Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas all.

I went to my childhood church this morning. I ran into a few others who make their annual pilgrimage up to this neck of the wood. The church, the whole region really, is dying of old age. Most of the youngsters move else where for jobs and other opportunities.

We spent the afternoon with by brother and a cousin who is wheel chair bound. A few months ago my brother moved in with a new woman. My mother has been over to visit a few times. But, apparently she never remembers that my brother is living with someone new. So there is always a little shock at the beginning when she puts two and two together again.

Father leverages this trick. If he and mom argue on a topic, he'll let it rest for a spell. Then he'll bring the topic up a different way. The second time around mom may be more receptive. He is not malicious with this. Just a little tricky.








Saturday, December 24, 2016



I've traveled to home to my parents for the holidays. It's a different world here. I like it. I like visiting here from time to time.

This really is the kind of place where people don't lock their doors. Where they leave their keys in their cars. Everyone stays in touch and keeps an eye out. Of course this means that everyone knows your comings and goings, but I digress…

My dad is going deaf. My mom is suffering from a bit of memory loss. When they talk they really have to take care that they understand and are understood least the conversation hop of the rails. Fortunately,  after fifty years of marriage, they are both up to the task.

Mom's memory loss bugs me. She is otherwise so healthy. Dad takes constantly watches over her. She gets lost so easily. She shuts down when anxious. She asks the same questions over and over again. My dad is so patient to help her though all of this.

What bugs me most about mom's situation is that if I take my flaws and quirks and exaggerate them to unhealthy levels, then I start to look like mom.

I also chatted with my aunt today. She's in a nice retirement home. Half of the retirement home has a view of the river. The other half has a view of the village. She was wondering if she should pay an extra $75 to get a view of the river. After she looked, her conclusion was that the river is boring. To quiet. She'd rather see people and cars coming and going.

Had lunch at the schnitzel place. As always, it was good.

One thing I like about Canada that they don't yet half is the States is portable credit card machines. When you want to pay, the waitress brings a little machine to you. You run your card though it and pay right there. Your card never leaves your hand. I see these all over the place around here.

Another cousin, his wife and family dropped by in the afternoon to wish us Merry Christmas and Happy New Years. Pleasant chat.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Am on my way home for the holidays. The trip has started off surprisingly well. I flew through the lines at the airport in record time.

Monday, December 19, 2016


It is the holiday season. So many parties. We were at four this past weekend. I'm actually having problems remembering them all.

There was dinner at Palermo with Steven's step daughter.

Then there did we go? I'm surprised I forgot.  It was Henkie's 50th birthday party. Henkie is interesting character. She's a beautiful woman who married rich. Her friends are largely the same. As a testament to her character though, she keeps in touch with her pre-rich friends and treats everyone wonderfully.

Sunday, there was the holiday open house on Whidbey island. Whidbey Island is a wonderful place. Steven and I talked about retiring there.

Sunday evening was Bay's birthday party at Purple.

So much food. I've gained five pounds.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Sometimes when I write, so much pointless snark and gotcha comes out. I end up with this conflict between my thoughts and feelings in the moment, and the kind of person I want to be. I suppose this is an age old problem.


One day it's Trump. The next it's work. Or my Ex. The list goes on.


My Ex is almost out of my house. He has a new place to live. He is having problems affording the move. I offered to pay for moves.


My Ex is still heart broken. He is exhausted. He works way too much for too little return. He is a big dreamer who has seen his dreams collapse. There is sticking with it through adversity. And then there is ignoring reality and refusing to pick up the pieces to start over again. He is in the later state.










Thursday, December 15, 2016

Steven has started a new job. This week he is on the east cost for training.



Some selected text messages from him…


"First day… OMG! The passwords! The passwords!"


"my company owns a winery!"


"my company just announced a major reorganization. Oh boy! Not sure I will have the same manager or team."






Sunday, December 11, 2016

The snow has come. The rain has washed the snow away. Just another December in the PNW.


Lots of little stresses going around. Soon RO will leave my house. I'm giving him to the end of the year, then I evict.


At work there has been a lot of churn. On the plus side, I get to hire people and build the team I want.


