Captain Kris W'lash

Sweet, sweet slumber

I stayed up a while last night, wondering if there would be many fireworks still fired the night after the Fourth of July, or not many.

Not many, I'm relieved to say. I updated that entry as the night went on, and there wasn't much to update.

And I slept. I slept reasonably well, and in the morning I had enough energy to go for a walk.

Not much more energy today, though: I took it easy, listened to a couple of podcasts, and ate.

Not much else to report, for now.
Good Omens

So Far...

It's 9:28 as I start typing this. The day after the 4th of July, which sounded like a war zone in many, many cities and towns. Many. (...many.)

I heard second-hand today that a six-year-old dog died from the stress of last night. The stress of that much noise and shock, on what's supposed to be a happy holiday, but this year one where even more people than usual blow up fireworks they really shouldn't have. Even before this, I'd soured on non-professional use of fireworks. Displays by pros, who know what they're doing? I want to enjoy those still; I'm not sure that I will. Am I headed toward saying "Screw it, make every firework illegal"? Maybe.

I've been wondering if tonight would be another fireworks night. As of now: no. I heard a smattering of small booms down the street, earlier today. As in the 2:00 p.m. hour. Since then, nothing.

Wondering if that will hold out.

9:55 p.m. A few booms, though fewer (and feebler) than the afternoon ones.

10:28 p.m. One boom, distant. Maybe within a mile.

10:37 p.m. One, closer.

11:02 p.m. Single boom, distant. A minute later, another single boom, slightly different direction. Two minutes later, another single sound.

11:13 p.m. One, maybe closer.
Whale fluke

Fireworks. It's sounding like "Apocalypse Now" without The Doors.

Quickly, a Poem of Noise
by Christopher Walsh, 7/4/2020

We had Pandemic Quiet.
April gave us an early Spring that,
In this once-in-a-century (we hope) year,
Made noise with mainly birdsong and breeze.
Fewer cars. Fewer events. Fewer doings.
Fewer noises caused by us.
That longer the case.
That is especially no longer case this week,
With the fireworks.
And fireworks. And fireworks. And fireworks.
From well before dark to well after, well, more dark.
Noise and blasts from most every direction except below
(And is that going to somehow happen now?
"Fireworks stash blasts crater into street" reads a future headline,
One I hope never happens),
A sky rended with explosions enough that I have to remind myself
These booms can't damage or break the air.
My younger self would be surprised: I'm tired of the displays.
Fireworks can be amazing and awe-inspiring:
I know from sitting on the Washington Monument's hill
(It's true: 1985, my first D.C.-area summer)
And the booms seemingly everywhere,
A ceiling of fireworks, a shield.
Now: no. I'm tiring. Sighing,
Knowing that too much of this for too many nights
Can be assault.
Who is scared tonight? Who is freaked? Who needs sleep and can't get to it?
And so too many of us
Not care? Except for the boom?
We have Pandemic Noise.
I'd prefer the quiet.

* * *

...huh. Wasn't quite expecting that to come out of me. I guess I have feelings on the subject.

© Christopher Walsh, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christopher Walsh (chris_walsh) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Me 2 (B&W)

Two photos of Friday

Not blogging in-depth tonight, but:

I did another good, long walk, through SE Portland, and rewarded myself with my first steak in months. Had it at My Father's Place, which has been operating since the 1970s and is a place I like.

Here's the food as well as me.

Steak and eggs at My Father's Place, Friday, July 3, 2020

Me, just before removing my mask to eat at My Father's Place
Thumbs Up Vader

Quick note at day's end:

Latest "film I'm glad I've finally seen but probably would have found too overwhelming had I watched it in a theater, so it's good I watched it on my tablet": the 2007 film version of Sweeney Todd.

(I mean overwhelming because of the blood, I don't mean overwhelming because of Helena Bonham Carter's bosom.)
Flavored Calories.

I won't have popcorn for dinner.

I'm low on energy today. Luckily I've been able to take it easy, and I'll keep taking it easy tonight. Unusually for me, I didn't do my usual Wednesday morning errand until well into the afternoon, getting the latest Willamette Week. (I also put out the trash, compost and recycling for pickup tomorrow.)

Today was going to be a grocery-shopping day. Until yesterday, when I was getting and checking Fred Meyer coupons, both printed and digital, and realized that I'd get more benefit from doing the shopping Thursday, July 2nd instead of Wednesday the 1st, because I'd get double fuel points. I already was doing strategic shopping by not going to shop at Freddy's until at least July, to start accumulating fuel and rewards points for the new rewards period. This will be slightly more strategic shopping.

But it means I'm low on food today, and I didn't want to go out to get anything, unlike yesterday when I got lunch at Space Monkey Coffee. I was tempted to get delivery, which I literally go years in between doing. (I definitely don't have any of the delivery apps.) I'll scrounge up some dinner. Maybe I'll have more energy then! That can work.
Me 2 (B&W)


I woke up from one of my dreams last night. That dream had turned annoying, and I awakened surprised how annoyed I was about it. I also was worried I'd have trouble falling back to sleep after that — it was approaching 5 o'clock — and considered just getting out of bed then.

But I did fall back to sleep, and dreamed again, a new dream: completely different circumstances and plot, this time about helping Mom with an event for my employers, um, Beyoncé Knowles, Solange Knowles, and Jay-Z. Yes, the dream was that specific. (The earlier dream wasn't.) In my dream I was needing to take care of an errand, and it hit me: both dreams were about me trying to be useful at a job, and the earlier dream was annoying because someone in it was actively preventing me from being useful. (And was bring a jackass about it, too.) In the later dream, I was figuring out how I was going to be useful, and I was being allowed to do the useful errand. Which I started to do, but didn't finish before waking up out of the dream.

