Home > Uncategorized > Days 3 and 4 (The rare book room sells a little Dick)

Days 3 and 4 (The rare book room sells a little Dick)

There are so many ways to make infantile dirty jokes about my favorite author. And there! I just made another one. For those unaware, my favorite author is Philip K Dick (1928-1982). If my second favorite author were Michael Moorcock, boy what fun we could have!!

A shout out (golly I hate that expression) to whomever has been replying to my journal entries. You aren’t signing your replies, so I have no idea who you are, although I do have my guesses. I only know one person who uses the term “killer” frequently. So I’ll answer your question anyway – Joby is my brother and he is on the trip with me as far as Seattle (where I am now).

But onto the details …

Day three started off by waking up late. An all night gambling session will do that to you. I got to bed around 3:30 down about $22, but I played enough to knock $20 off of our room rate and $5 off a tank of gas. So should we call it even?

We left Canyonville around 2 oclock (did I mention I played a free-roll poker tournament? No, I don’t think I did.) and headed up to Portland. Our first and only significant stop was in Eugene, Oregon, home of the University of Oregon. They call their sports teams the Oregon Ducks and they have produced some hats with Donald Duck in an Oregon sweater jumping dramatically through a gigantic “O.” So I bought one, of course.

We also checked out the little downtown street which is home to an impressive bookstore, a neat comic store, a bunch of small eateries and not a Gap in sight. We also grabbed lunch at a great little sub shop called (oddly enough) The Sub Shop. $4.00 gets me a loaded 6″ inch sub, a big Mountain Dew and Doritos! Take that, Subway!!

So on we roll up to Portland where we arrive at our Motel 6 just in time to hear Derek Lowe blow yet another save for the beleaguered Red Sox. So we quickly threw our stuff in the room and ran across the street to the bowling alley bar to watch the 10th and 11th inning in which the Red Sox lost the game. First place is looking far, far away!

We played some rounds of Schotten-Totten (like Battleline without the tactics cards or the Elephants)* and then I went to the bar next door, Doc’s. It may have been Mac’s. But it was definitely one syllable and ended with c.

*That parenthetical remark means something to so few …

From the outside, I could not tell what type of bar it was. I walked in and saw pool tables and video poker machines . . . and strippers. So needless to say I played about 20 games of pool and drank some rounds with Steve and Ray and some guy whose name I never got. (I had won $40 on two four of a kinds on their video poker machines so I came out ahead on the night). Even after checking my ID, they still didn’t believe I was 30. Now I am not sure why. Perhaps they are not used to 30 year old guys coming in alone and just hanging out at the pool tables all night.

Also hanging out at the pool tables were a group of 6 guys and their hot girlfriends. They were there for the birthday party of one of the girls. Who the hell would bring their girlfriend to a strip bar for their birthday?? So I questioned the guys (when the girls went to the bathroom) and I find out that around these parts, this particular bar is more of a hangout than a classic “strip joint.” OK. Whatever. Is this an Oregon thing? But it does explain why there seemed to be fewer people in the stage area than in any of the other spots (the bar, the patio, the pool room, the video poker area).

This morning I woke up with a mild hangover (where’s my Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles squeeze bottle when I need it?) and packed up the Motel room and headed off for breakfast at Johnny B’s. It’s a local breakfast joint with fantastic pancakes and 50 cent coffee! I recommend it while in town.

Next stop was downtown Portland and (dum dum) Powell’s City of Books (applause). Since I had been to the Best Game Store in America in Ashland, why not go to the Best Bookstore in America in Portland? This place was ridiculous. The walking map of the store is bigger than the walking map of Portland!! It takes up an entire city block. Their section on Foreign Languages is bigger than your average Starbucks! 2 hours of parking comes free (and I guess if you buy enough, you can park for 2 1/2 hours without much of a problem).

