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bigfoot thursday

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Thursday, November 29, 2012
big feet

Of course it's now FRIDAY but only just, so I'm going to pretend it's still Thursday - and not any old Thursday, but BIG FOOT THURSDAY. I was going to say you get a discount on giant flip flops or socks but decided that was not very sensitive to the barefoot Bigfoot ethos.

I've been uploading my backlog of pictures (including some from the giant New York roadtrip of 2011). One thing lead to another on Flickr (as it does) and I found myself looking at this beauty from 2005. hee hee hee.

Speaking of the middle aughts, the 28th of November marked EIGHT YEARS I've been keeping this blog. It doesn't seem possible, and yet here we are. Woo hoo! I remember when I did it - I was working on Nanowrimo and looking up something to do with magic in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica. I'd been thinking about starting a blog, but didn't know what to call it - when I saw the phrase 'law of sympathy' I knew that was it. Things acting on each other through a secret link seemed internet apropos.

Tomorrow on Friday for real, I will post more pictures - either Niagara Falls from August 2011 or Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden from last weekend.

p.s. have you downloaded the new iTunes? What do you think? I tentatively like it.

view from Bonneville dam and a book recommendation

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Monday, November 26, 2012
blade plus mountains

this is the view standing under one of the huge turbine blades on display at Bonneville Dam.

Are you reading anything good right now? Do you ever find yourself in a reading slump? I get caught in eddies where everything is either too heavy or too light and have to paddle back to the free flowing river of reading. (what? it's late and I know that's pretty dumb but I don't even care. I am so tired I DON'T EVEN CARE. I consider it a victory that I didn't type out my original mixed metaphor which involved a balanced diet.)

I just started reading something pretty fabulous, and perfectly perfect for in between reading quandaries: Sailor Twain or The Mermaid in the Hudson. This graphic novel was first serialized on the web, which is where I first read it.  (you can still read it that way if you follow the previous link.) I enjoyed that very much, but the book is even better! It's beautiful and mysterious and highly recommended (by me, but also by a bunch of other people so you know it's not JUST ME.)

cinderella pumpkins

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Monday, November 19, 2012
cinderella pumpkins
They're also called French pumpkins - I think the idea is that these are the kind of pumpkins you want to have on hand if your fairy godmother happens by and you are in need of wheels.

In news unrelated to travel by pumpkin: it is raining so hard right now! Like, so hard that if you had a convertible Cinderella Pumpkin, you'd get wet even if you had everything snapped, zipped, and fastened closed. These pumpkin coaches ride pretty close to the ground and frankly are not that practical - you may think it a little conservative, but perhaps a Butternut squash would be a better all-weather choice.

dancing like we're dumb

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012
groovy typewriter

Today I realized - AHA! style - that all of the work I’ve done on the story I’ve been writing (and have been writing, in tandem with another, for several years) is not really the story. What I’ve been doing is developing and discovering: pushing around the characters until they feel like themselves; developing the idea that started it all; discovering new characters and situations. This is not a story yet and I AM FINE WITH THAT.  It's a relief to see it as a dot on a line instead of a disappointing terminal point.

The story is coming - I see edges of it - the more I write the closer it gets. I’ve written a lot of words; most of them won’t make it to the end and THAT IS OKAY. I’ve been beating myself up for not being the kind of person who can just whip out an outline and go to town boom boom boom beginning middle end, even though I know this is a dumb, destructive attitude. (My expectations were dumb - if you're a go to town boom boom boom beginning middle end kind of writer, more power to you!) In the immortal words of Ke$ha, We R Who We R. Everyone has to find their own way and sometimes it seems stupid or counterintuitive or not right, but that’s fine. Keep going!

Zadie Smith on Libraries

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Monday, November 12, 2012
county library

"Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay. In the modern state there are very few sites where this is possible. The only others that come readily to my mind require belief in an omnipotent creator as a condition for membership. It would seem the most obvious thing in the world to say that the reason why the market is not an efficient solution to libraries is because the market has no use for a library. But it seems we need, right now, to keep re-stating the obvious. There aren’t many institutions left that fit so precisely Keynes’ definition of things that no one else but the state is willing to take on. Nor can the experience of library life be recreated online. It’s not just a matter of free books. A library is a different kind of social reality (of the three dimensional kind), which by its very existence teaches a system of values beyond the fiscal."

I love this quote and thought it was timely since our Library District here in Portland just passed - hooray! Our library is already good, the district gives more stability and with that the opportunity to be great. Despite the protestations of some, Amazon + Starbucks is not a replacement for the public library. I'm so glad voters in my city feel the same!

on the clock

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Thursday, November 08, 2012
pink flowers
hello, blog.

I put my timer on and I'm making myself write this post while my ipod updates its software.


Weather: NY/NJ/PA and all others who were hit by Sandy and now have SNOW - my heart goes out. It's so unfair. I hope services are restored soon.  RED CROSS

Election: whew, although I wasn't really worried since I had been taking multiple doses of "xanax for democrats" aka: Nate Silver's blog. He wasn't worried, so I wasn't worried. ALTHOUGH, like the good worrier I am I held some back in reserve and just about gnawed my arm off thinking about a potential President Ryan. But now I can spend that saved worry on...

Infection: what the ever loving what is going on here, self? Now my eye has a small case of the stuff again, not to mention my dizzy ear and ARGH. I need to stop sugar entirely and drink a lot of water and get a lot of sleep. This is all so annoying I might actually do it. (I know a speedier response would be to go to the doctor and let it be doctored, but I don't have insurance and I think Zoomcare actually made it worse. SO. I am monitoring things and if it keeps on hanging or gets any worse on I will go because I don't want to be that statistic, but STILL. What the hell, body?)

ooh! timer went off. Next time QUILTS and WRITING PROJECTS. Woo!

vote by mail

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Sunday, November 04, 2012
vote by mail

When Oregon first went to vote by mail, I was grouchy. I missed the nerdy thrill of standing in line and voting in the musty basement of a church with others from my neighborhood; I liked the sense of civic togetherness. But now that we're several years into it and I've seen the trouble other states are having I think everyone should switch to vote by mail. Nobody in Florida would have to wait SEVEN HOURS to cast an early ballot, only to have someone lock the door on them. Ballots could be cast from the couch! Or a desk or table, or anywhere but at the end of a line designed to make you give up and not vote after all.  Vote by mail means you never feel rushed, you've got the time to get it right. Here in Portland the mailing deadline has passed, but I can still vote in any library, the elections office, or other designated dropping off points.

vote by mail

It's pretty straightforward. First comes the voter's guide, then a few days later the ballot. All of these pictures are from 2008, but it's the same every time.

vote by mail

Instructions for filling in ovals, in case you need it. If you screw up, you can call the elections office and get a new one. If it's too close to the deadline for them to mail you one, you can go down to the office and pick one up.

vote by mail

The ballot goes in a secrecy envelope, which is separated from the envelope with the voter signature on it.

vote by mail

Then you put it in the mailing envelope.

vote by mail

Doesn't this look fancy? Like it should play a trumpet fanfare - Hail to the Chief, maybe? If every state switched to Vote by Mail, maybe the USPS would be saved!

vote by mail

the ballot is invalid without the signature of the voter, which goes on the back of the envelope. All the envelopes are color coded by district, I believe. (NERD ALERT: I think it would be fun volunteering to sort ballots or whatever they might let a properly vetted volunteer do.)

vote by mail

No offense McDonald's, but I don't want to vote with you. (The ballot box is actually a drive through secure drop that is not actually IN McDonald's, but right by their drive thru.)

vote by mail

Still, it's library voting all the way for me! Although I didn't get mine in today, the library is closed tomorrow and I don't want to wait until Tuesday. Maybe this year I'll drive it over to the election office and use their drive through. (somehow less sketchy than voting at McDonald's.) These boxes are picked up regularly by elections officials and taken to the main elections office.

vote by mail

SPOILER: this is how I voted in 2008, and it's how I voted in 2012.