Sunday, April 24, 2011

My Vacation Is Great. Your Life Sucks.

There is a singularly stupid and obnoxious bumper sticker in Bend. It isn't very common, but I've seen it three or four times. It says:


And under that are the words: "Bend, Oregon."

This is stupid because the person who stuck that thing on his car knows nothing about the people who see the bumper sticker, or where and how they vacation. Maybe they spend three months a year in their villa in Tuscany. Maybe they spend the summer cruising the Mediterranean in their 60-foot yacht.

Vacations like those are a hell of a lot better than your life, dude -- unless your idea of a terrific time is freezing your ass off in a boring little town in the middle of nowhere.

As for the obnoxious part: This bumper sticker encapsulates not only the stupid provincialism of Bend ("No place in the world can possibly be as all-around super-duper wonderful as this place") but also the colossal arrogance that led Bendians to march lemming-like over the cliff of the real estate bubble ("This place is so gosh-darn all-around super-duper wonderful that everybody in the world is dying to live here and will pay anything to be able to do it").

So up yours, pal. My vacations are spent in Hawaii. Your life is spent in Bend.

Which means my vacation is great. And your life sucks.


Anonymous said...

Kauai condos are getting cheaper by the minute. You should break camp and get the fuck outta here!

Anonymous said...

It's not just Bend. That's a prevailing attitude just about anywhere you go in OR. However ( this affliction is highly acute in Bend! )

I don't -want- to be 'better' than anyone else? Nor do I see any need to be boastful about my choices in life/retirement. And no, a bumper sticker w/ a snazzy saying won't magically turn a sucky place into a great one. If only it could my car would be held together by them.

'Did' manage to catch some sun on Sat. and while I'm certain I'm as pasty and pale as ever before, it felt great to lay in the sun! JFTR one shouldn't have to feel like they're "stealing" when we manage to have (1) decent day. Especially when followed immediately by Drear. Easter egg hunt done w/ rain slickers. What fun!

H. Bruce Miller said...

"You should break camp and get the fuck outta here!"

Wish it was that easy. Got a house to sell and a wife who's not ready to retire yet. But one more endless winter in this shithole and we are GONE.

Anonymous said...

That bumper sticker is a product of Velocipede Demystifier, and features a picture of a bicycle. The point of that sticker is to show support of, and pride in, the bicycling culture in Bend.

H. Bruce Miller said...

That may be so, but it's still stupid and obnoxious. And if that's the point it's trying to make, it doesn't make it very clearly.

Anonymous said...

Dude, you are grouch. But you are also very funny and you tell it like it is.

I live in Portland and Central OR is great in the Spring - I drive down Sat am, boulder (or mtn bike) for the weekend and go back home.

(haven't been there this year yet due to high gas prices and low income)

But unless the weather is unusually warm, I stick to areas a little to the north where the elevation is a lower - it makes a difference in April.

So I think the reality is...
if you ski, climb, and mtn bike, then it is pretty good to live there. But if you are just a regular person, then the place has nothing to offer.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"But if you are just a regular person, then the place has nothing to offer."


Anonymous said...

We've covered the ahem, 'attributes' of the sporting community thoroughly here all before.

Just not sure 'Bend' is the only place one could cast a line or pedal a BIKE though? Hmmmm

Bruce, this may not be your first option but, our eldest and SIL finally caved and just rented their old house out. They wanted to take advantage of a collapsed mkt. and tried to sell several times.

Now they're renting it out to friends and the rent pretty... much covers their PITI etc. Since I'm The Dad nobody feels compelled to give me straight answers but they're young and don't have all that much room to GET over-extended.

I realize landlording may be about the -last- thing you want in retirement, but I'm willing to bet it's a bullet a lot of us are biting. We're not quite there yet but the wife and I will seriously consider it if the right opportunity presents itself? Though I'm doubting she'll buy the pitch we'll need all that extra space for multiple wives? IMHO.

H. Bruce Miller said...

Yes, the option of renting our our Bend place and renting a condo or small house in Hawaii is something we are actively considering. Or if it pencils out better we might buy a place in Hawaii and rent our Bend house. We don't need to sell the Bend house to be able to buy another place, but we'd rather get rid of it than have to worry about how the renters behave, the maintenance, etc.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"Dude, you are grouch. But you are also very funny and you tell it like it is."

Thank you. I try.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Here in Bend we call those joggers and bikers who are so compulsive, ... we call them 'hamsters', they keep the doc's at st-charles very busy.

Anonymous said...

What is the rental mkt. in Bend even like? We've covered the Existing/New Homes Sales extensively at the Portland Housing Blog, but no one seems to have a -clue- as to how soft/firm the Bend rental mkt. is!

In this mkt., in this economy who 'wouldn't' rather a firm offer and be DONE with it!? Where our kids were concerned, the math was determined by the fact that their Monthly outlay was essentially the same.

Although the rent on their old home won't quite cover PITI, the bottom fishing ( and sizeable Down Payment they put on their Repo ) worked out almost to the penny?

Seems you've got some time to work out your next move. I know we don't have to tell you just how critical that will be. What is their Health Care situation on the island? Just curious.

Anonymous said...


Buster may be a harsh critic of you and a number of other notables in this town, but I interpret that as a sign of respect/jealousy for them.

Don't let him get to ya!

Anonymous said...

You should try to unload the house this spring and rent until you and Mrs. Grumpy are ready to "bounce". The RE market is going nowhere but down for at least another 2-3 years. Princeville condos are 50% off from the peak which I found a little shocking but then, the bubble was rather large everywhere...even in paradise. I was eyeballing a couple while I was there a couple weeks ago but my guess is they'll be cheaper next year.

H. Bruce Miller said...

He doesn't get to me, but why should I put up with his shit on my own blog? Fuck him.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"You should try to unload the house this spring and rent until you and Mrs. Grumpy are ready to "bounce"."

Please don't call her Mrs. Grumpy -- she's not grumpy at all. Her personality is the opposite of mine.

Anonymous said...

Prineville + Condoze = WTF?

Condos, 'in' Prineville. Ok, whatever. Yeah I never mean to pee on Bend's parade, my gen. theory is that everyone was looking to "cash in Big Time on The Boomers!" and played it like they 'all' would be coming 'here'. Wherever the hell 'here' might be?

At the height of it the wife and I were so disgusted we thought perhaps just an RV pad/membership/boat/marina membership might provide the answer? Yep, had a bubble there too. Just ridiculous.

Likely any major move we entertain will involve biting the bullet on our Silverton condo as well? Buy/Rent a place in Vegas etc. ( for next to nothing ) and then both pretend we don't see the Prop. Tax Bill/Mortgage Statement that's been sitting on the kitchen counter for going on a WEEK!

Lots of couples will 'be' there! Sadly, I just don't feel another 2 or 3 years is going to help? We will NEVER see Boom Prices again. Better to BTB and get it over with than rot someplace you're just not happy with? IMHO.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"Better to BTB and get it over with than rot someplace you're just not happy with?"

I am coming around to that point of view.

Anonymous said...


Not trying to 'sell' anyone on a particular BOG's, but I go thru this w/ clients all the time. Take heart, even in the best of times ( it plays out basically the same? )

As a large demographic, Boomers tend to be their own blessing ( and curse! ) at the same time. What NEEDS to happen is to give the taxpayer the option. If you'd rather continue to have access to Capital Gains Exemption going forward, that should be your Right!

However if you'd prefer opt for the Old System ( one downsizing exemption at age 55 ) WITH the opportunity to WRITE OFF any losses on your -primary- residence.., then THAT should be your Right as well!

This is the very quandary the Gov't is IN right now! They're deploying head-in-sand tactics relying on 'faith' things will get turned around. ( I mean, they always have in the 'past', haven't they? ) I don't agree w/ John McCain on much but when he says "Hope isn't a 'strategy'!" that's kind of hard to argue? IMHO

H. Bruce Miller said...

"What is the rental mkt. in Bend even like?"

Knowledgeable people tell me it's getting pretty tight. I don't have any data.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"However if you'd prefer opt for the Old System ( one downsizing exemption at age 55 ) WITH the opportunity to WRITE OFF any losses on your -primary- residence"

We shouldn't have any loss on our primary residence, since we bought it for cash in 1985 and I really don't see Bend real estate prices dropping to those levels again. (Although who the fuck knows?)

Anonymous said...

"Princeville" as in Kauai not "Prineville" as in toxic ground water. Slight difference in spelling...and ya, I'll keep your wife out of it Captain Grumpy.

Bob said...

I live in Vermont and it applies to me too. Life better than vacation is something we all should strive for: you're lucky when if you can get there, no matter where that is.

Anna said...

I live in Bend, OR. And yes, life here regularly feels like a vacation with the hiking, kayaking, biking, beautiful views, and skiing/snowboarding. Adventure is always 20-40 minutes away. Its BETTER than vacation because it takes little planning, can be done on the spur of the moment, and can even be accomplished after work. So yeah, I agree my life IS better than any vacation. Because its is forever! Not just a week.