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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 15, 2012 5:44 AM. The previous post in this blog was Saltzman recuses self from Lincoln High "urban renewal" vote. The next post in this blog is Gunplay at Dittler's Beach. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Couch potato heaven at 35,000 feet

We're back in Portlandia from an East Coast swing, and on the six-hour return flight last evening, we gave in to the temptation to plunk down eight bucks and watch TV on a screen on the back of the seat in front of us. We could pick from dozens of channels in the DirecTV lineup, and it turns out that pro sports fit our flight schedule perfectly.

First we watched the Sixers and the Celtics on the hardwood, switching over at halftime to the Rangers and the Devils in hockey. Then it was back to hoops for more Sixers-Celtics, and after some more hockey, it was the first game of the basketball series between the evil Lakers and the saintly Oklahoma City Thunder.

It was a satisfying menu -- at least, the basketball was. The Celtics got complacent and let the Sixers steal the game from them, which was fine with us. And the Thunder absolutely humiliated the Lakers, pretty much from start to finish but definitely in the third quarter. We relished every second of that one -- nothin' betta than showing up Metta. When we touched down in Portlandia and they pulled the plug on the video, there were only about three minutes left in the wonderful rout. The time had passed quickly.

The Devils lost to the Rangers, and we were a little bummed about that. Our original hometown of Newark doesn't need to be kicked around any more than it already is. Lately they've started having some serious security problems around their new arena, and if they don't get that cleaned up immediately, the city's few bright spots are likely to go dark once again. When the place opened, there was a heavy police presence at every event, but times have changed, and Newark is laying off cops. Not good.

But despite our sympathies for the Devils, we're mindful that the Rangers and Madison Square Garden go way back, and it wouldn't be terrible if they took home the Stanley Cup this year. That honor sure as heck doesn't belong in Southern California or Arizona. As Woody Allen once noted, "Santa Claus will get sunstroke."

It's a good thing we had the tube to take our mind off the fact that there wasn't a scrap of food offered to us at any point in the transcontinental flight. Not a pretzel, not a peanut. The CEO of United Airlines came on the screen and gave his little pep talk at the beginning, but hey Jeff, old buddy, you can't not feed people, even those willing to pay for the food. Between that and all the clods dragging the equivalent of covered wagons on board to avoid paying 25 clams to check a bag, the whole experience has become even more absurd than it was just a couple of years ago.

Not to mention the TSA, of course. On the way out of PDX, as we waited to be puffed and X-rayed and goosed and generally violated, a portly middle-aged guy in a uniform and a loud voice harangued us with a nonstop stream of commands and banter that he thought was funny. It's 6:30 in the morning, and this fellow was being paid to give us a lame standup routine. We couldn't help but think, "This is what single-payer health care will probably be like. Our poor kids."

Comments (8)

" We couldn't help but think, "This is what single-payer health care will probably be like."

Well, it's clear now that this isn't the time and place where you do your best thinking.

Portly and TSA employee is redundant. No matter the gender, bearded is practically redundant as well.

I was very discouraged when the Lakers got past Denver, but I have to admit, there is something to learn from the way Metta World Peace handled the situation in OKC.

Rather than do what society wanted and adopt a contrite humble approach begging for forgiveness, he proceeded to remind everyone that yes, he is crazy, so they might as well get over it. He doubled down on nuts.

Pre-game handshake with Hardin? Metta said he doesn't shake hands with substitutes. He also marveled at how he would be the center of attention and how that was good for him, especially with Kobe and Durant in the house.

You can't reason with a crazy man, and as soon as the crowd got it, they booed, but they didn't act as outraged as everyone thought they would.

Metta World Peace put on a clinic out there. A clinic? He put on the whole asylum.

Go Thunder. I know the NBA is following the sneaky marketing technique of professional wrestling by creating this villan named Metta World Peace (more like, Mental Piece). But I am a knowing sucker disliking this villan so much as to become really passionate about rooting against him and his team.

As long as we're talking about TV flipping, I have a good story this morning. A few months ago this nice teller at my bank whispered that she was going to be on Wheel of Fortune. Her name is Breanna and she couldn't be nicer. She's a PSU student, a true Blazer fan, and a great example of why I'm optimistic about today's young people.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I asked her how it had gone, and she told me how much she won. I asked her to repeat the number in case I had heard her wrong. It was impressive. After she told me, she tapped her head and said, "Hey, it's not just a hat rack, you know." So in addition to being smart she's funny too.

Last night they aired the episode. Breanna was brilliant and made 60 grand. 60 large. Not bad for a half hour's work. Plus her family got on camera too. Go, Breanna! Go Next Generation!

Keep your government hands off my Medicare!

A post here a while back noted that the state won accolades for efficiently and effectively administering the SNAP program. That fact was overshadowed by the usual stories of allegedly outrageous food stamp abusers [hipsters driving BMWs buying artisian cheese at Whole Foods, oh my!], but it demonstrates that not all functions of government are equal, or even similar.

I've had government-run, "single payer" health care for years. I mostly deal with my doctor. The people I have (very occasionally) had to interact with in government have usually been polite, efficient and helpful.

Don't forget the high school junior from Portland that just finished second in the teen Jeopardy tournament that aired last week, Bill. She won more than the guaranteed $25,000. Way to go Rose Schaefer! My son is in love with you.

Not to diss the Wheel, but you have to work a lot harder to get big money on Jeopardy.

I've been on that EWR-PDX flight several times in the past few months, as recently as 3 weeks ago.

Food has been always offered, as were drinks and pretzels. The Tapas box is quite tasty.

In any case, did you ask the flight attendants?

Agreed, 6 hours without any refreshments would be taxing.

In my experience, there is typically one pass thru the cabin offering the food boxes described in the back of the Hemispheres Magazine, ignoring a passenger if they are asleep, or in the rest room. Many times, I have experienced multiple offers of drinks and water, whether in Economy or First Class.

Perhaps there were operational problems with your particular flight.

When I have the time, though, I have purchased food in the airport, eating it before boarding or taking it aboard.

In any case, any non-stop is preferable to the connecting flights via Chicago, Denver, or Houston!


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
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Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
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Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
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Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
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Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
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Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
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Conundrum, White 2013
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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
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Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
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Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
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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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