28 January 2009

Zappa's PGE ad

Seems to have been snagged from a French documentary, not sure when he made this, sometime late 70's early 80's but I hear from some old timers that it ran on Portland TV for a long time. (Sans subtitres)

27 January 2009

Video Dump

So many YouTube videos.

This one is an Oregon Lottery ad that only aired for a couple days before they pulled it. Weird.

I watched this one early this morning and have been giggling about it all day.

From the Portland Streets

I scored a double on this quiet N Portland corner this weekend on the way to the grocery store.

This shiny red 1964-ish International pickup caught my eye enough to de-bike and dig out the camera. That grill is all round and cute, kinda like a cherub.

The back end of this machine is all business though. The bed is pretty much just a plain ol' box welded onto the back. This isn't exactly a pristine vehicle, but pretty nice for a 40 year old truck.

On the same corner is this lovely sample. (You can see the red truck across the street.) A sad third generation Mustang, somewhere around an 1981.

This is what the oil crisis did to the Mustang. That paintjob just drips of malaise. The graphic seems like an afterthought. "No really, its a Mustang. See, it says so on the door, in big letters."

26 January 2009

An open letter to the media, regarding the Sam Adams sex scandal

A petition that's floating around the Portland blog circles. I'll do my part and pass it on. Nearly 200 signatures as of this post.

"We are not unknown to you. We are your readers. We are also friends on Twitter; you link to our blogs; you seek us out for comments at events. Just as we benefit from your reporting and analysis, you benefit and profit from our work; we act as partners in many ways in covering Portland news. The next time a scandal shakes our city, we hope that you will remember we are here; and we hope you will not rush to express a judgment before you can possibly know whether it reflects our views. "

Read and sign it if you feel so inclined.

23 January 2009

Get Back To Work

My two crappy pictures of this evening's Pro Sam rally.

22 January 2009

Rally Friday Night!

I'm sure hardly anyone reading this is following along for developing Sam news, but just in case, there's a rally in support of Mayor Sam planned for 5:30 in front of City Hall.
Dan Savage is a confirmed speaker, and there are rumors of other fairly important folks that will probably be in attendance as well. Hopefully a little more exposure of the other side will calm these shrill knee-jerk calls for resignation and my fellow Portlanders will think a little more about the situation.

Funny, I've been following these developments all morning and didn't realize that it was all being organized by a friend.
Just another Big City/Small Town moment in Portland.

Thank you Thomas Lauderdale

The "O" reports that Thomas Lauderdale of Pink Martini and Gus Van Sant are working on some sort of rally in support of Mayor Sam. Lauderdale's quotes in this story are the most sensible thing I've read in any of the local press.

""When it comes to sex, this country is just so crazy," Lauderdale said. "Ultimately, I think that what needs to happen is the city needs to calm down. The city needs to calm down and we need to concentrate on the heavy agenda, which is before us as a city. These sex scandals are a huge, colossal waste of time and resources."

The story continues -

"He said he's spoken with a lot of people who have supported the mayor. He's hoping Portlanders will come to the rally to encourage "the city to move on and move ahead and not behave rashly and irrationally."
"The thing is: people lie about sex. I mean it's the one thing that people lie about. He is not going to make this kind of mistake ever again in his life."
"I don't see this as a character problem. It was a huge lesson that unfortunately he had to learn in a very public way.""

I'm still with Sam

And so are these folks. Here's the statement.

What We Believe

1. Consensual sex between adults does not impact one's ability to serve in public office;

2. The personal affairs of gay officials face a level of scrutiny that is not equal to that of their heterosexual counterparts;

3. We acknowledge Sam Adams's dishonesty in this matter and do not endorse it;

4. Sam Adams is the person we want to lead our city.

17 January 2009

Kroger's Political Leanings?

(Not the Oregon AG, John Kroger)
BuyBlue.org seems to be down right now, just when I'm curious about Kroger's political affiliations. One or our local arms of the Kroger empire, QFC (Quality Food Center), has this ad reminding us that inauguration day is coming up.
I'll have to check out Buy Blue tomorrow and see where Kroger stands. Are they really glad to promote inauguration day, or are they just cashing in on a regional trend?

Auditorium Park Public Restrooms

Remember the giant heart model that you could walk through at the Museum of Science and Industry, or at OMSI, or at various other museums. This bizarre public bathroom reminds me of that. Red tile must've been on clearance sale back in 1969 when this parking garage public washroom was built.

G wouldn't go in. It did have potential to be bad news, but the few public restrooms around the city are pretty well maintained. Neither of us had ever noticed it before, even though collectively we've walked by here hundreds of times. Its right across Clay St. from the Ira Keller Fountain.

This is the part that really reminded me of walking through a heart valve.

There's not a square corner in the entire bathroom, but it was surprisingly clean and even smelled pleasant. G still wouldn't go in, even after I showed him the pictures.

The red tile really is quite overwhelming. I think the strategy here was to make the facilities so uncomfortable to spend much time in, so that even junkies wouldn't be able to bear the bright red curvy walls long enough to shoot up. Get in, get out!

15 January 2009

Caught a trucker out of Philly, had a nice long toke.

