Friday, April 27, 2007

Haystack Rock, Pacific City

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A few photos of Haystack Rock, at Pacific City on the Oregon Coast. While we were out there a couple of weekends ago, it was gently suggested to me that I might be taking a few too many photos of the thing. But, well, if you're at the beach in Pacific City, you can basically either take photos of the ocean with the rock, or the ocean without the rock, and without it the photos could be from anywhere, really.


This is basically as close as you can get to the rock, since all offshore rocks on the coast are part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, nearly all are federally designated wilderness, and people are forbidden to set foot there. Boats have to stay 500 feet away, aircraft have to stay above 2000 feet elevation in the area. All of this is great, of course, since people and threatened seabirds tend not to mix all that well.

Besides, the rock looks dangerous. Since I'm not a big fan of danger, I wouldn't climb on the thing even if it was legal.

If you want to see the rock from the top or the other side, there are a couple of photos here


Just south of town is the Nestucca Bay wildlife refuge, a chunk of protected estuary that protects a variety of migratory geese. You can't go there either right now, although they're planning to add visitor facilities sooner or later.

I mention this because an article in Pacific City's local paper indicated the Nestucca Bay sanctuary was created to divert the migrating geese from the rock. Seems they used to make foraging raids on the rock under cover of night, which I expect was a rather strange sight.


I was momentarily excited to learn Haystack Rock has puffins. Then I realized it was the other Haystack Rock, up in Cannon Beach. It's better known, but smaller.

When the light's right you can see birds swirling around the rock, but they're just unidentifiable specks in the distance. But that's ok, if they aren't seagulls, and aren't puffins, I wouldn't be able to identify them anyway.


Here's a photo with a couple of surfers. Ok, would-be surfers. They wandered around in and near the water for hours on end, but I never saw anyone surfing for real.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Baby Animal Photos... Awwwwww....

Baby Seal - Lincoln City, OR

A baby seal on the beach in Lincoln City. I wasn't really very close to the seal, I should point out. That would be highly illegal, and also wouldn't be very nice to the seal. So this is just the camera on maximum digital zoom.

I'm no expert on baby seals, but I think this is probably a harbor seal and not one of the coast's omnipresent California sea lions. Sea lions are like giant rats with flippers, basically, although they're still federally protected.

gosling 1


Goslings on the Eastbank Esplanade, in downtown Portland, earlier today. Maximum zoom again, because getting attacked by large, protective Canada geese is not my idea of a good time. Also, they're legally protected migratory waterfowl, and pestering them isn't nice to the goslings.

Although they're protected and all that, Canada geese are basically rats with wings and long necks and really bad attitudes. But they're cute at this age. Actually baby rats can be cute too, come to think of it, but I don't have any pics of those.


A sea otter at the aquarium in Newport. For the purpose of this post I'm declaring it an honorary baby animal, because I wanted to use the photo. Actual sea otter pups are even cuter.


Ah, and a juvenile tufted puffin, also at the aquarium.

Updated 12/20/10: Here's the original text from the top of this post. On further reflection, I think it's better to just lead with the baby seal.

It's come to my attention that this blog's readership numbers are in the tank, and so I'm forced to resort to drastic measures: Yes, not just cute animal photos, but cute (mostly) baby animal photos. Just try not to visit now. Just try.

Updated 1/8/08: In recent months, this page has gotten about the most hits of any post I've ever done here, primarily Google Image hits for the next photo. Ironic, dontcha think?

for some, it's a holiday...


I just ran across this bit of graffiti on the seawall in Watefront Park, and it seemed appropriate somehow.

Besides, that Bogdanski guy already has a post about today's, um, herbal holiday. He's perhaps the only guy in town who's even more tragically unhip than I am (although he might beg to differ), so I simply couldn't let today pass without remarking on it. I don't really have anything useful or interesting to contribute on the topic, but that's never stopped me before. Hey, that's blogging for ya.

The Mercury mentioned the latest initiative a couple of weeks ago. The last time I checked Jack and the Merc were still feuding over something or other, so maybe somebody else clued him in about it. Or, like, not. Whatever, dude.

a tragedy of the commons, pdx style


A few photos from Jamison Square -- or at least that's what it's called for now. If the city gets its way, the name could change as soon as the city locates a well-heeled corporate sponsor. Seriously.

