Sunday, February 23, 2020

January 2020 Guitar Resurrection (and Year of the Rat)

January 2020 Guitar Resurrection (and Year of the Rat) 
49 + 1/12



We arrived back in Seattle on New Years Eve near midnight, it was a little bit rainy and so windy they had to cancel the New Years fireworks.  The next morning we woke to a beautiful sunny day as you can see from the reflection the Admiral captured from a puddle on the sidewalk.

Wow, is this how January will be?

While very nice for the natives, not so nice for the planet, it is not supposed to be sunny and this warm in the PNW winter. 

We were pleased to find that the trail had reopened after a long closure on the North end. 

Expedia moved their headquarters to this corner of Seattle, along with construction of two huge office buildings they upgraded this end of the hike and bike trail. 

Those that use the trail will certainly enjoy the upgrade.

One of the Expedia buildings is still under construction but the other one is already filling up with employees.

You can see the completed building in the background.


They planted these trees about a year or so ago, they are beginning to make their contribution to the trail


Free Thursday at the SAM. We have been several times since we can just walk downtown and see what's on exhibit. You never stop at every piece, there are to many but after several repeated visits you begin to notice things that you previously just walked by. 






It is Fun to see an artist that you have seen in other museums far away, We recently saw another Jason Plollock in a New York Museum


There were a whole series of these photos lining the wall, it defined a time and a culture that has morphed into new forms but the genes still exist today.

So Fitting for 2020!
What will the Year of the Rat mean for your year?

OH NO! please not another SNOWMEGEDDON

The Forecast were sort of all over the place. Due to last years experience no one wanted to get caught short handed, there was a major run on all the hardware and grocery stores just in case everyone was confined to their homes for several days or even weeks like last year.
Fortunately it was just a four day event that never isolated anyone for more than a day.

I like to get the most from our anodes, this one could have stayed in the heat exchanger for another month, but now I know that I only have to change it out every 6 months

We found 1 day to sneak the boat out on the Sound and at least run the engine, Diesels do not like to sit idle, So a quick run North and then back to the marina

This is a typical January Sunset, You get a sun break in between the storm systems. You can literally see one system leaving and the next one coming in from over the Olympics. 

Here is a list of Lanforms of the Olympic Mountain range:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Landforms_of_Olympic_National_Park

One day when I have some time I am going to go through the list and try to determine the name of the Dome shaped land form you see in the center of this picture. 

January would see the most precipitation in recorded History including the first half of February, but the temps were very moderate. This is the first winter since we have been here that I did not buy a new pair of heavy wool socks. They were just to warm to wear!
The warm rains flow all the way up from Hawaii in what they call an atmospheric river. These are nicknamed the Pineapple express since they  originate near Hawaii. 
The Crazy thing about this years event is the amount of water falling over the Pacific Northwest has been equated to the same amount of water that enters the Gulf of Mexico from the Mississippi River!!! As the air temperature aloft rises, the air can hold increasing amounts of moisture, hence the record floods, snowfall  and other crazy weather events planet Earth is experiencing.
So it is not hard to expect that as long as the temperatures are rising we will see ever increasing related weather disaster events. Hint: if you live in a low lying area you might want to move to higher ground tomorrow.


I have kept these songbooks since the 70's. At one time I tought I might want to be a High School Band teacher and I spent about two years in the UT school of music before I changed directions. Guitar was a Hobby. Family, Teaching, and Soccer took all the time and these books just sat in the Piano Bench. I kept these books thinking one day I may just restart my guitar hobby.

So in December I was explaining to my son Graeme my plans to buy a electric guitar and showed him some of the ones I was considering. He Said Why do you want to do that? Then he brought out this Washburn you see pictured here. Wow that is exactly the body type of guitar I was interested in, THANK YOU GRAEME! So I brought it home on the plane and have been Resurrecting my skills ever since. My nephew Zack suggested the Orange Crush Amplifier which has been a perfect fit, 

After working through parts of my old song books I realized I would need more help to restart. After a through Google search I found GuitarTricks.com. Everything right there on an iPad. I use bluetooth  headphones to hear the instructor and the Jam tracks from the iPad and then Graeme also gave me a mini headphone guitar amp that I can plug the headphones in to hear what I am playing without disturbing anyone else. GuitarTricks is great since after practicing and learning the lesson you can then play along with a bass guitar, drums and a singer on the backing track AKA Jam tracks. I never had this advantage before the computer age. If you had a live person providing the lesson you might have them to play along a rhythm or lead but you never had a singer and full band to play along with for practice. I really love that part as you virtually become a band member and thereby have to stay in time and perfect the practice. 

When Big D heard I had a Guitar then....

And you CAN't stop Clara at all. 

