Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Dortmund Day 2

January 20, 2019

Long story short. Dortmund played one game today. We wore an extra layer each, and that made for a more comfortable experience. Parker didn’t score, but neither did the other team. Nil-nil tie means that Dortmund continues to the 8 am semifinals tomorrow.

Today’s game was at Renton Stadium, sandwiched amongst Boeing sites. Also along the Cedar River. We arrived early to walk along the river trail. Different than most we travel.

On the way home we got a bit turned around. As it turns out we were still heading in the right direction, just through very unfamiliar territory with no indications of the whether we were heading north, south, east or west. Changed drivers so I could work the Google maps and Carl, who actually had his driver’s license with him, could drive. (I left mine at home.)

And then …

The important number is not 60 mph. Look at the slightly smaller number to the left. 14 plus years to reach 200,000.

Earlier in the day I was doing mundane chores like taking out the recycling. And I almost tripped over a gutter drain pipe that was lying across the walk. I am guessing it came down in the wind in the last two weeks. So the chore list got longer. After several trips to the basement, charging the drill battery, hauling the ladder out of the basement, three of us realigned the pipe and attached it to the house, much more firmly than before.

The drain pipe, fully vertical

Connection close up

I think the contractor had done a good job of getting it all lined up, and there was one sort of connection to the house on the lowest of the three pipe parts. The lowest part is now the only piece not physically attached to the house with screws. If it slips, I will do more at that point. This was one of our quicker fixes from identification to action to completion.

Made spaghetti and garlic bread so the boys could carbo-load for tomorrow’s game(s). Good day, and I am ready for bed.

Dortmund Black 02

January 20, 2019

I can remember when our weekends were dictated by the kids and our extracurricular events. We are getting to relive the experience through our friends from Eugene.

Soccer, high school age. One of the tournaments where college coaches can scout the kids.

They played mid-day yesterday in the Starfire stadium. This is a turf field with concrete based stands on one side and smaller aluminum bleachers on the other. (Only coaches and players are allowed on the smaller side. )

The winter sun is low in the sky, but there was some sun.

Back in its day this full size field was the largest field that Carl and my co-rec teams played on. And it was dirt. Huge with tough running, it went under the name of Fort Dent.

I am not sure when the name change came, along with the development of several side fields with field turf, but it is also the practice home of the Seattle Sounders. They play some of their non-mls games here too, even with the limited seating capacity.

Back to the current boys. (2 staying with us.) They won their game there by a score of 4-1. Parker scored a hat-trick.

Carl and I both realized how out of shape we are for this spectating gig. It was chilly, mostly due to wind. We were both exhausted at the end and excused ourselves to head home. Even after that respite we didn’t attend the evening game at a different Bellevue field. They won again, 2-1, with Parker scoring the winning goal.

Today’s game is in the afternoon in Renton, and I am sure we will be there. With more clothes.

Their team is currently in 2nd place out of the 16. They will likely get to play on Monday too, back at Starfire for the semifinals, and hopefully the finals. Carl would attend, but I have to work.

Time to rise and shine, and see if the boys would like some laundry done before they put their uniforms on again.

Seattle Squeeze

January 17, 2019

Morning view of the Seattle Squeeze

Day 4 of the 21-day Seattle Squeeze is currently underway. Impacts to me have so far been fairly limited. Thanks to all of those who have altered their modes of transportation. I have carpooled 2-1/2 days, but that is not too unusual.

Here is a close-up of my morning view. Check out the mileage. Almost to 200,000. It could even happen over the weekend. We have friends coming up for a soccer tournament. A few back and forths to Tukwilla could do the trick.

Work is ramping up this week. Multiple projects reaching more intense moments. Timing means I need to churn out some letters, certified, tomorrow. Attachments are done, but the letter explaining it is still in development. And I put together a schedule to finish my big project. Scary, and still too slow for my taste. A lot of hurry, hurry, hurry, followed by waiting.

No pressure.

But I had to leave to get home, make dinner, and clean up rooms that will be occupied by guests tomorrow evening. There’s a reasonable expectation they will arrive before either Carl or I are home.

Pedal to the metal!


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.