The Path – Portland 2004

Since I have so much free time, I’m going to recount relevant details of The Path.  I did a lot since 2004 as you’ll see.   The Path began in Feb of 2014 (or perhaps Aug of 2013 if you count when I volunteered for the Avnet layoff).  But we’ll start from the shutdown of Sunhill Software in Scottsdale, where two former co-workers had given me a position even before I left Avnet.

After Sunhill, I got a stock java programming contract at Nike in Portland.  Here are the highlights of 2004:

I spent a weekend in Astoria because “Kindergarten Cop” was filmed there.   I walked all over Portland, often four or five miles each day.  In fact, my record walk was that year; twenty-six miles from the Portland Zoo to the airport and back aways until I hopped the Max.

The Max was awesome, my first experience with good public transportation and I quit driving.  I walked three of the Portland bridges many times.  I drank my first Bourbon Porter at the Marina.  I spent most weekends at McFadden’s where I was propositioned by two young couples for threesomes but I was still married and couldn’t do it.   I visited several nightclubs but Barracuda’s was the best, although I once got my ass grabbed at a hip-hop club.  🙂

I ate dinner in two high-rises, the Portland City Grill and an expensive hotel I don’t remember. I often walked through the Rose Garden to the Zoo.  I ate dinner at the restored Henry Weinhard’s brewery when it opened.  I toured the Nike campus on my lunches, the walkways lined with sports figures and histories, and met Phil Knight (Nike founder), who told me to replace my New Balance shoes. 🙂

I found a twenty-year-old Xevious video game and played it for a couple of months but never matched my high score from 1984.  I walked across the Columbia River bridge.  I was robbed by a kid on the Max, he’d talked me up and asked for change.  I gave him a twenty, knowing he would probably steal it but he looked desperate.

I met a German on the Max, a professional golf course designer and he was lost.  I offered him a ride which became a two-hour nightmare of neither of us knowing the area but I got him there around midnight.

I spent a weekend in Salem.  I drove through the desolation of Vancouver.  I spent a lot of time in my hotel room and became obsessed with Dominique.   I drank my first hot sake at an asian restaurant by Portland U campus, which I walked quite often.  Portland was fantastic and I walked in the rain without an umbrella or coat.  I walked the downtown almost every night and worried about robbery or assault but Portland and Seattle are pretty safe areas.

In November, a co-worker asked me to take a contract back in Phoenix, so I did.  There’s not much to tell about the next six months, so The Path picks up in New Jersey.