Thanksgiving 2008

If you don’t already know I am up in Portland, OR for Thanksgiving to visit my family this year.  I left the house at 5:05am yesterday and was expecting to hit rush hour traffic in Sacramento but I guess it being a holiday week the traffic was really light.  I drove past Weed, CA where I normally stop for lunch and gas because at 9am I wasn’t hungry and with a Honda Civic I get great gas mileage.  In fact I didn’t have to stop for gas until Grants Pass, OR which is a whopping 392 miles.  Another bonus was I only paid 1.89 a gallon for gas so the bill came to $21.00.  Although I didn’t go to Weed I took a picture of the sign for you.  🙂  Being that I am traveling alone this year I didn’t have anyone rational to tell me they want to stop.  I’m always someone wanting to test my limits and decided stopping wasn’t an option and after filling up with gas (and a bathroom break) in Grants Pass, OR I drove the rest of the way to Portland.  I got into Portland at 3pm and was amazed that I still had a half a tank of gas left.  When I normally drive up to Portland I take a Saturn Vue which requires you fill up at least twice.  So that means I was able to get up to Portland on pretzels, corn nuts, water, and a little more than $30 in gas.  Since technology hasn’t allowed me to blog and drive at the same time (safely at least) all I could do was listen to my iPod and take pictures.

Once I got there my mom and nephew Evan were there to greet me.  They have been having Evan practice “Uncle Jeremy” which turns out to be “Meeemeee Uh Uh” when he says it which is the most adorable thing in the world if you ask me.  Evan is super smart and as soon as my mom told him I was the infamous Meemee uh uh he instantly associated me with that name.  I would leave the room and he would say “Meeemee uh uh”?  Of course then returning he would say Meeemee uh uh!  We went to dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory which is so awesome.  This morning we are going to Bob’s Red Mill for breakfast and I’ll blog about that later because it seriously can’t be beat for a breakfast place.

Scottsdale, AZ and Taliesin West

As I have discussed in previous posts, I was in Scottsdale last week for a conference which was fun.  I really liked Scottsdale, especially in October because it was 85 degrees during the day and 70 at night.  I am definitely someone who would rather be hot than cold so I always enjoy visiting Arizona when I can but the one time I went when it was 115 degrees and Gary made us talk with a Store Manager in a restaurant parking lot was a little intense (we’ll never let you live that one down Gary).  Scottsdale has a ton of money, I was driving around and found a Ferrari/Maserati dealership which I had never seen before.  On my way to my fancy smancy McDonalds lunch I was driving through a golf course community and saw a Ferrari go past me.  I saw two Bentleys driving down the road and the final day I was there I went to Starbucks before going to the airport and a lady parked her Aston Martin literally in the middle of the road in front of the building.  I also love all of the cactus all over the place and I guess they tend to grow pretty slow from what others were telling me.  I lived in Reno, NV for three years which is considered high desert and I always thought it had its own sense of beauty.

The last night I was there they had the President’s Dinner at Taliesin West (photo above) which is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes and is where his foundation is located today. I had obviously heard of Frank Lloyd Wright but I didn’t really know anything about him prior to going to the event.  We got a private tour of his residence and the tour guide was really nice as she let us take our wine in and literally sit on anything we wanted and make ourselves at home.  The dinner that night was in his theater and I can’t verify what the guide told us but she said Wright was an innovator who never patented any of his works or ideas.  She said he came up with the idea of surround sound via stone walls which were not 90 degrees and theater seating which was evident in the theater.  I’m sure he came up with other innovations but those were just two things he was able to incorporate into his Taliesin West home.  If you ever get the opportunity to visit I really found it interesting and I’m not usually into architecture.

CMMA Conference Pictures

John Forte from Cummins was taking pictures during the event and was nice enough to gave me a copy of a few he took while Jody and I were presenting the new website.

We Went for a Walk Today and Look What Followed Us Home…

We went for a walk today and this dog was in the street in front of a home.  We knocked on the door but nobody answered so we dognapped him so he wouldn’t get hit by a car.  I’ve always wanted a pet (or son) named Tank (after my favorite UFC fighter Tank Abbott) so this little dog would have been named Tank if we would have been able to keep it.    Unfortunately the owners of the dog later called us and he was safely returned back to the owners.  🙂