Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tonight was the extended family Xmas dinner. About 45 people showed up. Its difficult to remember them all.  I know all of the cousins, a quarter of their spouses and none of there kids.

It was good to catch up with everybody. Even though I share nothing in common with them, I enjoyed it very much.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

At my parents, it's snowy and frozen. 10F if you'd like to know. Back home it's 55F.

Mom is in the hospital. Her heart was racing this morning. It does that from time to time. She will be OK.

She is supposed to rest more, but she's not good at that. Yesterday was the Family XMAS dinner. Rather than making Dad and I do most of the work. She pitched in and worked hard. Now she's paying for it today.

Dad said, that when her heart races, all she is supposed to do is to lay down and rest. However she is so high strung, that she can't rest. She has to go to the hospital, or the thought of it makes it worse.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Am visiting my parents now. I took a red eye into Toronto, spent the day with a few friends, and there kids, then drove up to my parents. The weather is very plesant here, though plesant for the Ottawa Valley means snow and just a little below freezing.

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's almost Christmas. The weather is very warm here. I've been taking the motorcycle out every weekend.

The fall leaves have washed away. Now the forests are green again with sword ferns and fir trees.

I've been feeling something new lately-- moments of peace or calm. Sometimes it happens on the motorcycle. Other times it happens when I'm walking along a stream, or just sitting and listening to good music. I haven't felt that for a long time.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The Uninvited...A few weeks back Sandy threw a pre-Thanksgiving party. We were invited and accepted. But then I got a call from Sandy. He Uninvited us! He was very apologetic but told me he needed the party to be very calm and RO was not a calm man.

I blew him off.

Then, weeks later, BIB and I were talking. BIB mentioned that Sandy invited him over for the pre-Thanksgiving party, but then called him up and uninvited him. An ex of BIB's would be there and Sandy needed the party to be calm, so rather than risk the drama, he un-invited BIB.

It was very weird.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

We are having ä big winter rain. I had to do some last minute gutter cleaning and repairs, but that is finished now. My wet feet are being warmed up by the fire.

RO and I spent the last few days at a resort on the pacific ocean. It was windy and cloudy the whole time we were there. None this less, I had a great time. The resort had great food and a nice spa. And I discovered I can spend hours watching the waves roll in. Very peaceful.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It's RO's birthday today. We are heading to the ocean for a few days. It'll be the first time he's been away from work in a very long time.

The ocean in Washington State is not the pleasant paradise you'd hope it is. It's always cold windy rainy and cloudy. Take a look at this ad which spoofs our ocean beaches

So, this will be a quiet vacation. Lots of hiking. I've also booked us in at a spa.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I've decided that I want to hike all the trails on Cougar, Squak and Tiger mountains. These are small mountains. If I stick to it, I should finish in less than a year. Cougar mountain is already mostly done.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Saturday, RO and I went to a wine and oyster tasting. It was a good experience. The manager said they shucked and served two dozen oysters per person.

We won the door prize-- gift cards and a good bottle of wine.

Andie and Erik are expecting a kid. They are having a baby boy, due in March.

When Andie and Erik got married RO and I wondered if it was a shotgun wedding. They were married last April. I guess March is out of the shotgun zone.
No rain this weekend. Instead it's sunny and cold. I hike up Squak Mountain on Saturday. Then on Sunday to Coal Creek falls. Afterwards I took the bike out for a ride. I got very chilled as I drove. My hands got stiff. Still, it was great.

Monday, October 31, 2011

This blog is eleven years old. I forgot all about it's anniversary. Facebook appears to be taking over from blogs. I haven't abandoned the blog for Facebook just yet, as the blog lets me write a little more.

Oh yeah, SJP, I know you read this. Say 'Hi' to me sometime!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I took the motorcycled for a ride today. Perhaps one if the last rides before winter sets in.

Its very relaxing to ride. Motorcycles are the opposite of automatic. You have to focus on its operation every second-- the manual transmission, the two breaks, the throttle. The speed of an automatic is self regulating. Hold the gas pedal steady and the velocity stays steady. Not so with a manual motorcycle. Constant adjustments are necessary for corners and hills.

Then there is the fact that a motorcycle's small profile means more drivers don't see you. So I also must focus on driving defensively and constantly plan the next ten seconds of my route to avoid the places a careless driver could stray into.

The result is that while I ride, all my day to day worries are pushed out of my brain.

At the end, when i get off the motorcycle, when I no longer need to focus or sit properly, I feel very relaxed and at peace.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Old Mail

RO and I have been cleaning out the house. We found a stash of four year old mail that we never dealt with. It was sent to this address but intended for the prevous owners.  There was a Christmas card and an anniversary card.

We tracked down the old owners, Bing makes that easy, and we had an interesting conversation.

The anniversary card-- the previous owners are now divorced. The sender of the anniversary card is dead.

The Chrismas card-- send from a couple that's now divorced.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Yo and his girlfiednd the Angel were laying in bed at the Angel's apartment in Bellevue. Outside they heard a drunk lady with an blackcent shouting at the top of her lungs.

Yo said to the Angel "What's a black woman doing in Bellevue?"

The Angel answered "Are you racist?" She was a bit offended that Yo would make such a comment.

As if prompted the black lady shouted "Am I the only black women in Bellevue Washington? Where are the other niggers! Certainly not here."

Yo kept his mouth shut.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fall came so quickly.

A week ago, it was mid eighties and sunny. Today it is mid sixties and rainy. Typical Seattle fall weather.

RO and I have bought two rocking chairs for our front porch. Something to sit in with a nice wool blanked over your lap and enjoy a glass of wine wine while we watch the drizzle.

I am aware how old this makes me sound. I would say that I am growing happy with simplicity.

BIB and I went hiking today for the first time since early August. He was worried that he  couldn't make it up the mountain; that he lost his conditioning. He did just fine. He is dating a man. They like each other. Both of them are healthy and HIV+. I wish them the best.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My neighbor's car's windshield was getting cloudy. Not foggy on the inside. The glass was turning opaque.

He knew his insurance company paid to replace broken windshields but wasn't sure if it would do so for cloudy windshields.

So he smashed it with a baseball bat.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The weather has been wonderful here. I very much appreciate it. Last year, right after Labor Day, the rains returned. This year, it's sunny with highs in the 80s and overnight lows in the 50s. Perfect weather to be outside. Perfect weather to sleep.

Sunday, Clem and I went swimming at the local beach. There have been no life guards since Labar Day. None the less, the beach is packed with everyone having fun.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I got a nice new BBQ. An infrared one, on Tommy's advice. It makes wonderful rotisserie chicken.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Last night, RO and I went out for pizza and beer. We stopped in at the new bear bar. I many of the guys there where old acquaintances-- Behr, C4, J, L,S, people I haven't seen in a very long time.

About six months ago C6 had a heart transplant. He said he feels wonderful now. C6 carries a picture of the man whose death gave him his heart.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The problem with meditating is that half way through, I forget that I'm meditating. My mind wanders and by the end I'm thinking about dinner.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My barbershop now has a legal marijuana dispensery in the back. I know its legal-- when I asked the owner how business was doing, he told me how legal it was that his legal business could legally provide legal pot to legal customers after the customer legally presented a legal prescription that was legally checked by a legally licensed legal marijuana dispenser to treat legally approved conditions that only legal marijuana could treat.

The customers certainly looked like they needed legal marijuana. They all appear to be afflicted with that condition that causes bulging muscles in otherwise healthy young men. Until legal marijuana came along i think this condition could only be treated by regular trips to the gym.

I'm not anti-pot. I am concerned that the current laws don't do a better job of fostering personal integrity than the old.

I've read a bit more about medical marijuana in Seattle and now I understand his 'legal' response. Technically they are not allowed to sell marijuana. They can provide other medical services and they can accept donations. But, no pot for cash. Now his odd legal position makes sense.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Am home again. My parents place was wonderful-- fresh air, great weather. It just felt nice.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I'm at my parents now. It's been years since I've been here in the summer. My brothers and I are together for the first time in a very long time.

It's unbelievably pastoral here. Our dinners are made with vegetables and chicken all grown within half a mile of the kitchen. Dessert is berry pie, also grown on the farm. I can see why my parents love it here.

My parents are growing old. They act like they have accepted the fact that there bodies are breaking down, and that one day they will die. That's unsettling for me. I haven't accept that yet. I still believe they have years of healthy life ahead of them.