Christmas is coming. Steven is flying up to TO with me. This is different RO never left the states, never met my friends in Cananda. Steven can't wait to do it. He loves to travel, to meet new people.



Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving… Had dinner with a few of Steven's AA buddies. It was a pleasant evening. SB roasted a wonderful turkey that needed an hour longer in the oven than planned. No worries as the company was nice, in the usual AA way.


The AA crowd has it's own special way. Half of them are borderline crazy. The other half can talk them back from the ledge. Perhaps they all switch rolls from time to time. It's interesting to watch.


Friday, November 18, 2016

The first snow has hit the mountains. Thanks to the summer heat and last winters drought, most mountains have been bare all summer. But now their peaks are turning white.


My ex. The end of my old relationship is not yet complete as my ex still lives in my house. I am in the process of evicting him. This is a far more complicated process than I had imagined. Everything in the legal system seems to be that way.


I can look on a web site and see the status of the case. Very hi-tech. It says that he has ben served. But, his quiet. I wonder what he is up to.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

"writing has a warming quality for the Soul" Well said Tommy…


Years ago I read "Colin Powell with Tony Koltz. It worked for me. In Life and Leadership" I wrote down some quotes to remember. They apply today. Some of them make me smile.


It ain't as bad as you think, it will look better in the morning.

Get mad, then get over it.

Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.

It can be done. Presume things can be done until the facts and analysis pile up against it.

Be careful what you choose, you may get it.

Don't let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.,

You can't make someone else's choices. Don't let someone else make yours.

Check small things.

Share credit.

Remain calm. Be kind.

Have a vision. Be demanding.

Don't take counsel of your fears or naysayers,.

Perpetual optimism is  force multiplier



Saturday, November 12, 2016

I'm still processing the election. So much turmoil. In the process I've cut my self off most social media. I'm playing games on my phone instead of polling twitter and facebook.


The upside of this is that perhaps I will write more.






Happy Birthday Blog. This blog is now 16 years old.




Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The dog learnt the sound of the pill bottle. She runs when you pop the lid of the bottle. She is not too sick, just a little giardia. But still, she learnt the sound of the pill bottle. We compensated by leaving the top off the pill bottle.


Then the dog learnt the sound of the drawer where we kept the pills. She runs when you open that drawer.


She is too smart.



Trump 2…

So it's to be scorched earth then. This will be interesting.

I wonder about the people who aggressively defend Trump to the end. They are fun to watch on the news. I know a few people-in-person who are the same way, so I can't write them off as paid shills. Every bit of bad news is further evidence of collusion with Hillary. How do they process the revolt from within the GOP?

Of course it's easy for me to point fault here. What are my biases? I certainly acknowledge that Hillary has a past. She has been responsible for more than her fair share of slim and gunk. Am I enraged enough?

Sunday, October 09, 2016

So many things to rant about…




Trump makes me angry. There is a need for a conservative-thoughtful, conservative–careful, conservative-respectful voice in this country.  Trump is not that man. Even worse he has hijacked the "Conservative" conversation to the point where its now poison. Far right Christian organizations are now distastefully, painfully, endorsing Trump. That's going to damage their credibility for years.


Basically the whole political process in the US is going to shift to the left this election for very unhealthy, unbalanced reasons.


Don't get me wrong, as a gay Canadian, descendant of  Dutch parents I am about as left as it gets in America. I am also very pragmatic and try to be balanced. I would like people to vote left-of-center because they believe that is their best option. Not because the alternative is to vote for a train wreck. When Hillary wins, she is going to end up leading a population where one third (or more) of the population were ripped off by Trumps failure to be an effective leader. Their voice has not been herd. Center-Right policies are not being discussed. Much of the center right will be as angry as a hive of wasps.



Wednesday, September 28, 2016

I think I have an ulcer. Who knows really. I should it checked out. I just have daily heart burn.


Stevens mother is in town. She's not a bad woman, but a day with her is enough.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

There is no being wistful about it-- fall is here.

Over Labor day, we had a couple of friends in from out of town. We had a great time with them. It seems that the only time we go out and see the local tourist attractions is when visitor arrive from out of town.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

This summer weather has been wonderful. Not too many hot days. Evenings have a warm breeze scented with cedar and fir.