Ain't Jimi Yet!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

December 2019 A Little Seattle, A Little Texas

December 2019 A Little Seattle, A Little Texas


WE had some of that Very Cold Yukon air the days just before Thanksgiving. I was sure winter had started and we would be dressing in our smart wool underwear for the next three months. But all of the Lows, after that initial blast of cold air came, from the South Pacific and instead of having the cold North winds we had the relatively warm Southwest winds out of the Pacific. Don't even think about wearing smart wool unless the temps are less than 45 degrees or else you will be sweating! Why sweat when the temps are just cool? So high's in the lower 50's in the day and lower 40's at night are the norm for the SW winds. The Big Red Blob has shown up again off the Washington coast and is seen as being responsible for our unusual weather. And as you will see from the following we had enough sun to keep the natives happy. See: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/weather/warm-blob-in-nw-weird-us-weather-linked-to-ocean-temps/


Sun and the City

If you are into Christmas trees then you make sure to visit the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Seattle.

Pacific Northwester's do all the Holiday's big time. We realized this when we stopped into a new Michael's to get some craft stuff for Big D for Halloween, but all the Halloween stuff was gone, just a small Sale rack was all that was left, and the rest of the store already had Christmas stuff which was going like Hotcakes. The Admiral and I have discussed this PNW phenomenon  several times and finally decided that is has to do with the fact that they have actual seasons here and hence the Holidays have a much greater significance. 

It is hard to understand how big this tree is just by this picture, the space around it is Huge so is the tree.

And then they have several dozen of trees contributed and decorated by the many Seattle business's to auction off for a local hospital Charity.

So many new buildings downtown, this building was not complete the last time we were on this street so the entire downtown corridor has changed incredibly in the 6 years we have lived here

Bell Harbor is a marina located in the center of the waterfront district. Every time we walk by,  there is an interesting vessel that immediately catches my attention I'm sure "Northern Sage" has an interesting story.

December and no clouds?

Another ferry ride over to Bainbridge Island for the day.

Elliot Bay also offers regular sightings of unusual vessels and activity.
This barge/crane is relatively deep water doing some type of underwater excavation for what reason?.


High Tide in this small bay inside of Point Monroe at Mansfield Bay


Well this is the longest log i have ever seen washed up on a local beach. Not unusual to see whole trees wasjhed down the rivers on the coast.


Not wanting to find one of these floating around as we sail these waters.

I took three pictures of this tree encourage vigilant stand watching.

So a tree like one of these fell in a windstorm and was washed down a river into the Sound. Being on the water during the winter months requires a bit more vigilance since that is when the rivers flood and empty the recent fallen trees into the Salish Sea. 

Big D practicing his Board Room Inspirational Leadership Skills.


Clara found a perfect place to sing her favorite songs.

This walkway leads to the Seattle Pacific Northwest Ballet. The shiny streamers blowing in the wind made a very cool Christmas welcome.

Note to my crafty friends, These Christmas hanging baskets were selling for $50-80!

Tranquility Park, Bainbridge Island
Always a walk at Fort Ward



The return ferry ride to Seattle finds these Pastel sunset skies.




The Seattle skyline has many new shapes.

A New Years Day Walk along the water front. I see these type of bulk carriers usually over near the West Seattle Pensula, I always thought they were Loading gravel, nope, they are offloading!
See: 


You can see the little blue boat headed to the Green ship which is the bulk carrier pictured above. The little blue boat is the Swift Arrow that brings an Port inspector to process documents with the ships Captain.

The Port of Seattle has two of this type of vessels and they are very busy receiving all the ships that anchor in Elliot Bay.

Still building the new Seattle sky line.


SEATAC at Christmas week. They want to send everyone off with a cheer.

Santa and his Elf giving the kids one more thrill before flying off to Grandmas'

Blue Skies in Austin Too, but much warmer.

The West side of Fort Worth, TX is becoming a bit more tolerant.

Liv's new business venture.

The newest Family member, no name as yet for this little long haired Chihuahua that is being lovely cared for by Liv. 

Back yards in Texas where you can make a pond and a dam.

Plenty of Tacodeli to go around!

Forget the Tacos!

I had to take a Picture with Texas neighbor Andrew, 15 years old, Yes everything is bigger in Texas.

I could not believe my eyes, a group of college kids were playing the Harry Potter game Quidditch. Thankfully Russell was there to identify the Game for me, we walked over to watch and Big D invited himself into the play. Those college kids were extremely accommodating to the 5 year old who knew all the rules and how to play!  See: 

The game is Quidditch and it is played with three Bludgers, one Quaffle and a Golden Snitch. Bludgers are used to target and hit a player and if the player falls off his broom he/she is out of the game. Quaffles are made to pass through hoops to score points but the Golden Snitch is most important, the game gets over only when the seeker of a team catches the snitch.

Graeme, Kendra, Lynn, Ella, Liv, Lia, Clara, Russell
Drew and Zack!
It takes a CREW!

and more than one picture to capture. We were missing Brother Dave, Nephew Josh, and Grand Niece & Nephew Lux, and Luna.

Who let the Cats Out? all five of them, Ezera was very accommodating to two cat lovers, the other four had their limits.

A goodbye Austin for now walk before jumping on the New Years plane back to Seattle.

THIS Just IN!!~ Meet COCO!