17 December 2008
02 December 2008
Hey Houstonians, have you noticed the street sign missing from the corner of Bagby & Bremond in Midtown? Well, I found it. 2367 miles away at the corner of NE 7th & Tillamook here in Portland.
Don't worry, its in a nice place, a traffic circle with a tree and some shrubbery and a whole lot of leaves. So many stories are floating around my head about how it got here, who brought it here, has someone had it hanging around their garage for awhile and needed to get rid of it? Some elaborate prank? I've stolen a few street signs in my time, I know how it goes. It seems like such a fun idea until you're trying to figure out how to get rid of it...
So, what's up Houston? You guys have any idea what its doing here? You want it back?
On Google Street View, Bagby & Bremond looks like a nice corner. A couple of apartment buildings, some sort of industrial lot, a nice view of the skyline. Not too different from its current resting place. I can't seem to spot the sign in these shots, maybe its been missing for awhile...
There's a coffee shop a block down the street from the corner that would fit in here in Portland. If I'm ever in Houston other than George Bush Intercontinental Airport, (that is another post completely), this neighborhood is on the itinerary.
24 November 2008
Check out this awesome very 70's ad for Levi's. For some reason, I just can't get enough 70's stuff lately, listening to lots of 70's music and watching lots of clips on YouTube.
There's a certain malaise feeling that was so prevalent in the '70's, I think that vibe should be due for a comeback soon...
This ad however, is still early enough to be fun and naive and cute.
19 November 2008
I can't remember the last time my lil' hometown of Bloomfield, Indiana was mentioned in the national press. It was always exciting to read some news about Bloomfield in the Indy Star every now and then, and that was usually just about a tornado or a tragic trailer fire or something.
Lo and behold, this morning on Good Day Oregon comes a story that I first spotted Saturday morning on the Bloomfield Free Press. I happened to notice a fellow Bloomfidian online and I promptly sent him the link. After we had a good lol, and tried to remember if we knew any of them, he sent the story onto the Drudge Report. I like to believe that's how the story made its way to other places like the AP and more importantly, The Smoking Gun. Keep it classy, Bloomfield!
I do have to say, the Free Press had the best headline of all. "Dirty Half Dozen" is awesome. Why didn't anyone else use it?
18 November 2008
When the economy turns sour, folks turn to everyone's favorite salty sweet canned meat product, Spam. Sales are through the roof, the folks at the Spam factory are working overtime to keep our shelves filled with the "spiced ham" meat-like loaf.
Say what you will about it, my Grandma made a mean fried Spam-wich, even if she did use Treet sometimes. I've also had some tasty Spam infused Hawaiian dishes. After reading this article, I'm thinking about buying a can next time I'm at the store. I remember when I was a kid I used to love it fried, with pork & beans on the side. Maybe I can even make some SOS with spam instead of chipped beef, that sounds like comfort food at its saltiest best.
01 November 2008
A typical Indiana front yard, festive scarecrow, some folksy sign that probably has the family's name, a Camaro in the driveway, the Stars and Bars, an Obama sign...
I hate to mention the location of this house because its in the whipping boy of po-dunk little racist enclaves all across Southern Indiana, Martinsville. I've always thought Martinsville was unfairly pigeonholed because its between Indianapolis and Bloomington, the two most liberal cities in the state. Does anyone know of the specific incidents that make it stand out as the racist hotspot everyone believes it to be?
For a state where 80 years ago over half of the elected state officials were Klansman, Indiana has come a long way.
21 October 2008
09 September 2008
I spent what seems like almost all my free time in high school in this place. I actually hung that sign which covered over the more "rustic" old wooden sign. I think that was the summer of '95?
Glad that they're still going strong. Shawnee is such a weird yet awesome asset in a town of 2,500. Bloomfield is hardly a complete cultural wasteland, but summer stock ˈthē-ˌā-tər in Bloomfield? Who would've thunk?
John Belushi was here for the summer season in 1967, straight out of high school.
The popular story around town is that Belushi took his first toke in Bloomfield, "it was the beginning of the end," we always joked. "He was pretty square until he spent a summer in the sticks." After his time served in Greene County, he was off to other things, and then Second City in Chicago, and then that late night show he did in New York, but "if we hadn't introduced him to the marijuana in the first place, he might still be with us today..."
