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31 December, 2007


Rather than look back, I'm looking forward to the excitement of 2008.

Of course, as I said in my interview in City Arts magazine, I'm excited about today's First Night celebration, and might meander about the downtown festivities this evening.

Next year will kick off with a bang as a share some new adventures in frequently seen but seldom explored venues.

I'm looking forward to the spring so I can get out and about in the parks system.

Oh, and the people. I have some interviews lined up for January of the artistic, the gritty and the witty.

Anyway, be proud of your community. It's growing. I'll explore, you enjoy.

Until Next Time,

27 December, 2007

First Night

Honestly, it's a bit confusing. On December 31, the downtown of Tacoma will come alive with an event that is known as "First Night".

But it happens on the last night of the year. I guess it rolls into next year at the end, either way I'm excited to have my button (only $7, available at fine places like King's Books and LeRoy Jewelers, Glenna's Clothing, the Museum of Glass, Sanford & Son and the Broadway Center).

The events are extensive, and I don't have time to list all of them but you can see a list by venue here.

Many of the downtown museums will be open as well, the list is here.

Oh, dear I have no idea what I'm getting into by being a part of this celebration next week, but I do know it will be a fun and exciting time, as things are when communities get together.

I'm looking forward to this next year, and the exciting places to explore.

Until Next Time,

26 December, 2007

A call from the city (one-day internship)

It's not every day I get a call from people on the blog ... but shortly after this morning's post, I received a call from the city's spokesperson ... he was down one office person today due to a birthday, and asked that I come down a fill in for a bit.

I was a bit surprised, and inquired as to why I would be as fortunate to fill in for a few hours. It seems like Tacoma Booster and business communication person Roxanne Murphy took the time off today to celebrate her birthday! I wish her the best, and to my judgment, she's probably about 25 or 26, and a gentle, sweet person. Both Mr. McNair-Huff and Ms Murphy are avid fans of these pages, so he felt this would be a natural fit.

I rarely ask my forest friends for help here in the city, but I was needed and hitched a ride over with one of the deer I met previously in the Puget Creek Restoration area.

I waited for Mr. McNair-Huff. While he was finishing up his phone call, I read the City of Tacoma Vision statement.
The City of Tacoma will be recognized as a livable and progressive international city, regarded for the richness of its multi-cultural population and its natural setting.
What a wonderful ideal. I have found this to be a vibrant city with an emerging identity and the diversity between areas is amazing.

I was given my own temporary spot on the work board. I signed in and was ready to examine my temporary workspace.

As you can see this, I think Mr. McNair-Huff called it a 'cubicle', sports Tacoma pride. The "You'll Like Tacoma" poster, from what I understand, is popular. So much so that the slogan has its own song. Our friends at GritCity had some things to say about the poster earlier this year.

I positioned myself in perhaps the most comfortable chair I have had the pleasure of sitting in since I left Norway. From this perch I can see the hustle and bustle of St. Helen's street. All sorts of creative and interesting people go in and out of the businesses across the way. The juxtaposition of which, I am told, is rather interesting.

I was ready for any emergency that might emerge in the world of City and business relations. I waited in anticipation for the next news release to write or Seattle business to contact so I could woo them here with my enthusiasm and love of this city.

After five minutes, I continued exploring this 'cubicle'.

I became enthralled with all the posters, from I Love Tacoma stickers, skiing slope maps, to this handy Pierce Transit main route map for the city. Certainly resources that Ms Murphy needs in the day to day operations of her position.

I believe that Mr. McNair-Huff heard me roaming through the cubicle, as after just an hour or so he came by.

Apparently, this being the day after Christmas and all, there was really not much work to be done. So he bid me farewell, after donning my head with a fine TAGRO hat.

My hopes were dashed, but I found a new appreciation of Ms Murphy's position within the city. I hope her birthday went well.

When I returned to my living space, there was another e-mail for another internship, which I will go to tomorrow and be sure to post about it early next week.

Until Next Time,

PS Readers might recall that a local columnist named Natasha Gorbachev recently posted a column regarding yours truly. Responses came from Exit133 and GritCity. If you see Miss Gorbachev please remind her that there is a pizza dinner on the line, should she be told who I am. I also ask that she abide by the requests both bloglications made in relation to my official travel logger's identity. It be fair to invite me along, as I am just a simple garden Gnome.

Suite 133 Party Photos

I had a marvelous time with Ms Rhodes at the Suite 133 office party.

Here I am with Rob McNair-Huff. He's in the community relations office for the city. Quite a nice chap, with a good sense of humor. I understand that he is also interested in birds ... and exercise.

This lass is Jamie Chase. She's a dynamo at Jay Ray. And she is involved in many, many projects around town, including the new Tacoma Art Place.

