Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bringing Freedom And Democracy

My friend told me that one time in Japan he was approached by an older Japanese man who asked him if he could speak Japanese. My friend said yes, and then the man asked if he was an American. He answered yes again. The man then said, "Thank you for occupying my country and bringing freedom and democracy."

At this point in the story, I asked my friend whether he thought the guy was serious, or was just messing with him. He said that he seemed quite sincere. I told him he should have replied, "hey, no problem, come and occupy ours any time."

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Tale of the Haunted Editor

In the last few weeks, while using the Emacs editor, I noticed that every so often, weird random errors would creep into my documents. It didn't make sense that they were just typing errors, because I would have noticed them right away, instead of much later. I began to try out different theories. Were my coworkers playing a joke, and inserting strange stuff into my files while I was away from my desk? This seemed very unlikely. Besides, it happened even when I hadn't left my desk. Was there some bug in the software? I couldn't believe that there would be such a serious bug that corrupted documents like this, that only happened to me. And I had used this software for years without a problem. Could it be trouble with my keyboard? Maybe my computer was haunted?

Today, finally, I figured out the problem. I had been using the mouse wheel to scroll around in the document, and occasionally while turning the mouse wheel I would press it a little too hard. This would result in a "middle button click" which was defined to paste whatever was in the buffer into the current point in the document. But since I was in the middle of scrolling, I would not notice the paste since it would quickly scroll off the screen. Later, when I came back to that section of the document, I would notice the problem. I redefined "middle button click" to do nothing, and the ghost in the editor was banished.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Rock el Casbah

Rachid Taha does a great cover of Rock The Casbah by The Clash.

DragonQuest VIII

DragonQuest VIII. I've been playing this a lot lately. In terms of game play it is a very traditional RPG, with lots of battles, leveling-up, getting new equipment and treasure, and exploring. But I really like the way the world feels. They didn't strive for super-realism, instead it is more like an anime, but with a very lifelike quality. What you can't see from this still image is how the trees, grasses, and laundry are swaying gently in the breeze, the clouds are slowly passing, and the dog in the background is pacing around. The artistry surpasses the mere technical specifications of polygon counts and such. The music is also very good and played by a real orchestra.

The plot seems to move along at just the right speed. There aren't too many super-long cut scenes, most of them are fairly short, but just when you start to get bored with an area something new happens.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Airsoft: Taurus Millenium PT111

Though this airsoft gun seemed like a bargain at under $20, words can barely express how completely awful it is for target shooting. The gun produces a similar effect to taking a handful of airsoft BBs and drop-kicking them all over the room. If it were somehow possible for the BB to curve around and hit the shooter in the back of the head, this would be the gun that could do it. Not only that, the magazine is designed so that you have to slowly load one BB at a time instead of pouring them all in quickly, which just adds to the bother.

Instead of this, I recommend the KWC P226 which is very accurate.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Portland Pilots Championship Celebration

Fans crowded into Pioneer Square at noon today to celebrate the University of Portland's winning of the NCAA national championship in women's soccer.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Do you feel lucky?

Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk? Because this is, uh, one of the least powerful guns in the world. It is an airsoft gun I recently bought, it shoots plastic BBs, and it is a lot of fun for target practice in the garage or even in the living room. The BBs stick to a special target and then, after a few seconds, fall off into a collection tray. It is fairly quiet -- my cats don't even seem to notice when I shoot this in the house. It is a Sig Sauer P226 replica, made by KWC, and it has a funny sticker on the side that says, in small print, "WARNING Don't point at the creature." I had forgotten how much fun BB guns are.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Jihad Carols

Gretchen ponders:

Do people even go caroling anymore? Did they ever? It's a great tradition, but in today's politically correct climate where you are no longer sure if you can even say Merry Christmas - it would seem even more dangerous to go door to door singing Christmas carols perhaps offending someone with your goodwill towards men.

Well, carolers who want to really broaden their repertoire can learn some Jihad Carols with which to entertain any terrorists in the neighborhood. Have Yourself A Merry Little Jihad is a great opener, along with Deck The Halls With Vials of Anthrax. Then you can go into the classic, All I Want For Jihad Is My Two Front Teeth, And The Utter Destruction Of Israel. This tune actually has a second, more moderate version, called All I Want For Jihad Is My Two Front Teeth, And For Israel To Withdraw To Its Pre-1967 Borders In Accordance With U.N. Resolution 242, but terrorists prefer the first one. At this point in the program, it's probably wise to lighten things up a little and close with a funny Jihad Carol like Grandma Got Martyred By An Imperialist Reindeer.

Monday, December 05, 2005

I'll Show You Mine

Here at Casa de Iron Monkey, we have a large collection of books. Too many to fit in one picture, in fact, but here is a glimpse at the "history section." Now show me yours: take a photo of your bookshelves and put it on your blog, then leave a comment so I'll know where to look. Isn't looking at people's bookshelves fun?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Portland Pilots Win NCAA Women's Soccer Title

Every once in a while in the world of soccer, something happens that can make a fan cackle with fiendish glee. Today, that happend at the beginning of the NCAA championship match between Portland and UCLA. Before the game, the ESPN2 announcers had hyped UCLA as having the nation's best defense, a defense that had not given up a single goal so far in the tournament. That sounded fairly intimidating -- at least until the game started, and Portland easily scored within the first 2 minutes. Not only was it a spectacular goal by Angie Woznuk, but it was a goal that actually made me laugh out loud. Christine Sinclair scored again for a short while later, and at that point Portland pretty much had the game in hand. The final score was 4-0.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Quote of the week

In less than a generation, though, Photoshop has almost single-handedly replaced the pleasure we once took in trompe l'oeil with paranoia. We've gone from "Oh, that fruit looks so real I could eat it!" to "Is Hillary Clinton really holding an alien baby?"

-- Kelly S. Taylor, in JLHLS

Monday, November 28, 2005

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Bird Flu Rap

I like to stay ahead of the trends, so I wanted to be the first person to write a rap song about bird flu. Someday these will be everywhere, and critics will describe an up-and-coming star as "just another bird flu rapper." Anyway, imagine this in the style of your favorite rap artist.

Bird Flu Rap

all around the world birds droppin' like flies
mynahs, mallards, and magpies
from Rome to Manila there's a new killa virus
make you all achy like Billy Ray Cyrus
hear a sucka cough then watch him sicken
shoulda known better than to touch that chicken
seagulls, eagles, turkeys too
even Big Bird's got Asian bird flu

bird flu spreadin' through the land
bird to bird to man to man
bird flu spread like butter on toast
gonna hit hard like Katrina hit the gulf coast
flu spreadin' crow to crow
stork to swan to pimp to ho,
what do you do to dodge that flu?
a gangsta gotta do what a gangsta gotta do

birds become killers like a Hitchcock movie
every little chirp make a shiver run through me
you'll be the shadow of the waxwing slain
once that virus hits your veins
try to survive, I advise drive-bys
shoot up the coops and watch the feathers fly
more birds comin' on a winged migration
humans facin' annihilation

bird flu spreadin' through the land
bird to bird to man to man
bird flu spread like butter on toast
gonna hit hard like Katrina hit the gulf coast
flu spreadin' crow to crow
stork to swan to pimp to ho,
a new day dawns with a cock-a-doodle-do
just another page in the book of bird flu

got no time for quarantines
no Superdome scenes like New Orleans
I come out fightin', strong like Tyson
if a sucka's sick then I got to ice him
you got the virus, I got a Glock
can't let you infect the whole block
if you're coughin' on me, I've got a coffin for you
that's what you get when you got the bird flu

bird flu spreadin' through the land
bird to bird to man to man
bird flu spread like butter on toast
gonna hit hard like Katrina hit the gulf coast
flu spreadin' crow to crow
stork to swan to pimp to ho,
a new day dawns with a cock-a-doodle-do
just another page in the book of bird flu

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Thought for Food

I have been thinking about genetically modified foods, specifically their interaction with religious diets.

If scientists genetically altered shrimp to have fins and scales, would they become kosher? "These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat." *

And what about rabbits? "And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you." Therefore genetically modified rabbits with cloven hooves would be OK?

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Now that The Chapelle Show is gone, maybe The Boondocks can take its place. This animated show has political and politically-incorrect comedy that reminds me of Chapelle. I don't think I've ever seen a cartoon that uses the N-word before.

