January 15, 2019

I was chatting with Carl’s kid’s dad over the weekend. We were discussing learning styles. As a slightly off topic note I said I was fascinated by synesthesia. And he said he had some. Music may have a hue to him. Or be flat, almost monotone. Which is musical, so I may be confusing his experience.

This morning is all blues and blacks and silhouettes. The trees are particularly interesting.

My color this morning.

Near the coffeemaker.

And the cranes shining in the distance.

Walking Hodge Podge

January 14, 2019

Which bird did you see first? Wild heron or caged penguin

In the wilderness of the Green Lake trail

Our neighborhood’s latest hole

Oh, the view! Once you climb to the third floor

High faluten marshmallows (for Mom)

Carousel at the zoo. You have all seen Carl before.

And we are almost to work on day one of the Seattle Squeeze


January 1, 2019

I am one of the strange folks who actually like doing the end of year data crunching on New Year’s Day. So I looked at our spending over 2018. Nothing we didn’t expect when compared to 2017 year end. Started in on the taxes for this year, although really just scratched the surface, and downloaded to reports at work so I can attack our year end customer counts tomorrow.

And found time for a 3 mile walk. We took advantage of a brief shopping trip to buy turbo-tax (on sale plus an added old person discount and they didn’t even ask to see my ID). The advantage was starting the walk from somewhere that was not our house.

We went through the Meadowbrook Pond area,

and then down towards Lake Washington and the Burke-Gilman trail.

A lot of good elevation changes and nice scenery. The only drawback was a lack of sidewalks on several roads, but there were also not a lot of cars.

Finally, continued to undecorate the house. The lights are still up, but it is still so dark that I figured they could wait for the weekend.


January 1, 2019

The morning dawned cold and bright. I opened up the blinds and was confused. There appeared to be snow on the carport roof.

It was cold enough, but I had not heard any dire warnings about the S word. And in Seattle there would have been warnings.

We finally decided there must have been a hail storm, and we slept right through. It gathered on the roof until it slid down as one grand avalanche, landing on the carport.

There was a small remnant in the valley of the roof above the landing spot. Notice the hole, where a ball of some sort appears to have exploded, with a fan of spray beyond. Forensics anyone?

This was a day or two ago.

Yesterday was a work day. The last quiet one for awhile I imagine. School is still off, so the light traffic might last a few more days. After that we have a predicted traffic armageddon as they close on of the main north-south arteries of the city for about a month.

I am taking a wait and see attitude, but if it is really bad I may try for more telecommuting, or upping a usual 2 person carpool to 3 (3 person carpool lanes).

In other news we ended the year making tentative plans for some 2019 sojourns. A spring training trip is in outline form, and lodging for a potential visit to Cooperstown has been secured. (Start with the scaresest commodity first.)

We did make it to midnight, barely, and slept in this morning.

Here’s to 2019.

Burke’s Last Stand

December 29, 2018

The morning started rather sleepily.

Thanks to a Christmas present that kept our attention well past bedtime.

No alarm, so we eventually woke up and stumbled to the coffee pot. The goal was to visit the Burke Museum on the last weekend they will be open for the better part of 2019, while they move to the new Burke. Some of our friends were going to visit so we walked over to join them, and half of Seattle and their kids.

While we have been to the museum several times, this visit included two special events.

The first was listening to a story read by the author. It was a native tale, and a children’s book about a mouse. The short version is that a bear, getting ready for hibernation, sits down on the mouse’s house, crushing it to bits. The mouse is quite mad, but the bear dr dismisses him as insignificant. The mouse declares he is a force, and can move a mountain. The bear, and the rest of the mice, laugh at this notion and the bear settles down to sleep. While he sleeps the mouse sets about his task, “One step, one stone at a time.” After having worked for several months the mouse has moved a mountain of stones, burying the bear. The bear eventually wakes, roars as he shakes the stones free. However, instead of being mad, he respects the mouse and his efforts. All of the other mice do as well and tell the mouse he is so revered that he does not need a house, as he is welcome to stay in any of their houses. And that is why today, mice feel free to live in anybody’s house. Or toaster.

Native Frog Hat

The second treat was getting to visit the dinosaur preparation area. Up close and personal with the Tufts-Love T-Rex.

This is probably the most complete and best preserved of the 15 known t-rex skulls in the world. It is still being freed from the matrix it was found in, in Montana.

Lower jaw, really about 2/3rds as the rest was in the other room

Nose on view. Would be the last view if they were alive, with the lower jaw still attached.

These next series of pictures illustrate why this skull is so spectacular. The first is just to show the skull from the side to get perspective. Note the location of the light near the rear of the skull.

The curator is holding a full scale model of the T-Rex brain

This is the stapes. In humans it is the smallest bone, located in the ear.

Straight highlighted bone is the stapes

The current Burke Museum building is scheduled to be demolished after the collections are moved to the new building. No need to be quite as gentle with the rooms.

What a great idea.

Christmas Joy

December 25, 2018

As so often happens on Christmas morning, we were woken up by a child. It was after 7 am, so met our normal criteria for when we can be aroused from slumber.

Our slumber past 7 am started the night before. Or really very early this morning. We spent Christmas Eve evening with friends. We took transit over, the slowest bus ever. The idea was to walk home afterwards, going by Candy Cane Lane to enjoy the lights. Like the best laid plans, dinner took longer than expected, and we left their house about the same time most of the lights dimmed for the evening. I think it was technically still Christmas Eve when we arrived home, but definitely not by the time we were in bed.

