Monthly Archives: March 2003

Real W

This is a fun article from some British people. Take a gander.

Portland Metro hits bigtime!

While not my local Home Depot, the one located in Clackamas may be becoming my regular stop for home maintenance bulk runs. And I’ll have to start doing the maintenance in the morning, around breakfast time. At least do the equiment and supplies runs then. That has nothing to do with the Krispy Kreme opening up in front of the store there. I’d been giving serious thought to changing Home Depots anyway. I like to drive extra distance, especially if it’s to Clackamas.

After all the Tolkien and Star Wars hoopla for their openings here in the Northwest, I can only hope that this event receives similar attention. I’d love to see people living out of tents alongside the contractors preparing the building, perhaps even lending a hand to be safe and sure that KK makes its date for its Portland debut. People dressed as giant doughnuts, dripping glaze…maybe a glowing yellow Homer Simpson coming to reclaim his soul doughnut. This would be a perfect time to pull out the Jar-Jar costumes too. Krispy Kreme opening their doors here will help to get Portland back on the map. Our economy may be in the shitter, and our schools may be closing, but at least we can keep the kids fed with the finest, and the elite may even get jobs at Krispy Kreme themselves. It’s good to know that a giant like Krispy Kreme has faith in Portland enough to invest in our future.

Full Sail Equinox 1

Emma at the Oregon Blog let me in that the County Cork has Equinox ESB on tap. I’d seen this one around here and there, but it was replaced as Full Sail’s spring seasonal. I’d been meaning to get there for a few days, seeing that the County Cork is in my neck of the woods and I hadn’t been there since I was a smoker, which turned me off to the place due to its clean atmosphere. We were turned away at the door. The place closes at 11:00, and we’d arrived at 11:15. But the sad look in my eyes wended its way into the heart of the wonderful bartender, and when I explained that we were on a mission for the Equinox the pagan in her opened up the door.

The fellow at the bar, Seamus, commended our selection of the beer. He was halfway out of a pint of Equinox himself. I pulled back a few swallows, admiring the spicy flavor, the deep hoppiness, and the full flavor. this is a tasty beer I thought to myself, as I said similar words to Seamus. I sqeezed myself into the church pew, and sat down to enjoy this ESB, promising to be a tasty experience. Sadly, as I got further into the glass, I noticed a funk about the beer. A strong skunkiness pervaded, the heavy aroma filling the growing empty portion of the English pint. Always resourceful, I started evacuating the fumes by nose-exhaling before taking my drink. Still, it was a scrumptious pint and I’ll be sampling it around, one skunked keg isn’t the end of the world, and this is a beer with obvious potential. And I’ll be back with tales of future encounters with it.

The new WWJD?

Will it suddenly convince GWB that he’s a remarkable twit? Thanks Matt for that one.

Old Dominion Lager

This is a light but complex lager, a lovely golden color with a hint of amber. Very easy drinking, which is nice, but I may finish the glass before I finish this review. The head persists as a thin film of fine bubbles, pervasive and fine. The flavor strikes me somewhere between a Pilsner Urquell and Dos Equis, but turned down a few clicks. A pleasant taste lingers slightly, urging one to take another swallow.

The Old Dominion Brewing Company is in Ashburn, VA, and was founded in 1989. They are currently at a 26,000 barrel annual capacity, with plans to expand to 100,000. This beer has received awards from some dubious sources, such as
Men’s Health, but I enjoy it so either my standards are a little low or this is a pretty tasty beer.

Overall, this one is quite easily enjoyable. It would be fantastic after a day out digging in the yard or after skiing, but like any decent beer, can be enjoyed anywhere and anytime.

Terror bill threat

Creates crime of terrorism. Punishes by life imprisonment. SB 742 is being sponsored by Senator Minnis. This bill is an insane and reactionary piece of legislature fueled by the paranoia and division inspired by out national leaders and the media, and will work to fan the flames of fear and mistrust on both sides.

Basically, SB 742 defines terrorism in a loose and broad terminology, which could just as easily apply to reckless driving as to pipe bombing city hall. Key points of the text are as follow:

SECTION 1. { + (1) A person commits the crime of terrorism if
the person knowingly plans, participates in or carries out any
act that is intended, by at least one of its participants, to
(a) The free and orderly assembly of the inhabitants of the
State of Oregon;
(b) Commerce or the transportation systems of the State of
Oregon; or
(c) The educational or governmental institutions of the State
of Oregon or its inhabitants.
(2) A person commits the crime of terrorism if the person
conspires to do any of the activities described in subsection (1)
of this section.

Seems pretty loose to me. The horrible infrigements on our rights being pushed right now are going to take their toll. Let terrorism be a federal crime. And define it well, not to gain leverage over people who piss you off.

Pop Quiz

Crazy work times, so light blogging in this time-smear. But came across this link (via Robot Wisdom) to a well-done quiz.

Indignant Talkers

All around, people are becoming more and more indignant about this war. It’s astounding, the way in which war supporters are taking arms against people who question or questioned it. The animosity towards France is pretty severe, elevating far beyond Freedom Fries and returning the Statue of Liberty.

