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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Glenn Beck's Last Show is Tonight

Glenn Beck's time at Fox News comes to an end tonight.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 8:13 PM

Glenn Beck, who for the past few years has been Fox News' resident conspiracy theorist, is wrapping up his time on the network with his final television broadcast tonight.

Beck fans, however, will still be able to see the emotional (he cries a lot) personality on a subscriber-based webcast beginning in September.

Here's some of his finest (or scariest, depending on how you look at it) moments, courtesy of non-profit news watchdog Media Matters, who've also compiled this list of outlandish Beck comments.

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Woody's Road Trip Part 2: The 3,000 mile summer

Woody's roadtrip continues through Las Vegas and Zion National Park.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 7:01 PM

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This is part 2 of Bob "Woody" Woodward's great American road trip story. It's like On the Road, but with granddaughters in tow.

Following a family caucus, a unanimous decision is made to stay in Las Vegas for one more day. Weighing heavily in the decision is the fact that the hotel swimming pool is too great not to enjoy some more and also the girls are hoping to ride the famous New York-New York roller coaster. That, and see the real honest to goodness, albeit caged, lions at the MGM Grand.

We join what seems like the entire population of America traipsing from tourist attraction to tourist attraction. First stop for us is the Hard Rock Casino with its exhibitions of rocker performance outfits and other memorabilia.

Britney Spears' nearly see-through G-string and bra outfit rates an "ugh" from the girls. Katy Perry's high red boots and black mini skirt, however, receives an enthusiastic "way cool."


Next to The Strip, where it's apparent being in the digital camera or camcorder business has to be the best business in America. Every single moment of every tourist's time in Las Vegas is being judiciously recorded and will probably playing ad nauseum when back home.

As we walk along we run into way too many people acting out. These are the victims of thinking that their attempts to relive The Hangover makes them really cool. Four noisy drunks come roaring shirtless into New York-New York and are quickly ejected. A team of dumpy guys wearing the same color rugby shirt try to look cool and fail miserably. Even the girls sense their dorkiness despite their attempts to talk Vegas cool. "Texas hold 'em or some broads?" yells one.

To get to the roller coaster inside New York-New York, you have to first pass through the deafening noise of the arcade. The girld get their money out and make the rollercoaster ride, arriving back with these takes: The younger one says: "That was awesome scary." The older one about to enter her teens says: "Is my face red? I've never been so scared."

As for granddad, he's glad the scary part is over and goes in search of a real New Yorker in the mélange of people. He finds a guy from the Bronx who says, "this place is a freaking joke, maybe Coney Island but not New York. Come on."

The joke is on us as across the street at the MGM where the lions don't appear but twice daily and their next appearance is hours away. Time to move on.

And so the grandparental/granddaughter road trip heads north and east toward Zion National Park. At last clean air, pines, cottonwoods, rushing river waters, red rocks and solitude. Oh, and 50 inner-city L.A. kids on their first trip to a National Park camped all around us.

To their everlasting credit, the inner-city kids are having the time of their life and when a deer walks through the campground, 50 digital point-and-shoot cameras come out and several thousand images are taken.

Zion these days is more special than ever because of the fact that cars have been virtually eliminated from the Park's roads. We use the five-mile long bike path to get to some of the park's more notable sights or ride the shuttle buses that run up and down the canyon all day.

Hikers are everywhere and some of the shorter trails have traffic jams. Bunched in with the hikers, there are literally thousands of budding Ansel Adams. A couple loaded down with a gazillion dollars in expensive digital camera gear walks past grousing because they've forgotten their split neutral density filters back in camp.

Just as the point-and shoot business is the one to be in Las Vegas, in Zion selling digital SLR gear and accessories must be a goldmine. For us, the mother lode is swimming in the Virgin River. It proves not too cold, not too warm, but just right. And what a view from a small sandy beach with red towers soaring towards a cobalt blue sky.

Traveling on, we drive through tunnel at the east end of Zion emerging onto a classic Southwest landscape cut with canyons, topped by broad mesas and dotted with Pinon pine forests. Our route rises up onto the Colorado Plateau with its pine and aspen forests and lush green high valleys known in these parts as "parks".

