When I started this blogging class I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’ve never had a blog before, the only thing that I can think of that may come close would be my status updates on Facebook (and I rarely even update that, only when something exciting happens). I started the blog with something that I enjoyed talking about, so it never really seemed like work. I honestly though it was fun posting different posts about things I enjoyed. After this class is over I probably will keep my blog updated, probably not everyday but I will at least try to post something every week.
I was surprised that another blog wanted to use some of my posts as references. There is a website called “beerintelligence.com” wanted to use some of my posts about beer as references in their website. I was surprised on how easily I could write these posts. Usually when I sit down to write an assignment I usually get writers block throughout the writing process, but with these blogs posts came very easily.
My writing voice in my blog posts is pretty informal and direct. I usually end up just sitting down the first things that come to mind. I try to make the voice broad enough for anyone to understand. My personality definitely comes through in my writing through the tone and the vibe of my writing.
Every week I would spend time messing with my blog and upgrading some of the features such as the ability to like the post of Facebook. I would sometimes forget for a couple days to update it so some of the posts came in the same day. I put thought and effort in each post to develop a theme and an overall voice for my blog and to try and cut down on the randomness. I feel the overall theme of my blog is local activities and stories concerning Corvallis and also beer reviews. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the class and can’t wait to continue and expand my blog.
Last summer a couple of my friends and I traveled to the Philippines to visit one of my friend’s grandpa and also to explore the island. This was my first time overseas, I’ve been to Canada and Mexico, but no where nearly this far from home. There was quite a culture shock when I landed, we were the only white people in the airport in Manilla. My friends and I are all over 6 feet, which also made us stand out because everyone over there average like 5’6″.
Just walking through the airport that first night it felt like all eyes were on us, it was a little intimidating. We made our way to the taxi area to wait for our ride and once those airport doors opened to the outside the humidity nearly knocked me over. It was around one in the morning and it was still around 85 degrees and 90% humidity. We spent the first night in a hotel in downtown Manilla and had to catch a bus ride the next morning that took us 12 hours north to Laoag City, where his grandpa lived.
This 12 hour bus ride was probably the most memorable part of the trip, and not in a good way. The bus left around 7 in the morning so we planned on sleeping for the first half of the trip since we were still jet lagged from the 16 hour flight. Little did we know that Filipino busses don’t enforce maximum capacities, because they crammed twice the amount of people that I think that bus allowed. My friend got stuck with a family of 3 sitting next to him in rows of only 2 seats. People were even sitting in the aisles! And the smell, the smell of that bus was awful, it probably didn’t help that I was sitting directly across from the bathroom that had a door that did’t shut, so I’d get constant whiffs of some potent port-a-potty type smells.
Then the rain came, and apparently the bus had more than one leak in the roof because about an hour after the rain started the whole floor had about a quarter inch of water swishing around, soaking my backpack and feet. When we finally arrived in Laoag City I couldn’t have been more happy. We found a taxi, threw our bags in the back, and headed to someplace familiar to get our minds off of that horrible experience, so we headed none other than McDonalds.
But overall I enjoyed my whole trip, I met some amazing people, tried some amazing food, and had an amazing experience!
Corvallis, Oregon may not be one of the biggest tourist attractions in Oregon, but if you know where to go Corvallis can be a pretty fun place to hang out. I’ve been down here for 3 years going to school and I’ve found some pretty cool places to check out:
Mary’s Peak: This isn’t technically in Corvallis but it is pretty close. It is located in Philomath which is about 20 miles outside of town, and it offers a great place to have a picnic, go hiking, or shoot some pictures.
Avery Park: This park offers great picnic areas and running trails and some great photo opportunities as well. The park has a huge train that kids can play on and it is a pretty cool site to see. The park also has a rose garden and a swimming dock that is right on the Willamette River that offers a great place to cool down during the summer.
The River Front: Corvallis sits right on the Willamette River so there are any places to get great views, go fishing, and even go inner-tubing down the river. There are also many great restaurants and brew pubs that are right on the riverfront that offer great food and drinks. During the spring and summer there is also a big Saturday market right downtown that is a perfect place to buy fresh produce.
