Friday, March 20, 2009

Back in Tucson

Tuesday was the last day the Seattle P-I published a paper newspaper. It was a sad day for Seattle. The P-I was (IMHO) the better of the two dailies because they actually covered Seattle, conducted investigative reporting, and were actively engaged in the community. The P-I will continue in an online format, but many of their good columnists are gone, and they'll be using content from other sources. One hopes it won't end up being a reformatted Yahoo home page. There was an interesting op-ed in the NYT by Frank Rich on the subject, the link is here. I'm not sure if they still require registration. Anyway the gist of the article is this:

When we go online, each of us is our own editor, our own gatekeeper. We select the kind of news and opinions that we care most about. Nicholas Negroponte of M.I.T. has called this emerging news product The Daily Me. And if that’s the trend, God save us from ourselves. That’s because there’s pretty good evidence that we generally don’t truly want good information — but rather information that confirms our prejudices. We may believe intellectually in the clash of opinions, but in practice we like to embed ourselves in the reassuring womb of an echo chamber.

And I think he's right.

Wednesday saw us heading south to an undisclosed location in Lacey. We had time, so we took a tour of Tacoma. Tacoma is about 35 miles south of Seattle, and has always been the much less appreciated cousin. Jokes about the Aroma of Tacoma have persisted for years, due to a pulp mill on Commencement Bay that used to really stink. Now it just stinks a little. There has been an effort recently towards civic improvement, they have put in a linear park along the water that is quite nice, and Chihuly glass abounds in the city.
This is Tacoma from the freeway.

Cute old building.

Two roll on-roll off Navy ships. They are here in Tacoma to load Stryker and other armored vehicles from Fort Lewis and transport them to Iraq and/or Afghanistan.

There used to be a huge Asarco copper smelting plant on Commencement Bay. It, and the really tall stack are now gone. I believe the area was a superfund clean up site. Now, like so much of America, the land is being given over to condos.

This is the road into the area, bet they're going to have to widen, or improve or something.

The Tacoma yacht club. The pointy roofed buildings are boat houses.

Restaurant on the bay.

This is Stadium high school. It's 100 years old, it's just an amazing building.

In the same area as Stadium high school, we have the homes of the original wealthy people in Tacoma. They're up on a ridge overlooking the water. I can see why they wanted to live there.

Big church in Tacoma.

We think this is the old City hall.

Now we're back in Bellevue, where the frenetic pace of construction continues.

This just tickles me to death. First there was luxury, then there was affordable luxury, then it was green design, now it's eco-luxury living. What does that mean? Gold plated worm bins? We're just astounded at the number of housing units that are going up (no pun intended) in the area. I'm not sure where all of those people are going to work.

So we're back in Tucson. We got out of Jim E's car last night (he picked us up at the airport, thank you Jim!) and were greeted with warm gentle breezes and the smell of rib eye steaks on the grill. Not our grill, unfortunately, but the ambiance was truly wonderful. Today we're kind of tired, so we're going to grocery shop and do about 50 pounds of laundry generated in the GPNW. We are glad to be home.

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