Archive for October, 2007

Halloween on a Wednesday Sucks!

So I have yet to see a single person dressed up, we’re not doing anything festive tonight, and even my poor little nephew can’t wear his costume to school because they have a “Harvest Festival” party today – not a Halloween party, because someone might get offended. That’s just not right! Depriving little kids of Halloween parades and costumed fun! I seriously doubt that we’ll see many trick-or-treaters out at all tonight.

Of course I went to a Halloween party last weekend (which was awesome – as usual – the entire cast of Gilligan’s Island, Speed Racer complete with Trixie and the monkey, and Pumpkin Pants!) and I can’t complain about that, but that was it.

It’s just bad timing. Like July 4th it’s a bad holiday for a weekday, and even more so because you don’t get the day off. Being too far away from either weekend to really get going. I think too many people just weren’t prepared last weekend, because it was still several days away – and of course, after the fact never works.

Just kind of a slow Halloween this year, which I suppose is ok. Next year though – because of leap year, it falls on a Friday – and then we’ll really go nuts!



#2 Blog Capital of the World!

I’m a little slow on the uptake, several other sites have noted this, but I still think it’s cool…plus I caught the gunk and was down for the later part of the weekend. Even so – I know folks are going to read this because Portland LOVES it’s blogs. That’s right – oh yeah – Portland is the #2 Blog Capital of the World! Or at least the United States – but that’s the same thing isn’t it? (Insert sarcastic jingoistic laugh here.)

Yep, only Austin, TX – which shares a number of other similar traits as us – has more bloggers and active blog readers than Portland. 14 percent of all Portlanders are in this group – compared to 8 percent nationally.

It’s not surprising really, the other top cities are San Francisco and Seattle, Honolulu and San Diego…all places that are well known for being tech savvy, young, educated…people known as ‘early adopters’ in the marketing research world of Scarborough – the company that did the research. I lived and breathed Scarborough research in my first job out of college and trust this info to be pretty darn accurate.

Depending on whom you talk to, blogs are important sources of information for many people – or a bunch of pretentious folks who like to hear themselves talk. I (of course) like to think that it’s the former, but studies like this will help legitimize blogs as a true source of communication for those that are still unbelievers. This is the research that is used by media companies around the country to show their potential advertisers who’s reading/watching/hearing their product – and while the numbers of people who read newspapers or watch TV are of course going to still be considerably higher – numbers like this are pretty darn significant.

And it’s pretty cool to be in one of the cities leading the revolution.

Ross Island vote tomorrow at City Hall

It looks like the City Council is set to vote tomorrow morning on a resolution to accept the 45 acres of Ross Island donated by Robert Pamplin and the Ross Island Sand and Gravel Company. This vote will most likely end what has been a sour chapter in the city’s attempt to turn Ross Island into a wildlife refuge. The portion of the island being given to the city includes “a home to bald eagles” and also “a blue heron rookery.”

You can get more details on the agreement from this Portland Tribune story (yes, I know, Pamplin owns this paper). Curious about some of the environmental clean up issues Ross Island holds? Oregon DEQ has some info here. I have to imagine one organization particularly happy with this pending vote is Friends of Ross Island.

Donate your taco instead

Don’t eat meat? Can’t get to a Taco Bell between 2 and 5 pm? Rather not help enable corporate America, thankyouverymuch?

Donate your taco instead. The folks behind Donate Your Taco hope to use a little Internet viral marketing pressure to get Taco Bell to set aside some of the gazillions of dollars they are prepared to throw out for the free taco giveaway into something more tangible: Red Cross relief efforts for the California wildfires.

Y’know, I wasn’t going to line up for a taco anyway – so I’ve tossed my taco into the donation pool. What about you?

Update: I’ve gotten some funky comments and a healthy dose of skepticism aimed my way about this – so caveat emptor. I’d like to believe that it’s a grassroots viral uprising – but my skeptical side agrees with Dieselboi that it could be all about the email address harvesting at the end of the day. I’m not going to delete this post, though – just warn you to cast a closer eye than I apparently did…!

Why I go see live music


Originally uploaded by dieselboi.

We went to a show at the Dougy Fir last Friday night and I was once again introduced to a new band who is now on at the top of the shuffle on the iPod. A friend was in town and our plan was to see Black Mountain that night. We hit the Chesterfield first for drinks, not really in a hurry to get to the venue as we didn’t really know the opening bands and honestly, they weren’t a priority. After a few cocktails (check that place out, it’s pretty cool,) we ventured over to the fir where the Cave Singers had just started their set. Upon entering, I was immediately taken aback by the sound and drawn in by the unique voice of the lead singer. I would say the Cave Singers have a folk-rock-blues sound. The lead guitarist plays acoustic, but has all the tools to make that guitar sing. The lead singer has a voice that to me sounded like Janis Joplin – and he’s a guy. I kept staring at him, wondering if that singing was truly coming from him. I listened intently, even moving forward in the crowd and at a couple of points, clapping my hands and dancing around. The Cave Singers were awesome!

