Monday, January 30, 2006

The Bomber Complex and Restoration Project

I was driving back from Oregon City today, along 99-E, and I noticed off to the side of the road was a big dilapidated plane, propped up in the center of a ruddy pot hole filled run down parking lot. Surrounding the plane on the outskirts of the asphalt sea was a drive through shed selling coffee and assorted processed refined sugar pastry treats, "The Bomber" restauraunt, which looked as if it was in it's heydey about 40 years ago, and an empty gift shop, mini-museum and broken down mineature golf course. The gift shop sign on the door read "closed for the season, see you in spring" but judging by the dust on the yellowed postcards it's been quite a few seasons. The restuaurant was open and had quite a few patrons dining there, but it seemed as if they hadn't remodeled since the bomber was brining in the crowds. The sign in their window exclaimed that Friday night was family night.

It seems the plane is a B-17G; I went to the website to see what's going on with the plane restoration and that page is blank. There is, however, a full menu for the restuarant available, as well as catering information. I found an artists rendition of what it looked like when it was a functioning part of commerce--it seems it was a gas station, drive in movie theater and restaurant.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

views around town

Yesterday, Ric and I went to get something to eat at a diner up in the west hills, and then crossed back over to the east side to attend a Home and Garden show. The show was cheesy, but free, and it was really rainy so it killed a couple of hours. Okay, an hour and 15 minutes. The show was basically a bunch of vendor booths set up in the colliseum where the hockey rink usually is, and it seemed most of the show was geared towards homeowners (which we aren't) who would like to remodel, landscape, stop things from clogging their gutters, or add some cheesy in-home decor. We did help ourselves to all the free samples available, which mostly consisted of these little squeegie cloths that claim to draw spills out of carpets (which we don't have). I was thinking I could use it on glass or something.
Downtown Portland, looking west. I took this picture because there was a huge rainbow in the sky, but it faded fast with the approach of the next storm, and it appears I missed my window of opportunity.

Freemont Bridge, looking east. The highways appear as though the bridge is a knot keeping all the ribbons of interstates I-5 and I-405 in a neat bunch. Picture taken from the west hills.

View of the Broadway Bridge, from the Memorial Colliseum, looking west.

Friday, January 27, 2006

colors and numbers

I made this connection when I was about 16, and wrote about it in a journal I was keeping at the time. I am now twice that old; but there hasn’t been a moment between here and then when I didn’t hear or see a number and associate it with a corresponding color. This is what I associate:

1 = off white, or the color of the plain white Christmas lights
2 = light blue
3 = orange
4 = dark blue
5 = red
6 = light blue
7 = yellow
8 = green
9 = brown or black, depending on what numbers are around it
10 = off white, the same color as in 1.

Similarly, the number 100 shares the same off white color. I can’t say I’ve ever known 1, 10 or 100 to be any other shade of white either. The number 0 alone, or one side of a decimal point will either take on a black characteristic, or sometimes it can look like a black outlined number, just serving to assist the other numbers on the opposite side of the decimal point. When paired on either side with a different number, the 0 takes on the charachteristic of the number it's with.

Any product of 10 and another number takes on the characteristics of the number nearest to the 0’s, for example: 6,000, 90,000, 252,000, 5970, 80.

Any group of numbers together will keep their individual characteristics, for example:

I think about the chronological, numerical progression of time and human advancement in years, and see each person having a color combination representing his or her age. I’m 32, my brother is going to be 28, my friends are 42 and 36. I think when an age has two numbers the same color, such as any multiple of 11, 26, 62, and 10, it holds some kind of significance. I’m not sure exactly what, but I can feel it.

I noted in my journal: This system was devised about that time just before you fall asleep and lay there thinking about miscellaneous things.

I shop at the grocery store, and I get this mental connection to associating the total on the receipt to colors. I find that my mind automatically views dollar amounts as two separate units on either side of the decimal. I see a total for groceries I got the other day as $15.12, my lunch today being $5.50 with a $1.00 tip for a total of $6.00. Batteries were on sale at Walgreen’s for $2.99 a package.

