Sep 072011

Hanford Jamboree Cross country season has started and once again Kamiakin’s first meet was the Hanford Jamboree. The 2 mile course is run at Leslie Groves park in Richland just south of Snyder Street. Five Tri-City high schools participated, Hanford, Richland, Kamiakin, Kennewick, and Southridge.

Kamiakin dominated the meet. In the Men’s 2 mile race, Kamiakin took 1st through 5th and 12 of the first 14 were from Kamiakin. In the Women’s race, Kamiakin took 1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 12th. The men had 10 runners do the 2 mile course in under 11 minutes and another 10 come in under 12. Anthony Armstrong broke the meet record by running it under 10 minutes, at 9:36. The women had 5 runners under 14 minutes with Stephanie Rexus completing it in 12:01. The truly amazing statistic is that Kamiakin had more than 30 guys and 15 gals run the course.

I have placed my photos a total of 4 places.

Snapped4U is a new place for me to put pictures. The other 3 locations have lower resolution photos that look good on a computer screen but would not make decent 4×5 prints. Snapped4U has high resolution versions of the pictures that can be purchased for $4 each. The downloaded file can then be printed on your home printer or uploaded to your favorite print shop like Costco, Walmart, Walgreens, etc. More in a future post on my reasons for going with Snapped4U.

Jul 222011

Bobs Burger & Brew Went to Bob’s Burger & Brew for a business lunch and we both had the Squirrel Sandwich. Num! The meat was sliced thin and the cooked just right. Squirrel Sandwich I was amazed at the stack of onion rings that came with it too.

Service was great. We were served promptly, another glassful of pop was brought whenever we neared empty.

If you get a chance, I would highly recommend Bob’s Burger and Brew. I am hoping to get back sometime to check out the ‘Brew’ part of the name.

Jun 292011

What fun this year at the 18th Annual Cool Desert Nights! The Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce puts on this event and I volunteered to take photos for the chamber. Over 900 cars registered for the 3-day family oriented event and the crowds were amazing.

Here are the photos I took over the 3 days.

Thursday night over a hundred cars gathered at the TRAC facility in Pasco. At 5:30 the cars started up and cruised through Pasco, Kennewick, Richland. After getting some photos at TRAC, I set up at the Cable Bridge to get some shots as the cars passed. The whole section of Jadwin Ave. along the Uptown Mall was blocked off and the cars that participated in the cruise were allowed to park on the street and a large number of other cars parked in the Uptown Mall parking lot.

Click on the arrow to start the slide show.

Friday was a busy day, starting with a small show & shine at Desert Wind Winery where the blue sky made a gorgeous background. I enjoyed a glass of 2009 Ora while shooting a couple of panorama shots of the parking lot full of cars as well as photos of various cars.

In the evening, the cars all gathered in the Uptown Mall parking lot for a ‘particpants only’ cruise that wrapped around downtown Richland where large crowds had gathered along the sidewalks to watch. I had fun hitching a ride in the back of an El Camino along the cruise route, getting a number of photos of the various cars and the crowd. The car that got the most attention was the 56 Chevy that could shoot flames out of the exhaust.

The evening finished with the bands Colorblind and Pastic Soul playing at Jack-sons. I stopped by to get some photos before heading home so I could get an early start the next morning.

Click on the arrow to start the slide show.

Saturday started with the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast at the Jefferson Park Gazebo, but actually cars started pulling into Jefferson Park and the Uptown Mall before 4 a.m. to get prime spots for the judging later in the day. After getting pictures of the cars and crowd I was able to get on top of the Octopus Garden and attempt some panorama shots from quite a vantage point. It was almost noon, and I decided to head home. For those who stayed, slow drags started at noon and at 3:30 p.m. over two dozen awards are given out in a number of categories. The evening is capped off again at Jack-sons with the band Eclectic Approach.

Click on the arrow to start the slide show.

Were you able to make it this year? It was a great event and I am already looking forward to next year!

Jul 252010
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Each summer my company, Mid-Columbia Insurance, has a summer BBQ for the employees of our 4 offices. Employees are encouraged to bring their families, even parents are welcome. We rent the gazebo next to the Kennewick library because it has a water feature play area for the kids, lots of grass, and nowhere they can get into too much trouble. Once again this year we had a ‘bounce house’ set up for the kids. This is always a big hit.

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Instead of cooking on a small camp grill as we have done in years past, this year we were smart and rented a grill and were able to get the meat cooked in a much more timely fashion. The grill was actually built into a trailer that can be towed and had two propane tanks attached. Since we had a nice grill, in addition to the standard hamburgers and hot dogs, this year we had steaks for the adults. These were a big hit and am sure we will do it again next year.

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There was plenty of food! Everyone brought a side dish to share. Not only did we have the standards, potato salads, macaroni salads, chips, and desert, we even had shrimp ceviche! Num Nobody had an excuse for going home hungry and I don’t think anyone did. And there is always the watermelon contest later, just in case.

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After the food it was time for games. First were the games for the kids. When the temperature is near 100 degrees, it is best to have games that involve water. We played ‘Drip, Drip, Dunk’ first. It is a variant of ‘Duck, Duck, Goose’ but instead of just tapping kids on the head the kids drip water on the the kids in the circle then pour the cup of water on the ‘goose’ who must then chase them around the circle. After all the kids had a chance to be both the ducker and goosee we had a ‘Sponge Relay Race’. The two oldest kids sat with buckets on their heads while the other kids race back and forth with a soaked sponge trying to fill the bucket.

