Archive for July, 2006

Why Vacations Are Worse Than Real Life

Did you get back from vacation exhausted? Did your girlfriend make it clear that she will never go camping again? Heh. If so, this post from David Weinberger may leave you smiling.

MAX – Broken Down, Still, Again

Why is MAX still broke down? This morning, they announced a service disruption with problems at two locations, and hoped to have service restored by this afternoon. It’s still shut down.

The MAX mechanical/maintenance record isn’t stellar. When it was icy, they shut down. When it was snowy last fall, they shut down. A few weeks ago, when it was really hot, they shut down. Now, on a mild summer day, they’re shut down. I subscribe to the TriMet “rider alerts” and get emails quite frequently about MAX problems and using busses to substitute. My transit-riding friends tell me that Portland has one of the best transit systems in the country, and that light rail is the solution for transit issues of the future. I call bullshit. When a bus breaks down, the entire system doesn’t grind to a halt. You re-route other busses. How many maintenance, supervisory, and customer service staff are busy today dealing with this outage? A while ago I came across this paper which argues that federal money is being wasted on light rail lines when more efficient bus systems would provide better service for less money.

Looking at MAX, I really can’t argue with that…

Porky’s No More!

Porky’s Pub, long a mainstay of North Portland, is no more. According to Blogtown, it changed ownership recently. The Blogtown piece mentions that the new owner also owns Fat Cobra Video, which has my favorite name of any business ever, and it also says that the Porky’s name was not going to change… but that no longer appears to be the case, as when I drove by today, not only was it freshly painted in a dark green hue, but the name has been changed to URGE.

**as a side note, what’s with the new trend in semi-aggressive bar names, (see Urge and the new Vendetta on N. Williams)?**

Hopefully the new Urge will remain gay-friendly and have a decent bar menu, but that remains to be seen.

How to survive when you can’t make the Brewfest

Damn it!

No matter how I plot and scheme, I never, ever, ever make it to the Brewers Festival downtown.

Usually it’s a matter of simply forgetting about it. Often, it’s a matter of pre-cognitive counter-programming (that’s the technical term for when you make plans for a given time prior to knowing that something better will be happening at that particular moment).

This year? I blame JLowe.

Brewfest is a Bust

Ok, so I like beer as much as anybody, but let me tell you why I think the waterfront Brewfest is lame:

* Poor value: The mandatory $4 buck cup is small and it takes four dollar-tokens to fill it up. Depending on how many tokens you buy, a pint of beer costs roughly $8-$10.

* Lines: Just getting in can take 30 minutes or more because the guards have to put a wrist band on everybody. Once in, you’ll have to wait in line for at least 10 minutes to get a beer. Samples for a buck don’t sound too bad, but unless you just want to get back in another line, you fill it up.

The Brewfest continues today at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

911 caller gets her date…in court

Amorous Aloha resident Lorna Dudash rejected a plea bargain earlier this week that would have eliminated jail time. Instead Dudash – the now-infamous dialer for dates who called a 911 operator to send the ‘cutie-pie detective’ back to her house ’cause it’s hard to meet a man, don’t you know – has a date in court on October 26th for ‘improper use of 911 resources.’

And I don’t get it – she had her chance to slink away and quietly exhaust her 15 minutes of fame. Instead, there will be a media circus in October in Hillsboro – guaranteed. And probable jail time (it’s not as if there’s a chance she’ll be found innocent, is there, given the whole tape heard ’round the world thing.)

Is she hoping that she’ll find ‘cutie-pie prison guards’ in the clink? That further notoriety might bring Prince Charming himself to her doorstep?

MAX is Bustituting

TriMet is currently using busses to shuttle around two disabled MAX trains… one on the Steel Bridge and one in Hillsboro.

If you’re heading out on MAX, plan some extra time for the disruptions. They’re hoping things will be back to normal by this afternoon.

Saturday on the Fanno Creek Trail

Inflatable Art

Originally uploaded by PAgent

I took the kids for a bike ride down the Fanno Creek Trail today. This multi-use path (MUP) starts at Denney Rd. in Beaverton, and meanders down along Fanno Creek to Woodard Park. If you don’t mind riding on the street, you can cross Highway 99 to Main St. in Tigard, and catch an extension of the path that runs all the way south to Hall Boulevard near the Tigard Public Library. It’s a wonderful slice of green space, and you can nearly always find it populated with happy people jogging, walking, biking, pushing strollers, and walking dogs.

Help identify

Help identify

Originally uploaded by dieselboii.

Does anyone know what these signs represent? Is it a “ghost run?” This one is around Widmer’s brewery in North and I eyed another off N. Mississippi and Skidmore.


Yes, it’s really okay to take the bike

Sunday night: Took out the garbage, took out the recycling, took out my daughter’s old pink daisy-bedecked bicycle with training wheels, left it beside the curb.

Monday night: Noticed that the bike was still there.

Tuesday night: Hmm…the bike’s still there – but that’s probably because I never bothered to put a “FREE!” sign on it (other things have fled from the front of the house in mere minutes when similarly labeled.)

Wednesday morning, on the way out the door: Damn, forgot to make a sign. But wait a minute – why don’t we see how long the bike will stay there without one?

…fast forward to…Saturday afternoon: Unbelievably, the bike is still there. But it’s 3:08 pm, and I’m just about to head outside with a sign.

I have two observations: 1. Damn – our local scavengers are really polite, since they’re waiting for an engraved invitation and all. 2. How much do you want to bet that the bike will be gone by the time I get back from the dirt track tonight?

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