Archive for July, 2007

OBF Hits 20th Anniversary Gold

I know there are many in the city who would disagree – but last Thursday afternoon, hundreds of Portlanders were in full-on agreement chanting “World’s Best Mayor” to Tom Potter as he hand tapped the opening keg at this year’s Oregon Brewers Festival – after leading a kazoo & keg parade down the streets of Portland from Rogue to the waterfront.

Check out some great pics at the Oregonlive beer blog and the Brookston Beer Bulletin.

Two of my friends were the lucky ones who got their mugs under the spout for the first two pours of the festival. OLCC monitors freaked out and beer drinkers rejoiced as more than 100 people stormed the gates before they were officially open, no one got ID’d or wristbanded and mugs were handed out willy nilly to all those who participated in the beer parade. (Yeah – the OLCC eventually backed everyone to the gate to make them official – but it was still cool to freak ’em out!)

And in my 10 years of attendance at the OBF – I’d have to say there were more people there this Saturday than ever before. Whether it was the beautiful weather, the additional 20th anniversary promotions, or just more people becoming aware of it – the crowd swelled much earlier in the day and nearly all beers – not just the popular ones – had lines by early evening. But kudos to the crowd for being mostly respectable and courteous to one another.

We wondered though if maybe the sign printers for the event were paid in trade – seen at the south entrance: “Designed Drivers Check in at the Rootbeer Garden.”

Monday smiles

Open letter to all the people walking around the downtown and Pearl streets between 11:30 and 1pm today:

Thank you. I wasn’t having a bad Monday, just a normal one. I then ventured out for some lunch and ran into you all and your smiles. It seemed there was a jovial energy about and that in turn made me happy. I decided that this will be a good day. To you who held the door open or nodded and said “good day” or just smiled as we passed by, thank you. Happy Monday Portland.

La Bodega

To be honest, I’m of two minds about telling people just how great La Bodega is.

Selfishly, I want to keep this little gem (located on NE Fremont in what used to be Peanut Butter & Ellie’s first home, in between Acadia & County Cork) all for me, me, ME. I like walking in late on a Friday night and getting personal service from the owner as I sip my wine and nibble on some amazing cheeses, olives, or pate. I like controlling the house music – I only had to say the word that I hadn’t heard Wilco’s new album yet when there it was, for my very own listening pleasure. And I like escaping for an hour of solitude with a good book late on a Sunday evening.

But I also want La Bodega to thrive, to do well. Sure, there’ve been other people there when I’m there – but not nearly as many as there should be, IMHO (the patio alone makes it a national treasure when the week’s forecast makes hanging out on patios the thing to do in the evening.) And I love the fact that I can try a glass of wine & then pick up a bottle to go home with, can grab a bottle or two of interesting beer while I’m at it.

So – at the risk of getting crowded out – I’ll tell you all to check it out as well. They’re open Tuesday-Sunday, have daily specials until 6 pm, and a great tasting schedule (alternating between beer and wine) on Sundays from 3-6.

Division Street Parade


My friend (staying up way past his graveyard shift bedtime) and I went to the opening parade for the Division/Clinton Street Fair on Saturday at 11:00am. It was a little bit overcast which was kind of a drag, but perfect for the people marching. It was fun to see the community get together and have a good time. Lots of home-made costumes, “floats” and dressed-up dogs. Sam Adams has got to be the busiest guy in Portland because he has been in every parade I’ve attended lately. The Last Regiment drummers were amazing. If you get the chance check them out.

I’ve decided that next year I have to get the Fright Town group organized and enter a float of our own. It was a blast to see the little kids scrambling for candy and granola bars being tossed out by the paraders. I think we’ll have to get a bunch of spider rings and eyeball candy to toss out to the crowd and get our usual wanderers to come play.

Stop whining and get involved

A year or so ago, the local blogosphere was all aflutter with post after post about publicly financed elections. We had the drama of Emily Boyles that created a whole t-shirt line. One thing that got a little overwhelming was the constant write-ups rehashing what was bad about publicly financed elections. Even after the elections, some blogs, even this one would not let the issue die a graceful death. It is one thing to report, but another to report the same story or angle post after post. (as you can tell, I got rather tired of the issue.)

I got an email from the Boise neighborhood association the other day telling us about the Citizen Campaign Commission. This is a volunteer position that provides assistance to the Auditor and City Council regarding publicly financed campaigns.

Portland City Council is seeking four volunteers to serve two-year (1) and four-year (3) terms on the Citizen Campaign Commission, beginning in the fall of 2007. The Citizen Campaign Commission provides assistance to the Auditor and City Council in the implementation of the Campaign Finance Fund, Portland’s system of publicly financed campaigns.

The principal duties include the following: attending monthly or semi-monthly evening meetings; advising on policies, procedures, guidelines, and training information related to Portland’s public campaign financing system; coordinating the work of a hearings officer to rule on appeals by candidates; and working with Auditor’s Office staff to review operations and prepare a biennial and interim reports to Council on recommendations to improve the system.

– Application information can be found on the Auditor’s Office web site.
– Application Deadline: 5:00 p.m., Monday, August 20, 2007
– Contact: Andrew Carlstrom, City Elections Officer, (503) 823-3546

So, all you bloggers out there (and you know who you are) who tirelessly documented the fallacies of the publicly financed campaign system, I ask you to go volunteer to help audit it and maybe, just maybe change it. This is your chance to make a difference.

