Tuesday, August 11, 2020

What Time Is It?

There are many thoughts that race around as I gleefully watch The NBA bubble at The Magic Kingdom, aka the Association's campus. Ah, campus life. NBA fans can only hope that this North American sports bubble will continue to showcase success, so far the protocols have been stellar.

Sadly I now expect more from the NBA than I do our federal leaders. The NBA is global, worth billions of dollars, and is operated by smart and sensitive professionals. As tricky as this restart has been, or will continue to be, the resources and diligence of the NBA has shown a path to coherent plans and policies. Those planning tactics and implementations are something our nation does not yet possess, nor do they seem to be stressing.

There are other topics and ideas swirling as it relates to basketball. I'll focus some attention to the on-court product. The who, what, where and why moments will always matter when the post season is looming. Storylines will continue to be written. Below are some thoughts on the intrigue of the NBA.

Who? There's only one who. Dame, that's who. He served up 51 and 61 in consecutive games, a 112 points in 81 minutes on 55% shooting from the field and 45% shooting from three. He's literally on fire, consuming flames and then emitting them. A human flamethrower who walks the walk and can talk the talk. He's an assassin who keeps it real, respects opponents, and remains humble. He's a Capital G Gamer. Lillard joins Wilt Chamberlain as the second player to register multiple 60 point games in a season. Damian has three such games this season. Dame time all the time!

Every game matters to the Blazers. Lillard epitomizes their workman-like mantra while also wielding incredibly fiery talents. This team is on a mission. They didn't come to the bubble to play for nothing. By competing as if every game were do or die, Portland is priming themselves for a run. Dame time is ticking, the Association is on watch.


Devin Booker deserves a little love too. Make no mistake, Booker is a shot maker. The Suns have shown up looking interested and prepared. They know their roles and their schemes. Phoenix has surprised, proving they belong. Good job Suns.

Both the Blazers and Suns have been playing for something more. Are there two hotter teams inside the bubble? Portland Phoenix would be fire. I mentioned above who may or may not consume and emit flames. Please, more Dame Time.

What happened to the Lakers offense? Are they rope-a-doping their competition? Are they just not good at scoring the ball right now? Will they continue to be the worst team offensively once the playoffs begin? What's up with AD? LeBron? Their collective talent hasn't matched the output from early March. They're not manufacturing many buckets and the rest of the team hasn't been shooting the lights out either. Maybe it won't matter if the two superstars do what they're capable of.

Where do the top teams rank now? The Bucks and Lakers are trending down. The Clippers are even keeled. And the Raptor are trending up. Which team prefers which matchup? Sometimes the Raptors look amazing. The Clippers are trying to prove that the regular season doesn't matter. Milwaukee fans probably have some cause for concern. Will the Bucks represent the east? Boston, Miami, and Toronto could burst Milwaukee's bubble. I've already noted the Lakers lack of production. Maybe the playoffs will show us something different.

Thursday is When we'll know who qualifies for the play-in game. The Blazers control their own destiny after Dame's relentless 61. A win on Thursday earns Portland the 8-seed. Then the Trailblazers would need one win over the 9-seed to advance into the playoffs, where they would face the Lakers. DAME! BRON! DAVIS! NURK! MELO! CJ! GT Jr.! Gimme some of that series. I might spontaneously combust. We all know who's on fire.

Why does basketball feel so good? Thank you NBA. Why does the Western Conference feel like Beyond Thunderdome? Why does the Eastern Conference feel weak outside of Toronto? Who will advance? Who knows? Only time will tell. Only in the NBA.


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Feel The Way I Want

Best New Music |

Caroline Rose | Superstar | "Feel the Way I Want" |


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Killing What Keeps Us Alive

Best New Music |

Margaret Glaspy | Devotion | "Killing What Keeps Us Alive" |


Friday, July 24, 2020

Born at the Beach

Pelican Brewing was born at the beach. Tasty beer and outlandish scenery await those fortunate enough to frequent Pacific City. A sandy beach, Cape Kiwanda, tame sets of waves, coastal breeze and warm sun, all triggering the senses as the day drifts away. A different level of ease washes over me at the ocean. It's the type of setting that allows my mind freedom, somehow affording me the chance to not be consumed by all that is going on. I actually decompress and feel unencumbered by thoughts.

On a recent voyage to the ocean, celebrating another trip around the sun, I remembered why I love the Pacific coast so much. It changes me, influencing me in ways I wish were more the norm. Pelican was merely a variable in the equation for what it was I was trying to obtain; relaxation and the ability to calm my mind. The unquestionable supremacy of nature is wonderful and constant, reminding us we're part of something bigger.

A huge thanks to the person who loves me the most. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am. Hello four oh — Yikes! Any reason to be at the beach is a good one. After enjoying the Pacific it was time to knock back some cold-ones. My first pint was the summery and crushable Updrift IPA. Illuminated by the sun, the hay-yellow body held brilliant color. A noticeable yet light head covering the top was aided by carbonation that had been dialed-in just right. Updrift IPA is a worthy summer beer.

Pelicano Extra Lager is a Mexican-style cerveza with eye-catching clarity. This ale is a summer's best contender. Bubbles stream continuously as wafts of Germanic lager mix with aromas often associated with Mexican lagers. Great beers are the ones you never tire of, those that you can have more than one of. Pelicano hits that sweet spot.

Next up was Our Dankest Hour IPA, which was being brewed again now that patrons could enjoy it. Originally brewed in March, this IPA is not playing around. Dank is in the name, but resinous is its game. The bold amber glow doesn't hide the punch this beer packs. Malt be damned, too many of these and your afternoon or early evening is askew. Strong color and a lingering head cannot mask the bold aromas and flavor. Think of Our Dankest Hour as a big fish story, fun to tell, just not all the time. Enjoy craft beer responsibly with fish and chips. 


Saturday, July 18, 2020

Ache of Victory

Best New Music |

Zsela | Ache of Victory EP | "Drinking" |


Monday, July 13, 2020

Brew Detective: Returning to the Fold | Ex Novo

Ex Novo is a ritual at this point, they're my go-to, thanks Ex Novo. On my last visit to Flint Street they rewarded me with a newly canned single hop hazy IPA, sorry that was a mouthful. Anyhow, this hazy was good, better than most of the hazy's out there. I prefer west coast-style IPA's, but this offering was a nice surprise. Nelson hops run alone in Returning to the Fold.

Muted guava moves across the nose as quality carbonation feeds the doughy head, lasting longer than is typical. The mouthfeel was earthy yet light enough to gulp. Dank golden hues illuminated the glass. Aromas opened into notes of early orchard blooms. Returning to the Fold (7.2%) is a single hop IPA originally canned on 06.16.20, I enjoyed mine a few days later. Drink craft beer respectfully.


Saturday, July 11, 2020

Simon Says

Mood Music |

Carly Simon | "You're So Vain" | No Secrets |


Monday, July 6, 2020

Brew Detective: ALL TOGETHER | Ex Novo

I find great solace in the care, craft and kindness exhibited by the good people at Ex Novo, who routinely achieve no matter the obstacle. I will remain loyal to them for as long as we can coexist. The worst year ever is causing now, more than ever, to be a crucial time to support local businesses. I reward myself with tasty libations. That's where Ex Novo comes in.

ALL TOGETHER is an IPA reg'n at 6.5% — the best thing about buying ALL TOGETHER is that the money from sales goes to staff. Awesome. Because the people at Ex Novo are good people. I'm so thankful to share a neighborhood with them. 

A mix of bitterness and pineapple juice swirled as I popped open a pint. Substantial head forms over the opaque juice-like ale, there's an almost green tint to the glow. The mouth feel was much lighter than expected, it assuaged some of the bitterness which resurfaces late in tasting. Fruit characteristics that were present early faded once poured. Visible carbonation helps to move the nectar. Support local brewers if you're able to. Enjoy craft beer respectfully.


Friday, July 3, 2020

Stir It Up


Bob Marley and The Wailers | "Stir It Up" | Catch A Fire |

The funkiest stank, so smooth, deep, rough, clean, one-in-a-zillion, raw, elemental, off this rock, outer space, Planet Earth, planet Jamaica, planet Marley, planet Tosh, Catch A Fire, Fire, Stir It Up ...

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Brew Detective: Cult Classic Pale Ale | Ex Novo

Hollywood theatre is, er was, and will be again, the place to observe cinema in all it's splendor and excess. Ex Novo has brewed Cult Classic Pale Ale for Hollywood theatre much prior to this review, but recently I scored a four pack of pint cans, which supports both my favorite brewery and the best cinematic palace this side of the Williamette (honorable mention Bagdad Theater). Hopefully we'll get to satiate our souls through the small joys of interactive and participatory arts and activities.

Strong hop aroma is a bit biting and spicy. Beautiful amounts of carbonation drive upward, replenishing the fluffy head. Subtle bitterness is apparent early. The amber-gold pale ale glimmers with agricultural bounty. It's liquid art in honor of "Movie Madness." Rated 5.6% / Cult Classic Pale Ale is an easy choice indoors or out. Enjoy craft beer respectfully.


Friday, June 19, 2020

Big Thief

Mood Music |

Big Thief | Masterpiece | "Masterpiece, Paul, Lorraine" |

Paul   /   4:49...
And then he showed me what is love

I'll be your morning bright goodnight shadow machine

I'll be record player baby if ya know what I mean
I'll be a real tough cookie with the whiskey breath
I'll be a killer and a thriller and the cause of our death
     - Adrianne Lenker