Thursday, May 31, 2007

rose overload

k-rose7


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Gentle Reader(s), it occurred to me today that you might -- just might -- not be sick and tired of rose photos just yet, so I thought I'd go take a few more.

I figured going up to the main rose garden in Washington Park would almost be cheating, plus the place is probably thick with tourists right now, so instead I wandered up to one of the city's other rose gardens, the small and rather obscure Kenton Neighborhood Rose Garden. More info about the place at OregonLive, Waymarking.com, and the Kenton neighborhood association. Seems all the upkeep is done by local volunteers, not the city. Maybe I'm biased, since I can't even grow mold on stale bread, but they've done a pretty impressive job if you ask me.


k-rose1

k-rose4

k-rose5

k-rose8

k-rose9

k-rose2

k-rose3

k-rose6

k-rose10

The cephalopod conquest continues...

busstop

This sign is on the temporary bus mall on 4th Ave. near PSU. Either TriMet now hires human-squid hybrids, or the agency's graphic designer has spent wayyyy too much time in Japan.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Civic Plaza

cube, civic plaza


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A few photos of Portland's "Civic Plaza", the little triangle around the westbound PGE Park MAX stop. At least that's the name TriMet gives the place. Since nobody else seems to offer a different name for it, that's the name we'll go with. The name's less generic than it sounds actually; if you're new to Portland you might not realize this, but until PGE bought the naming rights a few years ago, the plaza sat next to "Civic Stadium", hence the name.

Civic Plaza #4

The place exists a.) to make it easy for MAX trains to round the corner onto 18th, and b.) so large crowds can get on and off the train easily when there's a game on at the stadium. But since it's a public works project in Portland, we have to have us some art, too. TriMet describes it thusly:

Westside design team artists used the buildings and plaza to express the importance of oratory to the city's history.


  • Robert Sullivan supports the theme with an original essay
  • Bronze podiums invite spontaneous oratory
  • Punctuation marks form seating and accents on the Yamhill platform
  • Windows light up at dusk

Here are a couple of those podiums they speak of:

Civic Plaza

Civic Plaza

I'll grant that I don't go by here every day anymore, but I've never seen any spontaneous oratory, I'm afraid. If you decide to avail yourself of our own local Speaker's Corner, be warned, though: Since this is (presumably) TriMet property, there are a number of rules & regulations you'll need to abide by. First, you'll need to keep your oratory quiet, and entirely non-musical. From the TriMet Code, section 28.15 A:

(13) Excessive Noise: No person shall:
(a) Make excessive or unnecessary noise within any District Vehicle or District Station with the intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to the public, District personnel, or a peace officer, or with a reckless disregard to the risk thereof; or
(b) Perform vocal or instrumental music, without the prior written authorization of the District.


Well, I suppose you could get a permit and do some music, but if you need a permit, it isn't free speech, is it?

Second thing to know, your spontaneous oratory is only permissible if you're currently waiting for a train. Otherwise, no dice. From the code, part 28.15 B:

(1) Use of District Transit System for Non-Transit Purposes: No person shall enter or remain upon, occupy or use a District Station for purposes other than boarding, disembarking or waiting for a District Vehicle, in an area where non-transit uses are prohibited by posted signage. A person is in violation of this section only after having occupied a District Station for a period of time that exceeds that which is reasonably necessary to wait for, board or disembark a District Vehicle.


And don't even think of posting any handbills:

(5) Posting of Unauthorized Signs or Notices: Except as otherwise allowed by District regulations, no person shall place, permit or cause to be placed any notice or sign upon any District Vehicle, District Station or District Parking Facility or upon any vehicle without the owner’s consent while the vehicle is parked therein.


There's the usual bit forbidding threats and/or harrassment, which is fine, of course, and then there's this catch-all provision:

(6) Violation of Signage. In addition to the prohibitions set forth elsewhere in TMC Chapters 28, 29 and 30, no person shall fail to abide by specific directives provided in the form of a fixed permanent or temporary sign posted in or upon the District Transit System that has been authorized by the General Manager to address a regulatory or security concern. The General Manager or the General Manager’s designee may establish and post such signage in a manner to provide sufficient notice concerning the conduct required or prohibited. Any violation of the specific directives in any sign authorized by the General Manager shall constitute a violation of this subsection.


cp5

So all things considered, you might want to do your spontaneous oratory elsewhere. Besides, you'll just annoy the commuters heading home to Beaverton -- when they can hear you over the trains, that is.

Still, a MAX station with an "oratory" theme in the first place is a delightfully archaic notion. Free speech anywhere near a transit facility? You can't get much more "pre-9/11" than that, can you? We won't see another place like this anytime soon, so we might as well enjoy it, I suppose. I mean, the government's still OK with you standing on a box just like the one here. It's just that the box is in Guantanamo, and there's a hood and some electrodes involved....

Moving right along... You might've wondered about the silver cube in the top photos. It's a hot dog stand. No, really. Once in a blue moon, it opens up and you can buy hot dogs. TriMet says it's called "Hot Dog Ernie's". (Curiously, a different Hot Dog Ernie's on the eastside figures in this story about a weird TriMet accident. Huh.) The rest of the time, the cube just sits there being silver and inscrutable, and if you get close enough you might get a history lesson. Here's a bit from OPB about the author (I think) of said history lesson.

If you don't have anything to say, and you aren't in the mood for a hot dog, there's really not much else to do here, except maybe wait for a train, or cross the street and go see a baseball game or something. Or, in the unlikely event that you're trying to make a circuit of places covered in my ongoing "local parks" series, you can make it a twofer and hit Portland Firefighters' Park, just steps away to the north on 18th. Or hey, make it a four-fer: Go west a couple of stops on the train to 18th & Jefferson, and you'll be right at Collins Circle. Then walk south on 18th, going under the Hwy 26 underpass, turn right on Mill Street Terrace, and walk uphill a short way to Frank L. Knight Park. I mean, you could do that, if you were so inclined. I'm not suggesting it'd be fun, exactly, but it'd certainly be esoteric, and I imagine that counts for something in some quarters.

park blocks commute

So I was walking to work again, this time along the South Park Blocks, and I noticed a work crew tearing down this church office building:

church_demo

Look closely at the photo (or look at the larger version), and look in the window next to the room being demolished. Look at the painting on the wall in that room. Doesn't that guy look a little familiar? I'm not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination, and I generally favor the notion of tearing out church buildings when the opportunity arises. But even to me it seems like this ought to be bad luck or something, tearing down the building without rescuing that mural first.

It should come as no great surprise that the building's being demolished in favor of an ultra-ritzy condo tower. When there's big bucks on the line, I suppose there's no room for getting all sentimental over some old painting, even if you're a church.

On a much cheerier note, here are a couple of roses near the sacreligious carnage:

spb_rose_1

spb_rose_2

And some decorative berries nearby. They're either salal or Oregon grape, I think. I always get the two confused. Yes, yes, I was a Boy Scout once, and I'm sure there was a test on this, but that was a very long time ago. Entire new species have probably evolved since then. Continents have drifted, even.

Salal


Elsewhere along the South Park Blocks, a couple photos from the Peace Plaza block:

peace_plaza_1

peace_plaza_2

This block's been known officially as Peace Plaza since 1985, although I don't know of anyone who calls it that. The sculpture you're looking at is called "Peace Chant". I hate to sound like an uncultured rube here, but I don't get it. I don't really see the peace component to the work, I have to say. No doubt the artist and funders meant well, and everyone knows that representational sculpture is tres gauche and all that. But if your goal is to educate the public about the desirability of peace rather than war, you really want something a bit more, y'know, accessible, dontcha think? Peace is a deadly serious business. It was in '85, just like it is now. It deserves better than just another pile of mute, inexplicable stones.

The plaque that goes with the work doesn't do much to explain it:

peace_chant

(You might notice the leaves; the "Peace Chant" photos were taken back in September, but I hadn't gotten around to using them until now.) Some more photos of the thing at Portland Waymarking, and it also figures in a conservative author's rant against abstract art over at the Trib. Which is funny really; you'd think that conservatives would be delighted at how utterly ineffective the thing is as a peace monument.

Contrast that with the giant peace symbol at "Peace Memorial Park", at the east end of the Steel Bridge, which is a giant peace symbol made of flowers:

peace_mem_park

I've discussed this place previously here, before the peace symbol was replanted for this year. When I mentioned it, I'd forgotten about the plaza in the park blocks, just like everyone else. So this makes at least two close-in locations dedicated to the cause of peace, although they're still outnumbered by all the war monuments we have around town.


I realize I'm rambling and wandering a bit afield here, but while poking around in the archives looking for those photos, I ran across a couple of photos from the North Park Blocks.

dogbowl

Now here's a bit of art that works, for what it is. Yes, it's a drinking fountain for dogs, another of those silly "only in Portland" things. And yes, we paid $$$ to have a famous artist design it for us, namely William Wegman of Weimaraner fame. But I like it, and it's still new enough that it doesn't show up in all the guidebooks yet. So here it is.

park_st_n

At the other end of the North Park Blocks' time scale, here's an archaic street name pressed into the curb. It's Park Ave. now, and the old name hasn't been used since at least the 1930's, if I recall correctly.


So I suppose this doesn't really give you a good picture of my morning commute today, but there you have it.

Friday, May 25, 2007

This post NOT titled "Photo Friday"...

skidmore1

skidmore2

I didn't feel like going for a hike today, or doing a lot of research, or coming up with intelligent opinions about the issues of the day, or anything difficult like that, because it's a 3-day weekend. Expending any more effort than absolutely necessary would be unpatriotic. Everyone knows that. So instead, here are a few more photos from the archives.

Top two photos are from Skidmore Fountain, at 1st & Ankeny downtown, in the middle of where Saturday Market runs on the weekend. Yes, I realize you knew that already, but I get a lot of out-of-town visitors here, and I like to give 'em a helping hand. They might decide to come and visit and spend tourist dollars (or euros) or something. So let's try to create a positive impression, shall we?

You in the back, stop picking your nose. Yes, you. You didn't realize this thing is two-way, did you? Serves you right.


pink_tree_2

pink_tree_1

Some pink flowers from last month. It's been long enough that I've totally forgotten what they are or where they're from, but I thought I'd share the photos anyway. Enjoy.


gull

A seagull in Lincoln City. You can't really tell from this photo, but it's perched on a ledge 10 stories above the ocean. Although I suppose that's less of a concern if you have wings, which I don't.


shark

And a shark from the aquarium in Newport. Photographing fish in low light is harder than I thought. Everything comes out green, or not at all. This is one of the few that I thought turned out ok. FWIW.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

stairs x 5

I got a reader question the other day from someone wanting to know more about the steep narrow stairs between the Mt. Tabor reservoirs. I responded, and got to thinking that I hadn't done any stair exploring around town recently. So I figured I'd have another go at it. I'd read there was a loop you could do up in NW Portland where you can hit a bunch of stairways all at once, if you're feeling up to it. I've got a few photos from the excursion, but first a map:

stairmap

I couldn't find an existing map on the net with the stairs marked, since the city doesn't yet have a NW Portland walking map like it has for the rest of town. The stairs are shown in red, although their positions are sort of approximate. It's the best I can do in MS Paint, I'm afraid.

Writing walking directions from scratch can be kind of tedious, so let me start by quoting a couple of the sources I relied on. A piece about Forest Park at Walk About Magazine covered the stairs, albeit going in the opposite direction than I went:

From here you will walk to the left and downhill, following NW Luray Terrace for about 10 to 5 minutes, then branching right and uphill at the Y in the road onto NW Luray Circus. On the left, almost at the end of this cul-de-sac, is the first set of stairs. (All of the entrances to the stairwells are tough to see as they are covered with foliage and blend with the surrounding houses, so look closely for them.) Go right at the bottom of these stairs, which puts you back on NW Luray Terrace, then when you hit Cumberland Road go left, staying on the left-hand sidewalk. In about 15 yards you’ll cross over Shenandoah Terrace and then — on the left-hand side, just in the crook of the road where it breaks right — the next set of stairs will plunge steeply down to Fairfax Street. From here you want to cross Fairfax, and then cross over to Westover Street, walking about 20 yards to the right where between two houses the next set of stairs waits. At the bottom of these stairs turn left, and follow NW Summit Street downhill to NW Cornell. Turn left up Cornell, walk about 25 yards, cross the crosswalk, and then descend the stairs immediately on the other side of the crosswalk. At the bottom of these stairs take a right down Pettygrove Street, and at the stop sign at 26th Avenue go left onto the paved path. This path cuts between the school and the park and will lead you back to Raleigh Street and your car.


