Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sometimes I get help with a Block Play post.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


When I am working on a Block Play post, I am always happy to include a cat or two, when the opportunity arises. Yesterday one arose.

Webster doesn't seem as happy with Roy Toy as I am.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


November 2nd was my mother's 89th birthday. My sister, Jo, and I took her to lunch at Luisas.

Mom had Camerones Mexicanos, Kathy had Chili Verde, Jo had Chili Relleno, and I had Mole.

On the way I stopped for a short walk on the beach at Golden Gardens. Not often you see a ship bow on from there, especially with the Point Wells fuel facility in the background.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Our fairy forests of fancy toadstools keep coming along. The garden where we have enjoyed a few more each year for several years has taken another big jump.

The larger batch, the other side of the porch, is undoubtedly boosted by the construction next door with its removal of the large laurel hedge and scattering of wood debris. I think there have been one or two over there the last few years, but nothing like this.

Compare that to last week. And note that the open caps are five to nine inches across!

Fun stuff.

Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


We seem to have a nice crop of toadstools coming along for Halloween.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Eyeball - The Sequel

Eyeball number two has been modified.

I am handling it well, having been through this before.

There is a purple L on my forehead which I will leave on to help me remember which eye drops go in which eyeball. Four more weeks of eye drops. Two weeks of both eyes.

It almost makes me wish I had more eyeballs so we could keep doing this every two weeks every two weeks every two weeks ...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

9 10 11

I really wanted to do a '9 10 11' post.

How about this morning's early sunlight on the front yard hemlocks' "squaw wood"?

There probably should be a modern replacement term for that, but I couldn't find one with a quick google.

The stuff more than the name, so I'm amenable to changing - as long as there as at least some sense of woodsiness.

I am enjoying the enhanced detail with my post-surgery eye: not just less fog & more resolution, but more shadow detail & enhanced colors.

Pretty impressive - 'this one goes to eleven.'



Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Eyeball Day 2

I took my patch off this morning, and could see out of both eyes. :)

Surprisingly enough, I don't look like I've been poked in the eye with a sharp stick.

Everyone I can remember seeing shortly after their cataract surgery looked bad.

Not surprising since it sorta consists of sophisticated poking by a sophisticated sharp stick.

Chris came to inspect & cheer me & took me to lunch & the beach.

We saw a turtle, and a seagull that had been given an ugly but interesting fish by a fisherman on the fishing pier.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mug shot

So ... they made a hole my eye this morning & sucked some of the innards out, folded a replacement plastic lens in half, stuck it in through the hole & unfolded it.

No big deal.

Everything seems to have gone quite well.

Obviously that lumpiness covering my right eye is interfering with my glasses sitting properly, which is making computer usage and reading hard. That is aggravated by having the covered eye chipping in with a noisy grayness instead of just signing off for a while.

So I am playing with Wedgits.

Eliza brought me lunch, which we ate out in our picnic area. Very nice Vietnamese Sandwiches.

The purple R on my forehead may take a few days to go away, sort of an homage to Stephen Crane?

The patch comes off in the morning. It is a nuisance and I will be glad to be rid of it.

For the last week I have been doing eye drops in that eye four times a day - adding a second one a couple of days ago. Five minutes apart - which is just enough time for me to often lose track so it really seems like six or seven times a day.

Each time I put a drop in I am supposed to keep my eye closed for a minute afterward. If I get distracted I sometimes forget to open my eye for a few minutes.

I keep thinking I have just forgotten to open my eye again, but it turns out to be the patch.


It will all be better soon.

In the meantime: Wedgits.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Melvin meets Gracie

Melvin & I thought we'd have some quality time at the beach with a little construction.

But then Gracie arrived and took an overly strong interest in Melvin. I didn't even know I had this picture until I uploaded from my camera.

After a few minutes encouragement by dog-walker - not owner so less in control - and myself, we recovered poor melvin from Gracie.

I think Melvin is holding on here to keep from falling over - he seems to have lost interest in building and still hasn't asked where his hat went.

When I got up to 85th I saw Gracie & person jogging east so i caught them on the corner by our house & got a couple of pictures. She was still glad I wasn't mad, and was happy to pose with Gracie.

Melvin spent some time out on the front porch drying out. When I brought him in he was mostly dry but perhaps permanently bedraggled. Good thing he's the stunt double, though I do think this was more than he signed on for.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Heather Lake

Last Thursday Chris & I wanted to do some sort of outing.

I preferred to not drive if I could avoid it, and if Chris was driving here first and home after, then she didn't want too much driving in between.

