2. Compose several hurricane-related jokes; upload said jokes to your Twitter Hootsuite account; schedule your jokes to be Tweeted at hourly intervals on Sunday August 28, 2011 i.e., the day said hurricane’s spouting winds will rape & pillage New…
There were an excessive amount of police in North Portland yesterday
In case you were wondering where all of the police in Portland were yesterday, let me tell you: There were several (many?) officers patrolling Williams and Vancouver at rush hour yesterday - all on motorcycles, and all pulling cars over for whatever illegal driving stuff CONSTANTLY. Your editor had to circle between Williams and Vancouver a few times last night looking for a parking spot for, maybe ironically, a seatbelt class I had to take. There were, within a four-block stretch near the 405 on ramp, no fewer than four people pulled over, getting tickets for something or another, while other police bikes were pulling drivers over along both streets, north and south of the highway.
Not sure why the cops were out in such force yesterday. Could be an increase in bicycle-vehicle, uh, interactions along that stretch of Williams. Could have been reports of excessive speeds or whatever. But if you commute along those corridors, there’s a better-than-normal chance you got a ticket for something yesterday.
Finally, everyone! We’re victorious! It’s been a rough year for our civic pride here in Portland. We lost our craft beer title to…uh, where? Ashland or something? And then we lost our most-bike-friendly city title to goddamn Minneapolis, where it is actually below freezing for a billion months a year. But don’t worry: We are now officially the kinkiest city in the country. Rejoice!
According to OKCupid users, Portland residents enjoy deviant, maybe painful (?) sex more than any other city in America. This shouldn’t come as a surprise; OKCupid users last year said that Oregon was as open to any kind of sexual behavior as Canada, where 98 per cent of the world’s sex occurs.
As you know, we at Stumptown Magazine support any kind of sex you’d care to have - normal, boring, exciting, odd-ball, kinky or otherwise. The only important thing is that you are all banging one another, and enjoying it, forever.
Gawker is running down its list of the worst states in America at the moment, and Oregon came in at number 43! Pretty good, but one place behind sucky old Washington, which sucks. Booo! Anyway, here’s what Gawker had to say about our fine state, plucked verbatium from the list:
Washington’s neighbor to the south, Oregon is a place you’ll want to, uh, make a trail to.
The Good: Portland is a great city. Full of artists and thinkers and other weirdos — it’s the verdant farmers market of your dreams, an easy-to-live-in medium-sized city wherethe dream of the ’90s is still alive. There are also other great towns in Oregon like Ashland (home to the word-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival), hippie-filled Eugene, and the hilariously named Coos Bay. Ramona Quimby is from Oregon, which is also pretty significant. Plus there’s lots of pretty Pacific Northwest nature-type places, from Mt. Hood to sprawling national forests.
The Bad: Like Washington, it rains a lot. Hippies can get kind of annoying, as can farmers markets. And those pretty Pacific Northwest nature-type places? They can get kind of creepy if you get turned around on their dark and winding back roads. There’s a huge earthquake coming any day now. Also, once you leave Oregon you have to drive a whole hell of a long way until you get anywhere else, unless of course you drive north to Seattle, but who would want to do that?
The New York Times hates you, so they don’t let you imbed their videos. Anyway, here’s the new Decmeberists video for Calamity Song, based on DFW’s Infinite Jest. BUT NOT THE WHOLE BOOK, for fuck’s sake, that would take forever.
Oh, this is great. You know that thing, where kids can make bombs out of a tennis ball if they cut open the tennis ball and fill it with match heads? And then you throw the tennis ball at the wall to make it explode? That’s fun. Anyway, earlier today, Portland’s bomb squad got called to Arbor Lodge park to save the city from a tennis ball with a wire sticking out of it.
They also found another tennis ball and a plastic soda bottle that “appeared to have already exploded.” Oh no bombs! Made out of tennis balls! Anyway, everything’s cool. The bomb squad folks disarmed the ball with the wire poking out of it. We’re safe! Carry on!
The big homey Tom is FAMOUS AS FUCK this morning, thanks to the folks at Thrillist and their nice little feature story about Tom’s window art. It’s kind of chit-chatty, isn’t it, this “Thrillist”? Anyway, check it out, buy some of Tom’s dope window art, etc.
USA Today story about PSU's Electric Avenue includes worst lede ever
"Here’s a cool idea: Portland State University in Oregon has created its own Electric Avenue. But instead of being a TV show for kids on PBS, this Electric Avenue showcases electric cars and charging stations."
Ugh, shut up. And this is the most-read newspaper in the country?
It is weird that it hasn’t been properly hot in Portland this year. But most of the past month has been really, exceedingly nice, too. I’ll take that over what the rest of the country has had to deal with this summer.
