Monthly Archives: December 2009

Year in review

Oh 2009.  I’m going to list some “Best Of” moments of the year.

Ranger Thriller DanceBest song: Well, I would say it has to be a collection of songs by one artist this year.  More than ever, I listened to Michael Jackson this year since he passed away in June.  I burned a disc of his songs in the beginning of September and have only taken it out of my cd player in my car a couple times (long road trips).  I never get tired of it.  I didn’t realize how hard I was going to take the loss of Michael, but it’s been a huge deal for me just like millions of others across the world.  My favorite songs being from Off the Wall and Thriller.  “PYT” and “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” and “Human Nature” may be my Top 3, but those change all the time.
Honorable Mentions: “Empire State of Mind”  by Jay- Z and “Make Her Say” by Kid Cudi.

Best Dance Party: Michael Jackson Tribute Party at Silver Moon.  May be tops of all time. Honorable Mention: Brazilian Carnival Dance Party at Old Mill Martini Bar with Tera, Ninico (and Eric?) in March.  I think we made quite a threat for dance champions against the Brazilians that night.

Best Sunset: There were so many good sunsets which I couldn’t see in their entirety from my kitchen window, but

Sunset over the Thames

they looked amazing from what I could tell.  I’m going to go with one from outside of London in Kingston-upon-Thames.  I was sitting at an outside patio at a pub  which was right on the river next to Kingston Bridge (I think it was part of the Ram Brewery constortium), having some pints with complete strangers (couchsurfing meet up).  It was a beautiful night.

Honorable Mention: Sunset at Gateway Park in Salem when Eric and I squeezed in a round of disc golf before it got too dark.  That was fun.

Best Drink: Oh I would have to go with the hundreds of bottles of Deschutes Twilight I consumed while playing Cornhole all summer.  It was inevitable that we’d throw a few games at night when everyone got home from work.  It was so much fun and I look forward to playing again soon.

Honorable mention: Summer Pimm’s purchased from one of the many Pimm’s tents at Chelsea Flower Show that cost £9 but so worth it.  I had gotten about 2 hours sleep on the flight to London and headed straight to the flower show that morning. It was my first drink in Londontown in almost 2 1/2 years and it was so delicious.

Best Movie: I am fairly certain I didn’t see Slumdog Millionaire until after the new year so I will go with that.  Honorable Mention: Michael Jackson’s This Is It

Best sporting event: The 2009 Wimbledon Championships between Rodger Federer and Andy Roddick.  It was the longest, most crazy match ever and I so wished Roddick would have won.  But Rodger deserved it as well. Honorable Mention: Melanie Oudin’s run in the US Open.  It was so exciting to see a new American cleaning house.  Look out for her in the future.

Best smooch: At Gold Bluff’s Beach in the Redwoods with Eric.  How romantic! Honorable mention: Smooching Bella too many times to count.

Smooch fest

Best free from the fetters of clothing moment (no pictures, sorry): Multiple skinny dips into the Pacific Ocean at the Brewer’s Summer games in Pacific City and kicking up some awesome luminescent bugs or something in the sand and water.  I felt like I was in a movie. Honorable Mention: Umpqua Hot Springs with the ladies in February when we had the place all to ourselves for a couple hours.  The water was hot and so were we!

Best drinking session: My new friends at the Royal Oak in London who chatted me up all evening and night and proceeded to keep “topping off” my beer which lead to a drunk Colleen and the weirdest journey back to my hostel that night.  That’s what traveling is about I guess.  Honorable mention: Sitting at Riverside with Tera and Eric a few weeks ago killing a few pitchers of Jubelale, solving the world’s problems.

Best Meal:  Any breakfast I eat at the Victorian with a Bloody Mary.  I just can’t think of anything that beats it. Honorable Mention: My newly discovered omelet mess (feta, garlic stuffed olives, spinach) with a cup of Tips.

Funniest moments: There are always so many because I refuse to get stuffy with life, BUT I can think of some that stand out.  I think Thanksgiving Mustache Party with Tera and Patty was quite amazing.  We all just looked so ridiculous.  Honorable mention: When I crashed into the back of a car on my bike on my way back from Roots fest only to find out when we got home that Tera had also crashed on her bike. 2nd honorable mention: The night Piccadilly got a plastic bag attached to her somehow and she went full speed tearing through the house at 2 AM trying to get away from it.

Best place to hang out: Riverside Market.  You can not beat the people watching in that place and it’s 2 blocks from our house.  Honorable Mention: Silver Moon.  I love that place and there were many good new memories formed there this year.