A bit of background: Last September, I wrote about the most recent flareup of the parks department's irrational hatred of Mt. Tabor Park. They wanted to hand over another chunk of the park to the right-wing religious school next door -- blechh -- but backed down due to public outrage.


...Or they seemed to have backed down. If this Bojack piece from last Friday is to be believed, they're back at it once again. If true, they've still got their hearts set on selling that land on Mt. Tabor, and now the park system's looking at corporate sponsorships and naming rights, too. This way, all the city's crown jewels get privatized, some symbolically, and others for real.

You'll also want to read these two posts at Amanda Fritz's blog about the situation. She's been attending public meetings -- quite poorly attended ones -- trying to give input and mitigate the damage. On one hand I feel kind of bad about sitting back and criticizing while others are participating, but I'm also not real big on involving myself in a process when I disagree with the fundamental premise of that process. I'm not interested in mitigation. I'm interested in them abandoning the idea entirely, period.

spring, jamison square

You wouldn't expect the local parks department to be a hotbed of secret backroom deals and such, but it seems that's what we've got these days. You really don't want your parks department run by people whose eyes light up when they realize they're sitting on a big pile of prime real estate, and see their job as finding ways to "monetize" this asset. I mean, I don't know for a fact that's their real motive. I don't know for a fact precisely what they're up to, but I know it doesn't smell right.

Sure, renaming a park after some big corporation isn't as bad as actually selling the land off. You can try to be pragmatic about it and say that a little symbolism is no big deal when there's cash to be had. And sure, the parks department has complained for years, probably decades, about chronic budgetary problems, deferred maintenance, and all that, basically advertising themselves as an easy mark for the corporate-logos-everywhere crowd. Here's the current draft naming/renaming policy, and sponsorship policy, along with a related doc on signage & memorials at Mt. Tabor.

fountain, jamison square

The last bit is important, unfortunately. There's a current proposal to erect a monument in the park to honor a recently deceased local World War I veteran. The proposal seems well-intentioned, although there's no shortage of local war memorials already. Unfortunately I think the proposal's being used as a Trojan horse to get the other changes through. If you have to tweak city policy anyway to make the monument possible, why not change a few more words here and there, while you're at it? You know, just to be sure the city's policy on creating monuments, naming things, accepting sponsorships, etc., is consistent and all.

And next thing you know, your neighborhood park has a huge Dasani logo at each entrance, and if they catch you drinking Aquafina there, they taser the snot out of you. Ok, maybe they don't taser you, but they'll probably confiscate it, for violating the terms of their sponsorship agreement. And suddenly the public commons are no longer really public, or held in common. Instead what you've got is a giant billboard, and taxpayers still have to foot the bill to cut the grass.

There's also a practical problem with the proposal: The parks that are likely to attract sponsorships are the prominent ones that already attract the lion's share of the parks budget. Jamison Square is absolutely guaranteed to attract a sponsor, so it'd be named after some high-end national retailer, ad agency, or web design outfit. More obscure locales like, say, Kelly Butte will no doubt remain unsponsored. In an ideal world, sponsorships of the "crown jewels" would free up taxpayer cash to be spent elsewhere, but I just don't see that happening.

I'm not saying it's impossible to have a beneficial "sponsorship" arrangement. It's just that when it's done right, it's not very lucrative for the city. Consider Portland's Peace Memorial Park, near the east end of the Steel Bridge, not far from Memorial Coliseum:


(More (and better) photos here.)

A local peace group adopted a chunk of neglected PDOT land and they built a large peace symbol there (now located in the big circle in the middle of this Google map), and the park's located so you get a nice vista of the peace symbol with downtown in the background. Which is great, IMHO. The city couldn't have done this on its own, but it's always willing to accept volunteer labor. I mean, I'm sure it didn't hurt that the peace symbol coincides with the city's (and my) ideological biases; if some creepy suburban megachurch had wanted to build a huge gold equestrian statue of Dubya in Crusader garb, putting unbelievers to the sword, I'm sure they'd have gotten a chillier reception. Not overtly, because that's not the Portland way, but suddenly there'd have been all sorts of complicated forms to complete, and fees to pay, and public hearings to attend, and on, and on. The iron law of bureaucracy is that a bureaucracy can outwait anyone, yes, even a church. Sooner or later, the fundies would give up and build their statue out in Clackamas somewhere, instead.