a view from within a new cube

when choosing a rock for a pet

you must remember: rocks are nocturnal; you need to let them out at night.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

nw 23rd

Here's some pictures I took early in the morning last Sunday, up on NW 23rd. There's a nice shopping, restaurant and activity district up in the NW, where the line between downtown and NW blurs about NW 21st or so. There's a lot of east side/west side bias in this town, something I don't quite understand because what's a river between sides? I"m an east sider, but I don't mind or hesitate to go to the west side for business or pleasure. I took this picture about 7:30 AM Sunday morning, when the streets are still quiet from the previous evenings debauchery and cavorting. It's nice that time of day, but I actually prefer about 6:30 AM the most. The thing about 6:30, though, I hate getting up and extracting myself from the warm comfort of my blanket cocoon. So there's an eternal struggle going on there. I think it's easier in the warmer months when there's more daylight in general.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Saturday, January 21, 2006

another break between storms

Although the overly optimistic weather people on the local news channels say that over the next couple of days the forecast will be virtually rain free, I don't entirely trust their projections. Not that I mind. This evening I went by my friend Larry's place, and when I got there I looked to the west and saw a narrow band of bright blue-gray sky between slices of ominous and enveloping gloom. It literally seemed as if waves of darkness came up over the west hills, spilled over the city and blanketed everything in it's eastward path in darkness. I especially liked the detail in the layers as the clouds, and the heavy impact the dark storms have. It kind of reminds me of tThe Nothing in The Neverending Story.

Friday, January 20, 2006

we had five minutes

of brilliantly bright blinding sunshine before the next storm rolled in.
(Note the addidas obelisk in the right side and center of the pictures).


Make the most of each moment.

Each moment that passes is gone, behind us, over.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes, try to learn and grow from your mistakes.

Do right whenever you can, never compromising your own personal ethics or the general code of morality.

Offer positive feedback whenever you can, always let people know when their efforts are creating a positive reaction, no matter how small or large.

Try not to overlook the small things. Many small things can be a big thing.

Don't be afraid to say I Love You.

I know this sounds cheesy. It probably reads like I ripped it off of a Hallmark card or something, but I was thinking about human mortality, life, death and everything in between. We're all dying the moment we're born, it's just a matter of how long it takes. Hopefully along the way we, as humans, can engage in meaningful relationships, and acquire a personal sense of self-accomplishment. Granted, we all can't self-actualize, but if you try the best you can, you try the best you can, then the best you can is good enough.

Why is there high-fructose corn syrup in my ketchup? And bread? And orange juice?

The ailens must think we're crazy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

sliding away

We've had quite a bit of rain recently, I know we've approached and possibly passed the 30 day mark. I really don't mind for the most part, I don't own an umbrella and haven't made any solid commitments to get one. A negative result of the saturating quantity of rain we're receiving, however, are homes and other structures sliding off of the very hillsides they're built upon. I obtained the pictures I've posted from local news articles, it's been quite a topic lately as a whole neighborhood may have to relocate. But seriously, why build your house on an unstable hillside, or on the edge of a mountain? Especially after they clear cut a patch of forest to build on, that increases the likelyhood of a landslide, with nothing for the topsoil and other layers of earth to anchor to. I wouldn't feel comfortable living in a place that was held in place with large steel supports, or lously looking "retention walls" that could shift with the shifting earth. Whatever the heavy rains and mudslides don't wipe out, the rest is left to the earthquakes. The local news pages state there hasn't been any more land movement, as the homes of these nervous canyon residents hangs in the balance with measured, baited breath. (I feel) anyone just viewing an apartment building or home on the edge of a canyon, hillside or sheer mountainside, can see the inherent danger and potential energy that lies in wait for the right condition to spring into kinetic action. For starters, if you are a prospective renter/buyer, the first negative sign would be that homeowner's insurance doesn't cover damage incured from mud or landslides. What a gamble, who should be liable? I think that it shouldn't be legal for developers to build in an area that has been assessed as unstable, but I don't build homes and don't know enough about process or development to give informed suggestions. At least it's an intersting drama to follow. The latest news reports that along with the receding (but not by much) volume of rain, there hasn't been any ground movement for 24 hours now. The families in the affected (effected?) apartment buildings have been relocated to a hotel courtsey of the Red Cross.

So it goes.

Friday, January 13, 2006

cops -- on location in Portland

The quality of these photos is lacking a little, but I was trying to be discreet. I wasn't sure of what the tone of this apprehension was, and didn't want to enrage our kindly law enforcement personnel. These pictures are of the view of our parking lot from the reception desk. It seems the SUV in the forefront of the picture was pulled over into our rinky-dink parking lot, and before we knew it there were three police cruisers and a dope dog crawling over the SUV, preventing anyone from entering our parking lot or leaving (both entrances were blocked by police vehciles). The police asked a man to get out of the SUV and put handcuffs on him, and then his passenger was asked to get out (not cuffed). Then there was a dope dog jumping all over the interior of the car barking wildly. After watching this scene for a 1/2 hour I became a little bored and other work duties called, so I don't know how the whole thing ended. I did think there were a lot of police standing around in the parking lot, in the pouring steady rain. It spiced up the rest of our day, unfortunatley some people who wanted to leave a little early were trapped at work.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

break in the storm

I took this picture yesterday morning about 7:15 in the morning. It was pretty dark; the oragne glow from the streetlamp is reflecting off of the cars and apartments.

