Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Atmospheric River of Water

It’s wet here!  It’s been raining since yesterday. There is a 5,000 mile atmospheric river of water coming towards the GPNW. You can read about it here at the Washington Post.  There is a picture of the river crossing the Pacific Ocean.  I’m not sure what those spikes are, I guess it’s where they stitched the images together. 

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Anyway, we’ve had wind and as of this writing, we’re having rain of biblical proportions.  Tomorrow is supposed to be bad, Friday is supposed to be better.  Round two starts on Saturday and continues through Sunday; which is just PERFECT.  We’re planning on leaving on Sunday to head towards Harrisburg, OR for semi-annual maintenance. 

Jim is not yet 100%.  There is a question as to whether he’ll be able to attach the truck to the RV.  We may caravan to the RV park instead of towing the pick up.  I am thinking I don’t want to find out if we can hitch in the pouring rain.  The main thing is that we must get out of here!

Saturday we put all the tire covers and the grill and etc. away while they were dry.  Happy we are about that decision.  This is what lives in the tire covers.

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There were several of these, and they all run really fast.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Return to West Seattle

Today was the penultimate good day.  Tuesday it starts raining, multiple systems will be moving through from the west.  Wednesday and Thursday promise to be gruesomely wet and windy.  More mall walking in our future. 

We went to the other end of Alki today.  It seemed like half of Seattle was there, celebrating the decent weather.  We started out walking through Jack Block Park.  It’s a nice park with good views of the city, the cranes and industrial stuff.  At one point this ramp was used to load rail cars on to barges.  Then they would barge elsewhere.  The other barge on the right appears to be used for gravel or sand.

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Look how clear the water is.  We left West Seattle in 2006 and the water did not look like this.  It was murky and oily.  This is what can happen when various government agencies decide a thing needs to be done.  I’m going to miss clean water, now that the administration is repealing all of those horrible EPA regulations.

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The city of Seattle. One of the stories the politicians told the populace when they were selling the idea of replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a tunnel, which would remove two lanes of traffic, is that the tunnel would “open up the city to the water.”  Examine the edge of the city, note that buildings spring up at the edge of the water.  There is not going to be any new water access, a complete load of poles was sold by the supporters of the tunnel.

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We think an old dock is being removed here.  There’s no signage suggesting what might be occurring.

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The state ferry system has had its problems lately.  Mid photo is a ferry in dry dock.  Two are down for repairs which just messes with the schedules something terrible.

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That’s a Washington State Ferry on the left.  To the right, that blue and red striped boat is a bulk carrier.  She’s taking on grain at the grain terminal.  Behind the grain terminal, up the Queen Anne Hill, is an enclave of very wealthy people.  The grain terminal offends them.  About ten years or so ago they were agitating for art to be projected on to the terminal to make it more attractive.  They wanted the city to pay for it.  That idea got no where.

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Dog heaven.  There is much smelly stuff on the beach for a dog to dig up and roll in.  Look at the wet sand clumped on his feet.

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The water taxi.  I’m not sure why it’s not a ferry, but a taxi.  It’s a great thing.  People in West Seattle can take it in to Seattle for sporting events, restaurants, or even work.  It started out with a smaller boat that only ran in the summer, but now it’s part of the fleet and people use it for the commute.

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The mountain (Mount Rainier) was sort of out today.  On a really clear day it’s a stunning sight from the I90 floating bridge.

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So that was today.  Yesterday we put away the grill and some other stuff so that we wouldn’t have to do it in the rain.  Tomorrow is laundry and dumping the black tank.  Yay.

Friday, October 13, 2017

New Technology are Us

Greetings Earthlings!  It has been a few days of technology.  Jim’s laptop died some time ago, then the backup Dell he was using died.  Then my laptop entered the death spiral.  So, two new HPs were purchased.  Things have changed in the laptop world.  Spinning disk is on the way out, being replaced with solid state disk and backing up to the Cloud.  That’s all well and good if you don’t have data caps.  So, that’s what I’m being told about laptop storage.

The HP is not without its drawbacks.  The form factor has changed.  Look in the bottom left corner.  See how the lid wraps around and down?  That edge is really sharp.  If, like me, you sit in a recliner with the laptop on your thighs, it’s really painful.

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I decided to go to the Microsoft store and see what they had.  There was a Dell, which was less uncomfortable so I bought that.  It was really expensive, but was on sale.  Try as I might, I could not bond with that laptop.  The touch pad is just atrocious.  Today it went back.  We were really expecting to have to argue, answer questions, have them haul it out of the box and inspect it and be generally aggravated.  Nope.  The kid took the bag at the front door, walked it back to the desk, refunded the money and wished us a nice day.  We were stunned.  They really mean it when they say bring it back within 30 days if you don’t like it.

It was weird, the Dell had the 6 point font in Open Live Writer.  The HP has it at 10 points.  I downloaded from the same site, but it downloaded differently.

So the PC odyssey is over, a piece of closed cell foam pipe wrap is providing enough cushion to save me from that sharp edge.

