Detail from the building that until recently housed the Bidwell & Co. brokerage. It's been empty for some time now, several months to a year. This is alternately known as the Bank of California Building (the name used on its National Register of Historic Places listing), and the Durham & Bates Building. In the 90's, the building figured in a court case where Japanese real estate investors were defrauded, if I'm reading the court document correctly. FWIW. This isn't much of a lead story; it's just here because I thought the photo turned out ok. That's all, really.
- The new Mac Pro is out, powered by two dual-core Xeons. I've already explained to management that I really, really need one, and my morale and the quality & quantity of my work might improve if I had one. No definite answer yet on that count, although I like to think that their nervous laughter is simply the first step on the way to budgetary approval.
- The latest piece of the city's "HydroPark" initiative, a neighborhood get-together at the water bureau's Marigold Tank property in SW Portland. (Google map here). Like most of the new "HydroParks", I expect this is strictly of neighborhood interest, and there's no real reason to care unless you live in the area. I'm actually mentioning this item only because "Marigold Tank" would be a great name for a band.
- In a related item, I was up on Alberta St. the other day, and stumbled across a similar facility, with a gigantic, vaguely nuclear-looking water tank, and a small community garden and playground on one side. (Satellite photo here, and here's another photo of the area.) Seems the garden's quite popular, actually -- this PDF from the city indicates there's a 5 year waiting list for the right to grow your veggies there. Wow. Must have amazing soil or something. And I assume irrigation isn't a problem.
- Also from the gov't, here's a current list of the city's most dangerous intersections. The lesson here, I think, is to avoid travelling east of 82nd Ave. at all costs. I'm not sure it's possible to get anywhere out there without passing through a handful of the dangerous intersections on the list. Surprisingly, the nightmare intersection of Burnside, Sandy, and the 11th/12th avenue couplet comes in way down at #329. The traffic circle at 39th & Glisan is also lower than you'd expect, in 257th place. Go figure.
On my way to work this morning, I was treated to the spectacle of a shiny new Ferrari being towed away. I don't know the story behind this. Maybe the owner's a major Colombian drug lord, and got busted at the 5th Ave. Suites this morning. Or maybe it's just some random rich person who thought that basic traffic laws don't apply if you're in a red Italian sports car. Or maybe the car just broke down and needed to be towed to the shop, for all I know. That wouldn't be entirely surprising. Ahh, sweet, sweet schadenfreude...
A photo from the annual Hermiston Melon event in Pioneer Courthouse Square. I didn't stick around for the ceremonial handing-out-of-melons.
- Seen on Pharyngula: Science. It works, bitches.
- Jalpuna! fills us in on the latest twist on dissing Hummers. Frankly, you will never, ever catch me on video doing the deed with a Humvee. It's been in bed with the oil companies. Think of all the nasty diseases you could catch. And even if you don't, the video will be perfect blackmail material.
- The latest Cassini goodness, this time about Saturn's weird-ass moon Hyperion.
Oh, and here's a photo of the West Hills from back in March when we had a bit of snow. Just a little reminder that the current warm weather is an aberration, and that most of the year it's cold and miserable outside in this part of the world. Like I always say, if you'll miss it when it's gone, don't complain about it when it's here. Although a day of snow would be awfully nice at the moment, I have to admit.