Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Long-awaited T Shirt Inventory Being Considered

At the end of summer, when the weather turns cool, the chore I must undertake is the T shirt inventory -- the process of weeding out old, worn, and unattractive T shirts which have been my go-to garment for the past several months.

There is no algorithm, formula, or concept, just vague notions of authenticity, that guide the process. A yellow T shirt may be discarded because of excessive wear, but a black one with equal wear could very well be retained on authenticity grounds.

This year there is a more diverse spectrum of fabric, more synthetics.

I admit I've got nothing today.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Postal Workers Rock!


This past Saturday I was super impressed with the patience and courtesy of two of Portland’s finest postal workers.

The maneuver was to renew the kids’ passports, which needed to be done in person, to verify the kids are not 27 and 35. I made an appointment, downloaded and filled out the forms, had passport photos taken, and showed up at the appointed time with a checkbook with the top check made out to the State Dept.

I already knew that the forms had to be in black ink, blue invalidating the application.

The woman, who took no lunch break, quickly informed me that originals of the birth certificate were needed, and not the copies I had provided. She good-naturedly told me to go home and get them and the process would resume.

By the time I had returned, LSS had learned that the photos from FedEx were overexposed and posed incorrectly. So we needed to have new photos taken at the post office.

I could have easily gone off the rails at either of these two setbacks, but because of the professionalism of the two people helping us, I just realized that more concentration would be needed to get this task done.

The woman who snapped our photos was chatty about her upcoming trip which put us at ease but also moved through her tasks with precision. Comedy ensued when the people behind us in the photo line couldn’t get their two-month old to wake up for her photo. Then came the test of trying to photograph the baby with none of the father’s arm pictured, while the mom held a white piece of cardboard as background.

I wouldn’t have held the postal workers accountable for all the bureaucratic minutiae of the federal government, but their pleasant moods and ability to solve the problem earns them my praise.

Postal stoke!


Friday, August 25, 2017

End Of Summer Sees Hiking Spree

Punchbowl Falls in Columbia Gorge: photo made extra special from smoke from burning forest. 
A sheer cliff is no obstacle for this intrepid hiker.

Big day: Barlow Pass to Timberline Lodge

On the Pacific Crest Trail.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Eclipse Statement

Note chairlift in the background
Yes everyone has this shot, so here's our take on it for the historical record.

We went up to Mt. Hood Meadows ski resort to enjoy the eclipse. The totality was less than Portland, a reported 97%, but the alpine environment more than made up for it. Also, there was a taco truck in the parking lot.

Always fun to walk around ski resorts in the summer -- gets me excited for winter.

As the eclipse drew near we became giddy and enjoyed any number of outlandish behaviors.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hour 30 Of The Kid Learning To Drive

Graphic only for purposes of theoretical example.

After 30 hours of driving around, looking for challenging intersections, going fast, going slow, today was the parallel parking moment.

Just like when I was her age, when my dad set out some garbage cans in front of the house, I set up the practice course. The kid today started practicing perhaps the trickiest of maneuvers on the driving test.

We didn't go crazy, giving it a solid 30 minutes -- have to let the lesson sink in.

All good -- we are still talking. She will learn faster than I ever did.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Portland: City Of Water

I should have a picture of a Portland water fountain, but I'm too lazy to go to Google Images. At least this is a picture of a local utility thingy. 
Portland is known for having public drinking fountains called "Benson Bubblers," named after a temperance crusader over 100 years ago. He thought if people had clean drinking water they wouldn't get drunk.

I see where Simon Benson might be coming from with that back in the early 1900s, but I don't think such addresses the modern problem. Anyway, pot is now legal, so that changes things considerably.

The days of clean drinking water are over. Kaput. Finito. Portland's water now has dangerous levels of cryptosporidium and a treatment plant is needed for drinking water. Currently the water isn't filtered, just doused with chlorine and ammonia. Portland was one of the last US cities not to have to treat the water for this bacteria, being issued a variance by the federal government.

This summer seems hotter, smokier, more politically insane than any other I've ever experienced. The cryptosporidium is just the icing on the apocalyptic cake.

I warn myself not to get addicted to chaos.

I suspect I will have a good night's sleep and return to the core mission of stoke proclamation for this blog.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Automatic Update Brings Fun

Somewhere I read that Windows 10 users had a program called 3D Paint. I checked and low and behold I had the program.

I guess I'm not understanding the concept if I need to export the image in only two dimensions.

The program is powerful and intuitive -- I'm hoping that my brain can function in 3D. Not sure how to bring the avalanche of my creativity into this software.

Stay tuned.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Portland Helicopter Ride

After weeks of "are-we-there-yet" persistence by the kid, we finally took a ride around the Portland metro area in a helicopter. The ride was short but fun, feeling like we were in a loud bubble drifting over the buildings -- a much different sensation than a fixed-wing aircraft.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Shoe Talk

The kid tells it like it is about basketball shoes and explains in detail why he's not a sneakerhead.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Heat, Smoke, And Driving With The Kid

St. John's bridge: tricky left turn, then higher-speed merge situation.

Taking my eyes off the road for a moment to capture the smoky atmosphere.

Going to buy popsicles: Parking lots are still plenty challenging.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Father And Daughter At 15

I'll leave it to the experts to say if there's any family resemblance.


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Things That Make Me Happy

These are the faces of activism.

The above photo was taken at Congressman Earl Blumenauer's Jewish community event last week. The point being, the kids wanted to attend this thing.

The kids could have played video games, read a book, but instead wanted to engage in a discussion about water for Gaza and other Israel-related foreign policy issues.

They reported they weren't bored.

Being there with the kids really filled me with pride. The next youngest people were well in their 20s.

Added bonus: Congressman Blumenauer referred to the Trump administration as a "dumpster fire in the White House," showing the kids when you go to the meeting you get the frank assessment.

Getting our game faces on before the Q&A.