Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Day in Seattle

We went into Seattle to look at cameras.  Mine are getting long in the tooth.  When I bought my Canon Elph 310HS I bought three of them, broke two of them, bought two more.  It's a good camera, but they're old.  So we looked at small cameras.  The first we considered was a Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II.  Amazon has it for $429.  That's going to make buying five of them difficult.  I do like the sensor size, I don't like the pop up flash.  My finger goes there, and it's only a matter of time before it tries to go up under my finger.  Also, it's heavy.

This is the follow on to my current camera.  Thirteen percent of reviewers don't like it.  Apparently it's difficult to get the wifi to talk to the phone (not a problem for me), and the iris frequently breaks.  It's a plastic body, which I don't know if that's bad or not. 
The worst part of all this is: point and shoot cameras are on their way out.  It used to be that every year there were scores of new models.  Not only is that not happening, no one is writing reviews of point and shoots anymore.  I don't like taking pictures with a phone.  For one thing, I have to put my reading glasses on to see anything.  With a camera, all I have to do is point in the general direction of the interesting thing and push the button.  The whole process can be done without actually seeing through the camera. So, I guess whatever I get, I better get five of them, with extra batteries.

Seattle continues its current trajectory of paving everything there is.  This is the new tunnel that's replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct.  Note the lack of a full sized break down lane.

One of the many new apartment complexes in South Lake Union.  It's hard to see, but notice the windows are open.  These are not air conditioned.

Hydrangeas in court yards.

More hives.

As we walked on, we saw this RV parked on the street.  Some poor man was attempting to put large heavy boxes into the storage bays underneath the extended slide.  If it were me (and my back) I would have retracted the slide to improve my working conditions.

This is the door to the makeup room.  It's about four feet off the ground.  Stepping out of that could be painful.  Anyway, being the gawker that I am, I asked them who they were driving.  I thought it would be a band of some sort.  Actually, they were doing a photo shoot for plus size womens' clothing.  So there you go.

The woman in the white sweater was a study in bad manners.  First she jumped the queue for the hot dog stand.  She just walked up to the counter, in front the the six people who were waiting, and ordered two hot dogs.  THEN she tried to pay with Canadian dollars, but with no exchange rate.  The kid working the grill told her they couldn't take the money.  She got hostile.  Then an African-American man told her nicely that they could not exchange her currency.  She looked at him and said that since he was obviously unemployed, what would he know about anything?  The guy is a port worker, strong union, good wages.  He started laughing at her.  Eventually she paid using US$.

This is one of the guys that runs Dog in the Park.  If you're ever in Seattle, go there.  They also have vegan dogs.

Speaking of vegans, these are vegan activists protesting in Westlake Park.  One of them was debating a guy who was trying to mansplain her that humans MUST eat meat.  She was having none of that.

It was a good day.  Nice weather, a good walk and a hotdog with grilled cabbage and onions.  What could be better?

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Batteries, Airplanes and Riding

Yesterday was sunny, first time since we've been back.  It was a perfect day.  Today was also good, but more humid.  Yes, I know, our idea of humid is just pitiful, we know nothing about east coast humidity.

Here is the thing I learned last week.  Our laptops are two years old.  Their batteries were dying, quickly.  We called HP to get the model number of the battery.  You can't buy them from HP, they just can't be bothered stocking anything.  We ended up getting generic batteries from Amazon.  The guy that installed them for us (it's become very complicated) said next time check Ebay.  Ebay has original OEM batteries.  Put "OEM" in your search string and it will bring those up.  The OEM battery for the HP Pavilion is the same price as the generic on Amazon.  So - Ebay!

Yesterday we were in the south end.  There was lunch at Lemongrass, which is always good.  Then we drove out to look at Renton Field to see how many 737-Max airplanes were hanging around.  On the way we saw this.  It's a giant black pipe that runs forever.  Here it's going under the road to get to the other side.

We had to turn off, so I don't know where this ends up.

There were not many 737s at Renton Field.  They're flying them away for storage.

This is cool. They use these to move the float planes around.

When we got home, we did the three mile walk.  This is the first time we've seen parasails jumping off Poo Poo Point.  It was warm enough for there to be thermals.

Today we went out to Carnation Valley to ride the bikes.  Given how long it's been it was unsurprisingly painful.  It's always interesting how quickly one de-conditions, and how long it takes to get it back.  There is much bio-mass out there.  The mass introduces water in the air from transpiration.

