Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tonight I almost had a heart attack

Well not really but it's the most scared that I've ever been while doing my job. I've mentioned in previous posts that part of my job is to listen to the scanners to monitor for accidents, fires, and police activity. Well tonight just after the 6 o'clock news the scanners started going nuts by chirping out digital tones. That means a fire response and the more tones means the more urgent the call. After the tones the dispatcher came on and started deploying several fire trucks and an ambulance to my street right in front of my house for a report of an "auto pedestrian, child hit by a vehicle". My head snapped towards the the scanners and I stopped dead in my tracks. I reached for my cell phone and it started to ring, the caller ID showed it was Morgan. I started to panic as I flipped open the phone.

Me: "Are you Okay?!! Is Elliott Okay?!! Was it her?!!"

Morgan: (voice shaking) "We're fine! It wasn't her, it was the little boy across the street."

He was riding his big wheel across the street when he got hit by a car. He wasn't wearing a helmet and took a bumper to the head and was knocked to the ground. He was floating in and out of consciousness after it happened and when they took him to the hospital. I called dispatch later and they told me that he was conscious and crying when he arrived at the hospital, so hopefully he's going to be okay. I have to imagine that the woman who hit him wasn't going that fast because it's a residential street and she had a kid in the car with her. Plus it looked like she just turned onto the street when it happened.

Morgan made the 911 call, so that was her call that I heard the dispatcher reporting, and she immediately called me because she knew there was an excellent chance that I would hear it on the scanner and freak out. Which I did. It is one of my greatest fears that I'm going to be up here and hear something happen to Morgan or Elliott. I try not to think about it or it would drive me nuts. Morgan said that she gave Elliott an extra big hug from me tonight before she put her to bed.

I'm glad it looks like the little boy will be Okay. I'll keep you updated when I find out his condition.

I'm still coming down from all of the adrenaline.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vacation round up #5: Last one. The Best Damn Sandwich in The World

Back in the year 2000 I was living on Kearney street in between NW 22nd and 21st. In the spring of that year a sandwich shop opened up next door and it's still there today, It's called Tribute's. It was originally called Richie B's but the name changed in 2001 (before 911, it's kinda of a long story and I'm not going to get into it), but it still has the same owner and all the same recipes.

I was one of the first, if not the very first customer the day the placed opened, I'd been walking by the coming soon sign in the window for months. My first order was a Philly Cheese Stake sandwich and it was love at first bite. I took the sandwich home to eat it and after I was finished I immediately walked back downstairs from my apartment and ordered another one. I thanked them over and over for opening up their shop in my neighborhood. I got pretty fat that year I lived in Portland, because I was eating there three or 4 times a week.

Tribute's Philly Cheese Stake is quite simply the best damn sandwich in the world. It is indeed a taste sensation stuffed with mushrooms and peppers. It also has this optional spicy sauce that just gives it a little kick and is delicious. If you have never had the pleasure of eating one of these scrumptious sandwiches get on a plane right now and get to Portland and eat one. You won't be sorry.

All the food at tributes is good. They've got a delicious sausage with peppers and onions sandwich and an eggplant (that's right I said eggplant) sandwich that just melts in your mouth, loaded with mozzarella cheese and homemade marinara sauce. They also added pizza by the slice, hot dogs and salads to there menu over the years, but since I don't get back to Portland very often I only order the Philly. If anyone I know is going to Portland, they must bring me back a Philly. I don't care if it's out of the way or inconvenient, I need my damned sandwich!

This is the owner Judy, she's there behind the counter just about every day, and is just about the nicest person you'll ever meet. She always recognizes me when I come through the door no matter how long it's been. I guess she should I practically lived at that place for over a year. Did I mention I got really fat around then? She's also always really delighted to see Morgan and Ella when we walk in, but then that pretty much goes without saying, most people are delighted to see those two lovely ladies.

Well I just want to say, thank you Judy. Thank you for opening Tribute's and introducing me to my favorite sandwich in the world, and thank you for making this vacation and all my other trips to Portland a culinary delight. Please don't ever close. But if you do give me the recipe. I promise not to sell it or open up my own restaurant. I'll just sit around and make Philly's all the time and get fat again.

Well that's it for the vacation posts. I'm going to be messing around with some of the blogger features for the site, so if you see something weird on site it's just me playing around and it may or may not stay. It all just depends on how I think it looks.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Vacation round up #4: The Coast and Waterfalls

We managed to get over to the Oregon Coast when we were on vacation. We went to Rockaway Beach and it was Elliott's first time ever seeing the ocean.

