Archive for March, 2005

Why I choose to raise urban PDX kids

I took my daughter down to Saturday Market today for the very first time. We waited for the bus in the pouring rain, transferred to MAX, and got out under the Burnside Bridge to a world that’s much different on weekends than it is during the week.

I took my son with me to work this week, and our commute also took us through a transfer at the Skidmore Fountain MAX stop. But this view of Burnside was a much more raw view – the festival aura was gone, not to mention the hordes of people who look a lot like we do. In its place? Those who live a different existence – people who also live in our city of choice, yet are often out of our own personal radar.

I want my children to see both views of Skidmore Fountain. Living in an urban environment is all about expanding one’s world view – warts and all. This means homeless people, for example, aren’t an abstraction, but a very real part of our landscape. Dealing with this landscape becomes part of our responsibility as citizens of this city – not to mention part of my job as a parent to teach my children empathy and understanding for those who are outwardly different than they are. And it brings us innumerable riches in return.

There’s been a lot of discussion lately in the wake of the NYTimes article Vibrant Cities Find One Thing Missing: Children. BlueOregon started a great open discussion thread: Portland’s Missing Kids: Part II, and our own TK commented below about his experiences looking at a housing search through newly family-friendly eyes in Missing Children in the Pearl. And Jack Bog”s urging PDC to emphasize child-friendly housing in Going Sterile.

Spring Cleaning

Sometimes, I feel like a doer. When I feel like a doer, I start to do. Because that’s what doers do. They do do (I’m snickering like a juvenile at the fact that I just wrote “doo doo”).

However, there are things that I don’t feel inspired to do. What do you call a person who’s the opposite of a doer? A don’ter? Well, that’s what I am, when it comes to Spring Cleaning.

So against being a doer in that regard am I, in fact, that I am at work avoiding being at home. Because there’s plenty to do to make my bit of Portland more pleasant, and I just don’t feel like it.

I have yet to mow my lawn. I was going to two weeks ago, but I don’t yet own my own lawnmower, and the person I contemplated borrowing from insisted he’d be mowing his lawn the day I wanted to borrow it. In fact, he’s a damned liar and never did any such thing. C’est la vie.

I also need to clean house. Go through junk mail, clean the various services the dog has soiled by chewing bits off of things and laying them about, do dishes (I’ve actually bought plastic silverware in the last week because I’m such a sloth of a man), fold laundry, pick up the bagged-up bottles that last week’s wind blew across my yard.

Plenty to do. But I vote to don’t. Because that’s what don’ters do. They do don’t.

Anyone have any inspiration they can send my way? I need someone to push the right buttons so I can make my house a home again.

And the sooner, the better. I’m running out of plasticware…

It finally happened

So, I had predicted, when the rain began, that Iíd be lamenting itís arrival within three, despite my initial proclamation that it was great to have around.

Appears Iím made of sterner stuff than I thought, but, finally, (enough with the commas!) I have decided that the rain is getting in my way.

Sure, itís great not having to walk the dog. Except that the rain always seems to clear around 10 or 11 at night, when Iím not quite in bed and the dog is not quite settled down, and so the walks have been happening, just at times when Iím more susceptible both to cold weather and to curbs, which always seem higher when youíre sleepily shuffling your feet.

Further, the rain is crimping one of my plans for the weekend, which was to go to the Woodburn Tulip Festival, if for nothing else than to pick up some bulk bulbs for next year. Having just bought my house in October, I found out a little late last year that, as I was considering the prospect of planting some tulips (which The Missus loves), I was running too far behind schedule. So, hearing on a local radio station today that the Festival was on this week, I decided that perhaps I should head on down with the Missus, JLowe and his Lady on Saturday to fetch some bulbs and get some pretty pictures. Until, quickly following that mention of the festival, the weather report came on declaring that weíd have rain all weekend.

Curses! Rainís all well and good, donít get me wrong. But not when it interferes with my mojo. I need to score points, and tulips are a way to do it, and Iím failing miserably.

Which may be okay, in retrospect. Walking my dog, she loves to make runs at peopleís flowers, and though Iím able to restrain her from destroying the front-yard flower strips of my neighbors, thereís no guarantee that Iíd have similar luck on property my dog has easy access to. And JLowe noticed that his strip, out by the sidewalk, planted of last yearís festival bulbs, has been decimated by an unknown intruder thatís nipped the buds right off the top of two or three localized tulips near his driveway. I theorized it was a dog getting walked, knowing how my dog wouldíve shown her appreciation for the beauty that was layed out before her. JLowe agreed with my assessment, if for no other reason than he has two dogs who both have stretched his patience to the very limit.

Anyway, I note that itís not raining now, and that is certainly because now is the time that Iím working. As soon as my weekend begins, I expect clouds to rapidly gather and rain to saturate my very being. Looks like a long weekend of listening to the Smiths, cursing the sky, and sobbing intensely as Seasonal Affective Disorder ravages me until the sun creeps out on Monday morning, just as Iím driving to work.

What a worldÖ

Missing Children in the Pearl

In the NYTimes today: Vibrant Cities Find One Thing Missing: Children.

Of late, my partner and I have been in the market for a house of our own. We were looking for a small house with the following qualities: a large kitchen, space for a garden, an unfinished basement. A house that we could live in, while making structural and aesthetic improvements to it. We wanted a fixer. My partner and I both get a little weak in the knees around power tools, so, you know, it seemed like the right thing to do.

