Sunday, February 26, 2012

Renegotiating the lease

Quite often when people gain a new perspective on life you hear them use the phrase "I got a new lease on life". Myself, I'm not really looking for a new lease, but I'm trying to renegotiate the terms of the current one.

When I started this blog a little over a year ago, I was going through an economic shift in my life. I was recently laid off from a great job at the Federal Reserve Bank, I realized the dream of opening my own photography studio and quickly realized the nightmare of not being able to make it financially stable. I  was then preparing to start a new career as a long haul truck driver. After learning that my personality was not very accommodating to living in the cab of a truck, that career soon followed the rest of my doomed choices. By that time, I was starting to deal with a wide range of emotions. I was scared, worried, sad, angry and several other things all meshed into one unpleasant emotion that I'll just call Funk.

By the end of May of 2011, I was lucky to land a job at Wells Fargo through a staffing agency. As of this post, I'm still working at Wells Fargo as a temp. Being a temp adds to the stress level being as it is very quick and easy to let you go should they no longer want your services. having seen several of my temp co-workers use the exit for the last time, I just figured that my time to follow them was close at hand. As it stands now, it appears that I will be picked up by Wells Fargo and get to stay as a regular, full time employee. Although, I am still waiting for that to be set in stone.

During that time, I have completely depleted my life savings and I'm currently earning 70% of what I was making at the Fed. Yet through it all, we've never missed or even been late on a single financial obligation. In fact, we were even faced with replacing a car during this time and have found a way to make that work.

By now, I'm sure you're asking..."what does all this have to do with renegotiating the lease"? The answer is this; I've grown tired of all the stress and worry. I've come to the point in my life where I will accept that I cannot control everything and sometimes you have to go with the flow. I will still put great effort into trying to improve my career but I will also accept that I cannot have a guarantied outcome. For now, the ill fated career pursuit is no longer taking the top spot on my "To Do" list.

The terms that I will be demanding in my new lease, life just has to be fun!!! I realized that in the last year I have developed 8 unique recipes and I love experimenting in the kitchen.
Making blackberry rolls
I also love riding my motorcycle and road trips
My wife and I with my Step Mom in the back

Taking scenic photo's
Columbia River Gorge at Sunrise

There are also several other things that I could put on this list. But, you get the point, life needs to have more fun.

My new focus in a single sentence....Smile more and make others smile.

Peace and Cheers!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The joy of relics

In recent months I have shied away from keeping my blog current. It seems I have resigned myself to the idea that a daily exposition of my memoirs would only serve as a benefit to those suffering from insomnia. With little refute to this accusation, I decided that I would need to do something about it. Yes, I am willing to take full responsibility for my boring life and accept that only I can remedy the problem. One such antidote and the one I will write about today; volunteering to help preserve history.

It all started when my Dad (Steve version. Yes, I have two) found a museum in Hood River, OR. This Museum, WAAAM (Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum) impressed him so much on his first visit that he immediately decided he needed to become a volunteer. He also felt it would be much more fun to share his new found joy with somebody he knew so he convinced me to volunteer with him. Myself, I was pretty much born a fan of anything that has a motor. From as far back as I can remember, if it has a motor and goes, I love it and want to ride or drive it. I love the smell of exhaust fumes in the morning. It's that smell, that gasoline smell. Smells like...victory! 

My Dad and I front of a Model T Depot Hack
This museum is known as a "living museum". All the artifacts are still operable and occasionally operated. On the second Saturday of every month they pull out some of the displays and fly & drive them. My first chance to volunteer came on the 2nd Saturday of February. One of my duties for the day was to help promote rides on the Model T Depot Hack. Due to the chilly weather, not too many rides were given. Most of the men returned with big smiles and most of the women returned shivering. In all, it was great to see the Model T in action.After Model T duty, we were put on dusting duty. We were actually asked to go behind the ropes and touch each and every exhibit. That's right, I know you're jealous.

1928 Boeing 40C
  This Boeing is the oldest Boeing that still flies. It was completely rebuilt from just a few salvageable parts taken from a wreck that sat in the wilderness for 75 years. 

There are about 200 exhibits in 2 large hangers

1932 Locomobile
This car sold in 1923 for about $10,000. At the same time a new Ford Model T was selling for about $300.

Along with cars and planes, the exhibits also cover some military equipment, motorcycles and even a display of old cameras. 

If you ever find yourself in the Columbia River Gorge area, I would highly recommend stopping in Hood River and visiting WAAAM. If you can schedule your visit for the 2nd Saturday of the month, all the better.

Hope to see you there!!!