Posted by: David | March 20, 2008

Yeah. More Photos from Dave’s Past

In lieu of stimulating content from my brain, I force more of my old photos upon your web-browsing eyeballs and ask you to read my nostalgic words … My pattern for posting since starting this negative scanning binge is to key in a sentence or two, then upload from my folder full of old pix. I’m still only using 0% of my 3G quota on the steadfast WordPress servers. That photo upload hopefully coaxes more words …

Yup. I was sitting on the toilet when I took this picture.

I’ve always liked this picture of a bathroom sink in Prexy at Reed College. It’s got a skewy symmetry that pleases mine eyes. Prexy was where all the pianos were. I actually took piano lessons one semester with a lovely old fellow named Fred. He tried to teach me “legato” or something like that, about how your hands falling onto the keyboard should be partly gravity driven but start from the shoulders. I don’t think I ever really got that quite right. He also taught me about the circle of fifths, which made perfect sense to my nerdy mind. I never really went anywhere with the piano, but I still love piano music a great deal. And I want a piano in my house. Someday.

Here’s a headless self-portrait in a mirror by the stairs inside Prexy.

I’m wearing a watch in this photo. It was a really accurate Timex quartz watch, which was the nerdy standard of the day. I was concerned that it should be accurate within seconds. I can’t seem to remember how it was I synchronized it to the second back in 1975, but I did. I think my girlfriend at the time may have broken this watch by dropping it. I’d given it to her to time something I guess. I think I saw her drop it, but she didn’t admit it. However my head was so far up my butt back then that I could easily have misperceived that incident. It may not have even happened. But the watch stopped working one day we were working together in the chemistry building. I’m pretty sure that was the last watch I ever wore. But not because she broke it, I just never really needed an accurate timepiece on my person again. She was really quite nice to me considering how immature I was.

Anyway, I spent a lot of time in Prexy. There were lots of pianos in there, and rather than work on things I should have been working on, I would often go there at night to sit at a piano in one of the practice rooms, with the lights off, staring out the window, pretending to make music.

This is a view from a second floor window of Prexy looking east on SE Woodstock Blvd.

A little further east on the boulevard was the main entry to Reed’s campus. It was a broad lane which split across SE Woodstock into a two-lane avenue with a beautiful tree-lined median. That part of Portland was awfully nice to walk around. And take pictures. Which was another fun thing to do instead of studying …




  1. You have a gift. Thank you for sharing. I will never tire of these!

    Thank you C. 😀 I may never tire of posting them.

  2. *angrily* WTF. Do you know how good these are? You been holding out on us Davey! Yeah, see? And we’re gonna squeeze them photos outta ya, see?

    :O Seriously. I’m not commenting anymore on the photos – so good – words … failing.

    PS: My hostel is called “Woodstock Ambience” !!! :O

    ( – they have a dotcom :S )

    Thank you Nimish! No more comments on the pix then. I can deal. You’ve done very well complimenting my work. A plus to you!

    Woodstock Ambience! You call it a “hostel” but from their fantastic 4 minute video I’d say that it’s an entire LIFESTYLE! I have yet to find it with Google Earth but I’m enjoying flying around Bangalore. I’m totally awestruck by the scale of it. And now I have a better understanding of some of your complaints. Do you have a kitchen in your rooms? Do you cook?

  3. It’s become very educational over here, and artsy. It’s good and I like it, but where is the dog?! Where is Oliver?!

    Actually Oliver will be making an appearance very soon, since you and moonbeam miss him. He just got this year’s license in the mail. Our town used to just give a little aluminum band that was bent around the collar. Now they have little bone-shaped tags that attach with a jump ring. I hate the dangly metal things cause they’re noisy when he does his frequent head shaking at our bedside in the early morning. So Oliver is dog number 110 in our town this year.

  4. I have thoroughly been enjoying your photos. I love the sink photo.You can do so much with B&W that you can’t do with color. Though I do like color too. It really just depends on subject, lighting, contrast and mood.

    Thanks joanharvest. It’s more of a nostalgia trip for me than anything. That and the acquisition of the film scanner.

