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Tuesday, April 26, 2005
RIP, Good Times, Great Oldies...on FM, at least
Jack Bog and who knows how many other local blogs touched on this topic back on Thursday but I still feel the need to toss my two cents in the ring. Last week, local oldies hold-out 97.1 KISN switched formats to, as its new cheeky promos proclaim, "a station that plays everything!"
But instead of rolling out songs ranging from German beer hall chants to Brazilian hip hop (my personal definition of "everything"), the new incarnation of 97.1 is sticking with stale pop songs from the '80s and early '90s. As a further insult to its former Baby Boomer target audience, along with the city's Asian American population, it's been redubed "Charlie FM." If you're not familiar with that particular racial slur, toss any given Vietnam film into your Netflix queue.
Charlie is quite simply the embodiment of everything wrong with Portland's FM dial. It's boring, bland and seems laser focused on appealing to people that have never set foot in a music store outside of a shopping mall. Worse yet, its in good company. The city's upper FM dial is clogged with similar stations. KINK, K103, Rosie, K-Lite and The Mix already cater to this demographic.
On the other hand, maybe this is the changing face of commercial stations as audiences continue to drift to satellite radio, MP3 players, etc. In a few short years, maybe middle-aged receptionists in dental offices will be the only ones tuning in to traditional radio. For those of us that don't want to fiddle with an iPod every time we hop in the car or shell out $13 a month for XM, it's depressing and irritating to watch FM radio die a slow death. Despite the endless ads for car loan centers and blithering DJS, there's a certain appeal in listening to a live broadcast that doesn't require a monthly fee.
At the very least, KISN will live on, albeit in its new home on the low watt 910 AM, which my car's worthless antenna can't pick up. While I'm about at least two decades too young to be in the station's demographic, I tuned in for the occasional Beach Boys fix. What can I say, "California Girls" provides a perfect soundtrack for a rainy day commute down Canyon Rd.
Monday, April 25, 2005
What, no owls?
Why do people go to Hooters when they live in a place with more strip clubs per capita than any other city in America?
Good question and one we were determined to find the answer to when we headed to the franchise in Beaverton. When this location in the popular restaurant chain opened back in March of 2004, several billboards around town proclaimed its arrival. One near the Burnside Bridge tempted patrons with a photo of two story tall Hooters gal next to the words: "Beaverton. Hooters. A match made in heaven."
False advertising? Yup.
If the Beaverton location is any indication, it's amazing that Hooters made it much further than its humble beginnings as a good ol boy's social club in Florida. The chain sells itself as a crash pad of decadence for the whole family; a Fuddruckers with plenty of T & A. What's mind boggling is that Hooters, beyond its staff, only makes a half-hearted attempt to cater to its key demo's desire for hot chicks, good eats and comfortable digs. Sure, the beer is cold and the Hooter girls all look like they belong in a Playboy college spread, but half the tables in Beaverton sit high off the ground and force diners to plop their 42-inch buttcracks on rock hard wooden stools.
Worse yet, the food is terrible. We're talking sitting-under-a-Circle-K-gas-station heat-lamp for weeks quality eats. No exaggeration. The supposedly world famous chicken wings are bland, extremely greasy and flavorless- a far cry from Popeye's, let alone KFC. The fries are overly crisp and taste like shavings freshly cut from the restaurant's cedar walls. The beer menu, even as far as domestics, is limited and what's there is only available in pints and glasses. Where's the comically-oversized beer mugs? The souvenir Hooters beer helmets? Sheesh, can we at least get a 20 oz. Bud? Nope.
The rest of the menu makes a stab at memorable entrees though. There's a special $150 Dom Perignon chicken dinner for two and the Hooters dog, which, as the menu puts it: "finally, a wiener you can relish."
The happy crowd didn't seem interested so much in the food, tepid jokes and lame beer menu as the staff. Just like in the South Park "Raisins" parody, the Hooters girls flirted and dropped cheap jokes lifted straight from The Man Show. Unfortunately, while we were there they didn't break out the hoola hoops.
