Many, many years ago, when ol' Blackdog was just a newbie in Bend, the local daily newspaper ran a front-page story under the headline: "Couch potatoes in paradise."
The story described how somebody had done a nationwide survey and discovered that Bend was Number One in America in per-capita video rentals. (They were VHS tapes in those days.)
I don't know what the current stats on DVD rentals look like, but I'd wager Bend is still right up there at the top, or near it.
Why? Because (Chamber of Commerce and tourist promotion propaganda to the contrary notwithstanding) there really isn't much else to do here.
The local media are always hyping Bend's "healthy outdoor lifestyle," but if I had to bet, I'd bet that no more than 40% of Bend residents engage in outdoor recreation on a frequent (i.e., once a week or more) basis.
In the first place, the weather is too shitty about three-quarters of the time for enjoyable outdoor recreating.
In the second place, downhill skiing and golf have gotten insanely expensive, and even pursuits like mountain biking, cross-country skiing and fly-fishing require a pretty heavy initial capital outlay. And (again, propaganda to the contrary notwithstanding) most people in Bend are not rich.
In the third place, most people in Bend are too busy working multiple jobs to try to pay the mortgages on their overpriced houses to have much spare time for playing outdoors.
Based on what I've observed, the favorite "outdoor recreation" for most Bendites seems to be getting in their SUVs on weekends and driving around from one shopping mall to another.
So what's available here in the way of indoor recreation? Not much.
There are no good museums, no good galleries, no good live theater, very little good live music. If you want to enjoy that stuff, the nearest city of any size is a three-hour drive away. (Longer when the mountain passes are snowed in.)
That pretty much narrows your indoor recreation choices down to five: movies, TV, DVDs, bowling and drinking.
And hey, if that's your preferred lifestyle, that's fine with me. But please don't try to tell me what a "recreation paradise" Bend is. Because when it comes to recreation, like just about everything else ...