Mad Skater

Mad Skater

Yesterday, wandering around downtown, I decided to take some pictures of the Skate Park under the Burnside Bridge. It’s supposedly a world class skate park and one of the best around. I was primarily interested in the graffiti as the quality seems to be a couple of notches above the norm around the rest of the city.

After taking several pictures, this gentlemen comes by and says “Two things, you can’t stand there, and you can’t take pictures with out permission.” I stepped back off the actual park itself, even though I was only two feet away from some other people and continued to line up my picture.

He then yelled at me again “You can’t take a picture without permission!” I replied, “Thank you, I know the laws!”

To which his reply was “I don’t care about the laws! I’ll break that camera in your face!”

At which point I accidentally snapped this picture (seriously, the trigger button slipped!) and then began walking away.

After going through the photos I found this such a compelling picture. He’s threatening, but no one else around seemed to care much. So, on the off chance that I do end up with my camera broken in my face, this is the guy that did it.

Taking a Trip to Texas

Taking a Trip to Texas

As of Friday, April 9th, 2010 I shall be on the road to Langtry Texas for a family reunion of sorts. I’m not 100% sure of the family connection of most people attending will be, but I’m very much looking forward to the trip itself.

I’ve been on two long trips like this before, once from Portland through BC to Edmonton Calgary then back down around through Yellowstone and then to Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and home up I-5. The other trip was a straight shot from Fort Wayne Indiana to Portland.

This trip will be from Portland, east along I-84 all the way to Twin Falls, Idaho. I’ll head south towards to Salt Lake City, Utah and then cut south east through the mountains and Colorado. I’ll hit Albuquerque, New Mexico (being 100% sure to take that left turn,) then stop in Roswell New Mexico for a bit of UFO Tourism. Afterwards I’m taking another detour to San Antonio, Texas to visit the Alamo and “world famous” River Walk and most likely some famous Texas Barbecue. And hopefully at the end of a week, end up in Del Rio, Texas which is the nearest city of size near Langtry.

The return trip will head west to Phoenix, Arizona. At that point we’ll see how the weather is. I’ll either head north to Las Vegas from there, or go further west and pick of Los Angeles and travel the I-5 corridor again if there is too much snow around the Lake Tahoe area.

To keep costs down, the vehicle of choice is a 1984 Class A Winnebago. I just took it on a 100 mile short trip to get a feel for driving it, it’s got a new CB radio with access to the NOAA weather channels, and road maps of everywhere I need to be.

I’ll be camping at Truck Stops and Walmarts, or if desperate, actual real campgrounds.

Other points of interest I’m hoping to see are the ghost town of Lime Oregon, historic Union Oregon (I stayed in the restored hotel about ten years ago and enjoyed it a lot,) and if I’m not running too far behind, Arches National Park in Utah. Plus whatever other sites I might happen to see along the way. Hopefully I’ll be able to get lots of pictures and be able to upload them.

I’ll have my computer, and my list of RSS job feeds so I can keep job searching when I stop. In the off chance I do get a job interview and have to be back soon, I’ll be able to park the motor home, fly home to go to the interview then go back and continue my travels. Since I haven’t had an actual face to face interview in over two months, despite sending out at least a dozen resumes a week, I don’t see that being a problem though.

Overall, I’m excited about this adventure. I’ll really looking forward to it and hope to have a great time despite the roughly 4500 miles in two weeks I’ll be driving all together.

Battlestar Galactica 1980

Battlestar Galactica 1980

Currently available on is Galactica 1980. The premise is pretty simple, the “rag tag fleet” of the Original Series finally made it to Earth. But the Cylons have followed the humans to Earth.

So the poor old Galactica is caught between Earth and the Cylon forces. Commander Adama is of course torn, on one hand it’s obvious that Earth’s technology is far below that of the Twelve Colonies. On the other hand, “computer projections” (AKA recycled and chopped footage from the first episode of the first show) Cylon attacks on Earth show Los Angeles being “devastated.” Or rather, a few cars being thrown into the air, a couple of very small explosions, and some laser strafing that doesn’t even hit anything.

In the third or fourth scene Troy and Dillion (who are the main characters) are discussing how the United States of America “sounds like a fun place,” as they’re flying into Earth’s Atmosphere. Unfortunately they’re tracked by NORAD or it’s far more secret and shadowy 80’s Television version. Two F-16’s are launched to intercept and destroy the unidentified air craft. In a torturously boring dogfight where the Vypers dodge a tiny bit, the F-16s launch a single missile, and the Vypers go invisible into the clouds. The F-16 pilots throw out a bit more patriotic talk and then we cut to the next scene.

As the show progresses, US radar technology continues to see the Cylons and Vypers. But the Cylons have new technology too, including Cylons that look just like humans. This plot point is used again in the new Battlestar Galactica which somehow managed to run more episodes total then both the original series and the 1980 series put together. This ups the ante for the Colonials, as they must protect the Earth from the Cylons, yet are torn in trying to make Earth their new home.

I fear to spoil the plot, or, what little plot there actually is. But suffice to say Galactica 1980 is the quintessential early 80’s show. The Afros on White Guys. The overt American Patriotism. The cheesy acting, cheesy low budget TV special effects. Multiple bit actors hoping to make it big time yet again, including Robert Reed of “the dad” on Brady Bunch fame. The fact that George Takei (Commander Sulu on Star Trek) happens to be doing Sharp TV commercials during the breaks just adds to the surrealism of the entire show.

Keeping in mind that the show is now thirty years old and saw little to no popularity in it’s day, yet it actually holds up pretty well. The cheesy moments are appropriately cheesy. The acting is the typical semi-dramatic 80’s. The plot, is thinner and more cobbled together then a Rube Goldberg machine. The fight scenes are lousy. The special effects are “special.”

In this single show, everything that is the 80’s is glorified and still laughable. Discard Galactica 1980 if you wish, but keep in mind that it’s shows like this that gave us what we watch today.

American Income Life Employment scam

American Income Life Employment scam ?

I’m getting pretty good at spotting these people a mile away.

Got a phone call from (503) 639-8735, didn’t recognize the number. Did a quick look up of the number on Google and found that they did this quite often. Less then ten minutes later, got another phone call from them which I decided to answer this time.

From the start it was obvious that the lady was working from a memorized script. She was full of “Um’s” and “Uh’s” and “OK, that sounds good” to every answer I said. It felt like she wasn’t really even listening to me. She asked what kind of job I was looking for, but didn’t mention that the company even had any IT jobs at all. She kept pushing to get me in the door.

Further Google Searching finds on quite a bit of very interesting information. Many people saying that the company is not a scam, but three times as many saying it is. Apparently unlike other insurance companies, they make you pay for all your classes and books to get an insurance license. After that they pump you leads that are two years old, or in many cases, older. They might be slightly legitimate, but any company that has as high of a turn over as they does, has something going wrong.

For the record, (and Google) their Portland Oregon address is:

15575 SW Sequoia Parkway
Suite #150
Portland OR, 97224

The “HR” person told me the door is on the “back of the building” and simply says AIL on it. To me that was the final red flag. If you’re considering working for this company, I would run away as fast as possible.


– August 15th, 2016. I just got called by these guys again. They said that I applied for the position of Customer Service Manager via one of the career boards. But I track all the jobs I apply for in Excel. They are not there under American Income, or their parent company, Torchmark. Nor are they there under job title. So either they are putting out false jobs under different titles and companies, or they are doing the cold call technique. On the good side, the lady this time knew her script much better, but still evaded the truth when I asked if it was for a management position.

The new address is:
7200 NE 41st Street Suite #202
Vancouver WA, 98662

Another thing I noticed, they now started “celebrating” all their worker’s success via YouTube. Almost every video has comments closed on it. Why would an company that is legitimate and above board being doing that? Even the largest companies like Nike, Exxon, Coke, etc don’t do that!