Tag Archives: Gig Harbor

Be Wary of Barely Clad Tattoo-touting Coffee Sirens

With a sense of full-disclosure on my part (and not my subject matter’s part …) I relay the following true event — if for nothing else, to serve as a warning to other unsuspecting parents of budding, hormone-driven teens.

On a really recent Sunday, my 12-year-old son’s baseball team called a hastily gathered scrimmage with another team to prepare for the season. Sunday being my “putter-about-the-house” day, we were slow to rouse ourselves (it also being his “sleep-until-the-sun-sets” day) to get out the door in time to make the scrimmage.

Jetting toward the field in our jalopy, I took note of the fact I had not yet been caffeinated for the day — a matter I could rectify in one of two ways. We were headed for the highway, which was the quickest way to the field site, and I was faced with a conundrum: I could purposefully go the wrong way at our exit and backtrack about five minutes to get to the nearest coffee purveyor of Seattle fame with the naked mermaid for a logo — or — I could save those backtracking minutes and head for the nearest local stand that had a neon sign flashing “open.”

I opted for the latter.

To get there from the direction I was headed, I had to pull into a road that ostensibly was a one-way going the other direction, with a 170-degree turn back — a move that had to performed with some deft driving on my part to not get stuck doing a five-point turn.

I managed the semi-illegal turn in quick order without garnering any undue attention of a county deputy and pulling up to the stand, I noted it had not one, but two windows less than a car length’s apart, so wasn’t really sure which one was the proper serving window. (I was baffled and temporarily distracted by this design flaw: an important detail in my defense.) I rolled slowly past the first window and stopped at the second.

This was your typical home-grown coffee stand, a free-standing shack, plastered with stickers and posters and hand-scrawled signs everywhere, all but obscuring what little glass was left uncovered. I began looking about for some sign I was actually going to be able to order a coffee when the stickers on the windows registered in some part of my non-caffeinated brain: flaming pink lips.

Then I uttered the words my son will not soon forget: “Uh oh,” I started. “This isn’t one of those places, is it?”

No sooner had the words parted my lips than the lips stuck on the sliding window moved aside and we were greeting by a smiling, cheerful barista … wearing scant but her string bikini, asking how she could help us this day.

The thought of speeding off in a cloud of dust and gravel fleetingly crossed my mind, but my sense of decency (if you will), prevailed. I reasoned that would be just plain rude to this finely shaped lass, who was obviously so very proud of the art running the length of her body from her shoulder down to her left flank.

I muttered some obscure coffee order and shot a quick glance at my young charge in the passenger seat as I dug in my pocket for some money. He was laughing, trying to look, but trying not to look — not having much success at either, and having great difficulty keeping any composure (as if a 12-year-old could muster such self-control).

The body tattoo asked what had us out on such a chilly, windy day and I was sorely tempted to ask her the same. but again, my sensibilities told me to behave and I bit back my tongue, just saying something about baseball.

Following an interminably, awfully long time waiting for her to make a simple mocha (no whip), she handed me my coffee and I handed her a bill (I hope it was a $5) and drove off with a hasty “thank you,” not waiting for change. My son then began laughing much more loudly, telling me how he couldn’t wait to share this moment with his buddies at the field, convinced I knew all along what kind of stand this was.

Now when we drive by this stand, I catch him craning his neck to look back for as long as he can. And I feel secure in my mind that I’ve cemented yet another nomination in my bid for Father of the Year — NOT.

And the coffee? Not as good as the naked mermaid, nudity notwithstanding.

I Keep Muttering, ‘I’m Too Old for This’

“Oh, dear sweet Mother Mary and Joseph, not again!”

Would that my knees, ankles, shins, feet, thighs, elbows, shoulders, biceps and back could all but speak — that would be their collective lament. What could possibly have my body wailing in protest so loud you can actually hear it?

One word: softball.

Funny — looking at the word sitting there so smugly and cuddly looking on the screen — one wouldn’t think a word containing “soft” and “ball” (even babies and puppies love to play with a ball) could also entertain such thoughts as pulled muscles, bruised bones, torn tendons and lacerated ligaments.

