Dishcloth: Strawberry

There’s a new knitted dishcloth book in town!

That’s right! We’ve left behind the crosstitch-pattern method of knitted dishcloths and have moved on to learning new “16 new stitches as you knit cheery dishcloths” which is the subtitle of the book.

This pattern happened to be knit 4 pearl 4, which is not very different from the pattern for the baby blankets I used to knit, before I discovered the receiving blanket.

Also, this book names their patterns after specific yarn recommendations. I’m following my own yarn path, so the names might not always match the completed project.

This was a nice start. I’m looking forward to more difficult stitches.

The 60/30 Rule Report 10/14

Hoo boy, it was a busy week. I had activities on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings, plus things on both Saturday and Sunday. Plus, the movie A Star is Born  has been out for two weeks and I’ve still not seen it.

All that is to say, I did not make my goal. I’m okay with it, though. I could have cranked out two more hours, but I did not. I chose to rest. Because I need to rest as a part of this project.

I may or may not make up the time in future weeks.

As for work done, the five hours I did were pretty frustrating. Though I’ve been using WordPress for several years now, it’s a learning curve. Plus, I have a new theme and have to figure out how it works. I feel like I’m only 30% good at what I’m doing and that’s a pretty uncomfortable space to be in.

All of my work this week was on the Three Sentence Movie Review (3SMR) site. I’m going to get that up and running and then focus my attention on Female Financial Independence (FFI)

I did use GIMP (an open-source Photoshop-type program) to design a favicon. I’ve learned that “favicon” is the official name those squares that go in the browser tab, next to the name of the website. I used to call them “those square things that go in the browser tab” I also set up a Three Sentence Movie Review profile in Gravitar, which is the universal icon that comes with me whenever I comment on something.

I also made the pages AGAIN in 3SMR. And I have a lot of pages. I’ve now twice made the same mistake, but I’ve learned. The 50 Essential Things post I’ve been using to get the website up and running tells you to create pages. But then, when I download a template, it erases all the pages. For FFI, I’ll know to download the template and only after that run through the 50 essential things list.

For my second work session, I made categories, which right now are the same as the pages. The categories will help with sorting. My plan is to have a main blog page, but to set up the home page so people can quickly navigate to buckets. The link to Genre will then flip to a page with all my genre categories (Action, Adventure, Crime, Comedy, etc.) From there, a person can click on a genre, like Action,  which will take them to a page where all my action movie reviews will be listed. There will also be buckets for “Liked,” which is subdivided into Good and Recommended, Not My Cup of Tea, movies by women–subdivided into directors and writers–and of course, the CT Film Festival. I should probably have one for lists, too. Top Movies, fun lists I make, etc.

I also downloaded three icons from Flat Icon, and made buttons on the front page that connect people to the Genre page, the Women page and the CT Film Festival page.  Those pages exist right now, but they have nothing on them.

I also found this great resource (https://www.colorhexa.com/e86b24) for the color I randomly picked when I made my front page image. It shows other colors that work with that color and all their numbers.  Good old #e86b24. Such a lovely orange.

Next week, I’ll keep chipping away at the front page.

SKS Postcard: Birds are creepy

SKS does not like birds, or flying things in general. One of my top-five moments of uncontrollable laughter happened decades ago when she was telling me a story of defeating a moth, armed only with a canister vacuum cleaner and some cat food.

So this postcard was right up her ally. 

As you can see.

She’s also stepped up her game in the addressing of the mailed items lately. I wonder if the postal delivery people notice.

Postscript: we seem to be in an era of very dark photos. I wonder if my camera settings somehow got changed?

The 60/30 Rule Report 10/7

Week one went great! Because week one always goes great. I love starting things. It’s why I enjoy Mondays.

The start of this project also coincided with a work drought. No matter how hard I try to find an office work job that will keep me busy–or even just steady–for all 8 hours, I have not been successful.  In this job, sometimes projects push and then there is nothing to do.

After decades of being frustrated by this, I have rebranded that time as “paid blogging time.” This makes me feel much better.  And so four hours of my “after work” work was done at work this week.