Cycling shoes are not comfortable, especially the new ones which are really stiff.   The copper colored insoles are memory foam Superfeet.  They're much cushier than the blue Superfeet.  If you have room in your shoes, they're a good thing.  REI does not have them in the stores, but you can order them.

We saw this logging project on the way back from riding.  It'll be interesting to see if this is a new road or a driveway.

This is why we always consider the ground in an RV park to be toxic.  That is someone's sewer hose, draped over his boarding ladder.  I do not know why people do this.  Ewwwwwwwww.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate, and we can keep riding.  Riding is good.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Some Whining

July will be the month of JAWS.  As Cliff Mass wrote on his blog:
A July Abnormally Wet System (JAWS) is approaching the Northwest coast as I write this blog.  The view from space is scary and unusual for this time of the year.  It looks like a November satellite image.  

Apparently the current system will be followed by JAWS2 and then JAWS3.  It's going to rain forever.   It's enough to make us buy bikes that will accept fenders.  We used to have those, should have kept them, I guess.  It rained like heck today, it never does that in July, if we get anything, it's drizzle.  I can't decide if it's better than the last two summers (hot, dry, smoke) or not.

We got DSL today.  It was an interesting process.  Yes this is a first world problem, I know that.  I called last Thursday to sign up for service.  I scheduled activation for Tuesday, and was told that someone over 18 had to be on site.  She couldn't give me a time, but told me to log on to their website to create an account and get the time window.  Monday I tried to create the account; nope no account creation can occur until line activation.  Okaaaay, how do I find out when the guy is coming?  I was transferred to customer service who said it would be between 8 and 2 on Tuesday, and that they would call an hour in advance.  So, we sat around Tuesday waiting.  No call, no guy.  I called customer service again - oh no, you don't have to be on site, the activation will be done remotely, and will be done at 5 pm.  Every single person I talked to at Century Link told me something different, they are so aggravating!  They just make me crazy.

Other things making me crazy are the whole Epstein thing and Acosta's breaking of the law when he failed to notify the victims before sentencing Epstein to 13 months on work release and now Acosta is attempting to justify his decisions as being kind to the girls.  I'm also crazy because of journalists referring to the girls as "under-aged women."  They were children.  There is also the usual crazy making things of incarcerated children; Washington DC is running out of money because they haven't been paid for the inauguration or the 4th of July; and white people continue to call the police on black people who aren't doing anything wrong. 

The USDA is also making me crazy.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that it’s suspending tracking the plunging honeybee population because of a budget shortfall.
The department will suspend data collection for its Honey Bee Colonies report, and officials did not say when — or if — it would be restarted. It will release data already collected from January 2018 through April of this year.
The number of honey bee hives, vital to pollinating crops for the agricultural industry and other plants for wildlife, plummeted from 6 million in 1947 to 2.4 million in 2008. The worst honeybee hive loss on record occurred last winter as beekeepers reported a 40% loss of their colonies over the year. 

This is not good.  One out of three bites of food was pollinated by bees.  Do the people in charge of this administration not care about the devastating effects of no pollinators?  How about for their children, or grandchildren?

Homelessness is on the rise in the Seattle area.  The city keeps closing camps and forcing them to move on.  I saw this in Renton.  These are old people.  It just hurts my heart to see this.

In other news, we had dinner with friends last night, it was just delightful.  The deck flowers are looking good.  I like the colors of the coleus and that purple flower whose name I can not remember.  I planted those for years, but the name has departed my brain.

This is a chicken in a cast iron skillet.  The grill is being used as an oven, and it worked really well.  When we return to Tucson, I will acquire a cast iron skillet and we shall cook chicken like this, as well.  We could also do things like pork roasts and other stuff.

Here V is checking the temperature of the chicken.  It was really good.  That's vintage cast iron, back when the surfaces were polished.

I've been reading reviews of cast iron today.  The Lodge cast iron is the least expensive, but they don't polish.  The polished ones cost more, but they weigh less than the Lodges.  We will have to refine our problem statement to see which one would be the best.  Reviews can be found here and here.

That's it, that's all of my whining.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

As Seen in Issaquah

Greetings Earthlings!  How is your July 4th going for you?  We had the annual visits to the medical fleet yesterday.  I got a Pneumovax vaccination against pneumonia yesterday and it still hurts today.  It hurts to raise my arm and it hurts into my arm pit.  Last year I had the Prevnar13, so I'm done with the pneumonia series.  That one made me feel awful, as well.  Having had pneumonia in 2016, the vaccinations are better than the alternative.  One wonders how they isolate all of the things in the world that could cause pneumonia.

It's humid here, we went out for a short walk this morning.  This place is so green.  These are wild morning glory plants.  I think they're second only to blackberries in being an invasive noxious weed.  They're virtually impossible to control once they get established.

This is finally complete.  This is the bike trail we can ride on from the park.  They ran the trail under the new road they built - that would be the road that takes us to Costco.  They paid for half of it.  Anyway, we were coming back and there were five stoners sitting under the bridge, smoking cigarettes, saying stupid profane stuff and laughing like idiots.  The trail is just covered in cigarette butts and take out food trays.   It's enough to make me think year round school might be a good thing.

Mama duck and the babies in the creek.


It's a fruiting on the trail.  These things are a pain to ride through, they're slippery.

Other than this paltry offering, there's not alot to say.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Walla Walla to Issaquah WA

Well, we're here.  It was a very long drive from Torrey. Every year I say to myself that we should break the trip up a little, but we don't.  Today was WA-12 to I82 to I90. 

This was taken leaving Walla Walla.  Green areas are irrigated, brown areas aren't.  The dirt is really good over there.

There is a lot of farming of wind.

Now we're on the other side of the mountains, coming down the hill from Snoqualmie Pass.  That's Lake Keechelus.  That's the most water we've seen it for awhile.  There are still some visible stumps at the edge, but it's way better than it was.

As is always the case, we've ridden it, hiked it, and toured it all here, so posting may get a little light.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Caldwell to Blue Valley RV Park, Walla Walla WA

The drive from Caldwell to Walla Walla is all interstate 84, except for the last 20 miles or so.  Then one exits for the two lane hinterlands.  They're not bad roads.  Coming in from that direction causes one to drive all the way across Walla Walla with its narrow streets.  GPS likes to do the neighborhood tours, there's probably a better route we could have taken.

It's a hilly drive.  There are quite a few ups and downs and sharp corners.  ODOT has done a good job of signing and warning of what's ahead.

This was taken in Caldwell.  I like it when the low sun illuminates a yellow tree.

Here we are leaving the higher country and heading down the hill toward the Snake River.

Another climb brought us up to where there are trees.

Trees give way to a more austere landscape and signs like this.

It's not that bad of a descent except for they took a lane away.

Looking to the left, you can see the climb out of the valley.  That is a 12 mile climb, it's relentless and best done in the morning.

Then it's back to this.  There is a lot of agriculture, mainly wheat and grapes.

Our friends very kindly fed us a wonderful dinner last night.  This is what we saw on the way home.

We are back the Blue Valley RV Park, which I have previously written about.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Brigham City to Ambassador RV Resort, Caldwell ID

Today was long.  It was all on I15 and I84, whose road surfaces were not terrible.  It just seemed like we were out there forever, but we weren't.  Once you get into northern Utah, southern Idaho, there's not a lot to look at.

This was interesting.  Someone installed a ladder up the back of the yellow car.  It's from Missouri.  Putt putt has been written on the side of the car.  They were traveling with the school bus ahead of it.

We are staying at the Ambassador RV Resort.  It's very nice.  We used to go to High Valley in Boise, which is an ok park, but getting there was so painful because of all of the surface streets that had to be traversed.  This is in Caldwell and is just off the freeway.

Interior roads are paved.  Sites are gravel, with grass between them.  They're wider and longer than many RV parks.  Staff is friendly.  Power is good, water pressure is good.  The southern sky is accessible for satellites.  Park supplied wi-fi is decent.  Verizon is extended 4G, but it's good.  Oddly enough, there is virtually no 4G on the freeway through Boise and Caldwell which made the GPS quit talking to us.  No open and/or wood fires are allowed.

There is a pool and playground for the short people.

The bad would be the rocks.  They didn't use the small gravel that packs, they used the rocks that hurt my feet.  Also bad is there is a train in the area, as well as a general aviation airport.  When we got here someone was doing touch and goes and not doing a good job of power management; resulting in an annoying pitch to the engine.  He appears to have gone home, so that's good.

Attention RV owners!  If you have a 3.5 inch sewer adapter in your sewer lash-up, know that they are getting hard to find.  Ours broke and we were unable to find one at Camping World.  We wanted a Valterra, but they don't seem to make them anymore.  Camping World has the 5 inch Valterra, but not the 3.5 inch.  I ordered two Camcos from Amazon so that we have spares.  Please make a note of this.