Exploring Portland: Bull Run

My sweetie zaiah has her master’s degree in engineering with an emphasis in water resource engineering, so last weekend she scored us seats on an eight and a half hour tour of Portland’s water collection and distribution network.

Which was pretty cool, actually, even if it did mean getting up at 7 AM.

Of the thirty or so people on the tour, I was the only one without a degree in engineering and/or working in the field of water resource management.

Portland’s water supply is interesting. The city’s water comes from the Bull Run watershed, which includes streams, rivers, and lakes in the Federally protected Bull Run watershed district–a largely pristine temperate old-growth rainforest.

It starts in places like this–streams fed by rain and springs. You can almost drink the water straight out of the stream here (at least if it weren’t for the possibility of microorganisms)–the water’s so clean that Portland doesn’t do any filtration at all. They chlorinate it to kill bugs, and they let it sit for a while in huge underground bunkers to give sediment a chance to settle out, but other than that it’s straight from here to the pipeline.

Well, with the exception of a couple of dams along the way.

And the dams are, heh heh, pretty damn cool, heh heh. Clicky here to see more!

Today’s devil’s choice

So, before I introduce the poll I’m about to introduce, let me start by saying that I like sex. I really, really, really like sex. It’s fun, it’s enjoyable, it’s an amazing gateway to intimacy and shared experience, it’s an awesome tool for getting to know someone (and yourself), and it’s fun.

No surprise there.

So, here’s the poll. It’s a simple, one-question, yes/no thing:

Someone comes up to you and offers to place you into a fit, healthy, 23-year-old body. This new body will be completely immune to all diseases, and also totally free of the ravages of aging. You’ll never get old and you’ll never be sick; excluding accident or deliberate choice, you won’t die.

But, there’s a catch. You’ll never have sex again. You won’t feel the urge, you won’t have a sex drive, nada.

Do you take the deal?

Me, I say “yes,” for the very simple reason that giving up sex for radically extended life seems like a no-brainer to me. After all, I can’t have sex when I’m dead! So to me the question actually reads “Would you like to not have sex and also be dead, or would you prefer to not have sex but still be alive?” Since I take joy in many things in life other than sex, like bacon and cats and friends and blue skies and spinning fire and World of Warcraft and Leonardo da Vinci and vodka cranberries and VNV Nation and flying kites, the choice between “no sex and also dead” or “no sex but still alive” is an easy one.

Plus, I think that if I were given enough time, I’d probably find something just as good as sex. zaiah thinks that I’m an optimist.