Thursday, September 2, 2010

Good Clean Sucky "Fun"

Years ago, a natural gas company hereabouts used to run a TV commercial showing kids playing soccer in the pouring rain.

"This is the Pacific Northwest, where life doesn't stop for the weather," the voiceover said.

"Yeah," I would say to myself, "because the people are too dumb to come in out of the rain."

In all fairness, I don't think the people in Bend are THAT stupid -- but they sure as hell have a weird idea of what "fun" is.

To a real hard-core Bendite, virtually everything is "fun."

Cutting firewood in knee-deep snow and sub-zero temperatures? "It was fun!"

Driving to work through snow and ice? "It's fun!"

I really, truly believe that if you put a Bendite in a Nazi concentration camp for six months and then asked him what it was like, he'd say: "It was FUN! I lost 30 pounds! And I met some really interesting people! That Dr. Mengele is quite a character!"

Thus, when a cold front moved through Central Oregon on Aug. 30 and SNOW actually fell in locations to the south of us and in higher elevations to the west of us, one of the local TV news stations posted the headline on its Web site: "August Snow Brings Fun Taste of Winter."

Dude. When it snows on Aug. 30, that is not "fun." That is HORRIBLE. That SUCKS to the max.

Anyway ...

Although there were two suckerrific weekends in the latter part of August, with occasional rain and highs reaching barely into the 60s, the summer weather pattern basically continued through the month. Only two days legitimately earned a sucky rating, though several others were marginal.

August Totals

Days of Sun: 29
Days of Suck: 2

YTD Totals

Days of Sun: 140
Days of Suck: 103

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dude - don't take this the wrong way, but when I read your blog, I can't help but to wonder why the heck you choose to stay? It seems like you'd be happier just about anywhere else. What gives?

blackdog said...

Dude. I'm tired of answering that question so I'm not going to answer it again. And if you've been reading the blog for a while you know what the answer is.

Anonymous said...

blackdog,

Rather funny you'd chose this as your next topic? This last roll-over and play 'dead' stretch of OR weather got me to thinking.

My analogy would be more along the lines of an abusive spouse that cheats and belittles in public ( but just '1' decent weekend together ) and ALL is forgiven! Believe it or not I known people like that.

In a twisted way, how is our relationship w/ OR's weather any different. One disappointment after another.., but any "run" strung together consisting of more than two ( consecutive ) good days seems to make amends for 6 continuous WEEKS of suck!?

I get why guys that really 'are' trying to get better at golf, have a few Tour-caliber shots and it's enough to keep them coming back! But just look on Craigslist and you'll witness first hand, defeat everywhere!

For Sale: 1961 Jaguar E-Type
Started project several years ago and rebuilt motor, replaced brakes and primed entire body.

( Then depression sets in )

It hasn't been turned over for the last ten years or so and now sits under a tarp on the side of my garage. Wife says it has to go. You can pick up where 'I' left off! $3,900 OBO.

( Or is it just 'me' noticing that? )

blackdog said...

"My analogy would be more along the lines of an abusive spouse that cheats and belittles in public ( but just '1' decent weekend together ) and ALL is forgiven!"

It's human nature to remember the good times and forget the bad. But if there are too many bad times and too few good ones, eventually the lesson sinks in.

Anonymous said...

OK - so I'm the one that posted the first question about why you stay. Out of morbid curiosity and a desire not to work for the past 30 minutes, I scanned your posts from '08 to now and it's not clear why you stay. Might have missed the big reveal of why. Looks like you're working on moving. All it takes is a car or a bus pass. Pretty easy. I'm tired and now bored with it, so I'll stop wondering.

However, I must admit that the Chamber is a great propaganda machine, but so is EVERY Chamber in the entire US!! And I realize after being here for 2 years, Bend just ain't for everybody.

Just a revelation - there are a-holes in every city, weather sucks in every city, traffic sucks in every city - - you can find warts on every super model if you look hard enough!

People control their destinies, so I always find it amusing when people choose to put themselves in situations they don't like. Perhaps you just like to whine, use the word "suck" in a variety of ways, and get off on being an important blogger. Who knows. But, from your pic, you look like a nice enough person, so I hope you find happiness somewhere, sometime. :-)

Anonymous said...

"eventually the lesson sinks in"

And that was my whole point about the couple that left town w/ their tail between their legs after running a B&B for the last several decades?

Making a modest living 'can' make sense as long as you love what you do and/or find the weather/cost of living agreeable! But take any one of those out of the equation, and it all falls apart. In truth, I applaud this couple's decision to bag it.

