Newsletter 2023-08

For ASJA members in
Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon and Washington
August 2023

In This Issue

From the Prez, Rituals and Resistance, M. Carolyn Miller, ASJA PNW President
A Bridge So Far, a Cobra That Never Was, and a Hagfish That Leers Goo, Maxine Cass
Need to Download Video or Audio?, Bruce Miller
Member News and Announcements

The ASJA Pacific Northwest Chapter is on summer break. There will be no meeting in August. Meetings will resume on September 20 at 1 pm PDT. Look for the Zoom information in the September newsletter. A reminder will be emailed a few days before the meeting.

This newsletter continues to publish the first day of each month and welcomes article submissions and photos. Please email the ASJA PNW Newsletter Editor, Maxine Cass, at

From the President

by M. Carolyn Miller

ASJA PNW Chapter President

Rituals and Resistance

I rise early, make espresso, and when it is ready and poured, sit at my writing table. Here, I light a candle, bow to nature outside my window, and write. I do this nearly seven days a week, although sometimes I cheat and write in my journal rather than focus on a creative project.

But that ritual was interrupted this week for two days, thanks to the prep and then diagnostic scan to close the chapter on cancer treatment. And I found myself a moody, cranky child who couldn’t get what she wanted. No matter that I could have water in lieu of espresso—I tried. But the ritual and its spell were broken.

This comes at a time when I am writing a client article on resilience. As I read about the four stages of personal resilience, as noted by Deloitte, a global financial services company, I check my own level of competency.

Am I aware of my thoughts, emotions and reaction patterns? Yes. Do I have agency over them, enough to redirect them positively? More than in the past. (With this event, it only took a day.) Am I realistically optimistic about the outcome? Yes. Can I find meaning in the challenge? Yes, from a long-term standpoint.

By Day 2 of this latest resilience test, I bounced back. I slept well. I was in a good mood. I filled my morning with activities to replace my morning ritual. And when I returned, several hours later from the scan, I made my espresso, lit my candle, and started my day with this note to you.

M. Carolyn Miller, MA, spent her career designing narrative- and game-based learning. Today, she consults and writes about narrative in our lives and world, the inextricable link between the two, and the critical role of self-awareness in transforming both.

Double-crested Cormorants (Nannopterum auritum) on rocks
off Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, Newport, Oregon © Maxine Cass

by Maxine Cass

A Bridge So Far, a Cobra That Never Was, and a Hagfish That Leers Goo

It’s summertime and the world is lazing along, reclining in ads by a swimming pool with an iced adult beverage. A parasol pokes out from the crystal glass rim, implying that all getaways are perfect: perfectly planned, with perfectly packed luggage, perfect neighbors to keep an eye on the place while it’s less than occupied, perfect weather ahead, perfect sailing, ad nauseam.

Yeah, right. If there’s a pool, I’m yawning already. Perfection isn’t fun, and the predictable getaway is boring, downright dangerous, even.

But, the annual Season of Smoke has arrived in Southwest Oregon. Wildfire smoke streams in from all cardinal directions: south from British Columbia and neighboring Washington toward Oregon along the Cascade Range’s western flank, and up from Northern California from as far away as Yosemite in the Sierra in the worst years. There’s always haze upping the ante to definitive brown streaks in the eastern sky before dawn, and thick, oft-burned wilderness forests to the west that burn for months on end.

That mythical pool almost sounds good, if surreal, about now.

Go to the coast, friends say. Get away from the heat and smoke.

Defiantly, I had come from the coast awhile back, ready for inland scenery and banning persistent fog from my life.

After 14 years away from the ocean and a distant 25-year career as a travel writer, author, and photographer, I haven’t missed the beaches, pools, parasol drinks, luggage, or schlepping the camera bag in a slender hope that something interesting will bepopping up out of the firmament or its surrounding waters.

I had not remembered the serendipity of going somewhere less known, having an adventure.

There are bridges and more bridges. But Oregon has graceful bridges, some long and spanning bodies of water so dark below they have to be imagined to be believed.

Not far from the Oregon Dunes at the Darlingtonia Wayside are cobra lilies, or cobra-orchids, or pitcher plants. Yes, they’re Darlingtonia californica, thrusting their tropical green alligator-skin heads and transparent leaves out of the bogs to lure hapless insects “to be digested and absorbed as food,” as announced by the placid interpretive sign in their midst.

