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Instead of going with friends to the Boz Scaggs concert last night, we met up with them in a restaurant downtown in our burb. It was the night of the Christmas tree-lighting ceremony and we could see some of it from the window by our upstairs table overlooking the park. Oddly enough, the main tree and ceremony were three blocks away in the parking lot of a Safeway. It's not that they put up a tree in the grocer's lot for the occasion, it's that the tree was there long before the store and it's really, really big now.

At the same time, Portland was doing its own tree-lighting ceremony in its own downtown. This is two years after the FBI nabbed a guy who was planning to blow up a bunch of people at that ceremony. A guy, it just so coincidentally happens -- what are the odds? -- who has the same religion and mindset of the folks who surround Israel and are always trying to blow them up. Maybe if Israel invited the terrorists to the Tel Aviv Gay Pride parade and gave them some beer, they'd begin to see that we're all the same inside.

This is only the second time I've met this couple -- the woman is DW's friend from volunteering. I must have made a good impression because they invited us for Christmas dinner. Dang -- now I wish I'd have slurped my soup.

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