Saturday, March 31, 2012

When Beasts Roamed Portland…For the Lottery

Sometime in the early 80s, King Kong attacked the Portland Building. Sort of…

If you look at cartoon postcards and comic maps of Portland circa 1985-1987, you may come across an odd site of giant gorilla in the city's architecture. As with many of Portland's quirks, the story behind this has been lost to the majority of the city.

The giant 84-foot tall inflatable gorilla was a promotional gimmick for the Oregon State Lottery. In fact, it was mascot for the very first lottery in the state's history. The "Go Ape!" tag line for the lottery was dotted around the state as people for the first time could purchase lottery tickets and gamble legally in the state.

The giant gorilla was one of those odd moments of Portland history in which some derided the gimmick and the state lottery system as a whole. Now with video gambling practically in every bar, it seems kind of comical that this was a brave and bold start to something so ubiquitous. 

King Kong would ultimately go away, and another giant figure would soon replace it on the Portland Building. 

While the people of Portland may have forgot about going ape over the lottery, we at least have a one of the world's largest copper statues, half naked, holding a trident, perpetually throwing dice at pedestrians and busses below. 

For further information about the start of the lottery, here is an interesting old article about the giant ape and the rally that got it all going.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Journals with Unfortunate Names...

In the realm of academics and trade literature, one comes across many odd titled pieces of literature. This perhaps is the more unfortunately named publications of the those publications.

For those wondering, yes, there is a journal titled Lubrication. It is about petroleum products. And that is all.

But wait, I am reminded of a story…well short story.

Back when I worked as a research assistant, we used to a test called the Client Oriented Scale of Improvement, the COSI for short. This well tested and researched measure was produced by scientists at the National Acoustics Laboratory in Australia. When our team reproduced the form for our studies purposes, someone failed to inform a staff member that the organization was not known as the Australian National Acoustic Laboratory. Apparently someone also failed to inform people individuals that the title this long form of the name was not supposed to be turned into an acronym.

For for a brief period of time we had forms proudly stating the initials for the which were submitted to study participants: The Australian National Acoustic Laboratory: Client Oriented Scale of Improvement… The ANAL COSI. 

This post is not an endorsement for Santorum for President. 

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Ferry's Already Left: Let's Go to Nazareth!

This week on the Wonderful World of Clutter I have decided to start a new semi-irregular series of posts called The Ferry Already Left.  

A bit of back-story first; a number of years ago an old girlfriend of mine asked me why a number of streets and roads had the name "Blank-Ferry" associated with it it them in Portland. For example, there is Boones Ferry Road, Scholls Ferry, and Wheatland Ferry roads that she had heard about, but she had never seen any large boats carrying people or cars. So I explained to her that before all the bridges were built around the state that there were numerous ferries throughout the state and that a few small cable ferries ran across the Willamette River in some of the smaller towns…And that there were a ton of gay people in the city. Her natural response was, "Huh?!"

So yes, The Ferry's Already Left. 

With that said. 

Done and Done. 

Can't you see that little blonde girl holding up a lighter and drinking vodka and causing other forms of chaos? I mean she should have at least had the modest to cross her legs.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Making Dating Easier Since 1878

Let's face it, modern courtship rituals suck.

No one really knows what the hell they are doing any more. So we rely on advise columns, personal sites,  and a the assistance of friends to try to set us up with people they know to help us meet other people that might possibly make a potential hopeful match that won't leave us in desperate heart-broken ruin.


So yeah, let's turn back the clock a little bit and do it the way our great-grandparents did it. Well, actually, I think my great-grandparents were arranged for a swapping of rice paddies but who knows in the Meiji era of Japan, but let's not get too far off track.

So…ummm…let's do it like your grandparents did it. You know the courtship thing.

And to all of you who might think that this is a good excuse to get all "steampunk" because the the year 1878 is mentioned--unplug your computer, turn off the power, take your computer to the closest bridge and throw it over that bridge…then jump off after the bridge. Steampunk is an excuse for goth kids to not bathe and listen to circus music.

Now back to the rules. I am certain that there were many more that could be added to this list. Perhaps, something along the lines of, I don't know, "Actually walked part of the Oregon Trail didn't play the Apple II game" or "Kills wolverines with bare hands."

Since I am in the great state of Montana and given I haven't been on a date in Goddamned long time, I am going to adopt these rules (plus the Wolverine killing with bare hands clause) to see if this improves my social standing in this hamlet during my remaining six months in this town.  I figure I can keep my feet off of piano stool and I can pay up for my kerosene.

If someone wants to supply me with bear oil, I will make sure none it gets onto anyone's walls. And once I find myself a wolverine, that sucker is gonna be strangled.
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