Tuesday, October 23, 2012


As disturbing as this election is, it is still important to vote. I encourage everyone to vote based on your true ideals!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Halloween Approaches!

Frighttown rolled into PDX this week, with a macabre contingent of characters dripping from the mouth and dragging limp legs along behind them. These life-like zombies are only actors, however, they still give a slight chill when they saunter by inside the haunted house.

Some years ago my brother-in-law began a yearly ritual haunted house. Year 1 began with a black tent in the front of the house with some minor animations and grotesque monster-like beasts, a walk-by attraction, and some scared trick-or-treat kids. Year two expanded a bit, and the horror was expanded. By year three, B-I-L recruited myself and one or two others to enlist in the monster squad. Year over year the event became more detailed, more elaborate, and far more interesting. News crews began showing up. Donation to food banks soared. From the humble beginnings of the street side display to the nearly football field long maze that it eventually became, Halloween was always a huge work effort and an enormous challenge to create something better than the year before.

Halloween has become a monster of rituals. Massive stores dedicated to dressing your kids (and adults) as a pimp or hippie are like fast food restaurants - one on every corner. Admission to organized haunted houses top $20 a head, and the merchants and retailers thrive for about 3 weeks on cheap plastic decorations and themed candy. I don't remember when Halloween became this enormous an event, but I am overwhelmed by the shear size of it.

Only a handful of days left to get in the mix. Grab the kids and paint a face, walk the streets and run from zombies. If you see a clown, run fast. If you see a hippie, well, run faster.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Post Debate Hangover

I carefully sat back and listened to the nincompoops talk at each other last night, thinking the entire time that so little was actually said. Immediately following the debate, there was a rush of pundits claiming victory and other nonsense for both candidates. I didn't see a winner (other than the networks) on this one at all! In fact, I saw 300+ million Americans as the losers. 45 minutes of barely scratching the surface and having to make a rush to judgement? Not for me...

I have an idea - Take the $1.2 billion (reported) campaign contributions and put those dollars to an actual productive use! I know it isn't a lot, but I'd bet it all it could make a dent somewhere... Like offering a fund to loan for small business development, or creating a co-op for health care for lower income families, or feeding the 15% that live in poverty. Let's strip campaign ads off the TV and radio (sorry FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC, etc.), get the landfill-destined lawn signs removed, stop the non-earth-friendly campaign postcards, and the overall waste of crap that gets thrown out after the election that has no legacy of benefit to nearly anyone.

And while we're at it, let's actually pass a budget. Do you think we could at least compromise on both sides a bit more to at least show a token of respect for the taxpayer? Quit the blame game, other than shame on both of you, and get to work. We don't pay you to sit in fancy chairs for nothing.