Archive for December, 2018

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.

Happy day,

December 12, 2018

Well earlier today I am guessing. I was occupied when I could have been posting this in time, and my guess is my blog is not high on their daily list of things to do.

Anyway, Happy Birthday Becca.

I keep getting asked if Rey and Becca are getting snow. I admit I don’t know whether the weather got as far west as Nashville. It might have been fun to have a snow day for a birthday.

It’s a Wrap

December 11, 2018

All I can see is Red and Green!

But it’s fun. I am actually enjoying going through the motions. I can picture the recipient and my version of their reactions. Of course, this will be followed by the reality of the post office. My goal is to be ready to go before this weekend….

Stay tuned for schedule updates.

On the weather front, rain.

Not showers, drizzle or mist. Rain. Use your windshield wipers unintermitently. But not on high. Not pouring down, can it rain any harder downpours. Just rain.

Get ready for the rest of winter. Which I prefer to ice, and even to fog. A little fog is nice, but not days in a row. The lack of sun can be draining, but it is dark most of the day anyway. Sunrise at 7:47 and sunset at 4:18. Dark when work starts and ends.

Not grousing. It’s going to be a good day.

Holiday Happenings

December 10, 2018

I figured it was time to start wrapping. Things to consider: 1) my back still hurts, but not as much, 2) there are several pieces to wrap, 3) the best flat surface at a good height for this work is in the kitchen, 4) I like to be entertained while I work, 5) the entertaining device is not very visible from the kitchen. Carl, the solver, notes the best flat surface is on wheels.

What’s missing?

Mobile workspace on the right.

This move also pointed out that our kitchen floor was a tad bit dirty.

More decorations are appearing.

Santa at the zoo. Before they glitzed it up.

We did skip the Green Lake Luminaria this year. I wasn’t quite up to the late night walk. And now I find out they had 5 hot air balloons! I don’t think they do anything arial, just provide pretty lights on the ground.

Lights, action

December 8, 2018

I got the lights up!

Not the fancy displays that some have. Just enough to hold off the darkness. I was especially happy to complete the task as my back is not right.

The ornaments are hung too.

We continued our weekly entertainment by attending the Jane Addams Middle School performance of A Wrinkle in Time. Our original motivation was to see what our friend’s daughter was doing, as a drama teacher. And, it turned out, one of Carl’s previous kids was in the play.

Small world.

Tomorrow I am going to try balancing some work and a little more play.