Frank Denton - The Rogue Raven

Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


All of my life I have walked for pleasure. I belong to a volkssport club and used to walk a 10K route every weekend. My wife and I completed 200 miles of the Southwest Coastal Footpath in England, beginning at Minehead in Somerset and ending in St. Ives in Cornwall. But recent years have not been kind to me. Back problems which surgery did not alleviate plus several other procedures. I can walk only about a hundred yards before pain hits. What’s a guy to do?

My answer was virtual hikes. I measured the patio. I can walk it seven times before pain. So I do this four to six times a day. This Saturday I will complete a virtual tour of the Isle of Wight, where the coastal footpath is 67 miles. What next?

I just searched the web for another challenge. I found that the Isle of Man also has a coastal footpath. It’s 95 miles in length. That should keep me walking for well over a year. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ken St. Andre, a Visitor from Phoenix

I spent part of yesterday with an old friend whom I had not seen for some years. Ken St. Andre is a librarian from Phoenix, AZ. I first met him and saw him often during the years that I attended Science Fiction conventions. Ken is also a gamer and invented a game called Tunnels and Trolls. It has been around for many years and is still popular. Ken had been guest of honor at a Seattle gaming convention over the weekend.

With Monday free until his flight home, we had time to take in a couple of the local sights. Ken and his friend wished to see the Space Needle up close and personal. On the drive there he mentioned that Seattle had a science fiction museum, didn't it? Yes, it surely did and by circumstance, it was practically next door to the Space Needle. So we spent an hour-and-a-half in Paul Allen's Science Fiction Museum and then had a very nice lunch in the Space Needle restaurant, just below the top of the Needle's observation deck. Fortunately the fog burned off and we could see the city, the lakes, the mountains north, south and across Puget Sound. The guys from desert country were properly impressed, I think.

So, after some years, Ken and I have connected again. We have email addresses and should stay in touch. I enjoyed the day very much and hope that Ken did as well.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I haven't talked about our horse. A thoroughbred. An honest-to-God race horse. Well, truth to tell, it's mine and about forty other people. Sometime in late spring of '08, we had the opportunity to buy shares in two horses, both two-year-olds. One filly named Promise Me Gold and one gelding named Gavin Slew. We were able to watch them race at Emereald Downs in Auburn, near Seattle. They were like teenagers, not quite sure what was expected of them. They tried, but all those other horses around them, and what do you mean I'm supposed to stay near the rail around the turns, and why is that person hitting me with a stick. They did not win at Emerald.

When the season ended at the end of September, they shipped down to Portland Meadows in Portland, Oregon. Unfortunately Goldy developed a sore ankle there and it was determined expedient to retire her. She's at a farm in Enumclaw, WA and living the life. I had an e-mail from the person who has her and she's doing just fine.

Gavin continues to run and on December 30, 2008 he broke his maiden. That's race track talk to say that he won his first race. Exciting! It was at a mile.

Yesterday he was entered in a 6 furlong race at PM. We drove down to witness the race. Unfortunately there are not many longer races that his trainer can find to run him in. So the thought was that he might have an outside chance in the sprint.

He was outclassed and ran last. He needs the mile length to run to his potential. So we were disappointed. But in spite of it, we had a great time. We met several other partners who were also at the track and had some very nice conversations. It's a three hour drive from our house to Portland's track. We listen to music, talk some, Anna takes a nap. On the way home we stop for a nice dinner. So regardless of the disappointment we had a very day.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

And a Happy New Year to You

Happy New Year to Everyone. Last evening we went a New Year's Eve party. Old friends, whom we have known for many years. The hostess had read of a Spanish New Year's custom. Twelve grapes are put onto skewers, alternating red grapes with green. At midnight everyone eats the twelve grapes, counting the first at January and continuing on. The eater is supposed to judge the sweetest and that month is going to bring good luck or be the luckiest month for him or her. It was fun. February is my lucky month. Perhaps it is because that is my birth month.

The Scots bring in the new year with "a wee doch an doris, just a wee dram that's a'." I suppose there's nothing wrong with that, a nice tot of single malt scotch, say a twelve year old. I'm not sure what we Irish are supposed to do. Perhaps I'll do a search this evening after the family has gone.

We've had a lot of snow, very unusual for the Seattle area. My son and his family have been unable to get out, living a couple of miles up a gravel road, and having as much as 27 inches of snow and power outages. So today is Christmas for the granddaughters, Nora and Grace, 10 and 7, and a happy birthday for Jenny, just turned 22 on New Year's Eve. We'll all have a good time, I'm sure.