Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A good day in Portland

This is the day I found out I DO NOT have atherosclerotic degenerative disease (also called hardening of the arteries), or intermittent claudication of the arteries in my feet. YESSSSSSS!!!!!! I've been living with that diagnosis and some disgusting medication that took me six weeks to adjust to initially, as it caused headaches, nausea, and depression. It felt toxic and harsh, to say the least. I'm now RID of it, and of the worry about the diagnosis. To my chagrin, I'd put off a second opinion for two years. I didn't want to hear bad news. As it turns out, the news was fantastic. More on that later, maybe. I still have to deal with whatever IS going on with my feet, which apparently is the tingling, partial numbness and occasional pain from a chronically pinched nerve in my back. But at least I can focus on fixing that now. I've been working on it for awhile with some success. Onward. So Lee and I realized we each had a doctor's appointment in Portland on the same day. His was his regular check-up.

The top photo is crossing the bridge into Washington. Obviously, a foggy day. It was supposed to be 80 degrees in Portland today but the coastal fog seems to have crept up-river faster than expected . . . or something. I love the way the bridge looks in fog. You cross the Columbia here at Longview, then travel on the Washington side of the river till you get to Portland and cross back into Oregon as you enter the city. Portland has something like seven or nine bridges.

We picked up Ashley and had Chinese lunch at a great dim-sum place where there is little English spoken and they bring everything around on carts. So, how much was the bill? I guess we need to learn to read Chinese. Ashley said she had tried to learn it one time, but the "Learn Chinese in 10 Days" CD was inappropriately named.

We didn't spend much time on the ground. Most of these pix are from a moving car as the mood struck me. Above - I do like the tree-lined streets of Portland with its interesting buildings. This street (above) is not as pretty as some, but it's not untypical, either.

I forget the name of this pinkish reflective building. Its outside is all glass.

Color and pattern in both these photos.

And, NICE AFRO. It's fun to see the assortment of people on the streets these days. This 'do was very picturesque.

More design. I never tire of looking at the varieties of color and shapes in Portland's downtown. There's a piece of a crane above. They're always working.

Powell's Books is a landmark - a warren of stuff to think about. We bought a book on Paris and another on the Loire Valley. We'll be in Paris in about 11 days. I hope we get a chance to see the Loire. We'd love to get out of the city, and we'll see if the time frame makes it feasible to see both. I've never been in the country outside of Paris. I know it would be incredible.

Powell's parking garage is almost as famous as the store. It was made for what, I'm not sure. Just don't get stuck on the ramp driving a stick-shift like I did on one visit, and be prepared for tight turns and oncoming obstacles.

The ubiquitous street scene. The sign says, "Even pennies help."

This was my destination today - St. Vincent's Hospital, and a vascular surgeon who has an office there. Oh, my god. What a relief! I can't believe I avoided this appointment for two years! WooHoo! Fantastic news!

This was along Highway 26 coming home. Fall is beginning in earnest. I should have taken pix of the trees in Hillsboro after the sun finally came out. They were spectacular with the yellow and red leaves and the glowing sun on and behind them. At that point, I had other things on my mind. We were looking for dinner (not finding what we wanted), and I was affronted by the reception in a Verizon store. I'd been looking for a case with a hand strap for my new BlackBerry like the cases they make (or did make) for phones and small cameras. I couldn't find one online, so we went into a Verizon Store. Talk about feeling like bait in a cage. There were about 6 or more sales people standing around with phones on their heads, most of them doing nothing but looking pseudo slick in their mandatory sales get-up and pouncing on anyone who came through the door. There was a lot of noise and activity for so few people who appeared to be customers. But the catch was, you had to sign your name and who-knows-what else into the computer before they would answer a single question. I'm not paranoid. Verizon already has all my info, since I'm on their plan, but I was totally repulsed by the idea of filling out a computer form before they would even TALK to me. One of them said, "It's just like taking a number." Don't give me that. It is NOT like taking a number. Numbers are anonymous. What the heck e-mail or phone list was I going to end up on, and how was this sign-up thing going to make it easier for them to apply pressure while I was in the store? I know there was a system. I'm not interested in being a pawn, so I asked again if they could just help me find a case. They would not, unless I signed in, and I told them it was weird and I walked out. Yeah, I know they would like to upgrade my plan or some nonsense, but I just did that. Phooey. Goodbye.

Some cool clouds on the way home. The drive is through forest, and we saw little sky as the sun was setting. The clouds looked serene. We stopped at Camp 18 (below) for dinner . . .

. . . and ate 'midst carved bears and antlers. It was kind of hard finding something that wasn't greased, buttered, or heavily sugared and gravied, but I found something and we had a relaxing dinner. It tasted good. We came home and watched the rest of Pride and Prejudice, the old BBC video version I like so much. It had been a pleasant day.

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