Monday, April 14

Potemkin Village

Front Street in Seabrook WA
A "Potemkin Village" is a made-up place intended to fool casual visitors. See Wikipedia. These can appear most anywhere. One such, IMO, is the "village" of Seabrook, Washington. It pitches itself as a "people friendly" location, contrasting itself from where I picked, Ocean Shores. Remember, Ocean Shores is a place with virtually no traffic and where I do most shopping by bike. Hmm. Did I perhaps make a mistake?

Bike Rental!

Golly, Seabrook even has bikes!

I didn't see Anyone in the Rental Tent
Above is the Seabrook bike rental location. While I never actually SAW anybody ride a bike there, I suppose sometimes some do. Certainly, Seabrook highlights their bikes, here.

Still, there's a phony air about the place. Kind of like if a tiny Disneyland had timeshares. This is a people-friendly place that no public transit or shuttle serves and which requires a four-hour drive from major cities. At least in "car-dependent" Ocean Shores, I can take the bus into Aberdeen or even Olympia. What's more, despite the Seabrook bike hype, it did not escape my notice that none of the businesses have bike racks. Not even the little deli that substitutes for groceries.

We spent 25 minutes there. It was plenty of time...

They Hide the Cars Behind the Buildings Mostly
Seabrook in Progress


Wednesday, March 26

Little Steps

Is Texas Food Local if You Buy it in Ocean Shores? Well, it's More Local than Chilean Produce
Chandra, in his excellent "Green Comotion" blog, recently made a post where he included much good information from Dr Mercola about the viability of our food and health aspects of food. That post was here.

One aspect of Dr Mercola's article could have been improved. While his nine recommendations are all very worthwhile, I'd suggest a few MORE for those of us that aren't in a position to go "all the way," but may have to motor a long way to get some of those foods while our local grocery is a short bike ride. For the vegans amongst us, you may want to close your eyes with regard to my final recommendation. I'll continue from where Dr Mercola left off, with an emphasis on "easy to do" items.

It is well known that most of the most highly processed foods are in the middle of the store. Hence, sites such as recommend that you get most of your food around the edges of the store. They have a good generic diagram to show this which is reproduced below. Simply shopping the edges of the store will be a step in the right direction.

Your Store Will Probably Vary, but the Principles Still Work
While in Ocean Shores, buying things like kale might be best if it comes from Grays Harbor County, it is still better to buy from Texas than from somewhere the produce must be airlifted.

Dr Mercola failed to consider the effects of transport of the shopper on food usage. While the Ocean Shores IGA might lack somewhat in organic and other "good" choices, one wonders at the tradeoff between non-local produce bought locally, versus local produce bought non-locally. IGA is next door to the espresso stand and I bicycle by there each morning. The "local" source of Hoquiam produce is 30 miles away.

IGA - Official Grocery Store of Frankenbike and Kermit
Ocean Shores DOES have a farmer's market on summer weekends. Oddly, little of the produce at this market is produced anywhere close to Ocean Shores. Still, I go there on my bike. See rule 12. However, we've taken to stopping by the Hoquiam Farmer's Market when we have occasion to motor over in that direction. Their produce is mostly grown in Grays Harbor County and there're a lot of organic items.

Hoquiam Farmer's Market Has No Decent Bike Parking and is a LONG Ways from OS, but has EXCELLENT Organic Produce
The Lettuce is Grown by the Grizzlies (Hoquiam High School)
Vegans please close your eyes now. The rest of you may read the newspaper headline below. 'Nuff sed.

Definitely "NON GMO" and Locally Sourced. For the Record, Clam Guns do NOT Have "High Capacity Magazines"

Wednesday, March 19

Signs of Spring

Light WAS Turning on Just Before 7AM Until DST Appeared
Different places have different clues. In Ocean Shores, a sign is when the residential light-activated lights turn off in the morning. That time gets earlier until DST shows up, after which it isn't a challenge to get past before the light turns off.

Another sign is the reappearance of tourist bikes.

Full Lane Change (and a bit more) to Pass This Bicycle. What Does the "Extreme Right" OS Muni Code Mean Here?
The final and definitive sign is the restart of Ace Hardware Store bringing out of LAWNMOWERS in the morning. Who says Spring is an unmitigated blessing?

Lawnmowers Reappear at Ace

Wednesday, March 5

Going Quiet for a Week

I've actually got a fair amount of material to post about, but due to the combination of a dislocated shoulder and losing my "mifi" internet for a week, it'll have to wait. Hopefully things will improve by then anyway.

Thanks to those that made me realize my Park Stand really DOES fold.

Friday, February 28

Park Problems

Park Bike Stand LOOKS Pretty Good!
BEFORE I started migrating up to Ocean Shores, my dear wife bought me a Park bike stand. Bless her heart, as people in Texas say. Oddly, despite my advanced educational status and surplus of free time, I’m unable to figure out how to attach ONE piece to that stand in any functional way. Luckily, the thing seems to work anyways.
How Does THIS Plastic Piece Function?
PS: To my loyal reader: it may simply be a function of myself being an old fart, but I think I prefer my own bikes to have at least ONE functional brake, even if riding in fixie mode…

Madeleine/Judy Get a Little Love in the Park Stand...