Appreciation

February 19, 2019

A customer came in at lunchtime today and showed us their appreciation for our staff’s efforts during the recent snow events.

I will admit to partaking in this bounty. And then not finishing my much healthier lunch. Headed home for dinner now.

There is rumor of more snow tomorrow, but I am hoping that is just for the higher elevations.

So my big project is all but done (as the draft version). I had forgotten about the amount of work associated with getting it out for review. Luckily I have examples from the last go around 8 years ago.

The remains of Snowmageddon on a rainy evening

Crunch

February 18, 2019

We went to Costco on Sunday.

OMG

Don’t go to Costco on the first weekend after everyone was sequestered at home by the Snowmageddon for the past 2 weekends. It was a learning experience and an exercise in patience. Even the parking lot was crowded.

We did get our groceries and escape. I recovered at home by working on taxes with the boy. Relaxing.

Before Costco we walked the waterfront. Unlike the Costco experience, we made better decisions. 1) Parking was free, 2) No construction work on Sunday meant quiet time, 3) cloudy and some rain meant few other people walking.

Our goal was to see the start of the Viaduct demolition. We missed the last Viaduct walk while in Nashville, so this was the next best opportunity to pay our respects.

The logo for the company of destruction is the ecology flag symbol from the 70s.

The snow is slowly disappearing from our yard. And signs of spring are emerging.

Morning to Evening

February 13, 2019

First and foremost, happy birthday to Jane!

Preparing for the week of Carl care.

It snowed/sleeted Monday night.

Exciting news of the day! They are planning to pick up our garbage! After 2 missed weeks. They were not there by noon.

It is now Wednesday evening and we are going home from work. Tomorrow I will be driving myself in with the Prius. If it is like today, no problem. If it starts to snow I will head home. Carl graciously filled the tank today so I won’t worry about getting into any big backups.

On our way home we drove through the new highway 99 tunnel. Pretty spiffy.

Last night we went out to Rock of Ages at the 5th Avenue Theater. I thoroughly enjoyed the brief escape into music.

The crowd was thinner than usual due to so many people being stuck wherever. It was noted before and during the show. Snowmageddon, snowpaccolypse, and snow sh*t. Great singing and rocking out, a must for this show. The young male lead is the lead singer for Pickwick, an up and coming Seattle band. The old bar owner was played by the singer from Jefferson Starship.

And, continuing back in time, my last pre-shovel picture from Tuesday morning

And from work

On to dryer days. Or is it drier days?

It Just Continues

February 11, 2019

I worked from home today.

Carl did too. Mostly with a shovel in his hand. There are 4 or 5 shovels on the block, being shared.

It’s snowing right now. 7:30 PM. They keep saying it will turn to rain. I’m not sure.

Latest back deck photos.

The measuring chair

Sheltered Stairs

Comparisons through the day

Snow was cleared for a bit. Starting in again here

After more shoveling. Note the new ball to the right of the walk.

After even more shoveling the ball has extended to the snowman, sort of a snow Caterpillar now.

Kids playing on the local luge run

A ladder view of the little boxes we call home

And my favorite for all of us that worked from home today.

The 3 north Seattle workers are conspiring a carpool in tomorrow. Dependent on overnight weather and morning road conditions. I will not be driving. The Prius is not a good car when ground clearance is helpful. I did dig it out today, before the 2 latest rounds of snow. Another of us, “does not drive in snow.” (He’s from Hawaii). The third has a 4 wheel drive Toyota 4-runner. That he bought on Saturday! (It’s replacing a 2004 model, so he is not new to 4 wheeling.) But still, would you want to take a brand new vehicle out in dicey conditions?

Snow Scenes

February 10, 2019

Some pictures, mostly from Saturday

Shoveling as exercise. Not too dense. There are a handful of shovels on the block. Ours has been borrowed several times, and others are shoveling multiple lots. It is pretty clear from one end to the other of the block.

Comparison from Friday night to Saturday morning

Friday night snowman

Saturday morning version

Good time for neighbors to play together. This is the sphinx, caterpillar, or mountain depending on the moment

3 of the 6 kids playing. Reminded me of when our kids were young and the daycare was 5 kids strong.

