I’ve realized what I have taking over a lawn is not the mouse ear version, with netted roots. I have a hawkweed with a sturdy tap root. Yellow flower.
Last Sunday I filled a big lawn waste bin with hawkweed rosettes. I was using a curved serrated root knife to cut under the rosette diagonally and sever the taproot. I would then toss the rosettes- some with and some without flower stems, into the yard waste wheelie bin. That’s a lot of hawkweed! I still didn’t get it all. It wore me out.
I got a perennial kale at Portland Nursery a few years ago, and it's both lovely and delicious. I harvest by pruning off branches, then I pull all the large leaves and leave the littlest leaves on the very end. Then I find a nice spot and just make a deep hole (like with a stick) and stick the almost leafless stem in there. It makes a new plant almost every time.
My hugelkultur berm at Ten O'Clock Acres has over a dozen, because when I planted the sticks I figured only some of them would survive. I was wrong - they all did!
Yes, weight gain in the winter is pretty normal and natural. This winter I gained some weight and now in this spring of COVID-19 I'm thinking that a few (less than 10) extra pounds of fat might be worth having in case I get sick. (I've heard that extreme fatigue and loss of appetite can be part of the illness, and of course if you are intubated you aren't eating!)
Your foundation looks great! It's always good to use reclaimed material.
I am not a rocket anything designer, but I'm bothered by the U-turn you are asking the heat to make, after the J-tube.
In a rocket mass heater, the heat riser is strongly insulated and is inside the barrel. The heat goes straight up and hits the top (in my mind the bottom of an upside-down barrel) and then splits in all directions down and then out into the mass. The top of the barrel gets very, very hot.
In my rocket oven, the heat riser empties up into the (sideways) barrels and goes around the inner barrel to heat it.
Your drawing has the heat getting directed sideways into a barrel and then going down? It's odd for heat to go down. I don't know if that's going to work. I mean, I know that it goes down in a rocket mass heater, but it doesn't need to spread out evenly, it just needs to leave the barrel and heat the mass. I don't see how the intense heat coming out of the heat riser is going to heat anything but the very top (and not just the top, but one side of the top) of the inner clay oven, and I can imagine flames making their way up around the clay oven at the top.
The Russians managed to grow citrus outdoors, where temperatures drop as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius, and without the use of glass or fossil fuels. By 1950, the Soviet Union boasted 30,000 hectares of citrus plantations, producing 200,000 tonnes of fruits per year.
Interesting strategy involving growing fruit trees from seed:
To better prepare citrus fruits for cold, Soviet citrologists followed a method called “progressive cold-hardening”. It allowed them to create new varieties which were adapted to local ecological conditions, a cultivation strategy which had originally been developed for apricot trees and grapes.
The method consists of planting a seed of a highly valued tree a bit further north of its original location, and then waiting for it to give seeds. Those seeds are then planted a bit further north, and with the process repeated further, slowly but steadily pushing the citrus variety towards less hospitable climates. Using this method, apricot trees from Rostov could eventually be grown in Mitchurinsk, 650 km further up north, where they developed apricot seeds that were adapted to the local climate. On the other hand, directly planting the seed of the Rostov apricot tree in Mitchurinsk proved unsuccessful.
To get citrus going even further north, they used the earth:
None of the above mentioned cultivation methods were sufficient to grow citrus fruits in regions where the ground froze and where winter temperatures dropped below -15 degrees. Here, citrus plants were cultivated in trenches. Obviously, growing citrus fruits in trenches was only practical with dwarf and – most often – creeping plants. In this method, soil heat protects citrus fruits from frost.
The depth of the trenches varied from 0.8 to 2 metres depending on the winter temperature, the depth to which the ground froze, and the water table. The trees could be planted in single or double rows. Trenches were generally trapezoidal in section to improve light conditions. They were roughly 2.5 metres wide at the bottom and 3 metres wide at the top
And I learned something about citrus - they can tolerate low light at low temperatures:
When winter came, the trenches were covered with 2 cm thick wooden boards and single or double straw mats, depending on the climate. This kept the soil heat in the trench, while keeping precipitation out. If a layer of snow covered the boards, it was left in place for extra insulation. The boards were sloped at an angle of 30-35 degrees. When in winter the temperature rose above zero degrees Celsius, the cover was raised on the south side or completely removed during the day.
This method cannot be applied to any plant. Citrus plants tolerate very low light levels for 3-4 months per year, provided that the temperature of the air in contact with the crown is maintained between 1 and 4 degrees Celsius. At this temperature, the metabolism of the plants weakens, which improves their resistance to cold.
They used some glass on the trenches, but only over about 1/4 of the top, and it would be covered with straw mats. Perhaps some of this will help the "lemon tree in Montana" project! (Although, this article also said that lemons are the least frost resistant of all the citrus plants.)
We are using aluminum for the nose bridge - it's scraps from skirting a mobile home. Thicker than aluminum foil, but I can cut it with tin snips.
I'm cutting a piece a bit less than 1/2 inch wide and 4-6" long, with rounded corners. It gets sewn into the top edge - you can see the stitching in the finished mask.
We don't have elastic, so we're using 4 pieces of cord to tie in two places. I like being able to adjust the tightness and location - wearing a mask for hours (like I do at work) can lead to sore ears!
The key thing to remember is that a mask like this is for the protection of others. It also protects you MOSTLY in that it keeps you from touching your nose and mouth, but mainly "my mask protects you, and your mask protects me." We don't know if we have COVID-19 or not, we need to assume that we do, to stop the spread.
I'm wearing the fabric mask all day, for baby well checks, med checks, etc. If my patient has significant COVID symptoms, we are setting up video visits. If my patient has a cough, I have an N95 - one, that is kept in a ziplock bag on my desk. I don't have a full bunny suit, but I'm in a pediatric office, not an emergency room or hospital.
Something I think everyone should do is wear a mask. I'm talking fabric masks, not N95 masks. The Czech Republic has convinced everybody to wear a mask at all times when not in their homes, and it seems to be helping.
My daughter and I have started to make masks from 100% cotton broadcloth (from the quilting section of Joann's Fabrics) using these patterns:
paul wheaton wrote:In the end we came to the conclusion that 90 or below is the time to go to the hospital. 93 is "go get it checked out when the hospital isn't busy". One nurse said that at 93 she would take her daughter in, but she wouldn't take herself in until it hit 90.
This is how I talk about pulse ox values and when to worry:
We want the patient to get an "A." Some people are sticklers and say that an A is 94% and up, but some people are more easy-going and say that anything over 90% is an A. It's not an emergency if a deeply sleeping person dips down to maybe 87%, if it's brief, but if someone is doing their best to breathe and can't get to 90%, that's a bad scene. Time for supplementary oxygen, and that means heading off to a hospital. If you call an ambulance, they have oxygen with them. The majority of COVID-19 patients who need help, just need oxygen.
Oh! But your pulse ox needs to have a good wave form to give you a reliable number. It is literally measuring how red your blood is, so it has to focus in on the pulse to get a good reading. They are designed to never over-estimate, but sometimes they will underestimate. Nail polish messes it up. Anything that blocks the red light from shining through your fingertip could mess it up. If the patient looks fine and the pulse ox is 84%, trust your instincts, not the device.
Regular deep breathing (doesn't have to be with Wim Hof's video, but that's a good plan there) will increase your lung capacity, and that's a good thing. COVID-19 leads to fluid buildup in the lungs. If your lungs work well, you'll be able to get by with just a portion of your lungs doing the work.
And SLEEP! Lots and lots. Which reminds me - I need to sleep now myself...
I love to visit Cistus Nursery, on Sauvie Island near Portland. They are primarily ornamental and delight in the unusual. I love my magnolia macrophylla that I got from them, although nothing is edible about it.
(It's got the largest leaves for any tree native to America and the flowers are a foot across - it's just cool!)
r ranson wrote:If I eat or drink anything during my fast then I can feel my body wake up and I feel hunger. the only exception being tea, coffee, and broth with butter. Anything else, even some vitamin pills, will tell my body the fast is broken.
There - you've answered your own question. I think if you move from two normal meals to one normal meal and some broth with butter, you will be making progress.
Avoiding carbs means you are avoiding insulin and maintaining a fat burning state. You've just moved from burning your fat to burning the fat in the butter and broth. The broth also has protein, so this is not 100% fat burning, but maybe that's the bit your body is craving.
I say try it. I can't see any harm coming from it.
OK, taking a break from finishing charts to address the original point of this thread:
Robert Joseph wrote: Ideally speaking, in order to survive [a fast] for as long as possible, all systems, organs, tissues and cells should be in optimal condition. The body must quickly minimize or eliminate any weak links. That way everything can work together, optimally, to give the best chance of long-term survival to get through the current famine. So, the body gets to work, and gets to work intensely, repairing damage, removing obstructions and optimizing functions throughout the body. I have witnessed amazing and miraculous healing occurring right before my eyes on countless occasions. Our bodies are truly fearfully and wonderfully made.
My point with all of this is to demonstrate that the condition of ketosis is indeed proper and laudatory when fasting. It is a most excellent survival strategy built into all mammals. As a side effect fasting greatly helps your body heal itself form all kinds of maladies.
However, artificially creating and maintaining the condition of ketosis through a strict and measured diet for long periods of time is difficult. There are numerous aspects of the ketogenic diet that are hard on the body when sustained for months or years, with a significant amount of science attesting to this.
I am in complete agreement about the usefulness of an extended fast for improving health, although this is via informed self education and not yet personal experience. I'm a pediatrician so I'm unlikely to supervise an extended fast in a patient (although I recently saw a 15 yr old with pre-diabetes who is done growing - she had menarche at age 9 - and I think is a good candidate for an extended fast).
I'm going to take exception to the idea that a prolonged ketotic state is necessarily "bad for you." I agree that everyone should check in on their electrolytes, creatinine, liver function, lipids when they've made a major change to their diet. In my 25+ years of being a doctor (and advising various and sundry people, both child and adult, on food, since I also have a degree in nutrition) I've learned to be humble about knowing what will and won't work for people. The human animal is wonderfully diverse, and people can do well on VERY different diets.
I think almost all of us know at least one person who appears to be thriving on a vegan diet. I'm going to assume that they're getting some bugs or yeast or something to give them the B12 they need, but happy healthy vegans exist. We have the example here in the "keto" forum of a person who is thriving on nothing but beef and water. (I think this has something to do with a pre-existing gut problem, read Matt Walker's account for the details.) There are people who have eaten a low carb diet for a long time and they're doing great.
In sum, there are many different ways to feed a human. I think it's likely that different people do well on different diets, so what works for one person won't necessarily work for another person. And that's great! We just need to pay attention to how we feel and try to figure out what works for us.
Burra Maluca wrote:
It always seems to take me three full days, unless I've already been eating fairly low-carb and am doing plenty of exercise.
Is that three days of fasting, or three days of low-carb? I think we might be talking about different things.
I've never gone more than (almost) two days without eating. As in, eat dinner on Friday, eat no meal on Saturday and then eat dinner on Sunday. When I've read accounts of people who have done extended fasts, they do say it gets easier after the third day, so maybe you are talking about fasting? Wow.
I need to work up the nerve to do an extended fast, and ideally a pretty low protein fast (which is what this thread is about). I remember a cancer researcher saying that everyone over 50 should do a one week fast once a year as an anti-cancer strategy. During an extended fast, the body starts looking around for things that can be put to a better use - autophagy, they call it. People report losing skin tags, and not having loose skin despite significant weight loss.
I've been doing short fasts (I eat between 6pm and 9pm most days and have for more than a year) but they aren't water fasts. I allow myself coffee with dairy during the day. It's working well for me.
I'm going to quibble about ketosis. My understanding is that it takes 12 hours to burn through your glycogen, and then you start burning fat. When I started doing this, I would check my urine for ketones, and I did have some after say 15 hours of fasting. I wasn't in full ketosis, with the "fruity" breath and all that, but I was making ketones and they were showing up in my urine.
I also don't think fasting slows your metabolism. I really like Dr. Jason Fung on this topic.
I've got to run, but I hope to come back and share more.
Mike Haasl wrote:I'm old enough that coughing into your elbow wasn't a thing when I learned my manners. If I cup my mouth and cough into my hand, I can see how the majority of the liquid is caught on my hand (and then wiped on my pants). If I'm really good and raise up my t-shirt collar and cough into my shirt it could be even better. If I cough in my elbow it seems to fly everywhere. Maybe it's because my arms are long and I can't reach my elbow.
So is it worse to shoot the juicy stuff over and under my elbow into the vicinity but keep my hands pristine? Or better to cough in my hand and try not to spread it by touch? Or do I need to go back to first grade for some more learning...
Don't shoot juicy stuff anywhere. Turn your head and cough into clothing. Cough into your upper arm, if that's what works for you. If you raise your t-shirt collar you're still likely to end up with germs on your hand, as one layer of t-shirt material is not going to catch all the liquid, and the germs are in the liquid.
The reason you cough into your elbow is that nobody opens a door with their elbow. If you cough into your hand, you get germs all over your hands, and some germs can travel that way.
I agree with a lot of what's been said thus far in this discussion. The Wuhan Coronavirus is a novel form of the same kind of virus that causes the common cold. We don't know how dangerous it will be to people in well-equipped hospitals. (Not to diss China, but the province where most of the deaths have occurred is pretty rural and I'm guessing their hospitals are not as well equipped as those in the United States, Canada and Europe. So we still need to see what happens to patients in "the West" who get sick with this virus.
All of the things that people do to fight common viruses are likely to help with this new uncommon virus. The most important thing you can do, on February 1st, 2020, is get a flu vaccine if you haven't gotten one this season. Thus far 10,000 people have died from influenza (2019/2020) in the United States, 68 of them children. Ordinary flu is a far more relevant risk for almost all of us. Now, I used to be sort of skeptical about the flu vaccine from looking at the statistics of effectiveness. That was when I worked as a hospitalist, and didn't actually see that many kids with influenza.
Now that I'm in a busy pediatric outpatient clinic, I can appreciate a clear pattern. Yes, there are kids who got the flu vaccine and still got influenza. However, they look very different from the kids who didn't get a flu vaccine and picked up influenza. The no-vaccine kids are MISERABLE, with impressively high (106.7F for one in January, many with 105F) fevers and are usually curled up in a ball in mom's lap or on the exam table if they're too big for her lap. The post-flu shot kids are sick, but the temp might just be 99F and they tell me their back hurts. They just don't look as bad. So even though it's technically a "fail," in the statistics, their quality of life is greatly improved by having had the flu vaccine.
Which moves me to make a note about fever. Fever is one of the most misunderstood symptoms. Countless parents (and grandparents) believe that it is their DUTY to get rid of fever in their offspring whenever it occurs. There are vague worries about fever and the brain. However, fever will not damage the brain until it gets SUPER high, like 108F (>42C) and I've never seen or heard of that happening.
My mom insists that my fever went to 106.7F (41.5C) when I was sick with chickenpox in 6th grade. I don't recall exactly, I just remember feeling like I was FREEZING TO DEATH and my mom took all my clothes off and popped me into a bathtub of cool water!! I did not appreciate this. Do not do this to your kids. Anyway, I'm pretty sure my brain didn't melt - I still made it to and through med school.
We've been having fevers, as a species, for thousands of years. We've only had tylenol for around 50. We can survive a fever better than a virus can, and that's the point. Fevers help weaken/kill viruses. There are many home remedies that involve sort of creating a fever - hot baths, sauna, maybe even fire cider. So, you use the tylenol or motrin to help yourself or your kid feel better so you can rest or even better get more sleep. Not because you have to remove the fever.
The key is the usual: increased sleep, increased fluids. Drink so much water (or other unsweetened beverages) that when you pee, it's not yellow. Have some soup. Chicken soup with garlic and onion has been shown to help with viral illnesses.
For a bad tasting but effective cough syrup, put a couple of drops of essential oil of white thyme into an ounce of honey (take it 1/4 to 1/2 tspn at a time). Be careful with the quantity - too much, and it makes your tongue numb. For a good tasting honey based syrup, I recommend Maty's Organic cough syrup, which is sold at many different stores in the United States. It's delicious and it does a nice job of coating your throat and calming down a cough.
I have had good success with Cedarcide, which is a cedar oil from Texas. I bought it to deal with wool moths (turn a banker box into a cedar trunk, sort of!) and also brought it along almost a dozen years ago when we took the kids to Disney World in Florida. Bedbugs in hotels were/are a thing.
When I visited family in Southern Illinois in August (deep deciduous forest, hot and humid - tick heaven) I sprayed my dog's feet and legs, and my feet and legs and of all the people that took a hike in the woods, we were the only ones who couldn't find any ticks afterwards.
Ticks don't drop down, they crawl up. The most ticks I've ever had on me was after walking through waist high grass in the San Francisco Bay area, so obviously humidity isn't needed for ticks to be numerous.
It's interesting to me that you say it gets easier after the 4th day of fasting, but then you say that you are choosing to fast 5 days each month.
Sounds like maximal willpower required!
I still have not gone more than 2 days without eating. I've gained a few pounds over the holidays so I'm thinking I should do something. . . .
My work is not physically demanding but it is mentally demanding, so I've been nervous to try going days without eating while I'm working. On the other hand, it's much easier for me to fast on work days because I'm busy and away from food (other than the omnipresent candy and frequent treats - I'm doing pretty well with those).
Ah, sugar. It was many years ago that I watched a lecture by Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist, that at that point had 3 million views (it's had 9.2 million views now):
It's a long video, but worth your time. In this, he explains that fructose, the part of sucrose (sugar) that makes it sweet, is as toxic to your liver as alcohol. He put up the Krebs cycle and showed why fructose can't go 'round like a glucose can. So, only the liver can metabolize fructose. Fructose doesn't make you drunk like alcohol, but it is metabolized in the same way as alcohol, and if you eat/drink too much fructose, you damage your liver.
Back in Wisconsin I had a morbidly obese teenager, over 300lbs and I checked some blood tests because I was worried about him developing type 2 diabetes. His hemoglobin A1C was high, but not at diabetic levels. However, his ALT and AST, the liver enzymes, were highly elevated, indicating hepatitis. He had no risk factors for infectious hepatitis. I referred him to a pediatric gastroenterologist, who performed a needle biopsy of his liver. The pathologist looked at the tissue from his liver and called it "non-alcoholic fatty liver syndrome," basically saying this teenager has a liver that looks like the liver of an alcoholic.
At the time I was still a bit of a sugar addict, and I was buying Agave syrup from Costco to sweeten my coffee. The label said it was a "low glycemic index sweetener" and that sounded good. After watching the video I realized that the reason that agave syrup has a low glycemic index is that it is almost all fructose, which is toxic. I stopped using the agave syrup. I learned to drink my coffee without sweetener.
Kyle Neath wrote:If you haven't read the book this is from (1491), I'd definitely suggest it. (snip)
Once I was able to rearrange my perspective from Americans were technologically behind Europeans to Americans were innovating in food while Europeans were innovating in war, it really helped a lot of things click into place in my head.
That is an excellent formulation, I might steal that! (As you can tell from my previous post, I steal wonderful phrases all the time.)
"Many parts of the Americas now thought of as pristine forest are really abandoned gardens," Christopher Fisher, an archaeologist at Colorado State University who was not involved in the study, told The Wall Street Journal.
The Amazon rainforest, once thought of as completely untouched before European colonization except by small bands of hunter-gatherers, may actually have supported a kind of large-scale sustainable agriculture that influences the growth of the forest to this day.
"The forest is an artifact of modification," de Souza, the study's lead author, told The Washington Post. "It has nothing to do with the kind of practice we are seeing nowadays — large-scale, clearing monoculture. These people were combining small-scale agriculture with management of useful tree species. So it was more a sustainable kind of land use."
A lot of environmentalists like the idea of removing humans from places. I think what we're learning is that humans can make things better as well as making things worse. One of my favorite permaculture ideas is to stop worrying only about your footprint and start worrying about your handprint. What can each of us do to maximize photosynthesis?
I truly think the solution to the world's problems can be found in a garden, if you define garden as land where humans influence how things grow.
I'd encourage you to read the article, it's very interesting. Nobody is saying that humans planted the entire Amazon, the conservative estimate is 12% Given the lifespan of trees, that's not so hard to imagine.
Another similar lesser known fact is that the "Great Dying" in the Americas after the introduction of European diseases led to such regrowth of forest that it likely caused the mini Ice Age of the late 1500's and early 1600's
“The great dying of the indigenous peoples of the Americas resulted in a human-driven global impact on the Earth system in the two centuries prior to the Industrial Revolution,” wrote the UCL team of Alexander Koch, Chris Brierley, Mark Maslin and Simon Lewis.
The drop in temperature during this period is known as the “Little Ice Age”, a time when the River Thames in London would regularly freeze over, snowstorms were common in Portugal and disrupted agriculture caused famines in several European countries.
Humans have been influencing the climate for a long time. I find this hopeful. I think we can save the planet by transforming scrubland, currently with very little photosynthesis going on, to grasslands and forest. We need to get on this!
I don't think intermittent fasting will make your poo black. Black sticky poo can be from bleeding of the stomach or intestine. Black poo with a more normal texture can be from iron supplements, or other things you ate.
It's pretty easy to check for the presence of heme in stool - I think any primary care doctor can do it.
Before it became the New World, the Western Hemisphere was vastly more populous and sophisticated than has been thought—an altogether more salubrious place to live at the time than, say, Europe. New evidence of both the extent of the population and its agricultural advancement leads to a remarkable conjecture: the Amazon rain forest may be largely a human artifact
(You can read 4 articles/month for free from The Atlantic, FYI)
I just read this 17 yr old article and thought I should share it. It goes over the theory that the Americas were as heavily populated as Europe back in the 1500's and 1600's, but the introduction of European diseases (by explorers and by the pigs they brought with them) devastated the native populations.
I have previously heard that much of the "untrammeled wilderness" of America "discovered" by Europeans, was actually tended by humans. In the Pacific Northwest, the people kept the Douglas Fir in check, because it wasn't useful to them. Edible Camas flowers were encouraged, on the other hand.
I hadn't heard that there's evidence the Amazon rain forest is maybe the world's biggest forest garden.
For many millennia the cave's inhabitants hunted and gathered for food. But by about 4,000 years ago they were growing crops—perhaps as many as 140 of them, according to Charles R. Clement, an anthropological botanist at the Brazilian National Institute for Amazonian Research. Unlike Europeans, who planted mainly annual crops, the Indians, he says, centered their agriculture on the Amazon's unbelievably diverse assortment of trees: fruits, nuts, and palms. "It's tremendously difficult to clear fields with stone tools," Clement says. "If you can plant trees, you get twenty years of productivity out of your work instead of two or three."
Planting their orchards, the first Amazonians transformed large swaths of the river basin into something more pleasing to human beings. In a widely cited article from 1989, William Balée, the Tulane anthropologist, cautiously estimated that about 12 percent of the nonflooded Amazon forest was of anthropogenic origin—directly or indirectly created by human beings. In some circles this is now seen as a conservative position. "I basically think it's all human-created," Clement told me in Brazil. He argues that Indians changed the assortment and density of species throughout the region. So does Clark Erickson, the University of Pennsylvania archaeologist, who told me in Bolivia that the lowland tropical forests of South America are among the finest works of art on the planet.
At the end, there's an interesting idea presented that some of the species present in huge numbers when the settlers arrived: bison, elk, passenger pigeons - were all having population explosions because the humans that had kept their numbers in check for ages were suddenly gone.
Anyway, it's a very interesting article and I recommend it.
I've had a similar experience: my waist has gotten thinner even when my weight has held steady.
I'm finishing my 10th month of eating "one meal a day." To be more precise, I'll have coffee (with half and half) in the morning at work, a latter (with whole milk, made at home and brought to work) for lunch, but I don't eat any solids until 6pm.
On work days, I usually have some mixed nuts after 6pm. Our family eats dinner pretty late, usually not until 7pm and sometimes not until 8:30pm. I eat dinner with my family. Sometimes I make myself a sweet thing after dinner - this was brownie in a cup for a while, more recently decaf black tea with honey. Then I don't eat again until the next day at 6pm.
Still working great. I went to New Orleans for three days, had three very nice meals, and actually lost half a pound (because I really did walk almost 6 miles each day). Travelling is easy when you don't have to worry about feeding yourself. It's good to know you could go a whole day without eating and you'll be fine.
I second PokPok. I think Alberta Street in NE Portland, between 15th and 25th (roughly) is an excellent slice of Portland life. Salt and Straw, near 21st on Alberta, is another big Portland thing - it's gourmet and unusual ice cream.
If you like planned city parks, Laurelhurst Park is a gorgeous place to spend some time. You can take a stroll, have a picnic, watch people, watch dogs. . . (from Wikipedia:)
Laurelhurst Park is a city park in the neighborhood of Laurelhurst in Portland, Oregon. The 26.81-acre (10.85 ha) park was acquired in 1909 from the estate of former Portland mayor William S. Ladd. The City of Portland purchased the land in 1911, and the following year park superintendent Emanuel Mische designed the park in accordance with the Olmsted Plan.
In 1919, the Pacific Coast Parks Association named Laurelhurst Park the "most beautiful park" on the West Coast, and in February 2001 it was the first city park ever to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
So, the trees planted for this park are now over a hundred years old. If you like lovely old houses, the homes around and especially to the north of Laurelhurst Park are very nice.
One great thing about Portland is the bike system. There are neighborhood greenways - city streets that are set up as bike "highways." They get priority over cross streets (no stop signs) and when they cross busy car streets, there are special crosswalks and buttons you can push that STOP the cars pretty quickly.
There's a bike share system, so you can rent a bike easily. I do recommend some biking.
I don't think stripping the natural oils from your face helps. There are people getting great results washing their face with water and oil. Seriously. You splash water on your face, then a few drops of oil onto your hands, then rub that all over to loosen up dirt and oil, then rinse with hot water.
Powell's is still there, still huge, still awesome.
What do you like? Portland is a great place to try unusual food. It's a great place to find unusual clothes (if you like that sort of thing). There are amazing ferny hikes. You're not that far from the ocean and if you don't get to the ocean much, you should allow a day trip to the coast at least. You could drive to Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood and see snow and eat a nice meal in a gorgeous WPA project (if you're into 1930's timber framing and craftmanship).
What about measuring the amount of fuel required to bake a pizza, and compare to the amount of fuel needed to bake a pizza with a cob oven (if you can find a cob oven - where I live in Portland Oregon that wouldn't be hard).