Montreal Part 2 Match Day

To reiterate just in case some Timbers (or any MLS team) supporters find this by accident: Montreal is a great place to visit and totally worth going to an away match. Bob was walking around during the half and he said people were super friendly and asking him about Portland and how we were liking Montreal.

I came dangerously close to working on the pants of shame this afternoon but I thought I’d do another Montreal post, instead.

Since the Timbers joined MLS we have been wanting to use an away game as an excuse to visit a place we’ve never been but it seems like anytime there is a match in a place we want to go, it’s at a time we can’t travel. So when the schedule came out and we saw Montreal in July, we planned our whole summer around it.

The match was at Stade Saputo which is located at the Olympics site and very easy to get to on the Metro. But once we got there we got a little confused about where we were supposed to meet the other fans. We wandered around and there was mud involved and we found some Impact people and they said: your friends are over there.

And they were.

Originally the tickets were supposed to be emailed to us but then someone volunteered to hand them out but I guess he was coming from Boston or someplace that involved a border crossing and traffic and then wandering around until they found the same corner where people were already waiting.

You do not want to keep a group of Timbers fans in limbo. Fortunately it all worked out and we were let in and herded into our corner.

During the game there was a giant downpour. Insane downpour.

The seats at the top of the sections, like where we were, were protected but the rest of the seats were in full downpour.

Impact fans left their seats and came charging up to the protected areas, either finding new seats or standing in the aisles. I also saw lots of people going to buy big plastic ponchos.

A bunch of Impact fans ended up sitting with the Timbers Army. Later I saw an article that said that Impact Fans were leaving in droves. Not true. They have very loyal fans – they just didn’t want to sit in a deluge.

We won the match which was also fun since my beloved team is not winning at home much. Or winning. Loving a sports team is never easy.

This photo used without permission from Hannah. Great eyes to find us because I DVRd the match and watched it when we got home and I couldn’t find us. I bet Hannah has a nicer TV than we have. I think I’m about 3 years away from being able to donate my TV to a museum. It is that old. But I hate change and I like my caveman TV.

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Montreal Part 1

I just noticed my notebook that I used for the Montreal trip has a recipe for Granny Pea salad in it. The origin of the recipe is not Montreal in case that wasn’t clear. This is the last place I would look for a recipe for Granny Pea salad but I’m not going to transfer it to a better spot right now.

I haven’t done a photostream yet. That’s on the wishlist too, along with the pants of shame, dealing with train tickets for the trip next week and making a birthday pie.

If nothing else your takeaway should be that Montreal is a terrific place to visit. Easy to get around, tons of stuff to see and do lots of great food. Highly recommended.

Biosphere URL

We took a late flight to Seattle and then a red eye to Chicago and then another hop to Montreal. Not my favorite way to travel but we had trouble coming up with an itinerary so we made do. We stayed in a terrific basement apartment in Notre Dame De Grace neighborhood which one of our travel resources made sound like it was at the ends of the earth but it was easy to get around the Metro so we didn’t mind at all. We had a quiet place after long days of running around.

Needless to say as soon as we arrived I needed a nap and then we had food and I thought I would rally but as soon as I was done eating I needed another nap. I slept so hard I was confused when I woke up and I went to find Bob and asked him: is it still today?

We went into downtown and walked around. There was at least one and possible more festivals going on and there were people everywhere, live music, food booths.

We started the next day at the Atwater Market and were completely overwhelmed because we wanted to eat everything. From there we walked along the canal which was gorgeous.

My notes are skimpy so I’m winging it here. I wrote about the fire alarm going off in the middle of then night but not what we did during the day.

The next day we were going to a museum (what am I saying, I was with Bob, we were going to 1000 museums) and I saw a guy on the Metro who was wearing what I thought was a museum guard uniform so rather than wander around with our map completely lost, I insisted we just follow him.

Unfortunately, he was not a museum guard and my plan backfired in a big way. A strike against creative problem solving.

(Before you wonder why we didn’t just use our “smart” phone to find things: [long rant about technology is hard for the olds omitted.] We did use our phones with uneven success. And those are sarcastic quotes.)

We eventually found the McCord museum and there was a great exhibit about music. Bob was in heaven. Later we went to Parc Jean Drapeau, site of the 1967 World’s Fair that 10 year old Bob yearned to go to so badly. Old Bob was thrilled to finally fulfill his wish. We wandered around there and went to a climate change show. We were rushing the whole time, so many things to see.

We ran over to the Musee Stewart and had one of our favorite museum experiences of the trip. It’s a history museum and we had a young man take us on a guided tour and he was terrific. Really knew his stuff and since we were so interested he told us all kinds of stories.

On Saturday we were going to get up at 7am and I heard the alarm going forever so I finally got up to get it and I wandered out into the main room and came back and said to Bob: that says 6. So then we slept until 7:45a.

We were too early for the Museum of Fine Art so we stopped in at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul and again we found a really nice enthusiastic person to walk around with us and show us the church. Beautiful contemporary stained glass windows. It’s also a church of the Black Watch which sounds like something from Game of Thrones.

