Archive for November, 2007

Is Fred Meyer Shopping Local?

fred-meyer.jpgIs shopping at Fred Meyer considered shopping locally? That’s the question I’m pondering right now as the Sustainable Business Network of Portland is busy promoting its Celebrate the Season 2007: Buy Local Week Dec. 1-9. The idea here is obviously to get you to put your buying dollars back into the local economy – the SBNP states that by doing so you can have “out of every $100 spent with a locally owned business, $43 of that $100 stays in the local economy, while only $13 stays here when you buy from a non-locally owned chain store.”

The last part of that statement is where I get a little hung up. Fred Meyer was at one time owned locally of course. Wikipedia states the company was founded here in 1922. This of course changed in 1999 via the merger with Kroger out of Cincinnati, OH. Kroger still maintains a Fred Meyer division office here in Portland. It states in this decision that “the company believes in operating divisions under banners that have strong local ties and brand equity. Throughout our history, as the company has made strategic acquisitions of strong local operations, we have followed the philosophy of keeping the merchandising decisions closest to the customer.”

So the question is thus: is shopping at Fred Meyer, with its strong local ties and division headquarters still here in Portland, considered shopping local? I’m definitely on the fence on this one (my wife thinks it isn’t) so I’d love to hear some opinions.

Newport – suggestions?

I am turning 30 next week. To celebrate/allow me to have a freakout in private, my wife and I are heading to the Newport area. We will be staying in a condo on the beach. I would love to hear some suggestions on things to do there. Aquarium? Restaurants? I am a huge fan of beer. Any brewpubs? Here’s your chance to get all opinionated to an Okie.

Keep in mind, the room is booked so I am not interested in hearing “OH, don’t go there…!”
Thanks in advance to all you readers!

Snow soon? Remember last season…

With snow potentially in the forecast by the end of the week, remember to drive safely as you move around town. Perhaps not driving at all if snow is on the ground might be a better idea. Otherwise…

Checks are (almost) in the mail…

The largest ever tax refund is now in the works, and will be mailed later this week, according to this KGW newsbrief.

Unbelievably, the mere fact that we were getting money back this year (something I thought had been broadcast far and wide) had escaped the notice of one of my co-workers. He was stunned to hear that the state would be expending mega money to refund more than 1.1 billion dollars, and didn’t realize it’s in our state constitution to send money back to taxpayers when revenues exceed projections by more than 2%.

We can argue until the cows come home (or the checks arrive) just whether or not the system makes sense (I’d like to see some kind of rainy day fund myself) – but I’d rather find out what you plan to do with the money. More fodder for holiday shopping? Will some of it get kicked back to your charity of choice? Will you create your own rainy day fund? Or none of the above?

Body After (Oh) Baby

I swear I shop at New Seasons just to avoid US Magazine, and People and all the rest. Not because I’m so high-minded, but because every few weeks the Body After Baby headline pops up and it makes me cringe. The celebrities are celebrated for having their pre-baby body back. I lived among these women for a solid year, I’ve seen them in person standing behind me as I longed to grab that US magazine, but one of the celebs on the cover was standing there, so you know, that’s just not cool to be reading your neighbor’s dirty laundry in the check out aisle. I’d like to say very clearly that I LIVED IN A TRAILER IN MALIBU. It was a 300 square-foot travel trailer in the middle of a dusty orchard. I was not rollin’ with Paris or anything. But back to the women. These women had taut, lean, tanned bodies. And big bobble heads. They not only had their pre-baby body back, but their pre-adolescent body back. It was ridiculous and slightly nauseating.

I’m the mommy of a two-year old and for the first time in nearly three years I have a body back. It’s not the same body I started out with but suddenly, it’s mine. And so how to celebrate this moment of waking up and saying not, why’s my stomach all soft, and how come my jeans fit weird, but instead, ding-a-dang-dang, I look good! I’ve got a nice round rump, a soft tummy, big hips, a rack to write home about. Well, hot mamas who have emerged from the gloom of having a child, here’s the first step: go get bras fit at Oh Baby.

