Sunday, March 11, 2018

February 2018 in Seattle Saved By TEXAS

February 2018 in Seattle Saved By TEXAS

Our fifth winter in the Pacific Northwest has turned into one of those that most people think of that have little experience in this region. This winter has been record setting in terms of rain, cold temperatures, think 30's, and of course the cold and flu season. The beginning of February was one of recovering from the flu and cold bugs and finding indoor activities especially with the grand-kids.

Another Longhorn in our future? Who Knows what this world will be like 17 years from now?

When we did have a sun day we took the ferry to Bainbridge Island to check on the boat and take short hikes in our favorite parks. We always go to Fort Ward which is located on the shores of Rich Passage that leads from Elliot Bay to Port Orchard and Bremerton. Since there were significant WWII military installations along this route this fort guarded the passage.
In 1903, Fort Ward was officially commissioned as a seacoast fort with the primary objective of protecting the Bremerton Naval Shipyard. Two gun batteries are located in the park. During World War II, the navy used the fort as a radio station and training school for communication personnel and installed a submarine net across Rich Passage.

The heavy moss provides a convenient alternative to traditional graffiti.

Two gun turret bases remain

views of the Olympics and especially the Brothers Peaks

Fay Bainbridge is another great place to visit on Bainbridge. This special February day is crystal clear allowing all The Mountains to come out and play. 

We could see all the way to Whidby Island in the center of this pic and all the Cascade range beyond.

Low tide in Eagle Harbor

As we boarded the ferry to leave we can say goodby to SNOWBALL just across the harbor in Eagle Harbor Marina.

A rainy day activity. Big D learns new skills and I get a haircut.

100's of Serendipity type artist had a hand in sculpting this magnificent piece made of thousands of small wood pieces glued together 

John Grade’s large-scale sculpture, Middle Fork, echoes the contours of a 140-year-old western hemlock tree located in the Cascade Mountains east of Seattle.

Be sure to see the video here:

If the sun came out in February, so did we, no matter what the temp was.

AHHH- Austin , sunny and 70 degrees. First we went to our Brookdale property to check out the new paint and found a couple of small projects like replacing the water cut off housing. 

Fourtunately we have a neighbor across the street that knows a lot more about trees than us. He recommended the we go to Shoal Creek Nursery and talk to the experts Sam or James there. So we pulled off some bark and took a couple of picks. 

James diagnosed it as Carpenter Ants and sold us this. 

Then he said to feed the treees in two months with these organic products.

Judging by his demeanor we learned that if we had been keeping our tree healthy then the carpenter ants would not be a problem in the first place. 

We planned on some fun on South Congress. We planned on a afternoon at the Continental but our son suggested we also check out the Chicken Shit Bingo at C-Boys Heart and Soul. 

Dale Watson and His Lone Stars were playing at Chicken Shit Bingo

The rules, be sure to buy a beer fist, the IPA with the Goose on the spigot isn't bad.

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Just a short walk down south congress and your in the thick of it at The Continental

The Marshall Hood Band was pretty damn Good!

Cheated Death One more time by driving I-35 to Cowtown to spend a couple days with the Admirals dad. We are continuing our effort to help him downsize his 3,000 square foot hobby shop. We loaded up nearly 5 full tall file cabinets full of high school annuals dated from 1929 to the present and took them to the Travis County Archives located in the Old Tandy building, the one on the right.
"Our mission is to collect, preserve and offer for research documents which are a record of Tarrant County history.  To give a hint of the variety of our holdings, explore the various options from our guide to collections. We house more than 600 named collections in a more than 10,000 square foot facility located on the fifth floor of the Tarrant County Plaza Building."

More Serendipity, on the first Floor of the building is a Conference Center named after the Admiral's Step Uncle. He was the president of Tandy for many years and put technology in the hands of the masses through Radio Shack.

Our oldest Grandaughters latest Art projects, She is into fabrics and design and is headed to University of Texas next year.

Yes, 5 Cats

Our son was determined to take us to get some Mexican food at a new spot, El Alma.
Not sure if I was going to like this place, a lot of Millennials in there. This is NOT Tex Mex, it is more like interior Mexican food. 

But it has a 2018 Austin flavor
Veggie Verde Enchiladas spinach, mushrooms, rajas, smoky tomatillo salsa, raw hemp seeds. white rice, black beans. $15      I can not tell you how much I liked this food, definitely going back for more on the next trip.

Our trip to Texas saved us from the cold Pacific Northwest and flu bugs  We returned to Seattle eagerly awaiting the turn of the seasons and begin our new journeys aboard SNOWBALL.

