The Portland of My 49th State

When I was young, my family took a lot of road trips up, down, and around everywhere east of the Mississippi, and even once all the way out to Montana. When I moved to Colorado, I took a lot of road trips around the western states to see everything I could before getting my master’s degree and moving back overseas. When I stuck around after graduation and found that travelling internationally from Denver was kind of a pain, I took some large pseudo-domestic trips, such as to Hawaii and Alaska. After all this travel, I found myself at the beginning of 2017 with only two states remaining to set foot in: Oregon and Idaho.

And now, there’s just Idaho. This is my somewhat-creative writing blog, but by day, I’m a technical writer and I work for an excellent and successful company. So excellent, in fact, that they picked up the tab for me to attend the Write the Docs conference, which happened to be in Portland, Oregon, this week. I have to specify Oregon because as an east-coaster, I still think of Maine first when I hear Portland, and I imagine some of you do too. I won’t go into all the details of what one learns and talks about at a technical writing conference, but if you’re curious about the career, I highly recommend Tom Johnson’s blog. He’s a tech writing guru, and he totally had groupies (including me) at the conference. Here, I’ll sum up some of the other highlights of the trip and save the show notes for my coworkers. Continue reading →

441 Days in Mountains: The (Long and Winding) Road

No, this post has nothing to do with Cormac McCarthy or the Beatles. It has to do with the impending winter and the requirements of living on a private, barely legal road. If you, like most of the sane and rational population of the United States, live on a paved road that is cleaned, plowed, and maintained by your town or county, you probably only consider the effort that goes into keeping your road pleasantly usable when it becomes unpleasantly usable, such as when a large pothole appears in the middle of it. My road, however, is a constant occupier of thoughts. Here’s what it means to live where I do:

  • Discovering your snow tires are useless and spending the whole winter creeping down the hill at two miles per hour, which was still too fast, terrified of plummeting over the edge and ending up like these guys

20160612_195334235_ios Continue reading →

Two Months in the Mountains: Summer is Over

After receiving just .05 inches of rain in September, our compound is now enclosed in a dense fog the likes of which I have never seen in Colorado. If it weren’t for the song birds and the chattering, clucking, and tisking of the black squirrels, I would feel a bit weirded out being up here alone. I don’t have a lot of confidence that Trotsky or Hector would come to my defenses if zombies were to suddenly emerge from the mist swirling through the trees, though at least Trotsky is on the lookout. Continue reading →

Haiku June 20-22, 2014

Our two wheels follow

Curves of asphalt and water

What will we become?

From a series of haiku I wrote from April 2014 – April 2015 to celebrate the ways that my partner and I were able to enjoy our time together each weekend. I’m publishing only the ones that I believe can be appreciated by someone who wasn’t there with us. I did my damnedest to adhere to the traditional rules of haiku, but always including a subtle reference to the season sure is tricky at times!