Monday, May 31, 2010

Our Flag

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I decided that this photo would do well for my Memorial Day post. I wanted to post a flag today after watching the news reports and reading them in the local paper about various dedicated people all over the country who place a flag on each person's grave for today's memorial.

This flag flies at Talladega Superspeedway. I took it before the NASCAR race on 11/1/2009. The flag is between half and three quarters of a mile from where I'm sitting--that's my best guess anyway. It's a huge flag. The tractor-trailer rig that you see there beyond the flag pole is actually on I-20, going east. It's probably another half to three quarters of a mile to the interstate. I boosted the colors at Picnik.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Vacation, Day 10, 10/30/2009, Part 6

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It's on the move! That yellow car! Looks like a rooster to me!

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What are those words on the side of it? The larger word looks like Scheib, but I've Googled Scheib and yellow chicken car and found out not one thing.

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I took this photo as I walked back towards the campground. See the arrow? I put it there, pointing at the general location of Milton and Kay's trailer, in relation to the Talladega Superspeedway. You can tell from this, I hope, just how close by we were to the action.

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Here's a close-up so that you can see the yellow circle "You Are Here" right outside the Talladega Superspeedway (can you tell I LOVE to type TALLADEGA?)--that is where I stopped to take the photo. The Private Property with the black arrow on it, towards the right corner points to right about where Milton's gonna fry up some mighty fine food--y'all come back, ya heah!

What a wonderful, blessed vacation!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vacation, Day 10, 10/30/2009, Part 5

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Lined up, getting ready for truck qualifying--they're getting ready for Saturday, 10/31/2009, and the Mountain Dew 250 fueled by Fred’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Driving the 15, Aric Almrola; the 24, David Starr; and the 47, Brandon Knupp.

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Ricky Carmichael drives the 4 Monster truck. I think that's him in the green suit on the left. Look at the cameras that woman on the right has--one in her hand, one on her shoulder--she's so ready!

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So is Chrissy Wallace, driver of the 08 Fuel Doctor Dot Com truck.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Vacation, Day 10, 10/30/2009, Part 4

I've been so-o-o-o tired after work all week that I have not been up to posting on my blogs or reading anyone's blog. But after getting to sleep in, sort of, on Saturday and Sunday, plus catching up with the laundry on Saturday and mopping and running the vacuum on Sunday, I believe that I have some energy left to blog! Hooray!

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You know how excited I was when I saw this yellow vehicle, don't you? All I could think about was, "I hope I get to see it when it starts along one of those roads in the infield!" Naturally, I wondered what it was all about.

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Two rows of Rams, Dodge that is. These surely are driver-introduction vehicles. Don't you just love that curved cyclone fence? Or do you call it a chain-link fence? Our family home in Jackson had a fenced backyard--there was a tiny metal sign attached to it it a few places that read "Cyclone."

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You reckon this huge-screen TV folds back down into that trailer? See the white-headed man on the left of the photo, wearing a pink shirt? He's not all that far away from the TV, and look how huge it is compared to him!

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For this particular day at the track, we could sit wherever we wanted, no assigned seats as such. So we were on the first row of the first upper level. All of a sudden these men were in front of me, so naturally I started taking photos. I mean, they're blocking my view, so they're fair game. Right? I love that guy on the right, pointing.

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The writing on that one guy's shirt gives away what they're up to--CameraTrux. Must be making a video or a documentary. Certainly, they're heavily involved, focused on their conversation.

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See the man on the right? The one who was pointing in the first photo. That pass hanging around his neck has HOT on it. That's not a statement about him. HOT means that as long as he has that pass around his neck, he can go any where in the garage and the pits, any time, even when the cars are coming out of the garage and headed for practice or qualifying or racing. What a luck son-of-gun! My guess is that every single one of them has a HOT pass, so that's a passle of lucky son-of-a-guns!