The day we got there the weather was perfect. It was just about the most perfect day I've ever seen on the Oregon Coast, and I lived on the coast for 4 years all through out high school. It was around 70 degrees, the sky was crystal blue and there was no wind at all.

Elliott loved it She splashed around forever in a little creek that runs into the Ocean. The water in the creek was much warmer than out in the surf.

She also got a kick out of making sand castles. She started right at it when we arrived and then continued when we got her bathing suit on her.

As is customary in any trip to the beach Elliott had to be buried in the sand. She really liked that.

She even tried to bury Morgan. She was covering her feet and right after I snapped this pic she dumped a shovel full of sand right on Morgan's crotch. In case you think Morgan's got some kinda crazy head gear going on there let me clue you in, she's wearing Elliott's little hoodie.

The day we left it was pretty standard Oregon Coast weather, kind of cold, cloudy, a little drizzly and a bit windy. Here's Elliott about to take her last walk on the beach when Morgan mentioned something about a cookie and she stopped dead in her tracks, turned around and said "Oh! Cookie!".

When we were sitting on the beach a helicopter flew by. Elliott threw her arms up in the air and said, "Oh! A helicopter! I catch it daddy" and started running down the beach after it.

When we left for Portland we stopped in Tillamook and visited the Tillamook Cheese Factory. We toured the Factory, got some free samples and then got some ice cream. Elliott was very impressed with all the cheese when she watched them packaging it up on the plant floor.

Then we went to the Blue Heron French Cheese Company. They have goats that you can feed, so we got Elliott a bag of goat food and watched the good times roll. She had a blast and couldn't stop laughing when they got next to her and took the food out of her hand.

Don't worry, I didn't try to give beer to any of the goats. Not even this one, even though he looks like he could use one.

When we left Portland for Spokane we stopped by Multnomah Falls to show Elliott the waterfall.

Morgan said I was weirding people out when I was pointing up to the falls and telling Elliott about a truck sized boulder that crashed down injuring a bunch of people on the bridge including a wedding party. What can I say, I full of all kinds of useless knowledge.

Well that's it for vacation pix this edition. As for media stuff, Our news department is broadcasting entirely in High Definition now, so that's pretty cool. And am I the only one who just doesn't care about the Olympics? I must have been Inoculated for Olympic Fever.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Vacation round up #3: The Cohus

My uncle Tandy and my aunt Diane have always been like an additional set of parents to me. Even before I went to live with my grandparents when I was 13, they were always a huge part of my life. We always went on trips together and spent holidays together. Their daughters Brandy and Heather were always more like sisters to me than cousins. I was always hanging out over at there house. Heck, Diane and Tandy were first on the scene to help when I broke my leg when I was 12. At first they didn't believe that I broke my leg in two places and was in excruciating pain. They thought I was faking, but eventually they finally believed that I required immediate medical attention and called for an ambulance.

Here's a pic of the Cohu Clan circa 1993 at my grandparents house in Otis Oregon.

Left to right that's Heather, Christian (he starts his second year of high school this year. Yikes!), Diane and Tandy.

I haven't seen them since just after Elliott was born, they live just outside Sheridan Oregon, which is about halfway between Portland and the coast. When we were on vacation we drove over to Sheridan for a visit.

I guess they told me that they moved from McMinnville Oregon and bought a farm out near Sheridan about 4 years ago, but I must have blocked it out or just not believed them or something. I mean we've never been farm people, not since my grandpa was a little boy anyway. Well sure enough they bought a 20 acre farm and are raising cows. I think they're dairy cows, for some reason I didn't ask. They both still have their full time gigs, my uncle works in construction an my aunt does the books for a dairy I think. Their place is really cool and Elliott loved it.

She really liked getting to see the little orphaned calf named Annie that Tandy fed milk to out of a bucket that had a nipple attached to it.

Tandy even let Elliott get a little ride from Annie. Very little she pretty much just sat on her for about 2 seconds before Annie was like "I'm out of here" and took off to rejoin the other cows. That's Heather's son next to Annie too. I can't tell from this angle and with the hat over his face if it's Devon or Braden. The boys were ultra nice to Elliott. They didn't mind her following them around, they even watched Sponge Bob (her new favorite) with her.

Tandy grilled up some burgers just like old times and we all had lunch. Elliott was a big fan of the cookies as per usual.

