Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

MAX vs. Truck – MAX Won

Riders northbound on the Yellow line are being delayed and not by the navy ships. Up by the Alibi, a truck wasn’t paying attention and got snagged by a northbound train. Riders were getting off and walking north. Not sure how long it will delay. Could be a non issue. MAX just had some paint scrapes. The truck though was a little mushed.


Originally uploaded by dieselboi

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.

All Buttered Up

regular butterThis has perplexed me for 10 years, but obviously never enough to really look into the matter… until now. So for what seems to be a relatively unknown reason – in Oregon, Washington, California and Arizona – sticks of butter are shaped oddly. I’ve been here long enough that I forget about it now, until we’re watching some cooking show where she says – use half a stick of butter – and we see her cut from the long skinny stick.

Western Stubby butterI noticed almost immediately when I moved here that the butter was shaped strangely. These short sticks (called a Western Stubby) are half the length of a normal stick, but what I didn’t realize, is that they’re also fatter. So my assumption was that they were half the size of a normal stick. And when I would read recipes, especially those from my mom or friends back in the Midwest, I would think I needed to double the butter – if it said use a half-stick, I’d need to use a whole stick since mine were now half the size – no wonder some of that stuff didn’t come out quite right! Today I actually looked it up – and they are the same weight, just a different shape.

And since 46 of the 50 states use the long-skinny kind, that’s what other ‘butter related’ items are made for. Like why boxes of butter don’t fit very well in the refrigerator butter door, or why there’s so much wasted space in the butter dish (or in some cases, that the lid actually hits the butter.) ‘Cause the sticks are oddly shaped!

I guess it’s one more thing keeping Portland (and the rest of the west coast) weird! I’m just glad I now know that it’s not my cooking that made my mom’s fabulous apple crisp taste weird – it was too much butter!

The best entertainment is (sometimes) free

Unless you’re living a completely media-free life, off the land and the grid, you’re well aware of our current economic state. These are recession times indeed, and we’re all feeling it in the pocketbook. (I’m not too upset about the high price of gas, but that’s for another post). Anyway, the one beautiful thing that comes out of penny pinching is resourcefulness. Finding cheap or free entertainment becomes a skill. Of course, in this city there are many options so it’s less of a challenge. But just in case you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the possibilities, allow me to make a recommendation. Every Friday night is poetry slam night at Po’Shines in the Kenton neighborhood. It’s a free event though Po’Shines is an excellent soul food joint so go with enough change for at least a bowl of red beans and rice. You’ll get a free piece of cornbread on top of it, not bad right? The poetry isn’t always slammin’ but it’s a community effort and I believe that participating in the community- in whatever form- is critical at this juncture in our collective history. So Po’Shines ya’ll! 8129 N Denver, right off of the yellow line.

The end of the block….


Originally uploaded by dieselboii

The block at the corner of SW Morrison and Park is being demolished today. What a site to see the former home of Virginia Cafe and Zell Bros reduced to a pile of rubble. And rather quickly. There are plenty of onlookers taking it all in. I can only imagine the memories those buildings hold for many a Portlander.

Do we really need a bike bridge on the west-side?

For those not in the know, Sam Adams is proposing to use the old Sauvie Island Bridge to gap I-405 across NW Flanders Street. I’ve lived in Portland long enough to appreciate the fact that we do stuff different here. But really? Is this necessary? Aren’t there perfectly usable spans one block on either side of Flanders? And if, as proponents claim, the sidewalks are too narrow, isn’t there a perfectly suitable means of walking under the 405 just a few blocks north?

I think this is a bad idea. Sure, it’s a neat idea, but a bad idea. Let’s forget about the fact that it’s unnecessary. We have some of the crappiest roads on the west coast. There are a small ton of potholes beggin’ for a-fixin’. Also, there are parts of the city that still don’t have sidewalks. Maybe we could fix these first? Secondly, this just smells like a pet project, and gives those folks out in the eastern hinterlands more ammunition for arguments of west-side favoritism. I can’t say I blame them, really. It does look bad when the city is seriously contemplating an absolutely unnecessary (but cool – I’ll admit it’s a cool idea) handout to peds and cyclists when their roads are crumbling.

Am I wrong here?

