The Fair: The 4-H Building

Let’s see what the kids are up to in the 4-H building.

They’ve been growing things.  (The beans are wizened because we were visiting at the end of the fair’s run.)img_6022 img_6023

Lots of skirts.img_6024

A nicely dramatic cloak and fancy dress.img_6025

A denim shirt I found to be quite impressive.  There were a lot of places where crisp results are tricky (collar, placket, sleeves, buttonholes, pocket flaps) and Kadi navigated those well.img_6026

This was an amazing jacket.  I was very impressed.  Good job, Mylene.img_6027

Becca did an amazing job on this coat.  Too bad it’s covering up Ms. Folgate’s dress.img_6028

I really love looking at these informational posters.  Things have improved since I used to make them.  It’s much easier to reproduce pictures and use fun fonts.img_6030

Here you can read bios of the 4-H State Ambassadors.  (The bios were filled with typos, which was hard for me.)img_6031

Here’s an informational poster that looks more like the ones from my youth.img_6032

This art was very fun in a slightly disturbing way.img_6033

4-H has a selfie category!img_6034

The Fair: Robotics Competition and some puzzles

I can’t remember where Matt was, but for some reason we were in two different places.  I found the robotics area and summoned him over because this was very fun.img_6113

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.img_6114

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).img_6115

Setting things up for competition.  I didn’t get any good pictures of the obstacles, but the machines had to make their way over teeter-totters and other such things.img_6116

The machines seemed to need a good amount of tinkering.img_6117 img_6118 img_6119

Getting ready for battle.  This machine lowered the back half to grab the ball, and then the yellow cords pulled the ball in the the middle of the machine for transport.img_6120

The names of the teams were very fun.img_6121

An example of one of the robots hanging.  We watched a few rounds of competition.  Once they got going, it was very fast paced and exciting.  img_6122

One of the many different puzzles available to solve.

Perhaps you need your own Dalek?img_6124

I worked for a long time to get all 8 blocks in the box and Matt solved it in no time at all.img_6125

Apparently when not farming, Glen and Ruth are making puzzles.img_6126

The Fair: Monster Trucks

We were interested in attending the Motorsports Championship.  On our way in, we found my favorite fundraiser of the fair.  FFA was selling earplugs for a dollar each.  We bought.img_6127

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.img_6130

Before she entered the arena, the Scarlet Bandit chatted with this man and child.img_6133

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.  img_6134

Each monster truck was introduced and drove around the ring before coming to stop.  We had this guy, Time Flys.  I liked his truck and how there was a picture of a monster truck on his grill. img_6136

Some trucking through the arena.img_6137

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.img_6138

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.img_6139 img_6144 img_6150 img_6151

And then there were these two.  What was their deal?  So many things I don’t know.img_6160 img_6162 img_6164 img_6166 img_6169 img_6175 img_6177 img_6179 img_6188

No part of this very large truck is touching the earth at this moment.  What does it feel like to drive them?img_6190 img_6192 img_6194

There was a break with the big trucks and they brought in other cars so we took our leave.  We had to wait and not be run over by any cars though.img_6196

So I got to take a picture of this kid, whose face was unfortunately a little too flooded with light.  It’s times like these I wish I had a bigger camera.img_6199

The Fair: Things made.

Now let’s see what kinds of things people made for the fair.

Cake decorating is going through a phase of fondant-everything.  Fondant is not my favorite thing, but it was fun to see what creative things people are doing with the fondant.img_5996

Maybe you need a high-heeled shoe cake?  img_5997

Or perhaps a Fair-themed cake?img_5998

As usual, I enjoyed reading the judges comments in the table decorating contest.img_5999

Let’s go on a quilting spectacular.  Because there were a lot of good quilts.

I like the colors, and the many patterns contained in one quilt.  img_6000

T-shirt quilt!  Maybe when I get my t-shirt quilt done (in approximately 10-15 years) I will enter it in the fair.img_6001

These people, (Matt included) were all taking a picture of a quilt, because you needed to look at the picture to see the person the quilt depicted.img_6002

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!img_6003

Another fun quilt.  Amazing quilting and really good skulls.img_6006

A 9/11 quilt done in understated colors.img_6007

Nice use of black and white.img_6008

Impressively swirly.img_6009

Similar swirly.img_6010

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.img_6064

I enjoyed looking at this collection of tiny felted objects.img_6065

This next item was the most memorable thing at the fair this year.img_6066 img_6067 img_6068

Nice embroidery quilt.img_6069

Here were ladies partaking in a variety of work.  img_6070

Some really amazing crochet.img_6071

I loved this Steampunk outfit.img_6072

Those pleats!  So much pressing!img_6073

I also was a fan of this dress that was made to wear to her daughter’s wedding.  (Not enough to take a full-length picture of it, though. Sorry.)img_6074

Winning vegetables.img_6076

One thing I enjoy about the Oregon State Fair is that they have puzzles to solve.  People of all ages were trying their hand.img_6105

The fair is a good place to show off your license plate collection.img_6106

There were a lot of Legos for people to build with.  I love that woman in the purple shirt who seems to be tired of waiting around at the Lego table.img_6107

There were also many Legos on display.img_6108

As a counterpart to the handwork women, we have the wood turners.img_6109

Quite lovely dollhouse.img_6110

I was intrigued and repelled by this US flag made out of Army men by a youth. I guess that makes it art.img_6111 img_6112

The Fair: performances to watch

We saw fun shows at the fair this year.

First up, Hypnotist Mark Yuzuik, who seemed to greatly enjoy hypnotizing people.img_6012

I enjoyed his jacket.  Both the white color and the cross reminded me of mid-80s fashion in the best way.img_6014

He had some good bits.  One of them was for the two women, who, when they put on their sunglasses, could see him naked.  Something both of them found very funny.img_6016

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.img_6020

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.img_6044 img_6047 img_6048

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.img_6049

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. img_6052 img_6055

There was an audience participation portion where someone came on stage and clogged.  Due to the magic of something I have now forgotten, the child sounded amazing!img_6056

At the end, all the children who wanted to go to come on stage to try some clogging.img_6057 img_6059 img_6062

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.

The Fair: Things to buy

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.)img_5991

You are missing something for your wrist, aren’t you?  This shop can help you.img_5992

These dogs walk forward and also perhaps bark.img_5993

No need to cover up your angel wings.  Here they are in rhinestone hoodie, with or without pink corset laces.img_5994

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.img_5995

Later, we got stuff at the Dairywomen’s booth.img_6037

Matt poses with a certain presidential candidate.  He didn’t want to get too close.img_6203

I know you needed a telescopic flagpole.  This is your place.img_6204

I wouldn’t have though the OR DOJ would have a booth at the fair, but here they were.img_6205

The fair is very cannabis-friendly, including this booth and there was a category of home-grown strains.img_6206

For the serious quilter in your life.img_6207

Same booth, a version of the Cinderella dress.img_6208

Why spend your time embroidering, when this machine can do it for you?img_6209

It’s Mr. Statue!  He’s usually in downtown Portland, but he made an appearance at the fair.img_6210

Post 3000

post-3000Clockwise from upper left:  The current blog’s dashboard; the original blogspot Out & About; the current Out & About at; the now retired–but still readable–house blog.

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 for some research, which was fun.

Three sentence movie reviews (788 posts):
It’s Complicated
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):
Egg Puff
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.

The Fair: The animals we saw

We started at the Horse Stadium where some showing was going on.img_5956

Then we wandered through and saw the cows getting gussied up. (Note embellished pockets on the cow handler.)img_5977

And also cows napping.img_5978

Two-week -old calves are hard to resist, apparently.img_5979

Mooi was sleeping, though, so we did not get to pet Mooi.img_5980

This goat was all for the petting, though.img_5982

Pigs were being shown.  We also encountered them on their way back to their pens after being shown.  Those pigs are pretty big up close.img_5983


Pygmy goats!img_5986

I bet these guys don’t look quite so pretty when not at the fair.img_5989

Later in the day we stopped by the Extreme Creature Feature and saw all sorts of interesting creatures.

Like these turtles!img_6082

And this snake.img_6083

And my favorite:  the Alligator Snapping turtle.img_6090

They sit with their mouths open until some fish mistakes their tongue for something interesting and then SNAP!  Fish is dinner.img_6091 img_6092

There were also birds.  Like this parrot.img_6093

Some snakes had just hatched.  You can see the now-empty eggshell.img_6094

This made me think of Leath.img_6095

I loved these albino frogs.img_6098

This alligator seemed quite large.img_6102

Our last picture from the Extreme Creature Feature is this snake.img_6103

Great detail outside the Historic Poultry Building.img_6211

The bunnies were in the poultry building, too.  Here’s a pretty one.img_6212

Fluffy chickens.img_6213

And this fella.  Who looks pretty chill.  img_6215

The fair. Just getting started.

Here we are at the Oregon State Fair!  Hooray!  I love the fair.

One thing I noticed about the fair this year?  A lot of embellished pockets of jeans.  Like on this lady.img_5955

Matt takes a look at some fish.img_5958

The fair is a great place to come if you are thinking about Naturescaping.img_5959

A very good quote by Mr. Dickens.img_5960

Matt beats the kids to the mini-earth movers.  (There are advantages to arriving as the fair opens.)img_5961

To begin, we took the Fairlift so we could get a good overview.img_5963

The Fairlift gives some insights into the backstage area of the fair.  Look at all those prizes!img_5965

Were you looking for some sunglasses?  If you buy them here you get a free string!img_5966

Self-portrait from the Fairlift.


The fair wouldn’t be my first choice for Body Piercing.img_5968

But Henna seems the right level of commitment.img_5969

At this booth you could check out the things that god cannot do. (We never walked by this  booth, so I’m not sure what the three things were.)img_5970

Trust them. They have your flag.img_5971

A view of the other Fairlift seats.  It was early, so they were mostly empty.img_5972

What’s happening behind the scenes of the Corndog tent.img_5973

Matt plots our day of events. img_5976

To be continued!