The emptiest, loneliest laundromat

trying a little harder

I feel people should be nicer to each other. There should be more "Thank You's" and compliments, appreciation and expressions of kindness. Not that we, as humans, aren't a kind and giving people, but we are weird humans, and balance our capacity for niceness with evil, maliciousness or at the very minimum, coldness or disrespect. Incompetent and irresponsibile behaviors are often overlooked, and hard work is seldom rewarded. People only notice when something’s messed up, not when things are done properly and in a timely manner.

I'm pretty burnt out tired today. I had a woman apply earlier for an administrative position, but she was one of these people who look good on paper. Her resume was stellar and she was more then qualified, but when she arrived for her interveiw, she was in jeans, a lint covered pillly sweater, and on her cell phone during most of the application process. While she did some timed computer testing, she went down to our vending machines on a different floor, and bought some chips and a soda, and brought it to her testing computer. She proceeded to eat and lick her fingers alternately between typing. When she finished her tests and we interviewed, I asked her if she could stop eating so I could point out that she didn't meet the minimum requirements of the position. She started to verbally berate me, that our tests aren't right and she knows what she's doing, and she told me that she's probably done more complicated and advanced things then I have at this office, and demaned to know why the other people in and out of the office got a job and she didn't--she really doesn't know if they were hired or not, and I told her that's confidential and she really needed to leave right now. (This is not the way to get a job, by the way). She snatched her application off of the desk and stormed out of the office, offering backtalk commentary the whole way out of the building.

It's times like these I have to employ total self control; I felt the urge to start screaming in her face creep and grow inside of me like a lit fuse.

day 25

Today is the 25 day in a row of substansial rain we have received, which is a record approaching number. Some mudslides have claimed homes and portions of roads, and threaten many others due to the damp moist earth moving beneath the supports holding the hillside dwellings in place. It's not all rain, all the time; but at the interludes when it's not raining it is gray. During these moments, you can see the layers of clouds as storms roll in, and briefly break and sneak a patch of blue above during the day, or stars at night.

I was making a joke with someone I met yesterday about building an ark, as we looked out into the parking lot of our work, from the sancity of the dry office. As a lake collected around a drainage grate, it was a small representation of our area's flood warnings and rivers that have risen very high and threaten the businesses and homes and interstate highways that exist close to the swelling banks, the sewer overflow directs raw sewage into a network of pipes under the city that ultimately spits out into the river, poisioning whatever remanants.

The person I made the ark comment to took it very seriously, and begin to elaborate on a version of Noah's Ark that I don't remember hearing. He said while Noah was building the Ark, the townspeople repeatedly vandalized the Ark and assaulted Noah and his family. As punishment, God killed everyone but Noah, by turning his back as the floodwaters rose. The screams of the dying sinners drove Noah mad, and Noah was unable to save anyone because God ordained that Noah was not to take anyone but his family and the animals. I made a joke (that was overlooked) about the unicorn refusing to get on the Ark and that's why we don't have unicorns. The person I was talking to continued, and said that God smote (whatever that means) the people of Noah's town who scorned him.

Nice story, nice God. I guess the moral of the story is believe whatever you want to, provided it helps you get sober.

change is good...

Friday, January 06, 2006

check it out...

I thought this website was pretty cool...

I can’t say I love rain,

but I do really like it. It’s raining buckets again today, a steady onslaught of precipitation careening down hilly streets in wide tides, filling around blocked sewer drains and collecting in large pools in intersections. At 8:16 AM, the low grey purple ceiling gives the feeling of pre-dawn, prompting late starts and slower than usual traffic. Everything is damp; dampness becomes the norm and permeates my shoes, socks, hair, pants, grocery bags, cat, laundry, welcome mat, Irish soda bread, (the paper bag it came in), and dilutes and cools my coffee off. It’s hard to willingly depart the warm comfort of my secure car, heater on full blast combating the 40ish and 50ish degree wet temperatures, the soothing lull of my Radiohead CD playing, and the lighted dashboard illuminating the comfortable, early morning, post-dawn darkness.

