just stay put. I just like to be in proximity with people of virtually any manner - well, people that I know and love is generally a good condition, but yeah.

OK, scratch that. Ken, Dave's dad, took me over to my parents' house. Dave came along for the ride as waddle . The three of us, my parents and Grandma visited for a while. We ate popcorn and yummy cookies and drank hot chocolate (with marshmallows and candy cane mixed in - yum!).

Yet another slew of pictures of Arctic Blast 2008 (aka Deep Freeze) on Esoshow.

I'd say the storm is finally worthy of such silly monikers. While our snow accumulation or temperature lows might not compare to other parts of the country, this latest wintry onslaught is indeed impressive for us.

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Saturday, December 20th, 2008 - 11:36 AM

"Arctic Blast 2008"

Exaggeration supreme. The local news media labeled the first snowstorm of the year, "Arctic Blast 2008". It's been somewhat humorous because their forecasts have been pretty extreme, yet mother nature hasn't delivered for the most part. For example, yesterday we were supposed to get two to four inches of snow. We got zip. What fell seemed only to melt what was already stored up on the ground, as if the flakes were composed of magical heat energy thermal inversion emitters. Basically, by the end of the day, all the roads were bare asphalt, and the rest of the ground was mostly exposed as well.

Supposedly we are going to get six to ten inches today. Everyone is kinda making fun of the forecasts, and it seems pretty unlikely we will get that much snow. At any rate, the consistency of snow has been significant. We rarely get snow for more than one or two days in a row in the Portland area. It is more likely for us to be plagued by a horrible icy freeze than an extended dose of snow.

I threw up: BLEWKARUG! No, I'm not sick. I threw up some more snow pictures though.
See them here on EsoShow

Snow cars on off
Yesterday on my way out the door I noticed the interestingly perfect "shadow" left by a car that had shielded the ground from the snow. As I looked down the line it was interesting to see how there was a perfect on-off pattern, as if every other car was invisible or something (but still cast a shadow). Not a likely occurrence, so I took a picture.
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Friday, December 12th, 2008 - 9:18 AM

"Oh, For Christ's Sake!"

In recent years criminals have resorted to stealing baby Jesus from many public nativity displays across the country around Christmas time. This year some churches have installed GPS devices in their babies, so the offenders can be tracked down and Jesus recovered.

I find it strange that people would take just the Jesus figure. I can't imagine it would have a lot of value without the "the complete set" in most cases. I guess it goes to show you that, perhaps more than ever, people really need Jesus! I know I certainly do. Good News is that you don't have to steal a figurine to "get" Him.

Jesus stolen

Nativity recovered

Jesus stolen

Jesus stolen

Jesus stolen

Jesus stolen

Jesus stolen

Jesus stolen

Jesus stolen

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