Archive for the ‘Sports & Outdoors’ Category

The Future is Now!

Okay, so maybe not now, but it will be soon! In order to plan properly for the soon-future, here are some incredibly important events coming up this week that all you dear Portlanders should be planning on attending –

The Portland Timbers open the season by hosting the Puerto Rico appropriately-named Islanders this Thursday at PGE Park. Last season was the Timbers’ best yet, with record draw, especially on the previously called “Thirsty Thursdays.” The Park is now partially sponsored by Miller Lite, so the “Thirsty” part of Thursday has been changed to reflect that sponsorship (what happened to the Widmer sponsorship?). This is not only the first match of the proper season, but this will be the last time we’ll be entertained (publicly) by our Timber Jim, beloved Timbers mascot since the great reformation of 2001 (and before). Get there early, and you get a free magnet and a “Timber Jim Farewell” t-shirt. You can get tickets on TicketMaster, or skip the fees (which add up to more than 50% of the ticket face price, if you’re in GA) and pick one up at the PGE Park box office on SW 20th and Morrison.

This Wednesday will hopefully be our last springtime indoor meetup at the Green Dragon. I don’t actually have that much to say about this one, as I’ve never actually been to a Portland Metblogs meetup, nor to the Green Dragon, but you should come! We (including me, yes) will be there around 5.30, and I plan on drinking beer. Maybe a lot of beer. We know you like beer, and free food. So there’s really no reason not to come. Stop making excuses.

Something you may not need to prepare for is my mom. That’s right, she’s coming to town this weekend, and I need to find the most expensive restaurant I can safely take her so she can buy me and the bf dinner. You tell me – what’s the best place one can take a loudmouth redhead to? It’s not that she’s uncouth, but she’s my mom, so it’s very likely she’ll do something embarrassing. She will also likely not bring any dressy clothes, so ix-snay on the established fancy places. Any ideas will be picked apart and pored over – only one will be chosen (unless I can talk her into dinner out twice!). Preference given to places with websites that actually contain information besides hours (sorry, Green Dragon).

Planned pruning or organized shot making?

I walked over the Steel bridge the other evening and came up towards the Rose Quarter and saw that this hillside overlooking the train tracks had seen some severe pruning. A bunch of small established trees had been cut down and left along with some brush. Upon closer investigation, I realized only trees that would block a perfect photo opportunity for the city of Portland were trimmed down.

I remember a story about 15 years ago about some large trees in the west hills down off I5 that were topped grossly and the only explanation was that homeowners wanted a better view of the east side. Is this the case here or is this planned pruning? Anyone know? If you are looking for a great photo opp, now you have it.

This is taken right to the east of the big peace symbol looking over the train tracks south of the Steel bridge.


Originally uploaded by dieselboi

Mindful linkage

Well, I guess my first post here will be neither fluffy nor too “journalism-y”, but more general notification type info.

First off, the BTA is looking for feedback from those of us who bike around town – not necessarily only for those who commute on their vélos, but anyone in the metro area who is interested in putting in a word regarding comfort on the ever-changing paths on which we ride. Important why? This will hopefully help with the planning of the future East-side streetcar lines and other community planning. Take the survey here.

Secondly, Powell’s is having a poetry contest! The challenge: write a poem (less than 20 lines) in some way about Portland. The reward: a chance to win 26 books (!!!) of poetry and an awesome rucksack. Caveat: by entering, your email will be placed on the Powell’s new poetry email list. You can find the details here on the Powell’s site. I’ve won enough stuff completely randomly by being one of the few to actually enter, and while I doubt that will be the state of this contest, you can’t get the goods without entering, people.

Thirdly, hi! I’m “clevergirl” and I’ll be writing here now. I moved to Portland last July, and while I’m still getting used to the city, I already have my favorite places to eat (Masu), drink beer (Tugboat, so far), and have fun (section 107, PGE Park). I’m sure I’ll be writing about things that may be new to me, but possibly not so new to the natives, so I beg forgiveness beforehand. More info can be found in my profile (eventually), and maybe I’ll see you guys at the Green Dragon next week.

Portland Beavers Kick It Off in Style

beavos-2008.jpgThe 2008 Portland Beavers season kicked off in style last night. I was at the opening game along with over 8,000 other fans, some of which were probably drawn by it being the first Thirsty Thursday (Miller Lite Thursdays is now the official title, but I’ll stick with the older one since I’m not a Miller drinker). I’ll say the beer situation at PGE Park definitely continues to improve – besides your regular cross selection of Widmer products I saw at least one concession stand with Deschutes on tap as well as in chilled bottles with what looked like Hair of the Dog next to it being chilled as well.

As for the game, the Beavers played with a winning attitude all night. They pulled off a solid win over a struggling Fresno team. A rain-free night saw the Beavos pitching plenty of strikeouts, swatting several impressive home runs and showing a level of field caliber I haven’t seen in awhile. It was, of course, a little on the chilly side once the sun dropped, but the action on the field kept me there the whole game and on my feet cheering several times. (more…)

Oden Plays Pick-Up, McMillan Goes WTF?

How badly does Greg Oden want to get back on the court you might ask? Bad enough he was engaging in some pick-up basketball games at the Tualatin 24-Hour Fitness location earlier this week.

Jason Quick reports for The Oregonian that Oden more or less strolled onto the basketball court at the 24 Hour Fitness location and played whoever was around in two pick-up games. One of those he played later went on to recount his good times on a basketball Internet forum and, of course, word got back to the Blazers and the coach.

Not surprisingly, they weren’t happy.  McMillan called up Oden and told him in so many words to chill, that your time will come. I personally say, why not? It was a fun one time thing for him to do and it sure gave people at that 24 Hour Fitness a nice bonus event. Now, don’t do that again Oden :)

Baseball, oh how I have waited for you!

Today is opening day for major league baseball and I can’t tell you how excited I am.  I read yesterday about the early morning (3am) opening game between the Red Sox and the A’s in Japan, but forgot to set the alarm clock.  Also, I’m not really a fan of either team, so don’t have much invested.  Who I am a fan of is the Yankees and they begin play in a couple of hours.  The question is – do I go to work or stay home and watch a game….  hmmm.  What I have come to love about baseball in the past couple of years is the cadence.  As I have grown up, I have realized everything doesn’t have to go breakneck speads.  Baseball is one of those games one needs to have patience for and be willing to just sit back and enjoy.  It forces me to relax and to experience the event instead of wondering if I missed something.  Last year, I became a rabid fan watching games on Saturday afternoons instead of working on the garden.  I freaked out my friends and family with my obsession.  This year, it may be the same.  We’ll see. I have my Mariner’s tickets in hand for the Yankees series in September.

Can I wait until September though?  Nope.  So I’m really excited to see opening day for the Portland Beavers is just around the corner.  Granted, most of the early games will be in the cold wet of spring, but once the weather turns, PGE park is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening.  Oh, and Thirsty Thursdays are always a hoot.  The Beavers begin their home season against Fresno on April 3rd.

Baseball, an American pasttime.  Welcome back.

(on a side note, don’t the Timbers begin play sometime soon?)

March Madness Gets Local

I am not a huge sports fan, but having grown up about 20 minutes away from the University of Kansas and the perennially basketball powerhouse Jayhawks – I do appreciate the fun of the NCAA March Madness. Running a little late this year – typically the second round of games are played over St. Patrick’s Day weekend – there are some fun underdog teams in the big dance – including our own Portland State.

After winning the Big Sky conference last Wednesday night at the Rose Garden, the Portland State Vikings makes their first ever appearance in the tournament. I’m a sucker for the underdog… like my personal little team that could. My alma mater, Drake University in Des Moines, IA is also in the tourney. My Bulldogs make an appearance for the first time since a streak in 1971, 1970 and 1969 – where they lost in the final four to UCLA where the MVP was some guy named Lew Alcindor.

So I’d love to be able to cheer for two great little underdog teams – and because of the brackets, it would be possible for PSU and Drake to meet in the final game… but the Vikings take on Kansas in the first round on Thursday, and as I said – I practically grew up in Lawrence, so I’m sorry Portland State fans, your first game in the big dance will also be your last. At least this time around.

Li Ning takes on the Swoosh

Watching AZN the other day I saw part of a news special about preparations for the upcoming Beijing Olympics – and a story that caught my eye about a Chinese athletic shoemaker – Li Ning – who recently opened their first international office….in the Pearl.

This article from just a few months ago in the Oregonian talks about them as if they were a very small company struggling to go big… but from the information in the piece I saw – they are being pretty darn smart about their international marketing efforts – and have a number of athletes competing in the Olympics who will be sporting their logo – including the recently traded Shaq. And then the bold move of moving into Nike and Adidas’ (amusingly pronounced Ah-de-das on the program) backyard here in Portland… pretty smart.

Even if it’s not a homegrown company – it’s pretty cool to have another upstart that could turn into something big here in Portland. Of course it also makes me think how much the US is going get our asses kicked by Asian companies in more than just science and technology…

Drop everything – Dale Jr’s car is here, Dale Jr’s car is here!!!

dale.jpgI saw this banner ad on LivePDX this morning and clicked through to the Oregon National Guard website. Not being a NASCAR fan, I didn’t realize that Dale Earnhart Jr’s car was co-sponsored by Mountain Dew and the National Guard. Go figure.

I’m not sure if this is typical for NASCAR or more along the line of Elvis’s car being sent on tour after his death. Since Earnhardt is alive and well, I’m guessing the former. In any case, you can see the car at Wentworth Chevy on Grand & Burnside right across from downtown. Tomorrow it moves on to Mt. Hood Community College and then to Hooters. Hmmm, Hooters, National Guard, NASCAR – don’t tell the New York Times and the rest of the media, but I think this proves we’re really rednecks….

If You Played for the Winter Hawks, Be Careful In Buffalo

You may have heard the gruesome news about Florida Panthers forward Richard Zednick getting his throat cut in Buffalo Sunday night by a teammate’s skate blade. His carotid artery was slashed, and he lost 5-7 units of blood before they got him sutured back up. (Do not search for video of this; you don’t want to see it. Trust me.)

You may not know that Zednick is a former Winter Hawk. You also might not know that the only previous time an NHL player had his carotid artery cut during a game was in 1989, when Buffalo goalie Clint Malarchuk nearly died on the ice, but made it to the bench under his own power so his mother wouldn’t see him die on TV (he survived thanks to the heroic efforts of the team trainer, who had served as a medic in Viet Nam). Malarchuk was also a Winter Hawk.

Then there was the jumbotron collapse at Buffalo’s HSBC Arena in 1996, minutes after the team left the ice. And Portland’s own NHL star Paul Gaustad’s skate-cut ankle last season.

If I were Michael Funk, I’d be wearing a throat guard next time I got called up to the show. I’m thinking about getting one myself.

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