Archive for May, 2008

Busted! Someone named Tower is in trouble

Yesterday, when it was sunny, I walked about 2/3rds of the Rose Festival Parade route looking for duct tape. The good news is that people who normally were taping and reserving spots almost 2 weeks before the parade got the message. The bad news is that today, someone used spraypaint to reserve their spot.

According to the City, “The use of duct tape, chalk, paint or unattended personal property, such as lawn chairs, to mark or reserve a spot along the parade route is prohibited. “

Now, I wonder if the Portland Police are going to be out enforcing said ban. It is a $100 fine if you are caught. Will they go out Friday evening/Saturday morning passing out fines? Will they let it slide this first year? Anyone know how to get stats on that?

Oh, and to be honest, this actually may mean Tower as in placement of. But hey, let’s get this party started!

Duct tape

Originally uploaded by dieselboi

Bridges, Trains, and Roses

Now that the two three-day weekends (at least for me) are over, things should be getting back to normal here, which includes me spewing about everything I have been saving up for the past week. Thusly:
I-5 Over the Columbia
The Columbia River Crossing project needs input from the public, and the current feedback period is only open until July 1. Last Friday, a coalition of 13 groups requested a 60-day extension to said period to give ample time for those people and organizations involved to read the 5,000-page Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) dealing with the project. I wouldn’t suggest reading it yourself – I got stuck around page 50, and struggled to get that far – but glean as much information as you can on the project (try here and here, for starters) and chime in with your $.02. This is a Big Deal that will affect major transportation in and out of our fair city for decades to come, and yes, it will affect you in some way.

Nextly: I took the train (and bus) to Vancouver BC with the boyfriend 2 weekends ago, and I must say: train travel is awesome, though travel to Vancouver could use some help. Supposedly, there will be direct train service to Vancouver BC from us down here in Oregon in time for the Olympics (a good bit of the city is torn up due to transportation additions to the waterfront and Olympic Village), but I won’t believe it until I see it. We’ve already had a review of the train ride from PDX to SEA, so here’re the bits:

  • Pros:
  • Far less security hassle than the airport: we arrived and boarded barely 20 minutes before our scheduled departure
  • Access to a proper power outlet (120V) for unrestricted use
  • We had the ability to use our cellphones where there was reception (though chose not to)
  • The car we were in was incredibly quiet, and we whispered most of the trip
  • One can bring his/her own liquids aboard! No more smuggling 3oz bottles of vodka! We brought our massive flask and some mixers and made cocktails at our seats
  • The seats were comfortable and there were plenty of bathrooms to go around
  • Cons:
  • Delays – we were over an hour late to Seattle, but the connection was guaranteed, so some people got to wait on the bus for us. Sorry, people!
  • When we boarded, the a/c was broken in our car, and we were sweating up a storm (hottest day yet of the year + running a suitcase from the MAX to Union Station = ick!), but it was fixed when we departed (which was, granted, nearly 45 minutes later)
  • This is really about the bus – The bus sucks. It’s better than taking Greyhound the whole way, but the bus just seemed that much more crappy after such a pleasant train experience
  • Price – It was less than $200 for both of us to get to Vancouver and back, but I would love to be able to take the train down to Sacramento and maybe across the continent without having to sell my firstborn and a kidney. Get the prices for 6+ hours of travel down to an affordable rate (i.e. cheaper than airfare), and I’ll start booking my travel today.

And one more quick one!! Holy crap, it’s Rose Festival season again! The rides are going up to make Waterfront park a muddy mess, should the rain continue (opening Thursday) and the fireworks kick everything off on Friday. The good stuff (boats!) will start floating in on Thursday (Tall Sailing ships, 5/29-6/5, then Fleet Week 6/4-6/8). I’m so excited – more on that soon!

Rebel Drones at the Doug Fir

Election night in Portland is a crazy time. I have been away on vacation for a couple of weeks, so missed all of the pomp and circumstance leading up to yesterday. I did get back in time to fill out the ballot though and drop it off. We even got our new roommate registered on the last possible day so he could vote. Ahh, democracy!

After hitting a couple of election parties and even arriving at the Jupiter hotel to shake Sam Adams’ hand just before he gave his winning speech, we took in a show. Rebel Drones, a new band from right here in Portland was opening for Dead Meadow, a favorite of ours. Rebel Drones first showed Portland what they had been working on back on New Years at the East End. I was unable to attend, so had been waiting with baited breath for last night’s show. The Rebel Drones is made up of some music veterans including Colin Hegna of Federale and BJM and Matt Hollywood of The Out Crowd and BJM. With 3 guitars, a bass, keyboard and drums, they had a formidable sound. I just sat back smiled and took it in, hoping this band gets an album out soon so I can play it every waking minute of the day. I have described this type of music as “wall of sound with many layers,” but it is more than that. In a word – it is beautiful.

So, even though my candidate – Steve Novick – didn’t win, the night was excellent. The Rebel Drones put on a great show followed by an amazing set by Dead Meadow. Next time they are in town, you gotta check them out.


Originally uploaded by dieselboi

Blogger Meetup: TONIGHT

Don’t forget to come down to Rontom’s tonight and join your fellow Metbloggers, readers, commenters – and a special visitor from Metblogs HQ!

