Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Comic City, USA, at the Oregon Historical Society, South Park Blocks, downtown Portland. Total Fun!

Janessa and I rode separate 12 buses downtown Sunday to meet up at noon at the OHS for the public celebration of their new exhibit. Not only a new exhibit, but also costumed representatives from the Portland Superheroes Coalition were on site for photo ops. Sweet!

Comic City, USA at the Oregon Historical Society

We hadn't made our way much past the first room of the exhibit when I looked back towards the lobby and saw Hellboy coming toward me. I said, "Janessa, look, it's Hellboy!" She started turning as I said look and got startled because he was so close before she heard Hellboy. (Turns out his stage name is Big Red.) Neat! I then decided to get this photo of Big Red and Metal Man enjoying part of the exhibit. I wanted to text Lamont and Leland so that they could see what cool fun we'd already found, five minutes into the exhibit! Both sons were suitably impressed.


Here we are, sort of in the Batmobile. Right? The Batmobile? Holding speech bubbles!

Comic City, USA at the Oregon Historical Society

This was one of four identical yellow swivel chairs. Extremely comfortable, including a tiny headrest pillow. I'm holding my four-panel comic page that I made on a touch screen; it printed quickly, instantly dry. You get to select yourself--your person, your hair, skin, and eye color, some accessories like the eyeglasses. Then you select your story--mine is The Monster at Pittock Mansion. Before the exhibit closes, I want to go back to the exhibit, especially I'd like to do this again. I want to take my DSLR with me, too, so that I can take photos there with it. I'm hoping that Lamont and Leland will go with me. Too bad that they missed the members of the Portland Superheroes Coalition.

Comic City, USA at the Oregon Historical Society

Hellboy II Big Baby Gun Movie Prop. What a whopper! And those shells!

Comic City, USA at the Oregon Historical Society

Hellboy Right Hand of Doom, also a movie prop.

Comic City, USA at the Oregon Historical Society

Read for info about the creator of the next image I photographed.

Comic City, USA at the Oregon Historical Society

Since I work at the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, I couldn't resist taking a close up of this one.

Comic City, USA at the Oregon Historical Society

When I go back, I'm going to spend some time at this section of the exhibit. I hope it won't be too crowded.

Comic City, USA at the Oregon Historical Society

Seeing someone's idea gave me an idea of how to finish it. That's what I want to do when I go back.

Comic City, USA at the Oregon Historical Society

Back in the lobby, it's photo op time! Wowza Woman, I cannot find His Stage Name, Me, Wonder Mom, Metal Man!

Comic City, USA at the Oregon Historical Society

One more, with the addition of American Man kneeling on the floor, saluting us all! Lamont's response to this photo when I texted it: Oh my! A superhero among superheroes!!!! Isn't that sweet, y'all?

Comic City, USA at the Oregon Historical Society

The final photo from Sunday, Janessa, Big Red, and me! He could talk! I have no idea how he made that move to talk! So cool!

From the Oregon Historical Society's Web site: Comic City, USA - August 12 – January 31, 2017

With recent blockbuster smashes featuring superhero legends, the comic book industry has experienced a surge of popular support. While there are many Oregonians picking up a comic book for their first time, the comic industry in Oregon has a long and influential history. Comic City, USA celebrates this history and profiles fifteen of the most iconic artists that have made the industry into the global powerhouse it is today.

Oregon is known globally for its impact on the comics industry, with many artists, writers, and designers living, working, and discovering their inspiration here. Portland and its comic publication industry remain at the forefront of innovation as a central location to several publishers including Dark Horse Comics, Oni Press, and Shadowline, the Image Comics partnering studio. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Oregon had notable comic artists in residence such as Homer Davenport, Carl Barks, and Basil Wolverton, establishing a rich foundation for future cartoon artists. With the founding of Dark Horse in the early 1980s, a new model of comic creativity began to attract additional artists and publishers to Oregon, quickly making it one of the largest centers of comic publication in the United States.

All are invited to a public celebration on Sunday, August 14 from 12pm – 5pm at the Oregon Historical Society. Admission to the exhibit is free, and costumed representatives from the Portland Superheroes Coalition will be on site for photo ops. Artists Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan will also be presenting a free public lecture at 2pm on the evolution of the comic industry from “geek to chic.” (Janessa and I didn't stay for the lecture--we headed for lunch! Then shopping a Finnegan's Toys, Powell's Books, and Storables. Such fine fun!)

With over $579 million in national comic sales in 2015, the popularity of what is known as “The Ninth Art” is only expanding and gaining more recognition. The power of the comic industry in Oregon is undeniable, evidenced in the range of mediums at play and the growing popularity of Rose City Comic Con, which celebrates its fifth anniversary next month.

