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Monday, April 30, 2007

NFL Draft and Darrell Jackson Gone

Well, the NFL Draft was what I expected for the most part. After the draft started, I thought we might hang on to Darrell Jackson. When I heard the trade, I thought maybe we could have gotten more for Jackson. But after seeing that the Patriots got Randy Moss for a fourth rounder, I thought that we actually did ok. Of course, I would have preferred if we had traded Jackson outside of our division, but I guess we’ll have to live with defending against him. The assumption now is that Jackson may have been getting ready for a long nasty contractual battle or that he would simply walk once he became a free agent and go to another team with no compensation for the Seahawks. Thankfully, I don’t know how much more Jackson has left in the tank. He’s been a little injury prone and he’s not getting any younger. And with our stacked receiver corps, we should be just fine. I also didn’t think we would go after a cornerback with our first pick. But again, I’m ok with that since injuries killed us at that position last year. Afterwards we drafted in bulk size and I’m happy to have seen that. I think we may have done ok with our picks. I didn’t see anything too worrisome and when you consider that we really got Deion Branch as a part of this draft, we may have come out of the deal with a pretty good grade. But we’ll have to see how the later picks contribute on the field to really see how well we did in making these picks.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Schizophrenic Economy

What a strange week for the national economy. Housing is still in the doldrums but the stock market is hot with record highs. Here in the Pacific Northwest, housing is still running full steam ahead. The economy is chugging along but gas prices are spiking sharply higher. It alls seems pretty schizophrenic. When it all comes to a head remains to be seen. I don’t see much relief with gas prices since the rest of the developing world is creating stronger demand. Unless we find a way to become less oil dependent, U.S. consumers will continue to feel that ever increasing pinch. Thankfully, big corporations are beginning to see the green light as well. As the country works towards less unsustainable energy consumption, the average U.S. consumer should begin to see more economical benefit. Homes and commercial properties are beginning to be built with greener and more energy efficient materials. Cars are even becoming more efficient. Of course, it would be nice if government could give more incentive to speed up the process, but that’s just how things are currently. But when did you ever think it would be hip to be green? That in itself is a small miracle.

Gun Control with Mental Health

Ok, I don’t have a big problem with guns. I’ve fired a few myself and have had a good time doing so (no one was hurt in the process). I do believe that a weapon in itself is a tool. It’s the person that uses the tool for either good or evil or otherwise. Guns are amoral and have no preference for their particular use. But, the supply of guns and the control of this supply should have limitations. Because people can act in an evil or reckless manner, we can certainly have a problem with an evil or reckless person with a gun. And it’s becoming all too apparent that evil or reckless people can get guns way too easily. I don’t think we have the complete answer for gun control or its administration, but I do think it’s necessary to add a mental health component to the issue. Not that all people with mental illnesses are evil or reckless, that’s not the point. But someone with a mental illness can become dangerous when armed with a firearm. If someone has a history of mental illness, that person should be screened out and prohibited from purchasing a weapon. Of course, the exact definition of mental illness needs to be debated on when creating this standard. Not that the process is foolproof either, it’s not. But it’s one less avenue for someone with a mental illness to purchase a weapon to harm innocent victims. The argument can construed and made out to be harsh towards those with mental illnesses. That is certainly not the intent of the argument. The argument is rather for the protection of the public and the general well-being of the public. The intent is not to be discriminatory, but rather to be protective of innocent lives. The country shouldn’t have to wait for another tragedy or series of deaths to occur in order to make this new control happen. We need an extra blanket of security when someone decides that they need various firearms for their personal use. And a national mental health database that is checked before issuing a purchased weapon should be enacted as soon as possible.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

On the Web-lifehack

I’m not sure if you’ve ever had a chance to check out lifehack, but it’s a really cool blog. Lifehack has a bunch of different tips and advice covering all sorts of different areas of life. There’s information about work, productivity, tools, and the list goes on. If you’re looking for new ways of working or just being more effective, lifehack may be a good resource. You can never know too much and lifehack gives information on all sorts of things that just may come in handy.

