OMG so much

September 19, 2020

First and foremost, RIP RBG!

I am bereft and can’t listen to anything, but wished I could have paid my respects at the Supreme Court.

I went to work yesterday. To the building. Wore my mask most of the day, except when in my office with the door closed. And in the car on my way, because I left my mask at home, along with the bag of jigsaw puzzles. But we have them at work. My first wearing of a KN95. I bought some for travel, but I think the work variety has slightly longer ear loops.

Work on site was necessary to access the building security system to remove access for a worker who has decided to go elsewhere. But also printed a few things, looked at some paper files that have never been scanned, and filed some bits piling up in my in-box.

This is what happens when you have not been around much. They block your door without even thinking twice.

I’ll see the building again in a month, or so. Hopefully I will be adding one or two new folks to the security system.

Today has been busy with home work, and a brief sighting of Corwin during a video chat.

I ventured outside to roll up and store the hoses, and throw out the old one with a stuck, rusted nozzle. And it is clear enough for a walk!

The only time I have been outside this last week was to drive to work and back.

After a few false starts we finally got out the door. And it started to rain. But we kept going, not missing the first opportunity in over a week. We dropped a book in a little library, and noted the prior book we dropped off was gone. Deposited a check. Mailed some checks to others. It was almost normal. Er, new normal.

Upon our return the next task was to cut Carl’s hair. The 2nd Covid cut.

Before, from a week ago.

Notice the fringe extending from the back of his head

After.

The fringe is gone. Maybe too gone.

The pile.

Finally, one of our friends, Adam, is a local brewer. His family has the seats behind us at the Mariners. We got this gem today.

Adam has lost his mind. But the beer referred to here, “You’ll be back” is quite good. Click on the link. Enjoy. Not quite Hamilton Broadway, but a close second.

Grandma

September 10, 2020

We had chicken for dinner tonight.

I was carefully cutting mine into bite sized pieces and Carl asked me if I was cutting it up for my grandmother.

I said, “I am the Grandma!”

Then, after a little reflection, I realized I am the only current Grandma in Carl and my little immediate family.

The son of 2 library science majors is doing a little reshelving

I still picture my mothers’ mother when I say Grandma. She was the grandparent I spent the most time with growing up, since we spent our summers at the cabin.

Grandma Finlayson. Picture stolen from my cousin’s blog, without permission. Because 3 hours time difference means it’s too late.

Grandma was a lovely lady, but not quite the vision I have of myself. Maybe I should look in the mirror.

Clear to not

September 9, 2020

We went for a nice long walk on labor day. We had an errand to run, which took us out of our immediate neighborhood, so we decided to use the errand as a launching pad.

Parking at the Ballard Locks, which was closed, we headed north. Our initial destination was Sunset Hill Park. The locks are essentially at sea level, and Sunset Hill is, well, near the top of a hill. This part of the walk was all uphill. Some inclines, some steep, but all up.

Zoom in on the right side of the picture to read about the park

The next segment was fairly level as we continued north to a staircase and path. Which led to the western, very much downhill, segment.

300 actual stairs plus some dirt switchbacks. We went down. There was an alternative to follow the curvy road down. I would not normally choose the road because – cars on a very windy road with no sidewalks. Seattle has closed a handful of roads to traffic to give the Covid walkers and bicyclists more room to socially distance while getting out of their houses. This road is one of those.

Reaching Golden Gardens Park at the bottom, we turned south to follow the waterfront back to the locks.

On this normally quiet few miles we encountered a small protest group. Small, but effectively blocking vehicular access into and out of the marina and Golden Gardens park area. One man trying to exit was loudly trying to explain that he needed to get out to get to his wife. Normally there are two access routes. See prior note on road closures.

This protest did not make the news that I saw. Possibly because there were other, larger events to follow.

We finally were approaching the locks and pulled over to order lunch.

When we parked we noticed the Red Mill Totem House restaurant. They make a great bacon burger. I’ll just have your cubic foot of stacked bacon please. But they were closed for Labor Day, and the people we saw working were just doing a deep clean.

Back home we managed our own lunch, and a lazy afternoon.

Flocks

September 4, 2020

Work, again. Enough said.

We did manage a noon walk and I remembered to grab one of the books I had ready to repopulate Little Free Libraries. When we reached the library of the day, I dutifully put my book in, and ended up taking 2 out. One sounded a bit interesting, and then I spied an Eric Larsen book I have not read. I might have put the first choice back, but there was a bee buzzing around me that just would not go away, so I closed the door and scooted.

We did pass a small flock of small flamingos I had not seen before.

It brought to mind my Father’s birthday several years ago now, when we had him flocked.

He was quite the good sport, posing with his birding binoculars.

Two Work Days

September 3, 2020

At the end of work yesterday I was frustrated. Busy all day, and one issue rose up to push my buttons. I try to keep an open mind, and listen to others’ ideas. But when it seems like somebody is just doing the absolute minimum to answer a request, it’s almost worse than doing nothing at all. I wrote an email in response, but didn’t send it.

Today was also really busy. The first thing I did in the morning was to reform my email, no emotion, and even suggesting I had not provided enough background for them to successfully provide the information requested. This email was going to an entire project group, so I read it to Carl before I hit send, just to make sure the tone was okay. Check that one off of the list for a few days.

Then it was off to other requests, I think about 7 different tasks. A much better feel to the end of the day.

Of course it helped that near the end of the day we received a short video of our favorite grandson who has discovered a springy doorstop. The kind that bounces with a sound if you slap at it, which he was happily doing. The caption said, “the house is full of wonders.”

I can’t share the video, but I did manage a screenshot.

It’s amazing the lift I get from a 30 second clip.

September 1, 2020

I swear I was involved with meetings or phone calls from 8:30 until 3:30 today. Except for the half hour lunch break. By the time I was looking to see what else was going on I found a deluge of emails. Some I was able to look at and set aside, but there were at least 5 additions to the to-do list.

The big, non-work accomplishment was getting our flu shots during lunch break. Not sure who the superheroes are, but more fun than a plain bandaid.

Tomorrow doesn’t look much different, with my first meeting at 8 am. But I have a job, it is a good job that I basically enjoy. Last week one customer kept telling me I was, “the bomb”. It was a compliment, and since Carl is able to hear my calls if he’s around, he keeps bringing it up. So nose down and off we go.

Back to the new normal

August 31, 2020

It’s Monday.

It’s noticeably darker in the morning now. Not dark yet, but not bright when I wake.

A relatively sane workday, thanks to some insane days last week. There are still big things in the wings, but I allowed today to be catching up with some of the smaller bits.

And then ended the work day an hour early to go see to a civic bit, and give blood. I did a good job of hydration and it went well. But I was preparing some zucchini after we got home and had a real sinking spell. I sat down to finish the prep, and probably more importantly, had a protein bar.

So after dinner, it may be an early evening. The lunchtime walk, will have to do for today. The walk was interesting due to the amount of activity, mostly vehicular, encountered. One of our narrow neighborhood streets had an aerial utility crew working near one end of the street, with a bucket truck blocking the road. We saw at least 2 cars enter from the long end, with no hope of reaching the far end. And the endless parade of UPS and Amazon vans. A drivers ed car working on the back around a corner move. And it’s garbage and yard waste day, so those trucks were trundling around. All I can say is I am glad we were walking.

Carl’s funny story (if you like baseball)

August 30, 2020

One of Carl’s friends is turning 60. Because they can’t have a big party, his friend’s wife (also a friend) asked to have folks send in thoughts and memories so she could put together something for the birthday boy. Carl likes to tell a story of a game that he went to with this friend, so we did a video of the recounting – and sent it over. Because this is really mostly about Carl, we also did a shorter video about how they met. But – since we have it available, I thought I would share.

It was fun putting it together, and we hope he remembers the incident as fondly as we do. I wasn’t there, so I only have the story to go by. But knowing Carl, it is entirely plausible.

