24 Hours

August 23, 2019

24 hours ago we were leaving Carl’s baseball game. He pitched 6 innings I think. That would be 17 innings over 5 days, before his knee “wobbled out.” They were ahead when he left, but lost 11-8. It wasn’t the relief pitcher’s fault, but more that the fielding went downhill after the temperature and the sun dropped.

Carl is currently at the Mariner’s game. I think he is sitting with former major leaguer Jim Lewis. I don’t know where, or if for sure, but they were meeting before the game.

I am currently watching said game on TV.

This all seems relatively normal, for us, but the last 24 hours were not.

Warning: This is partly to download my mind, and allow it to rest. I will be rambling.

At approximately 9:10 PM we were driving south on Meridian Ave N, crossing NE 145th St on the green light. Unfortunately, a woman driving north on Meridian decided to turn left, without factoring our car also being in the intersection.

I remember seeing her car really close to ours, as I made some sound of surprise, and then the airbags went off. Speeds were not that high, and the safety equipment appeared to do its job.

The 2010 Corolla is likely totaled. Carl’s was fine and I was not completely sure. I definitely ached immediately, but it was an ache, not sharp pain.

Carl got out of the driver’s side and asked me to call the police. That’s when I realized I didn’t have my glasses on any longer, and set about trying to locate them.

When an airbag deploys it fills the space. Not just with the airbag, but something in the air. The windows were all covered with a mist or dust, obscuring outside. And my door wouldn’t open.

I pushed the airbag in, and finally found my glasses between the center console and my seat. And called 911. After describing the situation from my perspective she finally let me off the phone. Since I had a bag at my feet, I started emptying the glove box (lots of CDs) into the bag. And finally climbed out through the driver’s side door.

And then all of the accident scene stuff. The woman driving the other car seemed okay. She was calling either the police or insurance, but we were eventually able to exchange information by taking pictures of documents (so much easier than writing it all down).

The driver of the car behind us stayed too, as a witness, so kind. We were mucking up the intersection, and a City of Seattle police came by. Literally, she wasn’t dispatched, just happened on the scene, and started assessing the situation. After that 2 State Patrol cars arrived that were dispatched. I think 145th may be the boundary between Seattle and Shoreline, or it’s a state road, whatever, they took over.

To clear the road we both drove our cars into one lane. I didn’t think that was possible with the bumper basically on the ground. Calling friends for a ride, unloading the car onto the sidewalk, and answering questions from the police filled the next bit of time. Two car seats, baseball equipment, something else in a long bag, a box of hot wheels tracks, 3 or 4 bags of toys, emergency kit, food cooler (dinner), backpack, the second glove box contents and assorted other detritus.

Throughout this latter part I was also on the phone with our insurance company. They were patient, asking questions and then more questions. It was helpful they were on the phone when the tow truck driver arrived as they spoke directly to each other instead of me translating. When they started telling me about coverage and rental cars I finally begged off the line, figuring those details could wait.

Our ride (Kevin) arrived, loaded our pile off the sidewalk and we drove home.

Made my lunch for Friday as Carl iced his body. He was sore, but it was all pretty normal after pitching, with the possible exception of a sore foot. Possibly from jamming the brake pedal? I was still sore on the right side of my chest. We finally headed to bed, but not really to sleep. Brains don’t slow down that quickly. Carl woke up remembering the parking zone sticker on the windshield. I realized there was probably a CD in the player.

Morning dawned as usual, and I was off to work. And I did some work for the first hour or so, but then I started following up on the details. Another hour with the insurance folks. And the rental car folks. And eventually with the consulting nurse. Other folks thought I should get checked out, even though the likely diagnosis would have no real treatment.

So, as expected, I have bruised ribs/chest wall. Ibuprofen and tylenol, and remember to take deep breaths.

While at the clinic I realized I didn’t have my phone with me. Luckily, a co-worker located it on my desk and said he would bring it home. I reasoned that I spent several decades negotiating life without a phone/computer in my hand and I should be able to manage.

The other errand on my list was to get to the tow yard and recover said items thought of the night before. I went through my pile of papers and scribbled information from the night before to find an address. When I got to the area it took two trips around the block to find it, and a third trip to find where they had an entrance that didn’t include razor wire. I finally parked in an adjacent hamburger joint and found the entrance. The woman manning the office was quite the character. She said she had been working there 51 years, and her husband had passed a few years earlier. She was working on cleaning up the office with 50 years of running the operation. It sounded like the business would be moving to the next generation, and that the towing companies were essentially extended family. I did manage to get the CD and zone pass, plus 4 more pennies. I do wish I had my phone to take some pictures of the car in the light as well as the place. A place like I had not seen before. And I bid the Corolla farewell.

