Portland Pub Crawl

My niece Meaghan and her husband Nick are in town for the weekend, up from Monterey CA where they are both attending the Defense Language Institute for a series of intense Russian language courses. We had intended to spend a few days out at the coast but decided instead to hang around Portland and explore the city with them. We were at a bit of a loss as to what to do on Friday (anything but shopping, right?) when Julie saw a timely Oregonian article on pub crawling in Portland with nod to bar games that even Jacob and Matthew might be able to play. What better way to give some guests a feel for Portland?

We started a Blitz Ladd in SE, a great sports bar that made me wish we had something similar out in the burbs in Sherwood. Unfortunately the shuffleboard is off-limits to minors but that didn’t stop the adults from playing while Jacob and Matthew looked on. Make sure you order the tatchos (tater tot nachos) if you go there. The scottish ale was nice too.


Next up was the Green Dragon, a bar I’d heard about many times and was happy to finally visit. The shuffleboard table is in the main area so playable by the kids, but unfortunately it was in use the whole time. Fortunately there were three pinball machines and a copy of Apples to Apples to rescue us. The Abbot Ale on nitro tap was superb, and Meaghan’s hefe was quite tasty as well.



We had the East Burn tap room on the itinerary next, but unfortunately only the restaurant portion was open with very little excitement at hand. Matthew did wish we could spend some time sitting in the hanging wicker chairs. Maybe a future trip is in store.


It was time to cater to the kids (young and old) and stay away from the beer for a bit, so we wandered over to Ground Kontrol across the river. This is a classic game arcade where you can actually play games with a single quarter and relive teen years spent playing Tron, Galaga, and Ms. Pac Man.


We had a blast there and burned through many quarters. I can only imagine what it is like there after 5pm when they start serving alcohol.


Our final stop of the day was at the Lucky Labrador Beer Hall in NW. Here we had some breadsticks and pizza, enjoyed some fine brews, and played a tense 3-on-3 game of cricket. The bar was surprisingly quiet for a Friday evening, I suspect because folks were out shopping or recovering from shopping. This made it even easier and more enjoyable for a family of six to camp out and play.


Professional Update

I’ve been busy lately.

WebMD Health Services Group, Inc.

About one month ago I joined WebMD Health Services as their new VP of Technology. I’m responsible for product development, customer integration, and hosting operations for the private portal business for employers, health plans, and providers. I have an amazing team to work with and great support from the executive management team. We are running fast with no signs of slowing down soon, so there may be limited posting here for a while. Football season is wrapping up today (check out my latest post over on A Football Coach in Sherwood) so hopefully some evenings and weekends will start opening up again for periodic gaming.

Down 6 Players, Heavy Rains Expected

Today we play a tough Liberty team at Sherwood High School at 5pm. It has been raining hard all day and we are down to just 19 players due to illness that is running rampant around here, mostly swine flu. Rather than wring our hands and fret, we are looking at this as opportunity to focus on the basics and establish a strong inside running game. We’ve added a few more plays that give us more looks with our running backs running between the tackles. Teams that are scouting us are probably looking at a lot of narrow sweep action (our wing-T offense rarely runs wide sweeps). We feel that we’ve got the offensive line to get some strong push up the middle and we’ll see if this pans out today.

Days like this also give a lot of opportunities to the players playing to get more carries, more tackles, and to experience new positions. I just hope those on the field have a safe game and stay injury-free, for their sake and the team’s.