The problem with the Peace Memorial Park, and peace in general, is that there's no money in it. I would personally award the Nobel Peace Prize (if the King of Sweden lets me) to whoever figures how to make money by not killing people.... But I digress. The main point here is that the sponsorship is not a one-time infusion of cash in exchange for naming+billboard rights, it's an ongoing commitment of volunteer labor to maintain a piece of land the city had completely forgotten about. And there isn't even a sign there to tell you who sponsored the place, or why they did it, or where their nearest store is. If we're really going to do park sponsorships, that's how it ought to work.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

blue, gold, white, rainbow


I probably ought to say a few words about these pics, since I'm just sitting here waiting for my Java app to give up on talking to MySQL and blow up with an OutOfMemoryError, which it's bound to do sooner or later. The yellow flowers are from Pacific City, but I don't know what they are. I bought a book on coastal wildflowers while we were out there, and I still don't know. Actually I don't know what any of the flowers are, quite honestly. It's not that I'm afraid I'll guess wrong (which I often do), it's that I haven't the first clue about them. And the last photo is probably not the best rainbow photo you'll ever see. In part this is because I was getting rained on, which I don't enjoy; also, it just wasn't a very good rainbow, as far as these things go. Oh, well.


Whoa, there goes my app now. Which means the bug fix I spent all day cobbling together didn't work. Dammit. Damn damn damn. Oh, well, this isn't the only bug in my queue. It's like a line from the old SNL sketch with John Belushi as a middle-aged Hercules: "This rock is too heavy! I will lift the smaller rock over there." (I think that's how the line went anyway. It's been a long time.)



Tuesday, April 17, 2007



Warning: This post is mostly -- ok, entirely -- about rabbits, so any Australian visitors to this blog might want to go elsewhere. Sorry about that.

So we were at the beach the other day, and behind our hotel there was this old, nearly empty RV park (actually Tillamook County's Webb County Park, as it turns out). Nearly empty except for a huge colony of rabbits, that is. The hotel sold little baggies of rabbit food, so we figured, ok, why not, let's go feed the rabbits.

When you're walking down the street and half a dozen rabbits break cover and charge up to you, begging for handouts, well, that's an unusual experience. Delightful, and a bit alarming at the same time.

This is supposed to be a video of rabbits hopping around, whenever YouTube gets around to making it appear. If you just see a YouTube logo, or it says "no longer available", try checking back here later. The video's awfully cute. You'll probably like it, unless you don't like cute stuff.

Since this is a responsible grownup blog, this is the part where I note that the rabbits are probably abandoned pets, and descendants of abandoned pets, and anyone who would just abandon an unwanted pet outdoors is despicable.

I also doubt the bunnies are the absolute best thing for what's left of the local environment -- although they seem to subsist entirely on yard-style grass (also not native here) and handouts from visitors, avoiding the few remaining native plants. They don't seem to have any natural predators here, since the whole RV park is simply overrun with rabbits. You'd think all these rabbits would attract hawks, or coyotes, or possibly even cougars, but if it has, they aren't making much of a dent in the population. Contrast this with the continual struggle for survival facing the Northwest's own pygmy rabbit, which if anything is even cuter than these rabbits, but much more shy and fragile.

On the other hand, the surrounding area's rapidly being bulldozed and transformed into ultra-upscale beach houses and timeshares, so the bunny colony is maybe not the biggest environmental problem facing the area.

And you have to admit they're adorable. Just look at them. Awwwwwww.....


See? Here's a baby one. Just try to tell me it isn't cute. Just try. I dare you.


This photo sort of reminds me of Reservoir Dogs, for some reason. Or some sort of brooding indie-rock album cover. Except all cute-n-cuddly. Unless you think Steve Buscemi is cute-n-cuddly, in which case there's very little I can do to help you.

In case you were wondering, we've now entered the Irony portion of this post. Because making hip pop culture references and sneering at everything in sight is awfully sophisticated. Also, everything self-referential is awesome, including this sentence.

Liking stuff, on the other hand, is totally uncool. Probably your parents like stuff, and look how uncool they are. To further demonstrate my hip-n-cynical irony-meister credentials, here's a collection of rabbit recipes from Enjoy!


This one looks annoyed. Really annoyed. They charge from the underbrush, they assume the Reservoir Dogs stance, they start glaring... I've seen Night of the Lepus, so I think I know what happens next. Run away! Run away!!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

misc. assortedness



The first two photos (above) are new, and the next two are old. Hmm. I'm not sure I detect a lot of improvement over the last year. I guess there's always next year, unless I get sick of flower photos by then.



And now for something completely different. I haven't done one of these assorted-stuff-from-the-interwebs posts for a while, and there may be a good reason for that. But it escapes me at the moment, so here's a new one. I'm kind of out of practice with these, though, so if it's something less than a broad spectrum of uniformly fascinating items, well... At least it didn't cost you anything, other than those few seconds of your life that you spent here that you'll never get back. Sorry about that.

Spring Beer & Wine Festival 2007

Spring Beer & Wine Festival 2007

On Saturday, we dropped by the Spring Beer & Wine Festival over at the Convention Center. This has always been one of my favorite beery events; it's indoors, it's always held the weekend of Easter, the selection's usually pretty good, and you're more likely to encounter the actual brewers than at most events of this kind. Beerwise, this year wasn't the best SBWF ever, but we had a good time as always.

Spring Beer & Wine Festival 2007

Some impressions:
  • A lot of breweries brought their usual fare you can find at the grocery store. Which is not why we go to these things. We generally tried to avoid beers we could get elsewhere, even beers we otherwise enjoy.

  • I didn't do any detailed tasting notes this time around. I had the Blackberry along and everything, but it just sort of felt like that would take me beyond mere dork territory into full-bore twitdom. Yes, do I realize I've done precisely that at least once before. But maybe I'm starting to develop social skills or something. I'm not sure.

  • I'm kind of surprised the local beerblogosphere (and there's got to be a better word than that ) hasn't had much to say about it. So far I've run across just two mentions of the festival, and the first is by someone who wasn't able to go.

  • My overall favorite of the festival was the Bitter Bitch IPA (128 IBU, 9% ABV), from Astoria Brewing out in (you guessed it) Astoria. Mmmmm.... I was far from alone in this. I got there early and tried it before the huge line formed. Later when we walked by, the line was starting to interfere with the cooking demo stage. If you were stuck in that line, don't blame me. I told nobody. Ok, I let my wife try it. And I ran across a couple of coworkers late in the day and I told them, but the line was already in full swing at that point. The line was someone else's fault, basically is what I'm getting at here.

  • I always run into coworkers at these things. I can never decide whether that's a good thing or not.

  • The one line we did get stuck in was the line to get in. Seems that word got out about free admission before 2pm. So we were in line for maybe 10 minutes, and right behind us there were a couple of guys who were there to party. One spent most of the wait telling the other all about the totally awesome lap dance he had the other night. Guys: This sort of thing falls firmly into the Too Much Sharing Department. Thanks.

  • While I'm your classic Northwest IPA dork, my wife's more of a red fan. Hairsplitting arguments about whether "red" is a legitimate beer style would be unwelcome in her presence. Her favorite was Red Zone, from Hazel Dell Brewing up in the 'Couve. Full Sail's seasonal red was a close second. She's usually not a big Full Sail fan, so this was kind of a surprise. She didn't like the red from Pelican quite so much, which was even more of a surprise.

  • We both liked the imperial brown from Walking Man, which they brewed up specially for the festival, bless their beery little hearts. They always give their beers funny names that have something to do with walking, or feet, stuff like that. So they named the brown "Foot Fetish". (giggle) Which still isn't quite as funny as the "Streetwalker Malt Liquor" they did a while back.

  • On a lark, I tried the Huckleberry-n-Honey beer from Lang Creek, a small Montana brewery I'd never heard of before. Way better than I expected. Even my wife liked it, and she usually considers fruit in beer an abomination.

