Conference Day

April 25, 2018

We paused work’s break neck pace today to attend one day of a water utility conference. As a speaker no less. Of course I only spoke for about 10 minutes of our 30 minute slot. [Earthquake resiliency planning] It almost felt like playing hooky. And for my effort I received a parting gift, and got to attend several other talks.

The most interesting find though, was bathroom art! In the stall.

I don’t know that I have ever used a camera in a public restroom before.

I bused down to Tacoma, and am busing back. Nice day, so I plan to walk the last few miles.

It’s the Little Things

April 18, 2018

When morning is announced by a natural alarm clock, beating a rat-a-tat-tat on a chimney cap.

The sun’s location can be discerned through the clouds.


Eight-person sculls are on the water.

Maybe spring will get here yet.

April? Or November?

April 17, 2018

The sun is actually partially visible as I write, but this month, barely half over, is already the 4th wettest on record. There has been snow around, but not like other parts of the country. Just COLD. The damp cold.

April has also had its good points! We were graced with a visit from Rey and Becca – the best highlight.

Dinner at Din-Tai-Fung was a new experience. Becca served as our resident expert.

Carl and the boys chased the Mariners to San Francisco to split a pair of games with the Giants.

Speaking of the Mariners, they were here for a few games, and then gone. Given our weather, I was glad. They have been back for a few more – fun to a point. There have been nice folks around to chat about the game. [Most coming now are there for the baseball, not the sun and beer, so more actual baseball talk. Not that sun and beer are a bad thing, but sometimes there are “fans” that don’t really know who is playing, or that there’s a game going on.] And we could certainly use some more sun and warmth at the game. We are going to the game tonight and I spent time this morning gathering clothes well beyond what I will need at work.

Work continues at a breakneck pace.

And speaking of work, we stopped by one of our water storage tanks on the way to the office. Work includes earthquake and safety retrofits, which require emptying the 2.25 million gallons that normally reside inside. So for those of you who wonder what it looks like inside a water storage tanks…

Opening Day 2018

March 29, 2018

Normally a family holiday, I ended up working a half day. Meeting with folks in town for just one day. And it’s a night game (the better to enjoy the cool spring temperatures), so time to get home well before we had to leave.

We walked the 2 miles to light rail and rode down to the stadium. Yes, we were early. Early enough to be at the front of the lines to get in.

The bonus, and reason for the early arrival, is seeing many friends and fellow baseball enthusiasts. Carl got a lot of love from the workers.

And yours truly.

I should know better by now, but I think I am a few layers short of comfortable. I have borrowed a vest from my carpooler (also at the game), and a jersey from Carl. Both could leave back to their owners, but for now I am warm.

Carl got two balls in batting practice.

Not the only fez in the house.

Opening ceremonies. Felix warming up.

And a flyover.

Now on to the game.

Meanwhile, back at the house there is a marathon easter egg prep session underway. These are destined for a egg hunt in Portland.


Baseball is Everywhere

March 27, 2018

Kingdome’s birthday and demolition day was yesterday.

Getting ready for Opening Day.

In the meantime we continue to walk

and work. [Waiting at the park and ride for my carpooler, watching the latest apartment/condo take shape.]

And prepare the house for visitors.

A few years is the answer to the question of how long does it take to hang artwork that has just been hanging around.

Carl’s been busy prepping for Easter.

I don’t know how I feel about the food looking back at me.

A Tale of Two Weekends

March 17, 2018

I did not ride in a carpool this week. I did drive, but it is not safe to drive and blog.

Last weekend was sunny. Not really too warm, but sunny. Today was similar, but a little shorter on the sun.

The three weekend days all included walks. (Maybe tomorrow too, but that hasn’t happened yet.)

Spring has sprung, even if it hasn’t quite arrived.

The first walk had a goal – watching a 3-inning jamboree game featuring Garfield High School baseball. It was a 4 to 5 mile walk to Soundview field at Whitman Middle School. We were warm on arrival.

We introduced ourselves to parents in the bleachers, inquiring whether they had a child playing. Most did and returned the question to us. “Not this year, but 12 years ago,” was our answer. This year’s version is in better shape, based on our small sample of innings.

We were chilled to the bone after our time on the bleachers. Soundview may have the nice view, but it comes with the cool breeze.

Along the way we passed the first place we lived in Seattle. Hideo joined us in making the first floor of the house home. The house was fine, but we remembered why we avoided buying a house too far north in Seattle, no sidewalks.

The hated front yard holly tree is also gone. No bare feet when we lived there.

Based on Saturday’s experience, Sunday’s included an added layer. Our walk focused on the water, literally, but was a much warmer environment. We walked across the 520 floating bridge and back. A bit over 6 miles, and much more pleasant for walking than the I-90 bridge. This path is wide enough for two people to walk abreast and still have room for another pedestrian and a bicycle.