Ok, look: The Groupon story in the Wiliie is still a pretty good read, but, on a second evaluation, I feel like all of the story’s anger toward Groupon is misdirected. At least a bit.
First of all, taking part in a Groupon promotion is inherently bad business. And any suggestion by Groupon that taking part in a promotion will lead to a larger customer base and sustained business is merely that - a suggestion, and a shaky one. Just imagine if I walked into a small business with a small workforce - let’s say, Random Order coffee shop - and told the owner that I wanted to offer people the opportunity to buy their goods for less than half price, with myself serving as a middleman for all purchases. For acting as a middleman, I would keep part of the discounted purchase price myself, and then pay them them whatever was left of the money in small increments over the course of multiple months. And, plus, I had no intention of helping them out with any of the incidental costs associated with the mob of people who will rush into their business after receiving their coupon - additional employees and work hours, cleaning costs, etc.
I feel like you would have to be pretty fucking desperate, and in possession of a business and product that struggles under normal circumstances, to take me up on this obviously terrible offer. I mean, Groupon is a bad deal ON ITS FACE. Unless you sell a product that you are positive will elicit some loyalty and continued interest among the deal-thirsty, Groupon print-out-waving masses, it makes very little sense to take Groupon up on its offer to sell your shit for next to nothing. This is especially true if you’re a hyper-local business like a coffee shop. People don’t change coffee shops. Not unless they move to a new neighborhood. And even then they might not change. Same goes for a lot of businesses, actually. Portland is a neighborhood-centric city. Do you know the last time I went to a coffee shop in the northwest somewhere? Probably never. This isn’t Groupon’s fault. Groupon didn’t sucker anybody into anything. It offered Portland businesses an inherently sketchy deal and hoped they were gullible or desperate enough to buy it.
Plus: the story included a lot of complaints about the behavior of Groupon customers - how rude people were, how they tried to use the same coupon multiple times, how little they tipped and so on.
Have you ever met people who use coupons before? I know, I’m generalizing a bit, but coupon users by in large don’t give a FUCK about the business they walk into. They care about the deal - that’s the whole point of the coupon. They want to save a little cash, be it on a meal or a pair of pants or whatever. They figure: “I have to eat anyway. Might as well spend six bucks for this $20 lunch at whatever the hell place it is.” Are they the type of folks who spend $20 on lunch normally? I highly, highly doubt it. I know people who buy shit just because they have a coupon for it - which means they don’t even care about what they’re actually buying, let alone what business it comes from. Again, the deal rules the day. Not your business, or your employees’ feelings, or anything else. And if they can get away with using the coupon twice, hey - that’s like a serious victory. They beat the system! And tipping - well, it’s like…that shit is probably not going to happen.
This isn’t news. The fact that this kind of behavior surprised people is what’s news. I’m happy the WW ran the story, so there at least won’t be any more confusion about what you get when you sign up for a Groupon promotion. But to somehow put all of this on Groupon - the world just doesn’t work that way. Groupon sells what they sell. People have to agree to participate. If something goes wrong, it’s on them too.
Linking to a story on Byron Beck’s site this morning with photos from last Friday’s Beer & Blog action. It really was quite a good time. There are some photos of your editor in the slideshow somewhere.
Love this episode of Organic City Sounds. Food cart folks talking about cart culture, their growth, why it is trendy but will likely outlive the trendiness of it, etc. It’s Friday. I know you have seven extra minutes.
Another year, another Baconfest: Robert Wagner’s tribute to bacon, world’s second-greatest breakfast food, after eggs.
We went last year and took loads of goofy photos. It was great. But, it’s like we said last year: MOAR BACON PLZ. Not bacon-flavored m&ms. Not bacon vodka shots that are basically an express train to diarrheaville. Just actual pans of bacon. I’ll throw down a fiver on a handfull of fresh, crispy bacon. I’m not, however, paying five bucks for a bacon popsicle. That’s just where I stand on such things.
Lots of shit going on this weekend, right? Like, all of your summertime events packed into three days, right?
Ok. Alberta Street Fair is on Saturday. It’s kind of for kids, but there are three stages of music staggered all day, and a beer garden, and plus you can get all boozy and ride your bike drunk on Alberta street with NO TRAFFIC duh. There are a few other things we like going on this weekend. Will post soon, you betcha.
Plus, did we mention: We’re planting our asses in Portland all dang weekend. No more stupid nature outdoors bullshit for us! This ass-planting will include B&B Friday, street fair, bar stuffs, and perpetual bike riding like a mug yo.
This project seems nifty, but why doesn’t the city open them up to the public, so citizens can plug in data and basically crowdsource ways to solve current and future problems? I’m sure the city and IBM have come up with great interactive models, but, I mean, why not open it up?