Friday, August 17, 2018


Update: Got a picture of a young rider today--no helmet.


Been seeing these a lot of places around. I've only seen three people riding them--all in their late teens or early twenties. I don't think any of them had a helmet on. Seems cool for that age group, though not for older people. And not useful for shopping or people with kids.

An Oregonian review answers some major questions like speed (15 mph), balance and safety issues (not the best).

Be interesting to see how they do here.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Signs of the Homeless Problem

These signs just went up near a small shopping mall in Portland. Might as well be done with it and say, "No homeless people sleeping in their cars or recreational vehicles allowed."

There have been recreational vehicles parked on the street right in back of the large supermarket from time to time as well as cars left there. One assumes they belong to people who are homeless and living out of their car or recreational vehicle.

I'm not sure how much good this will do. Just shove them into the neighborhoods near there where it would be hard to put up the no parking 10 pm to 5 am signs because home owners and renters use street parking for their vehicles. Though most people with recreational vehicles park them on their own property.

Not an easy solution for this. 

I'm kind of in the middle. A young friend of mine sleeps in his car and has for about five years. He doesn't do drugs and is clean and neat. Just isn't in to having to work full time to pay rent. Actually, he does outdoor preaching and wants to be free to do that. He supports himself by a private business of doing fencing, digging, sprinkler fixing and other such jobs, and could easily go full time but wants to spend his time in ministry. So he just does what he needs to pay gas, food, clothing, car insurance, cell phone and those kinds of things. 

Other neighbors I know have encountered homeless people going through their trash and recycle bins and leaving a mess--not to mention drug needles and paraphernalia left near homeless camps.

It's not an easy problem, and these signs are another one of the City of Portland's clueless responses.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Problem Somewhat Solved: How to Get My Dog to Take His Pills

This is one year old Buddy. He doesn't like taking pills.

He recently hurt one of his front paw pads. I took him to our great vet, who gave him some pain medication. Half a pill a day for two weeks and keep him off rough surfaces. The vet said he should like the pill if he takes Sentinel. I laughed.

Buddy takes Sentinel only by force. He hates pills--including "flavored" pills. For awhile I disguised his pills in mashed potatoes, which Buddy loves. He saw through that. Then I tried wrapping them in cheese, which he loves. No more of that.

I went online and got more suggestions. Put it in hotdog pieces. Worked for one day. Then he refused the hotdog pieces.

What has worked is putting some peanut butter on the pill. He still won't eat it, but when I put it down his throat, it sticks there until he swallows it. No more spitting the pill out in flaky pieces when I don't quite get it in far enough because his teeth are sharp on my fingers as he is twisting and retreating.  He even came over and licked my fingers afterward. So, he did like the peanut butter.

As my brother says, quoting from a funny Captain Kirk line, "Another triumph for science!"

Monday, July 23, 2018

I Like This Low Emissions Vehicle

Actually, it is lower emissions than normal.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama builds four-cylinder engines for Camry, RAV4, Venza, Sienna and Highlander, and V6 and V8 engines for Tacoma, Tundra and Sequoia. The plant is located in Huntsville, less than 10 miles from Alabama A&M University.
Probably not what Kaiser Permanente was thinking. But, their parking policies leave much to be desired. Now at their Sunnyside hospital parking there are strange signs that say for "Patient Visitors" for "drop off and pick up". What does that mean? As clear as "low emissions". I love to see trucks and vans in compact spots. What it really means is that the parking space is not sufficient for the facility.

Handicapped parking is understandable. And electric car parking where there is a charger. And take-out parking. But, it is getting absurd to see all the different little twists in "reserved" parking spaces. And Kaiser Permanente seems to be leading the pack on silly labels.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Salem Is a Much Better Pick for Affordable Living than Portland

Elliot Njus of the Oregonian reports the "Average Oregon renter can no longer afford a typical one-bedroom apartment".
The average Oregon renter can no longer comfortably afford a one-bedroom apartment even while working a full-time job, according to a new report.

The numbers from the National Low Income Housing Coalition's "Out of Reach" report show the escalating impact of rising housing costs across the state.
According to the report, a renter would have to make $36,161 a year to comfortably afford a typical one-bedroom rental in Oregon, but the average renter household in the state makes only $36,096.
In the Portland area, even the cost of a studio apartment exceeds the estimated median income for an average renter household. In both the Portland and Corvallis areas, a one-bedroom apartment is over-budget for the median renter household.
For some low-income renters, the outlook is even more bleak. There are only a handful of rural counties where the average one-bedroom apartment is affordable to a renter who works full-time earning the minimum wage.
The average hourly wage needed for someone living in the Portland metro area is $21.77 for a 40 hour work week. Someone in the Salem area needs 40% less: $12.85.

Here is a link to the National Low Income Housing Coalition's data on Oregon counties which also has a downloadable report on Oregon. A significant share of Oregonians rent: 39%. The main site link compares Oregon with other states. It also gives a map of contiguous Oregon local areas by entering the zipcode. Here's a screenshot of the greater Portland-Vancouver area for two-bedroom housing.

Here's Salem and surrounding area for two-bedroom rentals:

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Portland Makes School Zones/Child Safety Nearly Obsolete

Now that Portland has a 20 mph speed limit in all residential areas unless posted otherwise, it's kind of sad to see school zone warnings to slow down to 20 mph during school days and certain hours or when the school light is flashing. It's now school zone 24/7--which means with no relationship to the safety of children.

I took this photo outside Parkrose High School. Kids are no longer anything special.

I don't mind the slower speed. I'm not in such a hurry as I get older. But, I wonder at the reasoning.

They say reducing 5 mph to to 20 mph will make a big difference. I don't believe it. I bet there won't be significant drop in traffic injuries and fatalities, but there will be a lot more road rage as the vast slice of drivers in a hurry to get somewhere grind their teeth in residential areas.

Hey, if 5 mph makes such a big difference, why is Oregon going to raise truck speeds from 55 to 60 on some highways? Because it doesn't make such a big difference, that's why. Might even reduce accidents as car drivers aren't so frustrated by lower speed truck drivers.

Actually, a significant cause of fatal accidents is speeding which is highly related to age (young), gender (male), alcohol and motorcyles. The "20 is plenty people" have taken none of that into account.

People tend to drive at what they think is a safe speed. Slowing down to 20 in a school zone is made more palatable because one thinks of the increased likelihood of children in that area. Who is going to pay special attention to children's needs and school zones now? Not many and only when the school is on a faster speed street.

Where there isn't a similar increased likelihood of a special needs population in residential areas, it seems that there will be more vehicles ignoring the new law as an unreasonable limitation. From a National Conference of State Legislatures 2014 speed and speed limit report:
One of the most significant areas of state speed legislation in recent years has been raising speed limits. Studies have shown that increasing the speed limit does not necessarily lead to an equivalent increase in driving speed because drivers continue to drive at the rate of speed at which they feel comfortable.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Peter Iredale: 1906 to 2018

MaxRedline has a post up on the Peter Iredale with a current picture of the wreck remains.

Here's a postcard showing what it looked like when it foundered in 1906 from the Oregon Historical Society.

And one I took in 1986: