Ahh. Almost there.

Air quality is just about back to normal.

left: Wednesday – – – – right: today

As you can see, it’s cloudy, but we can see all the way to the Cascades again, and the air smells fresh. Whew. A little more rain, expected next week, and the fires will mostly be out and the air should be good again.

Posted in At Home in Portland | 11 Comments

A little Better, but still…

Air quality yesterday improved from Hazardous to Very Unhealthy. Here’s how that works:

This morning it’s back to Hazardous. Still, you can see in the picture below the marginal improvement over the picture I posted a couple days ago. This morning our number 434. So we stay indoors, only going to the mailbox once a day and that’s it.

For those suffering from floods, rain, wind, snow, and whatever, our best wishes for your safety and health.

Posted in At Home in Portland | 16 Comments


The latest: due to the air quality:

  • no trash pickup
  • rain forecasted for tomorrow delayed until Friday, now with thunderstorms (so, lightning, which we really do not need)
  • many drive-thru windows closed, including at the pharmacy
  • library pick-up halted until further notice
  • stay off roads unless for work or emergency
  • do not water outdoors, save water for firefighting
  • routine roadwork cancelled
  • Were told not to vaccum our homes as it stirs up particulates
  • haven’t seen FedEx or UPS for days

And yes, it still looks like this outside:

Posted in At Home in Portland | 9 Comments

Out of the Window

Here’s the view out of the window. Nothing but smoke. We’re sealed up with inside ventilation and exhaust fans running, and we can still smell it. Outside, it smells like we’re breathing in a campfire. Gaah.

Posted in At Home in Portland | 14 Comments


I’ll post when things clear up, hopefully soon.

Posted in At Home in Portland | 5 Comments

The Pacific Northwest is Burning!

It’s hot and dry. The west coast is burning. California is getting most of the news, but Oregon and Washington are in a bad way also. Here, the light is orange, the sky smoke-filled, evacuations ordered in the various levels, 1 (prepare), 2 (get ready), and 3 (leave immediately). We’re not at evacuation level 1 yet, but across the county line a street away they are.

This top picture was taken Tuesday afternoon about 3:00 p.m. That’s smoke, not clouds!


This next one was taken yesterday afternoon about the same time. Again, smoke!

This is frightening. We’re really stressed, and I can’t seem to get any reading or anything else done. We’re just glued to the news reports.

Posted in At Home in Portland | 25 Comments

Pongo Wednesday!

Another Wednesday, another shot of Pongo, and as a bonus, also one of both the cats. First, Pongo.

A bag is a cat’s best friend.

Yes, this will do nicely.

Now one of both cats. That’s Pongo on the left, of course, and on the right is Dexter, our older (five and a half) boy. It’s afternoon nap time.


Posted in At Home in Portland | 15 Comments

Shelf Shot 13 – more poetry (part 2)

This will be the last poetry shelf shot, at least for a while.

left to right:

  • If You Call This Cry A Song by Hayden Carruth
  • Poems by Agatha Christie
  • Cowboy Poetry: A Gathering
  • First Poems By Minou Drouet – she was eight years old when she wrote these poems! Lovely stuff.
  • T.S. Eliot’s Old Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot. The musical Cats was based on these.
  • Starting From San Francisco new poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
  • A Coney Island of the Mind poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. This one has one of my favorite of his poems, “Dog”
  • Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg. Bought at City Lights Bookstore, along with the two Ferlinghetti books above.
  • Ghosts of A Chance by John Harvey
  • The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes edited by Arnold Rampersad. His poems from 1921 to 1967. Powerful.
  • The Complete Poems of Keats & Shelley – Modern Library edition
  • Good Poems edited by Garrison Keillor – He used to read a favorite poem each day on his radio show, this collects them.
  • Rudyard Kipling, Complete Verse by Rudyard Kipling
  • One Train by Kenneth Koch
  • Phases of the Moon by Lynn Kozina
  • Best Loved Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, part of a series published by Fountain Press, (c) 1944 edition, illustrated
  • Favorite Poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow , edited and introduction by Henry Canby, (c) 1947. My mother’s copy.

Doing these has gotten me reading some of these, too.

Posted in Books & Reading, Poetry, Shelf Shots | 15 Comments

Reading: short stories

I’ve been reading short stories lately, since my concentration has been iffy the last month(s). Here are the books I’m dipping into.

MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories, Part XII: 1894-1902 features contributions from C.H. Dye, David Marcum, Thomas Fortenberry, Daniel D. Victor, Nik Morton, Craig Janacek, S. Subramanian, Jim French, Robert Stapleton, Nick Cardillo, Paul D. Gilbert, Mike Hogan, Derrick Belanger, John Linwood Grant, Mark Mower, Jane Rubino, and Arthur Hall, and a poem by “Anon.” – 34 new traditional Holmes adventures in two simultaneously published volumes. “Somewhere in the vaults of the bank of Cox and Co., at Charing Cross, there is a travel-worn and battered tin dispatch box with my name, John H. Watson, M.D., Late Indian Army, painted upon the lid. It is crammed with papers, nearly all of which are records of cases to illustrate the curious problems which Mr. Sherlock Holmes had at various times to examine…” – Dr. John H. Watson

Cosmic Corsairs, edited by by Hank Davis and Christopher Ruocchio, Baen 2020 trade paperback. Space Pirates! Words that conjure up rousing tales of adventure, derring-do, brave heroes battling the scurvy vermin of the galaxy. Those vermin have taken to pillaging cargo ships and, even worse, space liners, relieving the helpless passengers of their valuables, and worse with the comely women passengers, then spacing the lot—unless one or more of the aforementioned brave heroes arrive in the nick of time, and turn the tables, making the spaceways safe again for the innocent and helpless. On the other hand, perhaps the pirate captain is a woman, and it’s the comely male passengers who need rescuing. And on the third hand (we’re talking space pirates here, possibly aliens with four or more arms), perhaps those ships traversing the interstellar void are not so innocent, and the pirates, fighting an evil despotic star empire and defending the freedom of the space lanes, are the good guys and gals. The possibilities are many, and the daring exploits set the blood racing in the veins of any reader with even a trace of buccaneering spirit in their hidden self.

There are two very different anthologies, and are giving me a nice variety.


Posted in Anthology, Books & Reading, Mystery, Science Fiction | 22 Comments

Pongo on Pillow

I hear a clamoring for another shot of Pongo, so here you are.


Posted in At Home in Portland | 8 Comments