Monday, December 28, 2015


A really great Christmas this year. I had squamous skin cancer on my nose which had to be cut out on the 22nd. I know this is an unlikely transitional sentence. The surgery was cool because I was supposed to work on the 23rd. But, it was actually a pretty big incision on my face with lots o stitches. Not wanting to get the fresh stitches ripped out in a fire, or worse yet, HIV or Hep C or some other virulent agent, vomited upon and into said wound, I took a day of sick leave on the 23rd. Wonderful (but unsightly) setup for Christmas. Aidan took the Greyhound in from Seattle and arrived on the 22nd. Sure was great seeing him. After Christmas, Aidan's girlfriend arrived by Greyhound too. Our house has been rocking!

On the 24th, I cooked a rib roast, vegetarian roast, coconut shrimp, mashed potatoes, vegetarian stuffing, green beans. We put 11 people around the table (well we cheated a little by adding a card table annex to it).

Tried to see the new Star Wars movie on Christmas. It was sold out. So, we came home and watched episodes 4,5,6 instead. Nice.

Lots of reading, a little writing, napping, eating and drinking. Valhalla!

Finally, today, was able to get down to Garageland on Riverside. Very cool space. The music they play is about the best. Looking forward to eating there. There is also some vinyl which I think may be a late Christmas present to me.

On most of the days, I've been able to get some good runs in. Training begins for another springtime ultra and I have lots of Christmas fat to burn off. The snow is unbelievably beautiful and the depth and slipperiness makes for an awesome workout!

Sorry about the gratuitous nose shot. I've never really had surgery before. I hope I'm not turning into one of those old guys. Also, brother and sister firefighters, we are at 1.3 times the risk for skin cancer. If you have an oddball skin thing that has you puzzled, get it looked at ASAP.


Friday, December 18, 2015

Sayonara Kato

It probably isn't good form to air one's failures on a blog, but that's what I'm going to do.

If you've been over to my house, you know this colorful guy:

We've had Kato for over 10 years. About five years ago, he started screeching... a lot. I know it was his way of saying hello, or just participating in the goings on. But, it really sounded like someone angrily screaming at someone else. And when that someone else is continually you, it starts to wear on you. We tried every remedy we could find. Invested a lot of money and time. Things would work for a while and then we would be back in the same spot. There would be times when Sarah and I would scream back and be angry at the bird. He might have interpreted this as a good thing. I know we didn't feel any better for yelling at him.  For the last few years, the only source of stress in our home was this bird.

People would come over to visit, and they would cringe when Kato started screaming at them. We would apologize a lot, but in the end, what can you do?  You could tell what they wanted to do - to Kato.

So, yesterday, we did the only thing that was left to do. We loaded up Kato, his cage, all his toys (which he really didn't seem to care about one way or the other) and put him up for adoption at Sparky's.  We aren't selling him or his stuff. We just want him to go to a good home, maybe a deaf family or a family that yells at each other a lot.

Kato never seemed stressed out. He never plucked feathers. He was sociable and was good about being handled by anyone. People who know sun conures say he was the nicest one they ever met. Which doesn't make me feel any better, and also makes me wonder how bad they can get.

So, I failed Kato. Our home couldn't take it any more and we gave up. I don't think I ever failed a pet, and it sucks. But, I can't help but think that everyone in our family, including Kato, is now happier. At least that's what I'll tell myself.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Whirlwind trip to Seattle...

We just have one kid still on the coast. Ike's moved back home after graduating from WWU. Aidan still remains at UW.

When we used to include Bellingham in our offspring visitation slog, it took forever to get up there to see Ike. Now, that we only have to go to Seattle to see Aidan, it takes forever to get there.

We used to have a Buick when I was a kid. My mom called it "Ol Betsy," just like Davy Crockett did his rifle on the TV show. Seems hard to believe Fess Parker has been dead for five years. We lost Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett that fateful day.

Our Betsy was the same model, I believe, but looked like a worn-out hooker compared to this Buick seen in Ellensburg:

They were doing work on the I-90 tunnels just outside the city, so it was about an hour to get from the most easterly tunnel to the U District.

When creeping through the tunnels, you learn a lot. There are plenty of fire extinguishers, hydrants and phones in the side of the tunnels. If you want to escape from the east tunnel - the exit appears to be between the numbers 9 and 10. It looks like you will take stairs up (maybe down, that would be cool). In the west tunnel, your escape is around the letter P. Looks like that door just opens up to the outside - BOOOORING.

When we finally got the crew together, we went to our friend Jeff's place on Capitol Hill. He made us a very nice lunch. Thank you Jeff! Here are the boys and their lovely mother.

Aidan suggested we visit the Seattle Central Library. Holy Cow! The architecture was incredible.  It reminded me of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, but was really much cooler. I wish I had taken more pictures. Being inside this building really got me excited about the next Star Trek TV series. You could shoot some great footage in here. I would think if one were so inclined, this would be a grand place to partake in psychedelic substances. Just walking through the door you are halfway there.

My only regret is that I didn't take more pictures. Here's a non-rainy picture of the exterior from the Wikipediawebs:

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

A few (somewhat) recent pictures...

A pickup truck parked at 15th and almost into Lincoln. I guess once the driver noticed the stop sign, he really took it seriously. And while you are ordered to stop, why not enjoy some Benniditos pizza and a beer or two, handily co-located. Did not see a go sign, but apparently he left anyway.

How do you feel about self-driving cars? I am hoping to see them soon. I was almost ran over a week ago, while riding my bike. A non-robotic driver made a left turn as I was approaching from her left (in my right lane). I stopped, even though I had the right-of-way, because I could see she wasn't going to stop. That wasn't good enough. She continued her left turn into the oncoming lane where I was waiting on my bike braced for impact.


She stopped within 4 inches of me.

"I'm sorry. Are you OK?"

"You almost killed me."

"I said I was sorry."

Well, what can you say to that?

Between existing phone/texting distractions and our speedy deevolution into idiocracy,  autonomous motor vehicles are going to save a lot of lives. And if I do get run over by a self-driving car that would justify all my lingering childhood Killdozer! fears.

In 1974, they saw it coming:

This was on the light pole in front of Benniditos for a month or so back in October:

It's a message for Willy - the pharmasutical rep.  I think there may be some remnants of the sign still taped up. Hopefully, Willy got the message. Pfizer is a good company I hear. Somewhat unorthodox in their distribution methods. Probably Obama's fault.

 Lastly, this on a bag of ice purchased by me to save a bottle of ketchup, some tofu, milk, shrimp aspic in a cornucopia jello mold and a tuna noodle casserole:

I just made up all those refrigerator contents. We did lose some popsicles in the eight-day power outage, I'm sorry to say.


News to me. Water must be food now.


That is all.