Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Sheer Horrifying Suckiness of Bend's "Spring Festival"

The horror. The horror.

It's a classic Bend spring day -- gray, windy, 48 degrees and drizzling. Naturally, this was the day they picked to hold the second annual "Spring Festival" in Northwest Crossing, which, for the benefit of those of you who don't live here, is a yuppified development in the northwest quadrant of Bend full of faux "Craftsman" houses, Volvo and Subaru station wagons and thin blond white people who wear Lycra a lot.

Mrs. Blackdog and I rode by there early this afternoon, and in spite of the weather there seemed to be about a thousand people milling around in the cold drizzle. Bendoids are like that; they will turn out in hordes for any event, no matter how shitty the weather may be. I attribute this to two factors: 1) the high boredom quotient in Bend and 2) the low Intelligence Quotient in Bend. Probably in equal parts.

The whole scene was just too ugly and sad and depressing and horrible, and I got the fuck out of there as fast as I could.

Why did it bother me? I think it's because holding a "spring festival" in Bend in mid-April is not only monumentally stupid but seems like a taunt, a heartless, jeering mockery of the dashed hopes of those of us who keep dreaming that somehow, some year, by some blessed miracle, spring will bring a little sunshine and warmth.

In commemoration of the horribleness of it all I bought, for $2, this creepy little plaster figurine of a baby chick zombie, and I'm making it the official emblem of "spring" in Bend. 

Which really, truly, deeply, profoundly and horribly sucks.


Anonymous said...

Ah... making note of this cruel & annual punishment seems almost 'quaint' after the economic upheaval we've all had to deal with?

The Battle I was fighting ( before 'this' battle erupted! ) And it's not just Bend. Any OR town over 10,000 thinks it's necessary to clutter the calendar w/ as many 'events' as possible to give the appearance "somthing is going on EVERY weekend!"

If we were being honest, our "Spring Fests" would be on JULY 15th! I will say however, PDO in full-effect in Hornbrook CA! Checked their 10-Day forecast and it's no damned 'better' than Salem's. Barkeep? Suckage across the board for ALL my friends!

H. Bruce Miller said...

"If we were being honest, our "Spring Fests" would be on JULY 15th!"

True dat.

Anonymous said...


Just curious, on the Portland Housing Bubble Blog someone recently mentioned that Cali treats your first $50k in Income very differently than Oregon. Obviously a much lower rate.

Something most of us haven't thought about in a long, long time if ever!

Wouldn't it make sense assuming your ret. Income is at or below $50k to take up a CA address if only for those purposes? Particularly if you are sort of straddling borders anyway?

This downturn has shaken all our faith in what we 'thought' we knew about this country's commitment to capitalism. 'To' the degree, I -certainly- don't feel a lick of allegiance to any particular 'State'? Better weather.., lower taxes.., what's there to 'agonize' over again?

H. Bruce Miller said...

I wasn't aware of that CA income tax break. We expect to have more than $50K income when we retire, but if we got a break on the first $50K, that's still a savings. I'll look into it -- thanks for bringing it to my attention.

We are leaning strongly toward Hawaii for retirement now. Since the Great Recession hit, real estate prices there are not as high as you might think.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe it's so much a matter of Cali being any more 'advantageous' than any 'other' state. Only to highlight we share a border and OR is so screwed up? Bottomline is you'll do better just about anywhere else.

And who says you need to BUY if you're moving to Hawaii? I'd def. hold OFF. Like Bend, prices are low and only heading lower. Plus a lot of us mainlanders move there only to come back after about two years.

If you've never lived "Tropical" before, why not Rent and kick it around awhile? 'Me'? No probalo, if it wasn't for this economy, I'd be there NOW! Surprisingly, prices in the Philippines haven't gone down at all! In fact, w/ as shaky as Real Estate has been -here- in The States, they've only firmed up. Oh and their Gov. isn't on the verge of Insolvency?

IF... you've never considered it, might want to take a look? There are higher elevations where it's rather pleasant. Sea Level, 'Manlia' ( forget it! ) If you're willing to go as far as HI, why not a lil' further and get the full benefit? IMHO.

H. Bruce Miller said...

We probably will rent for a while before we buy. But I'm not convinced prices in HI will head downward definitely. Unlike Bend, it really IS paradise and millions of people want to live there, or at least vacation there.

So if we do buy a condo and decide to move back to the mainland after a couple of years I have little doubt we could sell, and probably at a profit.

Anonymous said...

"Unlike Bend, it really IS paradise" LOL!

Point taken. The wife and I never really considered Oahu. It hasn't been affordable for years, even 'after' the Japanese Exodus in the late 80's.

