Like ants…

I just went to Richland, WA, for the second time in two months, both times for work (visiting PNNL). Last time, it was for a conference and, for an excursion, the organizers took us to some wineries. I was pleasantly surprised by the area. I had visited a couple of times when I went to school in Seattle and was always struck by how remote it was. But, the area seems more pleasant to me than it did back then. A few of us walked along the river to a restaurant called Anthony’s. The walk was very nice. They’ve done a great job of making the river walk very nice, with lots of parks and apartments and such along the way. And the wineries were good too. I’m no expert, as my wife can tell you, so don’t take my word on the quality of the wines, but to my taste, they were good.

My brother and his family live in (relatively) nearby Pullman and my best friend Bob and his family live in Moscow, so it always nice to visit them during these trips to Richland. Dave and Shelley’s twins are growing up fast and Bob and Rhonda’s son, Owen, is now mobile and getting into everyting. It was a great visit. And I think I got Bob addicted to Fullmetal Alchemist. 🙂

One thing I’m always struck by when flying around is how, no matter where I am, it seems that the landscape I’m flying over is just covered with the marks of human activity. Whether the cities or the rural farming areas, it seems we’ve marked every square inch of the planet. In some ways, it is always very interesting to see the “colonies” we, as humans, have made everywhere; it’s like watching ants from high above. But, I’m always a little saddened too by how everywhere I look from the sky is covered in the markings of human activity. There are rodes through the mountains, fields in any open space, and subdivisions everywhere. I guess this is just part of progress and growth. But it always strikes me when I’m looking down at how we’re like ants, covering every inch we can.

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