Michael

A dreaded Sunday morning excursion: stocking up on household staples at Costco in outer Northeast Portland. Luckily, I only have to run this gantlet once every few months. Not sure I could take the crowded aisles and old ladies peddling samples of bad food any more often. What eases my disorientation and general disgust with […]

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First it was Zimbabwe, slavery, and the women’s suffrage movement. Now the possibility of Barack Obama’s assassination, RFK-style, is Hillary Clinton’s latest rationale for staying in the race. What’s next? Her “concern” that Obama could develop a brain tumor or melanoma or revert to childhood bed-wetting? Make it stop. Please.

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Runaway grocery cart

May 20, 2008

They’ve appeared before on the sidewalk across the street from my home office — grocery carts deposited like driftwood on an overnight tide. I noticed one this morning but paid it no mind. That is until I observed people react to this interloper in Irvington, my Northeast Portland neighborhood. There was the boy clad in […]

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Stooping to a new low, the Clintons tried today to undermine my family’s support for Barack Obama. They dispatched Chelsea to enlist our little boy, Atticus, in a duplicitous campaign to persuade us to switch our allegiance. While Atticus and his mother, Suzame, waited for friends outside the entrance to the Oregon Zoo in Portland, […]

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Let’s say you’re politically active. Active enough to volunteer time campaigning for your favorite candidate. (I’ve done a little for Barack Obama but not nearly as much as I should.) But would you travel to Canada and work for candidates there, such as the leader of the Liberal Party, Stéphane Dion? Most of us can’t […]

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From my car at the stoplight on NE 20th at Sandy Boulevard in Portland, I see a man so frail that the warm breeze might whisk him away. Bent at the waist, he’s shuffling forward six inches with each hesitant step. He reaches the sidewalk to my right. His pale yellowed skin appears brittle and […]

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The real appeasers

May 15, 2008

Sometimes the best insight and analysis of the day’s news comes from anonymous “readers” who, like me, devour our favorite blogs with unbridled fervor. Here’s a nod to just such a person, who takes on President Bush and John McCain for their attacks today on Barack Obama for his willingness to talk to Iran’s president. […]

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A small story, courtesy of my home office window in the Irvington neighborhood of Northeast Portland: Many evenings a woman rides past on a recumbent bike with her two leashed Weimaraners striding behind her. Many mornings another woman drives a sedan slowly and close to the curb while her dog – a fox terrier, I […]

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My mother never made it west of the Mississippi. Until now. As I write, countless specks of her are in San Francisco Bay and the Pacific, bound for who knows where on the lunar whim of tides. She’s used to the water. When she died in 2003, my two brothers and I scattered some of […]

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Bears for Obama

May 11, 2008

They’re coming out of the woods for Barack Obama. As my wife, Suzame, and I drove Saturday along a winding, tree-lined road in Marin County, California, en route to Point Reyes, she shouted: “Turn around and go back! You won’t believe what I saw.” And there he stood, a majestic creature at the edge of […]

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Humbled

May 8, 2008

Art is man’s nature; nature is God’s art. — Philip James Bailey, English poet More photos of Chaiten volcano eruption in Chile here and here. News here.

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Good year, 1950

May 7, 2008

“Is your birthday really Friday?” I ask the wisp of a man leaning against the Post Office wall in Northeast Portland and panhandling for money. Thickets of wiry gray hair spill from beneath his maroon stocking hat. A beard partly hides sunken cheeks. His clothes are faded but clean. It was our second encounter. I’d […]

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Josh Ritter connects

May 6, 2008

“I used to live on Prescott,” acclaimed singer and songwriter Josh Ritter tells me on the phone. I tell him I live nearby in Northeast Portland. We’re chatting like people who might have passed in the grocery aisle and nodded a hello but now are finally getting to know each other. I’m trying not to […]

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