02 September 2008
One of the first things I noticed when I moved to Portland was the amount of weird old cars still on the road here. Things like Datsun 210's and 1976 Chevy trucks that have been mostly digested by rock salt back in Indiana are still plentiful here on the streets of the Rose City. Inspired by the Down on the Street photos on Jalopnik, this is my first post of some random neat old stuff parked around my 'hood.
I used to sit in the 3rd story window and daydream about all the things I could haul around in this awesome old dump truck.
27 August 2008
I'm not the first to find a similarity between these two logos. The first time I saw John McCain's logo on one of his ads, I immediately thought "mmm... french fries."
The typeface used in the John McCain logo is Optima, Straightforward, plain, and just about as ho-hum middle of the road as it comes as far as text goes.
Not so coincidentally, this is the same typeface used on Maya Lin's Vietnam Memorial. More discussion here.
I think I'd be more persuaded if they had used that cool retro McCain Frozen Foods font. That funky star that dots the "i" is like a future that will never be. Let's hope the same will come to be said about that other McCain star...
20 August 2008
Update - The video was promptly taken down from all the usual sources, but it is still available here.
Hungarian weightlifter Janos Baranyai dislocates his elbow.
Use care, the video is pretty nasty, but still not as bad as this still image of the infamous "blown 'O' ring." (Use even more care with that picture. Don't click that link in mixed company, unless you really want to bother someone for the rest of the day, or risk losing your job.)
I love the officially branded "Beijing 2008 Nothing to See Here" shields that come out about ten seconds after he falls down. If you can't see the writhing, everything is alright...
19 August 2008
So it was Friday after work, 102 degrees, and I didn't want to cook. So I headed to Lloyd Center to wait out the heat of the day and get some mall food court dinner. Luckily the Lloyd Center has my second favorite fast food pleasure - Arbys.
Lloyd Center is an especially awesome air conditioned oasis on a dreadfully hot day in a mostly un-conditioned city. You can catch a movie, browse Barnes & Noble, watch kids ice skate, slurp an Orange Julius, and just people-watch. Other than my regular Arby's cravings, hot ass summer days are about the only time I voluntarily head to the mall.
13 August 2008
06 August 2008
Its hot. I'm struggling to keep the apartment under 80. It was supposed to be even warmer today but the predictions didn't pan out. I figured this was the perfect day to make a crock pot meal. It doesn't heat the house too much, and although a little heavier of a meal than I really needed to eat tonight, it was a success.
I almost lost my favorite crock pot roast recipe, it was written on a tiny piece of paper that was once tucked into a cookbook. It was no longer there.
I finally found it after taking all the cookbooks out of the cookbook cabinet, it was stuck to the back of the cupboard.
I decided to post the recipe here so I don't have to rely on my little piece of paper anymore.
Try it out sometime if you have a crock-pot. Perfect in the winter, tasty in the summer too.
I like it best with a big chunk of beef roast, but tonight I used pork shoulder because it was available on the cheap this week. The roast should be around 3-4 pounds, or pretty much fill the whole crock pot.
Mix all of the following together in the pot the night before and refrigerate it so all you have to do in the morning before you go to work is turn it on. The marinading isn't mandatory, its just convenient. You can throw it all together and start cooking straight away if you want and get the same results.
Here's the juice:
Mix up in the crock pot
1 Packet of brown gravy mix (Hain makes my favorite one) and
1/2 cup of water.
Stir it up with a whisk until all the powder dissolves.
1/4 cup of fine tomato ketchup
1/4 cup of "Three Buck Chuck" Shiraz (or your favorite inexpensive full-bodied red wine)
2 tbsp of dijon mustard
1 tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce
1/8 tsp of garlic powder (or a couple cloves of crushed garlic if you feel so inclined)
Some little carrots and potatoes if you want
Salt and pepper the meat to your liking, remembering that there's quite a bit of sodium in that juice you're getting ready to dunk the meat into for the next few hours, so go easy on the salt. Refrigerate overnight if that works out best for you.
Cook on Low for 7-9 hours, or until you stick a fork into the meat and it all falls apart.
*Not my crock pot by the way, just a picture borrowed from abmatic's photostream. However Mom still uses her green one that looks just like that one.
05 August 2008
04 August 2008
For those of ya'll outside of our weird little experiment that is Portland, it seems we're in the throes of a bicycle vs. auto battle, at least as far as the local media is concerned. (I'm looking at you Oregonian).
Lately the Portland fuzz have been on an education mission, stopping irresponsible bikers who blow through stop signs at problem intersections around the city, issuing written warnings, and a few tickets for "egregious behavior," also known as "being a dick to a cop who has your best interest in mind."