The Peacock: This bar is one of my favorites, it has everything from shuffleboards, to karaoke, to a dance floor. This bar is two levels, the top level has two bars, a dance floor, and a couple video games.The downstairs has another big bar, 4 pool tables, a shuffleboard, karaoke, and dining tables. I think my favorite part of the Peacock though has to be the $1 PBR’s.
Clodfelters: This is a pretty chill bar and grill with some tasty food and a decent selection of microbrews. The bar offers a lot of seating and dining tables and some great happy hour deals. They have some games like Buck Hunter and a gambling room but no pool tables or anything. I suggest checking this place out for a drink or two, or for some hangover breakfast (they have great biscuits and gravy).
I don’t watch that much TV, but when I do I usually just watch Netflix since there’s no commercials and it is handy to have all of the seasons in one spot. Here’s some of my favorite shows that I have been watching recently;
The Office: This is probably one of my all time favorite TV shows. I love the sense of humor and the style of filming they use. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the whole show is based on the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton, PA. The comedic “mockumentary” is led by Michael Scott (Steve Carrel), who plays the Regional General Manager of Dunder Mifflin Scranton. Michael is supported by Jim Halpert and Dwight Schrute.The humor is a little dry but I really enjoy it and I find this show hilarious!
Workaholics: This is a relatively new show that airs on Comedy Central and ever since I saw the season premier last year I’ve been hooked. This show is similar to The Office, but instead of middle aged workers this show follows three college-aged workers; Anders, Adam, and Blake, in their jobs as telemarketers. The humor in this show is a little more brash than The Office, but as a college student I can relate to a lot of the mischief the trio gets into after work ends.
The Walking Dead: This show follows a group struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world strewn with brain hungry zombies. It is a pretty intense and gory show, but it keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. It airs on AMC on Sundays, and it is one of the better zombie movies/shows I’ve seen. They always end the episode on huge cliff hangers that always draw me back.
I’ve had an iPhone ever since the first one came out. I’ve been a huge fan of its capabilities and its simple design. I’ve gone through many apps through the years that I turn to when I’m bored or just looking to pass the time. A few that I’ve been playing for a while include:
Draw Something: This game is really simple but at the same time really fun. It is kind of like the classic game “Pictionary” where the goal of the game is to draw a picture without using words or symbols and have your friends guess it. With this game you can connect it with your Facebook account and play with your friends, or you can play with a random person. You get 3 words, each being a different level of difficulty and worth a different amount of points. The game goes back and forth until someone can’t guess a picture. I suggest this app to all of the aspiring artists out there!
5-0 Radio: This application was free and suggested to me by a friend. It is basically a police scanner for your iPhone. It picks up frequencies from around the world, but I usually listen to the Corvallis EMS, Fire, and Police station. It is interesting to listen to on a Friday night or something.
Shazam: This is probably one of the most handy apps I have on my phone. If you are listening to the radio and you hear a song that you like but don’t know the artist or the name of the song you can just bust out this app and out your phone near the speakers and the app listens to the song for 10 seconds and then gives you the name and artist. Another handy feature is that it gives you links to listen to the song on YouTube or buy it one iTunes. Definitely a must have for all the music junkies.
This is Ben, my new Golden Retriever. I adopted Ben a few months ago while I was in Bend on vacation. I had wanted a dog for a while and since I had some spare time while I was in the Bend area I decided to go look at the locals shelters. Ben and his brother Beau came in minutes after I got there and he instantly warmed up to me. Ben’s owner (an older man) passed away and the relatives dropped the dogs off at pound. My brother ended up adopting Beau, and they have been the most loyal dogs I’ve seen.Ben has been the perfect dog for down here at college, he doesn’t bark and he is very low maintenance. He’s pretty lazy, he lays around most of the time and doesn’t play fetch or anything, but he does love to go on walks and he even likes to pull me while I longboard. I noticed that he absolutely loves to go on car rides, probably more than anything. Every time I walk towards my car he gets way too excited. I recommend to anyone that has the time to dedicate, to get a dog. This has been the first pet that I’ve had that I actually cared for by myself. I grew up on acreage so we always had dogs that just ran around all day and all we really needed to do was feed them. It’s a little different living in a small townhouse with no yard. But I enjoy taking him out for walks and to the park. So if any of you are thinking about getting a dog, I would recommend adopting one from the shelter, because they are some of the most loyal dogs out there.