Any further 'thought' as to making this the PDO Blog? The reason I ask is that the -entire- PNW seems in the inescapable GRASP of this thing! Of course all on a local scale, but without question, everyone within a FIVE state region is falling off the same cliff this weekend. ( It was 66 in LA today ) Just a thought.

three on grove said...

Dude, your blog is hilarious. Anonymous needs to lighten up.

blackdog said...

Thank you. Many people in Bend get very angry and resentful when anyone dares to criticize their little "paradise."

Anonymous said...

He's not without his points, it's perfectly true that each town's Mutual Admiration Society ( AKA "The Chamber" ) is fairly brazen boosterism, cheerleading, whichever you prefer?

Difference IS... not "every town" became the POSTER CHILD for the Housing Bust AND... against the backdrop of a disingenuous appraisal of their own prevailing ( and rapidly deteriorating ) weather!?!

And at the peril of being viewed as antagonistic, I'm so very sorry, but 2 winters in Bend does NOT a Bendite make. Talk to me in another 20 and tell us if you're still cut out for it?

For the Idon'tknowhowmanieth time, the longer you've BEEN somewhere.., the more complicated scripting your exit becomes! ( Just ask Joe Paterno? ) Once you become an institution in and 'of' yourself ( people that RELY on you -will- notice your absence! ) When you're in your 50's and beyond it isn't a simple matter of "moving in with friends for 'awhile' until you get settled in". Enough!

Anon D

blackdog said...

"Difference IS... not "every town" became the POSTER CHILD for the Housing Bust AND... against the backdrop of a disingenuous appraisal of their own prevailing ( and rapidly deteriorating ) weather!?!"

Amen. And it's not only the climate that was (and is) the object of disingenuous promotion.

The propaganda was harmless enough until the people of Bend started believing it themselves and thinking the local real estate market was exempt from the law of supply and demand because there was a limitless supply of people clamoring to buy houses here at ridiculously inflated prices because Bend is just so gosh-darn wonderful.

Of course in the end it all turned out to be done with mirrors, and when the crash came a great many people were badly hurt by the flying glass. (FYI, I'm not one of them -- we bought our house in 1985.)

Anonymous said...

blackdog,

Why does the mere mention of '1985' suddenly sound like a fine bottle of wine?

I'm a bubble-blogging vet. and I followed that from the early days in late '03 on Patrick.net, Ben Jones and of course... your own hilarious Bend HBB! ( God that guy was funny )

But I've outgrown that for the most part and this has now distilled down to "Whatcha' gonna' DO about it!?" For each of us, thus far, those answers have remained elusive! As it just so happens 'my' wife is very well employed and we're reliant on her health/life ins. benefits.

Bit by bit we're looking to replace those thru the Guard ( and it's gotten incredibly generous ) but that doesn't happen overnite. As you and I have painstakingly 'tried' to explain, battleships don't turn on a DIME! This is why it's called Retirement p-l-a-n-n-i-n-g...

blackdog said...

"When you're in your 50's and beyond it isn't a simple matter of "moving in with friends for 'awhile' until you get settled in"."

Yeah, that's something these kids who keep telling me to "just thumb a ride out of town" can't seem to get.

Anonymous said...

blackdog,

I'm hardly in a position to have issues as complex as Warren Buffet trying to wind down his involvement in Berkshire ( be a nice 'problem' to have ) but that aside, none of us wants to leave things in a shambles?

I'm not going to make the lame assertion a lot of bankers did and say "We were "blindsided" by the economy!" (yawn/boo freaking whoo) but this thing caught us in mid-stride?

If we were -already- retired, well then WGAF, right? If we were just starting OUT in the workforce ( best to keep your head down, eyes open and keep plugging away! )

But for those of us IN transition, this is absolutely murderous! For younger readers, this is about as 'optimal' as back-seat s*x. The windows are good and fogged up, lots of heavy petting ( you whip out your "secret weapon" from your wallet ) AND... "honey, are those car lights..?"

We went from getting laid to "Can I see some I.D?" in nothing flat.

Anonymous said...

Ahem, for those of you that 'may' still have your doubts..?

SUMMER IS OFFICIALLY OVER!!!

Hope you enjoyed all 6 weeks. Yuh, we were most 'fortunate' The Drear didn't rear it's ugly head 'during' the Labor Day Weekend ( well not for the most part? ) and were afforded the luxury to get the lawn chairs and and garden umbrellas off the deck for -another- 10 months of storage?