But maybe not. Mom has had heart trouble. Dad can't walk far without breathing heavily.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

I've lost 15lbs and two pant sizes. I think it took four months to loose the weight. I never agressivly stuck with the diet. I was happy as long as my weight stayed the same or went down week over week.

This is the first time I've ever dieted to loose weight. I hope it doesn't come back.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

We've kissed and made up.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

RO and I have decided to end our relationship. Not much to add. We still have many details to work out.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Yo cooked dinner tonight, which I really appreciate. But, dinner was a half baked garlic & cheese potatoe with hummus and chips. He admitted that he forgot to think through the rest of the meal.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Good wine.

The weather has been great this week. I am taking my first week off in along time. Two years? I've been puttering around the house, reading in the hammock and going on hikes. A great vacation.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The weather has been perfect in Seattle. Sunny. Highs in the mid seventies. Overnight lows in the sixties. I've taken this week off work. We've spent a couple days on the peninsula on the water. I'm now home, in a hammock reading and composing my blog.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer is slowly eking its way to Seattle. While the rest of the country struggles with the heat, Seattle has been cloudy and cool. Most days we don't cross 70F.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I've been working on reviving a motorcycle. Its been sitting in the garage since 2006.

I've never ridden a motorcycle before. When Steven gave me his 93 cruiser, I decided to learn.

I have Yo as my guide. He worked in an engine repair shop, so he generally knows what he's talking about.

We are texting a lot. My motorcycle knowledge is small .

Me, "it has power, but it won't start."

Yo, "hold in the clutch. Its a safety interlock."

me, "duh..."

A few minutes later I managed to start the bike. But fuel was dripping out of it. I texted this to Yo.

He wrote back "hit the carburetor with a hammer."

"huh? why?"

"trust me"

it took me thirty minutes to find and get at the carberator, but after i did, and tapped it with a hammer, the dripping stopped.

yo was very impressed with himself when i told him it worked. Then he told me that carbs have a float that probably got stuck while the bike sat in the garage. Tapping the carb freed the float and closed the overflow hole.

I'm very impressed.

The yard

This summer I am putting extra special attention on the yard. Its becomming a great place to hang out. We had a campfire last night and made smores.

I've also bought a chainsaw and a leaf blower to help with the yard. We've cleared away alot of shrub trees with the chain saw and now have about a third more space.

Work is going well. I have two guys who work remote. One from Denver and one from Atlanta.  They were both in town this past week. So we did months of team building in one week.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The motorcycle.

Years ago Steven left his motorcycle in my garage. This spring, I've decided to revive the cycle, and start riding.

The years of neglect have taken there toll. The battery was bulging with corrosion and it took me over an hour to figure out how to remove it. This will be a fun challenge.

Hiking with bib

Bib and I hiked to coal creek falls today. I've been hiking there once a week by myself or with the dog. But bib wants to get into shape, so I invited him along.

He is clearly out of shape; he had to rest several times on the way up.  I think I was like that once. Now I can almost jog up cougar mountain to get to the falls. I recall that my first time needed plenty of rest breaks

I enjoyed my time with bib. I'll invite him again next week..

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"I refuse to buy more than seven bottles of cheap wine in a week." I said that. It makes me sound like a heavy drinker. In my defense, six people help drink that wine. But still...

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Simple Pleasures of a Bonfire....

The twenty year old me would be horrified with the forty year old me.

Horrified? Maybe I mean profoundly bored. When I was twenty I dreamt of travel and never settling down. I didn't have great career aspirations. Yet hear I am at forty. I own a house in the suburbs. On weekends I take care of the yard. I like it that way.

Until last year, the yard was unruly and taken over by black berries-- viscous ugly vines. Over the winter I've got rid of the vines. Now it's wonderful space again. Kind of like park or camp ground.

This past weekend we made a fire pit and have been burning the fallen branches and other debris. I'm amazed at how much there is to burn and how pleasant it is to sit by the fire and with a beer and watch the debris go up in smoke.

Andie & Erik were married on Saturday. It was a fast wedding-- they met about six months ago. Two weeks ago we received the wedding invitation via email. Now they are married. I have to admire the minimalist efficiency they applied to their wedding.

