Recent Posts

The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Memoir Where The View Behind The Wheel Is Only The Beginning, by Chuck Strom

Last week, Terry Gross of NPR’s Fresh Air interviewed Finn Murphy, whose memoir, The Long Haul, was published last year. The interview was so entertaining that I immediately downloaded the book, and I was not disappointed. From its title and cover, one might think that the book would be a celebration of the . . . → Read More: The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Memoir Where The View Behind The Wheel Is Only The Beginning, by Chuck Strom

NBA All-Star Break Notes: Blazers Up, Warriors Lost, by Chuck Strom

Last Wednesday, in their last game before the All-Star Break, the Portland Trail Blazers hosted the Golden State Warriors in a game that was not only a barn-burner but also illustrated the current state of both teams, who would meet in the first round of the playoffs if their current #7 and #2 seedings . . . → Read More: NBA All-Star Break Notes: Blazers Up, Warriors Lost, by Chuck Strom

Hot Takes As The Confetti Falls, by Chuck Strom

Next year belongs to Jimmy G.

The Philadelphia Eagles finally have a Lombardi Trophy to bring home, their first championship since Concrete Charlie Bednarik sat on Green Bay’s Jim Taylor to win it all in 1960. Hats off to them. They played unafraid, especially Nick Foles, and it took all of their successful gambles . . . → Read More: Hot Takes As The Confetti Falls, by Chuck Strom

Lady Bird: A Movie That Hits Close To Home​, by Chuck Strom

Lady Bird, the coming-of-age movie set in Sacramento, CA, has a stubborn disinclination to satisfy normal expectations. Whenever you expect the story to follow a certain path, it goes somewhere else, and whenever you think you know its characters, they always find a way to surprise you. This lack of cliche, along with the . . . → Read More: Lady Bird: A Movie That Hits Close To Home​, by Chuck Strom

Blake Bortles, The People’s MVP, Falls About A Foot Short, by Chuck Strom

​The NFC Championship Game has just concluded as of this writing, with the Nick Foles-led Philadelphia Eagles beating the Minnesota Vikings by a shocking score of 38-7. The Eagles will travel to Minnesota to meet the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII, thus ruining Minnesota’s dreams of winning a Lombardi Trophy in their . . . → Read More: Blake Bortles, The People’s MVP, Falls About A Foot Short, by Chuck Strom

Cedric the Entertainer Crashes Blazers Post-Game Press Conference, by Chuck Strom

After the Portland Trailblazers’ win over the Indiana Pacers last Thursday night, comedian Cedric the Entertainer got up from his courtside seat afterward and took Coach Terry Stotts’ place at the podium for the postgame press conference:

Thanks to the graciousness of the Trailblazers, I’ve been in that briefing room a couple of . . . → Read More: Cedric the Entertainer Crashes Blazers Post-Game Press Conference, by Chuck Strom

After 42 Years, The Original Hail Mary Has Finally Been Avenged, by Chuck Strom

After the Minnesota Vikings’ miracle win in last night’s divisional playoff with the New Orleans Saints, ESPN was historically astute enough to replay footage of the original Hail Mary play from December 1975, when Drew Pearson of the Dallas Cowboys pushed off Vikings cornerback Nate Wright and caught Roger Staubach’s desperation pass from midfield . . . → Read More: After 42 Years, The Original Hail Mary Has Finally Been Avenged, by Chuck Strom

Jimmy G, Melodrama in New England, and the Beginning of the End of an NFL Dynasty, by Chuck Strom

For those who aren’t obsessive about sports, ESPN posted an article last Friday on the alleged circumstances behind the New England Patriots’ trade of Jimmy Garoppolo, now known to Bay Area fans as the return of Joe Montana, to the San Francisco 49ers last October. The article suggests that the trade, which happened suddenly . . . → Read More: Jimmy G, Melodrama in New England, and the Beginning of the End of an NFL Dynasty, by Chuck Strom

An Off-Night For LeBron James and The Cavs in Sacramento, by Chuck Strom

LeBron James, like his predecessors Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, is a star whose appearance in any city draws fans to an NBA arena like pilgrims to Mecca, and like the latter, he is a sight to behold in person at least once in your life. Accordingly, there were a lot of . . . → Read More: An Off-Night For LeBron James and The Cavs in Sacramento, by Chuck Strom

The NFL’s Best Defense: No Problem for Jimmy G, by Chuck Strom

In the buildup to last Sunday’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Jacksonville Jaguars, even the most gushing admirers of rookie 49er quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo anticipated a rough time. The Jaguars had allowed the fewest points and passing yards of any team in the NFL, and their defensive line, nicknamed “Sacksonville,” was . . . → Read More: The NFL’s Best Defense: No Problem for Jimmy G, by Chuck Strom

Life in the NBA Cellar: Kings vs. Clippers, by Chuck Strom

Hield, Clipper defenders

The Golden 1 Arena is still a gorgeous building, but unfortunately for Sacramento’s NBA fans, the Kings are still the Kings, and last night they lost in mostly the same way they did on the two occasions I saw them last year. They built a lead in the first half, coughed . . . → Read More: Life in the NBA Cellar: Kings vs. Clippers, by Chuck Strom

Wordstock: Portland’s Cornucopia For Literary Fans, by Chuck Strom

Nehisi Coates

​For those who love seeing their literary heroes in the flesh and obtaining their signatures on the title pages of newly purchased books, Wordstock is a paradise rivaling any other such event in these United States. This year’s festival took place the Saturday before last over a three-block area of downtown Portland, . . . → Read More: Wordstock: Portland’s Cornucopia For Literary Fans, by Chuck Strom

The Blazers Are Back, But With Or Without Nurkic? by Chuck Strom

For those of you who didn’t follow the Portland Trail Blazers last season, their biggest story was their February trade for Jusuf Nurkic, the Bosnian Beast and the West Coast’s answer to New York Knick sensation Kristaps Porzingis. With his shooting and rebounding, Nurkic turned around the Blazers’ season, helping them to an 18-8 . . . → Read More: The Blazers Are Back, But With Or Without Nurkic? by Chuck Strom

Home of Peanuts Creator Charles Schulz Lost to Wildfires, by Chuck Strom

This last week, I happened to remember that Peanuts creator Charles Schulz lived in Santa Rosa, CA, so I did a quick search to check on the fate of his home and museum. The museum, with the bulk of Schulz’s original artwork and memorabilia, is intact, but his home was totally destroyed with his . . . → Read More: Home of Peanuts Creator Charles Schulz Lost to Wildfires, by Chuck Strom

The West Is Burning, by Chuck Strom

Photos posted today in The Atlantic of wildfires in the West. Portland residents may be particularly interested in those of the Eagle Creek fire along the Columbia River. The first two, taken from the Washington side of the river across from Cascade Locks, are quite dramatic.

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2017/09/wildfires-rage-across-the-american-west/538977/

– Chuck Strom

106 Degrees in San Francisco, CA, by Chuck Strom

The title is not a misprint. When I arrived in San Francisco to see the Giants on Friday, the temperature was 102 degrees. The high had been 106, smashing all previous records and reversing the normal weather pattern of cooling temperatures on the Bay inversely proportional to the summer heat of the Central . . . → Read More: 106 Degrees in San Francisco, CA, by Chuck Strom

Hurricane Harvey and Its Aftermath, by Chuck Strom

The Atlantic’s photo section just posted these pics of the damage from Hurricane Harvey on the Texas Gulf Coast:

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2017/08/photos-the-aftermath-of-hurricane-harvey/538143/

Reported casualties were minimal after the first day, but it’s usually in the days and weeks following that we get a true indication of the scale of the disaster. In this case, the critical . . . → Read More: Hurricane Harvey and Its Aftermath, by Chuck Strom

Images Of Charlottesville From A More Peaceful Time, by Chuck Strom

In July 2014, I had the privilege of visiting Charlottesville, VA to see Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and the University of Virginia. I remember the visit fondly, but now my memory has to take into account the events of this past weekend. I attach these photos to remind myself that, in more peaceful times, it . . . → Read More: Images Of Charlottesville From A More Peaceful Time, by Chuck Strom

Up Close and Personal: A View of the Oakland A’s from Behind The Plate, by Chuck Strom

Last Thursday evening, courtesy of a generous friend in the right place, I had the privilege of seeing the Oakland A’s three rows up from home plate. I’ve had some good seats in the past, but nothing nearly as up close and personal with major league ball players as this. The seats, in . . . → Read More: Up Close and Personal: A View of the Oakland A’s from Behind The Plate, by Chuck Strom

There’s No Rule That Says That A Miserable Situation Has To End, by Chuck Strom

Great Politico podcast on the current catastrophe in Venezuela, which has flown under the radar a bit with all of the other international noise going on. You know things are bad when, as a journalist, you get picked up by the secret police and regard the situation with relief.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/07/democracy-die-venezuela-implosion-hannah-dreier-215467

– Chuck . . . → Read More: There’s No Rule That Says That A Miserable Situation Has To End, by Chuck Strom