I love me some Bluegrass. At least a couple times a day, some old timey song plays in my head. Country and Gospel and Bluegrass music was everywhere around me growing up, and after a healthy period of rejection, I'm now even able to listen to commercial pop country radio.
An hour of that makes me thankful that there are plenty of folks still playing the Bluegrass, even out here in the NW, there's plenty of shows to go see. Tuesday night Jackstraw at the Laurelthirst is always a sure bet. Show up early to get a table, or you'll end up standing in an awkward location, eating your quesedilla standing up.

This charmingly bizarre video from Old Crow Medicine Show makes me happy. I've loved this song for years, but somehow have never encountered the video.

14 January 2009

Sloan's Tavern

If you've spent much time driving around Portland, you might have encountered Sloan's. You'd at least remember the West side of the building, its that place at Vancouver and Russell with a Freightliner Cab sticking out the side of the building.
I've lived within a stone's throw from it for a long time, but until tonight I'd only been there once.
I didn't discover it when I was still a cigarette smoker, and since I quit I really don't dig the smoky bars. I went there for the first time on a whim last year and thought it was an awesome neighborhood bar, but too smoky for my tastes, so it went somewhere near the top of my list of places to visit in 2009 now that Oregon's bars are smoke free.

Sloan's is the awesome low-key neighborhood bar with a perfect mix of grey haired old men, crusty skater punks, maybe a random table of queens, plenty of other neighborhood folks, and a bar full of interesting drunks and refugees.
I'm in love with Sloan's. I don't think G is completely sold yet. Someday that $4.99 chicken strip basket will make him a believer too.
The beer selection is the only troublesome spot. The only local beers are Widmer Hef on tap and Full Sail in bottles. I opted for PBR in a can, and then one on tap. The price was right, but I just don't really have the taste for shitty beer anymore. Maybe I'm a snob. I think next time I'll partake of their RC cola or maybe a Squirt, until they get a tastier local beer on tap.

The food at Sloan's is the main attraction. Full on old-school diner fare. Sandwiches rule the menu, Hot Ham & Cheese, a Reuben that I've read is awesome, the French Dip, the special ham & turkey on a french roll named the Emanual after the hospital across the street, and my special pleasure, the burgers are cooked just like in the Midwest diners of my youth, on the flat-top, steamed at the end so the cheese is all melty and perfect, and the toasted buttered bun was something I haven't encountered outside my own kitchen, or an Indiana diner. Oh, and everything comes with hand-cut fries! This place is the real fuckin' deal!
Oh, and the decor? Like a time capsule! An almost perfectly preserved 1975. Comfy booths, mirrored walls, cool carpet, and the bird themed wall hangings were something I'd forgotten about, but now I remember everyone had these in their house when I was a kid.
It seems like this place has been frequented by folks who respected it over the years, otherwise that mirror wall would've had someone thrown into it by now, and those booths wouldn't be perfectly intact. There are a few remnants of "Old Portland" still hanging on out there, and this is one of them. Check it out while you still can.

Oh, and the jukebox with the old timey animated band that plays along with the music makes it all worth while. If this place were to put even something like Mirror Pond on tap, I think I'd be there every night.

12 January 2009

Bloomington's "News Hole" filled

Bloomington has always felt to me kind of like a black hole for information. News of things that happen there don't seem to make it out unless its terrible. Its the same way with television in Bloomington. If you don't have cable or satellite, your one clear channel is the local PBS station, since the Indy stations aren't watchable with rabbit ears.
So it makes sense that hardly any local news from Bloomington is available to outsiders.
The big paper, the Herald Times, has a website that is still for subscribers only. I thought it was absurd 10 years ago, but they're still holding onto their own little thing...
The Indianapolis news doesn't really cover the news in Bloomington, only when something big happens.
There are a couple of independent outlets, Bloom Magazine is an awesome lifestyle food and dining publication, their online content is pretty informative, but geared more towards people visiting or living there, not expats like me who just want to know what's going on.
The Bloomington Independent is a good read too, their website usually has some interesting stories.
Today I found NewsMatters.org. Its WTIU's news website, and at first glance it seems to be just the Southern Indiana news souce I've been looking for. The daily Newsbreak video is available just after it airs every night. Stories on the website are stuff like stats and numbers stories about the city government budget and such, and news about IU, and weather, and all the boring daily stuff I expect to read about. If you're looking for B-town news, add it to your daily visits.

11 January 2009

Daily Libations

A new blog from a really old friend and fellow Bloomfidian.
Beer A Day chronicles Andy's daily beer.
He's allowed other adult beverages, but only one beer per day. Challenging.
Even more challenging, figuring out how I'm going to send him all the Portland beers that he must try in the name of this project.
Shipping alcohol to Mass. is pretty much forbidden. I just need to figure out how to package it...

05 January 2009

"I don't go to your job and knock the dicks out of your mouth"

I spent New Year's Eve away from cable TV, which was for the best. I'm sad that I missed this little jewel though.
I've loved Anderson Cooper ever since his days of drawing the short straw on Channel 1, (that Pepsi-co sponsored newscast that we were forced to watch in high school). He always got sent to Iraq or Bosnia or somewhere terrible. No wonder he's gone gray at 40.
Put him in front of the camera with fag-hag extraordinaire, Kathy Griffin, and you got some questionable dialogue sure to follow. They crack me up. Stick with it to the end for the payoff.