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19 May, 2008

Never ever again land

Many may have seen the column written by Kathleen Merryman in Saturday's paper.

Last Wednesday, the rotting shells of homes were torn down at the Never Never Land Amusement park.

Deeply rooted in the memories of thousands of children ... when this place was at its peak, it was probably amazing!

We gnomes know, that all good things do come to an end. I was pleased at my visit there, and to have the ability to appear in a film to boot!

The crew filled me in during the filming that the poor floors of the houses were just mush, and one or two members put their feet through the rotting wood.

Apparently the homes that Mr. Flitwick was showing me were doomed to fall. I was certainly hoping to move into the gingerbread house ... but I will continue my adventures until a home is found.

Until Next Time,

15 May, 2008

OTM: North End, 110kr

The North End has some wonderful deals, you just have to know the right people. So, I'm rather lucky to be able to share these with you.

Shelton told me that this was the beginning of a rather huge development at 5629 Five Mile Drive in the North End. The foot print looks to be a relatively spacious home for a Gnome such as myself. And, if I wanted, I could take the time to buy the lot next door and make a burrow like at home in Norway.

I liked the location, but hardly have the time to wait for the construction to be completed, plus I know I would be a bother to the workers with last second changes and the like.

This charming home looked wonderful from a distance. The design is such that it reminds me of tasty sweet treats.

Shelton said it is listed at about 100 kr. With the Norwegian Krone's high exchange rate right now (it's about 5 US dollars to 1 kr right now), this might be a great investment.

The owner was home, and we asked to look around.

I'm normally pretty optimistic and really look for the good in people. But this woman was quite the witch. She mentioned something about wanting to fatten me up, and that it was unusual for children of my stature to have facial hair.

Oh well, we decided it would be best to just walk around the yard.

And, of course, there, in the back, we saw an amazing feature! Both an indoor and outdoor fireplace.

I had not thought of how practical it would be to cook outside in the summer months, but it certainly makes sense now.

Plus, there is the option of natural lighting from the roof. I needed to only remove the boards.

I also appreciated the green roof. It is more environmentally friendly than I expected it to be.

Then there was this beauty, just down the street.

It is open and airy, and has a certain at-home, but away from home feel about it.

Much like a bungalow style home, there are some amazing built-ins, and it has especially easy access to the ground below its foundation.

Quite a great feature for future expansions into the earth.

I have to thank Mr. Shelton Flitwick for helping me explore some home options. I hope to return and see if one of these are available for purchase in the near future.

But, for now, I think I may just stick with my travels.

Until Next Time,

14 May, 2008

Exploring Point Defiance

The weather the past few days has been nothing short of mild, and that is quite exciting.

The rain has beaten down some of the dust and allergens in our skies, and I was excited to take a venture into Point Defiance Park.

What an urban jewel!

This 702 acre park is perhaps one of the best pieces of legislation signed by your President Grover Cleveland in 1888. With his simple signature, the land owned by the federal government was turned over to the city of Tacoma for use as a public park.

I have to admit, I did get a bit home sick exploring the woods. At one point, I startled one of the deer. At home, I am accustomed to hearing from them what is going on in the woods. But this North American deer was not concerned with anything. By her startled look, I can only assume she is unaccustomed with my species.

I found this nice rock wall to climb. It had well placed foot holds for my stature. I conquered it quickly, and was able to survey the land, and I felt like I had been here before.

Wanting to act on this feeling, I strode down a few of the trails and came upon a small wishing well.

I was able to get on the edge and balance myself nicely. I walked around the well a few times, with no problem. Soon, though, I became too confident, and my foot slipped on a tiny patch of moss.

I was trapped for fifteen, maybe thirty, of your minutes until morning jogger heard my cries for help.

He dusted me off, and helped me regain my balance.

After all was clear, he said, "Hey, aren't you that gnome from TV?"

I had to explain that that gnome is an actor, hence why he is on the television. I am an explore and observer who happens to like Tacoma. In fact, I said that I was thinking about settling down in Tacoma soon, and Point Defiance's woods lead me to believe that there are good urban forests in which Gnomes could reside.

"Well, you're in luck!" He said with a twinkle. And as quick as a Frost Giant being angered at the mention of Odin's name, he pulled a business card out ... "I'm Shelton, Shelton Flitwick, and I help people realize their financial goals through real estate. If you're moving here, or considering settling down, I can help you understand the market and the homes available."

I could not find any reason to turn down his offer to help me once more.

"Sure," I said.

Mr. Flitwick asked me some questions about location, number of rooms, location, number of bathrooms, and also location.

We scheduled a time for later this week to go and explore some homes.

I can hardly wait to hear what he comes up with!

Until Next Time,

12 May, 2008

72-Hour film fest role

I am pleased to share with you my most recent film!

Many thanks ... the crew was wonderful to work with, and I appreciate the opportunity to play a character that is quite divergent from my true self!

Blogland Murders from Kevin Freitas on Vimeo.

Until Next Time,

07 May, 2008

A sample of the larger picture, my talkie debut

After nearly 9 months of exploring Tacoma, I was approached by an aspiring film artist, Adamthealien, to appear in a documentary about my life.

The current production is in post-production, but he has posted a brief, I guess it is called a 'preview,' of the talkie motion picture.

Though there is one word that some may find objectionable, I believe the term is Never Satisfactory for the Workplace, it is a fine preview for the upcoming event.

It may be a month out, but to my friends, Tacomaboy, Bobble Tiki, Sluggy, or any other exploring bloggers in Tacoma, stay tuned for the time and location for my, no, our, world premier!

Until Next Time,

06 May, 2008

Wow. What a weekend!

Thank you to the artists this weekend.

I am, frankly exhausted after such a busy three days.

It will be exciting to see how everything turns out.

Until Next Time,

02 May, 2008

Frost Park Challenge

I had the joy of being at Frost Park in Tacoma today around the noon hour. Apparently a large group of people who like Tacoma show up each week ... rain, snow or sunshine, to appreciate and use the park.

Named for Larry Frost, a Tacoma police officer who was killed in the line of duty, this park is a wonderful respite from the busy streets of downtown. Mr. RR Anderson (whom I admire from my visit with him a couple of months ago) posted this helpful link to the city of Tacoma site to learn more about Mr. Frost.

So I stood, waiting, as Gnomes are prone to do, for the festivities to begin.

As the contest got started, I worked my way over to the contest site, and was immediately in the camera spotlight. On my right, Adamthealien. Back and to my left, Mr. Chris Tumbusch.

I was quite surprised at all the attention, when's own Tacoma Urbanist, Erik Bjornson, snapped a few photos of me as well.

I chose to do what I do best ... guard non-moving objects. So, I took a position behind the chalk, to see that all artists had a fair shake at getting something on the sidewalk. Of course, it couldn't last long.

This young lass was picking up random bloggers off the street and running off with them. I hope that she doesn't catch up with Bobble Tiki, or at least Bobble keeps a keen eye out for her. Before you know it, you're half way down the street, near a corner, or just about ready to be put into her vehicle.

Aside from a near gnome-gnapping, this was an excellent event, and I encourage anyone who would like to vote on their favorite to go and post a comment here.

It is a wonderful community building event ... I look forward to more in the very near future.

Until Next Time,

01 May, 2008

The Watcher

Being an ecologically-friendly store, there were many things to stop and examine in my now quest for the watcher.

First, I found this great rain collection device. It would certainly come in handy to limit the use of drinking water for watering plants. The neat thing about this barrel, is that it has a screen on top, and the brass hookups for water hoses already attached and good to go! You need to only find a downspout to put it near.

I then found some gnome-sized rakes and tools. These would probably work well for your children to help you out in the garden. There are even child, err, gnome-sized knee pads available!

Then, around the corner from the rack, I saw him. He is a bit younger than myself, but a gnome nonetheless.

