Monday, December 22, 2008

Snowy Christmas

I have been in Portland (well, McMinnville) since very late Wednesday night. It has been snowing non-stop since then. Well, the snow has stopped, so the freezing rain could come and put a razor sharp edge on top of the fluffy pretty snow.

Saturday afternoon we had 7.5 inches of snow outside. This morning we have 10.5 inches. I have never seen this much snow in Mcminnville before. I have only seen this much snow on the mountain or around the great lakes, never along the valley floor.

The neighbors moved from Idaho and have a snow blower, so the cleared the sidewalks and our driveway. This was very nice. Unfortunately, the snow kept coming and pretty much filled in the cleared pathways.

I haven't seen any friends since I got here. I haven't gone wine tasting, I haven't gone shopping, I haven't had a professionally cooked meal, I haven't even had fast food (which I never eat, but still...)

In 2 minutes I get to try my snow driving skills. We are going to the hospital for some surgery for my dad. We called the hospital to see if the surgery was still on, and of course the don't know. I know we will schlep clear across town on the non-plowed streets to the hospital and then they will say all elective surgery is cancelled. Then I will be very upset.

Stay tuned for the report of me flipping out in the hospital and me being arrested. Watch the Yamhill County Jail Blotter.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fuck Me Gently With A Chainsaw.

So we left on time. We had a very tough head wind (170 knots or about 200 mph), but we got in on time. And I just love the first class bump going into PDX, my bag is always first off the belt.

It is cold here, but no ice, no snow. I think all my friends and family were lying to me.

I have said many a great thing about Green Cab before, but they piss me off. They wouldn't even talk to me because the weather was bad. I am in a White Van Shuttle now. I am afraid the driver is some crazy meth head. He is talking about moving to LA to be a stunt man. "uh, I think I can hit on some babes down there, don't you" then he bursts into wild laughter. Uh, yeah dude, you can hit on girls, but they will mace you.

Even though it doesn't seem to be icy, I am nervous about our high rate of speed. We are on I5 just past the curves and we are going 85. The horn works too... He uses that more than his turn signal.

Best part of this can ride- I've seen my life flash before my eyes, twice. Oh, and he is arguing with me on the rate. Only a $5 difference, but methy is only getting so much money from me, increase your rate, reduce your tip,dick.

God help me!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Craziness!

So I am totally going to jinx myself now, but...

I got to the airport with enough time to get a panini, a beer and eat at a leisurely pace and still have 10 minutes until we board. Supposed to land 5 minutes late, not too bad. And my taxi IS coming to pick me up! I can't understand this craziness. Everything is coming up Tim today!

Speaking of a good day, I had a nice coaching session today. We put together my yearly plan. Many of you reading this are part of my yearly plan too, just wait and see.

Barring metal fatigue or pilot error, I will be in Mac in 5.5 hours! Whoo hoo!

And so it begins.

I am in a cab on montrose working my way west to the blue line to the airport. Traffic is fine, roads are clear. Evidently the weather on the other end is the problematic piece. I am not actually concerned about the trip.

I am more concerned about Lilly. BAD is going to watch her, but decided not to get her until saturday because of the bad weather today. Lilly can stay at home by herself for more than 4 days without any real issues. It just concerns me that something might come up and she will stay a few extra days alone. That makes me sad. If Lilly should die I will have a nervous breakdown but will throw a large memorial service for her. Black tie probably.

There is a store on my right now, called the "Crafty Beaver" -- what a great name for a lesbian bar, eh?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Long Commute

So I am queued up to fly to Portland tomorrow. Both Chicago and Portland are experiencing severe weather. Flights between ORD and PDX are delayed several hours. I have to take cabs from PDX to my parents house now - parents can't come get me. I scheduled a cab today, or should I say, I tried to. They said that because of the weather they aren't doing shuttles (cheaper than straight metered cabs) OR meter service into the valley. If the weather report holds and I make it to PDX, I am going to be stuck at the airport all night. Lovely.

I can however get a shuttle to Eugene's airport. A shit load of good that will do me. Who am I kidding, my flight isn't leaving Chicago tomorrow, is it? I will be mobile blogging from a bar at ORD, drunk as a fag at the parade.

Have I said it before? I hate winter. The novelty of wearing sweaters and layers has totally worn off on me. I want to move to Miami or
Los Angeles or San Diego - screw the possibilities of: hurricanes, earthquakes and Mexicans (respectively).

Maybe I will move to Dubai. Except for the fact that my "choice in lifestyle" will get me killed.

Winter kills me.

