Tag Archives: alcohol

Stuck on #PDX

portland-power

Portland motorists confused by a power outage.

I live in Portland, Oregon, which mostly receives electrical power from Portland General Electric. Founded in 1888 the company was eventually owned by Enron Corporation from 1997 until 2006 until Enron went bankrupt.

See? I just used a writing technique known as foreshadowing.

Foreshadowing is a literary device by which an author hints what is to come.
–Wikipedia

By dropping the name Enron, you are now on notice that this story does not bode well. The portends are decidedly not in our favor. It’s time to omen up.

Yes, I’m being mysterious. I’m trying to leave you in the dark. Just like Portland General. Bazinga!

Being a major metropolitan area, the City of Portland is designed with security and reliability in mind. Power outages simply do not happen unless:

  • The wind blows up to one (1) mph
  • A squirrel gets hungry
  • Water magically falls from the sky
  • A drunk person, in a trillion-to-one event, rams their car into a pole

Such simple criteria means the city loses power about every 42 minutes. Who knew that cramming 625,000 people in the same area would make stuff happen? Yes, I live in a city where squirrels are frequently blamed for power outages.

At least Portland is safe. No one, not even a terrorist, could ever fuck with this city unless:

  • A tweaked out kid needs to take a whiz in a city resevoir
  • The wind blows and a branch falls and an entire power grid goes haywire
  • Water magically falls from the sky

Portland has many names. The City of Roses. Bridgetown. Stumpdown. Rip City. Little Beirut. PDX. Cloud City. But, during autumn at least, it could also be known as The City of Leaves. (Leaves are the unpredictable byproduct of shitloads of trees.) And the city has a great strategy for dealing with them. “Clean ’em up your own damn self. You want your storm drains to work? Better get on it. By the way, we’re adding a street fee. You need to pay more taxes for this.”

So it rained on Sunday. We were out running errands. We had to retrace our steps. We drove through St. Johns. Then it started to rain. An hour later we went through the same area. It had already flooded the size of Lake Erie. It wasn’t even a heavy rain.

There had been a few brief gusts of wind. So, yeah, the power was already out. We pulled into a bar just as thunderous lightning spooked everyone in the place. They were amazed. Lightning? Wowwee. Perhaps Portland has exactly the power company it deserves?

We continued on our way and that’s when I noticed it. The traffic signals were are dark. None of them were red. None were yellow. None were green.

You know what that means, right? The entire city went Starman on steroids. Perhaps we can add “Starport City USA” to our lengthy list of nicknames?

[Starman is driving the car, and speeds across a recently turned red light, causing crashes for the other motorists]

Starman: Okay?

Jenny Hayden: Okay? Are you crazy? You almost got us killed! You said you watched me, you said you knew the rules!

Starman: I do know the rules.

Jenny Hayden: Oh, for your information pal, that was a *yellow* light back there!

Starman: I watched you very carefully. Red light stop, green light go, yellow light go very fast.

Apparently the collective wisdom of the hipster lumbersexuals in PDX is this: No street light, go very fast.

That’s weird because the law says an unpowered traffic signal is to be treated as a four-way stop. It’s so weird that no one in Portland knew that. Keep Portland weird.

So we sat at an intersection watching an endless stream of cars whiz by at top speed and we never got a turn. To pass the time we celebrated several birthdays. And I plotted revenge. Now I understand where Joker, Riddler and Penguin are coming from.

This may be my last blog post for a while. I’ve decided to keep my computer turned off when I think Portland General will be unable to keep the grid powered. By my calculations that means I’ll have a 42-minute window of electricity per day.

Halloween: Scary and Tragic

darknessThis is an acrimonious post. It’s not well written. It’s basically just a stream of consciousness. Pointless, really. I advise you to move along. –Ed.

Do you have happy memories of Halloween nights when you were a kid? Counting and sorting your loot? Secretly getting away with eating too much until you got sick?

If yes, then congratulations. You lived through the experience.

I know of at least four young people from Halloween 2014 that will never get the same chance.

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That’s no bar! It’s a playground!

moon-shirtWe are required by the Department Of Redundancy Department to post this public notice: We reserve the right to redundantly repeat topic coverage as we see fit. It is no accident if this content feels familiar. Also, we repeat coverage of certain topics on purpose. It’s our way. –Ed.

Since the dawn of time philosophers have debated, “What is a bar? What is a restaurant?” Sometimes there are no easy answers. There can be a very fine line between “bar” and “restaurant.”

So what?! Who gives a shit?! What’s in a name?!

Mainly the presence of shitloads of filthy little varmints. That makes this issue one of no small consequence.

As always I will cover all points of view as if to give the reader an understanding of the issue. I will be fair. I will be impartial. I will be partially inebriated.

Also, as always, illumination will be provided by Wikipedia:

bar:
A bar is a retail business establishment that serves alcoholic drinks โ€” beer, wine, liquor, and cocktails โ€” for consumption on the premises.

restaurant:
A restaurant is a business which prepares and serves food and drink to customers in return for money …

There we were in a mystery business of some sort. Was it a “bar” or a “restaurant?” Let’s find out. It’s Litmus Test Time boys and girls!

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Raisin’ The Bar

Ether you’re with me or you’re a’gin me.kidbar

So you want to swim upstream and spawn. Good for you. What business is that of mine? None, I’ll admit, unless the government decides to subsidize your reproduction of yourself with credits and tax rates and/or you ever try to bring them around me.

It turns out there’s something more trendy than microbrew, fedoras, bicycling, beards, tattoos and North Face jackets. What could it possibly be?

Oh, yeah. It’s bringing your wee young ones to restaurants or, inconceivably allowed, bars and pubs. What could possibly go wrong?

The other night my wife and I were at a BBQ trendspot in PDX. As always, any place that is half-way edible means that there will be a 45-minute wait. That’s life in the big city. But that also means we had time to be treated to the floor show.

Two women were standing around holding their drinks while three small children accompanying them ran hog wild. (It was a BBQ place, after all.) They ordered another round. Every once in a while they’d yap something at the kids which was promptly ignored, had no effect, and they returned to nursing their drinks.

Meanwhile, I wondered what it would take for a restaurant to actually ask them to leave. Maybe if they set off a small nuclear device? Maybe, I figured, but probably not.

We were seated and, of course, we were only two tables away. We watched them order two more rounds of daiquiris. Apparently they and the restaurant were teaming up for Set A Good Example night. I couldn’t help but wonder how they were all going to get home.

Earlier we went to a place on the Columbia River for happy hour but the lounge was full. We opted to sit on the deck. No doubt it was a beautiful view. On the other hand, we had to order from the dinner menu, there were no happy hour prices, and, through the lounge windows, we saw lots of wee small children. Some were sticking their tongues out at us.

What the fuck.

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After School Special: Booze Lotto Parenting

World's greatest mom.

World’s greatest mom.

Sure, you love kids, so you gleefully punched out one, two or even octo-quantities of them. (Hint: Almost as many as a nine-round ammo clip.) But then, like a baby chick a few days after Easter Sunday, they stick around and are always underfoot, demanding attention and care.

What then?

It’s not like you can make a chicken-and-egg scrambled omelet with them and viola! Problem deliciously solved! (Although an amazing number of parents do find a way to carry out filicide but that’s decidedly outside the scope of this post.)

Like the vast majority of my blog posts, it all started when I decided to set foot out of my house…

Looking for some dinner my wife and I drove into the parking lot of the divey Chinese restaurant. The lot was amazingly full. What gives? The food must be awesome here, eh?

But when we walked into the dining area, only two tables were occupied. Huh?

That’s when I slapped my head and yelled, “D’oh!” I almost forgot I live in Oregon. That’s where they have a state-run lottery and run a continuous stream of commercials urging the citizenry to go out and gamble because doing so accomplishes “good things.” (Like increasing revenue into state coffers.)

Sure, they simultaneously run anti-gambling ads but that’s only because they like a mixed-up, dazed and confused populace. Let’s blast ’em with a hot mix of pro-gambling and anti-gambling messages … at the same time, they seem to be saying whilst rubbing their hands together in glee. That’ll learn ’em a lesson!

Indeed. What’s not good for the individual is apparently good for the state.
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Firewater Fireworks

Fireworks-Idiot

In general, the lower the IQ the greater the thrill from fireworks and twinkly noisy thingies.

Word from the western front arrived early. It was going to be a “heat advisory” kind of a day. We hunkered in our bunkers and prepared for the worst. I put on a pair of clean tighty whities. Because:

To brine thine own self be true.

–Tom B. Taker

I was already looking forward to the salt water sores in my private areas. You know what they say. “Fight ’em over there or in your underwear.” Like always I choose the latter.

Day 1

Sunday night the neighbor set up a table saw in his front yard. He ran that sucker until 11:36 pm. On a work night. I kid you not. I believe this is the exact storyline of the movie Saw.

Day 2

Even more table saw. It was all squee … squee … squee … when the hours were wee.

What every happened to politeness? Basic manners? Please and thank you? All as dead as my peace of mind and peace and quiet.

Two nights of noise in a row. The urge to fling poo was becoming unbearable. Somehow, though, I was able to hold on.

But, little did I know it at the time, those two nights were merely flanking feints. The best was still yet to come.

Boom Shack-A-Lak!
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Here’s To Good Fiends

loud-barI’m in the mood to sing!

Here’s to good fiends
Tonight is kinda special
Where are we?
What the hell is going on?
Crop circles in the armpit
Sinking, feeling
Spin me around again
And rub my eyes
This can’t be happening
Mm, what’d you say?
Mm, that you only meant well
Well of course you did
Mm, what’d you say?
Mm, that it’s all for the best
Of course it is
Mm, what’d you say?
Mm, that it’s just what we need
You decided this
Mm, what’d you say?
Mm, what did she say?
The beer we pour must say something more
Because from yelling my throat is sore
Your lips move and I can’t hear what you say

Leaving the small town for the big city did have one unfortunate side effect: We left all of our friends behind this presented a problem, especially since I stubbornly refuse to make new ones.

Thus, when old friends come to town, we’re excited to see them. “We should get together,” we say with genuine enthusiasm.

“Great. Meet us at the Chinese restaurant/karaoke bar, Saturday night, 9pm.”

Oh, shit. I want to die.
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