darkemeralds: Vape pen with a blue mouthpiece, cannabis cartridge attached, emitting curls of vapor (Cannabis)
Lately I've been hurting more than mere ibuprofen can handle--osteoarthritis, mostly, but a motherfucker of a toothache right at the moment.

So, though I've never been much for getting high, today I tried medical marijuana for the first time.

It took a lot of homework for me to get here. I read books, attended a workshop, and spent several hours on Leafly. I asked my doctor (who, as a naturopath, is all for it). I researched cannabinoids, terpenes, strains of sativa and indica. I read about the different dispensaries. Learned something about the labyrinth of laws surrounding legalization in Oregon. Became engrossed in delivery methods. Decided on vaping. Vaping is fast-acting and doesn't stink the joint up.

Harlequin is a sativa strain bred for high CBD and low THC, which translates to "pain relief without getting high", and my neighborhood dispensary sells it.

So off I walked to Kings of Canna on 15th and Prescott, and came home half an hour later with some paraphernalia and drugs.

A white zip bag, a vape pen with USB charger, a cannabis cartridge, some retail packaging

But look! It comes in retail packaging. There are USB chargers and LED indicators. The only baggie in sight was the fancy opaque white zip-lock bag mandated by the State of Oregon for carting the goods off-premises.

It's a couple of hours and several hits of Harlequin later, and behold! The tooth isn't really hurting anymore.

Heh. Maybe I need a new icon.
A vaporizer pen with a bright blue mouthpiece. A cannabis oil capsule is attached. The device is emitting curls of vapor

ETA: And I really don't feel high. Maybe a teeny bit hazy. I might have eaten a box of cookies...
darkemeralds: Photo of Downtown Portland, Oregon USA in twilight (Portland)
As [personal profile] ravurian pointed out when I sent it to him in the UK this afternoon, this picture might have been taken almost anywhere in the world.

A view of an IKEA store across a stretch of wetlands, from inside a commuter light rail train

Spoiler: it's in Portland. )
darkemeralds: Photo of Downtown Portland, Oregon USA in twilight (Portland)
Here's the fourth of five visits to Portlandy things I love. We seem to have a theme of redistribution going on. Today I visited two favorite east-side reduce/reuse/recycle places.

Scrap and Free Geek )
darkemeralds: Photo of Downtown Portland, Oregon USA in twilight (Portland)
As the Rebuilding Center's bumper sticker says, "I love that place!"

It's a sprawling warehouse space on North Mississippi Avenue filled with, basically, used house-parts. If you're remodeling or demolishing, you donate the lumber, windows, doors, plumbing fixtures, appliances, flooring, hardware, cabinets--anything, really, that would have otherwise wound up in the landfill--to the RBC, and then they sort it out and sell it.

Besides employing quite a few people from the neighborhood, the RBC is the financial backbone of community services organization Our United Villages.

The RBC also runs a deconstruction contracting business, which you can hire to take down your structure in a way that conserves most of the materials and responsibly disposes of the rest.

It occurred to me this morning that The Rebuilding Center might have the 2x2 lumber I need to (start to) finish my Roman shades, so off I went in the blowing snow and the suddenly-it's-winter east wind to see what I could find.

I love that place! )
darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (Bike Freedom)
Thing Two in a Five-Thing Visit To My Favorite Portlandy Things

After our tour a couple of weeks ago around the waterfront, I take you now to a much less glamorous site, not frequented by visitors at all: The Going Street Neighborhood Greenway.

Going Street )

It was a perfect day for a Going Street grocery run today: chilly, clear and still.


Jan. 16th, 2014 08:27 pm
darkemeralds: Old French poster of bicycle with naked flame-haired woman. (Bike)
I've never been able to stick to an "exercise program," (bleh) so changing my transportation mode from passive to active was perhaps the greatest stroke of genius I've ever had.1

For the last four and half years, my daily eight-mile bike commute to and from work has been what gets me off my ass--the only thing. I was a little worried that retirement, in removing my biggest transportation need, would find me slowly melding with my armchair, never to budge again.

Instead, I've discovered that I'm riding my bike more than ever.

First of all, I have time to bike to destinations that, when I was working full time, would have taken too long. I have time to figure out a safe route to a new place, to get a little lost2, to go in daylight, to choose my weather.

And second of all, I don't have to get everything done in one go on Sunday. I can make multiple trips, any day of the week. Whoops, forgot toilet paper? Four miles round trip to Fred Meyer. Return a book? Branch library across town. That fabric store that's out in the semi-urbs? Worth a shot.

Today I rode clear out past the ring of freeways to an acupuncture appointment that has always previously been a train trip. From there, since I was in the neighborhood, I stopped by my sister's--the one I don't see as much of because she lives "out there"--and pedaled home again in the gathering dark, for a 19-mile day.

View Bike to Lynne's in a larger map

1 Selling my car was an important part of everything. Side note: my driver's license has expired and I should probably do something about that. I could ride my bike to the DMV. :D

2 Sometime since I first starting biking, Google has added voice navigation to the bike layer of its maps, and it's awesome! Now I just need an app that has Paul Bettany's voice saying, "In six hundred feet, turn left onto the I-205 Bike Path. No, left, madam. The other left. That's it..."
darkemeralds: Photo of Downtown Portland, Oregon USA in twilight (Portland)
One of my most-used tags is "Portland Is Pretty Awesome" because I am constantly writing about this hometown of mine--but usually only as the context of my life. [personal profile] ravurian, in response to the question-a-day meme that's going around, yesterday wrote about his five favorite places in the London area, and it inspired me to take a similar look at Stumptown.

Portland is--well, it's an odd place. And it has gotten stranger and more wonderful in recent years. It would take a discourse on urban planning, transportation policy, history, and climate to explain it, but

I can't help thinking that a Goldilocks combination is the only way to explain Portland's boom. The weather is milder than Minneapolis, the geography is flatter than Seattle, the city is smaller in population and land-area than many other top cycling cities, it's been a fairly cheap place to live, a fairly safe place to ride, a progressive green bubble...one thing builds on another. It's Just Right.

(--a comment I left on BikePortland in response to an article last summer pondering the causes of Portland's biking boom.)

So, over the next few days I'll review (and hopefully photograph) five places I love around here, in no particular order.

First up: The Waterfront )

Next time: Klickitat Street, I think.
darkemeralds: Photo of Downtown Portland, Oregon USA in twilight (Portland)
The very pleasant, cheerful bureaucrat who helped me fill in all the blanks in my retirement paperwork this morning shook my hand when we were done and said, "Retirement is such a different thing today than it used to be. You have a whole new life ahead. I wish you the best."

I walked back to the bus stop in the October morning, looking at the perfect sky and the yellow trees, thinking, "I want to remember this day." It was a big occasion. I felt like celebrating, but it was 10:00 on a Monday morning and I had to catch a bus back in from the suburbs and go to work. So I texted a couple of "Woo hoo"s to people, then rode downtown and got myself a four-shot mocha. Then I went to work.

Only 63 more days.

View of Chapman Square in downtown Portland on an October morning, with brilliant yellow ginkgo trees and a bright blue sky
darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (Bike Freedom)
First of all it's October, and truly October-ish outside--cool, sunny, smells like apples and leaves? You know.

Second of all, I had to work today. You'd think this would be a bad thing, but I don't actually mind working on Saturday once in a while*. I get a lot done. I got a lot done. I like the quiet.

Third of all, two bike rides in the perfect. One of them took me past the goats again.

Fourth of all, a hot order of fish and chips from the Irish pub on the corner, and Volume Two of S.U. Pacat (aka [livejournal.com profile] freece)'s Captive Prince (which, dear god, where-have-you-been-all-my-life, is fantastic) just queued up all fresh.

So really, my life is perfect.

*And also? There are only thirteen Saturdays left in the whole world where this job will be an issue.
darkemeralds: Photo of Downtown Portland, Oregon USA in twilight (Portland)
After being an absolutely vile human being yesterday (mood swings of a sort) and kind of hating myself for it, I was grateful to put in twelve hours at work today. Less time to dwell on my vileness.

The long workday was broken up by a couple of walks. It was gorgeously autumnal, and Eleanor needed work, so I rode her to the shop on the east side before work and walked across to my office on the west side, then back to the shop in the afternoon. The altered route took me past one of Portland's stranger and more charming features.

Go figure )
darkemeralds: Heart-shaped raindrop on the lens, captioned with "Raining in my heart" (Rain)
...it is only a test. If this were the actual end of the world, I would be worried about other things than getting a bag of sugar home without it dissolving in the rain.

It feels a bit world-endy, though. I committed to a car-free way of life on the grounds that Portland's famous bad weather is really just mild, damp and gray--not All-Summer-In-A-Day-levels of unbroken heavy rainfall for weeks on end.

Still, that's what we've got. Monsoons of rain. Typhoons of rain. Buffoons, spittoons, doubloons and poltroons of rain. Looney Toons of rain. It is, in a word, wet. In two words: very wet.

Wet wet wet wet wet wet wet )

Ah well. The stock pot is simmering, Hungarian mushroom soup is in the works, and hey, so far, the power's still on, so there's that.
darkemeralds: Heart-shaped raindrop on the lens, captioned with "Raining in my heart" (Rain)
Animated gif of heavy rainfall seen through my living room window

I think at least an inch just fell. Smells wonderful. Not sure where the cats hide when it does this, poor boo-boos. This was very sudden.
darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (Bike Freedom)
I spent my lunch hour today with my sister and Mary Stewart, an architect at Alta Planning + Design. Alta is the firm responsible for the bike-share systems in Washington, New York, Minneapolis, a bunch of other US cities, and soon, Portland (yay!).

