Archive for May, 2007

ORA Yard Sale at the ReBuilding Center

The Oregon Remodelers Association is holding it’s annual yard sale at the ReBuilding Center 3625 N. Mississippi this weekend on Saturday, June 2nd and Sunday, June 3rd from 9:00am – 3:00pm. Since I’m the one putting together the sale I figured I’d give people the head’s up that this is an incredible opportunity to score on building materials and home improvement stuff. Each year our members donate items for a month, and in past years we’ve received brand new Milgard windows, pallets of laminate flooring, tile, doors, bath fixtures, shelving, lighting fixtures, stovetops, appliances, and anything else that’s either new or “gently used.” The pricing is really good, and you can usually do some negotiating to get the price down to what you can afford. We’re easy that way. There will also be contractors volunteering at the sale who can help people with questions.

The sale is a collaboration between the ORA, Metro and the ReBuilding Center to promote recycling and reuse, and increase community awareness of resources available for homeowners. We’ll be giving out Metro “Toolkits”, their recycling guidebook, which includes information on building material recycling, salvage locations, and compost outlets. Part of the proceeds from the sale will benefit ReFIT, an organization that provides free remodeling services for the elderly and people with disabilities who aren’t eligible for other home repair programs.

The coolest thing is this year Da Rib Shack has set up shop in the lot next door, and I’m trying to work out a special with Tray for the weekend. It looks like the weather is going to hold out, so I encourage everyone to stop by and check it out. I’m looking forward to seeing what we get this year. It’s like Christmas when we open the storage container. Last year I scored on full sheets of iridescent tile for four bucks. I haven’t done anything with it yet, but it looks very pretty sitting in the box.

How Many Of You Use Supermarket Delivery Services?

Yesterday I spotted a New Seasons delivery truck while driving around my Northwest Portland neighborhood.

Being one who loves shopping at New Seasons but is frustrated that you have to drive out to Beaverton to find a New Seasons on my side of the river- I took note of the fact noted on the side of the truck that yes, New Seasons delivers! And delivers the same day!

I then went to the New Seasons website and looked into the matter further. Delivery is $9.95 an order. Yes, that sounds pricey, but from where I live a drive to New Seasons can take a half hour each way. Then, add the aisle-cruise time to that.

IKEA announces July 25 open date

Word has come down the new IKEA opening near PDX airport will in fact throw open its doors at 9am on July 25. This is being reported by the Portland Business Journal. Prepare for long lines of bargain happy shoppers clogging the off-ramp to the airport, Swedish meatballs and more. Thoughts on what you’ll be doing that day? Plans to hit up IKEA at all? Think it is part of an evil empire or not? Let us know in the comments!

Hungry Tiger is Dead


I went to Holman’s the other day and saw this sorry sight. The Hungry Tiger is officially gone. Even though it was a really crappy bar, and I wouldn’t have eaten there if you paid me, it sucks to see another icon of the neighborhood go away. I know change is a constant, but I’m concerned that this might be the beginning of a new trend in and around 28th, tearing down the old historic buildings and tossing in some newfangled structure that has no sensitivity to the existing architecture. 28th has been a really nice example of an area that has reinvented itself while utilizing and respecting the storefronts that have been around forever. The Laurelhurst, which from what I’ve heard used to be an X-rated theater way back, has taken the McMinniman’s approach towards preserving beautiful old buildings and giving them new life. I guess I’ll have to sit back and see what happens on 28th and the neighborhood in general. I just hope the Laurethirst doesn’t go away. Even though the bar staff can be a bit aloof, it’s one of the better places to see local freaky bands, and I would miss all the dusty decor cluttering the walls and some of the most interesting graffiti decorating the women’s bathroom.

It is going to be hot!

Since everyone else is talking about it, I didn’t want to miss the boat. Today will probably be the hottest day of the year so far. Wow! 90 deg or more. While it won’t phase me because I know it will cool down (unlike late July or August,) it will be a little uncomfortable on MAX later this afternoon. Oh, and I understand Jamison Park in the Pearl’s fountain and wading pool are not working well. The water bureau is on it.

So, how do you plan on beating the heat today?

Richard Cheese, Weird Al, and NO PDX dates

Two of the better acts I’ve seen live in my life are Weird Al Yankovic and Richard Cheese. Not because they are my favorite bands, but because they know how to put on a good show. Work the room, interact with the crowd, act like it matters to them all these people came to see the show.

If you are not familiar with Richard Cheese you should be. He does lounge covers of your favorite songs-Closer, Nookie, Gin and Juice, You Oughta Know, Another Brick In The Wall, and more. They are fantastic songs and usually pretty brief (none of this six minute epic nonsense). It is the finest show you’ll ever see as long as you’re legal-To say his show is NSFW is putting it mildly.

Weird Al does cover some songs, but generally he does snippets all strung together and polka-style. His quirk is parodies-changing the words to an existing song and making it about something else. Standout examples are “Eat It” and “Another One Rides The Bus”, and because I must meet my daily Star Wars Mentioning Requirement, “The Saga Begins”.

NEITHER of these super fantastic artists have Portland dates scheduled…yet. Now Al might not schedule any (which would indeed be tragic), but Richard Cheese might! If you go to his Portland mini-site and request that he come, it helps determine what venue to book when/if he comes through here. Please don’t sign up if you have no intention of showing but seriously it’s a really great show and you’re TOTALLY missing out if you don’t make it to his last ever Portland concert.