So why does Hooters clientele flock to it instead of Stars Cabaret, which is only a few blocks away? Who knows. The atmosphere and food can't be the reason but these aren't problems that can't be fixed. If the owners toss in a few comfortable booths and work on the food, Hooters could be exactly what it claims to be: the happiest place on earth for Beaverton's little league teams and suburban dads. On the other hand, they're probably limited by franchise contracts and foodstuffs trucked in from some Hooters processing plant in the Midwest.
Until Hooters in Beaverton gets it right, there's the Acropolis Steakhouse. It's over on Mcloughlin, the food is cheap and great, the service isn't half bad and it doesn't apologize for what it is with self-conscious humor and feeble attempts at respectability. The Acropolis is a down and dirty strip club, no ifs, ands or buts about it.
OK, hold on. To clarity: "but"s? No. "Butts." Plenty.
I can't say I'll be returning to Hooters anytime soon but this pickup, which was parked out front, definitely made the trip worthwhile. I wonder what song it plays when the driver honks the horn. I'm thinking "Sweet Home Alabama" or "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue."
If you're gonna write about nationally-syndicated comic strip writers...
...you'd better get your facts straight. Last week, I posted a link to drinkatwork.com. It's a blog and online humor publication written in part by Francesco Marciuliano, the author of "Sally Forth." I made the mistake of calling him "bitter" and "drunken" based on his multi-part series on the lives of comic strip writers.
Apparently, Mr. Marciuliano isn't bitter and is, only every so often, "drunken." He set the record straight in a post from Friday:
"First, allow me to address the following copy from Welcome to the Blog, an aggregation of blog links that very kindly highlighted this site among others:
As they say in big-time publications like Time and Nintendo Power, I "regret the errors." When I ran that link on Thursday I was in mourning and wasn't thinking straight. You see, earlier in the evening, my Onkyo stereo receiver was "murdered" at the hands, er roots, of a lucky bamboo plant. The plant fell over, sending a stream of not-so-lucky water down the back of my TV and onto the receiver. Now the $!@#! thing only turns on and immediately back off when I hit the power button.
I know, I know, what a tired excuse. You've probably heard that one a thousand times.
Nevertheless, I'm willing to admit that I didn't do my homework but is Mr. Marciuliano willing to do the same? I'm not trying to pick a fight with a nationally syndicated comic strip writer but take another look at his comments. "An aggregation of blog links"? That doesn't adequately explain Welcome to Blog's content, now does it? No, sir! This blog is...well, damn. I'm not quite sure either. Is it a blog about Portland, Oregon? Maybe. Is it a pop culture blog? Kinda. Whatever it is, it's not an aggregation of blog links, thank you very much.
At least not yet, anyway.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
The Adventure of Link(s)
You load 16 links and whaddaya get? Another day older and..a Mr. T. music video.
This link leads to the blog Pete passed along a few weeks ago. Looking for a bunch of disturbing stories from LA circa the late 1940s? Look no further.
This link leads to the Starbucks email prank that shook the world...or not.
This link leads to a rundown on a freaky 1912 Italian film production of Dante's Inferno.
This link leads to a blog co-written by the NOT ALL THAT bitter, ONLY OCCASSIONALLY drunken author of "Sally Forth."
This link leads to an example of why you should never inject an elephant with a massive dose of LSD.
This link leads to something you've already seen.
This link leads to the Poopy Bear.
This link leads to an irritating game that you'll devote the rest of your day to beating. You will fail.
This link leads to the answer to this question: youth + success - lots of cocaine = ?
This link leads to a blog devoted entirely to Google Maps.
Ok, that wasn't 16 links. To make up for the rest, here's a link to the video for the greatest song ever recorded.
And here's a screenshot:
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Experimenting with Flickr
The next round of Tokyo photos will include shots of all the weird advertisements we encountered. There's around 60 of them total and, instead of working them into the blog, I'm thinking of setting up a Flickr account. If you've never seen one, check out the account Cup of Noodles uses to post his photos.
Instead of deciding what to do on my own, I'm conducting a poll. No, I can't think for myself.
