Friday, May 01, 2009

Blazer defeat wins back time

Part of me welcomed Houston's resounding defeat of the Blazers last night.

I was getting way too involved in the fortunes of the upstart home team. I had already reached the point of yelling at the screen. And I was referring to the Blazers as "we" and the Rockets as "they."

Dangerous signs.

Had the Trailblazers won the first round, I would have frittered away hours, days even, in front of the TV, hanging on every jump shot, dunk, steal and rebound.

So thanks, Blazers, for giving us back time. Who knows, I might use some to go out and shoot my own jump shots.

Or just smell the roses.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

An Electrifying Comsumer Pledge

Here’s a promise Detroit’s “Threadbare Three” can take to the bank: The first American automaker to retool itself as “America’s All-Electric Car Company” earns a car purchase from me.

How about from you? And you and you....?

Until an auto manufacturer comes out with a credible, affordable exclusively all-electric product line and abandons the internal combustion engine, I’m walking and busing more and driving my 1999 Toyota RAV4 less — and into the grave. Mine or its.

Mind you, my deal isn’t about a token electric like the Chevrolet Volt. The company that gets my bucks must make a total electric-alternative energy commitment.

I strongly suspect that much of the public’s reluctant to purchase new cars results from the fear of technological obsolescence. We're waiting for, and in doing so, demanding change.

Who wants to buy a global-warmer, even a baby one that gets 35 mpg?

Talk about depreciation.

And who wants to continue to feed the polluting, profit-crazed maws of Exxon/Mobil, BP and Chevron? It's time to force these energy giants to convert to 100 percent electric. Every last watt of it generated by wind, sun and tide.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Gotta Go to Gotham

From Thursday evening until Monday afternoon, we've been
enthralled by New York City.

What a great place to be, to walk, to gawk, to take your time. That's not something I might have said 30 or 40 years ago.

A "New York state of mind" once seemed like mayhem. Sure, there's still craziness here, much of it driven by greed. But forget that as you weave your way through the broad sidewalks' crowds. Everyone is getting on and getting along.

The reason for the trip was a graduate school reunion, but you don't really need a reason to go to Gotham. The photos show some of the allure. The weather was July-like. Central Park became a jogger's Mecca. "Billy Elliot" on stage rivaled the movie. The food, though Big City expensive, was also Big City exceptional.

Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, a wonder when it was built in the years following the Civil War—a wonder today.

A red-brick building within the shadows of the bridge's Brooklyn-side tower bore a plaque that caught my eye. A young Walt Whitman, it told me, got his start as a reporter in this building, the site of the Brooklyn Eagle.

Why wasn't I panhandled once on Manhattan? There was no evidence of folks living on the streets, or in doorways, or under bridges. Pedestrians roam the streets hassle-free. How odd for a Portlander. What happened to the homeless? Is the city hiding something? Has Mayor Bloomberg found a humane solution that eludes Portland?

New York City is for exploring in more ways than one.

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