Monday, December 30, 2013

C was in town over the holidays. We hiked up rattlesnake ledge.

Both of us are thinking about our retirements. Retirement is years off, but you have to plan ahead.

The challenge we face is what to do during retirement. We know a few people who have retired. Those that had no purpose, who just went on endless vacation, started drinking too much, getting fat, and sometimes got a little bitter over getting old. But those who kept a job, who found a purpose stayed healthy and interesting.

So then, what do I want to do in my retirement?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

My parents are in town for Christmas. Its great to be with them. They are older and tire more easily than they used to. Both are still healthy though.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Boone has had a couple dates with a food distributor. When Boone comes home from a date he is loaded up with snacks given to him as gifts-- chocolate bars, fruit and nut bars, flavored popcorns, special drinks, teas, candies.

It's only been two dates, and we now have too much junk food in the house.


KonTiki is a movie about a team of people who sailed 5000 miles on a raft from Peru to a Polynesian island of Raroia. The leader, Thor Heyerdahl, wanted to prove that it was possible for Polynesia to have been settled by drifters from South America. So the raft was built with nothing more advanced than what South American's had 1500 years ago-- balsa wood logs roped together, plus a thatched hut.

I loved the movie. After we finished watching RO said "You're not allowed to do that."

I asked "Why not?"

He responded "You're not allowed to do that."

I would love to go on some kind of extreme expedition. I've thought about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, or the Appalachian trail. Maybe a long distance boat (or raft) trip instead.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

It's cold out. At least for Seattle. Yesterday was the coldest day since 2010. When I told my parents this they laughed. Seattle's coldest day is about as warm as a typical day where they live in Eastern Ontario.

We have a humming bird feeder. The humming birds hang out by it. Spending as much time drinking from it, as resting. We bring the feeder in at night so it doesn't freeze. When we bring it out in the morning, they are waiting for us.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Cell phones

I just renewed my vehicle tabs online from my cellphone. I was waiting for lunch, so I thought I'd try it out. The state licensing website is very good, optimized for cell phones. I'm surprised how easy it was.

This makes me more worried about the future of the PC. Cell phones may not have nice big screens, or great keyboards, but they are there in your pocket when you need them. PCs can't beat that. Over time, app and website authors will update there sites to work well on phones.

Will pcs go the way of the full sized van, or three quarter ton truck? Useful, but not in every ones home.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Am back to work after a week in Maui. I really enjoyed the trip.

The flight back was canceled at the last moment-- pilot was sick. The airline put us up in a nice hotel and flew us out the next morning.

Some thoughts about Maui… I want to go back again. I love the place. I'm not sure I want to live there though. Maui takes the energy out of me. Maybe it's the heat and the sun. Here in Seattle I can run up and down hills for an hour. In Maui my legs were dragging after 15 minutes of running on a pleasant, level, trail.

Then there is the whole business of how I'd live in Maui. Obviously I couldn't spend the days on the beach, and the nights in wonderful restaurants.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I love Maui, but it sucks my all my energy. I sleep from 9pm to 7am. I do little but hang out on the beach all day, and swim and snorkel.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Am I. Maui. The first relaxing vacation I've had in a long time. RO is working a bit. The cell phone and WiFi let him do some work anywhere.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

We are heading off to Hawaii for a week. Its been a long time since I've had a relaxing vacation.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

I ran the three falls in one hour and 37 minutes.

For some reason my knees ache after today's run. No good. This is the first time I've really hurt afterwards. I've been stiff or sore before, but never hurt.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Some nights I feel anxiety. I don't know why I feel anxious, I just do. I have to watch my temper at these times, otherwise, I'll just get angry at someone, especially RO for no good reason.

