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Bend, Oregon, is a wonderful city in so many ways BUT this year so far has had an overabundance of TOOs. Early in the year, there was too much snow. In fact, there were some public buildings like a school gym that collapsed. Then with so much snow on our roofs, a phenomenon called ice dams was created by melting in the warmth of the day and the near-zero temperatures in the night. For my house that meant ice nearly a foot deep accumulated in the valley of an intersection on my roof. I had scraped off the deep snow several times with a specially designed very long-handled roof rake, but the ice was so thick it required a standard pick-axe to break through to the roof. That is necessary because the ice dam prevents the melt water from flowing off the roof and it forms puddles which find their way through to inside. I was effective enough that we didn’t have any leaks, but many people did have severe inside water damage.

Then in April there was too much wind and five large Ponderosa pine trees fell within striking distance of my house, but only one hit us. That was interesting. The house over my backyard fence was destroyed. And a block further that way another house was destroyed.

Too many tourists with the eclipse.

Too many people moving here, which means former park-like forests here in town have been cut down and converted to flimsy houses. Believe it or not, there are houses built only a few months ago that have concrete driveways which have turned to gravel.

The local citizens refused a gasoline tax last year so the city is now filled with too many potholes to cope with and no money to fix them. Instead, our tax money is used to build fancy tourist trap entertainment facilities. That’s great for the realtors but not too good for the people who are actually living here.

Now there’s too much fire and smoke from numerous forest fires. The smoke is what got me going on this negative subject. A lot of people here are wearing face masks when walking outside. We happened to buy a box of fancy full protection paper masks at some time in the past. They even have a separate flapper valve in the front so the multiple layers of filters don’t have to let the air flow through out of the mask. These masks work much better than the usual single-layer masks. The fires haven’t been close to town, so far, but the smoke is like Los Angeles in the 1950s, say my friends who “lived” there at that time.

We haven’t had a city fire here in Bend, by some miracle. Back a couple of months ago there were three separate groups of people within a block of my house, on the 4th of July, firing rockets up through the dry Ponderosa trees. STUPID!

Over at the dog park this evening, people were talking about how cold it was even before sundown. I thought it was because at high noon the sun was only a dim orange ball and the ground didn’t get warmed up.

An acquaintance of mine moved to New Zealand yesterday. I think that had been in the works long before the fires. SMART.

Well, at least our President assures us there is no Global Warming, so this is all normal.