Cool Stuff-Podcasts

With so much information on the web, it can be overwhelming when trying to find information on a specific subject. If you’re a fan of a particular writer, subject or area of interest, welcome to the world of the podcast. With mp3 players and iPods, you can download (usually for free) information on all sorts of subjects. With a computer and iPod (and a site like iTunes), you can learn about subjects that have had you baffled for who knows how long. If you’re like me and have a commute, you can even buy a device to play your iPod or mp3 player in your car while driving. And if your commute is fairly long, you’ll be an expert in whatever field of interest in no time flat. Really, there is so much good available information out there that it would be unwise to not take advantage of it. If Americans are really on the go so much, at least use some of the transit time to your advantage. Shock jocks are out (literally). Use the time you have and make more of it. Who knows what you’ll learn.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More Festivals Needed?

With Tall Ships being such a huge success for Tacoma, it begs the question of whether Tacoma should be willing to help pay for more festivals and exhibitions in the city. Tall Ships was great because it brought so much more life to the city streets. People were out and had ample opportunity to see our great waterfront and downtown areas. Being that Tall Ships was so successful, should Tacoma attempt to bring in another large event or attempt to create an event on its own? I think the answer should be a resounding yes on all fronts. An annual event during the summer months would be a huge boon to Tacoma businesses. It would also serve as a great marketing opportunity for the city. With so much housing being built, Tacoma needs to take a more proactive stance towards marketing the city to the demographic population that it needs. Giving people a chance to come here and see the changes will only help reverse the name that Tacoma has earned itself over the past few decades. With other cities in the region experiencing their own growth spurts, Tacoma needs to take a very proactive stance in marketing itself in a manner that separates itself from the rest of the region. Current residents, businesses, and the city itself all stand to gain on the new positive exposure if done correctly.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Tacoma Attracting New Talent?

Is Tacoma attracting new energetic professionals? As the city grows and undergoes massive change, I think this is a relevant question to ask. Is there more that can be done to promote business, art and entrepreneurship in our city? I think there are some things that can be done. Thankfully, as residents we can help promote these changes. As I’ve said before, I think we can do more to fight crime and make potentially dangerous people feel a little more unwanted. Changing our environment to become more open and welcoming to everyday people is a must. As the weather gets warmer, it becomes even more important to get outside and make yourself known. Crimes involving drugs and property among other things tend to dwindle when regular, everyday people get outside and reclaim their neighborhoods. I also think the residents can begin to meet and become more connected to other great people in their neighborhoods. Just meeting people on your block and neighborhood creates a greater feeling of community that can certainly come in handy if or when something does happen that needs attention. Also, people tend to pay greater attention to random strangers loitering when they know whether any of these people are welcome or invited. I also think more can be done to create a greater feeling or vibe of creativity and artistic expression. Remaining open and welcoming to artists and creative professionals can affect so much awesome change in a community. Being able to support and attend events that foster this kind of creativity only helps to bring more of the arts and entertainment to a city. I think the business, art and music scene is beginning to pick up in Tacoma but we can always do more to support efforts to showcase local talent and encourage others to become involved in the local movement. Also, there are more ways to promote these events and trends via blogs. Thankfully there are other great local blogs besides Hilltopia that promote the same causes but in their own unique, interesting ways. For a good start, check out and Those are definitely two of my favorites and they’re a must read for locals trying to keep up with our ever-changing scene.

