I'm still in Oregon preparing for the big trip. As I'm discovering, there
are a TON of things to do, not the least of which is getting my Toyota truck ready.
In a tribute to my former
colleagues, here's Dolly Parton singing 9-To-5.
RealPlayer. If problems, see
During the past couple of weeks, I installed a new windshield,
put in a new stereo, and
had my truck's transmission overhauled, which was the first transmission work ever done on my 16-year old
truck... not bad for 232,000 miles! I normally do all my own repair
work on my truck, but I didn't think the apartment manager would appreciate me
doing a 3-day transmission overhaul in my carport, so I took my truck into a
shop. $1,200 later, the folks at Cottman's transmission
shop are smiling and my truck runs great.
big project at home has been copying my collection of 600 music CDs onto
a few dozen discs in MP3 format, which I'll take with me around the
U.S. and to Australia. As I've discovered, you can fit about 10 hours of CD-quality music onto a single
MP3 disc. Of course, you also need a car stereo player that can
read MP3 files, which I purchased and installed a few weeks ago (a Kenwood
MP-8017). Imagine popping in a CD in the morning, listening to it all day
and never hearing the same song twice! Pretty cool.
addition to burning the MP3 discs, I've been making backup discs of my
computer software (and backups of the backups), and have burned over 300 discs
during the past few weeks in preparation for the trip. Now the only thing
burning is my desire to hit the road. Because of all this prep work, I've
had to push my departure date
back to mid-May, which will give me
give me about 10 weeks to drive around America before heading to
Australia in August.
I've been pretty busy getting ready for my trip, I do manage to take breaks once in a while. Last week, during a
beautiful spring afternoon, I walked around downtown Portland and stopped by the
PB-Portland office to harass my (former) colleagues. It reached 75 degrees, the warmest day here since September, and Portlanders were out in
force downtown soaking up the sunshine.
The Willamette River and Portland, Oregon (pop. 530,000).
left: My office building on 6th Avenue in downtown Portland (PB is on
the 8th floor).
center: Pioneer Courthouse Square, finished in 1980, is known as
Portland's "Living Room." There used to be an ugly parking
garage here but during a major city renovation, planners decided to tear the
garage down and build a public plaza. Great idea!
right: Ira's Fountain (foreground) and the Portland Plaza
(background), where my parents lived back in the 1980s before moving up to
left: This is Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland, named
after an Oregon governor who once asked folks (Californians in
particular) to "visit Oregon but please don't
stay." Needless to say, he was a popular governor. There used to be a 4-lane highway here but civic leaders,
including McCall, decided to tear it up and put in a park.
center: Springtime is here!
right: Downtown Portland, near the waterfront.
19, 2001 (Hillsboro, Oregon)
19, 2001 (Bellingham, Washington)
5, 2001 (Bellingham, Washington)
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Travels (2001-02) >
U.S. Trip >
April 30, 2001