International Women’s Day - Northwest passages: riding out the storm - CycleBlaze

March 8, 2020

International Women’s Day


It seems like PIFF (the Portland International Film Festival) just started, but it’s almost over already.  Saturday is closing night, and prescreenings opened just a week ago today.  It’s not too soon though to conclude that it’s been a significant disappointment to us this year.  Both the prescreening and the normal schedules have been cut nearly in half this year, for the first time.  Rather than a full month of film presentations, in which we’ve gotten used to seeing 35-40 films in a viewing frenzy, now its barely two weeks long and we’ll be lucky if we take in a mere 20.

And, it seems like there’s been a noticeable drop in quality.  There are fewer venues, almost no significant, known directors in this year’s catalogs, no academy award nominees.  Looking through the catalog, we’ve struggled to find films we felt real excitement about seeing.

Like every other evil in the world these days, I blame our current national leadership.  My theory is that this affront is due to the huge tax cut enacted last year.  It disincentivized charitable giving, especially by corporations; and arts programs like this are being starved.

We have seen films we were inspired by or enthusiastic about, but I suspect the one we’ll most remember years down the road is the one we attended last night.  It may be the most absolutely uninteresting film we have ever seen, but thinking back now there was one other years ago, also a PIFF film, that was like this.  Zero plot, unbearably slow tempo, totally bereft of color, dynamism or cinemagraphic interest.

After sitting through this for an unbearably long time, I finally implored Rachael to bring up the phone so we could see how much time was left.  Unbelievable - we still had a full hour left.  We decided to stealthily make our way to the door, something we virtually never do.  We’re pioneers today, as it happens - within the next few minutes, half the theater emptied.

International Women’s Day

But that’s not what I came to talk about today.  I came to honor International Women’s Day.  My approach to honoring it this year was by taking a bike ride with my favorite woman, and to celebrate it by riding along 

 in her preferred style - at a steady, fast clip without stops for the camera.  I took it along, but really only so that I could take her photo at the start of the ride to commemorate the day.

My heroine, and the PSU Walk of the Heroines.
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We rode out to Sauvie Island again, and I was nearly as good as my word.  There were reasons to stop but I only succumbed once.  Almost unheard of self-discipline on my part, of which I am quite proud.

Immature bald eagle, Sauvie Island
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It was a beautiful day for a ride, but chilly at first.  Mostly overcast but with occasional sun breaks.  Nearly windless.  We rode out under three layers and with warm gloves, but on the way back I stripped off the gloves, leggings and jacket and was quite comfortable.  I put in 42 miles, and Rachael put in one more than me because that’s just the way she is.

New zoom

For about the last two months my superzoom camera has been showing its age.  The lens cover won’t close any more, and it’s only a matter of time until the camera needs replacement.  When we got back to Portland last month I contacted a camera repair shop but they weren’t encouraging.  They don’t really deal in point-and-shoot cameras and didn’t indicate that it was worth their time or our money.

So I checked out the camera on Amazon.  As luck would have it, this model is still available but all but obsolete.  It was already a generation old when I checked last year sometime, and $100 less than the newest model.  Now though, it’s two generations back.  The newest model comes out this month, and they’ve dropped yet another Benjamin from the list price.  A bargain at today’s price and it probably won’t be available that,ugh longer; so I snapped it up as an investment for when the one I’m using finally fails.

So the plan is that I’ll keep using my current one but carry the other around in the bag as a backup.  Hopefully it won’t be needed for some time, but now I’m ready when it finally fails.  In the meantime I broke it out, initialized its settings, and took a few photos to make sure it was good to go.

Seems to work.
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Bill ShaneyfeltThat -keep using it till it dies and carry the new as a backup- is the same old camera strategy I was using in 2013 when I started using my current, and starting to age camera! Been thinking of buying a used one for about 1/4 what it was new. But used may or may not be worth it, even though they say like new.

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4 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltHopefully I’ve got a fair amount of life still in the current one, and I’ll just carry the other one around as ballast for awhile. I like feeling protected though. I don’t think I’d trust a used one either.
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4 months ago
I was surprised to look north and discover that we can see Rocky Point and the Saint Johns Bridge from the balcony of our condo unit.
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