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.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Second Shot Photo Essay

We waited about an hour, most of the time outside, so we all bundled up -- a chilly spring day in the 40s.

These are some of the other people in line.

We capped the experience with hamburgers from Five Guys. 

Friday, April 9, 2021

Electric Lawnmowers Last About 10 Years


I've used corded electric lawnmowers for 20 years because I wish to use less fossil fuel and I believe the machines require less maintenance. 

However, the machines last only 10 years. It's not the engine or the blade that wears out, but rather all the switches and fittings. Once the plastic starts to crack I can try glue or duct tape but the writing is on the wall.

I almost went for a battery powered lawnmower but balked with the manufacturer's run time at only 45 minutes. That must stand for the best possible result -- not the real-world test.

Keeping it real! Stoke.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Driving Practice Leads To Exploration

In order to give the kid driving practice we jumped in the car. He wanted to go to Kelly Point Park, a place neither of us had been. The park is adjacent to some of the custom lots of the Port of Portland and we saw large container ships.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Spam Musubi

Note, kid is in the driver's seat. He's got his learner's permit. 

Spam Musubi

Every so often the kid wants to stock up on red-bean paste buns, dumplings, pocky, and assorted chip-like things that might taste like some permutation of shrimp. I’m not complaining, as 85% of the kid’s selections taste good.

When we went to the Asian market it was late afternoon and we purchased spam musubi for an immediate snack. This is a piece of grilled Spam on sushi rice and wrapped in nori. The rice absorbs the flavor of the Spam and the portion is perfect for that extra something to get you to dinner.

I often forget what Spam tastes like and, although I don’t always appreciate the provenance of overly processed meat, find it unobjectionable. With the rice and nori the Spam is elevated to a tasty treat.