Wednesday, January 7, 2009

finally nice weather

if november brough the rain to portland, and december brought snow, here now january has brought the winds. the wind has been so strong the past two days i have found it hard to pedal my bike. the wind slows me down to the point that i feel as if i am riding underwater. my body combined with my bicycle apparently isn't aerodynamic enough for this weather. and i swear this morning that the wind pushes the rain to fall parallel to the ground. by divine providence, as i arrived downtown on my bicycle, i rode west one block further than i normally do to avoid making an illegal turn onto a one way street in front of two patrol cars, and suddenly found myself sitting next to my 35 macadam bus a few blocks away from the stop. i met the bus at the stop and decided just to ride to work since the bus was there and i was went and the wind was intense.

i do enjoy my bike ride every day. it only takes me about thirty minutes, maybe a little less, to bike the four miles from the apartment in the inner northeast to my office just south of the south waterfront. here, let me show you a map:

View Larger Map

however, if you'll notice this route takes me through downtown, and i usually take the train back over the river into the inner northeast, so there are large swaths of the city that i never see or explore much, namely, the southeast, most of the northeast, and the north. sometimes booth and i do wander a little farther north into the northeast and north sections of the city, and we often run errands downtown (such as when we went to the city of books a few days ago), but for the most part we stick around in our neighborhood. it just sometimes exhausts me thinking about walking too far and then having to walk back and sleep and wake up and begin the commute all over again. and generally there's no pressing to leave the neighborhood anyway.

as booth and i were on our way back from powell's on sunday, we got on the train at 10th and yamhill or whatever the crossroad is, and as we passed by pioneer square we noticed a protest again the attacks by israel against hamas in the gaza strip. however it wasn't the large gathering of people that can occur here in portland. there were twenty people at most, holding signs and waving flags. it reminded me of the group of senior citizens who protest the war in five points south in birmingham, the five or seven people who show up to the protest, the cheap, sometimes unreadable signs they hold, the smiles on their faces as they wave to passing cars which occassionally honk in support. i wish i had had my camera with me to show you the gathering here in portland, and i kind of wish i had known about the protest, had been able to participate.

the situation in palestine is absurd. the israelis suddenly attack after seeming to smudge that bottom line just slightly when the truce between the israeli government and hamas ended a few weeks ago. then today, after devasting the small, densely populated area, israel decided to allow three hours of cease fire a day for humanitarian help to the gazans. does this make sense to anyone? the israelis say they are attacking hamas, yet the people being injured are palestinian citizens. the israelis seem to understand they are hurting these civilians and do not seem to be affecting it apparently makes sense to the israelis and the american government, but apparently the rest of the world, particularly the french and egyptians, are trying to stop the insanity.

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