Then a bunch of museums: Fine Arts, City History, Archeology and then 5pm mass at the Basilica of Notre Dame with an organ that will make your hair stand on end.

Sunday was Timbers match day. Stay tuned, or at least hopeful that my coverage continues.

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Behind on Everything In the World

I started a Montreal post. For reals. But I haven’t gotten very far. I really need to do a Flickr photostream. I want my travel post(s) to be perfect for my three loyal readers so I end up doing nothing. I’m also going on another trip which I haven’t explained yet. Maybe you’ll hear about it when I’m on it.

Meanwhile, I will tell you about the pants of shame and the creepy guy at the office.

I have a pair of pants that need the hem to be fixed. It’s not a huge job but I just can’t make myself do it. I hung the pants up in the living room so I would look at them every time I walked around the house. I put them on the couch with the sewing kit right there. I put it as the number one, only thing you need to accomplish all day thing during a very lazy weekend.

I just can’t get around to fixing the hem on those pants. Pay someone else to do it? Not a bad idea except I know how to do this and it’s not a big job and would be more trouble to find someone to do it. I went on a fixing spree a couple of weekends ago, screwdrivers flying, duct tape everywhere. I can’t make myself do the pants.

Maybe I should just eat a bunch of sandwiches so they don’t fit anymore. Also a great plan except then none of my pants would fit and I would need to buy more pants which is more trouble. No conclusion here. I’ll report if I ever fix the pants.

The other story is, remember this? (Long story about getting a copier for the office in case you don’t feel like clicking {oops, typo’d that as ‘licking’ that would be weird}). That guy came by the office today and it was the most awkward creepy encounter. It was so weird I sent a message to colleague that said if I get murdered at the office, make sure the police check this guy. Maybe I’m being punked – it was like he wanted to reassure me that it was okay that we didn’t use his company and when I expressed annoyance that he never came through with anything for us he was all put off. I can’t adequately convey how weird it was.

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Garden Update and What’s Been Going On

I did something today I haven’t done in a long time, I threw a fit in public.

The situation seems to happen on a regular basis. I’m waiting in line and some manager type person comes over and tells me to move to another checkstand and by the time I move all my crap and get over there, it takes longer than it would have taken if I just stood there. I’m guessing they get docked brownie points for too many people waiting but if you’re wasting my time moving me someplace else then you aren’t addressing the right problem.

This guy moved me way across the store the guest services and when I got over there, there was a lady with a giant cart filled with stuff and a long story. After 10 minutes I went back to the registers to start all over. And when manger type guy came back, I let him know how I felt.

I’m always mortified after I do that, but WTF?

This is my Stupice that my mother-in-law gave me. I put it in early with the walls of water and it’s been producing but the tomatoes are pretty small.

This is one I grew from seeds and these are the first ripe ones.

The clover is from my cover crop I tried last winter. I have little clover bits popping up here and there.

The birds are tearing apart the sunflowers. In my observation, based on no scientific knowledge, I’m going to guess that winter is coming early around here. All the animals are going crazy burying nuts or grabbing seeds and it feels earlier than normal to me.

I’ve been having some alone time at 3am lately and for the past two nights, just after 3am, we’ve had a family of raccoons in the front yard. Well, family, what do I know? There are three and they aren’t too big. I’m not positive what they’re eating since it’s hard to tell with your forehead pressed against the screen but I’m hoping it’s snails.

Here’s a flower that’s been cleaned out by the birds. There was a sparrow convention out there around noon today.

These are the cucumbers. Cucumbers hate me. I start them in the house and I assumed they always shriveled up on me when I put them out because it was too cold. This year it was plenty warm and they still never did anything. I’ve had some good cucumber crops but not for years. I’ll buy different seeds and try again next year. And maybe read something about cucumbers. Maybe they need names and extra encouragement or something.

Some potatoes just hanging out in the dirt.

I had a work trip to Reno this week. Poor Reno, it tries so hard but you get the sense it’s never going to be more than the pimple-faced less-sexy sibling of Las Vegas.

There was an interesting character in the airport when we were departing and Bob leaned over and said: Burning Man starts this week.

Burning Man was rained out right before opening. There was a whole group of guys loading coolers into the shuttle to the hotel. The driver said: It’s been like this all day, they’re rained out. The hotel was filled with Burning Man refugees. Colorful characters until the end of time. It was kind of fun to be on the fringe.

From the window at our side of the hotel I counted at least 50 RVs. I wanted to get a photo but when I woke up at 6:30am already a third were gone and I watched 8 pull out while I stood there.

A friend laughed that we were going to Reno in August but it was hotter in Portland.

This is another plant started from seeds. This is as far as it’s gotten but the tomatoes are decent sized.

Whoa. What’s going on here?

The pumpkin patch is looking great. It got a little cooked a couple of times but it’s still making tiny pumpkins. I think there are at least 7 good looking ones going right now.

I did finally go through my digital photos and I should be able to get some Montreal stuff up this weekend.