We discussed the old country, and then, strangely, he asked me about snowboarding. I have to admit that I thought my little trek to the St. Helens mountain this past week was to go unnoticed, but I guess my travel companion went back up there a few days ago, and has been communicating via signs for the past few days.

The watcher went to to say that it is becoming a good time for gnomes across the city, and lovers of gnomes to be ready to explore outside of their homes and gardens and to enjoy the city of Tacoma.

I thought it was a nice sentiment.

Watcher then went back to watching the garden store.

But he's waiting for someone to come and give him a garden to look over.

I'll even come visit once he as found a home.

Until Next Time,

PS Thank you to Travis and Gabe for the opportunity to check out GardenSphere.

30 April, 2008

Finding Mouser

As I explored Gardensphere, hiding from Mouser, I found this sign.

Obviously, given my slightly poor English reading skills, this sign states that Mouse isn't too far away from me, and that he is friendly as a cat goes. It also says that Mouser has something to tell me.

I searched around the area, and only saw more and more plants.

Then, I encountered Mouser.

A small-ish cat, at a bit skittish, a very nice interaction. Mouser said that there had been rumours of my travels. Travis and Gabe, the owners of Gardensphere, had found a few gnomes roaming around, and are offering up their services for garden protection around the city of Tacoma.

Due to these rumours, Mouser had been waiting for me, and had a message that I needed to speak with a garden guardian gnome before I left.

I appreciated the heads up, thanked Mouser for the advice and set off to find the guardian.

Until Next Time,

29 April, 2008

Spring is here ... think Gardensphere!

Along Proctor, just north of the bridge and Puget Park, I happened upon a re-designed automobile service station.

The building is beautiful, and even moreso for this Norwegian garden gnome, there is a wonderful selection of gardening plants. Gardenshpere is an organic shop, and they offer a wide variety of tools as well.

I had heard rumors of a cat, named Mouser, in this location. I had to keep a low profile until I could physically assess the strengths of the feline.

These pots, were an excellent spot to hide, but my vantage point was poorly chosen, and I could hardly see where Mouser was.

Inside, I found a better place to hide and observe.

Until Next Time,

11 April, 2008

I am back!

I am well rested, refreshed, and renewed.

This has been an experience, traveling via boat, then by road to return to Tacoma, the city that I love dearly.

The packaging was well suited for my, at times, petite stature.

Thankfully there was a kind shipper that tore this hole in the packaging so I could breathe on my way here.

It was good to see family and friends in Norway. Sadly, I was called away due to the death of my Grandmother, Lilly. She will be remembered as a strong soul, one who dealt with many challenges in the past, and was able to overcome.

She loved to host parties. I remembered when I was about 100, she introduced me to parsnips; their pugnant flavor intrigued my senses. Once, when she left for a few moments to do some shopping one day, I leaped on the opportunity to fry myself my first egg. It was a quail egg, and I used the smallest cast iron pan I could find.

I'll share more memories in the coming months.

It is fitting that I return on what is to be the most spring-like weekend of the year!

Oh glorious sun, I have missed ye!

19 March, 2008

Finally, a connection.

It's been a few weeks; maybe months ... I don't know.

Right now, I'm at my first world-wide-web connection since I left.

I'm shipping myself back to Tacoma.

Yes. Shipping.

It's cheaper than flying coach, as it costs only about 10 dollars.

But, I'll be back soon enough to share stories and to explore.

Now, to only figure out if that 10 dollars covers sea shipping or air mail.

We shall see.

Until Next Time,

31 January, 2008

History Mystery

Anonymous writes in the comments:

Seeing how you know a lot about Tacoma, what do you make of the picture Here at Found Magazine today?

It was Found in a book in Seattle, but the TAC written on the picture suggests it was taken in Tacoma in 1960. I Love your Blog.

I appreciate that anonymous enjoys reading this blog. He or she is a an occasional poster in the comments section.

Honestly, dear reader, I have no clue where this might be. One of the commentators at Found hypothesized that much of Tacoma, like Seattle, is on reclaimed bay areas.

