Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Ballad of Sucky Bend

Just about twenty-five years ago

I set out on the road

Thought I’d found a paradise

At least that’s what I was told.

Things got bad, things got worse,

I guess you know the tune.

Oh Lord, fog-fucked in Bend again.

Rode in on Highway 97

I didn’t have a clue

Just how hard this place could suck

My hopes and dreams fell through

Ran out of time and money

This never was my plan

Oh Lord, fog-fucked in Bend again.

If I had a dollar

For every sucky day

I’d buy a ticket outta here

And give my house away.

You know I’d catch the next plane

To someplace where it don’t rain

Oh Lord, fog-fucked in Bend again.

-- with apologies to Creedence

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Is Bend Getting Suckier?

Maybe it's global climate change or maybe it's just that I'm becoming an old fart, but it seems to me that Bend's climate is getting suckier as the years go by.

I remember the winters when I moved here more than 20 years ago being much colder and snowier, but also a lot sunnier. A storm would blow in, dump a foot or two of snow and move out, leaving a sparkling landscape of pristine white under dazzling blue skies.

No more. The pattern we seem to get these days is week after week of gray, dismal weather, interspersed with those sucktacular INVERSIONS (four already this winter, by my count).

If this is the way it's gonna be I might as well move to Portland. At least it's warmer there, they don't get fog-fucked, and spring arrives in March -- not late June.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fog-Fucked in Sucky Bend Again

Bend is socked in with yet another episode of freezing fog -- the fourth this year, by my count, and winter has barely begun.

This morning I was commiserating with a young local musician about the Bend freezing fog phenomenon. He told me he had his own special descriptive term for it.

"Let me see if I can guess," I said. "It's a four-letter word that begins with S and it isn't 'soup.'"

"Nope," he said. "I call it 'being fog-fucked.'"

Fog-fucked. I like it. Kind of sums up life in freezing, foggy, sucky, fucked-up Bend.

Friday, January 1, 2010

So Just How Sucky IS It?

Everybody who knows anything about the Bend climate knows that the claim of 300 days of sunshine a year is pure 200-proof, double-distilled bullshit. But how many days of sunshine a year does Bend really have?

First we have to start by defining what we mean by "a day of sunshine." To me, and I believe to most people, the phrase "a day of sunshine" means a day in which the sun shines all or most of the time -- not a day when it peeps feebly out from behind the clouds for 30 minutes, or 30 seconds.

By the common and sensible standard, I'd guess that Bend doesn't experience even half the 300 days of sunshine the local boosters claim. And I'm going to put that to the test.

Starting today (New Year's Day 2010) I'm going to mark a big "S" on my calendar for every day that I regard as a "day of sunshine." I don't have any fancy high-tech equipment to measure the solar brightness or duration; I'll just be using my own eyeballs. But I will make every effort to be fair. If the sun is out for more than half the daytime hours, I'll mark that day as sunshiney.

I'll report back at the end of each month, and on the first day of 2011 I'll announce the total for the year. The results might not be scientific, strictly speaking, but they'll be at least as scientific as the "300 days of sunshine" claim, whose basis I never have been able to discover.