Thursday, February 28, 2013

Feb. 27, Meyers Leonard celebrates turning 21 with a big ol' dunk, on former Trail Blazer Andre Miller

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Leonard got a pass from Nicholas Batum. He headed for the goal with dunking on his mind.

I took these photos from the opposite end of the arena, with a 300 zoom, and I've cropped and sharpened so that you can get a look at the action.

I'm always amazed how quickly the ball goes through the net.

If I'm not mistaken, I saw this action on a video highlight after I got home from the game. Andre's grinning at Meyers' reaction.

Here you go,  a view from out of bounds, so that you can get a look at Meyers’ face. See that strip of light with the red letters on it? I sit up that high, on that front row, but behind the Trail Blazers' bench, like I said, at the opposite end of the arena. We lost the ball game, 111-109.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mr. Statue, on a rainy Saturday

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Photo taken at SW 5th Avenue and SW Morrison, downtown Portland, on February 16. 

Mr. Statue, a popular mime in Portland, set up beneath the glass overhang that protects the door to Pioneer Place, a multi-story shopping center. I took quite a few photos and had a difficult time deciding on just one. Once I had altered this one at BeFunky dot com, I liked how it turned out, so I decided to share it with you. I may post another one or two later on, just because I like them so much. Oh, by the way, this spot is the first place that I saw Mr. Statue--I'm not sure which year, but it was quite a few ago.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rob Free-Throw Guy, February 2, 2013

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Mama and I were introduced to Rob Free-Throw Guy back when we lived over in NW Portland and watched the Trail Blazers on TV, being broadcast by Mike Rice and Mike Barrett. Since I became season ticket holder, I've witnessed him in action. Last season I sat at the north end of the arena, this season at the south end, directly in line with where he sits behind the goal. Here are a few photos I took of him distracting a Utah Jazz player at the free throw line. Follow his success from the big photo over the to top right corner, down that side of the collage and then left across the bottom. In the corner photo, he's holding up one finger which means he, Rob Free-Throw Guy, got one! 

Here's an article I read about him online, dated April 3, 2011:

Robert Ems, Portland Trail Blazers ‘Free Throw Guy,’ Statistically Impacting Opponent Shooting at Rose Garden 

We’ve seen them hundreds of times. In just about every college basketball arena — and a fair number of NBA buildings — there’s always some ridiculous looking guy trying to distract opposing shooters at the free throw line. 

Sometimes, they wear costumes. Sometimes, they wear next to nothing. Sometimes, they hold up giant “hypnosis twirlers.” The one universal trait, however, is that they pretty much always gesture frantically right as the shooter is about to put up his attempt.

But, it doesn’t actually work, right?

Well, according to the Columbian, Robert Ems, the Portland Trailblazers “Free Throw Guy,” has made a statistically significant effect on games.

Ems, a 27-year-old stock trader, holds season tickets behind the basket that the opposing team faces in the second half. Generally, teams shoot 0.1 percent better from the line in the second half than in the first half, but that’s not the case at the Rose Garden.

When facing Ems — which visitors do in the second half — opponents are shooting just 72 percent from the line, as opposed to 78 percent when not facing the “Free Throw Guy.” Last season, the trend was the same. Opponents shot 75.8 percent when not facing Ems, but just 71.5 percent when under his spell.

If you go back to 2005-06 at the Rose Garden — before Ems had his tickets — the numbers were the expected 76 percent for the first half and 76.1 percent for the second half. Given that the Blazers give up 23 opponent free throw attempts per game, one could estimate that 11.5 are occurring in the second half.

Given that six percent difference in shooting rates that can be attributed to Ems, he’s contributing about 0.6 points of defense per game to Portland. 

Perhaps your team needs a “Free Throw Guy” too.  

