August 15, 2016

I try to walk during lunch, and am successful at least a few times each week. Last week we walked to the closest high school and around one of their turf fields. There is an osprey family nesting on one of high field light standards.

This has led to some interesting field art or markings. (The white stuff)

There was also quite a selection of sticks at the base of the light pole, but someone had moved them all outside of the fence. I am sure they will be tolerated at least until the young have fledged.

Closer to home we need to evict some smaller flying creatures.

A few wasps even made it into the house.

sleepless in seattle

August 10, 2016

That’s 15 innings.

The game finally ended one minute after midnight.

I rather held Carl responsible since he caught Kyle Seager’s 8th inning home run that tied the game.

This followed a night with 2 hours sleep due to a stupid grill that looked like someone toed it to a less than vertical alignment. (Don’t ask, I need to sleep)


July 28, 2016

I have already read 3 books on this vacation. And I have started on a fourth. (This one has a time sensitive reading window as it is meant to stay here when we leave.)


My view from this year’s favorite outdoor reading location.


Carl is on the shelf from his baseball playing time right now, due to an ankle injury. We checked yesterday and his team has won their last two games while we were on the road, so they are not missing him too much. Nonetheless he is trying to keep himself in playing shape.

That is a ship of the salty variety upbound in the background. Last night was a bonus night for freighter viewing. At least six different boats sailed by. The last downbound boat went by very slowly – probably because there were three boats ahead of it at the locks. Bonus for the tourists hanging out downtown.

Whitefish dinner tonight at the Cozy Inn.
Sated and ready for quiet time.

Hall of Fame

July 27, 2016

This trip was essentially 3 in 1.
The first part was New York City.
Part 2 = Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Part 1b – transitioning from New York City to Cooperstown.
We traveled by foot, subway, train and rental car. The train ride along the Hudson was certainly the most scenic part of the trip.


It was a destination idea shared by at least 50,000 others.
With that many in attendance, you would think it was crowded. And it was in certain areas – like downtown Cooperstown through the heart of the day. Other times were surprisingly low-key. Like early in the morning during “Members Only” hours at the museum. And the road between our hotel and Cooperstown. We were even able to park within one block of the main drag through town.

In the hall itself each major league team has a space where they have uniforms, some special items about the team, and a list of the team’s major accomplishments, such as retired numbers and world series. Due to alphabetization, here are St. Louis and Seattle. One has had a bit more success than the other. (Enlarge to read details)


And it turns out Edgar Martinez is already in the Hall, at least his jersey.


This is nothing special, but I like this idea for a future project.


A bit of Seattle history.


We wandered the Hall early in the morning, and then found the Cooperstown Diner. A small, intimate setting. No taking names, just wait until a table of the correct number of seats opens up. Luckily it was not too long a line for us, or wait. The waitress, on the other hand, was literally running. We asked if this was their busiest day of the year, and she agreed and noted that another waitress would be arriving at 9:00. Of course it was past 9 by this point (she did show up eventually).

Folding chairs are the name of the game for HOF weekend. We had read enough about the induction site to purchase 3 chairs and 2 beach towels when we arrived in Cobleskill. (There are nowhere near enough places to stay in Cooperstown, so most stay a bit out of town. Cobleskill is between Albany and Cooperstown, about a 40 minute drive. Others we spoke with were staying in Albany, and even Utica.)

On our way into Cooperstown on Saturday morning we drove by the induction ceremony site. The induction is on Sunday, but the information said you could leave chairs out overnight. Even though it was not quite 7:30 AM, there were already chairs out in the general seating area. So we stopped and dropped off our chairs in what we felt was a pretty good location. There were about 2-3 rows of chairs between us and the fence separating the riff-raff from those that paid for chairs set up by others.

Once on the main drag, we could see that these same type chairs were in abundance along Main Street. This is the parade route. So Carl & I stepped into the General Store and purchased 2 more chairs and set them out in the second row along the street. They only cost $1 more than the Wal-Mart purchase, and we reasoned that there were 5 of us total, so we would move them to the induction site after the parade.


We spent most of the day wandering up and down Main Street. Many stores with baseball related kitsch and memorabilia. Many ex-players in stores signing autographs (for a fee). And lots of people watching. And it was hot. I think the water concession was the biggest money-maker throughout the weekend.

At 6:30 PM the parade commenced, with Hall-of-Famers riding in the back of trucks – in the order of their induction. First in line was Whitey Ford.


Randy Johnson – A Mariner favorite, even though he was inducted as a Diamondback.


And finally the reason we are here. Ken Griffey, Jr.


Two of the HOFers even acknowledged Carl and his fez.

After a day in the sun we were ready to head back to our home away from home for dinner and some rest. Because we had set chairs at the induction site the day before, we did not feel the need to be there at the crack of dawn. Again, the road was fairly empty until we got close. There were the two State Patrol cars that drove in front of us most of the way, there for crowd control I am sure. When we did get close the number of people and cars multiplied before our eyes. At the last moment we decided to park in a private lot – adjacent to the induction site. This saved the lines for the shuttle, and the sprained ankles sported by two of our five.

If somebody had suggested we join 50,000 others for this event, I might have balked. In the end it was a great time. The five of us in are newly purchased chairs – Carl, Mark, Dottie, Kevin and myself.


The rest of the 50,000 plus. (One woman we spoke with said they thought it was closer to 60,000 or more. But it still paled to the 82,000 they had when Cal Ripken, Jr. and Tony Gwynn were inducted.)


After the ceremony they take the plaques into town and install them in the museum. We did not follow that evening, choosing to wait for the morning on our way out-of-town.



And then we headed north – into Canada.


And out of Canada, and home.



New York

July 21, 2016

In which we manage the subway all by ourselves and see a Yankee game (vs Orioles).

I think this is the 4th time we have visited NYC and I can finally read the subway maps and sort of find our way around. Ashlan now lives in Hell’s Kitchen and it is close enough to walk to many places.

We did not try to walk to Yankee Stadium.

We got to the stadium fairly early and were able to go look at the area where the Old Yankee Stadium was located – across the street.


The old stadium outline is shown on the picture.


Carl & Kevin having a catch, with the bat that was outside Old Yankee Stadium, in its original location. Lots of history. Virtue (Gehrig) and Vice (Ruth), or visa versa Mr. Naughty and Mr. Nice. We went to Monument Park in the outfield, and wandered the entire concourse before ascending to the fourth level.

Here is the view from our seats.
Our seats were in the front row, but we moved to the second row because they got the shade earlier. It was HOT for us north-westerners. In the 90s, but we will be leaving this fair city and hopefully avoiding the swelter.


We stopped by the Yotel on the way to the game to see where Mark & Dottie were staying. An interesting place. Very small private spaces, you push a button and the bed slides down from “couch” to bed position.


There are open areas for mingling.


And a robotically accessed storage place for your valuables.


We are heading out for a late dinner tonight – Mexican I believe.


New York, New York!

July 20, 2016

Early Tuesday morning. A little something is in my latte’s foam.


And here we are – Wednesday evening.


This is the view from Ashlan’s rooftop deck. She is out at some sort of a function for Allen’s work right now, and we are enjoying the cool breeze. We arrived less than 24 hours ago, after an early morning pick-up and departure, and a five hour layover in Milwaukee. The layover was supposed to be about three hours, but the incoming plane was delayed, and then there was a need to find a landing time slot at LaGuardia.


Basically the same view last night, with Ashlan and Allen.

We walked a lot today – north up to Central  Park, and back again.
And into Rockefeller Plaza – 4th floor please.


Got to see how security can really be implemented.
Walked right in the building and were directed to the check-in desk.
Gave our IDs, had our pictures taken, they called the office we were going to visit, and then issued us a ticket with our names to get into the elevator. There was a gentleman/guard who took our tickets and swiped them himself before allowing us to the elevator.

Once inside the office we were visiting they escorted us to a small room where we would visit with a customer service representative. We came in from one side of the room, and she entered from the other – locked door. The table between us ran from one edge of the room to another. There would be no easy way to get into the inner sanctum.

Our task was relatively benign – to try and get a pocket watch working again.


It looks fine to us, but does not run. This is really Rey’s watch, but we are shepherding it through this phase. While we are on a vacation in NYC, the watch will be winging its way to Switzerland soon. That is where it will be diagnosed and we will be told what they feel is necessary to restore the watch to a working state.

This watch was Rey’s great-grandfather’s, Doris’ father. Virgil Wippern.


