Meet Wing: The GoTrax GXL

I was writing this a review for the GoTrax website and realized it would do double duty here.

Arago’s Wing;  named after my friend Micheal Arago’s tireless pursuit of Micro Modal transportation. 

I was worried about this purchase, as this product seems to be new and there isn’t a lot of video evidence of it’s performance out on the interwebs yet. I don’t have a GoPro and I’m not going to take my hands of the handles to try to selfie document this thing, but all I can say is WOW.

I ordered direct from GoTrax, as Amazon was $30 more ($430). Shipping to Portland, Oregon took 1 week. FedEx Home delivery, which I redirect to a local Walgreen.

I bought this e-scooter as a stop gap measure. My work was having a bike to work week, and I wanted to participate, but I live in a very hilly neighborhood of South West Portland. I tried to rent an ebike, but everything seemed booked. By chance, the dock-less e-scooter invasion was happening in Portland.  I had two chances to rent Birds and was sold on the concept.  The Bird I found out here in SW Portland couldn’t deal with the the slightest hill, but it was lower

I think I need to start over, as their website has a small text box for reviews.  So I’ll condense. 

Wow.  You can keep your Birds, I’m a owner now.  I’ve had the GoTrax GXL for 5 days now.  Was worried that this scooter wouldn’t be able to navigate the hills of SW Portland, Oregon, USA.  I’m 200 lbs and this guy moves me up hills that I would normally have to stop and push my bike.  I do have to get off and walk up the steepest hills.  I’ve been using it to commute to work. 3 mile in the morning, about 12 minutes, with 5 of that walking up the steeps.  2 miles in the PM, with a few minutes of walking up a very steep section.  With my mountain bike, my times were coming in at 25+ minutes (a lot of pushing the bike up hills).   Love that it folds up.  Walk it to my desk, fold it up, and charge it at work.  The ride in only uses 25%,  so I will experiment with using more of the battery,  as it’s supposed to be healthier.   I did a 6 mile trip yesterday from SoWa to over the Sellwood bridge.  Got a flat from a staple on the rear tire, but was still able to ride 3 miles back.  Definitely not as efficient, but I got back.  I put 4 oz. of Slime into the tire and was back in business.  Did I mention I love this thing?  

The Portland to Tigard Border Crossings are brutal

Oh My Lush!

We were at our local mall last year when my girls dragged me into a new storefront that had recently opened; called Lush.  Or Lush Cosmetics.  Or something like that.

Anyway, it was a fateful event.  The store had all these natural soaps on a display table in large shapes.  If you found a soap you’d like, they will cut off a chunk, weigh it and wrap it up for you.  Kind of like a soap deli.  Oh.  I happen to have taken a photo:

Although I’ve been a Dr. Bronner’s loyalist for about 30 years, I’m was convinced by my daughters to try something new.   And I’m glad I did.  I’m hooked.

Katie is going to love this photo! What are those creatures behind her?

Some notes: (* all soap images are from Lush)

Ro’s Argan

I’ve been washing my face with this soap and the results are amazing.  It is very soft and doesn’t really lather, but leave my skin smooth and moisturized.  I think years of using Dr. Bronnner’s on my face was causing perpetual breakouts.  Ro’s Argan actually seems to be healing the situation.  As my friends across the pond would say, it’s a bit dear.

Oh, trippy thing; Sue and I went back and bought a large piece and decided to cut it in half, to make it fit into the shower better.  Although the surface of the soap is brown, it was a creamy white on the inside… And then it slowly started to turn brown.

Respect Your Elders

Just tried this one out this morning.   OMG, incredible scent.  A little berry-ish,  and a bit like Earl Grey.  Sounds funky, but it was really nice.


We’ve been using Maypole in the shower for the last month.  In fact, we just took it out of service this morning.  Minty,  but not overpowering.  A great soap.

Sexy Peel

The soap that started this madness, this was my first purchase.  Wonderful citrus scent, with citrus peels incorporated.

Outback Mate

Refreshing, but the blue coloring will cover everything.   Your skin, the shower walls.  But it washes right off.


Sue really liked this one.  I thought it was like washing with a pumice stone.  Nice scent, but a bit too rough for me.

Sultana of Soap

We’ve bought this one, but haven’t used it yet.   Like everything we’ve bought from Lush, it smells great.