Good Times Now

What a great time to be in Washington. Other than the Sonics leaving and the Mariners sucking it up, things are good. There is the possibility that the governor will sign into law a bill that will force other counties to begin accepting their own felons back into their own communities as opposed to the usual standard of dumping them in Pierce County. If this bill passes, it will be a huge win for Tacoma and Pierce County. Why this hasn’t been done ages ago is beyond me. But “Fair Share” is a hot button now thanks to numerous local residents fighting for who knows how long for equal treatment in the corrections and legal process. I can’t stress how important it is that Tacoma no longer be the final destination for the entire state’s felons and violent offenders. Spreading the offenders out to the communities where they originally hail from has many other benefits. It places less stress on one community. It forces other communities to confront their own issues involving crime and justice. It also can help the recidivism rate if there is adequate supervision of the felons under an effective type of supervised release program. Overall, this could a huge win for Tacoma. Now on to other issues…

Weekend Review in Sports

This weekend was a great one for sports. There were some upsets in the NBA Playoffs that I just didn't think would happen in game 1. Both the Mavs and Spurs lost their opener. The Heat loss doesn't surprise me since I think that they're really old and basically are a one man show (and Shaq isn't that guy). I think the Bulls are a better team than many people think. That Heat/Bulls series will be really good. Baseball put on a show as well with the Red Sox and Yankees battling it out. That series didn't disappoint either. Homers, come from behind wins, it had it all. Overall, a great weekend to be a sports fan.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sad Times at Virginia Tech

What a strange week we’ve had. The tragedy at Virginia Tech was certainly sad and I hope those families there get all of the support and help that they need. I’m not really sure what to make of the situation with campus security and cops there or if the whole thing could have been prevented. For the most part, I think college campuses are safe. I never felt that the University of Washington was an overly dangerous place to be and I don’t think anyone thought any different at Virginia Tech. As a matter of fact, I’ve never felt that any college campus that I was ever visiting was ever a dangerous place to be. And to cap it off, violent crime is down in most parts of the country overall. I don’t know if there is a real answer to preventing this type of tragedy other than possibly including a mental health check in the background checks for weapons. Without too much of an invasion of privacy or personal rights, I am not sure that there’s much of an answer to this problem or its reoccurrence elsewhere. Possibly a better background check is in order, but other than that, what else could be done?

End of Sonics?

Well, it’s looking pretty grim for the Sonics. It doesn’t appear that there will be any sort of action towards building an arena in Renton. That’s too bad although this isn’t totally unexpected. Unfortunately, I don’t know that anyone really put much effort into creating an arrangement that all parties could agree on. Sonics’ ownership made the arena issue all about their needs only and local politicians did nothing while straddling the political fence. Hmmm, local politicians unable to get anything done or make a big decision? Somehow I think I’ve heard this before… It’s too bad Charles Schultz of Starbucks fame royally screwed the state and the residents by selling to an out of state group already looking at moving a team to their home state. Somehow I just don’t think there would be so little done if an ownership group from the Northwest had bought the Sonics. Who knows how things will ultimately turn out, but it’s currently a sad state of affairs for a team that’s meant so much to the Pacific Northwest.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Regional Hub, Tacoma?

What would it take for Tacoma to become a regional hub of tourism, commerce, business and civic work? With close proximity to the Sound, close distance to the other regional hubs, Seattle and Bellevue, and close proximity to the military bases and the capital, Tacoma is geographically in a very nice location. But somehow, this hasn’t translated into success in the past. What would it take for the city to change that trend and become a localized center where all of the previously mentioned areas can congregate for business? With Sounder Trains stopping in Tacoma, slowly mass transit is finding its way to the city. But more is apparently needed. What Tacoma also needs is a major overhaul in the way it does business on many levels. In the political world, new city council members can add new ideas and vision to the current leadership. I think this will be far more beneficial than sticking with the old ways of thought on government and its influence on growth. New businesses are continuing to set up shop in Tacoma. But what may be even more necessary is a renewed push towards inviting larger businesses to relocate here. Too many Tacoma residents leave the city to be productive workers elsewhere. Tacoma has to find a new way to keep Tacoma residents here and working. A thriving business climate will add new revenue to the city’s coffers and allow even more people to think about making Tacoma their home. Stable job growth is essential to our future. I’m not so sure that Tacoma has found a way to be truly innovative in this area. And what about entertainment? Have we found a way to set ourselves apart from neighboring cities vying for the discretionary spending dollar? Could a commercial and shopping district be viable here in Tacoma? Something urban, hip, diverse with an altogether different feel than what is being splattered across every other downtown in the state? Could that work as well? I think it could and I think people are looking for that. How many hip/upscale/pseudo village malls are necessary? Tacoma deserves something far grittier and unique. So many questions, who’s got the answer?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sonics Gone?

