Friday, January 29, 2010

Wireless at Border's Alarmingly Slow

Yes, I said it. The wireless at Border's Books on Lancaster is so slow that it would only let me watch about 5 seconds of video and then would buffer for about 2 minutes for the next 5 seconds. It took forever to log into anything other than basic pages and it kept shutting my pages down randomly while I was in the middle of things. This, as you can imagine, is very annoying.

If I were Verizon, I don't think I would be advertising that they were using my wireless service. It doesn't look real good for their service.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Night at the Cinema

There is just something really fun about Salem Cinema. I love the new building, although I really liked the quirky, old building on High Street as well. I love that the location is close to my home, and that brewer's yeast is an optional add on to your popcorn. Most of all though, I love the quirky movie selections. 

I went to see Young Victoria this week. This is probably one of the least quirky movies I've seen at the Cinema. It was very well done though, and a great period piece which nicely portrayed the vulnerability and strength of a young queen. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to others. Especially if you get a chance to see it at Salem Cinema. 

We went on a Monday evening. There were about 10 people in the theater, but it still felt cozy. My friend got some popcorn with the added brewer's yeast. I also picked up some Cinebucks, aka Salem Cinema gift certificates, as a birthday present for a friend while I was there. They only come in $5 increments, so I got two. I figured it would cover a movie and a small snack. Prices are definitely lower than at big business movies theaters, so you can actually afford to watch a movies AND eat a snack. 

One thing I noticed about the previews was that they were absolutely unhelpful. I had read reviews on a couple of the movies previewed and I still couldn't figure out what the previews had to do with the story. The previews seemed to consist of random images from from movie without any real point. So, save yourself some energy and just check out the reviews on the website.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sushi Kyo South Salem

So I tried out the Sushi Kyo out in south Salem this last weekend with my group of sushi friends. We try to get together every few weeks for some sushi and some catching up. We usually meet at Sushi Kyo off Lancaster, although we've tried a couple others in town. There are usually four or five of us and sometimes it gets a little crowded at the booth. Not only that, but its hard to chat when you you're lined up along a conveyor belt, so we usually sit around and wait for a booth to open up.

I was pleasantly surprised to find many more booths at the south location, and not only that, but they are bigger booths, so you aren't crowded into them like fillers in a sushi roll sardines. Just be aware that Sushi Kyo is a popular place and there could definitely be a wait at either location.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Coming Home Safely

I am so happy to be able to share this video about my friends who were in Haiti during the earthquake. There were a few pretty scary hours there. They are coming in sometime late tonight or early tomorrow morning to spend some time with family in the Dalles.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Advertising Me

I put this together for a class and thought I'd share it with everyone because it made me laugh. It's a little silly, a little sarcastic, and pretty much me.

Information in this advertisement is not necessarily true

Heads Up, Oh Lovely Readers!

As some of you are aware, I am working on my Master's Degree at Western Oregon University. I'm taking a class on blogging, so I'll probably be posting some things that are slightly off topic, but that I hope you find interesting. I'll also be posting some of it over here on another blog I use for school stuff. That is where you will find my post for today about social media.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Year and a Half of Blogging in Salem

I just realized that I started this, my very first blog, 1 1/2 years ago. A year and a half and 122 posts later I wonder what I have learned about blogging. How has it affected my life? What are my views on blogging now?

I started this blog to learn about blogging and that has definitely happened. I had no idea how blogging would change my life. Okay, I know that sounds corny. And it really hasn't changed all that much. My family is still my family, although now when they haven't seen me for awhile they can check my blog to see what's keeping me busy. My job is still the same although I now use blogging with my students on a daily basis to teach writing literacy skills. My friends are still the same, except for the great new group of blogging friends that I have happy hour with on a weekly basis. My home is still the same except now I don't have TV because I spend most of my allotted time for TV dramas online reading dramatic blogs. I'm still working on my Master's, but since I got interested in blogging I decided to do a degree in Information Technology.

Really, blogging has barely touched my life.

I thought blogging would be a fun little summer project that would give me the info I needed to teach it to my students. What I didn't realize is that blogging is a community like any other. You can either be actively involved in the community, or you can stand on the sidelines. Being involved means creating and regularly updating a blog that has meaning to you and others. It means creating content that will give your readers information, food for thought, or just plain entertain them. It means that you will have some influence, however minor, in the path that your blogging community takes as it morphs with time.

Standing on the sidelines might not sound important, but in blogging it means everything. No blogger wants to fling their words out into the world and just to have them sit there...unread. It's a fate worse than death. The point of blogging is communication. Every blogger wants readers. And ultimately, comments. Which is where the "sidelines" gets a little complicated. As a reader, you can comment and get involved in the blogging world, without ever having a blog of your own. It becomes a conversation among a group of people that care about the same things. And even in our digital, technologized (Yes, I just made that up. I'm a blogger. I can do that if I want!) world, what we all really want is to connect with other human beings.

Blogging is just another way to connect with people outside your normal environment. Blogging is like the Elks Club of the 21st century.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Salem Traffic

So, apparently I am spoiled. I live and work downtown within about a three block area and so I usually walk to work. Once in awhile if I have to be somewhere for a meeting or appointment right after work, I drive to work and leave straight from there. That's what happened yesterday and it reminded me of how much I hate rush hour traffic.

I headed from downtown over to Lancaster at about 3:30, so traffic wasn't too bad. I made it in plenty of time even with a stop at Taco Time (which I hadn't been to in YEARS and forgot how totally unhealthy, but absolutely delicious their options were!). Oh, but the traffic at 5:15 when I finished my meeting?? Not good. Not fun. Not in any way.

I had to head to Keizer after the meeting and I think it took me a good half hour. I ended up taking some back roads through residential areas because the traffic was really backed up on the main streets. Good thing I've done a lot of walking and house-hunting in the back streets of Salem so I didn't get lost!

The moral of this story is that commuting sucks. I'm sorry for all of you who have to do it. I'm really happy that I don't usually. I definitely believe in living within walking distance of your workplace. Amen.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sundays in Downtown Salem

Sundays in Salem are pretty slow in the downtown core. Coffee shops are mostly open and a few shops open their doors, such as SLAB soap in the Reed Opera House and The Book Bin, but the rest of the town is pretty sadly closed up on Sundays. And it's really too bad because a lot of people end up downtown for coffee and a Sunday paper and I bet many, many of them would like to eat a nice meal for lunch, or do a little shopping.

The one restaurant that is open for sure is La Perla Tapatia on the mezzanine of the Reed Opera House. Now, I didn't really feel like tacos yesterday particularly, but since it was my only choice I went in and had a perfectly fine meal. And was it ever busy! It was more packed than I think I have ever seen it and I stop by quite often.

So restauranteurs in downtown Salem, just a heads up to you all. I would love some more dining options on Sundays. And it doesn't look like I'm the only one downtown who would. Open on Sundays and they will come!