Thursday, January 31, 2008

Week #04

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Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, January 28, 2008

Book Review: Truth, Lies & Advertising: The Art of Account Planning by Jon Steel

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I hope you all are just as disappointed as I am that the first book review of 2008 is an "industry" book. Whatchyagonnado?

This book was recommended to me by a kind person in Portland who took a look at my portfolio and gave helpful feedback and advice. "Read this book" was the advice.

The book is copyrighted 1998. So, it's kinda old. Especially for an industry that supposedly changes constantly. A good portion of the book read like, "duh," to my I-went-to-portfolio-school mind. Whether this is just good ol' fashioned cockiness or some of the ideas presented in the book are truly old news, I don't know.

I do know this: it was worth reading. Jon Steel has some interesting insights on "research." At portfolio school, we didn't talk a whole lot about research and focus groups, but I'm pretty sure I just believed everything I heard and read about "research" ruining good creative ideas. Jon Steel has a different opinion--that research can really help the creative process.

If you're not in the industry, steer clear. If you are, pick it up.

Now, after two non-nature books, I'm craving something about nature. But, before I can start another book, I have to get a library card in this crazy new town.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Week #03

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Enjoy!
T. Budnik
Sundays I Writer Letters

RE: DAY #13
Dear Mom,
Dinosaurs, in general, are scary. Remember the one we saw in Milk River?

Rasputin was very pleased to be standing next to that piece of petrified wood. He was excited about all of the crystals—until I told him we couldn’t take it with us.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: DAY #14
Dear Tania Rochelle,
I was unaware that you read my blog. Welcome. I would assume that my travels have the ability to make a number of people jealous. But, my unemployment (or the retail employment I had in Portland) probably made a bunch of people thankful for their fruitful employment.

Word on the street is Atlanta has been cold and actually got some snow. May I suggest that you take a vacation? Take a couple of weeks off and go someplace warm.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear NikBudnik,
Chick-A-Fil is the devil. I just recently learned that there’s one in Downtown Cincinnati. I am very, very happy.

Since you mention your desire to commune with SOCAL palm trees, may I suggest you take a vacation? Take a couple of weeks off and go someplace warm.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
My first toll road experience was avoiding Chicago.

You seem to be hinting at the fact that you are tired of Jersey toll roads, may I suggest you take a vacation? Take a couple of weeks off and go someplace warm.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I know that you wish you were there to experience the giant cross. Remember how we saw Iowa’s largest frying pan and had our pictures taken inside of it and hence were “fried” in Brandon, IA? Well, don’t you think it’s a shame that with this giant cross, there’s no way a person can be “crucified” in Groom, TX? They should rethink their tourist attractions.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

PS. May I suggest you take a vacation? Take a couple of weeks off and go someplace warm.



RE: DAYS #15, 16, & 17
Dear Ty,
It was quite the journey. I’m glad that you’re glad that I made it here, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to call it “home” yet.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
I don’t know if Grandma dresses for visits like you explain. I, too, noticed that her sweatshirt definitely came from Mom.

Shit, I haven’t emailed you about Angel’s poop. I’ll get on that as it is Sunday and I am replying to all emails, too.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Rasputin is still in the car hanging out with the monkeys. I gotta pull those boys in, but they seem to be having fun in my car. Plus, they add a little flair to my car since my “Alaska Girls Kick Ass” sticker/magnet broke.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: FINALE
Dear KBezzie,
My “ramblings” in the car were far from crazy. Isn’t it amazing how much a low point in life is worth?

I, too, dig Nikki’s music tastes.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear NikBudnik,
Thank you.

My next adventures are going to be a little different than these past ones. I have to give my car and driving foot a rest.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Thank you.

I have discussed with you about what my next adventures will entail. So, hold tight.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Ty,
Thank YOU.

You can do anything.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WINNERS
Dear KBezzie,
I will order your St. Louis mug in probably the next week. Congrats.

The Everyday Adventures Shop will be up indefinitely, but I plan on liquidating some of the merchandise. The shop will be smaller than it is now. I don't know when this will happen.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Saturday, January 26, 2008

WINNERS!

I put all of the commenters' names into my metaphoric hat (one name per each comment) and then with the help of a random number generator, pulled the winners' names.

TRACIE has won a t-shirt from the Everyday Adventures Shop.

