Let’s see what the kids are up to in the 4-H building.
I’d heard this and that about robotics competitions, but had never seen anything in real life. This wasn’t an actual competition, but I learned how once per year the rules/goals/objectives for the current contest are released and then high school students form teams and design their robots to meet the objectives of the contests.
In this case, they were supposed to have their machines grab balls, carry them and then get them through the gates of the castle. There were things to navigate around. There were also bonus points awarded if the machine could hang from the bar of the castle for a specified amount of time (20 seconds or so).
And here we are in another microcosm I know nothing about, the monster truck world. It’s a world where not only they make the very big trucks, but also have aliases and paint the names on the very big trucks. The announcer told us the Scarlet Bandit was a big winner.
The announcer was in the arena while people were coming in, but his eventual seat was near us. I ascertained that the winners got some sort of champagne. That box thing was linked to the sound system. To sing the National Anthem, they plugged in a phone and hit play.
The announcer and his assistant. We had a group of giggly young teenage girls sitting a few rows back. At one point they all yelled his name (“Justin!!!!) together. He turned around, scanned the stands and then smiled and waved while they all giggled. I love teenage girls.
Thus follow many pictures of very big trucks. It was breathtaking to watch them fly off the jumps. The hydraulics were incredible. It was very loud. I wondered how much one of those trucks costs and how much gas they use.
Now let’s see what kinds of things people made for the fair.
Let’s go on a quilting spectacular. Because there were a lot of good quilts.
It’s Nick Offerman, that guy from the TV show Parks & Recreation. I’m interested in why someone would go to all this trouble, but there must be a backstory. Also, the quilt in the background is also a winner! Great colors!
We watched the Art of Cake Decorating on the creative living stage. Not for long though. She was sculpting with fondant. Impressive, but not good to eat. That bust of a woman sitting on the table is actually a cake she made.
We saw fun shows at the fair this year.
Another one: he’s the mean substitute and the participants are his students. Every time he turns his back, they make their meanest face. This is my favorite photo, because it also captures Yolanda Martinez, his wife and assistant, laughing. Also, it was interesting to read about Mark & Yolanda on their website.
We overheard the Jest In Time Circus and had no plans to go, as what we could hear was in a very high register. But the two performers hung out after the show to sell clown noses and to take pictures with the kids. It was fun to watch them interact with the children.
In this picture they got the kids all set up and smiled for the picture. At that point, it became apparent that there was no parent present to take the picture. So I did, and the boys ran off happy. I’m not sure where there parents were.
And then came our favorite performers: Powerhouse Percussive Dance. They combined innovative tap, precision clogging and explosive stomp into one performance. They were very fun to watch and hard to get good pictures of because of all the movement.
In retrospect, I wish I had taken more pictures of their shoes which were gloriously beat up in a way that four 30 minutes shows per day all summer will do.
One of the takeaways from the fair this year was seeing all the microcosms of society I know nothing about. You can make your living hypnotizing people, clowning, or clogging. Did you know that all of the Powerhouse group were national champions? No, because you didn’t know clogging had a national championship.
So thanks, Oregon State Fair, for bringing all of us together.
Let’s look at some fun things to purchase at the fair.
An interesting insurance requirement, which I assume has to do with child trafficking or pornography, or something along those lines.
I also enjoy the sign added to bring our attention to the steampunk possibilities, as well as the display of the woman with very large breasts. (Note that my enjoyment for the second is in its obviousness.)
The food at this fair was sub-par. There were no churches selling specialty things, no Jobs Daughters selling baked potatoes. We ended up with generic Yakisoba, made more fun by watching the X-Treme Air Dogs. In the background you can see the fairlift.
It’s Mr. Statue! He’s usually in downtown Portland, but he made an appearance at the fair.
I’ve written 3000 blog posts for this blog. Three thousand posts! This blog started as kind of a lark. I was writing the house blog, which I started because we bought the house and I thought it would be a good way to not only keep track of what we were up to, but also a good way to loop in Matt’s side of the family, who live far away. I soon found I wanted to make blog posts about unrelated things and so I made my own blog.
I didn’t do any sort of introductory post. I just launched. In fact, the first post, is fairly typical of many of the posts to come. I was grumpy. I wrote about it. The next post included song lyrics and my memories of the song. The third post was an installment of the (now abandoned) Bike Project. The fourth included ample quotes from a book I had just finished reading. (Which are still really good quotes and worth reading.) I wrote four posts in the first month.
And that’s kind of what I still do today, except there are many more posts per month. I write book reviews. (First listed 11/2/07 Things I read, started to read and didn’t finish in October). I write three sentence movie reviews. (First one 2/7/08 Charlie Wilson’s War). I report on various projects. I wander around my life and take pictures of particular things. (First one 7/22/07 Porch Conundrum). I write essays. (First tagged 1/5/12 My Secret Resolution).
From May 2007 to December 2014 I used blogspot as a platform. After that I bought my own domain name and tried using Squarespace. I found it didn’t work well for blogging and moved things over to WordPress. Sadly, in the move I now have a range of posts without pictures. Someday I will put those back.
Blogging is fun for me. I kept a journal for many years, until my life became undramatic and there wasn’t much to write about. But blogging fills the journal niche. I rarely look back, but when I do, I usually find something that’s fun to remember, or something I don’t remember at all. Like (randomly) The time I got to tour the Art House, after chronicling the building process. Or when I didn’t like the movie Lincoln (this is one of those posts that needs its pictures put back). Or that time I reported on book check-out receipts I found in my library book.
Blogging is also work. For many of my years blogging, I’ve often been behind, sometimes several months behind. In fact, I’m writing this post in November, not September. (Though I set it up in January, not wanting to miss the day I would hit post 3000). The only time I wasn’t behind was the year I had the volunteer gig where I hosted teens in the library computer lab for two hours per week. Very few teens showed up, so that gave me two solid hours per week of blogging. Once that went away, I slipped behind again, and it’s gotten worse with the return to the 40-hour work week. But even when I’m behind, blogging is something that I still want to make time for doing. So I do.
I love comments. I cannot lie. Comments are the most awesome thing. Mostly, I write these posts for myself. But I dream someday of having more than two people comment on a regular basis. And maybe having random somebodies comments. My blog hasn’t grown into that kind of blog, but that means that the comments I do get are that much more wonderful. So if you are a reader and have commented, thank you. I really appreciate it.
Onto selected favorites in each category:
Books (221 posts):
Boise Public Library!
From individual reviews in 2007, to monthly review posts beginning in 2008 (the year I discovered Goodreads) I write a lot about other people’s writing. But the post I’m featuring was from 2013, when I went to Boise for my 20th High School Reunion. I went back to the place that made me a reader and delighted in the details and the memories.
CT Film Festival (45 posts):
Plan Your Own Channing Tatum Film Festival
In 2007, I had no idea I would fall in love with Channing Tatum. (“It’s a pure and true love,” a friend said once about my obsession). I had no idea I was going to watch every movie he had ever been in. I had no idea I would be quoted on a podcast about the CT Film Festival post being “a bit disturbing,” a comment which cracked me up. The video store clerk saying, “Are you the lady who is watching all of Channing Tatum films?” was still in my future. No, I had no idea this was coming at all. I analyzed my obsession in this post, but mostly I have just bowed to the inevitable. When Channing Tatum appears in a movie, I must watch that movie. Usually in the theater. Often on opening weekend.
Mail (198 posts):
Postcard from Singapore
Postcrossing was something I discovered a few years ago. Participating has meant that I have sent and received postcards all over the world. In one case, a postcard sent has meant a blogging friendship with Kathleen. (I’ll start reading your blog again soon, Kathleen. But in the interim, I’ve loved keeping up with you on Instagram.) When it seems like the world is a terrible place, receiving a friendly postcard from the other side of the world is maybe one of the best things about my day. Which is why I need to find time to start Postcrossing again soon.
Music (45 posts):
Power Ballads, A Blog Post
Music is something that fell by the wayside as I entered adulthood and I’m still working my way back to it. The Song of the Month posts help. But most of my music posts are about music I listened to growing up. Like the above retrospective of a time when bands could really write a ballad. And wear some amazing clothes while performing it.
Structures (451 posts):
Comparison Contrast two houses on Belmont Street
I love looking at buildings and houses. Love it. Hence the incredible number of posts about buildings and houses. I enjoyed writing this post because it not only got into the nitty-gritty details of two houses, but it also let me use PortlandMaps.com for some research, which was fun.
Three sentence movie reviews (788 posts):
With this many posts to choose from I was a little stuck as to which to feature. I went with this movie, not so much because I think it’s a fabulous review, but mostly because of the long aside sanctioned by the asterisk. Knowing my propensity to use many words, I wisely put a sentence limit on my reviews. But I do enjoy going around that limitation.
To Occupy My Time (1223 posts):
This is a catch-all category. 65 different tags feed into it. In the WordPress dashboard, there are 62 pages listing posts that chronicle things that occupied my time. I picked one randomly from page 42. Then I linked to the blogspot version of it because the current blog has no photos. If you are looking for a quick dinner, Egg Puff is your friend.
Writing (90 posts):
It turns out I have very strong feelings about the movie the Notebook
This essay still amuses me because I still feel very strongly about that movie. I hate to harsh on the Notebook-loving public’s mellow, but that is a terrible and creepy film.
So that’s it. 3000 posts. Good job me.
Later in the day we stopped by the Extreme Creature Feature and saw all sorts of interesting creatures.
Here we are at the Oregon State Fair! Hooray! I love the fair.
Self-portrait from the Fairlift.
To be continued!