The girl and I were in Portland this past weekend, visiting Pam, Vicki and the University of Portland.
It rained. Surprise. Probably a good thing as it gave the girl a taste of life in Portland.
We visited U of P Saturday morning. I enjoyed it, but the tour itself was difficult due to the rain and my inability to hear our two young tour guides. I had to keep pushing my way to the front of the group in order to hear. It's a very small school. There are only about 3,800 students. Average class size is 23, but range anywhere from 15 to 35.
There are five "schools;" Arts/science, business administration, nursing, education and engineering
Freshmen are required to live on campus their first year
All classes are taught by professors
There is no "Greek" system, as it goes against the idea of "community," though I think the real reason is because they're full of douchebags
The girl seemed somewhat indifferent. She liked it, but it didn't seem to speak to her, to whisper the words "you belong here." So we'll see. They've waived her application fee, and the sooner you apply the sooner you hear about merit scholarships and the like, so we'll continue on down the road and see where it goes.
(The girl and dad on campus)
Yea, so after the educational portion of our visit we went on to do a few other things. First stop was lunch at Little Big Burger. As the name implies, the burgers are a wee bit on the smallish side, but tasty as all get out. And the fries? Fried in truffle oil. Oh baby but they's good.
(them at LBB)
After lunch we tooled into downtown and paid a visit to Powell's, one of the most awesome bookstores on the planet. I could have spent the rest of the day amongst the stacks, but we only stayed for an hour and a half. I found a couple of teacher books that Lisa wanted and then spent the rest of the time drifting around the fiction section. I had an armload of books but decided to only buy three; Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollak, When we talk about Raymond Carver, interviews by Sam Halpert, and a first edition, signed copy of Another Day in Paradise by the late Eddie Little. I actually already have copy of ADIP, but $4.95 for a signed first edition? It was a steal that I could not resist.
From Powell's we headed across one of Portland's five bridges en route to the Bagdad Theater for the 5:15 showing of World War Z. For those of you unfamiliar with the brothers McMenamins, they are considered "two of the pioneers of the Northwest microbrew and historic hotels industries." The Bagdad is one of their theater pubs and we dined on pizza and what not while watching Brad Pitt battle zombies. Pretty awesome.
(swiped from Google images)
We actually were pretty beat after our day, and all turned in early. Sunday morning we made a late breakfast and then hit Voodoo Donuts for a "second breakfast" on our way to the airport.
(Waiting on line at Voodoo)
(The girl got a shirt and a donut. I just got a donut. But the "voodoo man" was tasty)
And that's it. Thank you for coming along on our trip to Portland. And thanks to Pam and Vicki for their hospitality.
So here's a picture Lisa took of the Mt. Diablo fire, a local conflagration that firefighters have been battling since September 8. The most recent reports indicate that the fire has burned about 3,500 acres and is 45% contained. For many more photos check out Claycord.com.
As another local man of words recently wrote, this brings back exciting childhood memories of the last big blaze on Mt. Diablo, or as I like to refer to it, Firestorm '77.
Twin lightening strikes on August 2, 1977 begat a blaze that destroyed 6,000 acres and had our neighborhood on edge for several days, watching nervously in fear that the fire would jump to Mt. Zion, a smaller mountain range at whose base our neigborhood huddled.
I recall various neighbors with folding chairs establishing a "base camp" on our front lawn, which offered a great view of the smoldering mountain. In my memory, adults sat outside most of the night keeping tabs on the advancing flames. I also remember seeing a few suitcases sitting in the entry hall of our home, presumably packed with essentials, but mostly photos, home movies and other irreplaceble items, lest we were forced to beat a hasty retreat. I remember a family friend, maybe 6 years older than me, who knew the mountain and volunteered to help in some way, perhaps as a guide or maybe a volunteer firefighter. I don't recall. I'll have to ask him next time we speak.
Naturally, this was an exciting few days for an 11-year old boy, getting to stay up later than usual, hanging about in the shadows outside the circle of adults who sat speculating in hushed voices, excited by the danger of it all. We neighborhood kids roamed the summer street, discussing the fire and what we'd do if it jumped the line, almost hoping that it would.
This has to rate up there as one of the strangest stories I’ve come across.
Apparently supporters of local restaurateur, Ed Moresi, and what are being described as “security forces,” have been involved in numerous skirmishes resulting in several deaths and more than two hundred injuries.
Witnesses say that police and said security forces, fired tear gas at Ed’s supporters, who were protesting Ed’s “ouster.”