KBEZZIE has won a mug.

Please email me which t-shirt/mug you would like (and any necessary details--color, size) and your mailing address at tbudnik05 @ hotmail . com.

For all of you who didn't win, there's still time to get your cheesy souvenir featuring Rasputin. Just click on this link: Everyday Adventures Shop and purchase whichever shirt, mug or trucker hat makes you content.

Congrats!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Big Move 2007/2008
FINALE

THE OFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK:
1.The Official Theme Song: I Believe in a Thing Called Love-The Darkness
Because if I didn't believe in love (for a geographic location, or career) I wouldn't have driven all the miles I did.
2. Public Service Announcement-The Bravery
3. Hey Bulldog-The Beatles
4. Turn Into-Yeah Yeah Yeahs
5. Pictures of You-The Cure
6. Act of the Apostle-Belle & Sebastian
7. C'mere-Interpol
8. Ghost-The Jeevas
9. It Ain't Over Till It's Over-Lenny Kravitz
10. I Can Only Disappoint You-Mansun
11. Regret-New Order
12. Here's Where the Story Ends-The Sundays
13. Sing-Travis
14. The Blues Are Still Blue-Belle & Sebastian
15. Believe-The Bravery
16. Why Can't I Be You-The Cure
17. Crash-The Primatives
18. Virginia-The Jeevas
19. Pinball Wizard-The Who
20. Nowhere Man-The Beatles
21. Jet-Sir Paul Macca
22. Gimme Three Steps-Skynyrd
23. Take It Easy-The Eagles
24. Cover of the Rolling Stone-Dr. Hook
Most profound lyrics: "How do you think he does it? I don't know!" from Pinball Wizard.

*Thank you, NikBudnik, for the wonderful mix CDs. *

RANDOM TIPS, LESSONS LEARNED, AND GENERAL MUSINGS:
When I first started this trip, I was a tad bit scared that I'd meet some weirdos--and not of the muppet variety. So, I came up with a simple, believable story to tell if a person was to get nosy
and inquire about where I was going--alone. My story was this: I was moving across the country and my dad was following me in the moving truck. But, you wanna know what? No one asked. Some people I told I was traveling by myself. But they were nice people at visitor centers.
And only a few of them expressed concern for me traveling alone. I told them I had people watching out for me all along my route. And I did. I met up with family twice both ways. I called my parents every night at a designated time. That way, if something had happened and I didn't call, they could get the process of helping me started.

Caffeine mints, diet coke, bottled water, bread and peanut butter are essential. I'd have a diet coke at least once a day. The bottled water guaranteed good tasting water. Water tastes funny in different places and I didn't want to take that chance. Caffeine mints keep you awake. And, if there aren't any good places to stop and eat, peanut butter sandwiches are delish.

WalMarts are the best places to stop and rest. Their bathrooms are of the same quality of rest stops, if not better. Most rest stop bathrooms aren't heated. WalMarts are. Plus, you don't pay $1 for a Snickers bar at a WalMart. And, some WalMarts even have postcards.

Never pee where you fill up. Never, ever use a gas station bathroom. Only do so in the case of an emergency.

Muesli is the best cereal ever. Across brands it doesn't change. The Safeway brand's ratio of nuts and raisins to flakes and oats is the same as the Kroger's brand. When traveling, or moving, buy this cereal anywhere and you'll be satisfied.

People always offer to take your picture if they notice you're taking a self portrait. It's hard to explain that you do a lot of solo traveling and have made taking self portraits a hobby, but stick to your guns and politely decline the offer.

In additon to peanut butter, I can eat a lot of chicken and not get tired of it.

This is how I entertained myself on the road: singing along, singing a cappela, telling stories (to myself), keeping my eyes peeled for deer, making up new monikers (feel free to call me Kinase DuBreht), and seriously, seriously contemplating my navel.

Moving blind to a location isn't scary. Ignorance is bliss. And that's what I was. When I moved to
the Pacific Northwest, I had no idea I was going to hunker down in Beaverton and end up
working part time in Portland. My original intentions included seeing Seattle, but I never went there. I had no idea how to look for a job. But, I figured it out.

