Friday, November 21, 2014

Kids Do Better At School After Being Inverted

Portdaddia is seen here wearing the Official Inversion Hat of 2014.

Actually I have no idea how academic performance is affected by inversion. I suspect it can't hurt.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kid Creates Cool Mask

I feel the spirit animal's power.
The fourth-grader made a pretty cool mask, even though he has vigorously complained art is not something he enjoys.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Blogger Contemplates Japan's Elevation Of "Cute" Aesthetic

The envelope was sealed with Winnie the Pooh tape adding to the cuteness.
I've had a Japanese pen-pal for 26 years. I actually got to know Yukari a bit when we were at college together. We also met for a few hours in Taiwan in the 1990s.

I value the peek into her life and Japanese culture I get when we exchange greetings several times a year.

I understand that in general Japanese society delights in the aesthetic of cute animals and babies with big eyes. This is certainly true with Yukari.

My not knowing what this signifies makes me self-conscious when choosing postage stamps and small gifts to send her. I like modern designs, rather than sentimental, and the stamps I use for packages to her include rock stars, cowboys, muscle cars, and important legislation.

I like to imagine what she thinks of my packages. I think she looks at my handwriting, disbelieving I live a life as a capable adult. I also suspect I lack the grace of nifty presentation in her eyes -- all of Yukari's greetings, no matter how small, are layered with each surface decorated and personalized.

I am influenced by her precision, but end up just being myself. I like the looser, non-conformist aesthetics of the American West.

Vive la différence!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Fourth-grader Starts To Get The Job Done

I did know the meaning of all those words. Still, the list caused me to flex my brain for clear definitions.
The fourth-grader has homework. Last week and this week he has had worksheets that required around 60 minutes to complete.

Was there complaining? You bet.

Still, when the kid sat down and actually began to move through the material I was proud he churned through the stuff at a good rate.

I don't remember my vocabulary being quite so eloquent at such an early age -- but then again I don't remember that much from fourth grade.

For the record, this is what a fourth-grader looks like:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Snake Handling At House of Worship

This is not part of Jewish spiritual practice, although handling snakes is fun.
At the synagogue over the weekend a congregant brought in a sampling of his snake collection and a tarantula.

The collector showed me a picture of his well-appointed snake room, with attractive accommodations for more than 30 serpents -- certainly an ideal place to sit and contemplate, an environment with its own aesthetic gravity.

What made me a fan of this man's hobby was his articulate description of the pleasure of having lots of snakes -- they were colorful, beautiful creatures that made him marvel at the diversity of life. He didn't give them names or wear them to rock concerts, just picking them up now and then to marvel at their excellent sleekness.

I'm not going to start having a pet snake, but I am grateful to have had the chance to understand the snake collector a bit better.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Winter Storm Causes Blogger To Run Short On Content

Notice the passing of time! (recycled comment)
Due to the wintry mix hitting Portland I ran short of content today. Does an experienced indoorsman and sloth activist panic? No!

I resolutely went to the compost heap of the hard drive and pressed the nostalgia button.

The photo on the right is the one more recent. I enjoyed those days of the Tibetan buzz cut.

I'm hoping the rain comes and washes the ice away and we can get back to current business in this space.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Saying Goodbye To The Finest Car Ever Made -- Rip Van Winkle Speaks To The Auto Dealer

We actually had plenty of trouble the last two years with this car. Still, I called it the "finest car ever made" as it didn't break down when I brought the babies home from the hospital in it.
Despite my glorious celebration of being middle-aged (I go to sleep early!), I actually pride myself on at least being aware of my growing obsolescence. But nothing prepared me for shopping for a car.

Our 2001 Nissan broke down again, this time the starter motor, a repair which would have cost many hundreds of dollars. After 13 years it was time for a new car.

The Nissan was the only new car I have ever purchased and such was so long ago that none of the featured extras were the least bit relevant -- CD and cassette player anyone?

Far from the combat of dealing with sales-monster dealers the people who showed us cars were pleasant and were able patiently and articulately to explain the advantages of their wares. I tried to take in all the new features of engine, transmission, handling, driving, and electronics but punted and looked to Consumer Reports for the big translation.

We are in the process of purchasing a Subaru Outback, a car full of nifty features, including "eyesight" -- sensors that let you know if your hair needs grooming or if you are following too close to the vehicle in front of you.

I will keep you updated on how we adapt to the new technology.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

National Retailer Co-opts Portland Daddy Blogger's Tag Line

REI ripping off my cool stoke attitude isn't so bad for at least they sell gear I use. Once Disney starts using the Stoke Sloth to market itself we, as a society, are doomed. Or maybe not. Big Hero 6 was an okay movie.
I went into REI today and discovered the national marketing department has been reading Portdaddia.

The company now thinks it will proclaim stoke in order to sell merchandise.

I know I don't have much recourse about this, but, hey, when it comes to authentic stoke proclamation you, the enlightened reader, know that there is only one true source of the real deal, the cosmic yell of pure joy and gratitude that comes from Portdaddia

Monday, November 10, 2014

Crazy Sound Mix Came From Under The Covers - The Daughter Pranks Dad Yet Again

These little ones will out tech you every time!

I came out of the bathroom and heard an odd sampling of multiple voices. I thought the radio had been left on, but, no.

Turns out the daughter had concealed herself under a comforter on the bed. She had taken my iphone and started sampling her own voice using an app (keezy ).

Here is a sample of the sample:

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Gorgon Sisters Cap Triumph Of Ancient Greek Project

The kid did a great job with this project which involved both performing and decorative arts.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ancient Greek Wax Museum A Huge Success!

A costume drama -- Atalanta takes center stage.
An excellent plot was recently hatched -- to bring exciting Greek mythology to the dullards who are the parents of vivacious middle-schoolers.

Walking into the Ancient Greek Wax Museum was a sight to behold, the huge room lined with "statues" that came to life when a viewer touched a prop.

No mere fashion show, the monologues were stirring and informative.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Kid Poses Dramatically For Portland Classic Snap

The gull is an actual gull and not a paid extra.
This iconic photo has come to represent Portland, at least for me in the last five minutes.

Maybe it's the resolute expression on the kid's face as she looks at the homeless smoking weed, or the fact that she's wearing fleece, or the bridge, but this could very well be the image that comes to represent our fair city.

Or not.

Anyway we had a nice walk by the water, talking about the merits of Measure 91. Nothing like real-world conditions to have an earnest discussion of public policy.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Kid Has Big Ideas For Action-packed Thriller

I had the drama and pageantry of Halloween to garner content, but it was the inspiration that occurred later which was equally fun.

Saturday the kid wanted to make a special-effects video, inspired by the Vine  videos (six second, looping videos) of Zach King.

We went way beyond six seconds, but we had a nice time and I was thrilled that the kid had so many great ideas.