Vital Statistics

Bike miles this year: 579

Aches & pains: shoulders, lower back, ankles

Current reading: Getting Things Done

Recent listening: WTF with Marc Maron, Bruce Springsteen, Hidden Brain, Making Sense, Lawns Across America, Radiolab

Recent viewing: The Corner, Good Omens, Blood, Frets and Tears, Captain Beefheart: Under Review, John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky, Murder Mystery, The Bill Murray Stories, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction

Recent playing: Bloons 6

Recent events: Independence Day party, iPhone cracked screen fixed, lowest A1C since diagnosed, spring HVAC inspection, eye doctor appointment

Recently accomplished: Rebuilt a bike for Graham, end of fiscal quarter, dosed cats, replaced outdoor faucet, pressure washing, hauled away junk

Imperative To Do: Ride 75 miles in a week, read more, clean roof and gutters, organize video game stuff, finalize Iowa vacation plans, finish pressure washing, seal driveway cracks

Forcin’ a light into all those stony faces left stranded on this warm July

After a busy day cooking and cleaning on Independence Day, we’ve been a lazy bunch around here. We really enjoyed ourselves on the 4th, though, and were happy to have the company of so many people. The fireworks were fun and I think everybody was entertained. Next year I need to buy fewer ground blooms and more mortars.

Last week I started out the week by traveling to Foster City, CA, for some training at EFI headquarters. Because of the Northern California wildfires, my direct flight was cancelled and I was forced to take a flight through Seattle. By the time I arrived in Seattle, the connecting flight had been delayed and I didn’t arrive in San Francisco until 1:30. Unfortunately, my luggage (a change of clothes and my CPAP) was on another flight which did not arrive until quite later in the day. After waiting in line for at least an hour at the United luggage service counter, I left them orders to deliver the bag to my hotel after it arrived. It was eventually delivered to my hotel while I was at dinner that night.

I was glad to join my friend, Rob, for dinner both nights that I was in California. On the second night, we ate at a nice French restaurant before Rob dropped me off at SFO for my late evening flight home. There were no complications this time and the plane was only half full making it almost enjoyable.

Continue reading “Forcin’ a light into all those stony faces left stranded on this warm July”

Only love can conquer hate

It’s turned into a whirlwind summer and I have had little time to reflect or report on it here, but here are the highlights so far:

  • CPS moved across the street and I’ve been slowly adjusting to the new space. We now have showers so I smell better during the workday. Unfortunately, I no longer have a window office. My new project is very interesting but quite hectic and time consuming. Hopefully, it will slack off by August.
  • I got new glasses for the first time in several years. I let them talk me into a pair with magnetically attachable sunglasses. New lenses (without scratches) are always so nice.
  • The NBA Playoffs started off with promise and ended in disappointment. Ho-hum, Spurs win again. I didn’t even watch the last three games on my Tivo after I got back from WWDC.
  • I was in San Francisco for a week at Apple’s annual World Wide Developer Conference learning about all the new technology they are introducing in the next version of Mac OS X plus checking what to do in San Francisco.
  • I also get a chance to meet up with my old friend, Rob, in San Francisco for dinner one night. As usual, it was awesome to see him again. Although we communicate several times a week electronically, there is no substitute for face-to-face.
  • I missed most of Portland’s annual bike celebration, Pedalpalooza, but did get back in time to attend the Multnomah County Bike Fair with Tina and the boys.
  • The Oregon Zoo kicked off their annual series of summer concerts this year with The Wailers. They started out with three or four obscure songs (which is great) but then finished in greatest hits mode (which is still good). Their new singer, The Young Lion, sounds very much like Bob Marley and quickly won over the receptive crowd. It was very near to a spiritual experience for Tina, who has been a Bob Marley fan since high school.
  • You may have noticed something called the iPhone in the news. In my position, I was witness to about 20 times the hype that you saw. Three of my collegues purchased one the day it came out and Thomas desperately wants one. I have played around with a couple and they are really quite incredible. I can’t currently justify the $60/month cost for service, but I may later.
  • The Trailblazers drafted Greg Oden, as expected, and I was present when he was introduced to the city at Pioneer Courthouse Square a few days later. People are very excited that the “Jailblazer” era appears to be over. I wanted to hold up a sign that said “Welcome to Portland, Sam Bowie” but several people (including Tina) advised against it.
  • On Independence Day we escaped the heat by seeing the latest Pixar movie, Ratatouie, at Cinetopia. Wow. I know I said this about Cars last year, but this is the best Pixar movie yet.
  • Rather than buy our own fireworks as we have in the last few years, I decided that the kids should go to a real fireworks show this year. Graham probably doesn’t remember ever going to a big fireworks display so that alone justified it, I think. We skipped the Waterfront and Fort Vancouver shows in favor of the Blue Lake show which is much closer to our house. It took a long time to get out of the park when it was all over but I think Graham really liked it.
  • We did buy a few smaller fireworks in Oregon this year and lit them Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. Oregon has stricter laws than Washington governing fireworks which led me to cross the border for the more exciting stuff in the past. None of that this year, though. Street cleanup was very easy outside our house this year.
  • This weekend Tina and Graham are camping at Cub World with his Cub Scout den. Thomas and I will be dropping in tomorrow night for dinner and maybe again Sunday morning.
  • Thomas biked the entire way to work with me this morning (around 11 miles) and seemed a bit surprised this evening as we pulled into the Max station with our bikes. “We’re taking the Max?” I think he was disappointed we weren’t biking the whole way home again. He spent most of the day in the Rec Room at work playing new games on the Wii while I worked.

Our calendar will be equally full for the rest of the summer, too:

  • Thomas leaves for a week at Boy Scout camp starting next Sunday.
  • More zoo concerts: Asleep at the Wheel, Los Lobos, Richie Furay, Charlie Hunter and The Holmes Brothers.
  • A week-long trip to Iowa for a family reunion culminating in the annual Ring summer campout in Waterville, MN.
  • Tina’s cousin Natians visiting for nearly two weeks in August. It’s her second time to Portland but we still have lots to show her including a few nights on the Oregon Coast.
  • Body Worlds has come to OMSI and we’ve already made our reservations. All the reviews for this exhibit make it sound like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I can’t wait.
  • A vast reorganization of the garage when I can fit it in.

Rose Festival Starts Today

Portland’s annual Rose Festival starts today and continues for the next couple of weeks. Tomorrow night there will be fireworks on the waterfront and then Saturday night the Starlight Parade will march through downtown. The following Saturday features the Grand Floral Parade but we’re going to have to miss it this year because of a Scouting event. I’ve always preferred the more informal Starlight Parade anyway. CPS HQ is located right on the parade route so we get free front row seats every year. Everyone else marks their “reservations” with duck tape on the sidewalk and lawn chairs chained to roadside signs.

Every year the big ships come in and dock for a few days while their sailors roam the streets of Portland enjoying shore leave. There is also a week long Family Fun Center with carnival rides, but we hardly ever go there.