Archive for December, 2021

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December 30, 2021
The back path reappearing. Sun warmed yesterday, before the next round arrived.

New snow in the morning. 3 inches or so by the shoveler’s reckoning. He had cleared the sidewalk before, so starting at zero for measurements. The sidewalks were cleared again.

The pile is impressive

And it started snowing, again, in the late afternoon. This may end up just being a dusting.

I don’t miss not driving anywhere. The car has been cleaned off a couple of times, but we have not tried backing up our driveway. I am sure day driving would be fine, but not after the freeze sets in after dark.

Icy

December 29, 2021

Not a sight we get to see usually. It’s taken snow, continued cold, and a bit of afternoon sunshine.

We may hit freezing today, and it is expected to slowly add a degree or two each day heading into the weekend. I am wearing my long underwear in the house because my desk is next to the fireplace, which is a bit of a cold air entry, even though it is blocked.

I do understand that the teens and twenties is not that cold by many standards. It’s all about what you are used to.

I remember my junior year at college (MSU) when it got cold and stayed cold. Below zero days, not approaching freezing for weeks. The Red Cedar froze to become an alternate walking route. Crossing the tundra was the term used for traversing the open lots between the buildings. When it finally hit freezing, it felt so warm that jackets were unzipped or not worn at all.

The first place I lived after Michigan was Colorado. It got cold there, but it would fluctuate from the 30s to the 70s over the course of a week. That was much harder for me to deal with. The cold felt colder because of the comparison with the previous day or week.

Washington is much more temperate, and usually consistent. Sometimes the weather report doesn’t change for weeks. That is, before climate change. The endless gray drizzle of winter is becoming more intense.

I think I have become a weather wimp. That said, the sun is out and I am determined to get out at lunch for a walk. We need to get some broth to use in our chili. Warm food for cold days still to come.

Snow Day

December 26, 2021

They said for it to be considered a white Christmas there has to be 1 inch of snow on the ground. I don’t know what time the snow started, but it may have been possible to have 1 inch before midnight. We certainly had multiple inches when we woke up this morning.

First Morning Sight
Backyard Beauty

Carl has shoveled twice and we took a walk to get some milk. We’re pretty well set for food otherwise.

New hat. Thanks to Mark and Pooh

It’s too cold for good packing snow. Stay tuned for a possible warm up in the next few days. Maybe.

The only question now is, which leftovers to have for dinner tonight.

Merry Christmas to All

December 25, 2021

A good day, full of talking with family, presents and finally a good dinner for two.

Prime rib and pomegranate salad

And more Christmas themed movies for the afternoon and evening. No more Christmas Carol versions today, although one of Carl’s friends noted he always makes sure to watch at least one version each year to remind himself not to be an a**hole.😯

Christmas Eve

December 24, 2021

An almost tradition we have adopted is to order Chinese for dinner. Getting through on the telephone was proving fruitless, so we walked the mile or so to order in person for a later pickup.

And were really a bit late anyway. But they took our order, and we’ll return when they call. Anytime between 3:30 and 7:30, with a goal of 4:00. Flexibility is the key to having a good time, and it’s just the two of us, so we can roll with whatever comes our way.

The walk there was brisk, but dry. At least until we approached the restaurant. The sprinkles started. The sprinkles continued on the walk home, at least until it turned to rain. A change of exposed clothing was in order when we got home.

Continuing on the food theme, we went shopping, in a grocery store yesterday. The goal was a small prime rib for Christmas dinner. While we were browsing we happened upon some bacon-wrapped filet mignon. They were not outrageously priced, actually very reasonable, so we got them too. Christmas Eve Eve’s dinner was very tasty. Mind you we normally have beef maybe once a month, so special times.

And the tree finally has some ornaments.

So the home preparations, such as they are, are almost complete. I may do a little food prep for tomorrow. Releasing the seeds from a pomegranate comes to mind. Otherwise we are spending our afternoon watching different versions of A Christmas Carol.

And Now for Something Completely Different

December 21, 2021

What do you think of when you hear Weather Underground.

I think of the weather forecasting website. I was looking up the weather, and the sidebar noted the organization was founded in Ann Arbor. I happened to be talking with my Dad. Also in Ann Arbor.

Carl said he thought of the radical group from the 60s. So I looked them up. Also founded in Ann Arbor.

Just saying …

And now onto locks. Not the Soo kind. The front door kind.