The positions that I find truly amazing are those that scorn the Iraqis as dirty cheating law-breaking fighters. What an arrogant, hypocritical stance this is. We are invading their country illegally, without the support of the UN, with a vastly superior fighting force, with weapons of mass destruction at our disposal, as well as uncountable quantities of weapons of significant destruction. We have gone into their home uninvited, and expect them to roll over and die, or hand over the deed. I don’t support chemical and biological weapons (obligatory I am not a terrorist clause), but how can we expect these people to play by our rules when they have absolutely no hope of winning and everything to lose.

It is so obvious that oil is playing a significant role in this war. Later on, the Bush people began citing reasons such as Saddam kills his own people, and linking him to 9/11, which as far as I can tell has zero basis in reality, and other issues of paranoia and morality. Now that the Iraqis are torching the oil wells, they cite the environmental damage of burning wells. That’s pretty funny, I suppose Bush wants to do something other than burn the oil. Well at least he can carry his prevent forest fires logic of cut down the trees over to the Middle East, since you can’t burn wells that have been pumped dry and used to fill the coffers of his constituents. But to hear the radio personalities speak, that this grave injustice of burning oil that is the bounty of these people is being perpetrated, I just wonder what motivations they have, and who controls those motivations.

On the local front, I see at rantavation that fire trucks have been ordered to remove American flags from their trucks. The reason sited is fear of peace activists. This is totally absurd. They are using the stature of firefighters in the eyes of the country (post-9/11) as a weapon, and that is wrong. Indignace, indeed! If I were a firefighter under this jurisdiction I would laugh and put up a larger one. Expect to see the concept of patriotism being used as a weapon more and more…no newsflash, the blade was honed a year-and-a-half ago, but the bounds of this are larger than thought possible.

Eel River Amber Ale

I have discovered a new store to buy beer at. Sadly, I don’t remember its name, but it’s out in Multnomah Village, and it’s a great enough place that visions of moving into the area have been dancing in my head. Other than the nondescript ‘we have a lot of beers’ sign, this place is pretty plain. Inside, it’s a mini-mart, with beef jerky and magazines and the works, but in the back there are over 900 (nine zero zero) different beers. I cancelled my beer of the month club subscription. While not my first purchase from said nameless uberstore, this is my first review of a beer from there.

The hoppy sweet aroma of this beer is pretty strong, which nicely melds and downplays the flavor of this organic amber, which is fairly strong alone. The combination is very pleasing. As is the norm, there is little head to speak of on a poured pint, and the carbonation takes a back seat to the texture of the liquid. These combinations yield a very full experience, quite different, and nicely so, from my defining Amber, the one from Full Sail. The hue of this ale is beautiful, deeper and redder than many others, enough that the glance evokes a subtle berry-fruitiness in the beer.

The brewery is in Fortuna, Ca, amidst the Redwoods in the northwest corner of the state. This particular brew is completely organic, something that I could really give two shits about when it comes to beer, but is probably important anyway. I am really quite enjoying this beer, a sentence that you will likely find pretty frequently in my reviews, but this one is different. This ale doesn’t carry with it the depth of flavor that a lot of the other beers have had, but it just tastes good. Really. Don’t go for this one when you’re feeling adventurous, it’s not wild and crazy, it’s a crowd pleaser, show up to the party with two six-packs of it and leave one in the car. cheers.

Troop Support

Wow, active day today. Well, my buddy Sean has started blogging also, so welcome aboard man. In one of his latest articles, he explores some controversial ideas about whether or not it is logically and morally consistent to support the troops and the war in this case, and I’m not speaking of the correct yet vaporous ‘Support our troops, bring ’em home’ slogans. He raises some valid but incomplete points on this. Of course, I say incomplete, because I don’t agree.

One point that I do believe that he misses is that the emphasis on supporting troops is purely a reaction to pro-war accusations and reminders of the atrocious behavior towards the drafted troops returning from Vietnam. In the first Gulf War, pro-war pundits scored big points with their audience by spewing this rhetoric, though there was never any doubt about general support. Now, anti-war messages nearly always qualify themselves that they support troops. This is reactionary pandering to the Hannity’s of the world. It needs to stop. Send your own message. The troops are there by choice, send a care package. The issue isn’t about supporting our troops, don’t play their game.

More than meets the eye

The deceptive Iraqis had better watch out…Optimus Prime is heading over.

Rock’em Sock’em Cowboy

Operation Shock and Awe, the Big Show, the one we’ve been waiting for, has begun. Everyone is also happy to know that only seven oil wells have been set afire, not 30 as previously though. Also, Emma writes a lucid post on why we shouldn’t be in this war now, even suggesting some gestures that would have made our agression more palatable.

Gambling Nix

It looks like Portlanders will need to continue their hour-long drive out to Spirit Mountain in order to throw away retirement funds, savings accounts, and milk money. Our Governor Kulongowski did not approve Portland’s plan of allowing the Grand Ronde tribe to build a casino in town in exchange for some hundreds of millions of dollars for a baseball stadium.

