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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 8, 2012 7:49 AM. The previous post in this blog was Quake!. The next post in this blog is Perv-harboring Catholic bishop convicted. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Slackers forever

It's funny how, when pundits try to dispel Portlandia's laughingstock imagery, they manage to reinforce it:

Like many young people who flock to Portland, Reynolds has figured out how to work at what she loves. The Seedlot is a volunteer project for now, but Reynolds is also a part-time teacher at another garden in town. As you might expect, she doesn’t have much work in the winter, so she mends and sews clothing on the side. It’s piecemeal, but it works....

Chris Hackett is a 29-year-old freelancer. He says finances are always tight, but one way he keeps expenses low is by being strategic about housing.

"You look for something that’s just kind of slummy," he says. "It’s not quite a slum house but it’s like really shoddy repairs but it keeps the rent cheap."...

"As a region we haven’t really figured out what to do with these folks. Traditional economic development strategies of trying to attract companies -- it isn’t necessarily working."

But in the meantime, the young creatives in Portland seem to be figuring out not only how to get by, but how to do what they love most....

Like what -- call Mom and Dad for more money? It would be funny if it weren't so sad. And if we weren't burning hundreds of millions of dollars to build a theme park for these young people that insures that their situation will never improve.

Comments (60)

But..... Theme parks are sustainable, ask Disneyland.

I may live in a slum and have no idea where my next meal is coming from, but at least I can watch the shiny trains go by. I cant ride them of course, because I cant afford a ticket.

I dunno Jack, It's tough for any college grad, let alone so called "creative class" ones to find long-term employment.

This isn't just a Portland phenomenon, believe it or not.

Portland since the 70's has had this lifestyle that is parodied on Portlandia. I think it's in the water or the cities DNA. I came to S.E. Portland in 78' after growing up in Clackamas County and lived in a rundown communal house with 5 bedrooms and one bathroom with a bunch of ex-Reedies who were studying art at the Museum School. We recycled, we rode bikes, we smoked pot, we grew a garden,none of us worked at real jobs but we got by and we eventually gew up. It's kind of a larval stage between young adulthood and old curmugeon. I see my younger self in so many of these hipster slackers that it's embarassing. I want to just go up to them grab them by the shoulders and say, "Look at me I'm you in 30 years!"

I guess "mk" didn't get the memo: No one pays to ride streetcar.

Tom,
I hear you completely on the first part, but I doubt these young slackers will have a similar 30 years ahead of them. For one thing, we already took their wealth from the future and spent it.

Our generation could afford to bounce around because the Greatest Generation was so responsible. These young people are growing up in a country where 1 out of 7 people are on food stamps.

It wasn't because they watched Portlandia. It's because the Boomers screwed up the greatest country in history. But we did have a lot of fun.

Jack,
I don't think you have kids who have graduated from college yet. I do.

After 4 years (in a private school costing about $180,000, with tuition, room and board), my son is working a series of part-time jobs to make ends meet, living in a house with a bunch of other kids, and not having much money to spend. And he's not in Portland. That's pretty much the way it is everywhere for many kids.

Not everyone gets through school and starts working at Stoel Rives, especially in the current economy. That's just the way it is.

The "creatives" you dislike so much are often very good workers with very useful skills. If they're not on the dole and living their lives, they're doing what people do when they're getting started in their lives--working at what they know how to do to make a living.

You and I agree that our local government spends a lot of money on things that don't make things better for the bulk of the taxpaying public. But you ought to turn it down a bit on your criticism of the kids.

And if you want to point out a villain, how about the colleges that take 6 figure amounts, and turn kids out with absolutely no marketable skills?

Bob

"Reynolds is not alone in this lifestyle. We heard from young people who get by doing all kinds of interesting things -- making recycled jewelry, sewing bike bags or performing in a circus."

I have mixed feelings about our circus joining youth culture. There is no doubt that we have let them down by allowing our political class to make one bone-headed move after another. By electing people with no practical grasp on how to re-engineer an economy. An economy that used to be based on resource exploitation, but now is adrift chasing one fad after another - usually a fad that some other area has already secured as its own (San Francisco and Seattle the most obvious).

So all we have now is a slight cost advantage over our neighbors - primarily because the job situation here is much worse. And a slow slide to the bottom because of a very costly racket between the political class and the developers. Developers who are not creating any new lasting jobs, but parasitically sucking off the public tit until it runs dry.

And as for the youth culture, they also need to take responsibility. They need to stop making decisions based on one primary factor: "coolness". Where coolness now includes being suckered into the latest propaganda buzzwords - sustainability, green, for-the-kids.

If the youth culture would wake up and realize they've been screwed over by these nanny state sleaze bags, instead of fawning all over them, they just might help create the hip Portland they are seeking.

It's kind of a larval stage between young adulthood and old curmugeon. I see my younger self in so many of these hipster slackers that it's embarassing. I want to just go up to them grab them by the shoulders and say, "Look at me I'm you in 30 years!"

Tom

You made my day with this statement! Nothing worse than scaring a quixotic youth by showing them the future: slacks and a tucked in collared shirt.

I wonder what these "cool" ones loving the buzzwords sustainable, eco green, etc. think when Sam does the opposite, taking Hayden Island down, going along with ruining our good Bull Run water, and incrementally making decisions that destroy the character of the very neighborhoods and city we live in.
I sense that these youth don't like those who don't go along with their "trend."
They need to be reminded that many people built this community and paid for the infrastructure that these new ones partake of and enjoy.

Having recently moved my 90 something parents into "assisted living", I've been spending a lot of time going thru family papers, records, photos and mementos. And I too have some observations to share.

Most of my boomer generation was booted out of their parents home during VietNam and mostly set out on their own at about age 21. My parents did so a few years younger. And my mid West grandparents by 17 or 18. But today, kids seem not to be weened financially until their mid 30s ... and maybe not even then. In fact, there are more than a few boomers (and three generations behind them) that have never supported themselves, let alone others.

It's not an encouraging trend for the future. But then then I'd hate to be 17 years old today, never allowed any work experience, no particular skills, with $ 200,000 worth of college staring at me and a government issued credit card with $ 150,000 already charged on it.

No worries, they should be able to pay it all off on their own sweet time.

Kinda hard NOT to turn "slacker" or at least naive and cynical.

There's nothing like being satisfied with mediocrity. Don't seek a place in the sun...rather settle for a place in the shade....drinking out of the half empty glass. Not even hoping for hope. Go slow by streetcar.

Onward!

Bob ("colleges that take 6 figure amounts"), I hear ya! It's a crime!

Only one thing worse is a kid who wastes those 6 figures on a worthless major such as Classics!

The end of a letter from a father to a son, on such a waste of time:
"If you are going to stay on at Brown, and be a professor of Classics, the courses you have adopted will suit you for a lifetime association with Gale Noyes. Perhaps he will even teach you to make jelly. In my opinion, it won't do much to help you learn to get along with people in this world. I think you are rapidly becoming a jackass, and the sooner you get out of that filthy atmosphere, the better it will suit me.

Oh, I know everybody says that a college education is a must. Well, I console myslef by saying that everybody said the world was square, except Columbus. You go ahead and go with the world, and I'll go it alone.

I hope I am right. You are in the hands of the Philistines, and dammit, I sent you there. I am sorry.

Devotedly,

Dad"

For the whole letter, see the URL:
www.lettsofnote.com/2012/07/this-is-my-son-he-speaks-greek.html

I graduated college in 1969, America then too was in a recession and I had difficulty finding employment that matched my schooling. As bad as it was, it is much worse now. I eventually settled in a completely different profession and made do with it.

I think we are sending too many people to college today instead of trade and vocational schools. We are graduating way too many students in the cultural and arts disciplines that will never find a job in their field. Too many students are taking out college loans and using the money to live on too. They are so in debt and every one knows that they can never pay it back. Because of this easy loan money colleges have been able to raise tuition and fees by phenomenal amounts in the last 20 years.

