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30 November, 2007

There are Many Tacoma Gnomes

Exit133 is correct.

There are many Gnomes in Tacoma.

We could be your elected officials, the owner of a business ... we could be the friend next to you at the Garlic City Market, or that guy outside of Rent-A-Center.

I could not have said it any better than our friendly editors at exit133.

Until Next Time,

Weekly Volcano

Imagine my surprise, and the excitement, when I heard that a local weekly newspaper was going to do a column on your humble traveler.

Then, before I could see the writing, I began to receive comments ... and e-mail ... and I was sadly at the South Sound Technology conference yesterday morning, so I couldn't read the column, and I began to get worried.

Accusations have been flying while I have been working in various offices our touring the city. People who have spoken with me have been confronted with questions that they, quite frankly, cannot answer.

I leave it to you, dear readers, to examine the column in question here.

Until Next Time,

PS I'll have photos from the conference up early next week.

29 November, 2007

Sneak peek: Tacoma visitor guide

Today Carly put me on visitor's guide duty.

I helped to paginate and create the flow of the glossy magazine-style guidebook.

There are great photos and highlights of places to go and events to attend in 2008 ... including the Tall Ships festival.

I asked if she might include a bit about me, in jest of course, but her response was non-committal ... so I'll have to wait and see if she calls the photographer from this internship to get any photos.

And that wrapped up the visit! Well, except that Anne Marie gave me some rock candy. Oh it was delicious!, it made my tongue and lips blue, but I can manage that.

Only now do I realize that the candy is shaped like the pillars on the pedestrian bridge that goes across Interstate 705.

I hope one of the ancient giants of Europe doesn't come to visit Tacoma and mistake one of those for candy.

Until Next Time,

28 November, 2007

Still time to order Sweet Hope Chocolate

Elle has smashed her goal for Sweet Hope Chocolate. But there is still time to contribute to this wonderful cause.

Treat your loved one to delectable treats, and help a family looking to adopt.

Until Next Time,

Day one: Travel and Convention Bureau

I found their administrative office on the 5th floor of 1119 Pacific Avenue.

The building's lobby was old styled and had pictures of it being constructed.

My first task, as the new intern for the Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitor's Bureau, as to help choose posters for the office I encountered yesterday. There are so many activities going on this winter, I knew very little of them. But, Anne Marie was helpful in choosing the correct one to promote down there.

I then was asked to stand by was Carly took a call. Wouldn't you know, it was from Norway, so I got busy putting together a packet of Tacoma information for my countryman (or woman) who called.

It was tough choosing, so I selected a few brochures (the Museum of Glass, Point Defiance Zoo and aquarium), a card from the office and the most recent visitor and convention bureau magazine.

The office was very friendly. Unlike Premier, there was no office gnome, but I enjoyed chatting about Tacoma and hearing about their office.

Until Next Time,

27 November, 2007

Where I should have started

Traveling along Pacific Avenue over the weekend, I found a storefront at the Marriott Hotel that said 'information'.

This seems to be THE place for people to understand about all things Tacoma.

The office is just over 100 square feet, but it is packed, I mean PACKED with information about Tacoma, Pierce County, and the neighbors to the North.

I had a great conversation with the gentleman there. He's been in town for decades ... even remembers the Skookum Indian outside of C.H. Manley's Cigar shop on Pacific Avenue.

My tale of being in Tacoma for awhile intrigued him, and he called his boss at the visitor bureau to inquire if there was any sort of help they needed.

Carly Stedman was delighted to hear I was around (she's been following my adventures) and offered me a short internship to help her out.

I gladly accepted, and headed the five blocks towards downtown to lend a hand.

Until Next Time,

21 November, 2007

Feeding Tacoma

TG: Mr. Freitas, thank you for opening up your space for an interview today. I notice you're tall, how did that happen?

KF: My mother told me I could be anything I want so I decided not to be short.

TG: Amazing. You're a great Tacoma booster. What brought you to Tacoma?

KF: College at first. I went to PLU then got hooked once my wife and I rented in the North Slope area. We bought a house a couple years later and now both live and work at the same places here in Tacoma.

TG: There it is again, PLU. I should hop out there to check it out. You're the proprietor of FeedTacoma. What is the purpose behind FeedTacoma?

KF: FeedTacoma brings together all the great passionate Tacoma blog voices in one place. I built it first because I'm lazy and didn't want to browse a bunch of different sites and second because I wanted to create a powerful local resource that relies on no single person. With over 30 blog contributors it's easy for a constant stream of content to flow to the readers without any individual having to do all the work themself.

TG: So, it has nothing to do with food.

KF: Well, many of us are keen to review places we eat. We had our first FeedTacoma Feed event on Nov. 14 at Puget Sound Pizza.

TG: I'm sorry I missed that. I hear their breakfast sandwiches are amazing! But, FeedTacoma, there's no food at ... all? So what is the "Feed" about?

KF: The "Feed" in FeedTacoma initially stood for the RSS feed technology that works to pull content together for the blogs. It moreso points to the desire to feed Tacoman's info about everything from blogs and events to discussions, local photos and video, and even political satire via the Tacomic.

TG: Wonderful! I've also seen you at the opening of the new Narrows Bridge. You were working on getting lights or something?

KF: Yup. I'm part of the group trying to light the bridges using solar power and super effecient LED lighting.

TG: The bridge is quite the engineering feat, we once built a bridge across a creek in my home community. Lights were incredibly important. My neighbor trained 75 fireflies to sit on the suspension strings to light it up. It was amazing, and brought in gnomes from all over Norway to see the sight.
KF: That's great. Did you have any troll -- I mean tolls to help pay for the bridge?

TG: We built the bridge together, as a community. So once a year we gather to do any repairs and have a feast to celebrate our bridge. What else can we expect in the future from Kevin Freitas?

KF: Since I'm a web developer by day I'll keep adding all sorts of great features to FeedTacoma and continue to snap photos of everything I see. I also hope to get back into playing my trumpet and/or sining here in town. My wife and I were both musicians through college and want to exercise that love.

TG: Music is certainly something beautiful to share.
KF: After some more practice it will be. I got kinda' rusty not playing for a few years. Fortunately, working my embouchure out with my wife is never a problem. ;)

TG: Any last words?

KF: Thanks for contributing to FeedTacoma yourself! Many best wishes as you get to know our great City. Maybe sometime we can catch a game of foosball at Meconi's.

TG: Sounds like a great idea! Keep up the great work, and we'll see each other in our travels, I'm sure.

Visiting Mr. Freitas

I enjoyed the rain and bamboo for an hour, and I realized I needed to keep to my appointment with Mr. Kevin Freitas.

After making sure the coast was clear, I approached the front stoop of the address Mr. Freitas had sent me.

Interestingly enough I met a nice lad on his porch. An unusual creature, it appeared to have straw for limbs and brains, but he was quite nice. When I inquired as to what his name was, he would only say that he was there to scare crows. Quite a strange response, but he said he was hired out to keep the birds away.

With our gnome hats, vibrantly bright red for our surroundings, the birds will typically keep away from the territory.

Mr. Freitas greeted me with a warm smile and a hand wave. I said farewell to the scare crow. and entered his home.

It is a beautifully remodeled and well kept home.

I spent a moment getting acquainted with Lu, the cat of Mr. Freitas. We had a brief conversation, as cats can be a bit self-centered. He enjoys living in the neighborhood, and appreciates being associated with the Freitas clan.

I asked Lu about Kevin's web projects. Lou couldn't keep track of the number of projects or sites that Mr. Freitas has his name attached to, so Lu suggested I sit down with Kevin and talk.

Of course, Mr. Freitas was busy, and we had to wait awhile before we could chat.

Until Next Time,

PS Time is ticking on the Delicious Sweet Hope chocolate ...

20 November, 2007

In the bamboo

It's hard to wait.

In the rain.

Amongst the bamboo.

Glazed with anticipation.

Of what Feeds Tacoma.

19 November, 2007

Excellent Chocolate ... Great Cause

The family who helped me get to Tacoma is doing a wonderful thing right now.

Elle is making some delicious chocolates and caramels, and selling them in time for the holidays.

I encourage you to take a moment to check out her Sweet Hope chocolates. Fifty percent of each purchase goes to pre-adoptive families to help relieve some of the financial stress that comes with adopting.

I had the chance to taste these delectable delights when she made them in May this year, a few short months before my trip.

Please, take a look, and order!

Until Next Time,

14 November, 2007

MySpaces --

With apologies for my sparse posting these past few days, I would like to present a new webpage that I have.

Some of you might be familiar with the MySpace.

I am relatively new at it, but have been collecting friends like a squirrel hiding its nuts before the winter.

If you would like to be a friend of mine or want me to be a friend of yours, please feel free to do so here:

My MySpace page.

Until Next Time,

08 November, 2007

It FINALLY arrived!

Hume and I have been on pins and needles today.

I have had more 'coffee' than I can imagine, just trying to stay awake ... but it looks like our product is finally here.

Hume brought me the first copy, and it is AMAZING!

The writing is clear, photos are amazing. This office is an amazing hub of talent!

Here is the cover:

It probably won't be distributed very far or wide, as Gnomes are quite the niche market.

But I will treasure this piece of work that Hume and I worked so diligently to perfect.

Well, today is my last day here at Premier Media Group. Thank you to Lisa, Josh and the wonderful staff. Hume, thank you for sticking together with me to get our publication produced.

I encourage everyone to check out South Sound Magazine!

Until Next Time,

07 November, 2007

Overnight work at Premier Media

Throughout the afternoon Hume and I discussed how we could possibly remedy the Gnome trap problem.

We knew that it would be hard to get rid of the trap completely, let alone the employee who left it around.

We decided that there is probably some misunderstanding as to our ability in the publication industry. Hume figured we should overcome that.

So, as the office started to clear out towards the end of the day, I took my position inside the conference room.

Obviously keeping perfectly still is a talent that I possess. To my advantage, once I took my place, no one came into the room.

Hume was at his usual place in Lisa's office.

We stayed still for about 45 minutes, as from time to time people tend to come back after leaving as they forget things.

I took the time to get into Mr. Dunn's office. We didn't break anything to get there, so we figure that we are in the clear.

I was able to pour a cup of 'coffee', my it's tasty, bitter and strong. Perfect for my 200 year old palate. We don't have coffee as a species. We mainly drink tea.

After awhile, I picked up a good sense of layout and design (Gnomes are fast learners). I then took a moment to review their website for the South Sound Magazine.

Hume and I were ready to begin on a special edition of South Sound Magazine.

We set to work, sketching, designing and laying out pages.

We hung up the proofs to review, and to be sure that the order was correct.

By 5:00 this morning, we were ready to ship off our special edition to the printer.

We expect to have a published copy by this evening, or late, late tonight.

I'm excited to share it with the staff at the office ... just to say, "see, this is what we can accomplish as two gnomes!"

Until Next Time,

06 November, 2007

Lunch break threats

When I returned from lunch Hume showed this to me ...

It appears to be a North American Gnome trap. Obviously, it is too small for me, but perfect for Hume.

What bothers me more is that it says it is for computer gnomes. Hume uses a computer!

This is certainly not fair.

The desk where he found this (thank goodness he can read enough to avoid the trap) has been vacant these past few days, apparently this co-worker has issues with Hume.

Hume and I will remedy this problem ... it may cost me my internship, but I believe it is the right thing to do ... for the safety of Hume and all North American Gnomes.

Please understand that PMG is a fine place to work, and I will, as a part of this plan, let the President of our company know what is afoot. This one co-worker just needs to be found out.

Until Next Time,

City Work Day 1

Today I begin my internship with Premier Media Group.

Upon entering the office this morning, Lisa Patterson directed me to the front desk. My task was very simple ... Answer the phone and direct visitors to where they need to go.

It is common hospitality. As a Gnome, I'm designed to be courteous, kind, cheerful and obedient.

So it was a piece of kransekake. And like (one of) my favorite holiday dishes it was enjoyable ... well, most of it.

I had a slight problem seeing people coming through the door. Oh, I could hear them down the hall, down the stairs opening the door. But to see them, it was horrible! I asked Lisa if there was another task I could perform.

She graciously obliged and suggested that I create "photo copies".

I grabbed my camera to follow her. She laughed. "No, we use a photo copier for that."

I was quite confused because she wasn't carrying any photos with her.

We arrived at the photo copier apparatus. I figured, by the way it works that only pixies could generate so many photo-copies in such a small space. It certainly wasn't an elf or anything, as they would be quite cramped. Plus, pixies are much more prone to understand the art of copying and the work of words.

I felt really sad for them when Lisa said to photo-copy 100 pages.

But they worked really hard and succeeded in only a few minutes!

Once that was done, Lisa sent me to help organize a desk and assigned me some other work.

I utilized the zebra files. These were helpful in getting things to their proper place. I noticed the gentleman who sits next to my desk secured his education from a place known as Pacific Lutheran University. I took a break from filing to check out the university online. Wow. It seems to be a place where I could learn a bit about Norway. I'll have to visit there, too.

Oh, my, where was I ... Yes. Sorting. After sorting and arranging the desk, I was asked to learn a bit about pmg and what is called 'layout' of a magazine.

I did my research. Then, before I knew ... it was time to go!

It is fun to be interning here!

Until Next Time,

05 November, 2007

Interview and Internship

I am so excited to tell my friends and family that I landed some 'city work'!

Rather than fix the old burrow or plant crops, I am working this week at Premier Media Group.

They have a diverse selection of publications that feature the South Sound. Plus the do marketing for various niches of businesses. They even do work for my favorite day spa.

Upon my arrival, Josh Dunn, the President of pmg, took me into the office. I had the opportunity to look out his window.

He was certain to let me know that they are an open office, and already had a garden gnome working there. Hume, whom I met later at a staff meeting, is a North American Gnome. His branch of our species trekked across Siberia and followed you humans to the Northwest portion of what you call North America. Considerably smaller than us Norwegian Gnomes, North American Gnomes are agile, fast, and just a kick in the pants at celebrations!

I kid him and call him a Gnome's Gnome ... due to his size.

Josh made it clear to me that I was to stick to answering the phone and making photocopies.

I turned around from the view and accepted my first 'city job'.

And, insofar as I know, I am the first Norwegian Gnome to work in an office on St. Helens Avenue in Tacoma.

My first task today was to join a staff meeting.

I can't tell who is who from this photo, it was my first day, after all. But as you can see, each of their diverse publications even bring a smile to their faces. We have a Gnome saying, and Hume even knows this one ... "A good product must have come from a joyful workplace."

Tomorrow will be a most exciting day!

Until Next Time,
Tacoma Gnome

02 November, 2007

UPDATE: Lefse and Holiday Bazaars

I must admit, today was the first day I spent time in a kitchen.

It was quite a learning experience.

My goal today on All Hallow's Day was to spend some time doing something that reminded me of my home.

I found it while walking along your North 17th Street, towards the Narrows bridges.

To my surprise, a reader board announced a "Holiday Bazaar" on Nov. 3. I stopped in to inquire, and my dear online friends, I did forget my camera today.

Apparently many houses of worship sponsor holiday bazaars for people to sell their handiworks.

Seeing as I had no handiworks to sell, I thought I'd help make the traditional Norwegian Flat Bread known as lefse.

Oh, dear Hanne, you'd be so proud of me for rolling and cooking these wonderful treats! I was able to test some of my handiwork ... soft, not crisp ... with a bit of butter, sugar and cinnamon.

I wish you'd be able to try my completed product, but, I know you will be unable. I'll check into sending you some soon.

For those of you who are closer, you can go and see this holiday Bazaar at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 6730 N 17th Street. The event beings at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Feel free to list any other Bazaar's in the comments section, such a great way to fill some of those gift lists this holiday season.

Until Next Time,
Tacoma Gnome

Update: Unknown to me one of the helpful lefse makers took some photos yesterday:

If you're interested in going, you can just find these signs tomorrow morning:

Here I am rolling out the dough. It's really a challenge to roll it as thin as it needs to be.

And here I am enjoying the spoils of hard work. A little butter, sugar and viola! a delicious holiday treat.

Technical difficulties

The good news is that I have received photos from yesterday's Lefse adventure!

The not-good news is that the computer machine is not letting me get them to the posts at this time.

We should be back with pictures to illustrate yesterday's post soon.

Thank you for your patience.