We voted on doing something in the Mount Pilchuck area, along the South Fork of the Stillaguamish River - someplace I used to hike as a Boy Scout and with my family in the early 1960s. We ended up opting for Heather Lake.

This cirque lake lies on the slopes of Mount Pilchuck at about 2400 feet elevation. The trail there lists at 2 miles and 1000 feet elevation gain - which represented a greater challenge than I had tackled since my diabetes and various foot problems.

For evaluating some available alternatives, we used my my earlier edition of Best Hikes With Kids: Western Washington. which does a good job of providing information appropriate to my physical limitations & mental needs.

It turned out that Schmoo (who has mobility issues) had the most problems, though my hiking shoes were discovered to be coming apart when I changed out of them back at the trailhead.

The woods were wonderful, the variety of fungi intriguing, and the views of the lake and the mountains in the mist delightful. Note the last patches of year-round snow on the far side of the lake in the top image.

I hope to be doing more of this soon - in my new ankle-high boots.

Having actually gotten out on a trail should help me better enjoy my trail guides.

Fun stuff.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

No fire

The first siren could have been an ambulance.

The second siren was obviously a fire truck and stopped nearby.

The picture above is from our front yard and shows the firetruck stopped across 85th.

When I checked the 911 web site, it showed a '4RED - 2 + 1 + 1' respnse - two engines, a ladder truck, and a batallion chief - but I only heard the two sirens & the web site showed the incident as closed within a few minutes - soooooooooooooooo apparently no fire - or the first folks there put it out with a hand held fire extinguisher.

The truck in the picture is probably standing by to run hose from the fire hydrant if needed.


Melvin was very excited.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009


I like turkles.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


On my way back from Richmond Beach yesterday, I stopped at Carkeek Park for a little woods walking & peering into the creek.

Note the springboard notches in the stump.

Friday, June 5, 2009


We had a firetruck in front of our house (not an emergency).

Melvin was entranced.

He says he really really really needs a firefighter hat.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mothers Day

I took mom for a bit of a Mothers Day outing.

View Larger Map

We went East on i-90 to High Point (a bit past Issaquah) where we diverted to side roads via Preston, Fall City, Snoqualmie Falls, Three Forks Park, to North Bend. She particularly enjoyed the tree lined roads, the views of rivers and hills, and Mount Si - she was very impressed that Eliza and another young woman had climbed Little Si a few days before without male assistance or escort.

At North Bend we went to the recently remodeled Taco Time (it was closed for remodeling at the time of our last outing). She had a Fish Taco and some Mexi-Fries, dipping the latter in ranch dressing & salsa. She thought it was all wonderful, including the view of Rattlesnake Ridge.

From there we drove to the Cedar River Watershed Education Center, where the level boardwalks and paved walkways were an easy walk with great views of Rattlesnake Lake and the Rattlesnake Ledges.

View Larger Map
Leaving the Watershed, we went down and drove around the Riverrbend neighborhood, got back on I-90 to Hwy 18 for some alternate woodland scenery, to the Hobart-Issaquah Road for some more rural scenery, back on I-90 to Seattle, past the Sound Transit Light Rail facility with its fleet of parked light rail vehicles (streetcars), wandered through some backstreets of old industrial seattle, and back to Merrill.

Long day for me, and I still had to drive home. Maybe in another day or two I will have recovered.


Friday, May 8, 2009


A daytrip to the dry side of the mountains is a good therapeutic activity, as much as I enjoy the wet side. [Image: Nunnally Lake]

It is especially nice this time of year when so many flowers are in bloom, and the temperatures are not yet outrageous. [Image: Woolypod Milk-Vetch?]

I took a lot of pictures yesterday, some of signs to keep , many of flowers to identify later, many of birds, since what makes a good photo is frequently hit or miss. [Image: Nunnally Lake, Schmmozer]

Stilts near the intersection of Dodson Road and Frenchman Hills Road below was a lucky catch - note how the bird on the left has his head upside down, presumably to help swallow.

I am learning: getting out a book and trying to puzzle something out can be too much mental transition during a trip. Autism Spectrum Disorders often make transitions difficult and tiring. Rather than making yesterday even more draining, I took pictures of things I wanted to identify. In the next few days, I will go through books to identify the flowers from my pictures, one or a few at a time, then maybe come back here with another post of flower pictures. [Image: Wild Blue Flax?]

I thought this was going to be easy to identify ...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cherry Blossoms

In Sunday morning's early light, I caught the cherry tree in full bloom, the apple tree coming along nicely. I held off posting to see if the apple might not catch up a bit more.

Last night's storm spoiled that, and this morning our yard looked snowed upon with pinkish snow.

But this evening's light encouraged another picture (below).