Makes me wonder how Beyoncé, Solange, and Jay-Z are as bosses. The kind of bosses who let you do your job without making it overly difficult, I hope. I hope. ( an issue for me. I may have told you before.)
Whale fluke


A Political Poem, Believe It or Not
by Christopher Walsh, 5/27/2020-6/29/2020

You only hear one answer. You decide
Decided, done, one-size-fits-all ("says I")
Opinions which, amazingly, fit just
What you already knew, conveniently,
Like facts. You say you see uncertainty,
Then claim it only straightens out by what
You say to do. You're right; you have to be.
If a, then b. If c, then b. If x,
Yes: b. It all turns into math. No mess.
The logic works because you say it does.
"Your logic's wrong" explains enough, of course.
The testing fails others' concepts, so
Dismissing or belittling becomes
Your right. "I'm sorry your solution won't
Resolve a thing. Too bad for you. But good
For me." (The last four words of that pronounce-
ment's left unsaid.)
--ment's left unsaid.) It makes it easier
To criticize the ones you never liked/
supported anyway. They're wrong; they have
To be. And truly testing your and their
Ideas somehow keeps not happening,
As who can earn that trust to be allowed
A test? Conspiracy against your truth
Is easier to grasp: "You can't be fair, so
You aren't." A victory in what was not
Supposed to be a battle. Nor a war.
At some deep level, you believe this. Well.
At some deep level, I've believed this, too.
It's never been that easy. True, but sad.
Exhausting, fighting Possibility,
Because you don't think Possibility's
Allowed. You let your certainty become
A Certainty, in Caps, one that solves all,
And other allies, as bad as the foes
Because they do not share your Certainty,
And they're exhausted. Not you. Notice that?
When you're too busy being right to see
The other battles, other battles can
More easily be lost. And then — more mess,
Which you will likely never really see.

© Christopher Walsh, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christopher Walsh (chris_walsh) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
NCC-1701 Regula

What's out there.

The Kenton Paul Bunyan

Wednesday was an out-and-about day. Several hours driving, some errands, many sights, and many thoughts. This entry won't be elegant about it — it'll just show some of what I saw and did.

The only definite goals I had for the drive was to get comics at Bridge City; to drive in general for a bit; to fill up the car if I got close to an empty tank; and to eat when needed. While, as I have been, protecting myself as best as possible from the virus.

I started with an indulgence. Iced blended drink and a granola bar from Dutch Bros. near the house. The people working the booth were in a reasonably good, friendly mood. My one thing I planned to do and didn't, though, was add a tip, but they were okay about that.

My zigzagging drive to N. Mississippi and the comic shop took me to Grand Ave., and past the now-reopened bar My Father's Place. I hadn't known this. I was and am relieved to see it back. Then Bridge City Comics, for the first time in a few weeks — weekly comics are coming out again after a hiatus — and more "Why not? Go that way" driving.


To St. Johns this time. More zigzagging: a brief stop at the Belmont Goats near Lombard, up and (later) down the neighborhood's commercial district, then an impromptu stop at Kelley Point Park, where the Willamette River flows into the Columbia. Watching the waves and the boats, while also staying vigilant for mosquitoes. I wasn't vigilant enough. Darn. I got some bites even through my shirt. Grr. Argh.

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More zigzag-driving, to get closer to empty. I went to the Kenton neighborhood, on Denver Ave. just south of Interstate Ave. where it bends a bit. There I got out and walked.

Po'shines, a longtime Kenton soul food restaurant, and Disjecta next door had put up memorials for black people who have been killed by police: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, and Ahmaud Arbery. A large photo of each of them, the years they were killed, and the cities where they were killed. A protest, one of so many, for so many who have died. "I AM GEORGE FLOYD A MAN," said another poster in a Disjecta window.

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Life went on around me, including a farmer's market, closing up for the day. So, there were many people, and except for a shouting match at a bus stop, the overall mood seemed good if subdued. "Good if subdued" is probably a good goal for now, considering how the last few months have gone.

Driving again. At an intersection I looked over at a lawn concert: people sitting on a house's lawn and the sidewalk next to it, as a rock band played.


Then to the St. Johns Fred Meyer Fuel Center; the Kroger-brand gas stations have gone back to having their workers pump gas, unlike last month (the last time I fueled up) when it was self-serve, unusual for Oregon. After that, I ducked into the store to use the restroom: I didn't shop, because it makes sense for me to wait until July 1st to shop at Freddy's stores again because those purchases will count towards reward and fuel points in the next rewards period. Strategic shopping; and strategic peeing (I wouldn't have a chance to stop again for that until I got home)...

Then a rambling route towards home. As I drove eastward on Lombard, a line of cars drove in a protest headed westward: "Black Lives Matter" and "Defund the Police" signs, and drivers honking in solidarity and support. I did so, too.

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To make sure I knew more, because I want to get back there soon, I made a stop at My Father's Place to see what restrictions are in place for eating there. While I was in the Central Eastside, I also visited a restaurant that didn't reopen: Le Bistro Montage, which had announced earlier that day that they'd be closed permanently. I've been there a few times, the first in spring 2001 soon after moving to Portland; and it was an institution for many Portlanders. Already on the plywood covering the front door was graffiti of a tombstone, marked "1992-2020." On another outer Montage wall, "Thank you Portland."

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Back to my neighborhood, after that. I made one more stop at Dutch Bros., getting a decaf drink that was somewhere between a frappé and a milkshake, and also adding a larger-than-normal tip to make up for my earlier purchase where I hadn't tipped. Then the McDonald's nearest where I live: more drive-thru food. I came home and ate it on the front porch.


I saw a lot that Wednesday, that trip. Then I indulged with an evening shower, as it had been a warm day.

This has not been my most polished journal entry, but it was one I wanted to get written.