Is there anybody in P-town who's not on the Atkins diet? Lydia's Restaurant & Lounge on 183rd and Burnside, heretofore not noted as a haven for health nuts, is offering a daily low-carb 'Atkins Menu Selection.' É Don't worry. If so inclined, you can still sit in the dimly lit bar and order up a bourbon and a load of fries. É The city is sending out business payroll informational forms, requesting information for a new payroll tax and Gary Christensen, owner of Eastmoreland Grocery on Southeast Knapp, doesn't like the tone of the line at the bottom, which suggests there will be a $500 fine if you don't send it in on time. É He says he tried to call the phone number on the form to complain but got a message saying that the mailbox was full. É Says Gary: 'You know what I think it's full of.'

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Stephen Sasser says it's nice the way the hip, new barbershops give you a free beer with your haircut but there may be drawbacks. É The other day when he asked for a hot towel and shave, the barber declined, making a slicing motion across his throat. 'We can't do it any more,' he said. 'You know, the jugular vein.' É And here I thought the beer was only for the customers. É Local Klingons got national airtime last week after 'The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn' picked up a KOIN (6) feed of a Klingon singalong. The local newsies were, of course, just following up Multnomah County's effort since withdrawn to find Klingon interpreters for its mental health division. É The Kilborn show, however, presented the footage as an example of 'bad Iraqi TV.'

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What do you do when a friend falls ill and needs regular blood transfusions to keep it together until he can have his next bone marrow transplant? Well, you have a blood drive, of course. É Which is exactly what the Willamette Rowing Club will be doing next Saturday, June 7, for your friend and mine, Michael 'Boats' Johnson. É Don't know how many of you know that Boats, the funny guy whose offbeat humor appears regularly in this column, underwent treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma some years ago. Thought he had it licked, too. É Then, earlier this year, he discovered that the chemotherapy had destroyed the ability of his bone marrow to manufacture red blood cells. Since then and until he's able to get a second transplant later this summer he's been having his blood topped off every other week. É If you want to sign up to donate blood for Boats, call the Red Cross at 503-284-4040. É Not to worry, says Boats: 'I've had so many of these by now, they've installed a dipstick.'

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Over at the Blue Monk, the new jazz place on Belmont, the best draw, by far, has been the Original Cats, says owner Chris Joseph. É Original, indeed. Frontman 'Sweet Baby James' Benton was a teenager hanging out on North Williams Avenue when it was still a thriving black community with its own shops and clubs. É It's gone now, bulldozed to make way for athletic complexes and overhead freeways. But the Original Cats are still here to remind us. É Catch them tonight, starting at 9. É Spotted on Northwest Trendy-third: A canary yellow Hummer, with one of those special salmon license plates. É Well, why not? Hummer owners can be environmentally conscious, too, can't they?

Contact Phil Stanford by phone at 503-546-5166 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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