Neskowin sunset

by Steve, August 29th, 2011

Enjoying the variety of landscapes on offer in our biosphere this late summer.

Mountain air

by Steve, August 24th, 2011

Had a nice father-son camping trip, the foibles of car camping notwithstanding (Disney movies?). More on that later, perhaps.

What’s for dinner?

by Steve, August 21st, 2011

Compose yourselfFor the gardener, the end of summer brings the zucchini dilemma. It doesn’t freeze well, and once it starts, it really gets going. You end up doing things like leaving squash on neighbors’ porches, ringing their doorbells and running off. Or making zucchini bread, which is delicious, but not exactly what I need as I fight the middle-age spread.

I’ve always enjoyed summer squash stewed with tomatoes and onions, which Wacky Mommy calls ratatouille (I always just called it “what was ripe in the garden at the same time”). Tonight we tried something different, inspired by a recipe in my girl Marfa’s Whole Living magazine. Call it a composed ratatouille, if you will. Here goes:

Composed ratatouille

Ingredients:

    1 medium onion, sliced thinly
    4 roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    1 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    1 medium purple potato, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    Olive oil
    Fresh thyme
    Grated Parmesan
    Coarse sea salt
    Black pepper

Method:

Preheat oven to 375.

Sauté onion in olive oil until just starting to caramelize. Spread these evenly in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.

On top of the onions, lay the slices of potatoes, tomatoes and zucchini in an overlapping, alternating pattern. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, fresh thyme leaves, and Parmesan.

Bake 30 minutes covered, then uncover and bake another 30 minutes. Test potatoes with a fork, and bake a little more if needed.

Beets me!We also have an abundance of heirloom Chioggia beets, which I planted by accident two years ago, and decided they were my favorite. Tonight I roasted them for about 35 minutes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. We rounded out the meal with some seasoned pinto beans (olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper) and brown rice.

Surprisingly simple to make, fun to look at, delicious and nutritious.

Fibonacci Oak

by Steve, August 21st, 2011

Morning glow

by Steve, August 20th, 2011

The Slow Blog Manifesto

by Steve, August 15th, 2011

From Todd Sieling’s Slow Blog, republished under a Creative Commons license (see below).

1

Slow Blogging is a rejection of immediacy. It is an affirmation that not all things worth reading are written quickly, and that many thoughts are best served after being fully baked and worded in an even temperament.

2

Slow Blogging is speaking like it matters, like the pixels that give your words form are precious and rare. It is a willingness to let current events pass without comment. It is deliberate in its pace, breaking its unhurried stride for nothing short of true emergency. And perhaps not even then, for slow is not the speed of most emergencies, and places where beloved, reassuring speed rules the day will serve us best at those times.

3

Slow Blogging is a reversal of the disintegration into the one-liners and cutting turns of phrase that are often the early lives of our best ideas. Its a process in which flashes of thought shine and then fade to take their place in the background as part of something larger. Slow Blogging does not write thoughts onto the ethereal and eternal parchment before they provide an enduring worth in the shape of our ideas over time.

4

Slow Blogging is a willingness to remain silent amid the daily outrages and ecstasies that fill nothing more than single moments in time, switching between banality, crushing heartbreak and end-of-the-world psychotic glee in the mere space between headlines. The thing you wished you said in the moment last week can be said next month, or next year, and you’ll only look all the smarter.

5

Slow Blogging is a response to and a rejection of Pagerank. Pagerank, the ugly-beautiful monster that sits behind the many folded curtains of Google, deciding the question of authority and relevance to your searches. Blog early, blog often, and Google will reward you. Condition your creative self to the secret frequency, and find yourself adored by Google; you will appear where everybody looks – in the first few pages of results. Follow your own pace and find your works never found; refuse Pagerank its favours and your work is pulled as if by riptide into the deep waters of undifferentiated results. Its twisted idea of the common good has made Pagerank a terrifying enemy of the commons, setting a pace that forbids the reflection that is necessary to move past the day to day and into legacy.

6

Slow Blogging is the re-establishment of the machine as the agent of human expression, rather than its whip and container. It’s the voluntary halting of the light-speed hamster wheel dictated in rules of highly effective blogging. It is an imposition of asynchronous temporalities, where we do not type faster to keep up with the computer, where the speed of retrieval does not necessitate the same pace of consumption, where good and bad works are created in their own time.

 
Creative Commons License
Slow Blog Manifesto by Todd Sieling is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.
Based on a work at toddsieling.com.

 

Snake skeleton

by Steve, August 13th, 2011

A real labor candidate to challenge Eileen Brady?

by Steve, August 9th, 2011

laborAFL-CIO president Tom Chamberlain is considering running for mayor. This could finally force Portland’s complacent news media to talk about labor issues as a factor in Portland’s mayoral race.

I love this quote: “I really think the issue of jobs has to be from someone who has either created jobs, or represented workers, or worked on an agenda to create jobs. I don’t know if the other two candidates have done that.”

New Seasons co-founder Eileen Brady likes to talk about all the warm and fuzzy jobs her company has created, but as I’ve pointed out before, she hasn’t created a net increase in grocery jobs. Instead, she’s creating non-union grocery jobs where union grocery jobs used to exist. Put a bird on it, call it sustainable, and sell it to the hipsters. But that shit don’t fly when up against a real labor leader.

Some answers to questions you may have

by Steve, August 7th, 2011

Looking at the server logs, I see you have some questions… and I got answers!

Is Portland passive aggressive?

Why yes, it is.

What do you love about Portland?

Many things.

Do you have any cartoons about gay marriage?

I linked to a bunch of cartoons back in 2007, when Oregon passed its domestic partner law. (This has been a long-standing prime driver of traffic to this site, believe it or not.)

Are there hockey stores in Portland?

Northwest Skate Authority has a pro shop at Sherwood Ice Arena and one at the Winterhawks Skating Center. Decent selection (for a small shop), good prices and great service.

Are there hockey bars in Portland?

Claudia’s Sports Pub is rumored to be a decent place to catch a game. I’ve never been there, though.

Is Portland mayoral candidate Eileen Brady anti-union?

I don’t know, but her hubby sure was back in the 90s. And so far, Portland’s credulous scrivener corps hasn’t bothered to ask her about it much.

Are employees at Brady’s New Seasons stores union?

Nope.

Did Paul Newman do his own skating in Slapshot?

Yes he did, at least according to the commentary by the Hansen brothers on the DVD.

Where are good seats at Portland’s Memorial Coliseum?

I’ve always liked section 69, row H for hockey. It’s second tier, center ice. I’ve also enjoyed sitting in the Hosers’ section in the end above the goal where the Hawks shoot twice. But the place has great sight lines all around.

Is Oregonian reporter Bryan Denson a stupid fucking credulous hack?

Dan Savage sure thinks so, and I couldn’t resist putting a link to his criticism on the front page of the Oregonian Web site. (I don’t see any queries in the logs like “Is the Oregonian a useless dinosaur of an establishment rag that can’t figure out how to operate in the new media world?” but the answer is, of course, an emphatic “Yes!!”)

And finally, the number one search that brings people to this site lately:

Do you have a Portland ZIP code map?

Well, sort of. I’ve got one I scanned out of a phone book several years back, then color coded to show the shameful maldistribution of educational investment in Portland. You’ll have better luck finding a ZIP at the US Postal Service site. Funny that this post still brings visitors, as it was the post that launched my brief but intense career as a pundit, citizen journalist, and community activist in Portland Public Schools.

Mt. Hood vignette

by Steve, August 4th, 2011