Sunday, July 31, 2011

Third day of sales

Yesterday's sales here in Portland weren't quite as impressive as Friday's, but we still sold 35 pieces which is nothing to sneeze at!

We had a rare scary moment at this event. A fellow was walking around, belligerently demanding that strangers buy him alcohol. And when I say belligerent, I mean he was downright bullying. He was clearly strung out on something nasty (meth? who knows?) and was itching to cause trouble. I took this photo shortly after he asked my friend Tim (who is helping me run the booth) to buy him alcohol, and then demanding that Tim get into a fistfight with him.

After this, Tim alerted the security personnel (which are present in admirable numbers at this event) and security followed him to make sure he wouldn't cause trouble. Here he's standing in front of the stage where a blues band is performing, yelling at the band members to buy him alcohol.

It didn't last long. Here he's leaving the location (the guy in the bright blue shirt is one of the security people keeping an eye on him) and heading back onto the street. I can only pray he (a) didn't cause any havoc on the street, and (b) he gets some serious help.

Another thing that happened yesterday is Tim -- bless his heart -- managed to avert a shoplifting. Tim's habit is to stand about 15 feet outside the booth and watch people from the outside while I answer questions and conduct sales from the inside. Often people don't know he's associated with me. So sure enough, a fellow picked up a tankard and calmly walked away with it tucked against his chest... right toward Tim. Tim asked if he had a receipt for that tankard, and the guy said, "Hey, I haven't bought yet it, man," -- and returned it to the booth. Phew -- thanks, Tim!

Fortunately the rest of the day passed with no more drama. Remember that these were only two among thousands of happy event-goers, including these two jolly sorts wearing beer steins on their heads. Well, why not? They're just keeping Portland weird, to paraphrase the popular bumper sticker.

Here's an interesting thing I've noticed. Last year there were loads of men walking around wearing their pants around their knees in that ridiculous and offensive fashion statement. Thankfully that fad appears to be fading, and I only saw two examples.

But now the big stretched earlobe seems to be the "thing." Again I say, OUCH.

Another new fashion statement (which, trust me, I like a LOT better than the pants-around-the-knees thing) is these strange toe shoes. Go figure.

And I still got a kick out of the women's shoes. The vast majority of women were wearing sensible sandals, which made these shoe styles all the sillier:

I photographed this woman in the booth next to ours. She was friendly and smiling but a little eerie. Her scarf sported skulls and crossbones, she wore multiple dangling piercings in her nose (click to enlarge), and she had large arm tattoos of skulls. I dunno, which message do I believe? Her tattoos and attire, or her pretty smile?

One of the bands performing yesterday was playing some Blues, and this guy's instrument was a washboard. I wouldn't have thought this could be a legitimate musical choice, but I was wrong. It sounded great!

A man and woman came by wearing great T-shirts. Naturally I didn't say anything about my interest in the subject:

Other great T-shirts for the day:

The urban cityscapes at night are beautiful, even though my photos couldn't do them justice.

Last day of sales today -- wish me luck!


  1. Ah yes... One of the reasons I look forward to the state fair is the collection of two-legged wildlife.

    Glad things are going well for you.

    Steve Davis
    Anchorage, Alaska

  2. The toe shoes are Vibram Five Fingers. They're great for walking, running, working out at the gym (weightlifting, for ex.). I attended a walking convention recently and one of the speakers, who was a physical therapy research professor specializing in the foot, highly recommended them. Just said to go slow and let your feet get used to them before wearing them all the time.

  3. Our son just purchased a pair of those toed shoes. They are called "Five Fingers". I don't know why, in my day "Five Fingers" was associated with shoplifting. At any rate I told him to let us know how they work out. You can check the shoes out at Vibram's website.
    (We aren't associated with them at all and don't receive any monetary compensation.)

  4. Great pix, Patrice! We really enjoyed them. As for the smiling, pretty gal with the tattoos and multiple piercings, all I can say is good looks and a pretty smile are only skin deep. During my many years on God's earth, I've learned to steer clear of people who feel the need to draw attention to themselves, no matter how pleasant they might seem to be.

  5. Good luck with the sales today!

    Portland is definitely off my "to see" list. Thanks anyhow.

    I don't get the whole skull fetish thing. Even Dr. Laura supposedly has a skull tattoo. What's that all about? I don't think these people have their heads screwed on tight enough, and I certainly think they should have their skulls examined (pun intended). Weird!

    Be safe, more loonies are coming out of the woodwork every day in this country. Truly sad and scary.

    Anonymous Patriot

  6. hi patrice the toe shoes are not really a fad in japan and the ryukan islands (okinawa). fishermen, divers,and anyone working the waters of the south china sea are gonna be sporting protects their feet from rocks, stinging sea creatures like urchins, but especially from being scraped by coral which can cause really nasty painful infections. they also have socks that have they can wear those wooden shoes and flipflops/shoes with socks on. one other thing though about those toe gotta get used to them cause they really are not that comfortable.

  7. Thanks for all the updates on life on the road and in the booth!

    (The Darth Vader t-shirt had me in stitches. Maybe next year, you can do people's dogs...)

    Just Me

  8. I have got to find the "Rawwwrr means I love you in Dinosaur" for my Trex loving son! We get the best Ts from I recognize the vebram shoes, but have never tried them. Glad you have Tim to help out - shoplifting is not good.


  9. In Florida, we could just shoot somebody that was threatening us like that.

    We have a polite population here.