Archive for the ‘Rants & Raves’ Category

Sad little boy

We were driving down Killingsworth last night past one of the large trailer parks – the park is all behind a big privacy fence – but right where one of the openings in the fence is – we see a little boy – maybe 5 years old – standing on the side of the road. He’s right on the curb – looking out into the street with the saddest look ever on his face. Out in the middle of the street is a hippity-hop.

I can only assume that it took a bad bounce and went out into the street, but I’m guessing the kid wasn’t supposed to be out from behind the fence – let alone go into the street. There’s a lot of traffic on that road. So he just had to stare at it almost in tears.

As we drove by I said to my husband how sad that made me – he agreed and whipped a U-y in the middle of the street. We went back, jumped out, grabbed the toy and brought it over to the boy – just as his father (we guess) was coming out from behind the fence just letting into the kid. It looked like it could have been a bad situation – the kid made eye contact, but the adult wouldn’t. I just really hope that the extra few seconds we delayed the man from dragging the kid back behind the fence gave him a chance to cool down a bit.

TriMet’s verbose peoplemovers

This is slightly old news, for those of you who read the same Portland-centric transportation blogs that I do, but TriMet is giving the buses voices! You read that right – not only will the buses announce their eventual destinations to riders at the stop on an external speaker, but they’re equipping the buses to do the same for major stops inside the buses, much like the MAX and Streetcar do per stop already. The lines taking on the system (powered mostly by GPS) are few for now, but so far I’ve heard the announcements on the 20 and the 75 (per the major stops). As I took my first ride on the 75 yesterday, and as I was preoccupied by my cat being freaked out (it was her first bus ride, full stop, and to the vet, no less), the announcement for the Powell stop, so clearly stated, was incredibly helpful. I know that some drivers speak the stops into their wee microphones as they are approaching, but in my near-year of bus riding here, I’ve only been able to actually hear one of these drivers – and I have excellent hearing. Thanks, TriMet, for improving upon our awesome public transit system! They’re not always on time, but at least I now know where we’re going on the bus.

Living in the city….damn helicopters

Anyone who reads blogs knows there are plenty of bloggers out there who rant about something in their neighborhood.  Maybe it is the drug house down the street, the abandoned cars, the neighbor who doesn’t mow their lawn or rowdy teens.  Whatever it is, I always respond in my mind’s voice- “deal with it, you live in the city.”  And yet, I catch myself whining and complaining about similar things.  Oh well, what is one to do.

I have a new complaint though that falls into a different category.  I have learned to deal with the hookers, dealers, abandoned cars and nasty neighbors, but what I’m really ticked off about now is the helicopters.  Yup?  Helicopters!  I remember reading the New York Times a few years ago that there was an uproar about all the commuter helicopters flying in to the city and how the shear amount of them were disturbing residents along the routes from the toney neighborhoods outside the city.  I never would have thought I would complain about helicopter noise in Portland, but here I am.  The helicopters in question are the news choppers covering traffic or an incident.  I doubt Portland has a thriving helicopter commute scene and I usually only notice the helicopter noise because it is constant.  When these pilots what to get a shot of stalled traffic or breaking news, they usually just hover in one spot – usually above my house.  And since I live close to I5 and just north of I405, they are there almost every morning around 6am.  It wakes me up and makes me cranky!

So, if any of the news helicopter pilots are reading this, please find alternate locations to hover.  You have amazing cameras that can zoom, so you don’t have to be right over traffic.  Please, for the sake of my sleep and my family who has to deal with me being cranky, don’t hover over my house.  Ok, rant done.  Back to Thursday.

Oregon in play for Democratic nomination

We all know Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton are fighting for the democratic nomination.  Just tonight, most news stations are predicting Hilary Clinton as the winner in Pennsylvania.  With that, they move on to Indiana and then Oregon, among a few other states.  Oregon has delegates to add to someone’s tally, but not enough to push someone over the top to garner the nomination.  That said, Oregon is way in play.  We’ve seen Barack, Bill Clinton and Hilary visit over the past few weeks.  Granted, I was surprised to see that Hilary visited Hillsboro instead of Portland, but then again, maybe she realizes Oregon may be an Obama stronghold (I’m speculating here.)  It has just been announced that Bill Clinton will be in Portland this Friday and Saturday.  More details to come.  If you missed either of the candidates or Bill or Chelsea on their recent visits, you will definitely have the opportunity to see them in the near future.