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Yep, there you can see more HOT passes. And the man with the notebook, that's a guy after my own heart. He's got his eyeglasses on, and his sunshades up in his hair. I'll bet he wears his sunshades right over his eyeglasses, just like I do! And I would buy that binder in a New York minute--love those circles. They left soon after I took this photo, never to be seen again by me.

Vacation shall continue, real soon.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Early morning walking the dog

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Almost two months ago, March 10, the weather started the day a bit wet and warmer. I saw this man walking the dog in downtown Portland, around 7:30 a.m. We can assume that most everyone else in the photo is headed to work or headed home from work. I myself was on my way to work. I walked from one bus to another bus stop, enjoying myself, the sights and the weather.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Vacation, Day 10, 10/30/2009, Part 3

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Jimmy Johnson has four NASCAR Sprint Cup championships.

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David Reutimann drives the double zero.

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Denny Hamlin recently won three of the six Sprint Cup races that have happened since the surgery on his torn knee ligament.

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The 2 car, Kurt Busch--he's the driver that leland and I got to meet at Homestead-Miami in November, 2006, when we went on the trip that I won to all three of the NASCAR final races of the year. Ryan Newman drives the 39, and Robby Gordon the 7.

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Kevin Harvick drives the 29.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

There's steps, and then there's steps.

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The front steps on a nearby house on NW Everett, during the snow marathon in 2008-2009. I took this photo on December 23, 2008, mainly because it looked like someone had made a snow angel in the snow packed onto the steps. Ever since we'd moved into our apartment in October, 2006, I had figured the house was vacant. This photo certainly supports that premise. All nearby steps had been cleared, repeatedly, as we had days and days of snowfall.

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Maybe things are looking up for the house. I took this photo on May 8, 2010, a few days after I walked by on my way to the bus and noticed a man working on the steps. The right side front door was open. I got a glimpse of the stairs to the second floor. Now I'm totally curious as to what is going on with the house. Extremely hopeful, too.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Vacation, Day 10, 10/30/2009, Part 2

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Yep, he's in there. Dale Earnhardt Jr. himself. When I look at this photo at its very largest size, I can see his helmet and his right arm, even in the shadows. Now I realize, thoroughly realize, that not everyone is a Junior fan. But I am. And, just like with my beloved Portland Trail Blazers, I am not a fair weather fan. I am a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan--have been and shall remain so.

I took these photos during Spring Cup practice on Friday afternoon. The cars are leaving pit road and heading back out onto the Talladega Superspeedway. I don't know for sure how fast they're going, but they're not sitting still--that I know for sure. They're accelerating, probably between 30-50 mph.

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Mark Martin, another one of my favorites. That man turned 51 years old last January!

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Here's Greg Biffle. H was born in Vancouver, Washington, right there on the other side of the Columbia River from Portland!

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Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Reds

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See the various reds I saw, across from the bus stop at NW 21st and Everett. The rhododendrons caught my eye first, then almost instantly I saw the rest of the reds, picked up the camera that hung around my neck and snapped the photo last Tuesday. This was with the new lens I had to buy on Saturday, a Quantaray 18-200. You see, on Friday night after I left 3 Doors Down Cafe, I got off the 20 on Sandy and went to Voodoo Doughnuts to get one for dessert. Naturally, I wanted to take photos--that's when I discovered that the lens that came with my camera, my everyday lens that I've used and used and used was all used up. Surprisingly, I did not panic. I live in a big city, I thought. Surely I can find another lens that fits the Nikon D50, one that will focus for me. Lo and behold, I only had to go to two stores and I found the new one which, thankfully, I could actually afford.

Do you notice any difference in the quality of the photo?

Vacation, Day 10, 10/30/2009, Part 1

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Rise and shine! Or as Mama used to say every single morning while I was in school, "Up and at 'em!" It's breakfast time at Talladega!

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A place for everything and everything in its place. Is that the way that saying goes? Or did I get in backwards?

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Omelet veggies, on the stove for those who want omelets.

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Kay made grits! Perfect grits! The rest of my food filled the bill, too, and really got me ready for another special vacation day.

