As the State Turns

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stateturnssymbolWind Takes Power Out in Portland – And Not to Dinner
Ah, Oregon. You’re gorgeous, baby, but you’re just not gonna last.

Providing backup to this sentiment, Saturday’s windstorms left 3,000 Portlanders without power on Sunday. At its worst, it was reported that almost 30,000 people had lost power in the tri-county area. While some wind gusts struck at about 40 miles per hour, it’s hard not to raise an eyebrow as 30,000 people lose power whenever Mother Nature sneezes.

Similar to coverage of our horribly inadequate earthquake preparedness (structurally) that has been making the rounds at state news sources for the last year (something we at the Advocate covered way before that *cough*), I’m considering a job in the utility sector. I haven’t been educated in the field, but I’ve got duct tape and Popsicle sticks at the ready. If the pay is right I’ll even bring my sticky tack.

Portlanders Eat for Equality
Sorry folks, that’s the best headline I’ve got. Last weekend marked the first Support Black Restaurants Day, during which Portlanders of all kinds stuffed upwards of 15 pounds of grizzly bacon burgers, several helpings of chicken embryo and placenta (also known as eggs), various artisanal breads, pretentious overpriced pints of beer, uh… burritos and other foods… each, to be later dropped into various receptacles, including toilets, underpants, bushes, and ostomy bags.

They all did this around “brunch,” a food time that was only observed by the filthy rich in decades past. They also breakfasted, lunched, and dined, but the media saturation seems to be all about the brunching, and who am I to challenge convention?

The event pulled in a lot of new faces to the nearly 60 establishments listed on the official Facebook event page. Modeled after the Black Restaurant Day of San Francisco, which just celebrated its 11th year, organizer Bertha Pearl brought it all together with a grass roots campaign online. Oh ho ho, that’s right, Corvallis! No committees or subcommittees. And you said it couldn’t be done!

Lake County Visited for Thing That’s Not a Lake
Lake County should have some kind of big a*s famous lake, but not according to University of Oregon archaeologists, no indeed. They’re spending the week wandering around some fancy-schmancy cave where in 1938 “Father of Oregon Archaeology” Luther Cressman (if that’s his real name) once found the oldest shoe… ever. And it looks it, too. The decrepit old thing, which has been dated to about 10,000 years old, was woven from sagebrush and probably gave the original owner a bad back and gross-looking soles.

There’s talk of soil samples and data and understanding the history of the cave, but I don’t trust this new team. One of them was wearing a suspicious hat. Count me out.

The Johnny Beaver Insight Network
This week I wanted to answer more of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Public Insight Network questions for you, but unfortunately they were just asking if I wanted to submit a back-to-school photo. Because it seemed inappropriate to post an image of me crying, naked, and covered in filth in the corner of a broken-down bathroom stall, I figured I’d replace the content this week with a butt made out of ASCII characters: (__|__)

Yeah, it’s a little flat, but this is avant garde, OK?

Oregon Wildfires: A Costly Thing That Costs
While the U.S. Forest Service spends $150 million a week fighting fires or paying for suppression measures, roughly $10 million a day is going just to fighting wildfires in Oregon. If anyone out there is looking for a cheap date, we’re not it. Maybe try Florida… it clearly has low self-esteem.

Taking up a bloated 52% of the entire Forest Service budget, this is the first time in the history of the entire Universe that they are spending more on stopping fires than anything else. In fact, they just froze spending on anything that’s not directly fire-related.

I guess Clark Griswold won’t be getting that pool for Christmas.

By Johnny Beaver

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