Occasional comments about business and politics in Portland, Oregon, mixed in with stories from our city's colorful if not always compliant past.
"May God save the country, for it is evident that the people will not." -- Millard Fillmore
It's been eight years since my first post on this blog. In that time I've been fortunate to have at least three Portland councilors stop by to comment, to have broken one piece of local news in advance of any of the regular media outlets, and to have had a few of my ideas show up in public debate. The high point of this alternate life is not, however, any of my blog posts, but having my submission to a Willamette Week limerick contest read onstage by Storm Large.
If 1300 posts later my blogging pace is slowing down a bit, it's not because I'm running low on stories to tell -- the good citizens brave (or foolish) enough to become public servants create raw material faster than I can retell them -- but because I'm discovering that I'm rapidly becoming part of The Good Old Days myself.
Professor Bogdanski renews his annual celebration of the seasion with another Buck-A-Hit celebration: he and supporters will donate to charity $1 for each unique visitor to his blog, up to $5000 total. Go see him here and score a dollar for charity.
I went two weeks without posting anything, and my status in the TTLB ecosystem rose three levels. At that rate, if I write nothing else between now and Labor Day, I should become at least a Playful Primate.
I have a soft spot for books. Although I'm generally untaggable and don't tag at all, Shelley (of The Menagerie) has tagged me with a book-based meme, which I'm pleased to answer. The meme is to pick the closest book at hand of sufficient length, turn to page 123, then to the fifth sentence on that page, and quote the next three sentences. (I'm taking that to mean the 6th, 7th, and 8th sentences.)
The books at my workplace aren't sufficient for the purpose (why quote three sentences of Oregon statutes?). The book closest at hand at home yields the following:
The strategy generally is: (1) establish high card winners, (2) obtain ruffs, (3) shorten declarer's trumps to fewer than defenders, (4) prevent ruffing of your high cards. When you are defending, and your partner has bid a suit, it is usually a good idea to lead that suit. You want to be able to establish and cash those high cards quickly before declarer has a chance to discard his losers in that suit.
The book is The Fun Way To Serious Bridge by Harry Lampert, a lively illustrated work on how to play better bridge. Had I taken my computer upstairs, the book would have been either The Politics, by Aristotle, or Sir John Magill's Last Journey, by Freeman Wills Crofts. Aristotle provides a philosophical passage that begins, "Furthermore, there is no point in equalizing property, if we do nothing to regulate the number of citizens," and Crofts counters with the more prosaic, "'Looks like the police station after all,' French declared."
I went three weeks without posting, and the Ecosystem raised me six notches, from a Multicellular Microorganism to a Crawly Amphibian. Apparently the Ecosystem rewards brevity, but I can't get much pithier than silence.
Most of the searches that send people to this small corner of the blogosphere have to do with personalities of Portland and Oregon. A few are for things that I would never think could lead people here, including one today for "St. Philip Neri on his deathbed." Although I've referred once to the parish of St. Philip Neri, served by a landmark church on SE Division Street, I can't think of any useful information this blog would have on the topic in question. In this instance the saint, through the agency of Ask.com, has led one of his followers astray.
I let the two-year anniversary of this blog pass on March 7 without special notice. A few days later visitor no. 50,000 happened by, brought here by a search engine. It's been a fun two years. My "Good Old Days" posts (my favorites) are slowing down, alas; though I have to admit that recent local events are giving me a lot of material that will qualify for "Good Old Days" treatment in about 2026, in the unlikely event that I'm still alive and blogging then.