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For the adults, once again we played Bingo. We had 10 nice prizes. 10 games does take a while to play. Next year we might cut it back to 5.

The finale for the company picnic is always the kid’s watermelon eating contest. We broke them into two age groups and watched the kids demolish their pieces. I do not know where those kids put that watermelon but, except for green rind, red juice, and black seeds, they all gobbled it down quite quickly.

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Jul 232010

U-13 Spirit of Detroit

On my way over the Blue Bridge Thursday afternoon I noticed a bunch of bright colors down along the Columbia River where the hydroplanes stage for their races. I swung down into Columbia Park hoping I would be able to get into the pit area where just yesterday there were only big blue cranes.

Sure enough, I found some boats! Quite a few of the Hydroplanes were being cleaned and prepped for the race weekend. Starting tomorrow one would need a pit pass to get into this area and even then I don’t think they would let you get as close as I was able to do today.

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Jul 232010

Chad Ward - State Farm Insurance
Chad Ward – State Farm
8390 W Gage Blvd, #106
Kennewick, WA 99336

State Farm insurance agent, Chad Ward, had a Ribbon Cutting with the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce this past Thursday. The office is located across the street from Olive Garden at 8390 W Gage Blvd, Ste 106, in Kennewick. Working with Chad are account representatives Nickolas Konen and Holly Veach. (Don’t tell Chad but they are the ones that do all the hard work.)

The ribbon cutting had a good turnout from the chamber as well as representatives from the State Farm District Office and Mayor Pro-Tem Sharon Brown read the Mayor’s proclamation making Chad’s office ‘Business of the Day’.

Jul 222010

UL-929 - Miss Ice Harbor

Ice Harbor Brewing is sponsoring the “All Black, All the Time” UL-929 Unlimited Light hydroplane for the 2010 Columbia Cup. The UL-929 is owned and driven by hometown driver Vince “X-Man” Xaudaro, a 1985 graduate of Kamiakin HS. We got to see the Miss Ice Harbor up close and personal when it made a showing at the Marina (and we had a great lunch while we were there).

This will be the first time the boat has been on the water since it was severely damaged in an accident three years ago in at Silver Thunder in Silverdale, WA. According to the UL-929 Racing website, “in the final heat the hydroplane launched off a roller in turn 2 of the first lap and literally stuffed the nose re-entering the water. Both sponsons disintegrated on contact and were ripped off the hull.” The website has some before and after pictures and it is pretty amazing to see the boat stripped down to the hull.

Also, check out the web site for a great story on why Vince chose the ‘929’ in UL-929 as a tribute to his father.

Good Luck Vince! Nice to have a local boat we can cheer on.

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Jul 222010

[flickr float=”right”]4821164132[/flickr] I saw a KVEW announcement that the vintage 1955 Miss Thriftway would be on display at the TV station from 5:30 to 7:00 am, during the local Good Morning Northwest (GMNW) program. That is a time of day I usually do not see but made a point of getting up and out the door early. I watched Kevin Uretsky interview Steve Compton, one of the boat owners during a couple of segments ( 1, 2, 3 ). GMNW co-anchor Crystal Costa and GMNW weather anchor Jason Valentine also shot a couple segments with the hydroplane as their backdrop.

I talked with members of the crew who were very friendly, explaining the history of the boat and the work that went into rebuilding the Miss Thriftway from scratch. The original Miss Thriftway was completely destroyed when it hit a wake at high speed in the 1957 Governor’s Cup on the Ohio River race at Madison, Ind. The Miss Thriftway web site tells the story of the boats rebirth.

But the best part of the day was when all the TV filming was done and I asked if I could have my picture taken sitting in the cockpit of this vintage machine. Made my day! Thanks KVEW and thanks to the crew of the Miss Thriftway!

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Jul 212010

[flickr float=”right”]4816491463[/flickr] Blue cranes, blue bridge, and blue sky!

The hydroplanes are just starting to rumble into town on their big trailers but preparations are being made to get the river ready for the big boats. I stopped in at the Lampson Pit area to see the large cranes that will be hauling the boats in and out of the water. If you like blue, we got blue.

I have never paid admission to watch the Water Follies. We used to watch from up on Canal Drive but the city has improved the curbing and actively discourages the practice now. Friday is free admission (if you don’t count $5 to park or $1.25 to take the bus) and I may just have to drop in during the morning to see what I have been missing.

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While I was out today I saw a plane practicing aerobatics for the airshow this weekend. Wishing I had a lens with more zoom, but with enough mega-pixels you can always crop. The plane streaming the ‘smoke’ is a high-performance Panzl S-330 from the Air National Guard’s Aerobatic Team. The other plane must be Bob Brawdy, the Tri-City Herald photographer, who got a lot of great shots. [flickr-gallery mode=”tag” tags=”WF00,airshow” tag_mode=”all”] click thumbnails to enlarge

Jul 202010

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The 45th Annual Tri-Cities Water Follies will be here this weekend. This means the hydroplanes will be showing up all over town. This evening I was out on Clover Island and noticed that the Oh Boy! Oberto was parked in the Clover Island Inn parking lot. These parking lot displays of the boats allow you to get close to the boats and I rarely get to go down to the park to watch the races so I must enjoy them dry docked on their trailers. Someday I will find someone who can get me down to the pits!

I pulled out my camera and tripod to take a few pictures in the dusky light. Well, forget the tripod, I have misplaced the shoe that attaches the camera to the tripod. Because of the low light and no tripod I had to hand hold the camera and shoot at 3200 ISO — so the photos are grainy but still look good on the computer screen.

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