Central Park views – a lovely day



Now a look at the brief past that was missed by not posting for a few weeks:

  • Jay worked lots of hours (so she could take a vacation)
  • Carl spent time with two small girls and a smaller boy, in various combinations of the three.
  • There were some Mariner games, even some with exciting endings.
  • We saw A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder at the 5th Avenue Theater
  • We also saw Gilbert & Sullivans’ Yoeman of the Guard at the Bagley Wright Theater.
  • There was a 5K walk around and throughout Safeco Field
  • Some missed baseball games for Carl (due to a high ankle sprain)
  • And I am sure there was a Sounder’s game or two

Happy Belated Birthday

July 6, 2016

Carl, the Fez, had a birthday last week. We did celebrate, sort of for the whole weekend. Not like a continuous party,but bits and pieces here and there. And it was all helped along by his good friends.

The festivities commenced on Friday when Chris and Dan arrived from California and Oregon. Hanging out and a Mariners game. Too short a visit, so we helped them carbo-load at breakfast the next morning. (They were in training for a 10k in track town. (But not the Olympic Trials)) 

In amongst Chris and Dan’s arrival, Dennis ventured in from Portland. He and Carl continued the Mariner weekend with a game on Saturday.

And Sunday. Sunday started with an early game. And I must pause to thank the Mariners for winning all of the weekend games. It just helped the fun factor.

The real fun on Sunday was reserved for the evening when we all headed for the Shannon’s and Dennis’s annual baseball film show. (With real film and projectors) This year included several early version’s of, “You make the call,” and several other offerings, ending with Kate Smith singing God Bless America. A good crowd this year and a great show.

We did take our time getting up on the fourth. You can only squeeze so much into one long weekend. 

Yes, that is a walking boot. Technically from June, but what would a July be without some sort of injury diagnosis. (A high ankle sprain.)

31 Years

July 5, 2016

Sort of looks like a kidnapping note.

Lots more to report on, but couldn’t miss this date.

And happy anniversary to Pooh and Mark and all of the other cousins that share this week.

catching up

June 29, 2016

The title about sums up the last week. Catching up at work, at home, with friends, on bills…

And there is a new editor for the mobile blog app. That will be my excuse for anything going wrong.

I have decided to just look at pictures on the phone since my last post and try to provide a brief comment.

Okay. The first thing that went wrong was trying to add a picture and choosing the incorrect icon.

 Well, that took way to long to figure out. This was not too far from our hotel, in Bronzeville. It is a statue commemorating the migration of African-American’s to Chicago. The surface is done with representations of shoe soles. 

Back in Seattle. A whirlwind day at work followed by Pride weekend. The Sounders embraced the theme, and so did Carl.

He improved the hat wig configuration after this picture.

Next up was the last Seattle Men’s and Women’s Chorus concert conducted by Dennis Coleman. After 35 years at the helm.

The mariners were on tap for the next day, although we did not stay for the entire game because Carl had a game with his Silver Foxes.

Yes, this game was against the Cardinals, and he is wearing red. But the front says Mariners. This particular game went to the Cardinals, but the Mariners took the series. The most exciting moment was a walk off home run on Friday night.

And I finally got a picture of the bridge that was and is no longer a bridge.

I don’t get to sleep at work, but others do nap.

Thunder and lightning

June 22, 2016

We are snug as a bug in a rug in our room as the storm rages outside. Unfortunately we are very close to the venue for the Copa America game between Chile and Columbia. It is halftime and they have delayed the second half while the lightning passes. And now we have no tv signal. I wish I could capture our visuals. Lightning, rain, blowing sheets of water. And we are fully sated after eating as much Chicago deep dish pizza as we could manage.

Carl went to the Cubs day game today. Thankfully it did not rain. But the Cubs lost, again. Lucky us get the Cardinals when we return to Seattle.


I spent my final day at the conference. In sessions till the bitter end.
There was some fun around lunch time during hydrant hysteria. I did take a video of the 1 minute 18.51 second rebuild of the hydrant, but I don’t have my computer and passwords necessary to post that successfully.


And I sort of played hookey for part of the morning when I went to sessions on the Great Lakes.
The first was about microplastics. Bits less than 5 mm. There is a group that uses citizen scientists to help collect samples. Anyone interested?

Next up was a bit about the lack of separation between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi basin.
And the Great Lakes Compact.

And finally, Rapid Water Level Changes. The record low levels in Superior were in the 60s. Highs in the 80s.
In the late 90s El Nino led to persistent low levels (big beaches). Overlake evaporation was the mechanism for water to leave the lake.

In 2012 Superior was at it’s lowest, but the next two years had the biggest surge (delta change), almost 3 feet. This was the cause of our scoured banks and the highly visible Amethyst rock.

And did you know that the peak month for overlake evaporation is December?


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