Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sick Like Me

So I am sick. Nasty sick.

There are sticky, icky things being produced when I cough or when I blow. Not pretty.

This cold/illness was pretty sneaky too. It started with a sore throat Sunday morning. No big deal. I had overused my voice the night before when the Timbers beat the Sounders 2-0 at PGE Park. So I didn't figure it was of any concern. I went about my happy, happy Sunday thinking nothing of it, really. Did my road trip to the beach as planned, tested my new keys to the house, had a cream ale at the Pelican, built a fire, etc. and spent some fantastic time with a new friend, Heather, and helped her get some awesome (ossom) photographs.

But by Monday morning the sore throat was still here and had brought along it's close friends; bodyaches, fever, phlegm, phlegm, phlegm and close cousin, the shakes.

And they've been here ever since. They are not my favorite houseguests.

There should be a few positives to this: I was here for the UPS guy to drop off my new bicycle. Yay. Except I don't even have the strength and concentration to assemble it, let alone test it properly. I can catch up on my writing. As you can see from the blog, I'm clearly winning that battle.

Nope. I'm in a delirious dayquil induced coma. In and out of dream states. With an incredible appetite and no taste buds. Weird.

Regardless, I hope to feel well enough to get into the office tomorrow. Without a voice I'll have a hard time properly doing my job, but I will muddle through it.

I hope all you gentle readers are faring better than I.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Let's Get Quiet

We’re entering another quiet time on the blog.

Busy professional life, combined with an actual social life is severely limiting both the time I have for blogging as well as the content.

I will have things to say. But they will be brief and may not be very interesting or very juicy.

I guess we’ll all just have to deal with it.


Monday, April 21, 2008

There Will Be Blood


People need ‘em and I’ve got ‘em. In spades.

I donated two units of platelets yesterday. I’m going back for seconds in two weeks. I almost have enough to do three units. How cool is that?

Overall it’s not that different from giving a whole blood donation. Except you're wrapped up in blankets and fleece and you have to pump up your calcium before and during the procedure. Plus, it takes twice as long.

A few tips if you want to give:

Wear a vest. It helps keep you warm but gives them good access to your arm. I prefer fleece vests because, well, they’re fleece. Fleecy goodness is the best.

Bring your Netflix list. You’ll be seated for 1-2 hours in a comfy vinyl chaise. You have a personal TV with headphones and can watch from their fairly extensive collection of films or bring your own. I watched a Reader’s Digest version of “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” as I’m a pretty good bleeder. But I wasn’t prepared enough to find a movie I hadn’t seen before with any sort of efficiency. I felt like I was at the video store with three people – the worst number of people to decide on a movie rental BTW.

Anyway, 7:15am Sunday May 4 I do it all over again. Want to join me?


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bike Me!

So, last week when my car was sick I did a half-day of mass transit in Portland to get to work.

This consisted of leaving my house about 35 minutes early, walking four blocks to the bus stop for the 4, riding to the Rose Quarter transit center and taking the Blue MAX to Beaverton. Then a short five minute walk to my office.

I believe in mass transit. I know it does a lot of good for the city and I feel like a first rate schmuck for not being more on board with it personally. But, I must confess, I hate the bus. Crowded. Odd smelling. It’s like being in someone else’s sweat glands to me.

But MAX is a bit different, especially if you’re going against the flow of traffic. High ceilings, lots of windows. I got some reading done, which was nice.

So now I am seriously pondering a switch to becoming a MAX commuter. At least during Spring and Summer. My company will pay for most of the monthly pass so it’s basically free. I’ll drive about 500 miles less each month, which will save about $100 in gas costs each month. Plus there’s the small environmental impact.

But how do I avoid the bus?

Easy, get on my bicycle. Except my bicycle is a piece of crap. It needs so much work that I’m probably going to need to acquire a new bike. Plus it’s a mountain bike and is a really uncomfortable and difficult ride in the city. But I really want to be one of those hip Portland guys who hang his bike on the bike things on MAX. I really do.

So I’m in the market for a new bike. I’ve checked out craigslist and am wary of buying used – because I have no idea what’s quality and what’s not, nor do I know where that bike’s been. I think I need either a commuter bike, complete with fenders and a big comfy saddle or a traditional road bike. My commute on the bike will only be a few miles each day but I will likely use the bike to get around town a bit from time to time as well.

As I’ve been searching online I realize that sizing a bike for me will be a challenge. I’m a typical 5’10” tall but I have a longer torso and slightly shorter legs than average.

So, I am accepting suggestions for a bike that’s cheap (under $500 – make that well under $500) and suggestions regarding what I should be looking for to meet my needs. What do you think?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It’s a beautiful day for football.

Portland Timbers opening night is tonight. The skies are clear. The beer will be cheap. The crowd will be loud.

Catch up with the goings on about the teams with the fans at Talk Timbers, The 107 Report podcast, The Offside or Oregonlive.

Match is at 7:00pm. General Admission tickets are $11 available at the PGE Park box office or through Ticketmaster. (Devlyn, thanks for the correction on the price, that's what I get for posting from memory.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Superheroes Needed: No Tights Required

I always wanted to be a superhero. Have some sort of radioactive accident that would transform me into a super-handsome, super-witty, super-powerful being who would do good, save lives, save the world and get the girl.

Well, no radioactive accident.

