TriMet is the public agency that provides transportation services (commuter rail, light rail, bus and streetcar) for most of the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area.
That opening line just screams excitement, right? Stay with me, intrepid reader. We are embarking on a torrid journey of governmental lunacy and polishing turds. Remember, it’s important for us lowly idiots to know how things really work.
This organization really got on my radar recently during the naming process for a new bridge spanning the mighty piranha-filled Willamette River that’s currently under construction. Because, as we all know, the most important characteristic about a bridge is its name. This is followed closely by how many years of neglect it takes before it fails with lots of people on it. Let’s face it. Maintenance is not exactly humanity’s strong suit.
The TriMet decided to enlist the public’s help in naming the bridge. And that’s where things decidedly jumped the rails. And I’m here to tell you about it because, amazingly, their own official website has whitewashed the whole thing from history. It’s almost like it never happened…
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Last weekend my wife and I decided to go exploring from Portland to Hood River, Oregon. Our new hometown of Portland, of course, you probably know well from the documentary series Portlandia. We moved here to do our part to help keep Portland “weird.” I took that as a personal invitation.
The city of Hood River is located about 60 miles east of Portland, 30 miles north of Mount Hood, and up the mighty Columbia River, upriver of the Bonneville Dam. It’s well known for it’s apples and pears.
Most of the journey cuts through the geologic and massively impressive Columbia River Gorge. Multnomah Falls is a well known landmark visible from the highway along the way.
After visiting Hood River, we departed on a 35-mile scene drive north of town named the “Fruit Loop” that wound its way through “orchards, forests, farmlands, delicious fruits, wineries, fields of fragrant lavender, and adorable alpacas.”
Of course my travel slog photography includes practically none of that scenic stuff. Below please enjoy other things that happened to catch my eye instead.
Shouts From The Abyss stars yours truly as a self-proclaimed guru of negativity, given (purloined) a blog which serves as a metaphorical highway where daily poop bullshit is dispensed to The Reader.
The parallels are uncanny.
Hell, I’m just like Johnny Appleseed only slightly different. And, like Mr. Appleseed, I’ve got places to go and things to do. For that I will, occasionally, use a highway.
Highway to Hell was a rockin’ little ditty by AC/DC.
One thing is for sure: That’s a lot of highways! And the other day I was on one of them.
Verily I say unto you, the highways shall be covered with billboards and they shall be legion but do not be tempted by the advertising messages contained therein lest thou’st risk thy immortal soul for they are abomination.
—The Book of Guru, Transportation Chapter
It’s not the destination, it’s the journey. A serendipitous journey dappled with billboards containing messages like “Eat at Joe’s” and “Billboard Space Available.” Hell, who wouldn’t appreciate a journey like that? God forbid that even during the act of driving we might temporarily forget that the world is 24/7 after our wallets.
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Transportation increases the odds of accidental fatalities. However, remaining stationary does not reduce the odds to zero.
–Tom B. Taker
In other words, getting from Point A to Point B can be inherently dangerous. Any method of transportation that moves your body through the physical universe increases the chances you’ll take it in the shorts. The moment you begin to move your odds of dying increase. This can take many forms. It may be a flight from Los Angeles to New York City. It might be your morning commute to work in your car. Or it could be as short of a journey as stepping into the bathtub. Or even just getting up out of your chair.
So you might think to yourself, “I’m not moving. I’m going to sit right here and remain safe.”
A nice thought. Except that death may still find you.
For example, you could be on the bed in your very own home when a sinkhole suddenly opens up and you’re just gone. Or, ripped from the headlines just yesterday, you could be standing in your home when the ceiling violently gives way from the impact of a jet aircraft. There are no reports of deaths on the ground in this latest incident, but a young boy did get nicked on his forehead. Come to think of it, the last time I wrote about this theory, I used the example of a jet aircraft engine landing on a house. As always I hate being right.
Being alive can be dangerous.
Maybe it would be a good idea to go for a walk, clear my head and think things over. (Hint: It’s not.)
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A lot of you have been exceedingly curious about my highly successful expedition to the summit of Mount Everest, the highest mount on Earth. Quit pestering me, dammit!
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single schlep.
–Me, paraphrasing Laozi
In the world of video games, there is a concept known as the voluntary challenge. It basically means, “I’m so bad ass I can win this thing while restricting myself in some way.” For example, you might try to win Mario Kart without using a vehicle. Or successfully ascend to the status of demigod in Nethack while adhering to a strictly vegan diet. Eating corpses left behind by mobs is a great way to pick up intrinsics that are vital to winning the game, so this is no small achievement.
This is my post about the time I climbed Mt. Everest. It is not a story I often share. And because I’m not that flamboyant, I decided there would be no recognition of voluntary challenges of any kind.
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