FLIPPER PHONE: Jonesing for time-killing distractions in an unfamiliar Portland neighborhood? The Portland Pinball Map—available free at portlandpinballmap.com—is now an iPhone app. Created by Portland Pinball’s Ryan Gratzer (his day job is program administration for PSU’s Center for Transportation Studies) and computer programmer Scott Wainstock with iPhone app developer Isaac Ruiz, the new gizmo is a pretty elaborate resource, listing more than 340 machines at over 170 locations, with updates plugged in on a regular basis. The fact you can open a map that shows how many blocks you’d have to walk to get to the nearest machine is worth 99 cents. Long live pinball!
LOCAL HEROES:Ooligan Press, Portland State University’s student-run publishing house, scored a coup this week for its annual Write to Publish Conference. Both of Portland’s big-name novelists—Chuck Palahniuk and Ursula K. Le Guin—will read on the second day of the event, May 22-23. IMAGE: Shawn Grant
CLOG USA: It’s already been reported that Potato Champion—everyone’s favorite late-night Southeast Hawthorne Belgian frites cart—has expanded its hours. You can now order poutine in the afternoon or devour fries for a hangover brunch (it’s open from noon to 3 am Tuesday through Sunday). But Scoop’s uncovered even more exciting news: The cart is now serving chili cheese fries.
BELL BOY: Shins frontman James Mercer will be busy at this year’s SXSW festival, but not with his Portland-based band. Instead the festival will host one of the first shows for Broken Bells, his duo with superproducer Danger Mouse. At Broken Bells’ debut gig last month in a small Los Angeles club, the band played originals from its just-released debut, as well as an atmospheric cover of Tommy James & the Shondells’ “Crimson and Clover.” The pair will likely have a six-piece band when they play the SXSW music festival’s opening night next Wednesday. That’s not all Mercer is up to in Austin—the new film in which he stars, local director Matt McCormick’s Some Days Are Better Than Others, premieres at SXSW as well.
CRAIGSLIST JOB POSTING OF THE WEEK: Think there aren’t any jobs in Portland? Oh, there are jobs in Portland—the offers are just getting more specific, more demanding and weirder. Take, for example, this Feb. 24 Craigslist posting by the Bread and Ink Cafe (3601 SE Hawthorne Blvd.) seeking a “Weekend Egg Person.” The cafe requests a Saturday and Sunday breakfast line cook who “must be capable of working as a team member on a very busy line that is non-stop.” Then there’s this kicker: “You must be able to cook eggs perfectly.” We don’t know what constitutes a perfect egg, but if you do, reply with a résumé—no attachments, please—to email@example.com.