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

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 19, 2009 10:56 AM. The previous post in this blog was One less bell to answer. The next post in this blog is Violent night. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bad humor

As a longtime grouch, I can get mildly irritated when the ice cream vendors come down the street playing their inane jingles. And in this, I am apparently not alone.

Comments (14)

My wife and I saw this earlier and laughed about all the parents who want to ensure that everyone MUST bend to how they view the world. Living just a short distance from Prospect Park I can tell you that these are parents in name only, since their kids run their lives. When I lived in Portland, sadly, that trend had already begun.

My own gripe is not related to our children. It is with the loops of bad, tinny music that accompany today's mobile hawkers of sugar and fat. The old bells that the guy used to ring once, when he stopped, were fine. I've long since maxed out on a bad computer version of "The Entertainer."

Here's the best part of the story, in my view:

"There used to be this image that was wholesome and cool," Mr. Semanko said. But these days, in Tacoma, there is a guy in an old mail van with no shirt on, smoking a cigarette, he said. "I heard one kid complain that the guy actually burped on him. That’s creepy to people."

I admit that the trucks with the bad music badly played* really grate on my nerves.† But this parent has clearly flipped her lid.

[*: Seriously, guys, can't you invest in some better speakers? And maybe a decent recording to play instead of that awful old midi crap? You can find better playback in a flippin' greeting card! And "Jingle Bells" in August? Who do you think you're fooling?]
[†: The La Super guys pedaling their little trikes around, ringing a much less annoying bell, now those guys have the good stuff. Worth every penny.]

Its not just ice cream in my neighborhood. I also have vendors with annoying music for ethnic bread, veggies, and tamales. They come through every day of the week. The bread guy plays "Eye of the Tiger" through a megaphone speaker on the roof of his van. Sounds terrible.
All but one of the ice cream vendors that come through are all old mini-vans with about the same quality of "music". The one guy I can handle rides a three-wheeled bike with a small cooler on it. He just has five or six bells on the handlebars that jingle as he comes down the road.

Last week, I was walking downtown behind a woman (25-30, I would guess) and her young daughter.

The girl was complaining about not getting ice cream.

"Why not?", she moaned.

"Because we don't have any money," the mom replied.

Jon- Yeah, that's the one. Stop him and have some of his ice cream. You will not regret it.

As a hard-hitting columnist for the Portland Tribune I was on this years ago - granted in a very positive, fluffy way. But I still managed to close strong. Any mistakes here are mine - I think this was the version before the excellent copy editors cleaned it up. (I still miss you Margaret and Kate!) I also have to say I was overly optimistic as I still hear "The Sting" way too much.

I have seen the future of ice cream truck music and it’s a small black box named Omni. Made in Minneapolis, Minnesota, it offers 32 different selections, an 8-fold increase from the mind-numbing, 4-song selection of yesteryear. “Everyone was going crazy with just the 4 tunes”, admitted Michael Shillingford, President of the Portland Ice Cream Company.
Employee James Morris, who’s spent many an hour behind the wheel of the little trucks, agreed that the repetition sometimes got to him. I asked him what music was the most relaxing after a day of hearing “Turkey in the Straw” ten million times? His answer said it all: “Slayer”.
Several summers ago when the trucks in my neighborhood started playing the theme from the movie “The Sting”, I didn’t complain. After all, it was Scott Joplin and the descending harmony line was brilliant. Sure, hearing it over and over was annoying, especially for those of us who can’t eat as much ice cream as we’d like. But this was Ragtime, a great musical form.
Recently, when I heard “Turkey In The Straw” for a couple of days, I realized it was time to act. With a mindless lower harmony part that consisted mainly of one note, “Turkey In The Straw” was the last straw. Let’s not even go into the other two selections, “Pop Goes the Weasel” and a “Ding Dong” pattern that isn’t even a song.
There are lots of causes in the world, but sometimes an injustice is so great that it has to be addressed immediately. I envisioned a new organization: A.F.I.C.T.J.I. − Amnesty From Ice Cream Truck Jingles International.
First, I’d try a visit. The main thing I noticed was that the Portland Ice Cream Company is quite an operation with Michael Shillingford putting on a clinic in multi-tasking. He somehow managed to find the time to explain the music upgrade, print out a list of the trucks it’s already available on,(there are 61 in Oregon and southern Washington.), and even give me a tour inside the big freezer, all while handling a steady stream of phone calls, faxes, and orders. The new refrigerator is 50 ft. by 12 ft, with 12 ft. ceilings. It holds $50,000 worth of all kinds of ice cream treats. I paused for a quiet moment of respect at how much joy was contained in that room.
Oh, yeah. The songs. I needed a list of the new songs. Michael was on the phone in a blur and within seconds the song list was being faxed in from
God knows where. Channel 1 features such selections as “Romance de Amour”, “The Yellow Rose of Texas”, and “Music Box Dancer”, along with several scary ones like “Small World” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”.
Channel 2 has “I’m a Little Teapot”, “Brahms’ Lullaby” and the appropriate “Song of Joy”. The scariest? A disastrous reprise of “Turkey in the Straw”.
The new machine is a great leap forward, but problems remain. We’ve got to move to an automatic selection rotator. These still are changed by hand, so once the driver zones out we’re stuck. This is important stuff. After all, with school budget cuts, the music from ice cream trucks may be the only musical education our children will ever get.

