Saturday, August 30, 2008

Klamath Falls to SF

I've been out of town for a week, driving up to see my mother in suburban Portland. There, in addition to family duties, I worked for a day out of my company's downtown Portland office, and went to lunch with co-workers. That gave me the opportunity to discover the lunch trucks of downtown Portland. Anyplace there's a parking lot, two or three or eight trucks, trailers and carts are set up to serve a variety of foods, everything from Thai to Mexican. It had been several years since I'd been to downtown Portland during a workday, so this was a pleasant surprise to me.

While we were standing on the sidewalk waiting for our orders and talking in loud voices about new features of the next software release, a couple of hippie punks walked by, the boy intentionally brushing my shoulder and arm as he went past as if to tell me we were taking up too much room on the sidewalk. Being a cluster of four men, we probably were taking up too much room, frankly. I looked up in surprise at the glancing blow but it wasn't enough for me to make an issue of. If it had been enough to jar me off-balance, maybe. Anyway, I was amused by the fact that I am now a fat middle-aged businessman in a polo shirt being twitted by the same kind of hippie punk I was thirty years ago.

The next day, having posted on Twitter about being in an office building in downtown Portland, I was contacted by my friends Chris and Debora, who live in the southern California high desert but happened to be sub-letting in Portland for the month. Cris and I got together with them, had lunch, and went to the Portland Japanese Garden. What a nice break from family stuff!

In between breaks from family stuff, we spent time with my mother and her husband Tom. He is a typical old-man grouchy Republican who loves to bait me with lines like "Ya know, illegal aliens run California." Since the Democratic Convention was on all week long, he had to sit and watch it. The best moment was when Obama was speaking and Tom intoned, "'Change, change!' Change from what? He never says what change" and Obama promptly said, "Now let me tell you exactly what change I am talking about."

Now we're in Klamath Falls, where a cool wind is blowing. We missed a heat wave in the San Francisco Bay Area and we'll be back there tonight. Thanks, Katia, for the cat sitting!


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