Thursday, December 27, 2012

I'm off work for two weeks. Not traveling. Just relaxing.

Christmas was fun. We had Clem and Bates over for XMas eve. Then Clem and I hiked up to the falls on Christmas day.

I've been going to the gym every day. I feel very good about this.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I'm using a new tablet to write this entry. I started wring this using voice dictation on the tablet, but that didn't work so well.

the table was a gift. It's very nice. I hope it doesn't turn into a other tech toy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Clem & Bate's Train Christmas party was last night. We had a great time. We caught up with many people that we haven't seen since the their last party.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The holiday party seasons has started. Saturday we went to Akos's holiday ornament party. Tonight we are going to our neighbors party.

I enjoy the parties, but the amount I drink goes way up.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A co-worker lives in the condo where Fifty Shades of Grey largely takes place. The buildings residents have developed a sense of humor about their new fame.

Friday, November 23, 2012

I've had the week off from work. Haven't been doing much. Errands around the house. Video games.

It was RO's birthday on the 20th. I made him a nice dinner-- beef wellington.

We spent Thanksgiving with ROs family at his niece's place.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Clem and Bates celebrated there 25 year anniversary. They had many old friends over. It was great to see them.

The topic of growing old, and being gay came up. Our common neighbor, who is in her mid 80's is rapidly declining in health. Her kids are over every day to spend time with her.

We don't have kids. We have each other. What is one partner to do, when the other dies? Maybe we can keep friends around who will help out. That sounds like a huge obligation.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

RO & I spent a few days in Bellingham, eating oysters, drinking, relaxing.

It was a good getway, a little pricy, but I'd do it again.
The election has come and gone. Sure we elected Obama again. I think my states elections are more interesting.. marijuana was voted legal, as were same sex marriages.

Two years ago, Washington voted away state run liquor stores. Now liquor is available everywhere.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The rain has returned. We had a record stretch of sun and warmth. But, this is Seattle so there must be rain.

We've been preparing the house for winter. Unblocking the drains, clearing the gutters. And, taking it easy on this cloudy, rainy day.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

On Sunday we hosted a large end-of-summer BBQ. It turned out very well. The weather was perfect-- mid 70s and sunny. Unusually pleasant for October.

I counted 24 adults, 16 kids.

We hung around on the deck until it got too cold, then we hung around by the fire pit.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

This blog is 12 years old. Happy birthday.

Every year I make a birthday post, and act amazed at how much I've grown, and how much has change since 2000.

I am now meta about life's path. Perhaps the next step is awareness and acceptance.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

We went to the Berliner last night, to celebrate Oktoberfest. It was pleasant, though we drank too much beer.

We met an interesting group of people there. We have tentatively decided to meet them at the same bar, on the first Saturday in November.


For months I've been pushing RO to get ride of stuff. We have far too many things that we never use. Its difficult for me to follow my own advice. While cleaning out a room, I ran into a case full of old cassette tapes. Music I used to love.

I haven't listened to them in over a decade. I don't even have a working cassette player. Yet, they are so hard to get rid of.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Another plumbing story. This one ended well.

The garbage disposal was jammed. I know how to fix that. In the drawer beside the kitchen sink is a special crank just for fixing garbage disposer jams. I got the crank out and pulled out the stuff in the cabinet under the sink.

It was wet, everywhere. I unjammed the disposer and then went hunting for the leak.

The leak was a slow drip from the faucet valve. It took a long time to find the drip. The drip started from the cold water hose, then transferred over to the spray hose where the two hoses touched. It was a slow investigation. The hoses wer behind the sink and plumbing, where it is dark and cramped.

After hours of looking, I realzied I could spot the leak by wrapping paper towels around the hoses at various intervals to see which towels got wet.

It took me a while longer to figure out how to remove the faucet valve.  The bolt I needed to turn was in a very cramped location. I had to hold the wrench with the tips of my fingers.

After I got the faucet out, the seal around spray hose developed a second leak. I didn't know that though. We went to Home Depot, bought a replacement seal that turned out to be the wrong seal, went back to Home Depot, bought the right seal. Replaced the seal. Reinstalled the faucet valve.

Of course it still leaked.

Removed the faucet valve again. Did more investigating and saw that there was still a cold water leak.

Went back to Home Depot and bought a nice new faucet with universal plumbing connectors.

Started to install the new faucet, but found that the universal plumbing connectors didn't work for my plumbing.

Back to Home Depot to buy a converter.

While installing the converter I noticed that the old water hose attached to a converter, which attached to my plumbing. If I removed the old water hose and the old converter, then the new faucet would attach to my plumbing just fine.

I feel good about this faucet. It works well. Much better than the old faucet. Since I removed a set of water hoses and converters during the instalation, there is less that can go wrong in the future.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Last night I volunteered for Washington United For Marriage.

Same sex marriage is on the ballot this November. Clem joins their phone banks once a week. He asked me to join them for one night.

The evening started with about 30 minutes of training. While they did have a scripts for us, it takes some practice to know the material.

Ninety percent of the time I got voice mail, "Sorry I'm Busy." or "I don't talk politics on the phone."

Of the people who did want to talk, I'd say that 90% were receptive to our pitch. They support same sex marriage and plan on voting for it.

I didn't run into moderates. The remaining 10% were opposed, even hostile, to gay marriage.

One callee vented at me her disgust with same-sex marriage. She also was irritated with the use of the word 'gay' It used to be such a happy word. She had a friend whose first name was "Gay" She hated the ribbing that friend had to endure.

I apologized for taking her time and then hung up.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Finally, after months of cleaning, scrubbing, painting and decorating, our deck is ready for summer guests, parties and BBQs. Oh wait... it's mid September.

We had a big BBQ on Sunday. RO's family was over to celebrate his son's 19th birthday. It was a fun BBQ, though we probably bought twice as much  food as we needed.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

C2 is in town for the long weekend. He still works in Afghanistan and is taking an R&R in D.C. Chicago, Seattle, Phoenix & San Diego.

Saturday, we hiked up to the top of Rattle Snake Ledge. Not many of my friends would be up for that hike. I missed doing this with him.

Monday, August 27, 2012

unexpected beauty

Tonight, at sunset, I saw a hawk flying. The hawk was high enough that the sun reflected off its bottom. It was beautiful.

Can you tell I've been drink in?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Housing updates...

We painted the deck last weekend.  It took two full days.

The upstairs shower is leaking into the downstairs bathroom. Shit.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Today is one of those perfect days that makes the nine months of rain worth it.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Today on my motorcycle, for the first time, I took a corner with such a lean that I scraped my side bords. Don't worry, this is fine thing. It means that I'm getting so comfortable with my bike that I'm capable of pushing it to it's limits.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dog texting.

There is a man near me who slowly walks his dog two or three times a day. He plays with his smart phone the whole way.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My parents are gone. It was good to see them. We did lots of touristy things...

Watched paragliders
Went to the Seattle Art Museum
Watched fireworks from the top of a mountain. They weren't big and loud, but we could see every firework show accross the Puget Sound
Went to a vintage car show
Farmers Market.
Went to see the King Tut exhibit and then eat at El Gaucho.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

My parents are in town for a few days. It is good to see them.

They are getting older. Mom has heart palpitations if she drinks too much coffee or doesn't sleep right. Dad's legs hurt him if he walks to long. He gets winded easily and wheezes often. I guess this is life. Is this also a hint of what could happen to me?

Monday, July 02, 2012

We went camping over the weekend. Of course it rained hard on Saturday. Thankfully the tent stayed dry.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Saturday was Stein's 40th birthday. We met up at the Third Door to celebrate. That night, blues rocker Alice Stuart was the headliner. When Alice heard that it was Stein's 40th birthday, Alice invited us back to her private rooms. We got to hang out with her band and entrourage! It was wonderful evening.

Monday, June 11, 2012

We fell a tree in our backyard today. Of course it fell at a 45 degree angle from where we wanted it to fall, so it fell on the neighbors yard where it got snagged on another tree.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

We are back from our road trip. The drive was very uneventful.

This was a wondeful trip.

Friday, June 01, 2012

We are on the ride home. We made good time today and are now exhausted. It's 9:30PM and both if us are in bed.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

san Francisco

Sent from my Windows Phone

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hwy 1

Sent from my Windows Phone

Pacific coast in CA

The hwy 1 is an awesome drive with endless beauty.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The brother and I are on a motorcycle trip to San Francisco. Today was a long day, we did 371 miles. Fortunatly, today was the longest day we will do the whole trip. It's all leasurly day trips from hear on.

Our first night we slept in Tillamook, OR. Second night, Eureka CA.

road trip...

Sent from my Windows Phone

Light house.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Road trip 2012

My brother and I are on a road trip down highway 101. first night we made it to Tillamook OR.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My birthday was over the weekend. Clem and Bates came over for steaks, wine and cake. It was a pleasant celebration.

Aside from that, the weekend was quiet. I ran errands. Cleaned the house.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Inside the truck there where house and van keys. We had to call a lock smith to rekey the house, the van and repair the truck lock.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Shitty day.

Over night I got a terrible tooth ache. When I left for the dentist in the morning, the truck had been broke into. They didn't get much, but they did make a mess of the lock.
Last night I took my bike out for the first time since I took the Motorcycle Safety course. I noticed a difference in my driving. I've become less sloppy while, cornering, breaking, starting or stopping.

I also took the bike out on the freeway for the first time. Driving at 65mph is a very different experience that driving at 30 or 40mph. The wind resistance goes way up, as does the noise.

I also noticed the power difference between the my bike, and the course bike. The course bikes were much lighter and had an engines about a 3rd the size of my engine. The small bikes are very nimble at slow speeds at stop signs and driveways. Mine requires a little more care.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Over the weekend I took and passed the Evergreen Safety Councel's Basic Motorcycle Safety course. When I took the course ten years ago, I failed. Passing was a big weight off my shoulders.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Yesterday evening was DR's memorial service. It was a very nice service. She volunteered a lot. Many of the organizations she volunteered for where there. We heard stories about her, her love of gardening, her no-nonsense attitude and her sense of humor.

It's made me think of my life. I've always planned my life by looking ahead. What do I want to do next? How do I want to grow? DRs memorial has made me ask "What do I want to leave behind when I die?" and "How do I want to die?"

At the memorial we realized we didn't know much about DRs life.  She had a nephew who didn't attend. While we heard about her volunteer work, we didn't learn anything about her family. We don't know why she moved to the city of Kent. Her businesses and home where in miles away in Seattle and Tacoma. Yet, for some reason, one day about 20 years ago she showed up in Kent and started volunteering. Everything was grateful she moved there. No one knows why.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Busy weekend. The weather has been georgous here. I most of the days outdoors, either hiking, on the motorcycle, working on the back yard.

Saturday evening we attended a Martini Party at the store. W, L & D were there. W has been writing and has published two mystery novels in the past year. L has also started writing again. She was laid off from work and now has much time on her hands. She hasn't written in years. She's a romance novelist, so she's starting again.

Sunday, the neighbors invited us over for hooka. A year ago, they visited the middle east. Bates fell in love with hooka machines. He likes the idea that a bunch of us would just hang around the table and smoke. It was nice, but I'm not in love with it. I still have the taste of hooka in my mouth.

Friday, April 13, 2012

DR died. I think she died alone. RO feels bad about this.

DR was an 80 year old woman who outlived most of her family. Se had one remaining nephew.

Five years ago she lived alone but was very active. She volunteered for many things and came to the store regularly where she helped out a little.

A couple of years back, her memory started fading. You had to watch over her because she would forget. Not long after this, her nephew moved her to an old age home.

She never really took to the home. She had few friends there and felt couped up. Even with her memory problems DR wanted to be active. The people in the home sat around all day, chatted and watched TV. When we talked to her last, she said she was just waiting around until she died.

We last saw DR over Christmas. We took her out to the men's choir for Christmas Carols. It was a pleasant evening.

Then the months slipped by and we didn't keep in regular touch with DR. At Easter RO dropped in to give her an Easter basket. But, he was too late. DR had died a month earlier.

RO feels bad about not keeping in better touch with DR. Her death has caused me to reflect on my future. I don't have kids or family to take care of me when I get old. Perhaps RO will be around, or perhaps not. Inevitably my body will decay, and I too will become a burden. I like to dream that I will be fit as a fiddle until I'm 90 when I will quickly and painlessly die in my sleep. But, that's not how it usually happens.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Today, Easter Sunday is a wonderful day. The weather is warm. The breeze is pleasant. The sun feels wonderful. I needed this. Its been cloudy and raining for too many months here in Seattle.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Clem and Bates came over for dinner the other night. Of course we drank too much and had a great time.

My brother and I are planning a motor cycle trip down the coast. I'm a little nervous about this. I have never rode my bike for more than an hour at once. This trip will be 2000 miles and 10 days long.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

To make work even more complicated, two guys on my team are having kids this summer.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This March is more cold than January. We've had snow twice.

At work, the strongest and most senior person on my team has told me he's leaving. I'm still digesting this news. So much counter planning has to happen.

Friday, February 24, 2012

It's been a year now since I started my health kick. I hike to Coal Creek Falls most every weekend. I stick with a slow-carb diet and eat very little sugar.

Currently, I've lost 25 lbs, 2 pant sizes and I sleep better than I ever have.

Friday, January 20, 2012

For all the snow, ice and flooding that has hit area, the last few days have been have been pleasant. There have been no power or internet outages at our home and the roads have been clean enough that we can come and go as we please. I consider myself fortunate. I have friends and co-workers who have been trapped at home for days with no power.

In the forest behind the house, every few minutes you can hear a large branch cracking and falling.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Seattle is bracing for a snow storm. Up to 8 inches in the next 24 hours. Most people have left work for home.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

The last leg of my flight back home was cancelled. I'm stuck in Chicago for the night.

I am jet lagged. I slept off and on though the first half of the flight. So I can't fall asleep now. I still feel groggy. I didn't get much sleep last night. Maybe I can find some sleeping pills and knock myself out till the flight home.