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Month: October 2016

Halloween events in Portland

Halloween events in Portland

There are so many events going on around Halloween in town. It’s impossible to keep them all straight.

Davis Graveyard

Milwaukie’s famous haunted yard is returning for its 16th year! With full light, sound, video and fog effects on Friday & Sunday nights, the family friendly decorations are viewable every night. This elaborate yard display is not a haunted house and is free to view from the street. Stop by their Open House on October 9 and learn how the magic is made!

Halloween Tour of Untimely Departures
Tickets + Info:
Guides dressed in ghostly costumes escort groups of guests on one of two candle-lit routes where they meet some of the Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery residents and hear the unusual circumstances surrounding their untimely departures.

Gothic Horror Stories: an immersive night of terror
More info:
Experience Theatre Project will welcome guests and the spirits of Gothic era authors at Decarli’s restaurant for a night of storytelling and revelry in Gothic style. Guests are invited to dress in Victorian finery,then raise a glass, savor delicious food prepared by decarli’s kitchen, and mingle among popular Gothic horror authors Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Wollenstonecraft Shelley, Bram Stoker, Emily Bronte, and other surprise guests.

Portland Zombie Walk + Thriller dance
More info: Facebook
The 11th Portland Zombie Walk is on Monday, October 31st from 3-6pm beginning and ending at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Come recreate the Michael Jackson Thriller dance

FreakNight 2016 – 20th Anniversary
More info: – Tacoma Dome
The Pacific Northwest’s favorite sinister circus makes its return to Seattle to celebrate its 20th year of haunting the Twisted Big Top. Immerse yourself in the brilliant belligerence that is Freaknight – complete with spooky performers, enchanting amusement rides, and devilish decor, this year’s Halloween tradition will leave you begging for more. Let your blood boil to the beat of spellbinding sets from world class talent including Zedd, Armin Van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Getter, Tchami, Galantis, Paul Van Dyk, Flux Pavilion, 3LAU, Jamie Jones, and more.

The House of Horror Street of Screams in North Portland
Located along Portsmouth Avenue in between Willamette and Lombard, the House of Horror is an amazing display of spooky artifacts that trick-or-treaters can wander through on Halloween.

The entire neighborhood gets involved with the event. The area has earned the name the Street of Screams.

2016 Portland Erotic Ball
More info: – Crystal Ballroom
The Portland Erotic Ball returns for its 17th year to the historic Crystal Ballroom as Portland’s biggest, sexiest adult Halloween party. The spectacular 3-story event is hosted by Emmy-nominee, Sasha Scarlett, and also features stilt walkers, aerial and burlesque performances, a fetish demonstration stage and Portland’s BIGGEST Costume Contest awarding more than $5,000 in cash and prizes for Best Group, Most Original Costume and Sexiest Couple.

Paint a Pumpkin
More info:
$15 ticket includes your very own pumpkin w/ all the painting supplies and inspiration you will need. A pint of New Belgium Pumpkick Pumpkin Cranberry Ale to enjoy. A New Belgium snifter glass of your very own to take home

Best Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror episodes

Best Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror episodes

I recently hosted a night in which my friends and I sat and watched a pile of the over 25 Treehouse of Horror episodes. Since watching them all was impossible, we picked 9 of the best ones.

Here they are:


Bart fights off a demonic little gremlin aka the Twilight Zone episode Nightmare at 20,000ft.


 The episode where Homer turns 3D and contains numerous awesome mathematical easter eggs.


Homer invents a time toaster and is totally unprepared for the consequences of time travel.


This homage to Nightmare on Elm Street sees groundskeeper Willie as Freddy Krueger. Equal parts funny and creepy, plus the Stephen King’s It” twist ending of Spider-Willie is just perfect


Another Twilight Zone homage to the episode Living Doll as a possessed Krusty doll. As far as I’m concerned, this segment was also the pop culture moment that put the term “frogurt” into the lexicon.


This 2008 episode is a clear satire of It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. It also has a fantastic take on Mad Men and an Election Day bit on a malfunctioning touch-screen voting machine that mocked the Florida election.


The installment from this particular edition where Kang and Kodos come to earth and impersonate Clinton and Dole in their thwarted effort to take over earth. It was brilliant.


Homer gives a rendition of Edgar Allen Poe’s classic tale of terror The Raven. Homer as its protagonist, Marge as his lost Lenore, and Bart as the interloping raven.Narration by James Earl Jones.



Simpson’s homage to The Shining. The best of them all IMHO.

CBC perfectly captures TED talk cliches that prevent you from really thinking about what they’re saying.

CBC perfectly captures TED talk cliches that prevent you from really thinking about what they’re saying.

I recommend watching this short clip to anyone that likes TED talks.

I like TED talks. They are often very informative and expose you to interesting new areas of human endeavor and research. But if you get past the pretty wrapping, sometimes they’re pretty full of themselves. Other times, they aren’t saying anything more than what is already known, one person’s experience, or make unproven assertions in ways that wouldn’t be allowed in academic circles. Sometimes they even assert speculation as probable, or in the worst cases are thinly veiled business plans. That said, there is nothing inherently wrong with any of this.

The thing that is problematic is I have seen perfectly smart people sometimes check their objectivity and critical thought because … well… it’s a TED talk. There seems to be a culture of getting wrapped up in the culture of TED talks and accepting things too easily as fact. It’s a form of egotistical blindness in which one might subconsciously be saying, “I saw it on a TED talk, so that makes me smarter than others.” Or maybe a touch harshly, they get blinded by the showiness and check their thinking caps at the door.

This video does a PERFECT job of capturing all the presentation tropes and verbal cliché’s that stop even smart people from critically thinking about what they’re being presented. Hopefully, it allows you to separate the wrapping from the content.



The Malbolge is the 8th / second deepest circle of Hell in Dante’s Inferno. It’s also a programming language that recently appeared in the TV show Elementary:


For Dante, Malbolge was a funneled pit with 10 different ditches that contained the different people guilty of fraud: seducers, fraudulent lenders, forgers, alchemists, sowers of discord, perjurers, impersonators, false counselors, and the like.

Malbolge is also a programming language designed by Ben Olmstead in 1998 to be a nearly impossible language to use. It takes previous ridiculous languages like Brainfuck and the like, and then combines the ideas with base 3 arithmetic, self-altering code, encryption, and other esoteric computer science topics.

It turns out the code above is actually valid, and prints “Hello World”.

Reminds me of these guys. After years of seeing people horribly butcher computers, they decided to make sure everything appearing on screen was valid and correct.

2016 Remake of ‘Are You Being Served?’ Gets Scathing Review

2016 Remake of ‘Are You Being Served?’ Gets Scathing Review

Back the 1970’s and 80’s there was a long-running comedy TV show called ‘Are You Being Served?’ on the BBC. It followed the very British way in which a collection of the most unlikely clerks made their way in the Grace Brother’s department store. What made it so fantastic was the characters. Each one was so unique, yet represented a very distinct person each of us likely knows. An aging military man always recounting his past glories, an attractive girl from the less-classy part of town, rough-edged maintenance men, near retirement department heads, and even a young (constantly hinted at) gay man – all of which operating under most hilarious British etiquette and hierarchy while dealing with the most ridiculous of ordinary experiences.  I loved this show to death and watched it on PBS whenever I could catch it.

To my joy, I did discover that almost ALL the original episodes are available on YouTube – for free! Go check out a few episodes and see for yourself. It doesn’t get going well until about the 2nd or 3rd season in, but it’s a grand ride. I remember being very heartbroken when I’d watched them all and the series came to an end.

To my surprise, however, it turns out BBC just did a remake here in Aug 2016. On the surface, it looked almost identical to the original. Sadly, however, it’s gotten very poor reviews. Mostly because it seems to have tried too hard to revive the exact same characters – characters who’s actors had almost no hope to re-create the magic that the much-loved original cast had generated over the 10 seasons they worked together. It also played on social jokes that only worked at the time. Perhaps it’s for the best we leave the show as it was.



Vatican document on Christian burial and cremation

Vatican document on Christian burial and cremation

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a new document on the burial of the dead and on the conservation of the ashes in cases of cremation.

There is almost no new/different teaching in the document, but I highly recommend everyone read through this very short and beautiful document to remind themselves of our teaching.

Probably the most important thing is the proper treatment of cremated remains. With a rise in the scattering of ashes in all manner of places and even inclusion of them in jewelry and other objects, it’s important to remember that these remains need proper treatment – long after you and your children have passed on. While it might seem great to keep grandma’s ashes on the mantle or some of dad’s ashes in a ring, this isn’t a very good long-term solution after many generations. It opens their remains up to possible mistreatment or accidents. Further, it hinders them from being a witness and source of prayer for the living faithful that come after.

It is important to remember that if you pass away – what happens to the remains in my care? Some may not even know you have others remains nor their final wishes. Objects may contain remains might be thrown out into the garbage or even sold at a garage sale. Having remains in private hands can leave open the possibility of spilling/getting lost. For these reasons, all believers are directed to be buried at a location that have trusted, long-term ways of ensuring their safe management. Burial grounds are protected by strict laws that ensure their safety long after you and your progeny have passed.

If you do find yourself with the remains of a loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact your local parish office. They’ll happily guide you through getting them interred in a safe way.,_cremation/1267621