Archive for the 'On the Ground' Category

the apocalypse

Friday, June 9th, 2023

Somewhere out in the East coast Canadian smoke has made the air unbearable across a dozen or so states. It has cancelled or postponed baseball games, which is just as well as baseball does not really exist in the Northwest. It seemed to flicker into being last year, but has since been extinguished.

The big happening is that everyone thinks a serial killer is on the loose just out in the woods. The police authorities are trying to quell the rumors, and say we have yet to have any reason to make a connection amongst the whole bunch of similarly killed women. Morbid joking pervades, though without any real punchlines just a “hey! I hear you’re going hiking. Just — get in and get out” and a pile of titters. And nervous glances. Not sure toward whom and why.

It is in this environment of morbid edginess that I heard a casual referencing to Auschwitz. I kind of don’t know what to make of it. Maybe it is a peculiar habit of the woman saying it. She was talking about loud noises — maybe construction work us happening across from her apartments. “Like a torture chamber — like Auschwitz!”. To be sure, I don’t know if it follows for reasons to compare, loud noises. I would wait for oppressive heat to throw that comparison out.

Bumper stickers in the wild

Wednesday, January 4th, 2023

What, in the end, do you think of bumper stickers for six years off failed presidential candidates? I do not know when the last Kerry / Edwards sign I saw was — which, on one hand was a bad a d inferior design, but on the other hand is better than the messaging of Hillary Clinton’s attempt. The “H” was probably fine and dandy — if coming off as trying to hard to duplicate the Obama “O”. The rest here — love, really?

And this is more like it. To be sure, I guess I have to look up recent Utah elections — this was to a car with a Utah license plate — to see if there was an Igor running for something.

happy Christmas meal

Sunday, December 25th, 2022

Oh for the love of god, Safeway is closed. That is, I believe, a new one. Used to close at 4, maybe even 2, Christmas Day. But not this year. I guess it makes some sense in a year that I saw a brazen smash and grab (and hurry for speed off) a couple blocks off on a relatively crowded street, that probably mark off points of consideration.

But what this means is my Christmas dinner is just going to have to be four Big Macs from McDonalds. Why four? Well, it is like this. A month back, I realized that I had a stray gift card to use — at this fast food behometh I had not eaten at in four Yeats and then again four years before that. Having no clue on pricing but knowing it would come to less than twenty five, I ordered 3 Big Macs and 2 large Fries. And then looking at the receipt I saw that 2 Big Macs were $6.50. One Big Mac is $5.50. I could not decide if it was right to feel gypped from this exchange and relative value mismatch, in a situation I would not think a thing if each Big Mac was priced at at $4. Another Big Mac would indeed just be another buck, but that would just be a Big Mac I was not eating right then. It is also a situation where someone else already paid the money a while ago and it was in some danger of falling into an unused ether.

McDonalds is open today, isn’t it? Fifth visit to McDonalds this decade — third this year. Maybe a pile of tacos from Taco Bell is a better bet?

traffic relationships

Wednesday, October 12th, 2022

I am in the right, legally, to be walking into the middle of the street. I am in the right, safety wise, to pause as a pick up truck hurtles on. He would be better in the right to continue hurtling as opposed to making a screeching stop. As I make my way after this stop, he is in not in the right — in some frame of reference — t to shout curses out at me.


Friday, January 14th, 2022

The political reality of the infliction of any austerity with the very weird economy is the Incumbent is going to get screwed in the midterms. No, it ain’t Biden’s fault (or, for that matter, Trump’s) that there are some empty shelves at the grocery store. And for that matter, by reckoning there is not even any reasonable inconvenience. If you encounter a shortage of beef, you look over and see chicken still sitting there. From any historic vantage point it is a — hm… Bring some random bloke from medieval Europe into your personal food gathering system and choosing in variety, and they will not understand your complaint.

But it is where I see Fox News actually did offer a correction and apology for using footage of more empty than you encounter shelf from — as so happens — Japan 2010.

I find, though, that there is no store brand regular cranberry juice. After a couple days where I see that the effect of my regular consumption is felt and I see — yeah, whatever the vitamins and minerals I get from that I apparently do need and feel their absence — I encounter that decision of the current supply chain travail — I can now either buy the lite cranberry juice with a somewhat more watery and kinda more bitter taste, or throw another dollar down and buy a real brand. Yeah, the small dilemmas and decisions encountered in our wrecked covid world.

catching up

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021

Not traversing into downtown much, or at all, during the still surreal Covid moment, I miss all signs of the frequent occasional melees — no free vegan milkshakes for me! — but evidently, as I see reported, the Fas and the Antifas were at it, playing their Spanish Civil War reenactments. This one becomes interesting enough in that we have more signs of obnoxious behaviour from those fas — enough that crooks and liars reports it with an identical line as we have seen from the conservative press except actors flipped — Why? Are? The Cops? Not? Interceding? Hereabouts? Naturally the comments sections of right wing sites floating about get an automatic “bad things happening in Portland” mention, no clarification from there. No footage from Andy Ngo to glom off to?

