A tragic day for my favorite pair of sandals

I bought these sandals when I was preparing to go to Hungary and Romania in 2005. I love them. They have cute swirly designs on them, they look fashionable, I can walk for miles in them, they give me an extra inch or two in height. They are the perfect sandal. Today, they did what they have been threatening to do for months now, split open in the back. I love them too much to discard them outright, so I will take them to the cobbler to see if miracles can be worked. But I’m not very optimistic. It may be time for us to part ways.

Last days on first avenue.

Stopped at the Yahmill stop today my Yellow Line Max driver came on with this announcement, delivered in a bored, but gleeful tone: “Starting THIS SUNDAY the Yellow Line Max train will not stop at the Yamhill station. EVER. AGAIN. Instead, it will be on Fifth and Sixth Avenues.”

His delivery cracked me up, and I was not surprised to hear several conversations such as this: “The Max isn’t going downtown anymore? What?”

The challenge of the informed public taking advantage of the information available to them in several forms remains. Sigh.

Things I will miss when the Max switches streets:

Being first to get on the train. The stop you see below is the first stop for the North-bound Yellow line Max train. It’s also the stop nearest to the library and church. I know exactly where to stand to be the first on the train and the first to my favorite seat. Although I do let old or infirm people on first if they are around. My new stop will be the third on the North-bound line and my favorite seat will not be guaranteed. It’s also a further walk, not that that ever hurt me.

Here is my preferred seat. Right behind the driver, is a single seat. Sitting here I don’t have to worry about sharing with someone and I am away from the general hubbub of the train, usually. On cold days, the second seat back on either side nearest the windows usually is quite warm due to heater placement. So in the winter, sometimes my favorite seat is variable.

Sunflowers shading the walk

The house where I pick up my milk planted rows of sunflowers along their walkway and I’ve been watching them grow all summer long. They are very tall now, with huge heads and they have totally overwhelmed the walk.

My sunflowers are about three feet high, with heads one-eighth the size of these. I think mine don’t get enough sun or water.

This family will be eating sunflowers all winter long!

The best intentions.

Things I had in my mind to do today.

  • Deal with the greens harvested from the garden
  • Start at least one round of cheese, if not two
  • Make some salad dressing
  • Work on my scrapbook
  • Work on the roman shades

Things actually done today

  • Five loads of laundry, washed, hung to dry, brought in, folded and put away.
  • Finish fiction book
  • Finish non-fiction book
  • Start fiction book.
  • Take two naps
  • Pretty much laze about.

I think I’m feeling a bit paralyzed by my unfinished projects. Blast!

Three sentence movie reviews–My Sister’s Keeper.

I didn’t expect to like this movie as much as I did, but there were strong performances by everyone except “Aunt Kelly” who I found distracting. I wasn’t expecting a plot twist, but there it was, near the end, to my surprise. Bring a hankey; there are many, many tear-jerking scenes.

Bechdel score. Two women: yes. Who talk to each other: yes! About something besides a man: YES! Holy Cow!

poster from: http://www.impawards.com/2009/my_sisters_keeper.html

A quote for our times.

In light of the health care “debate” going on now, I enjoyed reading this quote, from my index card pile of quotes.

“What do we mean by patriotism in the context of our times? I venture to suggest that what we mean is a sense of national responsibility…a patriotism which is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.”

–Adlai Stevenson

Bike Project Day 27.

In which I attempt to ride all the yellow, green, blue & purple streets on the Bike There Bike Map while increasing strength, stamina, aerobic capacity and exploring Portland’s nooks and crannies.

Day 27

Weather: Sunny and HOT with little breeze

Time: about 1.5 hours

The Ride:
N Lombard & N Denver
Head south on Denver (towards Rosa Parks way)
L on Ainsworth
R on 37th.
L on Alberta Ct.
L on 52nd
R on Killingsworth
L on 55th
L on Ainsworth
L on 42nd
R on 41st
L on Holman
L on 6th
R on Ainworth
R on Williams
L on Rosa Parks
R on Denver to start.

Route comments:
I took two “Growing Fruits in Your Backyard” classes offered by the city of Portland and hosted by Glen Andresen who you can also hear on KBOO radio, or via your computer. During the classes, (which were fantastic) he told us where he lived, which I wrote down. I decided today to go take a look at his yard. I remembered his cross streets as being NE 42nd & NE Alberta Ct, so I plotted my route accordingly. When I neared my destination, I had the “uh oh” moment. Did he really live at those cross streets, or was I just making them up? I should have checked before I left the house. I also had to pick up the milk and that was done successfully.

How did I do?
Aside from my thrice-weekly 4 miles each way bicycle to work and back, I’ve not been doing much cycling. So I took it easy, partially because of that and partially because it was very hot and partially because it was my last day of vacation and I didn’t feel like a strenuous bike ride.

Glorious Bicycling Moments/Neat Things:

The metal leaf on the chimney of this house is visible from Rosa Parks Way and is quite lovely.

A nice example of a front yard garden.

I’ve had my eye on this plot of land.

Ainsworth is a pretty wide street, and nice to ride ones bike on.

The Rose Gardens at Peninsula Park.

Which are lovely.

This UCC church is open to all. The sign says, “Multi-Racial, Multi-Cultural, Open and Affirming to all.”

Concordia University is in this neighborhood. I liked their mural.

A man was watering his vegetables growing in his parking strip and we chatted about the amazing ability of winter squash to climb AND hold their squash up.

A closer look.

Here are the cross streets I thought I was given.
Apparently, I was wrong.

Very wrong.

So now I have no idea where he lives, but I decide to check out Alberta Ct.

A fun artsy gate.

And some road paintings. When I was taking this picture a guy walking by said, “Are you casing their house?” I told him I might be.

I first saw this from the side and wondered if large-chain mailbox posts would ever come into fashion again. But then I saw it from the front and WOW! Large chain and an address? Nifty.

Ainsworth between 55th and 42nd has these amazingly large lots. I was a little jealous.

As stated before, I’m a fan of clever graffiti and this tickled my funny bone.

Now I’m home and looking for the Glen Andresen’s cross streets and can’t find my notes. I’m afraid they were purged in the last great “reorganize the garden notes.” Poop. It was a nice bike ride, though.


“Public Employees Get Free Ride” is the supposedly clever headline in the Metro section today, and the rest of the article isn’t much better. The gist: taxpayers are paying for some downtown public employees transit passes.

You know what? Taxpayers pay not only for that, but the public employee’s dental insurance, medical insurance and I would guess, life insurance and disability policies. Taxpayers are paying for public employees entire salaries! You know why? They are public employees.

I happen to be one taxpayer happy to contribute my probably three cents per year towards Joe Public Employee’s All-Zone Trimet pass. As far as I’m concerned, 80% of the people working downtown should have their employers subsidize the full price of their TriMet passes. Our downtown was purposely designed to be gotten to easily by public transportation. Why shouldn’t government lead the way by adding the benefit of a bus pass to the benefits available to the average public employee?

What gets me about articles like this, is that you never see its obverse about the business world. How about this sample headline: “WalMart customers subsidize WalMart executives’ five billion dollar fleet of corporate jets.” Businesses waste all kinds of money on things that I find unnecessary. The redecoration of executive offices being right up there with the inability by said executives to take commercial flights. But when business spends money wantonly, it is okay, because they need to spend the money to run their businesses efficiently, and besides, it is none of “the public’s” business because we don’t subsidize it.

But we do. We buy their product. You can’t tell me that some amount of pennies per item at WalMart doesn’t go to support WalMart executives’ travel habits. And you can’t tell me that business doesn’t receive public money. They do. From tax breaks, to zoning changes to build their business, to out-and-out bailouts for failing “essential” companies, we all pay.

The view in the US seems to be the following: taxes are squandered on superfluous items requested by overpaid employees who do nothing for their bloated salaries and taxpayer subsidized medical insurance. There is a huge disconnect, it is as if no one can see that the minuscule amount they pay in taxes actually gives them back amazing things, like infrastructure, social services police and fire departments and yes, transit.

A few years ago, unable to find a job, I took a “public employee” position in Washington County. I made just over $9.00 per hour and took transit an hour each way to get to my job. I paid for my transit pass myself, which was just over 5% of my monthly budget. My office was less than a mile from the Max line, serviced by three buses and I was the only employee in my sixteen person office who took public transportation to work. Every morning and evening I walked across a vast expanse of empty parking lot that was available for free to all employees, but cost visitors to park. Often, I wondered how much of a benefit this free parking cost, and why no one was throwing me any money for not taking up a space. I know why, of course, but it still made me mad.

Including TriMet passes in downtown public employees benefits package is a good deal for the employees and a good deal for the taxpayers. It’s not a free ride.