Jason And The Argan Oil

OK.  The sales associates at Lush are very well practiced at showing their customers other products they might enjoy.   This is one example.   Seeing the benefit of Argan oil on my face, I thought I’d give this Shampoo Bar a try.

I had never tried a shampoo bar before, but it turns out, it really works well.   I might be converted.  Seems more efficient than liquid shampoos,  and with one or two wipes across my scalp, there is ample lather.    I will probably try a different variety next time.  This has a pleasant rose scent, but… rose scent.

They have loads of other stuff I don’t really care about.  I’m all about the soaps, baby!



Bath Bomb Demonstration –


Some observations on calling 911

I’ve never done it before, so I’ll share a couple of interesting things.

  • Phone History: There is no record of the call in my call logs.
  • Phone: Went into a weird mode after the call. Something about Emergency Call Back Mode. I had to swipe some things to make it go away. I was trying to call Sue at work.
  • Call Taker: Knew where I was at. “Are you at the Subway on 30th and Barbur?”

Markham Eagles! Markham Eagles! Principle Garnett’s parting advice

Markham Elementary had their Fifth Grade Promotion this afternoon. Emotions were high as kids and teachers said goodbye to each other and to the school that many of them have known for the last six years.

Principle Garnett gave the departing Eagles a bit of sage advice that I thought deserved being recorded for sake of posterity. And it goes a little something like this:

  • Choose your friends wisely. Your friends reflect on who you are.
  • Get involved in middle school. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
  • Keep open lines of communication open with your parents.

Mrs. Golden offered us some important thoughts in the form of a mnemonic;

M – Mistakes
A – Allow
T – Thinking to
H – Happen

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Take risks. Being about to reformulate and retool is an opportunity to grow as an individual.

Mr. Stafford (‘s Taco Truck) had some point to share in regards to maximizing the enjoyment of the summer:

  • Go Outside
  • Connect with Nature; take off your shoes and feel the grass on your toes. In discovering nature, one can discover themselves.
  • Put Kindness into the World

And Mr. Morley gave the world his famous guacamole recipe. Need he to do anything more? Seriously, Mr. Morley had some awesome things to say, but I was tearing up and don’t quite remember. But it was good.

Mrs. Rossitto, Mr. Stafford, Mrs. Golden, Mr. Morley and Principle Garnett

Proud Parents of Dana and Gavin

The Swimmers are all grown up now. *Sniff*

While I’m at it, I wanted to make a note about the Markham High Fives, the guidon that Principle Garnett constantly encourages the kids to embrace and take to heart.

  • Be Responsible
  • Be Respectful
  • Be Safe
  • Be your best
  • Every day in Every way

The Markham Elementary Staff as of June, 2018.

Name Position Email Web Page
Roda Abdirahman ELL EA
Janelle Nelson Kindergarten Teacher
Walter Bridges Para-educator
Kate Cappella 1st Grade Teacher
Kim Mcghie Para-educator
David Erickson Music
Brian Fraught 2nd Grade Teacher
Shawn Garnett Principal
Alex Geurra-Sunberg Speech
LaShell Holton Learning Center Teacher
Erica Huber Art
Jeff Johnson PE Teacher
Kim Johnson Kindergarten Teacher
Sandra Kent Para-educator
Tina Lamanna 2nd Grade Teacher
Nicole McNutt Literacy Coach
John Miller 1st Grade Teacher
Jolinda Miller 2nd Grade Teacher
Lynn Miller 3rd Grade Teacher
David Morley 5th Grade Teacher
Emily Neve SUN School Coordinator
Arazoo Rasheed EA
Katie Rossitto Intensive Learning Center Teacher 3-5
Mag Savage Kindergarten Teacher
Dylan Stafford 5th Grade Teacher
Ashley Staples 3rd Grade Teacher
Rochelle Von Ahn ESL
Paula Weidner 4th Grade teacher
Cody Rook 4th Grade Teacher
Kathryn Golden 5th Grade Teacher
Nancy Cook K-2 ISC Teacher
Hannah Geason EA
Tarra Najafdari EA
Will Iversen Para-educator
Homa Mosharraf Para-educator
Samantha Rupasinghe Para-educator
David Craig Para-educator
Andrea Hartz ELL
Kirsten Truman Librarian
Kyle Kertay Technology
Ming Hom Counselor
Wakako Sogo School Psychologist
Sabrina Bauer Nurse
Robin Lloyd MCCA
Christine Stonecliffe 1-2 Math Support
Sacadiya Mohamed Cafeteria
Angela Lamb School Secretary
Kathy Lippincott Principal’s Secretary
Rose Addis 4th Grade
Sarah Lee 3rd Grade Teacher

Day 9 – Lucy’s First Adventure – An Incredible Journey

Day 9 – Disembarkation from the Celebrity Solstice in Seattle, Washington, King Street Station, Boarding the Amtrak Coast Starlight

Lucy had her first Taxi ride.  She is such a good pup.

