Ella likes to hike

Ella hiked up to Angel’s Rest in the Gorge all by herself, then all the way back down. When Michelle asked if she wanted to take a rest, Ella exclaimed “This feels great on my legs” as she rubbed her quads. A week later we took a hike in Forest Park, and while she enjoyed herself, she was disappointed that there was no grand view at the end of the trail. We’ll try to pick another hike with a vista next time.


Several weeks back now, a rather sudden burst of wind and rain hit our house with such force that it peeled the back side (west side) of the roof off. I was changing Madeline on the landing upstairs when I saw the trees down the street start bending and shaking, then the wind hit our house like a compact car. Immediately, bits of shingle and flashing started blowing by the window, and then I heard a sickening sound of something big sliding down the roof.

Michelle and Ella were in the basement when a 5′ by 10′ segment of shingles just slid off the roof on to the ground. We went outside to look and realized the wind had basically picked up the corner of the roof and just peeled the newest layer of shingles back for about half of the backside of the roof. Some of 50’s era shingles had been blown off to, leaving bits of the original cedar shake, and in some places, ship lath, exposed. Michelle and I looked at each other in horror as the rain continued to fall until we realized that we’d actually have to do something so the inside of our house didn’t get soaked.

So, we called my parents to see if they could watch the girls, Michelle ran down to harbor freight to get a big-ass tarp, and I read about how to tarp a roof on the internet. I know – pretty obvious stuff right?

My dad brought over the truck and ladders, I got out my climbing rope and harness, and we set about removing as much extra loose roof as possible before unfurling the massive tarp and nailing it to the roof. We rolled one end of the tarp in 2x2s for a nailing surface, then used other strips to hold the tarp’s edge to the side of the house and roof so it wouldn’t just blow away. We got the roof water-tight, called the insurance company, then barely slept that night listening as gusts of wind rippled over the giant sheet of blue plastic.

We got a few bids on the roof, and by the start of the following week, a dumpster and materials were dropped off. Then the roof came off on one side and was replaced by a new roof. The front side was more complex and took two days. I felt so bad for the roofers as it started to rain at the end of the second day. By the time they finished on the 3rd day, it was pouring. By mid-day on the 4th day, the whole thing was done – and it looked fantastic.

Then yesterday, minutes after paying the roofers, we heard a storm alert on the radio, specifically cautioning about high-winds that can do property damage. Luckily, none was done.

To sum things up

This is excerpted from the concluding remarks in my thesis:

Lastly, I postulate that if this research was repeated using a tool like Google Earth instead of a non-interactive web map that was specifically designed for children, the results would be different. The map and layers used in this test were designed to complement each other when combined. In a tool like Google Earth, the individual data layers come from a variety of sources and are not prepared with combinations in mind. I predict that maps in Google Earth would become more challenging to use, and response times would increase as layers were added. I suspect that this would be the case for adult map-users as well. Since there is currently no cartographer or designer curating the combination of layers, the haphazard symbology, changes in scale, differences in data quality, a poorly designed key, a mish-mash collection of data provider logos, and the scourge of auto-label placement would result in a map equivalent of Frankenstein’s monster, not in a learning and exploration tool.

Yeah, i’m getting a little tired.