I grabbed a little shopping cart and walked around (dum dum) Powell’s City of Books for the next hour and a half and filled it up. I looked down at it a little sadly when I realized that I wouldn’t have room for all these books. And I brought a big crate of books I hadn’t read – when would I have time to read these? At this point, I made it into the rare book room.

The rare book room is a climate controlled room where they keep all the expensive stuff. Some of it is expensive ($300 World of Dark Crystal), some of it is really expensive ($3000 Dickens books), some of it is really really expensive ($6000 bibles from the 16th century) and some of it is oh my god look how fucking expensive that is (if you have to ask, you can’t afford it).

Now of course I collect Philip K Dick books and I went straight to the genre fiction section to see what they had. They had a set of the limited slipcased Collected Stories of Philip K Dick ($450 but I have a different edition), a copy of The Preserving Machine and Other Stories ($95 but I don’t do the short story collections … yet), a copy of Deus Irae ($200 but I have the paperback original), a Humpty Dumpty in Oakland ($150) and behind glass were The Man in the High Castle and Time Out of Joint.

I asked for help because I was curious about the pricing on the two behind glass.

“Sure, let me just get the key. Do you collect Philip Dick?”

“Yes I do. I am considering the Humpty Dumpty in Oakland. It’s the only book of his I don’t have.”

“Well OK, but you want to see these,” she said, pointing towards the glass.

I sighed, “Yeah well I can’t possibly afford them. I’m guessing the Time Out of Joint is $600.”

“Hmm mmm – it is $600”

“And the Man in the High Castle is probably $900”

“It is $900!” she said, a little more than mildy impressed, but not quite excitedly.

“I figured.”

“Well if you specialize in it, it’s good to know what you should be paying.”

I asked about packing and shipping and how I could take it home. I went to find Joby somewhere in the (dum dum) Powell’s City of Books (applause) which is hardly an easy task. I finally did and I told him to follow me up to the rare book room.

“I’m going to buy a $150 book in the rare book room.”

“A $50 book?”

“No, a ONE hundred and fifty dollar book.”

“Oh!”

I don’t pay sales tax or shipping on the book and they are sending it to Joby here in Seattle where he will hold it (Still packed) until I have an address of my own. But I finally completed getting every title by Philip K Dick! Whoo hoo!!! Now to upgrade them all to first editions!!!

After the fun of (dum dum) Powell’s City of Books (applause), we moved the car to an area near Old Town and Chinatown and did a little walking around. We finally left Portland around 3:30 but not before buying Powerball tickets ($100 million tonight).

The next stop was North Vancouver, Washington for a fillup of my tank and of my stomach. We stopped at Burgerville, mostly because of a billboard proclaiming their Blackberry Milkshake to be so good that you should “drink one, get amnesia, drink another one.” Sounds good, but I actually went for the Black Forest milkshake – ice cream, espresso, chocolate, cherries, whipped cream – best damned milkshake I ever remember having!!! Joby had the Blackberry and remarked “wow – I wasn’t expecting it to be this good.” And the chicken sandwich wasn’t bad, either. Next time you are in the Pacific Northwest, get a milkshake at Burgerville.

Back to the car for the 150 mile drive to Seattle. We are listening to the Mariners/Red Sox game (what else) and the broadcaster tells us that Jay Buhner is playing for Tacoma tonight in a rehab assignment. Hmmm…Tacoma is on the way to Seattle. We like baseball. We’ve both never been to a AAA game. Why not stop? So we did. And the game wasn’t tonight. It was at 12:30 this afternoon. There were a couple of other scattered Mariners fans in the parking lot, too. Some producer should have told him that the game already happened. So back to Seattle.

And then we got to Seattle. Were you expecting more? I’m here now, at Joby’s apartment. It’s very nice. (Somehow I feel like there should be more to say on this matter, but haven’t I said enough already??)

No telling what I’ll do tonight. If it’s exciting, I’ll let you know before I go to bed. If not, look here on Friday for the news from Vancouver, British Columbia!!

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