King Street Station is beautiful.  Lucy checks the reader-board to see if our train is on time.

The station is pretty empty for now.  Not for long.

Waterfall Garden, the birthplace of UPS.  Love this little private space.

Lucy started barking at the Sounder Hawk…

On board the Coast Starlight.   Lucy and Sue are checking out her bunk in our sleeper car.   We found out they don’t run the Pacific Parlour Car anymore, so this is probably our last trip on the Starlight.


What’s this?   Lucy found La La hanging from Sean’s backpack and they decided to have a cuddle and a nap.

Lucy starting out the window as we travel our way back to Portland.

Lucy was quite excited to be reunited with her owner,  Dana.

Day 8 – Lucy’s First Adventure – An Incredible Journey

Day 8 – Partial Sea Day and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Winding up our trip with Lucy, with our last full day at sea. Tomorrow morning we leave the ship very early.

Sean and Lucy swimming in the Solarium Pool

Lucy relaxing with some treats.


O Canada!

Sean had some Tea Forte Chai.  This tea was so incredible.  I wish I had discovered it before the last day.

Cool alley – Need to look up the name. (Looked it up, Fan Tan Alley)

Lucy went kind of crazy when she saw so many friends.


Victoria,  BC, Canada – Parliament Building


Incredible deserts at Cafe Al Bacio

Lucy getting ready for a swim.

Blendtique – Mixing custom wines


Day 7 – Lucy’s First Adventure – An Incredible Journey

Day 7 – Sea Day

Tonight was our last Sea Day.  Which also means it our last Formal Night.  Sue, Lucy and I tried to take a selfie on the balcony.  Man, we aren’t good at this.

Lucy was helping with the blog.  She is a great writer.

Lucy found some friends at the Captian’s Club desk on Deck 7.   She was paling around with a moose and a sled husky and they were quite noisy.

Sean and Lucy won the desert lottery!   Lucy isn’t supposed to have chocolate, but she really likes to smell them.

Lucy has become accustomed to enjoying a latte after her meals.  Especially one’s made by the National Barrisista Champian of Romaina!

Day 6 – Lucy’s First Adventure – An Incredible Journey

Day 6 – Skagway

Disembarking for the day in Skagway, we saw our old friend the Golden Princess, as we completed the arduous journey from the dock our ship was assigned to any semblance of civilization.

5 Years ago we went on our first cruise on this magnificent ship.







Suzanne and Sean attempt another panoramic selfie, this time in Skagway.

Lucy finds a sign in a cute alley that makes her rather sad, near the Back Alley Rock Shop.

Lucy is giving gold panning.  Sue and I don’t think she is doing it right.  But she found a pup friend, so she is happy.

Lucy goes into the Yukon Territory…  She is reading up on the dangers of avalanches.  Lower left hand side.

Lucy looking out the window of the Klondike Tours couch.  She has never seen mountains this big.  Someone cried wolf!  But it was just a sled dog.

Sue is looking pumped to go for a dip in the partially thawed lake.

Lucy poses with a husky on the Klondike Tours van. 

A bear was eating some grass by the side of the road.  Lucy barked twice and the bear ran away.

The saddest carribou.  It ran back and forth for a few minutes before ascending into the forest, to the left. 

Lucy makes it through Canadian customs and poses next to the Yukon sign.   A bit of a let down.

Back on the ship, tonight’s show was called Broken Strings.  Oh, what a great show.  The cast sang and danced to all kinds of contemporary songs, including a ‘Cups’ song, Mumford & Sons, All of Me, Passengers’s Let Her Go, some Ed Sheeran and more.  The performance was so fun and well done.  Great job and kudos to the Solstice Singers and Dancers.   Lucy was sleepy, so we left her back in the cabin,  sleeping on a human bed.