Finally home at 3:30 I ate lunch, greeted my phone, sent an email to tell the insurance folks the car was ready for them to take possession, and sat down to relax.

At some point I fell asleep watching TV. And woke up with the Mariners game tied in the third inning against the Blue Jays.

Carl is enjoying the game and it looks like he got to visit the broadcast booth!

Tomorrow will arrive early, dental appointments at 7 AM. It always seems like a good idea when we make the appointment. Here’s to a more normal day tomorrow.

I guess I’ll start researching new cars.

Double trouble

August 18, 2019

Here we are at Carl’s Sunday game, and he’s pitching again.

Really, there is a person on the mound, and it’s Carl.

Tap the picture, the video should right itself.

The pitcher they “saved” during yesterday’s game started today, but got hit in the hand by a come-backer. So Carl, on one days rest, is their next best option. We’ll see how far he goes, and if there’s enough ice in the house tomorrow.

A bit later our shortstop caught a throw with his face, resulting in a bloody nose.

Who said baseball isn’t a contact sport.

Carl went 5 innings, but they lost by 1 run! Not too bad, as the other team had their ace pitcher going.

Epsom salts now, and we’ll see what tomorrow brings. I’m proud of him for stepping up. Before the game started he was wondering if he would be able to throw at all today.

Social Saturday

August 17, 2019

Saturdays are for sleeping in. Except when there is a 10:30 am baseball game, where you need to be there at 9:30 (to stretch – important in a 60+league). And the field is an hour away. Breakfast, gathering uniforms, etc., meant no real sleeping in.

The Silver Foxes prevailed, 17 to 2. Carl had a great game, he pitched 6 shutout innings and hit a double his first time up, and a TRIPLE the next time. Remember that both of those hits involved more running than he has done in a while.

Next up we went to a gallery showing local artists prints. One of our friends had a print included. The artists each spoke about their piece for a few minutes. Interesting, although some of the materials mentioned were not something I was familiar with, and the techniques may have well have been in Greek. This was a bit of a hit and run, but nice to see and hear.

Finally, a reception for a friend and her relatively new husband. They were actually married in December. In New Orleans. At a surprise (to the groom) wedding, cleverly disguised as a 30th birthday party with lots of friends in attendance. It was fun to see Kassy, meet Sam, reconnecting with others, and meeting many new folks.

The M-heads are a blast from the past. Mariners thing back when they were regularly in the playoffs. This is a sort of re-creation of an older photo.

Now it’s time to relax! And get ready for another Foxes baseball game tomorrow.

Is it still summer?

August 16, 2019

This past week has been one where it all blurs together. You’re busy, but sometimes it’s hard to remember what you did.

Carl has been north to Everett for the Aquasox and south to Tacoma for the Rainiers. I’m stuck here in the middle with you.

I have been east at work. So many different projects moving forward. A little too much time spent jumping from one to another.

This is followed by a slog home, dinner and I basically crash. Couch first and then bed.

I am not complaining, but a pattern has really developed this week. The weekend is arriving, just in time!

And, yes, it is still summer. Temperatures have risen to the 80s almost every day.

The garden is starting to get that late summer look.

Last Few Days

August 8, 2019

Back to work. It is the work week after all. The folks outside the building are making big visible strides on the tank project. It took them less than a day to remove the containment covering.

7 AM

3 PM. The colors are the base/background for the new mural.

Carl got back to T-Mobile Park and the Mariners finally. Several weeks off. I hung out in the neighborhood for the Night Out.

Getting reacquainted with the Moose. Sharing the fez.

I think this was a boat. Lots of kids, and 3 more due in the next month.

More baseball for the elder amateurs. In addition to hitting, Carl pitched 3 good innings. Note the ball on its way to Carl’s bat, ended up with a single.

The team of the day.

And finally, yesterday marked another trip around the sun for Harry.

Nonagenarians in the wild.

Doris plus 1

August 3, 2019

Doris would have been 92 yesterday. We found this blast from the past to share.

Doris, Bob and baby Ashlan

The plus one is that I am a day late. In my defense, I am still in recovery mode from our trip east. I have been using the eastern time zone to get up and into work early. But the flip side is having very little energy by the time I get home. So we are in weekend catch up mode.