Yesterday Jim’s phone died.  The battery was done.  Look at the evolution of phone size.  The black shape on the left is the old phone.  In the middle is mine.  On the far right is the new Droid.  Apparently people live their lives on the phone, so they need a bigger screen.  It’s hard to hold. Verizon is so annoying.  After leading us to the $700 phone (!) they started telling us how the monthly payment could be lowered with the purchase of other items.  We got the hard sell on their version of Onstar (which bills monthly) and a tablet (which generates a line fee), I’m not sure how the savings were going to manifest.  We ended up with a phone that’s been on the market for 18 months and it’s good enough and a lot cheaper.

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The camera is pretty good.  The next three are from the new phone.  This is a tiny crop of a hydrangea.

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More fancy shoes at Nordstrom.  I can not even imagine…..

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A Chihuly hanging at the Lincoln Center shopping area.

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We’ve been doing a fair amount of walking in Bellevue.  We saw this at Macy’s.  It’s not even Halloween!

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Other than this paltry offering, I have nothing of any real import to report. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I need some Live Writer Help

The font when I am editing a post looks to be a 4 point or less font.  I can barely see it.  Does anyone know how to enlarge it during edit.  Help!

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Rain and a Walk in West Seattle

Yesterday was an irritable day.  It rained, it was windy and I spent the day glued to the couch wrestling with our new lap tops.  Then last night we had a line of thunder storms go through.  There was impressive thunder and lightning for about an hour.  It was the kind of rain that you have to holler over because it’s so loud.  At one point it took satellite reception out because the rain was so heavy.

I am very taken with this radar image.  The pink areas are snow.

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Today it was necessary to go somewhere.  We’re now tired of Bellevue, so we drove over to West Seattle.  This is terminal five.  It’s been empty for years.  At first they said the tenant had been moved to another terminal so they could install larger cranes.  Now it appears that there is no current tenant and there is push back on spending the money for modernization.  Some people have gone so far as to suggest that the Tacoma port should get the shipping traffic.   I suppose there is a desire to build condominiums there.  It is sad to see it abandoned.

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We lived in West Seattle for ten years.  For the first 9.5 years we just loved it.  When I would crest the Admiral Hill and see this view, my blood pressure would drop and I could shrug off the day and be happy.  As traffic volumes grew, Jim’s commute grew longer and he began to chafe a little at how much time he spent in the car.  At that point I was telecommuting, so it was not a problem for me.  We decided to pull the plug and sell.  The neighbors had quit taking care of their yards, horse tails (a very invasive weed) were everywhere as were blackberries.  We made money on the house, and we were happy to find a rental on the east side.  Our other thought was that if we retired, we wanted to not be owning real estate. We closed in June 2006, which turned out to be the height of the housing boom before the collapse of the global economy.  The market has rebounded with a vengeance as have property taxes.  Our old house is currently paying $9,962 a year.  That would be burdensome for a retiree on a fixed income.

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It was a glorious day.  We walked about a mile or so up the beach at Alki, and then stopped for lunch in a Vietnamese restaurant.  That’s the Space Needle on the right.  On the far right is a string of condos.  On the far left is the grain terminal.

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This plant has a pretty blossom.

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Look at the guy lower right in the photo.  See the round thing he’s riding?  It’s some off shoot of a Segway.  I would like to see him get on it without falling over.  It moves pretty quickly.

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This house is 1,600 square feet with 2.5 baths.  It is on the water.  It’s listed for $2.67M.

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It’s very nice inside, and they have a killer view.  In the summer they do get the setting sun, which can be brutal.

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This is what they see at night.  It’s a stunning view.  It just seems like a lot of money for such a small house.

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This is the taken from the West Seattle Bridge heading back to the east side.  This is the Duwamish waterway.  It’s an industrial part of town.  It’s highly polluted from years of people dumping everything in the water.

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It was just a delightful day.  I think we’ll go back over there and walk from the other end of Alki.  It’s nice walking, it’s flat and there is a lot to look at.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Unbearable Windows 10

I’m on hour SIX configuring two, yes two, new laptops using the heinous Windows 10.  Jim had to go for a walk to escape the sounds of me grinding my teeth.

One thing that almost made me throw up was the discovery that Picasa is no longer stored in filehippo.com.  They have it for Mac, but not Windows.  I found another place to go get it on the web.  Malwarebytes let it through, so I’m assuming my brand new pc is not infected.  So, hang on to this if you’re a Picasa fan and you think you’ll ever need another computer.  On the right side of the page is a pick for Windows, use that download method unless you actually know what Torrent is, which I don’t.

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Picasa interacts differently with the Windows 10 file system than it did with 7 which is also making me crazy.  It has quit raining (again) maybe it’s time for a walk.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

More People

These three photos of apartments under construction are all of the same project.  We were in a part of Bellevue where we rarely go this afternoon and we saw this.  It’s enormous, they cover more ground than a city block.

