Archive for February, 2006

Follow the bouncing ball

The lottery ball, that is.

Not the one that gets you milions of dollars. The one that’s been slowly building whatever we have of a Blazers team this season.

Since the tenure of John Nash began, Portland has made personnel moves with two different thoughts in mind. For trades, the moves have seemingly been made to trade trouble for character. For drafts, the moves have been made to build up our future.

Unfortunately, the trades don’t always square with the drafts. And the re-signings along the way aren’t helping much either.

Today, we see another trade designed to improve the team’s image, as Portland trades Ruben Patterson (a.k.a. The Nanny Stopper) and Charles Smith (who, let’s face it, was never going anywhere on this team, and probably won’t go anywhere on the next one) and, in exchange, gets Voshon Leonard and Vitaly Potapenko.

The best you can say for Voshon, other than being a legitimate NBA shooting guard (though nothing particularly special), is that his contract will come off the roll next year. Vitaly just exacerbates our current glut at center.

This move may be good news for Blazer Travis Outlaw, who is currently the next Jermaine O’Neal, in that I am convinced that we’ll be trading him soon, only to kick ourselves in two years when he becomes an All-Star on a team that had some playing time to give to him. With Ruben gone, Travis becomes our second or third option at the small forward, depending on whether or not Viktor Khryapa has to worry about being Zach Randolph’s back-up.

The trade is good in that it cleans up the over-crowded SF position on Portland’s roster to some extent. It’s bad, though, in that it doesn’t address Portland’s most glaring need (a back-up PF), makes a glut at the center position (four centers? on a team that used to center by committee? talk about an embarassment of riches). Actually, Vitaly will be useful for the next few games, as Theo suffers his annual injury-induced vacation, and Joel Przybilla does whatever he’s been doing lately (having a kid and suffering some kind of minor injury, which has kept him out for the last couple of weeks). But once they’re back, the best you can hope is that one of them will make a convincing back-up for Zach.

The worst aspect is that we’ve lost our Energizer Bunny. Ruben was the only guy you could count on, night-in and night-out, to bring some energy to the floor. Replacing that spark is going to prove the hardest thing of all.

Portland looked like it might put something together this year. Whether during the promising hire of Nate McMillan, or the early success of Darius, or the power of Joel’s game in this, his contract season, I honestly thought Portland might surprise us all. Now we’re seeing the usual John Nash-led team, lackluster but, at least, non-offensive (although some offense on the floor would be welcome).

Looks like we’ll be watching the balls bounce again this off-season. Hopefully we can finally turn the corner, whether by trading the lottery pick for a star, or by picking Jordan instead of Bowie (which has never been Portland’s strong suit) from this year’s class…

Follow the latest news at the Blazer Blog

UPDATE: Looks like the previous news was a bit wrong. Instead, the Blazers are getting rid of Ruben, Charles, and Sergei Monya (a SF/SG) for Voshon and Brian Skinner (a.k.a. the not-so-Potapenko). Same issues presented. However, no surprise movement of Travis Outlaw, so maybe he will get his shot…

Random Topical Political/National Security-Related Query of the Day

With the recent Port-Gate, stemming from the UAE-government’s proposed acquisition of ownership of port operations at 6 locations on the East Coast, my query:

Could this happen to Portland?


What do you think?

You can begin your research here

Free Art On! Back Off.

My plan to enjoying the Portland Art Museum’s “Family Free Day” didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped. I wanted to get downtown early so there would be plenty of time to wait in line and still walk through the museum at my own leisurely pace. I woke up early just like I wanted to, except that I had a backache.

“Bah!” I said with a grimace as I rolled out of bed. I was determined to get my free day at the museum so; I shuffled into a scalding hot shower and popped some ibuprofen.

I injured my back a few years ago. It’s been a little wonky ever since and every once and a while it cramps up. The pain goes from the base of my skull, down my neck, across my shoulder out to the elbow and down my spine to about the middle of my back forming a nice triangle of pain.

Because of my stiffness, Taryn, the girlfriend, and I didn’t get downtown until almost noon. While driving around looking for parking we passed the line to get into the museum. The line went down the block. Apparently Family Free Day was a huge success.

I was still in pain, grumpy and being a bit of a baby when we saw the line. Taryn and I decided to forget it and go home. Actually, it was more like I decide and Taryn was kind enough to agree with me. I was just in no mood to stand in a long line.