When I lived in Japan we had a great number of street vendors, walking, on bicycle, scooters etc. I remember one old guy who used to come down the street with a large battery powered bull horn strapped to the front of his bicycle. He was deaf as a post. He was selling squid of course. He would actually come up to our kitchen window and aim his horn directly into the house letting loose with an ear splitting "IKA!!!!" (squid). This would result in a crying baby and shattered nerves for anyone unfortunate enough to be inside. I chose to purchase my daily squid elsewhere...

Oh, Dean!! Thanks for the huge laugh. The visual your comment created is too funny. Man I wish I was an illustrator. I'm still laughing!

Todays local newspaper:
Ice cream vendor accused of suggestive comments:

I have mixed emotions about the ice cream truck song. One the one hand, it's a true "Summer Sound," one you don't hear in November, for instance. On the other hand, two notes are enough to send my 4 kids into major Whine Mode--"Please, can we? Can we? Huh? Huh? Huh?" Fortunately we live far enough away from parks and playgrounds that we rarely have the trucks drive by.

A friend of mine used to tell her young children that it was the "Music Truck" coming--wasn't it nice of that man to drive down the street playing music for them to enjoy?

I'm of two minds. I definitely agree with Bill that a wider selection of music is necessary for the actual ice cream trucks, and I also agree with Alan that the ice cream coming from the little bike-powered vendors is a lot better. However, in the interests of fair play, I'm willing to make a compromise. I'll gleefully give up the ice cream trucks in my neighborhood, and thereby give up my Bomb Pop addiction, if it means that I can take antitank weapons to the bozos with the 2000-watt stereos in the Geos that come blasting through my neighborhood at 3 in the morning. I can state from experience that I've never been awakened from a dead sleep on a worknight by an ice cream truck.

(Back in my sordid youth, I used to be a regular in the Exposition Park area of Dallas, which is what Alberta in Portland always wanted to be. At the time, we had a very pretentious bar called simply The State Bar, complete with the original filming model of the blimp from Blade Runner over the bar and a collection of 20something SMU brats already so far gone in cocaine addiction that their noses looked like Michael Jackson's. One night, an ice cream truck came by at the end of the block, with no sound but with lights on the front, and the owner came out screaming that the truck had to leave before he called the police because the truck was "destroying the mood". Now, the patrons from the other bar on the block, Bar of Soap, were thrilled to see the ice cream truck, and we all stayed in line and offered our support until our ice cream joneses were contained. Funny: Bar of Soap is coming up on its 25th year in business, and State Bar imploded in 1992. Who'd have seen that coming?)

Out of curiosity, what is the general opinion of ice cream vendors?
I agree with the article, in that they creep me out. My general opinion is "pedophiles & drug dealers" (no proof).
Do people still have a soft warm spot for this profession or they do they just creep people out now-a-days?

A young composer named Michael Hearst composed a CD of new ice cream truck songs- I remember hearing a selection on OPB one afternoon- they were actually very sweet. More here:


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

In Vino Veritas

Kirkland, Napa Cabernet 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Napa Meritage 2011
Kramer, Chardonnay Estate 2012
Forlorn Hope, Que Saudade 2013
Ramos, Premium Tinto, Alentejano 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Rutherford Cabernet 2012
Bottego Vinaia, Pinot Grigio Trentino 2013
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2011
Pete's Mountain, Elijah's Reserve Cabernet, 2007
Beaulieu, George Latour Cabernet 1998
Januik, Merlot 2011
Torricino, Campania Falanghina 2013
Edmunds St. John, Heart of Gold 2012
Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2010
Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011

The Occasional Book

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: 80
At this date last year: 89
Total run 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

Clicky Web Analytics