Friday, September 30, 2011

Where We Were 10 Years Ago On This Date

It was amazing that this trip ever took place.  Our first trip to Europe was 10 years ago.   We had planned to go to Italy for about a year and a half.  The date was finally rolling along when 9/11 happened.  Air traffic was stopped on that day and our thoughts were that the trip would be cancelled.   However, there where two more weeks to go and the "show" went on.  I remember that the plane was  three quarters empty on the way over.  Apparently many people cancelled their trips as America was feeling the tensions of traveling, so soon after a catastrophic event..
The trip was planned by Deb's uncle who came with us, along with his entire family, Deb's Mom, sister, and brother-in-law.  We would visit Rome, Pisa, and Florence.  We spent the first couple days in Rome touring the city, including a trip to the Vatican, then took the train to Pisa, where we would rent cars and drive to nearby Luca.  We stayed in a villa in Luca taking day trips to Sienna, Pisa, Florence,  and Cinque Terre.  Hopefully we can go back to visit again.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Letter To The Editor Published In Seattle Times

My letter challenging the Seattle Times for advocating the removal of precinct committee officer elections on the primary ballot.was published in the Tuesday, September 28th issue of the Seattle Times.
Northwest Voices Seattle Times Newspaper

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Rusty Successfully Defends Senior Title

Last year, our lovely 14 year old Golden Retriever, Rusty won the Savvy Senior award at the Fido Fest competition at University Village.  This year, he not only won Savvy Senior again at 15, he won amongst the winners as Fan Favorite.  Shown above, Rusty is paraded in front of the judges by his Mom and cousins.

Friday, September 23, 2011

5th District Democrats Unveil New Booth

The 5th District Democrats will have a new look at Issaquah Salmon Days this year.  A new booth has arrived.  Chair Jim Baum had members help in the set up to "show that the booth does not appear with the wave of  a magic wand."

Colin Cosell Reacts to Changes On Facebook

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hey Hey It's Doris Day

Well not really, Deb and I took Lillian (Deb's Grandma) to Bake's a Jazz Club in Providence Point in Issaquah to see Doris Day inpersonator Kristi King.  King's show featured songs and a biography of the Hollywood Icon.  In Picture above you see "Doris" with Lillian and I.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Inslee Endorsed In Bellingham

In a unanimous voice vote, the Washington State Democratic Central Committee
 endorsed Congressman Jay Inslee for Governor at it's meeting in Bellingham last weekend. Inslee currently represents Washington's 1st Congressional District (North King County) in the U. S. House Of Representatives, but served a previous term representing Central Washington's 4th Congressional District.  Inslee is expected to face Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna in the 2012 Governor's race.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Democratic State Committee Fall Meeting Lively

The Washington State Democratic Central Committee met in Bellingham this weekend in what would become a spirited debate on preserving it's values while meeting the challenges of the slow economy.
State Chair Dwight Pelz had announced that court rulings had declared the election of party Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) to be unconstitutional.  Because of this the county auditors of Washington are to appear before the legislature to take the election of PCOs off the ballot, as it has proven to be costly.  Pelz wanted to be able to have a "free hand" in negotiations with the legislature, including establishment of an online election of PCOs.  The committee, wary of voter fraud, felt that online voting was not the way to go, in preserving such elections.  After about an hour of discussions the proposal passed with a friendly amendment that made known of the body's disapproval of online PCO elections.
In a less controversial move, the committee allowed party activists to meet with their new Legislative Districts after the redistricting plans are approved.  As you may know, both legislative and congressional district lines are in the process of being redrawn after the 2010 census.
In another resolution drawing spirited debate, the committee approved a proposal to decriminalize Marijuana with the intention of taking power out of the hands of the drug cartels.  Although the measure past by a healthy margin, many voted against the proposal, on the basis that it would take attention away from more pressing issues.  In addition, many thought that it would make election of Democrats even more difficult in more conservative legislative districts and counties

Friday, September 16, 2011

Last weekend, we celebrated the 92nd birthday of my wife's grandmother Lillian by taking a boat ride with her and  the Hoaglands and Wagners to Tillicum Village, out in Puget Sound. Lillian has a lifetime love of Indian culture.
  Tillicum Village is a tourist destination on Blake Island, just south of Bainbridge Island. People take the one hour boat ride for a Seattle history lesson and an Indian Salmon bake.  It was a warm sunny day and a pleasant trip.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lincecum (Bobblehead) On The Shelf

