Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Bridge Diner

Bridge Diner 4

Some photos of the old, historic Bridge Diner under the Broadway Bridge in downtown Portland. Ok, it's not actually old or historic. It's not even a diner. It's a movie set, a very detailed and believable set for the film Untraceable, currently shooting here in town. (The Mercury has a bit about it here, and there's a mention at CafeUnknown and I think I've seen it somewhere else too.)

Bridge Diner 1

Passersby could be forgiven for wondering how long it was here without them noticing. The movie folks did a great job making the thing look old, and it's small enough that it's conceivable it could've been overlooked. It looks like something you might find here, a half-forgotten relic of the old industrial days when the area was a working port.

I already knew the story when I set out to find the thing, so I just sort of walked around admiring it for a while, taking a few pictures and smiling at the bored security guard in a nearby pickup. Then my stomach growled at me. It sure would be nice if there was a real diner here, or around here somewhere. The surrounding area is mostly residential these days, but there's nowhere to eat, at least not anywhere that I've noticed. So a restaurant of any kind would be welcome here, I'm sure.

Bridge Diner 5

One fun bit: The "Diner parking only" sign is part of the set, but it serves precisely the same purpose in the real world too, keeping people from hogging the parking spaces around the building. It's like, postmodern, or whatever.

And since it's not really blogging unless I find something to be all anal-retentive and pedantic about, a couple of quibbles. First, a sign on the back of the building (photo 4) advertises "hero" and "grinder" sandwiches. Nobody uses those words here. Here they're always sub sandwiches. Don't ask me to explain that; it's just how it is. Second, the prominent "AIR CONDITIONED" sign on the front might not gotten that kind of billing here, even back when AC was a novelty. The whole damn state is naturally air conditioned about nine months out of the year. What you do see more often on old buildings are signs advertising "Color TV". Also, the building is even smaller than a Waffle House, which is really saying something. That's entirely too small. But that's not unusual for movie sets. Maybe one of the stars is really short and insecure, or something.

Bridge Diner 1

The thing with diners is that what people really love is the idea of diners. Maybe it's the architecture, or the music on the jukebox. Maybe they're seen as relics of a "simpler" and more wholesome era. Maybe it's even the food for some people, but not everyone, I'm sure.. Case in point: Out in Hillsboro there's a place called the Blue Moon Diner. (inside photo here) It's located in a strip mall off TV Highway, across from a big Intel plant, and it's only been there maybe 10-15 years. But apart from that, it's the real deal, as far as I can tell. It's one of those airstream-style prefab aluminum diners from the Midwest, which are still in production, believe it or not. The owners bought one, had it shipped here, and set up shop. The food is exactly what you'd expect: Eggs, bacon, and waffles; burgers, fries, and shakes; the whole deal. I'm told (by people who should know) that the burgers are just like the burgers you'd have gotten way back when. Which is not the same thing as saying they're the best burgers you can find now in 2007. And in 2007, you don't always want a burger anyway, regardless of the setting. When we lived out in that part of town, we went to the Blue Moon now and then, but for every visit we probably made ten runs to the neighborhood Thai Orchid. But still, the building sure is pretty. Your cultural studies professor can call it "pastiche" all s/he likes, but it's hard to beat curvy shiny aluminum, since everything else for miles around is nothing but relentless beigeness. Some of the more adventurous buildings are beige with khaki accents. But it can be hard to tell from a distance.

If you're closer to downtown and looking for an "authentic" diner experience, you might try the Original Hotcake House, on SE Powell near Milwaukie Ave. Not quite a "diner" per se, but definitely a greasy spoon. The bacon's good, which is really all you need to know. Oh, and, it's open 24/7. Back when I lived nearby in the Brooklyn neighborhood, mumble-mumble years ago, I'd occasionally drop by there at 2AM for some greasy breakfast chow and coffee. I'm not as much of a night-owl-about-town as I once was, but I'm still awfully fond of the place.

Bridge Diner 3

But I digress. More than any concerns about regional or historical authenticity, or whether it's physically possible to stuff enough customers inside to pay the bills, what I really worry about is Oregon's movie curse. Nearly every movie made here has been jaw-droppingly godawful, although sometimes (rarely) they achieve so-bad-it's-good status. Think The Hunted, or Portland Exposé, or Body of Evidence (which I just saw over the weekend, but that's another story). I hope the latest production manages to avoid the curse, even if it's supposed to be yet another Northwest serial killer movie, like we really need another of those.