And there were plenty of both on the first really sunny weekend in a while.

View from the halfway point. (Pathway is on the right (north) side.)

Boats and planes that float.

There was also plenty of wildlife to observe. (Great blue heron and an immature bald eagle)

Do you think the eagle’s eyesight is better than the camera below?

Returning to the Seattle side we were just in time for the bridge to go up.

Funny story here. As we were coming up towards the bridge we could hear the bridge tender’s voice, “Please clear the bridge. I can’t raise the bridge until you clear the bridge.” We could then see there was a nun on the other side of the traffic lanes, on the bridge side of the pedestrian gate arm. Apparently she was crossing the bridge and had not quite made it to the crossing arm location when they were lowered. Being mindful of following rules, she was patiently stopped and waited at the barrier. I don’t think she knew or understood that the big voice was directed at her. As we arrived, a waiting bicyclist dismounted and crossed the road to guide her under the gate arm. She continued on her way and the bridge opened.

Today’s walk was focused on a minor errand and trying to shake the lingering time change blues. The chosen route was essentially to, around, and back from Green Lake. There was a crew race (races) underway. I am not sure of the level, but there were 4-man and 8-man boats. UW was participating, but also teams I didn’t recognize immediately as a college.

And in parting, farewell to Professor Hawking. Fittingly on Pi Day.

Face in the Darkness

March 6, 2018

I was going to identify the person on the tail of the Alaska Airline plane, but apparently there’s disagreement about who it actually is, or whether it is a specific person. My brief research indicates two choices are Amouak or Seveck as likely choices.

I am at the airport cell phone lot waiting for the boys to get their luggage. They did not fly Alaska.

Early morning visitor.

That’s a hummingbird bathing. Carl was out early this morning, but apparently not alone.

As Spring training trips go this sounded like a winner. Warm, but not hot. Seeing friends, planned and unplanned. Ballplayers young and old. And good batting practice (catching practice). An embarrassment of baseballs at 60 between the three amigos over 5 days.

And now there’s a rumor that Ichiro is going to sign with the Mariners again. It’s still almost a month until opening day, but in some ways it feels like the season has already started.

Sunshine Monday

February 26, 2018

Last week was like a traffic vacation week. Seattle and several other school districts were on mid-winter break. This has now ended, and the low temperatures have stayed in place. That means the precipitation falling can be snow, rain or like last night, hail.

Our bit of hail never left, it just morphed into a crusty ice that didn’t want to leave the car windows this morning.

Carl was heroic and scraped his windows enough to move his car from the driveway to the street. This would allow me to get my car out of the driveway. All of this done in his bare feet (why? I don’t know.)

And I managed to get a carpool ride in, so my car will remain parked all day.

It may not look like much, but it’s just enough to make you wonder about the roads.

And as we enter the city where I work, there is still snow around.

Cars that didn’t make it up the hill yesterday, or chose to park on the main road instead of attempting the >10 percent grade side roads.

Henson Adventure

February 24, 2018

The first bit of weather I saw this morning was some blue sky. The next time I looked it was snowing.

We wanted to walk today, and I wanted to see the Jim Henson exhibit at MoPop. Carl thought an early arrival would be less crowded.

I delayed us long enough to have a cup of coffee, which put us into the middle of the men’s curling gold medal game between the USA and Sweden. So we watched that to its conclusion. USA, USA, USA!

Finally we headed for the bus. The walk would make us even later, and we could save the walk for later.

On the 62. I am never sure how Carl feels about busing.

My guess at Carl’s favorite Muppet. I like to count!

Carl’s actual favorite. Oscar the Grouch.

I came away impressed with the body of work done while holding your arms up over your head.

Then it was over to the armory for a small bite to eat.

Detail of the scaffolding under the top of the Space Needle.

There was a yo-yo tournament going on. Entertaining to watch the practice area while noshing on a chicken kebab.

It seemed it was finally time for our walk. So we walked across the street to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation visitor center. Interesting work.

Now to really start the walk. We decided to walk the bus route, so we could change from walker to rider at our pleasure. That thought occurred at something over 2-1/2 miles, but the bus sailed by before we reached the next stop. So we walked 2 more stops, and climbed aboard in Fremont (center of the universe).

All in all an enjoyable excursion.

Carpool please

February 24, 2018

First time we’ve managed to drive together this week. It’s sunny and bright with bits of snow on the ground reflecting the brightness. By this afternoon it is supposed to be snowing again. On afternoons with dicey weather I like to toy with the idea of leaving early. However, this week there have been few managers at work and I feel like I need to set the example.

Listening to a JA Jance book on tape in the car. Not sure which book, but it’s entertaining, even though I will not likely hear the ending.