July 30, 2011

Voodoo type of thing

This morning we enjoyed a snack at Voodoo Doughnut Too. Not your average doughnut shop, Voodoo Doughnut states in their slogan that "the magic is in the hole." As seen on the food network and other TV shows, Voodoo Doughnut claims to have served a doughnut to Brad Pitt.

The look of the menu described Voodoo perfectly...

...and is therefore, my picture for the day.

We waited in line about twenty minutes to order our doughnuts (cash only), which was a perfect amount of time for me to narrow down my choice of doughnut to order. With options like Butterfingering, Bacon Maple Bar, Triple Chocolate Penetration, Memphis Mafia, Old Dirty Bastard, Buttermilk Bar, No Name and Miami Vice Berry, I was pretty much clueless as to what kind of doughnut I was actually ordering (however; there were many unidentified varieties of doughnuts in a tall glass case).

I ended up ordering the Maple Blazer Bunt, a raised doughnut coated in cinnamon sugar and rolled into a blunt with maple frosting and a red sprinkled ember. Tauni ordered the Mango Tango (a doughnut with vanilla frosting and mango jelly in the middle) and Eric ordered the Voodoo Doll (in the shape of a voodoo doll with raspberry filling and chocolate frosting), Apple Fritter (fried doughnut) and the Portland Cream (cream filled doughnut with chocolate frosting - also the "official doughnut of Portland). Eliza did not get to order a doughnut but did enjoy the 10 cent water. :)

After a few rounds of pinball and a picture session in the photo booth, we left voodoo satisfied...and ready to enjoy another beautiful day in Portland.

July 28, 2011

Introducing Dave...

As I walked into one of our meetings, I was welcomed by a table with a variety of Dave's Killer Bread. Yes, Dave's Killer Bread. Samples of all current Killer Bread varieties on the market were available to sample. If you know me well, you know that I love free stuff, including free food.

I started eating Dave's Killer Bread (Good Seed, Power Seed, Spelt, Rockin' Rye and Blues Buns are my favorites) probably a couple years ago. It is really the best bread in the world (except maybe my mom's Christmas bread). Dave's bread is 100% organic and uses whole grain ingredients.

So, what made this moment even more exciting? DAVE WAS WORKING THE SAMPLE TABLE. Long hair, big muscles, crazy stasch - he was a spitting image of the cartoon that graces each package of bread.

Picture for the day...

...Dave Dahl and me. Thumbs up baby! Eat more Killer Bread!

July 26, 2011

Preventing and controlling tobacco

Today I was inspired by a sign I saw on my walk from the MAX (public transportation train in Portland) to the Oregon State Office Building....

This sign is evidence that tobacco prevention and control efforts are effective. This sign reminded me of why I do my work - essentially, why I have a job. :)

Warning: two minute tobacco prevention and control spiel ahead.

Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Each year tobacco-use attributes to more than 440,000 deaths nation wide and costs more than $75 Billion in medical expenses and $82 Million in loss productivity (that is A LOT of money). Roughly 20% of U.S. adults smoke.

In Alaska, roughly 42% of Alaska Native adults smoke (almost half the AK Native population) and 12% use smokeless tobacco, almost double and triple the statewide smoking and smokeless tobacco use rates, respectively. What is even more daunting? A study showed that 32% of Alaska Native youth reported smoking in a thirty day period (compared to 20% nationally).

Although challenging, working in tobacco prevention and control is inspiring. Movement is happening. Tobacco policies at all levels are being implemented. Tobacco use rates are decreasing. People who use tobacco are quitting...and more of those people are staying quit.

As Vincent Lambardi simply stated:
"The difference between success and no success is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will."

7 days = 7 pictures

I am in Portland again for a four day training and will be visiting family through the weekend. While I am here and to ensure my blogging continues, I am going to post one picture per day...can you handle the anticipation?

Today is Monday, July 25th. What is significant about this day?

This day is National Culinarians Day. Yes. National Culinarians Day. Anyone who cooks...this day is for you.

In observance of this day and due to the fact I do not have access to a kitchen, please welcome The Thirsty Lion Pub and Grill (where we ate tonight).

I love this logo.

Until tomorrow...

