Life in Portland Area

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At work they have been bringing on new people to help us through the summer. They are mostly new high school graduates. Here is Chris. Chris.
One of the things we do is empty the truck of 'debris' after we unpack a shipment. The worst shipments are international shipments, especially the larger sea shipments in containerized cargos. Everything is packed with paper, cardboard, or bubblewrap (interstate shipments usually travel with reusable truck pads). Anyway, here we are in a Penske rental truck (with a yellow fiberglass roof causing the yellowish light) sorting the debris that goes into the paper and cardboard recycling dumpster just outside. Here are Will (bending down) and Jason with Chris in the background. Chris, Will and Jason.
At the end of July I had a couple of phone interviews that went very well with an e-mail marketing specialist, @Once. They are located on the ninth floor of this building, the Wells Fargo building. They are not spammers, but instead help with e-mail marketing efforts for reputable companies like Nike and Nintendo. @Once sends e-mails to their customers, but they are careful to only send them to customers who are interested so as not to tarnish their reputation. Anyway, they called back the next day and tried to schedule real interviews as soon as possible, but it was a full week before Mike, the dispatcher at Active Moving, would allow me take a morning off for personal business. The interviews were on August 6, 2004 and they went very well. I met about ten people and really liked what I saw. They are a small company (about 60 employees) but quite forward looking (taking good care of their employees). I was quite optimistic but on August 16 I heard back that while they were very interested in me, they had decided to go with another candidate who had more current experience (quicker start up). Doh! However, they wanted to keep me in mind for other positions that might come available. @Once Offices.
The other big news on August 16th (Karyn and my first anniversary) was that Karyn had sent off the papers for a divorce (they weren't actually filed until August 18th and I didn't get my copy back until August 26th. This was not a surprise to me as she had not been happy in the marriage and it was a consensual divorce (I had joined in the suit with her as petitioner), but I was not going to make any plans for a divorce until the papers were actually filed and I didn't know when that would be.

A lot of people expressed their sympathy, which was appreciated, but it really was for the best. While I was happy in the marriage, Karyn was miserable and so it is best that we each move on. I wrote up a separate page with further thoughts on the divorce.

So, on August 27th I gave notice to Active telling them that my last day would be September 25th (four weeks and a day notice). As I didn't have any particular ties to the Portland, OR area, I figured that I might as well travel for a bit, visiting friends and family on my way back to New York where I expected to spend some time visting the ashram in S. Fallsburg, NY and with my kids in Albany. They set aside a lift van shown here (a big wooden box that is 7 feet by 4 feet and 7 feet tall) that is used to ship household goods with freight carriers. They would allow me to store my stuff there for no fee until I find a place to settle and then have it shipped to my location when I settle somewhere.

Lift van.
While I was not really pleased to get turned down by @Once or to get the divorce papers, it was somewhat of a relief. Until those two unknowns were resolved, I expected that there would be big changes in my life, but I didn't really know what to expect. Would I be working as a programmer at @Once and would I be single or married as I made the commute (parking is terrible there, but public transportation is great there)? Would I be leaving the area or staying? So many unknowns, so it was nice to get resolution to those issues. So I started going through my stuff, measuring what would fit in my lift van and what wouldn't (they offered me more than one lift van, but I think that getting rid of stuff is good and decided that getting down to that size would be good). I found more stuff to recycle (cancelled checks dating back to 1972 and so on), give to Good Will, and throw away). I also started taking more pictures of people at work. Here is Mike, the dispatcher and one of the new workers, Logan, who is Loreta's son. Logan was just with us for the summer and will be a senior in high school this year. Logan loves to play sports and is especially good at baseball. Mike and Logan.
Here is a picture of Jason, a high school graduate who will be starting at Clark County Community college this fall and Jim, an owner operator for United. Jason hopes to play basketball for Clark County as a walk on. We helped unload a shipment from his truck and store it in the warehouse. The end of August and early September were busy with lots of shipments coming in and being delivered as people settled down for the school year. The warehouse has lots more vaults (wooden crates for storing household goods in the warehouse) than last summer and the shuffling of stuff awaiting delivery went much more smoothly than last summer. However, just as I was getting set for more travelling and heading back to New York, change raised its head and demonstrated its power over us all. On September 4th I returned a call to the personell manager at @Once and learned that one of their database services staff (the group I had been interviewing for) was leaving and they offered me the position. I accepted the offer and now needed to find a place to stay. On September 7th, I gave my revised now two weeks notice (starting with @Once on September 20th). Jason and Jim.
Active was having its summer picnic on September 11th and I really wanted to go to say my farewells, but we had a shipment that was picked up on September 10th and needed to be delivered on September 11th to Port Townsend, WA which is North of Seattle and on the other side of Puget Sound (further West). So on September 10th I drove up to Sequim, WA in the evening. There weren't any motels listed in Port Townsend, WA and Sequim as only about 15 minutes our of the way. However, the Econolodge was all full. The Ramada Inn would have been about $120 a night (twice the target rate), so instead I drove 20-25 minutes further to Port Angeles where I stayed at the Super 8 Motel shown here. It added about 45 minutes to my hours (all overtime, of course), but saved the company about $50 which was less than they paid me. Super 8 Motel, Port Angeles, WA.
They didn't have parking spaces for 26 foot trucks, so I parked down the hill (close to the sign, how fortuitous). Behind me there had been two tractor trailers, but they were gone before I left. I didn't get in until 10PM and so couldn't leave before 8AM (must be ten hour break before a CDL driver can start a new day which can't have more than 14 hours working and 10 hours driving). They were gone before I left. The end of the drive was interesting as it was raining and foggy and while the roads were most beautiful in the day with lots of hills and curves and trees, it wasn't that fun after dark. However, I could appreciate it on the 11th as I made my way to Port Townsend. Super 8 Motel, Port Angeles, WA.
The shipment was going to Cape George a private community outside of Port Townsend. Her house was down this very pretty drive, but it wasn't fun to back down (and with the gravel driveway, it was quite important to get as close as possible as moving equipment doesn't work very well on unpaved areas). My helper was supposed to meet me at the destination, but got lost on the way. After waiting 15 minutes, I went ahead and backed up the truck on my own, which was slow going as I had to check out the tree locations as I went. Cape George, WA.
My help arrived just after I got the truck in place and we were most fortunate as I was able to get the truck close enough so that we could take the walkboard (on the side and under the truck here) from the back of the truck straight onto her porch. Cool! Cape George, WA.
Here is my helper for the unloading, Jay. He had only been a mover for a few months but was big and strong and knew what to do. Apparently there isn't that much work in Port Angeles (where he lives) and he does whatever work he can find. Jay.
Here is the shipper with one of her dogs. I have forgotten her name. Both of the dogs were pound dogs. One was calm enough to be quiet and stay out of the way while we worked, but the smaller (shown here) needed to held while we worked. The shipment was charged by weight and was less than estimated (3,600 instead of 5,600) so Active didn't really make any money on this move, but it seems they pretty much covered their expenses. Shipper and dog.
The drive back was very nice. They had lots of 'pull outs' with signs saying that slow vehicles had to pull over whenever there were more than five vehicles behind. That gave me a chance to get nice pictures. .
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Of course the prettiest pictures weren't at places where there were any places to stop, but you can get the idea of the terrain from these pictures. .
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This page was last updated on November 26, 2004.