Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Prophecy Fulfilled!!

When the oncoming shift asked why we put the stuffed penguin onto an icicle, we replied, "So the Spokesman-Review will come take a picture of it."

Just another Christmas Miracle. My Gawd, they are stacking up.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Hey, a Hawaiian warrior helmet:

has formed upon the head of one of our tikis:

There has to be a Hallmark Christmas Special in this somehow. Something involving a volcano and Wilfred Brimley? I'm just spitballin' here.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Walk home yesterday...

Was up all night at work. I think some people were just lonely, and dialing 9-1-1 will always get them a visitor. The walk home was right purdy.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Not all who walk arrive.

Spotted this on my walk to work, this morning. It was in the middle of the street.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Hiked Downtown. Just about everything is closed. The streets were empty except for a car or two stuck in a crevasse.

Once again, human-powered transportation triumphs!

Not looking so good for the bike tomorrow. I will probably head to work on foot. I am looking forward to enjoying the luxury of two-wheeled transport once again.

The snow looks really good through this window...

Tried biking this morning in the 24 inches of snow in the street. For some reason it didn't work very well. I think I have found an alternate activity for today.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Record snowfall "impacts" tikis!

Man, I hate when the TV news uses the word "impact/s" like I just did. Although, this isn't as bad as the other night when they were devoting every minute of the news to tell us how to survive when there is snow on the ground. The term "wintry mix" was used a lot. What the hell is a wintry mix? Chex Mix? Remember the old "snow event" term that the TV news would use, instead of just saying "snow" a few years back? I guess that's out of fashion... for now.

Well, after devoting an entire week's worth of news telling us to carry a blanket in our car or how pets' water can freeze when it's cold, the TV news' valiant efforts were wasted, when Saturday's eleven inches of snow didn't arrive. I wonder what local news we were deprived of due to their courageous efforts to prepare us for the megastorm. Perhaps a shampoo comparison or a puppies-are-cute segment.

They hedged their bets this time ( one to three inches)and we got clobbered today with ten inches (so far) of snow. I don't blame the weather people. Spokane is a pretty tough call. But, when the weather (no matter what it is) becomes the lead story night after night... arggggghhh!!

All to say - The tikis in my backyard are being buried! The tiki pond is still functioning (kind of). I don't know how long it will last. It's looking grim. Please send media coverage immediately! I also have a mini dachshund that doesn't like to shit in snow over her head, a cat that is mean and a parrot that is very nice. It sounds like some on-going coverage to me.

Some years ago, one of the local stations reviewed some office Christmas Party tips. There were slick graphics and funky music too. The tips you ask?

1. Remember to mingle.

2. Dress appropriately.

3. Don't drink too much.

I'm not kidding.

And there you have it. Now you don't need to watch this segment, when they re-invent it again this year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Icy, cold and fun...

Went to work yesterday at the usual 6:45, and came back this morning at about 8:30. The only place where the bike started to come out from under me was on 15th - both days.

It was the usual core temperature overheating but the appendages numb from cold.

I had to peddle up Monroe this morning. On Friday, I took the usual route home after a pediatric advanced life support class (which was really good by the way). I started spinning out where Lincoln hits Cliff. So I figured it was time to start the winter route up the hill.

It was about 7 degrees this morning. The river looked great. It is frosting up a lot of stuff. And it is certainly worth it to take a look. You can go to Riverfront Park and see what's left of the old light display from Qualchan - just the waving snowman up against the west end of the Imax. It always greets me, in its defunct and lit-up way, on my way to work. Thank you. I salute YOU. You are a survivor. Namaste.

I could've taken some great pictures. But, I didn't. I was pretty much fixated upon my home coming and the pre-heated sauna (thanks Sarah) which awaited. So instead, here's a picture of me at journey's end. Whooptyfriggendo!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A good compromise!

Last week, Sarah and I were walking downtown and noticed that the stairs at Lincoln and Summit were "closed." Every winter the city does this. I would imagine it's a liability issue they think they are avoiding by hanging up the sign. As usual, we wondered how many people every winter, trip over the cable that is "closing" the stairs and actually take a tumble - thanks to the city trying to avoid liability. Sort of like when I witnessed a Spokane police officer on TV muse that the city should stop painting crosswalk lines because this opens the city up for liability, when someone uses a well-marked crosswalk, and they get hit by a car. His thinking was that the city guarantees safety in a designated crosswalk and when that safety is violated, the city is responsible.


The picture above is of the Perry stairs. Yesterday, I discovered that the city has found an interesting compromise - just close half the width of the stairs.

The right side must be the down side, so no one will fall down the stairs - only up - on the left side if they slip on ice.

Sounds good to me!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

My favorite hill.

John, in his always-excellent Cycling Spokane blog, recently wrote about his favorite hill .

That got me to thinking about my favorite hill. I rode up it, as usual, coming home from work yesterday. When the snow gets too deep, I will have to switch to going straight up Monroe.

When spring rolls around, I am always happy to be back on my usual route.

The usual route is to go up the hill on Wall St. between Deaconess and LC. When it dead ends, hang a right on the brick street which takes you up onto the parking lot. The trees smell very good on this brick-lined street - like pepper trees. Once you're in the parking lot, keep heading south and up. When you get to the street, turn right and head down the hill toward the stop sign. This is where all the Lincoln Streets and Lincoln Places and Monroe Streets funkify.

Take an immediate left at the stop sign - up Lincoln (trust me, it's Lincoln). It is one steep mofo. In the summer, the shade is fantastic though. Soon you peak out and, again, head down the hill. Lincoln splits up into 9th and Lincoln. Go left (Lincoln) - it's downhill and then back uphill, where you will see the stairs in front of you at Cliff Drive. Go right, at the stop sign, downhill and then, almost immediately, hairpin left up the hill. Turn right at the top of the hill and, guess what, you are back on Lincoln. Lincoln ends at Wall. That's right. You won't see Lincoln again for a while. Stay on Wall until it goes downhill and then hits 14th Ave. If you want, you can take a right on 14th and say hello again to Lincoln, where it seems to have jumped a couple of blocks to the west and is perpendicular to its former self. In fact, you really should. Me, I'll take a little jog to the west, and continue down and then up Wall.

Either way, you have to head up the hill some more.

I like this route because of the immediate and continual losses of hard-won gains in elevation. It is very cleansing - penitential if you will - after a night at work seeing some (and hopefully alleviating some) very strange, and often sad, problems. No matter how tired or cranky I am after work, this hill wakes me up and makes me happy.

As a bonus, I can always deviate a little and pay my respects to where all the street name weirdness comes to a head.

Here are some somewhat useless pictures of what I have been trying to say. The elevation is to 14th. I don't know if I believe the chart. I will have to GPS it someday.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Mister Yuke's Christmas In the Zone...

Apparently, there is a Christmas album in the works... Knowing Mister Yuke, it should be released December 26th.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

It's Back!

Back by popular demand, the Santa Sleigh video. I hope it enhances your enjoyment of the holiday season. The music is Sleigh Ride performed by Flatulina - on one of my favorite Christmas albums. The new Colbert Christmas album is pretty darned good too. Here's a link to more Flatulinaness:

Monday, December 01, 2008

Where is this timely warning?

I always enjoy when the "Where is it?" question is asked at the Cycling Spokane Blog.
So, I thought I would take a shot. There may be more of these signs out there, but this one is on the South Hill placarded to an, obviously, secret and secure structure. Where is it?