The Day After Tomorrow

Has anyone seen that movie? It came out a few years ago and is replayed on FX a lot. Basically global warming causes a catastrophic climate realignment. The arctic tundra moves super south and the fertile farm lands is now very near the equator and all the third world now is the worlds bread basket. Anyway this movie sucked. I bring it up because on Sunday it was in the high 40s here, and then on Monday morning it was 2. 40 degree temperature drop sucks. The weather men were talking about the flash freezing of the city. The puddles of water on the street were totally frozen solid.

The wind was whipping. The wind chill was well below zero. I am bundled up like that kid from A Christmas Story. If this is an effect of global warming I am going to totally go green 100% now. Its mid December, it shouldn't be this cold for 2 more months.

My friend who works as a commodities broker has this weather thing (technical term) that has been right very frequently (the brokers use this thing to price the futures market) and this thing says that December will be the worst month this winter and the rest won't be all that bad. Fingers crossed, right?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Chicago, how I love thee...

Today our governor was taken into federal custody for "pay to play" in relation to the filling of President-Elect Obama's Senate seat. Our previous governor is in Federal Prison for corruption too. I think another one beat the wrap too. Chicago is crooked. Everyone knows that. You have to know how to play the game. Life is politics.

It is raining heavily here today. It is supposed to be a nasty snowy, icy mess tonight. The bus is packed. The bus is humid. The traffic is miserable. I have no idea where I am. I hate winter.

My day is light today, unlike yesterday, where I was in solid meetings from 8am until 5pm -with only two 30 minute breaks through out the day.

Ooooh, I think my bus is getting off Lake Shore Drive now. I managed to make it in before lunch today. What a novel concept.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

1 Perfect Travel Day

I have returned to Chicago. No weather issues. No mechanical issues. No crew issues. No delays. Nothing. What a kooky thought. Although I am jealous of the people on my last flight that were continuing on to Heathrow. I was thinking about the hours I spent on the plane today: 2.25 to Denver, 1.25 to Salt Lake, 1 to Denver, and 2 to Chicago. A total of 6.5 hours in the air. My flight to Dubai in February is twice as long. Over 12 hours flying from DC to DXB. I am going to have to make sure I bring plenty of water and entertainment... Or maybe just 2 valium and 3 mini bottles of vodka.

I didn't pick up any souvenirs. I didn't eat at any great restaurants (I ate at burger king and the whopper was very tasty, but I wouldn't call BK a good restaurant).

Unfortunately I didn't get as much work done as I had hoped. Tomorrow will be a very full day I can tell.

The last leg...

I am now on the plane in Denver heading back to Chicago. I can't believe how fantastically smooth this trip has been. I don't want to jinx it though.

Surprisingly the dry recycled air has really helped the sore throat I've been nursing for over a week now. Hopefully this is just what the doctor ordered to get rid of it.

I am popping over to a friends house to meet her new dingo when I get back to Chicago. The dingo is a rescue and evidently has "cat issues". I hope this dingo doesn't smell Lilly on me and bite my nuts off.

I have really enjoyed myself today. Maybe I should do this more often. Interestingly enough, I have not had a conversation with a seat mate this entire trip. This is very odd.

Baring pilot error or metal fatigue I will be in Chicago just 13 hours after I left this morning.

Very nice...

What is wrong with me? Why is it that when a stranger is very nice to me I think they have an ulterior motive?

I missed the Mormon shuttle, so I cabbed it down to temple square. I took a quick tour. The girls giving the tours were super nice. One had a mustache, but I think it was a cultural thing, not a religious thing. They didn't try to convert me either. I am not complaining about that though. We saw the genealogy library, the conference center the temple and a couple other buildings. They seemed pretty knowledgeable, but I wouldn't know if they were lying to me or not.

I am back at the airport heading to Denver. I am on a bigger plane this time and luckily my upgrade went through.

I am getting very tired now. It is doubtful I will be working on this segment.

SLC=desolate

I haven't been to Salt Lake in years. I don't remember if I ever have been here in the day light. It is brown and white. There appeared to be a small mushroom cloud wafting over a part of the city. Perhaps it was the steam from some geo-thermal power plant and not a nuclear holocaust. We will soon find out, won't we?

Am off to check in for my return flights, take a tour of the Mormon Square (I forget the real name) and get a bite to eat. Am looking forward to it. I will try to send pix through while in the city.

Cheers!

Denver. I am waiting.

As I sit here across from the "Johnny Bag-o-donuts" watching him eat his chorizo breakfast burrito, my hunger quickly subsides. My flight to SLC boards in about 15 minutes.

Air travel still excites me. The idea of getting up at 4am and before you know it you are 888 miles away. Then an hour later you are in a totally new city. Although I don't think anyone would ever say SLC is a glamorous city, I am excited to spend a couple of hours exploring it.

I brought a little bit of work to do during my travels today, but this far haven't cracked it yet.