Wow, who would've thought I'd ever be on the same side as the pigs. Having grown up with a good ol' boy police force so corrupt that even my Mom warns me about them every time I'm visiting the ol' homestead. I grew up, much like most of inner-city America, (even though we lived 100 miles from the nearest urban area, and were white) believing that the cops hardly ever have your best interest in mind. Little things like tickets for a burned out tail-light, and random beatings along the side of the highway have made me fear the police, even though I'm an educated white male who statically should have nothing to fear.
I digress, I've been biking to work now everyday for two months, and will be riding to work almost everyday for the next two years as G needs the car to make the trip to his classes at Sylvania everyday. I was already a road nazi as a driver. I don't consider myself as being "anal" about too many things, I don't mind a messy house, I'm OK with my nasty desk at work, but when it comes to the rules of the road, I'm a tyrant. There's a reason we have these rules/laws. Even back in my stomping grounds of super laid back Bloomington, I was a very high stress driver, not hesitating to honk and yell at folks doing stupid shit that endangered the lives of myself and others.
I ride NE Tillamook St. every day, one of Portland's designated "bike boulevards," designed to be inconvenient for cars and easy on cyclists. Taking cars mostly out of the picture makes me realize that a disproportionately high number of us cyclists are assholes and dickheads, or both.
I rarely encounter an issue with motor vehicles since the few folks who live and drive around Tillamook Street know that they live on a bike street and are generally courteous and mindful of everyone.
That dude that blows the 4-way at 30th & Tillamook, nearly t-boning me after I stop and assume that you're going to stop as well, or that dude on a bike that tried to zoom past me on the right while I was patiently waiting for that red light at Williams & Russell, you go to hell and you die!
Even non-confrontational me is fed up enough to try to discipline my fellow cyclists, at least in my special passive aggressive style of a stern throat clearing and a dirty look. It seems there are quite a few of us bikers for whom that self-preservation instinct has somehow been disabled.
I'm talking about the smart folks who ride on the streets that aren't already jammed with cars, who aren't trying to make some sort of point by endangering their lives, and sometimes the lives of their children in that little cart behind them, cruising down Burnside in rush hour traffic. That's another post complelety.
I begrudgingly post a link to Bike Free Portland, who despite crossing into the accusatory and kinda crazy tone that keeps the "real" media from taking bloggers seriously, makes enough valid points to be worthy of a read.
So its a commercial for Alka-Seltzer, but its awesomeness trumps the fact that its an ad, so I'll post it. Mainly for the amusement of Lizbone, note that they don't even really mention western NC BBQ, Appalachian TN is as as close as it comes. These guys know what's up.
but make sure it's vinegar based,
cause you know that slows decay,
and it's the style from our home state, North Carolina!"
01 August 2008
30 July 2008
I'm sure most of us have eaten this stuff before. Maybe in that quick chicken sandwich at an airport with poor dining options (I'm looking at you George Bush Intercontinental) that you choke down just to get you through the next leg of your flight, or that fast food "fajita chicken salad," that you ate at the mall food court because it was the healthiest looking thing on the menu.
"Boneless, skinless, 100% chicken breast pieces shaped into natural breast fillets. Glazed flavoring. Unique 3-D technology gives you the look and texture of a solid muscle chicken breast, at a fraction of the cost"
The name Sysco has become somewhat of a restaurant joke amongst my friends and I. We eat out a lot, its a habit we're trying to get out of as food prices rise and incomes shrink and more bills gotta be paid, that said, we're always on the lookout for a new restaurant to check out.
Luckily, we live in a food paradise here in Portland, fresh and local ingredients are abundant, even in a lot of inexpensive local comfort food places. Hot Lips and Russell St. BBQ to name a couple of my favs using high quality mostly locally sourced ingredients. We're spoiled, plain and simple.
When I see that ubiquitous Sysco truck unloading outside a fancy Pearl District eatery, or a high end hotel lobby restaurant, the kind of place where one pays a premium for what is assumed to be a higher quality product, its always kind of a let down, even if they are only delivering napkins and dish-soap.
Here's an interesting Slate article about Sysco and their plans of world domination.
23 July 2008
A perfect summer evening in Portland, 70 degrees and sunny, no plans after work, so I leisurely biked home on a long serpentine path through NE Portland. Mainly on the surface streets running along the south side of the Banfield, through my favorite chunk of industrial neighborhood, the "Spinning Food District."