It was -pouring- in the Salem area and poochie and I got SOAKED walking the block it takes to get to the office. I have to run PT again in October so 'do' wish me luck getting in a few laps during the handful of somewhat decent days we'll be fortunate to have between now and then?

All of a sudden 'wintering' in Slab City doesn't look all that bad? In large part due to the fact this is region-wide. Even Hawthorne NV is slated to be 70 degrees on Thur. God help us.

Anonymous said...

Blackdog, I want to know where you'd go if you could thumb a ride out of here. I went to visit my friend in Santa Rosa in August and it was about 52 degrees and foggy the entire week I was there. The marine layer makes the CA coast too miserably cold for me. I thought I wanted to move there until I actually visted! The central CA valley is too boiling hot (miserable at night). Also, my friend in Austin is dealing with 107 degree, 90% humidity, and pouring down thunderstorms almost daily.

I do have the option of leaving, but truly can't think of a place in the US with better weather. Unless there's a place with 85 degree days and cool nights, all year round... Enlighten me please so I can move! ;)

blackdog said...

"I do have the option of leaving, but truly can't think of a place in the US with better weather."

You must not have much imagination; I could think of about half a dozen without even trying. Northern California, where I formerly lived, is better. (NOT right on the foggy coast, though.) Almost anyplace in Hawaii is better. Even parts of the East Coast are better, at least insofar as they have an actual SPRING and the winter doesn't drag on for nine or 10 months.

As for where I'm going to move when I'm finally able to do so, Ashland, OR looks like the top contender right now. Climatically it's similar to Northern California. It gets a bit more rain than Bend (mostly in winter) but considerably more sun, it's warmer year-round, and the winters end in March instead of July.

blackdog said...

For data on Ashland's climate: http://www.city-data.com/city/Ashland-Oregon.html

For comparison, Bend's climate data: http://www.city-data.com/city/Bend-Oregon.html

Note that Bend (despite the "300 days of sunshine" bullshit) is BELOW AVERAGE in sunshine for all but about six weeks of the year while Ashland is above average for eight months of the year. Ashland's average daily high is above 70 for six months out of the year; Bend's is above 70 only about four months out of the year.

Anonymous said...

The trouble is what I’ve imagined about other cities doesn’t tend to hold true when I actually visit those places. Santa Rosa for example, shows MUCH more sunshine than Bend on average, though this year all of the grapes rotted due to the nasty, wet summer they had (PDO perhaps?) I’ve been to Hawaii, of course thought about relocating there as well – BUT one of the most friendly couples I know moved back to the mainland due to the unfriendliness of the locals (she is half-Asian, but couldn’t handle how her Caucasian husband was treated out there). I thought Descanso, CA sounded beautiful and the weather looked great – then I visited. I don’t think there was a liberal bone in the entire town. And forest fires are much more common down there than in Central Oregon.

Finding Utopia isn’t easy! I wish you luck in moving to Ashland. I hope they continue to improve the air quality down there (worst in the nation at some point?) - it looks like a lovely place.

blackdog said...

"Santa Rosa for example, shows MUCH more sunshine than Bend on average, though this year all of the grapes rotted due to the nasty, wet summer they had (PDO perhaps?)"

Maybe. This winter, spring and summer have been unusually cool and wet all up and down the West Coast.

"Finding Utopia isn’t easy!"

I'm not hoping to find Utopia, just a place we like better than Bend.

"I hope they continue to improve the air quality down there (worst in the nation at some point?)"

Hmmm, I never heard of that. Air quality has always seemed good every time I've been there.

forsakingrestraint.com said...

I grew up in Central Oregon and am constantly telling my husband (ex-Redding resident) that the weather is not the same as I remember it as a child. I'm glad to hear I am not the only one noticing this discrepancy.
On the subject of snow, the one saying that sends my husband nuclear is, "Good news for skiers!"

blackdog said...

Forsaking: This past "spring" and "summer" (including September) were DEFINITELY the suckiest I have ever experienced in my 25 years in Bend, and probably the suckiest I have ever experienced anywhere. But winters that drag on into June are not exactly new; I remember the locals griping about it when we first moved here.

Re snow: I actually like snow. It makes things look different and kinda pretty. What I don't like is what I call "Portland weather" -- week after week of drizzle under cold, gray, gloomy skies. Increasingly, Bend seems to be getting "Portland weather" in winter (September through June) instead of the pattern of snowstorms interspersed with cold but brilliantly sunny days that I remember from the 1980s.