Comic City, USA highlights fifteen Oregon comic artists, writers, and cartoonists:

Carl Barks John Callahan Homer Davenport Cat Farris Jack Ohman Basil Wolverton Mike Richardson Alex Schomburg Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan Colleen Coover Jan Eliot Dylan Meconis Bill Plympton Joe Sacco Basil Wolverton

In addition to displays on each artist, the exhibition will offer interactive experiences, from a comic book store style living room for flipping through comics, a station where people can design and print their own comic book, and a photo booth complete with superhero inspired props.

This exhibition is designed to share an important part of Oregon history, inspire people who wish to communicate through an artistic medium, and fascinate those who already have an appreciation of this continuously evolving art form. As editorial cartoonist Jack Ohman admitted in an interview, “I really feel like I am doing the work of my career, and I enjoy each day. I started winning awards when I stopped thinking about winning awards. I started liking my work when I listened to my own voice, and not feeling so constrained by the old model. When you like your work, others will probably like it too.”

Monday, August 1, 2016

City Daily Photo Theme Day: My City's Skyline

I can't get this here any other way. Sorry, you'll have to copy and paste it to get to the gallery of Theme Days posts. They're great! Enjoy! http://cdpbthemeday.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/august-2016-theme-day-gallery-my-citys.html

Portland's downtown skyline west of the Willamette River, seen and photographed from the building where I work on the east side of the Willamette. I always enjoy these flowers on our 5th floor rooftop garden.

Friday, July 29, 2016

July 29, 2015, I endured the first of six rounds of chemo. Today, I'm around to endure a hot day in Portland. Hallelujah for my health!

I've been reflecting on this anniversary off and on throughout July, 2016. How would it feel to reach the one year mark? To tell you the truth, I still remember well how willingly I walked into the Oncology Center at Kaiser Interstate and turned my body, my well being, my future over to that fine bunch of professionals. I praise the Lord for them and their every effort. I praise the Lord for each of you who prayed for me throughout my battle with cancer and the side effects of the chemicals and processes that got it outta me. Thank you!


While I reflected on the past 365 days, in the back of my mind I wondered what photo or photos to put here today. Then, it came to me. This one with the magnificent reflections in the step van's windshield. I remember how excited I was to see it last week on my morning walk between buses on the way to work. "Wow! Look at that!" I thought as I stopped on the sidewalk diagonally across from where it was parked and got my camera out of the bag I carry it in while out and about. I knew immediately which downtown building lent itself to creating these spectacular reflections, too.


I looked up and took this photo before crossing the street.

This is the side that's reflected in the windshield, the west-facing side of a building that fronts onto SW 5th, a block away from where I stood to take this photo. It's The Standard Insurance Center, 900 SW 5th Avenue.

Found on the Internet, I assume it is all up-to-date:

The Standard Insurance Center, originally the Georgia-Pacific Building, is a 27-story office building in Portland, Oregon. Completed in 1970, it currently serves as part of the headquarters of The Standard, the brand name under which Standard Insurance Company and other subsidiaries of StanCorp Financial Group, Inc., do business. Standard also owns the 16-story Standard Plaza, located two blocks south along 5th Avenue.

The Georgia-Pacific Building was commissioned by Georgia-Pacific and designed by the firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). At the time of construction, it was the tallest reinforced concrete building in the world. It was completed in 1970.

When Georgia-Pacific left Portland, the Standard Insurance Company purchased the building, renamed it Standard Insurance Center, and removed all GP signage.

Standing 367 feet (112 m) tall, the tower contains 27 above-ground stories. Valued at $114 million, the structure contains 459,504 square feet (42,689.3 m2) of space. Built of concrete and steel, the tower is considered Modernist in style. One major tenant is the Stoel Rives law firm, which leases the top nine stories at the building. The building’s extensive woodwork provides an elegant reminding of the Georgia-Pacific past along with The Quest, an elaborate sculpture considered Portland’s largest single piece of white sculpted marble.

The Standard believes healthy environments are fundamental to healthy communities by finding creative solutions to operate sustainably. The Standard employs a broad range of practices to contribute to the mantra ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ in its internal operations, in the operation and maintenance of its office buildings, and in the community. The Standard’s corporate sustainability objectives include recycling in the office, energy efficiency in the workplace and using green products and services.


Here's a photo that I took of The Quest in November, 2011. When I walk by it these days, I do not see any of those brown marks that look like cracks in the sculpture.

And here's what I found on Wikipedia about the sculpture:

The Quest, sometimes referred to as Saturday Night at the Y or Three Groins in a Fountain,[1][2] is an outdoor marble sculpture and fountain designed by Count Alexander von Svoboda, located in Portland, Oregon in the United States. The sculpture, carved in Italy from a single 200-ton block of white Pentelic marble quarried in Greece, was commissioned by Georgia-Pacific in 1967 and installed in front of the Standard Insurance Center in 1970. It depicts five nude figures, including three females, one male and one child. According to the artist, the subjects represent man's eternal search for brotherhood and enlightenment.