Bonus shot with Carl

Another plus one is that today is Allen’s birthday. They didn’t want pictures, but I took this one anyway while in NYC.

Next Segments

July 28, 2019

Michigan extended.

Jigsaw puzzle completed.

On the road again, heading south. The drive wasn’t bad, but we did require a Google-Jane map assist when a semi accident closed the freeway, and we were getting reports of hour plus delays, but no alternative route suggestions. At least until we were on the alternative route.

We traded the north woods for the urban south.

Urban Wildlife

Urban Corn. Really, it’s a corn stalk.

First night was dinner with said direction guru, cousin and spousal units. Good food and a nice way to decompress from the drive down.

Last night I got together with two friends from since elementary school. I did skip the official reunion, but catching up was perfect.

Our trip today was to the University of Michigan Natural History Museum. I spent a lot of time at this museum when I was growing up. It was an interesting place, and free. It’s now in a new building, very close to the old building. I recognized some of the old exhibits, but not all have been installed yet. And I never found the Stegosaurus. (In the old exhibit it was on the ground beneath a saurus of some sort.)

Same statue, different location

Mastadons, mostly real.

Tomorrow’s plans are for breakfast, followed by automobiles, planes and trains.

The Great White North

July 25, 2019

We left West Fulton a few days ago. It seems like a long time ago, and an even longer time since we were in NYC. This portion of the trip is beset with limited connectivity. (In our current location my phone claims allegiance to Rogers, Telus, Bell and very occasionally, Verizon. Last night it woke me with an amber alert, from Ontario.) Hence no posts, although I will claim to just be living in the moment.

Niagara Falls

We spent two hours exploring the falls on the American side. Beautiful, and a nice stretch of the legs. The last time I was there I was more interested in the motel swimming pool than the falls.

Border crossing

As usual we had to choose a lane and hope for the best. The guard noted the Massachusetts plates, to which we replied, “rental.”

Next up was what were our plans in Canada, to which we listed the Blue Jays game, Barrie and the Soo. After indicating we were from Seattle he looked a bit perplexed and asked why we were crossing at that location, and the Baseball Hall of Fame seemed to suffice, because he let us go with no further ado.

Drive to Toronto

This part was fairly uneventful, except for the realization that we were unlikely to get to the stadium in time for batting practice. Once we were near the stadium, basically following other cars, we started to get concerned about finding a lot. Luckily we were stopped at a stop light and a nearby policeman pointed out the nearby entrance to the Rogers Center lot. We found the machine to pay for the parking ($25 Canadian). The folks in front of us were trying to pay for theirs using coins. They were up to $22.15, but the machine was not taking their dimes, and eventually regurgitated all of their coins back at them. Think of an old slot machine payout. We successfully used our credit card and headed into the stadium.

Blue Jays game

We started out with a wander of the concourse. Fairly similar to many other ballparks. One worker suggested we check out the Flight Deck on the second level. This is an open, standing area in center field. There are two levels, and it’s a hang out area. Not much going on while we were there.

During the game there were fans out there, and cheerleaders!

In addition to the Blue Jay mascot, there are a group of cheerleaders. They move around the stadium, and lead the crowd. Their 7th inning stretch starts with, “Okay Blue Jays, Let’s go Blue Jays, Let’s, Play, Ball.” Then their rather fast rendition of Take Me Out To the Ball Game.

We were in the 5th level.

The game itself was so-so, but kind of fun to watch a game where we didn’t have a stake in the outcome. A few really good plays. And there was the prodigious foul ball that hit the railing three seats to our right. The season ticket holder said she had never seen one hit there before. In the end it was 7-3, Cleveland prevailed.

Drive out of Toronto

We found our way back to the car, rather easily. Out of the lot and onto the roads that come and go, at least the lanes come and go with surprising quickness. At least our trusty Google Map voice was providing direction. And it was raining. As we got further from the stadium the rain intensified, and then got even harder. We discovered earlier in the day that the windshield wipers will detect moisture and adjust their speed accordingly. I am fairly sure they were at maximum speed. At the heaviest rain the lanes were barely visible and, at a higher speed, hydroplaning would have been a real possibility. Luckily everyone slowed down and some handwritten instructions supplemented the voice when we lost data connection.

And it is orange barrel season, so once the rain subsided, so did the number of lanes available for driving. We finally arrived at our destination at 11:40 PM.