Well, it’s looking pretty grim for the Sonics. It doesn’t appear that there will be any sort of action towards building an arena in Renton. That’s too bad although this isn’t totally unexpected. Unfortunately, I don’t know that anyone really put much effort into creating an arrangement that all parties could agree on. Sonics’ ownership made the arena issue all about their needs only and local politicians did nothing while straddling the political fence. Hmmm, local politicians unable to get anything done or make a big decision? Somehow I think I’ve heard this before… It’s too bad Charles Schultz of Starbucks fame royally screwed the state and the residents by selling to an out of state group already looking at moving a team to their home state. Somehow I just don’t think there would be so little done if an ownership group from the Northwest had bought the Sonics. Who knows how things will ultimately turn out, but it’s currently a sad state of affairs for a team that’s meant so much to the Pacific Northwest.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Hilltop Growth Goes On

As I noticed on my walk yesterday, there is still a lot of construction continuing here in Tacoma. Despite consistent news of an economic and housing slowdown, work moves forward on new condominiums, home renovations, etc. I saw a handful of new projects in Hilltop that I didn’t even realize had started earlier. If you go down a street and haven’t been by in a while, chances are that you will still see some new project or renovation. If you’re in the market for a new home or second property, there is plenty to look at here in the neighborhood. If you’re curious as to what’s new, simply take a walk in Hilltop and you’ll see some new changes and signs of more beginning.

Bad Weather Questions

Do consistent extreme weather patterns make cynics believe that maybe humans are changing the environment? All too often I hear that someone really doesn’t believe that people and industry really are harming the environment. Pollution and global warming conversations get the brush off like a suggestion for reading a book. But does getting hammered by buckets of rain and severe storms make a person begin to believe? I’m not so sure, but I’m hopefully holding out on the thought. Thankfully, some corporations are beginning to see the value and responsibility of going green. But what about the individual person? What will it take to convince people that man can negatively change his world? And will government be able to step up efforts to force accelerated change that will benefit everyone? Many questions, few answers. Maybe there will be some more converts back east after today (check their weather forecast/news if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

Mariners Surprise

Well, the Mariners are looking better than what I thought they would at the beginning of the season. Our batting averages are down, but they certainly helped themselves yesterday. We’re holding up pretty well considering at the beginning of the season we were facing some really good pitching. If the bottom half of our starting pitching rotation holds up and we continue to swing the bat well, we may be able to get some wins. But again, it’s early and we need to get our batting averages up. In basketball, I was bummed to see the Lakers make the playoffs. Kobe just doesn’t get me excited. Hopefully they make an early first round exit.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Spring Cleaning

Hopefully you've been able to get out of the house today. My wife and I made a trip to Home Depot to pick up some door paint, plants and other random spring cleaning supplies. There's plenty of work to do and the weather has participated nicely. FYI, if you're going to Home Depot (we went to the one in Fircrest) from here on during the weekends, expect a crowd. It seems many people are in the spring cleaning mode and the lines and parking lot at HD show it.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Mariners Looking Good

The Mariners had a sold outing today. The pitching was decent and the offense produced plenty of runs. Now if we can only show that consistency throughout the season. I think we have a chance to compete in our division, but some of our guys need to show consistency and produce hits. The bottom of the lineup and our fourth and fifth starting pitcher really have to contribute. I don't think we have enough star power for only a few guys to be able to carry the team. Everyone will have to play well. But then again, this is why we play the games.

