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Friday, December 25, 2015

Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norell

Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norell

Picked this book up at Powell's at the airport the other day. It's really quite wonderful. I've been thinking about belief and culture and how some cultures appear to be suffering from a bad case of mental illness, and then I came across this passage which I thought was remarkably telling.

Cathedrals were like the cell phones and rocket ships of their day. It's unbelievable that a bunch of peasants armed with pitchforks and shovels could have built such things, yet there they are.

I like going to the big Powell's store in downtown Portland, but going downtown is a colossal pain, mostly because of the parking. Meanwhile, I go to the airport perhaps a dozen times a year, so I may as well make the most of it. This month alone I will make five trips. This book cost me $9, dinner for two at Stanford's cost me $45 and I think parking ran about $9. We went early because my wife likes to shop, and because we were early, younger son's flight was an hour late.
     The short-term parking garage at PDX might be the best parking garage in Portland. There are spiral entrance and exit ramps so you don't have to drive up and down aisles of parked cars to get to a floor with open spaces. The floors are marked as being full or not at the entrance, so you don't need to cruise looking for a spot. Each row is marked with the number of available slots, and each open space is marked with a green light. Occupied spaces are marked with a red light. Very festivus (for the rest-ov-us). The charge is $3 an hour which is exorbitant given that parking used to be free and would still be if the cowards in government had imposed a dollar-a-gallon tax on gas fifty years ago like they should have.

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