Month: May 2013

A Wild Day In The Skagit River Valley

While I’m getting my son dinner ready, I see a tweet from a reporter friend stating the I5 bridge crossing the Skagit River has collapsed.


This image comes through Twitter, and I know this will be bad.

via @Gina_SVH

I’ve crossed this hundreds of times, know it well, and understand the impact this will have. Of course, that alarms me and captivates me.

I’ve engaged with breaking news on Twitter before, but this one has a greater sense of urgency, of connection than before. I engaged, mostly, on this Twitter feed, #I5BridgeCollapse, though there were a few others (most notably #SkagitBridgeCollapse and #Skagit).

As always happens, tons of speculation blast through Twitter. The bridge was “deficient”, reports of reports, bodies seen floating…and, slowly, pieces pull together. By now, we have a good idea of the basics.

Looks like an large truck carrying an oversized load struck the bridge. This is what precipitated the collapse. Lastly, and to me, most importantly, all the people tossed into the river were rescued and are safe.

I commend Gina Cole’s work today over at the Skagit Valley Herald, as well as that of her colleagues Erinn Unger and Lynsi Burton. Great journalistic pros serving our communities.

The next stage of this, though, will be painful. This shuts off the major north/south artery between Canada and Seattle. The routes around this are not designed for this level of traffic flow. We’ll all need to patient as we deal with that mess.

Now, it being a long and draining day, I’m going to turn off my electronics and head to bed. I’m sure there’s more to come.

Edit: Added Lynsi Burton to the Skagit Valley crew. Wretched oversight on my part.

Driving & Seattle Culture

Two events yesterday drove home a key piece of Seattle culture. One: guy with Illinois plates driving maniacally through my line of cars, with extreme frustration clearly displayed. Two: freeway backup due to a car fire.

Item one demonstrated the laid back style of Seattle driving. No sense of hurry, nor urgency. This is visible at any stop sign, where we have the old Mac & Tosh routine. “No, after you. No, no…after you.” We often deal with paralysis by politeness. Polite-alysis?

With item two, we have the Seattle ogle. Now, this fire was dramatic: Corvette’s front end was gone, foam everywhere. But the firetrucks were long gone. Yet, traffic crawls by so we can all get a good look. Amen continues even after we’re well past. Craning their necks to keep it in view. Causes tons of accidents, all on its own. Funny, I guess.

Xbox One : Tech Thoughts

Just read a few of the stories about the Xbox. I’m pretty jazzed at what the ‘Soft is up to. I’m wondering about a few things:

1) Will any of these features be part of the current Xbox ecosystem? Or just limited to the new machine? 
2) Will there be changes to the current pricing setup?
There were a few other random thoughts that have fluttered away. I’ll update as more floats back. 

Nordic Pride, Or Lingonberries On Your Pancakes Or Die!

Ok, I like lingonberries fine, but maybe not that much. Swedish pancakes are lovely, though.

Anyway, growing up Lutheran, I’ve had a great deal of interaction with Nordic culture. Whether the glorious delights of desserts (yummy lefse), or the abomination that is lutefisk,  I’ve seen a great deal.  Therefore, I, with a deep whole-heartedness, recommend you experience a Nordic heritage event.

Below are two Seattle area ones. I won’t be able to make either this year, but several friends attend them.

Syttende Mai, May 17, Seattle; and Poulsbo Viking Fest, May 17-19

More details here (link is to the Seattle Times):

Random area business thoughts

Several of my friends tease me, since I’ve worked for Starbucks, Amazon and Microsoft, when will I work for Boeing. PACCAR gets occasional mention, too. It’s never been an official goal of mine to experience the cultures of all the region’s largest businesses. Yet, now, having journeyed this far, I’m mildly interested in the rest.

Boeing holds a unique spot. As a boy, I was a space and aircraft nerd. My purpose for joining the Navy was to work on aircraft. (Going from that to serving on a submarine is a story for another day,) I grew up, for the most part, in the shadow of Everett’s Paine Field. Myriad friends and family work at Boeing.

With all this, I’ve never worked there. Every time I have wanted to work there, I commit to some other job before the big B gets around to asking me in. I can think of two times that I would’ve needed to turn down a job offer for the chance to work at Boeing. My brain doesn’t work that way. Perhaps the right time and opportunity will come. We shall see, I guess.

There are several other larger companies is the area that bear mentioning. Ones like Zumiez, Premera, Fluke, Pemco, and Safeco. Several world class companies. And this shouldn’t minimize the huge number of small and mid-sized businesses around here, too. A diverse economy, with a variety of businesses. Helps make this a dynamic place.

Event this weekend @ Lynnwood Convention Center : Celebration of Food

Just read over at My Edmonds News about this weekend’s “Celebration of Food” festival.

Sadly, I’ve yet to step foot inside the Lynnwood Convention Center. I guess I need to check out their calendar of events more often (read: >0 times).

Anyway, combine the local nature of this with a celebration of food, and this is one I really shouldn’t miss. I’ll plan to head over.

More details about the event at Edmonds Community College and at the Food Revolution Snohomish County’s Facebook page.

And, lastly, a video with some additional background.

Hope to see you there!

A few random thoughts

Was just reading an article at RIS Media, “April’s Stable Home Prices Reflect The New Normal“. It’s good to see prices stabilizing, and actually increasing. What I find funny, though, is the concept “normal”. That this market will somehow find an equilibrium is a amusing. It fluctuates month by month, season by season, heck, even week by week. That’s what some folks seem to seek. Doubt I’ll ever see that.

Non-segue: it’s hard not to love the spate of gorgeous weather we’ve had. Though I actually enjoy the region’s famous misty weather, sun is glorious. Whether walking along the Edmonds waterfront & beaches, one of the area farmers markets, or riding along a bike trail, this is what makes living here just delightful.

So one that note, I’m off to enjoy it. And you should, too.