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Category: Local Interest

Funhouse Die Hard

Funhouse Die Hard

Time to celebrate one of the best Christmas movies around – Die Hard.

Funhouse Lounge here in Portland has done a Die Hard musical parody show for several years now. This year is no different and all the shows almost immediately sold out. However, given the COVID situation, they also graciously provided a streaming option. I gave it a watch, and recommend you do too – but hurry – there are only a few streaming opportunities left.

More Polybius

More Polybius

Polybius is a great urban legend that got its start in Portland. There’s lots of fodder thrown around about it, but The Polybius Conspiracy is a seemingly real investigation on the subject. They even have a lot of interviews from local people – but it turns out to be COMPLETELY FALSE and their main character was an actor. Yet none of that was disclosed and is yet another reason you should be very weary of documentaries as information sources (most evidence shows you should NOT be putting faith in them more than opinion pieces).

This is also a good video about the game.

Fire Towers of the Northwest

Fire Towers of the Northwest

Staying at remote fire watch towers in the Pacific Northwest is kind of a thing for me. Above are two of the ones I stayed at. After getting lucky enough to land a near-impossible reservation, they usually require you to hike in to remote locations at the top of mountains. No power, no plumbing, and sometimes no cell service. You have to hike your own food and water into these remote locations – making them amazing experiences in living off the grid. The views, solitude, quiet, and beauty can be jaw dropping experiences for the lucky.

Keeping track of which ones are closed for repairs, inaccessible due to landslides, fires, blowdowns, snow, learning about new regulations and seasons of operation has never been easy.

Fortunately I’ve found another person with the same passion and she posts updates on some of these towers as well as her progress on visiting every one before they are gone.

One of the more notable postings was of my favorite tower Gold Butte which was recently wrapped to protect it from wildfires that ravaged one side of the peak.

Peak Fall Foliage Tool

Peak Fall Foliage Tool

My favorite season is fall. The air turns cool, there are hay rides and pumpkin patches, one curls up with a good book in front of a fire, reading scary tales, and, of course, watching the leaves change.

Japan has some very good, live updating of fall colors on a few websites.

The folks over at this website have a nifty little tool that predicts when fall colors will change this year. How do they predict the trends this year? With a little bit of data (and possibly a touch of pretentiousness):

The company uses a model that ingests a multitude of data sources including historical precipitation, NOAA precipitation forecasts, elevation, actual temperatures, temperature forecasts, and average daylight exposure to develop a baseline fall date for each county in the continental United States. Next, the model consumes hundreds-of-thousands of additional data points from a variety of government and non-government sources and layers this data over its own historical data from past years and, finally, with a high degree of accuracy, the algorithm produces nearly 50,000 date outputs indicating the progression of fall for every county in a graphical presentation that is easy to digest.