Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ride & Replacement LEDs

We had a return of summer today.  Jim and I rode around Lake Sammamish.  It's a good urban ride, with the exception of about one mile with no shoulder, but today the drivers were kind and did not run over us with their cars.  The route takes us through Marymoor, which is a gem of a park in Redmond.  It's huge.  There are cricket fields, radio controlled airplane fields and much more, including a velodrome.  How cool is that?

That's an older gentleman on the bike and he was moving out smartly.

Jim has replaced some of our halogen lights with LEDs.  The under cabinet lights are so hot, they cook the items on the bottom shelf.  This is the back of a light.

This is the front.  They are unbelievably bright.

If you're interested in swapping some halogens for LEDs, we like this company.  Very fast shipping.  The LED will last for 100,000 hours.  We'll probably be dead by then.

Other than that, maties, there is zippity doo-dah all to report.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Riding, Dinner, Riding

This was last Friday, the 27th.  We did an out and back on Mercer Island, so we were able to ride both sides of all of the hills.  Without referencing ambient temperatures, and incurring the wrath of people in the mid west who are melting, I would like draw your attention to what Jim is wearing.  In July.

Issaquah has a good sized Farmer's Market on Saturdays.  In addition to vegetables, they have some good food vendors.  These are Golden Beets.  We walked over to the market, that day's key learning was to bring a good bag for carrying food.  Beets are heavy!

Walla Walla Sweets.

Mainly radishes.

Saturday night the COs had three couples over for dinner.  Kim brought this bottle of wine she acquired in Spain.  It was really good.

Eggplant and zucchini brought by Chris and Roseann. Look at the beauty of that huge copper tray.  Vicki made a magnificent leg of lamb stuffed with feta and garlic, but none of my pictures of it were attractive.

Which brings us to today and a bike ride in the Carnation Valley.  We saw these hanging in a huge pile of black berry vines.  I'm not sure whose fruit these are.

Jake Groeneweg is selling out his 93 acres.  He used to run a lot of dairy cattle, but they're all gone.  I think he might be, too.  We wonder what will become of the land.  Much of it floods every year, so we're hoping the evil developers don't cover it in new houses.

When we got back to the truck, we saw more horses in the river.  We think it's a class.  Notice the light colored horse on the left, he was very comfortable in the water, and at times appeared to be swimming.

The horse on the far right seemed to have grave doubts about the wisdom of going in the water.

Eventually he was convinced to get wet.  The two in the back mainly stood there with people splashing them with water.

We saw the water buffalo in their field on the way back to the car, so we're happy to see them again.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The New Grandchild

We had dinner at Brittany and Justin's last night.  Tyler is now 8 weeks old.  He is a strong little boy.  That's Tyler on Britt's shoulder.

This is me, holding Tyler.

This is Jim, holding Tyler.  I got to hold him longer before fussing ensued.

Here he is in the vibrating chair.

Is he cute or what?


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fourth Week of July in Seattle

Tuesday we rode out in the Carnation Valley.  It was a spectacular day for a ride.  We saw these riders coming out of the water.

Here you can see the source of the extra legs behind the brown horse.

These posters are up everywhere.  The farms in the Snoqualmie valley are just being hammered by flooding.  That's why they're wearing snorkeling gear.

This is sad.  This is the road into the Tall Chief golf course.  It's closed now.

This is why.  I do not understand the economics of this.  191 acres and they're building 18 houses.  How is money to be made on so few houses?  It's out in the middle of nowhere.  We're very happy that they're not putting 191 houses out there, but I will miss the vast sweeps of green that were once there.

Flowers along the road side.

I have recently learned that if one changes a return flight, or if the airline changes your flight, there is a strong probability that they did not ensure that you have a seat assignment on the new flight.  We spent about 40 minutes on the phone standing out in the corn fields Tuesday talking to Travelocity.  Our return flight to Seattle from Marseilles was cancelled, and they rebooked us on an earlier flight.  The young woman on the phone assured us we had seat assignments.  After coming home and checking the Delta page, we discovered that we did not.  So that's my new airlines learning.

Yesterday we took the hiking boots in for work.  This guy comes highly recommended.  We both took in a pair for new soles, I really hope he's as good as they say.

The shop.

He's in Fremont, which is the center of the known world.  This is the bridge into Fremont.  For years it was a unique funky area of the city.  Unfortunately, it became popular, and the buildings that made it special began to be replaced with new, souless architecture.

However, there is still a rocket attached to a pub.  Every urban area needs their own rocket.

I left this big so you can read it, it's funny.

This is the back of the Waiting for the Interurban Statue.  They've been dressed for the wait.

I borrowed the next two photos from Rosemary's blog.  This is the front of the statue at Easter.

More costuming for the Interurban riders.

A view of the ship canal bridge.

This is from the Queen Anne Tower cam this morning.  The south sound was having fog, enough so that flights were delayed at Seatac.  In July.

So that's the news from the GPNW.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Return from Tucson

I have returned from my trip to Tucson.  The trip wherein I landed just before a monsoon of biblical proportions, suffered from heat and humidity, and the airlines in general.  On the way down, in the Seattle airport, they told us we could have one roller bag and one small item, and that one's purse counted as the small item.  My roller bag, backpack and purse put me over the limit, and I would incur a $25 fine according to the announcement.  I put my purse in the backpack and all was well. THIS is what I saw yesterday departing Tucson.  WHY IS THIS MAN ALLOWED TO CARRY ON THIS MANY LARGE BAGS?  There is a backpack, something draped over his arm, a roller bag and the sarcophagus he is dragging.  My displeasure with flying knows no limits.

