Wednesday, December 28, 2011

As 2011 closes...

Jack Greenamyer, my officer for many years, retires (after 47 years of working for SFD!) Happy fishing, Jack!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

From the Manito Greenhouse Christmas Light Display. The two above are processed a little bit differently. One you will have to cross your eyes a little more than the other. Which looks more 3D to you? Instructions on how to do this were in the last post.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Santa Mouse in 3D!!!

The story of Santa Mouse is one that goes back 44 years. It is a classic tale of redemption, revenge, eggnog and electricity. I don't have time to tell it right now. However, if you cross your eyes just enough, and stare at the picture, Santa Mouse will take on 3Dness. If you click the picture, it will show up larger. That might help.

What you are trying to do is create a 3rd picture in the middle of these two, and that one will be in 3D.

Just spent some time with my Viewmaster and some 60s reels of the Badlands and Colorado skiing. Awesome!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I had to drive yesterday to my union's executive board meeting. After I parked my vehicle, I took this picture.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Don't know if this fights eye cancer. Maybe. Would make a great stalking stuffer. As seen at Rite-Aid.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Obligatory Turkey Trot Movie

A very nice run yesterday. I rode my bike home from work yesterday morning. Thanks to studded tires I had no idea how slick it was until Sarah and I walked to Manito to run. By the time we started, the ice was pretty much gone though.

I really like the Turkey Trot. I can keep the competitive fires pretty much extinguished and just enjoy being a part of the parade. Then I can eat a lot later.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. In fact, I think I am going to keep celebrating today.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Sushi Maru - $1.50 every plate on the conveyor belt - Nov 7, 8, 9

It's like Disneyland's It's a Small World ride, except you eat stuff.

We would have saved a ton of money last week! Sushi Maru - Riverpark Square.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Is it just me or can you tell a lot about a candidate and his supporters by where they place their signs?

Of course, Steve Salvatori really has the vacant lot campaign sign market cornered. Ever wonder what the Spokane Entrepreneurial Center is that Steve founded? It's vacant building property he's trying to rent. Sigh...

Now, the owners of this house on High Drive have a hedge around their home so the riff raff cannot gaze upon its opulence. So how do you get us to see their yard sign when you can't see their yard? Easy! Just put up a ladder upon which you can affix your Condon (nonpartisan) sign. Any guesses on who their school board choice is? How about Prop One or the Costco liquor initiative?

Dennis, Dennis, Dennis. Your followers have placed your signs on the parkland running up and down the middle of Manito Boulevard. I thought about reporting this illegal sign placement. But, you know, I think it speaks volumes. Maybe this sign is just a warning to the smart-alecky trees!

Rocks of Sharon Discovery!!!

Sarah and I were hiking around the Rocks of Sharon yesterday. If you have never been there, it's worth a trip. Look at this rock:

I think this is pretty conclusive proof that the Rocks of Sharon is really some sort of ancient Mt Rushmore dedicated to the apes who you used to run our planet. This would also explain the ruins of the frozen banana stand we found there. I think the head pictured above must be that of General Ursus:

If we find Dr. Zaius's face, I am calling the Discovery Channel.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Turkeys in our front yard!

Had a couple of turkeys hanging out on our street yesterday. Saw them again today. They were chasing some crows around!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Would like matching trousers

Wow. I guess he or she viewed 101 Dalmatians as more of a business plan. Seen yesterday.

Monday, October 24, 2011

This and that

I guess it is a good sign that I haven't posted much lately. Been busy with some fun projects and living the good life. Weekends have been particularly nice. Sarah and I have been really having fun, and we've been getting to and from the fun on foot or by bicycle, as usual. And this time of year is pretty hard to beat the sheer beauty that is Spokane.

In no particular order, some highlights:

Sekani trail run - Got off work and then Sarah and I biked past Upriver Dam for this event. And guess who took first for her age group for both men and women. That's right - Sarah won! After we biked home, we walked to Aunties for a book reading by the author of The Man Who Never Died - a book about Joe Hill, an instrumental member of the IWW. Much of the story takes place in Spokane, so the author, William Adler, was pretty happy to be here, especially with all the Occupy stuff going on. Beers downtown.

