Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Many Merry Christmases from Hamilton Beach

My cousin just sent me this picture of her using our grandmother's 70+ year old mixer to mix cookie dough today.

 It was made by Hamilton Beach. That's a lot of service from a well-used mixer.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Remembering William F. Buckley, Jr.

William F. Buckley, Jr., was born November 24, 1925, ninety-three years ago.

He was my most admired political thinker. He taught me that values are at the center of politics. That it was really conservatives and those who support the free marketplace who care about the poor and victimized.

His summations were a call to follow what is good, right and true.  He loved Whittaker Chambers and Alexandr Solznhenitsyn.

He was a devoted Christian. He was, by the grace of God, my friend.

Here's what he said in conclusion at a debate in Portland in 1973 in defense of individual freedom vs those who admired Chinese, Russian and Cuban societal "discipline" to make a better society.

"Yet in today’s climate set by the revolutionary left in America, metaphysical defenses of man are somehow just a little embarrassing, irrelevant. Even Whittaker Chambers, the ardent counter-revolutionist, would make gentle fun of the inflexible defenders of the individual. Of the late Frank Meyer, for instance, whose implacable book which is called In Defense of Freedom, was current when the Republicans suffered their great congressional defeat of 1958. 'If the Republican Party does not find a way to appeal to the mass of the people,' Chambers wrote me at that time, 'it will find itself voted into singularity. It will become then something like the little shop you see in the crowded parts of great cities in which no business is done or expected. You enter it and find an old man in the rear fingering for his own pleasure oddments of cloth, caring not at all if he sells any. As your eyes become accustomed to the gas light, you are only faintly surprised to discover that the old man is Frank Meyer.' 
"I submit to the critics of American Society, if they are really concerned about the restoration of the individual, they should begin by focusing on him and his reliance on the marketplace. Focusing on those oddments of cloth by a familiarity with which a few men know to hesitate not at all when someone asks the question, 'Is it wrong for the State to tell the writer what to write?'. 'Is it wrong for the State to tell the scientist what to study?' Those few who don’t hesitate for a moment to answer, 'Yes, it is wrong. It was always wrong. It is now wrong. It will forever be wrong.'
"The old man with the oddments of cloth is fingering some of the great truths that permit us to penetrate the circumlocutions by which we are somehow persuaded that we serve the individual by moving against the principle institution through which the individual exercises what freedom of movement he is left with. Or by suggesting that we can make a profitable beginning by a revolutionary renunciation of the religion which tells us in the words of Ecclesiastes that 'God has made man upright'.
"The whole subject is strangely, quietly, sadly as we meet so often in America in the college campuses and elsewhere for the purpose of deploring the free marketplace. But, in Russia people go to the only free marketplace available–the black market. And pay their 80 rubles a month wages for a single novel by Solzhenitsyn. And there in Russia, whose rulers denounced the marketplace fifty years ago with a blaze of [indistinguishable] and a rain of bullets aimed righteously at the temples of teenage girls and a hemophiliac boy in a cellar at Ekaterinburg, there in Russia fifty years after the advent of socialism there are old men and old women and young men and young women who transcribe by hand, not for profit, from Radio Liberty risking prison by the very act of listening to it the latest novel of Solzhenitsyn. Word after word. Sentence after sentence. A process that takes them months to complete. Resulting not in thousands, let alone millions, of copies, but in a few dozen or perhaps a few hundred. The oddments of cloth. 
"But it is worth it if we are to rescue man from the tools of ideology. Worth everything to preserve those oddments. To make them available to those who are graced with a thirst for them. The books of Solzhenitsyn accumulate even as the disdain for the institutions of freedom perversely accumulates. For an understanding of which paradox we find no help at all in Marx, but a considerable help in Jesus, whose servant Paul observed, “'that though our outward man perish yet the inward man is renewed day by day.'”

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Oregonian Continues Circulation Slide in 2018

[2020 paid circulation information is here.]

The 2018 Statements of Ownership published by the Oregonian in its October 12 and October 14, 2018 issues indicate the continuing slide of paid circulation.

The daily dropped from a paid circulation of 80,463 in September of 2017 to 68,704 in September of 2018. That's almost a 15% drop in one year.

The Sunday Oregonian is doing a little worse. Its paid circulation in September of 2017 was 113,348. This September it was 96,283--slightly more than a 15% drop.

Daily paid circulation is less than a third of what it was only six years ago in 2012 (68,704 compared with 219,997 in 2012).

My figures for the Sunday only go back to September of 2014, but only four years later today's paid circulation is less than half of what it was in then (96,283 compared with 203,031 in 2014).

These statistics don't include digital paid circulation, but the steep decline in the print version is not good news for the Oregonian, its employees,  the Newhouse family owners, or Portland.

Portland used to have two thriving daily newspapers, the Oregonian and the Oregon Journal. Now the one remaining is a shell of its former self, not to mention the loss of the Journal.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Fire Hydrants

One wonders how the first one got located in what is now the middle of the sidewalk.

The second is due both to placement on a sloped yard and owner lack of upkeep.

What were they thinking?

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:

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Not Too Many Republican Conservatives in the Senate (or anywhere else)

Only 28 votes* against the budget bill that continues massive deficit spending. Sixteen were Republicans:

Burr (R-NC)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Corker (R-TN)
Crapo (R-ID)
Daines (R-MT)
Enzi (R-WY)
Flake (R-AZ)
Grassley (R-IA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kennedy (R-LA)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
Paul (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Sasse (R-NE)
Toomey (R-PA)

Read 'em and weep. I guess Rand Paul was the only conservative senator running in the last election. Too bad I backed Cruz who caved. I'm glad to see Ben Sasse said no.

I have to agree with Mark Levin that this spending bill is a disgrace and mocks the "concern" Republicans have been spouting for so long about stealing from future generations to make life easy for the current one.
*I guess I have to applaud Senators Wyden and Merkley. They voted no even though it was based on politics rather than wanting a balanced budget. Still, a no vote is worth something.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Will the Oregonian Spotlight the Thousands of Vulnerable Oregonians the Shutdown Will Hurt?

In October of 2013 the Oregonian was concerned about what a federal government shutdown would do to thousands (even hundreds of thousands) of "vulnerable Oregonians".

One wonders if the Oregonian is searching out some of the thousands of current vulnerable Oregonians this shutdown will hurt. We'll see if there is a front page story or two with heart tugging photo and personal stories that will be published within the next two weeks. The 2013 shutdown began October 1st and the Oregonian had the above story posted on the 11th.