As the Seasons Turn

September 11, 2017

School has started once again.  Our kids have long since graduated,  but the impacts are still felt. For me, it is traffic related. Not as many on vacation means more going to work. And they changed the starting times for schools near our office so figuring out the impact on the last mile continues. [There are 3 high schools, 2 middle schools, and an elementary school within a mile and on the same road as our office.]

Carl’s impact is more direct. One of his kids start kindergarten today. I think he is picking her up after school, and still has her younger brother.

On the baseball front, it’s up in the air whether the Mariners will make it to a Play-on game, much less the Playoffs. But we keep going.

Yesterday we walked to the stadium and sat in foul territory for a change. Right behind home plate.

It was a nice change. Carl got to chat with one peanut vendor who keeps the memory of a legendary Seattle peanut vendor alive.

And we’re on to work. 


September 2, 2017

True to my plan I got out to do some weeding this morning. I had set a relatively attainable goal, focused solely on the planting beds around the back yard. Some of the weeds in this area are head height, coming through the fence from our backyard neighbors’ wild space. Especially blackberry vines. Before I trimmed one of the vines I happened to look at the back of the leaf. I never realized how spiny they are.

I can’t weed all day, so we went for a walk. To match the time available and change things up we started with two bus rides. We crossed the double-helix bridge to the waterfront and walked about 4 miles to Safeco Field. 

Carl had a ticket to the game, but I didn’t. So on to the link light rail for a transit ride home. 

And since then I have been having some down time. 

Anyone that reads this blog regularly knows that Carl goes to a lot of Mariner games. And he knows a lot of the workers. One of the regular seat hosts  (not ushers) is also a bit of an artist. He made this caricature for Carl.

Long Weekend in View

September 1, 2017

This is a real World Series ring. From the 50s. Held by its owner. 

Washburn of the St Louis Cardinals.  We were sitting next to him at the Everett Aquasox game last Sunday (short season single A).

This weekend the Mariners return to town. It is not clear whether they will make the playoffs, much less the World Series. We don’t have much planned other than baseball. I am sure there will be some associated walks, and maybe bus to new starting locations for a change of pace. 

The weather is supposed to cooperate, and the weeds in the backyard are calling my name, so perhaps some quality time at home. 

A week and a bit

August 27, 2017

In the past week, Carl went to Tennessee, the eclipse happened, and we had fun with Carl’s kids.

After getting discharged from the hospital and sleeping a bit we took Carl to the airport. On the correct day, or rather correct really early morning. Unlike many of our early airport trips I did not continue on to work. I returned home. As best I can recall, this was my Thursday and Friday (a week ago).
Wednesday – 5:45 – Midnight – up and a relatively normal day.
Thursday – midnight to 6 AM – paramedics, ambulance and hospital
7:30 AM to 10 AM – work
noon to 4ish – sleep
4 to 9ish – up and a little work on line
9 to midnight – sleep
Friday – midnight to 2:30 AM – sleep continued
2:30 – 4:30 – airport run
4:30 – 7:30 – sleep
7:30 – up

Which brings us to Friday’s task of getting the car window fixed (see prior post). I had an appointment at 10:30. They called to move it up to 9:30 – YEAH. Drove over. After a short while in their waiting room they returned to tell me that our car was built in Japan.

OK – but this means the window attachment part is different by a few inches, and they need to have it delivered from their warehouse. And it won’t arrive until 1 PM, at which time I have a meeting at work, about 25 miles away. To keep the window work moving forward I walked about 5 blocks (down Aurora) to a bus stop, caught a bus close to home. From there I took the other car to work. Had said meeting, left work, and then repeated the former trip in reverse. I got back to the glass shop 15 minutes before they closed!

I have no recollection of the weekend, other than a dentist appointment, so I will move to Tennessee, where there were more interesting activities.

Carl’s view of the eclipse in Dayton, Tennessee – home of the Scopes trial and totality.
The first is our cell phone’s view. The second is before totality, but you can see a view of the percent coverage in a hole through the leaves on the left side of the picture.

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One park they went to was full of blue herons. I liked this picture because it has herons in four of the most common image stances; standing tall, s-curve neck, hunkered down and flying.


There were trips to restaurants, a Lookouts ball game, and add Sun Trust Stadium in Atlanta to the list of major league ball parks visited.

It was a quick trip and Carl was back in town for a fairly full week of work – including a Saturday segment where I got to join them.

I forget how tiring wandering around with small children can be.

And for the piece de resistance of this blog – an engaging photograph of Rey & Becca.

Rey+Becca Engaged

Some Days

August 17, 2017

And sometimes 2 days.

Excitement comes in all forms.

Budget meetings, broken windows, flights that aren’t on the day you think they are, and sirens in the middle of the night.  I have been involved in all of these, but was only the primary player in one.

The budget meeting was a preliminary before the real one with the big boss. I am over budget on several categories for 2017, but this is not a cause for concern. The concern is that I don’t have a plan for 2018 classes and conferences. 

Then there was the call telling me that after a delightful walk in the woods with Dean, they returned to find a window in the car broken and a backpack stolen. I hope they enjoy the markers and art supplies. Losing the backpack is the bigger drag, although I found a slightly used replacement at the back of the closet. (I am guessing it was Ashlan’s based on the Bank of Montreal deposit slip tucked in a pocket.)

And this means a trip to a window replacement place on Friday morning. Really just an annoyance, but some hours away from more productive fun.

Finally home I attempted to get Carl’s boarding pass printed for his imminent trip to Tennessee. Apparently it’s not as imminent as I thought. Which explains why I could not get it to go to the boarding pass step. What’s a day amoung friends. [I wonder what day Rey thinks he’s arriving.] And at least it’s a day later and not earlier. Our wee hours of the morning wake-up call will have to wait another day. 

That error in dates is even more important now as it appears that we have other engagements at the wee hour wake-up time. We are currently housed in ED10, waiting for test results.

The evening was ending almost normally. Carl was not feeling well. We both thought the call to the consulting nurse would result in a recommendation to visit urgent care. But, no. They suggested 911. [Chest pains.] And so we soon had a fire truck, medic unit and ambulance flashing their lights in front of our house. I asked whether I could drive Carl to the hospital, but they said I didn’t have the right kind of license. 

I did drive in my own car, but don’t call me an ambulance chaser. So we sit in Cherry Hill. A new hospital for us. Add it to the list.

Turns out Carl is just full of s**t. Or was.

Dinos and Daisies 

August 15, 2017

We started the weekend with a walk to visit the Tufts-Love t-rex. The Burke Museum folks are in the process of removing the plaster jacket that accompanied the skull from northeast Montana. [The name is from the two field folk that discovered the skull.] 

If you enlarge the picture above you can read the note. The tooth it references is just above the horizontal bar, about mid-picture, in a shadow)

To help manage the two ton piece, they built a rotisserie of sorts. (With workers on either side I can hear the discussions, “No, this way more…”)

A really interesting find, and they are still working in the field to recover more bits and pieces. 

We then headed west, walking, to replace my worn out walking shoes. This has been on my to do list for several weeks. I guess that just means I stretched the life of the prior pair, delayed spending, and most importantly provided a reason to keep walking for a few more days on a nice day. 


I saw Rainier!

It had been weeks of “sunny” days with no views. Now if the normal clouds can stay away for next Monday. 

We did not attend the weekend Mariner games. I sold our tickets to a co-worker. She went Saturday and her parents went Sunday. This was the weekend they retired Edgar Martinez number,  so it was special. And on Monday she showed up with this.

Mind you I sold them the tickets. 

Up, down, up, and around 

August 11, 2017

Friday last I was feeling pretty optimistic as I was closing in on finishing one major piece of my Big Project. And then, about 4, I was checking results and found things that didn’t add up. At least I was able to identify the source of the problem and a path towards correction. [For any data geeks in the crowd this stemmed from not populating some null values with zeros. Comparisons with null yield different results than comparison with zero. ]

So I took my notes home and, after an early morning outing, settled in to correct my nulls and repeat several steps. Luckily, the repeated steps queries had already been created. At the end of Saturday I was almost back to the end of Friday. And I found another problem. Again I charted a course to be followed in the morning. Sunday dawned, and I warmed up the laptop for another go. Once again I reached the end of Friday. 

Then two words appeared in my consciousness,  “Town Center. ” [This is an area that has its own separate growth pattern. About a month or two ago I had worked through that area, so had the information,  but it needed to be added (literally) into the bigger picture. 

So Monday, I went to work, closed my door, and worked on pre-application meeting work instead. [The meetings were fast approaching,  and they had to go out the door. ]

I did get back to the TC by the end of Monday, and it greeted me Tuesday morning. By Tuesday afternoon  I was ready to declare my task ready for dissemination. 

The next two days were spent trying to catch up with everything I had been ignoring. 

Now you can wake up. Although I do like figuring out how to wrangle large data files.

And yesterday a friend from Montana blew into town. So that led to a fun evening catching up. 

And the smoky haze is supposed to dissipate today. 

Can you see Mt. Rainier?

Dad’s Day

August 6, 2017

Today is my Dad’s birthday.

His 90TH birthday!

I think that is really saying something.
(But don’t say that to his brother. Louis shares a birthday with Dad, and is turning 97.)

Master of his domain (a few years ago)


And this was a lovely way to spend the afternoon (before the chair and its inhabitant tipped over).

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And because they are a team. Bubs and Harry.

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I can’t be with Dad today, but wish him a very Happy Birthday – and many, many more.


Planning for the Eclipse 

August 1, 2017

I think Seattle is going to be in the 90% of totality during the eclipse later this month. Carl and I briefly talked about heading south to the band of totality in Oregon. The discussion didn’t get very far. 

Enter Rey.

Rey and Carl had been scheming previously around a Braves vs Mariners series in Atlanta. Rey is now just a few hours from Sun Trust Park, the new Braves stadium.

And it happens that Chattanooga,  Rey’s new home, is just minutes from the band of totality. 

Travel plans came first, but they were quickly followed by eclipse planning. Primarily finding glasses for viewing said eclipse. The initial on-line search was disheartening, with sold-out all over the screen. I’m not sure how I searched differently, but some stores popped up with inventory. 

Success! With the all important I SO 12312-2 rating.

I bought a handful of the fine paper variety and one upgrade to plastic frames. My thought was that Carl could use them as a second pair of sunglasses. 

Thoughts are good. Reality is sometimes different. You can not see anything through these glasses. They could function as a blindfold. 

Except, of course, the eclipse. 

Immersed in Infinity Mirrors 

July 28, 2017

We’d scored tickets to the Kusama exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum on Wednesday, and spent a few hours wandering amoung Kusama’s art. It was a departure from our normal art exhibition visits and well worth the traffic we had to endure to get there.

There were five or six rooms to visit. Except for the interactive room and the face sized windows, they were limited time visits, with the longest time allowed at 30 seconds. I think that is so you have time to be immersed and look around a bit, but not enough time to start to look at how the pieces are put together. [Strictly my idea, I did not read that anywhere, but the docents did say it was the artist who set the times. ] The number of people in a room at one time was 2 or 3 maximum. 

Dots of love was Carl’s favorite. Reminded him of Gertie balls. 

From my colonoscopy?

The interactive dot room.

The last was my favorite. 

You could revisit the rooms as many times as you went through the line. I repeated this room and was allowed in all by myself. Amazing.