Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Monday, February 21, 2005

Auto Options

I want to build a better city. A city where you walk where you need to go without having to look out for cars. A city where you can drive without having to look out for pedestrians. A multi-level city is what we need. Put heavy transportation on the ground level, things like trains and heavy trucks. Put auto transportation on the next level and put pedestrian walkways on top. Use automated parking garages. Provide entrances to the parking garages at the pedestrian level. Drive up to the pedestrian level to park. Elevator takes your car away and you are on people level. Automated parking garages are being built in many cities. Google it.

We aren't going to get rid of cars anytime soon. But we could build better cities. It will not happen overnight, but large redevelopment project could start a trend.

People are continuing to move to cities because that's where the jobs are. Agriculture has become so efficient that there just aren't that many job opportunities in rural areas anymore.

The technology that supports our society has become so complex that it requires thousands of different specialists to keep it running.

Public transportation, the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) law, and low gas prices are all designed to keep transportation costs down for workers so business owners don't have to pay them very much.

Of course if the workers lived where they worked their transportation costs would be nil, and business owners could pay them even less. But then the employees rent would go up, so employers would have to pay them more.
I am still puzzled why so many businesses locate downtown. Intel didn't, which has caused a huge population explosion/building boom in Washington County (Beaverton and Hillsboro, just to west of Portland and Multnomah county).

Our little company draws it's employees from the four corners of the Portland Metro area.


Sunday, February 13, 2005

Dance

Yesterday Kathryn's dance team performed in a large competition at Tigard High School. There were two rounds. One started about noon, the second started in the late afternoon.

There were three classes. Kathryn's group competed in the "Large Show" class. All teams in this class brought their own "floor" and props. The floor is a large piece of vinyl that covers the entire gym floor. Unfolding this and spreading it out before the performance and then folding it up and loading it back on the cart is a big project. Most teams employed their dancers for this task. At least one team employed their props crew, which were the dancer's dads.

The dancing was a blur. Hundreds of girls leaping, twirling and gyrating. Kathryn took a bus early in the morning. Anne was there for both shows. I was there for the second show. Afterwards, Kathryn and some of the girls went to Red Robin (a restaurant) to celebrate their first place finish. Anne and I went to a pub to eat and drink with the coaches and some of the other muckety-mucks of this dance team. A very different little world they have. Finally got home a little before midnight.

They have another competition next weekend and then the state competition in mid-March.

Ross's basketball team had their final game of the season yestrerday. Only four guys from their team showed up. They were able to draft a guy from Glencoe Junior Varsity who just happened to be hanging around. They played hard but lost by six points. They have one guy on their team who can be an exceptionally good player, when he wants to. Most of the time he doesn't want to. Yesterday, for the first time, he actually played hard for most of the game. Curious.