Archive for August, 2006

Why Is PDX Lost and Found Only Open During Business Hours?

Well, when last I described my predicament, I thought I had left my car key in the PDX security check tub.

I called Portland International Airport’s Lost and Found. The key was not found, (had replacement made at Beaverton Russ, which is what I used to be before I moved into back into the city) but the Lost and Found department’s service was stellar. In addition to my phone call during which I reported the loss, I sent them an email reporting the issue.

Guess what? They answered me personally, mid-afternoon on the first business day I reported the problem.

My only suggestion:
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Guess what I just saw on the Same rear bumper..

I just love it when I see vehicles with an implausible mix of bumper stickers.

Like the Jeep I spotted just a little while ago, westbound on Burnside just across from the I-405.

American flag.

“Goddess Bless America.”

“Keep Portland Weird.”

I am down with all three, but I just don’t see all that much of an overlapping constituency for all of these.

Or maybe the fact that all three bumper stickers were on the same Jeep is an example of “weird” Portland?

“It could be a really big snow year for Portland”

Even though it’s warm and sunny outside right now, you might cast your mind back to the snow storm that hit Portland in January 2004. That first week of the new year we got a foot of snow, frigid temperatures, and freezing rain. News programs kept playing footage of cars tobogganing down Johnson Creek Boulevard. I was stuck at home for a couple of days, and finally slogged to the bus stop so I could get in to work. Why bring all this up now? Oregon state climatologist George Taylor has just released his annual fall and winter forecast for the state, and he predicts “a good chance of one or more significant snow events in the Portland area” this winter.

His forecast for Oregon includes warmer than average temperatures, and average to somewhat above-average precipitation. Mountain snows may be a little deeper than average, especially in southern Oregon, and skiing may not be as good as it was last year, but should be decent. But even though he thinks low elevation snows are not likely to occur, he believes that “at least one large snow event (4 inches or more) is likely for the Portland area”. Particularly in those parts of Portland on the east side, where that icy wind comes blasting out of the Gorge.

You can decide for yourself how seriously to take a winter forecast that’s released before the end of August. But Mr. Taylor is careful to point out that his forecast for 2005 was ” probably our most successful forecast ever”.

I guess I better get a new pair of boots, and make sure the chains are in the car.

Reading, Writing, and Radicchio

Improving school lunch? That probably wouldn’t take much. One of our readers used the Suggest a Story link to tip us off to a program right here in Portland that’s working to improve the quality and methods used for lunches in the Portland Public Schools. The program is called Reading, Writing, and Radicchio. Instead of using prepackaged frozen lunches, the focus is on using fresh ingredients to prepare meals from scratch. Initial response from both the children and the community has been positive.

Now they’re sharing what they’ve learned. Though a public series of events, the goal is to spread the knowledge with the community. Find out more at their website.

As a footnote, if you’re like me, and your first thought was “What the hell is radicchio?”, it only proves that apparently we do in fact need some food education. Radicchio is a leafy vegetable.

R.I.P. Bojack dot org

Our friendly neighborhood curmudgeon Jack Bogdanski has recently been (airquotes) hacked. You can still find him at his standard address, but it’s been remodeled a bit.

As a person who has lost information due to lack of backup, I cannot tell you enough how important it is to back that stuff up. Truly! I hope that at least one person out there takes this as a cautionary tale and starts backing up or copying down or whatever it is you need to do so you don’t end up in Jack’s shoes. If you have any of his stuff archived (we’re talking FOUR YEARS here, people) you might want to drop him a note, as I think he’s hoping to reassemble as much as he can. Wouldn’t you?

Reminder: Bike Commute Challenge starts tomorrow

I hope you all took my advice and got your bikes tuned, because the 2006 Bike Commute Challenge begins tomorrow and runs through the month of September.

It’s going to be clear and dry Friday, with temps in the high 50s for the morning commute, and in the 80s coming home, so dress in layers.

BikePortland.org also has a nice writeup on the BCC today, so if you need any more motivation, go read it.

See you on the road!

