Sunday, March 30, 2014

Opening of Baseball Season

April may showers brings May flowers, however, April also brings baseball.  For us that really love baseball there is no other day like opening day. All the teams are equal for probably only a few days, and the fans feel optimistic at least for a few days unless your team you root for is not very good.

It is very hard to know at this point where the Seattle Mariners are at. They now have Robinson Caro formerly of the New Yankees playing second base and batting third. He signed a large contract for ten years so he will be around for some time.  We have to see what difference he will make with his new teammates.  I see if the Mariners have better pitching, along with defense, and fundamental hitting they should be at least ten games better than the 71 wins they had in 2013. They lost more than twenty games by only one run; if they can win those types of games this year instead of losing.  I figure if they improve in only one area  will allow more wins, and if more than one area come win at least 85 games, and who knows maybe the playoffs.

I really enjoyed the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl in February, however, if the Mariners could make the World Series everyone will see how great a sport’s town Seattle is.  Seattle always supports teams that win. Those that lose have far more trouble. The Mariners do need to improve to be able to bring back the fan base.  Losing a lot the last decade has made it very difficult to keep fans.  At least the Mariners realize this is the situation.  Personally I love baseball so much that I continue to watch, but not everyone feels the same.

The amazing team is the Chicago Cubs; they have been losing for almost the whole time I have been alive but continue to have loyal fans.  This year seems to be no different; however, there is always hope. This shows how different baseball is different than other sports.

I know some people think baseball is boring, however, you can say the same thing of soccer (football outside USA).  I amazed that the Seattle Sounders usually draw more than forty thousand people to each match when the scores are usually either 1-0 or 2-1. It is another sport you have to really understand.  It has a lot to do with strategy. I am not a big fan of watching it on television, but being in Century Link Field the energy of the fans is very overwhelming.   Baseball can have the same energy especially for team is winning on a regular basis, and especially during the playoffs.

Of course, baseball can feel like a long season when the team is not doing well.  I am one though that wishes baseball would go all year long. I know it sounds crazy but when you love the sport that is how it is.  Go Mariners Go!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Oso Mudslide

As most people know on March 22, 2014 Oso, Washington had a mudslide. It is not a very big town; in fact, the mudslide destroyed the whole town.   Oso is about an hour and half drive north east of Seattle in Snohomish County.   To get there you go up north on interstate 5 and take the exit for Arlington and highway 530.  Oso was between Arlington and Darrington. Now because of the slide there is no direct route between Arlington and Darrington.

As a kid we went to Darrington a few times, however, I don’t remember Oso.  It is likely that Oso was even smaller back in the 60s and 70s. All that whole area is very beautiful; people of Oso were warned of possible mudslides, however, they didn't know the odds of it happening. You can go to  to read the story about those who lost their lives, and those who are still missing.

Generally I won’t write about disasters like the Oso mudslide because so much in the news , however, as a kid we went up in that area, and further north to Bellingham because we have relatives in that area.  Those relatives on my father’s side, and then on my mother’s side had relatives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Many of the people of Arlington and Darrington are involved in the cleanup.  I am sure some know those who have died, and those that are missing. I am sure it is a very difficult thing to do, however that is what family is about.  Even those they may not know they feel like being family.  Of course, I have written about how important family is, and you do whatever you can for family.

The children of Darrington have been quite involved as well; making care packages for those volunteers looking for the remaining people.  Always under circumstances like this it is amazing the heart people have, and how they sacrifice for others beyond their own needs.

If you would like to donate for the mudslide victims and families you can do so through Red Cross at Also you can get more info through Twitter at #530slide.