The Martini Bar had a Silent Disco where people put on head phones and dance to one of three sound tracks.  It was fun to watch.

Day 5 – Lucy’s First Adventure – An Incredible Journey

Day 5 – Tracey Arm and Juneau

This morning the ship was an unpleasant madhouse.  Sean had a hard time finding a place to eat that didn’t try his patience.   Word on the street says that he walked out 5 different eating situations, including the hamburger joint on Deck 12.   It was a grumpy and early morning.

Lucy started the day with a cool glacier, the Dawes Glacier at Tracy Arm Fjord.

Wyze Cam shot of Sue and Lucy checking out the scenery.

Lucy had Key Lime Pie for lunch.

Lucy was making friends out in Juneau!  She is such a busybody and wants to know what all the other dogs are up to.

Sue and Sean went to for a six-mile walk through town.  There were 5 cruise ships in port today.   It was very busy.

Naptime for Lucy.  She says she has to sleep on a human bed.

The upper deck of the Celebrity Solstice is covered in grass and is called “The Lawn Club.”  Lucy comes up here a couple times a day to potty and play with her toys.

They have dog showers at The Lawn Club!  Very convenient but kind of cold for a pup to walk around, as we head further north and the temperatures drop.


An action photo of Lucy playing fetch!

Warming up.


Up on Deck 14, Lucy is checking out the views from the Sky Lounge.  Her ability to spend time contemplating the view is really unusual for a puppy, but it’s one of the qualities that makes her such a pleasant traveling companion.


Lucy keeps trying to sneak Hot Chocolate!

Lucy having Blueberry soup for lunch!   For lunch?  Who’s ever heard of Blueberry soup for lunch?  It’s always been a pre-dinner appetizer in our house.  The raw salmon appetizer in the background almost sent Sean into a tantrum.


Lucy watching the Dawes Glacier.  Notice the beautiful blue tint to the water.

This one is almost too cute for words.  Lucy found a pack of small sled dogs to pal around with.   They would not stop yipping!

Day 4 – Lucy’s First Adventure – An Incredible Journey

Day 4 – Ketchikan

Today is Mothers Day, May 14, 2018.  Sue, Sean, and Lucy find themselves about a cruise ship about to make land all The Celebrity Solstice arrived at Ketchikan, Alaska at 7:00 AM this morning.

As the morning started, Sue took Lucy potty up on deck 14, at the Lawn Club, where they have a designated area for the carry-abord pets to relieve themselves.  Or not.  We aren’t quite sure.  Anway, enjoy the lawn bowling, folks.

We had breakfast and let the crowds die down before disembarking in Ketchikan.  We walked around, exploring.

Lucy was really digging these Caribou Chews at the Sam Magee – a Taste of Alaska store on historic Creek Street.   Sean and his new best friend Miguel came up with some jokes about Dolly’s House, but they weren’t mean or degrading.   Never the less, the Ladies weren’t laughing.

I don’t even remember what was going on at this point in the day, but I think it involved a moose and Sue, and therefore this photo was critical to the whole operation.


Sue with twins and Totems.   Once again, this is not a butt.

In to the museum,  the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center.

This freakshow needs no introduction because we will never speak of it if again. It’s a whale skull of some import.  But I see Jabba the Hut giving birth… to Lucy.   My eyes hurt.  Make it stop,


This deer is hungry.  And Lucy is too; which way is going to go sports fans?

Lucy fishes for Salmon.   She knows 5 different type, by looking at her paw.

She almost fell into a boot.  That little rascal.  Getting into everything.

Lucy making friends with a beaver.

Lucy goes for a Bear ride.


No Lucys were harmed in posing for this photo.  This is Alaska and it can be a rugged and dangerous land.

Back on the Celebrity Solstice for lunch.  So many types of ice creams and sorbets to choose from.  My kids would be jealous if they knew.  Shusshh.

And in the evening, the ships singers dancers put on a show in the foyer.   We watched from the 5th floor.  It was fun, especially as we had seen them practicing earlier this afternoon.    Bedtime for puppies.

This is a picture from the WyzeCam that I stuck on the bulkhead outside of our balcony.   Not sure why it’s here, but since it’s uploaded, enjoy!  You are welcome.

Our Family – Are we too easily made glad?