Thursday, October 9, 2008

What I Learned in Oregon

Back from Portland. Don't recommend doing the there and back in 42 hours like I did. Next time, I'm going take a few days and enjoy that corner of the country.

Ten things I learned in Oregon in the 24 hours I was there:
  1. It's pronounced "OR-ih-gihn", "OR-ee-gihn", "OR-ih-guhn", or even "OR-ee-gun", but never "or-ee-GONE". I learned that not five minutes after I arrived at my hotel. Always put the emPHAsis on the first sylLABle. Oregonians are particular about their state's pronunciation. I didn't tell them to pronounce our state "New Yawk".

  2. Although it sits at a higher latitude than Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis and even Buffalo, Portland gets very little snow in the wintertime. It's the moist Pacific Ocean air coming from the west blocked in by the Central Cascade Mountain Range to the east. They do, as everyone knows, get a lot of rain, however.

  3. There's much more facial hair on men in Oregon than in New York.

  4. And hats. On men. Of all ages. And not the flat brimmed New Era kind.

  5. And articles of wool clothing.

  6. Cabbies pay $520 every week by 3:00 p.m. Friday for the branding of their cabs, which they own. Most cabbies buy used Crown Vics from the police. It costs $400 to paint them that lovely green color, $400 for the light on top, $400 for the radio to dispatch, and $500 for the TaxiCam, which takes a picture every time the rear door opens and closes, so that the police will have a picture of the last person in the cab in case the cabbie is found dead. No kidding. With gas prices being what they are, my cabbie can't make money on a $15 fare running 20 minutes southeast to pick up Miss Mona Lisa, a "dancer" from Beaverton (not making that up) and take her to work. He took me to the airport instead. Non-stop. By myself.

  7. The McMenamins Kennedy School is a cool place to stay and conference.

  8. Portland's airport is like Buffalo's in so many ways -- the architecture, short security lines, friendly TSA people. I love being able to get to the airport less than an hour before takeoff.

  9. There are ocean beaches, mountains and desert plateaus all within 2-3 hours of Portland, none of which I saw on this trip unfortunately.

  10. It's weird watching the presidential debate at an hour when my local news comes on at home.
I enjoyed meeting everyone from the Oregon Chapter of IASIU. Thank you for having me out to present. Remember -- How do you know that?

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