Friday, April 30, 2010

Rip City Uprise

The roller-coaster-tilt-a-whirl that was this season for my beloved Portland Trail Blazers is finished. I am not a fair-weather fan. I stayed with them to the end of Thursday night's Game 6--Mama did, too. We'll be back for the first pre-season game. I imagine it will be in October, 2010.

We want all of our players and coaches and the general manager, everyone connected with the team, healthy in body, mind and heart, ready to give their all again--for their team, for their fans. Thank you, guys, from the bottom of our hearts.

In particular I want to thank you for giving my Mama a new consuming interest for the past three seasons. Never in my life would I have believed that the little ol' lady (who is now 84) would have become a basketball fan! She even misses "Wheel of Fortune" for the Trail Blazers! Thanks to KGW and CSNNW for broadcasting the entire season. Thanks to Mike Barrett and Mike Rice. Those two networks and those two guys played a large part in Mama's transformation from someone who happened to be into the room when the TV was on NBA basketball into a FAN.

13 players misses 311 games in the regular season, due to injuries.

Regular season schedule, 50 wins, 32 losses.

And we still made the play-offs.

Plus, no one misbehaves on or off the court.

I love these guys!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

St. Johns Bridge, north of where Mama and I live, up Highway 30

I took this photo on April 11, the day that Mama and I went for a ride in the rented car. Since we'd yet to see the St. Johns Bridge but had heard how beautiful it was, we headed up Highway 30 to find it. As we rode along, I felt increasingly awful, the allergy difficulties setting in full force. Believe it or not, I couldn't make myself get out of the car to take many photos. Luckily, I found a suitable place o to pull over to take photos. One of these days I'm going to ride the bus up there and get off to see if I can find some spots to take more photos. I took a few more that Sunday.

Huge hardly describes these supports or whatever they're officially called.

See these men beside them and you can really tell for sure.

Here's info about the bridge, that I found on the World Wide Web: The St. Johns Bridge is a steel suspension bridge that spans the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, USA, between the St. Johns neighborhood and the northwest industrial area around Linnton. It is the only suspension bridge in the Willamette Valley and one of three public highway suspension bridges in Oregon.
The bridge has two 408 ft (124 m) tall Gothic towers, a 1,207 ft (368 m) center span and a total length of 2,067 ft (630 m). The adjacent park and neighborhood of Cathedral Park, Portland, Oregon are named after the Gothic Cathedral-like appearance of the bridge towers. It is the tallest bridge in Portland, with 400 ft (122 m) tall towers and a 205 ft (62 m) navigational clearance.
By 2001, average traffic on the bridge was 23,800 vehicles/day.


At the time of the proposal to build the bridge, the area was served by a ferry which carried 1000 vehicles a day. The proposal for a bridge was initially met with skepticism in Multnomah County, since St. Johns and Linnton were over five miles (8 km) from the heart of the city, and local business owners had minimal political clout. But after a lobbying effort that included a vaudeville-style show performed at grange halls and schools throughout the county, voters approved a $4.25 million bond for the bridge in the November 1928 elections.[4] Initially a cantilever bridge was proposed, but a suspension bridge was selected due to an estimated $640,000 savings in construction costs.
The construction of the bridge began a month before the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and provided many county residents with employment during the Great Depression. Because of its proximity to the Swan Island Municipal Airport, some government officials wanted the bridge painted yellow with black stripes. County officials waited until St. Patrick's Day 1931 to announce that it would be painted green.
Dedication of the bridge was put off for one month in order to make it the centerpiece of the 23rd annual Rose Festival. It was dedicated on June 13, 1931, and during the ceremony, the bridge engineer, David B. Steinman said:
"A challenge and an opportunity to create a structure of enduring beauty in the God-given wondrous background was offered us when were asked to design the bridge. It is the most beautiful bridge in the world we feel.”
The bridge was built within 21 months and one million dollars under budget. At the time of its completion, the bridge had:
the highest clearance in the nation,
the longest prefabricated steel cable rope strands,
the tallest steel frame piers of reinforced concrete,
the first application of aviation clearance lights to the towers, and
longest suspension span west of Detroit, Michigan.

