31 December 2007

Skyline Porn

Reminiscent of Beijing or Los Angeles, this haze enveloping Portland is mostly just good ol' marine layer that took all day to burn off.

While taking that previous foggy shot from Lloyd Blvd, my experience with Portland's weather told me that I had a small window in which the city would be absolutely beautiful, bathed in the pink sunset, as long as I could get to the Westside in time... This is from the Subaru, rolling across the Burnside Bridge.

I made it to Washington Park in time to see a view of Mt. Hood that even my colorblind ass saw in the most beautiful pinks and reds. At least I'm pretty sure it was pink and red, I didn't ask anyone... Unfortunately, the camera didn't do justice to the colors, but it still looks pretty damn good coming from a camera that I can carry in my pocket. I felt a little weird, it was one of those nights where this spot was filled with dudes with huge tripods and lenses that are obviously over-compensating for something. Here I am standing on a picnic table with G's little Kodak high above my head like a Bic lighter at a BOC show. I took about twenty shots, this is the best one.

After my Wash Park experience, I headed up to the Pittock Mansion, my second favorite view of the city after the Willamette Bluff. It was too dark by the time I got up there to really capture the moment with the camera, but still an awesome view, and an awesome spot to share a few New Year's Eve minutes with a nice couple and their Chocolate Lab, who were taking in this Portland sunset for their last time, headed somewhere back East tomorrow, after living here for the past few years. I bid them a safe journey and a Happy New Year and ran back to the car because it was really windy and cold up there near 1,000 feet.

Twilight Towers

Two of my favorite buildings on the eastside of Portland are "The Fontaine," and the "Holladay Park Plaza," both senior living condominiums from the 1960's.

Holladay Park Plaza

From Lloyd Center

The Fontaine, and it's Fleur de Lis fence.

The Fontaine's entrance is absolutely fabulous.

Forgotten Lloyd Center

I'd seen pictures and heard about the creepy abandoned part of Lloyd Center, but I'd never been able to find it until tonight. Just downstairs from the Dollar Tree and the Barnes and Noble is this old extension of the parking garage that only a few folks seem to still park in.

Things down here seem to be relatively unchanged since the place was built, like this awesome tile wall that reminds me of my elementary school.

This abandoned Newberry store front is just below street level, in a spot that never sees daylight, making it almost impossible to get a decent picture of, and also making it strangely unsettling to hang around. Portland doesn't have a lot of abandoned stuff like this, even in the most ghetto parts of town, and especially in the city's most famous shopping mecca.

An awesome number 16 from an unkempt section of Lloyd Center's labyrinthine parking garage.
Lloyd Center was built as the world's largest mall, a title which it soon lost. It was designed by a firm called John Graham & Associates, a name which I find amusing. They were also the folks behind Southcenter in Tukwila and the Tacoma Mall, as well as a few other malls of North America. I never actually went into Lloyd Center tonight, I usually avoid it except for those couple days in the summer when dealing with the mall is better than dealing with 100 degree heat. Oh, and when I get that random Arby's craving. My nearest Arby's is in the food court...


More than just an excuse to take a picture of my neighbor's Buick Reatta, which I covet for it's obscurity. We had a weird sleet storm the other day, complete with an awesome flash of lightning and clap of thunder, something we don't often get in Portland, especially in December.

Sorry upstairs neighbor, I don't covet your Camry quite as much, but the sleet did build up nicely on it...

25 December 2007

Four Day Weekend one of two

Christmas Day

I can't lie, this Pioneer Courthouse Square pic was actually Christmas Eve Day...

Festive Elk

DIY Festive Duck

Standing in the middle of Broadway, about 11am.

I saw three ships on Christmas Day. Do Barges count as ships? Too bad you can't see the crazy snow that was pummeling me as I stood on the Broadway Bridge

Snow sticking to the dirt, but not much else...

Snow on Christmas Day in Portland. Who would've thunk?

