Sunday, November 30, 2008

Margin Notes: Change, Politics, Gas

The first home my grandparents rented in Kennewick, Washington still stands at 811 West Kennewick Avenue as seen on 27-November-2008

BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON - Sometimes it's great to visit a place and find that little or nothing has changed. While there certainly has been suburban sprawl around the Tri-Cities of Kennewick, Richland, and Pasco, Washington, the core of Kennewick has not significantly changed since my last visit about six months ago. Some of the town has changed even less. My grandfather noted that the first house my grandparents had occupied in Kennewick--in 1942--was not only still standing at 811 West Kennewick Avenue, but looked essentially as it had more than 65 years ago. I had to take a walk and look at it myself. It was there, but not the highlight of walk--that would either be the Stonehedge replica or an effective gas station museum also found along Kennewick Avenue.

Interesting artwork resembling Stonehedge was found in a yard along Kennewick Avenue in Kennewick, Washington on 27-November-2008

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I didn't realize until watching "The Santa Clause" that the Northern Pacific Railway Museum mentioned yesterday has a certain poetic right to run a train to the North Pole--"NPR" could stand for "North Pole Railway" as well as "Northern Pacific Railway".

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An especially ironic aspect of the potential political crisis in Canada is that if a Liberal-NDP coalition does take power, it may well be led by St├ęphane Dion--after all the attention paid to the fact that he would be only the second Liberal Party leader not to become Prime Minister. Perhaps we all wrote too soon. As of today, the Conservatives have backed off on their intention to end public financing of political parties, but the Liberals and the NDP still say they'll still proceed with a no confidence motion--it will be an interesting week before the votes may occur on 8-December.

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Gas prices were approaching their peak at Hollywood, California on 31-May-2008

Gas prices continue to decline; today I noted several Arco stations in Yakima, Washington selling unleaded for $1.75 per gallon; that's about C$0.60 per liter at today's exchange rates. It's hard to believe that in late May, the price was $4.19 per gallon in Hollywood, California.

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