little blue dog

don't trvst anyone

Met a guy today with a Peace dollar to sell. Usually I don't arrange meetings for just one coin, but this one was a date I've been looking for awhile. We met at the McDonalds near my house, younger guy, shaved head, heavyset. He described how he was selling the coins in his late father's deposit box because he needed some cash, and that he'd found this "error coin" and was excited about selling it. He brought it out, I looked at it for a minute.

"What's the error?" I asked.

"Right there, man. There's a V in the word TRUST where the U should be."

I paused a minute. "Well ... I don't think that's an error. This series, this design, they're actually all like that."

He winced and cocked his head, decided that he didn't believe me, and explained that two coin shops had already appraised his error coin at over two hundred, picked his stuff up and left.

Here's what a Peace dollar (actually, every Peace dollar) looks like:

little blue dog

adventures in craigslisting

I've returned to coin collecting after a hiatus of several years. One way I find coins is by perusing local CL ads. For some reason the weird factor I encounter, either communicating with CL sellers, or meeting/transacting with them, or both, is higher than other purchase routes (coin shops, eBay, etc.). I thought I'd start writing down some of the sillier experiences.

Last week I replied to an ad listing about a dozen silver coins, and via email negotiated the seller down to a price range depending on actual condition. Setting up a location and time to meet, he suggested

"We can meet in the Fred Meyer parking lot in tualatin in the very back on the side with the cans and bottles I will just be standing there outside my car I will be in the very back."

OK, I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to people I don't know, but if your idea of a good place to meet a total stranger for a legit transaction is the very back of a grocery store parking lot, next to the dumpsters and with your getaway vehicle close by, I think I'll pass.

However, the "just standing there outside my car" did make me think of

Called it off, and lived to collect another day.
little blue dog

restaurant reviews, 2012

Giving this concept another try. This post will (hopefully) be updated with new reviews throughout the year. This is mainly for my personal reference, since I love going out to eat but am notoriously forgetful as to where I've been or what I thought about it.

Grüner (Jan. 6):

Having heard great things about this place for the last year or so, including a Best New Restaurant nod from PFD, I was eager to visit, and got a chance last night for a friend's birthday gathering. The place was lively and merrily loud at 8:30, but we sat immediately -- I like that this place takes reservations, a comparatively rare feature for popular spots in Portland. The menu is "Alpine," not that it makes much difference to an omnivorous palate like mine, and everything I tried was tasty. I won "best looking dinner" among our foursome, having opted for the choucroute garnie, a selection of really well-flavored sausage and other tasty bits of pork smothered in a small mountain of fresh sauerkraut, accompanied with by a little cup of awesome-tasting mustard. A couple forkfuls of the spaetzle off Nic's plate made me feel like I was at my German grandmother's house (even though I haven't got a German grandmother).

Service was super friendly and very attentive, but oddly forgetful (a dropped fork wasn't replaced, despite assurances, until several minutes after the entrees were set down, a request for checking a type of liquor was never heeded, etc.). And despite the good flavors, I and my tablemates couldn't shake the irritating feeling that this place smirkingly knew it was "all that." I dunno. It wasn't any attitude on the part of other diners there, who all seemed to be having a great time. Just little cues. My whiskey sour was served up, with some kind of foamy top layer upon which was adorned three delicate syrup hearts. An artistic touch, I guess, but ... why? One of the servers randomly slipped into and out of a European accent. The bill was delivered, bookmark-like, in a hardbound edition of Brecht essays, in German (were we supposed to read it? had anyone working here read it?).

All in all, I could certainly see what some of the fuss is about, but I won't be rushing back here. B-
little blue dog

two words:


Prayer for costs and disbursements: granted.
Prayer for enhanced prevailing party fee: granted (smaller award than I thought just, but ain't complainin').
Prayer for attorney fees: withheld.

Bit of a question mark with that last point. Judge was prepared to deny my request for attorney fees, but after I argued a bit, agreed to take another look and re-think.

Deal is, Plaintiff sued for breach of contract under ORS 20.082, which provides for "reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party on any claim based on contract." I managed to get the case dismissed before the validity of the contract claim was adjudicated. As such, the judge's interpretation of this statute predicates recovery of attorney fees upon considering the contract claim.

I think this is a fair interpretation, but ultimately not the correct one. I had found some Oregon Supreme Court precedent saying so, but unfortunately it wasn't clear in those cases what statute was being considered ... so I need to do a bit more research. The reason for this is to assess the possibility that she'll come back and deliver a judgment granting or denying my attorney fees, because in the interim, I would like to settle with the plaintiff and have this OVER.

Meantime: yee-haw.
little blue dog

never gonna give you candy

So, a friend of mine is talking about dressing up as Rick Astley for Halloween this year. I'm not sure why.

I suggested that the best way to make a Rick Astley Halloween costume work is to tell everyone else who's planning to attend the same party you are that you're going to be something else, then show up as Rick Astley.
little blue dog

lawsuit, cont'd, again

Prior posts on this topic:
  • June 22: I was sued by my former landscaping service because I withheld payment for shoddy work and instead tried to negotiate a commensurate fee. This plan was not successful.
  • Aug. 25: I filed a motion to dismiss on the theory that the case should have been filed in small claims, and that the complaint included an inaccurate amount.
  • Sept. 14: My motion to dismiss was granted, and the case was dismissed.
In civil cases, when you prevail in court, you typically get to recover costs and disbursements (court fees and incidental costs related to the litigation). In some cases you can also recover attorney fees.

As part of the costs and disbursements, Oregon law provides that you can recover a prevailing party fee. This fee is set by statute according to what kind of case it was. In addition to this amount, the court has discretion to award an "enhanced" prevailing party fee of up to $5,000, upon considering a bunch of factors (such as how the parties conducted themselves, whether they pursued settlement, etc.).

Yesterday I filed a motion that addresses each of these factor in turn, and argues that an enhanced prevailing party is justified in this case. I pointed out what I felt were examples of poor/improper conduct on the plaintiff's side, and also explained that although I did have the advice of an attorney, I did a lot of work myself, including drafting all of the court filings.

We'll see how this goes. A hearing on this motion is set a couple weeks from now, and in the interim I expect that the plaintiff is going to file a responsive pleading addressing my arguments and alleging a bunch of misconduct on my part.