During yesterdays windstorm, a huge branch blew out of a tree and smashed an arbore in the front yard.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

We had a big windstorm today. A huge branch fell out of a tree and broker an arbor-- the 4x4 post supporting the arbor snapped in two

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mom got her results back. She has a non-malignant tumor. It's not growing. It's very possible that she's had it for years. Right now the doctors don't want to operate. They want to MRI her every six months to ensure it stays under control.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ran the three falls in 95 minutes.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Mom had an MRI last week. She is meeting with doctors on Tuesday to discuss the results. Her sprits are up. Whatever the spot is, it was spotted early.

My aunt, a retried nurse, is helping my move through much of this. She has a good grasp is the process and the risks. This has greatly helped mom.

My aunt's husband, my uncle, died years ago from cancer. Mom was with my aunt through much of this experience. So my aunt is now graciously returning the favor.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I have not yet told RO about the growth in mom's head, at least not until we know more about it. It  could be something simple that can be lasered out. It could be worse to, but we don't know yet.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Doctors found a growth in mom's head. They are doing more scans in the next day or two.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Memory #2

My first memories are when I was 4, or maybe 3. I don't know. This experience isn't uncommon. Who really remembers being a toddler?

We think that we start remember things after we are 4, but really how true is this? My 30's consisted of over 3650 days. I commuted to work over 2000 times. Ate over 10000 meals. Yet if I remembered 100 of those days, my memory would be considered excellent. That means the vast majority of those days are lost even to someone with an excellent memory.

Is it because I remember a day here and their while I was in my 30's that I think I remember my 30's. It's seems to be true that my 30's are as lost as my toddler years.  It's a mental quirk that makes me think otherwise. I remember a day here and there throughout my 30's, so I conclude that I remember my 30's. What's really happened is that I've forgotton that I've forgot. With no details to make me confront this absence, I conveniently don't realize it exists.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

When I was young, I knew I didn't know much. That was OK since I was learning. Eventually I would learn every thing.

Then, in high school, and university, I knew I could learn the things I studied. I accepted that I Would be ignorant of the things I didn't study. There just wasn't enough time.

But, as time went on, I saw that even on the subjects I study, there were deep mysteries. Hard work and deep research reveals that there is so much more to learn than you can ever be exposed to.

Then I started to realize  that so much of what I knew, so much of what I had put so much effort into learning wasn't aging well. So many facts were outdated. Some of what I learnt was wrong. Much was misremembered, and lots was forgotten.

I could read some books and have a vague feeling that I've read that book before, yet not know how the book ended. Sure enough, if I looked over my reading history, I had read that book before and forgot it completely.

But the more I think about this, the less I feel that I am becoming frail, weak and forgetful with old age. This ignorance maybe the way of life for everyone, and I'm only now realizing it.

When you are young and you forget to do an assignment, or bring chips to the party it's not a big deal and you brush it off. When you are middle aged and you forget, then doubt creeps in and you think you are loosing your mind. This scares many people. I can't go there. Doubt and anxiety do not make things better. I have to face the world as it is, with the strengths that I have. Weather or not my mind is getting weaker, or stronger.

Sent from Windows Mail

I've run the three falls twice now. Its a good run, but really tires me out when I'm done. Its an out four miles round trip, and takes me about one hundred minutes to run.

This week I have a cold, so I'm resting. Hopefully ill shave a few minutes off my time next week.

Sent from Windows Mail

Coal creek falls.

I think I'm going to use Facebook less, and blog more. My blog has no readers, except me, so its ok to write about lots of stuff that only I want to read.

I've run the three falls on cougar mountain twice now. Its a great rr


A tree fell in the back yard. I sawed it up, slit the logs, then stacked the wood. I haven't done that since I was in high school. It hasn't gotten anymore easier since then.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

I ran the three falls today. Well, I mostly ran. I walked the steep up hill parts. Ran the more gentle slopes and down hill.

I took me 100 minutes. My legs are sore now, especially the tendon that ends along side my groin. Aside from that, I feel good. No blisters on my feet.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


I'm dreaming of running the three falls at Cougar Mountain park. This is not a goal, just something I want to start doing.

