Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thrills and Chills: Waiting on Summer Weather in Mayvember

Posted By on Tue, May 31, 2011 at 7:08 PM

Perhaps the Central Oregon climate is one ingredient that makes its athletes tougher, both mentally and physically, in the same way that adversity builds character. Training through our winters isn't too difficult, especially if you like winter sports that provide good cross training for your primary one. However, spring is where our mettle is tested, and a fair amount of mental toughness is required to stick to any type of regimen.

Monikers like "Mayvember" and "Sprinter" are always fitting; but this year, Spring, you really take the cake. Enough is enough.

When it started snowing during the Bend Don't Brake Women's race on Saturday afternoon, I told myself it wasn't that bad. At least it was dry. Then it started hailing. And blowing. The temperature had dropped to the mid 30s.And then it rained. Cold and wet, we rode robotically to the finish line.Fortunately, many of the men's races took place earlier in the day during relatively mild weather, and the promoter did a great job of putting on a first-class race in third-rate weather. Special credit goes to the officials and course marshals who braved the elements to keep the racers safe.More than 150 hardy souls pinned on a number, racing for glory and to raise money for charity. And, to add credence to my assertion about toughness, Bend racers took home the top titles in all but one race.

I've done more mountain biking this spring than ever before, primarily as a way to avoid battling the cold and the wind on the road bike, and found myself looking forward to Sunday's Sisters Stampede. Although it was breezy and chilly, more than 400 racers showed up at Three Creeks Brewery to test their legs and skill on the Peterson Ridge trails. The course was well-marked and manned with volunteers to keep racers from taking wrong turns. The race was fun and challenging, and recent precipitation - in all its forms - rendered the trails tacky and sweet. The awards ceremony and after-party gave everyone a chance to compare wounds and swap war stories while enjoying a cold beer.

All in all, a great weekend on the bike, despite the weather. Let's hope we get summer soon, so we don't have to hear about June-uary.The silver lining of our weather cloud is that the trails are amazing. Get out and enjoy them!

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Death Cab for Cutie, Jenny and Johnny Video Plus Decemberists Preview

We're returned from the first show of the season at the Les Schwab Amphitheater with video of both Death Cab for Cutie and Jenny and Johnny.

Posted By on Sat, May 28, 2011 at 5:46 PM

Last night the summer concert season kicked off at the Les Schwab Amphitheater with music from Death Cab for Cutie, Bright Eyes and Jenny and Johnny. Needless to say, the show was awesome.

In case you missed it, or you want to relive it, here are videos from Jenny and Johnny and Death Cab from last night's show. Enjoy!

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Don't forget The Decemberists and Rodrigo y Gabriela perform tomorrow night (Sunday) at the Amphitheater beginning at 6pm. For more info, pick up our summer music guide or view it as a digital publication here.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

MTV Unleashes "Teen Wolf" Series

MTV turns the classic film Teen Wolf into a (almost certainly) crappy TV show.

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2011 at 5:04 PM

MTV Teenwolf
  • MTV Teenwolf
As some of you may know, I am an unapologetic fan of the 1985 film Teen Wolf, starring Michael J. Fox as a...yup, you guessed it...teenage werewolf.

Now, MTV has turned the classic film into a television series. Here's a preview, and it looks like a poor man's Twilight, but with less vampires, more werewolves and producers who apparently take themselves quite seriously. Also, the teen wolf plays lacrosse, not basketball (total mistake, just look at the photo)...and he doesn't even get all hairy when he wolfs out. Annnnnd...I don't think they even have any van surfing in this program!

Our TV columnist, Wm. Steven Humphrey, is writing more about this abomination in next week's "I Love Televsion" column.

New Teen Wolf:

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Old, better, more awesome Teen Wolf:

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The Traveling Camera: Niagra Falls

An excellent shot of Niagra Falls by Christian Heeb.

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2011 at 4:45 PM


Niagara Falls is one of those places where you can forget its beauty because the falls are surrounded by cheesy attractions in Canada and by rather squalid urban areas on the American side. But the falls are still impressive. To show the American falls in the best light, available I shot them around sunset just before dusk. You need a tripod really to get good waterfall photos. Here the long exposure and the soft light worked wonders. This image was taken with a 6x7 Ashai Pentax Camera. I’m still using Fuji Velvia Film.

See more landscape images by Christian Heeb here.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Match Deschutes Brewery's Labels With the Landmarks

A short film about the origins of the Deschutes Brewery labels.

Posted By on Wed, May 25, 2011 at 10:46 PM

I just came across this short film from Deschutes Brewery in which a couple travels through Central Oregon visiting the landmarks seen on the labels of Deschutes' beers.

It's a pretty interesting tour through our region and a bit of background behind the iconic labels on the brewery's beer.

...Oh yeah, and you've been warned. There is some partial (very partial) nudity to be seen around the 3:17 mark, so beware.

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New Ken Kesey Documentary: Watch the trailer

A sneak peek at the new Ken Kesey documentary, "Magic Trip."

Posted By on Wed, May 25, 2011 at 2:14 AM

There have been plenty of stories written, filmed and told about legendary Oregon author and cultural icon Ken Kesey, but this new documentary looks like it might be one of the best accounts of his Merry Prankster days.

Magic Trip: Ken Kesey's Search for a Kool Place is directed by Alex Gibney (the Oscar wining director behind Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and Taxi to the Dark Side) and includes some rarely seen (but nevertheless legendary) footage shot by Kesey and the Merry Pranksters.

The film is set to arrive in theaters in August. Take a look.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cross At Your Peril: Oregon's Deadly Roads

Posted By on Tue, May 24, 2011 at 6:35 PM

A newly released report reveals that Jefferson County is the deadliest county in Oregon to cross a street.

Over the past decade five pedestrians have been killed on Jefferson County roads. With a population of just under 20,000 that’s a fatality rate higher than any other county in Oregon, according a study by the non-profit transportation advocacy group Transportation for America

The group released its findings as part of a national campaign to secure more federal dollars for safety improvements on highways, particularly those stretches that run through cities and towns where high-speed traffic patterns can be deadly for pedestrians.

Nationally, more than 47,000 pedestrians were killed in the past decade on America’s streets and highways. The majority of those, roughly 67 percent died on roads that are eligible for federal funding, including safety improvements, such as sidewalks, signals and bike lanes. In Oregon, more than 500 pedestrians were killed over the past decade. The danger was underscored on Monday when two pedestrian-involved accidents were reported, including a fatality near Garibaldi. A second accident near Sandy left a 19-year-old woman in critical condition after she was struck while walking a dog on Highway 211.

All told pedestrians account for about 12 percent of all deaths on the nation’s roads and highways. Most of those fatalities involve our most vulnerable populations, according to Transportation for America. Americans of retirement age are twice as likely to be killed  while walking or biking on our roads. The youngest pedestrians are also at risk. Almost 50 pedestrians under the age of 15 were killed in the last decade on our state’s roads, making it one of the leading accident related deaths for children in Oregon.

There is a bit of positive news in the report. Bend is ranked among the safest places for pedestrians, despite a couple of high-profile pedestrian fatalities in the last several years. One of those deaths occurred on the parkway when a biker was killed while walking his bike across the parkway with his daughter while a car yielded, allowing the pair to cross. The Oregon Department of Transportation has since installed a flashing light at the intersection to alert drivers of the pedestrian crossing.

Transportation for America issued its report this week as Congress is weighing the possibility of cutting funding for two of the main programs that fund pedestrian-related safety upgrades to highways, according to information from the group’s website.

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KPOV To Go Full Power

Posted By on Tue, May 24, 2011 at 12:26 AM

After a long and ultimately successful fundraising campaign, Bend’s community radio station, KPOV, announced this week that it is taking its signal to full power and moving down the dial to a new home.

The station was initially chartered under a low-power license, which as many listeners, know makes it difficult to receive KPOV’s signal in outlying areas of Bend, let alone the greater Central Oregon region.

Two or so years ago the station petitioned and received permission to move to a full-power signal, but lacked the funding to make the equipment upgrades. Thanks in large part to the generosity of KPOV listeners the station recently eclipsed its fundraising goal for the project. As part of the upgrade, which is expected to happen sometime in June, KPOV will be moving down the dial to a new home at 88.9, snuggled right up to OPB’s Central Oregon signal, KOAB Bend at 91.3.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Better Ride: Mountain bike trail fixes and trail expansion in Redmond

COTA releases plan for new trails in Redmond.

Posted By on Mon, May 23, 2011 at 11:42 PM

For some time now, the lower section of the Mrazek Trail as it drops from the Forest Service access road down into Shevlin Park has been in bad shape. Deep ruts had formed in some parts of the trail and chunks of lava had become dangerously exposed as the dirt around them eroded.

That’s changed as one dedicated trail maintenance volunteer (with a few hours help from two other active riders) has transformed the trail. Dangerous rock sections have been made less so with some dirt fill, both sweeping s-curves in the mid portion of the trail have been smoothed out and have steeper banks and the section of the trail where it enters the park has been moved out of what was essentially a drainage ditch and cut into the hillside.

The final tight s-curve coming into the park has been widened and is now easier to ascend and descend. Also note that trail drainage channels that will eliminate future erosion have been created along the whole length of this section of trail.


On the trail addition side of things, a release from COTA regarding new trails in Redmond states: “COTA is in the final stages of approval to begin construction of a trail system on the east side of Redmond. The Redmond Area Parks and Recreation Department (RAPRD) will be overseeing this area of Deschutes County land. The goal is to get approval to begin construction in June and have the first phase completed for the winter riding season.

“The trailhead will be located near the Smith Rock BMX track off NE Negus Way. Initial trail layout has found terrain perfect for mountain biking. There is significant rolling relief, which will make for a fast-and-fun trail, punctuated with the challenges of lava rock outcroppings. The views of Smith Rocks, The Sisters and the surrounding desert are expansive and all this within riding distance of most of Redmond's residents. The trail system is being laid out to attract a wide array of trail users for year-round use and will be yet another standout winter riding destination for all Central Oregonians. Trail construction will be tough due to the rocky soil and hearty desert vegetation.

“The scale of this project is massive – on par with that of the Peterson Ridge Trail expansion in Sisters and The Wanoga network in Bend. This multi-year undertaking will need significant support from the community and will in return provide another recreational asset for Redmond,” the release said.

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Free Stream of Death Cab for Cutie's New Album

Hear the new Death Cab for Cutie album for free.

Posted By on Mon, May 23, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Memorial Day Weekend is actually only a few days away, which means, among other things, that Death Cab for Cutie is playing the Les Schwab Amphitheater on Friday night.

Also on the bill are Bright Eyes and Jenny and Johnny...making for an awesome mini-indie rock festival.

Before you head out to the Death Cab show, give a listen to the band's new album, Codes and Keys, which is streaming for free over at NPR's music site. The album is actually released after the band's show here in Bend, so give it an early listen so you can recognize the new tunes at the show. You can hear that right here.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

PPP, BBB and...The Rapture is coming?

It's the rapture! And, the PPP and Boneyard's birthday party.

Posted By on Fri, May 20, 2011 at 11:25 PM

There's a lot happening on Saturday. Somethings are more important, depending on who you ask.

Tomorrow morning, a few thousand wildly fit people will compete in Central Oregon's biggest athletic event, the Pole, Pedal, Paddle. Even if you aren't on a team (or crazy enough to do it on your own) there's still reason to check out the event. Head down to the Les Schwab Amphitheater, where Franchot Tone and his band will be playing at 2pm, and you can watch the athletes cross the finish line.

So what is the BBB? It's the Boneyard Birthday Bash, the celebration of the new brewery's first year in existence. The party kicks off at 7 p.m. at the Old Stone Church and features $3 beers and a mere $2 entry fee. Live music, good food, and, of course, good beer.

What's the other thing going on tomorrow? Well, according to a small but remarkably well-funded group of folks, The Rapture happens tomorrow. That means the good folks head up to heaven and everybody else sticks around for the eventual end of the world. There's no real proof this is going to happen -- it's about as accurate as my annual prediction that this is the Mariner's "year."

But what everyone wants to know is: How is this whole Rapture thing going to affect the PPP results?

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Sasquatch Festival Releases More Tickets

The sold-out Sasquatch festival at the Gorge next weekend has released more tickets.

Posted By on Fri, May 20, 2011 at 5:12 PM

More Sasquatch Tickets
  • More Sasquatch Tickets
As I may have mentioned on this blog a few times, I'm heading up to the Sasquatch! Festival next weekend. The festival has been sold out for a few months, but last night the event released some more tickets.

I have no idea how many there are, but I just checked and as now (10:15am) there were still some available . If you're serious about making your way up to the Gorge for this party, I would suggest jumping on this immediately. These aren't going to last.

So if you don't have any plans next weekend and want to get in on the festival's insanely good lineup.

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