We have stayed in Comfort Inns around the country and they are fairly similar. I think this version was a different, likely independent hotel, that had been rebranded as a Comfort Inn. Narrow halls and doorways, with only stairs available to the 2nd floor. In the end it served our purpose. Complete with continental breakfast to send us on our way. Canadian bacon instead of crispy bacon.

Drive to the Soo

The drive paralleled the east shore of Lake Huron, without offering many views of the big lake. We did get the understanding of the glaciers impact on the landscape, with the rock known as the Canadian Shield in evidence. Not much traffic, and much of the drive was at well over 100.

Into the USA

Once again we played choose the line, and came in 2nd out of the 3 choices. The questioning was somewhat limited, and he didn’t even ask me to remove my sunglasses.

Cabin life

And now we are at the cabin. As with the rest of this trip our time here is limited. Beach time, a visit to the Dancing Crane cafe, and a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.

Thanks to Anne and Bill for the wifi.

Induction Day

July 21, 2019

We arrived with 55,000 others at the Cooperstown induction site.

Due to our early morning chair drop yesterday we had relatively good views to the giant screen. I didn’t even try to see the stage, because I had no binoculars.

Carl and Kevin went into town earlier to have some fun.

I think he’s throwing a curve ball

And of course, Edgar Martinez was our star of the day.

He did very well in his speech. And Seattle fans “travel well”, matching up with the Yankee fan numbers, especially considering the difference in travel requirements.

This is our last night in an awesome Airbnb. The quilt block on the side.

Note the wasp nest bottom center

HOF Saturday

July 20, 2019

We left the Airbnb at 6 AM and returned after 9 PM. A full day.

First we left 6 chairs at the induction site to claim a spot for Sunday. Then it was into town to find parking and the Hall itself.

We had been tardy getting out the door so were not there for the start of members time in the Hall. But it was still before the regular opening and very uncrowded.

Ichiro’s shoes and ball from his inside the park home run at an All Star game.

Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame Locker

The Man of the moment

Next up we walked to a CVS to get more chairs for the parade. Just 3 this time, and carried them back into downtown, picked a location and set up shop. And left the chairs for the parade in the evening.

By this time we were rather hungry and got in line for breakfast at the Cooperstown Diner. It’s a rather small diner. As a group would leave, the next world enter, based on the space currently available. We were 6, but arrived in 2 groups of 3. There were 4 seats at the table for us, so a Yankee fan, in town from near Albany, joined our table. It was fun talking with him, and comparing stories.

After breakfast I decided I really wanted to know where the car was parked. Silly as that may sound, we had not taken down the address, there are some streets that join at odd angles, and I didn’t want to waste time after the parade wandering around looking for the car. Carl and I set off down the most likely road. I definitely recognized some houses and trees, but when we reached the CVS store we knew we had gone too far. Realizing that we really didn’t have a clear picture of the car we were looking for, we figured we had just walked right by. Not wanting to waste the walk, we picked up an umbrella and some trail mix before resuming the search for the car. With our eyes peeled for a Massachusetts license plate we finally located the car, gathered much of our belongings from the car and headed back into the gathering throngs.

We went to Doubleday Field, along with other fans to listen to some writers and announcers talk about their entry into the Hall of Fame, a second group talk about the 37 baseball players and owners who served in WWII, and finally a panel of Mariners to talk about Edgar Martinez.

Tom Hutlyer, Mariner PA Announcer, Ken Griffey Jr., Jamie Moyer, Dan Wilson, Jay Buhner, Rick Griffen – trainer, Alvin Davis, Mike Cameron and Rick Rizz – announcer.

Ken Griffey Jr. was a surprise not advertised and Mike Cameron was waved in after they started talking.

We spotted many friends and acquaintances in the crowd. And the number of Seattle fans in attendance seems to have surpassed everyone’s expectations. Rumor has it that the Hall ran out of Edgar tshirts and only generic Mariner shirts were available.

More wandering with the throng, meeting baseball fans from all over, and finally back to our parade chairs.

The weather was humid and hot, and threatening rain. We felt one or two drops, but no more. The parade consists of a line of trucks, each carrying a Hall of Fame winner, with this year’s inductees at the end. Somebody made the decision that the weather could get wet, so the HOFers road inside the truck cab, instead of in the bed. The visuals were sub-par. I was ready to take pictures, but the only good one I got was of Johnny Bench, who got out of the truck and walked. The picture is on Carl’s camera.

Dinner at an Italian restaurant in Cobleskill and home to bed.

Not quite as early a start tomorrow.