It’s a bit chilly right now to think about sitting outside, but who knows what it’ll be like at 5pm, we’ll just have to see.

You buy the drinks – we’ll buy the fondue and braunschweiger.

Hope to see you all there!

TONIGHT – Wed. May 21
5:00pm – ??
600 E Burnside St.
Portland, OR 97214

Let’s hear it for the Clinton Street Theater

Once upon a time, way back when, the McMenamin’s movie chain showed movies worth watching. Art house stuff, cult movies, or movies that were just plain fun (like showing “The Creature From the Black Lagoon” on Halloween). For the past, oh decade or so, that’s changed. It’s now almost exclusively yawn-inducing big Hollywood second-run fare – stuff you’d see on an airplane. A look at this weeks listings shows crap like “Run, Fatboy Run” and “Fool’s Gold” (although I will give them points for showing the wonderfully dark “In Bruges”). Beer loving movie geeks like me can still count on the Laurelhurst to bust out something worth seeing on a fairly regular basis.

Thank God for Clinton Street Theater. Combining an art-house sensibility with a small brewery on the premises, the theater caters to those Portlanders who want to have a couple beers and see movies worth watching. Take a look at the current listings for an example. That’s more quality viewing than you’ll see at a place like the Baghdad all year. “Eraserhead”, a documentary about The Gits, the Portland Underground Film Festival, a freaking “Repo Man”/”Maximum Overdrive” double feature, for God’s sake!

That’s a whole lot of good stuff right there. Combine the movie with a couple of beers and a trip over to Dot’s for one of their awesome french fry concoctions, and you’ve got an awesome night out.

And McMenamin’s, I’m rough on you because I love you. You can do better. You know you can.


Unless you live under a rock you know the election is approaching – Obama was at Waterfront park yesterday (and his speech was impressive!), Bill and Chelsea were in town planting gardens with school kids and campaigning for Hilary, the yard signs for local elections are everywhere – with supporters standing at busy intersections waving at passing cars – John Kroger himself, Attorney General candidate, was out with his supporters at the east end of the Hawthorne bridge this morning. But because of our mail in ballot process – which I do love – it can be easy to suddenly go “Holy Crap – I haven’t mailed in my ballot yet!”

The deadline is tomorrow people – it’s too late to mail them – but you can drop them off in a myriad of locations.

Affordable Housing Design Unveiled in NE

I’m kicking myself for missing today’s groundbreaking of the new Shaver Green affordable housing project on MLK Boulevard. The project is expected to receive a LEED Gold certification, which is impressive considering the budget. I’m anxious to know how the project will be integrated into the character of the neighborhood. Or, will it stand out and scream, “I’m housing for the poor!” For some reason, developers are compelled to create affordable housing that looks out of place or use a palette scheme that is horribly misguided. Based on the one rendering I’ve seen, the developer and design team chose a neutral color scheme, a sign of apprehension, in my book.
Was anybody there for the ceremony and if so, what is your impression?

Catch a Ride on a Bulldozer

Little kids and construction equipment are like peanut butter and chocolate. I taught pre-school briefly many years ago and there was a new office building being built next door to the school. For a good part of the summer the little boys spent most of their outside playtime standing at the fence watching the construction crew dig and scoop and dump and stack. They were in awe.

Tomorrow up in the ‘Couve, the little kids (and the big ones) get a chance to get up close and personal with the bulldozers, cranes, loaders and scrappers (I don’t know what all the equipment does – but my little nephew could sure tell you!) at the annual Dozer Days – a benefit for the Parks Foundation.

Kids get to ride in the equipment, play around in the dirt and rocks, and if you’re good – maybe they’ll even let you drive!

Saturday, May 17, 2008
General Public Admittance from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: Rinker Quarry
18208 SE 1st Street, Vancouver, WA 98684

MetroFi Dumping City Wi-Fi By End of June

Better enjoy that free Portland Wi-Fi while you can…the Oregonian and the Portland Business Journal are both reporting the network may soon be sold to the city or shutdown. Word is MetroFi has decided to walk from the deal and is offering to sell the network to the city for $894,000! The company said it will be yank its equipment at the end of June if the city or someone else doesn’t pick up the tab.

This really seems like a crap move by MetroFi, especially when you consider this word of news that the company will be selling its nine city networks across the country. This move casts doubt, I think, on the viability of metro-wide Wi-Fi. We still have all those Personal Telco network hubs out there, but if you aren’t near one and don’t have another way to access the Internet, you’ll probably soon be out of luck.

Alberta Arts Hop

While the weather today is nice, it’s supposed to get freakin’ hot and miserable tomorrow. I know, some of you people like that sort of thing – but I moved to Oregon to get away from the heat and I don’t like it when it comes to early. At least we don’t have much humidity here!

But – I’d imagine the folks with the Alberta Arts Hop are happy about the forecast. Saturday is the annual parade and street festival – this year featuring three local artists – as well as a slew of other artists, craftspeople, food vendors, musicians and local businesses.

The main drag of Alberta will be closed to traffic all day as the festival-goers take over the street – and a mini-parade will wander down the street around 2:30. Even though they were booted from their home on Alberta last year – not everyone wanted to see them leave, and I hope the clowns will show up!

I’ll see you there…in the shade.

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