Wednesday, June 30, 2010


My twin brother Scott and his girlfriend, Bernadette, visited over the July 4th weekend. It was decent weather--still chilly (see complaints below). It is often said that Portland's summer weather doesn't arrive until after July 4th, and I have friends who have an annual summer party that they refuse to scheduled until the beginning of August because the weather can be so unpredictable.

Within the first few weeks of my coming to Portland, Jean-Francois showed me Washington Park's magnificent Rose Garden. With more than 700 varieties of roses, July is the month the garden is at its peak. I've always loved roses, and now that I'm growing my own (four rose bushes and one climbing rose and counting), I've become even more fascinated by roses. The colors are infinite. The garden was crowded with rose lovers. We went up and down the rows of bushes, snapping photos right and left, the shapes and colors keeping us in thrall.

While all my friends complain about scorching temperatures on the east coast, we continue to have rather chilly ones here. Beau woke me up at 5:30 this morning, wanting to go out. I checked the thermometer and it was only 58 degrees! We haven't had any rain for more than a week now, which is great, but it is colder than I expected, and certainly colder than it was a year ago when I first arrived in Portland. It is not expected to get warmer than 70 on Saturday and Sunday and in peeking at the 10-day forecast, I see the hot weather (80s) gets underway by Monday--typical, I'm told. Today I read a Yahoo news feature that says Portland is the best city in the country to visit in the summer because of our many nice parks, farmer's markets, and other outdoor activities, and with an average summer temperature of 66 degrees, it's certainly the most comfortable. Conversely Portland is least alluring in December when its combination of cold and damp is at its most unappealing.

Rant Sidetrack: Larry King, the dumbest, least interesting talk show host in the history of the genre, is retiring at the end of his contract next year. It's the end of a long and strange news era. I've watched stupefied, as he has presided over the 9:00 o'clock spot on the cable network for a quarter of a century. He's hardly been a probing interviewer, and he often asks awkward questions. We've been treated to the spectacle of his rather weird and tabloid-ready multiple marriages and divorces (though to be fair, lots of talk show hosts have been through multiple marriages and divorces). CNN is hemorrhaging viewers, and I suspect at 76, King is not attracting young viewers. So far I'm not wild about any of the early suspects to replace him. I think Katie Couric should stay put at CBS. She got her news mojo back at the expense of Sarah Pallin (admittedly an easy mark), and is apparently showing some strength. Joy Behar does a good job on the CNN affiliate, but she's too liberal (and I would equally protest someone who was too conservative). But someone has to take over the spot, and it hopefully will be a blast of fresh air.

We finally got a heat spell and it was nasty. Had the central AC on for three days. That still beats New York where my air conditioner went on in mid-May and never got turned off until the end of September! It was bone dry, but hot is hot. An when the temperatures went over 100, I appreciated the central AC.

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