Archive for June, 2011

Minor Altercation in downtown Portland

Thanks to my Twitter and Facebook friends, and co-workers, who have asked me if everything is okay – it is and I’m fine.

Yesterday on my way home from work at about 6:00PM, I was walking through Lownsdale Square Park (SW 3rd/4th / Salmon/Main) just like I do every day.  There was a guy on one of the benches next to the walkway who was talking to me, saying “hey can you answer a question for me” as I was walking by.  This pretty much happens a few times a week – somebody on a bench or on the sidewalk wants to talk or ask me a question.  I try not to be rude but usually say “no I can’t talk” or even just ignore the person, because the few times I have stopped it’s usually a story about something and never sounds real.

So this guy is just talking and finally says, “I just want to know where I can get internet access so I can email my family about something.”  This actually sounds true and genuine, so I very reluctantly turn around and start telling the guy where the library is and how he can get online there.  He responds first by saying that he’s not allowed in the library because he needs to get some sort of exemption and then deteriorates into a cursing and rambling diatribe about society in general and “people like me” specifically.  At this point I realize I’ve made a mistake so I just turn around and start walking away.

So the guy gets up and runs right in front of me and physically blocks my path such that I bump into him.  I move a bit horizontally to walk by him and he gets in my way and uses his arms to lightly push me back.  I ask him to please get out of my way so I can get by, and he continues his senseless monologue about “people like me.”  So I said something like “fine then, I’m calling the f*cking cops” and I’m sure something else that I can’t remember – I turn around and walk quickly taking my phone out of my pocket.  At this point he just took off in the opposite direction.  I put my phone away, turned around, and started walking home.

What’s weird about this is that I never really felt threatened, even though the guy did physically hit me twice – once when he just stood in my way and then again when he pushed me a bit.  I also didn’t “go all New York” on him which I have done before to rude people on the street.  I never did call the police, and when I got home I regretted this mostly because I don’t want somebody else to go through the same thing I just did and have it end differently.  A day later I have 2 thoughts: 1) I really  hope he gets the help he obviously needs and 2) even though I’m socially liberal I’m sick and tired of our city’s policy and policy makers who favor the rights of people on the streets over the rights of small business owners and tax payers/residents/workers/tourists downtown and am going to try to do something about it.

Any ideas?

Can you run 10 miles in those shoes?

Running Shoes

These are my current running shoes.  They are the 4th pair of Nike Lunerglide’s I’ve had.  Joni bought me my first pair for Christmas/Hanukkah 2009 after I raved about how comfortable they were after trying them on one time and reading an amazing review of them in Outside magazine.  I seem to go through a pair every 6 months or so.  They get too beat up for running and get ‘demoted’ to dog-walking shoes.  After another 6-months or so, they get recycled at the sneaker bin at Nike Town.

Anyway, I was finishing up a ~5 mile run on Friday and was waiting to cross the street at the Salmon Street Fountain in Waterfront Park.  I made eye contact with an older gentleman sitting on a bench with headphones on.  He was probably a transient but looked nice enough and not an angry-looking street kid that I’d want to avoid.  He took off his headphones so that he could talk to me:

Guy: Those are really nice shoes.
Me: Thanks, they’re the best running shoes I’ve ever had.

Guy: Can you run a marathon in those shoes?
Me: No, not me.  I can’t run that far.

Guy: What about 10 miles?  10 miles is pretty good.  Can you run 10 miles in those shoes?
Me: No, not yet.  I did about 5.  I’d like to get up to 10 miles by the end of the summer.

Guy: Well with those shoes, you should be able to.
Me: I hope so.  I’m definitely going to try.

Guy: OK then.  Stay safe.
Me: Yeah, you too.

June 24, 1961

50 years ago today, on June 24, 1961, Jason Fine and Marlene Schauder got married.  Jason had just turned 26 years old and Marlene was still 6 weeks from her 19th birthday.  I believe they met up in the Catskills sometime earlier – Jason was working up there and Marlene was away at a girls weekend or something.  Or at least that’s how I remember the story.  For some reason, there are only 1 or 2 photos from that day – I remember growing up seeing a 3×5 photo in a gold frame sitting on the dresser in my parent’s bedroom.  I think they said that the photographer’s film got destroyed or ruined somehow and besides a few random pictures this was the only one of them they had from that day.

I don’t know why but I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.  I guess I just miss my mom – she died in 2006 from a recurrence of breast cancer.  If she was still here, she’d be glad that I called her but definitely would not have made a big deal about it.  With Mother’s Day a month ago and then Father’s Day last Sunday where Joni and I talked about how she misses her dad, this day kind of just stuck out in my mind.

Subway to expand Gluten-Free test to Portland

Portland is going to be the next ‘test market’ for Subway’s gluten-free test, starting in July.  They’ll have gluten-free sandwich rolls and brownies.  I’m personally excited because the most difficult thing about being gluten-free is getting food on the go.  I’ve read good things about the quality of the rolls and I certainly miss a getting a sandwich at lunch.  And of course, Subways are everywhere.

I’ve also volunteered to tell my gluten-free story as part of the rollout, if they’ll have me. I’ll do just about anything to raise awareness and get more places to offer gluten-free options.

Until then, it’s another day of naked burritos from Qdoba.

UPDATE: July 6, 2011

The agency for Subway emailed me today with a few questions about living with Celiac Disease as it relates to eating out and getting a meal on the go.  According to this site, the roll out in Portland is Monday July 11:

UPDATE: July 13, 2011

Gluten-free is now available!  Check out this page for a location finder and coupon.

UPDATE: July 24, 2011

I finally had a Gluten-Free sandwich today from the store at the South Waterfront, and it was great!  The bread was perfect texture and taste, even after a 10-minute walk back home. The workers take very special care on cleaning “the line” and washing hands, using new gloves, and ensuring there is no cross-contamination.

Welcome to A Fine View

Last week at work, I was looking for something on a friend’s Twitter feed and had a tough time finding it. I love Twitter, but it’s hard to find something older from somebody you follow. At about the same time, I got a note from a friend asking me for gluten-free beer options – recalling I had posted something on Twitter but he couldn’t find it in my stream. So I thought, I don’t have a lot to say – but I do sometimes want more than 140 characters and I certainly do want to easily find what I’ve said before.

So there you go. Not much, but it’s a start.

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