Friday, June 29, 2012

not at this address

I haven't talked about my junk mail lately but it's still arriving in full force, it's a mix of advertisements and solicitations that I'll never look at and mail to people who don't live at this address. In today's installment of "how much of the mail is actually ours," we have something from Minnesota Life regarding someone named Valerie's current Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance.

Valerie hasn't lived at this address in years! I have lived on this block since 2005 and I think Valerie lived in this place before we moved to this neighborhood. That's how long she's been gone. 

I've been getting tons of mail that doesn't belong to me for years now. It's really crazy; there's been times I've collected a huge pile of it, went down to a post office, waited in life for ever and then handed it all over to a bewildered looking mail clerk, explaining that I keep getting this but these people don't live here. I can see a gleam in hesitation in these clerk's eyes but I just leave the bag or stack of mail up there and take off. I think I've done that about 4 times now and I still continue to get a barrage of mail that doesn't belong to me. It really gets me concerned about my own mis-delivered mail. I mean, how much of it is some other random person getting? and are they also, like me, collecting a pile of it and every quarter or so go down to their local post office branch and turn the stack over? or are they a-holes, and do they just throw it out, or worse yet open it and obtain more information about me. Am I being secretly stalked? 

I've complained about different aspects of mail delivery in the past. The junk mail itself is overwhelming. I've never been pre-selected for so much crock scammery in my life! 

The wrong person/address stuff is especially disconcerting. Last January I didn't receive a ticket that was supposedly mailed to me (one of those BS photo radar things, but we'll visit that in another blog) and I'm left wondering if someone else received it and threw it out. What's the quality assurance program at the USPS look like? I'd like to get some quality control in my zip code please. 

We used to have an awesome mailman named Stan. Stan the mailman was everything you expected a mailman to be. As if he just walked off of the set of Sesame Street, he was friendly, stopped to engaged in small talk but didn't talk for too long, and also paid attention to things like misaddressed mail and leaving packages out of sight instead of in plain view and easily steal-able in the time between delivery and when I get home from work. Stan left this route because he got a transfer into his own neighborhood. He was really excited about that and I can't blame him. We've had a few mailmen since Stan that are completely devoid of personality and don't make eye contact. It just hasn't been the same and whenever the current mailman crams the mail into my box so tight that I can't get it out, I am so tempted to smear dog shit under his vehicle door handle.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Oregon Badlands Wilderness

Oregon certainly is a great place to travel around! I love taking a few weekdays off from work and just cruising around the state, camping or staying in a small-town hotel and just checking out the scene there. There is such diversity throughout the state--a day trip could easily pass through lush forest mountains, high desert, arid, volcanic landscapes, grassy plains and miles of farms, beaches...this state pretty much has it all. You can travel as short or as long as you like, there are plenty of things to do that are within an hour's drive of Portland. Similarly, if you have a few days off you can really check out some neat stuff. Like the John Day Fossil Beds. I've talked about them before and really enjoy visiting the three sites. We must get out to see them a few times a year, and we try to visit during different seasons to really take in the variety of environment and vibe that occurs with the changing position of the sun in relation to the earth's axis.

Recently we went on a hike to the Oregon Badlands Wilderness and I have to say if you get the chance you should go, you will not be disappointed. The hike is relatively level so it's not anything technical or extra tiring. There are some volcanic rocks you can climb too. I think over 100 species of birds out there too! We also saw some really neat blue lizards, I don't think I got any pictures but they were definitely something I haven't seen before.

It is so peaceful and quiet out here. There were a few other people out here but families encumbered with a ton of stuff, they took the short hike out and back. We took the longer hike, but then also got disoriented and took the wrong trail back, resulting in what was supposed to be 3 miles turning into 8. 

But it was beautiful and I I didn't care. It was a little warm and at one point but I was okay, it serene calm of the landscape is really therapeutic.

When we started seeing signs we didn't recognize from on the way out we knew something was wrong. We were on a trail, so at least we knew we would end up somewhere sooner or later. 

This is Flatiron Rock. We climbed on top of this and hung out up here for a while. When we climbed off the rock, we made the mistake of coming down the back of it--that's where we picked up the wrong trail. 

View from the top.

Hot molten-ass shit going down here 40 billion years ago!

Rock Wren, hanging out with us and loving my camera's auto-focus noise. 

Spent juniper. 

More information about the Oregon Badlands Wilderness can be found here:

Also, if you liked these pictures I have a bazillion more up on my Flickr site: