How do you describe in 200 words or less something that is almost indescribable? That's kind of how I feel about making a post about the Oregon Country Fair. (Here is my attempt from a couple years ago.) I could talk of it's magic, heat, crowdedness, shows, music, talent, dust, nature, extreme hippiness, and food. Pictures sure would help, but anytime I tried a shot, it didn't even come close to doing the scene justice. So instead, I selected a random smattering of quotes I overheard (or were directly told) to share with you. I hope you enjoy! (Oh, and a tech note*)
|Tuesday July 13 2010||File under: misc|
|For the past couple years, I've rarely passed through Portland without stopping in for one or more nights of pub trivia. The options are vast and convenient, the trivia is high caliber (mostly), and it is a great excuse to see friends that I might not other be able to see. When taking stock of where all I've played trivia here in Portland, I was amazed to find that I could name 9 places off the top of my head. Here's a quick review.
39th St Sports Pub: This was one of my fist Portland trivia endeavors and, if I remember correctly, one of my least favorites. Pretty much all I can remember about it was it non-syndicated and pretty unanimously agreed to be low caliber*
Basement Pub: Owner run (i.e. non-syndicated), quick and to the point (30-ish questions rapid fire with no breaks), decent food, kind of a late start time, but it is made up for by its quickness. I've done trivia here a number of times.
Eastburn: A ShanRock trivia venue. A good personal game of trivia. The person reading the trivia is the person that writes it (a big plus), encouraged interaction between teams, and a non-trivia interaction round (the time I went, it was competition Barrel of Monkeys).
Belmont Inn: One of the harder, yet better attended Pub Quiz USA venues. Pub Quiz USA has a format that I love with lots of questions and lots of variety in types of rounds and questions (anagrams, music, etc.). There is a theme each week which is announced via e-mail newsletter. The Belmont costs $3 to play, but the winning team gets the whole pot. I've played here a number of times and enjoy it quite a bit.
Morrison Hotel: A one off trivia (i.e. non-syndicated) that is very topic oriented, which is good and bad. The people are totally fun with lots of interaction. This isn't a trivia I see myself going to a bunch, but was a lot of fun when we did go.
NePo 42: A Last Call trivia syndicated venue. Last Call trivia has a rather common format of one question with the time span of one song to answer it (rather than many questions per round). That means fewer questions, but more chat time. Another added feature of the format is being able to wager based on your confidence of your answer. This makes it a strategy intensive game (which can be good and bad). I had an enjoyable time at this and hope to try it again.
Rose and Thistle: Another Pub Quiz USA venue and my current favorite. The questions aren't too hard, the quiz master is super awesome, it's free to play, but has good prizes. Oh, and we totally got first place there this week.
Sante Fe Taqueria: Last Call Trivia here. The night we went, it was underattended with only 3 teams. We won the $30 gift certificate for first place, but couldn't feel too good about ourselves because of the lack of competition. It is really nice having trivia in a non-bar, though!
Biddy's: Pub Quiz USA again and about in the middle on difficulty and attendance. This it the place I've done trivia the most, but mostly just because of location. But it is a place I would gladly go back to.
Yep, Portland is pretty rich in trivia options. I look forward to exploring more of those options in my [hopefully many] future Portland visits.
|Wednesday June 16 2010||File under: misc|
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|As a nerd, specifically an internet nerd, you can imagine how happy it makes me when someone points out that they've seen something I've done on the internet, whether it be troothpicks, People's Guide to Anacortes, or just something from the blog. Well, the happiness factor sky rockets when someone I've just met announces that they actually POSTED something about me on the internet. In the past couple weeks, just that has happened to me....TWICE!
Case #1: I went up to the Western Washington University's celebration of Earth Day a couple weeks back. I had some circus friends performing and the year before it was a pretty good time. So while listening to the music and waiting for the circus folk to go on, I did a little juggling, as is my wont. During a break, a pretty girl comes up to me and says, "I used a picture of you and Amiel juggling from last year for the promotion for this event." Ga? I searched for said promotions afterwards but never found them. Next time I encountered the pretty girl, I inquired further and she told me she just did a google image search for "Earth Day 2009 Western Washington University" and there we were. Neat!
Case #2: At pub trivia in Portland last week*, I went to sign up with the quiz master. He asks, "You've been here before, right?". I answered, "Yeah. I'm from out of town though, but I try to come whenever I pass through Portland." He says, "From Anacortes, right?" Za? When I dumbly nod, he says, "Oh, I made a post on my blog about you." Ja? I was so confused that I went back to my table without asking WTF. Later, however, said blog post was tracked down by interchallenge expert Sara. It is definitely worth a read. (Here's a screen shot for if the link ever goes dead.)
Just a couple of neat little anecdotes, I thought. Yeah for life on the internet!
|Tuesday May 18 2010||File under: misc|
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|The last time I went to Mount St. Helens, I bet I was only 14 years old, if that. It's funny how you can live so close to something that is really quite spectacular and fail to give it the attention it warrants.
Well, since the 30th anniversary of the massive eruption is nearly upon us, I thought that no better an excuse to check it out again*. The weather for the day fell into the Oh-this-is-why-Washington-is-the-best-place-in-the-world-to-live category, which made everything glisten and gleam that much more.
