shoes

Putting Paint To Shoes

////

Art is collaboration between an artist and his subject. In a city like Eugene, weighed down with a heavy brand presence, one student is leveraging that commercial environment to show off his original artistry.

Manny Medina is a senior at University of Oregon, majoring in Applied Economics and Business Marketing, with a minor in Art. He started working for Nike four years ago and quickly discovered a passion for not only the brand, but shoes in general. After a few years of collecting rare shoes and working toward a career with the company, he developed an idea to turn his passion into art.

“I was tired of seeing the same thing on everyone’s feet, so I decided I wanted to create unique shoes,” said Medina. “Nike has countless models and material designs for people to choose from. I simply put paint to shoes, based on an idea or concept all my own, to make something one of a kind.”

Manny-2

Not many people would pursue a career out of a hobby, but Medina has chosen to focus his love for designing and painting custom kicks into a potential future — in either color design or conceptual design for a large shoe market or brand. Medina has also constructed a brand name in the custom shoe world: “It’s the Manster.” Part of building that brand comes with using online platforms through various social media accounts, sharing his newest footwear creations. Medina knows using social media can mean dealing with negativity.

“There are definitely some tough critics out there in not only the art world, but also in the shoe world,” He said. “One of the first shoes I posted, a commenter told me, ‘The shoes looked terrible, but the painting technique looked like you know what you’re doing.’ All I can do is take each comment – good or bad — at face value, and continue developing my own methods and practices, and do what works for me.”

With the negative reviews also come the positive. A constant flow of encouraging, and new ideas from consumers on potential shoes they would like Medina to pursue. This business is a prime example of the fast growing retail industry of one-of-a-kind and customized designs. It is opening up the shoe world to countless ideas and concepts. This fast-growing trend allows consumers to request specific designs, brands, and logos on any shoe available.

Manny-1

“When I begin a new shoe concept or idea, I begin by developing a color scheme and associate that with an icon or idea, and then pick the shoe silhouette based on what will fit my design best,” said Medina. “My favorite shoes I’ve done were Ghostbusters inspired that I painted on a pair of Jordan 5’s. I used a glow in the dark paint on the bottom strip of the shoe.”

The unique nature of custom shoes and the raw talent Medina has, gives him the ability to create new ideas and invent concepts completely unique in footwear. It has only been one year since he released his first custom pair. Since then, Medina has developed his own signature design so that each shoe is unique, and a fresh idea all his own, which will surely have an impact on his success.

Wine Down Eugene

//

Wine Down Eugene August 1-7

Is it really already August? It feels like summer just began, but when I went shopping for sandals today, I could only find shelves of boots alongside what’s left of the sandals on the clearance racks – a sure sign summer is nearing its end.

Speaking of shoes, I wonder if anyone else in Eugene has noticed the abundance of gravely tacky and ugly shoes that are crowding the shelves of all the shoe stores. Either there’s a large population of Eugene street walkers that I’m totally unaware of, or my style is sincerely and thankfully out of touch with the trends of today. Most women’s shoes I saw today either had a six inch stiletto heel that could seriously kill someone (either by tripping and breaking their own necks or using the shoes as weapons), or they were lathered in sparkles and rhinestones with purple and hot pink stripes. Or worse, the shoes were a combination of all the above. Is there anyone in Eugene that actually wears six inch heels? Everyone in the shoe shops that I visited today were either in flip flops or sneakers. So, who, I wonder, is buying the sparkly-pink-six-inch heeled weapons that are overcrowding the shoe racks of Eugene?

Focus. There are many exciting events going on in and around Eugene this coming weekend, and I’m really looking forward to wearing my flat footed flip flops to all of them. On Friday evening, I’ll be dancing to the blues, without tripping or breaking my neck, at the Willamette Valley Blues and Brews Festival at Island Park in Springfield. Incredible live blues bands, local breweries and wineries, and craft and food vendors will be taking over the park, and it’s going to be a whole lot of fun.

On Saturday, I’m going to meet up with the other two Local Lunch Gals at the new Ox & Fin restaurant, which is where Osteria Sfizio used to be in Oakway Center. The new menu looks excellent with lots of salad, seafood and steak options, and I’m hoping they’ll be featuring some of our excellent local wines to pair with their delectable-looking dishes. The Local Lunch Gals will let you know about our experience at Ox and Fin, and because none of us gals wears six inch stiletto shoes, Ox and Fin won’t need to worry about one of us twisting our ankles while entering their restaurant.

On Sunday, I’ll be spending half the day at Domaine Meriwether checking out some classic cars during their Wine and Shine Classic Car Show. Of course, I’ll be eyeing these cars while enjoying a glass of Meriwether’s sparkling wine. The other half of the day will be spent at LaVelle Vineyards, where I’ll be enjoying some Pinot Noir as I check out the cars of LaVelle’s annual European Classic and Modern Sports Car Show.

With as much walking, and dancing, I’m going to be doing this weekend, I sure am glad I purchased some comfortable, neutral-colored and non-sparkly flip flops and sandals in the Spring; had I not, I would have been out of luck today while shopping in Eugene.


Wine Bars, Shops and Restaurants

Wineries without Walls (wine shop & tasting room): Sat. 4-6 pm, wine tasting with Fractal Cellars. This wine shop and tasting room showcases local wines and is located inside the Fern Ridge Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center in Veneta. 24949 Hwy. 126, Veneta.

2012 Willamette Valley Blues and Brews Festival: Fri. gates open at 4:30 pm; Sat. gates open at 1 pm. Live Blues both days, 14 awesome breweries, wine vendors, arts and crafts vendors. Visit http://wvbbf.org/ for details. Island Park, Springfield.

Heidi Tunnell Catering Company: Tue. Bakery 10 am- 6 pm, lunch from 11 am – 2 pm and dinner from 4-7 pm. The wood fired oven is back and wood fired pizza is available for Tuesday dinner; Thur. 6 pm, Thursday Night Dinner – This Thursday is Provencal Style Roasted Lamb Shoulder. Doors open at 6pm with appetizers, excellent selection of beer and wine available for purchase. Read about these great family-style dinners on WineJulia.com. For reservations call 541-895-5885; Sat. 6 pm HTCC Barn Dinner with Domaine Meriwether – Sold Out.182 South Second St., Creswell.

Territorial Vineyards and Wine Co.: Thu. 5-11 pm, music starts around 7 pm with Tim McLaughlin’s Revolving Trio; Fri. 5-11 pm, music starts around 7 pm with Strange Charm; August Art: Shanna Trumbley. 907 West Third Ave., Eugene.

LaVelle Tasting Room at 5th Street Market: Mon. – Sat. 11 am -9 pm, Sun. 11 am – 6 pm; Thurs. live music with Gus Russell, Paul Biondi and friends; Fri. 6-8 pm, live music with Marty Chilla; Sat. 6-8 pm, live music with Michael Conley. 296 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.

Falling Sky Brewing: Hours of operation: Sun.-Wed. 11 am – midnight and Thur.–Sat. 11-1 am. Excellent selection of handcrafted brews and local barrel to tap wines. Check out the Local Lunch Gals review of Falling Sky here. 1334 Oak Alley, Eugene.

Ninkasi Brewing: Wed. 6-9 pm, Chords for a Cause – help raise money for the Jill Heiman vision fund. Live music with Blue Lotus. 272 Van Buren St., Eugene.

Marché Provisions: Fri. 5-7 pm, Free weekly wine tasting. 296 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.

Broadway Wine Merchants: Fri. 5-7 pm, Free Friday Wine Tasting; First Tuesday of each month – Cheese & Wine Tasting, $20 per person, call for reservations 541-685-0790. Read about their wine and cheese events here. 17 Oakway Center, Eugene.

The Wine Place (Yachats):  Fri. 4-7 pm Beer Tasting with Maui Brewing; Sat.1-4 pm Wine tasting with Amity Vineyards. 373 N. Hwy. 101, Yachats.