Half a turkey on sale at Rosauers. Look what the Big Green Egg can do! Had great meals all the last week (OK some of them I cooked at work). We were invited over to friends for a really fun evening on Thursday. WOW - a great meal and fantastic conviviality in their very spookified, beautiful home. Again, a long autumnal walk each way. Nice!

A couple of weeks ago, a sister firefighter put on a benefit for one of our members who was recently diagnosed with cancer - a tricycle race. If you have never been to one of these, you can watch an entire race, on this video. Very cool!

Sarah and I try to support the local wine scene by belonging to some Spokane wine clubs. Whitestone and Barrister had release parties last Friday. So again, another walk downtown.

If you get a chance, ride your bike down Manito Blvd, around Manito Park and then walk around Cannon Hill Park. Amazingly beautiful. Also, Cannon Hill Pond is beginning to see some of the less common species of ducks as they migrate south.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

First Friday Last Friday

Sarah and I met up with some friends Downtown for First Friday. The best part was Terrain. Something that I didn't even know existed. Thousands of feet of open spaces and cubby holes filled with paintings, sculptures, readings, films, music. It was amazing! What was really great was that it was packed. You couldn't squeeze one more person into the poetry reading. WOW!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Spokane RIver Clean Up 2011

A lot of fun as usual. We spent most of our time in an abandoned homeless person's campsite. Hundreds of pounds of all kinds of garbage was hauled out. It looked like it had been abandoned for a long time.

Not to get preachy, but you can add the transient camps along our river to the outcomes of conservative causes, private market solutions and other efforts to gut the social safety net. What we do to our mentally ill haunts our streets, our economy and our national conscience. And it washes up right here on the banks of the Spokane River.

The Spokane County Jail is the largest mental health care facility on the east side of the state. And the only treatment many of the residents receive is when they are behind bars. For many, when they aren't "receiving treatment," they abide in their garbage-strewn camps along the river.

Some of the most recent controversies in Spokane are direct outcomes of those who slash funding for the mentally ill and work to destroy government. Ironic that some of these same politicians now run for office and shamefully "cash in" on their abandonment of the mentally ill. They point their fingers at sad, unnecessary events and blame the incumbents who have had to deal with the crisis these office challengers have created, championed and will continue to champion. It is very sad, and hopefully the voters in Spokane understand that they are being played by these morally ambivalent hucksters. We must work to keep them out of our city offices where they will only make things worse.

It would be nice to have seen some of these office seekers out here cleaning up the garbage, seeing what they helped create. I doubt they would have made the connection. Mayor Mary Verner was out here with us though, cleaning up the mess. Cleaning up other people's messes is something Mayor Verner does - a lot. I hope the voter knows what a great, smart, hardworking, ethical person we have as our mayor. We could do a lot worse. I just hope in November we don't.

OK. Off my soapbox. Here are some cool things other people found in the river:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rainbow Warrior

Running today, the roads were slick but real purdy.

Off to college!

About a week or so I dropped Ike off at WWU. I thought I might be kinda sad. Instead I was really happy. What a great experience this is going to be. Bellingham is beautiful and the people I met at Western were all very nice. Rain always motivated me to study. Maybe Ike will be the same way.

I stayed close to home for all my fancy book learnin'. The first I ever left home for any length of time was for USAF OTS in Texas and I was pretty homesick for a while. From the way Ike is not returning my calls, I don't think he is very homesick at all.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Spokefest 2011

Another great Spokefest. So far, we are four for four for four!

It was a hot day last Sunday - 9-11-11. There was a nice tasteful 9-11 remembrance at the star. Great words by Mayor Verner. And probably one of the best renditions of the National Anthem I have ever heard. Dixieland jazz too.

Wattson, the nuclear-powered vampire dachshund.

Otto, the Spokane Indians' "What the F@#kasaurus."

Cookies and music.

And our fantastic councilman, Jon Snyder, who was still doing city business as he peddled. Always a professional.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Neighborhood Hardware Store Opens!

I had been watching and waiting for the Ace Hardware to open on 9th and Lincoln for a long time. A hardware store is about the only thing missing from our neighborhood. But somehow I missed the grand opening! Better late than never. Sarah and I walked down there a few days ago to see where we will be spending many hardware dollars.