There were days when I curled up on my sleeping bag (that was on the floor) and cried, because I didn't think I was going to make it. Because no matter how many times you're told you're going to do just fine, you can do it, there's nothing more discouraging than an empty inbox and unreturned phone calls. There were times when I thought that I was going to lose all of my worldly possessions. There were times when I thought for sure I was going to go off the road--literally--and be seriously hurt, or have a severely damaged car, which at this point was my lifeline.

While I was wandering, I went back and forth between thinking that driving out west was the best thing I had done and thinking I was absolutely stupid for doing it. Hindsight is 20/20. It was ridiculous to drive out there. But, I had nothing going for me in Atlanta--at least nothing more than what I had in Oregon. Now, that I'm in a new location and settled for some time, I can say that driving out there was scary. Driving back across the states for a solid opportunity was even scary. But it wasn't scary while I was in the moment. In the moment, you just do what you gotta do.

Was it the best thing I did? Was it the worst? It was absolutely the best fucking thing I've ever done. I still can't comprehend the entire last 2.5 months of 2 cross country road trips and 3 flights, but I know that as time passes, I'll be creating a perspective unique to my travels and experiences.

People, here's what you've been waiting for, THE FINAL MILEAGE:

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8,704 solo miles.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik


**********************************************************************************
Are you sad you didn't get a souvenir? Don't fret, there's plenty to choose from at the brand spankin' new Everyday Adventures Shop. There you will find classic souvenirs such as poorly designed t-shirts and mugs. Don't see the item you want--like you want a hooded sweatshirt with a particular picture? Leave me a comment and I'll get it for you! New items are added with each post about the trip!*********************************************************************************
What's all this about prizes? Go here to learn more.
*********************************************************************************
This is the last post you can comment on to be eligible for the FREE Everyday Adventures merchandise. Make it a good one.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Big Move 2007/2008
Days #15, 16 & 17 Mt. Vernon, IL; Geneseo, IL; Cincinnati, OH



I'm clumping these days together, because, well, days in the mind can clump. The day I left Joplin, MO, I ended up making it to Mt. Vernon. I spent the late afternoon and evening hanging out with the Riley 6. They were kind enough to even let me spend the night. I do enjoy these people.



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That night, I was talking to mon père and upon hearing I was running a day early, suggested that I drive up to see Grandma. So, I called Grandma and she said, "Come on up!"

The next day I was off to Grandma's house. There we went to visit another branch of the Riley family, but went home in time for Grandma to make chicken, potatoes, and peas for dinner. Holy Moo Cows! I ate well. Who needs Chick-fil-a when Grandma's making dinner?

I had a good time visiting Grandma and her sweet dog, Angel. I introduced both of them to Rasputin. They all seemed to get along.



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As we were taking pictures, Rasputin said, "Geez, Theresa, do you think we can get a picture together? This entire time we've been traveling we haven't gotten a good photo of us!" I agreed, so we posed and Angel joined us.



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The next morning Grandma and I took Angel to the groomers. When we got back, I packed up my belongings and hit the road to Cincinnati. Despite the tornadoes that hit Illinois and other parts of the Midwest, the drive was fine.

Until I got to Indianapolis. It was raining cats and dogs and even frogs. The last 100 miles of my trip was in heavy rain. And traffic slowed to a crawl. And it was getting dark. Thankfully, right outside of Cincinnati, the rain cleared. I made my way into the city and then started to look for a motel. Well, city-interstates are not like in-the-middle-of-nowhere-interstates. City-interstates don't have motels right off of them. So, I ended up in Covington, Kentucky--just on the other side of the river, just outside of Cincinnati, just outside of Ohio.

The next day, I went apartment shopping. And moved into a rustic one bedroom apartment.

And technically I am home--settled. How unsettling.

Tomorrow: the official mileage, the official soundtrack, and the official roadtrippin' (solo) tips!

Enjoy!
T. Budnik



**********************************************************************************
Are you sad you didn't get a souvenir? Don't fret, there's plenty to choose from at the brand spankin' new Everyday Adventures Shop. There you will find classic souvenirs such as poorly designed t-shirts and mugs. Don't see the item you want--like you want a hooded sweatshirt with a particular picture? Leave me a comment and I'll get it for you! New items are added with each post about the trip!*********************************************************************************
What's all this about prizes? Go here to learn more.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Big Move 2007/2008
Day #14 Joplin, Missouri

Whoo-weee! By this day I was getting road weary. Sometimes a trip ends before you get to your destination. In the past this hasn't happened to me simply because I wasn't sure where I was going (Atlanta I didn't have an apartment and I didn't even know that I was going to hunker down in Portland). This time, though, it was ending a couple days short of my Cincinnati arrival.

When I woke up in Amarillo, Texas, I decided I was going to try to get an oil change. Pinkley was just getting to her 3,000 mile mark. I know you can stretch it, but I like to treat Pinkley well as the car hasn't given me any trouble. So, I asked the chick at the Days Inn desk if she knew of any places.

"Well, there's a Firestone Tires across the street. But I don't know if they do oil changes and if they're even open this early!" (It was 7:30am.)

Apparently, this chick takes the Amarillo bus, because Firestone Tire shops do oil changes and any place that does oil changes opens early. So, I crossed the street and handed over my keys expecting the mechanics to try to get me to hand over my wallet, too. The first time I went to a Firestone the guy behind the counter tried to sell me every service in the book, to include seat readjustment and floormat realignment. But, Amarillo Firestone mechanics, I take my hat off to you. You did the oil change quickly and let me go on my way. Thank you!

Anyway, I hit the road again and quickly came across Groom, Texas, home of the western hemisphere's largest cross. Now, I'm not of that religious persuasion, but I can't resist the largest of anything, so I stopped.

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Rasputin, of course, wanted his picture taken in front of the cross. I don't know if Rasputin is of that religious persuasion or not. On our travels, we learned early that religion and politics are NOT good topics for us. Instead we discuss global enviroment issues and Oprah.

Beyond the giant cross, there wasn't much excitement. I stopped at a welcome center in Oklahoma and had a nice chat with the women manning the station. Upon telling them my reason for taking the southern route, one said that she heard I-80 had been closed. (Yes! That's the interstate I took through many states on my way to Portland.) They also told me where to find a WalMart but told me to go to a grocery store instead for my much needed water and Little Debbie Devil Squares because the WalMart sucked. I thanked them kindly and left. I chose to go to the WalMart despite their warnings to get my supplies. It wasn't as bad as they made it out to be.

The Oklahoma turnpikes are ridiculous. I paid a total of $9.50. The first time I paid a $1 to get onto the road. Then, no more than 10 miles on it, I spotted a sign for a Chick-fil-a. It was lunch time, so I took the chicken exit. And I got some real chicken strips and waffle fries. Folks, one of the redeeming qualities of the South is their Chick-fil-a's. Goddamnit, that's some good chicken. It almost made me miss the South. (I said, "almost.")

So, as I'm getting down on deep fat fried chicken and potatoes I made my way back to the turnpike. And I get to a gate that says I have to put 50 cents into the basket to get onto the road. Screw that! I just wanted some chicken, Oklahoma.

The first time I was on a turnpike was in Ohio. The turnpike was like a magical road. The road itself was in good condition. There were travel centers with gas stations, clean bathrooms, visitor information, souvenirs, and best of all, smooshed penny machines. It was heavenly. And I was happy to pay the toll--I was paying for the luxury. Mom was there, she can confirm. This Ohio turnpike spoiled me. You don't pay tolls for the luxury of nice roads and travel centers. No. All the other turnpikes and toll roads that I've been on have sucked. And the only reason I can figure that they're charging to use the road is because they can, so fork over your $1.50.

Well, that's all I've got for today. This is where the journal starts to become fuzzy. So, tomorrow I'll recount my last couple of days on the road. Then I'll post the official roadtrip soundtrack and some road trip tips I learned along the way.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik


**********************************************************************************
Are you sad you didn't get a souvenir? Don't fret, there's plenty to choose from at the brand spankin' new Everyday Adventures Shop. There you will find classic souvenirs such as poorly designed t-shirts and mugs. Don't see the item you want--like you want a hooded sweatshirt with a particular picture? Leave me a comment and I'll get it for you! New items are added with each post about the trip!*********************************************************************************
What's all this about prizes? Go here to learn more.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Big Move of 2007/2008
Day #13 Amarillo, Texas

I drove through the Petrified Forest National Park. At the gate they ask you if you've got any petrified wood on your person or in your car. (I didn't.)

Contrary to popular belief, petrified trees do not sing and dance. So, I strolled on a couple of paths that went around some trees, to include "Old Faithful." Yes, there's another Old Faithful. This one is the largest petrified tree.

