Friday, August 17, 2018

Doing Time in Bellevue

It's been a Bellevue kind of week.  Wednesday we took the truck in to Bellevue Chevrolet for an oil change and to check the battery.  Good thing, the battery was on its lips.  I hate it when a vehicle won't start, it just makes me crazy.

While we were waiting to get the truck back we walked through Bellevue and looked at stuff.  These are sunflowers in front of Trader Joe's.  A huge building was built to house a Home Goods, REI and a Trader Joe's.  It's the worst looking Home Goods I have ever seen.  The one in Tucson is neat and orderly, like items are grouped together and prices are clearly marked.  The Bellevue store looks like bored teenagers with a "what ever" attitude just piled stuff randomly on the shelves.  It was so visually distracting we had to leave.  The REI, on the other hand, is a thing of beauty.  They gave up their space in Redmond to move there.  It's a big store with a huge shoe department.  We tried on shoes, but my feet would not approve anything.


This is a bridge across the freeway.  That wood structure is for the light rail that is being built.  It will go into a tunnel and emerge somewhere near the Bellevue Transit Center.  I'm not sure we're going to live long enough to see it finished.  Look at the color of the sky - there was a lot of smoke from the fires.


Bellevue is landscaped within an inch of its life.  There are planters with mass plantings everywhere.  We stopped for food and then hung out for a little bit in a trendy looking office building's first floor.  They had some decent furniture, unlike the place where we had a nosh.  Bad furniture, loud music; I guess they are discouraging people from setting up their offices there.


A fire alarm guy was testing the fire alarms in an abandoned church.  He neglected to inform the fire department of said activity.  They came rolling up with lights and sirens.  We watched him come running out, waving his arms.  After a brief chat, they put their stuff away and left.


More construction.  I feel bad for the people in the low rise that will be having their sunlight cut off by the new tall building that's going up.  Bellevue is rapidly developing lightless canyons.


More light rail.  The building with the curved roof is the Cadillac dealer.  They will be having tracks running over their parking lot.


Wednesday was a trip to the dermatologist (also in Bellevue) for Jim.  The dermo dude did not spare the liquid nitrogen.  Jim looks, as always, like he was attacked by a cheese grater.

My feet have been worse as of late.  Yesterday Jim had to come get me on the three mile loop.  I was limping with both feet, it was just sad.  I have a new pair of really ugly shoes, that have decreased the pain in my toes, but seem to have shifted pain elsewhere.  I was afraid to set out on a long walk today with Jim, because then there would not have been anyone to pick me up.  So we went back to Bellevue for urban walking.  Worse case, I could sit down with a coffee and he could go get the truck.  It was better today than yesterday.  It's always something with the feet.


Even more light rail.  This is running along Bellevue way.  Someday it will connect to Isaaquah, but not for 23 years.  That's not a typo - twenty three years!


So that's been this week.  Feet and liquid nitrogen.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Tourists in Seattle

Yesterday Jim and Gayle took the ferry from Bainbridge Island to spend the day with us.  It's been awhile since we saw them in the flesh, and it was really good to see them.  We walked around and looked at stuff.  This is an old building in Pioneer Square.  If I were a better tour guide would remember the name of the building, but I'm not!
It's the old part of Seattle, first founded in 1852; full of Romanesque Revival architecture. 


This is the historic pergola.  It's been knocked down twice by lost truck drivers failing to make the corner.  They always put it back up, which is good.


The fuschias look good.  I'm surprised they'll tolerate this much direct sun, but clearly they are happy where they are.


The absolute cuteness of Pioneer Square is currently being marred by an enormous road project.  They are replacing water mains and all of the streets are ripped up.  I feel bad for the merchants.  The area has been recovering from a bad economy and a fair amount of street crime.  Now, it's really difficult to drive through.


Then it was down the waterfront towards the sculpture garden.  This is a BNSF double track main.  It has its own tunnel under Seattle further south from here.  Look in the back and you can see the "It's in the PI" sign.  That was one of our two local newspapers.  They discontinued the paper edition and went completely digital.  Print journalism is a tough environment.


My favorite sculpture, Calder's Eagle.  Many of the pieces just do not speak to me.


After leaving the art, we hoofed it through Belltown and noticed this. A tiki bar!



It's the oldest Tiki bar in Belltown.  Belltown is not very big.  It's a small subset of the city with a lot of bars and restaurants.


After the Pike Place Market, which I have photographed many times, we kept walking.  This is a Bartels drugstore.  They will fill your growlers.  How often do you see that in a drugstore?  You can also get them filled at the ferry dock, which was really surprising.  The ferry dock doesn't sell food anymore, but you can get your growler on.


Still walking.  This is the Seattle library.  It's such an odd building.


It was a fun day and we really enjoyed the company.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Life and Death and Fire

For some reason, the spiders insist on building their webs on the vehicles.  This is on the pickup truck.  If you look carefully, you can see how he’s wrapped up his victim.  We left him alone most of the day, hoping he’d finish up his meal before we had to pull the web down and go to Costco.  The Issaquah Costco now has self check out.  I never thought I would see that.  Very few people are using them, so it really speeded up departure.

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It took awhile, but we’re getting smoke from forest fires.  We had been considering a trip to the Olympic Peninsula, but it’s now on fire.  So, trip postponed.  The forest service was ordering people out of the Hamma Hamma valley, it’s bad and getting worse.

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KOMO TV put up a gallery of fire photos.  Currently there are 97 active fires in the US.

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Other than this paltry offering – I got nothing!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Daily Life and Seafair

The last few days, the screaming in the RV park has been relentless.  All day, there is screaming.  In the afternoons it seems to get louder and more strident.  We look up the hill and wonder where they are, but we can’t see them.  They’re baby eagles.  I have never heard such a racket!  I think that accounts for why there are so few rabbits in the area.  There is supposed to be an owl family in the area, as well.  The office is telling people with very small dogs to keep an eye on them.  Death from the skies and all…..

There is not much to report.  There is walk there is hike.  We did a new to us trail, the Central Peak on Squak Mountain.  Going up I was whining about feeling like I could not breathe.  Coming back down we realized how steep it was in places, so the breathlessness was somewhat justified.  Good thing we’re at sea level.

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This week we washed the truck and the bus.  It was really dirty.  Jim washes, I squeegee.  We elected not to do the roof, so it didn’t take too long.

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We felt bad about this.  The spider had built a web between the bus and the power panel.  I unhooked the strands attaching him to the ladder and he ran off.  It was an excellent well organized web.

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The monster laurel is making berries.  They’re pretty.

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This is Seafair Weekend. It’s Seattle’s festival of summer.  The pirates come ashore in July.  Because this is Seattle, there is frequently push back from some of the community on the presence of guns and swords.  It sets a bad example for the youth.  Thus far, the pirates have retained their (fake) weapons.  They come ashore at Alki Beach in West Seattle and hand out candy and stuff to the kids.  During the 10 years we lived there, not once did we go down to see it.  There is a torch light parade, and a marathon and other stuff takes place until the final weekend with the Blues.

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The Blue Angels perform over Lake Washington.  The I90 bridge is closed for two hour practices for two days, and they do the show on Saturday and Sunday.  There is also hydro racing on the lake.  Back in the day, all three local channels would cover the event from early in the day, until the last heat was over.  No more.  There is a paltry three hour program on Sunday afternoon, but that’s it.  Attendance on the beach is down, as are the number of boats rafting up out on the lake.  It’s a dying tradition.  Old Seattle is being moved off the stage as new Seattle moves in.  So much of the city is changing, we could be anywhere.

Two pictures of the Blue Angels from the internet: