Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Update to the Trim-Met to Oxbow trek post

I've updated this post with some great info from the Trip Reports forum:
Oregon Poor Man's Guide: Getting from Portland to Great Nearbly Camping/Hiking Spots, Using Tri-Met

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Oregon Poor Man's Guide: Getting from Portland to Great Nearbly Camping/Hiking Spots, Using Tri-Met

A 5 mile, 90 minute trek to get from Tri-Met to a weekend in paradise.
This map is the first of hopefully many that I will use to find good camping and hiking destinations, which are in or near the Portland metro area, that are reasonably reachable from the nearest public transportation stop.

This map leads to Metro's Oxbow Regional Park, near the east side of Gresham.

Even if you do have a car, but are looking to cut costs and don't mind packing light, showing up at the campground without a vehicle would hopefully eliminate the $5 per vehicle fee. You never know with these bureaucratic places though, so I would suggest giving them a call to verify if that would actually work.

The camping fee is $22 per night, though. And I don't see any upcoming free camping nights, if they ever do such a thing.

Oxbow Regional Park PDF Brochure Sandy River Loop Hike

I got some great advice from Guy over at the Trip Reports forum. He pointed out that the equestrian trailhead entrance is closer than the main entrance, plus you don't have to pay to get in through that entrance. He also said that he's sure they would charge that vehicle fee to camp, even if I hiked in. Here's the updated map to the equestrian trailhead. This shortens it by one mile, but Google only takes off 7 minutes in their estimated walk time, perhaps because there isn't a 400+ foot elevation drop at the end of this one.

Nintendo: Before the First "Nintendo"

"Do you have a Knave?" "No, go Sakana". (via)
As a long-time video game fan, a broad interest in Japanese culture, and a new interest in playing-card history and collecting, I've come across some really fun history I never knew about coming from the Nintendo Corporation out of Kyoto, Japan. Nintendo was founded in the year 1889, and from 1889 to 1956, Nintendo primarily made and sold decks of Hanafuda cards, which are basically a much different version of the standard 52-card playing card decks than we are used to here in the states, but with Japanese origins which actually developed from imported 16th-century Portuguese playing cards.

Nintendo later ventured into various other kinds of businesses, including a taxi company, and love hotels.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Pessimism to Optimism: A Sudden Shift

Optimistic Goose
I'm not sure how permanent this is for me, but for the last 10 days, minus one of them, to be exact, I've realized that my thinking has shifted from thinking about how much longer it will be until my depression hits bottom, to instead, how long it will be until my happiness plateaus. Somehow, after being a hardcore pessimist for the last 18 years, I've suddenly realized that I am currently an optimist.

I think what got me here were multiple, ongoing changes in my recent life, big and small, both out of my control and of my own doing, all of which were intended to better my life in my eyes or even a loved one's eyes that I might not even have agreed with at the time of change.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

On the spot cooking: Forgetful Burritos (Nachos)

For dinner tonight, I cooked up some delicious burritos, but when it was time to put it all together, I realized that I had forgotten to buy any tortillas, hence the nachos! Disaster averted thanks to a spare bag of tortilla chips. My uncle was here to try it with us. He actually speaks very little, usually not at all, and never really  makes eye contact due to a mental illness. He loves good food though, and he had already finished his before I had come back after putting my own bowl together, so I think he liked it! Here's what I put together:

Makes 4 bowls.

1 lb lean ground Turkey
1 small can of refried beans
1 small can of sliced olives
1 8oz bag of shredded cheddar
1 5.5oz bag of Food Should Taste Good brand Olive flavor tortilla chips
1 10oz tub of Wholly Salsa brand guacamole & spicy pico dip

Brown the meat.
Heat the beans.
Spread some beans into the bottom of a microwave-safe bowl.
Add a thick layer of cooked meat.
Insert a dozen or so chips vertically into the mixture so that they stand on end around the edge of half of the bowl.
Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the chips.
Add the sliced olives.
Microwave for 60 seconds to melt the cheese.
Add some dollops of the guacamole & pico dip.

A note to your future self: Handling Newfound Happiness

Lessons to learn during your rise from depression #1: PACE YOURSELF

Some may experience this a lot more noticeably than others, depending on how severe your depression, but it seems to be a common occurrence to those who find that they're experiencing more and more days where they are actually getting high on life, instead of fighting the urge to spend the day in bed.

Looking back on a depressive part of one's life varies hugely from one person to the next. Clinical depression, or major depressive disorder, is defined as lasting anywhere from two weeks to as long as the majority of someone's adolescent and adult life. Major depressive disorder can consist of (1) depressed mood, most days and for most of the day, (2) loss of interest or pleasure in most activities and interests, (3) sleeping too much or not sleeping enough, most days, sometimes back and forth between the two, (4) fatigue nearly every day, and (5) feelings of worthlessness and unfounded guilt, among other symptoms. Suddenly finding that, after weeks, months, or even years that these symptoms are occurring less and less each day, or no longer occurring at all, can be an drastic and maybe even overwhelming experience.

So, the lesson to be learned to those finding this happening to them would be to not try and do too much. Suddenly having more than 2 or 3 days a month where you are excited about life and want to do and experience EVERYTHING that is finally exciting about your life again can actually overwhelm you.
Some good advice would be to structure yourself and your days. Living in depression usually has no structure because it is very difficult to set and achieve goals that consist of more than just surviving the day, so structure may be something that we are really not used to. Set your morning alarm, plan your day's meals and when to eat those meals, plan a realistic amount of activities that will actually fit into a 24 hour day, leave plenty of room in those plans for that extra time you find you are using to enjoy these activities, and finally, go to bed at a decent and consistent time each night.

Don't be that crazy last shopper at the grocery store while they're trying to close for the night, like me. Do you know how great grocery shopping is to the newly happy person? :)