Anyway, I hope the movie doesn't suck, and if it does, I hope it sucks in a non-memorable way so we don't get buses full of tourists through here looking for the real Bridge Diner. If anyone asks about it, feel free to play oldtimer and make up stories for the wide-eyed tourists. Tell them Harry Truman ate here, or that Marilyn Monroe worked here for a month or two, just before she got her start in showbiz. Say it's haunted by the ghost of some mafia kingpin who got gunned down in the parking lot back during the pinball wars of the late 50's. Repeat a few off-color jokes and say you heard them from old Stumpy McGee, the legendary line cook at the Bridge who retired to Yuma just last year. Tell 'em the place hasn't been the same since, but you remember how it was in the old days...

Monday, February 26, 2007

monday image-o-rama

vinca

So we're finally seeing the beginning of the end of our wintry drabness and grimness. Or at least it's the beginning of the beginning of the end. It's not quite prime photo season yet, but here are a few anyway....


wet_hat

Detail of the hat sculpture in Pioneer Courthouse Square. I can't find a lot of info on this thing (understandable, since it's really tiny), but someone else has a photo of it on this page.


pge_sunset

A weird sunset in downtown Portland, taken about a month ago.


red_bud

Did I mention it was almost spring? Here's more evidence.


argonath

Me, kicking it with my Argonath homies...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Portland Exposé



So I recently got my hands on a copy of Portland Exposé, a cheesy grade-Z crime pic from 1957. It combines two of my favorite topics on this blog: local history, and awful, awful movies. The thing was actually filmed here, at least in part -- and as everyone knows, basically all movies filmed here are horrendous. It's pretty much a law of nature, but that's a subject for another post. Stumptown Confidential has a bunch of stills here and here, and there's a fun local review of the thing at Duck Duck Book Trying to figure out exactly where the thing was filmed is half the fun (including the top photo, which I'll get to in a bit.) Making fun of the movie is the other half. And the movie really is fun, at least in a so-bad-it's-good way.

The film is one half of a double-feature disc titled Forgotten Noir Vol. 1 (which Netflix has here), and once you see it, you'll understand why it was forgotten. And don't think it just hasn't aged well; the NY Times reviewed it when it came out, and the reviewer was highly unimpressed.

Movie Gangster HQ, NW 11th & Davis

You might be wondering why Hollywood set the movie here, back in an era when our fair city was even more obscure than it is now. Seems there was a highly colorful corruption scandal here back in the 50's, as depicted in Phil Stanford's book Portland Confidential. (slabtown chronicle has more on the book here). Yes, it was an era of hard-drinking tough guys in fedoras, gun molls, crooked cops, the mob, the whole deal. We had it all, and half a century on it's pretty much impossible not to romanticize the whole thing. Anyway, the movie came out on the heels of the scandal, just in time to cash in on our city's fleeting notoriety. The plot isn't related to the actual scandal, though, except for the location and the mob angle. Everything else is the invention of the screenwriter's fevered, yet oddly prudish, imagination.

The executive summary version of our story: Our hero is a humble innkeeper, and he and his family have an establishment somewhere on the outskirts of our fair city. Everything seems idyllic and peaceful until organized crime moves in. They offer our hero a deal he can't refuse, and overnight the inn becomes quite the popular night spot. He's not happy, but he's making tons of money. But then, an icky henchman takes a liking to our hero's underaged daughter, and it's payback time. He takes what is apparently a middle-management job in the crime syndicate. They run just like a proper 50's business: Everyone wears a suit, and the accounting department keeps meticulous records, which is convenient. But little do the evildoers know that our hero is actually in cahoots with the G-men. He's going around taping conversations like mad, using a huge tape recorder he hides under his suit. This can't go on for long without being discovered, and it doesn't. But just when the baddies are about to do unspeakable things to our hero and his daughter, the G-men burst in, there's a nice big fistfight, and Public Order is restored once again. The End!

