Saturday, May 8, 2021

When Was Tie Dye Introduced To Portland?

When I first arrived in the 1980s to Portland, Saturday Market and tie dye clothing were traditions already firmly established. Today that tradition is stronger than ever with several booths selling tie dyes in the current iteration of the COVID -restricted Saturday Market.

Popular culture would tell us that Ken Kesey brought tie dyes to Portland, and the nation, sometime in the 1960s.

This question is where the academics and serious amateurs are sorely needed.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Driving Practice Brings Us To New Pants


The kid wanted to drive and purchase a new pair of rugged cargo pants. So we went to the Duluth Trading Co. in Jantzen Beach.

The orientation of the store was to big men, so I was happily surprised to find 28 inch waist, 32 inch inseam pants for the skinny kid. He now has two pairs of pants with so many pockets that he will not need a backpack. Ever.

An older gentleman was checking out ahead of us with a big order of several hundred dollars. He took out bills and paid in cash, finding the coins for exact change as well.

Ten years ago, that might have been me purchasing a small item. I can’t remember the last time I paid for something in cash – certainly not an order worth a significant amount of money.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Driving Practice Took Us To Lake Oswego

The kid had no recollection of what Lake Oswego, Oregon was like. So we went to this tony suburb of Portland and looked for hair metal bands and BMWs.

What we found instead were chain stores and a lot of SUVs – but the houses looked nice and nobody yelled at us.

I remembered good times from college with a great friend who grew up there.


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Big Lebowski Enjoyed By New Generation

I taunted the kid last night by saying I created a meme that had cultural references he could not comprehend.

The result was a family viewing of “The Big Lebowski.” A good time was had by all.

Now I can say, “I don’t roll on Shabbos” and everyone can roll their eyes. 


Sunday, May 2, 2021

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler Should Resign

Today the centrist-right newspaper “The Oregonian” published an op-ed titled “Havoc Stems From Upholding Supremacy, Not Dumpster Fires.”

The piece was written by a guest columnist but the fact it appeared at all shows a softening on this issue for Portland. A quote:

Definitions of “violence” are contentious, but surely, we can agree there is a significant difference between broken windows and a 46-year-old man shot dead by police while in a city park, the latest person to be killed by Portland Police. There is no moral equivalency between dumpster fires in the street and murder. It is disingenuous to condemn property destruction while ignoring the relentless violence of Portland police, who used force a documented 6,000 times last year alone against citizens expressing their opinions on the value of Black lives. The overwhelming majority of violence against people occurring during protests is committed by Portland police, not by protestors.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Things Are Not Normal In Portland


There is an on-going civic discussion about the Portland police. The mayor and the police keep announcing new measures to crack down on protesters who vandalize and set fires.

One of the protesters’ main points of contention is that the police use excessive force, especially during the volatile summer of 2020. Also, they only arrest leftist suspects, giving gun-toting white supremacists a pass.

The police will never beat the protesters into submission. This just isn’t going to happen in 2021 in Portland. The protest season is just starting and if the police want to use every last dollar on overtime they can test this hypothesis all they want.

The police should arrest all who vandalize and show they are a little bit fair-minded by refraining from violence with peaceful protestors and arresting white supremacists who menace people with guns and break the law. Until they do, they will have trouble winning a majority of public support.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Problematic Thinking

I’ve been creating a good number of memes lately – some better than others.

I like keeping up with the news and meme creation adds my own silly stamp of authenticity to the work of real journalists.

It all harkens back to when I was a little kid and I would draw sunglasses and a cigar on the pictures of important people in the newspaper. That and Mad Magazine. This is how I explain my current thinking.

As this is a blog about…well, anything, a few random creations isn’t going to sink the boat.


Saturday, April 24, 2021

Celebration Going On


Definitely a cat-themed birthday. I gave a number of gifts, my favorite is this:

Cats and pizza -- what could be better?


Friday, April 23, 2021

Thursday, April 22, 2021

I Asked The Internet An Important Question


The best part about this inquiry was that Google Chrome auto-filled the last three words.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Offbeat Netflix Show Inspires Positive Change


The roadside zoo owner known as Joe Exotic was such a hit – in a freakshow way – in the Netflix series “Tiger King” that actual US senators want to address the problems highlighted in the show.

A group of senators introduced a bill designed to keep unlicensed individual from owning tigers and other big cats and forbid zoo owners from letting the public pet the animals or hold cubs.

Now that I’m officially a nutty cat person, the notion of controlling a 500lb cat that really only eats meat, and a human can’t pick up to scold or cuddle, is disturbing.  

I saw a documentary about domestic cats. They have been selectively bread for 4,000 years to be small comic geniuses. Why go against all this effort? I suspect it is the American insecurity about power – bigger is better and biggest is best. I can pet our cat a few times a day – and when he bites me out of impatience, I always survive.

I hope this bill succeeds into law as it would be a nice example of how change can happen.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Saturday, April 17, 2021

West Bank of the Willamette

Right-wing activist (left) Baruch Marzel enjoys a hearty Purim joke with comrades in 2015.

As the world becomes more concerned with justice, and individuals have the capacity to film violence with their phones, I’d like to think this is a recipe for societal improvement.

So far things are not playing out that way. Now the trial of the cop who murdered George Floyd is going on. Each day of the trial has seen a police shooting in the US, over 50% of the victims being Black or Hispanic.

The polarization of society keeps getting deeper.

I keep wondering if Israel is the harbinger of things to come and/or a cautionary tale.


Friday, April 16, 2021

Jerry Falwell Jr. Genuinely Perplexed At Kerfuffle He Finds Himself In

Liberty University filed a lawsuit against its former president Jerry Falwell Jr., alleging that he breached his contract and fiduciary duties to the school as he sought to cover up a personal scandal.

In his defense, Falwell Jr. said that he didn’t know that posting on social media a picture of himself holding a glass containing a dark liquid and standing with an unrelated pregnant woman would be controversial. Both had their zippers partially down, and Falwell joked that the drink was “a prop only.”

I guess we all need to live and learn. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Israel Prize Having Trouble Finding Appropriate Recipients

Perhaps the Israel Prize committee could put an ad in local Israeli newspapers soliciting high-achieving individuals who somehow refrained from criticizing Israeli policy for the last 15 years. I mean, there must be someone.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Highest of High Holidays

Photo courtesy of Willamette Week.

National weed day is coming up -- April 20, or 420. In the past I've looked at the local cannabis industry with amusement, listing all the fanciful names of smoke shops. But now it is a serious industry.

In only a few years, the Oregon cannabis industry now annually grosses over $1 billion.

I'm no longer surprised which friends and acquaintances indulge in cannabis products -- consumers can be anybody.

Maybe the quarantine goosed sales a bit, but the trend line looks smooth as more states legalize.

It's been fascinating to watch the end of prohibition for a product that is so broadly appreciated.



Tuesday, April 13, 2021

And So it Starts...Again

Photo by Justin Yau

The Portland protest scene feels like deja vu all over again.

Spring, another black person murdered by police, protest. Police bullrushes, non-lethal munitions, vandalism, fireworks.

Here we go again.

Monday, April 12, 2021