Friday, April 13, 2007

M’s and Ethnic Food

Will we ever see the Mariners play a few games in a row without being rained or snowed out? Just as I’m getting into my baseball watching mode, Mother Nature decides she’s not ready for winter to end. Enough about that, let’s talk about food. I think it’s pretty cool that people I know are getting into trying different ethnic foods. When I was growing up, people seemed much less likely to visit a Vietnamese restaurant or to go somewhere outside of the typical comfort zone. Thankfully here in Tacoma we’ve got plenty of good ethnic and regional varieties of food. Whether it’s Greek, Thai, Indian or whatever else, there’s so much to try out there. I think food is really a great way to break down cultural barriers. Trying new things opens people up to seeing how other people live and eat. Hopefully the open-minded trend continues. Our town is so diverse that people will truly miss out if they don’t try to eat and live a little like their different neighbors. So if you’re stuck in your typical rut, get out and try something new for dinner. You’ll be surprised at how good you feel after adding something spicy to the old routine.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Blog Feature

Hello everyone, I'm not sure if everyone knows everyone else in Hilltopia so I installed a message board below. Take a second and say hello to everyone when you stop by. Maybe you'll meet a friend. Thanks!

More War News

News is in that some of the troops in Iraq may be deployed longer than previously thought. That’s unfortunate, it appears that the swamp we’re mired in has no end. And to make matters worse, I don’t think the current administration has any answers for the mess they’ve created. Thankfully, I think the American public is beginning to see past the political catch phrases and rhetoric. Speeches and press conferences can only do so much damage control and even some of the Republican faithful see the reality. A lack of real results and continual news of deaths and chaos make the political banter all the more absurd. Unfortunately, we can’t force political leaders to lead where they are creating the mess. Somehow I think the actions taken by the current administration would be different if they had to lead and plan based out of Iraq instead of on our safe distant shores. In yet another example of clueless leadership, poor policy has become the reoccurring norm instead of the practice of reviewing real results or performance.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

It Was Sunny, Doh!

After my oh so fun dentist appointment today, I decided to take the afternoon off so I could go for a walk and enjoy the afternoon sun. Guess what happened as soon as I got home? That's right, it started to cloud over and rain. What the hell? So I went to Borders instead and got a book. If it's any good, maybe I'll recommend it later. What else? Not much other than the Mariners got blasted yesterday after their non-playing snow vacation in Cleveland. Could this be a sign of our season? I hope not.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Should the People Pay for the Sonics to Stay?

With news that the Sonics’ ownership has reserved the right to purchase land in Renton, it appears that plans are progressing somewhat to move the team to Renton. Honestly, I like the idea of a suburb getting a major Washington attraction. I don’t think it’s necessary that all of the Washington professional sports teams be located in Seattle. And, it doesn’t appear that the residents of Seattle are willing to do anything to keep the team. With the Seahawks’ headquarters and a new arena located in Renton, the city will undergo a massive facelift. This is great for the region and it helps spread some of the tourist attractions throughout the region as opposed to having everything of major interest in Seattle. Residents in Western Washington are quite aware that there is so much more to the region than just one city. If the new arena is built, this will help solidify that belief and showcase more of the region (as well as spread tourist and entertainment dollars further throughout the area). Also, I wish more would be done by the Sonics ownership group to prove that there will be other events or sports teams based out of the new arena. I think residents would be much more receptive to building a new arena if they felt that more than just the Sonics and their owners would actively use the arena. If there were to be a soccer or hockey team based out of the facility, I think locals would be much more likely to accept taxation for the project. People are wary when a singular group of wealthy owners comes to the public requesting cold hard cash. If there were more to the project or more benefits shown, I don’t think the cynicism would be quite as strong. Renton and Western Washington deserve more than just a basketball arena. Hopefully these new owners will realize this and offer more than just basketball to those stuck with the bill.


