Nothing makes our proboscis glow with T-Town pride more than reciting the list of products that wear a local label and have won national prestige.
Granted, the list is heavily footnoted. Some brands were never manufactured in the 253 and never will be. (Thanks anyway, Toyota Tacoma.) Others used to be made here but are no more. (We miss you, Tacoma Guitars.) One has a storied local history and a bright future here, though its name has been known to raise eyebrows and giggles. (We love ya, Tacoma Screw Products.)
Recently, while sniffing the aisles of a Bartell Drugs store, we discovered a fairly new Tacoma item with a rising profile — a product that warms our wintry heart even as it tweaks our sense of irony.
Introducing, Tacoma Firelogs. They’re made by Fred Tebb and Sons, a three-generation family wood-products business down at the Port.
It’s really quite something. Lincoln Logs are made in China, but Tacoma logs are made in Tacoma. And no, wiseguy, they don’t give off a certain “aroma” when you burn them.
The firelogs are formed from compressed sawdust at the Tebb plant; they burn cleaner because they contain no waxes or additives. (Also, no high-fructose corn syrup or MSG. But a warning on the box clearly states: “Not a food product. Keep out of reach of children and pets.”)
Heck, we haven’t felt so enviro-conscious and excited about a local brand since we bought our first bag of Tagro.
Think global, burn local: Shaped like a bar of gold bullion or a large block of cheese (but again, don’t eat it), each log has the word “TACOMA” pressed on the front.
The first logs were sold at Tacoma Boys on Sixth Avenue a couple of years ago. Distribution has spread steadily from there.
Today they’re sold in the Seattle and Portland markets, with a growing number of orders in Oregon. The Tebbs tell us they hope to break into the Idaho wood-products game by the end of winter.
Which brings us to the ironic part.
Even though Tacoma Firelogs are made and sold here, you might have to go to one of those other places to ignite them.
“Burn Ban – City Under Siege” finally ended Thursday, after five days. It was Pierce County’s first burn ban of 2013. It certainly won’t be the last.
Look on the bright side: You can always build a sturdy Tacoma Firelog cabin. Or use them as woodsy-smelling paperweights.
Say it ain’t so, Biebs!: Justin Bieber has put his name on a prepaid debit card with a $3.95 monthly fee and other charges.
Didn’t he swindle enough from our daughters – their money, their time, their city’s good name – at the Tacoma Dome?
We’re hoping it’s another of his hoaxes.
Gaga for baby names: Just in time for all the New Year’s stork visits, the news media went ape last week with stories about Washington’s most popular baby names. (The list was from 2011 and the state had already released it last summer, but, oh well. News is slow over the holidays.)
Topping the list for boys was Mason. Only goes to show that Tacoma is way ahead of the curve, as usual. (Mason Middle School, Mason United Methodist Church, Mason Gulch, Most Worshipful Masonic Grand Lodge of Washington.)
The least popular boy’s name these days?
Gotta be Cliff.
And speaking of babies: New research with deep ties to the South Sound shows that fetuses carefully listen to their mothers talk for weeks before they’re born.
Forty newborns from Tacoma and forty more from Stockholm, Sweden, were tested. By the way they sucked on their pacifiers hooked up to a computer, they demonstrated they could distinguish their mother’s language from a foreign tongue.
“This is the first study that shows fetuses learn prenatally about the particular speech sounds of a mother’s language,” said Christine Moon, the lead author and a psychology professor at Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland.
Attaway, PLU brainiacs. Now can you please explain why kids stop listening to their moms around age 12?
Well, duh: The study proves what we already knew but that outsiders refuse to recognize: Babies in Tacoma are geniuses. More research is needed on the rest of the world’s bambinos.
Suck on that, Seattle.