Mapquest for bikes?


I don’t know much about them, but from what I’ve gathered on the site, I’m glad that they’re here. C’mon: an online bicycle route finder? Yea!


Maybe it’s just that the weekend wasn’t long enough.

Maybe it’s just that I’m still in my office at 8:30 and want to go home.

Whatever it is, I’m uninspired. Which is bad if you have committed to a certain number of blog entries per week.

Think about it. It’s the perpetual issue that we all face. You have an assignment to do. You can do it now, or you can do it later. Do it now, and you have the satisfaction of knowing that you can cruise at crunch time, at the expense of instant gratification. Do it later, and you have the satisfaction of doing whatever you want right now, but the knowledge that you’ll have to struggle at the last minute.

Apparently, I’m a do it now kinda guy.

However, a couple of Portland-y things to say:

Friday night I checked out a new Mongolian Grill. Go Go’s Mongolian Feast, on the corner of 205th and Baseline in the Beaverton area (a Portland suburb, and thus a Portland-y thing to discuss) is a brand spankin’ new joint. What drew me there? Free food, of course. I’d drive to Chernobyl for free food (assuming I had free gas as well…at $2.15 a gallon, according to the news today, I’d have to pass otherwise). Go Go’s is pretty good, but a bit overpriced for what you get (they cost $1 more than Chang’s and you only get one trip). Unlike Chang’s, you get a variety of pre-mixed sauces that you can in, in turn, mix together for new creations (I had Peanut Sauce with some Hot Chili Sauce added; pretty good). –Caveat– I just took The Missus to Chang’s tonight before the meeting that’s kept me here thus far, and she still prefers it over Go Go’s because you get more bang for your buck, and she likes the make-your-own-sauce aspect. I think Chang’s + Go Go’s would = Heaven.

Saturday I had a cup of joe at my favorite spot, City Coffee on Fourth and Salmon. Why is this my favorite spot? Combination of things. 1) My friend JLowe’s dad owns it, so I get discounts; 2) I worked there through law school, and so it’s kinda like home; 3) I met my wife there, so for sentimental purposes it can’t be beat; 4) my old manager is still there, and she’s awesome; and 5) it’s too close to the courthouse to justify trips anywhere else. Plus, since the evil empire bought out Seattle’s Best Coffee, City Coffee has shown an independent streak of sorts by stocking only coffees the owner and certain trusted persons have tried and found desirable. If you’re downtown on a Saturday morning, drop on in.

Sunday, I made my long-awaited journey to OMSI to check out Animal Grossology. Verdict(s)? 1) Not nearly as gross as it should’ve been. With today’s television and movies standards, this needed more to shock and awe. 2) How fun would it be to work at OMSI? Really? I think I might try to pick up a weekend job there…

So, that’s all. I’m uninspired, so I’d be surprised if I even finish this senten

Oregon’s Right-To-Die about to die?

I was sort of hoping to have a handy link to BlueOregon or some other blog where someone eloquent and wise would say what I want to say, but say it all nicely and make me wish I’d written it. Instead you’re stuck with me. I apologize in advance.

I have been watching the appalling display in Congress very closely the last few days, with regards to Terri Schiavo. Here are my thoughts:

Apple Store At Pioneer Place

Word on the street is that Pioneer Square is (finally!) getting an Apple Store.


It’s the real Deal

New Deal vodka, that is – made right here in Portland, Oregon by two computer programmers who got inspired to make a vodka “for these times” – in their spare time.

I’d been following New Deal for a while, waiting patiently for a taste. First, WWeek did a profile piece and tasting review, promising it’d be available soon.

Then, the Trib announced New Deal’s arrival Friday – which tipped me off to today’s tasting at 11th Avenue Liquors on Hawthorne (one of two liquor stores it’s available at now, along with a select few local bars…)

Of course I had to add that tasting to the weekend’s agenda.

So I went.
I tasted.

Grey Goose? Out. New Deal? In. It’s now my house vodka of choice & I’ve my first New Deal martini (with extra olives, of course) sitting right here by my side as I write this.

Yes, it’s that good. Which makes it yet another local company this vodka drinker is more than happy to support.

It’s a damn fine vodka, to be sure. But they also make it easy to love them with statements like this (from their manifesto):

We want a local product our customers will feel an attachment to. Think Stumptown. Think Voodoo Donuts. Think about whatever local business inspires you to want to create something yourself. When was the last time a fast food chain made you want to open a burger joint?

We want to be liberal in the best sense of the word, open and inclusive and generous. Given the current political environment that doesn’t always seem easy. But living in a 21st century version of the Red Scare political blackout makes us want to turn on the disco lights and party on the roof. Hell, we want to party with everybody.

WeÔøΩre gonna need a bigger tent.

Most definitely, guys. ‘Cause you’re making some good stuff here. And I’m not just talking about the vodka…

Voting Makes Me Mad

When I have to choose one of two options, I feel totally cheated. There isn’t much freedom in a binary decision and how many times is one of only two options going to meet my needs. There is a great post on BlueOregon about instant run-off voting, which lets you vote for EVERYONE! Now that’s democracy!

Seriously, I think IRV is a great idea. The idea of ranking all the candidates seems like such a better idea than just choosing one of two.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.