Thursday, September 27, 2012

Catching Up

Well I didn’t plan on going three and a half months between posts. The chief culprit is not making blogging a priority. This happens when you work and keep plenty busy in your spare time. This post will be a catch up post highlighting what I have been up to over the last few months.


Let’s see what did I do back in June?.......My last post left off with our weekend trip to Bend, Oregon. The most significant activity for June was starting my new job. It was definitely a different type of first day. Nothing went wrong or awkward. What was different was that I got up at 5 am to run and then took public transportation to work. Back when I worked in an office I rarely if ever worked out before work and I know I had never taken any form of public transportation to work before. One great thing about my job is that my employer pays $80 of the $100 cost for an unlimited monthly public transportation pass so my transport cost to work which is only 3 miles should never be more than $20 a month!

Willamette River @ 5:30 in the morning on my bike ride to work
Despite not owning a car, having an unlimited public transportation pass, and bicycle I decided to get an Oregon driver’s license. The main reason was to establish residency since it appeared we were going to be staying in Oregon. It was a little bit of a humiliating experience. I only had to take the written test since I had a valid out of state driver’s license. I failed the written test the first time but passed it the second time. Good thing it only cost $5 to take the test. It was not an easy test. Many people have mentioned they had failed it too. I did study for it but apparently not well enough. I was relieved I passed on the second attempt. I also registered to vote too. I’m looking forward to voting by mail which is only method here in Oregon.

The other highlight was that Diane and Ronnie came out for a visit. I didn’t get to spend much time with them since I was starting a new job. Alethea played the role of tour guide for their visit. She was able to showcase our new hometown which I believe they enjoyed.


July was another busy month of activities. I started to settle into my job. I did spend one week in Salt Lake City, Utah meeting some of my other team members. I didn’t get to spend anytime sightseeing and from what I gather I didn’t miss much.

During July Alethea and I spent several nights at Living Room Theaters in downtown Portland. Alethea won a series of free movie tickets that we have used throughout the summer. We saw mostly documentary and independent films. Most of the films were pretty good. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the amenities of the theatre. They serve beer and have a small restaurant serving a limited food menu. They’ll even bring your order into the theater!

I also started to put the bike that I purchased at the end of May into full-time use by riding my bike to work on a regular basis. On July 4th Alethea and I went on a 30 mile ride along the Springwater Corridor that was long but enjoyable. 

We continued our volunteer work in the month of July. We volunteered at the Oregon Brewer’sFestival. It is the largest beer festival in North American with 80,000 attendees over the four day event. The festival is also where we spent our 1st wedding anniversary which was fitting since we both enjoy craft beer. We actually worked as supervisors for this event. We did volunteer at one non-beer event and that was at the Oregon Food Bank toward the later part of the month.  

Celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary at a beer festival!

One other last major event for July and that was Alethea and I both purchased new phones. We both purchased iPhones and combined our phone plans into one family plan. I really like my new phone. It has been a real time saver with some of the apps. I like it so well that I’m in the process of selling my old iPod and more than likely my netbook as I no longer need them anymore.


Moving on to August…. The highlight for me for me was having Brian and Colleen visit us for a few days. They spent a couple days with us during their week out in Oregon. We showed them our sites and tried to walk them to death one day (10 miles in one day). I am glad they got to visit.

Alethea pointing something out to Colleen 
Next event was that I ran in my first 5K as part of the Portland Parks & Recreation $5 for 5K Fun Runs. I finished 35th out of 115 with a time of 28:52. I even received a ribbon for finishing. I didn’t do it for the competition just for the experience. I enjoyed it. I could have done better though. I consider it the first step in eventually running half marathon.

The other main activity was surviving the heat without an air conditioner. We had multiple 90 degree days and a few around 100. Good thing is that it usually cooled off by night and the real hot days would never be more than a couple in a row.


September highlights consisted of taking a side trip to LA, work, and going on long bike rides.

During the second week of September Alethea and I took a side trip to visit my brother Doug and his girlfriend Alexis in Los Angeles. I had never been to L.A. outside of the airport. We visited Venice Beach, Griffith Park Observatory, and got to see a Dodgers game. Only bad part was that the heat from Portland followed us to L.A. The temps got up to the high 90’s. We enjoyed our quick visit though. Cannot say L.A. is a place I’d really want to live though. I would go nuts waiting in traffic or planning my life around the horrendous car traffic. LA has pretty good bus public transportation from what Doug mentioned but is in desperate need of a massive expansion of their rail system.

Doug wanting to know if he could take this home & cook it :-)

As I mentioned earlier the rest of the month's highlights involved getting on our bikes. We’ve been trying to maximize our riding time while the weather is good. We’ve gone on pub bike crawls throughout Portland visiting places that we haven’t gone too before. One of our rides included a journey up to Vancouver, WA over Labor Day. Vancouver is about 12 miles one way from where we live in. Only bad part was that I experienced a flat tire on the way up there. It took us about an hour to fix. I am glad I had already been to a REI hands on fix a flat class.

Mt. Hood from 50 miles away while crossing the I-5 bridge on our way to Vancouver, WA

What’s next?

This pretty much catches everyone up on what we’ve been up to for the last few months. I am looking forward to the fall here in the Northwest. We plan on getting in an as many bike rides as possible over the next few weekends. We’ll also be attending multiple plays and dance events as part of a prize package Alethea won. I make no promises on when my next post will be. I’ll write when I got something to say J. Everyone take care!