PROS AND CONS OF STICKING TO THE OLD FORMAT:
PROS: Integrated into the blog's layout, fairly straightforward.
CONS: No way to expand the size of the pics, long load times.
PROS AND CONS OF SWITCHING TO FLICKR:
PROS: Pictures can be enlarged and rotated, putting everything together won't require a few hours of laborious HTML work, photos can be viewed as a slideshow.
CONS: Fairly confusing format for viewers not acquainted with Flickr.
Either way, the photos will be posted sometime next week. Here's the poll:
Monday, April 18, 2005
Mad Max vs. San Antonio commuters
Every time I start believing that Portland is the weirdest city in the US, something like this happens. Last Saturday 11 Mad Max fans were arrested on a San Antonio highway while recreating a scene from the Road Warrior. Supposedly, those involved were carrying weapons, both real and fake, while dressed in full-costume.
25 fans in total were involved and they were all heading for a film festival. It was cancelled sometime later. According to rumor, a shirtless man in a hockey mask turned away those waiting in line at the box office. One fan quoted him as saying, "just walk away. Just walk away."
Yeah, I made that last bit up and, yeah, it was lame. Sorry.
I did some checking on the internet and managed to find "Roadwar USA," a site run by the organizer for a smiliar shindig held in San Francisco last year. The attendees also took to the road, that time apparently without incident. Here's a link to pics from the run. Also from the site:
"Roadwar 101 was based on the concept of bringing fans out for a highway drive in the spirit of the Roadwarrior car chase. Costumed people and costumed cars. A semi-truck was rented for a 45-minute run down California's highway 101. An FM transmitter beamed a soundtrack to all of the vehicles. After the drive, there was a car show at a shopping center.
For Roadwar 151, the follow-up event in San Antonio, the organizer set up this site and even managed to coax one of the actors from the film to show up. The run was set up for 2 PM and was to be followed by a showing of all three movies at the Alamo Drafthouse, a local theater. Then fate, er, the SAPD, intervened.
This only goes to show that getting dressed up like a post-apocalyptic sociopath, hoping in a rented tanker and taking to America's highways isn't the best idea in the world. According to this, there's incredibly tentative plans for a future run somewhere in Washington. If the event ever comes together I'm not about to miss it. After all, my ancient Toyota Van already looks like it's been through a nuclear war.
# 5 from the White Stripes
From the band's site:
"The White Stripes will release their fifth album, titled Get Behind Me Satan, on June 6th in the UK/Europe and June 7th in the US. This new album was recorded in Detroit at Jack's Third Man Studios, mixed in Memphis at Ardent Studios and mastered in New York City at Masterdisk.
"Blue Orchird," the first single, is supposedly getting airplay on KNRK but I haven't heard it yet.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
The winner of the Fairly Boring Bigfoot Contest....
The answer was indeed Detroit. Believe it or not, this state actually has one of 'em. Instead of rampant urban decay, Detroit, Oregon boasts a dam, a lake, a grocery store and a small cafe surrounded by wooden chainsaw sculptures similar to Mr. and Mrs. Bigfoot.
To learn more about Detroit, click here.
Danimal, I'll drop two quarters in the mail sometime in the next few days. Going along with the theme, you should spend them on something Sasquatch-related. Or you could invest them into the S&P 500, whatever that is. Ask Tim.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
The bagpipes test
Welcome to Blog's usual Thursday night lineup of random links has been pre-empted. Instead, this post is going to be used to conduct a test of Google's advertising system.
This is only a test.
"Dr. Tom," an occasional poster on the site, claims that a few inclusions of the word "BAGPIPES" will cause W2B's Google ads to display nothing but links to retail sites for the irritating musical instrument. Let's see if he's right. As a further test, I'm going to post a few BAGPIPE links.
This site contains a list of links to BAGPIPErs from around the world.
Wikipedia's entry on BAGPIPES can be found here.
Apparently, there's a site out there dedicated to listing every appearance of BAGPIPES in modern cinema.
BAGPIPES! BAGPIPES! BAGPIPES!
