Car Wash

So I’m driving out to my Aunt & Uncle’s in Hillsboro to see my grandma who is in town from Nebraska. There were four car wash/fundraisers on the drive out, each seeming to share some sense of urgency. Maybe they know we’re going to have a water shortage and wanted us to get our cars cleaned before rationing….

Anyway, the last of the washes had two ungainly teenage girls and a dirty mustache boy waving signs. They obviously had less pull than the other car washes, and boy-stache tried to make up for it by attacking my masculinity.

“Dude, a pimp needs a clean ride.”

I wanted to laugh and point out how absurd it was that he suggest that I would even try to “pimp” in my mother-in-law’s car. Sure, the Camry is nice, and it rides so smooth and quiet that you can float the streets listening to jazz. But pimping? Kid needs to shave and stop watching MTV.

Damn Dirty Bird Words

During lunch I sat outside with the dogs and watched birds flit around the back yard. I think I saw some wrens, which I hope have decided to take up residence nearby. Then, because I sometimes have base thoughts, I wondered about uttering a long string of dirty bird names, and whether or not would get you in trouble (as a child) since they were proper names.

Titmouse, woodcock, red shafted flicker, barn swallow, grackle.

The last one isn’t really dirty or suggestive, but it sounds like it could be dirty. And they’re lame birds. Still, what would happen to a child who stood up in class and said those out loud and possibly out of context? Are they dirty? Or is it just if you mean for it to be dirty that makes them count as bad words?

And what about damn? Why is it a bad word? Its so useful and other words that mean roughly the same thing (darn, blasted, cursed) aren’t considered bad. Is it because its mostly used in conjunction with god? Is it guilty by association simply because you’re not to take the lord’s name in vain (like we know what its name really is…)

Maybe I’ll start introducing damn into casual conversation to see what the reaction is. It seems like a damn useful whatever grammarians call it.


A while back I made a rather cryptic promise to see KRS-ONE if he came to Portland. Here’s what it was regarding:

“I write with a free hand, I write with a purpose
If you bought the CD, thanks for the purchase
If you downloaded the album then COME to the concert.
Don’t sit in front of the computer ’til your eyes hurt.”

That’s certainly a poor example of his skill as and lyricist and emcee, but he’s got me made. I figure the very least I can do is go see this mastermind in his element. If you’re not sure who I’m talking about, check out this revealing interview with The Onion (seriously..)

GIS I Project: Where to live in Portland

I’ve completed my project write-up and presentation, so I figured I’d release it to the wild. Chances are pretty good no one in my class will see it before I present and spoil it. Actually, I’m more worried that this may reduce our chance of actually finding one of these places.

The gist of the project was trying to find areas in Portland that meet the ideal requirements we have for a home using GIS. We compiled a list of things we wanted and things we didn’t want and then looked to see if there were actually any affordable houses in those regions. Here it is:

Both are in PDF format. I’ll have a pretty final map to include tomorrow.

ArcGIS missing Erase?

I finished the analysis part of my GIS I project yesterday. Overall the project went quite well but there was a moment of panic when I realized that ArcGIS doesn’t have any Punch tool for vector editing. I seem to remember this method being available in ArcView 3.x as “Erase” but its missing from ArcGIS. Maybe it was in ArcInfo?

ArcGIS provides a Clip tool, which lets you take one shape (i.e. the outline of the city of Portland) and use it to trim another shape (i.e. interstates) so that you only have the interstates that are within Portland city limits. This is useful, but I want to do the opposite. I want to take a shape of “bad” areas and punch them out of the otherwise “good” areas.

In theory you could design your analysis to avoid needing this functionality, but its such a simple operation that it should be included. I do it all the time in Freehand using punch. Luckily, there’s a plug-in for ArcGIS called XTools Pro that has a 30-day free trial. This software lets you Erase one layer based on another, so I downloaded it and got on with my analysis. Whew!

Fashion Faux Pas

Its rare that I make a fashion faux-pas, but you see, I rarely wear anything that qualifies as fashionable. I think this qualifies though.

Yesterday morning I got out of bed and put on the first shirt in my drawer. It was a Maui dive shop t-shirt I picked up in… um…. Maui. The next morning Michelle and kathy were leaving for Maui, without me. I realized that the shirt might appear as some sort of whiney statement (that I’d not anticipated (though Freud says that there are no mistakes)), so I pulled on a long sleeve shirt.

Later, I met up with some friends for a beer and was immediately asked about my shirt by a friend. He asked when I got it, which made me realize I got it from his ex. It was kind of funny, but only because I put the shirt on to hide my other shirt. I should have put on a coat, I guess.

Is it wrong…

Is it wrong to reach over the fence to snip a rampant blackberry vine? The neighbors clearly aren’t cultivating the crap and it keeps sending shoots over the fence into my yard to start a new colony. Well, it’s probably wrong, but is it worse than letting blackberries establish?