This week has really reminded me what I love about this place.

1. Respect.

Memorial Day has come and gone, but I am adamant to never take the blessing of this country for granted. I always keep in my thoughts and prayers the fighting American men and women of the military. And I'm always proud to be a part of a community that fully supports so many worthy causes -- and it's always done with a matter of fact attitude like, "You would expect us to react any other way?"

2. Responsibility.

A couple weeks ago I complained about the graffiti on the billboards you see coming on and off the two big bridges. The tagging has now been removed from all those advertisements. This warms my heart. My home town is Yakima and I've seen graffiti soil so many nice neighborhoods and landmarks and nothing is ever done to remove it! I sincerely applaud the graffiti abatement program where would-be gang bangers have to go out and spray paint over theirs and other gang tags. Nice work.

3. Concern.

I went to a breakfast meeting for the Alzheimer's Association this morning. These people coordinate efforts to raise money to fight Alzheimers. The disease is second only to cancer in the number of people it kills (2/3 are women) but the research receives nowhere near the funding. I was impressed by the support the association receives around here.

4. The Water.

One of these days I'm going to wise up and take the day AFTER a holiday off. I saw a guy yesterday cutting a wake on the Snake and Columbia Rivers in his boat and he had the whole spread to himself! That beats the snot out of enduring the wind and multiple craft providing multiple chop when trying to navigate my boat. The chop whipped my kid's carcass across the wake at 30 mph. Nice air, son, but a nasty spill -- that looked real painful. There is just something liberating about being out on the water. A perfect day for me is to put in just below McDougalls and then head up about halfway to White Bluffs, kill the engine and then enjoy a quality float. I can't wait for the Basin  to really start-a-baking so the big 9-7 can take full advantage