Monday, March 31, 2008

Portland skyline on a cold night

IMG_7895.JPG, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Scott had me take him to the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge one evening this weekend. What you can't see in Scott's photo is how cold it was. It actually snowed and hailed this weekend -- apparently the latest spring time snow Portland has had on record. The snow didn't stick, but it sure doesn't feel like spring.

Also, not seen in the photo are the cauliflower florets I was throwing in the river from the bag of veggies I snacked on. Scott consider it polluting the river.

Friday, March 28, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: "fierce" has "expired"!!!

Our long national nightmare is over. This season's annoying catchphrase is soon to die (sorry, Scott):

(Transcript from Towleroad:)

CRAIG FERGUSON: You've been saying fierce a lot. I've got to talk to you about that.


FERGUSON: It's time.

SIRIANO: It's kind of time. It's going. My new one is 'expired'. And, I mean (looks at Ferguson's suit) sometimes the pinstripes just a little expired.

I love the first catty remark on Towleroad:

Queens have been using the word "fierce" since before this kid was born, so it's hardly his trademark. But he's right. It is over. "Fierce" went out in the 80's.
Posted by: JJ | Mar 28, 2008 8:33:18 AM

Here is the long clip (which I haven't bothered to watch yet):

Monday, March 24, 2008


I'm watching FRONTLINE's Bush's War right now. It's an incredibly thorough and interesting re-telling of the Bush Administration's incompetence and deceit. Infuriating and shameful. Worse yet, it's likely all of those responsible will comfortably retire within a year and go on to lucrative private sector careers.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Ten Commandments

Scott tried to introduce me to his family's tradition of watching Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 The Ten Commandments. I've seen clips of this movie, but I've never sat through the entire movie and last night was no exception. I switched to Reno: 911! when Scott left the room.

Of course, the movie is campy and over-dramatic. We loved the narrator's description of the Hebrew's toil. We couldn't help but find the parallels between the Hebrew's slavery and his co-workers'. Haven't we all heard this narration in our jobs?:

. . . Endlessly they plod beneath the sheaves of wheat and endlessly return for more. A golden harvest to the threshers, the grain saved to feed the masters, bitterness to feed the slaves. And to feed the brick pits, straw carried on the bowed backs of women. Down into the never-ending valley of toil and agony, stretching mile after mile, an inferno of mud-soaked bodies, where the treaders' feet churn clay and straw into the mixture for the Pharaoh's bricks, and everywhere the lash of watchful taskmasters, ready to sting the backs of the weary. . . .


Blades chopping straw... mattocks chopping clay, a ceaseless cycle of unending drudgery.

From the mixing feet of treaders to the pouring hands of brick molders moves the constant stream of mud, the lowly seed of tall cities.

Day after day, year after year, century after century, bondage without rest, toil without reward. These are the children of misery, the afflicted, the hopeless, the oppressed.


Here's a funny YouTube trailer:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mt St Helens

23 copy.jpg, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Scott took this picture of Mt. St. Helens on Sunday. We were supposed to hike Ape Cave with Sheena and her friends, but the park appeared to be snowed-in.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Persepolis: B

Persepolis, originally uploaded by looking4poetry.

Scott, Heather, Isabel, and I saw Persepolis last weekend. It was very cute -- which is a little odd to say about story dealing with execution, war, depression, homelessness, and oppression. The story is Marjane Satrapi's memoir and ends somewhat abruptly, but Starpi has written a follow-up Persepolis 2 which will hopefully receive the same animation treatment (since it's unlikely I'll get around to reading a word book).

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Bill Clinton: " for the person that wants you to think and hope"

Since Oregon's primary is still months away, I've enjoyed not taking sides in the Clinton or Obama nomination race. I figured the race will be decided by the time I vote, so there is no point in adding to the political blog noise. However, I have to admit that I'm leaning toward Obama now.

Initially, I thought Hillary would make a better candidate. She does have much more experience than Obama and the allure of bringing back the Clinton 90s. However, I've had some reservations as well:

  • The Bill Clinton years were better than the Bush Jr years, but they weren't that great. The first Clinton presidency was awfully cozy with corporations and he made several regrettable compromises (Don't Ask Don't Tell, Telecomm Act, NAFTA, DoMA, etc.)
  • Inexperience and optimistic speeches is what got her husband into office. Sixteen years ago, Bill Clinton was the young outsider who was going against an experienced Washington insider. It's ironic that now she is arguing against those attributes.
  • Even with experienced advisers, Clinton's campaign is making major missteps and her disgruntled staff is leaking information just as her husband's administration was famous for.

Inspiration is what Democratic voters have wanted during the long and disastrous Bush Jr years. Unlike Gore in '00 and Kerry in '04, Obama is able to inspire voters. Meanwhile, Hillary seems to have fallen back on negative scare tactics as seen in her desperate and archaic telephone ad:

Obama's well-organized campaign had a quick, smart response:

Ultimately, Bill Clinton's comments about politicians who use fear have come back to haunt Hillary's campaign:

(Hat Tip:, which also has some of the other old scare tactic ads.)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

leaked trailer

Here's a trailer for an upcoming film Sheena will be very interested in seeing:

(Hat Tip: