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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 18, 2005 2:44 AM. The previous post in this blog was Creepy day. The next post in this blog is Of sweeps and rugs. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Sunday, September 18, 2005


The scene: Me at the grocery store, standing in front of the vending machine that sells lottery tickets.

The time: 6:35 on a Saturday evening.

The action: I fumble around in my wallet for some cash to feed into the thing. The Powerball jackpot's gotten up into the high eight figures, and so it's time for me to play. I know it's late, but I figure the drawing isn't for 25 minutes or so, and I still have time, if I hustle.

Dang, I only have a $1 bill and some $20s. These bandits don't make change, and it ain't worth a $20, and so I resign myself to betting only a dollar. "If I win on only a buck," I'm thinking, "I'll feel really, really, really lucky."

In goes the dollar. I look up at the screen and see that I have a $2 credit. Wait a minute. I guess the person before me must have left a dollar in there ungambled. Anyway, I push the buttons for two $1 wagers. The thing starts screeching as it prints out the little slip on its old dot matrix thingie. I pull it out to look at my numbers.

Hey, this isn't a lottery ticket! It's a slip that says "Powerball - void" on it! I look back up at the screen. "Draw break," it says, meaning that it's too close to the time of the drawing, I guess. "For refund slip, press 'yes.'"

I press "yes." Out comes a refund slip. "Must be redeemed today at customer service at this store -- $2.00."

I walk right over. There's nobody at customer service but two clerks. I collect my two bucks -- a winnah! -- a 100 percent return on investment. Then it's off to the produce section.

Comments (13)

And nobody won, so I can bet both bucks (or more, if I'm a fool) on Wednesday.

It was a better investment than buying the new "improved" Oregonian this morning.

There's rarely anything worth reading in The O on Sunday. No matter how much noise they surround it with. I like the new "Zero!" section, though; finally, truth in advertising.

Iím not going to criticize the O this week because a comment I made on your blog September 12th was also sold to Jay Leno and returned like a salmon from the sea to this Sundayís Oregonian. I always get a kick out of that. It might even make an inspirational story for the kids out there. I had a good math brain in high school, (760 math SATs in 11th grade) but I was a total klutz during science labs, splashing things and catching them on fire. When it came time to write the report, I used to tell myself my specialty was explaining what went wrong. Decades later, I used that description on President Bush and the joke sold in regards to his New Orleans speech. So for all you students out there, donít despair about the high school science labs. Later in life they can pay off.

Ouch, Iím giving myself a time-out for that last post. I thought it was funny at the time, but it now seems dreadful. Have a good week.

What seems kind of pitiful to me is how, time after time, the Oregonian's promotion slogans are so easy to ridicule: If it matters to Oregonians,..., Practically Indefensible, and now, the Big Zero. It's like someone over there wants to kill the corpse of the paper's credibility. Funny, if it werent' so sad.

Totally counter-productive. But this time, the flop sweat is really noticeable.

Hey, Jack! I had a gelato at Mio gelato. It was nice. Sorry you miss your store. The gelato place was hopping at 10:30 on a Friday night.

Yeah, and it likely will be for another couple of months. Doubt that it will be so hopping in February, however.

The rest of the space in that complex looks as though it has been rented out, although still no business is open yet. Probably some doomed chi-chi restaurant.

As I've said before, I wish all the tenants well, but I have no use for the landlords, and I miss my corner grocery stores. Wild Oats is tired, tired, tired, and to go to New Seasons, as a practical matter, I have to get in the car.

Then there's what was supposed to be a Zupan's in that abomination at 16th and Weidler. Instead, they stuck a bank branch into one corner of the place -- whoopdee doo -- and the rest of the retail space looks like New Orleans. I can't imagine who would be foolish enough to take that space. It's laid out to be the back end of a Zupan's meat department.

And I'm taking bets on how long the food court castoffs in the old Irvington Market will be sticking around.

Then there's what was supposed to be a Zupan's in that abomination at 16th and Weidler. Instead, they stuck a bank branch into one corner of the place -- whoopdee doo -- and the rest of the retail space looks like New Orleans.

"Abomination" is certainly right. The whole thing is a disaster--I'm amazed they have the occupancy rates they claim. Their original concept drawings were nothing earthshaking, but they at least made the place look it is now it is like one of those Soviet "stack-a-prole" apartment buildings, c. 1972. Sad to see a nice prime location like that totally wasted.

I was walking by there this morning, and happened to glance in the paned window on the east side of the building (bordering 17th, I think.)

What did I see? Two or three big concrete columns smashed right up against the glass - with holes that looked to be stuffed with chewed Bubble Yum bubble gum at first glance (a closer look revealed that it was, in fact, pink insulation.)

So - which came first, the columns or the window? And if there are structural columns right there (blocking any kind of view one can expect from said window) - why put the window in?

That - and the sight of the truck ominously labeled 'water leak repair service' (with hoses trickling down into the parking structure, no less) - made me doubly glad I wasn't one of the residents there...

the lemon gelato is dreamy! much better than an aerial tram [rim shot]!

Say, while we're chatting, what do you think about the County Cork pub (I think something like 18th but north to Fremont)? That's a nice family place. I expect that is more the sort of development you were hoping for. I'd love to see something like that in Woodstock or even Sellwood. We don't have a nice pub.

The gelato place is wierdly set back--I wasn't even sure I'd found it when I first drove by.

Multistate Powerball is sucking money out of Oregon big time. The state and the ticket sellers make good money but the players get back less than 20% in winnings. Only 2 Powerball jackpots have been won by Oregon players in over 1300 Powerball drawings since 1986.

This link shows how poorly Oregon players do in
Powerball compared to other states. Idaho players do very well.


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In Vino Veritas

Kirkland, Napa Cabernet 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Napa Meritage 2011
Kramer, Chardonnay Estate 2012
Forlorn Hope, Que Saudade 2013
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Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Rutherford Cabernet 2012
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Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
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