Long’s Meat Market: Fri. 4-6 pm, free wine tasting with some cheese from their deli; Sat. 11 am – 3 pm, weekly Saturday parking lot BBQ of hot dogs, hamburgers, 1/2 chickens and brats- craft beers and Oregon wines available in the deli. 81 East 28th Ave., Eugene.

Authentica Wines: Tue. – Fri. 11 am – 6 pm, and Sat. 10 am – 5 pm. Wine tasting available every Saturday at the Wine Bar, and on the first Friday of each month during the Art Walk. With a focus on artisan, small production wines for every budget, you’re bound to find something you love at this wine shop. 766 W. Park St., Eugene.

Sundance Wine Cellars: Fri. 5-7 pm Mario’s Frugal Friday free wine tasting; Sat. 5-7 pm, wine tasting. 2441 Hilyard St., Eugene.

16Tons (Supreme Bean): Wed. 7-10 pm, Trivia Night; Thu. 5-7 pm free wine tasting and 50 percent off wine by the glass and 9 pm, Movie Night featuring The Big Lebowski; Every Fri. 6 pm, free live music; Every Sun. and Mon. 4-10 pm deals on growler and mason jar fills. 2864 Willamette St. & 265 E. 13th Ave., Eugene.

16Tons (Taphouse): Hours of Operation: Sun.-Wed. 3-10 pm, Thu.-Sat. 3 pm – 12 am. Great selection of beer and wine. 265 East 13th Ave., Eugene.

Red Agave: Excellent wine list, including Oregon’s finest from King Estate, Territorial, Evesham Wood and Cristom, to name just a few. 454 Willamette St., Eugene.

Koho Bistro: Wed. Wine Wednesdays – 25 percent off bottles of wine – excellent wine list with local wines from Territorial, J.Scott, Kandarian, Meriwether and Silvan Ridge to name a few; Happy Hour daily from 5 – 6:30 pm $1 off beers on tap, well drinks and wine. Read the Local Lunch Gals review. 2101 Bailey Hill Rd, Suite L, Eugene.

Le Bar at Marché: Seven days a week from 3-5 pm and 10 pm – 12 am – Happy Hour deals on cocktails, wine, beer and snacks. 296 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.

The Vintage: Great wine list with local and international wines, their house red is Wine By Joe Pinot Noir. Read the Local Lunch Gals review of The Vintage here. 837 Lincoln St., Eugene.

Sam Bond’s Garage: Opens at 4 pm. Live music, full bar featuring local wine and beer-in the heart of the Whitaker Neighborhood. 407 Blair Blvd., Eugene.

Papa’s Soul Food: Tue. – Fri. Noon-2 pm and 5-10 pm. Sat. 2-10 pm. Great southern soul food and Blues joint with local wine from Territorial Vineyards & Wine Company and beer from local breweries. Read the Local Lunch Gals review here. 400 Blair Blvd., Eugene.

Creswell Coffee Company: Fri. 7 pm, live music with Dylan James; Sat. 7 pm, live music with Jazz Du Jour. Nice wine selection and occasional wine tastings. 116 Melton Rd., Creswell.

Sabai Café and Bar: Wines by the glass, $6 and under; excellent local wines from Territorial, King Estate, Capitello and Benton-Lane; check out a review by the Local Lunch Gals by clicking here. 27 Oakway Center, Eugene.

Belly: Select and affordable wine list. 30 E. Broadway., Eugene.

B2 Wine Bar: Happy hour Mon.-Fri., 4-6 pm, and 9-10 pm. Ask about Eugene Wine Cellars new Red Blend. Loads of Northwest wines offered here. 2794 Shadow Dr., Eugene.

Excelsior Inn & Ristorante Italiano: Fri. and Sat. 7-9:30 pm, live music, no cover; Mon.-Thu. 3-6 pm, Happy Hour. Extensive local wine list. Read the Local Lunch Gals review.754 East Thirteenth Ave., Eugene.

Café 440: Wed. all day, Wednesday Wine Flights, taste three whites or reds for $10.50; Mon. – Sat. 3-6 pm Happy Hour specials. For the Local Lunch Gals review, click here. 440 Coburg Rd., Eugene.

The Side Bar: Wed. Ladies Night, $1 off any glass of wine and $5 off a bottle of wine, great Oregon wine selection. 1680 Coburg Rd., Eugene

Ring of Fire Restaurant: Mon. 5 pm Wine Night Mondays-35 percent off all bottles of wine; Daily Happy Hour 4-6 pm. 1099 Chambers St., Eugene.

Soriah Cafe: Wed. 5 pm, *last Wednesday of the month only* Celebrate Wine Wednesday. Half off bottles of wine, including local notable names such as BrickHouse, Capitello, King Estate and Broadley. 384 W. 13th Ave., Eugene.

Steelhead Brewery: Sun. – Sat. 11:30 am – 11 pm, open later on Fri. and Sat., In addition to their own wine, Steelhead Red, you’ll find almost 20 wines by the glass, including 5H, Hinman, Erath and King Estate. 199 East 5th Ave., Eugene.

Mac’s at the Vets Club: Wed. 6-9 pm, Wine, Jazz & Variety Show with Gus Russell & Paul Biondi. A different Oregon winery is featured each week. $8 Burger and Brew night, too. 1626 Willamette St., Eugene.

Cork and Bottle Shoppe: Fri. 4 pm, free weekly wine or beer tasting. The Cork & Bottle Shoppe is one of Oregon’s only liquor stores that carries a large selection of local and international wine and craft beer, in addition to liquor. 812 Beltline Rd., Springfield.

Café Zenon: Tues., Fifty percent off bottles of wine; Mon-Fri. 5-6:30 pm, $1 off glasses of wine and pints of beer. Find King Estates’ Domaine Pinot Gris and Capitello’s Sauvignon Blanc here at half off on Tuesdays. 898 Pearl St., Eugene.

Izumi Sushi and Grill: Izumi has great sushi and they offer local wine and beer from Hinman, King Estate, Ninkasi and Oakshire. 2773 Shadow View Dr., Eugene.

Sam’s Place Tavern: Sports bar with a wine list featuring excellent Oregon wine at great glass pour prices – Henry Estate, 5H, Eola Hills and King Estate. 825 Wilson St., Eugene.

Cornucopia Maize Lounge: CLOSED (Out of Business) 73 E. 13th Ave., Eugene.

Agate Alley Laboratory: Sat. 10 pm, Late Night at The Lab with $1 off glass pour wine, $3 well drinks and pints, $9.50 pitchers & appetizer special. Twenty-five varieties of wine for $25 dollars in addition to extensive wines list. 2645 Willamette St., Eugene.

Kiva Grocery: Wine department focuses on affordable Northwest wines, small European wines and organic wines. Ten percent off mixed cases, 15 percent off unbroken cases. 125 W. 11th, Eugene.

Café Lucky Noodle: Tue. 5:30-7:30 pm Wine Night – all bottles 35 percent off; complimentary wine tasting in the lobby; excellent wine list. 207 East 5th Ave., Eugene.

Granary Wine Bar:Wed. 5 pm, $5 glass pours of house white or red. Nice selection of Oregon wine here. 259 E. 5th Ave., Eugene.


Wineries & Vineyards

LaVelle Vineyards (winery in Elmira): Fri. 5-9 pm, Friday Night Flights- Free three wine flight, live music with Michael Conley and food available for purchase from a local food cart; Sun. 12-5 pm, European Classic & Modern Sports Car Show, live music with Jake the Cat and food available for purchase from Hole in the Wall BBQ; Visit the winery daily, Mon.-Thu. 12-5 pm, and Sat./Sun. 12-6 pm. 89697 Sheffler Rd., Elmira.

Domaine Meriwether: Fri. 5 pm, Pre-Mo Charities Benefit and Concert featuring The Valley Boys. Free admission, all ages welcome, bring a chair or blanket; Sun. 11 am – 6 pm, Wine & Shine Classic Car show with live music by Coupe DeVille. 88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta.

Sarver Winery: Fri. 6-9 pm, live music featuring the Mark Ross Duo; Open daily 12-6 pm except Fri 12-9 pm; Gourmet pizza and live music on the first three Fridays of each month, Steak and Sarver Caesar Dinners on the last Friday of each month-call for reservations 541-935-2979. 2600 Mayola Ln., Eugene.

Pfeiffer Winery: Fri./Sat. Fondue Nights~Cheese and chocolate fondue with fixings; Daisy’s Food Cart offering great menu items on Fri. Sat. and Sun.! Open Mon.-Thu. 11 am – 5 pm and Fri./Sat. 11 am – 9 pm. 25040 Jaeg Rd., Junction City.

Silvan Ridge Winery: Fri. 12-9 pm, live music starting at 6 pm with Jones and Goodbar. Wood-fired pizza and wine; Open Sat.- Thur. 12-5 pm, Fri. 12- 9 pm. Complimentary taste of five wines in addition to several limited wines that may be tasted for a fee. 27012 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Sweet Cheeks: Fri. 6-9 pm, Twilight Tasting, sample pairings of Sweet Cheeks wine with Oregon-made artisan cheeses while listening to live music from 6:30-830 pm with Jeremy Pruitt. Featured Food Cart: Delacata; Sun. 12-6 pm, Mimosa Sundays, fine sparkling wine and live music from 2-4 pm with Michael Conley. 27007 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Brigadoon Wine Co.: Fri. – Sun. 12-5 pm wine tasting in their tasting room. 25166 Ferguson Rd., Junction City.

Saginaw Vineyard: Fri. 6-9 pm, Friday Night LIVE featuring The Huckleberry’s. Minors under 21 are permitted to Friday Night LIVE Memorial Weekend through September as long as it’s not raining. If it’s raining, Friday Night LIVE is held indoors and minors are not permitted; Open daily, 11 am – 5pm. Sample their traditional style wines in their tasting room located in the original building of a 1905 farmstead. They also specialize in farm fresh fruit wines. 80247 Delight Valley School Rd., Cottage Grove. For more information, please visit the Saginaw Vineyard EVENTS page on their website.” (http://www.saginawvineyard.com/Events.htm)

Benton-Lane: Open Daily Noon to 5pm; For a relaxed one hour wine tasting with the owner in a special wine room overlooking the vineyards, call the winery for details 541-847-5792. 23924 Territorial Hwy., Monroe.

Capitello Wines: Another local winery without walls, so keep an eye out on Capitello’s Facebook page for upcoming events and tastings.

Spencer Creek Cellars/McBeth Vineyards: Wine Tastings in the Barn by appointment only. 541-521-4381. 85162 McBeth Rd., Eugene.

King Estate: Open daily 11 am – 8 pm. Sample some of Oregon’s finest wine, dine on gourmet cuisine, and enjoy a valley view that’s unmatched. 80854 Territorial Hwy., Eugene.

Chateau Lorane: Open daily, 12-5 pm. Stop by and taste some of their multiple award winners: Melon De Bourgogne, Petit Verdot, Viognier, Asian Girl Merlot, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc and their double award-winning Red Bordeaux blend, Entourage. 27415 Siuslaw River Rd., Lorane.

J. Scott Cellars: Tasting room located in The Wine Place in Yachats. Be sure to stop by and taste these excellent small boutique handmade Rhone varietals from the Pacific Northwest. Specializing in Roussanne, Viognier, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Cabernet…and a little Pinot Noir. 373 North Hwy. 101, Yachats.

Patchwork Cellars: Sat. 4-6 pm, sample Patchwork wines at the Fern Ridge Chamber of Commerce’s Wineries without Walls. 24949 Hwy. 126, Veneta.

