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Here are some notes on this and that and the other thing - including 'Ink Master,' 'Making It' and Cheryl Strayed

COURTESY PHOTO: TIM CARP/OREGON ZOO - A pint-sized pika enjoys a snack in its Columbia River Gorge habitat.'Ink Master'

For the second consecutive year, Portland is represented on the Paramount Network reality series "Ink Master."

Bob Jones, who works at Esoteric Tattoo and has a biomech and color illustrative style, is competing on the show, which premieres Jan. 7.

The 13th year of the show is themed "Ink Master: Turf War, as contestants from the four different regions of the country represent their "turf." Jones, obviously, is part of the West team.

Last year, Portland's Austin Rose of Robot Piercing and Tattoo partcipated in the show.

'Making It'

The NBC series "Making It," about talented makers hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, premiered Monday, and Portlander Jamie Hudson was on it. He's a scientist who started a crafting company; he and his wife run 20 Leagues, where they make and sell quirky crafts and gifts, combining his knowledge of science, manufacturing and robotics. We'll keep you informed how he does.

Strayed's travels

Travel Oregon's whimsical campaign, "Only Slightly Exaggerated," returns and tells the illustrative story of Bigfoot buds Yeti and Sasquatch, who set out to experience wintertime adventures — encouraging people to go outside.

Travel Oregon will put on several readings of the book, "Yeti and Sasquatch in the Winter Wonderland of Oregon," around the state, starting 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 at Powell's City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside, with guest reader Cheryl Strayed (she of "Wild" fame).

Pikas flourishing

The pika population in the Columbia Gorge suffered a setback during the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire.

But, the group Cascades Pika Watch — organizations and individuals convened by the Oregon Zoo — reports that the population continues to make a comeback.

"We still aren't seeing numbers as high as before the fire, but things are definitely looking up," said Amanda Greenvoss, who coordinates the zoo's pika watch program.

Pikas were observed at 45 out of 52 surveyed sites, compared to 18 of 45 last year.

Pikas are small mammals related to rabbits, known for distinctive high-pitched calls.

'Santa HQ'

HGTV and Washington Square have set up "Santa HQ" at the mall in suburban Portland, as visitors explore the wonder of Santa in the digital age.

You can use a Magic Mirror to transform into one of Santa's elves, change outfits and explore Santa's Workshop and Elf Academy using ELF-RAY Vision and test out the Naughty O' Nice Meter. There'll also be photo opportunities.

For more on "Santa HQ" and other Washington Square events, see shopwashingtonsquare.com. The mall is located at 9585 S.W. Washington Square Road, Portland.


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