Mike Doughty live @ Music Millennium

We ventured over to Music Millennium on East Burnside yesterday to catch one of my music heros, Mike Doughty.  He was in town for a show last evening @ The Wonder Ballroom and graciously decided to perform a set for free for his biggest fans.  Mike was the lead singer of a great band in the 90s – Soul Coughing.  My friend Jon from New Orleans introduced them to me back around 1996 or so and I have listened to them ever since.  When Mike went off on his own, I stuck with it as his sound and lyrics keep me coming back.  With songs like 27 Jennifers, Bustin up a Starbucks and Janine (from the Soul Coughing days,) how can’t you.  I remember seeing Soul Coughing back in the day at Pine Street Theater.  We saw them on a Tuesday followd by Luscious Jackson on a Wednesday.  I miss those days of night after night of live music…  So, check out the vid of Mike performing Looking at the world from the bottom of the well.  Enjoy.


I Don’t Think This Flag is Flying Under Proper Protocol



On Friday evening, we hosted a visitor to Portland and took them out. Initially we had planned on checking out the sunset from the Rose Gardens, but she had already seen that, so we had to think quickly. We were headed towards the Pearl, so decided to stop in at Henry’s for a drink.
Henry’s is the restaurant and bar located in the former Henry Weinhard’s brewery block on W. Burnside. It really is a nice place and I have only heard great things about it. We even had our holiday party there and it was a blast. The bar @ Henry’s has about 100 different beers on tap and this isn’t 20 flavors of Bud Light. They have brews from all the local microbreweries and some not from our hood like Victory and Dogfish Head. They also have a cooling strip. Yup, you know that frosted part of an old fridge? Well, they have that surrounding the bar for you to keep you beer or cocktail cool. What a great invention.
My only challenge with Henry’s is the crowd. On a Friday evening, it was full of the beautiful people – yet not necessarily the natural beauty. Lots of hair, makeup and some silicon. Granted, I was there with my beautiful wife and I’m no slouch, so I guess I’m being hypocritical :). Great for eye candy for boys and girls, but not my cup of tea. Too bad too as the beer selection is superb. I guess I’ll have to wait for the new Deschuttes to open.
Oh, and so you don’t think our visitor only saw Henry’s, we had a great dinner at Nostrana and then dessert at PIX. MMMM….Pizza followed by chocolate.

04 19 2008

Originally uploaded by dieselboi

Food Cart Fest


Tonight was the first ever Food Cart Fest. The fest, held in an old warehouse underneath the Fremont Bridge, was a fund-raiser for Mercy Corps NW and Hacienda CDC. For $5, one got to sample the wares of eleven local food carts. A food cart fest is a great idea, as Portland’s food carts sport some of the tastiest food anywhere. Raising money for two very deserving charities was also a fine idea. As a fund-raiser, I’m betting Food Cart Fest was a smash hit. As a celebration of Portland’s food carts, however, it came up a bit lacking.

Don’t get me wrong – there were a ton of people there. That’s fantastic for the charities, and I am absolutely stoked that they made a lot of money tonight. However, the organizers did not expect this many people – and that was bad for the attendees. I arrived at 6:30 (a mere hour after festivities began), and Julia’s Mobile Cafe had already run out of food. Most of the other carts had long lines – made worse by the fact that they had to snake around large, empty tables (tables are a fine idea in the bar area, but when the sample given is no more than a couple of mouthfuls, there’s really no need (or time) to sit down with the sample). The lines moved fairly quickly – the notable exception was the line for the Altengartz Bratwurst cart, which took over 20 minutes. By 7:45, about half of the carts had run out of food, and the crowd began to clear out. When I left after 8:00, there were only a few that were still serving – and there was nearly an hour left in the event.

That said, given the choice between overcrowding and not enough food, or undercrowding and not enough money being raised, I’m in favor of the former every time. Still, this is Portland. Food Carts are HUGE. A Food Cart Fest is a fantastic idea – the kind of things Portlanders would come out for in droves. To me, it seems obvious that the event would be highly attended.

But, in the large scheme of things, my complaints are minor. As a charity raising event, it was a huge hit – and that is fantastic. Here’s hoping that they make this an annual tradition. Once the wrinkles are ironed out, this will be a winner.

The food I did sample was awesome (and those Brats were worth the wait). For me, the winner was the maple bacon ice cream (with real bacon bits!) from Junior Ambassador. Fantastic stuff.

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