This is Cheryl from Sanford and Son. A very nice lady, and I'd certainly enjoy getting a tour of their place in the future. If the feel and sound of their MySpace page is anything, I think I would be quite cozy in their store of antiques.

The room was packed with local celebrities and shoppe owners. Here is Marty Campbell, proprietor of not only Buzzard's Records, (of which I visited here), but also Stadium Video.

Finally, this cute little human offered me a smooch on the nose. I hope she had a merry Christmas. I hope each of you did as well.

Until Next Time,

20 December, 2007

Last minute shopping

While wandering through the Proctor District on Wednesday, I noticed that the Pacific Northwest Shop had just opened its doors for the day. So I stepped inside to see if I could find a wee gift for Hanne.

Little did I know they will be celebrating 30 years of business next year!

Just wow. I have never seen such a wide variety of local products. Each item is either made or produced here in the Northwest, and that includes a small of our neighbors to the North, British Columbia.

Mugs emblazoned with images from the Birdge of Glass, and beautiful glass bowls and other knick knacks. All made in this region.

Of course, there is a bountiful feast of sweet treats, smoked salmon and other assorted NW products.

It took me nearly an hour to choose what I should purchase for my friends and family. But to start with, I settled upon a coffee mug, small bag of Brown & Haley's Almond Roca and a calendar.

I got the calendar for Hanne, I hope she enjoys it. I remember one time we were invited to a friends house to go over some plans. We wrote each other a note, and made sure that things were settled nicely. Somehow, though, we ended up attending two weeks late! It was certainly embarrassing, and we scheduled again for a future time.

I hope this might help prevent the problem in the future. Though, I have to admit, it is now quite funny.

If you have shopping to do, I highly recommend this cornerstone of the Proctor District.

Their address is: 2702 N Proctor Street

Oh, and of note, be sure to pick up this month's South Sound Magazine! Page 18 has a little blurb on this Norwegian visitor. Thank you Ms Lisa!

Finally, there are still T-shirts available.

Until Next Time,

18 December, 2007

Your beer packs a punch

A few nights ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a large group of bloggers at Suite 133.

My 'date', Ms Whitney Rhodes, was a gracious hostess and friend ... she introduced me to countless people. I hope I helped to increase her standing in the community. She's a hard, dedicated worker for Exit133 and other organizations in town.

Ms Zesty at Zesty Enterprise did the honours of instructing me on the American tradition of "chugging". Quite an interesting concept. Though 10 of your ounces is quite a punch for this Gnome of the Norwegian North, and though I can handle Glogg at that level ... after two of those 'chugging' I was dancing with the elves on the head of a needle.

So, I remember me giving directions to Ms Rhodes. Being a woodland creature, I forgot that I have been living in a suitcase and a house the past few months, I directed her to the Puget Creek Gulch area (a place that my heart is fond of for how it reminds me of home).

There I have been for the past few days. Apparently hops and wheat or whatever else was in that beverage certainly put me in a daze. The deer out there appreciate the restoration that has been going on, but are worried that the area might be encroached upon by new building technologies. Oh, and they apologies to eating the rose buds of their human neighbors, but the buds are quite tasty!

I emerged at some sort of training ground for children. It was late, but a gentleman there took some photos for me to share. Once he sends them to me, I'll be sure to post them for your enjoyment.

Until Next Time,

14 December, 2007

Big night!

Well tonight, I am going to Suite 133's open house/holiday party.

My good friend, Ms Rhodes has agreed to take me around the party and introduce me to the people that show up.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get some great pictures! I'll share them with you next week.

Until Next Time,

10 December, 2007

David the Gnome

I found something amazing on Youtube today, and thought I would share it with Tacoma.

When David decided to do this series with his wife, Lisa, in 1985, many of us gnomes laughed at them, but when it first aired in 1987, the cartoon seemed to do okay.

We were quite concerned for our safety with such a blatant showing of our world, but the producers worked hard to use sets and mask locations.

Parts are certainly embellished, David and his "magic" was mainly special effects. The sets were designed to be accurate, so it will give you an idea of my home.

None of us were surprised when his first appearance was in the bathtub. He was rather the exhibitionist.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this brief primer on the Gnome world.

Oh, and please stop by and get a warm "Where Would the TacomaGnome Go" sweatshirt or a nice mug for someone you care about this holiday season!

Until Next Time,

07 December, 2007

Friday surprise

Dear Tacoma,

As my gift to you this holiday season, I have been working hard.

I have been working to highlight this delightful city, it's businesses and its people.

In between all of this, I decided that some of you might enjoy a token of pride for this project.

I am not a salesman, but just a simple farmer turned traveler and observer. If you click here, you will find my first attempt at a heart-filled shirt for you to don with pride. Soon, I will work with a few local merchants to offer different designs, hopefully this first attempt will tide you through the holidays.

Hopefully we'll meet soon.

Until Next Time,

05 December, 2007

A little bit more about the conference

I just need to share a bit more about the conference ...

Here I am with some of the notable bloggers in the South Sound, it is a privledge to be sitting next to them. From left to right, Derek Young, whom I interviewed here, then there is Patrick, who came down from West Seattle to speak of their blog. He was very clear that he does not blog, but is the face of the blog. Next is the ever popular tacomamama. And finally Elle.

Oh, and yours truly.

The next panel was How Parent Bloggers are Transforming Community. Moderated by Alicia Lawver, this panel discussed how parents are building virtual communities through their blogs. This was a great one to listen to, it was especially nice to see Elle and spend some time with her. Another perspective came from Beast Mom, who blogs at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, I don't have reason to travel north, but should the opportunity present itself, I certainly wouldn't mind meeting the crew behind the City Arts magazine.

After the parent panel, there was a presentation by Kevin Freitas, but I needed to leave for a moment to find the gnome's water closet. Dear goodness, there is some work to be done on the facilities. When I built my home, I figured that much time would be spent in the WC, so I built an ornate toilet so I could appreciate my time that I spend in there. I'll attempt to get a photo from Hanne to share one of these days.

The last section I was on civic blogging. I've mentioned Patrick already, then there is Justin Carder from the Capitol Hill Blog. As well as Derek Young.

It was a great opportunity to put faces to blogs, and discuss where things are going in, what one person called "the blogosphere", which is funny because it implies an actual location.

Oh, and today I received a comment from a distant cousin in Ireland. I'll be sure to respond here in the next day or so. If you'd like to be one of the tags, post a comment. Any comment you'd like (remember my family reads this, too, and I have two young children (both 50 years old)). I'll choose the 8 best commentators and put them in the tag for the post.

Until Next Time,

04 December, 2007

In the conference

I was happy to get inside the auditorium and find my seat. I was extremely worried that I would be unable to see the panelists, and have to wait for the video to come out before I could enjoy the conversation completely.

This worry was quickly overcome when I found the reserved section for speakers was in the front row.

Oh! By the way, Mr. Freitas has put the videos of this all here, should you want to see what went on. Yours truly is mentioned in the "A Basic Introductory Tour Through Notable Blogs" video.

Andrew Fry opened this 8th annual conference and introduced my new friend, Congressman Adam Smith.

The first panel consisted of Kathy Gill of the University of Washington, Matt Rosenberg of the Cascadia Prospectus, and Mr. David Zeeck, Executive Editor of the Tacoma News Tribune. I was excited to see Mr. Zeeck in person, as my first photo away from the garden included a News Tribune. Oh, over my right shoulder is Mr. Mark Briggs, also of the TNT. He is moderating a session on how Blogging has transformed the news.

I'd have to say that blogging has certainly made it easier for me to inform my relatives in Norway of any new news in seconds, rather than waiting the months that it used to take using the post.

After the press section, Mr. Fry gave a presentation highlighting some blogs of note.

This is how I felt as he presented TacomaGnome:

Though I shouldn't let my ego get too large, as I am just a simple woodland Gnome who has the fortunate position of being part of your community for a short while.

Thank you.

Until Next Time,

03 December, 2007

South Sound Technology Conference

I was excited when the professor called me a few weeks back to invite me to attend the South Sound Technology Conference.

Being one of very few blogging gnomes on the internet, I felt it would be great to meet other bloggers from the area. Especially because I stick in Tacoma for my travels.

Then, I heard that elle was going to be a panelist, and that sealed the deal.

Registration began at 8:30. Seeing as I'm still many miles south of the latitude line of my residence in Norway, that hour was bright and chipper for me, I've been thankful for the extra light this winter season.

Wherever I go, people seem to smile, it helps that they rarely see a gnome in Tacoma. Though during your holiday season right now, I keep on getting inquiries about working for a Santa Claus. My cousins in Norway would laugh, as much of the work done by "Santa" is done by them.

I registered, and the nice ladies put my name tag on my hat for me. I made an exception to the hat rule so that people would have an easier time seeing who I am.

I knew there would be some important people there, but I did not expect to be noticed, nor have the opportunity to take a picture with them.

Hanne, this is a picture of me and Congressman Adam Smith. He's in the House of Representatives, a part of the US legislative branch. I was pleased to meet and talk with him. He's not only a friendly guy with a great sense of humor, but he really has a great understanding on the issues of his district and the country.

Until Next Time,

PS Thank you for your wonderful support!