Lownsdale Square, 6 months later…

A beautiful May morning in Portland, with sunshine and warm weather in the forecast.

When will this be open?

UPDATE: MAY 18, 2012:

Yesterday, the fences were finally removed and the restored parks have been reopened to the public.  There was much rejoicing.



RIP Rich Nappi, true hero and great friend

Rich at Shea Stadium, September 2006

I am so saddened and heartbroken about the death of a true hero, FDNY Lt. Rich Nappi.  He died battling a fire in Brooklyn earlier today.  My thoughts go out first to his wonderful wife Mary Anne and their two children.

Rich and I have been friends since 8th grade, when I was a new kid at Great Hollow middle school in 1978.  We were close in high school and closer for years later.  He is the only person from high school that I am friends with in real life, and the person I’ve been friends with longer than anybody else.

I moved to Portland in 1990 and he always kept in touch.  Whenever I got back to NY, he would make time for me.  I took this picture of Rich at a NY Mets game he took me to in September 2006 when I was in NY for a security conference for GE Security.  The day before he had shaved his head for St. Baldrick’s Foundation.  It was the last time I saw him in person.

On September 11, he was stationed at Engine 7 just a few blocks from the World Trade Center.  Although he was off-duty that day and at home out on Long Island, he responded to the tragedy by driving into the city and working on rescue and recovery at the site.

Here is more information about what happened today:

I’m so grateful to have known such a great person and will miss him immensely.

Rahula, the traveling dog

Rahuna and Riley

I had just walked into the locker room at the gym in my office building when I got a text message from Joni, with this photo and the message “found stray – can you come home to help?”

When I got home I was greeted by two barking dogs sitting on Riley’s bed in the corner.  The dogs were getting along fine but were definitely unsettled and any attempts to calm them had now been negated by my presence.

Joni explained that she was out with Riley doing their daily walk of the Riverfront and Eastbank Esplanade downtown.  On the east bank just south of the Steel Bridge, she saw a white German Shepherd mix wandering around by himself.  After some coaxing and using Riley to draw him, the dog came over to Joni.  He was wearing a collar but the only tag he had said “Rabies Vaccination” with a 5-digit number.  It was clear the dog was lost so she brought him home.

I did a quick scan of Craigslist lost+found, and the Multnomah County Animal Shelter site and didn’t find any reports that matched this dog, so I posted on Craigslist and filed a found dog report on the shelter web site.  We figured we’d give this an hour or two and if we didn’t hear anything, we’d take the dog to our vet to see if it is chipped.  About an hour later, I got a call from the Shelter saying that somebody had called and asked about a dog that was close to my description.  She said she’d call the person back and have him call me.  Maybe 10 minutes later, I got a call from a guy saying he saw my post on Craigslist.  I asked him a bunch of questions and it was obvious that this dog, Rahula, was his.  He said he was at the downtown library so we agreed to meet at Waterfront Park near the Hawthorne Bridge.

Joni and I took both dogs with us, and when Rahula sighted his owner he immediately recognized him.  The guy, whose name we never got, looked like he was in his young 20s and was ‘traveling’ on the west coast.  (Joni later explained that ‘traveling’ is kind of like hitchhiking and visiting ‘friends’ up in various cities).  He said he was camping with his group under the Burnside Bridge this morning when he let Rahula out and he ran off – something he never does.  We talked for a while and was extremely grateful that Joni found Rahula and was kind enough to take him in and take responsibility for finding his owner.

Good luck, Rahula, and stay close to your group!

Stowe VT 1989

We (or more accurately, Joni) have been cleaning up the office space in our condo and found a disc of photos that I created in 2005.  On that disk were some scanned photos from the 1980s – here are 2 from an annual trip to Stowe, VT.  Some of these same guys are up in Lake Placid this weekend on their annual ice climbing and snowshoeing guys trip – maybe next year I’ll be able to join them.

Pasta dinner after a hard day on the slopes. In the 80s, I had hair and could eat gluten.


A bunch of idiots. I'm the one with the red jacket in the middle, probably wearing a NY Giants hat.

Lownsdale Square, after the occupation

A brisk December morning in Portland, and nothing is occupying Lownsdale Square except the leaves.




Spell Check is your friend


It’s hard to remember a time when there wasn’t a spell checker in every single application ever used, so it’s funny and strange to see a road sign with a misspelling on it – especially when there already is a sign behind it spelled correctly.

What’s the most impressive misspelling you’ve ever seen?  Share it with a link in the comments.


Yankee season ended, not with a bang but a whimper

I’ve been meaning to write this for the past 2 weeks, but have been way too busy – which I guess is a good thing.

Well, the Rangers and Cardinals are playing in the Series – who really predicted that?  And with apologies to any friends who are fans of either team: does anybody really care?  I can’t remember the last time I was less interested in the World Series.

Nevertheless, the Yankee season has ended and at least we’re not all talking about fried chicken and beer.  It’s hard to say this, but I do kind of feel sorry for Red Sox nation.  First the team goes 7-20 for September, then Tito takes the blame, now we’re trying to figure out what kind of fried chicken Beckett likes and if his cup was full of water or beer in the 7th inning.  It’s hard to feel too sorry for you guys though.  Really hard. You’ll always have 2004.  But don’t forget that we’ll always have Aaron F. Boone and 2003.  One last point: remember, it wasn’t the Yankees “laying down” against Tampa Bay the last 3 games of the season that got you out of the playoffs.  It was that you went 7-20, including, winning only 1 of 3 games against the same Yankees team only days earlier.  And the win came against Scott Proctor.  You are welcome.

Game 5 against the Tigers was brutal.  We really did lose because we couldn’t get a big hit when it mattered.  As a reminder, 2 weeks later I still remember that the Yanks had 5 at-bats with the bases loaded, and only scored one run when Texiera walked. I thought Girardi managed the series pretty well and there were only two things I thought should have been different.  First, CC didn’t have his best stuff in Game 3 so when Detroit pinch-hit a lefty in the 6th inning to try to keep CC out there, I still through Girardi should have went to the bullpen.  Second, I applaud the idea of moving Cano up in the order, but he needs to bat cleanup.  I really liked Texiera in the 3-spot, so I would have had Tex-Cano-ARod going 3-4-5.

Although we didn’t get past the 1st round, it still was a fun year to be a Yankees fan.  Jeter’s 3000th hit and his great season.  Mariano being the last guy who will ever get 600 saves, and he is still on top of his game.  Did we see Jorge’s last hurrah?  He had a great series against Detroit – I hope he decides to go out on that note.

Next year should be interesting.  There are a number of questions going into the postseason.  First and foremost, I hope that the only reason CC opts out of his contract is because 30 seconds later he is signing a multi-year deal with the Yanks.  Next, what’s up with ARod?  It might be time to move him down to 6th in the lineup.  What about Swish?  Where does Garner bat?  Putting him 9th doesn’t get him the at-bats he needs to make a difference (see just about every article about this pre-season).  Montero looks amazing, but where will he play?  It seems weird to have a 21-year old be a full-time DH.

Well, time to root for the Football Giants.  Last Sunday, I heard one of the NFL guys say that the Giants are the best team in the NFC East, which is the complete kiss of death.  Go Blue!

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