Ok, that should do the trick. My hypothesis is that Google's roaming bots base ad content entirely on links. Last week, I ran links to two Star Wars-related sites and toy ads for the sci-fi series have clogged the blog ever since. If I had actually bothered to read the fine print in Google's contract, it would probably say as much but this is a much more interesting way to find out, wi?
Ok, let's see what happens over the next few days. It's your move, Google bots.
The Trials and Tribulations of the Valley Theater
Sometime in February Beaverton's Valley Theater shut its doors. Again.
This isn't the first time the place has kicked the bucket. The Valley is a phoenix among Portland's second run cinemas. Word on the street is that it's already scheduled for another resurrection in the near future.
For lovers of local nostalgia and kistch, that's great news. Together with the ice rink and the bowling alley, the theater was part of a triplex that, for many who grew up in the area in the '70s and '80s, was just about the coolest place in the world, short of the nearest Chuck E. Cheese or Farrell's. As recently as the early '90s, a double feature at the Valley ran a mere $1.50.
Those days are long gone and the Valley closed temporarily sometime around 1997. After a long hiatus, it was reopened by a group of friends that put a lot of love into the place. Classic arcade games fill the lobby. Separate murals cover the corridors leading to the Valley's four theaters. The one on the left leads movie goers past the Helm's Deep scene from The Two Towers. A starscape filled with Tie Fighters covers the walls of the right corridor. A sneering Golemn wards off anyone attempting to access a supply closet. In the men's bathroom, an angry Chewbacca perpetually screams at anyone who dares use the urinals.
In recent years the owners cut back to single shows and up'ed the price to a more realistic $3.00. Instead of showing whatever second run movies came down the pipeline though, they occasionally mixed things up with classics. In January, they brought every movie in the Indiana Jones series to the big screen. Last October, the actor who played Leatherface in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre made an appearence.
Recently, the Valley's marquee, which has displayed the same lineup for weeks now, has been hit by vandals. Try as they might have, they couldn't come up with a clever riff on "Spongebob: The Movie." The sign now advertises "El Spongebobo." Here's hoping that the Valley will indeed rise from the grave, if only to allow more clever vandals a chance to screw with the titles of kid's movies.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Fairly Boring Bigfoot Contest
Have a look at April's photo of the month. It's located two inches above this post. Is Bigfoot trying to pull off a Fonzy impersonation? Sure, but do you have any idea which Oregon town these two wooden Sasquatchs call home?
I'll give a bright, shiny quarter to anyone who can correctly identify where the picture was taken. Actually, I'm so confident that NO ONE will be able to come up with the correct answer that I'm willing to place TWO bright, shiny quarters on the line. If you think you have what it takes, feel free to type your answer in the comments area below this post.
Please ignore this picture. It has nothing to do with the contest. I just thought it was funny.
For more information on Sasquatch(s), check out The Republic of Cascadia's Bureau of Sasquatch Affairs. Their website can be found here.
The Dunes Strikes Back
Ok, here's a follow-up to Sunday's post.
- I ran a Newsbank search and "AD" also passed along two Oregonian articles. On August 2nd, five people were wounded during a shooting outside the International Club, the place around the corner from The Dunes. A fight broke out in the parking lot and someone fired twenty shots from a semi-automatic gun, none of which hit the intended target. The injuries weren't life threatening and, presumably, all of the victims recovered.
- The jacket belonged to "Sam." There's no telling what "KEYS! JACKET!" was supposed to mean. Maybe the mob guy was disappointed that he hadn't found something more interesting in his pockets or maybe he was looking for his own jacket and/or keys. Or maybe it was some sort of secret mafia code that would have led me to pirate treasure.
- Sho swung back across town to grab Sam after his cell phone cut out. Everybody made it home safely.
- Yeah, this was incredibly anti-climatic. Here's a link to make up for it.
Sunday, April 10, 2005
The Dunes is a weird little bar with an even weirder mythology surrounding it. Supposedly, it sits a few doors down from a club once owned by the local chapter of the Russian mafia. According to rumor (I have yet to run a search on the internet), it closed its doors after a woman was shot and killed in the parking lot.