Come on. You know you want to be down with the Dickness. If you want to see Al, there’s not a lot to be done there, but you might help get Lounge Against the Machine to show up and rock the house, and Gord knows if Portland needs one thing, and one thing only, it’s more Dick. all links SFW

People do weird things in movie theaters

Have you ever been to one of the free pre-screenings? You know where you get passes from a radio station, or video store, or fast food joint and you get to go the pre-screening free as long as you’re in line early enough? Usually they do that when the movie doesn’t have great pre-release buzz – so the movie’s not typically great, but it’s fun sometimes when you’re livin’ on the cheap. Well apparently Portland has a whole community of people who do nothing but go to all of these screenings.

We went to one a little while back and the people that we encountered were the most ‘unique’ Portland sub-culture I’ve seen yet. First of all the radio station that was sponsoring the showing was giving away schwag prior to the movie starting. People were just about trampling one another to get a free t-shirt, sticker or keychain…and if that wasn’t bad enough – when they started dismantling their table with the banner hanging behind it, people start ripping and tug-o-waring to get that down, and one woman is shrieking over the crowd at her boyfriend who is still up front having just scored a pair of radio station logo’d socks or something – “get the tablecloth – grab the TA-BLE-CLOTH!!”

Yes – the plastic tablecloth – you know the kind you get at Target for a buck for when you go camping and then throw away when you’re done using it. For this she’s screaming at the top of her lungs across the crowded theater.

When we stopped laughing at that – and other similar scenes – we listened to the conversations around us. People discussing which Carl’s Jr. you had to go to to get tickets to which next free screening and that the ones hosted by radio station A had way better giveaways than those hosted by radio station B. And these weren’t people sitting together – it was random people walking by, people sitting rows ahead and behind – they all seemed to know each other and go to these things regularly.

So see – not all wacky Portland sub-cultures are hipster and trendy. There’s also the giveaway obsessed free-movie and crappy trinkets people!

Just don’t get me started on the people who dress up in costume to go to movies (I’m not talking Rocky Horror or special event screenings – that’s allowed : ) but like the people in costume waiting in line to see the new Pirates last week….but that’s another rant….

Only 2 weeks away

Only 2 weeks away

Originally uploaded by dieselboii.

I think this may be our first Rose Festival post of the year. I am moblogging, so can’t do a quick search. By my estimation, the Rose Festival opens this Friday with the opening of “Carnie World 2007” at Waterfront Park (otherwise known as Waterfront Village.) I am not all down on the festival. I think it is great that so many people love it so much. Hey, I marched in it for 4 years in high school.

I digress. The photo to the left is a perfect example of how passionate Portlanders are about the parade. Unless this is for Sunday’s Starlight parade, wow, it is pretty early to be staking out for the following week’s parade. Then again, more power to them. We should start seeing “abandoned” chairs littering the route any time now.


Portland Water Inspector Captures Awesome Wildlife Shots

Photo by Dan HookerOne would think the life of a water quality inspector for the city of Portland drab. Wandering from city water source to city water source to make sure everything is in order would make me look for another line of work. Inspector Dan Hooker has made his job interesting however by snapping photography of wildlife (like the one pictured at right) as he inspects the Columbia South Shore Well Field and the Bull Run areas during his travels. [NOTE: To view his photos, you need to select Water Blog from the search box of the Portland Water Bureau page and type in Dan Hooker as the search term] I in particular like this amazing shot of bald eagles he captured earlier this year. Keep up the great photography Dan!

Mike Schrunk’s Right Hand

The Oregonian had an interesting, and extensive, piece on Norm Frink, noted local prosecutor and right-hand to Multnomah County DA Mike Schrunk.

The piece was interesting. As a former cog in the DA wheel, I’ve had occasion to work under Norm, and even worked with him once on a case (a police shooting, if memory serves). I can attest that he is feared in the office. I can also attest that he’s brilliant. I can attest that he’s not particularly likeable, and yet undeniably impressive. He’s an enigma, even to those who see him daily. While the article notes one of Norm’s friends saying that “what you see is what you get,” the problem is that you’re often not sure what you’re seeing, complicated by the fact that many in the office feel that “out-of-sight is out-of-mind” is the rule to live by with Norm, since getting a note that he wants to see you is normally an event that rates high on the pucker-factor scale.

It’s interesting that the article seems so astounded at the pit-bull reputation Norm has. In my experience working in two different DA’s offices, I found both offices I was in to have a “Norm” personality, and I developed the firm impression that a DA’s office was best-served having someone who would exercise the political will of the DA, since the DA often can’t due to his or her political nature. I also found that there are inherent issues having a Norm, because they acquire (and require) great power to accomplish their mission, usually have a perceived huge ego (whether or not Norm’s ego is really that huge, I couldn’t say, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it was), and by their nature alienate people.

I left the DA’s office in part because I didn’t like being inside that pool. Norm was a part of that. But, looking from the outside it, I realize that Norm operates, generally, in the interest of putting the right people in place to get the job done. I don’t always think he succeeds, but as I consider the people that had ascended to higher levels in the Multnomah County DA’s Office (which, generally, involves some sort of stamp of approval by Norm), there are many, many more good prosecutors there than bad. And, compared to the other office I worked in, the quality of professionalism throughout Mike Schrunk’s office is stellar.

Say what you will about our local prosecutor’s office. Despite the fact that I left it, in part, because I didn’t see it as a place that would allow me to be happy in five years, the people that are there now (at least the ones that have been there long enough to develop an understanding of what DA work is about) are, by and large, the best prosecutors you could hope to have. And, say what you will about Norm Frink, good or bad (and, certainly, he deserves some of both), he’s largely responsible for the professionalism of that office and the quality of its people and their work.

Do I like Norm? Not particularly (though I don’t particularly dislike him, either — I don’t know him as a person, but instead as the icon he’s become both within and without that office). I think a lot of people who work with him would say the same thing. But do I respect him? Absolutely. And, again, the same would be said by those who work with him and see how devoted, how talented, and how demanding he is.

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