Journal April 19-20, 2003 -- Byron Caloz

(c) 2003-4 Byron Caloz

On the weekend of April 19-20, 2003 Marisa and I had several items on our agenda:
1. Goodwill Outlet Store ("The As-Is") between Milwaukee and Portland
2. Lunch somewhere in S.E. Portland
3. The Earth Day Fair at The Da Vinci Arts Middle School
4. The free events at the Big Bash at the opening of the new section of The Oregon Convention Center at 777 N.E. Martin Luther King, Junior Blvd.

5. Viewing my new DVD of Latitude Zero (1970)
6. Bowling at N. Interstate Bowling
7. Post Office business in Saint Johns
8. Plastic box purchase and votive candles at Fred Meyer
9. Processing recycling stuff at home.
10. Do the dishes.

We did fairly well. About the only thing we did not do was go to the Big Bash: we slept late on Saturday and the Earth Day Fair was far more interesting and informative.

Earth Day Fair was at a Portland Public School District facility: The Da Vinci Arts Middle School (2508 N.E. Everett)
Here we saw a water reclaiming project (the grand opening of the student-built water garden bio-filtration project) where rain water is captured from the roof, drained, filtered and stored in large tanks, the contents of which is circulated through large fish-stocked ponds. The water garden is bordered with flowers of all kinds and benches.
Here Marisa sits on a bench at the end of one path in the garden. Behind you can see the water tanks.


Among the things we did at the Fair:
+ Walk into and out of the "Walking Labyrinth." We did not cheat, although it was easy to do! The maze was merely a set of paths marked off by meter-long or higher wooden sticks and connecting fabric scraps. The only entry was also the exit. Cheaters often crossed into neighboring paths and ended up going out of the maze or back into it because the direction was different in most adjacent paths (although not all). Many maze walkers were confounded when others walked in the opposite direction as they. We were more prepared for this because we surveyed the perimeter first and noticed there was only one egress point, meaning the center was the goal and leaving the maze meant retracing your path but going in the opposite direction! Luckilly there were no blind paths, but the overall length was foreboding. At the end of the maze we were quite worn out.
+ Ate Good Humor ice cream. Marisa had the 2 dollar chocolate taco. I had some sort of nut/chocolate and vanilla on a stick conconction for a dollar. Very filling and hit the spot after the walk.
+ Purchased for ten dollars a hand-powered flashlight--no batteries needed! Made in Russia, the dc current is provided by a small generator powered by constantly gripping and regripping the handle. No more will I be a slave to batteries when using a flashlight. More such interesting eco-friendly things come from a Portland store on S.E. Division Street. Here you can find banana paper and other interesting objects.
+ Watched a parade through the fair grounds, reminiscent of Rio during Carnivale with a LOUD percussion band ( the Lions of Batucada Samba Marching Band) , scantilly clad women, people with big papier mache heads and puppets...in celebration of Earth's eco-diversity and in support of worldwide peace

+ Checked out the Better Transportation Fair with its various alternative energy vehicles...including electric bikes and the Flex-Car program.
+ Visited with a librarian, Tiffany, from the Saint Johns Library where Marisa works every Wednesday (by 2004 Tiffany transferred to the downtown library and Marisa volunteered weekly on Friday afternoons) Tiffany has been to Europe many times but also knows several languages (along with her husband, Sean) so they get had no problems adjusting...in fact, stayed for months at a time! She recommends The Sex Museum there (!) and the four Vermeer paintings at The Rijkmuseum.
+ Visited with Jason King, late of the Green Map project for Portland...something I volunteered for at least several months before I met Marisa. He is a board member with a watershed awareness group which had a display there. A map behind him showed the number of streams which existed two hundred years ago in downtown Portland and that most if not all have been piped out of existance in favor of hard pavement.
+ Learned about Free Geek... the Portland project to rebuild computers with robust, free and supported operating systems outside the Microsoft Domain! Here not only are old computers recycled, but given to people willing to learn how to build them. This is similar to my Segment Zero Computers idea which I spawned in 1987 after hearing that Intel was simply not interested in making low end computer parts.

Sunday we woke earlier for coffee and cereal...and also CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood... did some web surfing, had lunch and then went bowling at Interstate Bowl. The ride there was much nicer than the last time we went (too many many months ago). The reason it was nicer: the Tri-Met construction is mostly finished, at least the part where they dig up the road! We spent 21 dollars for 3 games between us on lane 17. I actually won the first game and broke my second 100 score (and had two strikes in a row), but Marisa rapidly returned to her usual excellent self and trounced me in the final two rounds.

We had an unscheduled event after bowling and Fred Meyer. I had a hankering for the new seasonal strawberry shake at Burgerville. We've been there before-- great setting by the Saint Johns Bridge, music from the early 1960's rock, furniture evocative of an early 60's sodashop or fastfood restaurant. Last time we enjoyed the black bean gardenburger with special sauce...but it is no longer on the menu. One time we came for the onion rings, but those are only seasonal, just like the shake.

There's no place like home...

There's no place like home...

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