And then, because Tuesday is normally a workday, the alarm went off at 5:45. When the phone call came, we weren’t really up yet, but it was the right time.

And then it was time to visit Carl’s current kids. I thought we were going for brunch, but it turns out they were waiting to open their presents until we arrived. A 3 and 6 year old, waiting. And they weren’t crazy, yet.

The morning was fun. As was the rest of the day. Connecting and reconnecting with friends and relatives.

We finally slowed down for dinner, roasted vegetables and honey baked ham. And a table set with Christmas companions.

Are we done yet?

December 23, 2018

I keep thinking I have wrapped all there is to wrap. And then there is just one more.

Really I think I am done now.

We took a walk today to get that one last thing, and a few oranges and pomegranates. As we went through the PCC checkout line, Carl was making conversation and told the checker about the last time he bought a pomegranate, and that we had to throw it out. The checker asked why, so we explained it was rotten, brown.

Mind you this was just conversation, not complaining. But the checker comped one of our two pomegranates. Nice! The funny thing was that we didn’t buy the bad pomegranate at PCC.

About 5 miles, with the first half in a good rain. I was glad we went out despite the weather, it felt good to be out and about. And it felt calm. The only real crowd we saw were the homeless or down on their luck making their way to the Blessed Sacrament church in our neighborhood for Sunday dinner.

Looking forward to tomorrow. A short day at work and a long line at the Honeybaked Ham store.

Are we there yet?

December 21, 2018

This is what I saw when I finally arrived home yesterday evening. I think it was around 7:30.

UPS truck

There was a package being delivered by UPS to our house. I had received a notification email on Wednesday. Then Thursday morning another email saying I could track the packages progress.

Fun. So I brought up the tracking map and relegated it to the far right part of my right monitor. Not blocking work, but there. I figured I could alert Carl when it arrived.

There were three choices for UPS to designate for the package. On the Road, In Your Area, and Almost There.

It was On the Road for some time, at first from far south, and then even in the University District. Our house is on NE 56th Street. The truck spent a lot of time On the Road around NE 45th Street. There are lots of businesses and apartments, so this made sense. Around noon the truck managed to get north to 50th, and the situation finally changed to In Your Area.

In Your Area was the status for most of the afternoon, as the truck wound its way here and there, including being on Roosevelt, about 7 houses away.

At work, when we read water meters, the routes were always based on right turns to the extent possible. I assume the UPS logarithms are similar. It was amusing to see the ebb and flow of proximity to our house.

Finally at 4:19, with the truck on NE 55th, the status changed to Almost There. Two right turns away.

I texted Carl. Oh ho the Wells Fargo truck is coming …

And then the truck turned left. Still in the vicinity but getting further away. And then further, and further. Miles (University Village) away. So I texted again to stand (or sit) down.

I generally kept track as I finished my day’s work, and then left for home. Arriving 25 miles later, with the UPS truck parked in front of the house.

The status never changed from Almost There, until it went to Delivered. That would be over 3 hours. Without the map to show what was going on, the wait could be trying. Trying to figure out what had happened, if a porch pirate managed a quick pickup, and feeling tethered if the goal was to meet the truck.

All worked out for us, but I am less sure about there algorithm that appears to be based on physical proximity rather than your place in the delivery queue.

I will leave you with the best sweater of the day. So far.

Night Out

December 17, 2018

We were going to go out to a friend’s house last night, but Carl was feeling under the weather, so we stayed put. It may have really been the weather as a really low pressure area came through, accompanied by howling winds. My last year’s project of trying to keep the siding from blowing off the side of the house appears to be holding.

Before tonight’s show we went to the Noi Thai restaurant. It was really tasty (Crispy Garlic Chicken) and I probably could have split an order. But, um. I did stop before it was gone. We met friends and all agreed we should come back to eat there again.

Then it was time for the 2018 version of the Seattle Men’s Chorus Christmas show. Pretty good. And did you know the Village People did a record of there hit songs modified for Christmas? I didn’t, but we heard a few tonight!

Finally the fun was over and it was time to transit home. Carl had the inspired idea to drive to the UW light rail station (parking is free on Sundays) and take the train. There’s a station under the Benaroya concert hall. How convenient. And somebody other than me suggested a transit alternative!

The only downside to the evening was the seats in Benaroya just did not agree with my back. I am hoping a night sleep will cure the pain.

Weather Report

December 14, 2018

The Mountain is really pretty this morning in the dawn. Many different shades of blue that subtly show the definition of the different slopes. All under a deck of clouds. No picture because it would not look anything like what my eyes could see.

Note the cloud deck. That goes with the forecast.

Again, we have to remember the Seattle refrain, “If you wait for the rain to stop, you won’t get much done.”

We do hope to get some walking in this coming weekend. Maybe figure out how to complete interior decor for the holidays.

Last night we watched a movie recommended by a friend. The Lobster. It was an interesting take on a society where it was necessary for adults to be part of a couple. And if you weren’t and couldn’t find a partner that shared a common characteristic, such as nearsightedness, there were consequences. Carl found it flat. I was more intrigued. This film has the same director as the recently released, The Favourite.