A recent forum post has a similar description, this time going the right way:

Pettygrove Street near 26th there's a stairway to NW Cornell, then take right to NW Summit Street and turn right to next set of stairs, this leads to Westover Street that you cross over and up to Fairfax Street to just up to next stairs that climb to Shenandoah Terrace, then right to Cumberland Rd. and to NW Luray Terrace and turn left till next stairs that go up to NW Luray Circus (a cul-de-sac), this meets again with NW Luray Terrace that you follow up to a pathway that's to Cumberland Road that meets there with the Tunnel Trail on right but keep going along the Wildwood Trail ... till it crosses NW Cornell Road past the parking lot and restrooms and Forest Park's 5000 acre wood... I remember a stone house down along the trail where the name changes to the Lower Macleay Trail.... that can take you back down to the Lower Macleay Park Trailhead on Upshur Street and it's about three blocks to NW 28th Avenue just a few blocks from where you started in Northwest/Nob Hill around trendy-third, I mean 23rd Ave. ... 'PORTLAND'S LITTLE RED BOOK OF STAIRS' by Stefana Young has the guide but I've yet to look for and find it.


Ah, the ever-elusive Little Red Book of Stairs. I still can't find a copy for sale anywhere, dammit. Anyway, there's also a description at NW Portland Neighborhoods, but you probably get the gist by now.

[Updated 5/25/07: Until just now, I'd forgotten to go look for stairs stories in the library's Oregonian database. Nothing about these particular stairs in the O dating back to 1987, but a few stories did crop up:
  • A piece from last October, profiling a guy who developed an interest in the city's public stairs. He was taking photos and notes and had no idea what he was going to do with them. That's easy, if you ask me. Put it on the net. Share information, don't hoard it.
  • From 1998, a walking tour of the numerous stairs in the Alameda neighborhood. I don't know Alameda too well, so this is unexplored territory for me so far. If I get around to checking it out, it would be safe to bet there'll be photos here.
  • A '99 article about the Elevator Stairs, which mentions the Little Red Book. They were one of the author's faves, and they're one of mine too. I've already covered them in a previous post.
  • And a '97 bit about the stairs in Mt. Tabor Park.

There are a few other old articles out there, but these are the most informative & useful ones.] The hardest part to any stair excursion is finding the stairs. They're unmarked, so you have to look a bit, and you want to avoid mistaking someone's front steps for a public staircase. It's easier to do than you might think. That's where this post comes in, I hope: I've got photos of each staircase from the top and the bottom, to make them easier to locate out in the field. Or that's the plan, anyway. As you might've guessed, our trip begins at the stairs from NW Pettygrove up to Cornell, although you could just as easily start off with the stairs on Quimby, Overton, Northrup, or Marshall, if you prefer, since they all end up on Cornell. So here's the Pettygrove side:

stair1_b

And the Cornell side:

stair1_t

Looks pretty steep, huh? Well, that's just the beginning. A short walk uphill gets you to the next set, from Summit Ave. up to Westover Rd. The Summit side:

Public Stairs:  Summit Avenue to Westover Road

These stairs have seen some maintenance recently. Here's a post all about stairs from last June over on jgaiser's blog, and he's got a photo of the Summit-Westover stairs caked in moss. He also includes an envy-inducing photo of his copy of the Little Red Book. So ascend those newly cleaned and maintained steps, and this is what you'll see on the Westover side:

stair2_t

Ok, so far so good. We're already getting a decent view from up here. If you look off in the distance you can see Mt. St. Helens on the horizon. Just below it you'll see a water tower, which looks like the one next to Going St. up in North Portland. Which means that just to the right of it, and not visible to us, is tiny Stanich Park. But that's a different expedition, and I do hate to digress. Honest. Anyway, those last stairs put you close to one corner of a four-way intersection, where Westover, Fairfax, and Cumberland all join together. The next set of stairs is diagonally across the intersection, from Fairfax Terrace up to Cumberland Road. (Cumberland loops around, see?) Here's the Fairfax side:

stair3_b

If you're like me, these stairs may start to feel like entirely too many stairs right about now. Sometimes you just have to stop and take photos of the flowers... if you're like me, anyway, which you probably aren't:

flowers, fairfax-cumberland stairs

Ok, so here's the (vertigo-inducing) Cumberland side of the steps, finally:

stair3_t

Moving right along, walking a bit uphill (and west), we get to the stairs from Luray Terrace up to Luray Circus. The base:

stair4_b

And the top:

stair4_t

So you're at a cul-de-sac here, and all you can do is walk downhill until you're back on Luray Terrace. Which begs the question: What's the point of these stairs, if you can just as easily walk around the block? Beats me. At least there's a decent view:

stair4_top_view

You probably get a better view if you own a house up here, or know someone who does, which I don't. Still, you get a wide vista of the Willamette, with the BNSF railroad bridge and part of the St. Johns Bridge in the distance. Not bad. From here, the hike directions usually send you up Luray Terrace and into Macleay Park, from where you loop back around down into NW Portland. That's sort of what I did too, but I'm trying to keep this post reasonably focused on stairs, if I can. I've got park photos too, but we'll save those for another post, ok? So from here you can either follow the directions from one of the sources given above, or turn around and go back down the stairs, or I guess you could take the sidewalk down if you're feeling mundane, or go by street luge if you're a little more adventurous. It just so happens that I looped around through the park, and ended up back on Cornell, where I ran across the stairs connecting Cornell & Quimby St., right at a steep corner on Cornell. Unlike the other stairs, I was heading downhill at this point, so here's the top first:

stair5_t

And the Quimby side. This is right at the corner of Quimby & 29th Ave.

stair5_b

If you're doing this for the sake of completeness, the Overton, Northrup, and Marshall steps are nearby. Or you can be like me, and declare Mission Accomplished and go locate a frosty beverage of some sort instead.

indegree

People don't link to me very often, so I get a little thrill out of it when it happens. I figure it's only fair that I link to whoever's linking here, thus completing the circle and all that....

Today's batch:

an evening out

From yesterday evening, an attempted moblog gone awry...




I can never get the hang of this fashionable lateness thing. No matter how late I think I am, no matter how fashionable I try to be, I'm always there way freakin early. Stupid law-abidingness, assuming rules are observed, and things are as they're said to be. Silly me.

It's not that I'm always punctual. I'm not at the office at the crack of 9 each day. Hell, usually it isn't the crack of 10 either. But get me outside my comfort zone and I become mr. On the dot. Here I am at the doug fir again, waiting on another dahlia show. Doors open at 8, I got here half an hour in, and... Nobody. This is what comes from being a non-inveterate concertgoer. I just don't grok the local folkways.

Doesn't help that there's no BB reception here, so I can't mess around on the net or anything. I'm such a nerd. So I'm dinking away on the gadget anyway, sipping a vodka tonic, trying to look tres chic for all the people who aren't here. And yes, I realize smartphones aren't a universal status symbol. At least w/o reception I won't get sucked into any office email threads. Lecturing about the usefulness of GetProcAddress is not my idea of a good time. At the moment, I mean. During office hours, playing guru is great fun (and much easier than doing real work). Did I mention I'm a total nerd? It's true.


This isn't the first time I've done this. Here's an earlier Doug Fir-based moblog attempt, which I looked at later and decided it wasn't worth posting, what with babbling on about politics and all. It's more sort of notes for a moblog post really. I include it here primarily so that I can do a fun post-within-a-post-within-a-post thing, with another layer of nested blockquotes:

Ok, so I still got here way early. I swear I'll never get the hang of this club thing.

Had a great time regaling all and sundry about the outsourcing fiasco. I think I got geek points yesterday. Also, spent part of today explaining the thing with windows file access times I blogged about a while back. I may not be the world's greatest buzzword engineer, but I am the king, the one true king, of domain knowledge.

Someday I'm going to have to post about unix auditing. Talk about domain knowledge.

Why don't I post about tech topics more often?

North korea, that I've threatened to post about for days: the fundamental issue here is that it's always a poor idea to make threats you aren't in a position to follow through on. Don't put someone in your axis of evil, and then give them 4+ years lead time to get ready for your plans, if you have any. I'm not saying dubya's policy is the only failed policy; the be-nice policy of s. Korea, china, and russia hasn't gotten results either. Other than possibly keeping someone in nk from starving. But it also doesn't aggravate the situation.

All W did was tip our hand years in advance. Scaring the baddies shouldn't be an end in itself. Always plan for how they might actually respond, don't just assume bullying them is bound to succeed.

Look at sco. They made all sorts of claims and threats against the linux world, and where are they now? They couldn't back it up when their target didn't back down, and there was no plan b. And even if there was a plan b, no matter how great it sounds, people remember it wasn't plan a. Democracy in iraq was plan b, after the wmd thing fell through. Plan b never gets as much credibility, or as wide a constituency. It's a fact of life.


See what I mean? Someone obviously needed to chill out and relax a little.





The WW had a big expose piece today alerting us that p-town is full of cokeheads. Not a "something should be done" piece like the O did with meth or anything. As far as I can tell, the point was partly to give us a knowing, lurid giggle, and partly so they could put a nagel print on the cover, and partly to coin the term "snortland", which you have to admit is kind of clever. I mention this because the piece mentions a bust going down in the doug fir's mens room a couple years ago. Greeeeeatttt. I'm not a judgmental person, generally, but this is one of the rare things that make me think less of someone. I've seen plenty of bad hollywood movies, and read about how they came to be. I'm pretty sure the coca plant is not a net benefit to humanity, just from that. We've already got quite enough arrogance and selfishness and greed going around already, thanks. I'm not saying put anyone in jail. I'm just saying cokeheads shouldn't be suprised when people make fun of 'em.




I did a blog post earlier today with even more photos. I never get a lot of orblogs visitors from those. And yet, they're easy, and it still never ceases to surprise me when I come up with photos that look good. I tend to be self-deprecating about it and credit the idiot-proof camera. And to a degree I'm right; I can get good results without having to know all that much about cameras, optics, etc. It's also nice to get good results w/o spending lots of money, because I'm cheap. I already have a camera - why buy another, until this one breaks?

It's also true, though, that I've always sort of wanted to be good at this. I had an old 110 camera as a kid and tried "artsy" shots even then. Not all that successfully, but I tried. It's the lack of instant feedback, and the cost of film, that held me back, I think. No more "make the shot count". Just take lots of pics, try lots of stuff, and eventually something may turn out ok.


[short break]

Again I wasn't too lucky getting anyone else within my orbit to come this time, but it's about the music, not the socializing with those who orbit me, really, so whatever.

There's a bunch of teachers sitting behind me, gossiping. They're all the same.

I swear I won't touch this thing when the music starts. I'm not quite that much of a nerd. I think.

Vodka tonic #2 now. Not great really, but cheap & inoffensive, & they come in cheap plastic cups. Awesome.

I sort of left off with the political posts the last few days. I at least ought to gloat about the election, but I haven't yet. Or gloat about Wolfie. At least Falwell's still dead, the bastard.

That'd be a good movie plot come to think of it: the rapture happens, separating souls from still-living bodies, which become the undead. Zombies? Vamps? Rapture is either magical, or corporate (enslaved zombies)

I'm full of genre movie plots. Did I ever tell you about my s&s plot? All those classic s&s pix were filmed in argentina during the dictatorship, in the runup to the falklands. Film crew has usual unheroic type characters, but has to save their people from the junta. Local creative types exactly the people who'd be under suspicion and get "disappeared". Juxtapose against film's hackneyed script (spoof?).

It's starting to fill in now. I've been here about an hour, so it's about time. Past showtime and no show yet. Bastards. I did *my* part, dammit. I'm not just a nerd, I'm a freakin' calvinist. Part-time, about some things, I mean.

For lunch today I tried Ziba's Pitas, the Bosnian cart up on Park by the Galleria. Yes, Bosnian. And I'm sold. Tomorrow, will it be Bosnian again, or the Peruvian joint a few carts down? I'm spoiled for choice, honestly. I lean towards Bosnian, because of the feta cheese thing. Mmmm...

Tptb tell me I'm working on Solaris again, which is awesome. My Sun box is relevant again, although I still need to get its damn video card issues worked out.


It'd be fair to wonder why I do this. I don't go to that many concerts, but I keep going to dahlia. A friend dragged me to the first one, and it was more than fun. It was *cathartic*, as silly as that sounds. That's rare. Then the vocal half went to nyc to seek her fortune, and I figured, never again will I experience that. Now she's back, and they've got all new material, and... Yeah. I've missed the last few monthly gigs, first because of the weather, and then that damn sore toe. It still isn't better exactly, but I'm doing this anyway, dammit.

So I'm perhaps not the most high-value fan a group could have. I admit that. But I think I do ok at it, anyway. It's not like 7th grade, it's not about impressing anyone, or getting societal approval or whatever. It's all about letting go for a while. Perhaps you don't realize how hard that is?


[opening act begins]
...

Sophe Lux, opening act. Show fine, music awesome. Maybe not dance -> 3/4 time often. Waltz, I dunno how. Bought 2 cds. Yes, typing on BB again, but no music right now. Gimme a break, already. I'm doing this for *you*, dammit. Show some luv.

...


[Show ensues]


...


Ok. Home now. Very tired. Happy. Did I say "tired" yet?


Zzzzzzzzz.....




Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

3rd avenue commute

A few pics taken while walking to the office this morning. It's one of the little perks of living downtown, I guess. And one of the little perks of warm(ish) weather, too.

lownsdale_soldier

The soldier statue in Lownsdale Square, one of several Spanish-American War memorials around town. If alien archaeologists ever dig up the city, someday in the distant future, they'll assume that the war was a really big deal, or at least that it somehow affected us in a significant way. I've really never seen a good explanation about why our forebears thought we needed so many memorials back then. But then, society is on sort of a memorial-building kick right now, too. And, sadly, a memorial-generating kick as well.


keller_rose

A rose next to Keller Fountain, since it just wouldn't do to post without including at least one flower. I'd lose my street cred, or whatever.


keller

A bit of Keller Fountain itself. You probably haven't noticed, but I don't post a lot of photos of the thing. It's not for lack of trying. I just don't seem to have the knack of photographing it in a reasonably pleasing way. Even this one isn't all that great of a photo, but I kind of like what the water's doing.


pettygrove_fern

A fern on a stone wall in Pettygrove Park, the often-overlooked little green spot behind the horrible black 200 Market St. building. The park's full of little grassy hillocks, with paths winding around them. In the sunshine, when the light's just right, you half-expect to see doors and chimneys and hobbits gamboling about. When the weather's bleaker, you fully expect barrow-wights.

Monday, May 21, 2007

photo monday rides again

Assorted recent pics, FWIW:

stormy1

The sky, a couple of hours ago.


stormy2

The sky, a couple of weeks ago.


steel-bridge

Detail of the Steel Bridge, with a bit of steel showing.

water_ave_tram

The tram, from SW Water Avenue & Lane St. I like this: An unreasonable number of wires snaking off in all directions, and one has a tram full of people hanging off of it.


suspended

Construction in the Pearl. It's all about framing the shot, you know.


sun & leaves

Sun & leaves, "Unnamed Park" @ SW 14th & Hall, downtown Portland.


st_marys_gate

Gate at the old St. Mary's Academy block on 4th Ave., downtown. It's just a parking lot now, but with a really amazing old stone wall around it.


proudhon

Ok, sure it's graffiti. But at least it's graffiti by someone who (maybe) is familiar with Pierre Proudhon. I suppose that's an encouraging sign.


suxor

More graffiti, this time opining about the city. This building is the former "Psycho Burger King", at Burnside & Broadway downtown. Spend a lot of time here and you might start to agree with the sentiment expressed here.