This bobble head of two time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum was given to me by Tim's dad Chris, a frequent customer at the Crossroads UPS Store.  I packed and shipped six Tim dolls to family and friends of the Lincecums last Monday.  As you probably know, Tim is a native of the Seattle area. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Barers Of Maple Valley--New Lay Out

Like every other on line media,blogger has made changes.  You may have notice our new lay out.  Gone, at least temporarily, are the links and the "site-meter" I hope to have those return soon.  Now, you can post whatever I write on twitter and facebook with the touch of a button.  While I don't expect that too happen much, it will be real cool when my dad's blog makes the change.  Thank you for reading and hope you enjoy!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

How I Remember 9/11

I remember the fall morning of September 11, 2001 very clearly, I had just gotten back from walking my dog,Rusty, when I faintly heard the newscaster on the TV  upstairs talking about the Pentagon.  My wife yelled, "Mike, turn on the TV! The Pentagon has been hit!" I immediately turned on the family room TV.  They had talked about the twin towers of the world trade center being hit.  I had no idea at the time what date it was.  911 was known as the emergency telephone number or an expression of a calamity.  How ironic or coincidental that this date would be tied to an event that was just that.  It was a continuous chain of events that would claim thousands of lives and  seemed to threaten the very existence of all we value. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Observations On Walla Walla Wineries And Tasting Rooms

The Wine craze is still sweeping Walla Walla.  The town seems to be thriving, yet signs of a not so favorable economy have shown in pocket areas of the town, vacant houses with paint peeling are visable way too often.  Overall though, the city has a new vibrancy.  
Downtown has many tasting rooms. There are additional ones on the outskirts of town, usaully on the farms where the grapes are grown.  Here are a few words on some of the places that we visited.

Bergevin-Lane  Hey, Bergevin has been a well known name in Walla Walla for  generations.     One of the first wine places that I have visited in town, now a "must stop" on any Walla Walla trip.  This winery is owned by two women and stick to their theme.  The people are friendly and  pleasant.  The tasting room is closed on Sunday, so we went by on a Sunday and it was open.  Bonus points for that.  Wines are moderately priced and delicious.

Dunham Cellars   Has a tasting room near the airport.  Also, one of Walla Walla's older wineries.  This family also has a history in town.  Dog Maysy is very friendly and interactive with visitors.  Has tasting room with gift shop and a huge banquet room.

Zerba Cellars  Located just South of the Stateline in Oregon.  Nice setting (pictured above) with log cabin, adjacent deck, nice lady, whom I believe is one of the family poured some tasty wine.

Amavi Cellars  On Pepper Bridge Road, the deck of it's new tasting room deck has sweeping view of the Blue Mountains. 

Sleight Of Hand The most creative concept in wines, it got it's name from a Pearl Jam album.  The Wine maker was pouring, we found him very engaging and friendly.  The mound of dirt next to the tasting room made a great playground for my nephews.  As my nephew, Ethan says," who needs a frisbee when you have a pile of dirt."  The tasting room has an extensive record collection and let us pick an album to play while we were visiting.

  1. Cayuse  On Main Street in the center of town, it announces it's presence, yet it's never open.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Labor Days Weekend In Walla Walla

We spent the weekend in Walla Walla, with in laws and cousins.  Walla Walla, as I have written before, has now gained international attention as a wine tasting destination.   Some even go so far as to call it Napa Valley North. 
Top picture is the breath taking view from the brand new Amavi Cellars tasting room on Pepper Bridge Road.  Second picture is the statues made from exhaust pipe and mufflers at Melody Muffler on 9th and Chestnut.  A statue of Marcus Whitman stands on Main Street near the college named for him.  Bottom picture is the old Liberty Theatre in the center of Downtown.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Veteran Broadcaster Bock Honored

This blog contains many posts on Walla Walla radio history.  Jim Bock is a living breathing part of that. He has been on the air since 1979 and is still going strong.  He has worked for each of Walla Walla's 3 big stations, K-Hit, KTEL, and KUJ.  Known locally as The Voice Of The Valley, Bock has just won the John P. Destito Award, an award that goes to non-Italians for promotion Itatian heritage.  According to the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, he is known to most as the announcer to the Walla Walla Balloon Stampede.