I laughed when Granddad explained to the kids how there is "a new type of White man now, who loves fancy cheeses." I think maybe they are talking about me.

Hello CEO

It would be funny to go into a serious business meeting, sit down, and then pull out a Hello Kitty notepad and Hello Kitty pen to take notes. "OK, let's discuss the terms of this merger."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Register Now

Space is limited, so pre-register now for the meeting with Clara and get your badge. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Beyond Le Thunderdome

From a New York Times article, Nov 8, 2005, about the rioting in France:

France was slow to react to the spreading violence set off by the accidental deaths of two youths on Oct. 27, in part because the initial nights of unrest did not seem particularly unusual in a country where an average of more than 80 cars were set on fire every day this year even before the violence.

Wait, 80 cars torched is just a normal day? Wow. But how does that compare to the U.S.? This report says that there were 18,070 motor vehicle arsons reported in the U.S. in 2004. That would be just under 50 per day. And the U.S. has a much larger population. So 80 per day in France does seem high.


I picked up one of my girlfriend's home decorating magazines and looked inside. The styles looked a bit opulent for our lifestyle and budget. I told her we weren't that fancy, and we needed a magazine that was more suitable, something like House & Varmint.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

This Is What I Have To Put Up With

This is what I have to put up with. For days, the weather forecasters teased us with promises of ferocious storms, pounding rains, flooding, and severe weather alerts. They said sandbags were being provided for a nearby neighborhood. Sandbags! Wow!

I went out and dug a new drainage trench in front of my house. And for what? We just got the usual dismal Portland rain, the kind that happens every year. And this morning, when I got up and eagerly looked outside for the giant wall of water that was surely headed straight for the house, all I saw was this blue sky. Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 04, 2005

Jaywalkers, I Hate You

Dear Jaywalkers,

It's bad enough when you jaywalk on a sunny summer day. But now that Portland has entered the Dark Ages (also known as non-daylight-savings-time), when it is always dark and rainy, you are especially detestable pests. I do not want my commute home to be an exercise in constantly trying to avoid killing fools, as you pop out from all directions wearing dark clothing and crossing the street where no sane person would. You notice how large portions of Barbur Boulevard have no crosswalks? That's because you're not supposed to frelling cross there because it's too dangerous!

If I'm on my motorcycle, then fine, jaywalk anywhere you like. I'll gladly swerve around you and wheelie in celebration. But when I'm in my Jeep -- well, fantastic car though it is, it does not have great visibility or stopping power. In short, it does not have the magical ability to save the lives of complete idiots who insist on throwing themselves in front of it. Stop your madness now!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Bring On The Cheeses

We were watching TV while eating dinner, and some time had passed since we finished the main course.

Me: I'm ready for the cheese course.

Her: Well, I'm not ready.

Me: . . . Wait, does this have anything to do with the fact that now we're watching a TV show about cannibalism?

Her: I don't feel like having more to eat yet.

Me: But it's just cheese! That isn't very much like . . .

Her: Ugh.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I have added two new things to my spoken-audio library. I was pleased to see that The Teaching Company now offers some of their lecture series for sale as electronic audio downloads, for a lower price than buying the audio CDs. And they offer a choice of MP3 or MPEG-4 downloads. I got the one on The United States and the Middle East.

I also recently bought the unabridged Chronicles of Narnia audiobooks. I have read the books before, but it has been quite a few years, and listening to them before bed is fun.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Not So Quick

The other night I broke my main rule of drawing -- which is to avoid putting much time or effort into it -- and spent a couple of hours on this pencil drawing. But I was enjoying the quiet time and the simple fun of pencil and paper, and even the cats were leaving me alone. Part of the reason I have been spending more time drawing lately is my idea that I need less expensive hobbies, and pencil and paper is about as cheap as it gets. I saw this pose in one of my girlfriend's fashion magazines, and I really liked all the angles in the pose.
Posted by Picasa

Adding The Personal Touch

My girlfriend: . . . anyway, so I have this book and now I have to get it to Angelina Jolie. [Author's note: oddly enough, this is actually true.]

Me: How are you going to to that?

Girlfriend: I'll FedEx it to so-and-so, who can give it to her.

Me: No, that's a terrible plan.

Girlfriend: Well how would you do it?

Me: I recommend having Angelina come over to our house for dinner, where I would be happy to personally hand her the book.

