Archive for June, 2007

Big Man or the Next MJ?

I haven’t paid a whole lot of attention to this NBA draft thingamabob that seems to have the city in a tizzy, but I do read and trust a few sports columnists here and there, and King Kaufman’s column over at Salon today is all about Portland and who they should pick in the first choice of the draft. He makes some good analysis, I think, about the odds and chances of Oden and Durant living up to the hype and hopes of the NBA-watchers out there.

Rusty’ll have the lowdown when the actual decision is announced later today, but the wild speculation and pronouncements before the deal is done is a pretty fun thing to watch.

And of course, there’s the “grass is always greener” argument to be made in other places, too.

MetroFi is no longer the devil

I’ve ranted in the past on how bad MetroFi is, how bad the coverage is, and so on. In the interest of fairness, I thought before leaving I should divulge something:

Lately, MetroFi is working.

I still can’t get it in my house, despite having 2 bars on my Palm. But when I’ve been within a block of a node, with line of sight, I’ve been able to connect downtown, in NW Portland, and in SE Portland in nearly all of my recent attempts.

I still hate the fact that I can’t get a free connection in my home without buying some sort of boosting gear. But MetroFi seems to be pulling it together, and since I’ve been a huge nay-sayer, I needed to share that.

Of course, if you’re still experiencing craptastic service with MetroFi, we’re all ears!

After Oden, what’s next?

Well, one of my commenter’s informed me last night that Oden’s camp has told the world that the Blazers have assured the Ohio State center that he will be our pick at number one. That from ESPN, and confirmed in much looking around this morning. That’ll teach me to go out for dinner and a movie the night before the NBA draft. The suspense gets ended while I’m half-way through Fracture at the Academy.

Great movie, great theater, and you can never go wrong with Flying Pie and a Drop Top, but I digress…

Since perhaps the greatest suspense item of today’s draft (for Blazer fans, anyway) appears to be resolved, the next step is to figure out what’ll happen next. I think you’re a damned fool if you think that Portland’s roster won’t go through a bit of shuffling today, and you’re a damn-der fool if you think that Kevin Pritchard is going to settle for one first-round pick and four second-round picks. We will pick again in the first round. The question is where, and at what cost?

I detect YOUR Aura is on Burnside!

Meet Nicole. She was our waitress this evening at Aura. You’ve been by Aura, it’s that mysterious doorway across from Powell’s that you keep meaning to check out but never do.

Well do it! I have been there a couple of times for Happy Hour (or “Social Hour” as they list it on the menu) and tonight our server was the superfantastic Nicole. She was quick with suggestions and happy to bring us more water or just check in to make sure we weren’t missing anything. She was very pleasant, and I have to tell you it really surprised me, there’s been a trend lately it seems where “service” now equals “going TOTALLY out of my way and doing you a favor”. It’s really nice to see that’s not the case everywhere (I was worried!).

Granted, Friday and Saturday nights are not the time to go and have a laidback drink with a couple of friends, those nights are full on disco nightclub hip scene nights, but during the week it’s a cool low key place where you can have a lovely beverage and some tasty food.

So be brave and walk through that door next time. And if your server happens to be Nicole, you’re in for a lovely evening. And tell her hi for me!

Jetboating on the Willamette

Here in Portland Public Schools, the third grade classes typically study Portland history, including Portland’s bridges. With the first kid, I got to go along on the paddleboat trip up and down the Willamette – but this time around, the third grade teachers surprised the kids with a special jetboat trip during the last week of school.

So I arranged to take part of the day off of work, volunteered to haul 30 lunches down to OMSI in my car, and met my daughter’s class outside the Willamette Jetboat launch a few weeks ago.

Sure, we had a blast doing the ‘gofast!’ thing, with some splashes and spins at the end of the ride (although I had to admit I really wanted to take a shower after getting some of that oh-so-special river water on me – a day or so after another sewer spill, no less.) But our ‘cruise director’ did a great job of making the not-so-fast parts interesting as well – from the giant osprey nests to the bald eagles we spotted to the colony of floating houses on one side; fancy Dunthorpe houses on the other. (The patter was definitely customized for the kids, but there were some appreciative chuckles from the parents on board when more than a few asides floated right over our little darlings’ heads!)

The kids were fascinated looking up through the Hawthorne Bridge to discover that it was mostly see-through; us adults were amazed and sorta stunned that so many people spent time catching fish (and hopefully not eating said fish) from the Willamette!

Then we all held our noses when we made our way down to Oregon City and the paper mills; learned about lock systems on the way back home, and then finished the trip off in style with a few spins and splashes (toned down a bit due both to the cool weather and the terrified nine-year old screaming ‘make him STOP!’, unfortunately.)

But I’ll definitely try to make a return trip – probably on one of those hot August days when the air itself feels like it’ll squeeze the breath out of you. Even if it means I get some river water on me!

Seattle Angling for Oden?

AOL’s Fanhouse NBA Blog has the following interesting bit of reporting. Apparently, Atlanta and Seattle are close to doing a deal sending Luke Ridnour to Atlanta for their #11 pick in tomorrow’s NBA Draft. (The deal’s also mentioned at ESPN’s rumors page).

Do I believe it? No. Luke Ridnour’s a solid NBA point guard, but he doesn’t have the upside of Mike Conley Jr. or Acie Law, who are the two people most expect Atlanta to be choosing between at #11.

But, anyway, the article goes on to say that there may be a reason Seattle would do this deal:

Psst! Look over there! –>

Yeah, over to the right. See that bar down the side? There’s a link there that says:


Acme = New Punk Club

So I read on Blogtown yesterday that Acme was changing hands. I was interested – but not too sad, because while I love Acme’s patio in the nice weather months – I never went there during the rainy season because the music was always incredibly irritating and just didn’t have any sort of appeal.

Well tonight over some fine local microbrew – my friends and I had a chat with one of their employees who told us that it is staying a bar and a music venue – but is transforming into what could potentially be a great new addition to the Portland music scene – a true punk club.

Sure – we have a few places in town that cover that already – kind of….but two of the best venues in town – Sabala’s and the Tonic – can’t bring in any sort of decent acts because they refuse to do any promotion for the shows. And Dante’s is way too full of themselves to be a place that an audience wants to be at. So that pretty much just leaves Ash Street – which is great – but it’s just one venue.

So pre-praise to the new Acme and the new life they can breathe into Portland’s music scene!

Baby, It’s Hot Outside

Just stepped out the back deck…overlooking the city. Great views of Helen’s, Hood and I do see Adams (the mountain, not Sam) playing peek-a-boo.


Hot. Dry.

In re: 87 degrees at 4 p.m., humidity 17 percent, wind N6 but can’t feel it.

Need air conditioning.

Really need beer. How about a Sam Adams (the beer, not the City Commissioner)

And you?

Road Safety and Moving Days

The LA Times just finished up a big three-piece report on U-Haul and their safety track record (or lack thereof) over the years that reminded me of the woeful state of a U-Haul trailer (and the pitiful service that went along with it) that moved me and my family a few years back — I still look back and am amazed sometimes at our relative luck, though that was a horrific move, not to be sent plummeting to injury or death, what with the corroded and cracked tire rim we traveled on– and I just wanted to remind people who may be moving themselves or their college-age kids or their friends this summer, when it seems like everybody is moving, to make sure you inspect any vehicle you rent and to pack it with care.

Though I know I’ll never use U-Haul again, since I don’t have any experience with local U-Haul outlets, I won’t specifically steer anyone away from them. Though the last time I moved, Budget was definitely the way to go.

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