As of 1990, The Quest was considered Portland's largest single piece of white sculptured marble. The abstract, figurative sculpture was surveyed by the Smithsonian Institution's "Save Outdoor Sculpture!" program in 1994 and underwent minor repairs. It has received mixed reviews. One critic appreciated how its flowing lines contrasted with the "stark" pillars of the adjacent building, and called the marble "impressive". Another writer for The Oregonian wrote of her and others' dislike for the sculpture, saying it serves as a "free sex-education lesson" for schoolchildren.

The Quest was designed by Count Alexander von Svoboda, an Austria-born, Toronto-based sculptor. It was commissioned by Georgia-Pacific in 1967 and installed in front of the Standard Insurance Center (formerly known as the Georgia-Pacific Building) at Southwest 5th Avenue and Southwest Taylor Street in downtown Portland in 1970. The stone sculpture was one of nearly 400 in Georgia-Pacific's private collection, unveiled in Portland with the opening of its world headquarters. Rose Festival princesses presented the work at a formal ceremony. The sculpture was carved in Carrara, Italy, from a single 200-ton block of white Pentelic marble, quarried near Athens. It depicts five "larger than life" nude figures, including three females, one male and one child. The statue is set on a pedestal within a fountain, surrounded by water jets. The figures' forms curve upward, and two of the females have their hands raised, while the third "sleeps in the rear". The male figure appears to float and is reaching up with both hands, while the child figure is located behind the foremost female.

The Quest measures approximately 20 feet (6.1 m) x 10 feet (3.0 m) x 15 feet (4.6 m) and is sited on a concrete or stone base that measures 22 feet (6.7 m) x 10 feet (3.0 m) x 5 feet (1.5 m) and weighs 17 tons. According to the artist, the sculpture is "symbolic of man's eternal search for brotherhood and enlightenment". Michelangelo inspired the work, but von Svoboda took a more "humanistic" approach, and 35 stonemasons assisted with the sculpture's creation, which took two-and-a-half years to complete. von Svoboda's Perpetuity, a hollowed-out cross-section of a redwood log with a bronze "seedling" radiating outward, served as a "companion" sculpture. Originally installed along the Southwest Fourth Avenue side of the building, the work was relocated to the World Forestry Center.

The Smithsonian Institution has categorized The Quest as both abstract and figurative. In 2002, journalist Sallie Tisdale of The Oregonian described the sculpture as a "large tangle of snow-white bodies in a fountain". She wrote that the work is privately owned but in public view, and that it has been around "long enough that no one is quite sure how it got there in the first place". As of 1990, The Quest was considered Portland's largest single piece of white sculptured marble. It was surveyed and considered "well maintained" by the Smithsonian's "Save Outdoor Sculpture!" program in January 1994. Maintenance on the sculpture has included caulking and repairs to the male figure's nose.

The Quest has received mixed reviews. During the unveiling ceremony, there was reportedly a "momentary stunned silence then crescendo of applause duly recorded by local news media". In 1970, one Building Stone News contributor wrote that the sculpture's flowing white lines contrast with the stark vertical pillars of white quartz on the adjacent building's exterior, and called the marble "impressive". In contrast, Tisdale said of the work:

The Quest has been around since 1970, long enough for its provenance and purpose to sink into mystery ... No one seems to like it much, and others actively dislike it. But there it stays, a free sex-education lesson for busloads of suburban schoolchildren, the uncertain limbs forever reaching somewhere or other, for something.

The sculpture has earned the nicknames Saturday Night at the Y and Three Groins in a Fountain. One writer for The Seattle Times, in a piece about differences between Portland and Seattle, referenced the latter nickname as an example of Portland's "kitschier" art. In 2003, Eugene Weekly published a book review that suggested readers should read Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon, a recently published travelogue by Chuck Palahniuk, if they were unfamiliar with "Three Groins in the Fountain". Palahniuk includes the sculpture is his "Portland vocabulary lesson", which includes a list of his definitions for local words.[10] The sculpture has been included in at least one published walking tour of Portland.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Watched on the way to work, a worker at work, welding.

I noticed a German Shepherd in the garage door opening and brought up my camera to photograph him. Then, the man caught my eye as he welded in the background. Four photos in quick succession. Enjoy! Hold Fast Fabrication PDX on SE Grand Avenue.





To say I was excited to get these photos is a woeful understatement. I even got to show them to the welder before I walked the block and half to my mundane cubicle in my work building.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Twenty-one days ago, I achieved my goal! Part Two: How We Got It Done! Love and caring, two great ingredients in my determination.