On the serious side, our DirecTV satellite does not work in heavy rain and snow.

But … soccer must be watched. So we hauled the ladder out and I cleaned everything, except some small icy bits.

A walk is in our near future. Maybe before the next flurries arrive.

Last Day

February 8, 2019

A bit of a synopsis of our last few days

The year of the pig. Print from the Hatch Show Print. In business since 1879. One of the oldest Letterpress printers still in business.

Well, Let’s say Goodbye would be more accurate

The Ryman Auditorium, the mother church

The back end of this establishment was visible from our hotel room. Nudie was a tailor from the Ukraine who made costumes for many performers.

Bill Monroe and Carl

I like to drive on ice! Except not in the Seattle metro area

Rippys, where our friend Lyle played for many years

A Dolly Parton outfit

Interesting art. Can you find the guitar neck? How about the saw.

Outfit by Nudie Cohn

Cumberland River after the rain that had flash flood warnings the day before

The John Siegenthaler pedestrian bridge over the Cumberland River. Saved from destruction as a historical structure. Named for John because he saved a man from jumping off the bridge when he was covering the story as a reporter.

Sunset over Tennessee

Backyard with remains of the early week snow that we missed.

Which brings us to today.

We both got up early. Carl to try to find food for our larder. We had reduced our food on hand for the week away. Only yesterday the hordes largely emptied the grocery stores getting ready for the end of the week storm. And he had to get a blood test.

I was going to go in to work with my carpooler.

The first big challenge was trying to get the car out of the driveway. There was some snow and ice by the wheels. Putting towels under the wheels finally did the trick. The car is now out of the steep driveway and onto the flat street.

I spent some time trying to chip ice off the sidewalk and front steps.

Going to work was not bad.

Work was a bit scattered, trying to go through emails, answering a few questions and putting out some actual work.

And then the snow started.

We were dismissed pretty quickly, and the office closed. We hit the road at 1:20.

Segment 1 on 228th Avenue SE

The trip started slowly. Apparently the schools let out and everyone was trying to get home before it got “bad.” Our trip has 4 segments.

Segment 1. We moved slowly along the main road, and then made the first decision to leave the main road for a secondary road, but still a main road. The main road was crowded, slow, but not too slippery.

The thing with working on top of the Sammamish Plateau is that it is a plateau. One must ascend or descend when coming or going. There are only a few choices, with varying degrees of slope and curvature. Most have at least one section greater than 10 percent slope or more.

Segment 2. Our choice took us to 212th Way SE, also known as Snake Hill Rd. The lighter traffic and leftover snow on the road made the steep curves challenging. We inched downward until a car four in front of ours just stopped in the road, without even really pulling over to the guardrail. I think the driver, a young woman, was just plain scared. This was the first place we slid while stopping. The cars went around by waiting for a break in the uphill traffic and going into their lane. It was difficult to stop and help as that would further block the two lane road.

There was another larger vehicle to pass a few curves later. Then it was our turn to slip toward a ditch, and then a guardrail. It would have been a slow speed collision with whatever eventually stopped the vehicle, but my carpooler managed to cajole the vehicle to miss everything. One more slowdown as a van headed up did a several point turn to head back down, and finally there was another car headed up, but stationary. Then we noticed the car next to the one in the road. Only it was upside down in the ditch. The people from the car were standing by the ditch, and nobody appeared frantic, so we slid on by. We finally made it down the hill and heaved a big sigh of relief.

Segment 3. East Lake Sammamish Pkwy. This is a very flat road. After a mile of light traffic we hit the backlog of cars.

I texted Carl at about 2 PM, noting I could slowly walk faster than we were moving. Then one of the cars in front of us decided to do a u-turn and head back in the direction of less traffic. Either he did not check the oncoming traffic or the oncoming driver was going way too fast, or both. Whichever it was, the oncoming driver had to swerve to avoid and ended up hitting a rockery.

About 3 PM we were still on E Lake Sammamish Pkwy in Issaquah. That was about the time Jim threw a snowball at me, in the car. Finally, about 3:40, we reached the entrance to I-90. 2 hours and 20 minutes to go about 6 miles.