Monday, February 25, 2013

Time-out activity at the Trail Blazers' game, Feb. 2, 2013

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time_out_with_Todd_PicMonkey Collage

Sometimes during time-outs at the Blazers' games, fans get involved in various activities, always hosted by Todd Bosma--the man with the microphone, standing beside the second contestant who has not been released by Blaze, the mascot. Todd's official title is Events Presentation Manager. He certainly has a great time with these events, which makes it easy for the fans to have a great time, too. 

Here we see human-bowling. Actually, I cannot remember the announced name of this activity, nor can I remember the prize for winning. Also, I cannot imagine being agile enough to sit on that disc-on-wheels, much less being let go to fly across the basketball court, headed for the foam bowling pins and the crash pads. Here we've got two men--one guy in the largest photo and the ones down the right side, the other guy in the three across the bottom of the largest photo. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

We all know how important it is for players to have a proper pre-game meal, right? I knew If I were to have any fun at the Blazers' Player Palooza that I had to have a proper pre-event meal myownself.

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I knew before I set foot in the Rose Garden Arena on Tuesday, February 20, that I would be on my feet, walking on concrete all over the arena which, I just read online, encloses over 785,000 square feet on eight levels, five of which are open to the public. I knew that I didn't want to be rushed. Ha, to tell you the truth, I knew that I couldn't rush myself. So, I planned ahead and took two hours of vacation, left work at 3 p.m., caught the Portland Streetcar north on SE Grand Avenue from my building, at East Burnside caught the 12 bus east to home, walked into the apartment and put only what I wanted to have with me in my backpack, changed one of my layers from a light sweater to a warm sweatshirt to wear beneath my raincoat, put on my never-been-worn-before-checkered-flag-design visor (A present to my little Mama from our friends Milton and Kay--they picked up two of them for her one year at NASCAR's Talladega Superspeedway--I wear the other one all the time to keep rain off my glasses and my hood outta my face, which has made it worn and stained, couldn't have that in case I got a picture taken of myself, now could I?), pulled up my raincoat hood against the sprinkling rain, locked the door, and walked back outside and headed for the bus stop.

I got off the bus at NE 47th and Sandy Blvd., walked into the Killer Burger and felt at peace with my plan for a proper pre-event meal. Greeting me at the counter, a nice young woman who's helped me plenty of times before, smiling and saying, "I haven't seen you in a hot minute!" She remembered by last name, too, for my order! Which tickled me, just as the nice young man making burgers and who's helped me plenty of times before saw me, grinned and said, "Hi!" Before I knew it, I had the burger and fries you see in the photo sitting on the table in front of me, along with a small cup of Barq's Root Beer. I knew that I had time to eat but not to dilly-dally, so I got going. I didn't eat every single bit of the burger and fries, but I ate enough to hold me for hours--more than three since Player Palooza was scheduled from 5-8 p.m. and I'd also spend some time getting back home afterwards.

Outside, I sat at the bus stop, waiting 10 minutes for the 12 bus. Downtown at SW 5th and Pine, I got off the bus and walked a block west to catch the 4 bus north to the Rose Garden. Then I walked from the south end of the building to the north end which is where we season ticket holders who had RSVPed were instructed to enter. Fun ensued. My energy held out. Happy Trail Blazer season ticket holder here.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Me, and Rob Free-Throw Guy

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At the Trail Blazers' Player Palooza, I found Rob Free-Throw Guy standing beside the Mechanical Bull Riding activity, talking with a group of people. A kind stranger from that group offered to take  this photo of the two of us after I explained to him who I am, his Facebook friend up in Section 333, front row. Cool to meet him. Soon I'll have some photos that I took of him in action when an opposing player approaches the free throw line. He and a teeming horde of ThunderStix wielding Blazers' fans have the same goal--distract the player into missing those shots. 