It was not until the Marquam Bridge in 1966 that another non-movable bridge would be built in Portland.
By the 1970s, the bridge had been allowed to deteriorate, and cash-strapped Multnomah County asked the state to take over maintenance. Initially, the state declined, since it was also suffering from a lack of funds. But pressure from an association of county governments forced the state government to take it over on August 31, 1975. A county official estimated the move saved them $10 million during the first ten years of state maintenance.
In summer 1987, General Motors filmed the introductory commercial for the 1988 Buick Regal in Portland, Oregon and vicinity, including the St. John's bridge, the Astoria-Megler Bridge, and on the Columbia Gorge.[citation needed]
Portions of the east approaches and east span were repainted beginning in 1987 and completed in 1994.
In 1999 the Oregon Department of Transportation announced a $27 million rehabilitation project that began in March 2003 and was completed in the fall of 2005. Included in the project was replacement of the deck, repainting of the towers, water-proofing the main cables, lighting upgrades, and improving access for bicycle and pedestrian traffic. By November 2004, renovation costs soared to $38 million, due mostly to the need to replace nearly half of the 210 vertical suspender cables. During the project, the bridge sidewalks were closed at all times. In addition, the entire bridge was closed at night and continuously for a month. The newly refurbished bridge was rededicated on September 17, 2006.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Last Friday at 3 Doors Down Cafe, SE 37th and Hawthorne Blvd.

Margarita Fresca, a deliciously tart and cold drink that I enjoyed last Friday. Here are the ingredients: Antiquo de Herradura, lemon and lime juice, and St. Germain Elder Flower Liqueur.

The perfect accompaniment for my margarita, grilled prawns, corona beans, Mama Lil's Hungarian peppers, basil and bread crumbs.

The other appetizer I devoured, small bite and swipe of bread by small bite and swipe of bread: potato and chevre cheese gnochi, cauliflower cream sauce, pine nuts and scallions.

Wonder what delicious-ness I shall dine on this Friday after work?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Seen on the streets of Portland: Ford Pickup Truck

Anyone know the year of this beauty? I'm guessing some time in the 1950s.
I fooled with the color at Picnik, trying to get it to look a bit like a vintage postcard. Then I put the frame around it. Had fun. Hope you enjoy the photo that I took on SE Morrison on March 20, 2010.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Vacation, Day 9, 10/29/2009, Part 7

After it got dark, Ian took me for a ride to see some nearby Halloween decorations at the campground at Talladega, Alabama.




Kay's E-Z Ups and Halloween decorations.

I love these bats!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Descriptive Words

Red. I took this photo of a Clever Cycles product in May, 2009. Click Clever Cycles, 908 SE Hawthorne Blvd., in the historic Red Men Hall building, for all sorts of info about their bicycles, service, clothing, etc.

Green. I took this photo of a Clever Cycles product in February, 2009.

Red, again. This one, too.

Yellow. This one, too.

Customer's. Products. This one, too. It must have been rainy earlier that day--see the plastic bag covering the seat?

Wood. I took this close-up of an Extracycle bike in September, 2009, in downtown Portland.

Parked. See the Extracycle among these bikes, locked up outside the Mens Wearhouse on SW 6th Avenue in downtown Portland.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Vacation, Day 9, 10/29/2009, Part 6

First, let me explain my recent absence. It's the same song, four-jillionth verse. Been too busy. Been too tired. The only new thing was a nasty allergy-induced crud which, thankfully, is on the way out. Well, maybe until something else blooms or leafs!

Back to vacation in Talladega, Alabama. Kay and her grandson Ian had a blast playing golf--I had a blast taking lots and lots photos. And if my little white iBook Honk weren't so-slow-to-go, I'd have had a blast putting these two photos through some special effects at Picnik. Enjoy!

Kay swings her club at the ball.

Ian makes a powerful swing that results in a long gone ball and a flying divot.

One of the beautiful scenes at the golf course.

Ladybugs swarmed now and then as we tootled around the course on the golf cart. I finally got one in a photo!

Go, Portland Trail Blazers! We're in the first round of the NBA Play Offs, seeded #6 in the West, first game some time on Saturday. Yippee!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Neat shot!

What a treat, to get this clear, night time photo, with neon and the blur of a vehicle. And even neater, I used to drive a Honda Civic Wagon just like that one!

Links to the businesses responsible for the neon: Buffalo Exchange, Aura Restaurant & Lounge, and Fez Ballroom and Lounge, all on West Burnside across from Powells Books.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Vacation, Day 9, 10/29/2009, Part 5

You can easily see why this house grabbed my attention as we drove back from Talladega to the campground.

Lovely scenic fence--I wonder what it encloses?

From Tuesday through Monday, we're local!

On the way back to Talladega so that Ian and Kay could play golf and I could ride along on the golf cart and take photos, I spied this abandoned barn.

We had a stop to make first, to get the best available pumpkin so that Ian could carve it for Halloween.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Vacation, Day 9, 10/29/2009, Part 4

There in the distance stands First United Methodist Church of Talladega, Alabama. To its right stands the Piggly Wiggly grocery store sign. Piggly Wiggly, that's our goal.

There goes Milton into the Piggly Wiggly.

My goal, to find some more Steen's. I looked here, among the Diamond Joe Syrup, Plow Boy Syrup, Oh Boy Syrup, and the Alaga Syrup, ...

... and among Blackburn's New Crop Brand Syrup and Biscuit Lasses, ...

... and finally among the Blackburn Made and Blackburn's Fairy Queen Syrup. I have to admit that Mama and I do like Blackburn Made a whole lot--it's her favorite and my second favorite--but I didn't want to buy a glass jar of syrup to take home on an airplane.

Friday, April 2, 2010

We haven't been to Three Doors Down Cafe lately, so here's what I had on March 26

My cocktail, a London Fog Cutter. I'm always tempted by what is written on the DRINK board at 3DD--a taste that complements the food--so I ordered this libation without qualm. Turned out I made a brilliant decision, relying on the talent and skill of Matt at the bar.

The DRINK board tells the tale of a really good drink that just got better with every morsel of food.

The soup: prosciutto, acini di pepe pasta, cauliflower, parsley, chicken stock. Although I had already ordered a salad and an appetizer, when I heard the ingredients, I asked for a small bowl. If I had been down in the dumps, one spoonful would have lifted me right up, it was that comforting. I looked up acini di pepe on Google. I found "Italian for peppercorns" and "A very tiny ball of pasta that is used mainly as soup pasta." Yep.

The salad, from the menu: slivered baby artichokes, baby arugula, spring radish, parmesan and lemon oil. As I ate, I realized onion was also there, so I asked Leland in the kitchen afterwards, "What sort of onion was in my salad?" "Spring onion, Mom," he answered. "Very good. How'd you slice those artichokes like that?" I went on. "Mandolin," he said as he continued to work. Then even later on, via Facebook, he explained that the arugula was actually micro arugula. Crisp and tangy mixture of texture and flavors--made me think of spring.

I knew from the get-go that I wouldn't need an entree, what with the soup and the salad and these little bits of what turned out to be utter perfection in the guise of an appetizer. The menu said spinach and ricotta dumplings in gorgonzola cream sauce. When I looked at the photo at Picnik so that I could resize it, I saw brown tidbits in the dumpling that I had split with the fork. So before I did this post, I called Lamont and asked, "Was there something brown in those spinach and ricotta dumplings?" "Bread crumbs," he quickly replied. "We didn't use flour in that recipe; we used bread crumbs for the binder." "Oh," I thought, "no wonder they were so airy," just as he said, "That's what makes them so airy." "Lamont," I gushed, "they are little bits of heaven! And that gorgonzola cream sauce!" Then I repeated what I think I had said to them in the kitchen Friday night just before I left, "I could go swimming in that gorgonzola cream sauce!" The last thing I asked him about them, "Are they on the menu Friday night?" "Yes, I think so," he answered. "Oh, boy," I chortled.

Y'all really ought to come to Portland and join me at Three Doors Down sometime. We'll drink us some good drink and eat us some good food and have us a good time!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Vacation, Day 9, 10/29/2009, Part 3

Thursday continues. Ian and Kay ride off somewhere in the golf cart. Looks like the ghosts are about the fly off the canopy!

Milton's plastic basket drying rack, tied to the sink's metal frame with white cord.

The opposite end of the sink frame holds a piece of plywood, placed over the opening for the other basket. The S-hooks have been put to use, too.

Milton's at work to stop the cords from fraying.

Now he's pulling on each piece.


Now that he has altered all of the strings that he needs, Milton has moved the plywood, put the things to drip dry in the basket at the opposite end of the sink, and goes about tying this basket into the frame.

In no time at all we're in the truck, heading into the town of Talladega, going to a grocery store, of all places!

The drive took us along several country highways.


This shot reminds of the Blue Ridge over east by the Appalachians.

Lovely home surrounded by trees. I held the camera at the window and clicked off four or five, pointing it to the right as we went by. I got this one, thank goodness.

Imagine our surprise when we came upon TM Cars on the outskirts of Talladega. You see, Milton's first name starts with a T, and at work everyone calls him TM!

We went by the clubhouse at the golf course before we headed for the grocery store. Kay and Ian planned to play later on, so they wanted to find out the hours.

"Reserved Drivers Road Test Only," that's what the blue, diamond-shaped signs read. Looking at the photo, I began to wonder about the building, so I Googled, "Talladega Alabama county." That's where I learned that the building is the Talladega County Courthouse. Isn't the Internet wonderful?

I took this photo through the passenger window of the truck. Since I didn't know the name of the theater, I went to Google again. I learned that it was built in 1936 and used to be called the Martin Theatre--now it's the Ritz. It has been restored and reopened as a multi-use community arts center.

I took this photo through the windshield. I can't remember the last time I saw this sort of traffic signal.

More of our tour of Talladega to come.