Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 4, 2005 12:57 PM. The previous post in this blog was Forty years before there were blogs.... The next post in this blog is He da man. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Dear Mr. Velveeta

A while back, after meeting you in person, I wrote a blog post that downgraded my disdain for your product from disgust and contempt to mere disliking. I was promptly called onto the carpet by certain luminaries in the Portland blogosphere who shouted me down. "No, no!" they cried. "Nothing less than utter abhhorrence, loathing, and odium is correct. You must hate the Velveeta with all your might!"

I shook my head at these intemperate souls.

Then on Sunday I went about writing a post about the selection of staff members by the new members of the Portland City Council. I recalled reading in the print version of my local newspapers two stories on this subject: one about Sam Adams and the other about Tom Potter. But try and try and try as I might, I could call up on the internet only the story about Adams's staff selection. I had to leave Potter out of my post.

But it troubled me so that I later dug into my recycling pile to see if I could come up with the story about Potter's staff, and lo and behold, there it is on page C2 of the Metro/Northwest section of Saturday's Oregonian: "Before taking oath, Potter announces his staff." Again I search in vain for this story on your site -- alas, it is not there.

Ah, the frustration. Perhaps those other bloggers aren't so misguided after all. I feel the execration.

UPDATE, 3:15 p.m.: Here's the Tribune story on the Potter staff, at least. And more about that later.

UPDATE, 4:28 p.m.: The addressee of this post sends along the link to the story, here. Why the search engine on the site doesn't find it, I guess we'll never know.

Comments (14)

To be fair here, most people didn't call anyone on the carpet re: Cosgrove. The invective was against OregonLive itself, with numerous defenses of both Cosgrove (on the OL site) and those on the newspaper side, in addition to us readers, being trapped in a system that sucks.

Odium? Ececration? A pox and a fie?


Yes, by "hate the Velveeta" they meant hate the product, not Mr. Velveeta.

Ay yo, dawg, easy on the caps lock key or I'll bust a cap on y'all's commenting privileges.

Even before the Web and the advent of blogs, the Boregonian has always been quite simply one of the worst newspapers I've EVER encountered. As an editor/writer myself, every time I look at that paper I wonder just what the O' editors get paid for doing. As for the website- it's unbelievably hard to navigate and usually near impossible to find articles that I KNOW are in the printed format.

What's worse (and moderately amusing) is that what DOES come up in a search of the site is the "Today's News in 2 Minutes" which actually references the article about Potter's staff on page C2...which they proceed not to post.

When I want a good accounting of what's in the paper, I always head straight for the Multnomah Library's website (, select The Oregonian (NewsBank InfoWeb) and log in with my library card. It has every single article that showed up in the paper archived from yesterday back to 1988. A much better resource than a 14-day archive.

Great tip, Erin. The story is indeed in there. Getting in is a little tough if you've got Norton Internet Security, however. Took me a while to get over that hurdle.

Interestingly, the "missing story syndrome" was covered in the very BlueOregon thread at which Jack says he shook his head.

I'm with Erin as to The Oregonian. So how can we complain about a website for a paper we dislike that much? :)

Be that as it may, I did urgently want a website story once, and exchanged e-mail back-and-forth with an editor who kept sending me "the" link, which kept not working. She was as frustrated as I. After a few days she did come up with one.

I've heard the same at the front desk a couple of times when I went in. They know it is a seemingly hopelessly atrocious site.

As to the paper itself, well, that's a whole 'nother -- and bigger -- dilemma.

Ummm...if it's the same search engine technology they had under the hood when I was there, it never has worked correctly.

In fact, they totally disabled searching on the site for at least a few months a while back, only to bring it back with no visible improvement/change to be seen, at least from an external view.

But, to be fair - there's something strange about the way that story's archived/stored, because a site-specific search on Google doesn't uncover it either (you can go to Google and select the advanced search option to look for your search terms on one single site alone, fyi.)

A search for 'Potter staff oath' doesn't bring that story up in Google, either - even though they're all in the first paragraph and/or headline. And if you look at the URL referenced, there's an interesting /exclude/ subdirectory that it's residing in. Does that preclude content in that subdirectory from being searched, I wonder?

Thanks Jack, for the follow-up. As for me, I don't so much have trouble with the paper itself -- yes, quibbles, but nothing huge.

The website is just plain awful, and as I mentioned in my BlueOregon post, it's about Advance.Net, not Kevin "Mr. Velveeta" Cosgrove - probably a great guy, as you've said.

The 14-day archiving and search issues are one major issue - and I understand that there are revenue issues at play (I disagree; but ah well.) The issues I really have are about basic navigation, good HTML, and the like. These all cost NOTHING and will increase traffic, and thus revenue. No-brainers. Yes, a little work, but it's been years.

I'd love to hear from Cosgrove - or someone else currently at - what aspects of the site are handled locally and what aspects are handled globally. Can they really not change "Opinion" to "Commentary" on a local level? More parallelism with the paper would be a very, very good thing.

Better yet, why not a column on this from the public editor? It's got to be among the top 5 complaints at the Oregonian -- isn't that what an ombudsman is for?

Hey, I hate to say it, but if you don't like the OregonLive site, don't use it - There are other sources on the Internet for news, I understand. Anyways, the snOregonian sells papers and probably doesn't see the revenue potential. Then again, we could make it look like BlueOregon and hire the WebSite guy there if he is interested at all - or is that the point of this OregonLive fixation?

"Hey, I hate to say it, but if you don't like the OregonLive site, don't use it - There are other sources on the Internet for news, I understand."

I hate to say it, but for some Portland news you have to read that paper. And you have to read it not only for "the" news, but for their depiction of it. As with most city papers, in itself it can be an agenda setter.

And heaven forfend you have to buy the thing, though scanning or scamming a coffee shop leftover is also an alternative.

Then again, we could make it look like BlueOregon and hire the WebSite guy there if he is interested at all - or is that the point of this OregonLive fixation?

Yeah, that'd be me. And, no, I'm not really interested in rebuilding OregonLive from the ground up. I mostly work for advocates and change agents.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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