But this doesn't really do the film justice. For that, we'll need the traditional bullet-points-o-crap format:
  • One important lesson we learn from the film: It's a slippery, slippery slope into the clutches of the mob, and it all starts with pinball. No, seriously, it does. Bear with me here. Sure, you start out thinking you're dealing with a reputable pinball dealer, but sooner or later the mob horns in on his turf, and then you belong to them. Pinball is fine for the kiddies, as we all know, but it has a vague corrupting influence on grownups who play. No, really, it's a 100% totally true scientific fact. Ask anyone.
  • Since pinball turns responsible adults into amoral gambling fiends, from there it's a short step to slot machines, and once you've got slot machines all hell breaks loose: Drinking, dancing, carousing... At this point it just seems like the mob has a better idea of how to run a fun nightclub than our hero does. Oh, but they have bigger plans. Hookers, dope, guns, "illegal surgery", the whole deal. And once you've got that first pinball machine, there'll be no stopping any of it, so be warned!
  • You'd think that as popular as pinball apparently was back then, they could've found actors who knew how to pretend they were playing. But noooo. Someone really ought to have explained what those little buttons on the sides were for.
  • The old lady freaking out when she wins at the slot machine is a real hoot, too, shrieking and grabbing coins off the floor. I think we're supposed to gasp at the utter depravity of it all. You know, because only depraved people are happy when they win stuff. I gather that's the message we're supposed to get from this shot. I'm not entirely sure.
  • A lot of the main characters in the movie are so old for their parts it's almost surreal. The teenage daughter looks about 28, and her allegedly clean-cut fraternity boyfriend looks about 40. And the mom looks about 60.
  • A striking thing is what they leave out of the litany of lurid sins: Nobody suggests there's anything wrong with letting your customers get completely soused and then drive home in gigantic V8-powered sedans with knobby little tires and no seat belts or other modern safety equipment. And when the daughter's boyfriend decides she must be "easy" because her dad owns a popular night spot, everyone laughs off the attempted date rape as an innocent misunderstanding. Oh, and everyone smokes, of course. That goes without saying.
  • On the other hand, in 2007 just about every bar in town has slot machines, in their modern "video slots" incarnation. And every last one of them is owned and operated by the state. We all have a patriotic duty to go down to the local watering hole and drop a couple of twenties on the video slots, to help keep the state solvent for another year. Although many of us continue to neglect our patriotic duties, present company included. I just don't see the attraction, myself.
  • At one point there's a speech by a heroic labor union leader(!) who says the rank and file oppose all this organized crime business, and it's time to root it out. He even helps direct the police crackdown on the baddies, which is unusual given what little I know about the normal police chain of command. I guess this character's presence is supposed to combat the prejudices of the day, when in the public eye the unions were all a bunch of crooks and commies. This is one of the movie's rare attempts to be broad-minded, so I figured I ought to at least mention it.
  • There's a guy in the movie who's the big boss in town, the capo de capos, who we only ever see from behind, talking on the phone. For all the movie's pious moralizing, it goes to great lengths to give the baddies a certain mystique. Kids, do you want to grow up to be our sour-faced hero, proprietor of the No Fun Cafe way out in the boonies, or do you want to be Mr. Big?
  • Did I mention the huge tape recorder yet? We're talking almost shoebox-sized here, and somehow our hero hides it under his suit. Suits were baggy in those days, I guess. Not only is the recorder really freakin' gigantic, our hero couldn't be less discreet about recording people. He's got this microphone on a cord he whips out and waves around when he thinks the baddies aren't looking. Naturally that's how he gets caught.
  • Frank Gorshin's character is really, really, really creepy. Surprisingly so for a movie of this age. When the other baddies off him for being a liability, you kind of want to cheer them on. Sadly, it's no longer possible for gangsters to dispose of unwanted persons by dumping them on the railroad tracks near Union Station. The area's full of upscale condos now. Someone would be bound to hear the commotion.
  • The airport scenes don't look anything like the present-day airport. My guess is that we're seeing the old terminal that sat off of Marine Drive. I understand it's still in use today, strictly for cargo. On the other hand, the "new" terminal has been remodeled and expanded so many times that anything left from 1957 would be unrecognizable.
  • The high-class madam our hero picks up at the airport seems like someone's grandma, and isn't very scary at all. When she explains her hopes to have a proper, classy operation, with all educated girls and no "dipsos" or "hopheads", it almost sounds like a civic improvement program, at least by the standards of the day. If the movie's to be believed, even the crooks of the day were quite a judgmental lot. There were unwritten, informal, but very rigid rules to the game, and the rules were strictly enforced. Laws on the books, not so much. Everyone agreed on what constituted "vice" and tut-tutted about it constantly, but at the same time society was happy to tolerate a bit of naughtiness here and there, so long as it stayed within certain boundaries. "Vice" never poked its head out of the back alleys, and polite society averted its eyes, and people seemed to be content with the hypocrisy for decades on end.

