At the January meeting of the Transportation Club of Tacoma the spotlight company of the month was NPI (NP Information Systems). Al Go and Vince Preece were manning their company table giving out flyers of information about their company. NP Information Systems, a leading provider of VoIP business phone systems and IT Support services, announced it has been awarded a 2014 Digium Pinnacle Partner award in the category of Pinnacle Circle of Excellence. NP Information Systems is one of the outstanding organizations selected based on annual sales and commitment to customer satisfaction.
After the meeting Vince invited me to come to their Kent office. He had questions about our services. While we were talking he mentioned that he was speaking at Auburn Rotary on the 1st of February. I told him I would come and hear his pitch. I'm a Rotarian and hadn't visited another club in some time. I thought I could kill two birds with one stone.
Auburn Rotary meets at noon, so I left home about eleven. As I drove out onto Ruston Way, I thought "If only I had come down here a couple hours earlier." The bay was filled with white caps and the waves were crashing on the rocks and sending spray up onto the sidwalk along the linear park. I could have had some great photo images.
The "What if" would have meant getting up and getting warmly dressed. A bitter wind was blowing from the north. I was actually up early enough, but I returned to bed for a nap.
Heading down into the valley off I-5 it was a beautiful day. Once parked at the Auburn Golf Course where Auburn Rotary meets I looked over the fairways and grounds. It looked nice, but it was still too cold and windy for me. Not only am I generally a fair-weather golfer, but my buddy Jim Whitacre says I'm one of the worst golfer to ever play the best course in the US.
The course looks like it was made for me. No undergrowth and wide-open spaces for my drives to go long and come around.
For the last few years my golf has been faily limited to special "fund raising" tournaments. I like the scramble format where everyone gets a chance to contribute.
From inside the club house I could see several fairways. I was also able to see a freshly fallen tree at the farside of the course.
I used to have several favorite Rotary clubs that I visited frequently. Fife-Milton was a small club that met at a restaurant in Fife. Very friendly group. I spoke there several times as the program. I still have friends from there, eventhough the club has disbanded. I also visited Clover Park quite a bit. I liked the people and we worked together for hearing regeneration. Clover Park met at the Oakbrook Country Club. A number of friends have transfered from my Rotary Club of Tacoma #8 to Lakewood Rotary, which meets at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club, so you can see Rotary and golf are fairly closely related.
The Auburn Rotarians were scurrying about. Usually, guests and visiting Rotarians are met by a greeter who welcomes them. I paid for lunch and could see that there was a problem with the credit card connection. Soon it became apparent that there were more problems that just the credit card connection. There was no electricity.
This has been a tough winter already. My own club meets at the Temple Theater, Tacoma's Landmark Convention Center. For two meetings in January there was a boiler problem. That was during the cold snap. If you didn't wear a heavy coat of sweater to the meeting you had a problem.
Vince Preece didn't make the meeting. He had the winter crud that's going around. I had it in December as did Peg. It is not fun. I'm still tired. Instead of Vince, Al was there to give the presentation. This was not to be. The big screen TVS were black. No electricity meant no communications. Briefly, Al scrambled with President Brent Cowman trying to make it happen. We could move table together and Al could use his laptop on battery for his presentation. Uhhhh, no.
There were virtually no Auburn Rotarians present. One kind soul brought a tray of cookies over so I took one. I had already paid for fish and chips, but what are you going to do? A ten dollar cookie? I felt like I was home and visiting Metro Market in the Proctor District.
Piecing things together I think as soon as I turned into the parking lot a tree came down on the street a few hundred yards south, where I had been only seconds before.
Soon we had a number of Auburn Rotarians. They had watched a maintenance vehicle from the golf course travel towards the club house. The cars followed on the maintenance road. By then of course Al was packed up and heading north to his next apppointment. The alternatives were to go to the bar and drink or find a nearby restaurant that could handle the group. I opted for leaving.
I tried going back the way I had come, but was stopped by police. When I asked if I could take pictures, they said no. The tree had sheared off the top of an electrical pole, which was why the clubhous had no juice. I turned around and drove north along the river as far as I could go and then crossed over a bridge into Auburn.
I did enjoy the views along the river. They were all silver and pewter hues of gray. Fog still floated above the river. My sportcoat didn't give me much warmth, but I did enjoy the scenery. I'll have to return in the spring, the Green River must be even more wonderful to see. With electricity Auburn Rotary would probably be fun as well.
Although it was a bit chilly I went out on the footbridge to see both downriver and upriver. On the updriver side the soft light allowed me to see two tall trees, mostly underwater, creating a logjam with their roots and naked limbs that could reach out and spear rubber rafts. But then, I'm not into rafting, anyway. I loved the shot, however.