It appears that the 2009-2010 season will need another huge prayer of hope just to lose in the first round of playoff action. This season has seen a mass drop in production from marquee players, mostly due to injury. The Natural, The Vanilla Gorilla, Webster, Batum, Rudy, Outlaw, Greg Oden’s penis, etc. have all taken some terrible hits this season. Never in my life have I seen a team literally fall apart at the wheels.
There is only one person to blame for this horrific fall out, and that is Head Coach Nate McMillan*.
As the only Pro team in Portland for the past couple of decades, Blazer fans have become obsessed with a NBA championship. I can go on and on about the history of barely getting there (17 point lead!?!?), but the discussion isn’t about triumphing over adversity. This is about us dumping the Captain of Crap. You will notice in the diagram what most die hard Blazer fans already know. McMillan hasn’t won shit. A coach is not supposed to be a leader in “Missed Playoffs.” The Portland Trailblazer coach is supposed to lead us to the playoffs and win us a championship. That is not the coach we currently have in place.
Are we to let us fans look at this current injury list as an excuse to let McMillan off the hook? Absolutely not! He can’t make in-game adjustments. The roster changes are so outrageous, even curly red-fro Blazer dancer scratches her head. Portland is crumbling under the poor leadership that McMillan has to offer. History has shown that no matter what happens, we are not going to win a championship under him. What do you think?
The new, “No talky on celly when drivey” law has entered the cockpits of our Toyota Priuses effective January 1st, 2010. Since I’m a super liberal hippie that uses Tri-Met rather than drive anywhere, I thought this was a fantastic idea! When I think of a world where drivers are acting more responsibly and forced to become aware of their surroundings, I believed that Oregon roads would become more safe. Then it finally hit me. People are selfish. A man running late to reach his daughter’s recital, will still text his wife in the middle of traffic. The “Woo Girl” can’t help but text the guy that she met at Aura on Friday night who was super cute and his friends were nice too… while rollin on Cedar Hills Boulevard. What will the cell phone ban really accomplish?
We have all heard about the UK transportation study in 2008 that showed texting is worse than driving drunk. The ban was specifically directed towards restricting a driver’s ability to use his mobile device, so they can focus on the road. I believe, the law was created to protect victims of motor vehicle accidents caused by a driver using his mobile device. Now, how in the world are you going to figure that out? “Yes, officer. He was texting which caused him to run that stop sign and T-bone me.” Stupid.
The real world applications of 3G phones are to provide more flexibility when we are away from the computer. Google Maps, GPS, Twitter, Facebook, Pandora, 4Square, Scrabble, the list of apps could go on forever. Some of these apps provide us with valuable information which improve our ability to operate our hybrids. This mobile ban has crippled the effectiveness of the motor vehicle operator. What’s wrong with being stuck in traffic and using your iPhone to find an alternate route?
This new law is a joke and an insult to good drivers everywhere. Bad drivers are stupid people. Stupid people will text that they are late to the club while driving after drinking five beers. West Linn soccer mom is still going to check her Facebook status while waiting at a stop light. A mid-30′s Vice President cannot help but check Twitter updates driving down the I-5 corridor in their tinted window luxury car. The State of Oregon has passed yet another law affecting all of the normal folks because of the actions by a few idiots.
After spending the past six months with the Clear wireless experiment, it’s time to bash the hell out of an experience that can best be summed up as “worse than Comcast.”*
It all started with my 1920′s house located a block away from the Clear WiMAX tower. I noticed it while walking to my favorite happy hour spot on a lovely April afternoon. After listening to the massive marketing efforts, I decided to look into this new 4G wireless network (Remember, I live in an old house with two prong electrical outlets and no cable jacks). The initial setup took 30 minutes from Clear’s store to my computer. For something technological to just work amazed me, and I was certain that this experience would continue.
After the first two months went by, I noticed from 5-8pm the Internet would crawl. This is when I decided to upgrade my 3 mbs home plan to 6 megabits per second. The customer service rep assured me faster speeds. Mind you, I love hating Comcast (it’s like hating Microsoft, At&t, and the Lakers) so never having to deal with them brought happiness to my soul.
Everything appeared to be working faster during the day but I was still noticing problems at night. Streaming Netflix just crawled at night. That’s when I was introduced to a new friend called speedtest.net. This one free site introduced me to the real world of Clear. Not only had I never received 3 or 6 megabits/second during internet use, spending $10 more for the upgrade didn’t even matter. I would never come close to 3 megabits during “peak hours”. Clear customer support would never fully answer this question, but I was informed to reach optimum speeds you must:
Receive a five bar single (Since I live 1/2 a block away from a tower, I always get 4-5 bars)
Disable your anti-virus software
Don’t use a wireless router
Plug straight into the Clear box
Now that is just ridiculous so I decided to test it using a wireless router and Speedtest.net’s iPhone app. Here are the results:
Results using a PC with Anti-Virus software turned on and plugged directly into the Clear box:
Now here is the kicker. Ten minutes after this speed test, I lost Clear service entirely for an hour. When I called Clear’s support line I received an automated message that they were aware of problems in my coverage area. Portlanders, you DO have a problem in your area; Clear WiMAX.
*To be fair, Comcast does own a large stake in Clear
Expensive, expensive, expensive & expensive. Walking the aisle of Whole Foods will amaze most people with their great selection of both brand name and small market niches. But once you reach the unprofessional hippie clerk at check out, you might choke on your processed spearmint gum. Whole Foods and Wild Oats are an experiment in “how much will college-educated people pay for food”. This brilliant capitalistic exercise has turned me into somewhat of a boycotter.
I’m tired with people mentioning their Whole Paycheck experience. It makes me want to vomit when I hear talk about how much their pasta salad lunch cost. You seriously think the “make your own sandwich” is better than a deli? All natural, organic and whole foods don’t taste bad to me. Somehow, 365 has found a way to consistently provide me with the worst food ever.
There is no reason to shop at Whole Foods… ever. Do you want to support the local farmer? Then go to any of the amazing Co-Ops we have throughout PDX. The “local” farmers who provide produce to Whole Foods are actually packing sheds hundred miles away from town. Organic produce does not provide more nutrients than real produce. Could you imagine a world where all produce is organic? Humanity would die of starvation the minute a disease hits. By pissing away your money for a perceived notion of health, you are supporting starvation in the world.*
You being fat and lazy isn’t going to be remedied by whole food. So, you hike every weekend. Big deal! Try enjoying a healthy diet rather than eating crappy food because its “organic and all natural”. 365 Wheat Pasta is still going to make your ass look fat in 7′s. Since November ’07, I have been Whole Foods/Wild Oats free. I’m happy to say that I’m still alive after eating normal foods.
As I sit here looking at these two beautiful Laurelhurst and Lompoc pints of beer, I harken back to the days of my first microbrew. It was a delicious Black Butte Porter on the day after my first Fall term final. My friend advised me about the taste and how it would change my life forever. Sipping each chocolaty/soy-saucy drop led me down the road of dark, thick beer. This single moment made me realize that I could never go back to drinking crappy PBR. Of course, beer pong would change all that, but my mind was now open to the idea of paying $8/six pack of beer.
Now that I saw the big picture through the bottom of a microbrew glass, I wanted to taste more… I needed to taste more. Brew fests, Blues Fests, Easter Beer hunts, brewery tours, even at one point I tried to brew my own stout (It tasted like mud water). Throughout these micro-adventures I would be introduced to a group of people that deserve their own classification.
Beer snobs are much like your Portland hippie. They live to be free from the social norms established by society. Five shirts, three cargo shorts/pants and Keen footwear is all they need for their wardrobe. No matter the environment, their thick husky beards will protect them from any weather. Although most of them are large bears, some have taken a liking to outdoor sports. Their motto: “Dead Guy is always served best after a hike on Dog Mountain”.
However, NEVER confuse the beer snob with a wine snob. Unlike wine snobs, who are usually rich and affluent, beer snobs thrive on having a unique taste unlike any other human on this planet. One could be an executive of an interactive agency in town. Another could be a Hood River ski bum. No matter what their background, they will forever argue about which organic beer is better. So what’s the only thing they can agree on? Light beer was created by women, for men.
Since BBP first hit my lips, I’m proud to say I love microbrews. I’m pretty sure I’ve been to more microbreweries west of the Mississippi than 75% of the American population. But most days, I couldn’t even imagine drinking a Blackfoot Bitter. All I want is a cool, cold refreshing Coors Light on my front porch. So to you Mr. Beer Snob, I could care less that I’m drinking a wussies beer. I may not share your unique taste, but at least I don’t share your smell.
For decades, these vixens of venture capital investors have roamed the Alphabet streets, maintaining their persona of perfection. Oh you pretty little gold diggers, with your double and (sometimes even triple!) wide $4000 strollers and your Gucci diaper bags all for your ugly baby. Juicy Baby can’t hide that face. When not cougaring around for your next play toy you are jogging around Bridgeport in your coordinating Lucy activewear after morning yoga/erotic dance classes. Immediately after this, you grace Peets Coffee where you will hold up the line with your half-caff, non fat, sugar-free half vanilla and half hazelnut latte order while you shuffle through you Louis Vuitton looking for coordinating wallet.
You park your Maserati next to me at Albertson’s then glare at me while I get into my moderately priced SUV as you load your organic veggies and strawberry Go-gurt into what was once considered a fine piece of Italian engineering and has now been caged and turned into your grocery getter. Country Club Road is clogged with your Escalades and Hummers in pearl white and I-try-to-hard yellow (respectively). You consistently travel at least 5-10 miles under the speed limit. All of this just to say ‘Look at me! I’m so rich I am a better person than you’.
Manzana happy hour you say? Sounds great! Plans are instantly foiled because you all have been there since 2pm. Why? Because you don’t work. Why would you? Your father, I mean hubby is OLD and has money and therefore a job is simply out of the question. You have more important things to do. Like Manis and martinis with your token favorite gay friend from SE!
I shouldn’t be as pissed off as I am, since it’s just a bar, but the new “Blitz Pearl” has royally ticked me off. For those of you who had never been to the old Blitz before, it was the perfect after-work wind down joint.
Coworkers and I would take to the shuffle board tables, play pool, enjoy their happy hour drink and food specials. Although the venue did turn into a huge frat party after 10, it was still a great place to watch games and just relax after work. Blitz was an upscale version of the Cheerful bars. Just one of those bars you wish you could replicate in every neighborhood in Portland (which they ended up doing in East Ladd), that is until my favorite bar in Northwest became Pearlified.
Recently, there was a sporting event that my coworkers and I wanted to watch. Without question we were out the door headed to Blitz. From a distance, we noticed a new feminine looking sign: Blitz Pearl. Upon entering Blitz, we were surprised to see the entire place had been renovated. The abundant pool tables, air hockey, hdtvs, projector screen, shuffle board and enclosed bar area had been removed. In their absence were leather couches, two pool tables and one shuffle board table. The new management team had gutted out the entire feel of Blitz.
The best way I can compare it; it was like the girlfriend moved in. Suddenly, all the fun was gone. Now you have to watch Thursday night College Football in the bedroom because it’s her book club night. That’s what the new Blitz:Pearl feels like.
Our favorite hangout place has been taken away from us. The bartender treated us like sh*t and one coworker made the perfect comment, “It seemed like she hated the fact we were there”. The feeling is mutual Blitz:Pearl.
Bums. Street Urchins. Crappy Guitar Players. Disheveled unemployed. Now, I don’t believe that everyone should have a High School diploma, job or contribute to society because that would be an unfair expectation for the thousands of Californians who come here every year. Pioneer Courthouse Square was created to be the living room of Portland. 25 years later, it has become a big stinky brick hole.
Pioneer Square was a gift to Portland on her birthday in April 6, 1984. Citizens of Portland were encouraged to donate personal bricks to the project. Upon creating this living room, the City of Portland was aiming to build a social center. As the project grew, the area was flooded with investors looking to develop around the Square, making it the heart of downtown. No one would disagree that this is the heart of Portland with the Pearl District being boobs* and the West hills representing the “delicate flower”.
As a first time visitor to Portland, Pioneer Square is a must-see on your itinerary. With the plethora of shopping, hotels, dining and general weird that exists here, tourists would be missing out on a golden opportunity to experience all that is Portland. Pioneer Place offers the finest shopping experience outside of the rundown Lloyd Center Mall. Street performers include “Silver Dude Playing With Balls” and “Man Drums on Buckets”. A fan favorite event (I’ve never been) is the Flicks on Bricks, were movies can be viewed on bricks. If you want a unique “Today Show”-esque experience, you can view KGW HD Studio on the Square. Stephanie Strickland is our very own Meredith Vieira.
For those of us from the most miserable place to live, I generally find Pioneer Square to be a chore. The sheer amount of tourists, bums, petitioners, street kids with pets and Clear reps is a little too much for me. Like a day at Oaks Park, I feel overwhelmed by the miniverse that transpires here. Pioneer Courthouse Square has become your college’s Fraternity basement. A lot of people you don’t know/like reeking of alcohol.
The good folks at Powell’s Bookstore have agreed to do a limited book run of the Top 100 things about Portland that suck(could also have something to do with the write up by TAP and their 1,000 increased page views a week). Our staff of writers will be doing book signings later this month at the downtown and SE locations. The book will retail at $10 and made to be recycled after the first reading.
In Oregon, there lies a place just outside the city of Portland where people go to escape being awesome. Every major city throughout our country has this. Los Angeles has Bakersfield. New York City has the entire state of New Jersey. Detroit has 8 Mile Road.
Located east of Portland in Multnomah County, Gresham is the fourth largest city in Oregon. The per capita income for this city was $19,588 for the last census taken in 2,000*. As the armpit of Multnomah County, Gresham spans a large section of agriculture area. Due to the low income housing environment, Gresham is plagued by gang violence and drugs. Activity related to shootings and meth house explosions can be viewed by Portlanders on KGW. Since we would never dare step foot in Gresham city limits, this is the only way we can experience the insanity… or unless your stereo was stolen from your car in Northwest.
Even though Tri-Met and City Police have been working together the past three years to increase passenger safety at the Max Blue Line stops, these still are hot spots for gang related activity. Basically, all those people unfortunate to be stuck in Gresham have to put up with this mess. The thing about Gresham that sucks the most: Gresham people hate Gresham as much as Portlanders.
On the positive note, there are some pretty decent people in Gresham. They happily drive their minivans on Powell and Division to downtown Portland once a month. With their Graco baby seats they purchased at Wal-Mart, Greshamites are those happy pedestrians you see at Waterfront Park. I love watching at how happy they are to escape the depression of suburbia.
You won’t meet someone who throws around Gresham pride. Kids aren’t sporting their Centennial Eagles or Sam Barlow Bruins sweatshirts in Portland. Why? Because they live in the most unhappy city in the metro area. As the Portland Development Commission has successfully been cleaning up Portland, low-income families are being pushed into Gresham. Gresham Development Commission… I have one word for you: Sandy.
*This is important to know, because of all the fancy resturants that exist in Gresham, Sizzlers is #1 in my book. Wait… you have a Red Lobster too?!?!