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As you leave the park, there's a sign that says, "Stop Ahead: Car Inspection Station. All cars will be searched." Oh, shit, I thought. Here I've got a car crammed with all of my worldly belongings and they're going to search it? I imagined scenes of me pulling my stuff out bit by bit just so I cold prove I didn't take any trees come rocks. I pull up to the booth and I see a hand wave at me. Yesss. No car inspection for me.

Arizona/New Mexico were nice. There was a lot of "Grand Canyon-esque" scenery, but beyond that, there wasn't too much to report. Except, I guess, that there was a broken phone in my motel bathroom--I picked it up to see if it worked.

Until tomorrow, marvel at the non-dancing and singing tree pictures.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik


**********************************************************************************
Are you sad you didn't get a souvenir? Don't fret, there's plenty to choose from at the brand spankin' new Everyday Adventures Shop. There you will find classic souvenirs such as poorly designed t-shirts and mugs. Don't see the item you want--like you want a hooded sweatshirt with a particular picture? Leave me a comment and I'll get it for you! New items are added with each post about the trip!*********************************************************************************
What's all this about prizes? Go here to learn more.
Sundays I Write Letters

Dear Readers,
One of your favorite series is back. I have finally found the means and stability to reply to your thoughtful comments on Sundays regularly. So, let’s get to the letters.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: DAY #7

Dear Mom,
You don’t have to worry about being on the road when I’m driving. I have a clean record and I try to keep it that way.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Birdie,
I was taking pictures of myself before I saw the Yeti. I was so surprised by the beast, that I didn’t have enough time to turn my camera around (and I was too dumbfounded to even think that clearly).

I’m sorry you are disappointed.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
The Chupacabra magnet you sent me makes me pee my pants.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: DAY #8

Dear KBezzie,
It took me forever to figure out that gas pumping is illegal in Oregon. I finally asked some people who had been living there for some time. Can you imagine growing up there and then crossing the state border and having to pump your own gas for the first time? Ridiculous.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I’m not sure what kind of job “gas pumper” is. It always seemed to be super-old or super-young dudes pumping the gas.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS

Dear KBezzie,
I do have a hat—now. I just knit one. (It’s one of the only things I know how to knit.)

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

PS. You know that gift sucks really hard. Haha!


Dear Ty,
Thank you. I feel warmer already.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Layers are my new Cincinnati friends. Although, I think I need to befriend Mr. Long John because I’m seriously that cold.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: DAY #9

Dear KBezzie,
My fingertips eagerly await the arrival of your mittens.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Yes, I have and will get things I need from my family. I’d probably be even colder without your help.

Bend is nice. I can’t stress enough that it smells like pine EVERYWHERE there.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: MY TIME IN PORTLAND

Dear KBezzie,
Isn’t that sign ridiculous? I guess if your dog jumps over the cliff, you don’t get the profile view of it. That’s what the sign is for. (I feel sorry for the suicidal doggies.)

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I have no clue. The wall at the cliff was about waist high, so a dog would have to jump pretty high to fall down the cliff.

Let’s celebrate that sign as one of the best ones I saw along my travels.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: DAY #10

Dear Ty,
You’re darn tootin’ Mount Shasta is pretty!

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #01

Dear KBezzie,
The Box is definitely in a different state—of being. I threw it into the dumpster.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
We had crappy photos without the scanner. I know you’re resting easier because the planner scans are back in original form.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: DAY #11

Dear KBezzie,
I kind of appreciate palm trees. I don’t think I’d want to live around them, but they serve a purpose.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I found a silverfish in the sink. I don’t even want to imagine what kind of fish live in their pool. There’d be no swimming for me year round.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear NikBudnik,
Hmmm, I feel as if I know you better now that I’ve been to your California.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: DAY #12

Dear NikBudnik,
I am jealous that you went white water rafting! That’s the kind of trip I want to take, but maybe without the water. And the rafts.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Our father and I talked in length about his missed opportunity to see the Grand Canyon. He was the only person I sent a postcard to along my trip. The postcard was of the Grand Canyon and I sent it from the GC post office. He’s had the opportunity to live vicariously through me now.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Big Move of 2007/2008
Day #12 Winslow, Arizona

I filled up my Taurus with $3.85/gallon gas (yes, that was for regular), and hit the road. I stopped in Kingman to see if I could get some kicks. While I didn't get any kicks, I did get some postcards and some pre-smooshed pennies. Check it, the pennies were 49 cents more expensive than the do-it-yourself pennies! Oh, and Rasputin had to pose.

