Portland, OR

Made in Oregon Sign

Hours after my last class of the semester got out in San Francisco, I was stepping off the plane in Portland. My longtime friend and roommate, Mason, is from nearby Tigard, which is basically Portland but pretends it isn’t.

I had a blast running all over the “City of Roses” with Mason. I got to meet some of his friends, who I really think would fit in perfectly with my own crew back home and look forward to seeing again. Also, his family was about as gracious as hosts get.

Thursday

  1. Flew into Portland
  2. Met Mason’s family and his friends Donovan and Marcus
  3. Hearty spaghetti dinner and birthday cake (belated celebration for Mason’s 21st)
  4. Bannigan’s Pie House

Friday

  1. Mason’s dad made breakfast
  2. Walked around Washington Square Mall
  3. A gallery/toys/lol place I wish I could remember the name of
  4. Theo’s Sandwiches
  5. A comic book shop I also can’t remember the name of
  6. Saw MacGruber near Pioneer Courthouse
  7. Mason’s dad made steak dinner

Saturday

  1. Met up with my old pal Zach at Rocco’s Pizza
  2. Powell’s Bookstore
  3. Deschutes Brewery, then said bye to Zach
  4. Met up with Marcus and headed to Saborro’s Sushi
  5. Tea Chai Te
  6. Joined by another guy named Jon on the way to Ground Kontrol Arcade Bar

Sunday

  1. Elmer’s Diner
  2. Saturday Market
  3. Voodoo Donuts
  4. Widmer Brewery
  5. Max’s Brew Pub
  6. Ordered from Pizza Caboose
  7. Hung out with Donovan and Marcus

Monday

  1. Another amazing breakfast made by Mason’s dad
  2. Sushi Hana
  3. House of Reptiles
  4. Bounty Hunter Saloon
  5. Bannigan’s Pie House again
  6. Flew back to San Francisco

Portland was fantastic. It’s definitely on the list of places I can see myself living, and I can’t wait to go back again.

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“Thou Shalt Not Impose”

Separation of Church and State

Today, I had my last English Composition: Creative Persuasion & Argument class. I turned in my final paper, and also did an optional presentation that was pretty funny.

The paper, “Thou Shalt Not Impose,” is a proposal argument about how religion has intruded into our government, why it’s a problem, and what specifically we should do.

Don’t forget that you can change the text-viewing options at the top of the page to make it easier to read.

The visual argument (teensy-weensy PDF) I presented is the same topic, but with my sense of humor poured all over it. Parts of it might not make sense without knowing what I was saying while I was presenting (you can probably figure it out if you read the paper), but that’s alright since I’m uploading it because it makes me laugh. I had fun with it.

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“Ethically Insufficient”

I was flattered when people showed interest in “Good Atheists,” so I’ll upload the other two papers from my English Composition: Creative Persuasion & Argument class.

The first paper is “Ethically Insufficient.” It’s an evaluative argument that highlights some moral problems with the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam).

The second paper will be uploaded next week.

Remember that you can change the text-viewing options at the top of the page to make it easier to read.

I love hearing your thoughts, so please leave a comment after reading.

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Apple vs Adobe

As a web designer, I’ve been following the spat between Apple and Adobe over Flash with interest. So how do I feel about the spat between Apple and Adobe? Whose side am I on?

Well, I’m happy that Flash isn’t going to be such a crutch anymore. If a concept for a site can be executed with HTML instead of Flash, it should be built in HTML about 99% of the time.

Right now though, a lot of developers don’t do that though because they like making things in Flash more than they like coding with HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, and so on. To them, the important thing is the final product, and if they think it’s easier or more enjoyable to do it in Flash, and if Flash is perceived as an acceptable standard on the web, then that’s what they’ll use.

But now that their sites flat-out fail on the iPhone, they’ll be forced to build in HTML again. Frustrating for a lot of developers, but in the long run, it benefits consumers since they’ll get faster-loading, less buggy web sites. In the short run, it frustrates consumers too, but there hasn’t been much of a revolt since Flash web designers have always been supposed to at least build really simple non-Flash versions of their sites.

The trouble is that there’s a lot more than just web sites on the web, so while I’m happy to see this put the upcoming HTML5 into such a great position, HTML5 is just for building web sites while Flash isn’t. All the other things that Flash can do—programs, games, interactive animations, and so forth—aren’t really answered for by HTML5 because that’s not what it’s for. Sure, programmers can build programs and games for the iPhone, but what a hassle for all the people who learned to be Flash developers. It’s easier to make programs and games in Flash, and when completed, they’d work on any device that had a Flash plugin without any more work. I don’t consider myself a Flash designer, but I do feel a little sorry for my friends who are.

I can’t help but think that the biggest winners are people with phones running Android, WebOS, and other alternatives to the iPhone. They get to have their cake and eat it too. They’ll enjoy all the benefits of a web that’s built more on HTML5, and if Adobe’s latest press releases about plug-ins coming soon for them are to be believed, they’ll also get to keep enjoying all the cool things that will only ever be made in Flash. In other words, they get to eat the fruits of Apple’s labor while still being pampered by Adobe. And so to them, I say enjoy it.

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“Good Atheists”

If you have an interest in religion or if you want to read a story about what it’s like to become an atheist, then check out this narrative argument that I wrote for my English Composition: Creative Persuasion and Argument class.

Display in browser – You can change the text-viewing options at the top of the page to make it easier to read.
Download PDF – Formatted oh-so-nicely in Adobe InDesign because I had some extra time.

There’s a lot of meat in this one, and every bit of it is honest. It contains:

  1. The way I think and why I’m an atheist.
  2. How we’re treated by others (and how I used to think of atheists too).
  3. The questions that got me started on the road to atheism.
  4. Meeting with my old priest about those questions.
  5. What it felt like to go from proud Catholic to ashamed doubter to unashamed atheist.
  6. Telling my mom.
  7. How different friends reacted.
  8. What I hope to prove to others.

I tried to make “Good Atheists” as interesting and insightful as possible, especially for people who aren’t atheists. Let me know your thoughts.

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