Monthly Archives: February 2009

The Economy and some other stuff.

Up until a week ago, I really didn’t know anyone who was laid off or of many local businesses closing.  Then last Friday hit and suddenly the shit started hitting the fan.  I know of at least 4 people who have been laid off and I don’t believe that is the end of it.  There are some local businesses here in Bend that are shutting down, which I am sad to see.  I knew this situation was bad, but I felt kind of buffered.  Now I feel as though I don’t know what will happen next.  Is my job safe?  Are my friends and family going to remain employed?  Who’s next?  It’s rough out there.  Any one else feeling some economic pain?  I hope President Obama’s stimulus plan kicks in and starts helping John Q. Citizen out very soon.  We need it.  

On to other news……we got in from Seattle early this afternoon.  I’m glad to be back.  It’s fun visiting Seattle, but I’m kind of over it.  I don’t really like the city all that much.  Grant it, I haven’t been all that many places there, but it still isn’t as good as Portland and it definitely is lagging behind Bend.  Eric and I had fun though.  We checked out REI’s flagship store, walked back and forth across the city, went to the Seattle Art Museum, did Pike’s Market, watched the Sun Devils lose in basketball and got to hang out with Britt a little bit.  Phew.  And all of that was yesterday.  We were pretty tired by the end of the day.  The hostel was excellent.  I’d recommend the Green Tortoise to any one looking for a place to stay in Seattle.  Clean, nice people, good beds,  excellent location and a pretty great breakfast spread.  I’m glad we had the Tortoise to come back to at the end of the night.  

The drive home today was beautiful.  It had snowed in the Washington Cascades and we had the pleasure to drive through them today.  Really gorgeous.  If I didn’t have a headache right now, I’d upload the pictures.  But just picture blue skies, mountains with huge fir and spruce trees with a fresh layer of snow across all of it.   Well, I’m going to lay down and watch a movie.  the headache is driving me nuts, so I would like to get rid of it.  Toodles kids!

UPDATE:  I would like to correct my earlier statements regarding not knowing anyone who had been laid off before last week.  My brother-in-law, Todd, had been laid off at ATA (airlines) last year.  While I have mentioned his lay off to people recently, I did not mention it in this post.  Apologies to Todd for not putting his name up there and apologies to all those who had been affected by his lay off (read: sIRK).  Thank you for your comments and understanding in my forgetfulness.

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Seattle

Well, if you didn’t already know, I’m on my way to Seattle with Rickey!  Yeah, I just needed to confirm with work this morning that I was safe to go.  We’re headed up to Seattle for fun (and lack of much else to do) but also to see ASU take on UW in men’s basketball.  The winner will take the top of the Pac-10.  I have been loosely following the Sun Devils this year in basketball.  I knew they were doing really well, but I guess I didn’t know that well.  So I’m excited to see my first live college basketball game in quite a few years.  I don’t think I’ve gone since Sophomore or Junior year of college sooooo 2001/2002?  A while.  

We’ll be up there till Friday.  I think we are scheduled for a drink with my London roommate Britt.  That will be nice.  Plus we’re hosteling it too!  Green Tortoise here we come!  Alright I must be on my way.  Toodles, kids.

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Workout machine

I am sore!  This is a continual thing for me in the last 5 days.  I have managed to keep working out and am even enjoying it a bit.  You can watch these workout videos on Netflix Instant Queue and I have been putting them to work.  I’ve been doing the ones with Jillian from Biggest Loser.  They are only 30 minutes, but they kick my butt.  My strength is not very good, nor is my flexibility anything to brag about, but I’m keeping up as best as I can.  My flexibility should start improving the more I work out.  I feel like a lot of the muscles I’m using haven’t been worked in years and I’m loving it.  The hard part is keeping up with the workouts.  It’s easy now while I’m not working, but not as easy when I put in a 8 hour day plus 50 minutes of biking to and from work.  Right now, I just want to keep up with the work outs so I will be conditioned and a little bit toned for work to begin.  Yeah, that’s boring info.

Any who, I may be vacating my computer for a couple days here.  I need to confirm it tomorrow, but it does appear to be happening.  I’ll try and get an update in tomorrow so you will know what the secret plans are!  Good night everyone.  Cheers.

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Hot Spring Fun

Oh boy.  I can’t believe I’m still up given the last couple days we’ve had here in Central Oregon.  They have been so much fun.  This weekend, Tera and I really motivated nicely and had some fun with new exciting activities.  We checked out the High Desert Museum yesterday morninghomesteaders with Jean.  It was the free day so you know it was packed.  We got in early and got out of there after checking out all the animals (otter, bobcat, lynx, northern spotted owl, desert tortoise etc…) and all the sweet exhibits.  Jean and Tera made themselves comfortable in the homestead cabin.  

