Squash News

This is a scheduled post. I am out of town this weekend.

I know I didn’t finish the Tacoma trip. Still hoping to get to that.

This part of the squash harvest. I still have several growing out front. The backyard squash took a big hit when the deer were hanging out.

I have thrown seeds out front but haven’t had success in years. I think this year I watered better because I have new plants out there.

I’m not sure if this was deer or what but I got up one morning and found what was left of this one. The red kuri are delicious! I already cooked a couple. I’m snacking on the leftovers as I write this.

I often take a photo of something I cooked and then look at my terrible oven and decide not to post. I deep clean it periodically but it’s been awhile.

These loaves are so pretty and amazing and this is the only photo I got. Whole wheat sandwich bread. Pretty easy but need to plan ahead. Recipe here.

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Everything Comes to an End, Part 2

Here’s the 2014 fan appreciation event. (Post here.)

L to R it’s ticket partner, player I can’t remember, Ben Zemanski, me, Jorge Villafana, Michael Nanchez, and Darlington Nagbe. I’m too lazy to check spelling of everyone’s names.

Here’s the 2016 fan appreciation event. Fan-girling all over again seeing pictures with these players.

These were our seats for the championship match. Please note besides giant pole we can’t even see the entire field.

So what happened? Some of the shine had worn off just in terms of life in general but we still loved the matches.

But then, in 2021 we had a championship match in our stadium.

I can’t tell you how many thing had to line up for that to happen – and this was my dream come true.

And the very first thing that happened is our season ticket went away and we had to fight for tickets with all the fair weather fans and ticket scalpers and other randos.

I will never be over it.

Fallout from the pandemic poured gasoline on the situation.

For various reasons our work schedule was modified so we started at 7am which made weeknight matches a chore.

The season ticket prices have gradually increased as you would expect. But it’s escalated and adds up to 25% over the last 2 years. Meanwhile the secondary market is bleargh so if you try to sell your tickets you even can’t get what you paid for them. Which also means you can grab a cheap ticket the day of match — why invest in a whole season?

This probably sounds cheesy but it used to feel like we were a part of something. There was a local TV show with features about the players. One of them had a food cart. I once saw a few players walk up the Timbers Army line on their way into the match. We got to go to the end of the year player banquet. We had a friendly section usher. (Miss you, Louisa!)

The fan group had a falling out with the organization (more below) so that’s all haphazard. The chants lost some of their vigor. There are more eff-you chants. Most of the matches are on Apple TV which I do not have. They offer a free pass with your season tickets: for 1 household. Sure $100 a season for all the matches is great but I don’t watch all the matches and I don’t want to pay $100 more on top of what I already pay for TV and season tickets.

Cumulatively, so many off-putting bits.

I hate the ticket apps — tech bros scraping money and data off us. Remember actual tickets? We used to get a book of them at the beginning of the season.

Then there were the scandals and these were really the nails in the coffin. We probably would have dropped last year but the report on the women’s team came in after we paid.

I don’t want to write all the gory details. In short, the women’s team scandal had to do with improprieties between the coaches and players that were covered up. There’s a Guardian article here.

With the men’s team there was a DV cover-up that wasn’t reported plus additional fall out from there. Oregonian has a timeline of all the scandals here.

We have found that our enthusiasm has dwindled to almost nothing and while it’s hard to give up those kick ass seats plus something that had brought a lot of joy. Everything ends sometime.

Leaving on a good note. Another amazing event: PTFC for Peace. The Timbers and Thorns joined up and played each other in a charity game to raise money for Ukraine. Another event that far exceeded my expectations.

(The Timbers tagged posts are epic. I could write 10 posts with great Timbers memories.)

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Everything Comes to an End, Part I

2010. Year before MLS. Remember how the stadium looked?

For the first time since 2010, I am not a Timbers season ticket holder.

A friend of ticket partner said, “What happened? You guys were obsessed.”

We were.

Team launch in the pouring rain at an airline hanger at the airport. Link to Post. It was a fashion show with the players debuting the team jerseys.

Opening day was my Christmas. Our big rivalry match with Seattle was my other Christmas. I didn’t mind rain. I didn’t mind heat. We went to the second team matches. For awhile they were called Timbers Reserves but now they are called T2. We went to pre-season matches. We went to friendly matches. We went to U.S. Open Cup matches. We were loyal even when they were terrible..

We had a plane painted with our logo and I went to the airport just to see it roll in.

We went to fan appreciation days.

I loved this team so hard.

First home MLS match in 2011.

I had this event built up in my mind and it was one of the rare occasions where the event exceeded all my expectations. (We won.)

Ticket partner and I flew to Vancouver BC (2011) for the day, to watch a rivalry match. It was awesome. We left on the same flight as the team. They came into the boarding area where we were waiting for our flight. We talked about it for years.

In 2014 we hosted the all star between MLS and Bayern Munich — right after Germany won the World Cup and Bayern had a bunch of World Champions on the team.

Another event that exceeded all my expectations. We had the match on our DVR until we had to turn it in. I re-watched it twice.

You can still watch the match on YouTube. That Valeri to Donavan pass in the 69th minute. Swoon!

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Tacoma, Part 3

There is public art everywhere in downtown Tacoma.

When we arrived and walked to the hotel from the train station it was like 28 Days Later – remember that zombie movie where Cillian Murphy wakes up in the hospital and goes outside and there’s no one around?

Later we saw people around but not many walking right in that area.