On Sunday Carl was trying to open the front door from the inside to check for something. The knob came off in his hand, with the door still closed. The spindle/stem was broken. Sheared off. Thankfully we have a back door, so it’s just a few more steps.

On Monday I made an appointment with a locksmith to come by Tuesday afternoon to take a look. Robel showed up and completely dismantled our almost 100 year old front mortise lock.

Robel was kind enough to to show us how the mechanism works.

The work is complete and we can once again come and go as we please. Mind you, the door is still a unique, eccentric door that has it’s special way of working. I think the door needs a shave.

You know it’s the Christmas Season

December 18, 2021

It’s time for the annual grapefruit.

A consultant who does business with the District always sends a box of grapefruit during the holidays. I usually am able to score one. We don’t buy them normally because Carl can’t partake due to drug interactions. Growing up we had a grapefruit knife. We don’t. It seems a bit much to buy a specialty knife to be used just once a year. To eat them I use an old baby spoon that the rubber coating had come off. It is an appropriate size and has a good edge.

If you look closely at the picture you can find the elusive manatees taking a peek into the creche. There is very little that is sacred when Carl starts decorating.

Speaking of decorating, we did get a tree last weekend. Rather small, but it fits the house.

Buying the tree provides us an opportunity to support the elementary school our kids attended, at least briefly for Rey. I think Carl basically doubled what they were going to charge. It was the neighborhood school when they were of that age. The neighborhood school has now changed to one taken out of mothballs when the younger population increased. If you go back further there is a closer school, but it is now a Community Center. We’re not plugged into the current school’s fundraising yet.

Lights added. Maybe ornaments soon.

The holiday season also coincides with my annual review. Second one done virtually. I am going in about once a week at this point. 34 years in, and a few more to go. A few of the other old-timers are retiring. One by end of year, the next mid-year. It makes me think both back and forward.

For the imminent retiree they were asking for stories and memories. I shared a story where he helped me put a new water pump into my car. I was playing mechanic in the office parking lot after work, back when I tackled this kind of maintenance. This stemmed from my growing up in Michigan, more importantly with my cousin Jim. He was a total car geek, and I thought everyone took care of their own cars. Back to the story, I couldn’t quite move a piece out of the way to insert the new pump in place. It was a strength thing. He, the retiree, Chic, was returning from a costumer call and obliged to shove the pump in place. This allowed me to finish the job and get home that night.

Our person putting the newsletter together requested a picture. Luckily Carl has been spending a lot of time organizing our old photos and found one of the old 1980 Civic, the first new car I owned.

February 1984

The picture documented the start of my move from Fort Collins, Colorado to Seattle. The car is packed with almost all of my worldly possessions. The black and white TV is belted into the front passenger seat. My cat, Frodo, was not with me. He waited in Colorado until I found a job and apartment, and came back to get Carl. What an adventure that was.

I don’t think we could fit the contents from one room of our house into a car.

3 Points

December 3, 2021

Three things have been niggling me over the past few days.

  1. My mother would be rolling in her grave right about now. She spent years volunteering at Planned Parenthood. My dim and probably not completely correct memory was that she helped usher women visiting PP past folks that were not in favor of them visiting a health facility. Note that I myself visited PP for health checkups and information and advice.
    Of course, she is not actually in a grave as such. I wonder if Dad can feel a change in the force in his apartment.

2. There is a new tier 4 soccer team starting in Seattle. The Sounders are considered 1st tier. This team was announced to us through a Seattle Times article. There was an accompanying picture with the three primary leaders; Chris Kaimmer, Sam Zisette and Lamar Neagle. All three names were familiar. Lamar Neagle was a former Sounders player. Chris Kaimmer we first met when he was a baby in a Parent/Child co-op. We were together in that group until the kids went to Kindergarten. Then he and Rey played on soccer teams (non-school) for several years. They went to different high schools, but ran into each other again when they were both running cross-country. And Sam is the younger brother of one of Ashlan’s friends in elementary school, although they went to different middle/high schools. And finally – one of their primary sponsors is Rueben’s Brews. The owners of Rueben’s sit behind us at Mariner games. Small world – and we will definitely try to fit in a game or two next year.

3. I get monthly Civil Engineering magazines. I browse them and read articles here and there. There is an article I am going to share here for general interest. It is about building the Mackinaw Bridge. Since it is an engineering magazine it talks about some of the technical issues, and especially what was learned from a few previous, less successful bridges.

All for now. Good morning.