  • One nice thing is that although kids were allowed before 7pm this year, there weren't very many of 'em. Mostly babies in strollers, and that I can understand. If you have a baby in a stroller, you probably need a beer. Why else would they make strollers with cupholders? It all makes perfect sense, really.

  • Lompoc's EZ Taxation ale was really tasty as well. Which reminds me of something important I still need to attend to.... Hey, there's still a few days left, what's the big rush?

  • I was puzzled at first by how many people were walking around munching on bags of Beer Chips, when there was real food to be had just steps away. Then I saw the booth, which was run by a couple of bubbly young women in extremely tight tops. We men really are the simplest of creatures, aren't we?

  • The food's never exactly gourmet at these things. But there were ribs to be had, therefore I was a happy camper. Please note previous comment about being among the simplest of creatures.

Friday, April 06, 2007

photo friday strikes again

kick off yer shoes

Top photo: Sudden warm weather always inspires this sort of thing. Sometime next week she'll snap out of it and wonder where she left her shoes. They were still at the 1st & Oak MAX stop when I saw them. But you probably ought to hurry if you think you'll ever want them back. Or I suppose you could just buy a new pair instead. These may be last year's shoes, for all I know. It's not my area of expertise, I'm afraid.

In case you hadn't figured it out yet, this is yet another photo post. Yep, another one, and even bigger than usual, I'm afraid. It's not all photos of flowers this time though. See, I really am flexible, a little, sort of.


The weathervane on top of the old Henry Weinhard brewery, now part of the Brewery Blocks development. I'd never really looked at it before, but it's pretty great: A stalk of barley, and a brewer's grain shovel (I think).

Did I mention that Portland's Spring Beer & Wine Festival is on this weekend? I think I know what I'll be doing tomorrow. Feel free to attend as well -- just so long as you're not in line ahead of me, I mean.


The photo I promised in the previous post: An order of "Mexi-Fries Grande" from Taco Time. Tater tots and bacon. Oh, and cheese, etc. Pure greasy, starchy, fatty ambrosia.

I probably shouldn't have eaten this. Until my toe feels better I can't go to the gym and run and generally be good like I'm supposed to. But at the time it was oh, so tasty.

I understand that the Oaks Bottom Pub over in Sellwood offers a similar delicacy, which they refer to as tot-chos. And the Kells Irish pub downtown has long offered a related item they call "Irish Nachos". Regular potatoes sliced and fried, instead of tater tots, but still entirely adequate for my purposes. And they go surprisingly well with a Guinness or two.

rusting chunks & cherry blossoms

Another shot of our old friend Rusting Chunks No. 5. The glory of springtime doesn't really improve the damn thing very much, does it?


More rusting chunks, this time viewed through the fountain of a nearby condo tower. (They (the chunks, I mean (of course)) are just to the right of the pillar, in the background.) You could probably do this in Photoshop just as easily if you knew how, but I don't. I could probably find out if I wanted to, but I'm lazy and it's not important enough. And really it's more fun (IMHO) to see what you can do with a middle-of-the-road vanilla consumer camera rather than invest in an expensive "prosumer" hardware & sofware combo. And besides, "prosumer" is a truly stupid word. If you're going to insist on coining neologisms, you can have the new word be whatever you like, so why pick something that sounds like a greasy part off a diesel engine? Sheesh.

Besides, if you're going to mess around with image manipulation, why waste your time with water effects, when you can insert a rampaging Gamera stomping on the rusting chunks. Now that would be worth seeing. But I don't know how to do that either.

There might be a setting in GIMP to do this stuff, but it beats me where they might've hidden it.


The Fremont Bridge and its reflection, in a still-undeveloped far corner of the Pearl District.


This is where fire hydrants come from. Sort of. This truck was downtown, and the hydrants are probably for the reconstructed transit mall, once they've put the new MAX tracks in.

MAX construction, April '07

Speaking of which, here's a shot of SW 5th Avenue with MAX tracks going in. In the unlikely event you're interested in seeing this for yourself, sorry, it's too late now. They've added the concrete, and now it just looks like normal light rail tracks. So nothing to see here. Move along.


An authentic commemorative shot glass from the real Southfork(tm), you know, from that TV show. Someone gave this to me, I hasten to add. I haven't been there. The text around the outside rattles off a few key points about the show, beginning with "Texas Oil Power Money Greed Millionaires". Oddly enough, if you buy a shot glass at the White House gift shop, the inscription on the outside says exactly the same thing. Go figure.

If my usual luck holds, the preceding brief comment will reel in a few Dubya-worshiping Bible-thumping Kool-Aid(tm)-drinking wingnuts, and they'll post illiterate, abusive rants in all capital letters, lecturing me all about the imminent Rapture and whatnot, and then I'll have to waste a minute or two deleting the rants, or possibly mocking them. It's always an adventure out here on the interwebs.


A couple of sunrise photos from last month.


Ok, that should about do it. Once again, sorry about all the big photos, dialup user(s)!

Moblog season

So mostly I'm just doing this to look busy. I wandered out of the office to go track down this year's copy of TurboTax, finally, which meant a trip over to the Mac store near Lloyd Center. Which in turn meant a side trip to the mall proper to visit the food court in search of the fabled "Mexi-Fries Grande", basically a plate of tater tots with cheese, salsa, sour cream, green onions, and most importantly... Bacon! But that's a subject for another time, since I can't post photos from the BB here. Did I mention I have an extremely sore big toe? Well, I do, and after all that walking I figured a sore toe was a good reason to grab a beer on the way back to the office. It's a tendon thing, or possibly a ligament, and either way the beer isn't actually medicinal. But still, it seemed like a good idea. So here I am at the downtown Stumptown, and everyone except me has a laptop. Ok, I'm exaggerating, but they're a clear majority. Everyone's so *busy*... So I figured I didn't want to look totally out of place, I mean, everyone else might start to feel insecure and wonder why they're sitting there doing real work (or playing solitaire) when they could be out enjoying the rare sunshine. I have a sore toe, let's keep that in mind, so I have a legitimate excuse. And they don't.

I have this tedious habit of always counting the laptops when I'm in a coffee shop. Right now we're up to 9, which I think ties the record. Stumptown really isn't that big, so 9 means one at every table, and a couple on the sofa in back. Oh wait, there's two on one of the tables, so we're up to 10 now. And 6 are Macs.

The Oregonian had a piece this morning about it being the season to take the laptop out to the park and mooch some of that tasty free WiFi goodness, although they quickly discovered that it's more of a theoretical good idea than an acutal one.

I had a corporate Dell notebook for a while, and I used to use it when I rode MAX. I felt so important... One time a guy offered to trade me a bag of weed for it, so clearly he didn't realize how much the thing cost. It would've had to be a very, very large bag, is what I'm saying. Speaking purely hypothetically, of course.

Ok, now we're up to 11. When the laptops go up to 11, you know things are entirely out of hand. It's just posing, at that point. But hey, I just paid $6 for a Chimay on draft, so what do I know?

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld

twenty thousand

So visitor #20,000 dropped by earlier this morning. Ok, that's not precisely true; visitor #20,000 dropped by SNR, this blog's nerdy and obsessive sibling, earlier this morning. But I use the same hit counter for both, just to simplify things... well, and because it makes the numbers scroll by a little faster that way, to be honest.

In my most recent metablog (i.e. blogging about blogging) post, I'd just gone back over old posts and attached "labels" to them. Which is a nice feature, but it's had a couple of odd side effects. First, Google went and indexed the resulting label pages, producing the same "junk hit" effect I've seen since they started indexing monthly archive pages. You search for two keywords, and end up on one of my label or archive pages, but one keyword occurs in a post from last month, and the other in an unrelated post a year earlier, and both are way down the page so you'll really have to search to find either. People typically don't bother with that, and I can't blame them. Google owns Blogger, so you'd think they'd have a clue about which pages are worth indexing and which aren't. Oh, well. I probably shouldn't take it personally.

