Visiting Portland

Portland is a great town — a big city with a small-town feel and a lot to do. It’s not too difficult to figure out where things are: It’s divided east/west by the Willamette River (rhymes with damnit), and north/south by Burnside Road. “Downtown” is on the west side, and in NW Portland, the streets are in alphabetic order… Read More »

Visiting the Long Beach Peninsula

The long Beach Peninsula is a 20-minute drive up the west coast from the south Washington border (click this image for an un-cropped version that better shows the long beach). The peninsula features a 28-mile (45 km) sand beach, which is the longest “drivable beach” in the US, and one of the longest in the world. This Wikipedia article… Read More »

Visiting the Pacific Northwest

I am very fortunate to live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest — literally in a rainforest. While I live in a pretty typical suburban sprawl just to the west of Portland, it is still very lush and green all year long. I am a 15-minute drive from wild beauty, and a short 2 hours from one of the… Read More »

On Meeting Philip Glass

Anybody who knows me even in the slightest knows that I’m just a tad partial to the music of Philip Glass. Last winter I went to a Portland performance of his “Dracula,” performed by the Kronos Quartet with Phil playing the second keyboard, (a part he later added to the piece just for himself so he could perform… Read More »

Stop Using One-off Plastic

Plastic bits in the ocean and in the food chain have created a big, scary problem. If all of us would take a few small steps to minimize disposable plastic usage, the cumulative effect could make a big difference. Many of us bring our own bags to the store, but we can do more. Here are five steps you can… Read More »

Divisive politics

In late 2017 I got an email from a Democratic organization venting about the just-passed tax bill that ended with: “We want to give you this anti-Republican bumper sticker!” I think this is a bad approach. I don’t want to perpetuate the us-and-them bullshit that is US politics right now, and I think things like this bumper sticker… Read More »

On Kaepernick’s Kneeling

In 2016 and 2017, there was an uproar over a black football player, Colin Kaepernick, quietly kneeling on the field during the national anthem rather than standing with the rest of his team. He was protesting the repeated killing of black men by police in America, and this lead to many months of heated arguing among Americans. All of… Read More »

Potential

Walking around in almost every one of us is a wellspring of untapped potential. Some call it inspiration, some call it god — whatever you call it, there exists in us a deep beauty, a spark, that few of us acknowledge, let alone show or attempt to express. The thing about potential is that it is nearly useless… Read More »

Merry Xmas!

I don’t celebrate Xmas at all. I have zero decorations at my house, I don’t do cards, and I don’t do gift exchanges (except that I sometimes send end-of-year chocolates or such stuff to my clients). But though I don’t “celebrate” it, I love the holiday season as an interested bystander. I love how everyone is in a… Read More »

Why Do You Blog?

I’ve heard recently from some friends who blog that they are discouraged that they don’t have much engagement with their readers. With no feedback or interaction, they are wondering why they should even bother. This started a conversation that focussed on answering just one simple question: Why do you blog?   Because I have something I want to… Read More »

Philosophy Matters

I think it is important that people carve out head space in their mental lives to ponder questions of existence and meaning beyond the mechanics of how it is discussed. It’s what gives us depth and puts us in touch with a reserve of somethingness/nothingness that can be very powerful. Some people use religion to tap into that… Read More »

Batch Processing with Affinity Photo

Batch processing of images in Affinity photo is really easy. A perfect use case for this is to change the size of an entire folder of images for use in your blog. You’ve just finished taking pictures of your products and now you want to post them to your blog. You have 50 wonderful, high-res JPG files, but you know… Read More »

iPad: How Old is Too Old

The newer the iPad, the better — but as long as you are not having issues, older models are perfectly fine for most users. When the next version of the operating system comes out in Fall 2017, it will be compatible with most of the recent models. But how old is too old? There are some very nice features… Read More »

Hidden Art: Roger Long

Back in the mid 1990s, on a quest for good Thai food, my partner and I happened upon an artistic oasis in Lake Oswego, an upscale suburban burg a bit south of Portland, Oregon. Tucked away in a neglected alley in the center of town, we found a wall covered in art.

Who Supported Trump?

Immediately after the 2016 presidential election, I took off for a 10-day trip, first to Los Angeles, and then to Salt Lake City for an international tradeshow on Supercomputing. Wherever I went, almost every taxi driver, theater-goer, restaurant worker, and fellow tradeshow exhibitor and attendee I talked to mentioned the election results. Since this tradeshow of more than 11 thousand attendees included people from… Read More »