Despite the neighborhood and a complete lack of Kevlar, a few coworkers and I headed over there late on Friday night. We parked on a side street near the boarded-up Russian club and behind what looked like an abandoned moving truck. In the middle of the night, with no traffic on the streets, it looked like a scene from The Warriors.
The Dunes itself looks like it was cut and pasted from somewhere in Eastern Europe or, maybe more fittingly, The Matrix or a Blade sequel. Almost everything inside was either painted or covered in black. The place was packed and people were dancing on the booths underneath a green light display. I went up to the bar and, without saying a word, the bartender lifted two beers out of a freezer. Both were from China.
I don't dance but everyone I was with does. With nothing else to do, I hid in the back and watched the crowd. On the last stool at the bar was a guy that looked like Doc Brown reborn as a Eurotrash supervillian. I got the impression that he owned the place. Either strung out or bearing the weight of a heavy price on his head, he frantically stared at a cocktail napkin, rising every few minutes to push his way through the small crowd waiting for the bathroom.
I'd been drinking cheap beer all night and there was no getting around the fact that I had to take a leak. While waiting for the bathroom, I talked with a huge, drunk as hell hippie kid in a bright red t-shirt. After a line of girls rushed out looking like side characters from Bright Lights, Big City, I headed in. As I closed the door, the hippie kid burst through. "You take the toilet, I got the sink covered," he yelled, as if we now on some sort of spy mission. With my bladder bursting and not willing to wait another twenty minutes and/or get into a fistfight with this Sasquatch, I obliged. "This is the sound of progress," he yelled at everyone outside. "We're killing two birds with one stone. You should all do the same. It'll make things go faster. We got room for another. There's a trash can in here. C'mon in."
No one took him up on the offer.
Sometime later, while sitting at a booth, a guy that looked like a soccer hooligan ran over and started rifling through a jacket next me. His eyes were wide, he had no neck and he sort of looked like Bob Hoskins. "KEYS! JACKET," he yelled in a European accent through gritted teeth. Had I just been volunteered to baby-sit? Within seconds, "Craig" (a coworker that would no doubt take issue with this lame alias) headed over and grabbed the jacket. He waived goodbye and headed through the fray towards the door. I yelled at him to return- that I was under some sort of oath to protect this random stranger's crap. It was no use.
I did the math in my head:
Very loud, very dark bar + neighborhood with a history of mob violence + inadvertently turning over the car keys belonging to what may or may not be the PDX equivalent of Scarface = I'M ABOUT TO BE SHOT FIVE TIMES IN THE STOMACH.
But I could have been wrong. Maybe "KEYS! JACKET!" had been questions. "KEYS? JACKET?" Maybe the mob guy was wondering if they belong to me. Could that have been Craig's jacket? Was I wrong? Was this Bob Hoskins guy closer to the gruff, nice guy Bob Hoskins from Who Framed Roger Rabbit or the mean as hell Bob Hoskins from The Cotton Club? These questions kept me from running after him.
I turned to everybody and said something along the lines of: "OK, here's the deal. There's a pretty good chance that Craig just made off with the jacket of a coked-up mob guy. I think it's time we left."
We headed to car. Ten minutes later, a cell phone rang. It was Craig.
"Hey, where are you guys?"
Then the phone went dead.
To be continued? Yeah.
Thursday, April 07, 2005
Another round of links
I guess this is now a weekly thing. Every Thursday on Welcome to Blog = another round of random links.
- What happens when you toss a few thousand Star Wars geeks into Times Square and make them wait for hours outside of the world's biggest Toys 'R Us so they can purchase a Mr. Potatohead that comes packaged with a "Darth Tater" outfit? Click here for XE's four page, photo-clogged report.
- Speaking of SWGs, you've probably already heard about this but when was the last time you checked up on Jeff Tweiten, the fan that's been waiting in line in Seattle since New Years? Based on his most recent post, he may have turned into either a teenage girl or a middle-aged fat guy.
- Is this most useful search engine ever or just plain annoying? Click here and decide for yourself.