Monday, February 19, 2018

2018 Influenza A H3N2 in Seattle

2018 Influenza A H3N2 in Seattle

Full Participants in the Record 2018 Flu Epidemic

From Wikipedia: Influenza A or

Seasonal H3N2 flu[edit]

Seasonal influenza kills an estimated 36,000 people in the United States each year. Flu vaccines are based on predicting which "mutants" of H1N1, H3N2, H1N2, and influenza B will proliferate in the next season. Separate vaccines are developed for the Northern and Southern Hemispheres in preparation for their annual epidemics. In the tropics, influenza shows no clear seasonality. In the past ten years, H3N2 has tended to dominate in prevalence over H1N1, H1N2, and influenza B. Measured resistance to the standard antiviral drugs amantadine and rimantadine in H3N2 has increased from 1% in 1994 to 12% in 2003 to 91% in 2005.[1]
Seasonal H3N2 flu is a human flu from H3N2 that is slightly different from one of the previous year's flu season H3N2 variants. Seasonal influenza viruses flow out of overlapping epidemics in East Asia and Southeast Asia, then trickle around the globe before dying off. Identifying the source of the viruses allows global health officials to better predict which viruses are most likely to cause the most disease over the next year. An analysis of 13,000 samples of influenza A/H3N2 virus that were collected across six continents from 2002 to 2007 by the WHO's Global Influenza Surveillance Network showed the newly emerging strains of H3N2 appeared in East and Southeast Asian countries about six to 9 months earlier than anywhere else. The strains generally reached Australia and New Zealand next, followed by North America and Europe. The new variants typically reached South America after an additional six to 9 months, the group reported.[2]

New Years Day was an inspiration. we felt encouraged and positive about 2018. The day was sunny and we took a long walk along the water front, you always see a few seals, eagles and other interesting seabirds. 

And you see some interesting ships entering or leaving the Port of Seattle. This particular ship at the Grain loading port was the rustiest vessel I have ever seen in Elliot Bay.

The home port of Monrovia explains

The current owner of our first sailboat "Moon Chaser" contacts me through Facebook. He just bought the vessel from the couple we sold the boat to and has several questions regarding the boat. I send him all the records and log book from our ownership. He is thrilled and sends me this picture of them enjoying the C250 on Lake Tahoe.

Our Endeavour 42 has a PSS shaft seal so we did not have to be concerned about a standard shaft packing gland. The packing started leaking and the tools I had in the box that I used for the Catalina 30 which were a cheap Home Depot spanner wrench and a pipe wrench was an unsuccessful frustrating experience. So I found these Rigid E-110 Offset Hex Wrench in an article on the web and they made adjusting the packing gland simple, 

The tools adjust and grip easily, and with the short handles it is easy to get a full turn.

Just as I was about to walk out of the condo on the way to my daughters family's house to help with with our grandson I heard a horrible crash out the window. As I walked out the street this was the scene. This intersection  has occasional crashes due to drivers making illegal left turns. The street is on a steep hill so the drivers heading East can't see the intersection until they are right at the intersection, and the drivers heading West can not see the oncoming West bound traffic until they are in the middle of the intersection. This is why it is illegal to make a left turn here. But so many are in a hurry and they want to take a short cut. So I assume the uphill, East bound white SUV turned left knocking the West bound car right around into the front of the bus that was following it downhill. So the moral to this story is not hard to decipher.

Two days later I felt like I was getting a serious cold. There is one of those Immediate Clinics near by and since the Flu was really starting to kick up I thought it best to go and make sure. One quick nose swab later and yes I had Influenza A H3N2. There was a drug store right next door and since my symptoms were just under 48 hours I got some TamaFlu. The whole Seattle family had flu shots so fortunately neither my grandson nor I ended up with a worse case but never-the-less the flu left most of the remainder of January 2018 in a coughing fog. It is now the middle of February and I finally feel normal again, the flu symptoms just seemed to drag on.

Living in a very International city seems to insure exposure to the latest virus's of the world with over 5,000 flight in the air over the US at any given moment and well over 100,000 flights per day. Just check out this link to see the flights over planet Earth right now:  With nearly 50 million passengers traveling through SEATAC, the Seattle International airport in 2017 you can easily see why every destination on the planet could be infected by the virus you are carrying right now. Our biggest fear is now is boarding our upcoming alaska airlines flight to Seattle. We will look very much like the picture above wearing our face mask as we board our upcoming flight to Austin. I always thought the one or two Asians that boarded a plane we were on were protecting the rest of us from a cold or whatever they had, and now I know they were protecting themselves. Americans should adopt immediately the custom of wearing face mask anytime they are traveling in crowded confines.

Finally emerging from Influenza A H3N2 I went to check on SNOWBALL and do a couple of small projects. on the return ferry ride home a stunning rainbow with the pot of gold being the City of Seattle.

The last weekend of Janurary we took a walk to the Amazon Sphere's that were now open to the public to tour. 

The building blocks.

The evolving plans

This is a model of the South Lake Union Amazon campus, North is up, the spheres are in the lower left=hand corner or the SouthWest corner of the campus.


You can see the Spheres here in this closeup of the South West Corner of the Amazon campus.

These pics come from the Visitors Center. If you want to tour the Spheres then there is a three month or longer wait list at

You get a Peek of the Spheres work spaces on a constantly changing large screen inside the visitor center.

Right across the street from the Spheres the construction continues on the Seattle campus.

We plan to come back in the near future and shop at Amazon Go.

Still wondering where Amazon H2 will be. Austin our home town is in the top 20 but many Austinites have reservations about yet another 50,000 people and all that construction in a city that already os gridlocked due to poor transportation planning.  After our visit I now realize Amazon was and still is largely responsible for teaching Seattle how to grow into a large international metropolitan city. No matter where Amazon locates their H2 the city will reap the benefits of their technology and the community they will bring to the table. There will be growing pains but the end result will be a much better city prepared for the next 100 years. I hope they do go to Austin, they can be instrumental in solving gridlock by assisting in modern mass transit, plus they bring an much more Eco friendly community.