Girlfriend: Yeah, right. That makes no sense.

Me: But it would be more fun.

Girlfriend: For who?

Me: Uh, for me.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The iPod Audio Tour

While I was in New York I went to MoMA, and I had downloaded into my iPod some of the unofficial audio guides by Art Mobs. The ones I listened to were great, but I was not prepared for how funny they were -- more like stand-up comedy than a traditional museum audio tour. So while looking at Picasso's Les Demoiselles D'Avignon, though everyone else in the room was standing quietly with that "hmm . . . I am in the presence of very famous art" look on their faces, I had my headphones on and was laughing out loud every 10 seconds. I like the idea of people making their own audio guides for things.

My copy of one of Picasso's bulls is above. I had no audio tour commentary for this one, but my girlfriend quipped, "even with his most abstract one, he still makes sure we realize it's a bull." I decided not to take my camera along, but I had a notebook so I made a few sketches.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Renamed by Starbucks

At a Starbucks on Fifth Avenue, NYC, I was in line right behind a foreign woman who was ordering.

Woman: Large latte.

Employee: OK, anything else?

Woman: No.

Employee: OK, what's your name?

Woman: [says something in a foreign language, possibly Russian]

Employee: Your name?

Woman: [says something complicated, obviously not just her name, in a foreign language]

Employee: Your name. So we can call it out when it's ready, what's your name?

Woman: What?

Employee: Look, I'm just going to put down "Natasha."

At this point the employee glances at me, and I start biting my lip to try not to crack up laughing, because I'm thinking of Boris and Natasha from the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. I feel like the guards in Monty Python's Life of Brian who are trying to hold in their laughter so they don't laugh at Caesar. I've heard of people coming to New York and getting a new name, but I didn't realize the procedure happened at Starbucks.

Woman (finally understanding): Oh. It's Maria!

(The picture above is a pencil sketch I did later that night at dinner.)

Bird Flu!

When someone sneezes, instead of saying "Bless you!" say "Bird flu!"

The trick is to say it in the exact same tone of voice you would use to say "bless you" so that if the person isn't paying attention, they might assume you said "bless you."

Monday, October 17, 2005

Hope Solo

While watching the U.S. women's soccer team play against Australia, I became interested in a certain detail of the game. No, it wasn't the relative advantages of the 4-4-2 formation vs. the 4-3-3, it was this nagging question: was U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo wearing makeup? It's a little hard to tell from this still image, but it looked to me like she was wearing eyeliner and possibly other makeup. A reasonable question might be, what difference does it make? It doesn't really matter, but it interests me that a soccer player, perhaps conscious that the game will be televised, might wear makeup on the field. Or maybe I'm imagining it, and she always looks like that.

Anyway, she made some very good saves to keep Australia from scoring and maintain the U.S. streak of not allowing a goal yet this year.


Bike-a-pult! I like signs that show bad things happening to stick figures. It would be even better if this guy were getting thrown into the open mouth of a waiting alligator or something. Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 14, 2005


A recent episode of Alias contained the line, "you'll follow my instructions explicitly." Does this make sense? Someone can give explict instructions, sure, but is it possible to "follow them explicitly?" Maybe if they are naughty instructions . . .

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Here is a drawing I did recently. I was talking with my dad the other night, and he mentioned how it really took a lot of time to practice the guitar. "Yeah," I said, "that's why my plan is to specialize in things that don't take very much time. My new hobby will be buying things from vending machines."

Drawing is also a good thing, not because I'm any good at it, but because it only takes a few minutes to sketch out something simple. And because I don't expect to be good at it, I don't get frustrated. Oh, that's the other key: low expectations.

I've also gotten hooked on Sudoku, for the same reason that it is not a big time commitment. My mom says Sudoku is more frustrating than crosswords, because with a crossword you can put it down, come back later, and in the intervening time your subconscious will have come up with the answers to some of the clues, but with Sudoku, when you pick it up again you haven't gained anything. I guess that is true. I usually do a Sudoku in one sitting.

Friday, October 07, 2005

H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival

The H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival is this weekend. My ex-coworker Andrew, who is a great guy, runs this festival, and it was really fun last year, so if you are in Portland, go see it!


My latest rant about Lost season 2 is up at Snarkfest.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Attention New Yorkers

My girlfriend and I will be in New York City during the weekend of Oct. 22. She is there on a business trip, I'm just going along. If anyone reading this wants to say hello, meet for coffee, or go to museums, please leave a comment.

Yes, that probably describes about zero people, since mine is not a "famous" blog, but I figure it is free to ask.

Contraction Faction, What's Your Action?

Contraction puzzlers:

1. If I'm is a contraction for I am, why does it sound wrong to say:

I think, therefore I'm.

2. If you've is a contraction for you have, why does it sound wrong to say:

Give me all the money you've.

3. If he'd is a contraction for he would, why does it sound wrong to say:

He'd, but I wouldn't.

4. Why does it sound acceptable to me (West Coast American English speaker) to say:

There's more carrots in the refrigerator.

even though the uncontracted form is clearly ungrammatical:

There is more carrots in the refrigerator.

Obviously, this should be There are more carrots . . . But there're is a very awkward contraction. So there's sounds better even though it is wrong?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

More about Lost

My girlfriend does not share my frustrations with Lost and her theory is that it is a male/female difference. She says men like stories that "get to the point" and women don't mind it as much when stories ramble and go off on tangents.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Lost, Season 2, Episode 2

As soon as Kate was trapped alone and locked in the room, I said -- I actually said this out loud -- "No problem, she can just crawl out through the air ducts!" Of course, I was mostly joking and hoping this wouldn't happen, because it is one of the worst TV/movie/videogame cliches. Yes, every secure area just happens to have large, easily accessible, human-sized air ducts leading in and out of it. And the ductwork is always so sturdy that it can support the full weight of one or more adults, even though there is no conceivable architectural reason for this. Can you imagine the building designers arguing? "Fred, let's use very thin sheet metal or plastic for the air ducts, OK? It will save money." "Oh, no, if we did that, how would they be able to support the weight of a full-grown person crawling through them? Even though it will cost ten times more and only help our enemies to infiltrate or escape, we have to create incredibly strong reinforced air ducts. Think of them as uncomfortable hallways."

After that, I just started saying "filler" out loud every time the show went off on another useless tangent. OK, we get the idea, Mike cares about his son, we already knew that. Do we really need to see the exact details of his custody battle that happened years ago? Do we need to see some little cliffhanger scenes that are repeats of the exact same cliffhanger scenes we saw last week? You can't recycle cliffhangers, they become cliff-huggers!

Let me predict what happens in the next episode (and, for that matter, the next 5 episodes). Here goes:

Oh no, the Others are coming! They have big pointy sticks! They're after Mike and Sawyer. Run, Mike and Sawyer, run!

Cut to a flashback of some castaway's Mysterious Past. Something troubling happened to him or her years ago, which explains the occasional mysterious, troubled look in his or her eyes, but has no relevance to the current story.

Cut to a flashback of something that happened last week. Ooh, it was odd and unexplained then, and it still is now.

Insert random mysterious coincidences. Some dude has a weird symbol on his forehead, and, wait, isn't that the exact same symbol on the bottoms of Kate's shoes? Spooky! They find a bowling ball with a serial number on it, and it just happens to be the number of Sawyer's favorite phone sex line back home. Mega spooky! One character is thinking about a plate of shrimp, and just then another mentions a plate o' shrimp. Cosmic!

Cut to Locke saying something about fate and destiny. The island is like a box of chocolates. No matter where you go, there you are.

Here's what there won't be: good, reasonable explanations for any of the mysteries we have seen so far.

Monday, September 26, 2005


"Computers . . . so unreliable . . . just like people." -- Resident Evil: Apocalypse

"Oh drat these computers, they're so naughty and so complex, I could pinch them." -- Marvin the Martian

Rome, Romance, and The O.C.

"Of course, your best method of pleasing a woman is the warm beating heart of an enemy. I mean, women will say they don't like it, but they do, makes them wet as October. Failing that, talk to her."

-- Titus, explaining romance to Lucius on Rome

And is it just me, or is Atia the ancient Roman version of Julie Cooper? They even have a similar look. And that means Octavia is Marissa, Niobe is Summer, and Lucius is Seth. So Rome is just The O.C. set in the past.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Something I Never Thought I'd Hear My Girlfriend Say

"That's not a homonculus!"

