Beer can collection

This made me think of a guy I used to work with at Whole Foods.  He had a beer bottle collection.  His collection was arranged in a specific order and once, when he had a party at his place, we switched them all up and substituted random other bottles.  He told us the next day that he had to get rid of the whole thing.  Which I counted as a victory.  There’s nothing great about a beer bottle collection.

I went in for a closeup and the can on the right caught my eye.

Text from the back of the can.

Walk on Michigan Ave.

Ah, there are so many ways to get to the Wednesday volunteer job.  This week I took the train to Overlook and walked over I-5 using the Failing Street Overpass , then took a walk up (aka north on) Michigan Ave.  This part of town has a bunch of streets in a line, all named after US states that begin with the letter M.  In fact, when I-5 was in the planning stages, this section of the Interstate was known as the Minnesota Freeway, because that’s the street that the Interstate took over.  (Also, in looking for the name, I found this great picture of I-5 through N. Portland in 1964.)

Here’s a great picture of triplets.  The high vantage point is thanks to the Failing Street Overpass. Which has a review on Yelp.  Notice how in the one closest to us, the bay window is on the side closest to the alley, or the right-hand side of the building. 

Here they are again, from street level and you can see that in the middle and left-most houses, the bay window is on the other side.  It seems we have a flip-flop of floor plans. It would be interesting to walk through all three and see how they’ve changed on the interior over the years. 

Mid-February.  Magnolia bloom.  You know.  Because February.

Another set of triplets.

Only the middle one still has this detail.

And then I found these little friends. And took a lot of pictures.

Look at the recycled metal used on the siding!  And the reuse of bricks.

Maybe you need to look a little closer?  Done!

There’s a grand path to the backyard.

And even a porch swing.  Also, look at the tiling!

I was gushing about these houses to my coworker, who lives nearby and she said that one of the students at school lives next door to these two houses.  So I tracked down the dad and asked him about the houses.  He told me they are tiny, with a loft bed and a guy built both of them.  Further information on Portland Maps tells me the guy lives next door, the house you can see in the picture below, and the houses were built in 2008.  They are 362 square feet.  So cute!  Also, their real market value for the two of the is $294,570.

These dogs came a-yappin as I walked by.

The big orange sign of impending death.  Look for one or two larger houses to appear in the future.

It’s fairly overgrown.  

This was a fun find.  I initially was impressed with the amount of yard this house has. On this block it’s this house and one other and that’s it, which is very unusual for this neighborhood, as you saw with the other houses being so close together.

But as I walked by, I happened to glance back and see that the small house is much bigger than I thought.  So I investigated, which involved walking back around the block to the alley.

And look! There’s been a whole part of the house, even bigger than the original one, grafted on.  I’d like to see inside this house too!

This is the other house on the block, which boasts a yard of overgrown ivy.

It’s a grand Victorian, though. Although I would like it to have a more colorful paint job.

Here’s a set of twins, right by the Q Center. 

The one on the left is for rent.  Reading for-rent signs makes me quite happy we bought when we did.  We don’t pay anything near that amount and we have more square feet too. And our rent doesn’t keep going up.

I liked this duplex.  We don’t have a ton of them.  Most houses are single family.

This bush was very Sueussian in its look and deliciously smelly too.

A fine specimen of symmetry.

It’s  not unusual to find apartment complexes centered around a courtyard in Portland, but it’s very unusual to find Mission-style ones.

Third floor, corner room.

A long shot, so you can see how the new building is stacking up to the house next door.  That house was for sale a few years ago, and it turns out to be a good thing I didn’t buy it.  It’s pretty easy to look in the backyard now.  I still like the green tin roof, though.

But here’s the small (and out of focus) detail for today.  I’m very interested that these corner rooms seem to be triangle-shaped.  So far both the second and third floors are like that.  I’d like to see them from the inside.

And these telephone poles have appeared in the lot across the street.  I can’t tell if they have anything to do with this construction or not.

Massachusetts is the last glass standing.