The rest of the day we hung out at home, but managed to make it over to the boy’s house and play some Balderdash.  It was my first time playing and I had a blast even though I was positively awful at it.  My green pawn was in last place for most of the game.  Sad story.  

Today we got up early to head down to the Umpqua hot springs.  Tera, Burl, Jean and I headed down south west and had ourselves a splendid time.  We got nervous about the snow pack on the way there because it was at about 8 feet in the pass, but luckily we dropped enough in elevation where it wasn’t an issue any more.  We experienced some rain, but mostly when we were actually at the hot springs, not hiking in or out.  We had to hike 2 miles to the trail head and then another .3 miles to the hot springs.  Luckily when you’re in good company the distance never seems to be as long as it would be otherwise.  

When we got to the hot springs we were not disappointed.  Tera and I had been discussing a visit to some hot springs this weekend since Friday and we were not sure which ones to hit up.  These were absolutely perfect.  I had never been hot springing before and would definitely go again after going to these.  The girls said though that they were some of the best they had visited.  I thought for sure there would be some people at the hot springs, but we were lucky enough to have them all to ourselves for a couple hours.   The main one was a really nicely covered pool fed right from the main outlet pool which was about 10 feet above it.  This place was so amazing.  The pools sat up on about a 150 foot cliff above the Umpqua River.  They cascaded down the cliff by forming about 5 or so different pools, each one obviously a little cooler than the one above.  

Yeah.  I had  a great time with the hot springs and hanging out with the ladies.  Sometimes it is hard to rally early on a Sunday morning, but we all did it and I don’t believe any of us were sorry that we did so.  It seems like us girls here (besides just Tera and I) don’t get to do many activities together, so I enjoyed reconnecting with them even if just for a day.  We’ve all got such diverse schedules it is hard to get some time when all of us our free.  Plus those boys always want to tag along.  Luckily they were all busy today!  Woot.  

Alright, I was going to write about the Oscars tonight, but I am ready to crawl into bed.  I’ve been working out the last few days (actually quite a bit) and my body needs some time to patch all those torn muscle fibers and bulk me up for the season!  

I will say about the Oscars that I was thrilled to see Slumdog go home with so many awards and so happy for Kate Winslet to pick up her first (I doubt her last) little gold statue.  The ceremony this year was really cool and a welcome departure from the regular set up.  There were a few kinks, but not many.  Well done Oscars!  

Alright I am off to bed. Cheers!

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I like learning.

As most of you know, my plans for the future swing like a wonderful pendulum.  If you don’t like my plans one week, they’ll probably change by the next week.  It’s fun.  For you and for me.  It’s always a surprise for me on how my tastes will change.  So the plan this week is to move to London in November and volunteer for AT LEAST the winter.  Perhaps work in a hostel keep a roof over my head.  On top of that I want to volunteer at a park, estate, cool place, showing off my wonderful American horticultural skills.  Perhaps someone will be impressed enough to offer me a job and get me a visa.  If not though, I can always come back to the Team and continue working in Bend.  And then do it all over again the next winter.  

So in the mean time I have about 8 months to shine up my landscaping skills to the greatest potential possible.  This means reading A LOT of horticultural books, gardening books, and trying to get a few more certs under my  belt to make me smarter and more qualified to take on more.  I was so excited about these possibilites, I spent most of the night dreaming about them.  I am itching to learn right now and that’s quite refreshing.  I’ve got 3 different books going right now not including my self study materials.  

There was talk about quitting horticulture, but I was thinking that I do love my field (at least I say that right now before the pain of working with idiots brings me down next month) and I really would like to excel and learn as much as I can.  It will make my job easier and make my clients happier with all the money they are forking out to have me take care of their homes.  

So yeah, that’s neat, right?  I must get going.  There’s a stack of books sitting here and I want to read them all right now.  TTYL

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growler hours

growlerwe’re just about to kick off another growler hour, our first in a couple months.  the theme is not very well planned.  it’s a mix of friday the 13th/pray for snow (we need snow at mt. bachelor)/happy 150th birthday oregon. so whatever title you are into, drink in that honor.  tomorrow is the 150th birthday of oregon along with st. valentime’s day. this weekend we shall test the limits of our livers.  matt and i have had a couple drinks today through out the day and the growlers are about to be popped.  i’m a little nervous to drink too much as it’s possible that i could be plowing tonight, though not that likely.  it was supposed to snow all day but it never really hit.  

well, i would like to write more but i’m being called to take a pint off a growler.   toodles!

