News from August 2004

Dinner at the Fields

Occurred August 01, 2004 (Permalink)

Mmm... dinner at Brian's grandparents' house. Cooked by their German friends the Ziglands(?). Pictures.

Oregon Sunset

Occurred August 03, 2004 (Permalink)

I took photos of the Oregon sunset.

Cannon Beach

Occurred August 07, 2004 (Permalink)

Since yesterday was the last full day that Steph and Brian were going to be in town, we decided to head out to the beach on Friday afternoon. We drove westward on 26, stopped at "Oregon's Largest Tree" and turned left onto south 101. We stopped in Cannon Beach, which had a bunch of touristy shops: restaurants and kite stores.

We went out to the beach and tried to head towards a really big rock out in the ocean. Unfortunately, the winds came up very strongly and we decided (after Steph threw a frisbee at me and it blew up and behind her 100 feet) to turn back. Then we decided to get a kite. We got ten feet out of the door and it started pouring on us. Yuck! We fled back to the car...until we realized that Steph and I were pretty much soaked.

We had dinner in soggy clothes. The food was passable, but not the best fish and chips I've ever had. Afterwards we hopped back into my car, cranked the heat all the way and sat there for a good 15 minutes. By then, the rain had stopped and it was still windy, so we took the kite out.

The kite flying was slow at first, as we struggled to figure out how to control the thing whilst in the air. I discovered that it was easier to steer the kite if we reined in about half the strings. After a few minutes of flying the kite, I slowly (re)learned the basics of kite control. We all took turns flying the kite--even Steph, who didn't want to at first.

The sun went down, so we drove home. They left this morning. Pictures here.

MiPL, Portland, Sunsets

Occurred August 14, 2004 (Permalink)

Last Tuesday, I went on a walking tour of northwest Portland with a group known as Meet in Portland (offsite). We went to see various buildings, and I took some pictures to go with it. The A810* photos are from that event.

Today, I went downtown again with someone I met through craigslist. We went to the Portland Farmers' Market (offsite) at Portland State University. We went to the Chinese gardens, only to have my camera battery die, so that's about where the pictures stop. We had dinner at a little Italian cafe downtown and rode the MAX out to the middle of nowhere because it was air conditioned. Later, I decided to make a run for it and snapped three photos of a gorgeous sunset. Those photos are prefixed with A814.

Last Thursday

Occurred August 26, 2004 (Permalink)

I finally built up the courage to visit the east side of Portland. Seems like it's a hopping place full of lovely old 1930s houses with porches and narrow driveways. There seem to be a lot of neat little cafes and bars and movie houses and clubs and art galleries and things out that way. Anyway, this is the story of my trip out there.

Today I went to the Kennedy School (MiPL event) to hear a jazz band. "Kennedy School" isn't actually a school anymore--it's a tavern/hotel/performance venue run by the McMenamin brothers, who started buying old buildings and turning them into places to socialize. They have the whole building decorated as if it was still a 1920s era school, complete with the all the trimmings and furnishings, and quite a lot of memorabilia and minor exhibits touting the building's history. A nifty place, and certainly not what I was expecting. The first time I heard "Kennedy School", I thought we were going to hear some high school jazz band.

Anyhow, the plan was to go there and listen to jazz music. That's not quite what happened--I ended up drinking beer and chatting with several women I met in the outdoor cafe. Most of the people who went to this event actually _live_ on the east side, so it's easy for them to get to places like this. I spent a good long time talking to various people, trying to get a taste of what the east side is like. I also ran into Christi, who I met on the MAX and who introduced me to MiPL.

Christi and I decided to check out Last Thursday (offsite). This event has its origins in First Thursday, where a bunch of people go roam around art galleries in NW Portland and drink themselves silly. Of course, the Pearl is expensive and all the artwork is too. Seeing this, the NE people decided to have a massive block party on the last Thursday of each month. So they do. Artists go there to sell their wares, people go there to have exotic food in cafes, and I wandered around looking at cool lamps.

So I think I like East Portland. Wish I had moved there. Will try to move there next year. It's a way to live really close to downtown, yet be far enough away so that I can get to know my neighbors and have a lot of fun.

Sailing the Willamette

Occurred August 28, 2004 (Permalink)

Brian's grandfather invited me to go sailing up the Willamette river today. Apparently a friend of his is visiting, and so they decided that the weather was good enough to warrant a sailing trip. So we went out to Multnomah Channel to a marina, where Grandpa Vernon keeps his 30-foot sailboat moored. Some photos.

We eased our way down the channel on motor power until we got into the wider river. After cutting the engines, we unfurled the sails and began tacking downstream towards the Columbia River. It's actually quite a lot of fun, once you get over the rockiness of the sailboat (and figure out the lingo that they use.) Pulling lines can be tricky though, as you don't really have time to head to the bow to untangle things. It's actually felt similar to the kite flying of a few weeks past--slowly I became acclimated to the art of handling wires.

Upon reaching the Columbia, we looked eastward for a spectacular sight of Mt. Hood. Like the sight of Mt. Rainier from downtown Seattle, Hood looked as if it was floating upon the clouds. Anyway, we continued our downstream tacking until we reached a big red ship from China. At that point, Grandpa Vernon announced that it was time to head back, so we came about and reached for the wind.

Going downstream, we saw quite a lot of interesting sights--jet skis, a big Mississippi paddle-boat that was really making good time, a granary with a big wheat cloud over it, and a lot of barges. By this time, we were on motor power, as it was time to start putting things away and wrapping up the sails. We docked the boat, covered it up, and I went home.

Volleyball at Laurelhurst Park

Occurred August 31, 2004 (Permalink)

Today I drove all the way out to Laurelhurst Park in Southeast after work just to play volleyball. Really, that's a silly justification, as SE is far away and I suck at volleyball. But what I got instead was yet another short trip out to unknown places; the Laurelhurst district is full of quaint old 1930s/1940s era houses, complete with porches, actual gables coming out of the rooftops, narrow driveways for rinky-dink cars and (presumably) hardwood floors. I spoke with Joe, who lives in the area, and he said that it is a nifty (and inexpensive) area to live in if you like old buildings.

[Update] Some people wanted to know how I was at volleyball. Better than I was in high school, and occasionally able to pull of a good spike or two. I could improve quite a bit with just a wee bit of practice and training. Maybe that's a good idea. Just need to flesh out these control problems and I'm good to play again.

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