This is one of four glasses given to me for Christmas several years ago by regular commenter Sara.  I had one glass for each state I’ve lived in: Idaho, Missouri, Massachusetts & Oregon.  Oregon and Idaho were the first to die, victim to my regular level of klutz. Then there was a respite of a goodly amount of time until today.

The glass was sitting on the counter and I reached up to the pot rack for a colander. When I pulled the colander down, the hook came too, then detached itself from the colander and BAM! A frontal assault on the Missouri glass.  Glass went everywhere!  It blew pieces all over the kitchen and the top part of the glass precariously on top of the lower part of the glass.

I cleaned it up and now Massachusetts is the only one left.

I’m not taking the blame for this glass going down.  I’m placing this firmly in the category of “freak accident.”

Camisole part II (big fail) pattern weights and two napkins.

When we last saw the camisole, I was waiting for the arrival of the stretch lace.  It arrived, and last weekend, I attempted to sew it together as was called for in the instructions.  The machine kept jamming and I decided I was not in the space for sewing, and put away the project for the week. 

My brain kept things on the back burner though, and I remembered reading that backing the lace/unstable item with tissue paper might help.  I did this and voila!  It worked!

I then sewed the lace to the camisole.  Note.  This was not the right way to do this.  We’ll talk more about this later.

Straps were attached (wrong, ripped out and reattached) and I noticed the lace sagged instead of standing up and meeting the strap.  So tacked them.

When I tried on the camisole, I found some problems.  First of all, the lace folded up together.  That wasn’t right.

Also, by the time I had adjusted everything to proper height,  the sliders on the straps were all the way to the front of the camisole.  So I ripped out the straps again, shortened them and reattached.

I tacked down the lace on the bottom to encourage it not to roll together and that sort of worked.  But the top stuff flopped over.  So that wasn’t good.

Overall, neither of the camisoles turned out to work for me.  The gapped a bit at the underarms and my bra is so full coverage, I had to wear them really high. And my bra straps still showed, which I have a problem with.  So they’ve been reassigned to the role of pajama tops when the weather gets warmer.  Rather disappointing, but all part of the game.

I hung up the instructions with the camisoles and a few hours later noticed that I put the lace on wrong.  I attached at the mid-point of the lace, but I should have attached at the bottom of the lace.  Sigh.

I did have success in my quest to use up bigger “bits” of leftover material.  I now have three pattern weights.

And two napkins.  So there’s that.

Bike Ride to Smith & Bybee Lake

It’s sunny, it’s warm, it’s February.  Whereas my former roommate in Somerville, Massachusetts spent this weekend getting walloped by yet another snow storm, I took a lovely bike ride.  Go Portland! (Although I’m worried about the lack of snow pack and am hoping for a wallop of our own–rain here, snow in mountains–to begin soon.)

Cuts in the hill for a new house going in.

My guess is that it will look like these ones.

This is Columbia Boulevard, which on weekdays is chock full of cars and trucks doing their industry thing.  But on weekends is lightly traveled. And we have a dedicated bike/walk path, which makes traveling alongside it quite pleasant.

I was going to ride out to Kelly Point Park to see if the Willamette was still flowing into the Columbia, but I got sidetracked by Smith and Bybee Lake.  They had a bike rack, so I locked up and set off on foot.

Smith & Bybee lake is a “wetlands natural area” which means that while it is surrounded by the heavy industry of North Portland, it is an area to see all sorts of wildlife including birds.  This picture is my stealth shot of the woman who was not only on her cell phone, but had her dog with her, clearly ignoring the many signs explaining why dogs weren’t allowed. 

This looks like a quiet and peaceful scene, but it was actually a croak-feast with seemingly hundreds of frogs chattering away.  When I walked by they quieted down, but I had a seat and they were soon chatting it up again.  I used the zoom on my camera to try and see one, but no dice.  They blended too well.

When I first moved to Portland it was a wetter than usual winter.  We nearly broke the record of consecutive days of rain, stalling out at 38–three short of the previous record.  I was still emailing with a friend from Massachusetts at the time and he asked what it was like there. 

Green.  Green was my reply.  Not just the evergreen trees or the grass watered by the endless amount of rain, but the moss growing on every static surface painted the entire city green.  I thought of that conversation when I saw this informational sign, completely covered by moss along the upper lentil.

First budding.  Here comes the green on the bushes.

See that moss?  Everywhere.  Green.

Here is the shelter that overlooks Smith Lake.  I had it to myself and it was very peaceful.

Broken tree.

A robin among the moss.

Another picture that looks silent.  But the wind rustling through the dead grasses made quite a lot of noise.  This is Bybee Lake.

And here’s Bybee Lake from the Bybee Lake Shelter.


Red among the brown.

This plaque once upon a time said something.  But we will not know what, thanks to (I’m guessing) some meth-head who pried it off to sell.  I was interested in how the UPC code and some other information were still viable in the glue.

I’ve always loved these snag/art pieces.  It’s not the first time I’ve taken a picture.

Last day.

Just in case this was Kitzhaber’s last day as Governor, I took a picture of the front page.  And indeed, by 12:15pm he had announced his resignation, though it won’t take effect for a few days. 

Though I think the Oregonian spent an excessive amount of time covering the things that were being uncovered, I place the blame fully on Kitzhaber.  For the past few weeks, whenever I unfurled or logged on to the paper and saw the day’s new headline a line from the song “I wanna get better” by the Bleachers would pop into my head:

…I was losing my mind,
because the love,
the love,
the love,
the love,
the love
that I gave.
Wasted. On a nice face…

In his resignation letter Kitzhauber wrote: “I must also say that it is deeply troubling to me to realize that we have come to a place in the history of this great state of ours where a person can be charged, tried, convicted and sentenced by the media with no due process and no independent verification of the allegations involved.  But even more troubling — and on a very personal level as someone who has given 35 years of public service to Oregon — is that so many of my former allies in common cause have been willing to simply accept this judgment at its face value.”

And that struck me as a the biggest F-you to the media and his colleagues I’ve seen in years.  But the fact of the matter remains that John Kitzhaber has been in politics for 35 years.  He is (or should be) familiar with the ethics guidelines that govern representatives of our state.  He chose to be in a relationship with a woman who seems to have not followed those guidelines, he chose to refer to her as first lady, and he decided that what she was doing was okay. 

It’s never good for a politician to be investigated by the Oregon Government Ethics Commission, the State Attorney General, and a Federal grand jury investigation.  And with every question asked of Cylvia Hayes’ role Kitzhaber has minimized evidence that has been presented. 

This scandal put me, a single working female professional woman in a long-term unmarried relationship, (Cyliva Hayes is all of those things too) in the uncomfortable position of thinking things like “why doesn’t he just marry her already?” and various other ridiculous thoughts that left me feeling like I was betraying the sisterhood.  But the governor can’t have it both ways.  Is she the first lady, doing deals and making contacts as the first lady?  Fine.  Is she a professional woman, head of her own company that benefits from her knowledge of and access too political contacts?  Fine.  But they needed to be very clear which hat she was wearing at which time.  And they weren’t.

Is she a member of his household, even if they are not married? Fine.  But to say that the first lady is just a ceremonial role when questions come up about contracts and other dealings with Hayes’ company is false.  And, frankly, ridiculous.  If there was a firm line drawn by either the governor or Cyliva Hayes then we wouldn’t be swearing in a new governor next week.  But there weren’t and while Kitzhaber seems to have acted above board for his 35+ year career, the woman he has associated himself with for the last ten has raised an incredible amount of red flags. 

And just because they aren’t married doesn’t mean we don’t get to say, “Not good choices, Governor Kitzhaber.  Please go.”

I sat through four wasted years of a neutered Sam Adams as mayor of Portland after his scandal.  I don’t need to sit through four years of an ineffective governor.  The state’s got too much to do.

I wish Kitzhaber a good life, with or without Cylvia Hayes by his side.  I personally would suggest without, but I guess he knows her better than I do.