Gilbert Heights Elementary School Grade 6 1973-1974

 Sun Nov 08, 2020, last updated Thu Mar 24, 2022 -  Jim Deibele

Gilbert Heights Elementary School Grade 6 1973-1974

Top row: unknown, John McIntosh, unknown, unknown, unknown, Liz Silva, unnknown
3rd row: unknown, Lisa Mullen, unknown, unknown, unknown, Ray Teuber?, unknown
2nd row: John Speck, unknown, me, Pat Dye, unknown, unknown, unknown, Mrs. Margeson
first row: Denise Buckley, unknown, Charlotte Trapp, unknown, Debra Halvorsen?, Jim Greenslade

We moved and changed school districts the year before. So I only had year at Gilbert Heights Elementary School   before this photo and a year after. Still, I’m surprised I can’t remember more names.

As 7th Graders, we’d move on to Gilbert Middle School with the other Gilbert Heights 6th Graders and join with 4 other elementary schools. Then head on to David Douglas as 9th Graders with kids from Floyd Light Middle. There were about 600 kids in my grade at DDHS.

My dad moved out this year, leaving me with my mom and sisters. That’s the only explanation I have for that haircut.

Sometimes, while my mom was still alive, I’d drive out Holgate so I could pass by the old school. Looked it was still going strong. But the David Douglas District   is now one of the most, probably the most, diverse school systems in Portland, Oregon. And doing well with it.

What Waiting for the 2020 Election Results Felt Like

 Sat Nov 07, 2020, last updated Thu Mar 24, 2022 -  Jim Deibele

Ran across a neat graphic   that sums up what it’s felt like waiting for the results of the 2020 Presidential Election results felt like.

Updating my old blog, I was surprised at how many links broke over the years. So I decided the image for posterity. When I went to download the GIF, it turned out that Twitter had converted it into an .mp4 video. When I used a website   to convert it back, it grew from under 10k to just over 50k.

.mp4 from twitter

converted to .gif

Vote by Mail After 20 Years of Experience in Oregon

 Fri Nov 06, 2020, last updated Thu Mar 24, 2022 -  Jim Deibele

There’s an excellent article in Vox   about vote by mail in Oregon, focusing on how it started and how it evolved.

It’s difficult to forge someone’s signature on a ballot. Not impossible, not if you have access to something with their signature, but difficult. And it’s hard to see that scaling to any numbers.

It’s pretty much impossible to insert fake ballots into the system. There are bar codes on the envelopes mailed out to voters and it’s pretty simple to reject any bar codes that don’t match what was sent out.

There are two situations that do lend themselves to a type of fraud: one is if the person(s) you’re living with force you to fill out a ballot in front of them, then take it and mail it or drop it off. The stereotypical situation would be a husband in a wife-beater shirt making his wife fill out her ballot. But it could be parents making children do this, it could be adult children making their aged parents do this, etc.

The other situation would be a group that makes its members bring their ballots to a place where their ballot could be checked. Again, the stereotypical situation would be a tyrannical employer making their employees fill out the ballots at work. But it could be a union or a church or something similar.

But again, here is where it’s hard to project the numbers being very large. Yes, it probably does happen that a spouse makes their spouse vote the same. But is that 1 in 1000? 1 in 10,000? 1 in 100,000?

And how likely is it that every employee or union member or churchgoer stays silent forever?

Balanced against this is that a potential voter does not have to take time off work. They are able to consult the Voter’s Pamphlet and any online resource - newspapers, political parties, single-issue groups, whatever - that they care to over weeks before they make up their minds.

Having lived in Oregon almost my entire life, I do miss a little bit going to a nearby school or church to vote. And to see other people voting.

But it’s incredibly convenient to have the option to put my ballot in the mail. It now doesn’t require a stamp. But in years past I would go to the nearest branch of the public library and put my ballot in a plastic bin with a slot and a padlock. And I’d see other people with ballots in hand doing the same.

This year, with Covid-19 restrictions, ballots can go in the library’s drop box anytime - 3am if you want - and the staff will put them into the bin and they’ll go off to the county election office.

Knowing a little bit about technology, I really, really like that my ballot is on paper. It can be checked over and over, by computer vision or just plain people.

Something to Think About as We Wait for the Votes to Be Counted

 Thu Nov 05, 2020, last updated Thu Mar 24, 2022 -  Jim Deibele

Something to think about… I have seen a lot of hate spewed in recent days about a man who is a constant winner and overachiever, and that’s what the people who support him like about him. Yes, he’s been caught in some lies and maybe twisted the truth a little but he’s still out there proving his haters wrong time after time. Some people are just jealous of someone who is successful and has money. Throw in a hot foreign underwear model at his side and they hate him even more. You may not have wanted him in his role, but he’s there now and there’s nothing you can do about it. I know it’s possibly just going to get worse over the next several days, but like him or not, Tom Brady is turning things around in Tampa.

Not sure who originally said it but it made me laugh as we head into the 4th day of vote counting with Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania all not reporting final tallies.

Refill Propane Tank vs Blue Rhino Exchange in 2020

 Thu Nov 05, 2020, last updated Thu Mar 24, 2022 -  Jim Deibele

There’s an excellent article   that goes deep into the specifics of refilling your tank versus just exchanging it for a different Blue Rhino[1] tank.

The article was written in 2013 but pretty much everything holds up. The price of propane has actually gone down in 2020 to less than $2/gallon  

Basically it comes down to this:

Do you want to refill your tank and save $8$11?


Would you rather go to a nearby store and just exchange tanks?

See my article on old propane tanks for more on the topic.

  1. Blue Rhino is the dominant tank exchange company in Portland, available at Walmart, Lowes, Kroger, Walgreens, etc. The only other company that I’ve seen is AmeriGas at Home Depot.