May 9th, 2017


Memories from the Ephemera

I was doing a little Spring cleaning over the weekend, and I found a box full of old receipts. I did a purge of old bills and such a few years ago, but I found even older stuff in this box including the first check I ever wrote from my own checking account in 1985. I shredded a bunch of old utility bills and pay stubs. I didn't even look at old Discover Card statements, but I stopped to go through old Visa statements. It was a little trip down memory lane.

Showtime is doing a revised version of "Twin Peaks" this year. I remembered the first time I saw that show. I was in a cheap motel in Rawlins WY, heading back to Illinois from Oregon. I started watching the show because it was so fresh and new. I thought it was on a channel like HBO. Nope. It was ABC. Wow! Network TV?!? I now know it was the Sunset Motel and the date was April 8, 1990. I checked a "Twin Peaks" website and, yes! that was the date of the first show. What other goodies did I find?

6/23/90 - Bought my mountain bike in Portland which I still have! Paid $449.94 for it (a fortune for me back then)
11/15/90 - $25.82 for the Motel 6 in Yakima WA. This was a major turning point in my life. I sat in the motel room trying to find an apartment. If I found one, I would go into hydrology in Yakima. If I didn't find one, I would go into geology in a small town in Oregon. The last apartment I contacted had a vacancy. My path was chosen.
4/23/92 - I bought my first PC! It had a smokin' 486 processor! Cost...$2,404
3/20/93 - Dinner at the Stuart Anderson Cattle Company. The next day I would be on the road to Yuma for my first permanent government position.
6/21/95 - Stayed at the Stuart Hotel in London, now the Best Western Cromwell Inn. Exchange rate 1.62 dollars/1 pound. We'll be staying about a block away this Sept.
7/2/85 - Ate at a Pizza Hut in Bern Switzerland. It was a Sunday night and it was the only thing open. One of the most expensive pizzas I ever ordered. A cheese-only for $38.71
11/16/96 - My first Internet connection! Went with a small local company called Primenet. This was the good old days of 9600 baud modems where it took hours to download porn.
12/22/97 - Stayed at a Days Inn in Alameda, CA. Was going to hop on the California Zephyr the next day to visit the folks for Christmas. Watched "It's a Wonderful Life" in the room. Next day, taxi didn't show up. Motel manager drove me to Oakland to catch the bus to Emeryville. Made it as bus was pulling out. I still owe the guy for that.
March, 1998. Trip to Australia. Bought a didgeridoo in Cairns on March 11 for $135.