In one park a herd of buffalo roams. The girls, ever electronically engaged during the long drives, look up, declare that they've never seen a buffalo before and then get back to their electronic world.

Arriving at the north rim of the Grand Canyon we learn that our campsite is about 100 feet from where you can peer down into the abyss. But the best canyon views are from the aged North Rim Lodge. From the Lodge's expansive living room with its huge bay windows you can look south out over the canyon. Dozens of weary hikers doze in easy chairs while others sit enthralled by the spectacular site before them.

Outdoors, to either side of the living room, are large decks where people gather to watch the sun set. We feast on the view and then on a dinner of beans and franks in camp and call it a night as the winds pick up gusting to 50 miles-per-hour. The girls sleep restlessly. Their weary elders snooze happily.

The next morning the wind persists now blowing steadily in the 30s. By the time we head across Arizona, the average wind speed has risen into the 40s. Dust is in the air, first a bit and then a dark red cloud before us worthy of a storm scene from Lawrence of Arabia. The storage box on top of the car migrates from one side of the roof rack to the other under pressure from the wind and gets an added load of red sand that mixes in with the camping gear.

On we charge past Antelope Canyon where the Ansel Adams wannabees eventually migrate to take a photo of a deep slot canyon bathed in warm sunlight. Antelope Canyon used to be free and a place for those who had the desire and stamina to get there. Now it's just another expensive roadside attraction.

At Four Corners the girls join the flock of tourists to straddle four states. In Cortez, Colorado there's the prospect of getting out of the wind, swim, a de-dusting and thoughts of Mesa Verde on our minds.

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The Traveling Camera: Native American Portraits

Photos of Warm Springs tribal members by Christian Heeb.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 4:31 PM

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We went to the Pow Wow in Warm Springs hoping to create some portraits of the attending dancers. I have been shooting Indian country for more than 20 years, so this time I tried to create a studio situation right on the field. We put up a black background that I latched to a Pepsi truck and used a silver reflector to light up the dancers. I used the natural light from the west to back light the feathers of the costumes. We had a blast taking pictures and were pleased that no one turned our request for photos down...thank you Warm Springs.

See more of Christian Heeb's Native American photos here.


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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

July is National Ice Cream Month: Thanks Ron!

Celebrate "National Ice Cream Month" with two scoops.

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 7:57 PM

Ronald Reagan is the new black.

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His name has been thrown around ad nauseam by political members of both the right and the left, particularly during recent election years. Even Obama claims to identify with him. Now we know why —  Proclamation 5219 (note Proclamation 5218, pretty ironic).

The Gipper, in his infinite wisdom, declared July "National Ice Cream Month," on July 9, 1984 (see Proclamation 5219). He also squeezed in July 15 as "National Ice Cream Day."

From the famed proclamation:

"Ice cream is a nutritious and wholesome food, enjoyed by over ninety percent of the people in the United States. It enjoys a reputation as the perfect dessert and snack food. Over eight hundred and eighty-seven million gallons of ice cream were consumed in the United States in 1983."

 

Ice cream generates a lot of money: in 1983, the ice cream industry netted approximately $3.5 billion in annual sales. In 2004, for comparison, total ice cream sales produced $21.4 billion. Whoa.

Do your part and eat up — and rest assured we're doing our part here.

July is also Oregon Craft Beer Month, with events taking place across the state. Handmade beer celebrations kick off here with offerings from Astoria's Fort George Brewery at Abbey Pub on July 1. On tap will be their Oatmeal Pale Ale and sample pours of Fort George's Vortex IPA and 1811 Lager will also be available.

photo credit: spacedustdesign


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Dumpstaphunk Video From Bite of Bend

Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk enthralls the Bite of Bend audience.

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 1:49 AM

I would guess that there were at least a few Bent Blog readers down at the Bite of Bend on Saturday night to see the thunderously funky set from Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk.

The New Orleans band's set struck me as one of the most impressive shows -- especially free shows -- I've seen in Bend in a long while. Dumpstaphunk had the audience wrapped around its finger and had a hell of a time making them dance to create a party atmosphere I haven't seen too often. So yeah, it was impressive, to say the least.

But enough of my blathering. Check out the band for yourself.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

US 97 Closed Near Warm Springs.

US 97 near Warm Springs is closed due to a tanker, which reportedly went off the road.

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 5:25 PM

US 97 near Warm Springs is closed due to a tanker truck that reportedly went off the road, causing a fire. The driver of that tanker has not been found.

As of now ODOT has limited information about the accident. Peter Murphy, the Public Information Officer for ODOT, said he expects the highway will be open within the next hour or so, “We’re not quite sure [how long the roadway will be closed], but we’re trying to get it open,” explained Murphy.

Murphy reported that as of now, the tanker’s driver is missing (no word on where he might be) and he believes no one else was injured in incident.

If you're heading up that way today, you should probably rethink your plans, at least for this morning.


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Woody's Road Trip: Part 1

Woody begins his road trip with jaunts to Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas.

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 4:16 PM

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Intrepid BENT blogger and general Bend hero Bob Woodward is in the middle of a massive road trip. Here is his first dispatch.

There are few things as deeply ingrained in the American experience as the road trip. From Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise “balling across America” to Steinbeck traveling with his dog Charlie to see what’s out there, road tripping is burned deep in our collective psyche.

Over the years, my road trips have ranged from coast-to-coast epics, tours of the northern and southern tier of states and routes starting in California and looping around the great southwest.

And that’s where I am now, part way through a tour of the Southwest, only this time without kayaks, mountain bikes, backpacking gear and buddies but with granddaughters, ages 12 and 10. As this trip has unfolded, there are times I think of myself as what Sal Paradise might have been like had he come back as a middle-aged character in a Kerouac sequel to On The Road.


In his Darhma Bums Kerouac and friends attempt to climb Matterhorn Peak in the Sawtooth Range that forms the jagged backdrop to Bridgeport, California. The climbing attempt failed but not a raucous evening at the Bridgeport Inn. The Inn still stands and over time its various owners have come to embrace its place in Kerouac lore.

Long before Bridgeport, our road trip started with a drive from Bend to Lake Tahoe to see old friends. After a big meal and a night in a cozy house, we set off around the lake. It was then my morale began to sink. The roadway was packed and parking at spectacular places like Emerald Bay was nonexistent with lots jammed and cars lined up for miles along the roadway.

It was then I remembered, it had been almost 40 years since I traveled during the summer holiday season, during that time when temperatures are hot, tempers are short and “I’m bored” and “when do we get there?” become the two most commonly used expressions in the English language.

We survived the Tahoe rush and ended up in Markleeville seat of California’s least-populated county: Alpine County.

In the early 1970s, I used to the cross-country west of town into the backcountry and arrive back to the funky old Grover Hot Springs and a soak that took away all the aches and pain of days on skis and nights in tents or snow caves.

I also used to come here to fly fish inspired by the writer Colin Fletcher, who discovered a rare strain of rainbow (one with purplish coloring) in several of the streams in this area and wrote about them in his book The Thousand Mile Summer.

The trout are still here, the stream seems the same, but the funky old hot springs are gone, replaced by two pools and a hefty fee to swim or soak.

An oddity of the springs is how they are favored by throngs of Russian-Americans. Soaking, I come to learn, is a great Russian tradition and far from the summer dachas and springs of the home country, many Californians of Russian make Grover Hot Springs the center of their summer vacations.

My Russian is limited, so communication is not that good. My French, however, is passable except to Parisians and linguist snobs. I get to test it out with a mother and daughter from the south of France touring Death Valley. We agree “C’est tres chaud”: it is very hot.

So hot that we drive quickly through the Valley of Death and make way straight to Las Vegas where I get lost trying to find our hotel. 35 years of attending trade shows in Vegas and I thought I knew my way around. Unfortunately, the town has grown and my comprehension of it no longer valid.

It’s 105 degrees outside as we check in and the granddaughters head straight for the pool. I make my way to the exercise room where the lady attendant says: “the town was better when the mob ran it. I miss the mob.” I couldn’t agree more. The mob ran a clean town and most made guys of yore would be appalled at modern day Vegas.