The OPB journalists clearly didn't look very hard for conventionally successful young migrants. I moved here in 2007 with a college degree and without a job. After a few months of unemployment & 5 months of retail work, I got a professional, career-track job at an economics consulting firm. I now work a job that I love as a business intelligence analyst at an energy efficiency company. I make good money, get great benefits, and am in my opinion doing my little part to save the world. My partner and I are buying a house and hope to raise children here. I am 27. The Portlandia story ignores thousands of people like me.

thousands of people like me.

Not too many thousands. Compared to 10 times as many young people in Portland who will never get where you are -- people who need to wake up and get a real life, but Portlandia is inviting them never to have one.

Bill,

I've never met you but you are one of my favorite people in Portland. Funny that I grew up in Milwaukie the son of working poor who never had a decent house or a new car and you the son of privilidge and we still were both banquet waiters in Portland in the 70's. Wealth is over rated.

Privilege. So unfamiliar with I can't even spell it.

Jack,
You need to get out of your bubble and see the diversity that is present in Portland. Yes, there are thousands of young people whose potential is being wasted in unemployment here (just as there are all across the country). But in thriving sectors, skilled young migrants are moving here for the economic opportunity and staying for the quality of life.

I'd guess that there are more 500 young college-educated migrants making good wages in Portland in the energy efficiency sector alone. Look up Cadmus, Evergreen Economics, Ecova, Cascade Energy, PECI, Fluid Market Strategies, CSG, and other thriving energy-efficiency services companies. Intel, Nike, health-care, and software aren't doing too shabby either. Salesforce.com plans to hire 500 professionals in Washington County in the next few years. This is not an illusion. Young people in Portland just have to have the right skills and motivation in order to get great jobs at one of these companies.

BTW, I have friends who are long-term unemployed. NONE of them has education beyond high school. The fact is that the type of economy is gone where a high school degree was enough to get you a good-paying, stable career. Most of the long-term unemployed left in Portland need to get off their butts and get trained or retrained in a growing field. Health care is #1, but software, energy efficiency, and other fields are growing too. A little government help to help them get by while retraining themselves wouldn't hurt. All they need is a 8-month to 24-month stint at PCC and they'll be fine.

Alex, I think we all congratulate you on your hard work and preserverance. Good for you! I know several others in your age bracket who are doing well, and working hard, because that is what it takes to become financially and emotionally independent.
Maybe some in my generation waited too long to breed, because now we are retiring at the same time our kids are graduating from school and the offspring want to just skip the 40 + working years and move directly into retirement. After all it looks SO easy.

Young people in Portland just have to have the right skills and motivation in order to get great jobs at one of these companies.

When the City of Portland does anything meaningful to help people get skills and motivation, check back in and let me know. Right now it's encouraging them to ride around on bikes, rarely go further than walking distance from their house, feel guilty about all consumption, and aspire to a utopian life in which finances are not worth thinking about.

Health care is #1

Really? Nurses can't get work.

All they need is a 8-month to 24-month stint at PCC and they'll be fine.

Highly debatable.

"Reynolds asked the landlord about creating a community garden. The landlord is letting her use the lot until the real estate market picks up."
Hey, it's Portland. When the landlord decides to sell the land, who wants to bet that he gets a letter from the City telling him he can't displace an important "public service" such as a Community Garden. No good deed goes unpunished!

Game, set, match: BOJACK.

The outlook for CNAs, X-ray techs, respiratory therapists, or cardiac surveillance technicians is even bettter than for nurses (which is OK here). Those are all less-than-4-year-degree jobs. My partner works at Kaiser and says they're constantly hiring.

Agreed that the City isn't doing a whole lot higher education wise but is that really city govt's purview?

I love the bike infrastructure. BikIng to work saves me $200 a month in parking, enabling me to buy a house here.

saves me $200 a month in parking, enabling me to buy a house here.