With news of potential tolls being charged on new or renovated bridges, I’m at a little bit of a loss on the subject. I’m not quite sure what I think of tolls. On one hand, why should all of the taxpayers pay for a bridge to a place where only a portion of the population is willingly residing? Should I have to pay for a bridge to a place like Gig Harbor if I never venture there? Also, what about the 520 and I-90 bridges? Why does everyone have to foot the tab on a multi-billion dollar project when employees can move to the other side of the lake and avoid the commute over the water? I guess it’s all a part of public infrastructure, but I do believe that the true users of the project should pay a little more, especially for the more expensive projects like floating bridges. Still, I’m not so convinced even with my own reasoning. What do you think? Should everyone in the state pay a huge fee for something that only commuters between Seattle and Bellevue would use? Maybe this is the perfect argument for more public transportation. Maybe the huge fee should be paid equally between residents if it were to actually solve the mass transit issue and reduce single passenger cars. And why isn’t there more movement towards a rail line over Lake Washington? Have you ever tried to drive on the 520 Bridge during rush hour? That is one of the most miserable experiences known to man. That misery alone should be enough to persuade our political leaders to work towards a more common sense solution to traffic and gridlock. With budget surpluses and expanding commercial productivity, there should and must be more done to move Washington to a more traffic and environmentally friendly place. Frustrating? I know.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Week Ahead

What’s in store for the week ahead? Who knows, the weather has been crazy and it’s tricky planning anything outdoors. It literally went from sunny and warm yesterday to cold, gray and rainy by mid-afternoon. Hopefully, someone has a plan to clean up the mess left by the old Eagles’ building roof collapse. Maybe a developer can go in there and start from scratch. I’m still hoping for a grocer, bookstore, or general department store. It’s a pain going for a drive every time we need something for dinner or a get together. And a late night café is always a nice addition for those of us needing to read or study late into the evening. If you’ve ever been to the old Café Paradiso in Seattle you know what I’m talking about. Weird, funky and coffee go hand in hand.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter Today

Happy Easter everyone! Hopefully you had a good day. I went for a good long walk while it was sunny out this morning. It still amazes me how much Tacoma is changing and getting nicer. There are still lots of home renovations and new construction sites despite the continuous bad news regarding real estate. Work is moving right along with little sign of a slowdown. I also went to Steamers for lunch today. That place always has good seafood and the view is pretty awesome. Their grilled salmon sandwich and side caesar salad was a good bet. Unfortunately, the weather went south in a big way later today. By the middle of the afternoon it started dumping water. Oh well, life in Washington I suppose. And lastly, the organic section at the Fred Meyer's in Puyallup is pretty impressive. They have lots of products that are usually not found at most other regular places of business. Hopefully we'll get something closely resembling that in Hilltop one day in the future.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Tacoma’s Potential Leaders

With City Council seats up for election, now is a good time to begin considering who will be good for the City of Tacoma. I do think the city has come a long way from its troubled past. But, I believe the city is capable of becoming so much more. And I’m not sure that we can or will get there without some new invigorating, creative leaders at the helm. Not that City Council has done a poor job; rather I think Tacoma’s leadership has been good. Whether leadership has been excellent is another question entirely. What bothers me is that we still have recurring issues regarding crime and gangs. Downtown still hasn’t been able to rid itself of reoccurring criminal issues. The Eastside still has gang problems. And there are still too many dead spots downtown. Urban decay is still a very visible problem in Tacoma (anybody see a collapsing building on their way to work today?). Have we been as creative and innovative as possible in providing answers to these issues? I think not. Rather, at times it feels as if we are growing in spite of the city’s inability to solve these problems. Can we get to where we want to be? Possibly, but to get to where we want to be sooner, more efficiently and effectively will take leadership that is willing to do more than what has been done in the past. These issues should become measuring sticks upon which to grade political incumbents and newcomers as we move even closer to election time. Speak up and make your potential leaders accountable to issues that affect us residents of Tacoma.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Sailors Set Free

I was happy to see that Iran was willing to let the British sailors go. I think that situation could have gotten much worse had the sailors been detained longer or had any harm come to them. Iran seems to be an interesting issue that we must comes to terms with eventually. Hopefully the next President will be able to logically address the issue and possibly bring more international and regional players to the table so that there really will be an international coalition seeking to bring stability to that region. The Middle East has been such a hotspot for so long that it seems almost hopeless to address it. But, I do think more can be done diplomatically if the right processes are implemented. Our current administration has done such a poor job with international diplomacy that almost anyone elected will have a good chance of improved relations with foreign countries. I really do believe the U.S. has been done a disservice with the poor manner in which our international relations have been handled. It is imperative for the next President to commit to rebuilding relationships with other countries. The U.S. cannot afford to go it alone every time we decide that it is time for us to play international cop. Hopefully this will be less of an issue, especially if we elect someone who can decipher between duty and special interest.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

M’s and What’s Up With The Money?

