Thursday, January 10, 2019

December 2018 In Seattle

December 2018 In Seattle

On our return from Texas we found a wet Seattle. The region is living up to its reputation as back to back lows hustle across the Olympic Peninsula adding plenty of white and bringing the wet version to the lower altitudes. Then on to the Cascades where all of a sudden they have so much snow there are avalanche warnings. Then the wind storms where 50-60 mph winds in urban areas and 70 + mph on coastal and North Sound waters. with 100+ recorded at the highest altitudes. The windstorms result in major power outages across the region due to trees being blown over. They may be end of life trees or healthy trees who have shallow root systems due to the volcanic rock they grow on. When trees are 100-130' tall or more lots of cars, homes and power lines are destroyed. Tornadoes are extremely rare in the PNW but one wind storm created the freak tornado causing unexpected damage.  

But we had lots of fun anyway.

There is a lot going on regarding Seattle traffic, perhaps this is a Google guy updating maps?
The Alaska Viaduct is soon closing and there will be major traffic problems for three weeks until the replacement tunnel opens for traffic. The city is doing everything it can to prepare for the traffic gridlock that is looking.

The Seattle Fairmont Olympic Hotel host the Festival of Trees:

Each tree has a different theme and are sold to the highest bidder to benefit the Settle Children's Hospital

This Tree donated by Dilettante Chocolates.

Then there is the Teddy Bear Suite

"In addition to the usual public viewing, this year the hotel is excited to announce that guests will be able to book and stay overnight in the Teddy Bear Suite. The hotel has created a package including an overnight stay in the 1,200sq/ft Teddy Bear Suite, Teddy Bear Breakfast, parking and a commemorative 20th anniversary teddy bear. Prices for this suite experience start at $1,199 a night"
All proceeds go to the Children's Hospital.

I liked the life size Gingerbread house the best, you can walk through and the Gingerbread smells GREAT!

One storm just passed, the next is right behind, back to back lows marks the weather in December.

Things to do on a rainy day.
After five years we finally got our Orca Cards. We are learning to ride the Metro bus and it is really so easy and convienent, not sure why we waited so long to do this. $1 ride all you want in any given 3 hour period.

The Metro Bus drops you off about 1 mile from the marina, I have also been wanting to try the bike share Lime Bikes. So this one was my first $1 ride from the marina to the bus stop. First bike ride in nearly six years. I was amazed at how light the bike was it looks kind of heavy  but really pedaled great. You are always going either up or down in Seattle, thankfully it is flatter when your near the water but the slight hills did get my bodies attention. 

So the next time I chose a Ebike. with electric assist, you get the electric assist as long as you are peddling. I did not even notice the slight hills, I want to try one of these on a real Seattle hill to see how they assist up a steep incline.

Then you get to find out all the calories you have burned, in one mile I burned 9 calories in one mile on the Ebike. Humm, not enough for a beer

So Proud of our youngest Austin Granddaughter, Liv spends a lot of time dancing.

And our Oldest Austin Granddaughter Ella is on her way to Parsons School of Design in New York, SO PROUD! 

Where the U.S. skies begin.

5 year old Drew is just the right age to learn how to Clean and lubricate a winch, 

He is really good at taking things apart!

All clean and now ready to grease it all up and reassemble.

Highest tide I have seen yet at our marina.
The ramp is nearly level.

You can see the Storm drain is almost under water, obviously the water has been higher but not since we have been here.

Magical Winter sunsets.

The SAM Lights

The Sculpture Garden Pavilion is Turned On!

This is what you call an Electric Horn Section
See the video at:

So there is a Piano hooked up to these lights and anyone can stop by and play a tune causing the lights to dance the song.

Dasher and Comet stopped into Seattle to see what the kids were up to.

This is the new Generation stepping out to play in the rain. Clara loves puddles and sticks and worms.

Then her parents treated her at the Kitty Cat Cafe

Click on the pick, you can see the Olympics are full of Snow, That is a Labrador in the foreground fetching a ball. at Pocket Beach.

We did have some Mighty Fine sun days in December. On these Days I would zip over to the boat and get one more step closer on my Gel Coat project.

A Tug Steaming North

Sunset from Magnolia Bluff

A lone sailboat out for a Christmas Day sail in very light winds just ghosting along on a reach.

The Northwest Hemlocks can make fro some Dr. Seuss like figures.

We volunteered again for Earshot Jazz 30 th anniversay production of
The Sacred Music of Duke Ellington
held this year at St.Mark's Episcopal Cathedral

Hear at:

A Sun Break over Mount Constance

Thursday, December 20, 2018

From Seattle to Texas November 2018

From Seattle to Texas November 2018

The first half of November was spent in Seattle where were having a historic dry spell, Normally November is when the rain begins and it is a good time to be in Texas. The dry weather allowed me to get started doing a few cosmetic repairs to SNOWBALL's deck and hull where there were several gel coat cracks and dings. I decided to just tackle all of them at one time. There is a process where you have to Dremal out the cracks first, then lightly sand the small areas. Then you gradually build up new gel coat with a light sanding between coats. The whole project I knew would run into the rainy season but there is usually a sun break between the winter storms so my plan was to rush out and use those times to continue the project hopefully having it finished by the new year. 
The MLS Seattle Sounders had our full attention for our other discretionary time as it seemed as if nothing would stop them from reaching the Championship game for the third time in the five years we have been here.They had 9 straight wins, a MLS record and made it into the playoffs first up against their rivals the Portland Timbers. 