- It was only a matter of time but Jamster is gettin' sued for false advertising. Here's hoping the lawsuit will accelerate the company's inevitable downfall. There has never been a series of banner ads more annoying than the ones featuring Jamster's #@#!$!@! googly-eyed alien shark thing.
- Brother Justin (AKA actor Clancy Brown) is the voice behind Mr. Crabs and Lex Luthor? That's good to know, I guess.
- Hunter S. Thompson's ashes will indeed be shot out of 53-foot-high sculpture of his "gonzo fist" emblem. The launch date is tentatively set for sometime in August. Click here more info. That first link leads to a rough sketch drawn in the late '70s by Ralph Steadman for a BBC documentary on the late journalist.
- In one short week Sploid and its callous headlines have proven to be more informative and trashy than an entire year's worth of The Drudge Report. Take this story from The Guardian, for example, which ran with a "Pope-sicle" headline. Bless your foul, black heart, Nick Denton.
- This is a photo of Burt Reynolds all dressed up as Boss Hog in the new Dukes of Hazzard remake set for release in June. More information and this same photo without the terrible resolution? They're both over here.
- Pete passed along a great link to a blog filled with news stories from post-WW2 Los Angeles. Sure, it sounds boring but wait until you read...aw, shucks. It looks like I've misplaced the link and a Google search isn't turning up anything. This one will have to wait until next week.
- And, finally, there's this. Here's an excerpt:
"Apes on television and in the movies have something in common with their human costars—their wide, toothy grins. The apes, however, are 'smiling' in terror. To them, acting is strange, upsetting, and often torturous. Most people do not know that the chimpanzee 'grin' so often seen in movies and on TV is actually a grimace of fear or a carefully choreographed response to a command."
Free the monkeys
'Cause they can't free themselves
Free those lovable, huggable monkeys
They're ain't no bananas in them cells
Well, I think it would make a great protest anthem.
I'll be back on Sunday with more of the same
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
PAULY SHORE IS DEAD
Ok, not really. Sorry to send you further catapulting down a spiral of despair. In light of the Pope's recent passing, the last thing the citizens of planet Earth need is the death of another timeless spirtual icon.
As far as I know, Mr. Shore is alive and well. Pauly Shore is Dead is actually the title of a straight-to-video, semi-autobiographical film produced by the man himself. Supposedly, the star of Encino Man called in every favor he could think of as shot it over the course of three years. PSD contains a few dozen cameos ranging from the heights of Ben Stiller and Sean Penn all the way down to Rico Suave and Kato Kaelin.
PSD, as should probably be expected since it was written, produced and directed by a man who used to make a living screaming "AWYAYAYAHO! I'M THE WEEEE-SAAAAAL" on MTV, is beyond self-indulgent. The film opens with a recount of the night Shore's career took a bullet to the skull. In 1997 his sitcom "Pauly" was cancelled after a single episode on Fox. In PSD skewed version of reality, Shore goes bankrupt shortly thereafter. Carrot Top, playing himself, moves into Shore's palatial digs, forcing him to take a job parking cars at a comedy club. After hitting rock bottom and moving back home, Sam Kinison appears in a dream and tells him to commit suicide.
Instead of taking the late-great comics advice, Shore decides to fake his own death and starts running around Hollywood disguised behind a fake beard and sunglasses. He holes up in a ratty motel as the world mourns his passing in a montage of cameos by Britney Spears, Eminem, Chris Rock and about 3,000 other celebrities that must have been blackmailed into appearing in the movie. Eventually, he's arrested and winds up in prison with Todd Bridges.
No, I'm not making this up. Still don't believe me? Here's a link.
As Shore has admitted, the film was a wishful effort to jump-start his career. Instead, no one but me and about thirty other people have seen it. PSD and some of the cameos are pretty tough to watch but the film isn't outright terrible. Shore deserves credit for assembling an all-star cast and, at the very least, this is probably the wittiest thing he's ever done. But, given the fact that the crown jewel in his filmography is Encino Man, that isn't saying much.
