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Happening in Southern Oregon
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January 31, 2006: Today was a special treat before 8 am. As I was crossing the foot bridge to work I spotted a Common Egret standing in Bear Creek in the early dawn light. It let me watch for a short while before leaving. My shutter speed was so slow due to the low level of light that the flight appears to be two Egrets.
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Common Egret
Taking flight
February 1, 2006: Southern Oregon has it's own brand name of coffee. I teach an eCommerce course at the local community college and use Dutch Bros. as an example of creating a brand-name Dutch Bros Coffee
product. The Dutch Bros. Coffee company was started in Grants Pass and has now spread throughout Oregon and into northern California. What has made the brand popular has been the distinctive taste, flavors, cup design and the personality of their staff. Every Dutch Bros. will have staff that are in their early 20's, greets you as if they've just had 5 cups of caffeine and talk without stopping the whole time they are making your order. They will talk about what you are doing this weekend, where you work, the kind of car you are driving, about the dog in your car, on and on. My son in California will try to mimic them and then laughs until he can't walk because he thinks they are so funny. You might not notice it the first time you visit but you will certainly notice it when you visit another booth or stop a second time and are greeted by a second staff person who talks the same talk. Then you realize, these people have been trained to do this. It has worked, because if a Dutch Bros. ever comes to your town, you will begin to see all ages of people holding their product in a distinctive Dutch Bros. cup.
It's the Climate in Grants Pass
February 3, 2006: "It's the Climate" slogan in Grants Pass, makes you wonder, especially these last two months, if the climate has changed for the worse since the slogan was created. We have had nearly two months of rain, in fact, the weather reporter for a local TV station stated that we have received 2/3 of our annual rainfall in just the month of January. In general, the winters are mild, with average low of 35+ and high of 50+ while summers are warm, low 60+ and high of 85+, so Grants Pass can live up to it's slogan most years. This slogan was credited to John Hamshire in 1917 and used to attract tourists. The photo was a 40 second exposure at f16. Note how it appears that you can see through the car lights to the stores on the other side of the street.
Rogue Theatre in downtown Grants Pass February 4, 2006: We have a special theatre in Grants Pass, the historic Rogue Theatre. When I first moved here, I was able to see movies in this theater but as two multiple screen movie complexes came to town, the Rogue closed. Soon after it became a place for musical events. Tonight, Gwen and I watched the James Cotton Blues Band perform to a packed house. We did not know it at the time but we were watching a legend in blues. Cotton is considered the "superharp" player and Jame Cotton Blues Band
we would have to agree. This was our first chance to hear some Chicago Blues and all members of this band were very talented. It was an enjoyable night with no breaks ... just continuous blues.
SuperBowl 40 February 5, 2006: Well darn! My team didn't win. I didn't consider this game to be as good as the Rose Bowl or Orange Bowl this year. It would have been nice to have the Seattle Seahawks win however, it's OK for Pittsburgh to win too. I've watched them work their way to the top.
Bear Creek and Interstate 5 Viaduct
February 6, 2006: Interstate 5 passes through Medford on a viaduct so this photo was taken under the Interstate. Bear Creek is to the left. A paved recreational trail follows Bear Creek passing just to the right of the fence you see on the left. This recreational trail begins in Central Point and ends in Ashland, about 25 miles. Main Street is the bridge passing from right to left in front of the photo. My office is only two blocks from this location. Those who live near here must make-believe they are hearing the sound of the ocean ... it helps to make the noise tolerable.
Courtney and Dustin Visit February 10, 2006: Guess who is visiting again. It's Dustin and Courtney. They are trying out roller blades on our back deck. Learning to fly off the wooden deck onto the concrete patio seems easy for them. They will be visiting for the weekend while their Mother visits Portland. Grandma Gwen has a big day planned for them tomorrow while I visit the Howard Prairie area on Nordic skis. The weather this week has been incredible good.
February 12, 2006: The Upper Rogue River is an area of the Rogue River closer to Crater Lake, the origin of the Rogue. This area of the Rogue passes through the Rogue Gorge, a very narrow canyon. The canyon has characteristic colors and of course the beautiful clear Rogue waters flowing quickly through the gorge. In this photo, I was standing on a rock where I had worked my way toward the middle of the river. It's not very wide at this point. I noticed the Blue Heron working it's way up the river and tried to prepare to take the photo. Everytime the Heron landed, I would try to focus and snap but just as I was about ready to photograph, the Heron would take flight. Fortuately, I had my camera on a tripod with a slower shutter speed to blur the water. Thank goodness, the Heron landed just in front of the falls where I snapped the photo. Upper Rogue River
Valentines Treat February 14, 2006: Here are a couple of my co-workers working together on a project. I secretly photographed them working on Valentine's day. Note the large box of chocolates they are sharing as they work. As far as I'm concerned, chocolate is a better work motivator than coffee. In this case, it was solve problem 1, get a chocolate, solve problem 2, get a chocolate, solve problem 3 ....
February 21, 2006: Today I've added a new banner to the bottom of the page. It's a banner for This is a Website that Gwen and I created. Gwen and I have often taken our RV to a new location, parked, then wondered, "what do we do now"? Of course we want to see what the locals would tell us to see, the culture, history, best food, most scenic site, great hike, something special only the locals know about. So we created It's a location to recommend an activity, especially for those who might be visiting for only a short time, say 6 days. We "went public" with this new site only 4 days ago and it already has more than thirty entries. We get excited about each one. I'll be adding a 6dayZ banner to every page that is created from now on to help RVeCafe visitors find our new creation. I hope you will be one of those to add entries.