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Then, it was onto Williams. I stopped at the visitor center and asked all of the stupid Grand Canyon questions, like, where's the skywalk? It's closer to Las Vegas. I think a lot of people ask this question because when I went into the visitor center at the Grand Canyon, there was a huge sign declaring that the skywalk was not at the park. (Boy, I'm glad I asked this question in Williams and didn't become another annoying tourist!)

It was a short drive on 64 to the Grand Canyon. I'll let the photos do the talking.

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*Of course, what's a national anything without a matching Coke machine?*

When I got there, I tried to take as many pictures as possible because it's so damn gorgeous. I had to tell myself to put down the camera and just stare. The Grand Canyon will fill your soul with happiness and serenity and restore your faith in humanity. Seriously.

I discovered that the Grand Canyon isn't something you just stop and see along the way. One should really GO there. In the future, I'd love to spend a week in the park and do some hiking and generally soak in the goodness that is the scenery.

From there, it was onward. I took a different route back to I-40. This alternate route took me to about 8,000 feet. There was snow all along the way. At one point I said, "Oops, I can't see the lines on the road anymore. I hope this doesn't last." The snowy/icy road conditions only lasted about 2 miles. Thank you!

I ended the day in Winslow, a bit short of my Gallup, New Mexico goal. But, I had given myself plenty of time to get to Cincinnati, so I wasn't worried.

Until tomorrow.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik


**********************************************************************************
Are you sad you didn't get a souvenir? Don't fret, there's plenty to choose from at the brand spankin' new Everyday Adventures Shop. There you will find classic souvenirs such as poorly designed t-shirts and mugs. Don't see the item you want--like you want a hooded sweatshirt with a particular picture? Leave me a comment and I'll get it for you! New items are added with each post about the trip!*********************************************************************************
What's all this about prizes? Go here to learn more.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Big Move of 2007/2008
Day #11 Needles, California

This day was loooong. I probably did 600+miles--more than my day that took me from St. Joseph, MO to Laramie, WY. There wasn't a whole lot to see. 99 in California was busy. And, I do believe Californians have their own style of driving. They also don't believe in chicken strips. I went to a KFC drive thru and got some potato wedges and chicken strips. The strips came in this gargantuan box. When I opened it, there were three pathetic pieces of breaded chicken no larger than my pinky.

But, the people are nice. I stopped at the Merced visitor center. I can't really remember why, I don't think I was lost or anything. I probably just wanted to stretch my legs. The people manning the station were uber-nice. They gave me maps and directions and told me if I wanted to avoid some snowy weather, to get out of the state by Thursday. (It ends up California did indeed get dumped on, but I was gone by then. Thank you.)

I was planning on staying in Barstow, CA, but it ends up Barstow is waaay off of the interstates. It's located right where I needed to get onto I-40, so I figured I'd get onto I-40 and surely there'd be a motel right outside of the city.

Nope. The only thing I saw was the Pennywise Inn. In between Barstow and Needles is a whole lot of nothing--the Mojave Desert, which I didn't get to see because it was dark. Oh, I guess there is Ludlow, which consists of one gas station and the Ludlow Motel. No thank you. So, I pushed on and finally got to Needles, where the rays of the Days Inn sign guided me to a good night's rest.

There wasn't a whole lot to see along the way. Rasputin didn't get out of the car once. He slept the entire way. I don't know what he was tired from, it's not like he did any of the driving. So, I give you these glamour shots of the motel taken the next morning.

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Tomorrow, the Grand Canyon!

Enjoy!
T. Budnik


**********************************************************************************
Are you sad you didn't get a souvenir? Don't fret, there's plenty to choose from at the brand spankin' new Everyday Adventures Shop. There you will find classic souvenirs such as poorly designed t-shirts and mugs. Don't see the item you want--like you want a hooded sweatshirt with a particular picture? Leave me a comment and I'll get it for you! New items are added with each post about the trip!*********************************************************************************
What's all this about prizes? Go here to learn more.
Week #02

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Enjoy!
T. Budnik
Week #01

Yesterday, I received my very much damaged printer/scanner in the mail. It appears the damage happened on the original journey to my sister's house. Pieces had fallen off. The ink cartridges were loose and spilling. But, everything pretty much snapped back together. And, the beast still works.

