Thursday, July 10, 2008

You Know What Really Grinds My Gears? (Part II)

A while back I wrote a bit of a rant about the cyclist culture in Portland. In the interest of full disclosure, I must first admit that since that time, I have started doing a fair amount of bike riding. Notice I do not call myself a cyclist. I do not have a jersey of any kind. My bike has both gears and brakes. I don't even think I would call myself a cycling enthusiast. I just think of myself as a guy who rides bikes.

Well, Portland cyclist culture has once again given me good reason to distance myself from the snooty, lock in the belt loop, socks over shoes, car hating crowd. You can check out the story as published in the Oregonian or on If you are really looking for a good laugh, dig into the comments sections on each piece, as I can't begin to do either one justice. The story is priceless:

Average Portland Guy Colin Yates is driving his green Subaru wagon in SE Portland (it's already so good you couldn't make this shit up!). Sees biker punk (probably wearing chain wallet and stupid hat with flipped up visor instead of brain-protecting helmet) run through two red lights.

APG Colin, a self described cycling advocate chases down biker and lectures him for making bikers look bad. Rogue Punk Biker Steven McAtee flips his lid. Chases the car, screaming, threatening etc. and enoourages APG Colin to stop and have a good old fashioned throw down.

APG Colin stops, confronts RPB Steven and gets more than he bargained for when RPB Steven picks up his bike and uses it as a weapon to attack APG Colin, his Average Portland Car containing his Average Portalnd Family. The brawl is derailed only by a Hancock-esque citizen laying out RPB Steven with a single punch haymaker (dear god how I would have loved to see that).

So, now there is a scene. Car stopped, smashed up hood, biker on the ground and it's drawing attention. The obvious happens next (picture Thriller or West Side Story) a group of Disgruntled Passersby Bikers gang up on and attack APG Colin as he stands next to his APC Subaru.

The police eventually show up to break up the hostile mobe of DPBs and sort things out, and this is where it gets good. RPB Steven is a city employee... In the transportation department! And he was hammered (probably after drinking too many pints of Organic IPA w/ too high of an IBU), possibly fueling his drunken bike weilding rage!

I think the Portland Police spokesman summed it up best, "It's almost kind of quintessentially a Portland thing."

Quick Trivia

I will leave it to you to decide whether Hancock is good or not, but I had no idea that the film's director, Peter Berg, also played the tragic Dexter ('Dex') Rutecki in one of the most influential movies of my life, Aspen Extreme. Possibly my favorite part of his role is when he has to dress up in the Santa costume as a ski teacher. It was even better watching it come true in my own Copper Mountain Extreme experience when Huff had to dress as the Copper Cougar for a day and chase little kids around on tiny skis.

Love Dex, TJ, Bryce and of course, Franz. Although I usually wait until at least November, I may have to pop AE into the VHS a little sooner this year.

Men's Health

I cannot stand Men's Health. Frankly, I cannot stand Men's Journal either.

How are these magazines so popular? I find them so defeating.

My problem begins and ends with the cover. Every magazine read something similar to:
1324 Women reveal their secrets to Sex! Or, 35 Watches that you Need NOW! Or 15 Foods that Build Muscle! And why with all the exclamation points?

What they are really saying is more like the following:
1. 20 Foods that you Cannot Even Find at your Local Health Food Store and if you could you wouldn't want to spend $5 or that 5oz piece of fruit anyway!
2. 50 Suits that you and none of your Immediate Friends Could Ever Afford! And if we're really going to be spending $4,00 on something Italian, it better damn well be an Italian vacation
3. 40 Women that you'll Never Have a Chance Dating!
4. 35 Watches that will Make You Feel Like a Complete Douche for Spending $5,00o!
5. 12 Vacations that You Can Never Afford!
6. 120 Sex Tips that Will Get You Nowhere Fast!
7. 1530 Different Things that will Make You Feel Insecure About Your Situation In Life!
8. 240 Reasons With You are Not As Cool As The Guy On The Cover of This Magazine!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Definition: a widely-consumed stimulant beverage prepared from roasted seeds, commonly called coffee beans, of the coffee plant. Today, Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. 

Sounds like something Brandon  would enjoy, right? Wrong.

Brandon does not partake in the exercise in drinking coffee. I have met few people like this and i just cannot figure it out. The only time I've seen him drink coffee is in a foreign country. 
I remember him drinking coffee in Morocco, Holland, Spain, Ireland. The list goes on, but I've never seen him at or suggest a Starbucks. 

1. Coffee is delicious. You can find a flavor or brew that is perfectly designed to massage your pallet. 
2. Coffee is commonly known as a social gathering. As in, "lets meet for coffee." Or, "how about we discuss over coffee?"
3. Drinking soda in the morning is just not cool anymore. Frankly, soda(pop) is just not acceptable in general. The last time someone said: "lets go grab a couple of cokes" and you thought to yourself "man, thats so hip!!" was in a Jimmy Stewart movie circa 1962. 
4. You can make it at home and bring it with you. You also get the sense of feeling like a barista in the morning. Everyone that has been a barista can relate with the fact that it sure is gratifying to make a coffee and not have to hand it off to the the guy in the two-piece or the lady about ready to embark on her morning 5K walk. 
5. If you're tired, coffee is better than an energy drink, but not as good as a trip to the gym. I believe the days of throwing down a 16oz Rockstar at 6AM should be behind you by the time you're 25. But, a couple of 16oz 'Star's at 9PM on a Saturday night, that is still debatable.
6. If you are living in the NW it is boarder line taboo not to partake in coffee. This is the land where Starbucks, Peet's, SBC and Coffee People were born.
7. Coffee is good warm and cold. Soda is not good warm. 
8. Coffee is like golf. You have to at least be familiar with the beverage, willing to drink it and find a way to enjoy some of the nuances that it offers in orders to get by in life. You do not want to be the person in a business meeting that shoots an 9 off the first tee and you do not want to be the jack-a-lantern that orders an Italian Soda at Starbucks.

If there is anything I'm missing, please add and with any luck, Brandon may see the light that coffee is one of life's great treasures.