  5. These photos are all just gorgeous, and so are the captions.

    What’s that next to the mirror frame, and who’s the jock over to the left?

    Maybe you should PhotoShop Oliver into a couple of these, just to please his fans.

    Thanks moonbeam 😀 I don’t know who that guy is. Someone going into the biggest room for either practice or a lesson. That room had the Bosendorfer in it. The best piano in the house.

    Oliver will be appearing soon. He’s got the spring fever or something.

  6. I think I really like only the last one. The one of the sink strikes me as depressing and the one in the mirror as one of many. —

    I just remembered now that without thinking of your collections here I put in a post today: Why are photos boring? It is not about this kind of photos, but the idea is hard to explain.

    You have a kid draw a donkey or a bird and you look at the oeuvre 100 times. You give this kid a little camera and tell him to get a photo of a donkey or a bird: y nada. Nothing. Or as they say here: nada de nada.

    Your thoughtful commentary is always appreciated. I think that your characterization of photography has some validity to it, and possibly is one reason why it took photography some time to be considered “fine art”.

    And the apparatus and process of photography sprang up independently of the classical visual arts training methods of drawing and painting. It’s too easy to snap a photo. Hence most photos ARE boring. So ultimately I would have to qualify your “boredom” critique of photographs as a more of a statistical function than a visual one.

  7. It’s a case of “we’re still building it.”

    I feel it’s a glorified shanty for the most part. it lacks the “oomph” or “chutzpah” of LIFESTYLE! type accomodations, and the sedateness and comfort of a real home.

    It feels too much like being a permanent journeyman.

    Repeat question: do you have a kitchen? And why can’t I find it on Google Earth? It actually seems somewhat like dormitory living at a college or university. BTW, we are all permanent journeymen!

  8. Accomodation consists of just one medium sized room and bathroom shared by two people – very awkward.

    About 16*4*8 rooms here – maximum space utilisation. 😦

  9. No kitchen. I could just about cook, but no chance for now.

    I’m making the best of this place. Let’s see what the future holds. 🙂

    OK, so it really is just like a university dorm type of lifestyle but without the daily excitement of learning new things? Unless your job provides enough novelty on a regular basis.

    Anyhoo, having seen the photos and read your words I think I have a better feeling for some of your occasional frustration. I hope that Infosys is treating you well and that you are able to get as much from them as you give to them. That’s how a job SHOULD be, in a perfect world. What? This isn’t a perfect world? That is debatable!

  10. Love the sink picture. Very moody. As for where you were when you shot it… too much information!

    Also like the symmetry and sort of rhythm/flow in the last shot.

    Hi -30- thanks for visiting and for the comments. Sorry about the TMI, but if you must know, and you probably already are clicking away, the very first photo I published on this blog was from my colonoscopy. After promising I would not be one of those “spill your guts” bloggers. I’m a guy however, and even at my half century mark, I cannot resist a bit of bathroom humor.

    I like symmetry too, but my graphic design professor a few years back tried her best to break me of it. Guess it’s too easy!

  11. In one post:

    -You on a toilet
    -Your headless BOD
    -Your timex-watch-fetish

    …sexy, sexy times Dave, I’m lovin’ it!!! 🙂

    Oh Romi, you dirty young woman! I could never sustain an action packed post like one of yours, but that’s cuz I’m middle-aged and lead a very quiet life.

    But the saddest truth is that I didn’t wear HATS in my 20s because my head was nearly always up my bum!

  12. I have a great time @ the job – learning a new technology (slowest learning phase of my life this), going to quizzes, debating on the company message boards, blogging inside the company network…

    Sometimes I think it’s too much!

    But I’m becoming more tempered now. Slowly.

    Well that’s reassuring. I work at the front end of IT, desktop and end user support. Sometimes it really IS too much! A coworker often shared his latest freeware finds. One was an explorer variant called “2xExplorer”. It’s great and all, especially when one needs to run an instance of explorer with elevated privileges, but the GUI is so crowded with buttons that it made me laugh when he first showed it to me. Sometimes we need a deep breath.

  13. Ooh yes, very nice indeedy .. my favorite is now your header.

    You like all them old cars don’cha Red? 1974. It was a very good year. Really.

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