Without further ado, I start the 2008 series of the weekly planner scan:

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Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Big Move 2007/2008
Day #10 Red Bluff, California

I forgot to show you how I lived in Beaverton. All of my stuff stayed pretty much right where I set it down when I first brought it in from my car. It was my intention to at least organize and stack it up. But then I thought, why bother if I was only going to be there a month?

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On January 1st, I was back on the road. I studied the various routes to Cincinnati. Taking the advice of some former Colorado residents, I headed south.

Southern Oregon didn't blow my mind. It was foggy most of the way. I did see a bunch of sheep, though. Baaaa!

The California/Oregon border was up and and up and down. The highest elevation was around 4,000 feet. Which was nothing compared to Wyoming--that Lincoln Monument stop was at around 8,000 feet. At times there was a couple feet of snow on the side of the road, but the roads themselves were bone dry. Thank you!

The most exciting thing I saw was Mount Shasta! I had read about this mountain a little less than a year ago. Supposedly it's an energy source--at least new age people believe that. I-5 goes partially around it, so I got to see it from different sides. I couldn't keep my eyes off of it.

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Once I got to a motel, I crashed for 30-60 minutes. I was tired and it showed in my mileage. I only did about 420 miles, which for me isn't my full potential.

Tomorrow, I'll still be in California.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

**********************************************************************************
Are you sad you didn't get a souvenir? Don't fret, there's plenty to choose from at the brand spankin' new Everyday Adventures Shop. There you will find classic souvenirs such as poorly designed t-shirts and mugs. Don't see the item you want--like you want a hooded sweatshirt with a particular picture? Leave me a comment and I'll get it for you! New items are added with each post about the trip!*********************************************************************************
What's all this about prizes? Go here to learn more.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Big Move of 2007/2008
My Time In Portland, Oregon

My time in Portland (November 9, 2007 through December 31, 2007) is characterized by a few things: shady living arrangements, part time employment, informational interviews, and travel.

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Portland has a strong character. When you first arrive there, it's overwhelming. People are liberal, funky, and down-to-earth. My first couple of days in Portland, I expressed this feeling as dislike and discomfort—like I didn’t belong there. But, after a few days, a week or two, the place and people grew on me. I began to appreciate the independent spirit. (Thank god there are people who don’t like Starbucks, or at least believe in independent business. On every street corner there are five different coffee shops. All are relatively the same, but I’m sure to the regulars, very unique.)

I ended up finding, on craigslist.com, a shady room to rent out of a shady apartment in Beaverton, a suburb. Actually, it wasn’t that shady, because it was Beaverton. There’s no denying the fact that Beaverton grew up quickly in the last 5-10 years. All of the apartment complexes/housing units look the same. It was the stereotype of a suburb. Here’s how stereotypical it was: one morning I went on a walk and passed by an elementary school bus stop. There was a co-ed group of kids (about 4-6 of them) standing together, talking and messing around like kids do. One single girl stood apart from the rest. And her complexion was noticeably darker than the others. Now, granted, this lone girl could be the bossy girl of the neighborhood, or she could be a recluse, but really, why was she standing alone?

Also, I heard comments in Beaverton that I wish I had immediately responded to. Here’s a hint: when a comment is prefaced with, “Now, I’m not racist or anything, but…” well, the rest of the sentence is likely going to be racist.

As for my shady living arrangements, I’ll only say that craigslist.com is great for finding a place to rent NOW, especially when you don’t have employment, and can’t sign a REAL lease because of this. Craigslist.com isn’t a great place to find roommates, though. I’ll leave it at that (for now).

I picked up part time employment in downtown Portland. This also made Beaverton a not-so-ideal place to reside as the commute time was about 1.5 hours and cost $2.05 (one way on the train). Working in downtown was great, though. I got to see a different side of civilization I’d never seen before. There were a lot of business folks coming in on their lunch hours. And, another testament of Portland’s character, people were NICE. They never acted like they were more deserving than your average Joe.