So today I learned that the White House brews their own been. It’s called the White House Honey Ale, and it is the first beer to be brewed in the White House. Apparently President Obama purchased a home-brew kit with his own funds and the chefs in the White House used a pound of honey from the beehives located at the White House to mix in with the beer. President Obama is the first president to brew beer in the White House. He first introduced the beer to his Super Bowl Party guests last year, and made another special batch for St.Patricks Day. Most recently the White House has released two more beers, the “White House Honey Blonde Ale” and the “White House Honey Porter”. I think it would be an awesome opportunity to try these beers. The Honey Ale sounds pretty good,I’ve never tried a Honey flavored beer before. On a side note, President Thomas Jefferson was known for making his own home-brew, and has even been called “America’s First Microbrewer” (but there isn’t any evidence that he brewed his beer in the White House). I think it’s pretty cool that the President is so interested in the craft of making beer, and that he keeps on creating different types of beer. Next time I home brew some beer (probably later this summer) I might try making my own Honey Ale, it sounds pretty tasty and would probably add some nice flavor. Props to Obama for being the first home brewer in the White House!
If you live in Corvallis I suggest checking out Mary’s Peak, which is in Southwest Philomath, about 20 miles outside of Corvallis. Mary’s Peak offers great vies of the Willamette Valley, and on a clear day you can even see as far as the Pacific Ocean! It is a great place to go and take some pictures, have a picnic, mountain bike, or just hang out and walk your dog.
There’s some great hiking trails and picnic areas, and some spectacular view points. I’ve only been there once, and it was kind of cloudy so the visibility wasn’t that great, but this summer I am planning on going there more often. It takes about 45 minutes to drive there but I think it is well worth the trip. I think many OSU students don’t know about this gem that is so close to campus.
My roommate was just there earlier today and got some great panoramic pictures of the Willamette Valley and of the waterfalls that are up there. Its elevation is around 4,000 feet, and in the winter it is a great place to mess around in the snow and get some good pictures (if the road is open that is). Check it out!
Traeger VS Gas
It’s almost officially summertime here in Oregon and at our house that means a lot of backyard BBQ’s. Just last year we purchased a new grill for our house. Not just any grill, a Traeger grill. Traeger grills are similar to smokers, they use flavored pellets (apple, hickory, barbecue, cedar, etc) that feed into a hopper which sends the pellets to a electronic burner which ignites the pellets. The whole thing is electric so you can set the grill to a certain temperature and it will keep it there as long as the lid is closed. I have to say that the Traeger grill is awesome. The food tastes so much smokier and flavorful when it cooks on the Traeger. Also, it is very hard to burn your food with the Traeger grill because the food isn’t exposed to an open flame, just the indirect heat that circulate through the cylinder-shaped grill. With the grill you can make anything from whole turkeys and chicken breast to baking your own bread and pizza. Papa Murphy’s take and bake pizza has never been tastier than cooking it on the Traeger. With gas grills you don’t get as much natural flavoring as you do with the Traeger. I recommend checking into one of these, they’re not terribly expensive either. They usually sell them at Costco this time of year.
This is a random post but this video caught my attention. Casey Neistat is an amateur filmmaker who lives in New York City. He commutes by bicycle most of the time, and one day while riding his bike he was ticketed fifty dollars for not riding his bike in the bike lane. To show how frustrated he was, Casey makes a video where he satirically does what the officer said, and rides only in the bike lane. Bike lanes in New York are often blocked by construction signs, taxis, delivery trucks, traffic cones, and oddly enough police cars. Casey takes his bike through the bikes lanes and crashes into all obstacles along the way. At the end of the video he even crashes into a parked police car that was blocking the bike lane. The video currently has over 5 million views on YouTube, and I suggest you take a look. I personally think a $50 ticket is ridiculous, and I can see why Casey was so mad at the fact that he was actually cited. Biking is a healthy way to commute, and it is very environment-friendly. I commute by bike everyday to and from class, and although biking in Corvallis is a lot different then trying to navigate through New York City, I still can relate to Casey’s experience.