This is certainly news to me. During my last drive through downtown Clayton, both Mudville’s and The Chophouse seemed to be doing a thriving business, and so far as I’ve seen, neither Claycord nor the Clayton Pioneer have not reported anything about Ed being “ousted.”
This reporter cannot fathom why a long-time, local proprietor would be faced with such violent opposition, and so far I have been unable to ascertain the exact reasons for the coup against this local hash slinger. Has the price of a rib-eye gone beyond what a reasonable man is willing to endure? Did Ed drop the popular steak fries from his menu? Perhaps the long wait to receive the bill at Mudville’s has finally pushed diners to the brink.
Whatever the reason, this reporter is going on record to say that, while I too love my steak fries, an armed coup certainly goes above and beyond what can be considered a “reasonable” reaction by consumers.
Lori said: "I thought it had three layers though, not just two..or am I thinking of something else?"
Yes Lori, you are thinking of something else; namely Jello 1-2-3!
Jello 1-2-3 was a luscious gelatin dessert that "separated into three distinct layers: a creamy top, a mousse-like middle, and plain Jello bottom."
According to my research, Jello 1-2-3 was first introduced in 1969 and discontinued in 1996, however I question its availability in all regions of these here United States. I remember my mother making this back in the 70's but then never being able to find it again.
"When are you going to make more of that yummy three-layered Jello?" I'd whine.
"I can't find it anymore. I guess they stopped making it," mom answered.
Yeah, so I think it was discontinued in Northern California long before it was yanked from other parts of this great land of ours.
I totally recall scraping off the creamy top layer (it was actually had more of a creamy/foamy consistency) as if I was shaving my dessert, (Yes, I realize that sounds sort of dirty. Deal with it.) before thrusting deeper into the mousse-like, gelatinous regions below.
So no Spoon Candy and no Jello 1-2-3. What are they going to discontinue next, Freakies Cereal?
For whatever reason I felt the urge to post a post to this blog.
It's Christmas day, 2012 at 9:35 PM. Lisa and I are currently enjoying our second glass of Sambuca and watching Scrooge. The kids have retired to their rooms with their computers and potato chips, their XBoxes and their next door neighbor buddies.
Last night we attended the 5:30 mass at St. Bon's where the girl sang in the choir. Afterwards we dined with my folks and my older sister and her fam. When we got home Lisa wrapped the rest of the gifts and I complained about the hour and that I was tired and wanted to sleep. Instead I stayed up with her until nearly 2 AM cleaning up the house so as to wake up to a clean home on Christmas morning.
Up by 10, enjoyed family time with presents and then an actual family breakfast at the table. We went to the in-laws around 3 where we ate, drank and ate some more, coming home around 8:30. Slipped into something more comfortable, popped Scrooge in the VCR (yes, I know), poured some Sambuca and that brings us to now.
Hope your Christmases were happy and full of many blessings.
9:52 PM. I just realized why I felt like posting. I'm drunk. Mystery solved. Carry on. Merry Christmas.
Oh joy of joys, I've been diagnosed with sleep apnea!
Several weeks ago I got to sleep with this thing on my hand.
If that wasn't hard enough, last night I had the pleasure of being this guy.
Surprisingly though I was actually able to sleep OK despite this contraption. Granted, it was a little tough to actually fall asleep, but once out I actually slept. And I feel OK today, like maybe I actually got some good REM sleep (I tried to come up with a lame REM "the band" joke but gave it up. You're welcome).
According to my sleep test I tested at the low end of moderate sleep apnea. Yet another test on which I'm at the low end, but I digress. So the breathing apparatus is supposed to allow a steady flow of air so when your brain shuts off and forgets to breathe the contraption forces air in which kick-starts your brain to wake up and say, "Oh yeah. Air good."
So anyway, as much as I look forward to some of this "real sleep" I've heard so dang much about, the idea of having to where this farking strap-on every night sort of runs contrary to my otherwise studly image.
So ladies, if you happen to have a wee bit o' freak for Bane, line forms on the left.
Kristian, may I just say, on behalf of the town of Clayton, nay on behalf of this entire great nation of ours, that we are very proud of your accomplishment. You've done an outstanding job representing your fellow Americans and we thank you for your efforts. As I've told you before, you've kicked more ass in 19 years than most of us will kick in a lifetime, and you should be very proud of yourself. Never mind that you make me some of us so many others look like complete losers, but that's a conversation for another day. Congratulations again and enjoy the celebrations!