I don’t know if this is public art but there were language tidbits in the concrete which I am guessing are Puyallup.

I have a few more photos. Perhaps more to come.

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Tacoma, Part 2

I can’t remember how to do Photoshop arrows anymore. I tried to put one in and it was gigantic and then I fiddled with it and got it to a decent size but I couldn’t rotate it. Couldn’t remember how to deal with text either. No patience for re-learning today.

Many years ago we used to go this fantastic bluegrass festival called Wintergrass in Tacoma. A couple of old posts: (Wintergrass, 2002,
Wintergrass, 2005)

Turns out our hotel is the Wintergrass hotel which has been rebranded. As we walked around we remembered all the places we’d seen music: ballrooms down a floor, little nooks on the mezzanine level, and the restaurant is now a spa. Lots of great memories.

When we were walking around the hotel we remembered the area although almost everything has changed.

We went to the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum. The museum director grew up in Vancouver around the same time as Bob so we had a fun conversation and made a new friend.

I love these ads painted on buildings. There are quite a few in downtown Portland as well.

Very quick travel log. Might be a few more posts.

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Copper, Addendum

Not long ago, I posted about the statue where I get off the bus.

Here’s a view of the statue from the office if you stand at the very edge of this one window:

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Tacoma, Part 1

I feel like it’s optimistic that I will get back here and finish up the Tacoma trip — but I will try. I want to keep this short because I only have another couple hours to get out in the yard and I know I won’t want to get on the computer after I’m done.

This is the train station in Vancouver. While you wait you get to watch the metal recycler work. On our day a guy was playing the banjo as accompaniment. I was sorry we left before they ripped apart the school buses.

Bob and I did a quick trip to Tacoma for our anniversary.

Telling people you are going to Tacoma is like telling people you are going to Belgium.

They say, why?

People, Tacoma and Belgium are both awesome. (Here’s a post from Belgium, 2014)

There are lots of museums, fun restaurants, and a lovely waterfront. It’s easy to get around and nothing is crowded.

I was afraid Bob would wake up dying for a coffee and we would end up at some sad toasted bagel counter drinking hot drinks out of little paper cups.

I did the homework and found Hob Nob — a neighborhood favorite — and for good reason. It was a nice walk, adjacent to Wright Park, a place we planned to visit anyway.

It rained but just enough to be refreshing.


Hopefully more to come.

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Long Weekend

This guy chased the bunny around the yard, goofed at the camera but also was afraid of it, and then had trouble with his bath.

There is a vacation rental across the street and before it was a rental, the owner lived there and they rarely do anything with the yard. The theme was neglect. It was sad because the previous owners did a lot with the yard and had flowers. All gone now.

Today, at about 8:30a three trucks came in and they weed-eated and hedge-whacked and pruned and leaf blew for hours. They had a huge crew and I can’t even imagine how that many people kept busy for so long.

I have a little bit of use it or lose it leave time so I took an extra long weekend.

It has gone by so fast. I did a mixture of chores and lazy things. I watched all the men’s gymnastics coverage from the recent US championships. I haven’t watch men’s gymnastics in ages and I don’t understand why this sport isn’t bigger. Amazing athletics. I did lots of walks. I read 2 New Yorkers because the week before last arrived late. I made some whole wheat sandwich bread and a peach pie. Both came out great.

Now, I’m trying to take care of computer stuff that I’ve been putting off and every time I sit down I remember why I put it off.

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Not Waiting

A couple weeks ago, Timbers legend Diego Valeri was honored at the match. He did the coin toss. We were playing Columbus and their team captain, Darlington Nagbe is also a Timbers legend. Our captain, Diego Chara, you guessed it, legend. They all played on the team when we won the Championship. It was so sweet and wholesome to see all three of them there.

I think this person is my soulmate:

I Don’t Think Anything Is Worth Waiting In Line For But I Don’t Want To Seem Stuck-Up Either

Favorite quotes:

“But speaking for myself, I do not believe that anything can be as good as not waiting in line feels.”

and this:

“It is my opinion that no food, no experience, no exhibit can ever successfully compensate for the suffering and personal degradation line-waiting inflicts upon me, and therefore if a line ever gets in between myself and a desired encounter I immediately surrender and go elsewhere.”

Well, maybe not my soulmate in the full intention of this essay.

I don’t like to wait in line. It’s not snobby. I don’t mean like wait at the grocery store or at the airport.

But not for attractions like restaurants or museum exhibits.

Now that I’m trying to articulate it, I see that my personal stance is very particular and hard to explain.

I guess I just don’t see the point. Waiting in line to get into a packed restaurant where the servers are harried and you’re elbow to elbow and can barely have a conversation. How is this enjoyable? Same thing when you’re traveling and there’s some famous object and you get on a bus and arrive at the famous object and then join the throngs of people to see the famous object. Why is *this* object famous and not that object next to your hotel where there is no crowd?

I don’t get it. No judgement. I just don’t get it.

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This is my office building.

It looks so fancy from the outside. Like there must be amazing things going on inside.

And the curved part in the middle — those offices must be really cool.

Nope. It’s an office building. From the inside the curved part just seems like a window.

Sorry to disappoint.

Back when Mom was here, there was a fire in this building. They had some of the people on the news and it was so sad – people who lost everything and didn’t know where to go.

When I was waiting for the bus, people were talking about it and swapping stories. My office faces away so I didn’t even know it happened.

I was at the health clinic last week and saw the wreckage.

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