2008-02-16 10:01 in /life/portland
Last Sunday was the annual Worst Day of the Year Ride. Like last year (when I didn’t ride) it was actually a pretty nice day.
I took the short option — 18 miles. If you don’t bike much, that might sound like a lot, but especially with rest stops every 4 or 5 miles, it went by pretty easily. Unfortunately, the friend I was planning to ride with forgot to register, but it wasn’t too bad riding on my own for a couple hours.
Part of the fun of the event is the people who ride in costume:
I was definitely inspired by this ride to get out on the bike more. I think I’ve ridden nearly every day this week, going to user groups, meeting friends, and running errands. I really want to try living without a car for a while, so this is definitely a good trend.
2007-07-09 20:30 in /life/portland
Yesterday we went wine tasting in the Willamette Valley with a couple of friends. I’ve been wanting to get more familiar with the local wineries and with so many so close, it’s surprising we haven’t been out tasting yet. We had a bit of a late start, but we managed to hit 3 wineries.
First up was Adelsheim Vineyard. We got a little lost on the way (the GPS was being cowardly and refused to give directions on the last couple roads), but once we got there the location was definitely worth it. They have a really nice patio overlooking the hills where we picnicked. I was fond of the Pinot Noir Rosé and the Goldschmidt Vineyard Single Estate Pinot Noir. S. liked the Deglacé dessert wine, although I thought it was merely good, not great, while priced as a great wine.
Next we went to Lange Winery. Their Dundee Hills Estate Pinot Noir was an amazing wine. I also thought the Freedom Hill Chardonnay was quite good and everyone else liked the Pinot Gris, although something about it just didn’t agree with me.
Finally we hit Bishop Creek Cellars where we tasted a Pinot Gris, two vintages of Pinot Noir, and a blend of primarily Merlot and Pinot Noir, which sounds very strange but was actually quite tasty. I think we were pretty fond of all of the wines, except for thinking that the ’05 Pinot Noir comes on a little too strong right now and needs some time to age and mellow.
Overall, we had a fun afternoon and got to taste some nice wines. I’m looking forward to getting out to the local vineyards again before too long.
2007-06-10 12:40 in /life/portland
Last weekend when Kenn and Sarai were in town, we went to a performance by East Meets West. Because we arrived just as the intermission started, I didn’t get to see as much as I might have liked, but what I did see was pretty interesting.
Here’s a couple photos from the evening:
There’s more posted on Flickr.
I don’t have much experience with concert photography, so this was an interesting learning experience to try to figure out how to capture the atmosphere. I quickly discovered than none of the programmed modes did a good job. I figured that I needed longer exposures to pick up the colored lights in the smoke, so I started playing around in shutter-priority mode. The most successful settings seemed to be about a 1/15 or 1/20 sec exposure to get the colors plus flash to freeze the performers. The other big thing I learned is that I need to spend some time familiarizing myself with all the controls on my camera until I know them by feel and can accurately adjust everything in the dark.
2007-05-28 07:50 in /life/portland
One of the things that I’m really liking about this area of Portland is the number of second-run movies theaters. There’s 4 of them within a mile of our house, and it’s hard to imagine why I would bother going to the first-run places. Walking distance, and you can get ticket, pizza, and beer for the normal price of admission; what’s not to like!
2007-05-12 23:30 in /life/portland
I did two things today that bring me closer to being a true Portlander. I rode my bike in the rain, and I rode my bike across one of the bridges.
2007-02-18 16:50 in /life/portland
Yesterday, I went on the first of what I expect will be many hikes with Mazamas. We did the Multnomah - Wahkeena Loop, which is a route that I’ve been on both ends of but not the 4 miles or so in the middle. It was a nice hike; the area above Multnomah Falls is quite beautiful and it was good to get some serious exercise. The first mile did have me worrying a little if I’d overestimated my current abilities, but once we got past the steep edge of the gorge it got a lot easier.
At times I regretted not bringing my camera with me, but it would have been hard to keep up with the pace of the group if I’d stopped even a fraction of the times I saw something worth photographing. I figure none of it is going anywhere soon, so I’m not worrying about it too much. Besides, if I had brought it along, I might have been regretting having the extra 10 pounds during that first mile instead.
I’m viewing this hike as the beginning of my preparations to climb Mt. St. Helens later this year. And that climb, in turn, is preparation to climb Mt. Hood as one of my 101 in 1001 goals. My current thinking is that I’ll attempt a non-technical ascent sometime next summer, but there’s still a lot of research I need to do about the easiest routes. I might later attempt a winter ascent, but I definitely need much more preparation for that, since I haven’t touched an ice axe in over 10 years.
2006-11-08 13:20 in /life/portland
2006-11-01 16:30 in /life/portland
I first encountered this old Victorian house two years ago when it housed the Calendula Cafe and we were supposed to have dinner there during OSCON. However, even though we had made a reservation the day before, the restaurant was unexpectedly closed when we got there. Looking over old news articles, it sounds like that day might have been the beginning of the end of that restaurant. Walking down Hawthorne in our first week here, I saw that it was slated to be reborn as Chef Tucker’s Patisserie.
The building is an excellent example of the Victorian style that’s common around this part of Portland. Naturally, most of the houses aren’t this big, although it’s not completely out of line with the rest of the neighborhood.
As for the pastry, it’s not as frighteningly expensive as Pix, which is also close by, but it’s not cheap. It’s about in line with EuroPane, I guess, although I would say maybe slightly not as good. One of these days, I’ll try them out for lunch or breakfast, but I haven’t had a chance yet.