We learned you can score cheap tickets on SeatGeek, a ticketing app for events at Century Link, often at half price or even lower. 

We missed the March to the Game with the Supporters but the lights were nice in Pioneer Square.

Go Sounders!

#9 Raul Ruidiaz from Lima Peru has provided the scoring void left by Clint Dempsey"s retirement

The excitement is running at an all time high as ocer 67,000 show up The first touch of the game sends the flames flying and streamers streaming.

The Game goes to Penalty Shoot outs as the teams are tied for points to advance.

The Sounders score here but Will Bruin's attempt hits the post and the Sounders are out of the playoffs. All of a sudden the 67,000 are very quiet.

But there are more important things to do like take your 5 year old grandson to a small beach in his neighborhood., that is Elliot Bay Marina over there.

A nice day to throw some rocks.

And enjoy the Sound.

And look at a crab on the rocky beach.

When I was in Boy Scouts it was discouraged from throwing rocks into the water, but it is different here for a reason. First there are plenty of rocks to throw, and second, all those rocks you throw in come right back to the beach from the wave action that is constant in the Sound. Check out this video as I attempt to show even small waves pushing the rocks ashore, you can here all the rocks clicking together as they are gently pushed towards the beach:

Our son Graeme  had an evening planned for us when we flew into Austin. Just in time as the rains just started the day we left Seattle. Happy He had planned a Old and New Austin evening for us beginning with Happy Hour at the Saxon Pub

The Saxon Pub is one of the few original venues that help build Austin into the Music Capital of the world. 

David Grissom,  and they sounded great even through the ear plugs we carry that are required for us these days.

Graeme, Mom, and Dad

Spending Thanksgiving at the Saxon looks fun, perhaps next year.

Then it was off to the New: Loro's for dinner.

My sister ginger caught up with us and we loved seeing and tasting some new Austin

Having time at our sons family allowed us to catch up on some other Interesting Texas Music History through the Cinemax series Tales From A Tour Bus. If you were into progressive Country music ie Waylon, Willie and the Boys then this is a must see.

This is Ian, not sure why it took him so long to make it into this blog.

This is the Crockett Lunch Bunch, a Group of retired teachers from Crockett High School  in South Austin. They meet monthly at some Austin restaurant and relive the teacher lounge days. I knew sooner or later my Texas dates would line up with these South Austin Stars. Real live Tex-Mex too!

We absolutely have to spend time on long walks on the Hike and bike trail at Lady Bird Johnson Lake, actually its the Colorado river that runs through Austin dividing the city into it's well known North and South sides.
This is Looking West towards Lake Travis.

The Sky line continues to develop and redefining Austin 

A walk through our Sons Northwest neighborhood gives views West overlooking Hwy 360, the begining of the Texas Hill Country.

We drove up to Cowtown and had a great visti with The Admirals Aunt RoseAnn who just turned 94 and her dad Big Dave 86 years, both are still running striong doing whatever they want to do. 

Fall seems to occur a little later in Texas but the colors are beautiful over the entryway to RoseAnns home. 

And Guess what, Fort Worth is home to one of the Federal  National Archive buildings and if you need to do some research such as some family ancestry then you can just pop in.  

The clerk at the front desk points us to a computer lab where a fine young gentleman met us and spent three hours with us as we learned to use their system to research. In The Admirals case she had a grandmother that was 1/2 Missouri Indian so having this resource helped us to find records that could help us learn the history she was looking for. 

Walking is a great way to get some exercise on a sunny November day in Ft. Worth. Here we took a walk around my old Fort Worth neighbor hood, Arlington Heights. I remembered this old home on the corner but now it is a Historic Home, The William J Bryce:
  A native of Scotland, William J. Bryce (1861-1944) moved to Fort Worth in 1883 and developed a successful brick contracting business. In 1893 he constructed this house, which was designed by the prominent architectural firm of Sanguinet & Messer. The Mayor of Fort Worth from 1927 to 1933, Bryce lived here until his death. One of the rare examples of a Chateauesque dwelling in Texas, Fairview features Richardsonian arches and gabled dormers. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark-1983. 

Back in Austin we help my sister Ginger learn to wax her own car, something you have time to do when your retired, hopefully she will join our ranks soon.

Thank God gas is just $2.29 in Texas, You spend a lot of time in a car driving around Austin or our tip to Ft. Worth.  Living in Belltown, Seattle is way different by enjoying walking to the store or taking mass transit here in Seattle. We do drive some here but not near like we have to in Texas. I can find gas a little cheaper than this here but it doesn't matter much since we rarely need to fill up anyway.