The Adventure Begins

I have started my Salt Lake City adventure. We got about an inch to an inch and a half of snow last night. Surprisingly Streets and San are not out plowing. The roads are covered, snow is blowing, cars are sliding, time is ticking. My flight is at 6am. I have one hour until boarding. At this rate of travel, I will be cutting it close. I hope the expressways are clear.

Wouldn't it be my luck to miss my flight today. It might have made a bit more sense for me to go to Miami today, instead of Salt Lake, eh?

Friday, December 05, 2008

Holidazed

Friday Night. Bistrot Zinc. Goose up, blue cheese olives. Holiday dinner for my team.

I like the folks I work with. I like Bistrot Zinc. I love goose. Should be fun. T minus 12 hours until SLC.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Return

I am en route back to PDX now. The valley taxi arrived right on time too. Green Shuttle/Taxi has been a great vendor during my frequent visits to Oregon. They did leave my parents in the lurch when they were coming to see me, but something tells me this has something to do with my parents and not the taxi company.

This was a good weekend. It started off full of craziness though. We found out my dad only had a couple of days to live, but that was amended to be 6 months after more tests came back.

On Thursday we had a small thanksgiving dinner, just me and the parents. Friday I went to Brooks Winery with JLP-B and JB. Tasted some nice wine and bought a couple bottles. Let's hope they don't get broken in my suitcase. - fingers crossed -

On saturday I ventured into Sheridan for an old classmates 30 birthday party. I saw the wine friends again, and AFB. Seeing those three was the main reason I went back to Sheridan. The party was at the Green Frog. I hadn't been there since I was 19. I am still shocked that people can smoke in bars in Oregon. You crazy liberals-you can smoke medical pot, your doctor can kill you if you ask him too, but there is no ban on smoking? Come on, I thought Chicago was late in the smoking ban game.

The birthday party was fine. I have known JJH since kindergarten, we aren't close though. I was really annoyed by one guy though. He kept making fun of people who still lived in Sheridan. Believe me, it feels good to get out of Sheridan and live in the City. I often make fun of how small Sheridan is and how I could never live there again, but don't be rude to people because their life plans differ from your. I will make fun of people for their beliefs (racism, sexism, homophobia and bigotry in general), but not because they choose to live where they grew up. The one thing I wish for people who think that everything they need is where they grew up (be that Sheridan, Portland, Chicago or Madrid) is to go explore the world. See what else is out there, you will learn a lot about who you are and about where you are from.

Another thing that pissed me off was when this guy kept talking about where these folks work. He made fun of the local casino employees and various other local manufacturing jobs. He works in a large city outside of Oregon, and from my brief conversation with him, thinks he is much better than people in Sheridan. He asked me why I still lived in Sheridan. Perhaps thinking I was like him, better that everyone else around us. I simply said I work in Risk Management at a large Chicago based parking company. Following the standard confused look (the mind trying to wrap itself around: Chicago, Risk Management and Parking) he said "Uh cool". In my mind I said, "yup", but my mouth said "if you will excuse me, I need another water".

People are probably reading this and saying "Tim, you are as rude and snobby as this guy you describe". Perhaps I am.
Speaking of being a snob. Since my dad is on a 99% liquid diet, we decided to hit all the stores in town, to see where the deals where. We went to Winco. This store opened up when I was in college I think. My only experience there ended with me walking out, leaving all of my purchases in the cart at the register when I found out you couldn't pay with a debit/credit card. Cash/check only. This has changed, luckily. I was surprised at home many people in that store were missing teeth, many missing front teeth and others missing a multitude of teeth. I will admit the prices were pretty good though. I can't comment on the quality though.

I asked a gentleman working at Winco if they had the drink Ensure. He confirmed they did, but was perplexed as to the location of this dietary mainstay for my father. Actually his response to my query regarding its location was "Fuck if I know, where theys keep dat shit. Is (pronounced eyes) say to go over to aisle 4B and ask someone over there." as I turn to get my barings and to find where 4B is, I turn back to thank this kind man, and much to my surprise I see him about 50 yards away scurrying away from me. Obviously my question was more than he had hoped for.

We also went to walmart (mostly because we never found the product at Winco). Walmart is always trying for me. It was worse this time, as it was so humid in the store. We had our cart full of Ensure and were making our way through the crowds to check out. My dad, who is usually calm blurted out (god damn, where did all of these fat people come from, and why won't they move?". About 15 seconds later, after we received m MANY stares from the aforementioned fatsos, my dad blurts out "that's why it is so humid in here, all these fat people sweating while they think about the buy one get one almond rocha in their carts". Yeah, I wonder where I get it.

I am tired of mobile blogging now... It has taken us 50 minutes to get to the express way from Mac. I bet it will be another 30 before we hit PDX.