About the Author:

With a career that has spanned advertising, production, technical services, and project management, Michael is able to articulate the wide range skills and professions that make the Internet work. This eclectic understanding and his desire to shine the light on those hiding behind techno babble has brought success to a wide range of projects.

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Past Postings:

New York, New York

Made it to SXSW in Austin

Good Morning America, now Go Fight Traffic

More surreality in Portland

Irish Music in Oregon City

Landing on an Aircraft Carrier

Got Curry? And some bizarre art?

Random Music and Random Life in Portland

To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump

Flight Simulator

Cold night, hot fire, happy cat

Walking to work in the snow

A window into Moreland of the Past

Big and Little Beirut

Reflections on my DC Trip

Born Again American

The wall of pissing

National Treasure/National Archives

My trip to DC so far

Everyone is insane

Getting ready for DC

The Very Model of a Modern Major General

Race to Witch Mountain

Christmas Fire

CAT Scan!

Follow up to the shoulder injury

Ironic Injury

On the Santa Monica Pier

Oil prices and birdsong

Watching Starship Troopers AGAIN!

You can't build life

Accidentally Drunk in Portland

Al Gore the Winner

Intelligent life is out there (but it’s bugger all down here on earth)

Aussie Rules Football

Trip to Nostalgia Land

I am such an idiot

Long day of travel

Miami -- as far from Portland as you can go in the US

I'm fascinated with modern plumbing

Leaving Seattle (or why you should keep your ticket close)

On the Rails

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To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump
2009-01-31 18:42:43

There's something about going to the dump that take me back to my childhood. Well, that's probably because my step-dad liked to take Saturday mornings and hit the junk seller at the dump, and the swap meet at the Denios Farmer's Market and Auction. I'm not sure why the Chinese food always tasted so good, it should have been revolting after looking at garbage, but, hey, I was a starving teenager, so anything would have tasted great.

But the dump isn't what it was. When we would go to the dump, it was really the dump. You know, the big landfill like the crying Indian stood in front of in those public service announcements. There were bulldozers chugging away and seagulls everywhere, and the stench... There's a very distinct smell of rotting garbage, but in the open air it was bearable.

The Metro Transfer Station up in Northwest Portland is a warehouse. You drive into a building, empty your vehicle of garbage while under cover, and get back in your car and drive out. It could be raining, sleeting, hailing, or a beautiful day, and your garbage will be protected from the elements.

Of course, garbage has changed too. You can take your old CRT monitors to the transfer station, up to seven a day (an interesting yet arbitrary number). They have a hazardous waste section (the guys in the hazmat suits looked like they were doing calisthenics, and I never learned what that was all about) and a yard debris area. And, of course, huge bins for your recyclable materials.

All in all, waste management reminds me how lucky we are to be removed from so much of the, well, crap, that our even recent ancestors, and many people still, deal with every day.

Don't get me started on how cool I think sewers are...

John Bissell: Re: - To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump
2009-02-17 07:37:19

Read “Quicksilver” by Neal Stephenson. In the late 1600’s our hero Jack Shaftoe is traveling from Amsterdam to Paris. He can tell when he is within a couple of days of Paris by the stench of sewage and garbage emanating form the city. We’ve come a long way.

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