Ben and Tera spreading Freedom

Best bike ride: Freedom ride on 4th of July and getting to be apart of the crowd that stopped traffic downtown for a half hour.  It was one of the coolest Bend things I have ever done. Honorable mention: Somehow Tera, Eric and I getting home on our bikes without crashing after a couple of inches of snow fell while we were at Silver Moon celebrating the engagement of Troy and Burl.  Then the sweet snowball fight that followed.

Best costume: Easily the caveman costumes Tera and I donned a couple weeks ago for the Rebound work party. We looked amazing.  Honorable mention: Everyone dressing up to take jumping pictures while drinking ICBs this Spring.  We all looked fantastic.

Best Jump: Tera and I at Crater Lake in perfect harmony in the same pose.  We’re kind of professionals at jumping pictures these days.  Honorable mention: Tera, Matt and I jumping in Drake park after a night of mayhem at Silver Moon.  I believe this may be a never before seen picture but it is good…..

On that note, I think I’m going to close the book on 2009.  My new years plans involve xc skiing up to a shelter in the Deschutes National Forest and enjoying some brews and hot chocolate around a fire until Midnight.  Then we’ll come back down to town.  It looks like the weather might be crappy so there’s a chance I’ll be working, but that’s alright.  I should have plenty of time to get my party on.  What are you all doing?  Let’s all keep in touch this coming year.  If you have any comments of suggestions, please let me know.  I like getting comments.  Have a safe and happy new year’s everyone!

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Puter

Got a new computer a couple days ago.  A brand new shiny MacBook Pro 15″.  Apparently, I had been missing out on modern day computing speed for quite a while.  This new cat is really fast and doesn’t want to shut down every time MobileMe wants to sync.  I’m hoping this leads me to post more pictures on here as it won’t take 20 minutes to upload pictures from my computer.  It will take upwards of 2 minutes.  So yey, I love it.  The picture is being promoted as a Christmas miracle and this is not the only Christmas miracle which has happened this week.  I also got all of my Christmas cards out by yesterday morning.  And today I got my mileage for my trip to London after being on the phone with various airline workers for an hour.  I can fly nearly anywhere in the world now.  This would be really a great time in life to take advantage of such an opportunity, but the forces that be WOULD NOT let that happen.  God forbid there be any living during life.  But I promise I am not bitter.  There’s too much good stuff going on in life to be bitter.

Right-0 kids.  I’m out to read.  Life is hard.  Ttyl!

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Third try

I attempted to write two other topics and I think I’m going to nix both and just go for what’s on my mind regarding this year.  Last night it occurred to me that most of my year was defined by two days.  One in June and one in July.  I guess I should have lived the first 6 months of the year up a little bit more had I seen what was coming.  The July event was partially set up by the June event.  Damn you shoulder!

You know, it’s fine.  This year has taught me a lot about my own strength and got me back focused on my priorities and goals.  Learning from mistakes is good, no matter how painful it may be at first.  I wouldn’t want to relive this year, but I will end up taking more with me from this year than most years prior.  There will be many positive happenings in 2010, I’m predicting, and quite a few of them will be what grew out of the negative events of 2009.

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Region boasts various types of conifers | News | The Bulletin

Region boasts various types of conifers | News | The Bulletin.

The Bulletin ran an article today discussing what conifers grow in our area.  Here in downtown Bend, with the aid of irrigation, we are able to grow actually a pretty large array of conifers, despite what the article says.  Just looking out my windows I see Western Larch, Colorado Blue Spruce, Ponderosa Pines, Douglas Fir,  Norway Spruce and Arborvitae, and Western Junipers.  That is not a bad mix from one kitchen. What kind of conifers are in your yard?

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Christmas cards

I don’t like to mention my Christmas card writing on fb as some people may be a little miffed they are not receiving one, but I would assume that most of you who read this blog are close enough friends or family members that you are receiving one.  If not, sorry!  About 1/3 of them are written, address and stamped.  All of the family ones are done.  The cards are just waiting for my picture to be picked up at Costco.  It looks like I will get most of these done before Christmas arrives and the rest should be shortly afterwards.  It’s a Christmas miracle after how much I was delaying my newsletter writing.  I think you’ll all be happy with it this year.  I proofread it about 8 times over a few days, so let me know if you catch any spelling errors.

It’s been a good weekend.  My old roommate and very good friend Jill is in town and we’ve been having a blast.  I swear something weird happens when Jill, Tera and I get together.  It just turns into a goof fest with lots of dancing and farting.  Yes farting.  Our friend Robin met up with us last night for a bit too.  And to prove it doesn’t take much to entertain us, let me give you our crazy afternoon yesterday.   We wore the hottest fashions down to Riverside Market to get some chips and pop and we ended up staying for about 4 hours.  There was a puzzle which was calling out to us asking us to work on it.  It’s perimeter had been completed and we did a good half/to two-thirds of it while we drank expired Red Chair bombers.  It was excellent.  After dinner there was some rumblings of going back over and completing it, but we decided to head home instead.  I think the girls were still hurting a little bit from the night before and none of us got much sleep.  I feel great this morning.  I can not remember the last time I slept so soundly through the night.  Had my roommate not woken me, I probably would still be sleeping right now.

