My favorite photos of 2019

Every year, I post my favorite photos. Some years, I’ve been able to cut it down to my top ten, but not this year. For that matter, I couldn’t limit myself to fewer than eleven photos from Cannon Beach… :-D

Many years, I’ve also posted my top nine from Instagram, but again, not this year, as I posted fewer than nine on Instagram during 2019.

These picture all make my happy. I could imagine printing all of them and hanging them on my walls.

I hope at least one makes you happy, too!

All aboard!

As I walked up to my stop, the MAX doors opened. All aboard!

As it was going the wrong way, I decided to wait.

Westward into the Fair Complex MAX Station

This past Sunday, the camera in my Google Pixel 2 just quit working. After a nice online chat with a Google representative and an RMA in hand, the phone is off to be replaced. In the meantime, I’m carrying my old Samsung S6 with its cracked screen. After all, how else could I capture these early morning MAX station pics with incoming trains?! ;-)

May your commutes be as peaceful as mine.

My favorite photos of 2015

Here, in no particular order, are my ten favorite photos I made in 2015.1This is the third year I have done this; I also posted my favorite photos of 2013 and 2014.

Interestingly, there is no overlap between my favorite photos and my pictures on Instagram that got the most love.2One reason may be that I don’t always post the same pictures on Instagram that I do here. Another is that people give love to pictures for various reasons other than artistic merit.

Headed Home: Planes, Trains, and Buses

My trip home from Folsom was, shall we say, “eventful.” Leaving the Folsom site shortly after 5 pm, traffic through downtown Sacramento was light, dropping off the rental car was easy, and TSA was quick and professional. I boarded the plane and settled in to read my new book, The Cosmic Landscape. Then, somehow, something changed…

The plane’s chimes wouldn’t work. They kept ringing while we pretended to ignore them. Rather than have us wait in the chime-challenged plane, Horizon Air “de-planed” us so we could wait in the terminal. Two hours later,1And with 2,000 bonus miles in our frequent flyer accounts. we were back on the plane and headed for Portland.

Upon landing at PDX, now 11:30, I texted Ashley. Unfortunately, she was unable to pick me up as planned. The driveway was too steep and the snow too slick. “Not a problem,” thought I. I’ll just take light rail from the airport to Hillsboro.

So I bought an “all zones” ticket and boarded MAX. What luck! I was on a train that would take me all the way to Beaverton before having to transfer.

A frozen switch at the Rose Quarter delayed MAX for a few minutes until someone came to free it.

As we approached the Beaverton transit center, now nearly 1 am, the driver said the train was stopping at 170th. Not only that, this was the last train of the night. Anyone who wanted to continue to Hillsboro needed to get off now and transfer to the 57 bus.

Now I’m not an experienced TriMet rider, but I was able to find the 57 bus stop, check the schedule, and see the next bus was scheduled for 1:03 AM — less than five minutes away! Oops! I had forgotten it was snowing and the buses were using chains. The bus was going to be more than five minutes away.2At least it wasn’t the bus I saw pulling away as I crossed MAX’s tracks. That would have me waiting another hour in the falling snow for the next 57 bus.

Finally, the bus arrived, and the driver said my all zones pass was good to go. We all3It’s amazing how many people ride the bus at 1:30 in the morning. boarded and headed west to Hillsboro. I found a TriMet map on the seat across the aisle and discovered the bus was headed right by the hospital where Suzi was working the night. Hallelujah!

After what seemed like hours, cruising along TV Highway at 20-25 mph with the vibrations from the chained tires lulling me to sleep, we arrived in Hillsboro. I asked the driver if the next stop was the closest to the hospital’s ER entrance. Having exposed my public transit cluelessness, two passengers were eager to help. No, it was the stop after the next stop that I wanted. They pointed out the windows into the falling snow, prompted me when to pull the cable, and wished me a pleasant morning. I think they would have held my hand and helped me down the stairs, had I asked. I thanked them all.

Crossing the street at the intersection4Though not waiting for the walk sign. There’s not a lot of traffic at 2 am. and entering under the Emergency sign, I texted Suzi and sat down to wait. I was too tired to read.5Besides, my new book is not the easiest to read when tired. Photons, quarks, and W-bosons … oh my! ;-)

Suzi came around the corner, gave me a hug and the car keys. I again crossed the street to the parking garage and found the car.

Pulling out into the snow, I slickly discovered why the buses wore chains. I slipped and slid the whole way home and pulled into the driveway around 2:30.

I arrived home 9.5 hours after leaving Folsom.6In good weather with clear roads, I can drive from Folsom to Hillsboro in 9.5 hours.