You are so full of crap. And wait until you get mowed down some rainy afternoon -- you'll get to see how good your health insurance is.

"And if you want to point out a villain, how about the colleges that take 6 figure amounts, and turn kids out with absolutely no marketable skills?"

You're kidding, right Bob? Did the college administrators (at the "private school" you mention) point a gun at these kids' heads and force them to major in English Lit, Philosophy, and At History? If you contributed the $180,000, or any part of it, to you kid, then you're the villain.

From the O “I really want to make it possible for kids to grow up growing their own food and knowing what work that means."
JK: There is no vacant land to grow food in SamRand's Perfectly Planned Portland Paradise. How much food can you grow on a 4th floor 15 sq. ft.balcony?

Maybe we could plant gardens instead of restaurant seats in those parking spaces.

Thanks
JK

Alex Reed: I'd guess that there are more 500 young college-educated migrants making good wages in Portland in the energy efficiency sector alone.
JK: Will that be the next sector to implode?

After all the need for energy efficiency is mostly a product of overpriced energy caused by the greenie war on low cost energy (opposition to drilling, pipe lines, coal, natural gas). Once people realize how costly they are, we will see a rebellion and much lower energy prices. And little need to spend a lot of money saving cheap energy.

As to helping the planet - give me a break! The planet is doing just fine (unless you spend too much time reading fund raising propaganda from the greenies)

Thanks
JK

Gotta keep up the myth up so they'll keep coming to replace the ones who wised up and left.

Alex, I know there are always exceptions like you point out, but Legacy Health (Good Sam, etc) in the last year laid off 400 people including my wife with 35 years of experience. My nephew wants to change his degree to EMT but is constantly discouraged because of the job market. A friend who is a orthopedic surgeon of over 30 years will probably leave his practice at Emanuel in the next year because of the unhealthy medical field. The health industry isn't healthy.

As far as blaming young people for wasting money on a college education, that is just bad thinking.

From the moment of birth the system is bashing kids over the head with the FACT that you are nothing unless you go to college. Any reasonably smart kid is told this over and over and over and over.

So they do what it takes to go, which is borrow a s**t ton of money.

Later they realize the reality of the world, but at 18 they only know what they've been told.

I don't want to seem PollyAnnaish - I do recognize that the job market is still really hard for a lot of people (recent law grads among them). I just wanted to point out that the situation is a lot more nuanced than Bojack makes it seem.

"Any reasonably smart kid is told this over and over and over and over.

So they do what it takes to go, which is borrow a s**t ton of money. Later they realize the reality of the world, but at 18 they only know what they've been told."

It might not be a total waste of money if they pay cash for their education (not a shit ton of debt), and that the education and degree are monetizable in some fashion.

More and more colleges are requiring the loan recipients to better understand how they are mortgaging their future for a degree that might not pay off.

In the letter above, Ted Turner's dad probably paid for his Brown degree. And Ted was able to monetize it even if it was a worthless Classics degree to somebody else.

Jim Karlock - you've got your opinion of the future of the energy efficiency industry, and I've got mine. We'll see what happens - I think that's pretty much all we can productively say here.

These poor kids who end up with $100,000 college loan debt and no marketable skill do so because they hear so many people tell them they just must have a college degree.
What people forgot (or deliberately didn't) to tell them is to study something more useful that "womens" studies or any of the other silly courses of study out there.

Alex:
I would venture a guess that the "energy efficiency sector" you are employed in is pretty much 100% dependent on subsidies and/or regulatory mandates.

One of the lessons we need to learn is that this is not sustainable.

Rob Kremer - you are correct in your first point, much of the energy efficiency sector (though not ESCOs or Cascade Energy) is a direct result of regulatory mandates.

However, I hold the opposite opinion to your second point - I think it is indeed "sustainable" both in the original and trendy meanings of the word. Here's why:

Under traditional utility regulation, utilities want customers to consume more energy - that way, the utility company grows. However, more energy consumption requires more capital investment in power plants and transmission and distribution infrastructure. All ratepayers have to pay the cost of this capital investment. So rates increase when energy consumption is increasing, in order to pay for capital investment.

When utility commissions favor cost-effective energy efficiency, utilities are required to seek low-cost energy efficiency if doing so would be cheaper than building new power plants and transmission and distribution infrastructure. So overall, the cost to society of providing power is lower if the regulatory commission mandates some energy efficiency.

Basically, regulatory mandate of energy efficiency makes provision of electricity and natural gas cheaper for society as a whole. That's one of the main reasons I think energy efficiency is a good thing.

Alex's IP address:

network:Org-Name:Portland Energy Conservation
network:Street-Address:100 SW MAIN ST
network:City:PORTLAND
network:State:OR
network:Postal-Code:97204

Working Saturdays, apparently.

Wonder how much of his salary is paid by taxpayers.

http://www.sustainablebusinessoregon.com/articles/2012/02/peci-laying-off-15-of-employees.html?page=all

Alex Reed: Basically, regulatory mandate of energy efficiency makes provision of electricity and natural gas cheaper for society as a whole.
JK: Actually it makes energy more expensive because the regulators no longer care about the cost, instead they have ignored science and are forcing costly, worthless, alternative energy on us, in an effort to reduce CO2, a plant food in the atmosphere.

They have significantly increased our electric bills, with no end in sight until we kick out the idiots at the top of Oregon (and national) government. (And indict a few corrupt climate scientists.)

Thanks
JK

All they need is a 8-month to 24-month stint at PCC and they'll be fine.

How much will this stint cost them and will they need to get a loan and then what?
Perhaps hundreds will find a job, but there are thousands that are needing good jobs.

How many of these energy efficient jobs are dependent on grants?

The cozy relationship between our city and PSU I believe is indoctrinating the youth on city policies. I might add it seems they go for the buzzwords only, I don't understand why they do not see through the hypocrisy, or do they? I also wonder if the youth aren't being propagandized to accept less and less, with a certain disdain for living in the suburbs with yards and garden space. This is all for the planet while the elite and their families can indulge in more and more? Although I am not an advocate for more materialism, but I see a disconnect here. Sure we can do our little share to help, while industry can roll over us and the planet with huge abuse!

Here's Alex:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSK3fN9xbJY

He'll grow up eventually.

Looks like BoJack's managed to scare off another commenter he disagrees with. Anybody hear an echo in here?

While I'm sure there are a number of people like Alex who moved here and were able to find well-paying professional jobs, from my experience here I'd say that it's the exception. Not necessarily because there aren't jobs to be had (though, there really aren't too many), but because many young (or formerly young) people came here for specific lifestyle reasons and not for work. That's certainly no surprise to anyone, but I've seen lots of people I know here hitting their 40's and finding that the service industry and other similar jobs have lost the luster they had when they had little responsibility, and now that they want to get on a career track, it's pretty tough to do here.

And Portland is a pretty easy place, though it's changed from the cheaper days of years past, to get caught in a rut due to the slow pace and relaxed lifestyle. Then wake up one day and say "Where the hell have the last 10 years gone?"

I came here in a band, worked in banquets, and finally realized it was time to settle down, so I went into show business.

(At least the freelance writing end of it.)

Tom,
Thanks for the kind words. I couldn't argue that I was born into a life of privilege, but it was more just unusual. In fact, I was told one time that the federal government sent a tax inspector to Arabia to determine how our housing ranked in American terms. Since it belonged to the company, there was some reason the value or whatever had to be determined.

Our family of 6 was basically living in half of a concrete duplex, and the housing - at that time - did not even register on the scale the inspector had with him, giving the town the nickname, "The Golden Ghetto." That's how I heard it anyway from a very reliable source. I mean only one faucet had water you could drink, the other faucets for the bath, etc...were undrinkable. That sort of thing.

Oh, and the boarding school angle. I used to have a Nixon-loving uncle who teased us for going to boarding school, 'til one day my dad told him to lay off because the school in our town only went through 9th grade. We had to go away to boarding school, and the company paid for most of it. Believe me, the idea of living at home and going to an American high school seems a lot softer to me, compared to getting shipped away at 15 to the other side of the world in ice-cold New Hampshire.

But yes, it was a privileged lifestyle. I did graduate from Exeter a semester early and hitchhiked 25,000 miles around America, so I tried to create something authentic. However, I did have an AmEX card in my boot for emergencies, so it wasn't exactly roughing it.

My wife, on the other hand, spent her senior year of high school working days in a factory, and going to school 5 hours at night so she would have money for college. She's the real thing.

Looks like BoJack's managed to scare off another commenter he disagrees with. Anybody hear an echo in here?

Posted from the same IP address as Alex Reed. Come on, son. You're telling us what a great life you have, but you sure don't act like it.

Come on, son. You're telling us what a great life you have, but you sure don't act like it.
JK: What do you think:
1. Alex works for METRO
2. Alex works for PDC
3. Alex works for a developer on the dole
4. Alex teaches at PSC
5. Alex is actually Earl Bleumenour

Thanks
JK

OOPS!
Left out:
6. Alex is a Clackastani County Commissioner.
7. Alex is a Metro commissioner

Thanks
JK

Alex works for Portland Energy Conservation, Inc., a major source of suction on the public mammary.

"suction on the public mammary" Pure Gold. Soon to be weaned we can hope.

While I admire Alex's ambition and willingness to express his opinions here, it's unsettling to learn that he works in yet another company that wouldn't exist without the City of Portland and our taxes. It's also sad to read the sustainable business article about Alex's company, because it paints a much less secure vision for his employment and his company's future than what he wrote about. That disconnect seems to capture the spirit of Portland's economy.

As long as we are all expressing our opinions here, mind if I jump in?

It seems to me to be quite the scam for the "energy savings" industry's first order of business is to make all forms of energy as expensive as humanly possible.

Only then is it so much easier to sell the, "Let us show you how to solve the problem WE HAVE CREATED..." solution.

It's an old snake oil sales technique: Create a problem. 2. Show the customer how you can solve that problem.

But it seems the naive have fallen for this recent version. Alex's long list of freshly hatched energy consulting companies that didn't exist a few years ago (and unlikely to exist a few from now), is NOT that reassuring to those of us with a longer view.

So if Alex is a shining example of the mid "20 somethings" career "sustainability", we are in worse trouble than I thought.

But unlike many others of his generation, he seems to be supporting himself. Even if it is selling snake oil to the gullible. At least to the MOST gullible in society.

Stand back...I'm going deep.

The reason I support the 20-somethings is that somewhere out there - and I imagine a state like Iowa or Kansas - there had better be a young person who is the next Thomas Edison, or for that matter, Tesla.

We don't need windmills or solar panels. We need something huge. We need a genius - and not a Steve Jobs or a Mark Zuckerberg so/so genius - we need the real thing. We need an Einstein here.

If it's a woman, great, but I imagine a young man who looks like Buddy Holly and just glows with brains.

If this young person delivers a new energy system to us - something that would make all the windmills and oil users and solar panels just go away - America could turn around.

The planet could rebound. I know it's out there. The universe is energy. It's everywhere in one form or another.

We just haven't really tapped it yet - at least not officially.

And the odds are that the person who does this - if anyone does - is now around 15 to 25. Maybe older. So to bet against the young creatives is like betting against the survival of humanity. Because if this young person doesn't deliver, many of the people you know and love are going to face a horrible future.

Sure, there are some annoying young types around, but we need one of them to deliver big, and that should influence our approach to helping them out.

P.S. I sure as hell would rather have given a bunch of creatives a trillion plus dollars, than blow it in Iraq. George W. is a quintessential Boomer and he screwed that up big time.

I'm the first to admit that I drank a lot of the Flav-R-Aid about Portland when I first moved ther, but the phrase "young and stupid" definitely applied. It's horribly romantic when you're 21 and barely squeaking by on canned beans while lIving in an unheated garrett in a Portland winter. When you're 30, it's just depressing, and to continue to argue that this is a reasonable life after you're 40 is just delusional. (And that's the biggest reason why my ex and I divorced: after all, the trick to lIving the Portland Life as pitched by its boosters is to get someone else to pay for it. I'll just note that her life is much like others who played for too long: moving back in with her parents in her fifties, waiting to qualify for Social Security, and crying about how nobody cares about her extensive indie bookstore clerk experience.)

If this young person delivers a new energy system to us - something that would make all the windmills and oil users and solar panels just go away - America could turn around.

Don't hold your breath waiting. It's a big "if" and would likely involve reversing some physical laws.

There are already ideas to harness energy as we know it but they are being sidelined. What a young person (or any age, for that matter) needs to do is to be able to derail the blocks in place to derail such enterprises.

America, indeed, The World, no longer derailed.

All this "green" and "sustainable" chatter reminds me a lot of the "dot-com" bubble of the late-90's, when there was all sorts of buzz and anybody who left bricks and mortar businesses to work for a dot-com was hailed as some kind of genius visionary. While many dot-coms of that era did go on to success, MANY more died off. That dot-com bubble burst, and this "green and sustainable" one will also.

Not to minimize the fact that there does seem to be a lot of aimlessness among the younger set in Portland and everywhere else, but part of the blame for this surely lies with the employer class, which on the whole does not value hard work anymore. Devoting the majority of your waking life to an employer just doesn't pay off for an awful lot of people nowadays. When I was growing up in the '60s, my father, who was a semi-skilled laborer at best, supported six of us with a night assembly job in an aircraft factory. Thanks to such factors as aggressive outshoring, union-busting, and tax restructuring that encourages profit-taking rather than reinvestment, that kind of work today (assuming one can even get it and avoid layoffs) barely supports one person! Should we be surprised that people with few responsibilities aren't eager to become part of this broken system any sooner than they absolutely have to?

We can look at it this way, Portland may be the breeding ground for the "solution"
so that the great Portland experiment can be sent out to the rest of the country!
Once well trained here, they may be sent elsewhere!
Either that or come to think of it, it seems like we have already had an army into our city holding court with proper buzzwords while in the back door our city has gone in a downward spiral! What would the council/insiders do without their support?

But in thriving sectors, skilled young migrants are moving here for the economic opportunity and staying for the quality of life.

That is questionable as what is being green promoted and what is being proposed in my view doesn't match, such as the coal trains coming through our city.
Wonder what the followers think now that green Hayden Island is in jeopardy, or that they are being told to drink fluorosilicic acid? Will they object or is accepting the plans just a part of having the “good job?”

Well, if Alex's current job doesn't work out, he can follow the latest hipster trend in paying for life in Portland:

http://www.katu.com/news/local/Robber-hits-NE-Portland-bank-168210846.html

So...anyone want to take bets on how long before some other try-hard decides to copy this? "Well, I had to! Do you know how much it costs to be an unpaid intern for a weekly newspaper?"

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/2012/09/06/the_case_for_hard_work_and_skilled_labor_289422.html

I've come to the conclusion that the root of all evil is our education system, which is systematically favoring itself by fooling students into thinking that the only way forward is school, school, and more school.
But not a lot of of it is taught well, so people continue in the educational system's merry ground for as long as they can be persuaded to do so.
And the root of all evil's twin is the banking system, whose hand academia is grasping tightly.

The education bubble has been a real crime against America's youth, and future.


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In Vino Veritas

If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend
Familia Bianchi, Malbec 2009
Terrapin Cellars, Pinot Gris 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2009
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Termpranillo 2010
Ravenswood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quinta das Amoras, Vinho Tinto 2010
Waterbrook, Reserve Merlot 2009
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills, Pinot Grigio 2011
Tarantas, Rose
Chateau Lajarre, Bordeaux 2009
La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2011
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir 2009

The Occasional Book

Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 259
At this date last year: 107
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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