I must be on my way.  I have to plow through some of this Sunday NY Times and try and get another bunch of cards written.  Everyone is welcome to come join the party!

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God bless the USA. And C-SPAN.

Trying to find out anything about the Copenhagen Climate talks on US Television is apparently COMPLETELY impossible.  Not only that, but my head is going to explode with the IDIOCY of what we’re discussing on American TV.  My first attempt was to get info from C-SPAN, which is sometimes known to actually cover some important things that happen in the world.  We get 3 C-SPAN channels here on our cable.   The first one is covering the debate in the US House of Representatives on “Restricting Loudness of TV Commercials.”  C-SPAN2 is General James Conway discussing the equipment in use in Afganistan for the Marines and what we’re buying and what we need.  C-SPAN3 is covering World Oil Supplies meeting with the Oil Minister of Nigeria.  Oh wait.  C-SPAN3 just switched to the anti-health care reform rally in DC.  Should I even tell you what the news networks are covering?  Ok ok, I will.  Yup, everyone get ready, the Boeing Dreamliner is about to take its first test flight! Holy shit!  Hold me back cause this excitement is TOO MUCH.

I should have never turned on the television because I’m going to rip my hair out.  The last 10 minutes of television I’ve watched is a microcosm of what is wrong with America today.  Where do we start to change America?  Should I just leave the country now before we go down into real flames?

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A tree's determination

I wanted to share with you this pretty amazing tree I saw this weekend.  My friend Eric and I hiked the Dry River Canyon in the Badlands just East of Bend (an excellent, easy hike I would recommend).  The trail pretty much ends at a couple of Ponderosa Pines, which shouldn’t necessarily be growing there since it is doubtful the rainfall average is high enough for them.  Along the 2 mile path there are a few other Pondos but the path is mostly lined with sagebrush and Western Junipers.  But this one Pondo (about 80 ft tall) not only has to battle the climatological forces against him (yes it’s a boy tree) but also that he is growing upon a pile of basalt rock!  The trunk is being girdled by the rocks which limits the amount of nutrients getting to the roots.  The poor fella is already in serious decline and probably won’t last much more than a few more years before completely choking himself out and toppling .  The crown was about 60% dead and it had a pretty good lean going towards the South.  Despite all of this the tree was enduring.

It truly is amazing all that a tree can survive and still continue to grow in very inhospitable conditions.  It is a testament to tree’s strength but we should not take it for granted especially in the built environment.  Our job in an urban forest should be to foster the growth of the trees which surround us in our daily life.

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coldness

so it’s 7 in the morning.  my tea cup is full as i need to start warming up my extremities.  just got back from keeping the world safe from ice.  it’s -8 out (sans windchill) and has been all night.  yikes!  cold.  stuff was freezing so fast. mostly my face.  the two engines i have to pull start were not very happy last night.  it took me 45 minutes to get them both finally going.  that was super neat.  today was the closest my car has ever come to not firing up when i’ve turned the key.  it was a clear night though and i now wish i would have taken a picture of some of the sparkly trees i saw at some of my accounts.  they were really pretty.

i’m not sure if yesterday even happened.  it seems like some weird dream sequence.  i will probably be thinking the same about this post when i wake up in a few hours.

this tea needs to be consumed and i need a few hours of sleep before my dr appointment.  keep it real homies!

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$120M suit in 'Google' tree bash – NYPOST.com

$120M suit in ‘Google’ tree bash – NYPOST.com.

This tree incident involving a Google engineer in New York City’s Central Park is exactly the reason it is so important for cities to maintain a regular pruning schedule and to keep a look out for hazard risks in trees.  The city now faces a $120 million dollar law suit after the branch fell on the man.  I know Bend has almost completely wiped out any money for tree maintenance this year due to budget constraints.   It is definitely much cheaper to keep up with maintenance than to pay out such crazy amounts on lawsuits.

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world cup

I can’t tell you how excited I am to hear the USA is in the same group as England (Group C).  Of course I wish they were meeting in the finals, but it’s not too bad.  It means there will be some serious trash talking over the next 6 months, which I’ll be looking forward to.

Any ways, on a unrelated note I have a sweet goal to accomplish this weekend.  It’s to finish my bottle of magic spice by Tuesday before my doctor’s appointment.  It only took me (with a little help from Tera) 6 months to get to this point on a 500 count bottle of ibuprofen.  Cheers shoulder!

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