Segment 4: Freeway driving. It felt like freedom, reaching speeds of 40 mph. There was some traffic, but it seemed the biggest traffic glut had already passed while we were stuck in Issaquah.

It was still snowing when I was dropped off. Carl had been busy with several of the young kids from the block.

Carl had shoveled the walk, although it was being covered behind him with fresh snow.

So we are snug and warm tonight. Our TV satellite dish is not working due to a snow and ice cover, so we are watching the Ken Burns Lewis and Clark documentary.

I heard from my carpooler that some co-workers were still trying to reach their homes, six hours after we were dismissed.

One step too far

Feet and Food and Friends

February 6, 2019

Still in Nashville.

I feel like the guest who stayed too long. The weather turned about noon today to a steady rain, followed by pouring rain. This was completed by a phone alert for a flash flood warning and tornado warning sirens.

For the feet part of the title Carl has continued to log steps. Yesterday he was over 20,000. Food has been consistently good. Yesterday we celebrated the Chinese lunar new year of the pig. Becca and Rey prepared the repast including Chinese cabbage, gluten, roasted tofu, enokitake mushrooms, rice noodles and more. Kyle, my work mate, joined us and supplied a traditional gift of money in a fancy red package.

Tonight’s meal was at a mostly vegan restaurant followed by some lovely ice cream.

We have also been introduced to some local delicacies.

Goo stands Grand Ole Opry

And of course, friends. Carl was able to catch up with his friend Lyle. They met in Seattle years ago. Lyle moved to Nashville to make a living playing music. He was with Allen Jackson (until he hit the big time), and most recently spent about 10 years as a regular at Rippys on Broadway in Nashville.

Tomorrow we plan to sleep in, have breakfast at the Sun Diner, maybe take in a museum and finally head back to Seattle and likely snow (in the next day or two).

Briefly brief

February 5, 2019

Carl walked while I went to conference. He got probably 16,000 steps to my 6,000.

I did manage a lunch walk with him. It was blustery on the pedestrian bridge over the river.

Meanwhile in Seattle …

And we got to spend dinner with Rey and Becca at a Thai restaurant. Very good food, and a chance to chat.

Out and About

February 4, 2019

We finally got into Nashville proper yesterday.

Where we went, and a pick. I think they may play music just about anywhere.

Here is a sign for a current industry?

Back to the museum.

There were several exhibits. Again I took very few pictures, but it wasn’t for lack of intrigue. The marriage boxes, the horses,

A series of “comic” riding paintings, commissioned by the rider. He died young of a brain injury.

One painting that spoke to me was of an immature gull, looking over his shoulder as the mature gulls fly away. Much like life and predicted death on our beach.

Library lions? No Fortitude or Patience. Just an impatient, impertinent imp.

And for those that followed the muppets, Sam the Eagle has made the Frist his home.

The day wound down with pizza from Slim and Huskies, veggies with spinach artichoke dip, and the Sleeper Bowl.

Finally it was time to head to our conference headquarters. I think our “room” is almost as big as Rey and Becca’s apartment.

Beautiful hotel, but I could hear/feel a bass beat well into the night.

Twisted Trees

February 2, 2019

We are enjoying a nice quiet day in Nashville. We might have done more, but I left my phone in Seattle. 😐

Luckily we have good friends who are adept at getting into our house and then locating the wayward device. And fast tracking it to our location.

Of course, this was after the alarm went off at its early morning appointed hour. And then again, and again, …😳.

For some exercise we set off for the Mill Creek Greenway.

It was a pleasant walk through the woods on a paved path.

Our leaders

Winter season meant it was easy to see the shapes of the foliage.

Thorny shadows

This tree split, then closely aligned again, and finally split for good

The close alignment. Hard to find the gap

And this group of birds caught our eye.

Black Vultures we believe

Finally there were several trees with twisted trunks.

After examining several we formed the opinion that a vine climbing around the tree might be somehow responsible.

There appears to be something still wrapped around this one

The road less traveled.

The turnaround point of our walk.

Tomorrow we have plans to spend some time in the big city. Before the big game.