    And then the hippies came along a few years later and upended the apple cart. No wonder the older generation hated them so much.
  • Although now in 2007, being a "hophead" is perfectly legal in Oregon, so long as you have a note from your doctor and an official state ID card. We want the program to be respectable, so it isn't quite PC to say that we have the hippies to thank for it, but we do. Admit it.
  • The bridge and phone booth scenes (go check the Stumptown Confidential stills) look like the Stark St. bridge over the Sandy at Troutdale, and west-side approach to the bridge. But that's a wild guess. I don't think there's a phone booth there anymore. Actually you won't find a phone booth much of anywhere anymore.
  • And about that top photo. It's of what I think was the baddies' lair in the movie, since there aren't a lot of buildings that style around here. It's at NW 11th & Davis, and although it's just a parking garage at present, it's right in the middle of a hugely desirable part of the ultra-upscale Pearl District. The Brewery Blocks are right next door, including the new theater in the old Armory building, and a bunch of top-tier chain stores. Powell's is about a block away. Our sleek Euro-licious streetcar has a couple of stops right nearby. The whole area is besieged with affluent shoppers and smug gazillionaire locals and their darling weimaraners. And everything's all so squeaky clean and glossy. Spend a few short minutes in the area and you'll start to miss those sleazy, film noir-ish days of yore.

    (Ok, more likely you'll miss the idea of those days. I suspect that life in the "wide-open" Portland of 50's could get pretty nasty, brutish, and short if you happened to know the wrong people. People weren't in the business just for the cars and broads and snappy suits.)

another sign of spring...

early crocuses, spring '07

A few flowers I ran across in the Pearl District earlier today. I'm a bit out of practice so the pics aren't up to my usual standards, such as they are. Oh, well. The top two are crocuses, I'm not sure what the third one is, other than it's a bulb of some sort.

crocus2

Sure the weather's still awful, but another sign of spring is always welcome. And spring means another season of my wife teasing me about posting all these photos of flowers, and none of people. Oh, well. If I wanted to, I could probably come up with a long list of snarky and misanthropic reasons why flowers are better than people, generally speaking, but I'm not in the mood right now. Maybe later.

bulbs


Bonus photo: A fun sign on one of the trees on the downtown transit mall. They're tearing the whole thing up right now for MAX construction, except for these trees.

protected

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Jesus Sighting in Albany

My wife found this in the Albany police blotter a couple of weeks ago:

Jesus sighting -
Police responded at about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday to a report of a man dressed like a sheik or Jesus throwing things off the Santiam Highway overpass.

According to a police dispatch report, an officer contacted the man, who was wearing a "Jesus outfit" and holding a sign that said "Jesus saves". He told the officer that he had occasionally waved at cars on the freeway, which might have been mistaken for throwing things.


So now when we're driving along the freeway and see someone on an overpass, one of us is bound to exclaim "Look, it's a sheik or Jesus!"

I guess you'd probably have to be there.


  • The same paper also had an item from the Corvallis fire department. Old electric blanket overheats and sets mattress on fire in sorority house. Sorority sisters scream and cower in fear, until a team of hunky firefighters shows up and saves the day. And then out of nowhere a funky bass line starts playing, and there's a few lines of bad dialogue, and then everyone gets naked, and... wait, I'm not so sure about the last part. That might've been from a movie or something.


  • Oh, and remember that dream Disney wedding I mentioned the other day? The one that was going to have wall-to-wall coverage on Entertainment Tonight? (Not E!, as it turns out; I got the two confused, I can't imagine how that happened). The one a certain relative of mine was attending? So far as I know the happy day proceeded as planned, but tragically it didn't make the tabloid shows. Preempted by Anna Nicole. Hell, on Thursday it was preempted by Anna Nicole and a piece about a really gross 1000 lb. man. I guess that'll be a fun story to tell the grandkids.

    In any case, this week I spent more time watching celebrity tabloid news than I have in decades, probably. I don't think I'm exaggerating there. If only I knew who half of those people were, I might've gotten more out of the experience. As it is, it's just five hours out of my life that I'm not going to get back. Someone owes me much beer.
  • Monday, February 12, 2007

    Ready, Set...

    bud_rhodo

    bud_tree

    almost_flowers

    bud_tree2

    It's not spring yet. It's nowhere even close to being spring yet, and we've still got months of rain and darkness ahead of us. But if you look closely, you might notice a few tentative signs here and there that winter doesn't actually last forever.

