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Posts Tagged ‘Seattle’

Winter storms Maya and Nadia came and went, leaving Seattle bound in white.

They came in right on schedule, dumping nearly a foot of snow in the downtown area, and up to two feet of it out in the ‘burbs.

Here on my cul-de-sac, we had a foot of snow on the street, helpfully deposited in three episodes, so we could all add multiple snow-shoveling sessions to our weekend workouts. Kids sledded, snowfolk were built, and internecine battles raged from yard to yard, filling the air with squeals of carnage before parents called the belligerents in to dinner. On Saturday, we had an overnight low of 9°F (-13°C), but then the temps staged a return to something more reasonable. In my back garden, the spruce lost two more twenty-foot-long branches and dozens of little ones, and the cypress boughs were hanging so low I thought we’d lose several there, too, but they bounced back once the snow slipped off.

On Monday, the city came through with plows to clear the arterials, which is great, if you live on an arterial, but most of us don’t. One plow actually came up our cul-de-sac and our hearts soared, but it just turned around and left without making a damned bit of difference. So no plow. No sand trucks. No salt. Just a hey-how-ya-doin’ wave from the plow-driver as she abandoned us side-street residents to look after our own.

Today (Wednesday), I had to go into the office, so I bundled up and walked to the bus stop. The street was a combination of corn-snow, slush, and ice, and it was a real dilemma, deciding whether to trudge through the unsullied drifts like a Neanderthal, or do the crisscross pony-walk like a runway model down the ruts left by the tires of the few cars who’d braved our block. Going up the hills was relatively easy, jamming my toes into the snow to make steps as I walked the steep incline, but downhills were dodgy, and I learned that while walking like a penguin (keeping your center of gravity over your front foot) is a good way to avoid slipping, it’s tiring. I wouldn’t make a very good penguin.

But I made it to the bus stop with only a small bit of slippage and hand waving. The bus arrived, chains clacking against its wheel wells, and we rumbled on down the plowed arterial. On the way, every side street was either a slushy, rutted mess, or just plain snowbound. The college down the road brought out a backhoe to scrape the parking lot clear as best it could. On the main roads, all the cocky I-know-what-I’m-doing idiots had been weeded out (or quickly educated) and remaining drivers were being fairly responsible. For pedestrians, though, it is still an obstacle course, and will remain so for at least another couple of days.

The worst is past, though.

Onward.

k

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It’s quiet out there now. The literal calm before the storm.

Later today, Seattle is set to receive a buttload of snow, so I went out to provision our larder for an expected week of housebound activity (though I don’t think I got enough wine). The experience perfectly illustrated Seattle’s love/hate relationship with the white stuff. (more…)

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Yesterday, I received my Voter’s Pamphlet for Washington’s August primary election. At the federal level, we’re voting for a senator. There are a total of thirty candidates vying for the seat, so it’s a packed primary.

Packed with what, I cannot say in polite company.

(more…)

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This week’s progress was slowed by a few issues.

First, Season 4 of Bosch dropped, and that simply had to be dealt with.

Second, I had some serious pain due to a nerve regrowing in my big toe (long story) and that made it impossible to concentrate on anything for about thirty-six hours.

Third, I was still on-call, and the weekend was punctuated with several job failures, including two early morning alerts that came to me in error. (Thanks, guys. Who wants to sleep in on the weekend anyway, amirite?)

With this as preamble, it wasn’t surprising that, once I finally got underway with chapter two scene one, my lack of concentration let me slip my lead and run down some research rabbit holes. (more…)

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Yesterday, as I was leaving work, it was raining. Correction: it was pissing down. La Niña, you know. Brings us wet winters here in Seattle. Sometimes snowy ones. Yesterday was definitely wet.

I started down the stairs at the bus station, saw the 41 waiting, and quick-stepped the last flight to the platform. The doors on the bus closed, so I kicked it into high gear, running alongside. The kindly driver spotted me in his side view, held off, opened the doors, and let me in. I paid my fare with a smile and a thank you, and decided to stand near the door for the trip up to the park-and-ride.

I held onto one of the vertical handholds and looked outside as we swayed onto the freeway and then sashayed northward. The streets were grey. The sky was grey. Beyond the filmy windscreen, the cars cruising past also wore shades of rainy grey. But the sounds, the shushing of tires, the spatter of rain on speeding glass, the grunting scrape of wiper blades as they smeared the rain around rather than really squeegeeing it off, I found it all rather relaxing. Cocoon-like. The world outside was cold and wet, but in the coach we were all warm and dry.

Halfway to our off-ramp, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned. (more…)

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Hallowe’en.

As stated, I’m not a fan.

Not that I’ve never participated. In decades past, I’ve donned costumes and showed up as Jacob Marley, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Max Klinger, but in general, the Hallowe’en festival leaves me annoyed and out of sorts. There’s little an introvert like me enjoys less than having to sit around on tenterhooks, waiting, while strange children continually pound on the door, begging for candy and costume appreciation, while their parents provide overwatch from the shadows.

Forced social interaction with a built-in judgment factor.

O Joy Unbounded. O Rapture Unexampled. (more…)

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I walk through the gloaming, the sky above me reddening toward night, through shade made deeper by dark, shaggy cedars and pale clad lindens shaking in the gentle breeze. It is a new place for me, but it is an ancient place, a storied place that still bears its ancient name:

Leyktud

Red Paint

The water of the spring seeps up from the ground, the source now collared by a ring of stone. Within the ring, the water is clear, but beneath the surface the stones are clad in the ochre velvet of accreted minerals. As the water gathers and flows quietly out the carved channel, the minerals oxidize, rusting, and paint the ground with a spill of red clay. The alluvial mud is slick to the touch, watery. For millennia, the People of the Inside and the People of the Large Lake came here to collect the wet, red earth, mix it with tallow, and make a bright, orange-red paint suitable for ceremonies and markings.

The springwater trickles down the slope to join the creek that used to run down to Green Lake but which now, sadly, has been capped and diverted to a less salubrious destination. But for a short distance, as I walk the paths beneath the trees, it is still wild (in its gentle way) and free.

I imagine it how it was, not so long ago, before the arrival of the Bostons (as the European-bred settlers were known). I can see thick-boled conifers, dark cathedral columns rising from the earth’s heart to hold up the red, sunset sky. Salal leaves, rough and leathery, grab at my shins, urging me to partake of their sweet, blue fruit. The breeze, wending its way past branch and fern, might taste of woodsmoke from a nearby camp. Frogs chorus in such numbers that, were I with a companion, we would not be able to hear each other speak.

But we would not speak, for this is a place where words are unnecessary, where the thoughts of men are unneeded, and where our hand only diminishes what already is. As the sun sets and the birds of daylight sing their last, I know I have found an immortal place.

This is Licton Spring.

k

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