July 19, 2011

Independence Day (a couple weeks late)

One of my goals this summer was to go backpacking. Matt had July 3 and 4 off so we decided to celebrate our independence by hiking to Crescent Lake, camping gear and food strapped to our backs and dog in tow.

We parked at the Carter Lake trail head and were off.

The first three miles of the trail were straight up hill. Matt definitely carried the bulk of our load...but only because his pack was much larger than my pack. :)

I volunteered to take the pictures...and hold Rio's leash.

We stopped after about two miles for a water break...

...and after about two hours of hiking, approached Carter Lake, which was about one mile west of Crescent Lake, our destination. Luckily, most of the uphill was over.

Rio scoped out our destination from afar....

Soon we approached Crescent Lake and pitched our tent. Initially we were going to camp right next to the lake, but with the wind, we decided to put the tent about 300 yards away from the lake. We were closer to trees and bushes which provided more protection in case it rained.

There was a bear canister about 1000 yards from our tent, which is where we put most of our food after eating lunch upon arriving to Crescent Lake. For lunch we had hummus with a tortilla and an apple. YUM!

After lunch, we fished (no luck), Matt fished (no luck), and we fished some more (no luck). It was still fun. 

As the evening unfolded, we decided to hang out in the tent for a bit before supper. Rio wasn't too happy as she would have rather been outside of the tent.

Most of the supplies we...err...Matt carried in his pack. Rio stood guard and watched for bears.

For supper, we ate dehydrated black beans and another tortilla. It definitely hit the spot.

After supper, we walked back to the bear canister to put the food away. About halfway there we saw a black bear run back into the bushes. Needless to say, we were a bit nervous finishing our walk to the canister and then completing our walk back to the tent.  

We took this picture at about 11:30 PM...and this is probably how we were feeling about each other at the time...

Just kidding.

Matt was getting tired and so was Rio. They went to bed while I finished a few chapters in my book.

At 4:00 AM, I got up to go to the bathroom. When I came back, Rio snuggled right up next to me in my sleeping back. So cute.

It was cold...probably 35 degrees...and bright. I don't remember the sun going down.

After waking up we headed over to the bear canister to pick up the things we left the night before and then put most of our things back into our backpacks. We left out the water purifier and coffee so we could brew a quick pick-me-up before our hike back to the trail head.

Crescent Lake.

As we left the campsite, it started to sprinkle. Luckily, most of the hike back was in the trees; however, by the time we got back to the truck it was raining pretty hard and we were pretty wet...including Rio...who was not too happy about being wet and having to sit between two wet backpacks. 
(This didn't last long. She was on my lap within five minutes of leaving...and sound asleep within ten minutes of leaving.) 

My first backpacking trip was definitely a success.

Happy 4th of July!

July 11, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Leah and my birthday fell on a Saturday this year - the day after one of our best friends, Jamie, from Anchorage decided to tie the knot in Homer, Alaska. Leah and I flew down to Homer after I was done with work on Thursday, celebrated the wedding on Friday, and then flew back to Anchorage on Saturday afternoon.

The wedding was beautiful and Homer was a great place to celebrate the day of our birthday. 

All guests were boated to Otter Cover Resort, a twenty mile boat ride outside of Homer...

 The ceremony took place on Jamie's parents boat. Truly a classy Alaskan wedding.

The cake topper consisted of two pairs of rubber boots, XTRATUF boots to be exact, made out of fondant.

Jamie and Rob were truly in love and obviously happy.

Leah and me with Jamie and Meghan, the matron of honor in the wedding - two great friends we have met in Alaska.

On Saturday morning, the day of our birthday, Leah and I enjoyed breakfast at Jamie's parents house, where we stayed while in Homer. Around lunch time the two of us headed to one of our favorite restaurants in Homer, Cosmic Kitchen

The food is so good!

After lunch we headed to the Homer Farmers' Market...

and then to the Homer Brewing Company.

I had never been to the actual brewery but have many times enjoyed the brew. 

We ordered two bottles of brew to take home. Quite tasty.

Our flight from Homer to Anchorage was a quick 40 minutes, much faster than the 4.5 hour drive. Later in the evening, Leah and I enjoyed dinner with friends at one of our favorite mexican restaurants in Anchorage, Gallo's Mexican Restaurant.

We had a wonderful birthday weekend.