Hardware stores hold a special place in my heart. When I was a wee lad, my dad would often tell me, "Get in the car Johnny. We're going to the hardware store." And I was stoked! I didn't know what most of the stuff was or what it was used for. All I knew is this where you went to get the stuff to make the stuff. And that was enough.

When we visited our family in Minnesota, my aunt and uncle would put me to work stocking shelves occasionally, in exchange for a fishing trip or two. They owned a hardware store in a really small town.

So there is a lot of good emotional baggage I brought with me to the new Ace by Huckleberry's.

Yes, this looks like something from the drugstore that used to be in this location. Like the drugstore, it looks like they don't keep a lot in inventory. But, that's not true. One of the guys working there said that they have a lot of inventory in the basement. So, if you see just one of an item on a shelf, chances are there's more downstairs.

Everything was laid out pretty well. For a small space, they have done a good job making sure there is a good assortment of merchandise. The only thing I needed that they didn't have, something I consistently buy at the Ace on Regal, is lump charcoal for the Big Green Egg. They told me they could order it. They also wrote it down on a list they were making of possible items to stock.

Hardware stores are places to figure things out. Or, at least, partially out. I am one of those who enter into a trance in the aisle and start imagining what I need to build and what I will need to build it. It's not a very efficient process, but it's enjoyable. That's why I am glad I will be able to ride my bike back and forth to fill in my gaps in planning.

School backpack clean out day!

Ike is heading for college, so he thought he should clean out his backpack. Lots of memories and a container of Yoplait yogurt. Notice the sell-by date:

We don't have air conditioning and Ike's backpack has sat in his room all summer. I had to open it.

Not only did it look fantastic. It smelled just like it was just off the shelf of your local monger of yogurty comestibles.

I didn't taste it. Nor could I trick Ike into trying it because he is college material.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tony Yuen's BBQ Sauce and Video wins TreeTop Prize!

A while back ago, I told you about this contest. Well, we won! A big function at Stn 13 yesterday. Lots of VIPs from TreeTop were there, as were the local media. Somebody said it will be featured on HGTV. I was invited because Tony had me write the script and direct the video. Dean Pearcy, the fire department's AV guy was responsible for the awesome editing and effects.

And as usual, Tony was the cook and everything tasted great!

Thanks for everyone who voted. Gleed received the most votes, so it received a $1000 check from TreeTop.

Here is the video again, if you haven't seen it:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Yellow Jacket Traps

Cleaned out the traps yesterday and it didn't take long. First video is after 15 minutes, the second after an hour.

I would say there are more yellow jacket condos like the ones Sarah destroyed here.
BTW, I do believe these traps are manufactured out at the industrial park in Spokane Valley.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dirty Dash

A great time out at Riverside State Park yesterday.

For those of you who might have been wondering why it took an hour to travel from Downtown Spokane to the intersection of Ft Wright and Government Way, it was the Dirty Dash. There were thousands of people nicely spread out, with a start about every 20 minutes for the 10K course. Mudpits, balance beams, straw bale obstacles and mud-filled culverts were climbed up and through and over. There was even a quick dip in the Spokane River.

Tons of families and groups of friends were doing this together. I was lucky that my son, Kirk, let me hang out with him and his cool friends. My other two boys (Ike and Aidan) hung out at the finish line and took pictures and cheered us on. Thanks again for that! Sarah was stuck in traffic for half an hour and u-turned home. I think we are all on-board for doing it together next year.

There were plenty of cyclists and runners who made it to the start quicker than we did by car. File that one away for next year. No car. Although, it might be a miserable ride/run home covered in dried mud, or it might be kind of fun.

Any run that starts off with a beer is a good one. There was also a beer obstacle at about mile 4.5 featuring some of my favorite.

There were a lot of out-of-state license plates at this event. I would imagine it pumped a lot of revenue into Spokane's coffers. Again, Spokane shows itself off as a place where we can stage big events. The traffic stuff will have to be worked on.

Near the finish line it looked like a mass casualty incident. Lots of IVs. Apparently there were some broken bones and other afflictions. AMR had their hands full, but were doing a great job.

Here's the Dirty Dash website.

Hey New Belgium, look at us! Bring the Tour de Fat here. We've got to be more fun than Boise!