Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


September 10, 2019

One of our newest neighbors.

Carl had the privilege of caring for this little guy yesterday. He had a workout, feeding, changing and carrying.

The best part is, during this period, his parents both became US citizens.

This is more impressive as they are sleep-deprived new parents.

And this morning the sidewalks were filled with children and their umbrellas, heading for the school bus.

The neighborhood regenerates.

Rain Storm

September 8, 2019

The Pac-12 made a deal with the devil for TV coverage. I don’t know the details, but the former Saturday afternoon college football games have turned into mostly night games, and on the west coast guarantees nobody on the other coast will be paying any attention. By the time the Washington vs California was over last night, it was this morning (1:22 AM), and not many west coast viewers were paying attention either.

The delay in the game was a spectacular lightning storm. Most Seattle storms have one or two bolts and a thunder clap. This storm went on and on and on.

Radar Image after most of the storm had moved north.

We took a walk today, noticing some interesting botanical shapes.


Umbrella over twisted trunks

And we got caught in the rain. But it was just rain. All signs point to fall.

Silver Foxes Playoff Game 1

September 7, 2019

Fall is upon us, so it’s time for the playoffs. All of the teams in Carl’s league make the playoffs. But then again, they pay to play, not the other way around.

The Foxes played the Tugs. They are usually evenly matched, depending upon which team’s pitcher is on and makes the fewest errors in the field. During the regular season the Foxes finished on top three times, and the Tugs won twice.

Today favored the Foxes. They won 11-0.

Carl pitched a 9 inning shutout, using only 76 pitches. Defensively he had 2 putouts and 6 assists. Great defense backed up the pitching, including 3 double plays. Really, it was a great game for the Foxes.

This was especially nice considering Carl was feeling out of sorts through much of the week. It has been up and down and up again. This included driving to Eugene, helping paint the exterior of a house, subjecting himself to an ER experience for half a day, and driving home again.

Just to keep today’s game in line with the rest of the week, for 2 innings he had an eye migraine, complete with fractured vision.

And as another reality check, not only is it SEPTEMBER! IT’S ALMOST THE SECOND WEEK OF SEPTEMBER.

Rex’s Saturday Breakfast Club

September 7, 2019


I worked with Rex for about 15 years. He was our primary building maintenance person and all around helpful guy.

He was a real support when Carl was going through his heart issues, as Rex had survived a similar situation.

And for a handful of us, Rex led the Saturday Morning Breakfast Club. Rex worked Saturdays so he could do noisy, in the way work with nobody in his way. Except when we showed up anyway. Rex would set up a few radios and blast oldies throughout the building. Nobody ever complained, because Saturday was Rex’s day, and if we chose to be there, it was part of the experience. And, because he was an all around nice guy, if he knew you were likely to show up, he would put a pot of coffee on.

Rex passed away on Tuesday. He had become ill a few months ago, and never really recovered.

This morning I went to work. On a Saturday. Two others were there as well and we toasted Rex with our coffees brought from elsewhere. I tuned into a radio station to stave off the quiet.

And I wandered by Rex’s work station and contemplated the few things he added to make the space his own.

The coming week shall bring you much happiness

How come I get blamed for everything

You have so much to be thankful for

And, his art. Doodles and miscellany. Many of our trash receptacles have flames. And the office rain barrels all are painted with foliage.

You are missed.

Moving On

August 31, 2019

Taking a walk today. First one in a few weeks. Carl wanted to throw against a wall to loosen his shoulder, so we went to Ravenna Eckstein Community Center. I walked their path while Carl threw, and now we’re out for brunch at the Ravenna Varsity Restaurant.

Sort of a celebration of making it through the last week.

Carl’s Silver Foxes team won their last game, in the rain. I was soaked by the end. Carl pitched 4 innings, gave up one run. And he got a double, his third of the season. He has improved as the season has progressed.

And we are working our way through the accident fallout. They declared the car totaled and opened the door for us to spend a pile of money replacing the vehicle that had many more years of life, until it didn’t. So yesterday I took the afternoon off and we spent money.

This is the result. A 2017 Corolla with a bit over 11,000 miles on the odometer.

We looked really hard at a 2020 Corolla Hybrid. A sweet car, but a bit more than we wanted to pay.

The rental car has been returned and insurance updated. What remains is to accept the insurance company’s value of the dead car to help pay for the new car. And finally to hear formally what we know, that it’s the other driver’s responsibility and they will cover our deductible and rental car overages.

Back to the walk. I really liked these folks keeping an eye on the sidewalk.

A Day in the Sun, or Summer’s Last Hurrah

August 28, 2019

It got into the 80s today. I played hooky to go to a day game. Not my normal schedule, but it was going to be nice, and more importantly, cousin Aimee and her partner MB were going with us.

This was Aimee’s first baseball game, ever. And possibly the last for a while. The four of us wandered the park for a while, and then Aimee and I settled into the seats while Carl and MB continued wandering, into the bullpen area. Carl managed to get a baseball from the catcher for MB. A successful time already.

And in the 4th inning, Carl caught a home run hit by Kyle Seager. This tied the game at 2-2, for the moment.

That’s Aaron Judge pushing his face into the wall. MB is shielding with her glove, Aimee is at the edge of this shot, and I am stage left.

This link will hopefully take you to the highlight. (And there is a 15 second commercial) Kyle Seager’s Home Run & Carl’s Catch

In the end the Yankees won handily, but we had a good time.

In other news, the Corolla has been declared a total loss. Time to find the title and search for the next car.

The Tank

August 26, 2019

This has been an ongoing project just outside our office. Seismic upgrades, operational improvements and new coatings, including a new mural.

Some of these I have posted before, but I want to see them all together. About a $1.2 million dollar project. The mural was about $50,000.

Base colors

24 Hours

August 23, 2019

24 hours ago we were leaving Carl’s baseball game. He pitched 6 innings I think. That would be 17 innings over 5 days, before his knee “wobbled out.” They were ahead when he left, but lost 11-8. It wasn’t the relief pitcher’s fault, but more that the fielding went downhill after the temperature and the sun dropped.

Carl is currently at the Mariner’s game. I think he is sitting with former major leaguer Jim Lewis. I don’t know where, or if for sure, but they were meeting before the game.

I am currently watching said game on TV.

This all seems relatively normal, for us, but the last 24 hours were not.

Warning: This is partly to download my mind, and allow it to rest. I will be rambling.

At approximately 9:10 PM we were driving south on Meridian Ave N, crossing NE 145th St on the green light. Unfortunately, a woman driving north on Meridian decided to turn left, without factoring our car also being in the intersection.

I remember seeing her car really close to ours, as I made some sound of surprise, and then the airbags went off. Speeds were not that high, and the safety equipment appeared to do its job.

The 2010 Corolla is likely totaled. Carl’s was fine and I was not completely sure. I definitely ached immediately, but it was an ache, not sharp pain.

Carl got out of the driver’s side and asked me to call the police. That’s when I realized I didn’t have my glasses on any longer, and set about trying to locate them.

When an airbag deploys it fills the space. Not just with the airbag, but something in the air. The windows were all covered with a mist or dust, obscuring outside. And my door wouldn’t open.

I pushed the airbag in, and finally found my glasses between the center console and my seat. And called 911. After describing the situation from my perspective she finally let me off the phone. Since I had a bag at my feet, I started emptying the glove box (lots of CDs) into the bag. And finally climbed out through the driver’s side door.

And then all of the accident scene stuff. The woman driving the other car seemed okay. She was calling either the police or insurance, but we were eventually able to exchange information by taking pictures of documents (so much easier than writing it all down).

The driver of the car behind us stayed too, as a witness, so kind. We were mucking up the intersection, and a City of Seattle police came by. Literally, she wasn’t dispatched, just happened on the scene, and started assessing the situation. After that 2 State Patrol cars arrived that were dispatched. I think 145th may be the boundary between Seattle and Shoreline, or it’s a state road, whatever, they took over.

To clear the road we both drove our cars into one lane. I didn’t think that was possible with the bumper basically on the ground. Calling friends for a ride, unloading the car onto the sidewalk, and answering questions from the police filled the next bit of time. Two car seats, baseball equipment, something else in a long bag, a box of hot wheels tracks, 3 or 4 bags of toys, emergency kit, food cooler (dinner), backpack, the second glove box contents and assorted other detritus.

Throughout this latter part I was also on the phone with our insurance company. They were patient, asking questions and then more questions. It was helpful they were on the phone when the tow truck driver arrived as they spoke directly to each other instead of me translating. When they started telling me about coverage and rental cars I finally begged off the line, figuring those details could wait.