The other odd thing is that when I added all those labels, Blogger sent me a ton of visitors who happened to be using the Next Blog button or otherwise wandering around Blogger's corner of blogospace at the time. I don't know if that was supposed to be my reward for using the new feature, or what. Back in the day, I used to be rather interested in where visitors arrived from, and the pseudorandom nature of how they got here, and I used to post "referrer" lists fairly regulary. Eventually I got bored with that and moved on to even less interesting things. But this time around there was just so much data and it seemed a shame not to do anything with it. It's not quite a statistical sample of the blog universe, but hey. It's the data I have in hand, and here it is. I've weeded out a couple of splogs, but I haven't gone down the list and screened each blog or anything, because that would take a lot of time, and the resulting list wouldn't be very random, would it? So if you see something here that you don't like, well, that's the interwebs for ya. Just deal with it.

So without further ado, here's the list. Three (or so) cheers for pseudorandomness.....

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

...and for today, even more flowers....


I haven't posted for a few days, and I was hoping to post about something a little more serious, instead of yet another post full of pictures of flowers. But more serious means more writing, which means more time, and time is something I have a highly finite amount of. So flowers it is, again. More flowers than usual, even. Sorry about that, dialup user(s)!

The top photo, and a couple of others down the page are from O'Bryant Square, the place a lot of people consider to be downtown Portland's "needle park", although I've never actually seen any needles there. It would be more accurate to call it downtown's empty park, and I blame that on the surrounding area, not the park itself. The highly touted "Three Downtown Parks" plan proposes to rip out the underground parking beneath O'Bryant Square and turn it into some sort of mini nature preserve, which I imagine means giving it the ol' Tanner Springs treatment. But you can do all you like to the place and it'll still be empty of people until the surrounding area sees a little more pedestrian traffic. There was a story a few years ago that someone wanted to build a ritzy condo tower on the surface parking lot just north of the square, but that hasn't happened yet.

vinca + dandelion

Back when I had a yard, it never would've occurred to me to photograph a dandelion as if it was just another kind of flower. Dandelions are the stuff of suburban male nightmares. Dandelions, and thistles, and anything that drops leaves in the fall, and scary teenagers, and the nosy neighbor who runs the homeowners' association, and creepy door-to-door salespeople, and on, and on, and on.

But as I said, now I don't have a yard, and this dandelion is someone else's problem. So I can just take a picture of it and be on my merry way.


I tend to get myself in trouble when I try to identify flowers, but I'm pretty sure this is an azalea. I'm even more sure it's pink.

I was originally going to do a smaller post that just had a few extreme closeups of flowers like this one, and title it something like "The naughty bits... EXPOSED!!!!". Which I'm sure would get me a lot more page views than the current title. But that just feels like a scam, somehow. Besides, I'm not actually selling banner ads here or anything. It's nice when people drop by and visit this humble, ever so humble, blog, but it doesn't really impact my bottom line either way. So I figure I'll just call it what it really is, and if anyone feels like visiting because of that, hey, that's great. Hi, everyone (if you exist)!


A daffodil, probably, in O'Bryant Square, definitely. More naughty bits.

fern, ankeny park

A fern growing in a brick wall, in Ankeny Park, downtown. When you see a fern growing in a brick wall, it's generally a sign of poor maintenance, so this isn't actually a great thing to see. The wall itself is part of a 1920s-era public toilet, which is a little run-down on the outside, and (I'm told) astonishingly decrepit inside. So this is one of those cases where it's better to stick to extreme closeups.

japanese maple

Japanese maple (I think) in bloom. I didn't realize these had flowers at all until I was walking by and happened to notice these. Not the best photo ever; the damn things just wouldn't hold still for the camera, I'm afraid. Sorry.


People keep telling me this is a "tulip tree". Maybe they're right, or maybe I'm talking to the wrong people. Either way, even more naughty bits.


O'Bryant Square again. I recently checked the county library's database of old Oregonian stories for news stories about the square, and I was surprised at how little there really was. Apparently this was once a meeting ground for neo-Nazi skinheads, but that was like 20 years ago. Now it's just the occasional office worker eating lunch, or maybe a pigeon or two.


Fallen cherry(?) petals near Rusting Chunks No. 5, in the South Auditorium district.

cherry blossoms, april 4th '07

I have no idea what kind of tree this is. Sorry. Nice flowers, though.

flowers at night

More of the same, but this time at night. This concludes today's fluffy and content-free post. Thanks for playing.