February 22, 2006: Today is my birthday so 365 days from today and I will be 60. I used to think 60 was OLD but as I got closer to 60, I began to think differently. Now that I have only 365 days in my 50's left, I want to make the best use of them as possible.

I'm beginning to learn how to appreciate the little things and that means appreciating every little event of every day. I remember activities that I enjoyed 20 years ago such as backpacking into the Sierra Nevada Wilderness areas. At the time, I enjoyed the experience but did not appreciate it in the sense that I would never be back to that spot ever again. That's what I'm learning to do now ... appreciate, in the sense that I will never be at this "spot" in my life ever again.

How do you like my birthday gift? Gwen had this sign made for our camp site. It's a carved wood sign with raised trees, sun, river, mountain and outlines of Morgan and Annie.

Dale on his birthday
My visit to Jack in the Box February 24, 2006: About 3 weeks ago I visited a Jack-in-The-Box for the time in many years. When I got my receipt, there was a message on the receipt asking that I login to a Webpage to take a survey asking questions about my visit. I enjoyed the meal except
I had tried the curly fries because I liked the Arby's curly fries. As it turned out, the curly fries were not to my liking, cold and tasteless. The survey did not ask the right questions so I emailed them with my observations of the curly fries. For that, they sent me a coupon for a free combo meal. Today, I cashed in the coupon on #11-large, a sour dough chicken club. I thought it was very good. It would have cost $6.58 had I paid cash. Next time I will get a medium. My free combo
Grants Pass, looking Southwest
February 28, 2006: Looking at Grants Pass toward the southwest. The high school is the large building and playgrounds in the front, the city is the mostly white buildings above and to the left of the high school. Our house is actually located 3/4 mile outside the city limits on 1/2 acre. It only takes 5 minutes to drive from our house to the center of town. The town is mostly growing to the southwest, so new housing is to the top left of the photo. The population is about 35,000. Grants Pass is the county seat of Josephine County. JC is one of the poorest counties in Oregon due to the low tax rate. Our house is assessed at $200,000 with annual property tax of about $800. Although that sounds great, it means few policemen, libraries closed most of the time, few services and county schools in very poor condition with a shortened school year, low wages, and crowded classrooms. Much of the population are transplants from California, hence these folks are rebelling against being over taxed in California. The problem is, JC hardly has enough for the basics. Having said all that, I don't usually worry about locking our door when I leave the house (the neighbors would be questioning any strangers anyway).
Ducks on the Bear
March 1, 2006: Remember the walking bridge I must cross every day to work? Today I caught this pair of ducks working Bear Creek for food and shelter. Having me stand this close to photograph them did not seem to bother them.
Medford with Tablerock Mountains in the distance.
March 2, 2006: After a rainstorm, Medford is exceptionally clear. Off in the distance are the Upper and Lower Tablerock Mountains. These make for very good hiking in early spring.
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