Postcard from Vienna

This is from my cousin Ron, who always travels anyway, but also gets some sort of travel stipend in his retirement.  He reports it was difficult to find a postcard of Vienna that wasn’t a depiction of 50 years ago.  (I have noticed this problem of late also, and I am not at all happy.)

Cousin Ron reports that the city is large, but they have quickly gotten used to walking, using the subway and taking buses.  Also, apparently the food is not expensive, so they have been indulging in a lot of pastry.

This came in an envelope, so I thought I would include the stamp.

You too could have…

….arms like Emma.

This made me chortle.

I appreciate Emma Stone for many things, but her toned physique is not one of them.  She’s tiny, and even with adding 15 pounds of muscle, I don’t feel like I’m looking at much there. Granted, the Billie Jean King era was before the big-arm Linda Hamilton doing pull-ups in Terminator 2 or Angela Bassett as Tina Turner.  But Ms. King had some guns.

Broadway Building Rehab and Broken Branch

I’ve featured this building before on this blog.  It’s getting an update.  The Passport Photo place on the corner has moved into the middle space while they renovate.

It’s a to-the-sidewalk renovation, and I’m interested in how they have built a temporary new interior while they work on the exterior.

And also how the corner entrance looks like it will be maintained, along with its light.

Around the corner in the North Park Blocks, a branch is down.

A big branch!

Payoff! September Report

We’re only 11 days into this project, but already there are things to report!

What I paid toward the loan in August. By the time the challenge started, I had already paid my usual $189.37 payment, so there’s nothing to report there.  But I did make an additional payment of $554.29, plus one more additional payment of $48.24. This makes $602.53 additional payment, for a total August payment of $791.90.  Take that, student loan debt!

How much I paid toward the principal and how much toward the interest. This month I paid $590.02 to the principal and $12.51 to the interest. (These numbers don’t reflect the regular monthly payment amounts. Those amounts will be present in future months.)

Where the money for my extra payments came from.  My notes say that I had originally put $224.77 into the budget line, so that’s where I started.  I decided cross my fingers that my computer will keep on chugging along, and put the $310.00 I had saved toward a new one into the Payoff! goal.  Once I achieve this goal I can save up for a new computer.  After that, “new computer” will be a regular line item in my budget, allotting for a new one every five years.  In that same vein, I had been saving bits of money up for an Instant Pot, a poetry post, and my reverse lost bed.  That $19.52 was added to my extra payments.  This was part of a practice called a Wish Farm, the concept of which is outlined in this article.  I really like this idea and will reinstate it after I pay off this loan.

A list of what I didn’t buy in order to put more money toward this project.  So that’s what I didn’t buy.  Parts of a new computer, an Instant Pot, a poetry post, and a reverse loft bed.

Any roadblocks I’m having toward this goal. Right now, I’m very excited about this goal.

Here’s the first graph:And here is my progress.

I return to Portland to find I’ve entered some sort of hell.

Having spent five lovely days in breezy Minneapolis, Minnesota I returned to Portland and found:

The Gorge was on fire.  A teenager being irresponsible with fireworks started a fire that burned through large swaths of everyone’s favorite hiking destination.  Multnomah Lodge was only saved due to an all-night battle by firefighters.  I-84 was closed for more than a week, Hood River lost a chunk of their tourist season, towns had to evacuate, hikers were stranded overnight, and many people posted pictures of their favorite Columbia River Gorge sites on social media.  The sorrow was immense.

Ash was everywhere.  The Gorge isn’t far from our North Portland home, and there was a light dusting of ash in the fifth quadrant.

It was friggin hot.  You know how when you’ve been having lovely cool summer experiences and you find yourself plunged into triple digit temperatures and it just doesn’t feel very good?  That was Portland in the week after I got home.

My work computer was stolen.  While I was enjoying my Jucy Lucy at Matt’s Bar, my office was being broken into by people who used the fire escape.  They took two computers, a projector, and a favorite throw to wrap everything in. This meant that I spent my first day back at work with a brand new laptop, which had none of the same ports as my old laptop. So instead of working from three screens (one laptop, two monitors plugged in) I worked with one tiny laptop screen.  It is very hard to do my job with one tiny laptop screen.  Plus all of the installing of programs and getting everything up to speed.

It was probably the bumpiest re-entry I’ve experienced.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker

We had some time before my plane left, so we had a hearty brunch and headed over to look at some outdoor sculpture.

Empire by Eva Rothschild

Where is this little duck hanging out?

Right under the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg & Coosje Van Bruggen.   I had seen pictures of this iconic piece, but in person, I was surprised to find that the cherry sprayed water, which was a delightful addition.

Hahn/Cock by Katharina Fritsch.  Love that blue!

Sara as Hephaestus by Matthew Monahan.  I really liked the texture of the metal. (In the sculpture, not in the Sara) We walked to the car passing by Loring Pond where I got this lovely picture.

And then it was to the airport, where I had to bid my hosts goodbye.  Thanks much to Shawn and Sara for being such excellent hosts.