When we were almost home Taryn suggested we stop at SohBet. SohBet is a new coffee shop on Killingsworth and it is wonderful. Cozy and cheery with a friendly staff and a nice menu with lots of options, including “Baby Café”, a kids only menu, and vegan pastries for freaks like me. They use Stumptown coffee and the mocha Taryn ordered was delicious. One more bit of praise, the ceramic mugs, saucers, bowls and plates they use are beautiful, simple, elegant and designed by the owner of the coffee shop.

So, my day at the museum was a bust. Now, I will have to wait until March 16th to view the art there, but I did discover the art of SohBet coffee house. I will be back there again well before the next Family Free Day at the Portland Art Museum.

You can discover SohBet for yourself at: 2710 N. Killingsworth Portland, OR 97217 (503)-735-3446

Welcome to the neighborhood SohBet.

Wyden on the Analog Hole

I just like saying “Analog Hole”. It sounds dirtier than it really is. That said, click the jump for Senator Wyden’s letter to me about DRM and consumer rights.

After the massive blockquote, look for my interpretation.

Aren’t we pretty…?

Welcome to our brand-spanking-new look! I had nothing to do with it, of course (I’m Miss Idiot Savant when it comes to web design, as my own personal site will attest) – but I know a few talented people spent months agonizing over every little last bit, from the new drop-down options on the right to the renewed focus on content. We have categories …a new mobile option …and other funky features I’ve yet to discover myself.

Thanks, oh MetBlog gurus – here’s hoping we do our new makeover justice…!

Street Policing

I’d personally like to see more police walking the streets downtown, and along the bar-strips.
Because I think an active and visible police presence (as opposed to cops in cars) would reduce lots of crime, and actually might clean up Burnside. On which, I’d like to note, I’ve been offered crack three times in the past week.

I have no proof to back these claims up. I just think that it would be a good idea to have more cops just walking around in pairs.

Going out of business signs nailed into the trees…?

So here’s one for you. The area around Lloyd Center is currently peppered with signs for the going out of business sale at Whitehall Jewelers. If you walk up Multnomah, there are 4-6 on every block, on little wood stakes in front of the trees. Ugly, probably against the sign ordinance, but no one seems to care. Then I looked more closely. Almost very one of them is also nailed to the tree. Now every tree has a potential point of weakness, an entry for disease.


I got this in email just an hour or so ago from an alert FoodDude – I’ve also seen the signs, but didn’t stop to notice that they’re nailed to the trees themselves. Surely someone ought to look into this and yank them down (or carefully extract them from the trees)…? Can someone get fined for this, one hopes…?

Free Art

I have read quite a few PDX blogs that have posts mentioning the Portland Art Museum. A lot of you out there think the place isn’t run very efficiently, some say they wasted money during the remodel and it seems a lot of us agree that the museum is too expensive. It is for me.

Well if that’s the case, then tomorrow is your day. Monday February 20 is Fred Meyer Free Family Days at the Portland Art Museum. (INFO HERE!)

I know some of you are going to start bitching again about the museum. Bigger museums in other major cities are cheaper. Why is it free only one day? Why is it free on a Monday and not on the weekend? Blah, blah, blah.

My answer to that is, I don’t know. What I do know is; I got my free ticket, I got the day off and I’m going to spend it with some art. If you’re one of those people that has a bone to pick with the museum now’s your chance to stick it to the man.

I know a lot of you are angry about the museum’s policies and politics. If you are one of those people may I kindly suggest that you call a truce with your disgruntled feelings for one day and go enjoy the art, because regardless of everything else the art in the museum is there to be enjoyed, admired and celebrated. Why not take this opportunity to see the art for free and then the next day we can all go back to our bitching.

Marsees/Tully’s on 23rd closing

Today! Dang. That’s the second one of this chain that has closed in recent months. The other location downtown on 4th and Taylor closed in December. It’s too bad because it lessens the amount of choice we have for coffee and pastries. I have always loved Marsee’s eggle bagel sanwiches on weekend mornings. Fare thee well.

data through the air……like the days of our lives….

npGreenway – walking/biking trails to link downtown and St. Johns

there’s a new organization that has sprung up in the last 6 months named npGreenway. their focus is to create a greenspace for walking, biking and the like on the east side of the willamette river linking downtown to north Portland. all along the waterfront, there is plenty of open space to put in a trail or esplanade. this project is dovetailed into the larger “River Plan” that the city is looking at – they call it a River Renaissance.
it wasn’t to long ago that the 40 mile loop was just some old train tracks and the east side esplanade was just a figment of vera’s imagination. this city knows how to do greenspaces and i’m looking forward to seeing this one come to fruition.
more info: (most current news.)

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