Let me explain the two buttons I'm wearing. The small, round, golden-colored one reminds me of an exploding firework. That's for what I want to happen after every game--fireworks for a job well done by the Trail Blazers. The other one, the I Heart Mom one is how I take my little Mama to the games with me. Ever since we moved to Portland in June, 2006, the two of us had watched a whole lotta Blazers' games on TV. After she died in January, 2011, I decided to take advantage of a special on being a season-ticket-holder that I heard about one night in April while I watched  another game on TV, broadcast by Mike Rice and Mike Barrett--see yesterday's post for a photo of me with the two of them, so sweet! Anyway, after I got myself set up for the 2011-2012 season (the one with the strike, doggone it), I found this button for sale on Etsy, at a extremely good price, so I bought it with the intention of wearing it on special occasions. Nothing's more special than having Mama with me at the games--I wear both buttons all day if the game day is a work day. On weekends I put them on right before I head out to catch the bus. At the arena, it's great to tap that button now and then during the game and to think about her and how much she enjoyed watching the Blazers play. I miss her less, even if it just for a few seconds at a time.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Me, on TV

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Yep, that's me and my grinning face sitting in between Mike and Mike in the Portland Trail Blazers' Rose Garden Arena broadcast area down in the lower level of the arena. Me! Mike Rice on the left of the photo, Mike Barrett on the right. Wednesday, February 20, from 5-8 p.m. the annual Player Palooza event took place for season ticket holders who RSVPed. I tell you what, I stood in line here and I stood in line there, I took pictures every where! This right here is one of two photos that kind strangers took of me with my Nikon D50. I really like these two guys and their broadcasts of the Blazers. I just had to pat Rice on the back, couldn't help myself! Besides taking photos, I hugged other members of the media, Blazers' coaches and Blazers' players! Basketball heaven! 

Oh, and I ended up on the KGW Sports last night--I saw it at 10 p.m. when they broadcast on Channel 3. Just me and JJ Hickson in the same story about Player Palooza--so fine! I had run into Joe Becker, KGW sportscaster, in the Blazers' weight room. I recognized him, but my mind went completely blank, so I said, "Oh, oh. I know who you are but, help me out, I can't remember your name!" "Joe, Joe Becker," he replied. I said, "Your pause before you say the last thing!" "Right!" he said! We got to talking about what a treat it was to be there, that he'd never even been in the weight room, and how much we were enjoying the event. Before I knew it, he asked if he could interview me about Player Palooza when the Brian/Bryan, the cameraman, came back to that area. I asked, "Is that Ace Sports Photographer?" He grinned really big and said, "Yes!" So we talked while Brian/Bryan recorded, shook hands and I continued on the tour. When I got home, I found his e-mail at KGW and sent him one, saying how neat it was to have met him and Brian/Bryan, that I was headed for the recliner and the heating pad with my iPhone set to go off for the 10 p.m. news. He e-mailed back and said that he enjoyed meeting me, too, that there had been a short piece about Player Palooza on at 6:30 p.m., that they used a comment from JJ and a comment from me and that it was going to on again at 10 and 11 p.m. Thank goodness I had the timer set on the phone so that I could see it at 10 p.m. because I fell asleep after that and didn't wake up until 12:25 p.m. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An intersection which I frequent

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PicMonkey Collage_NE_Grand_E_Burnside

Photos taken on Saturday, February 16, 2013, on my way home from a good Saturday out and about. 

Top photo, a Portland Streetcar waits at the corner at a shelter/stop shared by it and the #6 TriMet bus. The streetcar is on SE Grand Avenue. When the traffic signal changes to green and it crosses the intersection, it will be on NE Grand Avenue. The street is crosses at the intersection is East Burnside, the thoroughfare that divides north from south in Portland. Those two young women are walking on the south side of East Burnside, heading west across SE Grand Avenue, toward the Burnside Bridge over the Willamette River--I didn't turn to watch them see where they were headed.

