Portland Backwards Summer

Typically people of Portland don’t count on sunny days until the fourth of July. Before then clouds and rain are normal. May will usually have a hot spell with temperatures in the 90s. But from Memorial Day through the fourth overcast skies and days with rain just make for a joke about knowing if it’s time for the Rose Festival.

This year is backwards. It feels comfortable. But hey it’s July! Wheres the sun and heat?

(preparing to eat those words in August.)

Laughing in the Library

At the library to pick up an eagerly awaited book and as I start to pull it from the shelf I realize this feels very familiar.

And it was and is and laughter starts to burble up. It’s just like a composition book used in grade school. This is a book to use for your daily writing and drawing and whatevering. It encourages you to not get too serious. It encourages happiness much more than a Moleskine or an Artists Sketchbook.

Some of them, like mine shown here, only have lines on the bottom half of the page to encourage you to draw.

Lynda Barry must be a great teacher she starts with the fundamentals.

Why do they not know?

Look at something on Amazon. See ads for the item in many other places. This is annoying if you went ahead and bought it.

Compare: subscribe the to email announcement list somewhere. Do they do something so the website is aware you’re a subscriber? No. You get the annoying sign-up pop up all the time.

Why don’t websites that have an affiliated email list put out a cookie to track your subscription and not offer you the list signup? This is especially annoying when the pop up is full screen cover the content.

This is an annoyance. Not quite as annoying as sites so laden with ads you can’t read the content. Why don’t those folks know if you can’t read the content you won’t return to read the ads?

Whose Holiday?

July 4th is a pretty big holiday in the USA. If a job doesn’t involve working with customers its workers probably have the day off. But why not retail too? Who really needs to buy something on the 4th?

After dropping a relative at the airport on the 4th of July we thought about swinging by the Costco close to the airport. Costco employees will be enjoying (or so we hope) the 4th with the day off. The 4th is one of seven holiday days that Costco closes each year. Go Costco!

What about other major retailers? Ikea only closes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter Sunday. Walmart only closes for Christmas. On Easter Sunday, New Years Day, and Thanksgiving they’re open with limited hours. Home Depot only closes for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Their parking lot was pretty full at 10:00. Not so the Michaels Arts and Crafts next door. Employees outnumbered customers about four to one.

When checking to see what businesses were open on what holidays a pattern emerged. If a business is only closed for the big two or three (Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving) its holiday hours page will provide a long list of holidays on which its open. For example:

New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (MLK Day)
Valentine’s Day
Presidents Day
Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday
St. Patrick’s Day
Tax Day
Good Friday
Easter Sunday
Easter Monday
Cinco de Mayo
Mother’s Day
Memorial Day
Father’s Day
Independence Day (4th of July)
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Halloween
Veterans Day
Black Friday
Christmas Eve
New Year’s Eve

Let’s get real. What business do you know that closes on Halloween? Cinco de Mayo? Mothers or Fathers Day? Valentines Day? Tax Day? Mardi Gras? Gee how nice for the fine business to be open on those holidays. Or is this just something to obscure they make people work on Labor Day, Memorial Day and other important holidays?

We’re going to hear a lot about this in a few months when retailers open for Black Friday and Thanksgiving. Not too consistent to make a fuss then and not today.

Banks and the government do a nice job on holidays. All the work excepting essential services close down for holidays with meaning.

Two disclaimers: I’m personally glad nice to have businesses remain open, like grocery stores. I spent a few years in my teens and twenties working for radio stations. More than one Thanksgiving dinner was eaten from a tray in the control room.