Abbelone Vineyards: Another fabulous winery without walls; check back frequently to find out where you can sample their delicious Pinot Noir.

Stanton Vineyards: Another local winery without walls, look for Stanton wines at Sundance, Market of Choice, Wineries without Walls in the Fern Ridge Chamber of Commerce & Authentica, and in restaurants Marché and Eugene Country Club.

Kandarian Wine Cellars: A winery without walls – check back often for tasting locations.

Noble Estate: Open 7 days/week, 12-5 pm. Tasting room with beautiful patio and gorgeous view,. 29210 Gimpl Hill Rd., Eugene.

Oakdale Cellars: A local winery without walls. Oakdale Pinot Noir is a glass pour at LeBar at Marche’. Check back often for tasting and event information.

Briggs Hill Winery: A winery without walls. Check back frequently to see where and when they will be offering samples of their wine.

Iris Vineyards:  Mn-Fri. 11 am – 4 pm. Starting June 16, the tasting room will be open on Saturdays from 11 am – 4 pm. 195 Palmer Ave., Cottage Grove.

Dylan’s Run: Another winery without walls. Keep an eye out for tastings at various locations.

Fractal Cellars: A winery without walls that pours samples at certain events around town. Check back often for dates and locations of tastings.


Save the Date or Reserve Now:

Heidi Tunnell Catering Co: Thursday night dinners in their on-site event center. 6:30pm, doors open at 6pm. Extensive wine list by local, handcrafted Oregon winemakers and local beers as well. 182 South Second St., Creswell.

Domaine Meriwether: Aug. 9, 6-9 pm. CASA Benefit – BBQ, wine and music. Purchase tickets at www,casa-lane.org. 88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta.

Benton-Lane: Aug. 10, 6:30 pm. Wine dinner at Lewis & Clark in Eugene. Call the winery for details 541-847-5792. 23924 Territorial Hwy., Monroe.

B2 Wine Bar/Crescent Village: Aug. 10, 8:20 pm Casablanca; Aug 24, 8 pm Hook.

Sweet Cheeks: Aug. 16, Jewels of the Vine – a fundraiser to support Lane Community College’s Women in Trasition Scholarship. Finger foods, chocolates, wine tasting and other indulgences provided by local businesses. $20 admission. 27007 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Silvan Ridge Winery: Aug. 18, 2nd Annual Twilight 5K. 5K run, outdoor concert, food, wine and beer. 27012 Briggs Hill Rd., Eugene.

Sarver Winery: Sep. 17, 6 pm. Second Annual Lowland Cajun Boil featuring the VooDoo Mountain Zydeco Band. Call to reserve your spot with a credit card – $20 dollars per person. 541-935-2979. 2600 Mayola Ln., Eugene.

Where Did the Week Go…

////

— Ryan Beltram, EDN

With the calendar officially turning to December, we can all get into Christmas mode. One of the things that gets me in the spirit of Christmas is the lights. There’s nothing better than seeing a house decked out in holiday lighting both on the lawn and the house and it’s even better seeing a row of houses lit up so well, the street they’re on could be used as an emergency runway.

But as much as I love people who fully commit to decorating their houses, I equally dislike people who put up one string of lights along the garage and decide–that’s enough, I’ve done my part. We’ve all seen these houses: Bulbs burnt out, drooping lights, sections that blink while others don’t. I also love the person who puts the one strand of lights on a completely random part of the house.

So if you decide to be festive and put up lights this year, go all in or don’t try at all. You should want your neighbors to not only become jealous of your house-lighting abilities, but also wonder if they could see your house from space. I get that more lights means a higher electric bill, but come on it’s Christmas time.

Unconventional Holiday Movies  

Besides putting up lights, the beginning of December is also the time to watch Christmas movies. It’s weird how one month in the year is the only appropriate time period to watch a certain type of movie. No one is going to watch It’s A Wonderful Life in the middle of July and there’s a reason retail stores don’t put out holiday movies until the holidays because no one would buy them any other time of year.