Our ride (Kevin) arrived, loaded our pile off the sidewalk and we drove home.

Made my lunch for Friday as Carl iced his body. He was sore, but it was all pretty normal after pitching, with the possible exception of a sore foot. Possibly from jamming the brake pedal? I was still sore on the right side of my chest. We finally headed to bed, but not really to sleep. Brains don’t slow down that quickly. Carl woke up remembering the parking zone sticker on the windshield. I realized there was probably a CD in the player.

Morning dawned as usual, and I was off to work. And I did some work for the first hour or so, but then I started following up on the details. Another hour with the insurance folks. And the rental car folks. And eventually with the consulting nurse. Other folks thought I should get checked out, even though the likely diagnosis would have no real treatment.

So, as expected, I have bruised ribs/chest wall. Ibuprofen and tylenol, and remember to take deep breaths.

While at the clinic I realized I didn’t have my phone with me. Luckily, a co-worker located it on my desk and said he would bring it home. I reasoned that I spent several decades negotiating life without a phone/computer in my hand and I should be able to manage.

The other errand on my list was to get to the tow yard and recover said items thought of the night before. I went through my pile of papers and scribbled information from the night before to find an address. When I got to the area it took two trips around the block to find it, and a third trip to find where they had an entrance that didn’t include razor wire. I finally parked in an adjacent hamburger joint and found the entrance. The woman manning the office was quite the character. She said she had been working there 51 years, and her husband had passed a few years earlier. She was working on cleaning up the office with 50 years of running the operation. It sounded like the business would be moving to the next generation, and that the towing companies were essentially extended family. I did manage to get the CD and zone pass, plus 4 more pennies. I do wish I had my phone to take some pictures of the car in the light as well as the place. A place like I had not seen before. And I bid the Corolla farewell.

Finally home at 3:30 I ate lunch, greeted my phone, sent an email to tell the insurance folks the car was ready for them to take possession, and sat down to relax.

At some point I fell asleep watching TV. And woke up with the Mariners game tied in the third inning against the Blue Jays.

Carl is enjoying the game and it looks like he got to visit the broadcast booth!

Tomorrow will arrive early, dental appointments at 7 AM. It always seems like a good idea when we make the appointment. Here’s to a more normal day tomorrow.

I guess I’ll start researching new cars.

Double trouble

August 18, 2019

Here we are at Carl’s Sunday game, and he’s pitching again.

Really, there is a person on the mound, and it’s Carl.

Tap the picture, the video should right itself.

The pitcher they “saved” during yesterday’s game started today, but got hit in the hand by a come-backer. So Carl, on one days rest, is their next best option. We’ll see how far he goes, and if there’s enough ice in the house tomorrow.

A bit later our shortstop caught a throw with his face, resulting in a bloody nose.

Who said baseball isn’t a contact sport.

Carl went 5 innings, but they lost by 1 run! Not too bad, as the other team had their ace pitcher going.

Epsom salts now, and we’ll see what tomorrow brings. I’m proud of him for stepping up. Before the game started he was wondering if he would be able to throw at all today.

Social Saturday

August 17, 2019

Saturdays are for sleeping in. Except when there is a 10:30 am baseball game, where you need to be there at 9:30 (to stretch – important in a 60+league). And the field is an hour away. Breakfast, gathering uniforms, etc., meant no real sleeping in.

The Silver Foxes prevailed, 17 to 2. Carl had a great game, he pitched 6 shutout innings and hit a double his first time up, and a TRIPLE the next time. Remember that both of those hits involved more running than he has done in a while.

Next up we went to a gallery showing local artists prints. One of our friends had a print included. The artists each spoke about their piece for a few minutes. Interesting, although some of the materials mentioned were not something I was familiar with, and the techniques may have well have been in Greek. This was a bit of a hit and run, but nice to see and hear.

Finally, a reception for a friend and her relatively new husband. They were actually married in December. In New Orleans. At a surprise (to the groom) wedding, cleverly disguised as a 30th birthday party with lots of friends in attendance. It was fun to see Kassy, meet Sam, reconnecting with others, and meeting many new folks.

The M-heads are a blast from the past. Mariners thing back when they were regularly in the playoffs. This is a sort of re-creation of an older photo.

Now it’s time to relax! And get ready for another Foxes baseball game tomorrow.