Sunday, June 29, 2008

It's Back...

Well, whatever it is, it's back for Hoopfest weekend. I think the cement blocks for the guy wires holding up the mast is a change from last year. I will have to go back and look at old pictures. The whole thing is still unmarked. Definitely cell phone looking antennae.

A nice juxtaposition with the Vietnam War Memorial.

If it is a Homeland Security thing for Hoopfest, Evildoers may have found its weak link, as it appears to be unplugged.

I have never seen a receptacle like this at Miller's Hardware. It looks like you would have to special order it from Homeland Depot.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Back from vacation...

Took a great trip down the coast to San Francisco and back up through Sacramento and the interior of Oregon. My family and I had a great time.

Used to be that going to places like Eugene or SF would make me think about moving there. Not anymore. Instead, this trip has renewed my belief that Spokane is a great place to live.

Every town in Oregon and CA that we visited had dedicated bike lanes and most had plenty of bicyclists on them. With gasoline costing $4.80 per gallon (NoCal), it's no wonder.

California was hot - really hot - pushing 100 in the city. It was also very smoky from all the fires. Lake Shasta is almost dry and there isn't much snow left on Mt. Shasta. I've never seen more people in the Bay Area. It is packed. One local writer stated that San Francisco is now just a playground for the Uber-Rich. There's not much of a middle-class there anymore because of the high cost of housing. There are plenty of street people, however.

Having spent my youth in this area, I don't think it would be possible to have the kind of outdoor, neighborhood and cultural experiences that were there in the 60s and 70s. When you have the richest one-percent owning over 50% of the stuff in the world, the Bay Area is all bought up. For sure, the economics of this disparity even effects the housing market here in Spokane.

Spokane is a great place, with great people and a great future. It is truly good to be back!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday Morning - Always a great time to ride a bike in Spokane!

When I go to work or come home from work on Sunday mornings, I sometimes like to pick a route that is usually jammed with cars on a weekday. Bicyclists own the streets on Sunday mornings. The trick is to be on the road before the church-goers (usually running late or pressured for a prime pentecostal parking place) start their engines, squeeze behind the steering wheel and careen to worship.

They are sincere in their desire to slip the surly bonds of this earthly plane, and sometimes that sincerity can't help but spill into a desire to send pedestrians or bicyclists to see Jesus in a very real, immediate and violent fashion. Maybe it's like sending an advance person. I'm sure one would be in their prayers after one became one with their mini van.

Anyhow, the streets were clear this morning. Broadway, in front of the court house, was abandoned. It's hard to think of a more emotion-packed, life-changing place as this court house. It is always interesting to be there when court is in session. The place is packed. You can see the tension, the sadness, the relief and anger on people's faces as they stream in and out of the place. This morning - nothing - just peace and sunshine.

When the street is empty of parked cars, another little story gets told. What looks like grease spots on the pavement, under each parked car's engine, is more than just a spot. The multitude of hot engines, leaking oil and other precious automobiley fluids has, over time, eroded the asphalt into evenly-spaced craters - sometimes right down to the old brick.

Cars, judgment, oil, time, destruction, habit, Sunday, church, and the indestructible brick underneath it all. Somebody wiser than me can tie this whole thing together in a nice philosophical package. As for me, I am heading out for a Fathers Day bike ride with my boys!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hints about the disappearance of Camrytron...

No longer seen in the neighborhood, but perhaps this footage sheds some light...

Short survey on walking in Spokane.

This is from the SRTC to help Spokane walkers. I think the results will be similar to the work being done on the bicycle end of things. If you want to make Spokane a better place to walk, please click the link above to take the 5 minute survey.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Don't Forget Cereal Sale At Rosauers!

This is not a paid endorsement of Rosauers or of cereal. But, if you have big kids in your house, you need big cereal (with a big, big bite). Not enough of our reusable shopping bags for this trip, so I opted for paper, with the usual big plastic thing to protect the goods from rain. This plastic wrapper dealio makes Fun Unit Two (FU2) even more durable.

Years ago, when we bought our home, location was key. It was nice that we were close to a grocery store. Now, I think it's more than nice.

If I had a choice, I would never live farther than a comfortable walking distance from a grocery store. It's like having a pantry and deep freeze that takes up no room in your home. You can decide what you want to make for dinner every day by walking down and seeing what looks good or is on sale. I can't think of the last time I had to get in my car and drive to a grocery store. Before we moved here, a lot of time and fuel was spent "going to the store." And that's back when gas was around a buck a gallon.

When S gets off work, we walk down, talk about the day and walk back with groceries. It's a great part of the day. But for the cereal sale, you need FU2.