2008 in review, part 2

I’ve already looked at the first two months of last year and what went on; now March and April.

March

I was interviewed by Peter Sachs of the Bulletin for a(nother) article on blogging. It was a front page article, and even though I didn’t have my picture in the paper this time around, I was the first blogger named and quoted. My blogging 15 minutes or something.

I took the week of Spring Break off to coincide with the kids being home from school. The first part of the vacation was pretty low key; but the final weekend we again took a trip over the mountains, this time to visit and stay with good friends in McMinnville.

It was a pretty cool trip. We went and visited A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village in Salem—A.C. Gilbert is the guy who invented the Erector Set, among a ton of other things—and the Discovery Village is a fantastic children’s museum. I highly recommend it if you’re visiting Salem.

We made a quick detour to Eola Hills Winery that day as well—that area is the heart of Oregon wine country, after all. They have a nice gift shop and a great tasting bar. Unfortunately it wasn’t Sunday, because they offer amazing-sounding Sunday brunches (with wine, naturally).

During that weekend, I managed to visit Golden Valley Brewery in McMinnville and was suitably impressed—it’s a cool place (check out the beer sampler in my review!) and they’ve got some tasty beer.

Ironically, the weekend we were away was the opening weekend of Trader Joe’s here in Bend—I’m only noting this here because almost the entire trip my wife was complaining that we were missing the Grand Opening. No, really—we got home late-ish afternoon on Sunday, and my wife went to Trader Joe’s just to see what it was like.

Trader Joe’s. That’s how we roll, yo.

And, the beginning of the end—for my job, that is. I found out midway through March that my hours were going to be cut back to half-time in "the near future." Unfortunately, this year was not the year to be working for a home builder. But they were extremely open and fair about the time cut, and what else can you do? I started looking around for full-time employment.

April

The month of April marked the six year anniversary of blogging for me—on April 22nd, specifically. We had a "blogger bash" get-together with a dozen or so folks showing up to the Summit Saloon in Downtown Bend—not as big a group as in February, certainly, but a lot of fun regardless. Afterwards, we (my wife, Simone, and I) had drinks with Kina at the Astro Lounge and made a night out of it.

At the beginning of the month (on the 3rd) I got a behind-the-scenes private tour of Deschutes Brewery with Jason Randles, who does marketing for the Brewery and whom I met through my Brew Site blog. See how this blogging thing is opening doors?

And then, similar to being interviewed by the Bulletin in the previous month, I was asked—in my capacity as a blogger—to be on a media panel at the Deschutes County offices along with other real members of the local media. The panel was supplementing media communications training for County employees, and as I wrote, "it was interesting and enlightening, and definitely something I’d do again if asked."

We took yet another trip over the mountains, again to McMinnville—our friends’ (the same ones we visited the previous month) daughter was turning one, so we went up for the weekend and the birthday party. We stayed with them again, and I believe it was this trip (at their house) that we discovered Rock Band, and what a freakin’ blast that game is.

And remember the notice that my hours were going to be cut back to half time? It happened in April. I don’t remember exactly when, but it was sometime around the middle of the month, I think. But maybe earlier; I had an interview for a position with Deschutes County near the beginning of the month as I started testing the waters for other employment.

Thus began the countdown.

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