Friday, May 20, 2011

A bad "Judgment" call? The Good Book wasn't?

Okay, so it’s Sunday, May 22, and, like, the world didn’t end.

I will have spent most of a sunny Saturday hunkered down in the basement with the wife, cat, three cases of Granola bars, sacks of cat kibble and kitty litter, four cartons of toilet paper, a bottle of Scotch, mounds of chips and vats of salsa and 10 gallons of Gatorade.

Oh, and water, lots of water.

Some of the Rapture media folks (Have they done a good job or what?!) must be scripting media sound bites to soothe the disaffected who wasted a perfectly good day.

Trust me, we will not be amused. Who called off The End?

Here are some of the answers at the ready for why the big stage manager in the sky missed the final curtain call.

The wires got tangled.

The labor unions refused to cooperate.

Management changed its mind at the last minute.

The message was garbled. Seems that it was the end of something else. We aren’t sure what...yet. Possibly taxes; maybe death. Stay tuned.

We’ve learned not to believe everything we read.

It just wasn't working out.

It was a bad fit.

We decided to go with Plan B.

It wasn’t such a Good Book after all.

We forgot to read the fine print.

We should have run it by legal.

We always knew there was a very, very small probability it might not happen.

The Big Guy in the Sky was having trouble focusing because there was too much else going on in the Realm. Wars, floods, earthquakes, adultery. Some of the angels have turned out NOT to be "better angels of our nature.”

It’s going to take longer than originally anticipated.

Go to our web site for a full explanation.

We experienced theological difficulties. Sorry for the inconvenience.

It was always a "Judgment" call.

We misspoke.

We’ll get back to you.

No comment.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Two kinds of graffiti in Gabriel Park

First you need to visit Southwest Portland' Gabriel park on a glorious spring day like today. The billowing clouds, the fresh foliage, the rolling hills. And down in a draw, the skateboard park.

I've come to appreciate Gabriel's skateboard park as an integral part of the landscape's sinuous contours. It's as if the ghost of sculptor Henry Moore had shaped the site — and beckoned us to play.

So enjoy the park. I visit it three times a week.

But there are dark clouds over the park as well.

Sadly Gabriel is under constant siege by graffiti hoodlums. (They also hit Pendleton and Custer parks)

Two Friday's ago, they struck the skateboard park; three days later the Park Bureau's two-person sandblasting crew was out to remove the scrawl. Graffiti removal is their full-time job.

By the end of the week, the graffiti was back. One tag read in large black letters: "We're sorry about your wall."

If only.

On Monday, the blasting crews were out again.

And, of course, the clean-up is expensive. We pay for it through our taxes. I find it as wearing psychologically as financially.

There's another form of graffiti in Gabriel too. In a way it is more depressing. The same park officials who order the clean up of the messy and often obscene spray painting at the skateboard park, actually welcome technological graffiti that defaces the park. The culprits are known. We are their customers. Their names are Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and other cellular providers.

Not that we can live without their services any longer, but a tower like this prominent monstrosity next to the park can be hidden in trees or even church steeples. Two churches are just yards from this tower. Clusters of trees are everywhere in the park.

And just four blocks away is yet another cellular tower. Can't these industrial giants double up, or do they each need a prominent corporate erection?


Attention, Portland Parks and Recreation and Parks Commissioner Nick Fish: Thanks for fighting the defacing of the skate park; now stop enabling corporate vandals.

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