Rain has started

With the strong winds, days upon days of rainfall, and leaves clogging the storm drains, it’s safe to say that time of year is here again. There’s no visual signal that its time to get up, and walking the dog means getting soaked and cold.

This doesn’t seem to bother Barley though. In fact, I’m pretty sure he was enjoying the giant puddles, piles of leaves, and trenches full of water. I’ve just dried him off after walking him. The towel is soaked, and so is he. It wasn’t so much a walk as me being pulled by a maniacal water fiend. He pulls as hard as he can to run up and down any small collection of water, be it puddle, stream, or lake.


Its been a long time since I’ve had a peanut butter and Jelly sandwich. If it hadn’t been for the somewhat dry wheat bread, it could have been great. Oh, and Adam’s Peanut Butter? Are you supposed to stir that pool of goo on top back into the butter, or do you drain it off?

Ben Manfredi

Ben on Mt. Adams

The Cascades lost one of their biggest and most active friends this weekend. Ben Manfredi died while kayaking the Elwah River. Those who knew him knew of his thirst for adventure, and his love of the challenges that its peaks, slopes and rivers offered.

The surprise of this news is somewhat hollowing. Ben was usually the calm one, the calculated one, the one who had the luck. I knew the day would come when one of our friends would be taken, but I never expected it to be Ben. He usually carried a precision and grace with him. I think he had fear. Its what made him challenge himself. He also knew the odds. He’d helped dig up avalanche victims. He’d watched friends disappear into the swirl not knowing when they’d resurface. I guess that part of the territory.

Ben had a great sense of humor known to few. He was quite shy, and didn’t speak much around strangers. When he did open up, a thoughtful and funny person joined the conversation. His boldness showed in his action however, as you’ll see from the photographs he’s taken over the last several years.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Ben.

The Joy of X

I’ve been working with Solaris 9 for x86 at work, and with a couple different Linux distros, predominantly Red Hat 9, Mandrake 9.1, and Slackware 9.1. With all the small hurdles, I can’t be happier to come home to my Mac. Its nice when things just work. And act the way you expect them to.


I don’t usually use the breakroom at work because I usually don’t need to heat up anything. Since the recent retirement of one employee, there’s never any new magazines or newspapers in the break room. All that was available today was a copy of the Portland Mercury. Great, a magazine full of fun things to do and places to go that are all on the “cool” side of the river.

One advertisment caught my eye though. It was for a shop that does hoodie sweatshirts with your neighborhood’s name emblazened on the front. Once again, Great, I live in a neighborhood that lacks a name. What are they going to put on the sweatshrit? Southwest? That’s like a gigantic combination of lots of neighborhoods with mostly lame names. Still, my interest was piqued so I checked it out, and yes, the neighborhood of choice is “Southwest.” Well, at least its not “Indian Subcontinent”… no, seriously, that’s an option for a neighborhood of Bombay (Mumbai).

PUD fails

Yesterday Multnomah County Residents voted to reject a public takeover of Portland General Electric.


Fortunately, PGE and its parent company Enron (yes, Enron), spent $2,000,000 fighting the PUD, airing advertisements that a PUD would raise electric rates. The advertisements didn’t mention that your electric rates will increase to cover the $2,000,000 spent to prevent its takeover. They also didn’t mention that PGE was owned by Enron, and that Enron is bankrupt, and could sell off PGE’s assets to pay its creditors. They also didn’t mention that the Public Employment Retirement System lost a butt-load of state money because Enron is a sham.

I was hopeful that something like this could pass in PDX. I was hopeful that the “green team” of board members I selected would have brought us a bright, clean, and equitable future. I was also hopeful that the PUD would eventually provide internet access as a utility, making it affordable to more people.

But you have to realize, I don’t care about paying more for electricity. I turn out my lights. I only heat my house to 65ºF, I have low energy appliances, I pay extra to use Renewable Energy. And I don’t consider Hydro-electric renewable. Conservation may just be a “personal virtue”, but it didn’t kill anyone this year.

Social Studies: Because…

Yesterday I drove Scott’s car home from Tacoma (long story). It was a lot of fun driving a stick again, but I only drove a total of 3 miles off the interstate. Once on I-5, I pretty much kept a cruising speed of 70mph. Didn’t need to shift much.

Driving back, I noticed half the cars going south had Oregon plates. They also had UofO stickers everywhere. It seems Oregon lost to Washington the night before. So maybe these folks weren’t in a great mood.

Shortly before I got back to Portland I passed a minivan with a bumper sticker that started “Social Studies…” but I couldn’t read the fine print below. So I made up some fine print items.

Social Studies:

  • “Because understanding other cultures is cheaper than bombing them”
  • “Its good to know other places to stick your head other than up your own ass”
  • “Africa isn’t a country”
  • “There’s a reason Wal-mart sells that stuff so cheap”
  • “No – its not the class where you take naps”
  • “Some day you’ll wish you’d paid attention when you’re forced to live like nomads because your city has been leveled (See first sticker)”

Please feel free to add more. I know I will.