The active life

Michael Raffety


July 15 my son Wolfgang graduated from Northwest Lineman College in Oroville., one of only about three such institutions in the country. As a former athlete he is a popular member of the team of his fellow linemen students. He also was chosen for the highest honor, the Eagle Award.

At age 30 this will be his sixth career. I consider junior college and NCAA basketball his first career. Completing the work for his Business degree at UOP while playing basketball was like holding down a full-time job at the same time he was keeping a B average.

I had a full-time job when I went to college, but I was a swing shift security guard in a building lobby where I got a lot of study time in.

His other jobs have been real estate agent, cell phone salesman, personal banker and Fedex driver. He likes an active job best, like his Fedex job and his next job as a lineman apprentice.

We celebrated by renting a houseboat at Shasta Lake, only because Lake Oroville boats were all booked up.

The water was perfect temperature. We tied the boat to a tree snag on one side and pounded in a rebar stake on the other side. With the boat held snug on one spot we spent the weekend there using the second deck slide to splash into the water. My daughter’s husband, Peter Santos, piloted the boat and his two young boys were totally thrilled with the slide. My son was the one who dared to go headfirst down the slide.

My most memorable events other than sliding into the lake were waking up at 4 am after the moon had gone over the horizon and seeing the stars reflected in the calm waters of Shasta Lake. It reminded me of Georgia O’Keefe’s painting of Lake George at night. Then I got up at 5:30 before the sun rose over the mountains surrounding the lake and listened to a small brook trickle into the lake and fish jumping all around our boat. We had all seen the little brook, but without the radio playing I could actually hear it, along with birds tweeting.

The day before we had seen two bald eagles fly by above our boat. Later the 7-year-old, Evan, made screeching crow noises and carried on a conversation, more or less with a crow somewhere up the hill.

. . .

May 30 I wrote about hackers stealing millions from the Bangladesh central bank and also Vietnam and Ecuador. Digital detective outfits believe North Korea had a hand in these thefts via the international interbanking system codes from these countries. The Hermit Kingdom has had a long history of hacking South Korea just for general harassment. From the June 14 Wall Street Journal one item caught my eye. The headline was “Seoul says North Korea stole F-15 designs.” Mainly they got wing designs for the airplane built in the 1970s. The last paragraph is what caught my eye, though: “Earlier this year, South Korea said North Korea had tried to attack computers that control transport systems.” North Korea is a mean country.

. . .

I admit I’m a political junkie. I have watched most of the speeches at the Republican convention and will do the same for the Democratic convention. I lost all respect for Gov. John Kasich, who refuses to attend is own party’s convention in his own state. That is poor judgment. It makes him look like the Hermit Governor.


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