Jantzen Beach RV Park, Portland, Oregon

This is my stop in Portland to check out the city and plan my next wilderness romp. This is a big place – three pools. I'm going to get in a lot of swimming.

On the way to Portland I stopped at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum.
For anyone who has the slightest interest in aviation and space, this is a Mecca. In Vegas, I got used to Howard Hughes' name all over the place. So when I heard that the Spruce Goose was here, I thought I would have a look.

Just when you thought I was a forest junky only: The Aviator. The guide said he wanted to take my picture. I said, "No that's all right." "But you're paying for it so you might as well." "Okay then" I said. I put the hat on and let him take my picture. Now I'm not really flying it, you do understand – right? :)

Sixty-five years earlier. I'm older than him here and more handsome :)

Leonardo DiCaprio played Hughes in The Aviator. Well done. DiCaprio from an interview: Did you ever go to see the Spruce Goose?
"Yeah, I went to see the Spruce Goose when I was younger. I didn't’t go back to see it again. I wanted to go up and fly some of these planes but, quite understandably, the insurance company said to me, “No, we’re not going to allow you to go fly antique World War II planes for the first time in your life two weeks before shooting.” (Laughing) So, that was understandable. There are certain things that you have to have a little leeway for."

Because of my Ham Radio experience, I was tempted to tap on the key. The Morse Code key was a back-up communication device. That's a green strap on my wrist so that they know I paid the twenty bucks for the Museum. It was another twenty-five for a Spruce tour upstairs where the cockpit is.

The Messerschmitt and the Spitfire. Achtung Spitfire!

I spoke with this guy for a while. He did thirty WWII missions with this plane over France and Germany. I had to speak up since he was a bit hard of hearing. Aircraft noise does that damage to your ears.

Sgt. Paolucci. 234th Mobile Communications Squadron. Early 1970's. I told him that I was in the Air Force but didn't fly. Does my RV count as mobile communications?

The Stealth Bomber. If this was thirty years ago, that guy could be in jail for espionage. One of those panels is left closed for national security reasons.

From Russia with love.

This place represents so much work of so many people in the aviation industry, and trillions of dollars in development.

Maybe it was seeing all that technology, but I picked up an iPad at Best Buy across the street. This is a GPS application. It uses the GPS satellite to show me where I am and has more features than the Droid phone. There is a ipod button at the top so I can listen to my music while GPSing. That big line is highway 5, an you can see the big shopping complex across the street. The river is on both sides of me – I'm on an island. This view is only one of six types of map views. I'm also going to use iPad to write when I'm out on my bike and sitting somewhere inspiring.

After playing with the ipod a while, I see it will revolutionize the driving experience: music, navigation, travel details, and so on. Mobile communitcations at its best. So here is an engineering peek into my Obtruse Goose. Step aside Howard Hughes :). All from Home Depot across the street. It needed to be strong and simple without disturbing/drilling the car cab surfaces. That passenger handle is strong because it's meant to be grabbed with your full weight. Six hose clamps evenly distribute the holding pressure. Unlike spruce, 3/4 inch pipe is very adaptive and strong. That metal strip under the clamps is a stop that keeps the pipe from rotating. It can be bent to fine-tune the level. A floor flange at the end bolts into an electrical plate cover, and that bolts to construction straps which I bent to slip into the iPad leather case flap. It's quite rigid, and needs to be because you move your finger around the touch screen and press. Right now it's butt-ugly and needs fabric over it. Across the street was also Target, so I bought a light gray under-shirt for five bucks. I'll cut it up for the fabric and hot-glue it on.

Joke: What do you call it when John customizes an RV?
Answer: A spruced-up goose.

Hey enough with the stupid jokes back there! Can't you see I'm trying to fly?
Hughes was a Ham Radio operator all the way till his death in the 1970's. Call sign W5CY. I'm W7SDB.

Finished. This is the leather case around the iPad. I prefer it stays in that for overall protection. The guy at Best Buy asked me if I wanted a protection program. I said, "If I have it on my scooter and it flies off an cracks the glass, you'll replace it?" Yes, he said. So I got a 2 year protection for $350. It's on the RV park Wi-fi shown here. It was easy to sign up for ATT's 3-g service right on the iPad, so I got their data plan too. Ten hour battery life. This thing just keeps going, and going, and going. But I got the car charger too. The headphone jack plugs into my car stereo system. You can see the cord going underneath the opening below the dash stereo. I removed my iPod interface connection because this is so much better.

This is the keyboard dock. California redwoods for my wallpaper. There are special keys on the top row exclusive to the iPad.

I have always created my website's writing in Pages. This is the Pages app for iPad. I import and export back to my iMac through the iTunes document panel. Now I can sit at a waterfall out in the forest and go over my text. I also downloaded an app on my Imac to rip DVD movies for the Ipad. Downloading movies (other than Utube) takes up a lot of internet data, so I'll rent movies at the local video stores and rip them. 32 Gigs is a lot of room for Mp4 movies on the Ipad.

As far as I know, there are only two things for me to see in Portland: Washington Park and the Art Museum.

In addition to possibly doing Golden Gate Park better with lush landscape, there is also the Rose Garden. As the aviation museum was a Mecca for flyers, this garden is a Mecca for Rose lovers. Here you're seeing only 1/16th of it.

I went around smelling them all, well not all :) – and this was my favorite – Rouge Royale.

The museum's exhibit of Old Master Drawings maybe the best I've ever seen.

Here, a young Peter Paul Rubens visits Rome for the first time and studies from Michelangelo painting and sculpture.

I've always been interested in how line can accurately define three-dimensional information with the most descriptive economy and elegance. This guy knows his stuff.

There is was, the second most famous portraint painting: George Washington by Rembrandt Peale. First = Mona Lisa.

I'm not much into Cleopatra's fashionable cartoon face, but the flesh tones are excellent.

This was one of my teachers from Art Center College of Design, Harry Carmean. He was a modern master, but he was always in such a hurry to finish a drawing with bravado, that he never showed what good work he could have done. I did one-on-one advanced study with him.

Another excellent teacher from Art Center, Glenn Vilppu. He took more time. I asked him for advice and he said the best way for me to learn was to copy from the masters.

Art Center's influence showed up in these "newborn" drawings for my website.

I forgot to mention that I came across an interesting shop Near Belkmap. Christmas Treasures. Inside they had a Porter Music Box which sound I liked. They had music CD's of it, so I got one. Two tunes from Mary Poppins lent themselves well to the box. Click here to listen.


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