Thursday, July 27, 2006

Pamela Anderson's Big Days

Apparently Pam Anderson is planning to get married to Kid Rock several times this Yahoo News, Gina Serpe reported about 2 hours ago that Pam and Kid Rock are going to get married on a yacht in the French Riviera, in Detroit, and in Nashville. Pam was at the Laguna Seca racetrack this past weekend for the MotoGP races, and I got this pic of her.

Wayne Rainey

I got a chance to talk with 3-time 500GP World Champion Wayne Rainey at the Yamaha party at the Aquarium in Monterey last weekend. Despite being paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a crash at Misano, Italy, in 1993, Wayne has continued to be very active and influential in the world of motorsports. Wayne has been a huge help to my friend Gill Campbell (who manages Laguna Seca Raceway) in getting the MotoGP races to come to the U.S. last year and again this year; as well, he now races a hand-controlled kart in the World SuperKart series based in Northern California. Laguna Seca raceway has named a corner in his honor: the Rainey Curve is a medium-speed, acute left-hander that follows the famous Corkscrew.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

MotoGP races at Laguna Seca

I just returned from the MotoGP motorcycle races at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey. What a fantastic weekend! All sorts of celebrities were on hand, and my press credentials got me up close and personal with all sorts of racers and celebrities, including Fabio, Pam Anderson, and Mini Me. I chatted with Kevin Schwantz in the media tent, and talked with both Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey at the Yamaha party at the Aquarium on Friday night...and talked briefly with Ben Bostrom and Randy Mamola after Randy gave Ben a ride on the back of a Ducati Desmosedici...including 100mph+ wheelies (leaned over!) and a nice stoppie in front of the crowd on the front straight. My photos are here.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Bomb Hunters: the film

My friend (and fellow member of the Portland Rotary Club) Kilong Ung helped put together a film called The Bomb Hunters about Cambodians disassembling unexploded bombs to sell the metal for scrap. What a scary way to make a living! He's interviewed in the film as well--Melinda and I saw it at a screening here in Portland a few months ago.

Forest Grove Concours D'Elegance

My friend Paul and I were judges at the 2006 Rotary Club Concours D'Elegance in Forest Grove last weekend, judging vintage motorcycles, scooters, and commercial vehicles. An amazing event--if you've never gone, you're really missing out. I took a few photos and uploaded them to this album.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Jungle Lobster Hut, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

I was emailing back and forth with a tour operator from Ocho Rios, Jamaica today, and was reminded of a funny experience I had while in Ocho Rios--about a place called "The Jungle Lobster Hut".

We'd read about it in a guidebook, which said it was a bit primitive, but said "The Rastafarians prepare seafood dishes that are absolutely dazzling." So with that comment, we HAD to go...

4 of us showed up there for dinner. It was primitive, with a roof and 2.5 walls, dirt floor, 2 picnic tables, and an open view out over a beautiful harbor. They brought out a galvanized bucket of Red Stripe in cold water, and asked us what we'd like for dinner.

Clearly, there wasn't going to be a printed menu anywhere. And the guy just stood there waiting for our answer...just as clearly, he wasn't going to tell us our options without prompting. So I asked, "well, what do you serve?"

He replies "Seafood."

After a few quiet moments, I asked "what kinds of seafood?"

He smiled broadly and said "Fish and lobstah."

I waited a couple more seconds, and with nothing more coming at me, I asked, "well, how do you prepare them?"

That was the magic question, I guess, because then he launched into about a ten minute description of all the ways they cooked the fish and prepared the lobster. We got very excited & hungry and each chose a way for our lobster to be prepared.

We happily went back to the view, our conversation, and our Red Stripe. Meanwhile, all sorts of banging and clattering and sizzling is going on in the kitchen area. For OVER AN HOUR. After which the guy comes back out to our table with three words for us:

"Got no lobstah."

So we ordered kingfish etc., and in about 15 minutes the food was there, and it was great. Apparently the guy had to walk a half-mile back up the road to a house where the seafood was kept in a refridgerator, so he didn't know he was out of lobster.

Unfortunately, the Jungle Lobster Hut is no longer in business...sure was a funny experience though!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Interesting display option in search results at

I spotted this feature today at if you hover over the little binoculars next to a search result, they pop up a snapshot of a page from the site.

At first glance, this looks cute but kinda useless :-) But actually, with the avalanche of what we call "scraper sites" (websites that copy content from legitimate websites in an attempt to get their pages high in the search results and make money off of pay-per-click ads), this allows you to quickly look at the pages in the results and see what looks real and what looks like a scraper.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Construction zone

They're tearing up the parking lot next to our offices at TheBigDay, and building a 500-car underground parking garage...then covering it with a new park. Sounds like a terrific idea--it'll take 18 months, though. Here's a short video clip of what it looks like today.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

My favorite haunts: Vino in Sellwood

I've been going to wine-tastings at Vino in Sellwood since soon after Bruce opened the shop. Great place, friendly and knowledgable staff, and Bruce does a super job of finding great wines for the money at both ends of the price spectrum. Bruce just got back from Europe, and there's some fun posts of his time in Paris and Barcelona on his blog. Bruce's tastes tend to run a little more sophisticated than "Euro Fried Chicken", but this pic he took was pretty funny!

Monday, July 03, 2006

CNN and Fox News Chicago

TheBigDay made the TV news twice in the last week or so, with news stories on CNN Headline News on Friday, June 23, and on Fox News in the Morning in Chicago on Tuesday, June 27. (the links are to video clips of the two stories)

Mayan ruins in Guatemala

Mayan Ruins - Temple IV, Tikal, Guatemala
Patti, our operations manager at TheBigDay, recently returned from a trip to Tikal, Guatemala with her family. She's got some cool pics of the Mayan ruins at Tikal on her blog, including Temple IV (at 212 feet, it was the tallest structure in North America from 741 AD--when it was constructed--until the late 1800's, when skyscrapers came about); a viper up-close and personal; and leaf-cutter ants.