Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Road Frogs

This week's title comes from a trip just finished to Portland, where our now three-years-married baby lives. More on that later.

I saw a cartoon poking a little fun at the recent non-apocalypse. A bearded man dressed in a robe holds a homemade sign which reads "The End Was Near".

You might have missed the action at soccer's Women's World Cup being held in Germany. Among the competitors is the team from North Korea. They haven't played so well, but they have the greatest excuse of all time. The coach explained that the blame goes to the team getting struck by lightning in a pre-Cup practice. Maybe the team members' memories were zapped too, because none of them has said anything about it.

Portland is a seven-hour drive from here through forests and mountain ranges. There's lots of scenery and plenty of sharp curves to keep you awake. The wife, who's a relentless driver, got us there on time.
It was really just a weekend/holiday trip, but there's lots to do in Portland, as we found out. Our first evening plan included a little train ride to see the Portland Timbers, a soccer team, in action.Upon arriving, we made the shocking discovery that the game was sold out. A few minutes later we boarded the return trip on what we dubbed the "Train O' Shame". I did see a goal from the game - on Yahoo! via home computer. Doh!
We had some other stops: a massive local bookstore, a restaurant that serves Cuban food, and church services in a building built on the 1920's. The meeting we attended included short expressions of faith from people born in three different foreign countries. We stopped in at the "Peculiarium", an odd little four-room museum that had on hand a 10-foot high statue of Sasquatch and a small kit for conducting exorcisms. Free admission, too.Our daughter's husband, who seems to have an eye for these things, had assembled and mounted a life-size deer head made only of cardboard on the living room wall. It had a very satirical quality, because no one would have thought it was the real thing, but the form was unmistakeable. They hadn't settled on a name for it, though it would be hard to top the name on the original package - "Bucky".
Hopping around the city was great fun. Portland has a tradition of mixing residential and commercial space on certain streets so completely that you have to check which door you're opening. I saw what looked like some kind of store announcing the future tenant - UBAD Auto Detailing. Could this guy use a new marketing man? To me it seemed a little too much like "UBAD. Me.....good!!"


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