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All aboard!

As I walked up to my stop, the MAX doors opened. All aboard!1As it was going the wrong way, I decided to wait. ;-)

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Cannon Beach Sunset

Sitting on the couch, updating my blog to a new theme, I heard Ashley preparing to leave. And Suzi and Heather preparing to leave … for the beach!

With two hours to go until sunset, it was the perfect time to head west.

Another great day at the Oregon coast!

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So, what’s an introvert like you doing at a meetup like this?

Attending conferences and meetups as an introvert can be difficult. Some seem like natural networkers, yet for others, networking can feel like torture. There are so many people and it’s always the same, inane conversations. So, what do you do? How about the [insert sportsball team name]? Great weather, huh?

I’ve discovered a few tricks that work for me at networking events.

  1. Lower my expectations/goals. Instead of trying to meet as many people as I can, I’ll try to connect with just one or two. For some people, it’s a numbers game. For me, I’d rather connect with one instead of grabbing a stack of cards.1
  2. Learn some good questions to spark a conversation. I’m more likely to enjoy the resulting conversation instead of talking about the weather or sportsball.
  3. Find someone that looks more uncomfortable than I feel and go talk to them. Of course, if they’re really uncomfortable, I need to be ready to back off, too.
  4. Don’t meet anyone. Instead, I’ll find a comfy chair somewhere around where others are and read a book or blog by one of the speakers. It’s better than leaving and gives me something to talk about. Maybe later, I’ll feel like meeting someone.2

Have you tried any of these? What works for you?3


  1. Actually, I don’t like collecting cards. I connect on LinkedIn immediately, in their presence, confirming I have the right person. Then I send an invite with a personalized note that informs both of us how we met, “Hey Ashton, it was great talking to you about onewheels at the snapshot conference.” ?
  2. In other words, pace myself. ?
  3. Photo credit: Rick Turoczy. “A little ‘welcome to Portland’ gift for all of my fellow @StartupChamps introverts, designed to indicate how full our interaction and socializing batteries are at any given moment.” Used with permission. ?
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Sunrise at the MAX stop

I love that the days are getting shorter. It didn’t hurt that I headed out quite a bit earlier today, either.

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Longboarding the Banks-Vernonia Trail

Jamison wanted to longboard the Banks-Vernonia State Trail and Suzi and Melissa were willing to shuttle us so we wouldn’t have to do the 3-trip car-shuttle thingie. I couldn’t say no. ;-)

Suzi and Melissa walked the pups while they waited for us. We ended up skating Tophill to Buxton twice. In between runs, we walked the Buxton Trestle, Melissa walked the dog through the creek, and we found some blackberries. Mmm… :-)

What a great day!

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Rock Creek Trail on Darth

The past couple of evenings, I’ve gone for rides on my new-to-me bike Darth. Staying closish to home, I visited Orenco park and the Rock Creek Trail.

The meadow has sure grown since 2014.

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Hillsboro Fourth Of July Parade 2019

I love me a good parade and Hillsboro has a great one!

The Fourth is my one day of the year I feel comfortable taking strangers’ pictures. After all, they literally paid to be in public, wearing what they’re wearing, doing what they’re doing. And most don’t seem to mind. Hopefully none of those I posted. I’m not going to post a picture of someone that puts them in an unflattering light. Many of these shots are of people who saw what I was doing and waved and/or smiled in response. One actually told me to take her picture (and then it didn’t turn out well, so I didn’t post it).

I know some of these are not as sharp as they could be. If this was my full-time gig, I’d certainly have a different camera. Or, I’d actually have a camera rather than borrowing.1 This exercise certainly informs what camera would be a better fit for me.

Once again, I got to shake Ron Wyden’s hand. Turns out, he’s in one of the pictures, too.

I have some recommendations for you:

  1. Go to Hillsboro’s Fourth of July parade. It’s just a bunch of fun.
  2. Take a camera with a longish lens. The camera I was using is an APS-C with an 18-135mm. I found myself using both extremes of the range, though it’s telling that I didn’t end up posting anything at the short/wide end. Maybe a 70-210 on a full frame camera would work.
  3. Sit on the curb. The kids know where it’s at. You’ll get a better, unobstructed view – and more candy!
  4. Find a place closer to the beginning of the parade. You’ll get more candy and those in the parade are still full of energy and having fun. We find a spot on Second, between Grant and Bagley Park.

I hope you had a great Fourth!


  1. Thanks, Ashley! You know how much being able to borrow your camera made this day for me. :-) ?
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Sunday in and around Hood River

Suzi and I took a quick trip to Hood River. As we neared, we discovered our main reason for going wasn’t going to happen. It was time to improvise.

We found a cool, little taqueria for lunch and then drove to Parkdale. On the way back to Hood River, we saw a sign for Lavender Valley. What could that be? Sure enough, a lavender farm. Fun!

After returning to Hood River, we watch the kite sailers zip around on their hydrofoil-borne craft. It’s wild! Certainly nothing like the Hobie 14 I used to sail. These things are faster and are likely transportable in commercial air travel.

Another good day!

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The Washington Post recommends books for every age

“Here are our picks for worthwhile books to read during each year of life, from 1 to 100, along with some of the age-appropriate wisdom they impart.”

Books for the ages

This looks like a good list. I’ve read only nine of them … so far. How many have you read? Do you have any favorites you’d recommend or others you’d add for a specific stage of life?

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Bookends of the day

My Friday started with dropping Suzi off at her work and hopping on MAX. After getting home, I sat down and Hazel and Gilligan immediately joined me.

In between, I spent my day in a large, complex spreadsheet and a nearly 5-mile 1:1.2Sorry, no pics from either. ;-)

All in all, not a bad day. :-)