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so so busy

well, me and my house guest have been so busy in the last two days, that i have not had much time to do much else but drink black butte porter and sleep.  oh and eat.  so no blogging for me.  i squeezed a writing in yesterday at my conference, but besides that i’ve been too busy for this writing nonsense.  

today robin and mystery guest “mf” were reliving some london times via my journal from london.  i found out that today is the 5 year anniversary of red wine night.  the infamous red wine night which resulted in both robin and i unable to drink red wine to this very day.  that was good times.   i think that night involved me drinking every available form of alcohol in existance.   yuck.  it was a long night of fun, which i don’t remember everything of.  but it made robin and i friends for life, so i guess in the end it was all worth it . and the bonus part was that i didn’t pay for any of the alcohol that night.  woot.  thank you alexes from romania!  

well, i am off to hang out with mf now.  he’s trying to take down bella and it looks as though bella is winning.  cheers.

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Grammys

Today I watch some of the performances from the Grammys.  My favorites were Al Green and Justin Timberlake with Boyz II Men and Keith Urban.  JT tore it up!  Loved it.  Al Green was really singing his heart out as well.  

The star of the night had to have been M.I.A. performing despite being due to give birth yesterday.  She was supporting the “Rap Pack”  of T.I., Kayne, Lil Wayne, and Jay-Z.  It was a pretty effing sweet version of Swagga Like Us they did.  It was quite a show.  

It seems like every year I forget how sweet the performances are on the Grammys, then am so pleasantly surprised at what happens on stage.  There are SOOOO many performances, pretty much anything any mainstream music listener in America could appreciate.  So if you get a chance, google those two performances.  Other ones I liked were Coldplay and Radiohead.  

I’m off to bowl for the evening.  I’m fussed because the bowling is taking place at Sun Mountain and there lanes are awful.  I can’t explain it, but I can’t bowl anything higher than a 50 there I swear.  At the other REAL bowling alley here, I will bowl over a hundred easily every time.  We’ll see how the evening progresses.  

Tomorrow I’ll be heading up to Portland to pick up my visiting friend.  Should be a rauckus week.  Stay stuned…….

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where do the days go

apparently it is almost midnight once again and really i have no idea where the day went. i feel like i just got up. i’ve been on the go for pretty much the whole day, mixing, mingling with all the friends. oh and there was that 3 or so hour game of trivial pursuit. that may be it. yeah, i can’t say i accomplished much today. i got home after a really nice morning bouncing about in downtown. it was a really beautiful day until around noon and then the clouds rolled in. rickey and i picked up some lox boxes and then headed down to the tea house for a tea fest. i went home and watched The Beach. I was really tired and was hoping to take a nap during the movie, but i completely failed. i ended up watching the whole thing, then Robin came over. It’s fun to be social with all sorts of people, but it’s also a little bit stressful for little old me. the next week will be a lot. no rest for the weary. tomorrow leaves me with no real plans as of yet. just go and file for my unemployment and some other stuff at team. i hope it goes well. ok, well i will ttyl.  smooches.

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mucho walking

Oh boy. I have to give it to Chris for dragging….”dragging”…..me out to the Badlands today to do some caching.  the Badlands are an area just East of Bend consisting mostly of old Juniper trees, sage, grasses and a bunch of sporadically placed lava.  It was really fun, but a lot of walking.  Like 6 or so hours of walking.  Through sandy soil.  It was tough work.  And we ended up hiking into the wee light of the evening.  The moon was shining bright, lighting our way back to the truck from the last cache.  It was a super cool day.  I’ve been to the Badlands before, but I got to see a lot more of them today.  There were many areas I’m sure I would have never seen.  Some great little lava outcroppings along with some other rock outcropping deals that seemed perfect for anyone who was into bouldering.  They were really neat.  That’s what I love about geocaching.  You never know what you’re going to discover on your journey.  You may find some stuff that otherwise you’d never even think or know about.  It’s about finding something too, but really the journey of caching is more than half the battle.

So that was pretty much my day.  I took some pictures, although I don’t think they’d do much for the website.  It was starting to get dark when I took them.  It was an epic day today as far as weather.  It was an almost completely clear sky  from noon on and got into the 50s.  A few days ago it was supposed to be cloudy and probably snowy all day today.  Thank God for the change in weather.
Tomorrow I have no plans.  Probably take it easy.  Maybe watch a movie.  Or 4.  We’ll see.  Ok kids.  I’m off to sleep land.  Cheers.

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