Who’s in control?

Went to a show last night at the Wonder Ballroom. I was really excited to see the Dandy Warhols there because the last show we saw there of them was truly a work of art. Also, the Wonder had been setup split down the middle with one side all ages and the other side for the bar. Equality reigned. Last night, equality did not reign even though it was a great show. See, the bar area was cut off from the stage by about 20 ft, so the all ages portion could be right up to the stage. I have a problem with this as I feel the venue is making way more money as a result of alcohol sales, yet we’re relegated to the back. This is the same for the Roseland and the Crystal Ballroom. If you want to have a drink, don’t expect to see the show. Yes, I could always stand in the all ages section which I have in the past, but I actually don’t like being crowd surfed by 10yr olds (which did happen at the Roseland.) I guess I am asking who decides this? OLCC? Venue? Band? I just hope this was a one time occurrence because I love the Wonder and until now it had been equal for all. People over 21 like to see the band up close also.

BTW, the Dandy’s were tight and are heading off to Europe to open for the Rolling Stones. Good luck!

Stumptown: The Comic

Fresh news from the nerd prom in San Diego is that local comics writer (and novelist) Greg Rucka is set to, through local publisher Oni Press, start a detective series called Stumptown. While Portland is not mentioned specifically, the title would indicate that our little city is indeed the setting for the series.

Rucka’s one of my favorite crime-story writers — his series (with Ed Brubaker) Gotham Central for DC Comics was easily one of the best things they’ve put out in ages, and was a street-level view of what it was to be a cop in Batman’s Gotham City. He’s also the creator of Queen &Country, a long-form spy comic and novel and the soon-to-be-a-movie Whiteout, which I really need to read one of these days.

Anyhoo, though the above-linked article doesn’t indicate when it’s coming, I’ll be putting in my pull request with my LCS very soon.

Seahawks Football

Since Portland doesn’t have an NFL team, many Portlanders have latched on to the Seahawks as their team of choice. I for one am a Pittsburgh fan, but that is another story. I am so excited for football season. Last year I was able to catch a game almost every weekend with my friends. Such an awesome thing to do when it gets rainy. BTW, any new sports venues open up since last season I need to check out?

Ok, back to the Seahawks. On July 30, regular season tickets will go on sale to the public. If you have a hankering to see the hawks play or maybe your favorite team will be making a visit, I suggest you get the credit card out and jump on in. I have only been to one NFL game in Qwest field and it was awesome. Also, Amtrak is right next door, so you don’t have to drive.

Seahawks tickets on sale 10am, July 30 via Ticketmaster.

Adopted Children the Double Aught Accessory

I was waiting in line at K & F Coffee the other day to get a couple of drinks, and the white forty-something woman in front of me was holding her three year old asian baby. After she gets her order she holds up the line, completely oblivious to the increasingly agitated people waiting behind her, so her precious could finger all the free samples on the counter. It was bad enough that she already had her order and was holding up everyone else, but letting her kid handle all the samples with her gooey hands was just gross and irresponsible.

I keep seeing more and more of these women toting their obviously adopted children around like they’re some sort of new handbag, or expensive yappy dog. It’s become a status symbol to let everyone know that yes you spent $10,000 to go buy a kid in a foreign country. I understand at their late age they probably aren’t able to have their own kids, and that’s fine, but it’s starting to get ridiculous. The other weird thing is these kids coming over from impoverished countries only to be completely spoiled and overindulged by their new parents.

I am just curious to see how these kids will turn out as they go through the tricky teenage years. Will the parents lose interest when they go through the awkward and rebellious stage? They’ll be in their fifties and possibly sixties by then. Will the kids be complete jerks because they’ve been raised that they’re the most important thing on the planet and the world revolves around them? I know I might be overgeneralizing, but it concerns me that these parents see it as perfectly fine. I guess it’s just a matter of standing back and watching the potential train wreck.

Update: I know that this post has touched on a nerve with alot of people, and having seen my cousin go through the whole adoption process that took them years to finally find a child I understand how painful and tenious it can be. My point is that children are not accessories. It angers me to see parents use them as such, and unfortunately there is a small group of women who are treating their kids the same way they would if it were a toy poodle they’re carrying in a bag. It also seems more prevelant with a certain age group who are feeling the need to “save the planet one child at a time”.

Men and their Wings

I took my teenaged son to Fire on the Mountain for chicken wings the other day for lunch.

I’d never been before & wanted to try it out – but couldn’t find anyone to go with me. Finally, my kid with the cast-iron stomach and bottomless pit agreed to be seen in public with his Moooo-ther – but only if we went for a quick lunch.

We got there just at the beginning of the lunch rush. As we waited for our wings and watched the tables fill up around us, I noticed an interesting phenomenon: the restaurant was almost entirely populated by men.

Men in ties. Men in t-shirts. Men wearing dress shoes. Men wearing sneakers, or work boots. Men in hats. Bald men. Men with really really really long hair. Lots and lots and lots of men in pullover polo shirts. Gay men. Straight men. Men drinking beer. Men sticking to soda.

Yeah, there were a lot of men there. I even counted: 27 guys in the joint (including the picnic tables outside), and only 3 women (save for the ones who worked there.)

So if you’re looking for men? Drop by Fire on the Mountain for lunch sometime…!

(Oh, and – yeah, the wings were really good.)

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.