But, in its place I’ve decided to at least save some lives. Sunday I will be donating platelets from my blood at the Red Cross. Platelet donation is different than donating blood. It takes about two hours. Your blood is removed from the body, the platelets are separated and then the blood is recirculated back into your vein through the same small needle. Scientifically, this seems cool to me. Practically is another matter however. I’m not too squeamish of needles but I also don’t like sitting still for two hours.

“Doris”, the enthusiastic scheduler, was downright giddy that I had decided to donate. Apparently AB+ blood is the best platelet donor and my platelet count is a massive 258. Good blood here kids, good blood.

The uses of platelets are different than whole blood. Platelets are used in the more crucial procedures like organ transplants, bone marrow donations, cancer treatments, etc. But platelets are only valid for five days and the first two days are needed for testing on the goods themselves. You may donate up to 26 times a year so, if this isn’t too unbearable, I think I’ll try to do every two weeks.

If something like this interests you, please call the Red Cross at 503-284-1234.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sensors Working Overtime

So my car is healthy again.

I had a faulty sensor (Jenn you were right!) that made it appear than my cam-shaft was locking up. So my car went into self preservation mode and wouldn't start.

The sensor repair was under warranty. Thank you Hyundai. So was the tow. Thank you Ray, although you took your own sweet time showing up.

But, once the car was at the mechanic, I needed to have my 30K service done and they advised that my front tires (which I did not rotate regularly enough) were dangerously bald. Sort of like me.

So I spent a lot of money yesterday. But the upside is that my Santa Fe (she still needs a nickname BTW) is purring perfectly like a cat. She almost drove herself home.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

What's Gotten Into Her?

My vehicle is a gold 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe. A useful, reliable vehicle. Strange that she’s never earned a nickname as most of my other cars did early in their lives.

Anyway. Yesterday afternoon I went to start her to go out for the evening and she gave me some trouble. She would start right up and then the engine would just die. Over. And over. Even if I revved her and gave her lots of fuel she would sputter and shut off.

So I’ve got some type of fuel issue. Bad gas. Fuel pump. Computer sensor. Something.

But I now have my first opportunity to use Hyundai’s roadside assistance. They’ll tow me for free, or so they say. My warranty is still in place so I should only be facing the inconvenience of being without my car for so many unknown days.



Thursday, April 10, 2008

Time After Time


It’s getting the best of me lately.

I was having a conversation with my housemate/friend/landlord David the other night. We were discussing the need for Bruce time. Or David Time. He actually said he had copyrighted the term. He wouldn’t lie about that, would he?

Y’know. Alone time. Time to reflect. Time to decompress.

When I was living solo I learned to enjoy that time. And in turn I needed that time to feel like myself. Now that I’m back living in a community, albeit a two person community, my time and space is shared. And while I don’t require as much alone time I still need it.

Being more active is mostly a good thing. But recently, as I’ve been ramping up my diverse activities, I have less Bruce Time…oops David time, and it is taking its toll. I have been so busy with media activities, Timbers items, Kip’s wedding, a social life, etc. that I feel like I might be losing my way. And myself in the process.

So. This Sunday is mine. All mine. Don’t try to stop me and no one will get hurt.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

I'm So Pretty

Best man.

It’s a title that is more than ceremonial. Traditionally the best man conjures up the bachelor party, offers any and all assistance to the bride’s family leading up to the wedding day, helps keep the groom from losing his mind, etc. He also toasts the bride and groom.

I did these things recently, culminating with the actual wedding and reception last night.

Now to say that this was a fun event and outstanding party is an understatement. Kip and Jen put together a perfect party with the emphasis on the party and celebration rather than the drama that a wedding can produce.

It’s always fun to take people you know in one context, dress them up real pretty, and put them in front of an audience. Things are bound to happen.

I won’t tell most of the stories like how I forgot that bringing the microphone was my responsibility or Peter and Jeane and the inflatable whale, but I’ll show a few of the pics that have surfaced.

But I want to talk about the toast. I did this once before for my brother’s wedding. It was a good little speech and toast. Last night, I did it again.

I’ve been sweating the details of this speech for the last few weeks. I had a general idea of what I wanted to say but was struggling to give it structure and struggling to create the right kind of relevance and relation to Kip and Jen’s life together.

So I never wrote the speech. I winged it.

Well, I’m going to pat myself on the back a bit, because that’s what a lot of other people have been doing since I delivered the words. I hit it perfectly last night. I really did. And I’m a bit surprised myself.

But, as I examine all of the things I’ve been doing lately that put myself out there; This blog, the TV show, my podcast, the upcoming video projects, etc. it’s becoming clear to me that I’ve conquered a portion of my modest stagefright as well as created a comfortable cadence with public speaking.

So good for me.

The wedding is supposed to be about the couple and not about anyone else. I try to remember that as I participate in these types of events. But, that being the case, the toast is the part where the attention is focused on the best man. You might as well do a good job with it.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Soup or Salad?

So in my ever expanding quest to improve my social life and social scorecard I've got a new experiment.

I'm looking for new restaurants. I'm not reviewing them. I'm not critiquing them. I'm just looking to try something new every two or three weeks.

I've lived in Portland most of my life. I've gotten very set in my ways which has advantages and disadvantages. But it does create a bit of a rut. There are probably thousands of restaurants that I've never set food inside. I want to change that.

So, I'd love some suggestions of good restaurants. Any area of town and any ethnicity. But it's good food I'm looking for. I'm less concerned with linen napkins or impressive decor.


PS - I'll also be looking for people to try the places out with, so if you're interested, drop me an email or post a comment.