Phone Memories

Dialing 503-555-1212? Or any three-digit-prefix-555-1212? This pre 4-1-1 information line. Before that you had to call 0 to get an operator for assistance.

Or writing down phone numbers as (503)555-0110? That, for those that haven´t had the pleasure of knowing you could just dial seven digits. And earlier five or four digits. But life got more complex, or too numerous, for the earlier times. All the way back to calling the operator and asking for who you wanted. Small exchanges in those days.

I´ve wondered about phone numbers. How long will the pool of them persist? Before we have too many unique places to call and there is no longer an available number. Like IPv4, it is inevitable for us to outgrow the system.

Or being able to call a number, wait for the answer, and hang up quickly to not be detected. But that´s a different set of memories to follow in another post.

Social Security Day

Well hot dog. I´m 62. I can now collect Social Security payments from the US Government. If I want. Which I don´t. So far I do better at living off of my savings at a rate of perpetually sustainable withdrawals.

It´s a great feeling to have my savings investments growing faster than it is depleted. WARNING: past results are no indication of future returns. But still, I´ve the happy feeling today.

Other than that, there is nothing special about turning another year older. Well there is the marveling at people who do not know about what seems commonplace. Like rotary phones. Or library cards, getting filled up. Or life before computers. Or being able to call up your crush and hang up in being scared, and they couldn´t know who had called. Or clams for a buck a pound. Yes, so many bits of my past. About to fade into no longer memory.

I have a couple more decades. Looking forward to them.

On Caring

Despite my best efforts, I understand a third Democratic “debate” is about to happen. I’m not watching. I finally found this gem of a Vlogbrothers post, which has in part sums up my feelings. In response I commented:

John, I really think it’s time to reshow this again. It was hard enough to find. But now, well gee. Look what the extended primary got us.

OK, maybe make a new vlog episode or just slap a header on this and run it again. As we approach the third Democratic “debates” it’s really time.

Me, on the comments

So watch and decide for yourself.

TAVR: One Year Later

A year ago today, through the afternoon, I was on a table with my chest wide open while the surgeons searched for the leak in my heart.

Earlier the TAVR (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement) had gone well. If it weren’t for the hole poked in the side. Yeah well, Adventure #1 started. Hooray to Jennifer for hanging on through the multi-hour ordeal. They did find it and patched me up. Time for adventure #2, waiting to strike on the 31st of August.

Several hours later I’d wake up after the 20% chance of the procedure working. Hooray for keeping my luck in stock for the important things.

Crickets Sleeping

I’m waiting for tonight and we’ll make a fire and sit outside enjoying the summer sounds

Me, yesterday

When do crickets go to sleep

In the nights, in August
we have the sounds of crickets
telling us the temperature they say

In the morning, while still dark it is silent
they, the crickets, have gone to sleep
I’ve tried to stay up and listen for them to sleep
going silent bit by bit

but I can’t
they are there when I sleep and gone when I awake
even early, at 3:00
when do they stop, and go to sleep

My Blessings

I get to go on Jury Duty. Though in truth my name has ever been pulled up to leave the waiting room. Today I was among the people let go at noon. But still, I listed to them calling names for a jury pool in vain.

I had my hopes up
to be called, to be chosen
summertime sent home

Quick Haiku, in need of work

It should also be noted that Chris “Bicycling will save us” Collins reminds me of something I remember.

@chris_in_cal: @MichaelRpdx When counting your blessings don’t forget ‘My radiant full thick wavy head of hair’.

Chris Collins, on Twitter
Happy Day, Well until I’m sent home

PS – I’ve extended my streak of not being called. Next time up when I’m 64.



Quick Poll:

How many books did you read in the last month?

 How many books did you read in the last year?

Let me know via any channel you have.

Ryan Holiday seems to read a lot. He writes about it, including the blocks to doing so, in How to Read More — A Lot More. But the fun quote, for a slow reader like me, is his statement “Even though I read hundreds of books every single year, I actually read quite slow. In fact, I read deliberately slow…”.

He has a kinda secret. You can find it if you are interested.

If I had to steal books to support my reading habit, I would.
~ Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday in How to Read More — A Lot More


After driving back from Salem it was kinda late. 7:00ish or so. I wanted food. But I wanted a walk too. There was a place, a mile away, I could go there, so I did.

I grabbed my backpack, which was with me, put it on and started up hill. Then up more hill, to the flats of Boise Street. That’s where the destination was, right where Boise intersects with Foster Blvd. It’s a remodeled street with occasional pedestrian crossings. It was a quiet night, there was no traffic to speak of, certainly none on Boise. Just a car on 52nd Ave, who stopped and waved me to cross. I waved and mouthed “thank you.” In fact I was in a hurry, walking as fast as I comfortably can. At Foster I passed by the Fopo Tavern where I’d never been but need to, and past the Tambayan, where I had been, but too long ago. Soon I was at the spot where one of the street crossing is. Press the button, and flashing yellow light go on. A voice points out that traffic may not stop, so be careful (in English and Spanish). But they did stop. Yay! for traffic and their lights.

It was time for Char, a new pizza place. Another pizza place? Portland has plenty. There are eight within a mile of where we live. Jennifer had observed the plants outside weren’t kept up. I’d read a positive review. So I was ready to give it a try. It wa Is mostly empty. But I spotted a rack of pizza by the slices. To cut it to the short description, I had Hellspawn, Secret Agent Chubbsmcgee, and Pepprmint. I’m sure in the future I’ll have Feral Cat. Two of the three were vegetarian and fantastic. I

OK, I truthfully could have done well on just one slice. But I wanted to try a couple to find out what the place was like, and the last one, well it was just coming out of the oven. Fresh Pie!

It was a good thing to have walked. So I started to stroll home. It seemed like a lot of houses were dark. I’ll need to go out at night again, and check on how lit up the area is. As I got home I looked up and saw brightly shining starts. It seemed to be Jupiter and Saturn. Watching over (??) Portland in the late summer.

Back inside, it felt good. Jennifer and I will walk on over when she’s back.