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Seen in the campground.

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Time to head for the Talladega Super Speedway for the day's activities.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hot Rod Pizza--look at this vehicle! You'll be so happy that you did. Honest.

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Hot Rod Pizza, 14585 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Milwaukie, Oregon. Milwaukie is suburb of Portland. I didn't see the car there, though. It was parked on a street off SE Division, not too far from where Lamont lives. I saw it as I drove by in the Buick, then went around the block to get these photos. I know nothing about the pizza, but I know that I love this car. I also know that I am thrilled that I got the chance to take these photos. Over the driver's side front wheel, "Might be early/won't be late ..."

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"Leaves You Happy" sounds quite appropriate, doesn't it, for the words atop the trunk of a vintage Plymouth GTX?

From the Hot Rod Pizza Web site:
First and foremost, we love pizza. Our roots lie in the Midwest where we grew up in the 60’s and where pizza is almost like a religion. Detroit and Chicago, our home towns, have all sorts of styles: thin and crispy New York style, the Classic deep dish Chicago approach, a more doughy Greek pie and Detroit’s own Sicilian method. We’ve had them all many times over as we gathered with our friends to talk about the important issues of the days like baseball, football, hockey and, of course, cars.

You see, eating pizza with friends is a social activity. Sharing a pie in the back of our convertibles was just part of growing up. Think American Graffiti, think Grease. Summer days, music blaring out of our AM Radios or an 8-track. The tune choices were set by the DJs and we could sing them all. Beach Boys, Beatles, Sinatra and whatever the one hit wonder of the week was. Who was Casey Kasem’s number one going to be this week? We’d listen while crusin’, soakin’ in the happy times.

Our dream cars were pure American. Chevys, Fords, Dodges and Plymouths. Camaros, Mustangs, Chargers and Furys. A time when you could understand the world and your cars. A hot rod was a car you could afford and not so complicated under the hood that you needed a lot of fancy tools to work on it. You made a statement with cool wheels, exhausts that roared, paint jobs that stuck out and engines tuned to make it a car that could never be beat. The hits and the cars just kept on coming and the pizza was so good. It was really fun. And at Hot Rod Pizza that’s what we’re about. Having a good time. By creating a fun atmosphere we think you’ll have fun each time you visit Hot Rod Pizza. The music will be rockin’, the cars roarin’ and the pizzas cookin’. Keepin’ it simple, and leaving you happy! Life is good. Enjoy it.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Portland's Urban Iditarod, seen from the Buick, Leland at the wheel

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Grinning, running. Looks like fun. If you look carefully through the blur that is the windshield wiper, you can see that a couple of those guys have red straps in their hands. That means they're the dog team. I guess the guy in the purple shirt is the musher. What role does the inflatable person play? Your guess is as good as mine.

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All for one, one for all, get it on down the road. We're on East Burnside, heading west towards the Burnside Bridge, eventually.

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Oops! Must have hit a pothole! See the red strap in the hand of the man wearing the red shorts, The man with the red hair appears to have a strap, too.

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Now they've made it six blocks--perseverance personified.

I'll post some more soon.

From the Oregonian's Web site:
Metro Portland Running »
Portland Urban Iditarod: 2010 recap
By Kelly Johnson, community blogger
March 13, 2010, 5:34PM

Hundreds of runners and probably quite a few "non-runners" showed up for the 2010 Portland Urban Iditarod. For the third year in a row, I was on a team with a group of friends that I've all met, surprisingly enough, through running.

Because the event starts under the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge, active folks that were out for an actual training run or ride stopped and asked the costumed teams what was going. "It's the Urban Iditarod," people would say, providing basically no useful information to the curious passers-by.

So, here's what it is. Take the Alaskan Iditarod, but replace the sled with a shopping cart and the dogs with runners. Add crazy costumes, turn the "aid stations" into popular bars and clubs, and a lot of people with a sense of humor.