Two of our fine friends from California, Danielle and Meehan, decided to go with my sons Lamont and Leland and me to make my goal of walking from the Larch Mountain parking lot to the Sherrard Point viewpoint. In fact, Danielle graciously drove us in her Toyota Highlander! After a detour brought about by a July 4th parade in Corbett on the Historic Columbia River Highway, we circled around and found a paved road all the way to the Larch Mountain parking lot.


I made a mistake asking you to remember the rotting tree trunk in yesterday's post--I thought it was the one I had them stand on and around for this photo on the 4th of July. Nevertheless, this is a sweet photo of Meehan, Leland, Lamont, and Danielle.


Because I was surrounded by caring people who love me, I had no problem getting to the steps. Once there, I listened to everyone's advice and encouragement and just put one foot up on a step, then the other one beside that one and made my way up each set of steps that appeared on the path. I didn't let myself think about walking back down them yet because I knew in my heart that I'd be able to cope with that when the time came. It's that love and caring that got me there. There's young, energetic Meehan already at the top of the steps.


When I stopped to rest for a few seconds, I decided to take this photo of the trees off the side of the path. I didn't notice that there was no path underneath that railroad tie step until I selected this photo to post here. Glad that I didn't!


This moment that I stopped and took this photo allowed me to have a look at where I'd be going on the way back to the car in the parking lot. Thankful for that moment. Once again I'm thankful I didn't notice that those steps appear to have empty air beneath them there on the grassy edges at the edge of the path.


I found a spider at work. Over the few seconds that I took several photos, the spider moved around a bit.


We're getting higher now, into the clouds which you can see here through the trees.


My son Leland knows how to distract me from the fact that I'm high up on a mountain top! Let me also tell you that each of us was proud of our layers--it was cool up there in the clouds!


Meehan, being fearless near the top. We didn't have to climb up that rock--there were well-formed steps with railing and chain link on each side.


A tiny cluster of pretty flowers called my name when I saw it beside the steps to the viewpoint.


While the absence of the blue sky day that I had dreamed of made me sad, I still found the clouds slowly drifting through the trees amazing! From the Internet about the trees:

Larch Mountain contains some of the largest old-growth forest strands left in the Columbia River Gorge area, characterized by the presence of many nurse logs. Dominant tree species include pacific silver fir, grand fir, Douglas fir, and western hemlock.


Lamont at the top of the Sherrard Point viewpoint.


Here I am, at the top! I made it! Meehan took this photo for me with my iPhone! It felt terrific to be there in the clouds! That's my best California bud in the background, Danielle. She's Meehan's proud Auntie!


I decided that since I couldn't see distant mountain peaks, I'd take advantage of what I could see--close up--taking photographs carefully over the railing or through the chain link fence.


I even looked down, too!


Thank goodness for a zoom lens!


Another photo that makes me proud to have a zoom lens.


Look at the lines in those rocks! Amazing sight to see atop this extinct volcano. From the Internet about Larch Mountain:

Larch Mountain is the remnant of an ancient shield volcano, with broad slopes covering tens of square kilometers. It is currently the tallest peak in the Boring Lava Field, a volcanic field active during the Plio-Pleistocene time frame. Active between 1.8 and 1.4 million years ago, the volcano is composed mainly of basalts, although the summit at Sherrard Point is composed mainly of iron-rich andesite. Larch Mountain's basalt is tough to distinguish from the surrounding Columbia River Basalt, although the Columbia River Basalt is slightly lighter in color and less brittle. Sherrard Point is the eroded remains of the original volcanic plug.

Sherrard Point was exposed during the last glacial period, when the majority of the mountain's peak was destroyed by glaciers. The glaciers carved a large cirque into the mountain, forming a large lake. Over time, the lake was filled with sediment, and today the area is now a large meadow.


Equally amazing, the lines in the remains of this tree.


I couldn't get enough of these tiny beauties beside the rings in that tree trunk. Wow!


On the way back to the car, one more photograph of the beautiful forest.


Found on the path; I wonder what kind of bird used to have this particular feather?


You can see the descent of the path to the left of these rotting tree trunks.


Yes! Here are the four people who helped me overcome my visceral fear of heights: Lamont, Leland, Danielle, and Meehan. You for rock! Thank you so much for helping me achieve my goal and make great memories!


This photo of a happy me with equally happy Danielle and Meehan gives you an idea of the size of the forest, the paths. We used the path on the left, both directions; Leland asked me if I cared if he took the path on the right back to the car. Of course I told him it was fine with me, to be careful. I have my foot on the low retaining wall where I rested back in 2012, steeling myself for the walk back to my Zipcar.


Love this photo of my sweet sons on each side of me. I am blessed!


We're almost to the parking lot. I really like the determination to survive for years and years that I see in this tree trunk, curved up amid the towering nearby trees, seeking light. That's what we all need to survive--determination.