Speaking of the Mariners, we do watch them on the tube. Most of the time, and sometimes at a fast forward rate if taped. The number of doubleheaders is way up this year due in small part to team protests of the racism virus and more frequently due to games postponed due to the Covid-19 virus showing up among teams. I just heard someone on the Oakland As tested positive, so the series starting Tuesday is in jeopardy. The most intriguing part of this year’s double headers is shortening them to 7 innings. The flexibility shown in reacting to the unfolding year has been interesting and refreshing.

And one of our baseball buddies tested positive and ended up spending about 4 days in the hospital. He is home now, but sounds like he is exhausted. He was not out carousing or engaging in risky behavior, so it makes me feel the need to be even more cautious. I want to have a successful trip starting in a few weeks, so need to be vigilant. That said, I scheduled giving blood for tomorrow and a flu shot for Tuesday. Not completely a hermit.

Cross-Pollination

August 29, 2020

It has been a few days, and I am going to blame warrive. The work was so consuming that I didn\’t walk for three days.ork. This week turned into a workaholic week. If I wasn’t in meetings I was trying to respond to the meetings. One in particular involved an internal group review of a consultant’s report that was very critical. I was not satisfied with just providing the critique, and spent the next 2 days trying to reorganize and provide suggestions for a better presentation. It is a technical piece, and will never have public review, but we do want a report that can be used moving forward. The work was so consuming that I didn’t walk for three days. I feel good about the result, but was more than ready for the weekend to arrive.

If you’re from Seattle, you are probably familiar with, fish from your window at the Edgewater Inn. The Beatles famously partook of this pastime. Our version this summer is pick from your deck. The tomato plants are just tall enough, and producing.

We did get out on a reasonably long walk today. Neighborhood wanderings, but weekend time meant we could get a bit further away.

One theme we encountered was dinosaurs. This particular yard is very clear about sharing their passion.

Please do not feed the dinosaurs

Rockosaurus Rex

Some donations for the dinosaur boy (or girl?)

And then we have the more usual yard. They could be just as passionate, just not as up front.

Fond of triceratops

We passed several garden areas decorated with rock art. This is obviously a relatively new addition.

And then there are the little free libraries. I almost always stop to browse. I had actually put out three books to place in libraries, but managed to walk out the door empty-handed. I found one book in a library that looked interesting, and removed it to take home, and then sanitized my hands.

Several blocks later I found a book I thought I would enjoy more. So I took that book and put the earlier choice back in its place. My Dad called this cross-pollination, and said he practiced spreading the books around on his daily walks. I am not sure if they make it home for him to read in between.

Fans

August 18, 2020

I remember using an oscillating fan in the bedroom to try and cool off hot and humid nights growing up in the midwest. Here in Washington it just doesn’t have the sustained hot conditions that would result in a consideration of AC, which I generally don’t like. But we do have 2 fans. The first is a box fan that has been moved around for a few decades. The second, and now favorite, is a tall oscillating fan, with 3 or 4 speeds. This fan came into our lives when we were living in an apartment for 6 months, and most of our belongings were spread between 3 storage units. The apartment was brand new, but didn’t have good air flow and would get really warm. Even on cold days. It was much easier buy a new fan than to try and extract it from the stuff of our lives. In the end it is lighter, quieter and more flexible in its coverage than old boxy, but we still keep him around.

The fan is quieter, but still creates a backdrop sound that can inhibit clear communication. Example: Ad for Red Lobster, heard as Lead Lobster. That’s a whole lot of claw.

It is also spider season. Going out in the morning I can encounter 5 or 6 just trying to do the watering. On our walk yesterday evening we kept seeing great webs just off to the side.

Carl being a web backdrop

I am not a spider fan, but am not too put off by them either. I attribute this to many trips to the outhouse in the morning that included running with arms pinwheeling to clear the webs strung overnight from the path.

Picking tomatoes is usually a reach through webs too.

Caprese salad

And today I am going to add zucchini to the harvest list.

Little ball zucchini