Thursday, June 30, 2005

[State] Oregon Stupidity Tax: Greed Is Not Always Good

The agency of the State which manages the picking of the pockets of folks who ain't quite bright enough to figure out house odds, is engaged with a little gamesmanship in a battle of wits with the Nevada gambling magnate and owner of the chain of 26 Dottie's Deli casinos, errr, 'stores'.

The Oregonian reports today those 26 stores, which took over $26 million from the pockets of foolish Oregonians last fiscal year, don't like the new, 15%-lower payouts to merchants, a consequence of the state trying to get $60 million more this year. So, the schmendrick is suing. Of course.

Last fiscal year, $577 million was taken from below-average Oregonians. Gee, is it any wonder the state has little interest in making sure Johnny can do simple math when he leaves high school? If you know what's going on, it's tougher for the state to pick your pocket.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

[Wal-Mart] 7PM Thursday meeting on Wal-Mart at the old Goodwill site

The Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood association (SMILE) meets tomorrow, Thursday night, to discuss Arkansas' attempt to complete the destruction of merchantile entrepeneurship in downtown Milwaukie.

Visit this community website for more details.

[Games] The Ultimate Roleplaying Purity Test

Ultimate Roleplaying Purity Score
CategoryYour ScoreAverage
Enjoys the occasional head-lopping
Sensitive Roleplaying81.01%
Occasionally remembers to name their PC
GM Experience100%
The power of the GM's screen compels you!
Systems Knowledge97.46%
Played in a couple of campaigns
Livin' La Vida Dorka68.97%
Goes nuts on the weekends
You are 85.46% pure
Average Score: 68.7%

Monday, June 27, 2005

[Knowledge] Moving day blues, how to avoid is a wonder to behold.

We will all move, or get moved, sooner or later. Death, taxes and Moving Day. This site tracks problem moving companies, notes their alliances with major Interent web search firms and with major national realty firms, and has a very active bulletin board. Scary, that stuff is.

When Mrs Clackablog and I moved from Liberty Hall in da 'Hood to Serenity, we decided not to abuse the kindness of our friends, and instead, hired Movers.

I swear, it was easier to pick a sawbones and a hospital for my major surgery than it was to pick a moving company. I finally started with the local BBB list of member companies, and cross-referenced that list with recommendations/complaints from the group pdx.general in USENET. The remaining companies were compared to a list I got from ODOT (and I'll be dipped if I can recall who in ODOT it came from), and the survivors were checked at the Multnomah County Courthouse for litigation history.

Three from the last cut were invited out to provide estimates, and we picked the middle estimate (to help eliminate the chance of a lowball bid being elevated at the last minute). The high bid moving company, just like the high bidding furnace repair company we dealt with earlier this year, seemed not-very-interested in our business.

It turned out we were very happy with our moving company, just like the furnace repair company we chose, so the pick-the-middle-bid strategy may have some virtue.

The MovingScam process includes such bon mots as:
As each moving company gives you an estimate based on what they see in your home, leave the paperwork out where the next moving company can easily see it. Ask questions about the difference in pricing since it may have to do with what services one company provides that another doesn't, the amount of insurance included, or valuation of your belongings. Never hire a mover who gives you a quote based on cubic feet. Never, ever sign blank paperwork, and know what you're signing. Read the document, understand it and don't worry about making the moving company wait.

You should know that every moving company is required by law to provide you with a "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move" booklet. If they don't provide you with this, send them packing (so to speak).

Also, while you have the sales rep's attention, get as much information about the company that you can such as:

* Full company name and any DBA names (doing business as)
* How long they have been in business
* Company address
* Phone numbers (local and toll-free)
* DOT and MC license numbers
* Company web site address
* Email addresses
* Get references (and call them)

Thursday, June 23, 2005

[Wal-Mart] Wal-Mart Opposition

Community folks have put up a web site to help those who oppose the proposed Ardenwald-Eastmoreland-Sellwood Wal-Mart just north of the county line, at Umatilla and McLoughlin, which maps it into the People's Republic of Portland, where Goodwill used to be (photo below courtesy Read about it in the Oregonian.

Me, I think it will probably nuke what's left of the struggling downtown of Milwaukie. Just wander the streets and think about which, of those stores, Wal-Mart doesn't sell against.

Low-low prices on imported Chinese junk will leave bars, restaurants, gas stations, banks, the mayor's garage and Dark Horse. Oh, yeah, the movie theater, until cheap Wal-Mart DVD rentals kills it off, too.

Sam Adams' blog
is rife with commentary on the subject.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

[Civitas] The world is run by those who show up - Oak Lodge Community Council meeting tonight

Agenda for Wednesday's Oak Lodge Community Council meeting, courtesy of Dick Jones.

June 22, 2005
Oak Lodge Sanitary District offices at 14611 SE River Road (cross street Oak Grove Boulevard), Oak Grove, Oregon.

7:00 PM -- Call to Order: Dick Jones, Chairperson

ROLL CALL: Bill Bader, Bill Brown, Wilma Brown, Frank Budwill, Sue Conachan, Edith Coulter, Rosemary Crites, George Dietz, Jerry Foy, Bryn Gillem, Chuck Gode, Milo Haas, Thelma Haggenmiller, Richard Holmes, David Jelinek, Dick Jones, Jim Knapp, Elinor Kuhns, Bill Neels, Elaine Neels, Chuck Petersen, Margaret Pritchard, Paul Savas, Eugene Schoenheit, George Schneider, Kent Squires, Julie Stanley, Dr. Elton Storment, Bob Waldt, Leonard Waldemar, Roy Wikman and Doug Woods.

7:02 PM – Introduction of Attendees: Name, area of residence and position in the Oak Lodge Community Council, if any.

7:05 PM – Council Reports: Oak Lodge Community Council meeting: Approve the May 25, 2005 meeting minutes, followed by Treasurer’s Report (Sue Conachan).

7:10 PM – Sheriff’s Report – Lt. Chuck Slaney

7:20 PM – District Reports

Clackamas County Fire District #1 – James Nowlin
Oak Lodge Water District – Jim Knapp
Oak Lodge Sanitary District – Kent Squires

8:00 PM – Land Use Issues for Voting

Introduction of procedures by Chairperson. Eligibility for Voting, Time Limits, presentations by those in favor, the Council’s on-site review and those opposed.

(Editor's note: You can click on the link titled Check/Research Permits and enter any of the "Z" numbers below in the following web page labeled By Permit Number and get more details about each case - Clackablog.)

Z0388-05 The applicant is seeking to partition an undersized parcel into three lots. It is located at 2009 SE Courtney Rd. This parcel is 29,144 sq. ft. and is zoned R-10.

Z0358-05 This a 5 lot subdivision of two adjacent parcels. Theses parcels are located at 14722/14732 SE Rupert Dr., contains 1.08 acres and is zoned R-7.

Z0407-05 This a request for a variance from the rear setback of 20 feet to 10 feet to allow enlargement of the master bedroom. The parcel is at 1250 SE River Forest Lane on .95 acres and is zoned R-10.

Z0408-05 This is a request to partition into two parcels .59 acres zoned R-7 at 15115 SE East Av.

Z0423-05 Permission to build a 6,200 sq. ft. in the Willamette Greenway at 13140 SE Laurie.

8:45 PM – Land Use Issues for Discussion

Z0235-05 This is an appeal of the Oliver Rose Industrial Park on Vineyard Rd (see top of page 2). The County staff approved this application before transportation data had been supplied by the applicant.

Z0155-05 This is an appeal by both the Oak Lodge Community Council and the applicant, RFD, LLC. The Hearings Officer will hear this appeal at 10:45 AM on June 30th. (See third item on this page.)

8:50 PM General Matters for Discussion

Trolley Trail update (Thelma)

Meeting Announcements (Thelma)


Council meetings: July 27, August 24, and September 28, 2005.

OLCC/CIA at Rose Villa unless otherwise noted: July 13, August 10, and September 14, 2005.

Special meetings, if required to vote on land use issues, will be held in conjunction with the monthly CIA meeting normally on the second Wednesday of each month.

9:00 PM – Meeting Adjourns.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

[The Lege] SB1073

The people of Oregon have decided that marraige ain't for gay folk. OK, but then what's wrong with creating a not-marriage category ('Civil Unions'), as Senate Bill 1073 does?

The legal motivation for recognizing marriage is not to cater to the special interests of churches, but instead to encourage behavior in the best interests of the state. Married (and not-married folk in Civil Unions) are more stable, spend less time out in bars looking for Mr/Ms Right, own instead of rent, and many other things which lead to a stabler society.

Civil Unions will also reduce the workload of the courts, as one piece of law can define how property is handled after a breakup, and how child custody will work, instead of the myriad of unique contracts now used to try to set these things down in writing. It only makes sense from a legal standpoint to have one consistant set of rules.

There are six state senators for Clackamas County, and this chart has drill-down map links for each, in case you don't know who your Senator is.

Please call your Senator and tell them you favor SB1073.

Monday, June 13, 2005

[Me] Bill the Cat mode

Accckkkkk. Thpbpppt. Wheeze. Cough. Wheeze. Cough. Wheeze. Cough.

Stuck in Bill the Cat mode for far too long. A cold snuck in under my allergies.

Last time this happened, I missed Orycon 17 with pneumonia. Codeine is my friend, as is Ampicillin, and Progresso low-carb soup.