Beasties, Books & Burgers…and Super Zapper Ray Guns

This week we’re taking a little break from Finn McSpool‘s tour of his homeland. Well, not really a break, because this post is all about a Beastie workin’ hard (sort of) for the money…and for the benefit of library lovers everywhere.

Like his human counterpart, David Beastie works at the local library where he toils behind the scenes processing all kinds of goodies like books, movies, and CDs. Of course, first, you have to drag yourself up the stairs to get to your office.


Then, you can’t just jump right into the action. You need to devote a fair amount of time to staring out at the park and watching the squirrels. It’s all about pacing yourself, right? Continue reading


A Monster Wander Through the Not-So Wintry Garden

After going on a lot recently about monsters – Doubt Monsters, Amazonian Monsters – I’ve been looking forward to a post featuring that far-friendlier monster, Finn McSpool!

This year, the Pacific Northwest has thumbed its nose at the seasons and declared that winter is definitely NOT coming. While I was putting away all the dragon glass I’d stockpiled in the event of an invasion of White Walkers, my garden was scratching its head, having a few committee meanings, and coming to the executive decision that it was time to get blooming.

And of course, Finn saw the buds and blooms as a perfect chance for an outdoor photo shoot.

His first stop was to check out the pink blossoms of the border of Bergenias just outside my back door. He looks like he’s diligently studying those flowers, doesn’t he?

Of course the giant leaves of these plants were perfect for a game of hide-and-seek (I don’t have the heart to tell Finn he’s not very good at this game). Continue reading

Finn McSpool’s Book-Shopping-Rabble-Rousing Outing

What happens when you try to take a monster on a nice outing to shop for some new reading material at Portland’s Powells Books? It turns into him being declared leader of a very, VERY strange mob.

It all started out innocently enough. Through my library’s summer reading program I’d won a gift card for Powells, which is basically Portland’s book mecca and a book addict’s dream. Since Finn McSpool, Mr Husband, and I never made our usual excursion downtown before Christmas, we decided to make a day of it on New Year’s Eve.

Once downtown we realized you simply can’t shop for books on an empty stomach so we hiked a couple miles over to Northwest for a treat. The bakery we intended to go to was wall-to-wall people – I think a few guests were having to sit in the ovens and display cases – so we squeezed our way back out to resume our quest for nibbles. Finn, being a proud IrishBeast was soon tugging at my coat sleeve gleefully shouting, “Here! Here! Let’s go here!”

–Finn, it’s not even noon.

–But that means it’s 8pm in Ireland! It’s well beyond drinking time. Continue reading

Finn McSpool: Paddle Boarding Beastie

Yes, Finn has donned a new identity as a Paddle Boarding Beastie and has been walking around the house humming tunes from the Surfaris and using phrases like “Hang Ten, Dude.” Even though Finn has clearly mistaken stand-up paddle boarding for surfing (a big no-no), he still wanted to show off his recent watery adventure with the Blogosphere.

But first, there’s the trouble of getting Finn out of bed.

Wakey wakey!

To fit in some time on the water before Mr. Husband has to go to work requires getting up at a horribly early time. Finn was confused since he usually only sees these numbers on the stove clock when they mean PM, not AM.

Are you kidding me?!

Finn and I could get up a little later, but then there would be no time to dose up on caffeine before heading out. And really, you don’t want to get a Beastie up at that hour without offering him a cup of strong tea. Trust me on this.

With both Finn and I feeling better, it was time to load the boards on the car (Finn conveniently found something else he “had” to do just at this moment). This used to be a task we didn’t have to do because we used to have inflatable paddle boards that we could just toss into the back of the car.

Notice the words “used to have.”

See, on our Venetian getaway (that being Veneta, Oregon, not Venice, Italy), Mr. Husband’s inflatable board sort of did a Hindenburg (minus the fiery inferno). The guys at the board shop said they’d never seen anything like it. With a new wariness of the inflatables, Mr. Husband opted for a rigid board when he chose a replacement. The minute I tried out his new board, I was eagerly scanning craigslist and the board shop’s website for a used rigid board I could call my own. Unfortunately, everything was either too expensive (or suspiciously cheap), the wrong size, or just plain ugly.

Just when i was about to despair of ever finding a board I liked at a price we could afford, I gave craigslist one more try. The SUP gods were smiling on me that evening because there it was: a board in my price range, the right size, and just look how pretty it is….

Finn wasn’t too sure about the pink at first, but he loved the bamboo inlay and the flower designs. But back to the adventure.

The easiest spot for us to go paddle boarding is the boat ramp/riverfront park along the Willamette River just a mile from our house. That early in the morning it’s eerily calm and quiet.

Lacking muscles and hands (and any motivation to exercise), Finn finds it a bit hard to use the paddle, but that didn’t stop him from hopping right onto the board and shouting at me to “Weigh anchor.”

Finn, this is a paddle board, there’s no anchor.

-Sorry, I just got lost in the moment. Can we avast some maties?

-Um, no.

We started out by heading north, which if we were really motivated, we would end up in downtown Portland. But with limited paddling time (and endurance), we simply set the Sellwood Bridge as our goal for the morning. You can see the bridge in the distance. That gleaming building on top of the hill is Oregon Health Sciences University, aka “where I used to work.”

But wait, what’s that approaching on the water?

-Better hunker down, Finn.

-Pirates? I’m too young to die!

-Nope. Here he comes.

Once the water skier zipped by, all was calm again with the only other lifeforms in sight being herons, osprey, kingfishers, and baby fish leaping out of the water like reverse raindrops. Unfortunately, it was time to head back, but there was still time for a couple more photos before we lugged the boards back to the car.

This is Elk Rock Island. In the summer you can walk out to it from shore, but the rest of the year, the river is high enough to cut the island off from “the mainland.” While it’s now just a place to hike and fish, the island used to be quite the happening place. In the early 1900s the island was home to a dance hall called the Rock Island Club. People used to take a boat trip to the island (you can still see the stairs where they used to dock) and shake their booties until sometime in 1916 when a fire consumed the dance hall.

When I told Finn this, he tried some dance moves of his own. Even though I don’t remember John Travolta carrying a book while he discoed away his Saturday Night Fever, I think Finn has captured the look pretty well.

I can almost hear the BeeGees.

By the time we got done with the dance-filled photo shoot and out of the water,┬áthe sun was mostly up and it was time to start the work day…after more tea, of course.

How about you? Any water-filled adventures lately? What are you willing to get up early for? I’ll be back next Wednesday with more book news and a little announcement! See you then.





One Monster’s Trash is Another’s Treasure

Although he prefers going off on adventures, Finn McSpool was forced to spend yet another weekend loitering in the driveway. Luckily, this time no demons ate the sun causing Finn to run away in fear of the impending apocalypse. However, there was a little meltdown to get through and a Beastie version of a horror show, but in the end he did find a bed of green happiness. Who knew garage sales could stir up so many monstrous emotions!?

Prepping for the Sale

Normally Mr. Husband and I simply donate the stuff we no longer need, but with my pile of To-Sell-on-eBay items and the stash we’d amassed from a recent cleaning frenzy, I finally caved into Mr. Husband’s frequent comments that we should have a garage sale. So, bit by bit we piled up our treasures and started putting price stickers on them.

As usual, things were going pretty smoothly until Finn showed up.

-A beer puzzle!? We can’t get rid of that!! Continue reading