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Can you imagine what traffic is going to be like when all those people leave to go to work in the morning?  No streets have been built or widened.

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Where do all of these people come from?  Seattle, Bellevue and Issaquah are all building apartments like there is no tomorrow.  Tucson is building like crazy.  Where do all of these people come from?  The birth rate is fairly flat, are they using 3-D printers to make people?

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And here we have a frog riding a rhinoceros beetle.  I love the internet.

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Follow Up With the Surgeon, Ikea and the DOE

We saw the surgeon today.  Overall it was a positive visit.  Jim has been thinking he should be farther along the recovery trail than he is, but the surgeon says he’s fine.  He’s still having some issues, but they should resolve in time.

These are today’s x-rays.  The surgeon says that the bone fusion is proceeding in a robust fashion.  I can’t see anything there, but then I never could read an x-ray.  If you look at the left picture just above the screws you can see the curvature of the spine that developed because the vertebrae degenerated more on the left than the right.  The picture on the right shows the magnificence of the plates and screws used to rebuild his pelvis in 2006.

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After the surgeon there was more Ikea walking.  There was an interesting article in the New York Times about designers doing upscale kitchen remodels.  To save money, they’re using the cabinet boxes from Ikea, and then fronting them with expensive doors and pulls.

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We had a nosh in the cafeteria.  The number of children in there was astonishing.  It’s not surprising, it’s a kid friendly store. 

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We now have new pillows for the couch.  Jim has pronounced them a great improvement over the old ones.  That’s where he sits.  I have a recliner, which is where I sit.

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Here is a link to a Vanity Fair article about what’s happening at the Department of Energy.  It was written by Michael Lewis, who wrote The Blind Side and The Big Short. Things are rather dire.  Highly trained personnel are leaving in droves.  The proposed budget cuts funding for research and labs and cuts money to be used to secure the national power grid.  Did you know that Kevlar, GPS and atomic clocks are with us today because of DOE projects?  Currently there is a glacier of radioactive material running underground toward the Columbia River from the Hanford nuclear reservation.  There is concern in the department that money for clean up and mitigation will be cut.  It’s a fairly depressing, but extremely well written article.

Here is a darling picture from the internet.

leatherback turtle

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Retail Therapy

Retail therapy in Bellevue continues.  Walking there is so much more interesting than walking on a bike path that runs along a freeway.  We passed through the shoe department at Nordstrom on the way outside.  Are these shoes not adorable?  The shoes are sort of furry, much more so than suede.  I love the pom-poms.

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We walked over to Cost Plus World Market.  They’re closing that store and moving out of downtown Bellevue.  Cost Plus was always a great place for weird food.  Fried herring anyone?

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Delicacies from England.

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We did three laps around the Bellevue city park. Each circuit is a half mile.  This photo was supposed to capture these two crows bathing, but instead I got them flying away.

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The ducks love this place.  It’s sort of odd that there are no Canadian geese, just ducks.

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Jim sitting on a park bench.  Note the long sleeved shirt and the fleece vest on the bench.  It was a cool and windy day.  It’s been sort of a tough week.  Jim has had bouts of nausea all week.  We’re not sure what is causing this.  We see the surgeon on Wednesday, and hopefully will be enlightened as to what happens next and how long it will take.

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These are blooming in the RV park.  They come up in the fall.  Anyone know what they are?

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Last night we had several episodes of heavy rain.  The storage bay was dry this morning.  It’s too early to declare victory, but one can always hope.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Walking and Caulking

Greetings Earthlings.  Summer has returned to the GPNW for a few days.  Then the rain starts.  This winter is predicted to be a weak La Nina, which will bring this area a colder and wetter weather.  It will make the south west warmer and dryer.

Jim continues on the path.  The arc of recovery is curvilinear.  Some days are better than others.  The cane is a mixed blessing, it makes the walking easier, but it’s painful on the hand and arm.  We’ve done some longer walks in downtown Bellevue.  We’re both tired of the trail outside of the park.  Bellevue has turned into quite the urban center.

This is a photo of Bellevue from a long time ago.  Jim remembers when it looked like this, he moved here in 1952.  It was a small town back then.

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Here we are today.  I will say that the tall buildings in Bellevue are more interesting than many of those in Seattle.  They tend towards the tall big square buildings.

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Look at the blue of that sky.  We see this in the fall.

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More shiny buildings.

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There are many galleries selling art.  This is pretty.  Judging by the looks of the gallery, I think if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

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Sign in front of a cafe in Old Bellevue.

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Today we spent some time spraying the bay doors with the hose.  We think possibly we can see where the water is running down into the bay, but we’re not sure.  In the end, we caulked everything.  Maybe something will hold back the leak.  It’s supposed to start raining Friday for four days.

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Jim is doing the really difficult part.  The caulk kept dripping off the under side of the door.  Notice all the pink sidewalk chalk on the bay door.  It’s now on our hats and shoulders of the tee shirts.

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Other than this, I have zippity doo dah all to report.  I believe I will close with a picture of chickens.

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