    It's said that spring begins on the equinox, which is about 5 weeks away now. But everyone knows the real start of spring doesn't come for another couple of weeks, with our fair city's annual Spring Beer & Wine Festival. Mmmmm..... Beeeer....

    Reason #687 why anonymity is a Good Thing

    I would never admit to this if I used my real name here. If you've been paying attention, and I hope you haven't been, on Valentine's Day there's going to be this sickly-sweet "fantasy wedding" at Cinderella's castle at Disney World, involving a local couple from the Portland area. They won the all-expenses-paid 50 guest bash in a bridal magazine essay contest. A close relative of mine is a friend of the happy couple, and will be attending the joyous event. Among other things, this will involve the musical stylings of Michael Bolton (not the one from Office Space), and posing for the ever-roving E! network cameras. I gather it's pretty much going to be part wedding, part mini-reality show. And said close relative is quite excited about the whole thing. I mean, a wedding, and free tickets to Disney World too. Could it get any better than that?

    Eeewwww. Cringe. Shudder. Gag. Anonymity means people who know me in RL can't connect the dots and make fun of me in person. And they would, too, simply for sharing some DNA with someone who voluntarily danced to Michael Bolton. Anonymity also means that if this relative (who I do like, except for the occasional lapse in good taste and judgment) runs across it, he or she won't know it's me, or at least won't be able to prove it. I mean, hurting people's feelings isn't the point of this, not at all. I'm just saying I wouldn't have gotten married at Disney World for any reason, for any amount of money. And if I'd so much as suggested it, my wife would've immediately called the whole thing off, and she would've been right to.

    Oh, and while I'm reveling in being anonymous, another close relative has a small Measure 37 claim in the works. I think this particular claim has a certain amount of merit, but if I said so and signed my name to it, I'd have pitchfork-wielding Pearlies and bike fascists and such showing up at my door waving torches and demanding blood. And I'm really not up for that, quite honestly.

    Monday, February 05, 2007

    tram, tram, tram, yada, yada, yada

    If I really, truly cared about gaining street cred as an Important Local Blogger, I probably ought to say something about the Burnside-Couch Couplet thing. But I've never really been one for poetry, quite honestly. So instead, here are even more pics of our fair city's shiny new aerial tram. If I'm boring you, I humbly apologize. I just might say a few words about the couplet whatzit before I'm done, if I feel like it.

    tram_moon

    The tram, with the moon. I trust neither requires an introduction at this point.

    tram_art

    The tram doing its thing, from Lair Hill Park. In the foreground, part of Land Form, a 70's-era sculpture by Bruce West. Portland Public Art has a fun, snarky look at this and other works by Mr. West. For the life of me, I never will understand that era's fascination with brownish rusting chunks of steel. But posing it with the tram seemed, y'know, artistic. The usual art world phraseology is that the two are "carrying on a dialogue" with each other, or some such. But if so, what are they saying? I took the photo and even I have no idea, so it's probably safe to assume they aren't saying anything at all.

    tram_sunset

    Sunset with aerial tram. You can almost see all the rich doctors on board, squinting and shielding their eyes. At least now they have an excuse to buy those $3000 Italian sunglasses they've been coveting.

    tram-2-tram

    Another pic from the recent snow apocalypse. This is taken from one tram car looking at the other. I actually had to do a bit of GIMP work on this one to get rid of a reflection of my hand holding the camera. Trust me, it didn't add anything to the shot.

    tram-tree

    A tree in Lair Hill Park. Oh, and there's something weird in the sky, off in the distance.

    trams_together

    Ok, here's both of 'em together. It's like Cute Overload, except with trams instead of cute animals. Not that I'm saying the tram is cute or anything.

    And about that couplet: If I can finally turn left off of Burnside (legally), hey, that's great. I'm all in favor. But a streetcar? I like the streetcar just fine and all, but running down Burnside? I'm not so sure about that. As far as I can tell, the powers that be now think the streetcar's primary virtue is that it's really slow and gets in the way of people in cars, who are by definition Pure Eeeeeevillll. Why else would they insist on running them along major streets -- not just Burnside, but also along MLK and Grand through the central east side? And what ever happened to the central east side being a designated "industrial sanctuary", by the way? Now the whole area's supposed to become the next "market rate" (i.e. mega-million-dollar) condo farm, once South Waterfront is all built out. Did we have any public meetings about this and I just didn't hear about it? I suppose that's possible, but it sure smells like yet another backroom deal to me...

    scenes from an upgrade

    So I finally got around to putting a reasonable amount of memory in the Mac mini at home. I've had the thing for close to two years now, and I've been convinced it needed an upgrade for a while now, but the prospect was a little intimidating. Adding memory to a Mini is a fun little chore, so here are a few photos.

