23 articles Articles posted in Life

Portland: Plenty of Water in this West Coast City

Portland: Plenty of Water in this West Coast City

Since moving to Portland less than a year ago, I’m still in awe of the nearly constant presence of water. It falls from the sky, though not nearly as much as I expected, and it pools up in small ponds around town, and some wetlands a bit farther out. But water’s real presence can mostly be found in the rivers. As an inner Southeast Portland dweller, that mostly means the Willamette, and occasionally the Columbia. …

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Moving to Portland: Initial Impressions

Moving to Portland: Initial Impressions

After years of planning and much delayed gratification, we finally took the step of moving to Portland, Oregon this month. The timing was somewhat dictated by circumstances. The lease at our Superior, Colorado apartment was ending, I had just lost my job, and the summer heat of metro Denver was on our minds after last year’s sweltering, smoky summer. Plus, the thought of  crossing six mountainous states in a moving van any time when their …

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Another Piece of Analog Technology Bites the Dust

Another Piece of Analog Technology Bites the Dust

I can’t help but admire the design and functionality of the IBM Selectric, a groundbreaking typewriter at the time it was introduced in 1961. Its smooth, organic, mid-century curved design  calls up images of the Mad Men secretary pool. The functionality and level of design seems remarkable, even timeless. I came across this non-working gem that somebody had put out with the trash today, and brought it home for a polishing and final photo before …

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‘Carousel,’ a New Short Film

Carousel from Michael French on Vimeo. A recent trip to Los Angeles for a wedding found us with a few extra hours to relax before our flight home. We headed to the shore a Santa Monica, one of my favorite places to go when I used to live in Pomona, California, east of Los Angeles. There’s a old pier that’s sort of a West Coast Coney Island: A Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, some games …

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Are We Hard Wired to Hate?

Are We Hard Wired to Hate?

I’ve observed it again and again: People readily put other people into boxes. Rednecks are this way, nerds are that way, blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics, you name it, any discernible group of people is identified by others and assigned blanket characteristics. In the past I always thought this was learned behavior. A child grows up with parents telling him or her to avoid this or that group, they’ll rob/cheat/hurt/betray/blame others (fill in the blank here). …

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(Sub) Urban Gardening

(Sub) Urban Gardening

  Apartment living has its perks–virtually no maintenance worries, very little snow chores and (usually) brand new carpet. The missing element is the yard that comes with having a home. And with a yard comes a garden. In Denver proper, there exists an amazing urban gardening scene. R+P can often be found lending a hand and having a good time with the folks at Urbiculture. Check out the recent work day at Columbia School. You …

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Robots and Ponies at a Lower Elevation

Change is in the air. No, it’s not spring time. We’ve got a long way to go. Especially when you’re in Colorado. Robots and Ponies is now blogging (well, never mind) from the fine, but snowy state of Colorado. OK, I’ve made the revelation; it’s now time to resume normal blogging activities.

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Tom Cat Loves Chickies!

Tom Cat Loves Chickies!

Chicks arrived at Olsen’s Grain last weekend. And, because they’re so darn cute, I volunteered to chick-sit for the weekend. Matilda (on the left) was more timid than her sister, Peggy. Matilda preferred to be burrowed underneath Peggy. You can imagine that Peggy, being 5 days old herself, wasn’t quite prepared for simulated motherhood. Chicks are sweet–they eat, sleep, chirp and of course poop. By the end of the weekend, Peggy had discovered her wings …

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Tom Cat: Feline Connoisseur

Tom Cat: Feline Connoisseur

Tom Cat likes to eat. It’s one of his hobbies. Here is the short list of what Tom likes to eat: Fish, any flavor Shrimp, with or without sauce Milk, cow or goat (no soy or rice) Cream cheese Cheese with a distinct preference for softer cheeses Butter or Earth Balance Smoothie Pinto Beans Kidney Beans Steak Broccoli Chicken Turkey Oats with honey Greek yogurt Cupcake frosting Chard, steamed or sauteed Raisin cookies Bean and …

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Peace is Every Step, ya’ll

Peace is Every Step, ya’ll

I finally got to fulfill a nagging wish tonight. It’s not earth-shattering; it’s not even a super hard thing to do. But, well, I’m a fairly lazy person. I’ll admit it. For reals. I joined Greenpeace! Some amazing-ness: they helped end nuclear testing, ban globally dumping radioactive waste at sea, initiate an international moratorium on commercial whale hunting, protect 16 million acres in the Brazilian Amazon rain forest and so much more. Sigh. Plus, they …

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