Archive for September, 2006

Nothing a Whole Lot Better than a Free Movie

Thanks to damnportlanders, I just found out that, through the Oregon Food Bank, Oregon Regal Cinemas are offering a free movie (and popcorn!) today only if you take three cans of food to the theater.

Though I’ve heard rumors that if you ask to see Jackass Number Two, which I can’t believe I haven’t seen yet, they’ll make you perform some sort of hilarious self-flagellating and possibly death-defying trick with at least one of the cans before they’ll hand over a ticket.

I-5 Closure This Weekend

A quick traffic note for those of you using I-5 this weekend… the freeway will be completely closed in both directions from 10pm on Friday until 5am on Monday due to ongoing freeway widening and construction between SR 500 and the I-205 interchange in Vancouver. Expect heavy traffic on I-205, SR 500, and local surface streets during the closure. More details can be found here.

Oregon Native Terri Irwin’s 20/20 Interview Is Online

Originally uploaded by russ.

Last night, ABC News’ 20/20 devoted a full hour to Eugene, Oregon native Terri Irwin, the story of how she met Steve, her life with Steve, and now, her life and plans without the Crocodile Hunter.
Barbara Walters traveled to Queensland, Australia to do the interview.
Tears, yes-including some from this blogger. But so much more. She is raising her children (who you can see at the right) to be “wildlife warriors.”
Clips from the interview are on the 20/20 section of ABC News’ site. And a paid sub offers a full-length version.
Goddess bless, Terri.

Doernbecher Freestyles to be unveiled on Saturday

I’d love to tell you to come to Wieden and Kennedy on Saturday to take part in the unveiling of Nike and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital’s 2006-2007 Doernbecher Freestyle line of shoes. Unfortunately, that party is already SOLD OUT. So you won’t be able to get a sneak peek at this year’s set of five shoes designed by Doernbecher patients. The Freestyle line will be sold nationally to raise money for Doernbecher. Those who are lucky enough to get in on the fun will get to take part in an auction of select shoes that have been autographed by a “celebrity athlete”.

Adjusting an Attitude

Chalk this one up in the “interesting commute” files…

This morning I was sitting on 137th Avenue in Sifton waiting to turn right onto Fourth Plain Blvd, with two other vehicles ahead of me at the light. When the light changed, the truck in front started to inch forward then stopped since there was a man in the crosswalk. So far, so good. Then, the asshat in the car in front of me, who apparently couldn’t bother to wait the extra 10 seconds this delay was causing him, decided to blare on his horn and stick his arm out his window to flip off the guy in the truck. Then things got interesting.

The driver of the truck hops out. He is, for lack of a better term, a big scary dude, well built and kind of resembling Lawrence from Office Space. As he gets out he reaches back into the truck and grabs a baseball bat. He walks back near the rear of his truck, just holding the bat, and screaming all sorts of obscenities, gesturing towards the crosswalk and using words that Sam Jackson might use to describe reptiles on an airliner.

Then, after a few seconds of screaming, he stops, tosses the bat into the cab of his truck, gets in, and continues on his way. I suspect the guy in the middle car might think twice before getting too worked up about stopping for a crosswalk. Does one uncontrolled fit of emotional rage deserve another? No, but it was damn amusing to watch.

Why I love my gynecologist

Sure, it’s nice to have sheepskin booties covering the metal stirrups. And I appreciate the fact that she comes in while I’m still dressed to review any issues or concerns I might have. But today, we had more to say about politics, the upcoming measures on the ballot, and her righteous op-ed piece in The Oregonian on September 13th (no longer available online, although you can see some of the responses she provoked here) than my own personal issues.

Yep, my gynecologist is Elizabeth Newhall, who talked animatedly (once I provoked her into it by praising the op ed) about the prep work she’s been doing to get ready for Friday’s City Club debate. She’ll be arguing against the passage of Measure 43, which would require parental notification for minors seeking an abortion. She’s smart, passionate, wickedly irreverent at times, and seriously knows her stuff. She’s also one of the best doctors I’ve ever had, and well worth listening to – about medicine, politics, you name it!

I’d go if I could – but I’ll have to settle for the OPB replay on the radio instead.

Updated to include a direct link to Newhall’s OpEd in The O.

Careful! This entry might be banned!

For those who do not know, this week is Banned Book Week. Here’s the ALA’s explanation of why they do this:

Banned Books Week (BBW) celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

This year Google got in on the act, you can use a special page of Google Book Search to check out some of the best (and banned-est) books of the 20th century. Don Wood offers some good ways to celebrate this week. I suggest finding a nice book that’s been banned or challenged (there’s a difference) and flaunt it! I suggest Catcher In The Rye, or Of Mice And Men, for starters. Other good ones are The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, Heather Has Two Mommies, and if you’ve got the upper body strength, any of the Harry Potter books (seriously, the last two books are quite the workout!) All of the above books have been banned or challenged. I have read all of them, and frankly I think I’m a better human being for having read them (yes even Harry Potter).

I read a LOT. I chew through books like nobody’s business, and I’ll read damned near anything. I like reading and I like to go to that place where only books can take me. Even if it was a book I hated reading I have absolutely no right to tell someone else they are not allowed to read it-not that they shouldn’t, which I have told people many times-but that they have no choice in the matter, that book is not available to them.

I have a pretty strong stance on this, I wrote a lot of papers about censorship and banned books and other such matters through all of high school and college, and I’ve done a lot of research on the subject, it’s near and dear to me. So go get that book and read it. And if you don’t read it but support the right of others to do so, just carry it around with you instead. A book is always a great accessory.

Read the list of the top 10 banned books (of 2005) after the jump…

Is All This Construction Disruption Really Necessary?

I’m back on the cliffside above NW 23rd after about three hours of drive-to errands that should have taken two.

The culprit: all these traffic halting, flagger-delayed, construction zones.

What kind of construction?

I want my pseudoephedrine, damn it!

(Just ignore the coughing and hacking and assorted other cold-like noises in the background, will you?)

So I’ve got the first cold of the season. As a result, I’m trying out the various and sundry OTC ‘ephedrine-free!’ formulas now on the market. Nyquil? A mere shadow of its former self. Tylenol multi-symptom cold tablets? Well, it doesn’t relieve the congestion. Which means it can’t really relieve the cough, or the sinus headache now, can it? So the number of symptoms actually ‘relieved’ = a big fat Zero.

I can tell you that Airborne has some spiffy new flavors (including a hot apple cider nighttime version, now on sale this week at Walgreen’s.) But I can’t seem to find anything to clear up a stuffy nose any more. Unless I cough up money for an office visit and get a prescription. Or drive over to Vancouver.

Right now? I’m sorely tempted to grab a car and do just that…

Providence Identity Theft “Resolved”

Last December, Providence Health announced that an employee laptop containing unencrypted identity-related information on over 350,000 members was stolen. The theft put those members at risk for identity theft.

Providence has now reached a settlement with the State Attorney General’s office, the terms of which include Providence paying for credit monitoring for affected individuals, as well as for credit restoration services for those folks who become victims of identity theft.

While victims of identity theft will surely go through hours, days, or even years of anguish and hassle, I wonder about the terms of the settlement. Is it fair? Should the company have faced a huge fine, which would likely be passed along to the (innoncent) members? Is there a better way to send a clear message that Providence screwed up in a very big way?

Does this situation really impact Providence at all? Most folks have anywhere from one to three medical plan options with an employer… is the risk of sloppy identity management enough to cause someone to enroll in a non-Providence plan, or is this a case where a large company has again screwed the little guy, with no real punishment?

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