Saturday, September 27, 2008

Junk Mail

Are you tired of all the junk mail you get? Here's a tip I found while reading a post from No Impact Man, a New Yorker who is doing his best to reduce (and eliminate, if possible) his negative impact on the environment.

On his post Stopping the junk mail tree killers--repost I found the following comment from one of his readers:

[The junk mail] seems to be going down even more since I started following a tip a friend gave me -when someone sends me an offer I don't want, I take all their literature, including the original envelope, put it all into the postage paid envelope they include, and send it all back to them. Invariably, I never hear from them again!

Another readers adds: "If it's a credit card offer, make sure it is VERY clear that you are not accepting the offer!"

Deb I make it clear we are not accepting the offer by writing VOID all over the papers, thus eliminating the possibility that anyone could use the forms in our name and the possibility that the credit card company would issue us a new, unwanted credit card.

Yesterday while we stuffed a postage paid return envelope with all the literature the credit card company sent us, and with a little note asking to be taken off their mailing list, we admitted to each other that we had a strange feeling of satisfaction returning the company's garbage to them for disposal.

So here's to stickin' it to the men and women who care for nothing but increasing the thickness of their own pocket books by grinding up "100 million trees...each year to produce junk mail." As for me, I'd prefer the trees. As we discovered during our trip to the Oregon coast, trees are much prettier as trees in their natural environment than as junk mail in our mailbox, in our apartment, or in the landfills.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Oregon Coast 3

If you go to the Oregon Coast, you have to stop in at the Tillamook Cheese factory. We did and found the place was hoppin' with folks trying to escape from the rain. But we wanted to see how the cheese was made and to get some ice cream so we braved the crowds and stayed.

The Morning Star was used to ship cheese up the coast and up the Columbia River to Portland.

Tillamook ice cream being delicious, we decided to share three scoops of it. We also would have bought some of the famous cheese, but ironically it was expensive. We thought the factory would sell it at rock bottom prices, but since it was sold in a gift shop it was treated like a novelty and priced accordingly.

Deb and the Morning Star.

Tired of the rain, Deb and I drove to Lincoln City after Tillamook. We were hoping to see some glass blowing and perhaps even try our hand at it. Some glass shops offer lessons; what we didn't know is that they are far from free. Nevertheless we did get to see some glass being blown by others whose pocketbooks were a little fatter than ours.

After setting up camp in a state park in Lincoln City, Deb and I went to find some more fish 'n chips. We found some at a fifties diner and I decided that I preferred the cod to the tuna I'd had at the Wet Dog in Astoria. Apparently the chef at the diner knew we were honeymooners (albeit nearly 1-and-a-half years late) so he made us a special potato chip:


The fish 'n chips at the fifties diner had fresh potato chips instead of the traditional chips, which most Americans would call fries. That's a mistake I'll never make again. Nevertheless, fish 'n chips no matter what form it takes is worth it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Oregon Coast 2

We spent a day at Cannon Beach and found it very windy there on the beach. I thought it was nice but I'm a little better insulated than Deb, who was cold the whole time. I've been to Cannon Beach a couple of times before and was looking forward to taking Deb there.

We hoped to see the fauna of the tide pools at the foot of Haystack Rock, but once we arrived they were being shut down because, as the guide explained, a storm was coming in and rapidly bringing the tide with it.

The tide pools at Cannon Beach.

So we walked up from the beach to the town and found this crusty old sea captain.

The Cap'n and me.

We bought a kite at one of the shops but didn't get to fly it: too much wind. We milled around town, poking our heads into art galleries, toy stores, and candy shoppes (always spelled shoppe). I was hoping to get some more fish 'n chips but settled instead for some tasty clam chowder.

Haystack Rock.

Later we stopped at the outlet malls to find Deb a jacket to keep her dry and to protect her from the piercing wind. We found one at the Eddie Bauer outlet. At the book outlet I found an interesting read for $2.99 called Death Sentences: How Clich├ęs, Weasel Words, and Management Speak are Strangling Public Language. We returned to Fort Stevens at set up camp and, feeling tired, decided to call it a day.

A dry, warm, and happy Deb in her new jacket.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Oregon Coast 1

To celebrate Deb's graduation and my break from work and school, we decided to take a trip to the Oregon coast. Here's a few pics and descriptions of some of our trip.

We started our trip in Astoria, a town known best as the location where the Goonies and Kindergarten Cop were filmed. Part of the excitement to me of going to the coast was fish 'n chips. So we asked a local where the best fish 'n chips place was; he gave us two place names and we were off to find them. The best place had just closed so we went to the second best place: The Wet Dog.

The Wet Dog had pretty good food, but the folks working there were most excited about their many uniquely named house brews. I think our waitress was confused why we didn't order any beers. The restaurant had a nice view of the Columbia River, but I thought the food was overpriced. And the fish 'n chips, though good, did not rate highest in my book.

For the first two nights in Oregon, Deb and I pitched our tent at Fort Stevens State Park. Both nights it rained on us. But our little tent, a wedding gift from Josh and Julie K., kept us very dry.

A sunken ship at the beach near Fort Stevens.


Our camp ground. The trees in Oregon are unbelievably beautiful.

In the picture above of our tent, Deb and I had unwittingly pitched it right next to a depression. The rain fly dripped water, filled the depression, and sent the puddle underneath our tent. It only took about a half and hour to and hour of that before we decided to relocate to the small patch of grass next to the car.