Obversations, Thoughts, and Experiences Made And

Monday, June 17 2002

Obversations, thoughts, and experiences made and gained while relocating to the Portland area:


While eating Arby’s before getting on the road, Carrie says “Hey, is that your Dad’s friend?”. Before I get the chance to say “That’s the third time I’ve seen that wobbly headed freak walk by carrying an unopened can of Coke and a 32 ounce bottle of brown Gatorade since we sat down” she waves at him. He begins to head over to return her friendliness, stops about ten feet away, makes a noise unintelligable, then heads off in another direction in his now familiar wobbly fashion to my relief. We’ve placed this experience into the “Sure, I’ll braid your hair” category1


Fresno smells like rotten salad. There’s no real explanation. My theory is that it has something to do with the name Fresno. That was a big mistake made by the founding fathers of the city.

If it’s a Taco Bell, and it’s on Interstate 5 between the Grape Vine and, let’s be safe and just say the border of Oregon, don’t be tempted to eat there. Let this be a lesson to you: if the floor in the Taco Bell is supposed to be blue, but really looks black, then your food simply cannot taste as good, even if it’s in it’s most pure form.

Mount Shasta looks edible. It looks like a treat from Dairy Queen. Vanilla ice cream with hot fudge dribbled all over it. It would, however, be very difficult to eat, even if you only consider the shear volume.

At night, people think I’m shining my brights. I’m not. I have a truck, it rides a bit higher than a standard car, pickup, or SUV. Oncoming motorists flash their brights at me, at which point I feel it’s my responsibility as an American to defend their accusations and shine brights at them as quickly as possible to show them that I, indeed, am not being forgetful or discourteous and leaving my brights on. Perhaps if I showed a little less glee in doing this at almost every car that passes, Carrie would agree with my handling of the situation. While I can’t speak for her, I have an idea that she thinks it’s “a stupid guy thing”.

Don’t sleep in Fresno, even at a Super 8 Hotel. You’d think that the Super 8 Hotel is better by a magnitude of 2 compared to the Hotel 6. If this is so, then the Hotel 6 in Fresno must use piles of fluffed dirt for pillows, and slabs of recycled concrete for mattresses (no high quality slabs of granite in this metaphor).


Grass. Look at all the grass. There must be thousands of square miles of grass to our left and right. Look, a sign that says “Grass Capital of the World”. No kidding.

Green. It’s very green here. It looks like we’re going to need some good umbrellas. It’s also very clean.

We arrived in Wilsonville late Saturday night. We were too tired to find the apartment, and couldn’t move in until Sunday anyhow, so we got a room. For the same price we paid for a dump in Fresno at the Super 8, we got a very nice, and very clean room at a Comfort Inn in Wilsonville. The next morning, we openened the blinds to the room, and what did my eyes behold? Across a field of grass stood a Fry’s Electronics. My love/hate relationship with the store would continue. The hate would be less as I came to find out last night. No sales tax in Oregon. Not a dime. And, not just one, but three people offered to help me find items in Fry’s. A miracle.

Sunday morning we moved into our apartment. An apartment complex of this quality in Southern California would cost triple for what we are paying in Oregon. No exaggeration.

Our apartment is now fully furnished and very livable. Cable modem and telephone get installed this week.

1I had a roommate when I was younger who decided to also invite his father in law to stay with us. It was actually his ex-wife’s father in law, and rather than try and explain that, I’ll get right into the explanation of the “Sure, I’ll braid your hair” category of experiences.

This new roommate slept on the couch, falling asleep to pornos. Again, more room for explanation that I will gloss over for the sake of brevity. And yes, this wasn’t a comfortable home environment for me. I changed that pretty quick, but I digress. This new roommate was an old man with very long, greasy biker hair. I seem to recall his beard was as long as his hair, and both had probably been growing without fear of scissors in their whole existance. This was wild man hair.

Carrie and I weren’t married yet. She came by to visit one time. I was in my room doing something, and she came bursting in, quickly shutting the door behind her. She was obviously very distraught, and in some kind of fix.

“What’s wrong?!”

“I just told your roommate I’d braid his hair!”

What? You’re crazy!

“I didn’t mean too! He asked ‘Do you know how to braid hair?’ and I said ‘Yes’ then he said ‘Could you braid my hair?’ and I said ‘Yes’ and then I realized what I said and ran in here, what do I do?!”

Now you understand why Carrie and I have a classification of experiences called the “Sure I’ll braid your hair” experiences. Carrie is winning so far, with two confirmed experiences against my zero.