Artwork by Paul Windle


RE: "New Money" [Feature, Dec 18, 2013], an overview of the virtual currency bitcoin by author Robert Ham.

DEAR MERCURY—In your article on bitcoin, the author makes one very glaring mistake, [that] I believe may harm future adoption of bitcoin and lead people to believe it is safer than it really is. Regarding the nature of bitcoin, he stated, "Bitcoins are a currency that's nearly impossible to steal or spend if stolen—each one carries a long string of cryptographic letters and numbers that provides both its value and information about its owner." Certainly bitcoin addresses are unique, and the owner of each address can publicly claim ownership, however that does little to protect it against theft. Ownership of bitcoin, like cash, is with possession. There have been many high-profile thefts since the beginning of bitcoin, [and] these digital heists continue to this day. Besides this error, the entire article is a well-written, fair assessment of bitcoin.

Mortal Chang


RE: Letters [Dec 25, 2013], a roundup of 2013's best letters to the editor, including a poem by Todd Mecklem early in the year regarding the relocation of eccentric software mogul John McAfee to Portland. Here, an update.

Portlandia and Grimm? Hot beyond reason.

The Blazers? Having an amazing season.

Hipsters heartily hipping, geezers geezin',

And shoppers filling every thriving mall.

But o'er the city there's been cast a pall.

John McAfee's flown off to Montreal.

Todd Mecklem


RE: What goes through the mind of a drunken person in the Pearl District? Rude dampening in cold weather? Soap... ?

DEAR MERCURY—I was just wondering, do the folks in the Pearl pay the street sweepers to put Pine-Sol in their water mixture? I was at Blitz not too long ago and was sure I saw someone pouring soapy water on a homeless gentleman.

Another Drunk Love Note


RE: TriMet's free and freewheeling New Year's Eve services.

DEAR MERCURY—Jersey transplant to Portland. Been here 11 days. Call me a freshman, but what the hell's up with the West Coast "whatever man" vibe of late-night TriMet? Advertised in the Mercury, "Celebrate New Year's Eve safely. Ride free 8 pm to end of service." Thought we could actually use the public trans for safety to go home. We were stranded at 12:45 am with "no buses running" in a close-in area. Think TriMet could have had better New Year's support, since they were advertising it and all?



RE: "Things Not Invited Back to 2014" [Feature, Jan 1], in which author Alex Falcone lists the things he'd like to see banished in 2014 (like the Bi-Mart country music festival), accompanied by an illustration of mustachioed folks doing many of said uninvited things.

Alex, I notice the cartoons have mustaches on all of them, but mustaches are not not invited back for 2014. WTF.

posted by I'mrightyourwrong

All pretty funny, but why is the country music festival terrible? You fucking elitist hipster...

posted by Joe Sixpack

As somebody who developed a taste for REAL bluegrass and "alt" country later in life, I can assure each and every one of you that the Bi-Mart festival is not authentic old-time or country music in any sense of the word—it's Clear Channel Southern rock. Burn that shit and go to String Summit.

posted by taiganaut


RE: "Reality Check 2013" [Last Supper, Dec 25, 2013], Food Editor Chris Onstad's annual roundup of the eating establishments where he spends his own, un-reimbursed money.

So I went to Expatriate. And I had a sort of mind-blowing experience that I couldn't quite put into words, so I went again a few days later. I loved it all over again. You put my feelings into words. Hot damn, I feel so good in that place. Hot damn.

posted by T.W.

HOT DAMN, T.W., we love it, too—the artfully melting candles, perfect cocktails, the shrimp toast—but it's not the only place we love. We're giving you this week's letter of the week, with two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where pizza, brew, and a good flick suits a body just fine, too.