Pauly Shore is Dead was released on DVD in January and it's available on Netflix if you're curious.
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Welcome to Blog sells out
A few minutes ago I added Google Adsense to the sidebar. Now this isn't a shameless attempt to make this blog start earning its keep because, quite frankly, it doesn't and will never earn enough hits to pull that off. Plus, if I'm reading the company's endless contractual agreement correctly, they won't cut a check until at least $50 worth of people click on the ads. Given the small amount of viewers that trickle in here, that could take until the year three thousand and thirty.
So why bother? Because Google Adsense uses highly sophisticated doo-dads beyond my comprehension to cater to Welcome to Blog's tiny audience. As of this very minute, it's running bland ads based entirely on geography. Given the blog's content, which in recent weeks has ranged from beer experiments to Tokyo Disneyland tributes, there's no telling what future ads will be like. In the coming weeks I'm hoping we'll see spots like "Get 'yer clown porn here" and "inPortland, now in the Oregonian."
I'm hoping Google Adsense will eventually mutate into an entertaining feature that will provide hours of laughs and excitement. If, instead, it provides roughly two seconds of laughter and excitement, I'll kick its code to curb.
Well, provided Google doesn't start cutting me checks for thousands of dollars.
Monday, April 04, 2005
The Star Wars article
It's not Pulitzer worthy. It doesn't even belong in the same galaxy, let alone the same publication. Nevertheless, this article ran last week.
The return of Henry Ford's...sort of
Like a phoenix rising from the gin-soaked ashes of its old spot overlooking Barbur Boulevard, Henry Ford's has been reborn...
...as a sandwich shop.
The "Ford's on 5th" sign went up near the NW bus mall over the summer. I immediately wondered if it had any ties to the late-great restaurant and piano lounge. When I heard it was going to become a sandwich shop, I assumed not. A review last January in the Mercury, which made no mention of the old place, further confirmed my suspicions.
Now there's this review from the Northwest Examiner, which tells the whole story:
"FORD'S ON FIFTH. 121 NW Fifth Avenue.
Brian Ford has recreated his family's time-honored steakhouse into a sophisticated sandwich shop. The Angus steak has been trimmed down into affordable sandwiches on a menu with other meaty sandwiches, plus salads and an ad different soup made fresh each day. Lunch and dinner prices run from about $5.50 to $7.50. Some of the decor from the old Barbur Boulevard location, including wall mirrors and the barrel-back chairs from the old lounge. Several staff members made the transfer as well, including general manager Gabe Felton. Weekday hours are 11 AM to 7 PM, but the late-night crowd can eat until 3 AM on Fridays and Saturdays. Morning hours with coffee and pastries from Beaverton Bakery may be added this month. The restaurant offers deliveries and corporate catering."
I haven't made the trek down there yet. Based on the reviews, the new Ford's has little in common with the original but it can't be as bad as the latest incarnation of Rose's up on 23rd.
While it's shame this proposal didn't work out, it's nice to know the Ford's legacy will live on in one form or another.
Sunday, April 03, 2005
Partially nude clown attack?
A colleague sent along this anecdote about a gang of bozos that were terrorizing/regaling people in random Chinatown clubs on Friday night. I can't vouch for this and it could be a belated April Fool's Day joke but I'm passing it along anyway. Why? Three reasons:
1. Nude clowns are funny, right?
2. I can't think of anything else to post tonight.
3. True or not, this is probably the only email I will ever receive concerning nude clowns. As such, I feel the need to share it with the world.
Take the following with no less than two grains of salt.
"Last night, I was at Lush, fairly drunk. At about 11:30 (or 12?-- I don't really know what time), about 15 college age kids dressed as clowns walk in. Immediately the girl on stage runs over to them and undoes the overalls of a girl clown, who then flashed us. Then I asked one of the clowns if they'd just come from a big April Fool's bash, and she said, 'April Fool's? No, no, today is Clown New Year's.' She also said that they dress up as clowns for 'major holidays.' Every time a stripper did something pretty good, they honked their clown horns.
This much I know for certain: There were no nude clowns in The Alibi on Friday night.