E Burnside and SE 28th

I’ve long loved this bank of buildings on Burnside.

On the corner is a two-story with (currently) an ice cream shop at street level and apartments above. Next comes a one-story space for two businesses. Then the expansive Burnside Collision auto shop followed by the Kuhnhausen’s Furniture building. This location is right across the street from the Laurelhurst Theater, and I’ve kept my eye on these buildings for years.

I enjoy the subtle Mediterranean flair of the Philo House Thrift Shop building (it’s been closed for years, and the other side is also boarded up) The art deco of the auto repair, and the family business for the furniture shop.

While the corner business and the auto repair shop are going strong, the furniture store closed recently, and I wonder how much longer this bit of street will continue to looking this way.

Backyard Excitement at The Orange Door: Cat Version

Antares was very interested in being on the catio, and after squinting a bit, I saw what was capturing his interest.

There was a black cat sitting on the fence.

And a calico cat sitting on the porch roof.

Sentinel also wanted to have a look, but from inside.

As with most cat encounters this one ended with the cats wandering off. But it was fun to have four cats in sight.

The ripple, the wave that carried me home

I was glad I caught Christina Anderson’s play about a hometown swimming pool and how it defined one family’s activism.

Lauren Steele was excellent as Janice, the daughter of two parents who grew up swimming in a segregated pool. I enjoyed the efforts of Young Ambitious Black Woman (Chavez Ravine), who was trying to get Janice back to town for the opening of a new pool named after her father.

The present day plot included Janice’s mother (Lauren Steele) and Aunt Gayle (Chavez Ravine again) and was interspersed with scenes from the past with Janice’s father Edwin (Don Kenneth Mason for my performance), mother, aunt and young Janice.

I enjoyed the complex feelings Janice had about swimming and seeing how pool access shaped different generations of her family. And I adored the set that transformed again and again making different kinds of rooms and pools, ultimately ending with this gorgeous looking set.

Should you find yourself with the option to see this play, I highly recommend it. If you are a swimmer, there’s even more motivation to go.

Random Song: Reflecting Light by Sam Phillips

Sam Phillips was the composer for Gilmore Girls (she’s the voice of the “la la” filler that runs throughout the series). But Phillips says that she wasn’t the one who chose her song for a pivotal point in the series, that was creator Amy Sherman-Palidno’s choice.

But it’s a perfect choice for the scene in question and it comes back a few other times in the series. I probably would have liked this song anyway, had I encountered it outside the series, but it will probably always elicit an “awwww” because of the way it was used in the series.

Hocus Pocus at Grand Lodge

Thanks to Laurie driving, Kelly and I journeyed out to Grand Lodge to see Hocus Pocus. You can see how very warm it was for early October.

For all of us, it was the first time we had seen this classic Halloween film. We concluded that we were just the wrong age when it was released (out of college, finishing college, starting college) and because we did not have small children in the 90s and early 2000s, we missed it being played ad nauseum when they were growing up.

While I thought the continued humor about the status of the main male lead’s virginity was odd, it was an amusing movie, made more so by a few children who were very excited to be frightened by the film, dramatically shrieking at the somewhat scary parts. Also, the moon was very pretty, though as usual looks nothing like it did in real life.

Afterward we wandered the halls of Grand Lodge while Kelly looked for the secret room and secret passage.

Dry Gardening Tomatoes: A Report

I purchased four tomato starts with the intention of trying out dry gardening. That means planting the tomatoes early and then giving them minimal water through the growing season. Reports I’ve read say that such tomatoes tend to have the best flavor.

I will say that this is a partial report on a not-fully-carried-out experiment. I didn’t get the tomatoes in the ground as early as I should have. They spent their first seven weeks in pots that I think doomed two of the plants to failure. It was a cold and wet spring and I just couldn’t motivate to get those plants in the ground. If they had spent five of their first seven weeks in the ground, I think they would have gotten off to a better start (two plants) or survived (two plants).

I only watered them once. I had blue 5-gallon buckets with holes in the bottom and intended to give them some water weekly, but that did not come to pass. Once it stopped being cold, it was a fairly warm summer—though we did not have days with 110+ degree heat like we did in 2021.

One thing I liked about the dry gardening the tomato plants didn’t put out any of the extraneous foliage they do when they are well watered. The plant sent out enough growth to support the making of tomatoes. It did not send out any more.

I got the most cherry tomatoes, but it was a fairly paltry number, cherry tomato-wise. Perhaps 20. And they were very staggered. I had two or three at a time, max. They did taste good though.

The Brandywines were the full-size tomatoes that survived. I tend to stay away from Brandywines as I think their growing season is too long for our summers. But we had a very long summer, so soon after I took this photo, I harvested the two tomatoes that grew. They were indeed delicious.

This little guy never got going. I think he was root bound. The other one died a few weeks after I planted it.

Overall, I think this might be a good method if you are growing your starts from seed and have a lot of land. Tomatoes that are dry gardened need to be spaced six feet apart. With a packet of cherry tomatoes and a packet of regular size tomatoes, you could easily end up with 10 starts of each for not very much of a cash investment. If you planted 20 tomato plants over a very large space, the yield would be much higher, and you wouldn’t have to pay for watering.

Also, when you don’t water, the weeding is much less complicated. That was a big plus.

If I’m up to gardening in the spring, I might repeat this experiment in 2023.