26 January 2010

Life on the 45th Parallel

Um, yeah. I realize I haven't posted in a while, but frankly I just didn't feel like posting. I've been tired, really busy, and honestly a bit down. But I'm doing better now and I've taken a few pictures that I thought I might share.

Portland sits just above the 45th parallel, which is exactly half-way between the North Pole and the Equator. This, of course, makes for lots of darkness in the late fall and early winter, and lots of light in the summer (can't wait!). Following are a few photos from my adventures straddling this imaginary line on the map...

New Year's Eve was a lot of fun ... we went to a huge 80's dance party, and the songs were accompanied by their videos on giant screens around the hall, which mostly I remembered from when MTV actually played music videos.

The capitol of Oregon is Salem, just south of the 45th parallel (what is that, a couple of "minutes" or what?). Anyway, that big gold statue on the top of the tower is, in fact, called "The Gold Man", and although he looks to be a reasonable height, I was informed that he actually stands 6 feet tall - at the knees! That is one big Gold Man.

The main hall of the capitol is decorated with beautiful murals depicting Oregon's history. I think this one is about Lewis & Clark ... I should probably know these things, eh?

We went skiing at a place called Hoodoo in the Cascades southeast of Salem, a couple of weekends after I first visited the capitol. This photo is taken mid-slope, and through the trees you can see Mt. Washington. Several mountains in the Cascades were named after Presidents - Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Adams, Mt. Washington - but we're pretty sure there was never a President named "Rainier" or "Hood".

Here I am, in my Bearcat colors, at the summit of the Hoodoo ski resort. Shortly after this picture was taken, I went down what was called an "easy" hill at approximately 5 mph because one side of it was a giant cliff that went right off the side of the mountain. Uh, no thanks!

It's been starting to get much lighter in the morning and afternoon lately, which is a relief for sure. I can't wait until it's light at 9 o'clock at night!

12 January 2010

We're Number 1, alright

Sorry, again, for not regaling you with stories of my misadventures here in the Pacific Northwest. Often I think of something I want to write about and it ends up over there at my OTHER, more public blog. More stories to come soon, especially after I go skiing, which should be hilarious.

In the meantime, have a look at these links, which talk about how lonely it is to be an architect right now ... especially in Los Angeles.
  1. Exhibit A: The 9 professions that saw most job losses in 2009 ... and Architects are at the top of that list. Well, frankly we had to expect this one. If you're in the architecture industry and you DON'T know someone who was laid off in 2009, consider yourself an endangered species. I know so many people that are unemployed I started hosting their portfolios on my Web site. Or at least offering to. Also it's probably worth mentioning that while I *am* employed, I am not working at an architecture firm. And that's fine with me.
  2. Exhibit B: Los Angeles is the number one city in the country for job losses. ... Whoa. Now that's a distinction that nobody wants. And according to that article from LA's local NBC affiliate, 62% of locals are "sad" about that news. Well yeah, I guess so ...
In other words, if you're an architect, good luck, and maybe consider other options for living besides LA.