Saturday, July 30, 2005

Block Building for Children

Architect Lester Walker's Block Building for Children : Making Buildings of the World with the Ultimate Construction Toyshows several interesting projects for a set of Unit Blocks (aka Kindergarten Blocks), but uses a somewhat odd block mix that is hard to match using any normal set of blocks (though Barclay Blocks does offer a special set for use with this book).

After months of muddled cogitation, I finally set out a few days ago to make the missing blocks. I've now actually cut and sanded the board blocks, and hope today to cut and sand the dowels. I'm pretty happy with myself, but the noise and fuss of the power tools has put me into a sensory overload condition.

I'm not sure how my parents fit into all this. The easy part is that getting the basic unit block set was made possible by some money my dad gave me for setting up his copier for him, but there's more to it than that.

I went and had lunch with them this week.

Even without any specific contextual PTSD triggers, I came out of it badly PTSD disrupted, and looking at several days of recovery. Pursuing the block-making was partly intended as a distraction and recovery aid. Doing the power tool activities was partly an exploration to see if the adverse effects of that would be cumulative with the PTSD or more in parallel.

I know that associated sensory & PTSD triggers can be cumulative, but I waited until after I had gotten over the sensory overload from the restaurant. I thought at the least that the benefit/cost ratio would be better when I needed the boost. I'm not sure how it all balances out. I may never be.

But at least I'll have my blocks.

From the book, with modifications [BlockPlay].

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Beach & blimp

Again, I post from beach.

Golden Gardens.

Low tide. Blimp.

 (the blimp is the tiny dark dot upper middle right)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Yakima River

We are near Thorp looking at the east end of the canyon the Yakima River flows through east of Cle Elum.

It is rather hot and very windy.


Friday, July 15, 2005


I am on the beach North of Edmonds, trapped by a train stopped between me and my car.

It is raining.

I am happy.

A few minutes ago, I was sitting on a log with eleven brant about thirty feet in front of me.

When I walked a little bit, I had 11 brant, 3 trains, a heron, and about two hundrd seagulls, all in sight at once.

Pretty cool.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Went to Sand Point today to meet Chris before her appointment with Dr S. We had sandwiches by the lake, plonked a few pebbles, and mostly loafed. I had been thinking how it was hard to think of this as midsummer with the generally cloudy weather we've had lately, but when the sun did come out, it got hot fast. Summer sun, even if the sky didn't look like summer clouds.

After I was back home, I was out back throwing the ball for Itchy, doing a little light reading, and keeping an eye on Webster. We still aren't really comfortable about risks of the little guy wandering off.

I was delighted to see a swallowtail butterfly, and hoped it was the same one of our adventure the other day. I was careful not to hit it with the ball.

However, I did manage to hit Webster with the ball when it took a bad bobble as I was trying to roll it by in front of him. He had been on the verge of chasing it a couple of times when it got close, so I thought maybe if I got it a bit closer ...

He went about three feet straight up when the ball hit him, and darn near came down on top of Itchy, who was much more interested in the ball.

Webster retreated to the basement window ledge, protected by a couple of planters from any more errant throws.

Fortunately, he's given no sign of any doubts about my intentions. We are still friends.

Monday, July 11, 2005


Chris was over on Saturday, and took a picture of Webster in the cherry tree, in between having adventures with a butterfly. Later, Jo, Chris, Coal and I went to Central Market for groceries and a visit to the salad bar. We took our slads, noodles, teriyaki wings, whatever, to nearby Boeing Creek Park for a bit of a picnic. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 8, 2005

New house

Jo's new toy house was a very special Thriftco find. Posted by Picasa

Among old friends.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Webster Song

Webster, oh Webster
I like you a lot.
Sometimes you are naughty,
but mostly you're not.
You are as fine a cat
as ever I'd want.
Webster, oh Webster,
I like you a lot.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 4, 2005


I managed to get down to the Golden Gardens beach early this morning, avoiding the crowds that are sure to be there later in the day. Low tide, bright sun, pleasant breeze. Several herons very close, and a humingbird in the dune area. I was more than a little inspired by Chris's report on our last beach outing (posted last night, though dated for the day we were down there).

Friday, July 1, 2005

West Seattle

I was off to West Seattle yesterday, to help my dad replace his failed fax/copier with something new for making copies.

We went to Staples and chose an HP 1315. Unfortunately, they didn't have one at the store, so we ordered one for delivery. I may have to go back & help him set it up and learn to use it.

Then we went to a Vietnamese deli in White Center and got Vietnamese sandwichs and fresh rolls to take home. My mom got a bite of hot pepper and wasn't very pleased, but the meal was otherwise good and beat the heck out of going to a restaurant.

I took along Amber Waves of Grain to show them an aerial shot of Brady, Montana, where my mother's father once owned the newspaper, and the source of my middle name. Dad liked it so much I left it for him to look at. Maybe I should get him a copy.