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Why We Like Being From Oregon

You might gather from our many proud references to our location in Oregon that most of us are quite fond of this wet and wacky state tucked into the Northwest corner of our country. That's not to say that we don't appreciate the other parts of the world. We just like our own little corner of it, and believe some of what makes Oregon unique is part of what makes PowerMax fun to work with. Here are our top ten reasons why:

1. There is no sales tax in Oregon.

Alaska, Delaware, Montana, and New Hampshire are the only other four who can claim the same, although some of those have sales-type taxes on specific transactions. That's not to say some of our politicians keep trying to sneak it in. But Oregonians soundly trounce the attempts, preferring the lower taxes… and always knowing exactly what we are paying for something.

2. Everyone thinks it rains a lot in Oregon, when in fact, by state, we rank 25th in inches per year (of course, the eastern half of Oregon is largely desert).

However, the verdant Willamette Valley, which is where Portland is located, is a pretty wet place, which keeps everything nice and green. Even then, the Portland metro area ranks 139th (even below our namesake in Maine) in annual precipitation. We think the reputation comes from the number of our cloudy days, which does rank about fourth in the country for larger metropolitan areas (Anchorage, Olympia, WA and Seattle have us beat there). But regardless of why they're here… we do love our trees.

3. The people are pretty nice here.

Portland usually ranks among the top cities surveyed when it comes to friendliness. (Sometimes we miss the cut just because we're not one of the big metro areas surveyed… which is also why we're still pretty friendly!)

4. We don't have that many celebrities that come out of Oregon, but some of the ones that do are kind of a hoot.

We even got a kick out of the research for this topic: one website listed only one person under the heading "Famous People & Celebrities From Oregon," and that was Doc Severinsen, the band leader for the Johnny Carson show (woo hoo!). It may be appropriate to also know that Oregon is the only state that has an official state nut: the Hazelnut. We kind of thought it was Tonya Harding. Otherwise, we do have filmmaker Gus Van Sant, and let's see here, Patrick Duffy of Dallas fame, and let's throw in Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons and Katee Sackhoff, who starred in one of our favorite shows: Battlestar Galactica. Not exactly Tier One of the most famous Americans. Maybe the Oregonian mindset is not to call too much attention to oneself… unless your name is Tonya. However, one of our fellow Oregonians also thought we should provide a shout-out to the following other famous Oregonians: Acclaimed scientist Linus Pauling. Bill Pearl, a five-time Mr. Universe. Actor Ty Burrell of Modern Family fame. Model and actress Margaux Hemingway, granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway. Author Frances Moore Lappé. Actor River Phoenix. And sportscaster Brent Musburger. All born in Oregon. So there.

5. The outdoors is an integral part of most Oregonian's lives.

The coast (we always refer to the ocean beaches out west as just "The Coast") is only an hour and a half away. Mount Hood, with the only year-round skiing in the continental U.S. (thanks to a glacier), is only an hour away. The Willamette River runs right through Portland and into the mighty Columbia, which divides Oregon and Washington and is the fourth-largest river in the U.S. Fishing, hiking, camping, and skiing are just a few of the outdoor activities many Oregonians participate in regularly.

By the way, you can always tell if someone isn't from Oregon if they mispronounce "Willamette," or "Oregon," or even the town of "Tigard." So say it with me: "Willamette: (Wi-LAM-et)," "Oregon (ORA-gun)," "Tigard (TIE-gerd)."  There you go. Almost mistook you for an Oregonian!

6. For you beer lovers, Oregon is a pretty good place for microbrews. And more recently: marijuana.

We also have some pretty nice wines too. We don't think Oregon ranks anywhere near the top in alcoholism or anything… but if we're stuck inside, we might as well toss back a few, you know? We also legalized pot, which is still a little controversial nationwide, but its symbolic of the famous Oregonian "live and let live" ethos.

7. We don't have to get out of our cars to pump our own gas.

It's actually illegal to get out of your car at the gas station and pump your own gas here. Only Oregon and New Jersey have such laws. You can argue pro and con over the issue all you want, but at least you'll always know when an Oregonian shakes your hand, it probably won't smell like gasoline!

8. Most Oregonians don't get too caught up in meaningless rules; we're pretty much a "live and let live" society.

For instance, you'll always know if an Oregonian worked up a top ten list if it stops at, say, eight!

Even Jeff Foxworthy seems to think Oregon is pretty swell (although you can tell he's not an Oregonian because he goes all the way to 27):

  1. If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you live in Oregon.

  2. If you've worn shorts, sandals and a parka at the same time, you live in Oregon.

  3. If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed the wrong number, you live in Oregon.

  4. If you measure distance in hours, you live in Oregon.

  5. If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you live in Oregon.

  6. If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' and back again in the same day, you live in Oregon.

  7. If you install security lights on your house and garage but leave both doors unlocked, you live in Oregon.

  8. If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Central, Southern or Eastern Oregon.

  9. If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a 2 layers of clothes or under a raincoat, you live in Oregon.

  10. If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow and ice, you live in Oregon.

  11. If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, you live in Oregon.

  12. If you feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash, you live in Oregon.

  13. If you know more than 10 ways to order coffee, you live in Oregon.

  14. If you know more people who own boats than air conditioners, you live in Oregon.

  15. If you stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the "Walk" signal, you live in Oregon

  16. If you consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it is not a real mountain, you live in Oregon.

  17. If you can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best, and Dutch Bros, you live in Oregon.

  18. If you know the difference between Chinook, Coho and Sockeye salmon, you live in Oregon.

  19. If you know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Abiqua, Issaquah, Oregon, Umpqua, Yakima and Willamette, you live in Oregon.

  20. If you consider swimming an indoor sport, you live in Oregon.

  21. If you know that Boring is a city and not just a feeling, you live in Oregon.

  22. If you can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Thai food, you live in Oregon.

  23. If you never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho, you live in Oregon.

  24. If you have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain, you live in Oregon.

  25. If you think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists, you live in Oregon.

  26. If you buy new sunglasses every year, because you cannot find the old ones after such a long time, you live in Oregon.

  27. If you actually understand these jokes and forward them to all your OREGON friends, you live or have lived in Oregon.

They're funny and true (kinda). These kinds of things are what make Oregon uniquely wonderful - and why we love being from the great Beaver State.

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