But when it comes to Christmas movies, there’s always the usual suspects: Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation and of course that one starring Jimmy Stewart I mentioned earlier. All of those movies are perfectly fine.

But I also have a few holiday movies I like to view every year that might seem a little anti-Christmas but that’s okay. Not every one of them has to be jolly and happy. The adults occasionally like something a little more subversive. 

So beginning this week and all through December I’ll recommend one holiday movie you either don’t know or perhaps you hadn’t thought of as a Christmas movie. This week’s pick is a comedy involving extortion, kidnapping and cat piss.

It's a Christmas movie, really.

The Ref was a box office dud when it was released in March of 1994. (Probably because it was a Christmas movie released in March). But over the years this hilarious film has become somewhat of a cult classic.

Starring Denis Leary, The Ref follows an extremely unhappy couple (Kevin Spacey, Judy Davis) as they try to pull it together in anticipation for hosting a big family Christmas. Things couldn’t get any worse until cat burglar Gus (Leary) holds the couple hostage while awaiting transportation outside of town. He thought being on the run from the police was hell. Not only does he have to deal with the constantly bickering couple, but once the rest of the family arrives, he has to pretend to be the couple’s therapist to avoid suspicion.

What makes this film memorable is that it holds nothing back. This is a true R-rated film with crass humor and language. It’s a perfect juxtaposition to the holiday season. But despite the R- rating, The Ref never feels mean-spirited. It’s about an unhappy family refusing to put on a facade during Christmas and by the end you might actually feel a little warm inside like most holiday films.

Ducks hope third times the charm in BCS Bowl game

The inaugural Pac-12 title game was a little closer than some were expecting, but in the end Oregon rose (had to do it) to the occasion with a 49-31 victory over UCLA. With Wisconsin narrowly beating Michigan State, the Rose Bowl is set. Oregon will no doubt be the favorite, but based on their recent bowl performances, fans should feel a little worried.

The last three non-conference losses for the Ducks were to Ohio State in the ’09 Rose Bowl, Auburn in the ’10 National title game and LSU opening week this year. What did all of those teams have in common; bigger and more physical players who could also match Oregon’s speed. The apparent size and speed disparity was even more obvious when the vaunted Ducks offense was on the field. The quick-scoring, explosive offense we were accustomed to seeing was reduced to short-yardage plays and quick three-and-outs. This opponent should be easier than the previous three were right?

In Wisconsin, the Ducks have to look forward to yet another big, physical team. The Badgers only two losses this year came back-to-back and in both cases from a final desperation throw from Michigan State and Ohio State. Wisconsin may not be as flashy as Oregon, but they will most certainly be ready. The last three non-conference teams Oregon lost to also have another thing in common. Those teams had weeks to prepare for Oregon. Wisconsin will have the same benefit. Let’s just hope the end result is different this time for Oregon.

New Book explores the evolution of shoes

Shoes have become synonymous with Eugene and the University of Oregon. The innovations in running shoes by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight in the 1960s along with the successful track program at the university eventually led to Eugene garnering the title of TrackTown USA. Knight also founded a little company called Nike, perhaps you’ve heard of it.

That's a lot of shoes.

But it was the collection of 10,000-year-old shoes at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the UO and the more recent developments in footwear that led Brian Lanker to publish “10,000 Years of Shoes: The Photographs of Brian Lanker.” The book features a wide variety of photographed shoes ranging from old sagebrush bark sandals to Steve Prefontaine’s running shoes from the early 1970s.

Besides photographs, the book also features essays by professors, museum directors and marathoners on the history of shoes. The topics they discuss include ancient archaeological findings of the first shoes worn, what these ancient sandals reveal about the people who wore them and Bowerman’s fascination with the sandals and how they inspired him in his own innovations.

Sadly, Lanker was unable to see the project to its completion. He died of pancreatic cancer in March of 2011. Those interested in seeing the final work of photojournalist Brian Lanker can purchase the book through the end of the year at Past and Presents, the museum’s store, for $34.99. The book will have a wider distribution in January.