Preparing for Lent

For Christians, Shrove Tuesday is a traditional day given to self-examination and seeking absolution for wrongdoing. The day is also known as Fat Tuesday – or Mardi Gras – the last day to indulge in rich foods such as butter, eggs and sugar, before beginning forty days of Lenten fasting. A pancake feast is the […]

Orange You Glad….

Having lately emigrated from northern California, I still keep up on the news from my previous home. Other parts of the country, or even other parts of northern California, deal with raucous town hall meetings or rioting in the streets over speakers invited onto campus. Sonoma County, by contrast, is mired in controversy over Superior […]

Academy Awards Preview

To get in the mood for Hollywood’s annual bacchanal of self-congratulation, have a look at the opening of the 25th Academy Awards ceremony in 1953 – the first to be televised. Lots of jokes about that new curiosity taking up space in living rooms – television.   00

Making America Great Again

Our new administration has pledged that everything it does will be to make America number one. For some reason that doesn’t seem to be working in the category of tourist destinations. Only a month after the inauguration, foreign tourism in the United States is down 6.8%. And it’s probably going to get worse. Internet searches […]

Welcome to PDX

Portland has become so hip that the rapidly gentrifying New York borough of Brooklyn is known to many as the “Portland of the East.” The TV series “Portlandia” told the world that the City of Roses is the place “where young people go to retire.” Portland brags that it has more breweries – and strip […]

Infrastructure Report

One afternoon in downtown Spokane, I came across a spectacle I had not seen before. A truck was stopped in the middle of the street underneath a railroad viaduct. The box-van lorry was wedged tightly between the pavement and the underside of the train overpass. The driver was deflating tires in a frantic attempt to […]