Newport’s harbor further north homeports a 300-plus-vessel fishing fleet, large in numbers and seafood production, but, well, where’s the step beyond, the bizarre thing to make me brave the coastal fogs, even briefly?

Ah-ha! Korean palates demand something that’s bycatch to fisher people in my Eastern Pacific coastal waters. Yes, readers, travelers, beach bums and armchair absorbers of facts, you’ve arrived at the world’s fishery for hagfish, also known as (never better!) slime eels.

Delectable to some tastes, these seafaring visual nightmares have skins pumping out fibrous mucus, pointed teeth with keratin like every horror movie monster there is, and they have been around somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 million years, according to Live Science.

That story also mentions that in 2017, an Oregon highway was shut down by gooey slime when an overturned truck with 7,500 pounds of hagfish put its mess about. Hunh!

So, hey, lest my wallowing in the bizarre facts of these slimy denizens of the ocean floor gets too obsessive, I’ll be heading home soon.

Maxine Cass has traded in producing travel guidebooks for endless learning and the practice of land stewardship on her 20 forested acres in rural southwest Oregon. She photographs wildlife and keeps her literary hand in by writing occasional articles and editing the ASJA PNW Chapter newsletter.

by Bruce Miller

Need to Download Video or Audio?

In case you want or need to download from YouTube or other sites, the program I have been using is SnapDownloader. I use it almost entirely with YouTube (even though I have a Premium YouTube subscription that provides for downloading for off-line viewing).

I’ve used SnapDownloader on Windows and it basically works well. There is a macOS version, but I’ve not used it. SnapDownloader can be used on many other sites – around 900 – according to the program’s website, including Facebook (Meta), Reddit and Vimeo.

I first bought SnapDownloader in 2021 and then got another family lifetime license (good for 3 computers) in 2022. There are different purchase options: .

Right before writing this, I downloaded the program onto a new computer, put in my license key and was able to download videos from YouTube that I was entitled to from a conference.

The program has many features, of which I’ve only used a few.

One claim is that the download speed is fast. I’ve found this to be true. On my one Gb fiber Internet connection it takes only a few minutes to download a one-hour video.

The trimmer – which is designed to provide only the time segment you want – has not worked for me. If I need to trim, I just download the entire video and edit with a more robust program.

Another feature is to download only the audio of the video. I’ve used this many times for voice and music.

If the desired video is a part of a playlist, the program detects this and gives an option. My work around is to simply remove the playlist parameter from the URL.


With the playlist parameter:

Without the playlist parameter:

Just remove everything after and including the “&” before “list.”

Seattle resident Bruce Miller has way too many projects that require him to find solutions to various technology problems.

Colorful tuna lures at Dock 5, Newport, Oregon © Maxine Cass

Member News

and Announcements

L.M. Archer wrote Parts 2 and 3 of “Traditional method sparkling wine from untraditional regions” for The Drinks Business in July. She also had a feature in the July issue of Wine Business Monthly on “Valdemar Estates’ Revolutionary Inclusive and Accessible Wine Program.”

L.M. also moderated The Rhone Rangers Live Tasting: “Focus on OR-Rhône-gonians” on July 27. Winemakers included Vince Vidrine of Cowhorn Vineyard , Brooke Delmas Robertston of Delmas/SJR Vineyard , Herb Quady of Quady North, and Nate Wall of Troon Vineyard. “We tasted through their wines and learned more about Oregon’s Rhône-growing wine regions.” Find the link at or on Facebook.

Fred Gebhart had an article on the Drug Supply Chain Security Act, which will change the way prescription medications are tracked and traced through the supply chain from manufacturers to pharmacies, in a June, 2023 supplement to Drug Topics magazine.

NiemanLab reports that a bill, the Community News and Small Business Support Act, has been introduced in the U.S. Congress House of Representatives. Responding to news deserts in smaller and/or rural communities, the second go-around at Federal support for local journalism would offer advertising tax credits and payroll tax credits for five years.


EDITOR: Maxine Cass
ASJA PNW monthly meeting coverage: Darlene West
PROOFREADER: Catherine Kolonko

*All stories are copyright by their respective writers.
*All photographs and illustrations are copyright by their creative makers.
*All rights are reserved to each of them for their own material.