Wednesday, September 16, 2015

September Snow In The Oregon Cascade Mountains

I know that this is just a tease, but still it's pretty awesome to see a light dusting of snow on the mountain cams for Mt.Bachelor (top) and Mt. Hood Meadows (bottom) this morning.  Soon, ski season will be here and I'll be well on my way to accomplishing this year's goal of skiing at least 50 times during 2015-2016.  

In order to reach that number, I'll be living in Bend part-time this winter and spring.  The nice thing about Bend is that from the west side of town, it's only about 25-30 minutes to Mt. Bachelor versus the 75-80 minutes it takes to me to drive from NE Portland to Mt. Hood Meadows.  Plus, Bend is just beautiful and feels like my second home (for now) and possibly my permanent home someday soon.  

Hitting 50 ski days this year is within reason especially if I can work until 8:30 AM and be back at my desk working by 11:30 AM for the rest of the afternoon.  And if this year's El Nino delivers more snow than last year, I should be in good shape for skiing 50 times. 

Have a nice Wednesday this little blip of chilly weather. We're back to regular September weather tomorrow. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Joy Of Getting Kicked Out Of The Phone Tree

I've been trying to obtain the amount for my business's quarterly tax payment from the State of California Franchise Tax Board for the past few days and they don't seem to want to take my money.

Their phone tree continually tells me that they are too busy to assist me and to call back during regular business hours.  Well, during regular business hours is when I call in to get the answer.  But apparently, that's when they are busy and cannot take any more calls.

In fact, I also can't go online to find out the balance either.  That's a work in progress, according to the website.

So therefore, I'm back to calling in during regular business hours, which leads me to the recurring message that they are unable to take any more calls at this time and to call again during regular business hours.  

There's a stark difference between the state of California and the state of Oregon.  California is massive with nearly 39 million residents.  Oregon on the other hand, is relatively small with 3.9 million residents.  Whenever I call down to Salem, I get a live person on the phone in less than a minute.

When I call into most of the agencies in California, it's not very likely that I'll reach a live person.  Though over the years, I've maintained the magic phone numbers that I can use to reach someone, but those are few and far between.

I wish that California had the staffing, infrastructure, and/or systems to handle the volume of inquiries they probably receive every single day.  In time, the online system will be ready to go and will accept my payment.

However, in the meantime, I'm going  to keep calling (like this guy), and hopefully I'll reach a live person who will gladly tell me the exact dollar amount to mail in.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

From The Department Of "Who Cares?"

It's football season again and my fellow Oregonians will be going apeshit over their beloved 18-22 year old tackle football players from UO and OSU.  And me, well, I'll be spending my Saturdays riding my bike out to Multnomah Falls or hiking up on Mt. Hood.  

This afternoon, I saw this link to an article on about the uniform combinations the OSU Beavers will be wearing this year.

Seriously?  This is actually news?  Come on.  Do people actually care about this stuff?

Answer:  Yes they do!

People Tweet the heck out of this stuff.

As for me, I'm once again going to be a fish out of water as I spend time outdoors in the beautiful Oregon Fall. It's hard to beat hiking along the Salmon Huckleberry Trail in Welches and seeing a school of salmon spawning.  Or, riding along the Old Columbia River Highway, where few tourists venture in September and October, seeing the leaves turn along the 30 mile round trip ride.

It sure beats the heck out of watching college football all weekend long.

Sorry to be such a spoil sport about America's new past time.  Enjoy going apeshit over college football.  I'll be outside enjoying what should be a spectacular Fall in the Northwest.