Here I am with Uncle Tandy.
And Aunt Diane.
And Cousin Heather. My cousin Brandy lives in Grandview Washington, where we grew up, so she wasn't there.
Tandy (well everyone really) was impressed with Elliott. It's funny Tandy had two daughters and no sons, and they both had two sons each and no daughters. So I really had to watch Elliott around Heather so she didn't run off with her and keep her.
Well it was great to see them all again, I hope it's not another 2 and half years until we all get together again.
Well I can't think of any Media stuff to post about right now. Maybe I'll have something tomorrow when I post about our vacation time that we spent on the beach.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Vacation round up #2: Brewfest

Last Friday Morgan's sister Katie took us to the 21st Annual Oregon Brewers Festival while grandma and grandpa Bird babysat for little Elliott. It takes place right along the riverfront and is huge. It must have really boomed in recent years because I remember walking by it back in 2000 when it was taking place at Pioneer Square and I really wasn't that impressed. But now it's crazy, there must have been at least 6000 people there.

Morgan and I partook in plenty of fine beverages laden with hoppy goodness. Then there were some that weren't so fine, like the one that tasted like chai tea. Whatever brew master that came up with that crap needs to give his license to be a man back, the girls really liked it so there ya go.

The Brewfest stopped serving at 9pm (so you don't have 6000 people drinking until 2am in the heart of downtown Portland) so we went to a bar down the way with Katie, her husband, and a couple of her friends. We went to this place called The Rock Bottom Brewery and all I have to say is, not my scene, not my scene, not my scene. The place is a chain restaurant and it's like Applebees had sex with T.G.I Fridays and this was their alcoholic bastard love child. I tend to like my bars looking like bars, a little on the divey side preferably, by no means a dump, just a place that actually looks like a bar, not a family style restaurant. We walked in and the place was packed and there was this band playing, we'll I guess you could say they were playing. They looked like a bunch of pretty boy models out of a Gap ad and they were completely butchering the Doors song Love Me Two Times. I'd later come to find out (about 10 minutes ago) that the chai beer at the beerfest was a concoction made by this brewery, had I known that at the time I might never have even walked through the door.

We got a booth but it barley fit the 6 of us and Morgan and I both had a friend coming to join us. So Morgan and I decided to leave and head over to one of our favorite Portland haunts, a pool hall called The Rialto. Our friends Virgina and Marshal joined us there for drinks.

It was great to see Marshal. I haven't seen him in years. We used to work together at the first television station that I worked at in Medford and we were roommates when he first moved to Portland back in 2001.

Marshal sometimes makes short films with Alden, another former co-worker from my Medford days. You can check them out on the NealHam website.

We all just hung out talking and catching up for a while and at the end of the night Morgan and I hopped a cab back to her folks' place. It's much easier to get a cab in Portland than it is in Spokane. So we had a really fun time, except for that God awful band and that God awful Chai tea beer.


Friday, August 01, 2008

Vacation round up #1: Sam Klemke

Here it is Friday and I'm on my last official day of vacation, back to the old grind on Monday. We did so much stuff on vacation that I'm going to break it down over a few blog posts.

Last Friday Morgan's mom wanted to take Elliott to the Washington County Fair in Hillsboro so she could see the animals. I didn't really feel like going because I try to stay away from Carnies, I usually end up in some kind of a verbal tête à tête with them when they try and get me to play knock down the milk bottles or throw rings in their rigged games, but I went anyway. I'm glad I did, because as we were about to leave I glanced over my shoulder and saw some caricatures hanging in a booth, I knew who the artist was before I even saw him sitting there eating his lunch, Sam Klemke.

I've Known Sam for about 11 years but through every fault of my own I've lost touch over the years. Sam's a great guy he's a cartoonist, caricaturist, movie and comic buff, Renaissance man, Filmmaker and Bon Vivant. I met Sam in Medford at the Rogue Valley Mall of all places. We started talking and quickly struck up a friendship and mutual admiration. Sam and I can always geek out talking about comics, music, movies and life in general. I came back later and showed him a picture of my dad (who passed when I was 10) and he did a great drawing of me fishing with my dad who had little angel wings, I gave it to my grandmother and she loved it.

I walked up to Sam at the fair and he was completely shocked to see me. I introduced him to Morgan, her mom and Elliott.

He insisted on doing a caricature of Elliott. She wasn't too cooperative but he was able to do a great drawing.

I'm just glad Morgan or her mom didn't ask him "So how long have you been doing this?", inside joke. He also gave me a copy of his book, it's a collection of autobiographical comics that he's been drawing through out the years. It's called "Party of 1" and is available at his website, I've linked it in my "Chuck's Peeps" category. You can also check out a short movie that he made over on YouTube, also very autobiographical.

So that was cool seeing Sam again. I'm so bad about keeping in touch with people. We're going to get to see him in a few weeks because he's going to be working at the Pig Out At The Park. So if you're in Spokane stop by and see Sam and get your caricature done, you won't be sorry.