At 11a sharp, the Lead Dog sent participants a text message reading "Grand Cafe," and the masses stampeded up the street, stopping traffic on Grand Avenue and MLK. Drivers snapped photos from their cars as they waited, and soon the party was started in a large parking lot across the street from the Grand Cafe.

Salsa dancers and karoke-ing mushers performed for the crowd as people wandered around to check out the other "sleds." Before long, another text message sent the teams to Grand Central Bowl, just a few blocks away. The next stop was the Doug Fir and Jupiter Hotel, but I made a side trip to Voodoo Doughnuts only a few blocks away at NE 14th and Sandy before rejoining the part.

Each aid station layover was about an hour long, which was a change from previous years. It was really nice to be able to wander around, catch up with friends on other teams, dance a little, order food if you wanted to, and of course, sample the variety of adult beverages. I was a little surprised to see quite a few of the participants smoking ... but then again, I saw someone smoking last year that was running the Prelay ...

Some of the best costumes that I saw included The Last Supper, The Simpsons, Gilligan and the S.S. Minnow, and a variety of underwater themes including mermaids and a man whose whole head was a shark. As usual, there were also a number that were "ripped from the headlines," including the team of UO football players wearing inmate stripes and the Greg Oden cell phone photo team.

And as usual, there were no winners and there were no losers - "just a whole lot of belligerant people," as said by KATU news a few years ago.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Looking in the windows of the Red Light Clothing Exchange in SE Portland

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I took all of these photos in October--Halloween must have been a whole lotta fun for some folks!

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The store and its fantastic windows are at 3590 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

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ABOUT US, from their Web page.

Open in Portland since 1999, The Red Light Clothing Exchange is the City of Roses’ one-of-a-kind, homegrown, buy-sell-trade, men’s and women’s fashion emporium.

Since the beginning, The Red Light has been buying, selling and trading clothes with people from all walks of life, from all over the Northwest. Our extensive inventory changes daily (thanks to all that buying and trading!), but it always includes a vast selection of choice vintage pieces alongside brand-name modern garments. Plus, our incredible clothing inventory is complimented by a large selection of wigs, deadstock novelties, socks, tights, jewelry and other accessories.

We don’t cater to one particular fashion style, instead focusing on providing unique, quality, stylish clothing at truly affordable prices. Whether you’re in the market for classic basics, one-of-a-kind statement pieces or just costume frocks, we’ve got you covered. That’s why on any given day shopping at The Red Light you can rub elbows with local trend-setters, touring rock stars, eco-conscience thrifters, Japanese tourists and Portland bargain-hunters. They all shop here because there truly is something for everyone at The Red Light.

Another reason shopping here is so fun: our famous d├ęcor. From the blood red walls to the velvet paintings and ornate carpets, we provide a uniquely lavish shopping experience. Vintage burlesque movie posters, Urkle dolls, Spanish iron hanging lamps and old black light posters all have a place in The Red Light…and we’re always adding new art and collectibles to our eclectic space, too.

This one-of-a-kind inventory and ambiance has gotten us a lot of attention, from local awards to international reviews. Along with “Best of” recognition from Portland media such as Portland Mercury, Willamette Week and Citysearch, The Red Light has been spotlighted by Lucky, GQ, Elle, NPR and even London’s The Guardian and Japan’s Lightning. Likewise, Britney Spears, Benicio Del Toro, Cate Blanchett, Billy Bob Thornton, The Dandy Warhols, Beth Ditto, Tigan and Sarah and Leslie Hall are just a few of the celebrities who have shopped at The Red Light.

Still, nothing means more to us than the personal kudos from everyday customers. “You’ve got great stuff!” is magic to our ears and we’re constantly working hard to keep you happy!

(Oh, and because so many customers ask about our relationship to Red Light in Seattle: our owner is the founder of Seattle’s Red Light. Selling that business allowed us to relocate to Portland and we love it here. The Seattle and Portland stores are not affiliated; the Portland business remains owned by its founder.)