Saturday, May 15, 2010

Alien Parade 2010

It's the Alien Parade again! The McMinnville Alien parade and festival comes but once a year. Sad to say, I have it on pretty good authority that the famous UFO photo is a fake, but the parade is still fun.

We have everything you'd expect from a Yamhill County parade celebrating aliens:

Men driving tractors:
Girls waving to the crowd:
Kung Fu Avatar aliens:
More Kung Fu Avatar aliens...
Wacky contraptions:

Pregnant teenagers:
And, of course, Count Dooku's girlfriend:

Monday, December 14, 2009

recycling in McMinnville

Originally uploaded by Philip Williamson.
Mac's "single-stream" recycling doesn't include bottles.

Returning bottles at Winco or Safeway is incredibly tedious, involving shoving each bottle into a machine where it's crushed and $.05 is added to a receipt you take to the cashier.
The last time I did that, my five year old and I decided it wasn't worth it. Even with the faulty machine crediting me for bottles it gave back again and again, and finding a Tom Waits CD on top of the cardboard trash, it still wasn't worth it.

But... I got the scoop on recycling glass in Oregon from my friend who works at Whole Foods: Every place that sells redeemable bottles (we'll call them beer bottles), is required by law to take them back, but only the ones they sell.

Littlr places like Plaid Pantry will take back 50 per day per person, and bigger ones like Rite Aid, and Roth's will take back 150 per day. The cool thing about the smaller places, compared to Safeway and Winco, is that they don't have the recycling machines. You walk in with your empties, and say, "I brought back 48 bottles." They take the total off you new beer, or give you cash. If they don't know you, they check your bottles to make sure they're all there, all brands they sell, and not foul with stale beer and cigarette butts.

Please - put your empties back into the same cartons they came in! Dump out any remainders, and rinse the bottles if you want to go the whole way. And be pleasant to the cashiers - you'll see them again. Plus, Mac's a small town; they're most likely related to someone you know.

This here is two loads for Rite Aid (Saturday and Sunday), a full case for Golden Valley, and a basket of non-redeemables for the Western Oregon Waste recycling center. I may take the leftover 3 or 4 12 packs to Plaid Pantry just to clear out the car.

You get 5 cents back on every bottle. To figure your total, multiply by ten, and divide by two.
Twelve bottles is 60 cents. :: 12 x .10 = $1.20. Half that is $.60.
144 bottles is $7.20 :: 144 x 10 = $14.40. Dived by two... $7.20!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Farmer's Market Season is upon us!

This was the first Thursday Farmers' Market in McMinnville of 2009. Attendance looked good, and everyone was smiling.

92 degrees this evening - I think this summer's going to be a scorcher, like 2006. When it hits 108 in Mac, though, you can always go to Pacific City, if you prefer 68 degrees and a sea breeze, like I do.

My friends Jim Hoffman and Sarah Marcus are selling Silver Falls goat cheese at the McMinnville market. Reportedly, they will take over cheese production, and the Silver Falls Creamery will supply the milk and raise the goats. The cheese is really tasty, as chevre should be. Nice texture, too.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Alien Festival

This was the first year I missed the UFO festival. Max went down with his friend, and I stayed home and toted 50-50 soil from Greenlands to fill my raised beds. I guess I'm finally going native!

When I lived in Santa Rosa, I usually missed the big parades, I'd just see the marching band kids practicing in my neighborhood for the week beforehand. Now, I guess it's the same.

My workmate, a third generation McMinnville resident said, "I kind of saw the parade - I was moving out of my apartment on Cowls, so it was right there." She also says to whomever choreographs something to "Thriller" every single year to just knock it off! "That's not even aliens! It's monsters!"

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Possible bike rides around McMinnville

These start from the Cozine Cycling Coop.
64 miles to Corvallis from Mac on back roads. Straight down 99W is exactly-ish 50 miles.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Cherry City Metals

Salem, Oregon has magic vortices that ensure that you'll get lost nine out of ten times you go there. This happens when you try to cut through from 5 to 99W, it happens when you try to find the Amtrak station, and it will happen when you go to visit Cherry City Metals.

Cherry City Metals is famous. It's a scrap metal yard par excellence. And I don't use fake French lightly.

My compatriot Jim took me down on Saturday, to check out the bikes and the metal and all the sheer possibilities of scrap metal.

The first impression is overwhelming. You don't know where to look. You catch a glimpse of a maul-head, and focus on where you thought it was, and find you're looking into a feed trough FILLED with maul heads, axe heads, hammer heads, shovel heads and double-jacks.

They have signs. Street signs, bus signs, railroad signs, pedestrian signs, street signs, stop signs, go signs, sign signs. Signs. They have scaffolding. Industrial shelving (the kind you stock with a fork lift). Hoods. Bed frames. Headboards. Car hoods that would make awesome headboards.
Motors. Hydraulics. Milking machine parts. Lots of milking machine parts, but they could all be gone as some as some Keizer dairyman stops in. Rowboats. We didn't even get a chance to look at the rowboats, because 50 minutes goes by in the blink of an eye.
At 10 minutes to 1 (they're open from 8 am until 1 pm on Saturdays, and like I said, we got lost), we headed in to check out. Jim got a huge roll of antique wire fencing and a cool little oiler. I got: A five-drawer Proto toolbox, a $190 Wear-Ever cookpot, an awesome numbered basket, two green anodized heavy aluminun tubes I plan to build LED bike lights inside of, a heavy ball of brass, and a weird little item with two small bearings and a zirk fitting for each one. And a giant whisk. All for $40. It should've been $50, since they wanted $33 for the $190 pot and $15 for the vintage Proto tool chest. And a couple of dollars for the weird trash at $.50 a lb.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Hotel Oregon tasty food

I heard on the down-low that McMenamin's Hotel Oregon recently hired a new chef and sous-chef.

Of course "the down low," means "post it on the internet as soon as you get around to it." If it wasn't a secret, I would've put something up immediately. So you see my journalistic credentials are still extant, only pronounced with a Swedish "j."

Well... that explains the consistently good fries for the last month, the sudden appearance of gorgonzola pear pizza on the specials (soon to be regular) menu, and the fantastically tasty portobello mushroom sandwiches!

The Hotel Oregon's menu is going to change this week, way for the better. I'd say "you heard it here first," but it's probably on the McMenamin's website...

If this chef stays, and stays focused, things are going to be a lot different, and I'm going to be a lot happier. That gorgonzola pear pizza is really good. I even eat the crust.

Caveat: we entirely eat vegetarian food at home, I eat mostly vegetarian out, and we value different things in a dining experience than you do, so your gastronomic mileage may vary.

I think it's a harbinger of the good things to come with the Obama administration.