Oscar’s Travelogue


Oscar Gordon

A Navy Turbine Tech who learned to spin wrenches on old cars, Oscar has since been trained as an Engineer & Software Developer & now writes tools for other engineers. When not in his shop or at work, he can be found spending time with his family, gardening, hiking, kayaking, gaming, or whatever strikes his fancy & fits in the budget.

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25 Responses

  1. That’s quite a story Oscar.

    I’m really sorry to hear about your father. I had complicated relationships with both my parents, who have both passed, and it’s a hard thing to deal with.Report

  2. Avatar Maribou says:

    I’m sorry about your losses, and that they both happened during such a tumultuous month. May you and Bug and Mz. Gordon settle in well and easily, and survive the heat with aplomb until the lovely fall coolth sets in …

    I really enjoyed reading this. It was very evocative.Report

  3. Very sorry for your losses, but am thankful that you shared it all with us. You have my prayers and hopes that you, your wife, and Bug find comfort in the turmoil and this new chapter brings years of happiness and fulfillment. Wonderful writing thank you for sharing it.Report

  4. fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

    Sorry to hear about your losses.

    Moving is stressful even without dealing with all of that.

    And yes, have experienced the interstate a-holes. Around here there’s also the tiny old rancher in a big old pickup truck who gets on and goes 45 the whole way and snarls traffic. Maybe he isn’t an a-hole, but he really shouldn’t be on the interstate….Report

  5. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Thanks guys, I enjoyed writing it. It was cathartic, in a way.Report

    • My sympathies on your losses and wishing you the best of luck on the move. I agree 100% that writing about this stuff is good for the soul. We’re here to read it if you ever need to do it again. My dad has been gone 22 years and I’m still trying to figure out what it all meant.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        For me it’s just that regret, wishing that our relationship did not have to fall apart. The whole time growing up, my father espoused the belief that a parents job is to not only prepare a child to survive, but to thrive and succeed. It’s just sad that when faced with one of his children actually thriving and succeeding (my sister never graduated college and lives in a ramshackle house in BFE Montana, largely because IMHO she adopted my father’s pride), a part of him had to take it as an affront.

        That kind of pride is such an ugly thing.Report

  6. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    That’s a really tough month. Condolences.

    Welcome to the North American Monsoon, one of the most interesting — and least known — weather patterns on the continent.

    Idaho is one of two of the 11 contiguous western states that doesn’t have a renewable power mandate of some sort. Of course, in 2017 81.6% of their in-state generation was from renewable sources.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

      Thank you.

      Half of Idaho’s power is hydro (17 dams). I was surprised to see so many turbines, but once I thought about the topography and weather patterns, not having the turbines in that area seemed like leaving money on the table, so yeah, field as many as you can, and plan to field more (currently they get 10% from wind).

      Just one of those things you don’t think about until you see it, and then it’s ‘duh!’.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Michael Cain says:

      As for the monsoons, I grew up around Midwest thunderstorms, so rumbling doesn’t bother me. Neither does torrential downpours (T-storms can deliver, and in the PNW, a Pineapple Express can dump so much water…). But the sand storm, that’s new.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    What a rotten summer. I’m sorry, dude.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird says:

      Summer ain’t over yet…

      The aquarium near my house has a shark tank, and the bathrooms near the entrance, instead of having mirrors over the sinks, have a view into the shark tank. The kind of joy such a thing brings to a six year old boy can wash away all sorts of bad.Report

  8. Avatar pillsy says:

    I’m sorry to hear things have been so trying lately, with so many losses.Report

  9. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    I join our colleagues in expressing condolences. I too lost a parent with whom I had a complex relationship and a beloved pet in close temporal proximity (not quite as close as yours). And I will be moving soon, too (I hope!) so again there is a parallel.

    There are things you choose to do in life, and then there are things life chooses for you. While not always pleasant, these sorts of things are the moments of consequence. You’ve acquitted yourself well, and the stress shall end soon.Report

  10. Avatar Em Carpenter says:

    Thank you for sharing Oscar, this was great. You paint wonderful mental pictures!
    I’m sorry for the loss of your dad, and your pup.
    I can relate to the pride/jealousy thing. My dad seems to have absolutely no pride in me, and my mother insists it is because in me, he sees his lost potential. It’s complicated (especially being a daughter and never being “daddy’s girl”).
    In any event, I’m glad the move is over and you are settling in. I’ve only been to Arizona once, but I loved it. (I also loved Palm Springs. Maybe I was a desert dweller in a past life?)Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Em Carpenter says:

      The irony is, my parents placed all their hopes in my sister. The straight ‘A’ student with a near photographic memory. Everyone figured she’d breeze through college. I was merely an above average student who struggled with math. I was the lost potential.

      Turns out, learning how to struggle is a good thing. Makes you get back on the horse when you fail. I never told my parents that I failed Calc II the first time through. A big, fat, 5 credit F on my transcript. I did much better the second time through, but I knew a lot of people who got an F like that and just dropped out. Including my sister.Report

  11. Avatar greginak says:

    Sorry to hear about the hard time you have had.

    The road trip sounds fun, i always like those. Good luck and full speed ahead on smushing every scorpion.Report

  12. Avatar Aaron David says:

    I am so, so sorry @oscar-gordon . I too know the feeling of having massively conflicting emotions with a parent. My mother just left this morning after her yearly drive-by visit, and the wife is still trying to calm down. So many unresolved issues from my parents divorce 34 years ago.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Aaron David says:

      The worst of it is, it was a private thing. He only acted that way towards me and only in private. The rest of the world saw a very different person (mom saw it, but she kept it private, and has been gone ten years now). So all our family and friends would get mad at me for not wanting to visit him every chance I had, because why wouldn’t I, he was so awesome.

      It’s impossible to explain that kind of thing to people without them rationalizing it away as an over-reaction on my part. The whole, ‘Is it really that bad?’. Especially when all they ever heard from him was how proud he was of me.

      There is more than one utility to living 2000 miles away from home.Report

  13. Avatar James K says:

    Sounds like a rough couple of weeks, thanks for sharing Oscar.Report

  14. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Be well.Report

  15. Avatar Anne says:

    My condolences Oscaron your losses. I lost my dad suddenly and unexpectedly five years ago. I hope eventually your last meeting will bring you some closure.

    Thank you for the evocative recounting of your road trip. One of our favorite things is to find new things on each trip. Friends of mine moved to Phoenix from Denver and recounted having to push down asphault divots made by their car in the parking lot. Of course I also spent one of the coldest nights of my life camping outside of Phoenix got to love the high Desert. It is beautiful there I wish you amazing new experiences in your time there.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Anne says:

      We are waiting for things to cool down a touch, then I think we’ll be doing a lot of hiking. There are all sorts of canyons and craters I keep hearing about that I want to take Bug to see.Report

  16. Avatar InMD says:

    Condolences for your loss, hopefully writing helped get some of the grief out.

    In the spirit of the haboob commentary, I hope your trip to the Hoover Dam wasn’t like this.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to InMD says:

      I didn’t actually take the internal tour of the facility. I’ve toured quite a few dams in my day (Bonneville on the Columbia was the last one), so the guts are no mystery. I just wanted to take in the uniqueness of the Hoover. Its aesthetic, if you will.Report