February 16, 2017

We did go out last night. Dinner was good but not at either of the restaurants we were considering in the morning. The rain was hard enough to dissuade us from walking to the more distant venue. (February’s rain totals are past 7 inches) turns out the restaurant across the street closed after New Years eve. So we opted for a British themed pub just one block away. I am sure we would go back. 

The play was also quite enjoyable. Aside from one momentary stage problem with moving sets the production was very well done. The singing was really good. Based on movies and plays we have seen recently it seems there was a lot of hanky-panky going on in offices in the 50s. 

When we arrived home the movie Lust For Life starring Kirk Douglas and Anthony Quinn was just starting. We had recently seen a documentary on Van Gogh’s ear, and that piqued my interest further. The movie was worth watching, but I went to couch and only made it just past the ear scene. 

On to work and a hope for no mud slides. 

Sweetie Day

February 15, 2017

It seemed that yesterday was sweets day. At least at my office. 

Carl and I are calling today Sweetie Day. We had a play scheduled for a while and decided to pair it with dinner out. The remaining decision is where to eat. There is a restaurant directly across the street from the theater, but we are considering a different eatery that is a 10 minute stroll away. The distance is not an issue, nor is the fairly significant elevation difference.  It may come down to the strength of the precipitation falling when we arrive. 

Looking a bit bushy. 


February 11, 2017

We finally got out for a walk today, and it only rained on us for a few minutes.  The walk was really a wander with a sprinkling of errands. 

After the last errand we were close to lower woodland and Carl suggested we head to the zoo. Initially we were just going to pass through, but we ended up seeing many of the denizens. In a semi-natural habitat. 

Roaring at the tiger 

On the walk home we wandered onto a new  (for us) staircase. When walking in Seattle, dead end streets are frequently an invitation to explore. 

We are now relaxing at home watching It’s a Hard Days Night. For those that saw this new in the theater, that was more than 50 years ago. 

Season Change?

February 10, 2017

Continuing on yesterday’s stories, the big project is at least moving to the next step. I won’t know until the end of the month if it has legs. In the meantime I am going to set my work schedule as though it is a sure thing. 

As for the weather, yesterday it poured, complete with thunder and lightning, and rainbows that I could not see, but they had to be. And then the wind started. We lost power briefly at work, I think due to a tree falling on power lines in the neighborhood. This also snarled traffic due to blocked roads and non-functioning traffic signals. Kudos to all of the power workers that have been on the job 24-7 the entire week. 

Reclining dude is still gracing the front yard, barely. 

The bat garden is looking rather worse for wear, but the next crop is poking up.

Good and not as good 

February 9, 2017

Woo hoo. I got my first raise in 6 years or so. I really have not done anything different, but they reviewed ranges and paired me with the engineering manager. I am appreciative, but feel I  should be more excited. 

On the other hand a large project I am trying to get out of the starting blocks is in danger of stalling. I only slept about 3 hours Tuesday night, largely because I was fretting. But in true basic optimist fashion I spent yesterday trying to pull together information that could support  (or not) continuing forward at my pace for presentation at a meeting this afternoon. There is a regulatory deadline involved, but we only got one response to our request for consultants. So the question is whether they are the correct company. 

Enough about work. 

About the only snow left on our block is the reclining snowman. Temperatures are in the 40s and it is pouring.  Hard rain. 

Next natural phenomenon for the region should be flooding.  Melting snow and now an inch or two of rain. 

But as I sit in the car while my carpooler gets coffee I am reminded how much I like the sound of rain on the roof. 

The Baroke Period 

February 6, 2017

Nude reclining on the lawn 

Snow day 

February 6, 2017

But on my way to work. 

Payroll and a few meetings. I could VPN for payroll, but the meetings would be more difficult. One is a Board meeting with an interesting hydrogeologic topic. 

And the more mundane work product as well. 

We had some company last night. A friend from Eugene OR drove up for a meeting with REI. Kind of ironic that REI called him to cancel this morning due to the snow. (Most schools are closed so it could be a child care thing.) He didn’t hit Seattle until about 6:30 last night. We had taped the Super Bowl to watch after he arrived, and another friend came over after he got off work. A small gathering with the game in the background. [I would have preferred Atlanta  to win, but the momentum shift was impressive. ]

Time for baseball and other distractions.

Moving On

January 25, 2017

Day something less than 7.

I don’t want to count. I am torn between trying to stay current and trying to keep not mad. 

Our next move will be making the planned donation to PP.  This was supposed to happen on Inauguration (side note: when I started typing ina… the phone suggested “inappropriate”) day but we were both ill. Is it ironic that we were too sick to get to a health care provider?

And my big job now is to decide between an HSA or an HRA. Prescription costs may be a big part of the equation. Trying to figure out the actual cost of these is proving to be very difficult. I thought it was an easy question. 

On a fun note, the distraction of the  baseball season is getting closer. Fan Fest is this weekend, providing an opportunity to reconnect with folks we only see at the ballpark. 

Yesterday’s moment of serenity. 

Womens (Womxns) March Seattle

January 21, 2017

We had our hats (paid a papasan to obtain). We know we can walk.

And then the flu. Yesterday was spent at home, much of it in a prone position. And then there were the back spasms that hit about mid-day. All of this put our walking in jeopardy.

In the end we both made the dentist appointment in the early morning.
We were trying to figure out how to  get to the start of the walk. Two neighbors said they were going – so let’s go together.

Drive? No
Bus? Most likely
Uber? – this was suggested by our neighbor.

As the four of us gathered, it became clear that this was one of those events that Uber drivers use to make an entire day’s fare in one ride. So we started toward the bus. That was when Carl declared he thought he should take the Ted route (another neighbor) and stay home to nurse his remaining flu symptoms. But he would be our Uber. In the end that was probably better than the bus. The bus stops we passed were packed, and the buses were filling up before they got to many of the stops.

Carl did manage to get us to Garfield High School, a half mile away from the proposed start of the walk. So we set off on foot, following the crowd walking to the walk.


The three of us hung out with the 130,000 or so others in a generally congenial mall-walk speed 3-mile effort. One news outlet reported the entire route was filled at one point. It was nice to get out. And the signs – oh my gosh. They were funny, heart-felt, long, short and everything in-between. (sorry that no signs really showed up in this shot, and I kept the phone in my pocket to better absorb the moments.) There were lots of families, young and old. My favorite – I am marching so my grandkids won’t have to.


I honestly think walking was good for the back, although getting in and out of the car was challenging. And in the end we wandered an extra half mile to a less crowded locale for our new Uber-like driver pick-up.

Thanks to all other like-minded individuals that made their own walks, in person or in spirit. Remember – it is not just about today.


MLK? No, work. 

January 17, 2017

The weekend was cold but gorgeous. We managed to get two bundled walks in. These were sandwiched around various football and futbol games. 

It would have been nice to continue the pattern into a third day, but alas, I had a full day meeting. It’s tough to find a day when 9 people are free, so use of a holiday (floating for us) is attractive. We have done this for 5 or 6 years now, and it feels assumed. This morning as I read about the local MLK March, I had a thought about trying to mix it up next year. My own little rebellion. 

When I returned from work my family work began. Looking over our last year’s health costs.  The reason was two-fold. 1. Our plan year end is coming up and I needed to understand how much use it or lose it self supplied health care money was left. (Looks like I’m getting a new pair of glasses.) 2. Next year’s plan is either going to be a HSA or HRA. Something starting with “High”. Not the PPOs I have known my entire working life, and I want to be prepared to understand how the change will look for us. But we will still have coverage, better or worse. For those on ACA plans the uncertainty must be unsettling.  I know it would be for me.

And now for a moment of serenity.