Fun to compare these to March and December.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Melvin helped me build a bridge for my Blockplay blog.

Usually he complains about not having a construction hat to wear but this time he was quite happy in his new flowered hat.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


For years I regularly saw "BPED: 14APR69" on important papers.

And not-so-important papers also, I suppose.

"Basic Pay Entry Date" was the Army term for what usually corresponded to your entry on active service, though for some folks who had certain types of deferred entry it differed.

I didn't particularly need to be reminded of the date.

For me, April 14, 1969 was the day I got out of bed in Edmonds, got dressed, and went to the Armed Forces Entrance & Examination Station ("AFEES") on 15th West in Seattle, where they examined me & entered me into the United States Army.

Forty years ago this morning.

They piled us on a bus, drove us to Fort Lewis, cut off our hair, gave us some unattractive ill-fitting clothes along with boxes to mail the clothes we had on back home, and things were under way.

Forty years ago today.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Wet Sun

Seattle is famous for its rainy days. There are lots, and many folks find that regrettable.

My opinion has long been that the sun comes out almost every day. Maybe only for a few minutes, and often just after sunrise or just before sunset, but it does shine.

It is worth watching for.

Today it rained moderately for much of the day, and rained hard for most of the rest, but the sun came out for a few minutes in the evening, and I grabbed my camera and went out in the backyard to catch the moss & lichen on the apple and cherry trees, still wet with rain, illuminated by almost horizontal sunlight.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Driving in gray areas

Driving in Seattle often involves driving under gray skies, on streets gray & darkly wet from rain.

This morning was a good example of that.

But I was also driving in a gray area between driving as well as I sometimes can, and not well enough to be safe driving.

Darkly wet from rain.

Friday, March 6, 2009


This little seal suddenly popped up from behind rocks to the right as we were going by. Getting past us & back in the water seemed very, very important to him.


We had snow last week. That seemed late but they are forecasting some snow again this weekend.

Melvin says it was his snow dance that brought the snow — that he danced more enthusiastically and longer than those spoilsports doing their no-snow dance.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Melvin went to the beach.

He wished he had brought his canoe.

He said that he could paddle all the way across to China.

We explained that the other side was the Olympic Peninsula—that China was a lot further.

Then we watched a train do some switching.

Friday, February 6, 2009


I wanted to do something special for my mom for my birthday.

She didn't know what was planned, but when I got there I reminded her how I used to come visit them in West Linn, John's Landing, Lake Oswego, and we would make a birthday trip to Hood River, my birthplace, and beyond to Cellilo or Maryhill. Obviously Hood River was too far from West Seattle, but basically that consisted of getting on the Interstate heading East, and we could do that.

So we headed East on I-90, without much idea how far we might get. In particular, how much driving I could handle.

North Bend was easy.

Mom was enjoying the scenery and reading the names on trucks.

Hyak was not a problem.

Mom was enjoying the mountains and the snow and possibly some memories.

Easton was fine.

Mom enjoyed the changes and my tale of camping there in boy scouts, and trains going by in the night.

Cle Elum was achieved.

We left I-90 at the Roslyn exit, which cuts the corner to the old road from Cle Elum to Roslyn, and followed it into Cle Elum, where we scouted for a lunch stop, but didn't quite decide.

We ended up on the old highway east out of Cle Elum, to wind through the canyon the Yakima River traverses toward Ellensburg. This is wonderful scenery and quite different than anything on I-90 or West of the mountains.

One debouches from that canyon to see the expanses of Eastern Washington opening before you.

There is something about actually getting to that point that is special, and that was probably my birthday treat. Out of Western Washington -- 'The Wet Side' -- beyond the mountains, beyond the Eastern foothills. Sort of "where the West begins." It's always seemed strange taht from where I grew up and live, one has to drive East to get to "The West" of story and film, but there you are.

We turned off old Highway 10 on the Thorp road, and even older version of the Seattle-Montana-"Back East" road.

I don't think I have ever seen the actual town of Thorp before, and it was quite interesting.

Just beyond the town, we returned to I-90, which we took back to Cle Elum for bacon cheeseburgers, fries, and lemonade at Dairy Queen.

Then back on to I-90 to return through valleys and snowy mountains to West Seattle, where I delivered Mom, and then crept home to nap.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Melvin went to the woods today.

He was very quiet & mostly very still.

But he says he was not scared.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Melvin thinks his new hat is pretty spiffy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sand Labyrinth

This morning I discovered a new labyrinth down at the beach - this time made of sand instead of rocks.

I always enjoy walking labyrinths, and it is especially nice to walk one that is new & different. This one is a both a new location and a new method of construction.