24 December 2007

My Quintisential Christmas Song

Beautiful, short, and sweet.
It was a tough call between this and Bing's White Christmas...

23 December 2007

Mt. St. Helens

Bizarre video, yet somewhat moving
"Once a mound seemingly revealing the very likeness of womanhood, a bosom, both exposed to and part of nature, but who's milk was fire and smoke and ash and lava, lactated by forces deep within the bowels of the earth and which brought death, destruction, and misery."

This is Oregon

A little video from 1976 that always reminds me why I'm living in Oregon, the fact that things haven't really changed that much in the last thirty years...
I know I've posted stuff from For Portlanders Only before, but every few months I'm reminded of it and feel the need to spend hours watching local TV clips from the '80's.

20 December 2007

King Features

These 8 seconds of video scared the hell out of me when I was a kid. King Features distributed the Blondie movies that I loved to watch on Saturday afternoons when I was about 4. This little intro really disturbed me for some reason, although now I find it really awesome. That last post with the cool motion graphics reminded me of it, and I had to seek it out...

Something about the music, the abstract graphics, not original to the Blondie movies from the 40's but added later for television destribution, probably in the late '50's sometime. It always gave me the willys for some reason, but now I find it to be perfect...

Bad Christmas Sweater

UPDATE - I won the bad sweater contest! A $50 gift certificate for employee purchases. It was a close call, Joey almost beat me with her combination of bad sweater and Christmas socks, but at the last minute my cow-orker gave me his Christmas tie that plays "jingle bells." The combination of that and the penguins building a snowman took first place!

We're having a "bad sweater day" as part of my company Christmas party. I searched a couple of thrift stores for just the right thing, but found nothing. After finding some other stuff I didn't really need at the Salvation Army on Halsey, I realized I was only a few blocks from the only K-Mart in the Portland city limits.
I looked in the Holiday department but found nothing. Then to the regular men's wear section. They had a few sweaters, but they were all pretty tasteful, things I would actually wear. My last resort was the ladies section, where I found this gem. Behold, my bad Christmas sweater!

Yep, those penguins are building a motherfuckin' snowman, and they all have little tufts of yarn hanging off their scarves.

I'm actually kinda excited to see if anyone comes up with anything worse than this.

18 December 2007

Active Americans Working Together...That's a Team!

Awesome old school motion graphics from animator Preston Blair.

I almost want to enlist.
Also see this awesome station ID by the same animator.

Christmases of years past

Vintage Christmas Wax...
Christmas music the way it was at the beginning of recorded music. I downloaded a bunch of these this morning and loaded up the pod, much to the delight of my coworkers. None of us were really in a Christmas mood, but these songs from years ago seemed to do the trick.
Most, if not all of the performers you'll hear are dead, most of them probably never even gave a thought that someone nearly 100 years later would be listening to their voices, and especially that their performance on that newfangled wax cylinder might just be the thing that makes a room full of curmudgeonly atheists and agnostics remember that Christmas really is a beautiful celebration, full of great memories and good will, even for non-believers.

17 December 2007

Photo Cleanup

A collection of pics from the last year that for one reason or another have been lingering on the camera.

A very detailed roadsign

Summer on the Willamette

Lower Albina


I can smell the PCBs just looking at this picture


Cool office building entrance that's not long for this world.

Because "King Frank" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

15 December 2007

um... yeah

My cat has a blog now. Check it out.
Not sure what else to say about it...

14 December 2007

Asbestos Tampon

Tipped off by StuckeySpalt, I was reading the Onion AV Club's worst band names of 2007 column and discovered the Asbestos Tampons. Music that's as gloriously immature as the name.
Be sure to listen to the tracks "Blumpkin" and "Prostitution."

Sister Paula

Sister Paula is a transgendered televangelist. I watch her show on public access channel 21 whenever I happen to catch it, but now that I know she's on every Friday night, I might have to make it a point to watch if I'm near a TV. She's been a Portland television fixture since 1987.
She gives some good advice for daily life, despite being a little more Jesusey than I really care for. On tonight's show, her words are intersperced with old timey bible songs like I grew up listening to, which she sings acapella, in a deep, slightly off key Bea Arthur baritone with wonderfully animated gestures.

In this episode, Paula introduces us to her friend, Fluster.

I love that she shoots the show in front of the countertop and Mr. Coffee instead of the usual public access "sitting in a chair in front of a poorly lit backdrop" type show that almost always proceeds and follows Sister Paula.
She does have a page full of podcasts and a blog for ya'll outside of the Portland area, but somehow she's just more fun when you stumble onto it flipping though the channels.

13 December 2007

Like the warmth of the sun

One of the most perfect, sweet little video clips I've had the pleasure of viewing in a long time, soundtracked with the most perfect love song ever written.

"I edited this short film set to the tune of The Zombies' "This Will Be Our Year" featuring Super 8 footage shot by my parents between 1965-1979." -YouTube user mitm2002

12 December 2007

Dr. Becker

No, not Ted Danson's character from that terrible television show, Dr. Becker is the best fake Dr. Pepper ever. I'm on my second one tonight!

08 December 2007

Fuck da Police

Sesame Street style...

A little something I found while poking around the stats for the blog. It seems the top search term from google that brings folks to this site is "street fuck." Who knew?

I'm number 6, and this video is number 8. There must be a lot of disappointed exhibitionism fans out there...

Twin Peaks Gallery

A cool gallery of photos from the set of Twin Peaks, taken by Richard Beymer, who played Ben Horne (the rich guy.)

06 December 2007

Pickle Surprise

This is the third time I've posted these videos in the last year, but they're just that awesome! Everyone needs to see Pickle Surprise.

...and Strawberry Shortcut

A little more info on Tom Rubnitz.

I've found myself obsessed with this particular time period lately. Maybe its because I just watched the first 4 episodes of Twin Peaks. I was just a bit too young in 1990 to have really gotten into it, but now I'm slightly obsessed.
Until recently I thought of this period as a cultural wasteland full of MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice. Now I realize that its because I was 11 at the time.
I was three years away from meeting my first gay role model, although my CD collection at this age was quite heavy on the Queen, B-52's, and an interesting obsession with Anne Murray that I still don't understand. But for a 5th grader in rural southern Indiana, I think I was much more culturally aware than most kids my age, yet I'm still amazed at a lot of media that came out of this time that I'm just now discovering 17 years later.

I'm still the only bee in your bonnet

Here's a re-post from back in March. I've been doing a little housecleaning and realized some YouTube videos I posted were no longer viable links. Anyway, there's some fresh eyes looking at Sellwood Street lately, many of which are also TMBG fans, so here, enjoy some videos you probably forgot about...

(Old post begins here)
While I'm embedding youtube vids, here's some They Might Be Giants videos that always put a stupid grin on my face. 15 years ago, we waited patiently late at night, watching MTV, just hoping they'd play one of these, without the knowledge that in the future we could simply "google" them and watch them at our leisure, and we were the fucking geeks! Just think what the rest of the world was thinking about...

Song lyrics that have become sort of a philosophy for me.
"No one in the world ever gets what they want, and that is beautiful.
Everybody dies frustrated and sad, and that is beautiful."

And this gem, the John's on MTV's 120 Minutes circa 1988 with an awesome performance of my favorite song ever written in 6/8.

This one is an addition to the original post, but I was just thinking about Anne Ng, of the Bangkok Kitchen on Burnside. We never formally met, but when I lived out in Montavilla, I somehow ended up behind you in traffic a lot. Your "Anne Ng" license plate is hard to miss for any TMBG fan. I also lived right up the street from the restaurant, and noticed your car parked there every night. My geeky friends and I would reference this song when ordering the best Massaman curry on the Eastside.

Thanks for geeking out with me.

05 December 2007

Zero G Kitty

Yeah, its a little cruel, and yeah, that cat is probably terrified, but when it does the barrel roll, I crack up every time...