I finished going through all of the steps in ESI Money’s “Five Steps to Creating a Winning 25K Blog” It’s a five-part series and was quite thorough. Having just completed a business plan for my copyediting business, this felt similar. Plus, I learned a bunch of website things I didn’t know, even after having this blog for more than 10 years.

I also worked through 50 Essential Setting after Installing WordPress for Three Sentence Movie Reviews. I did that with my copyediting website and found it helpful.

I did the exercises in the “Start your 25K blog” series for both websites, but now I will focus on Three Sentence Movie Reviews.  Next week I will download a theme and get going on getting it to look like I want. This tends to be challenging as I am only 20% WordPress confident. (Yes, even after all of these years.)

The Orange Door’s newest appliance

I’ve owned a stovetop pressure cooker before and found it to be an appliance that was okay to use. It didn’t live up to its promises (so fast!) but did prepare food slightly faster than the conventional stovetop method. I think my stovetop pressure cooker broke, or I wandered away from it and donated it.

However, I was intrigued by the Instant Pot because it has both the pressure cooking attributes and a slow cooker function. I hadn’t replaced my slow cooker when it broke and I did, from time to time, wish I had another one.

The price was prohibitive, and I’ve been biding my time, figuring eventually someone would have theirs up for sale for cheap because it didn’t quite fit into their cooking routine. However, this weekend Fred Meyer put their 6-quart jobber on sale for $79.99 plus a $10 FM gift card and I snapped it up. It actually rang up even cheaper than that ($59.99) which I reluctantly told the cashier. She shrugged, and let me have it for the lower price.

I’ve had this for two weeks now and can report that I think this will be a permanent and well-used part of my cooking tools. Here’s the reason why: it’s a countertop appliance. Most of my cooking is done in one or two long sessions on the weekend. This means that sometimes space on the burners is at a premium. Being a countertop appliance, I can set something up, program the timer, walk away, and continue doing four other things until the Instant Pot cooking cycle is over. With a stovetop pressure cooker, not only did I lose a burner, but also I had to do a good amount of futzing with the burner setting to maintain pressure.

I love also that I can sauté in the Instant Pot. With my slow cooker, I would have to sauté in a pan and transfer the food to the slow cooker. Otherwise everything came out with the same mushy long-cooked flavor that I didn’t enjoy.

I haven’t yet used the slow cooker function, so I have no report on that, but Steam, Rice, Soup and the pressure cooking functions have worked very well for me. In fact, on Saturday I used the Instant Pot six times, making brown rice, white rice, black beans, red beans, chicken and lentil soup, and Indian butter chicken.

First-time users of pressure cookers might find the time savings to be negligible. You have to let the unit come to pressure, which takes time, and then it cooks at pressure, and then while you can quick release, for some things you have to let the pressure cooker come down naturally from full pressure, and by that time, you could have just done it on the regular stove.

But I was aware I wouldn’t win much time. And unaware of how freeing the Instant Pot would be.

Three houses not long for this world, +bonus siding look-see

These pictures came out darker than I thought. Apparently I took them at the time of day when my eyes register more light than my camera.

These three houses were mostly boarded up from the inside, so I didn’t notice that they had been vacated. They are on Denver Ave., just off of Rosa Parks Way. They are the type of house I love: small house, bigger lot. North Portland had a ton of these houses when I moved here in 2007. There are fewer now. And soon there will be three fewer.

Portland Maps shows an interesting situation for these houses. Two of them are on the same lot (6541 N. Denver) and the lot seems to extend into the third house, though it has it’s own address (6525 N. Denver). The middle house is not shown as having an address, both on Portland Maps and on Google Maps. However, the information on Portland Maps shows square footage for all three houses in the 6541 N. Denver record and there’s no information on the third house in the 6525 N. Denver record, So I’m assuming all three houses are included on one lot.

The lot was last sold in 1977 for $58,500. According to an inflation calculator, that’s about $231,000 of today’s dollars. I’m unclear if that $58k price reflects that it has three houses on it. In June, this lot sold for [and here I must interject via brackets that the number I’m about to type makes me literally nauseous] $1.6 million.

Wait! It seems the $1.6m is for all three houses on the block, plus the former recycling center on the corner. Nausea has slightly abated. Only slightly. My favorite site Next Portland had this to say on 10/27/17 :

Proposed development of a split zoning site, CG and R5. four story apartment building (20 units or more) on the GC portion of the site and 2 new single family homes on the R5 portion of the site. All existing structures on site to be demoed.

By dividing $1.6m four ways, that roughly pencils out to $400,000 per lot. 

Four hundred thousand dollars for just the land. That’s before the demo. 

And that, friends, is why we have a homelessness problem in Portland.

Fun fact, I first noticed these houses had been boarded up when I saw one of our neighborhood homeless residents sleeping on the porch of the red house.

Onto the houses. This guy is 600 square feet, with a full basement.  It’s the corner lot and has a nice big backyard. 

This house is 720 square feet with a full basement. The assessment also includes 500 square feet of concrete which you see in the picture. It serves as the driveway for both houses. This is my favorite house of the three, though I think it has the smaller yard.

This house is 720 square feet with a full basement. It is right next to the former recycling center.

The records don’t say, but I’m guessing houses 2 and 3 were built by the same builder. They look very much the same. There’s a good chance house the first house was built then too. They have a lot of the same lines. 

The record on Portland Maps only lists 1922 as a build date and it doesn’t specify if that year applies to all three houses. Either way, I will miss their presence. 

Here’s a side view of where the recycling center used to be. Portland Maps says this garage (it probably was one before it was the recycling center) was built in 1950. I can’t tell if this property was owned by the same person who owned the houses, but my guess is yes. If so, that person made a tidy profit on this sale.

The recycling center (Far West Fibers) closed soon after China stopped taking plastic from the USA, citing too much contamination. It was too bad, as this was a handy place for me to drop off the plastic that couldn’t be recycled curbside. 

Bonus picture! The property at 1936 NE Alberta. It’s a bit of office/shop space in the middle of a residential neighborhood. These are always a fun find for me. They are almost never shops or offices anymore, as our shopping patterns have changed enough that they are not viable as neighborhood shops.

Today, though, I was even more excited to find this detail.

Exposed: the previous shell of the building. It looks like sometime–I’m guessing mid-twentieth century–this building was revitalized to make it more modern. The sides were built out to make the structure more box-like and the brick was added.

If it weren’t a little too dark, you could see the former slanted roof which has been covered by the more modern flat roof.

Despite its office-looking appearance, Portland Maps lists this as a single family residential building. It was bought in 1994 for $135,000 (about $236k today) and was sold in 2017 for $695,000. The owners live on site, so I’m not sure what their plan is. Live in it? Demo and rebuild? It’s a big enough lot they could. There’s nothing on Next Portland’s development map, so we shall have to see.

Either way, I’m glad I got a chance to peek at what was there before.

Where have the three sentence movie reviews gone?

Exciting news! The three sentence movie reviews I’ve been writing since 2008 (all 1000+ of them) now have their own site.

You can read already published three sentence movie reviews on this site without ads. They are also available on the new site.

Starting 10/1/18, all three sentence movie reviews can be found at:

www.threesentencemoviereviews.com

Let’s try a Bullet Journal

I’ve been doing well with the Getting Things Done method of organization and using Google Keep, but I missed having paper to write on. So I bought myself a Leuchtturm 1917 dotted A5 journal (it’s so nice to be able to pop over to Powell’s and pick one up) and got started with this Bullet Journal thing that people have been doing.

I am SO GLAD I started with the Bullet Journal website. The reason? Certain people who post pictures on the internet spend a lot of time on their bullet journals. Which is great for people who want to make watercolor layouts and freehand drawing fancy fonts. But I think those people possibly have too much time on their hands.* I don’t, and need to get things done. This is where the Bullet Journal System comes in. At it’s briefest, it’s a really simple system that can be summed up in one, brief web page of instruction.

*If you are at all interested in the gorgeous things people do with their bullet journals, google “bullet journal inspiration” and marvel. But don’t let it stop you from actually doing a bullet journal, even if your handwriting is terrible and you can’t draw a straight line.

I followed that instruction and now I have an index page:

A future planning page:

And here’s the setup for my October monthly goals and calendar.

In this time of increased commercialism, I appreciate someone who created a simple method to get stuff done. I’m excited to have something to write in and I’ll report back at the beginning of next month as to how it’s been going.