But you're right. You're absoLUTEly right. Every place else is is just 'settling'. Baja, ungodly HOT, too dry, too many banditos! Florida, cheap yes! Also muggy, over run w/ NY's, OOC growth. Vegas, PHX ( Hell East/Hell West ) Yuma? You're kidding right?

I'd love nothing more than to have a Summer that gives Realtors every call for jubilation and go right back to making outrageous claims. And not stake their reputation by the 1st of August, but the END of September! ( You know, when it 'officially' becomes Fall again? )

Just so you guys know where the -bar- is set.

H. Bruce Miller said...

I believe real estate on other islands is cheaper than Oahu. The Kona area on the Big Island is really affordable. (Unfortunately, it also rains all the time there.) Real estate on the coast is expensive everywhere (as is the case even in Oregon, bafflingly) but when you move inland it gets much cheaper. There's a pretty little town called Wailuku (county seat of Maui) that appeals to us.

"I'd love nothing more than to have a Summer that gives Realtors every call for jubilation"

Ditto that.

Anonymous said...

"(as is the case even in Oregon, bafflingly)" Never been able to figure that out 'myself'!? I say have AT it.

My wife has an Aunt in Hilo ( I think all Filipinas do? ) and there's a def. story to that. True, it's the wettest place on earth, but natives adjust.

Not unlike the Philippines, rainy season starts out finding the morning getting warmer measureably by the minute. Stays that way until about 10 am. Then clouds roll in. But rain remains at bay until 2 in the pm. Then all hell breaks loose! Truly awesome and un-depressing like here. This continues in waves until around 5 pm. ( Kona side is -much- drier! )

Then out of nowhere, the clouds disappear and it gets warm again.., fast! Little rivers and temporary 'lakes' dry up before your eyes and dust can be seen coming off the roads within hours!

Again unlike OR where a damp towel on the towel bar 'remains' so until July? You can't just look at the 'amount' of rain. ( It's the -time- you're 'in' it! ) For the most part, during the rainy season, life comes to a halt between 2 and 5 pm and resumes just in time for lil' league, gardening and walks on the beach.

It's a non-starter and a trade I'll take any day of the week!

Anonymous said...

Could it.., could it BE!?

Sound The Trumpets, Current La Nina near extinction: Trove of links and fun Blah-Oregon Weather Facts.

"While there are a vast number of people who live in the Northwest who love the cool, cloudy and wet weather (I'm one of them) I can understand that even long-time Northwesterners are probably craving some sun and warmth."

( No SH!T Pappoh )


1. 1893 - 1 DAY
*** 2. 2011 - 3 DAYS ***
2. 1876 - 3 DAYS
4. 1929 - 4 DAYS
5. 1880 - 5 DAYS

( Descent Into The Malstrom! )

"Ready for La Nina to end? Snow in the lower elevations in April. Monthly rainfall averages reached in the first 10 days of the month. More days in the 40s in spring than in the 60s. In Portland, 41 of the past 49 days have been wet."

( Suckation, Defined! ) Yeah, more days in the 40's than the 60's, which btw is what 'most' of the country is/HAS been enjoying for a WHILE now!

( 'My' fave )

"Monthly rainfall averages reached in the first 10 days of the month."

( Isn't that a lot like being shown a 'preview' of an X-rated movie that shows the 'talent' primarily putting their clothes back 'on'? ) As in, 'you' are the only one getting SCREWED!? Betcha' can't wait to see 'more' huh? Or is that less?

In any event, when it comes to OR's weather ( AND 'economy' ) take encouragement where you can FIND it!

H. Bruce Miller said...

"While there are a vast number of people who live in the Northwest who love the cool, cloudy and wet weather (I'm one of them)"

Frankly, I never believe people when they say they "love the cool, cloudy and wet weather." They're lying either to themselves or to me. Or else they're desperately trying to put a "positive" spin on a sucky situation, as folks in the Pacific NW are wont to do.

Homo sapiens evolved in a warm, dry climate and that's the type of climate we are hard-wired to prefer (see "Savannah Principle").

Anonymous said...

"we are hard-wired to prefer (see "Savannah Principle")."

Just goes to show you, the more you Blog ( the more homework you get! ) If OR's weather was a matter of hitting your Mo. Avg's with IN the first 10 days of the month, followed by sheer sunny bliss, I'd complain 6.9% less!

I hope KATU's weather blogger is correct, anything would be an improvement, but it doesn't change my long term plans to GTFO one iota. In fact saw a nice 3 acres on the lake in the Yreka area for less than $10k.

We should all probably be shopping for Mileage Mobiles to GTFO on a regular ( affordable ) basis in the interim. IMHO