If you didn’t catch it, Daniel Shamaun wrote a piece about my story, Battle of Little Big Science. You can find it here.

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18 Years with This Guy

Here we are in Montreal on the way to the Timbers match. We were on the Metro and a spanger was working her way through the train asking people if they spoke English and then telling a sob story and asking for money. She got to us and before we could even answer she shook her head and moved on.

Could we look more American?

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart.

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Potato Time

We have some sort of Amityville Horror going on out in the shop. A couple of days ago I saw a few big hairy flies in there. The next day there were a ton of big hairy flies. I swatted and swatted.

The next day there were a ton of big hairy flies. More swatting.

A few hours later there were a ton of big hairy flies. At least they aren’t attacking big hairy flies.

I did some research and I’m going to guess it’s the result of having a warmer than normal summer and not a haunting. The pest control website noted that it is *extremely difficult* to deal with this on your own.

I think I can handle it.

I mentioned that early in the year I took all my wilted potato bits and buried them around the yard and I now have my very own potato farm.

One of my most successful recipes is this potato salad recipe although now that I look at it I realize I don’t follow it other than to add vinegar to the potato cooking water. I’m not sure what potato salad recipe I use. Maybe I look at this and then just do what I want. People at potlucks love it.

Serious Eats Classic Potato Salad Recipe

I still had a ton of potatoes so I searched for more recipes and this was a big hit plus it got rid of the rest of a giant head of cabbage we had. Bob said it was the best potato cabbage casserole he ever had.

Serious Eats Polish Cabbage Potato Bacon Casserole

I still had tons of potatoes so I thought I’d try another recipe. But then when I went to make it I realized I didn’t have as many potatoes as I thought so I ran outside to dig up another plant. I thought I was being punked. Every time I touched the dirt another potato would pop out. I think I harvested another 3 pounds.

So potato cooking continues. This recipe was a tad fussy for me. Next time I would come up with some short cuts. But we liked the result and it made a ton.

Mexican Potato, Kale and Chicken Casserole

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Summer Weekend

Still not in the mood to sit here and do the Montreal update. Also, photos still out of control. I must stop taking them.

I always expect to lose the dinner plate dahlias over winter because I hate digging them up and they seem a bit more delicate than some of the others I have out there. I was so happy to see these blooming out there.

This is the neighbor cat following me around while I took pictures of dahlias.

This is a different pink one and just for fun, no Photoshop tweaking except for cropping.

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Seems So Long Ago, Montreal

I knew this was going to happen. When I finally have time to sit down, I don’t want to sit at the computer.

Have I fretted publicly about what a giant mess my digital photos are lately? You have no idea. I keep telling myself I’ll do one of those organizing tricks where I set a timer and work on one folder for 15 minutes each day. But I can’t even make myself do that right now.

Montreal may remain a story untold. OR, maybe I’ll tell you about it in December.

Meanwhile, we were trying to find some little gifts to bring home and we were in one of those shops with lots of interesting locally made stuff and some displays of the same maple stuff you see everywhere.

They had these maple leaf cookies in decorative boxes: 3 cookies for $2.50 CA. Bob put two packages in the basket and I had a fit: You can buy those at Trader Joes and get a whole box for $3. (I actually paid $3.29 for a box of 14 cookies.) I know this because these are my favorite work cookies. One is the perfect serving.

He put them back.

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Tonight was the Major League Soccer All Star Game v. Bayern Munich and it was just about as perfect a giant event that you’ve been looking forward to for months could be.

I don’t even know where to start.

And I have to work tomorrow so I have to go to bed.

My Major League soccer guys were great. There was a little bit of sloppiness that you’d expect from a group of guys who have never played together and are used to playing against each other. But they showed up and it was not for a friendly

There was a special moment to honor the guys who played for the US Mens national team in Brazil and it was amazing to see them playing together again.

A half dozen of my German rock stars from the World Cup team were there and I got to watch them play for 10 minutes (because they only came on at the end) and that was amazing. Oddly, as thrilled as I was to see them, I was 200% rooting for my MLS guys.

The weather was perfect. The atmosphere almost perfect. The game well played.

The story is that Thierry Henry is going to retire at the end of the season and he got a wonderful send off.

There were so many terrific moments it’s hard to list them all. Nick Rimando is a beast. It’s hard to believe he was #3 on the bench at World Cup.

It was such a fabulous night. We didn’t even have total weenies sitting behind us and talking the whole time.

And that isn’t even the only major event of the day. The other event is that my entire immediate family purchased plane tickets to visit Tante Hilla for her 90th birthday. More on that later.

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Hometown Waltz

We’re home!

We had a great trip. So many adventures. Montreal is a terrific city to visit. I very highly recommend.

I hope I can get my act together to put up better photos and talk more about the trip later.

I have no idea when that will happen because I have an insanely busy week. Regular work week. A couple of get-togethers. Three soccer games in 6 days including MLS All-Stars(!).

I may have been Team Germany during the World Cup but I am all MLS this week.

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