When we departed yesterday, another line of storms was approaching the airport.  Given the amount of lightning that is generated, they have to get the ground people under cover.  The cabin attendants were on the microphone telling people to hurry, sit down, we gotta go, they're going to close the airport!  We made it out, it was good.

Rain over the city.

Are not the clouds lovely?

Those of you who are familiar with Tucson in the summer no doubt wonder what possessed me to go there in July.  My brother has had memory and cognition issues for awhile.  He called in distress, so I went down to see him.  He's not seen a doctor because he's unemployed and has no health coverage.  In Arizona, if one does not have a dependent child, one is not eligible for Medicaid.  So for all of the unemployed people in my brother's demographic, the state offers no help.  One of the things we did was go to El Rio Community Health.  They are a low cost clinic.  We had to be there early to see a case worker.  While sitting on the curb, queueing for entrance, I listened to two women talking.  One was an older woman with really terrible asthma.  She had been on Medicaid, but when she received a Social Security COLA, it put her $3 over the income level cut off and she lost coverage.  The other woman was talking about her daughter who had made the choice to quit her job to keep her Medicaid.  She wanted to work, but could not afford to take the risk of leaving her kids with no medical coverage.  It's just unfathomable to me how it's come to this.  It seems the politicians are very concerned about the unborn, but once born, the concern is over. That's about as much rant as I'm going to indulge in.

On to a food rant.  We have an obesity crisis in this country.  Why are people eating this stuff?  Is there anyone on the planet who does not know that deep fat fried batter dipped hot dogs are bad for you?

I'm depressing myself, so I think I'll stop talking now.

Monday, July 16, 2012

More Monsoons

Greetings from the desert, where we are having the monsoons again today.

Yesterday the Santa Cruz was running bank to bank.  Pretty impressive.  

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Trip to the Desert

Well, it would appear that summer is on hiatus in the GPNW.  This is the view from my window seat as I departed Seatac.  Yes, events have caused me to depart the presence of my sweetie and the cool cloudy weather and fly south. 

Here is a view of Mt. Saint Helens.  We need to go down there, I've never seen the results of a volcano up close.

This is the sky descending in to Tucson.  One can tell that it will be hot and humid, and that there will be rain later.

My phone is on high alert.  We had an amazing storm pass through.  I went out and shot an AVI of it, but the version of Picassa on the netbook does not recognize my camera's AVI format.  So, no video for you.  Imagine all of the hurricane footage you've seen, with sideways wind, palm trees lashing back and forth and so on; it was like that.

So, the power went out (and then returned, mercifully) and the satellite TV is still out with no ECD for its return.  The ladies at the front desk do not know how to reboot the system.  I suggested holding down the power button and counting to 10, but they're waiting for a manager.  Interestingly enough, our previous experience with the internet here has been that it was really fast, but that is not the case today.  I'm not sure Hulu is going to be an option at these speeds. 
So, that's it for me, I'm here until Friday.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Seattle Police Action, Weather & Food

Thursday we rode a circuit of Mercer Island.  It's an island (duh) in Lake Washington, populated by expensive homes.  The closer one is to the water, the more it costs.  I saw nothing noteworthy on the ride, so there are no photos.  After the ride we went into downtown Seattle, thinking I could quickly nip into Sally Beauty and then we'd head back before rush hour.  No, no nipping for us.  There was an enormous police action going on in the vicinity of the Federal Courthouse.  The entire block was cordoned off.

We had the Sheriff's office, and Seattle PD.  They're looking fairly relaxed.

Thee was an SUV with a massive amount of equipment.  That appears to be a pull out tray of some sort underneath the rear door.

More street blockage, both to cars and pedestrians.  So, you would think, with this much police presence, that there would have been news coverage, right?  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  We checked print, TV and web news and there has been zero coverage of the event.  It was interesting to watch.

We headed home through Pioneer Square so we could avoid the traffic.  It's so weird when a person's home town becomes a tourist destination.  To us, its just Seattle, but we are now a subject of much interest.  The cruise ships have been one factor, certainly.  It was starting even before the ships came.   It's good for the merchants.

Mt. Rainier was trying to be out on the way home, but there was too much haze.  Cliff Mass says it's due to smoke from Asia.

Yesterday morning we were treated to thunderstorms, rain with big drops and hail.  Rain here is categorized by drop size.  Inuits have 20 words for snow, we have at least 10 for rain.  This is the radar during the morning.  See the big red splotch sort of mid radar?  That's where we are.  It's not usual for this to happen.  We're supposed to be in our annual 30 day dry period.

This is also taken from the Cliff Mass weather blog.  It's a really cool lighting picture.

And now for the food section.  Read the text underneath "Good Friends".  Twigs?  Toasted twigs.  I have long suspected Kashi was using twigs.

Last night's dinner came from the Gemini Fish market, and it was good.  We got a tub of crab meat because we do not like picking these guys.  Too much anatomy!

 So, that has been the last half of this week.