Web-log archive: 2020

Kuma the dog running across a baseball field with a rainbow in the background

A prayer

I have a circle of influence…

Kayakers and swimmers on the Willamette River in a heavy fog


Imagine the worst, cruelest, most incompetent, most ineffectual CEO you’ve ever worked under. Remember what a total shitshow that job was? Now imagine that CEO just…vanishes.


The Litany Against Fear

Yellow cones will be on your left, red cones on your right. You and your bike must go over all barriers.

Backpackers bushwhacking through secondary growth in an old burned area

Burned forests

The fires will leave a patchwork of death and rebirth in the forest, but where they touched human habitations there will be only destruction


The fires this time

Monday the fires were a potentiality. Today we are capped by their creeping murk.

Paul in costume as the Purple People Eater at the Halloween race at Deschutes Brewery

No cyclocross

Every year since 2011, from Labor Day to Thanksgiving, our family ritual was CYCLOCROSS. Not this year 😢


Eagle Cap Wilderness

As a Nebraskan I am a cheap date, scenery-wise. Oregonians come to the Wallowas for the beauty not the solitude. It’s the backpacking equivalent of...


Skies outside cities

I grew up with skies outside of cities which are the skies most people in most of history grew up with. At the cabin there...


August 2020

I’m taking a break from social media. Check my web-log for occasional updates.



For OBRA’s Wy’easting Challenge, today I rode 13 repeats of Montgomery street from the old PFD No. 1 Station to Council Crest. Each repeat was...


What Portland feels like right now

Portland is in the national news right now and if you didn’t live here you might be forgiven for thinking our city is a hellscape...


Aspects of backpacking, rated

For much of my 20s many of my jobs looked suspiciously like backpacking and I lived for weeks or months at a time in tents....

Crowns of mature Oregon white oaks, shot from underneath; the crowns are not touching, despite the trees growing very close together

Covid-19 diary: Quarantine fatigue

Been a while since I’ve done this. Straightforward: we are busy, and we are tired. Less straightforward: it is obvious our federal government has not...

A stack of books, as described in the main text of this post

Covid-19 Diary: Quarantine books

I have made three or four Powell’s orders since March 16. Here’s what has arrived thus far: Selected Writings — Hildegard of Bingen. I only...


Covid-19 Diary: sleep and dreams

With hundreds of millions of people sheltering at home during the coronavirus pandemic, some dream experts believe that withdrawal from our usual environments and daily...


Covid-19 diary: Inside

Today was the first day of the quarantine that I spent entirely inside. It was a beautiful day and I got up early for my...


Covid-19 Diary: Timmy Failure

This post was written 2020-04-15 Last night as a family we watched the new Timmy Failure movie, set and filmed in North Portland. It was...


Covid-19 diary: Resources / fraying

I need to stop and count the resources our household has for coping with the coronavirus crisis: Two grownups with secure jobs those jobs require...


Covid-19 diary: Council Crest

This weekend on our family bike ride everyone rode to the top of Council Crest. We were kind of focused on the youngest, I mean...


Covid-19 diary: a bad day

I had a bad day yesterday. Maybe the first day I would characterize as such in the past three weeks. I was up early to...


Covid-19 diary: cozy catastrophe

From my Twitter: so half my friends have time to learn to bake bread, the other half barely have time to shower guess which half...


Covid-19 Diary: Wild

It’s wild that the Developed world more or less intentionally went into a medically induced coma to shut down this virus with “only” a 1–3%...


Covid-19 diary: social distance

I worry that Portlanders, already prone to anxieties about personal space and body purity, are going to be psychically damaged by “social distancing.” Already I’m...


Covid-19 diary: bodega

So far this week I’ve made three trips to grocery stores. The first two stores were mostly well stocked except each store was missing some...


Covid-19 diary: outside

This post was authored on 2020-03-25 We took a family bike ride today to Powell Butte, and then up it and over it. I have...


COVID-19 Diary: habits

@11:27 I have done 4 things that made this week much less stressful than it might have been: get up at 6:30 am & ride...


COVID-19 Diary: Fortunate

@10:05 I (and my family) have been extremely fortunate so far in this crisis: I have a relatively secure contract through at least early summer...


COVID-19 Diaries

Occurs to me — occurred to me a week ago? — that I should be keeping a diary of my experience during COVID-19. Daily. Consider...


Freedom Machine

For the nth time in a year now I have an internal infection that’s keeping me, very specifically, off the bike. I can do most...


Five percent more chill

Every morning I wrestle with this feeling that maybe people driving cars are just lazy. I’m thinking this as I ride with my kids five...


Energy → Technology → Culture

What if humanity didn’t have access to eons of solar energy stored in the form of fossil fuels? What if our technological progress were constrained entirely by the energy falling on its surface, and not buried beneath it?