Grass Roots?

Overheard on the Today show this morning regarding immigration law changes: “this issue is is splitting business owners and grassroot republicans.”

Grassroots republicans? Is that a nice way of saying racist?


I reroofed the sunroom this afternoon in about 3 hours. I imagine it would have taken someone skilled much less time, but it’s done, and I finished before dark and before what will certainly be a moist couple days. The true test is whether or not it stays water-tight.

pan of the roof
added a panoramic shot to get the whole roof, but the seams make it look like a crappy job. Yes, I know the colors don’t match, but I can’t find our shingle color anywhere.

Parents on the move

My parents left Yakima yesterday with two u-hauls, a plan, and a check for their old home. What’s next? They’ve bought a junker here in Portland and are going to be spending the next couple months making it livable. I was able to help them a little yesterday as they unloaded stuff in to a storage shed. Naturally, it rained.

After one unit was filled, we had to back the 26ft unit up an indoor ramp to the point where it could no longer back up anymore (lighting, fire sprinklers, etc) which was just 4 feet short of the loading dock. As such, we had to move stuff from the front of the truck up the wet deck, then down the steep, wet ramp, then lift it up to the dock surface. Talk about “making it a challenge.”

Luckily, I was able to leave early for a dinner engagement, so I didn’t have to help them move the washer and dryer down the stairway at their new place. The new homestead is lovingly referred to as “the outhouse.” Several other more colorful names didn’t stick.

Tigger Update

tigger drinking water
Tigger smelling entrails
I love Mices to Pieces

So you’re probably all wonder what Tigger has been up to since his brush with death. Maybe you aren’t. Well, he’s doing quite well. He’s become more social and definitely clingier than before, and he’s always thirsty. Not only thirsty, but picky about where his water comes from. For a while the toilet sufficed. Now Michelle’s leaving him a fresh glass of water each night (first picture at right).

He’s also back to the activity level of an 8 year old, and seems to be doing quite well. We give him grief (not that he listens) about putting in some effort around the house, and he finally paid attention.

Last night he was especially vocal, waking us at least 4 times during the night with some of the most bizarre alert moans. We ignored him but realized for once he wasn’t crying wolf. This morning we found a pile of twigs and junk on the floor that he’d vomited up. It must have been violent because there was blood.

Closer inspection revealed that it wasn’t twigs, but mouse tail. And the pile of stuff wasn’t junk, but the front end of a mouse! He finally earned his catch! Naturally, these images are kind of gross, but I took them, ate breakfast (cake & milk Troy), and downloaded the images while eating. They’re mostly just fascinating, but wait until you’ve finished your danish.

Anyway, he’s doing really well. He’s gained some weight back though his ass is still boney. Fortunately he’s not using a litterbox anymore, but there are small concrete-like stains on the wood now. Kitty litter is harder to clean than mouse blood. Go figure.

Long time, no quiz

It’s been so long since I’ve dong an internet quiz, I’ve forgotten who I am.

You Are 70% Weird

You’re so weird, you think you’re *totally* normal. Right?
But you wig out even the biggest of circus freaks!

You Are Scooter

Brainy and knowledgable, you are the perfect sidekick.
You’re always willing to lend a helping hand.
In any big event or party, you’re the one who keeps things going.
“15 seconds to showtime!”

thanks for the links, Matt

We’ve got …. crab legs?

I just finished my take home final so I’ve got like 2 weeks of the easy life before the next term starts. As such, here’s a picture I took on a walk with Barley way back on the 11th.

Crab? Here?

Anyway, I had to take a picture of this crab leg because where the hell did it come from? There are a lot of seagulls around lately, but I get the feeling this probably came from Halibuts or one of the thai places instead.

By the way, the title comes from a seafood place that did horrible commercials that I never heard (until now) but heard most of my friends sing it.

Payday Lending in Portland

Poverty and Payday Lenders in Portland,OR
My GIS II group just presented our term project last night. The topic was payday lending in the Portland Metro area, and our timing couldn’t have been more perfect. The same day as our presentation, the Willamette Week cover story was on the booming payday lending industry in Oregon.

Our project followed a study by Dr. Steven Graves that compared the economic and demographic characteristics of neighborhoods with payday lenders and the surrounding community as a whole. The purpose was to identify if there was any significance to the claim that payday lenders target poor and minority neighborhoods. His study found this to be true in urban Cook County, Illinois and Orleans Parish, Louisiana. We were curious if the same pattern existed in Portland.

We compared census tracts with payday lenders to all census tracts in the metro region to see if there were any significant difference between several economic and demographic measurements. Our results? Payday lenders are located in significantly poorer neighborhoods, and in neighborhoods with a higher Hispanic population. There’s more, but that’s the relevant bit.

Our project was really just the start of what could and should be a larger examination of an unsavory business practice. One obvious problem with our research is the proximity of lenders to high-traffic arterials (82nd, 99E, 99W, Powell, Farmington Rd. etc) which is usually zoned commercial. Potential for a thesis topic? maybe….

update(s): The maps disappeared for some reason. Now they’re back.

No funding or turning a blind eye

NASA can’t afford to keep many of its satellite programs funded, so several projects like LANDSAT, EOS, and other land use and climate monitoring systems are being canceled or put at risk of having major service interruptions.

Since many of these satellites give us an idea of what global climate change may be occurring, or how it may be affecting land cover and such, I can’t help but think of this as the current administration turning a high-tech blind eye on the whole climate change argument. The logic of the move? My guess is that it comes down to this:

“If we can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.”

I realize these budget things take a long time, but it seems that the cost of disasters like Katrina and the importance of remote sensing would underscore the importance of satellite programs. I guess this plays in to another suspicion of mine – that cuts like this are huge boosts to private companies like Geo Eye (recently merged) that can provide some remote sensing services. I know nothing of the politics involved, but the benefit that these public satellite programs is almost immeasurable, and benefit more than just the folks that can afford the data.