    I should start out by saying that although I'm a computer geek, I'm generally a software geek, and I'm not the world's biggest hardware tinkerer. If there's a hardware problem, you call IT and a harried, underpaid, sleep-deprived schmoe with a tool belt will come and take care of it. If the hardware needs to be upgraded, you talk to management, fill out the appropriate TPS reports, lobby for budgetary approval, and wait, and wait, and wait, and eventually a harried, underpaid, sleep-deprived schmoe from IT will arrive bearing shiny new hardware.

    Except that doesn't work so well at home. And for some reason I keep buying hardware that's hard to upgrade. Not impossible; that would take all the fun out of it. It's always possible, just rather harder than it needs to be.

    mac-upgrade1

    Note the putty knives. The putty knives are for opening the case. Seriously. You open the Mini by wedging the putty knives into the left and right edges of the underside of the case, and prying the thing open.

    Some people have suggested that you can get by with a single putty knife. Which I suppose is possible, but they're cheap and they make the job easier. So get two.

    Sadly, I was not doing the upgrade with an accomplice, so there aren't any photos of me actually prying the case open.

    I should point out before I get much further that there's a lot of other info out there about upgrading Minis, with photos and everything. Some of the photos are better than mine, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Here are a few I referred to when getting ready to take the plunge. You probably ought to look at them too, if you're thinking about doing the same:
    mac-upgrade2 Ok, so here's the Mini with the case open. The accounts I read invariably talked about an alarming "rice krispie" sound, which is supposed to be the little plastic case latches unlatching. It didn't make much of a sound for me, though. Go figure. A bit of advice: If you're prying open a computer that isn't designed to open easily, and you're afraid of damaging it, but you have to be a bit ungentle to get the job done, a glass of cheap domestic syrah may be helpful. Two glasses would probably be overdoing it. mac-upgrade3 A closeup of the Mini, caseless. There's not a lot of empty space inside the thing, as you can see here. G4 Minis have a single DIMM slot, which can take up to 1GB memory. Memory's cheap these days, so you may as well max the thing out. The memory's the green doodad on the left. Basically you bend back the black plastic tabs on each end that hold the module in its slot, slide it out, put the new one in, and relatch the tabs. There can be a bit of prying to get the old one unseated, and some shoving to get the new one in place. If the latches won't latch, you'll have to push on it some more. But before you start shoving, note that there's a little notch in the bottom of the memory module, which is there to keep you from installing it backwards. If you're holding the thing backwards, no amount of shoving will lead to satisfactory results. Here are a few (PC-centric) pieces on how to install memory properly. mac-upgrade4 I forgot to take any pics of me actually installing the memory, but here's a shot of taking it out of the package. This photo is for the obligatory cheap shot about plastic packaging that's almost impossible to open. In the unlikely event that you have some pinking shears handy, they do a decent job, and there's less danger of you slicing your hand open than there would be with a straight blade of some sort. Bleeding all over your new memory is inadvisable, after all. mac-upgrade5 So the installation went fine, yada yada, and here's the machine all booted up. You might as well make sure it boots before putting the case back on. If it doesn't, it's putty knife time again. Overall, the upgrade was easier than I was afraid it would be. So far as upgrading Mac memory goes, it's much easier than upgrading a Mac Plus, but not anywhere near as easy as upgrading a Mac IIcx. (Please note how I subtly demonstrated my Mac oldtimer street cred in the last sentence.) The machine does seem noticeably faster now, since it doesn't have to swap as much as it once did. GIMP is happier, and gcc is happier, and even iPhoto is less sluggish than it once was. But still, no machine is ever really fast enough, and so I'm starting to read up on overclocking your Mini. Although the part about changing out resistors on the motherboard sounds a little shady to me. Oh, and although you probably can't see it in this photo, lurking in the shadows under the desk is my other toy, the Sun Ultra 30 I mentioned a while back. I think it may need more memory too. And the CDROM hasn't worked since I got it, so I need to find a new SCSI internal CDROM somewhere. Plus I haven't gotten around to finding the right keyboard+mouse & monitor adapters yet, so it runs headless for the time being. So there's no shortage of stuff to tinker with, is basically what I'm saying.

    And if you're wondering about the two tiny plastic frogs in the photo, they're for good luck. Hey, it can't hurt.