Coming back from the exercise room I walk past a well-inked young woman dressed in a skintight Lycra suit. A belt around her waist is comprised of silver handcuffs. I smile as I pass and hope the girls don’t start asking me about, “that funny looking woman.”

Later, we take the girls to The Strip to see the sights. Except for a conversation with a trio of cheery Quebecois women, I arrive back at our hotel totally depressed and longing for fresh air and pine trees.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Funny Ads from the Portland Timbers and Alaska Air

Employee exchange program ad.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 11:15 PM

Check out this video for the Timbers (Portland's new MLS team) and their sponsor, Alaska Airlines. The Scottish dude giving the demo is Timbers coach John Spencer.

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In this one Timber Joey (who cuts rounds from a log after every Timbers goal) makes luggage fit.

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And here's a bunch of impassioned Timbers fans singing the National Anthem in pouring rain at the Timbers' home opener against Chicago in April (Portland won 4-2). Pretty moving.

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They're huge in Portland and have a strong following elsewhere in the state, including here in Bend. Look for a story on the Timbers in our next issue.


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Bend Man Looking For Time Travel Companion

Anyone want to time travel back to 1988?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 9:49 PM

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Looking to take a vacation over the upcoming holiday weekend, but don't have the cash? Well, there's one Bend man named Scott who has posted the following ad on craigslist.org looking for someone to join him on a journey back to 1988.

Naturally, being a time travel enthusiast myself, I called the number at the end of the writeup, which features a photo of both the time machine and the time traveler (holding a fish for some reason), only to realize that this joker had listed the number for KTVZ in his ad.

Sadly, this looks like a joke. And it reads a lot like this other fake time travel ad.  Nevertheless, I emailed "Scott" detailing my excellent potential as a time-travel companion, just in case.

Here's the full text of Scott's ad.

 I have a functioning time machine I know it sounds unbelievable, but "I assure you it works." I need a second person to operate it with me.

I'm looking for someone who is adventurous and reliable. Preferably a female that can do heavy lifting.

I am leaving on June 30th, 2011 in the morning and plan to return July 3rd, 2011. I am going to June 1988 to handle some business.

If you are serious about time travel and are reliable, then please contact me. You do not have to pay anything, but you will need to pack light. I will be conducting interviews in the next couple of days. The only qualifications needed are that you are reliable and that the circumferance of your head is no more than 64cm.

Please send me an email along with a picture of you on an adventure. Thanks, Scott

 


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Video From Last Night's Vandaveer Show

Vandaveer play a free show at McMenamin's Old St. Francis School in Bend, Oregon.

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 4:38 PM

If you didn't get out to see Washington D.C. band Vandaveer play a free show at McMenamin's Father Luke's Room last night, you missed out on a lot! Cheyenne Marie Mize opened the show (with a powerful solo set) and joins Vandaveer on stage for this video. 

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Win Two Tickets to See Dinner At The Thompsons

Electro-soul, hip-hop duo to play at Bend's Mad Happy Lounge.

Posted By on Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Dinner At The Thompsons is playing at Madhappy Lounge on Thursday, June 30 and you could go! For free! With a date! Or with one of these exclamation marks!

The French-American pair is on tour in support of their second album, Off the Grid. Check them out:

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The hipster on the turntables at the beginning and end of the video looks like Jason Schwartzman in Rushmore.

How to win: go to our Facebook page, like us and then like or comment on the post about the contest. We'll enter you into the drawing and notify winners on Friday afternoon (June 24).


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The Traveling Camera: Models

The Cascade Center of Photography is looking for models.

Posted By on Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 4:07 PM

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Cascade Center of Photography is looking for models here in Central Oregon.

Last weekend I had the pleasure to work with fellow photographers David Cobb and Sean Bagshaw during our weekend-long Business of Travel and Outdoor Photography workshop. TJ Reese was our very cute model for the evening. Needles to say, all the participants had a great time shooting and learning about outdoor lighting. More workshops and shootings are coming up.

We are looking for male and female models for outside shootings of lifestyle images. Sign up on Facebook to the Cascade Center of Photography and let us know you are out there.


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