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.

I see dear, but …

February 22, 2018

Or is it, I see deer butt?

Ahh yes, Seattle snow. And evidence of a backyard visitor. Apparently it was easier to traverse the area on the brick border. Apologies for the dark pictures, it was not quite sunrise.

We had the great pleasure of spending an evening with cousin Janet, in town for a conference. We tried a neighborhood vegan restaurant. I was distracted while perusing the menu, and finally selected the Big Burger.

It was very tasty, but not what I expected.

Burger (mushroom or bean based) topped with macaroni and cheese and frizzled onions. But the fries. I just didn’t expect a Red Robin portion at a vegan place. That shows that you should not make assumptions.

Having survived the first day of the snow on the roads, the forecast now calls for 4 more days of possible snow and continued cold. My goal for the weekend is to leave the car at home and rely on our feet and public transit to get around. It’s the last weekend of the Jim Henson exhibit at Mopop. [Think Muppets] I must see it, so the weekend will include a Seattle Center visit.

Temperatures Drop

February 18, 2018

And the flurries fly.

We did see some today, but none survived on the ground. So far.

We saw cars driving by with accumulation, so this is the type of event that varies widely around the area.

The temperature is going low enough that any precipitation is likely to be snow, and will likely be slippery. I do have to work tomorrow so am hoping that the snow is minimal where I must drive.

Most of the weekend has been not rainy and even sunny. We launched yesterday after the golden orb appeared and got in 4 miles. Then it stayed out long enough to trim the raspberry bushes. Today we walked about 4 miles, including a snow shower. The taxes are all but done (waiting for the final piece of paper to arrive) and am almost done with the full re-write of chapter 1. A pretty good weekend.

Maple Leaf reservoir, about the second highest spot in Seattle. (Well maybe the 3rd) The elevated reservoir in the background is dwarfed by the covered reservoir we are standing on. (The highest point in Seattle is called High Point.)

Chapter 1 of my big project has been in process for several months. I reviewed the first draft in November, sitting in various hospital rooms with Carl. When I finished that effort I had a list of 18 items I could not check from the bedside. Other priorities and projects intervened and I just finally found the right time to finish my November update. Truth be told there is still one paragraph and one figure to complete before I send it off.

I am currently imitating a cat by curling up in the sunny spot on our bed. It was an early morning call at 3:45 to take some friends to the airport.

Teddy at the Throttle

February 11, 2018

The title is from a 1917 silent movie by Max Sennet staring Gloria Swanson. That’s Teddy accompanying Ms. Swanson in the picture.

We saw this movie as part of an organ music show this afternoon. Donna was the musician. A delightful afternoon.

The program followed a 4+ mile walk, in cool sunshine. My weather app has been less than accurate in predicting precipitation lately. At least today it was wrong in our favor.

We walked a few roads not on our usual routes, including an alley or two. These two characters were on the way. I think we were somewhere between the tortoise and hare pace. [If we had walked home as well it would have likely been more tortoise, but friend Doug provided a ride.]

This is partly because we did a 5-mile walk yesterday. If two sunny days on a weekend persist we will run the risk of getting back into walking shape. I did rather ignore the yardwork that needs to be addressed. How long could it be until the next clear day at home?

Middle of the Week, sort of.

February 8, 2018

I was sure today was supposed to be dry. But, no. At least it’s a drizzle plus.

Carl called earlier and suggested we walk after work. I did a short walk at lunchtime and still hope to add some steps. It will be dark. And now wet, so we shall see.

This week has been fairly busy. On Monday work lasted until 7, if I recall correctly. Tuesday night included a show – Mamma Mia. What a fun show.

I was still humming tunes the next morning. Wednesday was just intense – trying to complete a write-up due on Monday by mid-wednesday. This was followed by a non-work meeting, and home by 7:30.

So today, if we don’t walk, I will have an evening at home.


February 4, 2018

Not for the entire day, but for long enough that we took a walk for fun after the shopping walk.

The garden is coming to life. I guess it appreciates incessant rain.

Seattlites were all drawn to the sunshine. Walking without a raincoat, what a dream.

One of many new projects in the area. Two small houses turning into 40 units. And the same few street spaces will have to cover all the units.

Seattle is not quite New York City where it’s more common to not own a vehicle. This is relatively close to a park and ride and not too far from the future light rail, but still, 0 parking spaces?

And the better guys won the Super Bowl. Of the commercials I saw, my favorite was the Vikings heading for the game, and then turning around when they found out the Vikings weren’t playing.