30 July 2008

SmartServe Chicken

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

The Banfield

Take the long way home

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."

Blast from Pepsi's past.

Tom Black's Garage. NE 24th & Holladay. Building built 1912.

The cute Fire Alarm Telegraph building, now used as office space for Sunshine Dairy. A fixture since 1928 when it was an important part of the Portland Fire Bureau.

Spinning Milk wasn't spinning tonight. Bummer.

Spinning Bread was rotating in full force, with the aroma of cinnamon rolls and onion buns filling the air.

I stumbled onto Buckman Field via a curious looking gravel path next to the new Eastside Voodoo Doughnuts. This is a huge park with a track and baseball fields that I've never noticed, and somehow it didn't fit into my internal map of the city until tonight. Now it all makes sense. This awesome cola ad is on the back side of Portland Bottling Plant. That awesome bike is my trusty steed.


Random shots taken from behind the wheel of the box truck yesterday afternoon. Slightly less dangerous and much more productive than talking on the phone while driving.

The Infamous Dockside Saloon and Restaurant. Home of the dumpster that became the downfall of Tonya Harding. I still haven't been, I hear they have an awesome happy hour and killer hashbrowns at breakfast.

A neat old trailer I drive by almost every day.

Go By Train

20 July 2008

18 July 2008


I'm just curious. It seems that I've extinguished at least one fire in every place I've ever worked, and once in a place I lived. Is this normal, or do I just have some sort of weird calling?
This evening was the company picnic that I skipped, I don't think there was booze and if there was I'd have to get my ass home from Oaks Park, so I decided to pass. So, I was the last one out of the building tonight, as I was locking up I noticed a smoky smell in the air and at first thought it must be a grass fire or someone burning yard debris. As I walked in from locking the gate, a big puff of smoke bellows out of the "outdoor break room," a fenced in area with patio tables, the ground covered with bark dust (also known as mulch in places eastward).
It was a patch in the corner, about 10 feet square smoldering. At first, I only saw the black patch, about the size of large western belt buckle. I ran inside and filled the liter pitcher that we use to maintain the forklift batteries. I dumped that on the black spot and quickly realized from the heat radiating through my shoes that the area on fire was much larger.
Mulch burns in an interesting way, I experienced it once before back in college at Collins, heading over to Cravens to chill with Chris and Josh or something...
The landscapers had just put down new mulch and a stray cigarette was flicked into the volatile substance. I tried to stomp it out, but quickly learned that it was in vain. I wish I would've grabbed one of the old school fire-hoses that were in the Cravens hallway, but instead I grabbed a fire extinguisher and discharged it all over the place. That happens sometimes...
Tonight only the hose was necessary. I gave the whole area a good drenching just in case it was a weird case of spontaneous combustion. I have a suspicion that it came from a cigarette.
Have any of ya'll extinguished fires before, or is it just me?

Feist on Sesame Street

Feist counts to four with a bunch of muppets. It almost makes the song palatable again after six months of it being drilled into my brain on the iPod ads.

Take a look at the original video while you're at it. I was a little obsessed with it the first few times I saw it. Here's previous discussion about it.

07 July 2008


Fireworks that are legal in Oregon, those ones that you buy in the Fred Meyer parking lot, they're lame.

"Those which produce only smoke, sparks or fire and which do not explode, eject balls of fire, fly into the air, or travel more than 6’ horizontally and/or 12” vertically from the point of ignition. (See Oregon Revised Statute 480.127)"

No roman candles, no bottle rockets, no neat little airplane thing that shoots out a paratrooper. Just things like "California Candles" and Snakes that ooze out onto the sidewalk like short turds.
There were some fun sparkly things, and smokey things, even boring fireworks are still fireworks, and fireworks = fucking awesome! Luckily, from our 4th of July vantage point near 82nd & Powell, plenty of folks had plenty of clearly illegal fireworks. Things launched from cannons. Things that rained glowing embers a little closer to us than we really cared for. From every direction, folks who had clearly visited The Res or crossed the Columbia for the good stuff were putting on a show for the neighborhood.

The fireworks that are legal to purchase in Washington are crazy cool. There's like no laws up there. They're just crazy about the fireworks. For years, the fireworks mega mart just across the state line in the 'Couv has been Blackjack. Now it seems there's a fireworks tent across the road from Blackjack, one where a portion of the proceeds fund the big Fort Vancouver fireworks, (billed as the largest West of the Mississippi).

Via Cabel, check the bizarre packaging on some of these explosives. From intense to cute to bizarre. Also see the video of the madness that ensues on the road up to the fireworks stands in the 'Couve.

05 July 2008

Brook Benton - Mother Nature, Father Time

I see them dancing, I hear the music, but my brain can't manage to match the two up.
Go-go dancers where they don't belong. Points for the use of props though, that plastic cow and fake road sign really drive the message home.

Bottled Water is Bullshit

A clip from Penn and Teller's show "Bullshit" about the insanity of bottled water. Its long-ish, about 13 minutes, so go get yourself a beer or a snack or something and pretend you're watching television.

04 July 2008

The Great Depression, in Color

"Bound for Glory" is an exhibition of color images taken during the Great Depression by photogs from the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information. Lots of great pictures from a period of history that I find fascinating.
When I saw the first image in the set, "Road cut into the barren hills which lead into Emmett" I immediately remembered a picture I took back in February when we went to Idaho. It was a loser, a throwaway shot that didn't make my final cut of Idaho shots. It was a quick one that I took from an historical marker pull-off, in-between cars whizzing by at 65. The angle is a bit different, but after staring at the brown hills in both photos for a couple days, I still can't decide if its the same spot. Brown hills all look the same...

July 1941

February 2008

03 July 2008

Former Burnside Bridge

I'm playing around with Google Street View tonight and noticed that it now goes all the way out into the rural fringes of the metro area. Here's my favorite bridge combo ever, for its history and its practicality. The big one was once the Burnside Bridge, hauled out here to Dodge Park in the 20's when it was replaced by the current Burnside Bridge.
My very favorite bridge ever is that little one on the left. It carries a few pipes full of Portland's drinking water across the Sandy River, from the reservoir, downhill towards the city. Its a bridge that carries water across water. For some reason I find that enthralling.

View Larger Map

This is a picture I took of it a couple years ago, from an early Sellwood Street post.

02 July 2008

Stop the Yellow Pages Madness

Best idea ever. Stop unsolicited phone book delivery to your home or business with a nifty website called Yellow Pages Goes Green. I'm always infuriated by phone books, here in Portland at least three different companies print yellow and white pages and drop them on your doorstep uninvited. Living in a 4-plex that shares a front porch, its especially overwhelming when they all appear. No one in the building even wants one, we all have the internets and have no need for the ol' yellow pages. They all just go straight to the recycling bin, but a whole lot of energy was wasted to force five pounds of paper upon us that we don't need or want.
Now I'm patiently waiting until November when they usually start appearing to see if it works. Updates to come.