You need to only see the lack of damage and claims from the 2001 Nisqually earthquake to know that Tacoma is on solid ground. It s a distinctive difference compared to the build-then-fill of Seattle's history.

But I open this one to our readers ... is this Tacoma? Could it be part of the port? Part of Point Defiance? Could it be the original attempt at a town center for our friends in University Place?

I'd love to hear what our experts have to say.

29 January, 2008

"One Man's Junk" at the Lark

I had the chance to attend the Adam Poskie show on Third Thursday in January. It was a festive event at the Lark Gallery inside Sanford and Son.

I was greeted with wine and smiles from Gretchen, whom I found out had some neat designs featuring a gnome that never were developed. And here I am for her. We shared a few jokes and a bit of wine before she showed me the rounds in the gallery.

This is the ultimate combination of recycling and beautiful art! This one, I believe, is painted on sheet rock using leftover paints. I love the simplicity of the rectangles and the boldness of the colors. Not to mention the stroke patterns.

This piece was quite moving. It reminded me of the chaos of creation, Odin and the constant presence of order even in the chaos than surrounds us all.

Of course, I had the chance to meet Mr. Poskie myself. Quite the talented lad. From his paintings to the ascot upon his head.

Good job, my friend.

Until Next Time,

24 January, 2008

Tacoma to be featured in Washington state's national tourism ads

From my dear friend Carly at the visitor's bureau:

This year, Tacoma's Bridge of Glass was chosen as one of four rotating full-page ads for the campaign (in addition to Mount Saint Helens, Wine Country, and the Museum of Flight). The Tacoma Regional CVB has purchased space in co-op pages adjacent to this ad in Travel + Leisure, Portland Monthly, and Sunset Magazines.

To see which magazines and months Tacoma will be featured, visit this link.

and the ad:

This is certainly wonderful for the city and the visitors that will enjoy visiting due to this publicity.

Until Next Time,

18 January, 2008

Meeting the Big Boss

NineInchNachos led me through a straight maze of concrete, from the Forge to the Secret Lair.

Mr. Anderson was hanging around his office when we entered. With the help of NineInchNachos, he came down from the ceiling hooks and landed upon the floor.

We exchanged polite introductions, and he agreed to an interview. I present you with the results of the conversation:

TG: Online, you seem taller, why is that?
RR: Humbugs would automatically dismiss it as photoshop trickery; yet, they would be mistaken. I seem taller because I am taller. Am I the tallest online persona in Tacoma? Lord knows. If my tallness is more persistent, my pictures more exaggerated, my posts more glaring, my flags more patriotic and my promotions more brilliant… it is not because of fewer scruples but more energy and ingenuity (as P.T. Barnum would say).

TG: Oh, so you're from
Alaska. Have you ever visited Gnome? What was it like?
RR: Nome? Lets get real. There is no Nome. That is no Nome outside the imaginations of quack cartographers… although it would be highly amusing to contemplate a real city where people stood all day in flowerbeds collecting mildew in their plastic beards.

TG: As the owner of HFW, what are your thoughts about Tacoma today, and your master vision of Tacoma?
RR: Firstly I'm just the humble webmaster over at Holistic Forge Works. I'm not sure how it works exactly but it is the shareholders who ultimately control things. Lucky for me (and not unlike other companies) our shareholders are completely oblivious to anything happening on "The Internets" so I'm left alone most of the time to do my own trip. I cannot remember how I came to inherit this grave responsibility of HFW webmaster but it has proven a convenient vehicle for conveying instruction among the common folk. IN Tacoma what is yours is to play the assumed part well, but to choose it belongs to someone else. In the city of destiny people believe in freewill only because they have no choice. Even so, a worthy master vision would be to redeem Tacoma's creative class from the control of the wicked.

TG: Aside from your frequent madcap shenanigans associated with HFW, what can Tacoma not expect from you in the future?
RR: All I'm going to say is it will be a sad day for American capitalism when a man can't clip a newspaper article to his underpants and post photos of himself on the Tacoma Art Listserv.

TG: Have you ever thought of Tacoman as a superhero?

RR: Oh yes. Tacoman. I'm guessing that joke is why John Hathaway calls his publication "The New Takhoman" Suppose it is easier for people to take you more seriously when there aren't tacos floating in the mind's eye.

TG: Oh, and who is the ever elusive Ms. Darcy?

RR: Ms. Darcy is an elusive shape-shifter much like the animal trickster of folk tradition. Online she cannot be seen, heard, or felt… only deduced. Though almost exclusively an offline entity, she's always there in the shadows of my own projects if you know where to look for her. Sometimes I go to the website I made about her at if I'm off on adventure and lonely.

TG: Please tell me about the conspiracy that you will make up to respond to this statement.

RR: The conspiracy is REAL and is wholly consumed to steal away the SLACK innate in every free man, woman & child. The conspiracy dictates that flimsy illusions and self-serving delusions rule most people's lives. Who cares? Nobody cares. Nobody has all the answers. Nobody will defend your rights. Nobody will lower your taxes. My advice is whatever befalls you, walk on unattached. Untouched.

Some say that 'consciousness is means for the universe to know itself.' I find solace in this trope. Also it is impossible to carry the torch of truth through a crowd without singeing someone's beard.

TG: Do you at all feel you sold out to get a simple TAGRO hat?

RR: No. I feel it is a fair trade. I believe that when people expect 'something for nothing' they are sure to be cheated, and generally deserve to be.

TG: Where does the Tacomic Bible Fellowship meet?

RR: Every Tuesday morning at Feed Tacoma ... specifically

I thanked Mr. Anderson, NineInchNachos and the North American Gnomes for their help that day. As I strolled down the street I kept on thinking that he is correct ... carrying torches in crowds should probably be avoided as one could singe a beard or two. Certainly fine words to live by.

Until Next Time,

17 January, 2008

Secure as an Ex-KGB Agent

I was greeted by a rather tall man moments after knocking.

He had a relaxed voice, but was rather anxious to wisk me away to be certain that I did not have any radioactive materials in my possession.

Here my host (who had yet to introduce himself), took the time to read the radio-activity upon me with what is known as a Geiger counter. If asked, I could have given him a simple answer ... I don't carry radios, and typically when the time comes, should I have a radio, it would be far from active as I am horrible at replacing batteries.

It took a few waves of the want before he was satisfied with the results.

He introduced himself as NineInchNachos, a friend of Mr. Anderson. Aside from being office assistant, lacky, gopher and other assorted tasks assigned to him at the will and bidding of Mr. Anderson, NineInchNachos, serves as the official tour guide of the Holistic ForgeWorks and secret lair compound. He assured me that Mr. Anderson would be available for a few moments towards the end of my visit.

I hope that Mr. Anderson is up for a few questions, as I have prepared some to interview him ... I am throughly impressed with his security measures and protection thus far.

NineInchNachos helped me don the gear to approach the Forge. I can hardly imagine Surtr guarding Muspellheim with his flaming sword with such equipment. By Odin's beard, though, I suspect that he would not be laughing, but more eagerly awaiting the end of time so he might slew the gods with his mighty flaming sword.

My feet are resting upon an anvil used Mr. Anderson to shape metals. You might note that there are fresh brass clips and a new maple stump that the anvil is secured to. It brings it up to a height for NineInchNachos to do Mr. Anderson's work.

I found that last bit to be confusing, but NineInchNachos told me that Mr. Anderson, due to an unfortunate mistake with an art project, is stuck to sketching out designs on large sheets of butcher paper and presenting them to NineInchNachos so NineInchNachos can translate the two-dimensional drawing into a three-dimensional object in the forge.

Because we were indoors, we did not fire up the forge. But I kept my distance, as I did not know if it started automatically, like so many of Mr. Andersons -omatic things do.