OK, for the sake of full disclosure, I’ve only suffered about half of the above — but really, isn’t that enough?

Last season it seemed I injured some new muscle set hitherto unknown to me before playing each game. And unlike the days of youth, instead of taking a day to recover — it took me the better part of the week to be able to walk like a normal human once more — just in time for the next game and a whole new series of painful lessons. Good thing we didn’t practice during the week or I’d have been unable to muster the strength to make it to a game at all.

I attended the first practice of the new Gig Harbor Church Softball League season last night and afterward I walked and moved something akin to Abe Vigoda playing the role of Frankenstein — after aging another decade. My ever supportive bride scoffed at my slow shuffle from room to room, saying “it was just a practice.” My young son — who just wrapped up his Little League baseball season — just delighted in counting my errors.

Hmph. No respect for the old man. And I place the emphasis on “old.”

Without giving it away, let’s just say I’m fast approaching a milestone bithday and really only have one more on the horizon before I settle into the sunset years.

It’s been a long, tough battle between mind and body — but lately I’ve found the arguments being put forth by my aging frame to hold sway. For years, I fought the notion that I could no longer move like I did when I was 20. I could see it in my mind, so surely I could manifest it in my body. And the mind will play tricks on you — working in tandem with your body to make you believe you still have the grace and speed of a carefree youth — despite the decades of working a job where the only muscle action is to reposition my butt in the chair to keep from creating a permanent cushion indentation.

Like the Kübler-Ross model of the five stages of grief, I went through the usual litany: Denial (I’m every bit as strong and agile as I was 10 years ago, 20 years, 30 …); Anger (#@&*! I know I’m as strong and agile as I was 20 years ago, etc.); Bargaining (please, please, please I’ll give up Dr. Pepper forever if I can only throw the ball from second to first without bouncing it); to Depression (OK, so I bounce the ball to first, but at least it gets there).

And now I’ve hit the final stage: acceptance. My days of running between the bases without something snapping, popping or tearing are over.

It’s been a difficult battle, but the body has won out. I concede. The white flag is flying. But what my body doesn’t realize is that my mind is only conceding the battle — not the war. Sure, I’ll admit it — I can no longer play the game as I did in my youth. But I will not give up trying to play. Ha!

That is, at least until this Sunday, when we open the season with a double-header. I may be singing an entirely new tune by Sunday night.

Volunteerism Leads to Maritime Gig Fest Microphone

In a town the size of Gig Harbor, it helps if your head can fit a lot of hats. This weekend, I’ll be donning a new one — as a result of wearing one of my old ones.

Through my years of hosting a radio show on KGHP, I’ll be taking one of three microphone stations along Harborview Drive to help announce the parade entries in the annual Maritime Gig Festival in this year’s “Yo Ho Harbor!” parade on Saturday.

Some may say it’s not necessarily a good idea to hand me a microphone amid the throngs that will be lining both sides of the street — but then again, the good folks at KGHP let me in to the broadcast booth back in 2005 and I haven’t yet brought the full weight of the FCC down on the small, but rugged radio station — despite being on the air nearly every week since.

I’m looking forward to the parade and giving shout outs to the many local and regional parade entrants as they go by. I’m sure I’ll see plenty of familiar faces both in the parade and watching. And I look forward to making some new acquaintances along the way. There are more than 100 parade entries so that means no yelling at the kids on Friday night — gotta keep the pipes rested.

For me, this is one of the perks of living in a small community. I certainly wouldn’t have the same opportunity with the Seafair parade in Seattle, for example. But then again, the opportunities are there to be a part of the community, large or small.

From putting in some elbow grease at FISH food bank to keeping ivy from taking over the Wollochet estuary, anyone in the community is just a phone call away from lending a hand and helping to make the community a warm and inviting region.

The opportunity to announce the parade this weekend came about through volunteering at KGHP. You never know how one opportunity may open the door to another.

The city even makes it easy to volunteer, with the Gig Harbor Volunteer and Visitor Information Center, located at 3125 Judson St. Call them at (253) 857-4842 or go online at www.gigharborguide.com and click on the “Learn More” button and select “volunteer opportunities.”