The Top Ten Lists

‘Tis the season for music nerds to start compiling their end of the year lists. Here’s one of the first I’ve seen: the 100 Best Albums of the Year from Paste magazine, courtesy of Stereogum. (I’ve got 18 of the top 23 in my iTunes, so I just impressed myself.)

Portland represents with Lifesavas at #42 and Menomena (whose name I still have to concentrate to spell/pronounce correctly) at #85.

Three bands that also call Portland home, but are recent transplants (I’d like to brand them now as “Sorta-Portaâ„¢ bands”) also make the cut: Modest Mouse at #8, the Shins at #26, and Spoon at #29.

For all I know there are 5 other bands on that list living here now, too.

Menomena also shows up on the “the 12 music VIDEOS of the year (according to Plug)”, courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan, with their timeless paean to the food fight oeuvre (or something like that). I’m also a big fan of the Bat For Lashes video.

Any other Portland albums that should have made the list? The Thermals, Shaky Hands, Blitzen Trappen? The Elliott Smith rarities disc?

An artist’s statement on consumerism?

lloyd ctr

Originally uploaded by dieselboi.

Last week, before the huge shopping rush at Lloyd Center, I visited during lunch to pick up some items. My strategy was to get things early, but still take advantage of the proposed sales. When I was exiting Sears and walking up NE Multnomah, I saw these boxes that looked like letter boxes of yore. When I got closer, I realized they indeed had items in them, but the items were a bit strange. The first one had a teddy bear, the second, a rearview mirror and fuzzy dice and the third, a piggy bank. On each of them were words engraved. For the piggy bank, it was the following:

Urban Americans
Who spend 22% of
Their lives shopping
List as their
Second favorite


The next installation had a shopping bag encased with the following inscription:

Shopping bag
The paper
Shopping bag
Was invented in
Boston, MA
In 1872

At Lloyd Center
An average of
4690 shopping
Bags are
Dispensed each
Working day

Wow, what a statement. There wasn’t any info I could find on whose installation this is. I had never really noticed it, but then again, I don’t frequent the mall all that much. Anyone know the origins of this? Who the artist is?

Hollywood Value Village, I really miss you…

Value Village of Hollywood
[photo by VJ Beauchamp]

Even though my neighborhood Value Village closed its doors early this month, I must still shed a tear or two. Soon after Halloween, I was on one of my weekly trips to “the Village,” only this time, my excitement for foraging through discarded treasures was replaced by shock. All the shelves were removed, and the remaining inventory was piled into the center of the store. I immediately asked one of the employees what was going on, and was sadly informed that the store was closing its doors due to the fact that the current lease had expired, and the landlord was demanding a huge increase in the rent upon renewal. Since Value Village could not afford the new lease, they had to close shop, which unfortunately also meant that all employees were out of a job as well.

Asshat driver of the day award

Asshat driver of the day award

Originally uploaded by dieselboii.

So, first this guy scowls at me when he is driving up to the crosswalk even though I have the walk signn. Then he decides to drive in the MAX lane and essentially park while waiting to turn. Lastly, with the train coming and loudly honking its horn, I see him in his mirror doing the “Its all Ok” wave.

Asshat driver of the day!

Behold! The Power of the Blog!

Almost two weeks ago, I complained vociferously here about the horrible placement of a new Flexcar parking spot at the NE corner of NE 33rd and US Grant.

I also fired off letters to Sam Adams and his transportation staffer as well, pointing them at that blog post. I didn’t hear anything back via email – but the holidays hit, the kid was out of school (thanks to PPS conferences, he had what he billed as a ‘nine day weekend’) – so I figured I’d pick the torch back up after Thanksgiving.

Today? The parking spot is gone. What’s more, there’s no evidence that it ever existed there (the white outline defining the space is gone, and the sign is down.)

My cynical teenager refuses to believe that I made a difference here. “MooooOOOOMMMM! There’s no way they moved it because one person complained. You’re not that important,” he scoffed.

I beg to differ, oh snarky son of mine…

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