Unfortunately, the tippy top visitor's center hasn't opened yet for the year, so we couldn't peer down into the crater, see the spectacular documentary movie, etc. Instead, we had to be content with just driving around and taking in some of the viewpoints which made for a spectacular day as it was.
|Monday May 10 2010||File under: misc|
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|The Cirque Lab, home of the Bellingham Circus Guild, has found a new home. While the old space was pretty dang neat (and home to many great memories*), circumstances dictated finding a new place to better accommodate Vaudevillingham and the other great shows that are in store.
Anyway, along with a new space comes moving. It's really amazing how much stuff can accumulate in a shared space, esp. when shared by circus folk that can turn pretty much anything into a prop or costume. A bunch of people helped out on the moving, so it was a hoot. There was climbing around to unhook aerial equipment, trying on old costumes, and alternative transportation.
So now all the is left is organizing the new space to get ready for this month's Vaudevillingham show. Speaking of which, you should come. Use it as an excuse to check out the new space, see a great show, and support a worthy local circus group. Info (address, times, etc.) can be found on the website. Hope to see you there!
|Wednesday April 14 2010||File under: misc|
|I post this in the same thread as my "Minor Media Coverage" series (previously covered here and here). (To those who might construe posting about media coverage, no matter how minor, a bit vain or whatever, I will point out that this blog is as much a scrapbook for myself in 40 years as it is a way to keep in touch with you, my loyal readers*.)
Roaming around down by the Olympic Cauldron the other day, this fellow from the AP snapped a shot of me and got all my info, etc. I got a thought that wouldn't it be cool if the photo showed up in some random newspaper in Alabama or wherever and happened to be noticed by a long lost friend that I've lost touch with? On a whim, I googled myself today and ran across this. Who knows; maybe it isn't a big deal to get a picture of yourself posted on the AP website. But I thought it was kind of neat. So there. *
(Oh, and for posterity, here is a screenshot for when that site goes down, which I imagine won't be too far in the future, and here is the actual image.)
|Saturday February 20 2010||File under: misc|
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|Yesterday, Ma and I trekked north to Vancouver to check out the Olympics and all the surrounding hubbub. In a word, it was awesome. While the city wasn't totally overtaken with the excitement as I thought it might be, there were pockets of Olympic fever. Initially, the city wide general excitement was what I was all stoked for. What I walked away with as a highlight and with most pleasant memories of was the actual event: curling.
All I know about curling has come from last week's Simpsons episode and the spectacular* Canadian movie Men With BroomsIMDB. Luckily, an avid curler was sitting next to us in the stands, so we learned all about the hammer, house, ends, sheets, peeling, strategy, rules, and so much more. By the end of the 3 hour match, we felt like pros.
There isn't much to report results-wise. This was one of 9 qualifying matches, so a win or a loss doesn't mean too much by itself. The U.S.A., however, ended up losing a super close match to Switzerland. They went into extra innings and had to bring out the measuring device 3 times (while none of the concurrent 3 games had either of those things happen). That excitement just added to the overall appreciation of the experience.
So while the tickets were pricey* and getting up there proved interesting*, it was exactly what I hoped it would be: a once in a lifetime experience. Besides, now I can say I've been there and have the pictures to prove it.
|Thursday February 18 2010||File under: misc|
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|At one point in my life, I aspired to become a scrapbooker. I had seen some really great scrapbooks (remember?), so I started saving all the necessary scraps of paper, ticket stubs, maps, pictures, etc. I put them all in a nice pile to be dealt with later*.
Well, since now piles are needing to be dealt with, I thought I would make a scrap-scan and call that as close I'll get. Besides, there will be more ticket stubs, scraps of paper, maps, pictures, etc. The real fun, for me, is in obtaining said scraps anyway.
(Most of these scraps are from my SE Asia trip and various trips east in 2008)
|Wednesday February 10 2010||File under: travel, misc|
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|I've been away from home quite a bit recently. According to my Sleeping Around calendar, I've only slept at home 9 nights since Nov. 15th*. Well, Ma has taken advantage of that time to tackle the Outback as her latest retirement-induced project.
(For those of you who don't know, the Outback is the garage/my room*. Concrete floors, lack of heat, plywood walls, and less than precise "finish carpentry" all add to the place's charm.)
With the help of the neighbor, Ma tore up the old carpet*, painted the concrete floors, and relocated all my spider friends. The place looks spic and span now (although IMHO less welcoming.*) One product of this epic cleaning is that my many piles of artifacts-of-my-life have now become fewer yet larger piles that demand to be gone through. Going through the piles is fun, but seeing them be weeded out is kind of sad. I guess that's how it goes.
The upside of pile reduction is the few blog posts that I hope it will produce. Scanned in personal crap that I at one time felt strongly enough to put in a pile under the bed instead of the garbage? What's not to look forward to?
(Oh, and it should be said that while I wasn't (and am still not really) a fan of this cleaning/reorganizing/etc. project, the ladies did a great job making the place look presentable. They say it smells much nicer too. I can't confirm that one.)
|Sunday February 7 2010||File under: misc|
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|I've recently had the [opportunity/coaxing] to go through a number of years of accumulated stuff.* Every piece of paper I pick up reminds me of something: a receipt for scooter work done while on the road to/from Vegas, a map of Chongqing China, crossword puzzles from all sorts of places*, and lists galore (shopping, todo, comic ideas, addresses, work chores, etc.)
There is one thing I've come across that I can't quite figure out. I'm having trouble reading the handwriting and thought I might call on ya'll to see if you could decipher it. Highlighted in this picture is a signature. Does anyone have any ideas?
Over the next week or two, I hope to work up a few more Hey-
|Friday February 5 2010||File under: misc|
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