Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring is Here!

I know that spring arrived officially about ten day ago. I am sure its arrival is quite welcoming in most of the country especially on the east coast which had record snow fall this year.

Here in the northwest spring seemed to arrival quite early. In fact, it feels like spring started at the beginning of 2015. It is not quite true but very close to it. In February we had temperatures reach into the low sixties which broke the high temperatures for quite a few days. In March it has not changed much either. This last week the temperatures reached into the mid-sixties, and this week more likely the same.

Back in September there was talk that we would have a mild winter; however, I never did expect it to be this winter this warm. In mid-November we had about ten days where the temperatures were down around freezing but the rest of the winter the temperatures were in the low forties. After that we only had a couple days where the temperatures reached freezing in late February. I know because I had to scrape ice off the windows of my car.

Though the temperatures have been abnormal for the northwest we did have our normal rainfall. The mountains did not have their normal snow levels. In fact, they received very little snow so the skiing season has been very short lived. So February and March have felt more like May and June instead. Though we have had normal rainfall the sun has come out more often than usual. If you are not familiar with the northwest most days when it does not rain we still see very little bit of the sun usually the days are overcast. The days it does rain it does not do so all day long. We usually find that there are times of the day where there is no rain. Often it does not rain later in the afternoon or evening. A lot of rain happens in the morning and late at night. The days where it does rain all day long usually it does not rain very hard either; though in November, December, and January do have some days where the rain will go hard all day long. It may last for a few days in a row as well. Those three months are when we get most of our rainfall.

I certainly miss the snowfall. Recently in one of our daily newspaper they said that the electrical power companies are not concerned about the lack of snowfall. They saved up enough water through rainfall. Snow is an extra luxury; however lack of snow could be a concern for having forest fires. Also, they say in the next fifty years this could be the normal in the northwest. I know it has become milder during the winter than we had when I was a child. I remember a number of years we had quite a bit of snow. Of course being a small child you can think the snowfall is more than it really was; however, we were sent how from school early, and missed some school days more often than not.

I am not sure what is expected for next winter since we have had three mild winters in a row. I am sure that we will have a lot of snow next year unless we have another mild winter. Other words going good to really bad; anything more than four or five inches of snow at one time will freak people out. They have enough trouble driving in normal conditions.

I hope wherever you are that you have a wonderful spring. May you have good health along with many blessings.  

Friday, March 27, 2015

Having a Good Time

I truly believe whatever we do we should have a really good time doing it. For example, I really enjoy writing both my blogs whether it is about life or about sports. I find enjoyment out of doing both.

First of all I enjoy whatever subject matter I am writing about along with whom I am writing to. In my heart I want to encourage you and inform you in what I am writing. I enjoy writing to one person or too many. I especially like the fact that you are all from different parts of the world. So much so that I find myself really happy when someone from a new country decides to ready either blog; most recent I having a reader from Armenia, and I am glad that you are now on board. I do not know much about your country; however, I do plan to learn about your country. Also, I was surprised to have a reader from China as well.

Most of my readers are from Unites States; however, I enjoy that people from France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Poland, Romania, Turkey, South Korea, Turkey, and Canada have read my blog as well. Also, I have had a few from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Taiwan. It is so nice to have you all on board.

I believe whatever we do we should really have a good time doing it. I know growing up I did some activities that I did not really enjoy at all though I kept doing them. One example, I was in boy scouts I went to some of the meetings though I did not have a good time. I mainly went so I could go hiking with my brothers, and friends. The hiking was not always a good time either. The hiking part was difficult, and very hard on the feet. Getting wet in the rain, and setting up the tents was not fun most of time. I did enjoy the day after doing all those things with my brother and friends. The fun part was playing around, chasing each other, playing cards, swimming, and singing around the campfire among other things. I could say often I would forget the difficult parts until the next day when I had to go through it once again.

My mother said that I would always complain about going to the YMCA but I would always have a good time while being there. Maybe that is part of being a kid I guess (laughing).

So whatever you do make sure it has some fun in it. Do not feel like you have to do something as an obligation. It is important to commit to a cause, however, do not feel as though you have to return to do something you did before because of obligation. If you have stepped down from something and you have been asked to return to help out you do not necessary have to. I was asked recently a couple times to do something I did enjoy previously but I knew this time I would only do as an obligation and I would not have fun this time. There are other people who can do them to.

Have a good weekend, and be blessed.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Being Helped

Early this morning I had to going to go into the emergency at the local hospital so I was transported by ambulance.

I have to say that I was assisted very well by the fire department medics. They did a very good job getting there and having the right information given to the doctor and his staff. They did such a good job and finding out the problem with me. It turned out I had a large kidney stone. If you have had the experience before you realize how painful the passing of a kidney stone; I now have little pain and will follow up with an urologist in a few days to be sure the kidney stone has passed. I am on several medicines to be sure everything goes well.

It is so good to have professional people who know exactly what do and treat you very well. They acted so much like family and friends. I know it does not happen this way in all places but I am glad does happen here in Gig Harbor, Washington.

What I have been saying a lot in my writing this is how we can all make a difference in people’s lives. We should treat me in the same manner that we want to be treated.

I had planned to write about friends instead but I can say these people I consider friends now. There is nothing more we can be to our fellow man than is being a friend. There are people that are starving for friendship. I know that we will not be friends to everyone; however, the more we can be the better. I am saying that because not everyone wants to be a friend to us. In those situations we can treat them as a friend even if they do not return the friendship. Should be a part of our purpose and destiny; so until next time many blessings my friends.

Monday, March 23, 2015

My Skipping Heart

The older that we get the more we have to deal with health issues. I guess it is part of the program. If we are able to keep our weight and diet in check than we are much better off. Currently I have lost about twenty pounds so far this year. I hope to be able to lose another twenty or three pounds during the rest of the year. It is really how we will live longer, and most of all the quality of life.

For several years I had to deal with high blood pressure. It runs on both sides of my family. My doctor put me on several different medications but for a few years it only let went down a little so he sent me to specialist who actually I knew because he went to my mother’s church. I won’t go into any details but he did find out why I had high blood pressure. So he put me on some new medication; it did take several months but now my blood pressure is at normal rate.

During the same period of time as the high blood pressure I have had problems with digesting food in my stomach. My doctor sent me to another specialist to see what could be done. I found that I had an ulcer and I could have it removed; however, it did not guarantee that I would not continue to experience stomach problems. The cost involved I decided to tolerate the problem. There are some foods I stay away from as well. Though my stomach hurts on occasion I feel I can live with it for the time being. I take medicine when needed as well.

Almost now two years ago I came down with a blood clot on my right leg. It was weird because I started having pain and having trouble walking after waking up from an afternoon. Urgent care was not open until the next morning. I probably should have gone into emergency but I did not know the seriousness so I waited until the next morning. It is something else I have inherited through my family. My brother Jack had same problem the year before except it was in his left leg. We are both fortunate that the blood clotting did not go into our lungs. There are people who die from blood clotting almost every day. I take medicine for it and go for testing at least once a month depending on the level. My medicine changes depending where the level happens to be; most of the time for me it stays the same.

The most recent health problem I found is that I have a skipping heart. It has been going on for several years I expect. I had a heart attack probably about ten years ago or more without knowing it. End of last September went into hospital for a procedure to see the extent of damage to my heart. Found it was very minimal; however, the specialist I was sent to for my heart feels that since it is still skipping I should have another procedure done which will take place in two weeks on April 6. What will happen is that the doctor will go in and shock my heart to see if it will go back into normal rhythm. If so than I am totally Ok; however, if not than a defibulator will be installed. It is like a pace maker. Either way everything will become fine. Though the procedure is routine now though there is a little risk I would appreciate everyone’s prayers.

I mainly writing this to say how important it is for us all to watch our health and not take anything for granted.  I continue to walk everyday unless it is raining very hard. I am taking medicine for it as well.

We each have a purpose and destiny in this life but we must keep our health in check so we can fulfill all of our purposes. If you are overweight I would suggest changing your diet and losing weight.  Also, go and do some exercising as well. Do not go overboard initially because it could be hard on your heart. If you have not taken a physical exam I would suggest it too. This is especially true if you are over the age of fifty. I am not here to judge just some friendly advice. Everyone especially your family wants you around for a while. Be true champions we must be as fit as we can. So have a good day and good health.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Oso Revisited

One year ago today March 22, 2014 the small town of Oso had the largest mudslide In USA history. I wrote about it several times on my blog so you can actually go back and read about it. Also, I showed some pictures as well. Today they are having remembrance in Oso,Washington as well as in nearby Darrington, and Arlington. Forty-three lost their lives that day; however, it took several weeks for the first responders along with the Washington National Guard and other groups to find all the victims.

On that day a year ago not only lives were lost but many homes and highway 530 was under debris as well. The highway is what connected Darrington with Arlington. They had to put in a temporary road while getting rid of the debris before building a new highway. It took more than hour to drive between Darrington and Arlington during that time until the new highway was built. It cost the area financially with the loss of businesses that decided to move elsewhere. Today they continue to receive financial assistance.

For many reasons the area will take years to recover not only financially but with the thoughts of the people who live there and those who lost their lives. The people of the area are not only neighbors but now they are family. More lives could have been lost; however, some were out working while others live in the area only during the summer. No homes have been rebuilt because the state of Washington along with agencies is looking into whether it will be safe or how to make it safe to build again. It could be years if at all that building will happen.

The youngest survivor is Duke who now is about eighteen months old. He is doing fine though he has to go through with another surgery. Also, his mother who survived as well has to go through with another surgery too. Someday she and her fiancé will be able to tell Duke what happened. His mother continues to get reminders with nightmares. Like all the other survivors it will be the day they will never forget. I am sure they will have some good days and other days not so good. We all need to continue to pray for them and the whole area around Oso.

Oso is about an hour drive north and east of Seattle; up in the Cascade Mountains. I have not visited the area as of yet but I do plan to do so in late April or Early May on the way back from a visit to Vancouver, British Columbia. I look forward to seeing the area and take pictures.

If you are looking to learn about Oso, Darrington, and Arlington I would suggest doing a search to find stories.

Stay strong Oso we are all with you.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Encouraging Word

I have mentioned before that we are here for a purpose and a destiny. For many of us to reach it is to forgive and forget our past especially our childhood. We are more than our past. Things have changed in our lives. Some of us it takes longer to find out our purpose and destiny. In fact we may still be searching for it but it does not mean we will not discover it.

When it comes to purpose and destiny a lot depends on our gifts and talents. They are the areas that our purpose is found in. Many of the gifts and talents we have are practical. Other words everyone should do them; however, there are those who are more talented. For example, it is important that we give other people an encouraging word. Not only will they feel better we may feel better as well; however, there are people that have the gift of encouragement. They will have an encouraging word that can give someone a new purpose in life. There are other talents that can go along with encouragement such as writing poetry. You may read poetry that someone has published or someone may give you a poem they have written. Many poems can be life changing. There are other writings you can read that may change your life as well.

An example of another practical talent is hospitality. We should all invite someone over to our homes to enjoy a good time; however, there are those who have the gift of hospitality. They are people we would love to have invited to their home because they know how to put on a good party.

There are other practical things we can do that people have talent at as well. I know we each have talents that other people can enjoy. We sometimes have to try and discover them. I remember trying out for a play once. I did not know whether I had any talent at it or not; however, I did have talent at performing as an actor. I have been in other plays as well.

So my encouragement to everyone is trying something that you have never done before or have been afraid to do so. Who knows you may find out that you are very good. The thing that you try may change your life or add joy to your life. Those things will not take away the talents we already use but to add to them. More the talents we have the better person we are, and how we can help others. This could add to your adventure. Good luck and many blessings to you.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Seeing the USA

There are many places around the world that I would like to visit especially Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, South East Asia, and Europe. So far I have been to England, France, and Germany which I would like to see again as well. Besides the time it is costly to do so. I am not sure I will see those places but you never know.

Another idea is to see all fifty states of the United States. I have only been to a handful of states so far, and it is more realistic than those other countries. For one thing it can be less costly. Of course, it may take some time.

I have never been to either Alaska or Hawaii so those are on my bucket list. I would take two separate trips since I would fly to both places. Depending on the amount of time as well would be my choice of how much I would see. The other forty-seven states not including Washington State that I live in I would likely do by car.

I have been to several states already so I could skip them depending on how much time I want to take. I have been to Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Missouri before since I have had family in all three places. I love Boston so that whole area of the east coast I would love to see again.  Minnesota would be nice to visit again especially since my niece lives there. So of the three I may skip would be Missouri. I have no family in Missouri any longer. Massachusetts and Minnesota I would not want to visit in the winter unless it was for only a few days and not as bad weather as this year.

I have been to Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Colorado, Nevada, New York, Washington D.C., Arizona, and Florida. I do not think I have missed any Oh yes I have been to Maine and New Hampshire as well. So I haven’t seen about thirty-six states or so. Other words I will be busy to see them all. In my travels I would like to see both New York and Washington D.C. once again. Also Arizona I would like to visit again because of family who live there some of the year, and spring training. I have to say I would likely drive to all the rest of the states. It would be quite the adventure if I could do so on one trip. Most likely I would drive through Oregon and California along the way on the west coast. Seeing San Francisco once again would be something I want to do. I am not sure whether I would like to see Los Angeles because there are so many people and the traffic. I would only stop in Los Angeles because I have friends that live in surrounding LA area. I would love to see San Diego I heard it is so beautiful.

Planning this trip I would likely leave in early spring or fall. February or August would be the times to leave because Oregon and California are not too cold for me and Arizona along with New Mexico is not too hot yet. None of the south I would want to spend time during the summer. I most likely want to return to Washington State in either June or July. If I went in the fall I would want to return by November or December. It is the best place to spend winter. Other than Hawaii most of the other states do not feel appealing during the winter. If I do this adventure I would say most likely in the next five to ten years.

So happy travels to everyone; I hope that each one of us will be able to travel to places we would like to see. Also stay healthy as well.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Wounded Warrior Project

I am sure glad that we have nonprofit organizations to help others in need. I am writing this because whenever I see an ad on television about the Wounded Warrior Project why do we have a need? This may sound like unusual question but I think it is a valid question. I am not at all questioning the work the Wounded Warrior Project is doing I am wondering why we have the need at all. The reason I am saying this is that we have the Federal Government and the military should they not be fulfilling the financial needs of the wounded soldiers.

I believe that we all should be asking this question. Whenever we see a veteran or someone currently in service we thank them for their service to our country. My belief is that military should be taking care of their financial needs. At least up to certain point anyway. I am going to expand on this thought. If the serviceman is injured in war should not the military take care of all their needs including financially.  If the serviceman is able to work than they should have a job; however, if the job does not cover all their expenses the military should cover the rest. I am not saying the serviceman should live in high luxury living but should be able to live in a manner they can be comfortable.

I believe whether it is the Wounded Warrior Project, other veteran groups, and all of us as citizens of the United States our purpose should be to encourage wounded warriors in all other manners but financially. Other words we need to let them know that we are with them and if they need a friend we are beside them. The families of wounded soldiers should never know that they are alone. Each of them paid a price so we can continue to have freedom. Actually we need to help out all veterans in the same way we should be helping out all of our fellow Americans as though they are families and friends.

I want to thank all the non-profit organizations including Wounded Warrior Project for the work that they do. I am not questioning what they are doing I am questioning why our military and government is not doing more. Have yourself a really good week and hug a veteran and a serviceman along with your family and friends. Again I want to thank all of them for what they have done for our country.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Life Continues

Regardless of the circumstances we all know that our life continues on at least for another day. Even at best we all go through some trouble. For some it seems a lot more than others. The big question is why? If you know the answer let me know. Until we get to the other side I do not know that we know the answer to why.

For some they live a life with a lot of trouble while others seem as though life is an easier path.  Life is a marathon; however, none of us know when it will end. We all have known those whose lives were cut short way to early. I knew a girl in high school who died our junior year in a car accident. Her life ended when it actually was just beginning. I have known a few others who died shortly after high school either in an accident or illness. It brings up the question again why? What I am thinking is not just why them but why not me. When I was four years old I was burned cooking an egg on the stove. I could easily have died at the time. If my sister was not as close as she was and did not have the smarts to get our mother it would been the end of my life that day. In fact it was all about time because if my mother had reached me a few seconds later I could have lived with a scar on my face as well. I only live with a scar on my right side of the stomach and a little on my right arm. I am sure we have all heard amazing stories like this.

I am sure that I am alive today for a greater purpose like we all should be.  I still ask why because those who die young have a purpose as well. It really something to ponder about though we will not get the answer; the only thing I believe is that we can do the best each day as a purpose.  Make a difference in other people’s lives no matter how small or large.

My older brother Dick died in his late thirties. Again I ask the question why. He is the smartest guy I have ever known. Social gatherings were sort of awkward for him but if you wanted to know the answer about anything he would be able to give it. Also, he was one of the kindest men around. You can just ask my sister’s two sons Ken and Connor. He spent almost every vacation and holiday with them. In fact Ken would tell you that he models his life after Dick. I guess you could say though life was shorter for him he lived a life of purpose. I wonder what further accomplish-ments he would have performed if he was still alive today. Of course most of all I miss him.

I can just end this by saying that when our time is due whenever that is we live a footprint for others to follow. This really is not how I originally intended to write this though I am glad I did. I have something going in my life that I will write about at another time. The number one thing I can say is be happy even during trouble times. None of us know who is watching us.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Hello Everyone I hope that life is going along well. I know that life can get very busy.  We all go through peaks and valleys along with wandering in the desert.
I decided with this blog to go back to the core values. I will be writing all about my life and encouraging you all toward a better life. I decided to start a second blog herb’s look at sports which of course by the name I will write about sports only.  I realized not everyone is interested in reading about sports on this blog so better to go back to writing about life. If you are interested in both than you read both or read either one. I just want to be able to give the best of myself.
Give you an update what has been going on in my life. The last three months I have been taking a lot of care of my mother.  She came down with an injury to her left leg which has taken sometime in healing. I have had to take her to what is called a wound clinic where they update her on her condition. They would wrap her leg on each visit as well. Three times a week a home care nurse came in to wrap her leg as well. Initially I did the work for the first couple weeks. It really seemed to take a while for her to recover, and she would have her ups and downs as well. My mother is so accustomed to getting out several times a week for various groups including playing bridge. During this time she has spent most of it at home besides going to the wound clinic. So you can imagine why she has had the ups and downs. Also, for about a month she had the flu as well.
Now she is back to her old self. The healing is almost completed and she does not have the flu either. This week the nurse no longer is coming, and she does not need her leg wrapped. As long as nothing else happens next week she will have a final trip to the wound clinic. They are going to give her shin guards for both her legs so that she will not have any other injuries to either leg. She now can go back to her groups along with bridge. She is ninety-four years old so do not really know how much more time she has left but she will be able to live comfortably for now. Though her physical body has been hurt her mind continues to be intact.
I continue to be walking on most days depending on the weather which really helps. It allows me to get out some along with visiting local coffee shop and talk with others. Also, I have my church which is very important to me. Next time I will write more on how I am doing. Like most I have those ups and downs.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Growing up in Gig Harbor in the day mentoring was not a word that was thrown around like it is today. I am sure that I was mentored without recognizing the fact. I had little league baseball coaches along with basketball who were really great men. They spent time encouraging me along with being an example. Back in our day my brothers and I were out doing our own thing with friends as well. I had a lot of other boys in my neighborhood my same age. Also, I knew older boys that I looked up to as well.

I believe the tough times for us all are during those early teenage years. I remember often there were fights at school and what I may also call want to be fight. I did not think at the time but we wanted to be men. Not only getting on each other’s cases but letting them know what our territory was. It was a time I had to deal with bullying as well. I thought I handled it pretty well though. I sorted acted like I was a little crazy. The important thing is to stand up for yourself when someone tries to bully you. I know it may not be a popular thing to say but I think it is something every young person must do when confronted by bullies. Of course, these days must be a bit more careful than in my time.

Mentoring can be done in many different forms. You can be a friend to someone who needs one. You do not necessarily have to call it mentoring you can call it hanging out. I believe not only young people need mentors so do adults. I believe we not only can be a mentor we can be mentored at the same time. Also, I believe we can learn from younger people as well.

I know a big concern today besides bullying is teenage suicide. I believe it is very important for each of us to look for the signs. It is not necessarily just the unpopular kids it can be those who we may think are popular as well. The whole thing is that we do not really know what is happening is each other’s lives. So often we can put on a face for others to see. It is important to look into the heart of people.

You may not think that you qualify for being a mentor; however, we all have gone through life experiences that we can relate to others in. I use an example, growing up I had a problem reading until I was in high school. I can use the experience of not able to read to help someone who is going through the same thing today. I have other examples I can use as well. I can help those who have the experience of being bullied. Go out be a mentor and go out to be mentored. Today our lives could change. Nothing like a new adventure in our lives.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Return of Beastmode

For three weeks after the Super Bowl the local Seattle media were talking and wondering if Marshawn Lynch was going return to the fold. The talk was he upset enough at the end of the Super Bowl ask to be traded, demand a large new contract where he would set out training camp, or retire. Everyone knows that Marshawn is one who speaks very few words if at all. The local and national media were surprised a couple weeks ago when he went on television in Turkey; however, when he returned he signed a new 2 year contract extension along with increasing the amount of dollars for remaining amount on his last year of the current contract. With Marshawn not much was spoken by him but we will know that he will be training camp though he likely not take in much action. We will probably not see him much in the four preseason games either. Most of the time he has been with the Seahawks he has not performed in the preseason but we do know that he will now be ready for the regular season.

In other Seahawk news the same day announcing Marshawn’s new contract they released starting tight end Zach Miller who had been out most of the season because of injury. There had been talk whether he would return or not. He was released after he failed a physical examination. Since the free agency period starts later today there is wonder who the Seahawks will sign as a tight end. Luke Willson who started most of the season at tight end is considered a receiving tight end while Zach Miller was considered more of a blocking tight end. Since the Seahawks are primarily a running offense they will likely look for another blocking tight end in free agent. I guess we will know about it in the days and weeks ahead. Most likely they will draft a tight end in the college draft which comes up at the end of April. Where in the draft is anyone’s guess.

The Seahawks are signing a couple free agent cornerbacks as well. It looks as though they will lose Bryon Maxwell who is a free agent to the Philadelphia Eagles. He is expected to sign a contract for five years around $50 million. Since they have other priorities in contracts they cannot afford to keep Maxwell. Personally I do not think he is worth that contract. With the loss of Maxwell along with the injuries of Jeremy Lane in the Super Bowl and Richard Sherman who played in the Super Bowl but was injured in the National Football Conference championship against Green Bay the Seahawks are in need to add depth to the cornerback position. Just like the tight end position they will probably draft a cornerback as well.

Though it is the off-season there is always speculation of the media what the Seahawks will continue do to add players in needed positions. The Seahawks have the thirty-first pick in the first round of the college draft. Everyone can speculate who they will pick especially the so-called experts but most will agree they will likely have a surprised pick. Depending who is available the Seahawks could trade the pick. The Seahawks love to add additional picks.

I will keep an eye what will happen though my priority in the coming months is watching baseball. I look forward to see what the Mariners will continue to do during spring training.

Monday, March 9, 2015

There is Nothing Like Small Towns

I hope you liked my last blog showing pictures of my home town. I think it I one  of the top small towns on the west coast of United States.

Gig Harbor has doubled in population since I was a young child but still far from being a large town. In fact, if it still doubled again which is unlikely it would still be small.

I find it a privilege to grow up in a small town. Of course, most of United States is made up of small towns. If you continue west from Gig Harbor toward the Olympic Mountains you will find a lot of other small towns. Bremerton is the largest city on the Olympic Peninsula. They have the naval ship yard, and you are able to see some ships in their bay. Also, you can take the ferry between Bremerton and Seattle. It is a wonderful and beautiful ride; it is not too expensive either. It is just under a half hour drive from Gig Harbor.

When you continue beyond Bremerton there are many small towns that are unique in their own way. Like any direction from Gig Harbor you can see a lot within two hours. Going east from Tacoma you can see a lot on your way to Mountain Rainier which takes about two hours get to as well. Also, there are many wonderful small towns going south to Portland, Oregon along with north from Seattle to the Canadian Border.

I believe small towns are great places to raise a family. It does not mean that you will not face trouble but they do keep things in good perspective. A good way to have your children spends time in the outdoors. In Gig Harbor I do see a deer on occasion. Also, there are other animals you can see as well. Some people raise horses in the area as well. You can still find some farms around.

When I was growing up in Gig Harbor we had one stop light and a few restaurants. Now we have several stop lights and a lot more restaurants along with coffee shops. We had no coffee shops when I was growing up. In fact, going to a fast food restaurant we had go to Tacoma to do so. Though Gig Harbor has changed a lot since I was a child to visitors it would still have a small town flavor. Many people living in Gig Harbor still work in Seattle, Tacoma, or the Bremerton Ship Yard. We do have some businesses in town as well.

I know that other states have a lot of really good small towns but I can’t think of any that would be any better. I know that on the east coast there are a lot of wonderful small towns as well. I think there is not a better way to spend a vacation but go to as many small towns as you can.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Pictures of My hometown of Gig Harbor Washington

fishing boats in Gig Harbor looking across  to East Gig Harbor where I grew up. You can see the house I grew up in the center back with the grass yard

Looking to the right is the  on above picture is the city of Gig Harbor. The water is in the bay
of Gig Harbor. There is Mt. Rainier in the back ground.

Above another picture of Gig Harbor

Above is another look over toward East Gig Harbor. As you can see a very beautiful place. The house I grew up in is one of the few houses still standing  most of the houses have been built in the last few years. I hope you really enjoy these pictures and come to Gig Harbor someday. Now you know more when I talk about growing up in Gig Harbor                                                                                           

Saturday, March 7, 2015

We Are Family

In the 70s Willie Stargell and the Pittsburgh Pirates coined “We are family”. They won a World Series in 1971 and 1979. The Seattle Mariners if they win the World Series in 2015 could recoin “We are Family”.

Sport teams are like big families especially in baseball where they spend almost every day for six months playing. Most teams in the major leagues will play up to three weeks in a row of games before getting a day off. Most of the time the day off will be on either on Monday or Thursday. The Seattle Mariners fly more than any other team when they go on the road. This year 2015 they will travel over fifty one thousand miles. Most of the time they will fly after a day game on Sunday or Monday when they have a day off. I would say they are closer than most families.

I am sure that if we spent the time baseball players spend with each other not only we would be close but would have a number of spats along the way. Baseball rosters have twenty five players including pitchers. They all have different personalities. The mariners and coaches have to make sure they continue to stay focus in the games but treat each other with respect which is not an easy thing to do. Can you imagine if you were a man and you had twenty four brothers? I would say it be hard to stay on course all the time.

I have said on a number of occasions how important family is and how they can shape your life. A baseball team or any other sport team will do so in higher measure. I am sure the players hang out in smaller groups. For example, the starting pitchers spend a lot of time together getting to know each other along with learning the batters of the other teams. The relief pitchers who are sort of known for being wacky will spend a lot of time together encouraging each other since many times they are not sure what game they will go into. The catchers I am sure will spend with both groups. The infielders and outfielders will spend time as a group of their own or together. Another group would be your nationality. In this case the Latin players will stick together. Also, another important group would be rookie players. Since they are new to the team they spend time with each other along with the veterans to learn from them.

I am sure sport teams can be a dynamic we can all learn from when we are in larger groups. Both small and large groups can be a learning experience. I find that I feel better in small groups than big groups. Often in the big groups I feel lost in them. Again I will say there is nothing better than “We are family”.   

Friday, March 6, 2015

No News is Good News?

I am sure no one really believes that if they do not listen, watch, or read about the news they have to figure everything is good. The truth is that a lot of the news is more negative than anything. I guess most news people want to know is negative or bad. There is some good news that comes out as well that people want to know as well but it does not happen a lot.

There are those who spend a lot of time listening to news talk radio or television news. I find the problem is that usually those programs are slanted either to the left or to the right. Other words you have to take it with a grain of salt; however, there are those who truly believe in it. I do not do either very often.

The show I really like on television for news coverage is CBS This Morning. They give good coverage of national news. The other news channels give more entertainment more than anything else. The gals on CBS This Morning are very good looking which is a plus in my mind but they enjoy some positive news stories as well along with humor. Our local news coverage in the Seattle area is good at that as well.

I do not spend a lot of time listening, watching, or reading the news either. I do get the Tacoma newspaper but I generally scan the stories. I mainly read for the comics and sports section. Of course, a lot of the news in the paper is old news when it comes out. The Tacoma newspaper you can find on line as well other publications as well so it is updated a lot. The Seattle paper I will read occasionally on line as well. Through the social networking I have links to the newspaper and television so if I find a story I find interesting I will read about it. If it happens to be a big story either local or nationally I will turn on the television when at home.  The news can often be streamline on the internet as well. I know often my sister and brother will get on the local news here though they both live far off.

Though I am not a big fan of the news I do enjoy finding out the news in different places around the country or the world. This year with a lot of snow happening on the east coast I have checked on the weather to see what is going on. My cousin Christy and her husband David have links to the weather in British Columbia where they live most of the year, Arizona where they spend some time in the late fall and spring, and Edmonton, Alberta where their three sons live.

I find the best thing about the internet is that we can find out about anything going on anywhere in the world; however, we must be wise about it too. The most important thing is that we cannot take the internet too serious. I write from my perspective knowing that others do not necessarily agree with everything I say though I want to be encouraging in everything I write as well. Enjoy the news but keep the facts in order. Not everything written is for you to believe in its total context.  At this note have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Game Number One

The Seattle Mariners first spring training game occurred on Wednesday March 4. They beat the San Diego Padres in ten innings 4-3. If the Mariners had not scored it would have ended in a tie. Both teams did not intend to go beyond the 10th inning.  The Mariners primarily played with players that will start in the minor leagues.  The second game that is set for today March 5 will be with more veteran players starting off. Later in the game they will go with younger players as well. Chris Taylor started the game at shortstop. He is possibly the only position player who played that will start the season in the majors. He is in battle with Brad Miller for the shortstop position. Unless there is an injury likely only Taylor or Miller will start with Seattle.

Tijuan Walker started the game pitching for the Mariners and pitched for two innings. He gave up one hit to the leadoff batter Maybin who went on to steal second base. He went as far as third base but was stranded there. The second inning Walker got all three batters out.  Walker looked good in his first outing. He is competing with Roenis Elias who is starting second game for the fifth spot in the starting rotation.

DJ Peterson who was the top pick of the Mariners in 2013 hit a home run in the first inning to left center field. It was a very nice home run and was the first run of the game. 2014 was his first full season in professional baseball. He started in high Single A and ended the season in Double A. He is expected to start this season in Triple A. He had a total of thirty-one home runs and over one hundred runs batted in for the season between Single A and Double A. He started this game being the designated hitter than in the ninth inning went to third base. He is expected to play both third base and first base this season.  Most likely when he comes up to play for the Mariners he will play first base. Main reason he will be a first baseman is that Kyle Seager is the third baseman for the Mariners and he signed a long term contract with the Mariners during the off-season.  The main reason Peterson will play some third base is just in case Seager gets hurt and is out for some time. The home run was the only hit Peterson got in the game.

The Mariners won the game in the bottom of the tenth when minor league catcher Tyler Marlette first got a single to left field. First baseman Patrick Kivlehan hit a ball to right field and the right fielder was unable to stop the ball on the hop and the ball went to right field fence. Marlette was able to score from first to win the game. Kivlehan actually started the game at third base but was moved to first base when first baseman Ji-Man Choi was injured in the ninth inning. Shortstop Tyler Smith who came into the game as a substitute for Chris Taylor earlier tried to throw the ball to first which would have ended the game; however, it was a very poor throw. Choi tried to make the catch but got injured on the play. He could be out for the season. Choi was expected to play the season in Triple A.

I look forward to give you all more updates on the Mariners in spring training. I hope that some of you have the same love of baseball as I do.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March 4

Good day everyone. I hope that everything is going well for you all. This date brings me back about twenty years ago when my cousin Peg her daughter Erin along with her fiancé at the time Dan sent out their wedding invitations. I remember it really well because on the invitation they said that the wedding date of March 4 was chosen because it is a commandment. Very cute especially if you speak it out and you figure out what they are saying. Go do so march fourth. I am sure if you know what I am saying you have figured out what they meant. If you have not yet think of a soldier who is meant to march; I am sure you now find it to be funny.
Erin and Dan wedding date I have found to be significant for March 4. Of course, for all of us being alive and hopefully healthy makes it a significant day in that matter. If we can take their advice to obey the commandment to march fourth than we can be mighty warriors in the land. Regardless of the country we are living in we can make a difference in every person we meet. We can fight for those around us that need help whether they realize it or not. I believe it can be our destiny to help out our fellow man whether they are family, friends or a stranger we have met for the first time. I encourage today that each person we meet is part of our family regardless if they look or act anything like us. In fact I believe it is important to treat those who are different us regardless of the manner we should encourage them. Whatever help we can do will make today a better day for us. It is like the story of the Good Samaritan who helped out someone they did not know. Who knows maybe tomorrow we will need the help ourselves. If you do not have money or food you can help them in a way that will not cost you anything other than the time. I believe it not only will help them it will help us as well. I hope this will help you today, tomorrow, and the days ahead. Enjoy and be blessed on this day March 4.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Cactus League

Another name for spring training games is the Cactus League. The games start for the Seattle Mariners against the San Diego Padres on March 4. The players get excited because they start playing against other teams besides throwing and batting against teammates.

What I like about early cactus league games is watching the minor league prospects the Mariners have and how they perform. Generally the starting players do not play in the early games. They usually do not play a lot until the second half of the cactus league. Even then they play for only about three innings until the last week of spring training. You will be able to see the pitchers that will be on the team pitching but they only pitch one or two innings. In fact, Felix Hernandez the Mariners number one pitcher is not scheduled to pitch in the first six games. Felix does not pitch much in the games during spring training. He may get in a couple games near the end of spring training. He goes on his own schedule to be ready for the opening game of the regular season. His first session last week in the bullpen he looked like he was ready to start the season; the last week of spring training he usually faces minor league players so the major league pitchers will not see where he is at.

The first cactus league game will be started by Tijuan Walker who is in competition of the fifth starter on the Mariners pitching staff. He has been the Mariners number one pitching prospect for the last three years. He is only twenty-two years old so the Mariners have been really slow with him to get going. Last year he was also in the mix to be the fifth starter but started the season being hurt. He was out until late June or early July. He spent the time when he recovered pitching for the Mariners triple-A team in Tacoma. He came up in September when the rosters expanded. The difference we saw was that he pitched from the stretch all the time which is normally done by a pitcher when runners are on base. He did so that there would be less strain on his arm. He struggled in a few games in September but had some outstanding games as well especially the last one he pitched again the Toronto Blue Jays. If he pitches that way during the cactus league he should be the fifth starter. In the first game he will pitch no more than two innings depending on how many pitches he throws.

In the coming weeks of the cactus league I will write about how Tijuan Walker is progressing along with other players especially the young ones. The Mariners lineup is pretty much set for the coming season; however, there usually a surprise or two in spring training. The only position that is up for grabs is shortstop. It can be won by either Brad Miller who was the starting shortstop for much of last year or Chris Taylor who came up in July and played some because Brad Miller was struggling at the plate. Only other changes may occur because of injuries.

Monday, March 2, 2015

My Niece Leslie

I have written previously about my parents, my sister and my late brother Dick. I believe family is the backbone of our lives. Our parents and siblings along with friends are the ones that shape our lives. The sad part not everyone comes from a good loving family. It is true though the best of families are not perfect. We are influenced by those that are not our friends. In fact, they are the ones that can really affect us the most if we are around them too much in a negative matter.
The reason bring that all up is to write about my niece Leslie. The purpose to write about her is for you to get to know about another member of my family and to honor her. I choose now because Tuesday March 3 is her birthday. She is oldest of my Brother Jack’s children, and she has three younger brothers. She is two years older than the eldest boy Robby and then three years between him and Ian. Danny the youngest is about two and half years younger than Ian.
Leslie and Robbie both were born in Maryland in the Washington D.C. area. When she was a little over two years old they moved to Frankfurt, Germany for a couple years and then to Minneapolis, Minnesota area; she lived till she was about eight if I remember correctly. They moved to St.Louis, Missouri where the family lived until about a year and half ago. Her parents now live in Virginia again near Washington D.C. Other words they have gone full circle. After high school she attended and graduated Harvard University. She met her husband Daniel at the university. They were married the weekend of graduation. Since a lot of family had to travel for the wedding they thought it was perfect idea. I had the honor to lead everyone attending the wedding in a prayer for Leslie and Daniel.
They spent the summer after the honeymoon with both of their families. The first two years of their marriage they traveled and both taught English at an international school in South Korea. Also, I believe Leslie taught history as well. So you can tell that Leslie has well-travelled in her life time. Besides living in Germany and South Korea she has traveled to numerous other places as well.
Now Leslie and Daniel are living in Minnesota. So she has gone full circle as well. When arriving back in Minnesota she made sure to visit the places she saw as a little girl. It had to be quite the experience. She teaches English Literature at the University Minnesota and is working at completing her doctorate in English Literature. Daniel at the same time is finishing up this year at Lutheran Divinity School. Soon the next chapter of their lives will start. They do want to stay in Minnesota. Actually Daniel life has gone full circle as well because he grew up in Minnesota.
Though I have five nephews (my sister Barb has two sons) and I love them equally Leslie is very special being my only niece. In part because I always wanted to have a daughter and she is the closest I have come to have one. Also, she stands alone being special. Besides being very smart she is very kind. I am sure anyone who meets her can see that.  The unfortunate part I have not seen her or my nephews as much as I would like because of the distance we have always lived from each other. Those who have family that live close together should cherish the time together. I hope in the future to see more of her. So one last thing Happy Birthday Leslie.