Holy cow, the M’s are 2-0? I wouldn’t even have bet that would be possible. Granted there are 160 games left, but I’m going to be happy about being undefeated before I lose my opportunity. Elsewhere, what’s up with all of the millions presidential candidates are raising these days? With all of the fundraising, who’s working back in Washington DC? That really bugs me, Democracy shouldn’t be about war chests full of cash. And really, these people need to be working, not begging for cash. There should be a federal law that enforces a hard limit on campaign financing and spending. Every candidate gets the chance to raise the same amount of cash and run a fixed number of ads. And there should be no opt out or any other option. You’re running? Ok, if you can raise x amount of dollars go ahead and by the way, you only get x amount of ads to run as well. And by the way, there are x number of debates that you have to participate in and no, we won’t give you the questions beforehand. Also, rich people and big business shouldn’t dictate who gets put in front of the American people for the presidential vote. Thankfully, it appears that there really is a diverse pool of candidates to choose from currently. Maybe people can revolt by choosing a candidate that has a chance to win but can still remember who they are representing. Hmmm, I think the M’s have a better chance of going 162-0.

War Without Timelines

Is it time to decide when the war should end? The President is adamant that he does not want any timelines or restrictions placed on his administration of the Iraqi War. My question is, where else do you ever see an organization that has leadership that is completely unaccountable and is not subject to performance standards and evaluation periods? And if you know of any of these organizations, how do they fare? Without any deadlines or accountability, any war efforts can go on without any sense of urgency or resolve. A timeline allows the U.S. to dictate what needs to be done and when. It also places the burden of effort on the Iraqi government to use any U.S. help to clear insurgents within that time frame. It even gives the American public a date with which they can expect their family members and spouses to begin coming home. A timeline or withdrawal date is the right thing to do for many reasons. Unfortunately, our president can't seem to understand reason or listen to the will of the American people.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

M’s Win on Opening Day!

Lots going on these days. The Mariners Opening Day was a great time. Nice weather, some sun, Mariners winning a ballgame…what’s better than that? In other news, Tacoma seems to be changing by the day. Renovated houses, buildings (some collapsing), and new life coming into town. The old Eagles Lodge coming down may be a blessing in disguise. The building and others around it were out of use for who knows how long. I drive by that block every morning and the block was just an eyesore. Maybe now something of use to the residents can go in there. Also, I went to dinner at The Gateway of India with my wife and some friends last week. Man, that place is always really good. It’s a good bet every time. If you ever find yourself on 6th Ave., head there and you’ll be happy you did afterwards.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Misc. Rambling

I had a pretty busy weekend. My wife had to work a little, we went to dinner at Stanley and Seafort's, we went to a birthday party, and I watched a little b-ball action as well as going on a Sunday night walk through the neighborhood. First, Stanley and Seafort's was good. Dinner was tasty and the view was great. We also went to a birthday party up in Auburn. It was so cold, it started snowing a little. C'mon, it's April! I need some warmer weather right about now. And of course basketball is the big story with the Final Four. And oddly enough, the Sonics have been playing fairly well. I don't get it, they're pretty bad overall but they've shown some new life. Last night we went for a walk through Hilltop. It was interesting to see that there are still plenty of houses being flipped. One particular street looked like it was going through a massive upgrade because of the various houses being renovated. I was happy to see that especially since the housing and mortgage scare has some people skittish on flipping properties currently. But, the area of Hilltop from 6th through 11th Ave. is going through some good changes (here and there) now. And finally, today we're going to Opening Day at Safeco with a bunch of buddies. Go Mariners!