I Can’t Ride 55

Bicyclists, you’re free to go ride on the freeways, with a proposed ban on freeway cycling no longer being considered. I understand that there are a lot of bicyclists who want to ride wherever the cars can go, but I think from a safety perspective that riding on the freeway sounds like a bad idea to me. Freeway shoulders usually aren’t very wide unless you’re talking about a brand-new section of freeway (and when’s the last time you saw brand-new freeway in Portland). Put a stalled car, chuck of debris, or other obstruction into that shoulder, and now you have a bicyclist who needs to use the travel lane to get around it. Physics and probability would dictate that mixing 50-60mph automobiles and 5-20mph bicycles in the same section of pavement is a recipe for potential messiness. Are my thoughts out of line? Is it possible to safely ride down the freeway without ending up dodging debris and cars?

Who is Portland’s football team of choice?

I ask this question in all earnestness.

I’m throwing (well, more correctly, my wife is, and I’m helping) a baby shower-type function on Sunday the 10th for work friends of my best bud and his wife, who are expecting in November.

Today, lamenting the failure of my peeps to RSVP to the Evite I sent them well over a week ago, I started the arduous process of calling each and every person on the list who’s phone number I have. Not my idea, mind you, as I firmly believe that e-mail was invented so I’d never have to talk to people again.

But my wife insisted.

Anyway, I talked to my friend Bill, who said that he’d misread the Evite to say that the party was this weekend, which (of course) is the launch of the football season. And he had thought me off my rocker for doing any such thing.

I agreed that, had I scheduled such a faux pas, it would mean that I should have my sports-loving gizzards drawn and quartered as punishment.

Then, after hanging up, I realized something. Football season is coming, Portland will be just as stuck to their TV’s as everyone else, and, yet, we don’t really have much in the way of a football team to call our own…
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Is Storm Large getting screwed?

Do you ever wonder what’s going on with Rockstar:Supernova? For the third week in a row, it seems like Storm Large is getting screwed with song choices. Is this planned? The songs that have been chosen for Storm are not good songs. Mind you, Storm Large does each song justice, even making me want to sing them by the water cooler, but come on, you can’t put lipstick on a pig and make it pretty. Unless it’s a damn cute pig.
Last night’s song by Evanescence was plainly a bad song and had already been sung once or more. Storm did it justice as much as she could. Where others would have used the whole scratchy voice at the higher registers, Storm stayed true and kept a solid voice throughout the entire song, proving she has some pipes. I just hope this isn’t a concerted effort by the band and the producers to drive her out. She is the best singer there.
Ok, another question – does the show only have the rights to sing like 18 unique songs? We’ve heard Lithium three times I think, Evanescence twice, Helter Skelter twice and many more repeats. Is Mark Burnett being cheap? Do the record companies not want to allie with this show? BTW, I think Dilana needs a public spanking!

The Dandy’s and BJM


IMG_5695

Originally uploaded by Superinkygrrl.

Next weekend, September 7-10 is Musicfest NW, Portland’s own weekend of music bliss. I’m excited for the weekend, even though I won’t be able to attend most of the amazing shows. Over the weekend, more than 80 bands will perform in 15+ venues, showcasing whatever style of music you want to see. Top bands such as The Dandy Warhols, The Zombies, The Black Keys, The Silver Jews, M-1 of Dead Prez, Lifesavas, Helio Sequence, Swords (last show,) Liv Warfield, The Melvins, and Brian Jonestown Massacre will play. See, we’re Brian Jonestown Massacre (BJM for the uninitiated) fans and will be hitting the road to see them perform that weekend in Seattle (also with the Dandy’s), Vancouver and Victoria.

So, why do you care about the Dandy’s and the BJM? Well, a few years ago, an award winning documentary came out named DIG! and it profiled mostly the BJM and their leader, Anton Necombe. The movie portrayed the BJM and the Dandy’s as adversaries who when put together could create a toxic stew. It implied that there is a long standing feud between the bands. So, I ask this question. If there is a long standing feud, why would they be playing two nights in a row together? Makes one say “hmmmmm.”

Needless to say, the Portland show should be amazing. The BJM has been on a roll lately with some amazing shows. We saw then in LA recently for two nights and they were the best I had ever seen. They were pulling songs out of their catalogue that diehard fans for years had never heard live. They will also be coming from two shows in San Francisco, so the kinks from a summer off should be worked out. (And yes, we’ll be seeing those shows also.) The Dandy’s are one of Portland’s greatest accomplishments and their past shows have shown people they can still rock the house. Put these two bands in the same venue – Crystal Ballroom – and you have the makings for an amazing night.

The Dandy Warhols
Brian Jonestown Massacre
The Tyde
Crystal Ballroom – September 7
Part of MusicFest NW 2006

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