Archive for January, 2005

The Glory of the Galleria

The Galleria has always reeked of musty desperation to me, a place where a business goes to die peacefully out of sight of any customers. Admittedly this has improved somewhat with the cooking school moving in and adding exterior doors to the Made In Oregon store (a Naito company), but ever since I came to Portland (1998) I have heard about people being wary to rent any property from Naito Properties due to their long family history of suing the pants off each other.

Maybe now that things are calming down over in Naito-town people won’t be scared to rent a space there. Could we see a return of the Galleria?

Portland Metroblogs Meetup

Metroblogging has teamed up with to help set up monthly events in the cities that have a metblog. It’s not an official meeting or anything, just a casual way to meet face to face and talk to Portland area bloggers. Stop by for coffee or beer!

So, Feb 10th at 7:30pm @ the downtown Stumptown. You can even RSVP at

Meet Commissioner Sam Adams

The Portland Mercury is having the INAUGURATE THIS! party at Holocene (1001 SE Morrison) tonight. Sam Adams is going to be there as well as Live Wire! Radio, Radical Cheerleaders, Right Wing Comic, DJ Teenage, and featuring readings and film presentations. Oh, and it’s free!

OregonLive Getting In On the Local Group Blogs

b!X pointed out this entry by Jeff Jarvis, the main man over at Advance Internet (owner of OregonLive), in which he describes something not so different than

“… about to create a half-dozen town blogs in those markets — new, group blogs (using iUpload) to which any neighbor can contribute. These will live alongside the many individuals’ blogs, local forums, newspaper headlines, blogs outside the services (and their RSS feeds), and more.”

“… people may not want to start their own blog but they have plenty of news to contribute to their communities: opinions, news updates, sports reports, photos, calendar items, and so on.”

Seig Heil

Upped a set of pics from the recent Neo Nazi protest. Nazis and punks galore.

Uploaded by benkay.

Tom Potter: Bad Ay-uss!

Okay, I know that being truly bad is a continuing process, but he’s certainly making a claim for it: Potter’s gonna ride January Critical Mass.

Wanna ride with him? North Park Blocks, yo. 5:30 pm, last Friday of the month. Dress warmly.

And for those looking for a little activism a little sooner: J20 is almost here. An added bonus: fewer cops! because they’ll be in DC, you know.

TV Station Web Site Coverage Of Ice Storm Was Outdated, Spotty

Over the weekend, most of our local television station Web sites were very slow in updating ice storm coverage. While they do a pretty good job of updating weather during the week, Saturday’s and Sunday’s posts were largely wire service feeds from several hours before. The few staff posts I saw were similarly long in the tooth.

As examples, KATU was pretty good on Saturday, but slow yesterday and today. KGW has been slow throughout, as has been the others.

When I take into account the fact that these stations do a pretty good job of updating their sites during the week, I have to conclude three things:

On weekends, the Web sites for these stations operate with skeleton staffs;

On weekends, staff meteorologists who reported for duty were too busy with their on-air product to think of updating the Web site as anything but an afterthought.

Webmasters have a false sense of importance about automated tools that update their sites with the latest temperature readings. While this is useful, this does not take the place of written, up-to-the-minute coverage.

Attention local news directors: if a news event such as this weekend’s ice storm is important enough to bring in your anchors and editors on the weekend, it is important enough to order your Web folks in for duty, as well.

Wherefore art thou, Grand Central Bowl?

I can’t seem to find you! I can’t find definitive information that you are closed, but I can’t find anyone at the phone number listed for you to tell me that you are open. Please tell me what’s really going on with you, Grand Central Bowl. I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!

Why We Have A Meth Problem

I first started to hear about Oregon’s meth problem a few years ago. My then-girlfriend The Marpet, a therapist for several school systems south of Eugene, used to tell me horror stories of visits to homes of students that were beaten or not fed (or sometimes both) by a parent whose key priority in life was scoring more meth.

Here in Portland we have the problem as well. The latest manifestation is the rash of eastside burglaries, the majority of which are staged by meth addicts looking for cash to feed their next fix.

I do think part of the problem is socioeconomic. The resources sector of our economy that has long sustained the rural and coastal areas of our region has been depleted. Many of those who excelled in these trades have moved to Portland in search of a job. But since the trades they worked in did not require all that much formal education, they have little to fall back on once they get here.

And if you are undereducated and new in town, you are in the line of fire for the economic trauma that has taken place in the service sector. So, if you are unlucky, you are underpaid, unpaid, and with the high cost of health insurance – ill.

Now comes a drug that gives you a false sense of self-worth. If you are down on your luck, you can’t find work, bill collectors are calling, your ex-wife is on your case, your kids are screaming – well, just do some crank and you’ll feel better.

But your own damn circumstances won’t change, not one iota. It’s just that they change in your head.

When the kick of chemical self-esteem wears off, you want more.

So what happens? Some get busted. Others die. A few are cured therapeutically. A few find religion, sometimes of the fundamental variety. And although fundamentalism can in itself be addicting, it doesn’t give you the need to bust into cars and steal in order to feed your habit.

Meth is a thin, but deceivingly powerful antidote for the feeling so many of our displaced have. A feeling that life sucks and it’s all “their” fault – your alcoholic father, the environmentalists who shut down your sawmill, the woman who done you dirty, the ethnic minority that came here and took jobs of people like you.

The root cause of meth addiction, then, is a lack of hope. Maybe that lottery ticket will give you the winning combo. Maybe you will get to Heaven. I’m not wise enough to know the answer.

Ice, a Visual Aid

While this event pales in comparison to last year’s ice storm (at least so far), it kept me from venturing out further than the local Plaid Pantry. And it looks like it’s going to keep Mikey from flying home from San Francisco tonight.

Anyway, this is what my backyard looked like today. Click the image for a larger version.

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