Through a comment conversation on BikePortland, I was invited to view Alta's array of amazing bike-parking racks, one of which can accommodate my big Dutch bike.

Bikey day )
darkemeralds: (Cat)
Ah, the winding-down time of year. I love the approach of autumn--even though the rainy season has made an early appearance here in Puddletown. Oh well. Time to get back in the habit of covering up my bike saddle. Ugh--white jeans + wet leather saddle = embarrassing stains.

Some miscellaneous day-brightening:

tiny white dog with a pink leash-handle, waiting alone on a bench outside Whole Foods near some pretty flowers
Dog parking at Whole Foods

All-black cat with pale eyes lounging on the patio
Meet Ivy, who has been hanging about lately. I think she has several homes, but I like to be a reliable source of food. Graydie puts up with her.

A smartphone mount on the handlebars of a bike, next to the cup-holder and the basket
Handlebar phone mount. One of my better recent acquisitions. Took me a few rides to learn to trust it but now I wouldn't be without it.
darkemeralds: Photo of Downtown Portland, Oregon USA in twilight (Portland)
1. Posting from my phone. This works slightly better with the latest version of Chrome for Android than it did before.

2. Reading the Felix Castor books by Mike Carey. Urban magician, kind of, except he's more of an exorcist, and there are ghosts and zombies. In London. Good stuff. A long arc underlies the individual story in each book. I'm on book two and it's getting more intriguing as it goes along.

3. I made oatcakes for dinner and ate them all.

4. The weather here in Stumptown is PERFECT. I can't get over it. Bright and warm in the day, cool in the leafy shade, cool at night. Breezes are keeping air quality high. It's wonderful.

5. Eleanor O is in the shop overnight, having her brakes adjusted and getting a new bungee for her rear rack. This means a couple of bus rides for me, but I don't mind because it's just so nice here right now, nothing seems bothersome.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Just got an email from Portland Fire and Rescue, urging us to have a safe 4th of July holiday.

The message points out that all but the most modest fireworks are illegal in Oregon, concedes that anyone can cross the river to Washington and buy as much explodey goodness as their little heart desires, then begs us all to consider the following, which seemed worth sharing:

Illegal fireworks cause:
  • Countless injuries including trauma and burns from unplanned explosions
  • Reoccurring trauma to many of our returning veterans suffering the effects of their service to our Country
  • Emotional trauma and anxiety to many small children and animals, who are especially vulnerable
  • Enormous property loss each year by causing fires to residences, landscape, and wildland
  • Environmental pollution, measureable in both air and noise

"Given the physical, emotional, environmental, and economic costs, as our population becomes more aware about these real consequences, it will become increasingly clear that illegal fireworks in the hands of amateurs is no longer a 'patriotic' act."

darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (Bike Freedom)
It's Fiscal New Year's Eve here in the World's Tallest Basement--one of several key Last Times in my career.

Fiscal year-end is, as usual, a complete cluster-fuck. Frantic people trying frantically to finish financial transactions before the money goes away in this most frantic of bad fiscal years have made it Frantic City around here all day. Makes me feel so important!

Tomorrow morning--yes, Saturday--I have to be back here, nine o'clock sharp, to help guide the ceremonial closing of the books. If all goes well, we can get out by noon, whereupon I shall be free to sally forth in the too-hot sunshine and maybe go check out a couple of Pedalpalooza events. I'm considering Let's Go Bike To Queers (an LGBTQ celebration of Pride and the defeat of DOMA), at least to ride by and ding my bell (not a euphemism) in solidarity on my way to The Tiny House Tour.
darkemeralds: Screencap from Where The Hell Is Matt (joy)
Just got in from the late showing of Much Ado. It's playing at Cinema 21, an unapologetically crappy old movie house in a neighborhood that was hip when I lived there in, like, the Reagan era, and seems, after a period where it started to feel a bit corporate, to have been re-hippified.

I picked up my ticket, wandered across the street to a bar I'd never heard of, and had a mojito and a really good spinach, strawberry, goat cheese and hazelnut salad. Since I almost never drink, I was a wee bit tipsy when I crossed back over at showtime.

I honestly don't think the rum was solely responsible for my delight. )
darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (Bike Freedom)
1. Suddenly it's summer here in Stumptown. I got double-bridged on my way to work this morning: some river traffic going downstream caused the Steel Bridge to lift, so I made my way to the Hawthorne just in time for a barge heading upriver to raise that span. The bike traffic backup was considerable.

Pretty day for being stuck mid-bridge, though )


Mar. 2nd, 2013 10:41 am
darkemeralds: Purple patent leather Doc Martens against a multi-colored carpet with the title True Colors (Dressing Your Truth)
It's spring. The neighborhood is full of daphne-scented breezes. Tulip spears are poking up everywhere. I picked up my cashmere pullover at the drycleaner yesterday and didn't even bother to un-paper it--it's going into storage for the next eight months. I slept with the bedroom window wide open last night.

I hate spring. )

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