Wednesday, April 18, 2007

City Observations

I made it to Seattle last night in good shape and in good time. The drive was good, lots of new scenery and some freshly picked asparagus, yum. I've done a few Seattle-ish things so far. Standing in the rain, getting stuck in traffic, and hanging out in a coffee shop in the University District are a few of them. I was really amused while crawling through a traffic jam on the interstate yesterday to observe two different drivers reading while they were driving. They weren't going fast, probably 15-20 mph, but I had a good laugh nonetheless. One was reading a fully unfolded newspaper and the other was reading a bunch of papers all on a clipboard. I figured that if you drink enough good Seattle coffee that your multitasking capabilities go through the roof. My multitasking capabilities have not yet seen such an increase. I did find out though, that the goofy hats NPS employees have to wear cost $54, and that's without the required embossed hat band. Nifty. Another unique purchase of late was a 64 oz hip flask (if it can still be called a hip flask) to present to the soon-to-be-married bachelor whose party I will be attending in Vegas. Luckily, I'm not responsible for filling it.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I'm leaving in a green truck (to the tune of "Leaving on a jet plane")

The time has finally come, my ETD is less than 24 hours. At this time tomorrow I should be cruising through the home territory of E, otherwise known as Yakima in wonderful eastern Washington. I'm starting to get excited as I can feel the open road calling. I should really get back to packing. So with that, it's farewell to Bend. I'm looking forward to seeing many of your smiling faces soon.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Internet Cops

The internet cops at Clearwire found out that my household was stealing the internet. One of my roommates formerly worked for Clearwire and was able to create a dummy account and procure the wireless modem. But now we have been propelled back into the twentieth century. At least I'm moving out in a few days. The lack of internet at home, and a way too big cup of coffee has gotten me out of the house and motivated me to get a lot of stuff done. Every once in awhile I have a day when I accomplish lots of things on my to do list. Unfortunately, on a typical day I manage to work around my to do list and go to bed wondering how I managed to get next to nothing done.

Brace yourself for my accomplishments today...
1. Snowboarding in the morning
2. Haircut
3. Get fingerprints taken
4. Send heinous background forms back to Devil's Tower
5. Send in goggles for warranty
6. Purchase temporary health insurance
7. Send emails
8. Update blog

Things yet to be done
1. Buy book about Devil's Tower (I should probably know a thing or two about it before I get there)
2. More packing.

Plus, today I obtained a unique perspective on my life that comes too infrequently. Every once in a while I find myself able to focus on my life and its path (past present and future) on the scale of years. I cease to be concerned with the trivial tasks and worries that come about on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and instead can see the decisions and patterns in my life that are propelling me in a certain way. The broad picture I saw pleased me. Lets hope it stays that way.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Final Countdown

My final week in Bend has started. Much to my delight, Old Man Winter decided to show up for one last storm on the mountain. The snow was good in the morning, and there was enough of it to formally call it a powder day. The rest of my day was very boring. Thanks to the Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security, I had to spend hours upon hours this afternoon filling out forms with my background information so that I can be cleared to work for the NPS. The worst part is that I'm not done yet. I had to provide names of friends, co-workers and people who knew me at each place that I have resided in the last five years. Not one fragment of time can be unaccounted for. Those of you who are reading this must have some interest in my life, and thus qualify as a friend. So, you made it onto my background form and you may be getting a call from some shady federal spy agent checking up on my background information. What a pain in the ass. I wish I could have remembered the names of all those old ladies that I've helped across the street.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Apparently complaining, cussing, and being angry in general helps resolve situations in a positive way. The NPS must have finally heard through the grapevine that I was deriding their hiring practices left and right to anyone who would listen. They were mortified enough to give me a job at Devil's Tower National Monument. Or maybe it was the fact that my Devil's Tower application was one of the last I submitted and I was thus so sick of being denied that I slicked back my hair, put on a bad suit and let my inner used car salesmen come out and sell myself in no uncertain terms. So, as of May 14 all are invited to come to beautiful northeastern Wyoming and laugh at me in a funny uniform (see computer generated pic of my in 25 years) and listen to me drawl on about "America's first National Monument."
This news was the highpoint of my week. I was really excited to get the offer, especially since getting denied over and over again for a job that I knew I could do well was beginning to feel like getting repeatedly kicked in my boy parts.

Other reasons why this week has been a good one...

1. I sold a bike on ebay for fifty dollars more than I paid for it two years ago
2. Bluegrass
3. Only one week of work left
4. Big tax refund and b-day check from the parents
5. Bowling and Mexican tonight

Low points of the week...

1. I have something in my eye that is really annoying
2. I can't get it out

Monday, April 02, 2007

Coming soon to a city near you...probably

Well, I'm getting the itch to be on the road. I put my two weeks notice in at both of my jobs. I've consulted my atlas, my bank account, and my destinations. Everything seems in order. I'll be leaving on the 17th of April and heading to Seattle. From there The direction will be south. I always feel like I'm going down hill when I'm heading south. I'll be hitting Eugene, Fortuna, Santa Cruz, Vegas, and various places in the desert southwest before going north to Moscow, ID. From there, it looks like good old SD will be the destination for the summer unless something miraculous happens. A few thousand miles, lots of time in the car, and the promise of some camping...sounds like a typical Ohlen trip.