I know it will take a lot of time to get things back to normal; if it is possible at all. There is a lot of digging to do. Not sure how they build a new highway to connect Arlington and Darrington. Please pray for those people in the area as well as government officials.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

More of the Peninsula

          Gig Harbor which you know I grew up at is just a cross the Narrows Bridge form Tacoma.  It is on the west side of Highway 16, and is about five miles from the bridge. It is the first city on what is called the Olympic Peninsula.  It goes north for about seventy miles to Port Angeles, and then about sixty miles east to Forks now known for the Vampire book and movies.  There are a lot of really good places to see on the Olympic Peninsula.  If I were taking a vacation for at least a week traveling there would be a fun time especially in the summer. I will spend time writing about each city or area.

The first city north of Gig Harbor is Port Orchard; it is about a twenty minute drive from Gig Harbor. It is just under thirteen thousand for population.  Most of the people live up on the hill; the main part of town has shops and motels on the waterfront.  I found driving along the waterfront difficult to see either Bainbridge Island or Seattle because of the motels and marinas.  I was able to view Bremerton which the next city north of Port Orchard. In fact, it is the largest city on the Olympic Peninsula, and takes about ten minutes to drive to from Port Orchard.  I find the best thing to do is to get out of the car and walk around instead. 

Have a better view driving would go south turn left on Bay St.; continuing   to Manchester. It has quite a few homes on the waterfront, and you can see Seattle at a distance.  Going a little further south is Southworth. They have a ferry location that goes over to West Seattle, so you go either way taking your car.

The area of Port Orchard, Manchester, and Southworth is a really good spot to go boating either motoring or sailing.  So much of an area to see going toward Seattle,  Bainbridge Island, and Vashon Island.  Also, a great spots to fish as well.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Beginning of a New Story

The other day I was in a coffee shop I regular visit in Gig Harbor. Of course, like most towns In Washington State Gig Harbor has many coffee shops. A gentleman told the baristas that he is beginning a new story. It is the only part of the story I heard. No pun intended. It sounded like he is retiring, and possibly starting a new job which is common for those in either 50s or 60s who have been at same place for many years. I mention it because many of us are in the same boat ready for a new job or story as he put it.  Another way you could say a new adventure as well.

 I have heard a lot of men, and some women go through midlife crisis which turns out very bad because they leave family and spouse. I believe at some point all of us just need a new adventure whether it is a different job or job relocation, however, your spouse needs to be part of the decision as well.  I am not a psychologist but I think most divorces happen when both are in either 40s or 50s because the children are no longer at home, and realize that they don’t know each other anymore. Instead of divorce, and leaving each other it is time to discover each other and begin a new story.

I know over the years we do some change, and may not have the same interests as in the younger years. Also, love may not be the same either; however, to give up on the relationship is wrong it is best to rekindle the love. It is important to look back, and remember how you got together in the first place. Also, you need to think about your children and grandchildren. Get to know your children as adults, and enjoy the grandchildren together.

This is sort of funny because this was not the way I intended to write this in the beginning. I had no intention to write about marriage and divorce. I just wanted to write about how great it is to start a new job in your later years; however, it could be like marriage where you feel no life in it anymore.

I never wanted to give advice either since I never been married, but this blog has given me a new way of expressing myself at the same time to help others. I really hope this helps you, or maybe someone you know.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

Here in Gig Harbor the first day of spring starts out good with the sun shining. Very likely those days will be numbered.  It fits perfect to say April shows bring May flowers.  Everyone feels good because they figure winter is over, however, it has been a pretty mild winter.  Not a lot a rain until March which has had more rain than normal, and the most since 1997.Besides today I expect not very more days of sun, hopefully I could be wrong.  There is no better beautiful place to be when the sun is out. Did I say that, somewhat, of a tong twister?

If you are a sport fan  day is the beginning of March Madness,  baseball season starting in less than two weeks as spring training is coming to an end, and the Masters.  For many this is when sports are at its best.

I am sure those on the east coast can’t wait for spring to begin, but I am sure today is not it since they have just had some snow this week.   In fact, spring may not occur on the east coast until late April. I remember a couple years ago the Seattle Mariners had a baseball series in Cleveland in April, and all four games were cancelled because of snow.  It was not a favorite trip for them; I am sure most people would not take a vacation in Cleveland unless you have family.

I look forward to all sunny days that do come between the rains along with the May flowers. The spring means that 4th of July is coming soon.  What I mean by that, is summer begins in Gig Harbor on the 4th of July. Also, summer runs for three months.  I know June 20 is the official day of summer but it keeps raining here until July.

Want everyone to enjoy their spring, however, it comes. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Surrounding Gig Harbor

There is a lot of surrounding little communities around Gig Harbor; I would say it more than doubles the population of Gig Harbor.  Most of these communities the mailing address list Gig Harbor as the city since they have no post offices, and everyone would still say they are from Gig Harbor.  You would only say different to the locals.

I grew up in East Gig harbor which by the name is east of Gig Harbor. It is actually across the harbor from the city of Gig Harbor. Most of the people live on the shore like they did when I was growing up. There are more people in East Gig Harbor now; however, it is still a fraction of Gig Harbor. The cost of living there is very expensive as most of the homes including property are over a million dollars. Most of the houses are newer; the house I grew up in is one of the few that still exist.  The cost was nothing like that back in the 60s or 70s.  I felt like it was privilege living there because of being on the water, and the other kids in the neighborhood.

North of East Gig Harbor is Crescent Valley which is more middle class. I had a lot of friends as well in Crescent Valley. In fact there were more people in Crescent Valley and it is more middle class since there is no waterfront property.  There is a lake at the end of Crescent Valley which is called Crescent Lake; it is not a very large lake.  Playing little league baseball I was on the Crescent Valley team; East Gig Harbor we didn’t have enough boys to feel a team.  We played the other communities in the area including Gig Harbor; the Gig Harbor team always one the league while we finish usually number two.  We had our own park to play games at.  Actually I spent a lot of time at the park; we played a lot of pickup football too especially in Junior High School since the school was on the way home.

West of Gig Harbor is Wollochet, Artondale, Arletta, and Fox Island. Both Wollochet and Fox Island most of the people do live near the water as well so a little more expensive than Artondale, and Arletta. I actually lived in Arletta for fifteen years so I enjoyed my time there as well. It is amazing things do feel different living in one area then another.

Going north from Artondale is Raft Island, and Rosedale. They are both nice areas as well. They actually still have small community grocery stores as well which I think is cool, and keeps the country flavor as well.

I recommend living in any those places. There are other communities as well more north that I see as more country. Though the area has grown a lot in my lifetime it is still a lot of country. What is nice you can live in country and the bigger city is not far off. The city of Tacoma is across the Narrows Bridge, and allows us to have both feelings. Most of the people in the area work in Tacoma as well.

If you want to see some pictures of Gig Harbor you can Google Gig Harbor Maps then click on the map and select pictures. Give you more of an idea the area looks like. Not a better place to live. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mike Shaw a Miracle in the Making

Mike Shaw is a Skiing coach at Whistler British Columbia who had a serious injury the week before Christmas. Also, he is the son of my cousin Rob Shaw.  Mike broke his spinal cord while his student team was working out in Denver Colorado; he was showing them a technical maneuver when he went down.  He was transferred by helicopter to Denver’s St. Anthony Hospital. 

After having surgery he spent ten days in Denver then was transferred to Vancouver General Hospital   for a week before going to GF Strong Rehab Center in Vancouver, British Columbia.

While in Denver he was initially paralyzed, however, he was able to move is arms a little, and after three days was able to move his legs which was a miracle. The doctor told him the rehab would likely take at least nine months if not over a year. He was able to leave GF Strong on March 7, 2014 which was 79 days after the accident. He was able to walk out on his own. At GF Strong he had to learn how to do almost everything over again. He now is an outpatient at GF Strong so he isn’t totally ok but definitely on the way. Mike was a lot farther ahead of schedule, especially for someone who wasn't guaranteed that he would be able to walk again.

Mike now is living alone; he did have a lot of visitors at Denver, Vancouver Genera; Hospital, and GF Strong.  What amazes me is his attitude through the whole experience.  He would love to ski again, but knows that may not happen either.

To get his whole story, and how Mike is doing now there is a website on line where he goes on a podcast. I basically have given just a little look at what happen to Mike.  I saw Mike before as being a champion, however, the accident and recovery shows how much more of a champion he is. Whether you are a skier or not you can learn a lot from his experience. I recommend the podcast very much.

The website is  see episode 17 part 1 and 2. You will see a young man with a great attitude who has persevered under very tough circumstances. I am not sure whether I could or not, however, we don’t know how we would react especially when you have no choice but to deal with it. 

Friday, March 14, 2014


The first time I traveled, and told people that I was from Washington State they were confused. They thought I was from Washington D.C. instead.  I would than say I was from the other Washington, on the west coast.  After that I decided to say I was from Seattle because most people of course would not know where Gig Harbor is, or likely never heard of it. I believe most people living in Western Washington say the same thing when traveling.  

My sister living in Quebec, Canada, and my brother who now lives in Washington D.C area, ironically says Seattle.  My brother travels a lot since he is a business consultant. He has lived in several places before Washington D.C. so he will tell others about all the places if they are interested, otherwise he will tell them he grew up in Seattle. While living in St.Louis, Missouri he told me that he met a couple people that not only knew where Gig Harbor was but actually lived in Gig Harbor for a few years. Usually this happens when they are familiar with the Seattle area. Also, he met another person in St.Louis who had visited Gig Harbor because they had relatives in Gig Harbor. Does make it sound like a small world.

Another thing I do when traveling I carry on my luggage on the plan. I take only one piece of luggage because the first few times I had my luggage stored the airlines lost my luggage. Fortunately I did have my luggage found. Five years ago when I traveled back east for my niece’s wedding I took a liner as well with my outfit for the wedding. I found they are able to store the liner up front before the first class section.

When traveling by plane I enjoy talking with the passenger next me on the flight. Of course, it depends whether the flight is day or night. Usually I can tell if the passenger is interested or not. During the day time I want talk because the time will go by faster. It is nice to know if they beginning their vacation, or what they are doing on their destination. Of course, in some cases they maybe return from their vacation. Find out what they enjoyed while visiting, and who they visited. At night, I generally don’t ask much because I know most want to sleep including myself. In this case I may talk near the end of the flight unless they are still a sleep.

I amazed that some people don’t like traveling by plane. I actually haven’t traveled a lot; usually only go by plane once every year or two at the most. I do find it a little difficult on takeoff and landing but figure the rest of the flight is fine so what is the big deal.

I  hope to do more traveling in the future, and able to write about my experiences.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Washington State

Growing up in Washington State makes it my favorite state for sure. I think it is the most beautiful place in the world especially when the sun is out.  There are two parts of the state western and eastern; they are much different from each other.

Most of the population is in the western part of the state where Seattle happens to be. Going north from Seattle to the Canadian border makes up a lot of the population in Western Washington.  It takes about an hour and half to get to the border. It is a lovely drive as well, seeing a lot of trees and water. Tacoma is south of Seattle, and takes about forty-five minutes to drive depending on the traffic. Driving south from Tacoma to the Oregon border takes about two hours. Much the scenery going that direction is a lot like driving north of Seattle.  Most of the Western Washington it takes two hours to drive including Mt. Rainier, and the Washington Coast. There are many places get to by ferry including the San Juan Islands. Most people realize that it rains a lot in Washington, however, it mainly applies to Western Washington; it is the main reason the grass is green and healthy trees.

Eastern Washington takes about three hours get to. Most of that part of state is drier, and doesn't rain as much. It is uses a lot for agriculture, and grows apples which exports more than any other states. During the summer it is usually ten degrees warmer than Western Washington and ten degrees cooler in the winter.

Besides Gig Harbor I look forward to write more about other cities in Washington.

Monday, March 10, 2014

More Change

Since I started writing this blog I have mentioned change a lot primarily to do with how we can be champions, however, there are other changes. Of course, in personal way we can make changes in regards to our physical being as well. In fact, I would say when the year begins people do look to do more exercising so they can lose weight.  By February most have given up, and go back to their regular schedule.  I would say it has to do a lot with will power, however, I am going to say other changes has to do with technology and what has happened in Gig Harbor.

Technology has made a big change in the last twenty years with computers and cell phones.  I went back to community college in the early 1990s; the classes I took concerning computers had to do with business. I had no idea computers would go into the homes as well. The internet was in its infancy, and email was just beginning.  Of course, the internet began with dial up, and high speed internet wasn’t even mentioned. I think what made it so unbelievable was the cost involved. In the beginning it was somewhat costly but then became affordable for everyone.  The computer classes I took had to do with building networks for small businesses, and window programs like Word, and Excel. Cell phones were not even mentioned at the time. Now almost everyone has a cell phone, and a large amount of people have smartphones.  Continually more applications are being added to them on a daily basis, and a lot of internet startup companies have come about including those I have never heard of, and now besides email people are communicating by text message, and also there is social media. I am sure things will even change more in the next ten years. The whole technology age has become more of a need than a want.

Gig Harbor and surround area change has happened because the population has more than doubled in the last twenty years.  Because of the population, the traffic became very bad so a second Tacoma Narrows Bridge was built and completed seven years. There is a toll on the bridge only paying one direction; the toll is paid going to Tacoma. Every year the toll has gone up, and the powers to be say because the bridge hasn't been used as much as anticipated.  The reason is that more businesses and adding two shopping centers have given reason not to go over the bridge.  Primarily the bridge is used during the week for those who work in Tacoma or other cities across the bridge. On the weekend there is not as many reasons to go across the bridge especially adding the shopping centers.  Gig Harbor really did not have to go over the bridge for groceries; however, you had to for shopping of clothes, and for entertainment. Now you can shop for clothes in Gig Harbor, and there is a ten-plex movie theatre as well.  Also, there are many more restaurants you can eat at as well. Of course, if you have go to concerts, theater,  and sporting events among other events you have to cross the bridge, but people think  more about it because of the toll. Since the building of the second bridge Gig Harbor now has a hospital as well; there was never a hospital in Gig Harbor before. For instance I was born in Tacoma, and then my parents took me home to Gig Harbor. The only other option was go to Bremerton, or be born at home.

For some of those who have lived in Gig Harbor a long time the changes have not been welcomed, however, for others the progress of change has been welcomed. I am sure there will be more businesses coming to Gig Harbor in the next ten years or more, however, I don’t see the population increasing at the manner it has in the last twenty years. Downtown Gig Harbor is still a wonderful place to come visit; it is directed toward tourists. 

Friday, March 7, 2014


Last weekend I was inspired to view a lot of pictures from my childhood by one of my friends who downloaded a lot of his childhood pictures on Facebook. Most of my pictures are still shown in books; I only have a few that I have downloaded onto my computer. I figure the best of the best I will download in the future.

Some of the pictures I saw were ones I don’t remember seeing before; for instance I saw a couple pictures of my Grandmother Nightingale that I had not seen before.  I only remember seeing one of her, and it was not a very good picture of her. These two pictures showed her being much more attractive.  The pictures taken in those days were very poor quality.

I found many more pictures of me than I remember having; I put them in an envelope so that way I can be able to download them onto the computer.  I found a couple class pictures from elementary school as well as individual school pictures. I wore large glasses so I was quite nerd looking though I did not consider myself a nerd. Of course the other kids may say different.  The ones I really liked were Christmas pictures. One that was cool I was eight years old, and my brother Jack was five; we were in cowboy outfits with boots and all. Both of us ready go to Wild Wild West.  Also I had a couple pictures setting on Santa Claus’s lap.

 Now almost everyone takes pictures either on a digital camera or a cell phone that has a camera.  My niece Leslie downloads at least a hundred pictures at a time.  Another big thing going on, a lot of people will take pictures of themselves at big sporting events, concerts, and vacations. They want all their friends know where they are at and how cool it is.

Of course in the future Leslie’s children and grandchildren will be able to see a lot more pictures than I have been able to see.  They will see a lot of what Leslie did growing up, and all her traveling. What the technology will be like than we can only dream.  In fact in my childhood time you would have told me about phones that took pictures I would have said you’re nuts.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Spelling with a small “r”, otherwise you may think I am writing about the last book of the Bible. A lot of people think we are in the last days, which may be true, but they have been saying that since the Book was written. Another statement is true each day we are closer to the end.

Ok the real reason to mention revelation has to do with us becoming champions, which I hope you are getting there just like me.

For us to be champions I realized the other day that is important for us to get revelation.  I believe that comes from us to meditate in our minds, and hearts; with us doing so we will receive revelation. The more revelation we receive the more the champion we desire the closer we will become.  I especially meditate when I go out for a walk especially when there really isn’t anything else to do.  If we don’t it is real easy to get sidetracked and think about things we should not or negative thoughts.  Often radio or TV along with other people can give us ideas we don’t want to know, especially the news or talk radio.

One revelation that came to my mind is that we need to be around those who think the same way we do, or have experienced being a champion at a high level. It is like your job, to do a better job would be to hang around those who are doing the same job at a higher level. Also, important to ask questions, and watch what they do.  Before I said the more often I write the better I will become, however, it important to read what others write as well.

Twice a month I meet with four or five other guys. We encourage one another going on in our lives. It is important to have guys that you can trust.  I am not where I want to be, however, it gets better every day.  Let you know that I am with you; whatever you do never give up.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Hello Everyone I hope you had another good weekend. Here in Gig Harbor we are having a lot of rain; making up for December and January. It is nice the mountain passes are getting a lot of snow though not easy to drive.

Decided to get back to my regular writing; maybe I was too serious or something on the last two. Just let you know I am not necessarily for Obama Care but I think we need to know how much has to come out of our pockets if and when go to Doctor or hospital.

Anyway, I am writing about my niece Leslie. First of all March 3 is her birthday so I have to wish her a happy birthday. She is the only niece I have the rest of them are males. She is the daughter of my brother Jack; she is the oldest, and has three younger brothers Robby, Ian, and Danny. She looks like a Nightingale with blonde hair and blue eyes. Also, she is very kind like her uncle (me of course!).

She is married to very fine young man Daniel. They met at Harvard when they both took a class in Russian. They got married the same weekend as they graduated from Harvard. Figured was a good time so the special guests like me would not have to make two trips across the coast. After graduating from Harvard, they spent two years in South Korea teaching at a international junior and senior high school. Leslie now is finishing getting her doctorate in English Literature while Daniel is going to Lutheran Seminary. He is working as an intern at a Lutheran Church right now. They really seem like a good fit.

Leslie was born in Washington D.C. area; however, as a small child the family lived two year in Frankfurt Germany. When returning they lived several years in Minnesota; at about eight years of age (if my memory is correct) they moved to St.Louis, Missouri where she lived until she finished high school, and went on to college at Harvard.  She was such an influence on her younger brothers that Robby also graded from Harvard, Ian currently attending as a junior, and Danny will be going next year. Now Leslie has returned to Minnesota, and Daniel is actually a native of Minnesota. The time living in Germany got her trained to doing a lot of travel. I need to figure out how she does so much travel. Also, last summer she and Daniel spent six weeks in London so she could work on her doctorate. Actually Daniel came back ten days earlier. Also, she spent a few days in Paris, France meeting up with Robby. He was doing an internship for the summer in both France and Germany.

Even though Leslie looks like a Nightingale; she takes after her mother. Her mother teaches English literature on the high school level though Leslie will further teach on the college level. Also, she takes her teaching very seriously like her mother.

Being my only niece, though I care very much (love)  for all my nephews, she has a very special place in my heart.