-- while talking to the cat. I'm not sure what the rest of the conversation was about, but I'm afraid to ask.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Dispatch from a Deadbeat Muse

Summer leaves Portland without a going-away party. Summer slips away in the dead of night, skipping town with unpaid debts, without a note, no forwarding address, last seen headed south. You wake up early one morning and it's 50 degrees, and you shiver and say, "Oh . . ."

You feel dumped. Summer ditched you. Summer met someone living on the equator, or in Argentina, or somewhere, and moved in with them, and they aren't even as cute as you are. It must have been the accent.

You forage in the kitchen cabinets for coffee beans. You look outside at the stack of firewood. You start making plans for winter, even though it's still hazy in the distance.

The motorcycle starts to feel fierce again. The leathers feel cozy instead of deathly hot. The visor fogs a little in the morning and you realize you'd forgotten how that happens. The little inconvenience seems almost cute.

Summer will be back. It'll come crawling back eventually, drunk and crazy, ranting about the tropics, smelling of Ylang-Ylang and toucan feathers. It always does.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Kumoricon 2005 Report

My Kumoricon 2005 report is now posted at JLHLS.

I liked this costume but the picture did not turn out very well, because the background was all wrong. So I blurred and darkened the background and made it monochrome using GIMP.Posted by Picasa

Kumoricon 2005, Haruko

Cosplayer dressed as Haruko from FLCL Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 05, 2005

Kumoricon 2005, Day 3, Elegance

Kumoricon 2005, Day 3. This was the last picture I took on my way out today. This costume looked elegant.

I have more pictures, but I'm saving them for my JLHLS report. Posted by Picasa

Kumoricon 2005, Day 3

Kumoricon 2005, Day 3. This group had a cool style and looked good together.

I'm just putting up a few pictures here on my personal site. I will be publishing a full report on Kumoricon 2005 later this week at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society.Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Kumoricon 2005, Day 1, Link

Kumoricon 2005, Day 1. Link costume by Pikmin Link. This cosplayer later won the convention's award for best costume craftsmanship for a different Link costume: Link of Toaru Village. Posted by Picasa

Kumoricon 2005, Day 1, Chocobo

Kumoricon 2005, Day 1. Chocobo rider. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Kooks Were Right?

As I read more about what has been happening in New Orleans, especially reports like this CNN report, I am struck by the strange feeling that maybe the "kooks" were right all along. The survivalist types have been saying: stockpile food, water, weapons, medicine, and other supplies, and be ready for the collapse of society. That seemed silly, until the collapse of society actually occurred in New Orleans, earlier this week. Sure, this is only temporary, and things will eventually be restored, but it made me realize something. Civilization does not have to collapse permanently to cause a huge problem. One or two days is enough. One or two days is plenty.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Mountains of Fire, Beaches of Ice

One of the weird things about northwest Oregon is that on a hot August day, it is generally much warmer and more "summery" up in the mountains that it is at the ocean beaches. The Oregon coast has very cold water all year long, and is often chilly, windy, and cloudy even in summer. It is hard to overcome the psychological association of beaches with summer and mountains with cold, but once you do, Mt. Hood makes a great summer destination.

I spent this weekend at the mountain, and one of place I went was Trillium Lake. I took this picture on Saturday. On Sunday I went back with my inflatable raft and floated around.

While taking this picture, I was crouched down by the water's edge, trying to get both the ducks and the mountain in the frame. The ducks came right over to me, expecting to be fed. After a few minutes, when they figured out I wasn't going to feed them, they started purposely splashing me! I guess they wanted something in return for posing for the picture.

Me And My Shadow

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Two Seasons

Portland, Oregon only has two seasons: Rain and Road Construction. Road Construction lasts from July through September, and Rain lasts the rest of the year. Ironically, Road Construction, the only part of the year with good enough weather that you want to go out and enjoy the outdoors, is also the season when you can't actually get to where you want to go because of all the road closures and detours.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Inverted Apple

Today at the grocery store, I spotted this apple sauce jar with an inverted label. Remembering the story of the rare "Inverted Jenny" stamp, I figured that this jar might be a collector's item that I could someday sell for a huge profit. Or if not, it would at least be more interesting to have than the normal jars. Posted by Picasa