Friday, August 31, 2012

Everyone say hello to Milo

Milo is my new computer. He came today. He's my first new "new" computer since 2001. I got that "my new gadget will make everything in my life organized and efficient" buzz that will go away soon. Milo's main job is to help me get a job. On the side he provides a much better platform from which to blog, find the next sublet or month-to-month apartment / plan more travel (actually, now that I'm sitting here... Milo is too frickn' big for comfortable overseas travel {it's Atikins for you Milo! [smears raw meat onto new laptop]}) , write Yelp reviews, and entertain myself with DVDs from the library.

Here are the Meetup picture links from Mirror Lake / Tawanawas Falls last Thursday and from Ramona Falls / Bald mountain last Friday.

I'm going on someone else's moon hike tonight. I pointed out that a true moonrise can be seen on Saturday which is a better day for people to get there on time anyway.. but it's not my hike. Hopefully the duct tape will hold on the broken plastic bit on my headlamp.

Tomorrow I'm going kayaking on the Willamete river south of Portland with a padding club.
Sunday, maybe the Portland Symphony free concert in Lake Oswego (home of the NBA's Kevin Love!). No love from employer's yet.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Trying hard to settle

Made cookies
Gone on a group hike
After 3.5 months of static, changed the presets on my car radio.
Got a library card.

What else do people do when they're home? (Besides work, date, and have more than 26 days till the next change of address. Am already pushing those stones uphill)

Have till Oct 16 to change voter registration.

Maybe I should buy some props and juggle behind a hat somewhere.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Photos of Oregon

Last seven are water photos from Mt. Hood and the columbia gorge from hikes I did alone. When I add my photos for the hikes I did with Meetup,  i'll post those links as well.

The streets of Portland are filled with familiars

Moved into my one-month sublet around 3:15pm Saturday. After downing a couple slices of pizza on Alberta street 5pm I was walking towards dessert options when I saw a guy on the corner who resembled my friend Eric. Eric and I went to spring training in Arizona one year and also went barry bonds hr recording breaking game. He lives in San Francisco. No big deal though, half the guys in Portland look like Eric: shave head with stable, facial hair but not quite a bear, a t-shirt with some kind of ironic meaning, jeans, and a messenger bag. But this 'Eric' was standing next to Nicole! (Real Eric's longtime friend & roommate {also my friend}) Holy cow it was them

"Whassup Bitches!", I blared on approach. To which I got a slow,  "oh my god" from Nicole. These are two of the hardest people I know to schedule and they just bumble across my path. They're up her for four days looking around and visiting some folks.

Not sure if I should take this as an omen and if so, what kind? 'You will find friends easily in Portland', 'return to the Bay', or since I slotted in a 2nd dinner of Thai food with and eventually still did add a chocolate dipped waffle for dessert, 'you gonna be fat'

Jump to Monday. I'm walking on the eastern part of Hawthorne in prime uber-portland upscale-slum-we-kept-it-real land when I walk right past Fred Armiston heading onto location to shoot a scene for 'Portlandia'.

Weird days. It hasn't rained yet.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

More Portland observations

One can take the train to a shopping center within about 200 yards of IKEA.  Wonder if hipsters can get their flatpacks home with a train and a skateboard

Have eaten at food pods, collections of food carts that are part of the culture, four times and have yet to wowed by taste,  value, or speed.

Was going to post about the general standard of homeliness that prevails here but the librarian today was very cute. And not in the "girl with the glasses , hair pulled back, who never looks you in the eye" way. She was cute in the way that if you brought her to a party all your friends would say, "she's cute"

Portlanders do watch 'Portlandia' but hate to admit they have TVs


Anyway, I am going to stay for a month and see if employers here are just as dismissive of me as there capitalist brethren by the Bay. Am letting a room in a kind of boarding house (private bath, private room, shared kitchen ). Wish me luck on daily human interaction
Will likely buy a laptop to facilitate job search without having to queue up for computer time at the library.
Money saved switching to monthly and far less driving should pay for it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Saddest thing I've seen in a while

In a Motel6 parking lot, a Volkswagen Jetta station wagon with "Just Married" soap written on all the windows. ... and the couple was in their 50s

Of course, they might have looked at me alone in my 40s with 6 layers of dirt on my 5-year-old car and thought along similar lines.

Joke's on them though... I got my Altima washed this morning

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Went to a glacier yesterday

Check out those hiking hindquarters!

This was with a meetup group out of Portland at mt. Hood. You can browse the other photos from that link. I've not upload mine yet (no i-net last couple of days. No wi-fi right now)

Motel6 tonight. The McDonald's of lodging: you know it's not going to be great but it's going to be pretty clean and it's not going to kill you *today* though doing it consistently will wear you down.

There's the right way and there's my way

In evaluating Portland as a potential new home I feel very immature. I've this image of a mature person objectively studying comparative tax tables, rent/home price ratio charts, and maps of flood plains, fault lines, and SuperFund sites.