I heartily encourage others who haven’t yet done so to step up — volunteer today in some way, big or small, for an ongoing project, one day or even for just one hour. Pitch in and see what kind of difference you can make in the community — and maybe opening that one door may lead to another and next year, you might be helping announce the parade at the Maritime Gig Festival.

Your head always has room for another new hat.

I Don’t Like Spiders and Snakes — But This Guy Does

House spider

As the cool air begins to chill the nights, the annual ritual of my wife’s blood-curdling screams fill the rooms and shatter the otherwise mostly peaceful ambiance that hangs about our rural county home.

Is she susceptible to the grisly nature of horror films that profilgate the airwaves and Netflix at this time of year? (Well, yes, but that’s not what causes her to scream.) Nor is she preparing for an upcoming appearance in one of the local theaters’ annual haunted house extravaganzas — although her howls would most assuredly add an air of sinister authenticity to the fright fests.

No, what sends her into an apoplectic shrilly nonsense is our diminutive and oft-misunderstood friend: a spider.

Like many “arachnophobes,” she firmly believes our little houseguests come in from the cold as the weather takes a turn for the worse. And up until a couple of days ago, I believed the very same myth. That is, until doing research for this blog post, I came across the Web site of a one certain Rod Crawford, curator of Arachnids at Burke Museum, on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle.

I had the pleasure of talking with Mr. Crawford on the telephone about a dozen years ago, when as a reporter, I was preparing background information on a story of a local claiming to have found a brown recluse in their home. Mr. Crawford assured me that if indeed a person had found a brown recluse, that I had a much bigger story than I intended, as no such confirmation of this particular spider being found in western Washington had yet been made.

We talked at some length of some other spider myths before ending our conversation. Now I doubt very seriously that my one phone call so many years ago led him to publish his Web site (but I’ll gladly take some of the credit, regardless), but he has, since that fateful phone call, put upon the Web — pun most definitely intended — a site about the many spider myths. And there are quite a few.

Just some of the myths he debunks are: You are never more than three feet from a spider; spiders found in bathtubs and sinks came up through the drain pipes; the Daddy-longlegs has the world’s most dangerous venom but it’s fangs are too soft to penetrate human skin; when black widow spiders mate, the female always kills and eats the male; some bubble gum has spider eggs in it; people are bitten by spiders at night while they sleep; you can identify a spider by a photo or by its markings — and a particularly disturbing myth, that we swallow an average of four live spiders per year while we sleep.

I could go on in some detail to some of the myths vs. reality, but why when Mr. Crawford has done such an excellent job already and you can read his handiwork for yourself by clicking here?

I will admit that I have heard and believed a number of the spider myths he squashes on his Web site. In particular: that spiders come into a house to escape the cold. Think about it. They are not warm-blooded so they do not react to the vagaries of outdoor temperature changes other than to die when it gets too cold. It was fascinating to read how there are in the Pacific Northwest roughly 30 outdoor arachnid species, 25 indoor species and eight that can live indoors and outside. Most of the house spiders we see have lived their entire life inside and putting them outside is most certainly a death sentence for the spider (another myth busted).

A big myth that I still have a hard time adjusting to is that spiders rarely bite and on average a person is bitten once or twice in their life. Of the thousands of spiders he has handled, Crawford claims to have been bitten only twice.

So as Halloween approaches and the visible sight of orb weaver webs can be seen on virtually ever bush and tree, take time to read how misunderstood our little multi-eyed friends are. Like sharks and wolves, they have garnered an undeserved reputation amid their human counterparts. It’s time they earned a little respect for all the good they provide by keeping a pest-filled insect world in line.

But that respect will stop short with my arachnid-fearing wife. She won’t even discuss a spider’s attributes and the photo I’ve attached to this post will guarantee to keep her from ever reading this blog.

And my apologies to Jim Stafford’s 1970s classic, “Spiders and Snakes,” about winning love through intimidation. I loved that song as a teenager.

Forget Hawks vs. Tides, What About Gig Harbor’s Real Football Rivalry?

