Portland Mid-To-Late-Summer

Today might just have been the epitome of Cascadian summertime climate.

Morning: Thick fog. Drizzle. Cool to cold. Shivering a bit. Thermometer says 59. Is that rain?

Then about 2PM, ‘the switch’. Sun’s out. Mercury up to the 80s. Almost sweltering.

220. Summer

Always it is the balance between the marine and the continental influence. Onshore and offshore flow. Pressure systems playing out their dynamic games, their whorls and eddies, their trickles and their flows. The sea, the mountains and the valleys playing their part. The Gorge like a pressure release valve for the Columbia Plateau basin.

What does all this mean? In Portland it means that weather changes in the summer are like a switch. One minute we’re ensconced in marine grey. Then next, it’s a continental scorcher.

What’s nice is when mother nature plays it like a concert. For this boy who is a native of the Northern California coast, almost perfect plays like this: Grey and chilly in the morning. Sun pops out around 2PM. 80s in the evening, 70s by sunset, then a nice chilly overnight to sleep tight in.

And what to do if the perfect day happens to be a Saturday? Well, we answer that this way: PSU Market in the morning. Work all afternoon. Then later? Salmon for dinner, on the balcony, with a bottle of Oregon Pinot riding shotgun and the sunset through the walnut tree for scenery.

Sinclair Inlet Morning

“If you don’t love life you can’t enjoy an oyster; there is a shock of freshness to it and intimations of the ages of man, some piercing intuition of the sea and all its weeds and breezes. [They] shiver you for a split second.”
– Eleanor Clark

8AM. Whiskey Gulch Cafe. Port Orchard, WA. Right on the water. The picture window is open and fresh Sinclair Inlet air is blowing fresh on my face. Cigarillo and a machiatto and a leather chair. Manette across the inlet. Piano on the stereo. Jazz man, jazz singer, singing have a little faith.

View of Sinclair Inlet from Whiskey Gulch Coffee Company in Port Orchard, WA at the Annapolis Ferry Dock.

Reminder of late mornings, complacencies and peignoirs, green dreams of cuckatoos. This then is the blue dream of waterways. A specifically Pacific north. Portuguese is appropriate: Throaty words for mollusks and assorted shellfish of that sort. Words stony as the country land and chewy as geoduck.

A seal arps away like mom’s Pomeranian. Rocks and dessicated remains of anenomes and urchins. All those weeds scattered across the pebble beach. Slimes and oozes and foams. If you could eat this scene, eat the beach, the sea, devour it, what would it taste like? An oyster. Doubtless an oyster. And the patio with its leather chair would be the glass of Sancerre.

Overthinking The Olympics (Or Not)

The Olympics. Obscure sports. Atheletes of all ages from all over the world. Competition. Four years of lives poured into a single moment of do or die, rock it or dock it. Corner of Storybook Lane and Heartbreak Alley. Can’t resist this stuff.

Often events play out along the lines we expect. Sometimes the winner was born with all the talent God could spare. Sometimes it’s someone with decent raw talent who dedicated their lives to making the grade. Sometimes the loser is the one with the capitulative personality. Sometimes they just have a head cold.

Too many of the sports are subjective. Especially boxing and gymnastics, both of which often leaving me wondering who really won and why. My favorites so far are the swimming, the cycling, the track, the judo. Man against man, measured by the hard cold objective timer. Or in judo’s case, one judoka against another, winner take all.

There’s an interesting thing that happens in many events: The gold medalist is triumphant. And often the bronze medalist is extatic, especially in the head 2 head events where they’ve just won a bronze medal match. But the silver medalist? Second-best. And in the h2h sports, just coming off a loss.

It’s so tempting to draw analogies from sports into the business world. There’s a huge difference though. In sport there are no win-win propositions. No chance for negotiation, or collaborations between rivals. It’s brutal binary results: We win, they lose, and joy. Or versa vice, and agony.

Ultimately though, the Games are art, and each event is an artwork. And you can overthink art all you want, but what good is done? Art may be fun to consider from its multifarious angles. But ultimately, appreciating art is an art in its self. Which calls for nothing more than submission. And to enjoy.