This is soooooo exciting.  Oregon is usually so far off in the primaries that our votes honestly don’t end up counting.  The candidate is usually chosen by the time we get to vote.  I have always hated that about our electoral system, but what can one do.  I championed our attempt to move Oregon to Super Tuesday, but now am glad that was never approved or sanctioned.  Now we get to take our place on the national stage as a deciding state in what for me is a life changing opportunity for a President.  I wonder if Stephen Colbert will come to town to film some of his shows.

If you haven’t registered to vote yet, you still have till the end of April to do so.  Let your vote be the change Portland.  Wooo hoooo!

The Day the Muzak Died?

So normally riding in the elevator is either chit chat with co-workers, maybe a bit of small talk with someone you recognize from the building, or that “let’s all stare at the floor” elevator silence. But today, a man got in a few floors down from me. There were two of us already in the elevator – doing the “let’s stare at the floor” thing, and the new guy that gets in is chewing on a mint or hard candy or something. And in that elevator silence – it was really really loud. I had to stifle my 12-year-old giggle – and then comment to my fellow rider after the chewer got off… “I wonder why they don’t have elevator music anymore?”

So Muzak has offices here in Portland – I used to work near them out by the airport. And not that I’m dying to hear an orchestral version of American Idiot, but I wonder why elevators don’t have elevator music anymore?

Say goodbye to Packy, the elephant mural

Not sure if you saw the article in the O this past weekend, but the Packy Mural down on the Skidmore building in Old Town is being removed as part of the renovation of the building. Mercy Corps was “granted” the building by the PDC and will be remodeling it for their headquarters. Interesting. So, let me understand this correctly, the PDC gave the Mercy Corp the Skidmore Fountain Building in exchange for them remodeling? That is a sweet deal knowing that eventhough Mercy Corp is a non-profit, they still make tons of money for their investors.

The mural was painted in 1990 by North Pacific Sign & Design and has welcomed visitors to Portland’s Saturday Market for the past 17 years. When you drive across the Burnside Bridge into downtown, it is the first thing to welcome you.

I have seen some of the artists designs for the changes to the building and honestly am a little concerned the historic building’s old architecture will be compromised for a more modern look. I may be wrong as I haven’t seen the plans, only artist’s renditions. Still, the Skidmore building has been a destination spot for many Portlanders who went down to Saturday market. I wonder where the Australian import store went? Where will Portlanders get their oilcoats from now on?


Originally uploaded by dieselboi

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

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…)

Comment Policy

As you know dear reader, when we revamped the site a few weeks ago, Metblogs instituted a new policy requiring registering to comment.  That caused a lot of kvetching within Metblogs and across the Portland blogosphere.  We’re still moving on as it is something I personally as a captain have no control over.

That said, I don’t understand why people are so up in arms about registering to comment.  Over the past few weeks, I have seen comments elsewhere responding to one of our posts where someone rants about needing to register to comment.  It was on Oregonlive’s Reddit where one is required to register to comment.  What’s up with that?  In order to use Reddit, you must supply a valid email address.  What’s the difference there than here?  It seems there is a double standard.

All of you who are registerring phobic, use a thow away email address.  You can set one up on Google without giving anyone any information other than your IP which you can mask with TOR.  I miss your comments and the discussion it created here on Portland Metblogs.  If you have a strong opinion and don’t want to register to comment, you can email me your comment and I will post it for you – dieselboi at gmail dot com.

Hilary Clinton hates Oregon

Seriously, I think she doesn’t like us.  She’s fighting for her political life this spring trying to sway voters to chose her over Barack Obama and yet she’s ignoring Oregon.  Well, ignoring may be a strong word.  She did send her lapdog…I mean husband.  Former president Bill Clinton is in Portland today to pitch his wife’s campaign.  I understand he’ll meet supporters at a couple of events – OHSU included.  I guess I’m wondering who this country is really electing?  Is Bill actually in the race and we’ve just not been told?  I chuckle that Barack Obama garnered thousands of supporters when he visited and Hilary has yet to show her face in the state.

Hilary, if you indeed plan a visit, you should do it soon.  I understand you are busy trying to win other states, but don’t forget about us out here on the left coast.  We’re people too….and we vote.

Last day to register to vote in Oregon is April 30.  Remember, in order to vote in the primary, you must declare whether you are Democrat or Republican.  Socialists, Communists, Greeners and Libertarians aren’t allowed to vote in Oregon’s primaries.

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