Sunday, July 26, 2009

Anti-Gay Signature Fraud Caught On Tape - Port Angeles, Washington

This is how the right wing operates. It's a sad day in the state of Washington.

Local News | Wash. gay partnership foes turn in signatures | Seattle Times Newspaper

I am so sick and tired of this - read on......

Local News Wash. gay partnership foes turn in signatures
Seattle Times Newspaper

Sponsors of a campaign to overturn Washington state's domestic partnership law turned in their petition signatures Saturday and said they believe they have enough to force a public vote.

Associated Press Writer

OLYMPIA, Wash. —
Sponsors of a campaign to overturn Washington state's domestic partnership law turned in their petition signatures Saturday and said they believe they have enough to force a public vote.
The expanded "everything but marriage" domestic partnership law was scheduled to take effect Sunday, but is now delayed until the signatures can be counted, a process that could take up to a month.

To qualify for the November ballot, supporters of Referendum 71 must have 120,577 voter signatures. Supporters say they have about 138,000 signatures.

"I feel our signatures are pretty clean," said campaign spokesman Gary Randall.
If they have enough signatures, the law will be delayed until the outcome of the referendum. If they fall short, the domestic partnership expansion will immediately take effect.
The signatures were turned in a day after opponents of the new law announced a final push to force a public vote, calling their effort "too close to call" and asking people to show up on Saturday at the Capitol to turn in their signatures to the secretary of state's office.
Greg MacPherson of Kent, Wash. said he drove two hours in traffic to turn in about a dozen signatures.

"We want to stand up and be counted," he said.
The new domestic partnership law expands on Washington's existing partnerships. The newest version adds registered domestic partners to all remaining areas of state law that presently apply only to married couples. Those statutes range from adoption and child support rights and obligations, to pensions and other public employee benefits.

The underlying domestic partnership law, which passed the Legislature two years ago, provided hospital visitation rights, the ability to authorize autopsies and organ donations, and inheritance rights when there is no will.

Last year, lawmakers expanded it to give domestic partners standing under laws covering probate and trusts, community property and guardianship.

Josh Friedes, a spokesman for Washington Families Standing Together, said that if the referendum does end up on the ballot, he is optimistic that voters will retain the law.

"We need to have a conversation about the needs of gay and lesbian families," he said. "So in some ways, this referendum brings to the foreground a lot of issues, and to that extent the dialogue can propel the movement forward."

A political group called WhoSigned.Org has already said it will publish online the names of people who signed petitions. The petition-listing effort is not supported by the official campaign trying to keep R-71 off the ballot.
The domestic partnership bill is Senate Bill 5688.
On the Net:
Washington Families Standing Together:
Protect Marriage Washington:
Domestic partnership information:
Copyright © The Seattle Times Company

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hoh River Rain Forest

Washington really is a beautiful state. If you visit a must do drive is the drive that we took today around the Olympic Peninsula. The Olympic National Park is huge and has a ton of intreasting things to do. It makes for a full day. We left our house this morning around 8 a.m. and will not get home until after 11 p.m.

Thought I would share a few pictures that we took today.

Look for the four leaf clover!

The rain forest was pretty cool.

Kent and Sylvia on one of the short hikes we took.

Old tree trunk in the forest.

Headed home!


-- Posted on the run from my iPhone.

Hurricane Ridge

Kent's Mom is in town so we are visiting Hurricane Ridge and the Rain Forest.

Toby enjoying the view at Hurricane Ridge.

Kent and his Mom Sylvia at Hurricane Ridge.

Me at Hurricane Ridge.

The wildflowers are in full bloom and very beautiful right now.

Later - Jim

Posted on the run from my iPhone.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

First Train Open Public

Kent and I on the first public run of the new link light rail from Tukwila to Seattle.

-- Post on the run from my iPhone.

Riding King County's New Light Rail

Today is the long awaited opening of the first leg of the new Link Light Rail! It's very exciting! It has been a long time coming after years of watching it be built. We got here early enough to hopefully be in the very first car from Tukwila to downtown Seattle. I will post a few pictures later!

This is a picture of the new Tukwila station.

There is a lot of great public art.

We just confirmed that we will be on the very first train open to the public! Below is a picture of Kent standing in line ready for the experience!

More later-


Posted on the run from my iPhone.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Presentation to the Washington State House of Representatives

I had an opportunity to present to a group of Washington State Legislatures this week and thought I would share it with you. I think a lot of people have little to no idea about the work that I do so I thought I would give you a peak into my work world.

Later -


more about "Presentation to the Washington State ...", posted with vodpod

Friday, July 10, 2009

290.5 miles to go!

Yesterday was a long day on the road. We really put on the miles traveling 863.4 miles between Douglas, WY and Spokane, WA. We are on the last leg of what has been a great road trip! We spent our last night on the road at the Spokane Courtyard. Camping was never discussed!

For those of you who have followed my blog for awhile I posted a blog titled - "I Fought the Law". Yesterday I almost had an reenactment of the event. Here I am driving along in a construction zone going 20 miles per hour being very mindful of my speed. I see the end of the construction zone and I also see a sign in the near distance raising the speed limit to 45 MPH. What I did not see was the police officer sitting off to the side of the construction site looking for innocent tourists to harass! We go past and he pulls right out and honest to God my first thought is "I wonder who he is going to pull over?" - then immediately I know it's me. I go right into my - officer I'm innocent mode - remember from the previous post - admit to nothing!

He goes into the standard "Do you know why I pulled you over?" and I go right into my "I'm innocent mode". Which I was! He tried to claim that I was still in the construction zone and was going 30 MPH in a 20. I pointed out that when I began to accelerate I was out of the construction zone and could see the sign increasing the speed to 45 MPH. "You were still in the construction zone- license and registration and proof of insurance please". After being gone for a long time he comes back with a chart and points to the fine for speeding in a construction zone - $450! "My boss would be real proud and tell me I'm doing a great job for this size ticket", he says. I started to once again proclaim my innocence when it dawned on me he was ultimately going to let me go with a warning. I immediately go from the "I'm innocent" mode to - the "thank you officer you have made me see the light and I'll never speed again" mode.

I'd love to know others thoughts about when you can begin to accelerate if you see the speed limit sign in the distance. If I can see it, then in my opinion that's full right to increase my speed! Any way obviously I digress...

Kent is very particular about keeping our vehicles clean so you can imagine his horror to see the truck after driving through what I can only describe as a bug storm. It was pretty gross! You could see the bugs in the headlights and hear them hit the windshield like rain. We immediately went to a car wash!

Today was really more about putting on some serious miles more than anything else. We did take a scenic route over the Big Horn mountains.

I am not sure if it will show up well in the picture but the wild flowers were beautiful and very well could have been at their peak.

After exiting the Big Horn mountains we stopped for what would be our last picnic of the trip.

On our drive east we discovered Moxiberry in Missoula, Montana. Best sour frozen yogurt I've ever had and I love the stuff! They have both green tea and original and every kind of topping you can imagine! The green tea with blueberries was delish! Any way we liked it so much that we stopped in again on our drive home. If ever in Missoula definitely check it out! You will not be disappointed.

Have a good one -


Posted on the run from my iPhone.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Omaha Nebraska to Douglas Wyoming

I have started travel journals several times over the years only to stop writing about half way through the trip. It's been fun blogging about our trip and Facebooking along the way! Thanks for all the comments on the blog, emails and Facebook wall postings about our trip. I never knew so many of the people I know have family and friends in the area we traveled! Special shout out to Vince, Bill, James, Midge, Mom and Dad, Hollie, Jennifer, Mary, Mike, Venys, Kim, Sean, Diana, Ramona and Marcy. I've either heard from you by email, comments on my blog or Facebook as we traveled. I know there have been a higher number of visits to the blog which is nice. A lot of people have asked about our route home. I have been intentionally vague about our itinerary since although we had an idea of our eastern limits we did not know how far we would travel and when we would head home. We don't have to be back to work until Monday but we decided to arrive home by Friday evening so we have all weekend at home before returning to work.

We started the day in Omaha which is on the eastern border of Nebraska. We drove across the entire state of Nebraska which is 430 miles across and then another 100 or so miles into Wyoming before stopping for the evening. We camped for the last time this trip. Now in the spirit of full disclosure I will confess that we only camped because the Courtyard in Casper was full. I am dangerously close to officially hating camping! I knew once we stayed in a hotel it would be difficult to return to camping. For the most part we have had a great time camping and the campgrounds progressively improved - until last night! We stayed at a KOA (first mistake) which was loud and the sites were close enough for me to hear the guy in the next camp snore all night. I got up early and went for a run only to find a nicer campground 3 miles away right along the Platte river with a paved running/biking trail on site!

We have already made up our minds that we will stay in a hotel on our last night on the road. Who knows where we will end up tonight! There are multiple options depending on the route we take. I've made several hotel reservations depending on where we might end up and will cancel the rest! Don't want to make the same mistake and find them all full!

We really liked eastern Nebraska - specifically Omaha and Lincoln. Our friend Bill once lived in Omaha and we have already decided that it would be a great long weekend trip with him when we have more time. It looks like they have spent a lot of time on redevelopment of the downtown. The picture below is a night shot of downtown Omaha.

From Omaha we headed to Lincoln to visit our 4th state capital this trip. Very cool building and campus. I was talking to one of the tour guides and asked about the House and Senate chambers and learned that Nebraska's legislature has met as the nation's only Unicameral,( no separate House and Senate) since 1937. I thought that was interesting - it was a vote of the people.

We've been through Lincoln before on another trip but did not take the time to go inside the state Capitol building. Well worth a visit. From there were visited the campus of the University of Nebraska - home of the Corn Huskers! We went to the football stadium and the bookstore. I could not resist getting a picture decked out as a Corn Husker! This just goes to prove that a sports fan will wear anything to support their team!

Lincoln seemed like the kind of place we would like to spend more time as well. I hope that the Huskies play them in Nebraska in the next several years - we would definitely attend!

As we continued west we stopped at Chimney Rock National Historic Site. The site is located along the Oregon Trail and reference to it can be found in the journals of hundreds of pioneers headed west.

From there we went to Scotts Bluff National Monument.

We took a short hike before continuing on our journey. I took several pictures that I thought I would share since I could not choose just one!

I hope you enjoy!

Later -


Posted on the run from my iPhone.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Omaha - 1730.6 Miles From Home

Here we are at the apex of our trip - as far east as we will travel on our 2009 road trip. Seven states so far with Iowa and Nebraska being the two new ones added. Toby is now up to 9 states visited!

I'm a visual kinda guy so for those of you like myself I thought it would be helpful to post a map - the highlighted state is Nebraska and Omaha is located along the far eastern part of the state bordering Iowa.

Our 5th night on the road called for a hotel. We are loyal to Marriott so we sought out a Courtyard and found a brand new one that opened less than a year ago and is the largest Courtyard in the Country! It was very nice and just what we needed!

We actually pulled into a campground - thought about it and we both could tell by the looks on each others face that we really did not want a 5th night on the ground! This is more like it! It's going to be difficult to return to the tent!

Toby enjoyed sleeping on a nice soft pillow as opposed to the ground.

Even if he found it a bit humiliating to gain access through my gym bag!

I love this picture, it cracks me up! It's been so much fun traveling with our dog. He is a great traveler although I can tell he misses having access to the yard. I realized when I let him off his leash in the room and he ran around like a mad dog that he had either been confined to the cab of the truck or on a leash for the past 5 days!

We visited the state capitol in Pierre before heading out and continuing to follow the Lewis and Clark Trail along the Missouri river between Pierre and Omaha.

Along the way we had a picnic along the Missouri river at the spot where George Shannon rejoined the Corps of Discovery after being lost for a week. We continued on to the grave of Sargent Charles Floyd the only member of the group to die along the journey. His death is thought to have been a ruptured appendix. His grave site is along a bluff over looking the Missouri river.

Finally we arrived in Omaha and had just enough time to walk across the Bob Kerry pedestrian suspension bridge that opened less than a year ago. Very cool - spans the Missouri river and connects Iowa with Nebraska.

Tomorrow we will begin our 1730.6 mile journey home.

Later -


Posted on the run from my iPhone.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Birthday Wish From the Road

Today is my Goddaughter Emily's 15th B-day! She is pictured here with her Mom and my friend Nancy.

Please join me in wishing Emily a Happy - Happy Birthday! I hope you had a great birthday and that 15 eventually feels different than 14!

Have a good one!

Jim and Kent

Posted on the run from my iPhone.

From One State Capitol to Another

We did something that I have never done before. We camped for the 4th night in a row! Usually we camp one night and then stay in a hotel the next. I like the fact that we are saving money but the reason we are camping so much is because we have Toby and it's easier just to pull into a campground and be done with it as opposed to paying extra for having a dog or sneaking him in.

We drove from the Theodore Roosevelt National Park to the state Capitol in Bismark, ND. The state Capitol was built in the early 30's after the original burned to the ground. It's a modern art deco building that if you did not know what you were looking for you could easily pass without notice. Inside is a very different storey. Art deco design, big columns and beautiful house and senate chambers.

We followed more of the Lewis and Clark Trail. We have traced all but a couple of small sections over the last ten or so years. Every since reading the Steven Ambrose book Undaunted Courage we have been following parts of the trail. Little side story - when Kent and I first started dating Undaunted Courage was being read on Radio Reader on NPR and we would listen to it in bed and get the map out and follow along and talk about retracing the route someday. I know TMI but it's my blog! Anyway......It really was an incredible journey across country when there were no interstates, campgrounds and nothing moved faster than a horse. Not to mention flush toilets and hot showers! Flush toilets and running water are two things I won't do without and hot shower although not a deal breaker can only be tolerated for one night!

We visited a Lewis and Clark visitor center located on the Missouri river. It was one of the better ones we've visited. When we signed the visitor book I noticed that there was a family from Aberdeen there visiting at the same time - small world.

Near there was a replica of Fort Mandan where the Corp of Discovery spent a long cold winter. The guide was very knowledgeable. There was a huge statue of Seamen - Lewis's dog that joined them on the journey. Of course we had get a picture of Toby with it!

From there we headed south to Pierre, SD. SD became Toby' s 7th state! The drive to Pierre was unbelievably beautiful - far exceeded my expectations. Big green rolling hills like big carpets of green grass on each side of the river. We took a short hike until we spotted the biggest snake we have ever seen and ran back to the truck (can't you just picture it) - there was a scream and some hyperventilating involved! I managed to get a picture of it on our other camera which has a zoom lens.

By the time we made it to Pierre we found a campground (with showers) grabbed some dinner and called it a day.

We are heading to the state Capitol first thing this morning and who knows where we will end up tonight. Having a great time, getting close to needing a hotel and good coffee!

Later -


-- Posted on the run from my iPhone.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Running on the Road

One of the things I love about running is that you can do it any where you go and all you need is a pair of shoes and some running shorts. I've been lucky enough to run in a lot of cool places and see some interesting things. The picture below is the view this morning as I headed out for my run.

There is no better way to scope out a new city than to put on a pair of running shoes and hit the streets. Running in Alaska I came upon several moose and in Hawaii while running out towards Diamond Head I spotted whales in the distance. Today was another one of those memorable runs that stand out from the day to day routine training runs.

I got up and started out to run about six miles. Since our camp site was about five miles into Theodore Roosevelt National Park it was an easy decision to run throughout the park. I did not run into one car the entire time! It was beautiful! I saw 15 deer which was cool but it was the buffalo - yea buffalo, that was especially cool! Reminded me of the moose in Alaska and whales in Hawaii. Male buffalo as you might guess are huge - I was a bit worried about how close to get but luckily by the time I got there it had moved off the road and I could easily pass. Got to love the iPhone. Not only can I Facebook and blog on the road, I can take pictures while out for a run!

Headed to Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and Fort Mandan and then off to Bismark.

Have a good one -


-- Posted on the run from my iPhone.

North Dakota

We finally made it out of Montana and into North Dakota! With this picture of us crossing into ND we now have a picture of us at every state line in the country! Now Toby is getting into the act!

There is not enough of a signal here to post many pictures but I'll try a couple. We are camping for the third consecutive night which is a record!

We are staying in a campground that is located five miles into the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It's very quiet here compared to our other sites. The park is amazingly beautiful and wildlife abundant. The park reminds me of a green lush version of Badlands National Park. It takes a lot of effort to get here which is probably why the park is less visited than other National Parks. Roosevelt first visited the area in 1883 and after becoming President established the the U.S. forest service and signing the Antiquities Act under which he proclaimed 18 national monuments. He also got Congressional approval for the establishment of five national parks and 51 wildlife refuges and set aside land as national forests. The Theodore Roosevelt was one of the five national parks he created.

We survived yet another severe thunder storm. This picture was taken from the truck following a huge down pour.

Lastly I took this clandestine picture of one of the many cowboys having dinner at the local bar and grill where we had a burger. There was a rodeo in town so although the service was painfully slow - there was a lot of cowboy eye candy!

More updates to come.

Have a good one -


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Well Traveled Dog

One of the reasons that Kent and I are in North Dakota is to get a picture of us at the state line. Although we have been to ND before, the last time was by train so we did not get our picture. Now we have one with Toby who just visited his 6th state!

Kent and I now have a picture of each of us with all states! ND was the last one we needed to finish the photo album.

Have a nice Sunday evening!


Posted on the run from my iPhone.

Missoula to Glasgow

Day two and we have traveled just under 500 miles and we are still in Montana! It's a big state - we are still 150 miles to the boarder.

We went for a bike ride in Missoula this morning. They have a great trail along the Clark Fork River.

This is a picture taken from the trail. It looks like they are extending the trail so eventually it will be nice and long.

We biked about 12 miles before heading to the local Farmers Market. Nice selection of local produce.

From there we headed to Helena, Mt. to visit the state Capitol.

We toured inside and had a picnic on the campus before heading out of town .

We have stopped in Glasgow, Mt for the evening - camping for a second night. We stopped and picked up some mosquito spray after setting up the tent and discovering the mosquito's are the size of seagulls!

Lots of fireworks going off - there is apparently a big display at the local fairgrounds so we are headed down to check it out.

Having a great time!

Later -


Posted on the run from my iPhone.

Posting Problems

I am having problems posting from the far reaches of Montana due to network connections. As long as there are no photos there is enough signal strength. As soon an I can I'll send an update with pictures. Last night we experienced one of the most intensive thunder and lightning storm ever! It was very exciting!

Almost to the North Dakota state line.

Later -


-- Posted on the run from my iPhone.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Missoula Montana

We made it as far east as Missoula, Montana today before deciding to call it a day. It's been years but we spent time here once before and really like the feel of the town. Kind of a mix of Olympia and Wenatchee.

We are camping at a KOA campground that has obviously been here for awhile and the town has grown up around it. Oddly enough there is a Costco a couple of blocks away! Oh well it's a nice grassy campground and saved us about $80 since we were able to cancel our backup hotel reservation. We lost an hour of time today heading east so although it's 10:30 as I write this (way past my bedtime) we are wide awake!

The picture above was taken at the old train depot downtown. Notice the sign - Please Stay Off. Kent reluctantly took the picture!

This is a picture of the football stadium at the University of Montana - home of the Grizzles. We always visit the campus of any local college or university when we travel - during the summer when school is out of session they are like great big parks with no one around.

You know you are in Montana when you are a few blocks from the university and there are deer wondering around the town.

Tomorrow we are not sure how long we will hang out before heading out. We know we want to bike on the local river trail and go to the Farmers Market. After that who knows where we will end up. We have no final destination in mind for tomorrow night.

Have good one -


Posted on the run from my iPhone.