(When last we saw antifa of Portland, they were stealing food from a church picnic, a churchly group they deemed bad in their broad definition of whom it is they are fighting. This weekend sees the big pickup truck drivers of Vancouver based manly men shooting smoke at… whomever…)

The police response on this one is surreal. In the past we have had the antifas complain on their perfectly reasonable tactic of allowing the fas an escape route in opening the bridge after keeping the two parties separate for the afternoon, bridge closed. This one decided that the two could go at it if they must, while supplying a tone deaf counter programming … Friday

Speaking at a “choose love” online event Friday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and other metro area leaders broadly condemned the political violence that has become routine in Portland.

Asked if unchecked political violence is inevitable, Wheeler said there are discussions online suggesting people planned to come to Portland on Sunday specifically to get into fights.

Something about the rhetorical pitch drowns and washes away. No one is much interested. Something like responding to a wave of juvenile delinquency by plopping down a balloon dancing event. Though, it occurs to me, if not for civic restrictions, and the troubles of demographic matching with “Proud Boys” the mayor could try the Vortex event tactic. I guess it has to be two events due to the clash of cultures.

fog lifting

Saturday, June 5th, 2021

Sign of a Return to Normalcy:  The self checkout line at the chain Supermarket is no longer half closed.  I stood there out of habit waiting, not knowing that the every other closed arrangement was kaput, and startled by the cashier saying “you now– they’re all open.”. Huh.  It is a weird feeling,trying to figure out — am I less than six feet from the fellow customer right now?

Sign of a We’re Not There Yet.  I see plastered on a park bulletin a promotion for a usually annual mass bike ride. It tells me ” Remember your face mask”.  Bah.  Maybe I have a mildest of medical ailment in needing to breathe and seeing these do impair the process of breathing a tad but I never understood some smugsters’ claim of masks being of no (not minimal, mind you, but no — none whatsoever) impairment, so proceed with public policy according to such understanding — can go ahead and extend mask mandates for five years.  The issue here is simply that I cannot engage in any strenuous exercise with a mask — leave that to non strenuous.  Still, maybe this does equal a smaller gathering of traffic blockers. (No Naked Bike Ride Event.)

talking to themselves

Monday, April 19th, 2021

For a second I think this is supposed to be a late nineties David Letterman. Nay. Bill Gates. I am surprised there is no allusion to teeming mosquitos.

Over to the right — and you do want to avoid this place, really — the city ought clean the dump up … another sticker with Faucci in I assume a baseball stadium, Padres cap on head, mask lowered off face (I do not recall if on chin or simply not over nose as too mouth). Today I see some similar “gotcha” news report for Alexandria Occasio-Cortez, without any direction.

Any particular reason why?

Sunday, March 14th, 2021

Ah yes, a batch of activists whose message is getting blurred in a city of boarded up store fronts and obnoxious graffiti, I guess aligned with Black Lives Matter but sometimes seem more affiliated to antifa got in a big patade again, noting the weather patterns — nice sunny day for Saturday, rain coming in SundY. And a bunch of the latest fliers calling for the revall of the Mayor for… I guess pepper spraying a man chasing after him and for shutting down attempted set ups of your CHAZ” mini cities. Oh, and not shutting down the police department.
In truth they would be calling for the Impeachment/recall of anyone. Better to eliminate the job of mayor. It is the Anarchist thing to do.
I never did get around to seeing what his November vote total was. But he failed to crack the 50 percent mark. His challenger forever resentful of that write in bid by the candidate who — to the degreee thete was one — was the choice of the chanting activists — or the base therein — thinking these ought be HER voters. Then again, so did Ted Wheeler back in thet day — until their giant display at the federal building indicated otherwise.
Likewise such would be the fate if she had won — just flip the names on the fliers.
On that other mark, we do see the question — the disgruntled murmurs I heard a block and two away from the main strret — “Yeah, and on to tear down the city” — big Wheeler voters?

Miniature anarchists

Sunday, February 28th, 2021

I saw some banks that had only recently taken down the boardings put some new boards up. Arestaurant that had not been boarded put it up. And What appears to be a couple of smashed windows at a supermarket and Starbucks — profane shouty graffiti nearby — now has the thing up.
Near as I can sed by a nearby immigration center now boarded completely — this is the source of consternation — a symbol for, I suppose, Biden still having some remnants of the “kids in cages” facilities in slower state of bureacratic transition than desired and to a point notacceptable, and damned if the Starbucks doesn’t get a random brick.
A mini riot. Echo from a glory day of “resistance” of the Trump era.
Likewise, the last blm motorcade I witnessed — cars honking along, chants where they can throw them — kinda sad. Though, the weather is just warm now and we are only a week or two off from snow, so stay tuned.