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Airport Beer

Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I just wanted to write a quick post about how much I love flying out of the Portland International Airport. I mean, I'm currently sitting in a Rogue Ale House, enjoying a micro-brew, writing this post with my free Wi-Fi, sitting across from a Powell's Books, basically relaxing before a flight. It's late at night, the security line was quick, and everyone is super friendly.

I mean, as far as airports go, this is hard to beat. Can anyone think of a better airport to pass the time in?

Tramble Denied

Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Tonight's ramble started with a riddle and a promise. The riddle was, "when, other than counting backwards, does three precede two, four precede three, five precede four, and seven precede six?" The promise was for a "tramble": a walk up to OHSU, a ride down to the waterfront on the tram, and then a walk through downtown looking at the holiday lights. This was supposed to a level 4 ramble, a little easier than I usually go for (but the destination appealed to me.)

We started out meandering through the hills in SW Portland, climbing up and down staircases. I remember thinking to myself that we were spending a lot of time meanderaing when the ramble leader announced that he may have miscalculated and we might not make it to the tram - but we'd get close. Worst case, we'd get to walk under some snowflakes.

So the highlight of the abortive walk was seeing the lit snowflakes hanging from the Portland World Trade Center building. The low point was walking to the base of OHSU and seeing the tram above us, with the platform only a few hundred feet away, and watching the group turn to walk downhill.

snowflakes downtown

All in all, the walk was a bit of a let down. We ended up going slower than I wanted and not making it to the part of the ramble I was looking forward to the most. Still, maybe next time.

And, of course, lest you wonder for too long, the answer to the riddle was, "when you sort the words alphabetically".

The 21st Amendment

Saturday, December 05, 2009
Today, my friends, I shall raise a glass (as I often do) to the Twenty-First Amendment. It was 76 years ago today that we, the people (with the exception of you, South Carolina), repealed the "temperance movement"-driven Eighteenth Amendment. We ended Prohibition.

The amendment piques my interest for a number of reason, and not just because it makes it a lot easier to get booze. As the only amendment to ever undo another amendment, it reinforces my belief, ultimately, in freedom. There will always be laws limiting our behaviors, our actions, and our thoughts. But any time those laws go too far and get too restrictive, there will be a movement towards freedom; someone will say, "enough is enough."

This principle is one that our fair country was founded upon, and it's a principle I believe in. The amendments, in my mind, should only be used to guarantee freedoms, never to take them away. (And also to update the Constitution, yes.)

So tonight, my friends, I shall raise a glass in honor of freedom, liberty, and the twenty-first amendment. I hope that you'll join me!



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