Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Rainy Eugene

I woke up in Portland and took River for a walk. It was just starting to rain very lightly.
I had my coffee and breakfast and packed the car up. No sooner had I started the engine when the sky opened up and it really started to rain.

I had less than a two hour drive ahead of me and three hours before check-in time, so I was planning to make a few stops along the way and play with River in a park. But the rain was demotivating.

I stopped for gas and learned that the gas tank was on the passenger side. In Oregon, all gas stations are tended by professional gas-pumpers (I'm not sure of the proper term) so when I pulled into the station the wrong way, he politely informed me that it was on the other side. The past two Mini Coopers I drove had the gas tank on the drivers side.


The rain gods were smiling on us today as both times we approached a rest area, the rain stopped long enough for us to get out of the car and enjoy some nature. At the first one, we took a tour of all of the state trees along a hiking path. And at the second one, I got River to chase me and grab a toy out of my hand. So we were able to kill enough time so that I pulled into the motel in Eugene exactly at our 3:00 check-in time.

I had been frustrated by a design feature inside the car. At the center of the dashboard is a large round display screen, where I interact with Babe. It shows the navigation, the radio information, on board stuff like oil levels and tire pressure, my address book and many other things I have yet to figure out. And surrounding this display is an LED lighting effect. It has the ability to shine in all the colors of the rainbow, but it was stuck in an odd configuration. Most of it was dark, except for at about three o'clock on the dial, it was yellow and faded to red at about four o'clock. It offended my aesthetic sensibilities as being completely off balance and inexplicable.


I wrote an email to my Mini dealer and asked him what the deal was. He explained to me that it was acting as a tachometer. When I revved the engine, a white light showed up on the left side of the dial and worked its way around. The yellow and red represented my danger zones. Blech! He also explained to me how I can set it so that the entire ring rotates through all the colors. That made me very happy.

Look at it now!
video
He also told me how to change it so the car wouldn't loudly BEEP every time I locked it and BEEP BEEP every time I unlocked it. Slowly, I'm acclimating to Babe.

Anyway, I arrived in Eugene, fed River and myself and had the rest of the day free.

The next day, I also had mostly free, and it was still raining. We went on a couple of wet walks and I went to a local store to get some fruit and some crème fraîche. I also got a ginger cookie that looked too good to pass up.

I had one client who needed some quick work on his upper back and shortly after that it was time to go to the Reach Center to teach a Nia class. By this time it had actually stopped raining. It wasn't sunny, but at least we could walk around without getting wet.

We had about four people signed up for class tonight, so we didn't know what kind of turn-out we'd have, but the room was filled with over 15 dancing bodies and we had a blast. So much fun, in fact, that no one stopped to take any pictures. But trust me, it was awesome! Before class started, when I announced that the routine was not only 80's music but specifically "New Wave" music, some of the students started jumping and squealing in excitement.

I'm loving the idea of traveling with jars of fermented vegetables. It is the first time on these trips that I'm not obsessed with the refrigeration of my fresh produce. And dinner preparation is so easy now that all I need to do is heat up my meat and open up a few jars.

Earlier today when I was at the store, I thought I should buy a box of cookies for later. But I decided against it, opting instead for the immediate satisfaction of the one ginger cookie. But now that 'later' has arrived, I sort of wish I had a box of cookies.

Typically when I'm on these road trips, I eat far less than I do when I'm in the comfort and enjoying the convenience of my own home. And I tend to lose a bit of weight, too. So I've been on the road for three days now and already it seems like my jeans are falling off. Maybe I should've gotten those cookies after all. 

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