Note to Self: Planning is not Living!


I recently arrived at a significant decision in my life, one that has many layers, challenges and opportunities. It’s big, kind of scary, but very exciting. It also doesn’t really start for about seven months, and there are major factors involved which I can’t control.

In short, aside from curiosity and perhaps a few long-term elements, there’s nothing I need to be doing about it right now.

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Thoughts and Plans on my 24th Anniversary in Portland

pittock mansion portland

There’s really no significance to anniversaries, other than our tendency to take stock when they roll around. Where I “am” now versus where I “was” 24 years ago doesn’t mean a lot, but it is interesting to think about, as is seeing a photo of myself from back then and think, “Wow, I was really young!”

What did I think my life was going to be in 1996, when I arrived in Portland by Greuyhound bus, my car having finally died at an I-84 rest stop near La Grande, Oregon? (That, as they say, is “a whole nother story,” here in parts 1 and 2.) I had come to Oregon to get out of my hometown and away from that whole life, but also to explore the Pacific Northwest. I didn’t (and still don’t) orient myself around jobs or relationships, neither of which have stuck around for very long. I saw coming to Portland as going to a new area, close to many mountains, to build a new life. And I did.

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My Latest “Breakfast Bulletin” Newsletter: In 2020, Rain is Sunshine


Every couple of … well, years lately (hanging my head), I write a newsletter I call the “Breakfast Bulletin.” The name comes from my old days as the Portland Breakfast Guy, and I keep it to honor those good times.

The latest issue is about the strange times we live in — for example, when the city of Portland celebrates rain in September. Tough times bring weird thoughts, I guess.

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What It’s Like Being From Portland in 2020


First, a little historical context. When I moved from Memphis to Portland in 1996, people in other parts of the country would say one of two things about my new hometown: “I hear it’s pretty there,” or “Isn’t that up near Seattle?”

Somewhere along the way, Portland has become both one of American’s “it” cities, as well as a canvas on which people paint all sorts of assumptions and fantasies.

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Did I Just Go On a Trip?


I woke up this morning at home, wished the construction guys across the street would keep it down, made my coffee, stood in the back yard for a minute taking in the fresh air, then thought about what I need to do today.

First up? Unpack.

And that’s when I remembered I just went on a long trip — over 3,000 miles of driving and about 15 nights of camping in the last three weeks. I had actually forgotten!

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