For more than three decades now, the crosstown football rivalry has pitted the Peninsula Seahawks against the Gig Harbor Tides in a contest so big that it garners its own name: The Fish Bowl. (The name comes from the benefit side, an annual salmon dinner served before the game that benefits the local fishermen and fleet.) Even though Gig Harbor is 4A and Peninsula is 3A, the non-league game remains big with bragging rights between the blue and green that run deep in the region’s veins. The latest incarnation of the gridiron contest is set to take place tomorrow night (Friday, Oct. 2) at the event’s only home, Roy Anderson Field at PHS, a stadium that is shared by both schools as their home field each football season.

But in my humble opinion, this contest pales in comparison to a matchup that isn’t even part of football reality — yet.

Anyone who is even remotely involved in youth football in Gig Harbor knows there are two leagues to choose from when signing up junior to be the next Peyton Manning. Part of the harbor’s rich history in youth sports is Peninsula Youth Football, well into its third decade in developing football stars of tomorrow. A relative upstart by comparison, the still young Bulldogs Football is in its fourth year of operation. Both leagues field teams from ages 8 to 14 — and both include cheerleader squads so whole families can stay involved.

Both leagues play an eight-game season with extra games included as part of a post-season tournament. Both leagues develop young minds and bodies for the rigors of football that will eventually feed their players into one of the two area high schools. Both leagues bristle with volunteers at all levels willing to help from coaching to cheerleading to recruitment. And just like their high school counterparts, both leagues do not share common opponents beyond each other.

All these similarities end at one very important point: Unlike the Hawks and Tides, PYF and Bulldogs do not play each other for bragging rights to Gig Harbor football.

Having been involved with both programs, I think I’ve gained an insight as to why this might be. As a matter of full disclosure, my son has played three years in PYF and this year is a Bulldog. I’ve been actively involved as well, having coached those same three years in PYF and now coaching as a Bulldog.

As you can well imagine, many of the “adults” involved with PYF don’t want to see this kind of matchup because they don’t want to legitimize the Bulldogs program in any way by acknowledging it (I use the term “adults” loosely because some revert to childlike behavior when it comes to youth sports). There are no doubt detractors for such a match-up in the Bulldogs camp as well, although I must confess, I have not met any of them yet. As you can imagine, those involved in a new league are eager to prove they belong, so many in the Bulldogs organization would welcome such a once-a-year contest.

At the youth level, you better believe the players are well aware of the “other” league. My son has taken his share of ribbing from his former Seahawks teammates for going Bulldog red. I just tell him to point out the difference in the won-loss records of his former and current team.

I joke, but seriously, both programs are filled with players that will one day join together as teammates on the sidelines for either Gig Harbor or Peninsula. Having now been a part of both programs, I have a better view of the youth football world than I did a year ago. Both programs are by-and-large well-run and are filled with adult volunteers who give countless hours to helping players learn and love the game of football. To be sure, both have individuals who detract from the core essence that it is and always should be by and about the youth. But I think you’d be hard pressed to look at any youth sports program anywhere and not find that element.

An annual contest between the leagues could be a good thing for the Gig Harbor community. Like it’s high school counterpart — the Fish Bowl — the games could be built around an annual fundraiser. A nominal admission could be charged and throughout the day, each grade could square off at Roy Anderson Field for bragging rights. A traveling trophy could be created, given that there are five team levels, so each league that wins three or more for a given year would earn the trophy. Non-profits could even earn needed money running concessions for the day-long event.

Granted, there are logistics to be figured out. While the Bulldogs field one team per grade, PYF fields 2-3 per grade. Creating an “all-star” team from PYF would be unfair because those kids wouldn’t have played together through the year. Maybe the PYF teams could alternate years — a Tides team one year and a Seahawks team the next.

Despite the obvious problems (where do you fit this into the calendar) and the sublime ones (those adults who don’t want to see this happen), it is an event that could be put to good use in the community to drive youth sports awareness and community spirit. I can tell you, the players on both sides would love the opportunity to play their school mates.

So how about it, adults? Can we truly act our age long enough to create a Fish Bowl in miniature? Having experienced what each program offers, I can tell you flatly that both leagues teach good values, sportsmanship and determination while also developing a respect and love for the sport of football. I no longer listen to the rumors spread about either as I’ve found it all to be just that — rumors. Let’s get past the pettiness that may have spurred the development of two youth football programs in Gig Harbor, acknowledge that there are and always will be two solid programs for players and parents to choose from, and use this opportunity to create something special and unique for Gig Harbor that involves both programs in a fun and positive fashion.

Lets embrace the competitiveness that is part of having two healthy, growing programs and develop a higher sense of community oneness by using the playing field to bring this all together. We can all feel good about creating more youth participation while raising funds that can be turned back into the community to further help make Gig Harbor a great place to live, work and play football.

I’ve snapped the ball. The question is: Will anyone run with it?

Gig Harbor Life Going Weekly in September

It’s heady times for the dedicated staff of Gig Harbor Life. What started out as a bi-weekly publication in June 2008 has grown steadily over the past year in both audience and size. With this growth comes the next step in the ever-evolving world of community news publishing: Beginning Sept. 18, residents of Gig Harbor peninsula will begin receiving their free copy of Gig Harbor Life each and every week.

Before making the decision to go weekly, we looked long and hard at the idea of Gig Harbor having two weekly newspapers. The residents of Gig Harbor have been served for years by a very dependable and quality weekly publication. But in looking at the differences we offer our readers and advertisers to the choices given them in the past, we realized we were comparing apples to oranges.

Gig Harbor Life has been and will remain a free publication, direct-mailed to households on the peninsula — including Fox Island — and we remain committed to bring our readers content they won’t find anywhere else: stories about their friends and neighbors, businesses and activities that make Gig Harbor a unique and special place we all call home.

Gig Harbor Life remains committed to giving businesses both large, but especially small, an opportunity to reach customers old and new with reasonable rates that won’t strain a tight budget. Given the current economic climate, we understand that businesses can ill afford to spend their hard-earned dollars on advertising that will only reach a small percentage of their target audience. With our 18,000-plus circulation, business owners can rest assured they are reaching the widest possible audience across the peninsula and know their advertising dollars are being used wisely.

Though our news staff is small, we feel we know Gig Harbor and its residents intimately and are uniquely suited to bring you quality news and information about your community each week. With editor Scott Turner, advertising transition lead Tim Lengel, paginator September Hyde and myself (managing editor) we bring a combined 65 years of journalism experience to the pages of Gig Harbor Life, with 20 of those years being served right here in Gig Harbor.

And nine contributing freelance writers and columnists bring an additional 25 years of experience writing about the people and happenings in and around Gig Harbor.

But we don’t stop there. We welcome and encourage reader participation. The fully interactive companion Web site at gigharbor-life.com allows readers to post comments on stories, as well as photos and even write blogs unique to Gig Harbor that are hosted on the Web site. We seek out story and photo ideas and welcome any and all suggestions on how we can better serve our readership both in print and online.

Speaking of the Web, readers can often find stories online well before the print publication, along with Web-only items designed to heighten the reader’s experience that print simply cannot deliver.

Going to a weekly publication will open new avenues to serve you, including the addition of an editorial page where we welcome a healthy and ongoing community discourse of the events and activities that have an impact on our daily lives in Gig Harbor.

As I said: heady times. But we know the staff of Gig Harbor Life is not only up to the task, they all are looking forward to having twice the opportunity to serve you that they had before. As always, we welcome, encourage and look forward to your comments and suggestions. You can reach editor Scott Turner at (253) 514-3107 or by e-mail at editor@gigharbor-life.com and Tim Lengel at (360) 731-7373 or by e-mail at tim-lengel@kitsapsun.com. Reach September at shyde@gigharbor-life.com and me at rhallock@gigharbor-life.com.

We remain thankful for your warm and inviting welcome to be a part of your lives and we look forward to serving you now and well into the future.

Ric Hallock is managing editor of Gig Harbor Life and lives with his wife, two sons, one cat and countless wild rabbits just outside the north end city limits of Gig Harbor.

Gig Harbor Scouts Safe After a River Scare

Some Gig Harbor Boy Scouts got more than they bargained for over the weekend while rafting in the Wenatchee area, as reported in the Wenatchee World.

Four members of a rafting party were thrown into the water as a rafting group crossed some turbulent water in the Wenatchee River last Saturday. Two members were able to make it to shore, but two others — one scout and a river guide — scrambled onto some rocks and had to await a rescue from the local sheriff’s deputies.

Let this serve as a reminder to parents whose children are now out of school and looking for activities to fill their time. Tubing and rafting on local area rivers and streams may seen a laconic and relaxing activity, but seemingly still waters can quickly turn treacherous. Always use caution — as no doubt these scouts did — so that even unexpected events can still have a happy ending — and those involved can bring home an extra story or two they call tell at the dinner table.

Have you had a close call with nature? Share your story with a post to this story so others can learn from your “mistakes” and help your friends and neighbors have a safer summer.

Definition of Class Depends on Your Classification

An emeritus professor of geography at the University of Washington has posited an interesting look at “class” in the greater Puget Sound region, sectioning off whole communities as upper, middle or lower class, in a recent blog posting on Crosscut.

Regardless of any potential egalitarian notions you may have about living in a classless society, the truth is humans have a long and storied history of class in our varied cultures that is impossible to deny. When you consider yourself “rich” or “poor” or somewhere in between, you have just categorized yourself into a class.

In his entry, regarding Gig Harbor proper he has this to say: A second set of upper class areas are waterfront and view neighborhoods, as on the Gig Harbor peninsula, Bainbridge Island, and on Puget Sound from Magnolia north to Mukilteo. And he goes on to identify the rural regions of Pierce County thus: “The second large zone of lower class settlement is the rural fringe, especially in Pierce and Snohomish counties.”

Obviously, one could take an individual area — such as Gig Harbor — and parse it down to specific neighborhoods and come up with a much more diverse picture of “class” ratings that would literally run the gamut from wealthy to poor. But I don’t believe it was Dr. Morrill’s intent to sub-classify individual cities so much as to grossly classify the greater Puget Sound region as a whole.

He places the waterfront and view sections of the harbor up there with the crusty likes of Bainbridge Island and Magnolia — heady, latte-driven, SUV-laden, individualist-minded communities indeed. What is slightly more unsettling is his take of the “rural fringe” of Pierce County as distinctly lower class. I don’t take exception with his assessment so much so because he clumsily lumps the decidedly upscale Canterwood in the fringe. I take exception because he includes my humble spread as definitively lower class.

A couple of parentheticals beg to be added here. First off, when moving to Gig Harbor in 2004 (and coming from the bovine rich region of Lynden — a forthrightly rural area of Whatcom County three hours to the north), many folks we knew remarked how we were going upscale, the reputation of Gig Harbor being what it is in comparison to our humble Lynden digs. By and large this was true. Yes, Lynden has its share of large, classy homes, but nothing to rival the looming opulence of the harbor’s many gated cul de sacs.

Secondly, when Morrill uses the phrase “rural fringe,” I picture him thinking more in terms of Monroe, Eatonville or Graham than the unincorporated county surrounding the Gig Harbor city limits. Even classifying Key Peninsula lower class is like using a chain saw to paint the Mona Lisa. There’s no doubt the KP has its fair share of backwoods trailers with blocked up 4x4s littering the yard, but it also boasts some exquisite homes and properties that defy any casual definition of the Key as lower class.

My first reaction to being labeled lower class was to sniff with indignation and cast immediate aspersions to Prof. Morrill’s Ravenna home (actually, I have no idea where he lives, but having once occupied a hovel in Ravenna, it is an easy target for me). But then it got me to thinking.

We don’t have anything near the income most of our GH friends and acquaintances do. Both of us working in the field of journalism, the combined salary of both my wife and I couldn’t even equal the same number of digits of those individuals who work in the Boeing and Microsoft worlds. While those we know routinely jet off to Cancun and Maui for Winter Break, Spring Break and Taking a Break Break, we spend our kids’ downtime around the house trying to keep their boredom from erupting into WWF affairs. We both drive high-mileage vehicles that threaten to explode at any given moment, a splurge for us is a family dinner at Spiros and we’ve only been to the Uptown Cinema once since it opened.

Hmm.

OK, so we’re lower class. So what? At least we don’t live in Roy

Post Script: Just for the record, Morrill takes a decidedly dim view of Tacoma, saying: “… Lower class areas include traditional zones of mixed housing, industry, and transport, as in south Seattle, Everett, Bremerton, Auburn, and especially Tacoma” (italics added). That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms unto itself, which, in the interests of staying on topic, I won’t tackle here.

Just What the World Needs, Another Blog

Excuse me a minute — fwhsssst — while I blow the dust off my AP Style Guide.

When Gig Harbor Life Editor Scott Turner asked me to write a column for his publication, I just laughed — long and hard. He’s got no space in that tightly packed publication to print any words from me — especially given his past propensity to write 1,400 word tomes.

As his managing editor, my job is to help him corral his copy, meet deadlines and otherwise generally run herd in the background as he fashions each bi-monthly issue. I do the same for a number of other similar publications in Kitsap and Mason counties, and none of those other editors pester me to write anything for their publications.

But anyone who knows Scott knows how danged persistent he can be. He’s been on me for some time to write something — anything — for his fledgling paper and finally, just to get him to stop asking, I agreed to write a blog. Ha. Can’t print that in the paper. That will just be online only, nobody will see it, I can trash talk about Gig Harbor to my little black heart’s content and no one outside of him and my wife will be the wiser.

Except Scott won’t stop being Scott.

Dang him and his dogged persistence, anyway. Being bound by some higher calling, he’s been on a fast track to seeing his nearly one-year-old publication gain traction with the gentiles (and not-so-gentiles) of Gig Harbor and its surrounding environs. And in so doing, he’s pumped a lot of time, effort, copy, photos, videos and various other content-rich items into the companion Web site, www.gigharbor-life.com and you know what? That crazy galoot’s been making it pay off.

Even though the other publications had the jump on his by one or more years, his Web hits have been steadily increasing and he’s already moved his otherwise non-advertised Web site to the middle of the pack for all the Scripps-sponsored Web sites similar to his – and the numbers keep growing.

Cripes. That means people in and around Gig Harbor will likely be reading this blog. And commenting on it. And making me stay on topic and keeping me from spinning fancy with the facts. Man, now I’m going to have to research before making up … er, I mean, writing up the facts.

And Scott won’t stop.

I’m warning anyone who comes into contact with him now: DON’T ask him how the paper’s going. He’ll pin you down for hours about his vision, the potential, the unbounded and as yet untapped future of Gig Harbor Life and all things GHL-related. He keeps this up and someone higher up than me is going to take notice and then where will I be?

I can tell you. In my boss’s office, answering to how this upstart editor can jump in and outpace all the other sister publications all by his lonesome (at which time I will duly clear my throat and point out that, hey I’m writing for him too — no doubt accounting for a large percentage of his Web audience …). It’s an even bet who will laugh first.

Which is why I’m shaking the cobwebs off my writing Bible. If I’m gonna jump on this bandwagon, I better get aboard while I can still grab a handhold.

What will I blog about, you ask? Nothing. Anything. The old adage is to write what you know best, and being in the field of journalism, I typically know a little about a lot, but know a lot about nothing.

So you’re likely to hear about my wife’s garden one day, and the inconvenience of Harborview Drive construction the next. I’ll prattle about growth, old growth and growing concerns about education, environment, government and any other “ment” I can find.

Consistency is something I’ll strive for but be warned now — that’s a big inconsistency with me. So you’ll get what I can provide. And feel free to offer up a discourse whenever you want. Although this whole Internet thing has pretty much passed me by (much like Homer Simpson: “Ooh, the Internet, I hear they have that on the computer now.”) and I’m in need of help just to get this blog online, I think it will have the bells and whistles of the 21st century. I believe it will have reader feedback where you can comment on my comments to your little black heart’s desire — as long as you remain civil, clean and on task to the current subject matter. At least let’s hope so. Just hearing my point of view can be tedious — just ask my wife.

I’m not sure who will be the moderator of all this online blather.

Maybe I’ll make Scott do it.