Running by the three falls will be the longest and steepest run I've done. But, it's not that much longer or more steep than the runs I'm doing now.

Today I ran the DeLeo wall trail which took about 60 minutes. Usually I run the Coal Creek falls loop. That takes about 40 minutes.

I think that running a loop by the three falls, Coal Creek, Doughty and Far Country Falls, will take anywhere from and hour and fifteen, to an hour and a half. Long, but I can do it. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What am I doing...

We finished painting the deck, rushing before the rain hits Seattle.

This summer has been lovely. It's still warm out. But rain is now forecasted more often than not. I'm happy with that. I feel obligated to be out and enjoying every minute of the the sun when the weather is pleasant. When it's cloudy and rainy, I get to choose how to spend my time.

I'm trying to get RO to focus and finish his projects. Sometimes it appears that when he hits a speed bump in the middle of a project, he starts two more. Our house is littered with stuff, half started ideas that will be one day finished off. To me it's just too much stuff.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I didn't realize that today was 9/11 until late in the day. There we no specials on TV. No invitations to attend commemorative services. I see a few online articles about terrorism, but nothing out of the ordinary, especially since Syria is in the news. Has America moved beyond 9/11?

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Trail running

I've started trail running. I didn't plan on trail running. I've never really wanted to trail run. I just started doing it.

For hears I've gone for a weekly hike on cougar mountain. Cougar mountain has many trail runners on it, many of whom are in far better condition than I. One time when I was walking up a steep hill, panting, four women ran by me. They were talking to each other! Not panting. Talking like the hill was nothing.

Last year work started paying for a gym membership. I started going regularly. I started doing cardio two or three times a week.

Then, last weekend, while I was finishing off on a tread mill, it occurred to me that a tread mill was boring and that I could probably trail run without walking too much.

So I tried it out. It went well. I got good trail running shoes. I've been pushing my self a bit more each time.

Monday, August 12, 2013


I watch nervously every time a woodpecker lands on a tree in the backyard.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Back to work...

I'm back to work. After Washington DC, C2 spent a few days with us in Seattle.

C2 is sometimes an odd bird. He's a loud house guest. I think that he's lived alone in Afghanistan and Iraq  for so long that he doesn't think about how he carries himself when he's alone, but others are nearby. His footsteps are heavy. He closes doors loudly. He regularly moans, groans and makes load sighing sounds.

It was good to spend time with him though.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I'm in Washington DC for a week. It's a wonderful city. So much to see. I will come back.
I'm reminded how new the places I've lived are. Here the history is real and thick. Many buildings are very old. The museums have much art from centuries gone by. Of course the National Archive has the original U.S. Constitution.
I've been to the Lincoln memorial three times. It's always crowded, late at night, early in the morning. Hundreds of people climb the steps.
Green paint was sprayed on Lincoln while I was here. News says the vandal was a mentally ill homeless woman.
Lincoln's great speeches are on the side of the memorial.  People walk right up to the statue of Lincoln and take many photos of him.  But people stay away from the speeches and take fewer photos.  We joked that this is because Americans are ignorant of lincoln's words.  I think the reality is that pictures of the words just aren't that photographic.  Especially when compared to the statue of Lincoln.
I wanted to meditate at the memorial.  I've read so much about its profound effects on people.  But the memorial is crowded and loud.  Not the place where one can sit and think.
At the national gallery of art there are many wonderful paintings.  I want to gush here.
C2 is here.  He is back from Afghanistan and now working in Washington.  He may be dating someone.  If it doesn't work out he said he will head off to Syria.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013


RO and I have slept outside in a tent in our back yard for the past 4 days. Its very dark, cool and quiet outside. Perfect for sleeping.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

summer weather

has been perfect. RO and I have started sleeping outside in a tent. RO suffers from insomnia. It goes away when he sleeps outside. Confidentially, I think it's because when he wakes up, he can't get up and watch TV or play with the computer. The bedroom has half a dozen blinking LED'S

Friday, July 05, 2013

The 4th

For the 4th C&J invited us to Everett for dinner and to watch the fireworks.

C&J's house is incredibly well decorated and very clean. I haven't had a chance to talk to RO about it, but I'm sure he'll bring it up. I don't know how they have the time.

Monday, July 01, 2013


I went home for a family reunion. It was great to see everyone. Uncles, Aunts, cousins and their kids came from all over the place.

Some of the first generation is getting very old and falling into decline. I can't help but wonder if what they are going through is a sneak preview of what I will go through.

I have a cousin, a woman, who is proudly single. She has woman friends and she travels around. She also seems to be fairly liberal. I always wonder if she's a lesbian, but I never bother bringing it up. She works for a very conservative school. Her parents, are even more conservative than mine. It's easier if we don't know.

The brothers seem to be doing well. The middle brother is on his fourth marriage. This time, she's a good, normal person. The four of their kids result in a *very* blended family.

The younger brother is... I think he's doing well. Not sure. He hasn't yet discovered the difference between being right, and making things better. He says he listens to forty hours of podcasts a week. His wife says that as a result, facts are always popping out of him. I almost think his love of facts is away for him to declare his space, his value, in what is a very weird home life.

Weird home life... He and his wife are fine. But they live in "The Compound" A huge house with the wife's mother, the wife's mother's other children, their spouses, and those children. It's crazy. Right now one of the other couples are going through marital problems. It's stressful for everyone.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The weather has been perfect lately. A little too warm in the sun. A little too cool in the shade. With a wonderful breeze blowing from the forest, making the temperature perfect and the air so fresh.
It's annual review time at work. I heard through the grapevine that my review went well. I don't know what that means. if I get my hopes up, I'm sure they will be crushed.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

My brother was in town for a few days. It was good to see him. We did the touristy Seattle things that I haven't gone to in years-- the Space Needle, the Aquarium, the Museum of Flight and a dinner cruise of the Sound.

We did this trip in lieu of a week long motorcycle trip. We originally planned to do a longer trip, but then he lost his job.

He has since found a new job.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

C&M got married today. Not only does this state now recognize gay marriage, but their church just sanctioned it as well. So, they had a traditional wedding in the church. Good for them.
They've already been together for 25 years, so there were many Shotgun and "This wedding was so hasty jokes."

Saturday, May 11, 2013

MS passed away last night.
MS built my house back in the 1950s. She raised her family here. When she was in her 70's, this house become too much for her to take care of, so she sold it and bought a small home half a block away. She often looked over this place to make sure it was well taken care of.
Her health had been declining for some time. We haven't seen her as often since she rarely left her home for the last year.
Rest in peace.
One of the reasons I write this blog is to record things I want to remember.  Maybe I should write more about work, to double check that I am learning, and making progress.
Last night RO and I went out dancing with a few other couples. We had a great time. The clubs were fun. I was surprised how packed the streets of Capital Hill were. With the warm weather, the city has come alive.
We closed the clubs. One of the men with us was pulled over for a sobriety test. Fortunately, he passed. Still, it ended the evening on a sour note.
I got to bed at about 4am and woke up at 8am. I feel draggy today. Now I remember why I don't do this more often. It's a fun lesson to relearn every now and then.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

RO and I went east of the mountains for a few days. The weather was wonderful. Sunny and warm.
We drank some good and some bad wine. We met the guy who runs the oldest family run winery and who signed the AVA paperwork for the Columbia wine region.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The waiting is over. Our cat has passed away.
RO wanted to bring her to the vet one last time. Maybe put her on another course of antibiotics. Maybe a 3rd vet could find something new. After this visit he wanted to give the cat one more week to see if she'd improve.
This vet did find something new. Tumors around her liver. After that everything went so quickly. RO asked about putting her down at home. The vet said it was possible, but would take a few days to schedule the appointment.
RO suggested we should put her down there. The speed of this decision caught me by surprise.
We stayed with our cat as the vet first injected her with a narcotic to put her to sleep, and then another drug to stop her heart. Both of us cried. Even the vet sobbed a little.
We brought her home and buried her in our back yard.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

We went to see Anne and Nancy Wilson, Heart, last night. They are joining the rock and roll hall of fame next week, so they had a show in their home town to celebrate.

They played many songs that they wrote in recent years, not the songs that made them famous. I wanted to be irritated at them for this, for not playing my favorite Heart songs, but damn there new songs are good and they are awesome singers and musicians. These are not musicians who are resting on their laurels and milking their past fame.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

My father is farmer. When I told him about our sick cat, of course he had a very simple solution-- a shovel. He is strongly against spending hundreds of dollars on an animal that will die in a few years anyways. Let the end of her life come quick and painlessly. Don't drag it out.
The cat isn't getting better or worse. She just sits there. She tolerates the force feedings. Then she stares out to the road. Sometimes she responds when we pet here. But mostly she ignores us.

Friday, April 05, 2013

All day the cat just sits on the front porch. A week ago her head was always down and she slept most of the time. Today she keeps her head up. She will also walk away if you harass her enough. She wants to be left alone.

We took her to the vet twice. They are out of options, unless we want to pay the big bucks for a radiologist to investigate. That's a tough decision, but I can't justify spending a thousand bucks treating a cat.

Recently my parents talked to me about how they want to die. Dad has a strong do-not-resuscitate request. Mom asked us to fight a little for her, but still didn't want to be a vegetable.  We didn't cover that grey area where they slowly get more and more sick over time. What then? If you were awake but always very drowsy and if you had to be tube fed for a long time, would you want to live?

The can't still won't eat or drink. Maybe a nibble or lick here and there, but never a meal, and never enough. We've taken to tube feeding her regularly. We also feed her some meds-- antibiotic and some appetite stimulants.

But still, she just sits there. I can't tell if she's suffering. I can't tell if she will recover. This waiting sucks.

Saturday, March 30, 2013


 Vet says the cat is anemic and probably has either kidney failure, cancer or a virus. We'll get the results of the blood test in a day or two. Till then, she's on an apatite increaser, antibiotics and I'm syringe feeding her a special cat food.

Friday, March 29, 2013

The cat is very sick. She hasn't ate or drank in days. She just lays and sleeps on the front porch. The vet couldn't find anything obvious wring with her.

Get well soon.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

why can I play a simple mindless game for hours, but when I have to fill out a form, I keep putting the task off for weeks. Is a catchy tune and achievements all that we need to unleash the next wave of human productivity?  

Friday, March 08, 2013

For the first time in weeks, I am healthy. No cold. No sore muscles.
The cold was very contagious. Many people at work caught it.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

RO and I have been sick lately. RO has had a bad cold since Vegas. I just picked up the cold and am taking the day off of work.

A couple weeks ago we attended a wine and chocolate party at Andie and Erik's. It was good to see everyone.

They have well behaved toddler who is growing like a weed.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Dennis died. He died in a car accident
Dennis ran the garage and gas station down the road from us. We trusted him with all our vehicles. His prices were always reasonable, the repairs were always good quality, and he stood by his work.

Friday, February 08, 2013

RO and I went to Vegas for the weekend. It
Saturday we walked along the strip, looking at the new casinos, shopping in them, checking out their art and eating too much.  Sunday we hung out by the pool.  It was a little cool out of the sun, but a great improvement on Seattle.
I saw cirque du Soleil, Mystere, for the second time. The first time was about 10 years ago. I didn't mean to see it the second time and I didn't realize that I had done so until the closing act. The closing act features a large inflatable snail, and is very unforgettable.
I guess I should use this blog a little more often for notes. Not that I didn't enjoy Mystere. It just that with so many different Cirque du solei shows on, it would have been nice to see something new.
Oh yeah, if you ever go to see Cirque Du Solei, beware the clowns. They are mean. Funny as hell, but mean. They put some members of the audience through some very humiliating, but funny stunts.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

