Portland, like many cities, uses the sewer system to handle excess storm water runoff. Occasionally, this leads to the sewers overflowing into the Willamette River. Since this is bad and it rains fairly often here, the City of Portland embarked on a project nick-named “The Big Pipe”. So why am I telling you this? It’s a lead-up to explain why this incredible video at PAgent’s Progress is relevant.
I’m still trying to figure out if this is an Onion-style joke or the real thing. It’s not April 1st, so…
I stumbled across these pictures taken from the recently completed OHSU sky tram. The first few are quite amazing.
It snowed in Portland again today. We still had snow from last week which was unusual for Portland. Even more unusual was getting an appreciable amount of snow twice in the same winter. Today’s snowfall was probably around six inches. The temperature remained below freezing but that will likely change tomorrow. No school and no work for anybody in our house today. Tina and the kids went to the neighbors’ house to play in the snow with their friends while I stayed warm at home. I split my time between Tivo, Wii, computer and keeping Nietzsche warm. I anticipate a cold bike ride late tomorrow morning.
The wind was blowing very hard last night when I came home. So hard that it caused Max service disruptions throughout my ride home, causing my hour ride home to take an hour and a half. While I waited downtown for the train to arrive, the wind was blowing hard enough that I had to hold my bike in place. Never mind trying to read while waiting!
Graham had his holiday program at school last night and shortly after we got home last night all the lights went out. Graham was scared at first but we declared the situation “cool” and “fun” and he was soon at ease. We played Name That Tune (Christmas edition) with my iPod and the Boomtube. The boys and Tina went to bed around 9:30. I stayed up and played Brain Age on Thomas’ DS. Just as I finished my Sudoku puzzle the lights blinked on at about 10:15.
The aftermath this morning is lots of downed trees and branches across the Portland area. Winds on the coast gusted over 100 mph. Power outages are still prevalent throughout the area. Most schools were delayed two hours, but not ours. Here’s some links:
Evidently we had an earthquake in Portland on Sunday night, but nobody I know noticed. In fact, everybody here has forgotten because of the massive flooding that’s happening everywhere. I’m sure they’ll all forget about the flooding when the pestilence comes next week.
Top seven songs to play on the occasion of an earthquake:
- I Feel The Earth Move by Carole King
- Shake, Rattle and Roll by Bill Haley and the Comets
- Shaking by Eddie Money
- Shake It Up by The Cars
- Earthquake Weather by Beck
- Rumble by Link Wray
- And the Cradle Will Rock by Van Halen
Did I miss any?
The rain has begun. It started about a week or two ago. After it starts, you lose all track of time of when it started and when it will end. Current forecasts have it clearing up sometime in June (that’s the old joke here). Some mornings when I get up I just can’t motivate myself to get on my bike clothes and voluntarily submit to a soaking. Most mornings, though, I can.
Saturday was another day of football. I dreaded spending five hours standing around in the wind, rain and cold, but only the rain showed up for the game. I discovered that my raincoat, which leaks a great deal when I’m on my bike, doesn’t leak at all when I’m standing around watching football. Other than the rain (and clouds), it was really quite nice out. The boys got to find out all about playing football in the mud. They both did really well again and had team pictures taken after their games.
Thomas became interested in something called Pictochat Animation when he found some movies on YouTube that used the technique. Soon, he started drawing his own animations, which are essentially flip book animations that use the Pictochat feature on his Nintendo DS handheld game. He’s been working on an epic inspired by Star Wars, but it’s not ready quite yet. In the meantime, he commandeered my iSight and my computer to produce this animation in iMovie.
Tomorrow Thomas has two flag football games and Graham has one. Last week Thomas was sick, so we both missed his and Graham’s first games. Tomorrow I’ll miss them again since I’m helping Uncle Buddy move into his new house. Buddy is one of the rocks we have in Portland and we’d do anything for him, so I’m not too bothered to help.
As I rounded the turn from Oak to Broadway this morning, I only had three blocks left to my morning commute. After the turn, I have to proceed slowly in my lowest gear so as not to beat the light at the next block. There is a bike lane on this stretch of Broadway and, in this block, it passes in front of a hotel. In between the bike lane and the curb is the hotel’s curbside parking. As I leisurely rolled up the slight hill, I was only slightly surprised when a gentleman in a Lincoln opened the driver’s door without first checking if the bike lane was clear. I had a full second to react and I steered away from the gentleman and his door. He was slightly surprised and offered no apologies. I looked in my rear view mirror after I passed and he did not even give me a second look.
Halfway through the next block, a large SUV had pulled halfway out of his parking spot and was occupying the bike lane waiting for his chance to blast into traffic. I noticed that I could not see his face in the side mirror so I knew he couldn’t see me. These situations are by far the most unnerving I face. It’s very difficult to feel safe if I can’t make eye contact with the driver. However, there was quite a bit of car traffic behind me so I felt pretty sure he wasn’t going to make a sudden move out of his spot and run me over. Just to be sure he realized I was in the bike lane, as I went by, I slapped his hood twice with my open and gloved hand. He responded immediately by honking his horn angrily and, shortly after, tearing out of his spot into traffic. He accelerated up the hill towards me, but I was already passing all the cars stopped at Alder. Alder is my stop and I stepped off my bike and walked up the sidewalk as he whizzed by, unable to turn in my direction since Alder is a one way going the wrong way.
Update: TheWashCycle has a good entry about the “door zone”.