The reception was wonderful. They rented a penthouse suite at a good hotel and held the reception in the suite's common area.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Is facebook taking over my blog? Maybe. There are still many things I'd discuss on this blog that I wouldn't discuss with my friends.

Spring is hitting Seattle. It's still raining a lot, but the grass is growing and the daffodils are blooming.

RO is having a bad time with insomnia. He has no problem falling asleep, but he wakes up at around 2am and stays awake till 5. Herbs, melatonin and sleeping pills don't seem to make a difference.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mom is out of the hospital and doing well. Her heart still acts up from time to time, but mostly she's OK. She's seeing a good specialist this week.

RO and I have started regularly having drinks with the neighbors, Clem & Bates. It's a low key affair. Much easier than dinner. With dinner RO wants to clean, polish and put on a fancy dinner. But drinks-- just come over and we'll pour.

Last night, RO and I had dinner with Bib. It was good to see him. He brought over a Kahlua pie for dessert. We hate the whole thing and got so stuffed that our stomaches ached.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mom has been to the hospital. Last Wednesday she found that her pulse would race to 150 beats per minute if she did any thing but lay down. She stayed in the local hospital for a few days. She is out and ok now. In a few days she is going to a heart specialist. They are considering a pacemaker for her. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

We were burgled.

I want to say we were robbed, but the police officer corrected me twice. Robbing happens inperson. Burgling happens when you are away from home.

Tuesday evening I came home from work. RO was relaxing. I started cooking. After maybe an hour, I went to our bedroom. Drawers were emptied out all over the bed and floor.

It really confused me. I went back to RO and asked him if he was looking for something in the bedroom.

He said "No."

I said. "This is important. Please come to the bedroom."

At that point it started to dawn on me that someone broke into our house. When RO saw the bedroom he realized the same thing. We called 911 and took a look around the house. Yo's room was also turned over. But the living room and office were untouched.

As near as we can tell, the theif took an Xbox 360, a watch and some cash. The weird part is that the thief left many valuables behind-- alcohol, art, jewelry, clothes, tools, a camera, laptops.

When the police officer came, he carefully took pictures and tried to get fingerprints. He mentioned that there were 3 other breakins in our neighborhood that day. They all had the same MO-- electronics and cash were taken, nothing else. The officer suspects it's a local school kid.

I'm not sure how I feel. It could have been much worse, it took an hour to clean up and I will miss the Xbox, but that's it. RO didn't take it well. He got very drunk and hasn't slept well since then.

I am going to get an alarm.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Yo. How he lives is interesting.

Sometimes he rents booths at trade shows and street fairs to sell dips, jerky and pet combs. He also sells them on eBay.

Sometimes he does head hunting for hospitals and clinics. Suppose a hospital needs a temporary RN for a few days or weeks. Yo will find one.

Sometimes he does teeth whitening. Spas will hire him to come in for a day to do on-site teeth whitening. Apparently it only takes a hundred bucks of equipment and no training to do UV teeth whitening. Any one can do it. But if you put the equipment on a nice cart, and dress up in a white lab coat, then spa customers will pay big bucks for it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Two more things about the roomie.

He and his girl friend like to drink. Now, I've started drinking much more. For the past few nights, the four of us have polished off two bottles of wine a night.

He also sleeps around a lot. He has a friend who is a woman who also sleeps around. I hesitate to call her a girl friend. But they are friends, they also have sex together, but they aren't in a relationship. They both date other people on the side and then tell each other about it.

If Yo knows the girl is on a date he likes to text her nasty messages and send her pics of his dick.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The new roomie-- Yo.

What do I have to say about Yo? He's a friend of RO. He once owned a store near ours, which is how we met him. Yo's store closed. Now he works part time for our store.

After that, I really don't know much about Yo. He appears to be struggling... getting back on his feat after closing his store. That worries me. We've had a succession of roomates who have been struggling to get back on their feet. It always ends bad.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

We have a new roommate. He has a very friendly dog, though the dog has spooked our cat. After the dog moved in, the cat stayed on our bed for two days before she finally resumed eating, drinking and using the litter box.

Bib was over for dinner last night. He's doing well, though he still runs himself down too much. He is staying home far too much because he's constantly worried about what people think.