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Part time employment wasn’t the reason I was in Portland. I wanted full time employment there. And so I went on many informational interviews. Everyone was exceptionally nice and helpful. The Portfolio Center network is awesome and I know when my time comes and recent grads start knocking on my door, the very least I will do for them is return the kindness I received and take a look at their books and give advice and leads.

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But, Portland wasn’t the only place where I was looking for employment. I took two separate trips out to Bend. The second time was a there-and-back-in-one-day deal. Oh sweet heavenly being, I thought I was going to die coming back. The road was twisty-turny and it was dark and rainy. To make matters worse, an elk decided to make like a chicken and crossed the road right in front of me. (Luckily, I was able to stop before hitting it.) Only a couple of days after moving into my shady room, I flew out to Baltimore for a quick interview. That didn’t work out, but about two weeks later, I flew out to Cincinnati for a longer interview. That one did work out. So, after being in the Portland area for only one and a half months, I repacked my car and headed for the Midwest.

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I was sad to leave Portland (city of tremendous character) and the Pacific Northwest (because it’s freakin’ gorgeous there and the residence of Sasquatch), but oh-so-happy to leave Beaverton (suburb extraordinaire). In fact, I gave Beaverton the finger as soon as I got onto I-5 on the 1st of January.

And that, folks, is where I’ll pick up tomorrow.

Until then.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

**********************************************************************************
Are you sad you didn't get a souvenir? Don't fret, there's plenty to choose from at the brand spankin' new Everyday Adventures Shop. There you will find classic souvenirs such as poorly designed t-shirts and mugs. Don't see the item you want--like you want a hooded sweatshirt with a particular picture? Leave me a comment and I'll get it for you! New items are added with each post about the trip!*********************************************************************************
What's all this about prizes? Go here to learn more.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Big Move 2007/2008
Day #9 Portland, OR

Before hitting the road to Portland, I went to the visitor center and inquired what kind of activities were in Bend. The woman pulled out a map and started circling everything, "You can hike here, here, here..." I chose to hike Pilot Butte, which is right in the town. There's a paved road to the top and the top is paved, but it makes for a good climb and view. The butte had a definite "Stone Mountain" feel. Tons of people were climbing it in workout clothes.

Here are some pictures Rasputin and I got at the top:

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I stopped for gas before hitting the road. As I got out of my car, some young guys approached me. "Are you going to pump it?" I asked.

"Um, yah, you're in Oregon," the guy replied.

Riiiiight, I thought to myself, not even Southern "gentlemen" in Atlanta would pump my gas. But, I let them pump it.

The drive from Bend to Portland was gorgeous. I finally got to drive through trees--tall trees. I was starting to get a little worried about driving back in a few days. Along the way there were a lot of "chain up" areas. And I didn't have chains.

Portland is a very confusing town to get around in. I pulled into the town, but soon found my way back to an interstate where I knew there would be a motel. Boy, did I pick the wrong Days Inn. The place was funky. It was expensive, too. Needless to say, I only spent one night there.

And here, folks, is where things are going to be a bit fuzzy. I stopped writing in my journal for awhile on this day. Tomorrow I'll summarize my time in Portland and then the following day I'll continue the daily travel logs.

Until then.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik


**********************************************************************************
Are you sad you didn't get a souvenir? Don't fret, there's plenty to choose from at the brand spankin' new Everyday Adventures Shop. There you will find classic souvenirs such as poorly designed t-shirts and mugs. Don't see the item you want--like you want a hooded sweatshirt with a particular picture? Leave me a comment and I'll get it for you! New items are added with each post about the trip!*********************************************************************************
What's all this about prizes? Go here to learn more.
This Is What Happens When You Live 2 Years In the South

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You forget all your cold weather strategies. I woke up to 3-4" of snow. And, with the need to drive out to the far reaches of the universe to get an Ohio license, car title, and registration, I had to clear those inches off of my car. I took my broom out with me because this time, my Kroger card wasn't going to cut it. (My Kroger card was the only kind of scraper I needed in Atlanta.)

And let me tell you, it was FREEZING. I don't have a real winter jacket. I refuse to buy one since the one I wanted from L.L. Bean doesn't come in the Green Tea color anymore. I'm going to wait until next winter.

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I don't have any REAL mittens/gloves, either. I have those puny thin gloves you pay $1 for two pairs.

Send warm thoughts.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik