The Better Than What Was There Before Building Company

Over the years, I've picked up little bits of handyman know-how here and there—from jobs, volunteering, personal projects, etc. And I occasionally have reason to put said skillz to use (like in building my cabin*, for example). Practical application of a skill is always a satisfying endeavor for me, so this past week, when I was invited down to Portland to help in the construction of a garden shed, I was stoked.

Working in the 95°+ heat, Andrew and I turned a pile of lumber, gravel, and used doors and windows into something that looked pretty darn neat and will serve as a great place for storing garden tools and to do some spring time potting. The clear roofing material* and sun-exposed windows may even make the space usable as a little greenhouse.

Little miscalculations and inexact cuts, while hardly noticeable in the finished structure, left us joking that if I ever started a construction company, it wouldn't be called "Quality Building" or "Grade A Construction". Instead, we came up with "Wren's Better Than What Was There Before Construction Company - The results might not be perfect, but if you wanted perfection, you would have paid somebody". Hopefully Andrew and Fam find this garden shed better than what was there before. Luckily for me, it's not hard to outshine an uneven plot of gravelly sand!
Saturday July 4 2015File under: Portland, work

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Portland Octathalon 2013

Andrew* and I have somewhat of a competitive relationship. In fact, not a single Portland visit goes by without at least a little money changing hands on one bet or another. This trip to Portland, however, we decided to get organized.

We devised a list of 8 events, spanning various disciplines, to comprise a winner-take-all Octathalon. While some events were old stand-bys (such as darts or Dr. Mario), a few new ones were thrown into the mix. The competition was 4 day of fun filled intensity with lots of good humored swearing and racket throwing.

AndrewWren
Tennis X*
Simpsons TriviaX* 
Frisbee golfX*
DartsX* 
Child-sized foosballX*
Dr. MarioX*
Words With FriendsResults pending completion
HORSE (on mini-sized hoop)Currently tied at HORS to HORS, Andrew's shot*


While officially the final results are still up in the air, Andrew has graciously conceded knowing that as WWF game stands, he hasn't a prayer. But that just makes way for fresh start next visit.

Yet again, Portland proves to be great fun!
Sunday March 31 2013File under: Portland, games

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Bridgetown USA

A poster of the image seen to the left* hangs on many a Portlander's wall. And I can see why. It's an awesome poster of an awesome concept. The bridges that span the Willamette and Columbia Rivers are varied and interesting, a deserving point of pride for a city with many things going for it.

This weekend, I got to see some of the bridges from a new angle, on the water. A friend scored us some tickets to a Blues Cruise (part of the Portland Blues Festival) aboard the Portland Spirit. While we had to escape to the deck to avoid boozy blusies, we were treated to a spectacular view of some of the city's great bridges*. We also got to see them raise various bridges for us drawbridge-style, which was also exciting.

Yep, on every visit, Portland unveils a new, fun side of itself. I can't wait to see what it is next time!
Tuesday July 5 2011File under: Portland

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Winter Hiking in PDX

The Columbia River Gorge, just outside of Portland, offers some great, easily accessible, gorgeous hiking (previously covered here). Finding myself in Portland and with a willing hiking partner, I set out to enjoy and explore on what turned out to be a gorgeously sunny winter day.

The hike we chose was Eagle Creek to High Bridge* just 45 minutes up river. The terrain was easy and well-maintained, if a little muddy in parts. The scenery was amazing, with gorges, waterfall(s), views, and a beautiful river.

We saw quite a few people setting out from here loaded with backpacks, presumably for multi-day hikes. This made me so jealous that I just about tried to teach the dog to feed the chickens and vice versa here at my current housesitting house and set out on a backpacking trip of my own. Next time I will plan better and make it a reality.

Yep, with such an amazing taste of the outdoors, I'm planning at least one more good hike before I leave the Portland area. Any readers out there want to come along?
Sunday February 20 2011File under: Portland, hiking

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PDX Pics Quickie Post

I've just started a couple week housesitting stint down here in Portland, and if the first few days are any indication, it is going to be a great time. I've greatly enjoyed Portland in the past and I look forward to getting to know it even better this time around. Included are a few of the interesting things I've seen around*. Click on each picture to get the mini-story.

Sunday June 21 2009File under: Portland, misc

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