RO is way for the week. I find my time is going so quickly.  Having someone at home waiting for me forces me to focus and prioritize.  Having the whole day to myself lets me dawdle and get distracted.
We're doing a long-term planning a work.  It's very stressful this time.  Planning is a crapshoot in the best of circumstances.  This time there are partners who want to work with us but they won't know what they wanted to for months from now.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What do you do when you dream a great rock anthem, and really want to write down the song of your dreams, yet you have no musical ability at all?
I'm going to get back
Get back
Get up and go
Get on the road
ok, maybe its not that good.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I've been trying to meditate regularly.  No special meditation.  Not Buddhist or transcendental or Hindu or Christian, just me sitting still and not thinking.
It's surprising just how often random thoughts pop into my head. I enjoy the quiet. 
 I've had one moment of insight.  It's a little goofy but I'm going to record it for posterity.  I was sitting on a bench listening to the waterfalls looking at the fog and clouds while a light rain fell.  It occurred to me that the water, the rain and the fog didn't know that they were different.  The all just existed.  Their difference was in my perception of them.
When I meditate it's for 20 minutes.  Long enough to be a commitment but not too long.  I wonder if meditation is selfish or if it encourages me to focus. It is a good way to focus and to become aware just how often my mind runs off on a tangent.

Friday, January 25, 2013


I've been going to the gym 5 and six times week.  I feel good afterwards.  I hope I can keep the pace, but the reality is life will interfere.  I'm finally starting to see good results.  My biceps and chest are showing a real results.  I'm also doing cardio three times a week.  I sleep great after that.

I guess I have to say I'm taking more time for myself. I enjoy. I need it. I don't worry so much about my sedentary life in the health risks associated with that.  I have less stress of work.  I can focus more.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A little more on the fog... for the past week Seattle has been in a temperature inversion. A bubble of cold air is covering the Seattle area. Warm air is flowing over it. The result is that the Seattle area is experiencing near freezing temperatures, with no wind, no rain and much fog. No wind or rain means that smoke and pollutants are building up and not being blown or washed away. Outside smells like a busy highway.
We Pacific North westerners aren't used to this. We love our clean, rain fresh, air.
Rain is supposed to return tomorrow.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The weather lately has been fog. I'm serious. It stays calm and foggy till late in the afternoon. Clears up for a few hours, then becomes foggy again in the evening.
Boone and Dauv have split up. Boone still stays at Dauv's house, but is looking for somewhere else.I feel bad for Boone. He is taking it in stride. RO had hinted that he wants Boone to live with us. He's always cared for Boone. But they work together and can get on each others nerves.
On the health front, I'm working out regularly. Every day I either lift weights or do cardio. So far, so good. I'm sure it will be a challenge to stick to this schedule. It helps that the gym is on my way to work and that if I work out in the morning my commute is shifted so that traffic isn't so bad.
I feel good after I work out. That's what I'm focusing on. Sure, it would be nice if got all beefy and musculre. Better than that though, is the relaxed feeling I have as I leave the gym. I know I'm taking care of myself, so no matter what else happens. my health will be as good as it can. My back and neck pain is much reduced.
My parents talked to me about how they want to die. Dad has a strict DNR. Mom wants us to fight for her life a little longer, but not much more.
They have bought two grave plots at a small church near their farm. They say it's up a small hill with a good view. Dad's brothers also have bought plots at this church.
Such is life.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

It's below freezing here for the first time in a long time. Two humming birds still hang around our feeders. In the morning RO retrieves the feeders and melts the food.

Celery seed

I have 1.5 pounds of celery seed in the spice cupboard. I don't know why I have that much celery seed. Hell, I don't know what to use celery seed for.