Of the two photos at the bottom of the collage, the one on the left is of a pedestrian whose red clutch bag, red poncho, and red socks caught my eye. She's waiting to cross East Burnside, walking south on the west side of SE Grand Avenue. Once the light changed and she started to walk, she stretched her legs out and stepped out with determination, but I didn't watch her to see where she was headed. The photo on the right is the empty bus shelter/stop, waiting for the next bus or streetcar, passengers for either one. The Plaid Pantry behind it is a convenience store--when I first moved here from Jackson, Mississippi, I found convenience stores without gas pumps to be quite strange. Back home, such a sight was few and far between. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Seen from the Portland Streetcar

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I'm in the streetcar on a bridge that goes over the railroad tracks, taking this photo through the huge window. The slanted-roof white building is the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. The orange vintage rail cars are part of its collection. Inside that building stand three gorgeous, huge, unbelievable, vintage steam locomotives--seems like there are other vintage railroad pieces in there, too, not as large but still impressive, but I can't remember exactly what they are or how many. Anyway, it's a great place to visit for anyone who loves trains and/or steam locomotives. Only thing was, on this particular day, I got there 45 minutes early and couldn't wait around--cold, brisk wind and no nearby public bathroom. Anyway, I'm ahead of myself in relating those two facts--more about what I did when I first got off the streetcar in an upcoming post or two.

I really like this photo, all of the lines and angles, the slightly curved bridge known as the MLK (Martin Luther King, Jr.) Viaduct. I love how the oranges and reds on the vintage rail cars match the oranges and reds on the triangle flag barrier strung on a fence parallel with the vintage rail cars--it also has yellow triangle flags on it. Both the rail cars and the flag barrier match the word BETTER printed on a billboard there on the right edge of the photo. When I looked the image in its largest original size, I could see that those yellow letters spell BETTER BUTTER, so that means the ad is for a product I assume to be known as Better Butter Better--the yellow letters look like their top layer was the same red-orange as the last word, and that top layer has been peeled off those two words, all except for the bottom bit of the right leg of the R. 

Taking photos and then checking them out thoroughly is so much fun! I altered this one at BeFunky with the enhance, sharpen, fill light, and HDR effects and at PicMonkey with the contrast and highlight effects.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Seen from the Portland Streetcar

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Public art #1, wide shot from MLK, looking east at the recently installed public art on the corners of SE Grand and SE Hawthorne--to the right--and SE Grand and SE Madison--to the left. The art is the brown metal structures through which you can see the sky.


Public art #2, close up of public art at SE Grand and SE Hawthorne, seen from MLK. It's supposed to make the viewer think of a building which used to stand here.


Public art #3, close up of public art at SE Grand and SE Madison, seen from MLK. I have to admit that I find the public art in Portland rewarding, and this new one very near where I work has grown on me until I now enjoy looking at it from all sides. What you're seeing in these photos is the public art at Hawthorne Boulevard. See below what I found on the Internet about it.

Information found about this public art online:

Inversion: Plus Minus (below) is a set of towering site-specific sculptures created by artists/architects Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo of Lead Pencil Studio. Using weathered steel angle iron, the artists are presenting “ghosts” of former buildings at two similar sites along SE Grand Avenue. One site, at Hawthorne Boulevard, will feature a matrix of metal that almost appears as a solid building. . . . In the artists’ words, “The sculptures reference the outer shells of ordinary industrial buildings found in the Central Eastside Industrial Area like those that once existed on the project sites.”

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A shared mass transit stop on SE MLK

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January 26 after the lecture at the Architectural Heritage Center, I decided to ride the Portland Streetcar down to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center to visit the steam locomotives. As you can see from this photo, the streetcar and the TriMet bus share this stop. That's the Morrison Bridge westbound approach you see there above the streetcar.


I waited while this lady boarded the bus. I think it's fantastic how that little ramp automatically folds out of the bus floor once the driver activates it. Once the bus drove off, the streetcar moved into place beside the yellow strip of ADA truncated domes which serve as a detectable safety zone, a system of textured ground surface indicators which assist blind and vision impaired pedestrians. Personally, I find them helpful, too, especially when it's been raining. I feel like they're less slick than a wet sidewalk. Anyway, the doors on the streetcar slid open and I walked on, took a seat and looked out the huge windows as we continued southward are MLK, going underneath the eastbound exit ramp of the Morrison Bridge. I love mass transit!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

New neon sign, a break from basketball

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Neon signs make me happy. This one is so fine. I love the crosswalk countdown along with the movement of the rock-climbing figure in my photos. The Portland Rock Gym is on the northwest corner of the intersection of East Burnside and NE 12th. The sign has not been in place for long, so I Googled to see what I could discover about it. I came across the City of Portland, Oregon, Bureau of Development Services, Land Use Services, "From Concept to Construction" report, dated Sept. 11, 2012. Whoopee!