This is the heart and soul of the forge works. NineInchNachos informed me that to destroy this would be to destroy his master, and the very existence of many, many projects around town. Including the weekly Tacomic Bible Fellowship.

I hardly believe I would want to be the one to destroy an item of reverence and worship as this.

I thanked NineInchNachos for his hospitality, and requested to finally meet Mr. Anderson. NineInchNachos examined his watch, it appeared that he spoke INTO it, asking "are you ready sir?" After this question, he put is right finger index finger to his right ear ... nodded and motioned for me to follow him further into the compound.

I gathered my gifts for Mr. Anderson and followed.

Forging my way to the Forgeworks (tm)

Inspired by the artistic side of his ventures, I took a moment to request a visit to the Holistic Forge Works International World Headquarters and Secret Lair ®.

In a mysteriously deep voice, he accepted my request.

I honestly didn't know there was a secret lair, I just thought it was a simple Forge Works operation. But, given the levels of security at the compound, it certainly was a secret location.

Much to my surprise, he had enlisted a team on North American Gnomes to secure the perimeter. I had tried to disguise myself as a common shrub by hiding in one. But that did not work at all. Gnomes can sense other gnomes, if they are prepared. Because I wasn't expecting such tight security, I was caught off guard, and was taken to the ground rather quickly.

They had jumped from the plastic boxflag declaring this location the center of the Holistic Forge Works Empire®. Now, I survived the near take over of Norway by external forces back in the 20th century, actually, we Gnomes realize that things come to pass, but in this case we were happy that the strong will of the Norwegian people prevailed.

In this case, I was rather shaken and, though it is not normal, rather scared. I explained to the North American Gnome on my chest that I meant no harm to the Empire® (map), and that I had a gift for the head of the Empire®.

Being a gracious host and a gracious guest is a key factor in all Gnome cultures, and when they learned of my guest-based hospitality, we had the opportunity for a formal conversation. Though I am unable to relate to you their names, given the secrecy of the location.

We shared tales of Odin, and how he would disguise himself as a human to find those hospitable during the cold winter nights in Norway ... assuring that people would remember they are all connected in some fashion.

The North American Gnomes went back to their sentry station, as I knocked and waited to meet the head of this secret home of the flying turtle.

15 January, 2008

Not a bad idea

To those dear fans and readers who were batting around ideas surrounding me, your humble gnome, and city awards ... please understand that I would never boast, nor would I prevent you from honoring anyone within this marvelous community.

And, to be certain, I have no plans to run for public office. Frankly, I am but a traveler, and would be barred from campaigning for anything beyond "modest traveler."

Go forth as you wish.

Until Next Time,
Tacoma Gnome

14 January, 2008

A Mysterious Package

Since I've been on the internet, I don't very much expect to receive a package nor a communication through anything besides electronic means. Especially seeing as Hanne is saving our money for her to come visit at some point during this year.

Imagine my surprise to receive a phone call from the lovely Whitney Rhodes, and an e-mail from Derek Young that there is a package for me at Suite 133.

I have never received a package from ANY world headquarters. Let alone from an online celebrity. What a joyous occasion to receive a gift from a dear, fellow blogger ... Mr. Bobble Tiki.

I am wholeheartedly honored with the fact they used your official mail service, AND made me a priority on the carrier's list. Equally impressive was their willingness to invest $4.60 into the operation and gift. I operate on less an annual budget than that, I am overwhelmed with the importance such a major publication powerhouse would place in a simple traveler to this area.

Here's the gift, all wrapped in its emeraldly goodness. Obviously it's important. In a nod to Mr. Tiki's class, the ribbon was made of worm silk, and the paper seems to be encrusted with some sort of gems. Lovely, lovely work, Mr. Tiki.

It was rather difficult breaking the magical paper bonding the wrapping paper together. But with some patience, I broke the seal of the clear adhesive.

What a generous gift! I can now use this to take notes of my adventures.

Thank you, Mr. Tiki, your generosity is appreciated.

Until Next Time,
Tacoma Gnome