A spectacularly beautiful fall day!

Previously I have written blog posts about how crappy the weather can be in Portland. I may have even ranted about it. When it rains non-stop for a week or two it can get really old. Gray skies, damp and windy days are very common most of the late fall to late spring.

This is about the weather here in Portland but it’s not a complaint. Today it was 68 degrees, blue sky; sunshine and I drove with my sunroof open. The leaves in Oregon change later than a lot of other areas of the country. Some trees have completely changed colors while others are just beginning to. It was just a beautiful fall day!

Overall I really should not complain about the Portland weather.

  • We have very little snow. Usually it only snows every couple of years or so. However, when it does snow it tends to be layered, snow, ice, snow, ice.
  • We don’t have hurricanes or tornados.
  • Summer forest fires are frequent but they are in the rural areas of the state especially southern, central and eastern Oregon.
  • We have an occasional minor earthquake but haven’t had one that caused any damage since 1993.
  • In parts of the state, even in the city sometimes there are creeks and rivers that flood due to a really long spell of rain or a fast snow melt.

So here’s what I saw today. The beautiful blue sky and the wonderful colors of the changing leaves.

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The Sunday Milwaukie Farmers Market Opening Day

Yesterday was the first of the season Farmers Market in Milwaukie. As always it did not disappoint me. The flowers are as gorgeous as ever. Not a lot of produce yet since it is so early in the season. I got there early before many of the booths were set up. The only thing I bought was olive and chive cream cheese.

I could take 100s of photos at the market and probably will by the end of the season which is the last weekend in October.

A Tulip Tree

Many years ago I had a large tulip tree in my backyard. It was pretty much dead so I had it cut down. About 5 years ago I noticed a new tulip tree springing up near where the old one had been cut down. I haven’t done anything to prune it or tie it up to become straight. Some days the tree looks to me like it is floating in air.

There are tulip trees all around my neighborhood and they all seem to be the same color as mine.

“The tulip tree is sometimes called “tulip poplar” or “yellow poplar“, and the wood simply “poplar”, although unrelated to the genus Populus. The tree is also called canoewood, saddle leaf tree and white wood. The Onondaga tribe calls it Ko-yen-ta-ka-ah-tas (the white tree).”

Odd Facts about Oregon I never knew. But who did?

  • The Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, built in 1880, is currently used as the site of the final resting place of up to 467,000 cremated individuals.

  • It is against the law in Myrtle Creek to box with a kangaroo.
  • While it is illegal to buy or sell marijuana in Oregon, it is legal to smoke it on your own property.
  • The Nike “swoosh” logo was designed by University of Oregon student Carolyn Davidson in 1964 — four years after business undergrad Phil Knight and track coach Bill Bowerman founded the company they originally called Blue Ribbon Sports. Ms. Davidson was paid $35 dollars for her design.

  • In Marion, ministers are forbidden from eating garlic or onions before delivering a sermon.
  • In Portland, people are banned from whistling underwater.
  • In Beaverton you are required to buy a $10 permit before installing a burglar alarm.
  • In Stanfield, Oregon, no more than two people are allowed to share a single drink.

Oregon ranks as the second hungriest state

Just another sign that the economy in the State of Oregon sucks big time.

 

Oregon ranks as the second hungriest state according to a United States Department of Agriculture study released Monday, only behind Mississippi.
 
The study reported that over 13 percent of Oregon households struggled to put enough food on the table in 2008.
 

“These alarming numbers confirm the severe human toll of this recession and what the Oregon Food Bank network has been seeing for the past two years,” said Rachel Bristol, its chief executive. “Oregon has been hit especially hard.”


Nationwide, 14.6 percent of U.S. households, or about 49 million people, struggled to put enough food on the table; the highest number since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began tracking food security levels in 1995. The numbers are a significant increase from 2007, when 11.1 percent of U.S. households suffered from what the USDA classifies as “food insecurity”, not having enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle.
 
The USDA said that 5.7 percent of those who didn’t have enough food experienced “very low food security,” meaning household members reduced their food intake.
 
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the numbers could be higher in 2009 because of the global economic slowdown.
 
The Oregon Food Bank, which delivers food to many Southern Oregon charities, has already handed out 66.2 million pounds of food this year, the highest amount it’s ever distributed in a single year.
 
“More people, more families come to our food pantry and our kitchen and dining facility. Last year we provided 53,500 meals. This year that will be 10 percent higher,” said Len Hebert with St. Vincent de Paul.
 
St. Vincent de Paul says this year it’ll spend about $400,000 more on helping the local community with rent, food, and utility programs.

A room with a view

or in my case an office cubicle with a view. My office moved to a company owned building about one month ago. I did most of the planning and coordination for my group so I picked my cube before anyone else. I picked the NW corner because it had the best windows (2 since it is a corner) and nice views. My office is located in a building that sits behind the Benson Hotel on the corner of Park Ave and Stark ST to Oak ST downtown Portland.

My cube for the previous four years in the old building was an internal cube with no window. Even if I had a window it would have been looking across the street at the parking garage.

I took my camera in to the office Monday to take a photo of a new employee for his company badge/id  and decided to snap  a few photos of my view. Even with the filthy windows they didn’t turn out too bad. I need to take photos on a nice, clear sunny day when I can see even more of the west hills and more of the bridges and a peek of the Willamette River.

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What that “red neck” houseboat really was

 

I published this photo on my blog last month in a post titled Rolling on the river – part II. I had just got my new camera and took it down to the Willamette River boat launch to take some photos. My timing was perfect to see both the above houseboat and the Portland Spirit float by.

I heard that the story of the houseboat was covered by a local TV evening news but couldn’t find anything online about it. Yesterday my massage therapist said that she saw a story in the newspaper. So I did some more searching and found the story.

Two friends, a houseboat and a river: A final adventure before real life beckons. – James Mayer The Oregonian

“William Steele has been dreaming about floating down the river since he was 9 years old.

It wasn’t Huck Finn who inspired him, but a book at home on backyard bungalows that had a drawing of a houseboat. The design looked like it would fall over. Steele thought he could do better.”

 

It is a story of friendship, a dream and determination. Go read the story and watch the video interview.