I love the sound of rain, while I'm laying in bed enveloped in serenity and warmth. I think it is a special time of day, during the tiny, early morning hours where if numbers and time were colors that period of the day would be hues of yeloow, orange, rust, red, and maroon (repsectively hourly, 1 AM to 5 AM, with graduating shades in between).

The word "between" seems to me it should mean being in tweed, or an aspect of being that would involve weening. Maybe it should mean to be weening someone from wearing tweed.

(I know "ween" is actually spelled "wean", but for language purposes I think those spellings should be interchangable. Kind of like "aero" and "arrow." )

Monday, January 02, 2006

Oldsmar, sweet Oldsmar

View from the causeway, Oldsmar in the distance.

Tropical birds on people's lawns and hanging out in retention ponds.

Retention ponds are supposed to be pretty, but really are just mosquito breeding grounds, stagnant brackish stinky slop that occasioally attracts crocodiles. Every now and then things will get exciting, and some old lady's lap dog disappears. It's fun to watch the gator snouts chase around ducks in these ponds, they hardly ever get the ducks and it seems like the ducks mess with them.

We used to sing Slayer's South of Heaven and change the lyrics to sing "South of Oldsmar." On an unrelated note, you can sing Metallica's "Battery" to the tune of "Jingle Bells" and that works too.

Bridge in background of picture below is the Safety Harbor-Oldsmar Bridge.

Power plant seen in the distance from the Safety Harbor-Oldsmar bridge.

View while driving into Oldsmar, from the Safety Harbor-Oldsmar Bridge. I don't actually know if that's the official name of the bridge, but it links the two communities across from each other over part of Old Tampa Bay, an inlet off of Tampa Bay. The Ol' Bay Area. I bet there's a ton of cities that refer to themselves as "The Bay Area." This can make things confusing nationally, I suppose, if everyone who thinks of themselves as "The Bay Area" names their news channel nicknames, restauraunts, services, businesses, transportation, and anything else with "The Bay Area" attached in some way. Sometimes a name helps me differeniciate and decide which of the afore mentioned examples to choose.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

auld lang syne

Well, we all made it to another new year. A year of voilence, disorder, chaos, love, hate, compassion, destruction, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, severaly cold weather, severly hot weather, tornados, criminal convictions, abductions, newly built mega-shopping plazas, murders, rescues, tenderness, enlightening, ultimatums, embarassments, perserverance and anything else that falls between the spectrum extremes of evil and good.

2005 was the World Year of Physics, the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese calendar, and the International Year of the Eucharist in Catholicism.

The number of U.S. Soldiers killed in Iraq in 2005 is 841. This number doesn't include people wounded in action, then died later due to complications with their injuries, or U.S. civillians or service workers killed. This number factoid is brought through a MSNBC linked media outlet. At Iraq Coalition Casualties, their tally 844 killed in 2005 and 5557 wounded in action.

In Afganistan, still carrying out "Operation Enduring Freedom" in 2005 99 U.S. Soldiers were killed in action, and 240 were wounded.

I'm having a hard time finding the number of Iraqi civillians killed by military intervention in 2005, although the web site Iraq Body Count lists a minimum of 27,707 killed since March 2003.

Another 2005 factoid: "The Rolling Stones' 2005 tour of North America has become the top-grossing US concert tour of all time, by selling 162 million dollars worth of tickets, and playing 42 performances in front of 1.2 million people."

Let's not forget the drama surrounding the Space Shuttle incident.

I don't like to make new year's resolutions. I like to act on something I want to change as soon as I determine it's something that needs to be elimiated. Sometimes the rate in which a personal goal is met frustrates me, so in general I am working on employing more patience. For the most part, the resolutions you hear being made are from that weird aspect of our culture, the people who enjoy shopping at Wal Mart, and choose to purchase and consume chemical or artificial products. Resolutions to eat less, exerscize more, stop smoking, spend more time with the kids, whatever.

New Year's day doesn't really signifiy a whole lot for me, other then I get to do my income taxes really soon, and it's going to warm up a little in a couple of months. Not even many of the stores are closed on New Year's day, like when I was a kid...everything was closed, the restauraunts, the grocery stores, businesses, not too much traffic around. The skies always seemed to be washed with a low muted pale, washed out feeling, a barely audible foot ball game was on somewhere, serving as background noise to your hangover or quiet reflection.

From Wikipedia: Auld Lang Syne—literaly “old long since”—might better be translated as “old long ago”, “times gone by”, or “days gone by.”