Turns out the style of the sign is "projecting corner blade," and it was approved on Sept. 7, although to do so meant two modifications--to increase the size of a projecting right-of-way sign from 30 to 130 square feet AND to increase the overall sign size allotment on the site from 142 to 251 square feet (other signs already existed on the building). From the document: "The review body may consider modification of site-related development standards, including the sign standards of Chapters 32.32 and 32.34 of the Sign Code, as part of the design review process." 

After approval come these CONCLUSIONS:  
The applicant has proposed a unique, playful new sign at the Portland Rock Gym at the prominent intersection of East Burnside and NE 12th Avenue. The sign is constructed of durable materials, well integrated with the architecture of the building, and will not overwhelm the pedestrian environment or visual character of the surrounding area. The request is able to meet the applicable design guidelines and modification criteria and should be approved. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Seen at the Blazers' game, Feb. 2, 2013, No. 5

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Game_Ball_Delivery_PicMonkey Collage

Before every Portland Trail Blazers' home game at the Rose Garden Arena, the Game Ball Delivery takes place. Members of the Blazers' Stunt Team head for the selected seating section, basketball in hand. Once it's been announced to one and all where the lucky fans sit, the spotlight brightens their faces, and the ball is handed to someone in the top row of that section, and the passing of the ball begins, from fan to fan, row to row, on its way from the top of the arena to the basketball court.

Since the Game Ball Delivery starts in the upper bowl, a member of the stunt team follows an aiming ritual before carefully dropping the ball to another member of the team waiting below. In that way the ball continues on until the last member of the stunt team involved in the delivery gets the ball and hands it off to a pre-selected youngster who is escorted to center court where the referee awaits.

I usually watch the delivery for a few minutes and then pay attention to the warm up activity down on the court. However on this night, since the section was right beside mine, I decided to take a few photos with my zoom lens. I particularly liked it when the man in the white shirt got the little boy involved. Imagine my surprise when I downloaded the photos and saw the expression on the woman's face there to the left of the top photo. Why she looked so shocked to see that little boy with the ball, I'll never understand. And how about her expression compared to that man holding the beer, the one who, to me, favors Hugh Jackman? Maybe she's saying, "Watch out! That little boy might toss the ball over here and knock your beer out of your hand!" And the man hasn't yet had time to react to what she's saying. We'll never know, but I do like the photo as part of this collage.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Seen at the Blazers' game, Feb. 2, 2013, No. 4

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Mike Rice talks with his hands during a pre-game update on the air at CSNNW, Channel 37.

Mike Barret talks with his hands during a pre-game update on the air at CSNNW, Channel 37. 

These two are the television play-by-play announcers for Blazers' games not broadcast on TNT. Once they finish this part of the broadcast, they move to their seats at a table parallel with the sideline, between center court and the Blazers' bench which is to their right. I like them as announcers--I image some don't, but I do.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Seen at the Blazers' game, Feb. 2, 2013, No. 3

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Cropped close so you could get a good look. I took this photo across the curve at the southwest end of the Rose Garden Arena. I usually look over there a few times before the game to watch DJ O.G.One doing his thing--he's the official DJ of the Portland Trail Blazers. When I saw this cute little lady standing there beside him, I just had to be a photo. I've never noticed her there. I wonder if it was his pre-game mix theme that drew her inside the arena to listen up close for a few moments--her uniform means she's an usher. You see, on this particular evening, he had posted on Facebook that his pre-game mix theme was Throwback Soul Classics. I commented on his post: Your Throwback Soul Classics are rocking the RGA for me, up here in 333, Row A, Seat 6. Thanks!

