Archive for June, 2005

Visit the market – but leave Fido and the stroller at home

Finally – an O recommendation I can heartily endorse! From Marketgoers’ ground rules in Friday’s A&E roundup of farmers markets:

Leave Fido at home. If you want to have an outing with your dog, there are plenty of parks you can head to. But dogs and farmers market crowds are a bad combination.

At the risk of being branded an animal-hating crank, I heartily applaud – but I’d actually take it a step further.

Parents, can you please leave the SUV strollers at home as well? I’ve nothing against umbrella strollers – or plopping your kids in the wagons the Hollywood Market provides, for example, if you absolutely have to. But the jogging strollers without any kind of turning radius, or the heavy-duty models that resemble a Ford Explorer? Baaad idea – especially when you use it as a battering ram to work yourself in towards the last few remaining strawberries on the table, for example (and yes, I’ve seen this done.)

Before you label me a child-hating crank, though – I have two kids of my own. I’ve taken them to the market – even when they were small (my daughter’s stubbly little arms always managed to nab strawberries no matter how far away I’d try to keep her from the displays.)

And I even owned one of those jogging strollers once upon a time – and tried to use it at the Hollywood Market exactly ONCE. It’s how I know first-hand that they’re a really rude thing to foist on the hordes of fellow citizens crowded into a cramped and awkward space just trying to score some organic baby arugula for dinner.

I know, I know – it’s supposed to be a great family outing. And I’m not suggesting you leave the kids at home. But there’s a time and a place for an umbrella stroller – and this definitely qualifies.

Now, can I get one big enough to restrain a seven year old who still has Elasti-girl arms for those Oregon berries…?

Big Lightning over Portalnd

Big Lightning over Portalnd

Originally uploaded by x180.

So, uh, if you didn’t notice, we had a storm last night.

Summer drinks, PDX-style

It’s out with the hot coffee, in with iced coffee – yep, I’m the one you’ll see asking for three shots of espresso over a full cup of ice in your local independent coffee shop.

Beer? Widmer’s Hefeweitzen with the obligatory lemon, of course.
Wine? A dry Oregon pinot gris or German riesling (Oregon rieslings tend to be too sweet for me, I’ve found – if you’ve found one that’s a true Kabinett, let me know, will you?)
Cold non-alcoholic beverage? Brewed sun tea, with a shot or two of lemonade. Or maybe some of that Bull Run water, filtered through a Brita pitcher just ’cause.
Mixed drink? I know JD’s drinking gin fizzes; and I’ve invented my Portland Summer of 2005 drink (as yet unnamed):

– fill a glass full of ice; toss in a shot of vodka** & 1/2 shot of limoncello (or more if you’ve one of those big huge glasses.)
– add a generous splash of lemonade; fill to the brim with sparkling water/club soda/pellegrino – whatever your bubbly water of choice is.
– garnish with a lemon slice if you’ve got one – I’m thinking of trying a mint sprig or two one of these fine days.

I now have a bottle of vodka/limoncello/lemonade mix already prepped and in my freezer now that the weather’s cooperating. That way, I won’t have to worry about that pesky ‘mixing and measuring’ hassle at the end of a long day – right?

What are you drinking this summer? Who serves up the best summer beverages around town?

** Yeah, regular readers already know my brand preference is as local as it gets – New Deal. No, I’m not getting one thin dime (or free vodka handouts, more’s the pity) for promoting it; and yes, it’s that worthy of promotion.

Happy Father’s Day, Portland!

How did you spend yours?

I avoided doing any housework. Instead, The Missus and I went paddle-boating on Blue Lake…

Ahhhh….summer’s finally here

Shorts, sundresses and flip-flops. Popsicles (we’re a Firecracker household here – although I persist in calling them Bomb Pops.) Water balloons & water guns. Sun tea brewing on the front porch, huge jugs of tap-it-yourself lemonade stashed in the refrigerator.

White wine replaces red, vodka gets added to the ‘must-buy’ list (only New Deal, of course), and morning coffee pots are quickly emptied into the pitcher that holds my iced coffee supply. Time to check the outdoor pool and summer concert schedules. Time to find the water bottles, stock up on swim towels, and drag the Neat Sheets out.

Windows are flung open, bringing smells of freshly mown grass and someone’s cookout wafting through the house. The pop up tent is already on the front porch, and the board game stash might soon move there as well. The season-long litany of ‘close the front door, please‘ has begun.

Summer’s finally here – and not a moment too soon, either.

Updated: b!X reminds us of fresh picked blueberries, and homemade strawberry shortcake in the comment below. Which reminded me of the cherries in my own refrigerator. What are the local sounds, smells, sights or tastes of summer for you?

Test driving

Got a new camera for Father’s Day. Also got a new car this week. As The Missus is working today, I thought I’d take both out and see what they could do…

If you’re interested in seeing my amateurish pictures of Portland from many angles (all focussed on Downtown), you can look at them after the jump.

I’ve been slacking

And, boy, am I sorry.

There’s been much going on this week.

In my small corner of Portland, it’s been all about spring cleaning (now that summer’s almost here), nesting in preparation for the impending kid, and upgrading my automotive situation.

All this and some governin too!

Well it finally happened. Sammy got himself a place in Blogistan. I think it’s very cool, personally. I like getting another way to interact with my government.

I also like seeing him throw down with Randy Leonard in the comments. :)

Good stuff happens when people talk back

I have my list of must-read PDX blogs – but I don’t always make time to read the comments when I’m in a hurry or skimming through via my RSS reader. And if you’re like me, you’re missing out on some good stuff as a result.

We’re lucky to have three local blogs where the comments are as entertaining, thought-provoking or newsworthy as the blog posts themselves: Jack Bog’s Blog, Portland Communique, and the new PDX Media Insider. And I’m a voracious reader (and sometime commenter) of all three comment sections – it’s where the best local action’s happening nowadays, in my opinion.

bIX! has been breaking news you later see in Willamette Week or (grudgingly) in The O with his coverage of the PDC Burnside Bridgehead debacle – and even got called out to a duel of sorts during one late-night comment-palooza by now-notorious PDC consultant Than Clevenger. And I’m anticipating a field day of reaction to his latest post about city council hearings about PDC’s future.

One of Jack Bog’s commenters pointed us all at the consulting venture being run by now-suspended PDC employee Tracy M. Smith, while others toss out pointers to other PDX happenings of note.

While both Jack and b!X have participants like Councilman Randy Leonard gracing their comments section, those commenting on PDX Media Insider usually share the ‘anonymous’ moniker (along with the blogger him/herself) to protect their current employment status, one presumes. But they’re a prolific bunch – each post generates dozens of comments, offering up tidbits such as the arrival of a new weather guy from Charlotte and rumors of impending layoffs or resignations (some which subsequently have come to pass.)

Are there other local blogs where the comments are just as interesting as the blog itself? Are there places where the comments make the blog? Let us in on them, will you?

Earthquake in LA

…and our cohorts are all over it, posting away.

Meanwhile, when we had a tsunami alert? Us PDX MetBloggers were snoozing away…what’s our disaster plan anyway, PDX-ers? Are we the type to blog during (or immediately after) an earthquake?

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