I am somewhat mixed on this issue. In theory it seems a fine idea. It’ll probably levy an equivalent or greater tax than Measure 28 did, and most likely it’ll strike at a lot of the folks who voted it down, but in the form of casino losses. But, what would a casino do to Portland? The businesses that would popup in support of it tend to be less savory…pawn shops, title loan companies, strip joints. Then there’s the addiction that many people become enveloped in with gambling. It’s frightening enough watching the video poker machines and the manic empty hope I see with so many people playing them, for entertainment purposes only, I’m sure. At least a casino would bring reasonable odds to Portland gambling.

I don’t believe that Portland is ready to cope with the social problems that could easily surround a casino in a major metropolitan area. Good call, Ted.

The World Upside-Down

In a surprising turn of events, internet searches for war have outnumbered searches for sex, though I can’t say that they surpass the combination of all mispellings of Britney. That’s reported in England, but I’m sure that American thirst for knowledge is comparable.

Oregon gets one right

In light of all the nastiness we’ve been hearing about Oregon, the schools, the economy, the infighting, timber, power, baseball, gambling, and such, I was really happy to see this article, in which the Senate put the (at least for-now) smackdown on GWB’s energy/budget plan to drill pristine Alaska. The article tells us that Gordon Smith cast one of the key votes to shift the win over to the powers of good. That’s gonna get us on Georgie’s good side.

Iran Hardly Newsworthy

This one snuck up on me. Apparently Iran wants in on the nukes game as well. I don’t know what to think, with Ari justifying our accusations with reasons like

“After all, Iran has been in possession of a great amount of energy of a non-nuclear nature as a result of their gas and oil supplies,” he said. “There is no economic justification for this, and it does remain a matter of great concern.”

These guys just don’t get it do they? Sure, they have oil. That does not mean that it’s a good idea to suck the Earth dry of it, that it’s good to use it, or that they should have to. Another sweet tidbit from Ari Fleischer,

“This is one of the reasons the president … referred to Iraq, Iran and North Korea as the axis of evil, because of their willing desire to flaunt international accords in pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

The Gallery

Finally got off my butt and put the gallery up after the migration. Check out some photos. If you want an accout to put up some pics, let me know, I’ll set you up.

Can it be true?

This guy really kicks butt. Vermont governor Howard Dean, speaks well, actually says stuff, and believes in some important issues, such as reproductive rights, preserving the environment, sensible foreign policy, and well though-out education policies.

And he says things like, “Another example of the Administration’s ineptness is on the Korean Peninsula, where U.S. policy has been incoherent, inconsistent and dangerously disengaged.” If there’s anybody out there to restore hope in the Democratic Party, it going to be someone like Gov. Dean. I’d heard of him before, but propers to Tom Tomorrow for hitting me at the right time and the right place.

War Protesting

We are pretty certainly going to war very soon. Saddam has blatantly refused to do any disarming per GWB’s requests entirely whatsoever and the weapons inspectors are over there with their abacus counting the number of nukes in Iraq because they’ve run out of fingers and toes, so it’s perfectly reasonable that we demolish their sorry asses, and hopefully take a pretty good chunk of their culture and history with them, not to mention a pretty good haul of oil. Considering that we have the full support of the UN Security Council behind us, as well as the Catholic Church and every other major organized religion supporting a unilateral crushing of those Trade Center bombing Iraqis, I don’t know why we’ve waited this long.

Anyway, despite all of these things I have to say that this whole business is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. So, try to think of some things to do about it…I am only one man, one blog after all. I received some inspiration from Portland Indymedia, and perhaps you can as well. But here are some things that I will be doing to protest this impending massacre:

  • Drive less. It’s mostly about oil. Cars use oil in the form of gasoline. Try biking to work, it’s healthy!
  • Use all renewable energy for electricity. My electricity provider allows me to purchase blocks of renewable energy, already doing some, but need to convert entirely. It doesn’t cost that much more and it’s good for the environment and Oregon’s economy too!
  • Buy local stuff. There’s a lot of cool stuff made in Oregon (some of it available outside malls and airports!). Support locally owned stores, and but locally made products. Less logistics to transfer, and less likely that they’re part of a huge corporation contributing to the war machine’s chest.
  • Show up to protests. I probably will limit this activity, as I’ll be home fixing my bike, but I’m glad to know you’re out there. I’m also unsure how effective this really is. Due to the right-wing pro-war ownership of the media, it’s easy to paint a leftist wacko image. Bugs me, and it’s wrong, but they exploit the demonstrations to put a deeper wedge in the gap between the anti-war constituent and those who accept the misinformation they are fed. Defeatist attitude, I know, and I respect the protestors, but I’ll work towards my goals my way.
  • Also for consideration is cancelling subscriptions to major media outlets, like newspapers and magazines.

Overall, I think that we should live in a more conservative manner…and the amazing aspect of this is that while protesting the war effort, it is possible to support that same war effort by sacrificing luxuries. Oh, and I suppose I should toss out the the war disclaimer, even though we are a 100% voluntary army, many of our soldiers are there for reasons of hope, need, escape, innocence, and misinformation. Bring them home.

To The Coast

Perhaps it will stay beautiful as I journey to the Oregon Coast in search of Jack’s blue plastic beach decorations. Wish me luck, back tomorrow sometime.