Friday, February 8, 2013

3 Doors Down Cafe -- taking a break from basketball

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After I spent my gift certificate and some cash at Murder by the Book on SE Hawthorne, a great little store succumbing to the downturned economy, I rode the 14 bus five blocks east, got off at SE 37th and walked north half a block to my favorite Portland restaurant, 3 Doors Down Cafe. My older son Lamont used to be sous chef there, my younger son Leland used to be a line and prep cook there. Since our first visit to Portland in the summer of 2004, Mama and I loved to go eat there every chance we got; I've lost count of how many friends we've taken there for dinner. 

Lucky me, Lamont and Leland gave me a gift certificate for Christmas! I felt so good sitting at the bar, saying hello to everyone, taking photos of my food, and enjoying every morsel!


Grilled Bruschetta with an Italian Chopped Salad of salami, provolone, capers, peppers and olives--sent out to me from the sous chef Zack. Thanks! The salad, filled with flavor and texture. Always, always I'm amazed by the crunch perfection that is bruschetta at 3DD. Notice the buttery bubbles on the piece to the right, in between the grill marks.  I am particularly pleased with the fact that they showed their shiny little shapes in the photo.


Pugliese and white bean spread--once you've had a bite, you've found yourself a favorite.

Here's the recipe, found on 3 Doors Down's Web site:

Classic White Bean Spread

What you'll need:

  • 2 cups cannellini beans 

  • 1 medium onion, finely diced 

  • 4 tbl butter 

  • 1 tbl fresh rosemary, finely chopped 

  • 2 tbl fresh garlic, finely chopped 

  • 2 pinches red chili flake 

  • 2 tbl parsley, finely chopped 

  • 2 tbl extra virgin olive oil 

  • Italian bread with a nice, crunchy crust 

  • Instructions: 

    Cover beans with water by two inches. Soak for 4 hours. Drain beans. Put beans into saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook beans until tender. Drain. In separate saucepan melt butter and add all remaining ingredients. Cook until onion is translucent. Add cooked beans. Mash. Add salt and pepper to taste. This can be reheated, just add a little more olive oil. Makes four cups.


    Gnocchi, roasted hedgehog mushrooms, chevre cheese--I choose an appetizer to finish my meal. A divine appetizer. Let me list the reasons for that adjective. 

    • The gnocchi--smooth and dense, perfect-to-the-tooth--the most comfortable little pillows of food known to me. 

    • The roasted hedgehog mushrooms provided a touch of earthiness. 

    • The perfect finish--the chevre. Salty and sitting lightly on the gnocchi. By the time I had eaten a bite or two, the chevre began to melt a bit, enhancing its texture in relation to the gnocchi themselves. 

    • I don't know the ingredients of the sauce, but suffice it to say that I cleaned up the entire plate with the last of the Pugliese.

      Thursday, February 7, 2013

      Seen at the Blazers' game, Feb. 2, 2013, No. 2

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      Autograph seekers patiently wait--smiles and looks of surprise on their faces, items in hand--for the chance to get the signature of Damian Lillard, Portland's point guard. He's 22 years old and plays beautiful basketball during the minutes he's in the game, I'd say about 90-95% of the time. Sure, every once in a while he executes an errant pass or misses a shot or a free throw, plays we've already seen him make repeatedly in this, his rookie season. 

      What I like about him is the fact that a missed shot or a turnover doesn't make him put his head down, doesn't make his shoulders slump, doesn't make him look sullenly at the refs. Not at all. He plays on. If you ask me, the young man's possible-rookie-of-the-year basketball sense is outshone by his drive, determination and desire. If I had given birth to any of these youngsters at the railing, I would be just fine with my child's seeking an autograph from Damian Lillard. I feel that strongly about the young man's integrity on the court which I believe is informed by his integrity in life.

      About Damian's basketball playing, at home games I witness some of the quickest, smoothest shots that I've ever seen, from all around the court--shots that make me think of the quickness and surety of a hot knife in a cold-right-out-of-the-refrigerator stick of butter. I sit up high enough in the Rose Garden Arena and watch him see the court, where his teammates are headed, where the opposition is headed, what he knows to do so that he can make things happen for his teammates and himself.  I'm left dazed by his quickness and surety. 

      Damian Lillard has been named Rookie of the Month for the Western Conference for October/November, December and January. In January's 16 games, he averaged 17.7 points, 6.8 assists, and 39.6 minutes. Here's a recent quote in The Oregonian, from Lillard about the January award: “I played a good month of basketball, and I’ve got to give credit to our team because if we weren’t winning games, I don’t think I would be able to be singled out as a rookie.” He will play in the NBA game between rookies and second-year players All Star weekend in Houston, Texas. The game is February 15, on TNT at 9 p.m. E.T. Way cool.

      At an event for season ticket holders back in October, one of the activities was a meet-and-greet sort of thing with our three rookies--Damian, Meyers Leonard, and Will Barton. I sat listening to those three young men take questions like how did you feel when you were drafted, who do you want to play against the most, the sort of questions I figured that they had already been asked plenty of times. They answered with sincerity, like it was the first time they'd been asked that particular question. Then I raised my arm quickly enough to catch the attention of the moderator Adam Bjaranson and asked the three to tell us how they intended, as new Trail Blazers, to follow in the well-established footsteps of their teammates in their involvement in the city, outside the basketball court. While I cannot remember each individual answer, each young man conveyed the plans he had to be involved in more that basketball in Portland. What I do remember is the fact that my question caused no hemming and hawing, no uncertainty, no lost looks around the room. What I'm trying to convey is the poise of those three young men (Meyers is 20, Will is 22). After having taught high school English and having been a high school librarian for 15 years, let me tell you, I felt pretty good about these guys, their families and their teachers. At that point I had not seen them on the court, but I felt just as good about their basketball possibilities, too. 

      Wednesday, February 6, 2013

      Seen at the Blazers' game, Feb. 2, 2013, No. 1

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      Ice_T_speaks_to_fans_PicMonkey Collage

      Before every game, this announcement is made. At first this season, various Blazers read the different lines. Lately, it seems to me, that the entire announcement is being read by Ice-T. I decided to photograph it on the Jumbotron with my zoom lens so that I could share it with you.

      Tuesday, February 5, 2013

      Blazer Bruce

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      See the man with the giant blondish Mohawk? He's tapping two white, Blazer-logo, ThunderStix together near the center of this cropped photo. Between him and the television camera in the Blazers' jersey is Blazer Bruce, full name Bruce Jeremiah, who dances up a storm at home games, often during a 4th quarter time out when the crowd gets louder and louder, living up to our reputation as the best 6th man in the league. Everyone around Bruce looking up is watching the Jumbotron where, during the blasting of the music, he appears on screen and instigates even louder hollering--we fans love him! I noticed his seat mate on the night of January 29, 2013, while we played the Dallas Mavericks. We won at the buzzer, thanks to a basket by LaMarcus Aldridge!

      About Blazer Bruce, from The Oregonian: Look better/feel better: New Year's motivation from Blazer Bruce Jeremiah
      By Nick Budnick, Wednesday, December 28, 2011

      Celebrity and necessity played equal parts in 71-year-old Bruce Jeremiah's loss of 32 pounds. Three years ago, the loyal Portland Trail Blazer fan was pictured on the Rose Garden Jumbotron screen, enthusiastically dancing during a timeout. Since then, among local fans, he's become well known as Blazer Bruce: the sturdy white-haired fellow who likes to show off his moves at every home game, and who's even joined the Blazer dancers to perform on court.

      At the start of his onscreen exploits, he checked in at 265 pounds and a 46-inch waist. Diets in the past had never lasted. But frequent dancing made him lose weight to give a break to his bad right knee, and being up on the screen every other game was motivational, too: "You don't want to look like a fat guy all the time."

      The longtime owner of a recreational vehicle rental business on Southeast 82nd Avenue, he gave up his bottle-a-day habit of drinking good wine and has developed new eating habits: fewer carbs, no sweets and lots of fruit. Now, even at fine restaurants, "I don't have the appetite I had before," he says.

      When the NBA lockout cut into his onscreen dance workouts, Jeremiah stepped up the gym visits he started two years ago; now he goes five times a week to do aerobics, weight lifting and Zumba dance classes. The workouts pay off in other ways, too: He took a bad spill the other day and came out of it unharmed. "It's helped big time," he says.

      As the delayed NBA season begins, Jeremiah is ready, at 233 pounds and a 42-inch waist. "I want to lose 20 more."

      Monday, February 4, 2013

      Seen on the street

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      On my chilly, windy walk from the MAX Yellow Line to the Rose Garden Arena, I noticed this coat. My first thought, "How cute. A bow and ruffles." My second thought, "What a useless coat." After I passed them, I stopped, turned back and took this photo, quickly, which means it's somewhat blurry. Better to hurry and be blurry than to be noticed and/or spend more time in the cold. 

      When I looked at the photo in its original, largest size, I noticed that she's tied her belt into a bow which I think is a neat thing to do when you don't want to tie it in front, and if the material will hold the shape. 

      I took this photo on Saturday, January 26, right before 6 p.m. as I walked up to the arena to wait in the line outside my entrance. The Blazers won the game that night, against the Las Angeles Clippers! 

      Sunday, February 3, 2013

      A. E. Doyle's Bank of California, No. 8

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      Looking southeast across the lobby from the entrance portico--the photo that I took on October 25, 2012. 

      Looking that same direction in a photo taken in 1977 when Durham & Bates occupied the building. 

      Here's a bit about the upper floors of the Bank of California building, from the 1978 application to the National Register of Historic Places:

      As previously mentioned, a new entrance was installed to provide access to the elevator lobby serving the upper floor tenant spaces. This lobby was formed by partitioning off a portion of the space under the mezzanine at the north end of the banking room.

      The second and third floors, previously used as administrative offices and work spaces for the bank, will soon be available as rental offices. The second floor boasts a 13' high ceiling--higher than is offered by most modern tenant spaces being built today. Aside from this, the space is not unusual. It is planned to update this floor with the installation of air conditioning units above a new acoustical ceiling, carpeting, lighting and partitioning to suit tenant requirements.

      The third floor, having a usable area somewhat smaller than the second floor, is housed beneath the hipped, tile roof. This provides a low plate height along the west and south walls and sloped ceilings which extend up to the east-facing windows and clerestory, giving a unique garrett-like appearance to the space. This floor was originally used as a lounge, library, and recreation space for the bank's employees.

      Friday, February 1, 2013

      A. E. Doyle's Bank of California Building, No. 7

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      Next are two photos of just a portion of the entrance portico which I managed to photograph. You can make out the bronze and the marble in this one. The original floor was marble, too. According to the paperwork for the National Register of Historic Places, it is made with Hungarian Red, Taverne Le Pink Tennessee, and Jaune Nile. Surely those three different colors represent these three marbles and the floor today is the original floor. Oh, I hope so. 


      And here's what was written in the application for the National Register of Historic Places about the entrance: The entrance to the building is through a handsome bronze portico set in the middle arched window opening at the west facade, and boasts a pair of bronze gates which can be slid in front of the double entrance doors. The original bronze-framed doors were removed a number of years ago and replaced by automatic tempered glass doors. 

      Here's the same vintage photo as yesterday--I wanted to be certain you've noticed that entrance to the building through the bronze portico. A portion of it is there on the left of the photo. The marble columns and arches visible make me happy because, even with the changes to the lobby made by Durham and Bates, no one messed with the entrance portico!