Me, captain objective, i'm walking around tasting pizza, ice cream, bagels, and falafel. Yeah, I eat 3 times a day so it's something I want to do well wherever I am but I spend much more time sleeping. Shouldn't I figure out what's important for sleep?? (Like security and quiet {where are those crime stat websites}) shouldn't I find out in what neighborhoods the city council members live? (I *have* learned that this city loves beer so much they elected a guy named "Sam Adams" as Mayor)

Heaven forfend I live somewhere I can't stuff myself with 3000 good tasting calories for under $15.

Still, I'm doing better than 1994 when I asked the long term parking cashier at Lambert airport in St.Louis to call a coin flip to decide if I should drive to Austin or to stay in town.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Paused Again

Am visiting family in L.A. to remind myself the difference between alone and not-alone.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Portland observations

Doors on stores on Alberta street have signs that say on one side "Open" and on the other side "Shut"

There is a suicide counseling hotline sign at the entrance onto the Hawthorne street bridge. The walkway is not even 50 feet above a fairly calm river.( it's 49 feet, I checked). One would have to be drunk, jump head first, and not know how to swim to kill oneself off this bridge. There aren't even any pilings to hit on the way down. Maybe the distraught of the northwest wait for a ship with spikey bits to pass underneath before hurling?

If a place serves breakfast they serve biscuits and gravy. Perhaps a hold over from the timber centric days

Not a lot of tall men. I feel tall here.

I've yet to encounter a rude service person. Weed be good I guess.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Why do parents do that?

I'd like to congratulate Destinee Hooker of the U.S. national womens volleyball team for overcoming growing up in a house where bad decisions are made to become an Olympian.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

The pictures that were supposed to go with the last post

Nicks, aches, tans, and Idaho

My last little hike in Montana was also boring. Overall the state was great though. After that short yawn on the way west on route 12, I stopped at the Lolo pass visitor center on the state line. The people there advised "Colt Killed Creek" for my afternoon hike. Lewis and Clark had killed and eaten a young horse here. I swear these guys have half the upper mid-west named after them (even a mid-90s Superman TV show). Anyway, it was a nice start to Idaho hiking except that my windshield got a small crack when a passing RVs tire launched a small stone into it. During the day I saw helicopters shuttling back and forth to get water for a small fire I went by on the Montana side of Lolo pass.
Sunday morning at the Lochsa Lodge I met the 2 chopper pilots. Turns out several small fires had been started by the lightning storm I saw from the ballpark in Missoula on Friday night. (it took a lot of self-control to not yell "Get to the Choppa!!" as the brief conversation ended)

Sunday I hiked at Warm Spring creek which had popular springs about 1.5 miles up the trail. Was tempted to dunk myself as my lower back was killing me. No one was there yet when I went by because I'd crossed to pacific time the night before but was still waking up before 6am Mountain time. Anyway, no people but two frisky bucks were there. I thought, "an optimist would think that 'this place was imbued by a special natural grace that draws the woodland creatures as well as the harried denizens of civilization looking to shed their stress.' A pessimist/realistic would think 'I wonder if people would come if they knew deer dropped by first thing to poop on the inflow spring'"
Never did find the connecting trail to diablo lookout on this nearly 6 hour hike. Odd day: hurt to stand up and sit down but 15 miles of hiking is no problem.

Monday I drove south on us95 and then west 17miles on a gravel road to get to the snake river at the north end of hells canyon. The river is a little slower and calmer than the names implies at the end of a spring melt after a weak winter.
Hiked 13 miles through heat and consumed almost all of my 4 liters of water.
Onto riggins,id for 2 nights which oddly is back in Mountain time. Pretty much every time one crosses the Salmon river in ID one crosses time zones.
Tuesday I drove out another long dirt road to the Windy Saddle trailhead in Hells Canyon wilderness. Along the way I mentally chided myself for having carried my bear spray the previous day through the arid river canyon. Surely that is not dense grizzly territory. Then, between mile markers 8 and 9, I turned the corner and saw a huge black bear running off the road and jumping into the trees. Okay, when I get out of the cat I'm taking the spray.
There were a surprising number of wild flowers on the 14 mile out and back to upper bernard lake. Then again this was around 6000-7000 feet as opposed to the previous days desert like river hike at 2000.
If I had to do it again with hindsight I would have gone south from Missoula to the bitteroots instead of west then south to hells canyon because the dirt road access takes forever and this time of the year with both snake and salmon river being kind of placid between rapids I didn't opt for a day on the water.
Wednesday was a recuperation day. I drove to lewiston,ID, which is kind of a pit, ate junk food, went to a matinee, and bedded down at the Days Inn even earlier than usual (now in Pacific time)
Today's plan is light hiking at Oregon Butte, which is in southeast Washington. Then it's on to Walla Walla
More gear failure: an ancient pair of light hiking pants ripped when I was at Glacier. I sewed them up with a little sewing kit. For the hot hike the other day I donned them but got no further than sitting in the car when I heard them rend again. I cursed, when back into the room and changed.
Finally, check out the picture. (No picture. Fracking blogger android app is driving me nuts) Nothing indicates summer fun like sandal tan. Even more impressive since my feet are locked in boots 4-7 hours a days