That is why I love going to see live music. Very rarely do all the bands on the bill float my boat, but I seem to always be surprised with something new. I even bought their album (yep, vinyl) right there that night. No, I didn’t get it signed, I’m not that much of a starfucker.

Oh, and Black Mountain did put on a pretty great show. I’m trying to figure out – if Black Mountain had been around in the 80’s, would they have been labeled a metal band. Think amongst yourselves.

(and yes, I need a better cameraphone, I know)

Um…free tacos tomorrow?

Before you get all excited, well – they’re Taco Bell tacos. And they’re only free between 2 pm and 5 pm tomorrow (now today – Tuesday, October 30th.) And you can only get one free crunchy beef taco.

Why are they free? Some guy somewhere stole a base, that’s why. But you’ll probably wait in line forever and a day, because people flock to Free Stuff. And – oh, yeah – people were probably watching that baseball game (some little national pastime called the World Series, I guess), so they might be duct taping the sidewalks as we speak.

But hey – knock yourselves out, ok?

Back to the fishwrappers I go…

I canceled my subscription to The Oregonian a few months ago for the eleventy-zillionth time. Eleventy-zillionth, you wonder? Yeah – I cancel in a fit of pique when I end up hauling unread papers out to the recycling bin each week, or rationalize that I can read the stuff I’m interested in online, either via web, RSS or Twitter links.

The problem? I miss reading the paper over a cup of coffee in the morning… or taking a section to bed with me at the end of the evening.

I also started to feel pretty uninformed – not about the Major issues of the day, but the “minor” ones.

Finally, I spend too much time reading online as it is – and too little time offline. Call me old and decrepit if you will – but these old eyes can’t spend too much time staring at a monitor – even the spiffy new flat screen one I now have at home.

So tomorrow morning at o’dark-thirty, my carrier will THWAP! a copy at the front door, jolting me momentarily awake. I’ll still recycle more than I read (including the classifieds, the Saturday auto section, easily half of the Sunday paper, and more…)

And this retro-Luddite will be content to zig while everyone else zags away from print newspapers.

For the next few months, anyway…

Brunch with Bernie

I really didn’t plan to write about Bernie Giusto again. But – c’mon – could you really resist blogging about the fact that you had a prime view of Bernie’s jeans-clad butt while you enjoyed your morning scramble & he paid the bill for his table of four?

Well, I can’t.

See, my initial dismay at the 40 minute promised wait turned to glee when I did a quick scan of the very tiny room and spotted Giusto (wearing an impeccably pressed light blue button-down and the aforementioned jeans), his female companion (Lee Doss, perhaps?), and two younger adults crowded around a table already. “Look! We have a celebrity in the house!”, I crowed, already starting to write this post in my head.

My dining companion looked over, chuckled, and then blanched as he looked back at me, saw the gleam in my eye & figured out where my mind was heading. See, he thinks I should leave well enough alone already. “Crazy as it sounds. I’m one of those guys who felt a little sorry for Nixon”, he said. He even believes I shouldn’t tell anyone just where we had brunch.

I think he was more than a little afraid that I’d try to pull a Citizen Journalist bit, whip out a reporter’s pad, and approach Bernie with a ‘few questions.’ In fact, I was told in no uncertain terms to “let the man eat in peace, and rip him to shreds later. He’ll be tortured enough next week.”

But I knew better than to say a word to the guy. After all, he’s still the sheriff in these here parts. And while I’m a law-abiding citizen and all, what’s to prevent him from acting out this scenario (as detailed in the O’s article earlier this week)?:

Out of the blue, the sheriff started talking about the awesome power he had, saying that he could arrest someone even if they were innocent, let them loose, and they’d have to deal with the specter of the arrest…

When I reassured my friend that I’d stick to some private snarky speculation (just who ordered the last quiche of the day, hmmm?) and leave the man alone already, he nodded approvingly.

“He’s still the sheriff. Even Rosco P Coltrane had friends…”

But I never said I wouldn’t blog about it afterwards…!

Macys opening today

Macys opening today

Originally uploaded by dieselboii.

There are about 200 people lined up on SW 5th, awaiting the grand RE opening of Macys in the old Meier and Frank building downtown. Wow, and on such a chilly morning. I hope Macys was buying the coffee.
I am really excited to see at least one downtown construction project come to an end.

Red Star: where my water glass never goes dry

ice-water.jpgSee this glass of water? Take note how full it is. Imagine now every time you take a few sips of it and put it down, someone is there within minutes to fill it again. Such was the case with my wife and I dining at Red Star last night.

I was particularly thirsty for water after not having any all day. My glass of water looked inviting. So of course I drank it shortly after sitting down. A member of the waiter staff came over and filled it. I drank some more – and he came by to fill it again. And again. And again. I think you get the general idea.

Here’s to the hyper water boy at Red Star – may you never let a glass go empty!

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