But now there are signs. The bed sheets are now too cool over night. This morning when I took the dog for a walk, I put a jacket on. I don't want to think about it, but the end of summer is creeping up.

At work, we are moving offices. I have Thursday and Friday off as a result. I'm not going to do much. Steven is away for work. Now, don't get me wrong, I do love Steven, but sometimes I love complete quiet. No people around. Just the sound of the wind through the trees and the trickle of water from the 'water feature' in the back yard.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Got back last week from our road trip. The entire loop was Astoria, Tillamook, Eureka, Calistoga, Guerneville, Ashland and then home.  


We spent a few days in Guerneville at Lazy Bear. It was fun, but a little bit odd for me. The guys we rented the house with (C&J) go to Lazy Bear every year. They know everyone. They introduced us to many people. After a while it gets a little overwhelming.


Everyone in our house was 'sober' This put an interesting spin on Lazy Bear as many guys are there to party.  Until now I didn't realize how many guys do drugs. I knew it happened, but this was the first time I noticed that there were times where almost everyone around me was stoned. Mind you. Marijuana is no legalish.


Our friend C is involved with Alcoholics Anonymous. He organizes meetings and is a sponsor for a few other guys. One evening we were talking about AA & Al-Anon (The peer meeting for friends and family of AA members) He asked why I didn't go to Al-Anon. I told him that I didn't really think I needed it. Even though Steven is also in A.A., he isn't relapsing. He lives a normal and healthy life. C said "As far as I know, everyone you've dated is an addict." He has a point. Maybe I will go to Al-Anon.


We left Guerneville on Saturday and drove up to Ashland.  Ashland is a wonderful little town in southern Oregon. Kelly said he's considered retiring there. I could see why. The weather is beautiful It's nestled in the mountains with great views.


Saturday, July 30, 2016

We met the hotel owner the next day and told him our experience. He was very gracious and made things right. He gave us a tour of the rest of the hotel—it's going through a remodel. Our wing hadn't been touched yet. The rest of the hotel was very nice. Clean. Fun.


It seems that when you use one of those book-cheap-last-minute sites, owners push you into the least desirable rooms. They know you won't be back. You are only there for the price.


We are in Florence OR today. Beautiful here.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Tillamook dairy factory is a huge tourist attractions. There are hundreds of people here eating cheese and ice cream.

We didn't see this sign until checking out.

There are dozens of flies in the front lobby. The air smells of fish. There is a fish processing plant next to us. Not good.

Steven and I are on a road trip. His first vacation in a long time. We made it to Astoria Oregon on our first night. 

We found the hotel on the internet using a last minute booking site. It was expensive. Its on the waterfront. What was there not to like?

Steven says the place looks cracky. The room next to us has barking dogs. The room smells musty. The bed looks clean though. I don't think it's been painted since the 70s. 

Do I sound entitled? Through this election process I've become very aware of how well off  I am. How good globalization had been for me. And how many people are not in the same boat. I could see how someone would think I'm spoiled.

Still, I will be more selective of the hotel tonight.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The weather here has been pleasant. Not too hot this summer. Low 70's in the day. Cool overnight.

Had a wonderful weekend catching up to old friends. We've had a few old drama's that have been bugging us for months. They were resolved at one of the BBQ's.

C2 and QJ used to be close friends of Steven. They've been more distant since he moved back to Seattle. Invitations were never followed through on. At the BBQ, QJ realized he had the wrong number in his phone. Simple problem. Simple solution.



Thursday, July 07, 2016

Of course things would get more complicated. As the time gets closer for RO to get out of the house, he finds many reasons he can't. move. His credit isn't good. The market is too hot. No one will take a man without… blah blah blah.


Saturday, July 02, 2016

The latter half of June has been quiet. I've sent my first payment off to my ex and his lawyer. The next step is that he moves out of the house. I get to change the locks on August 1.

Things are on the up with C2. He's stuck at a job he hates. He is staying there because it will get him a Top Secret clearance in a few months. The jobs he really wants need Top Secret clearances.

Now that we are settling in, Steven and I have joined a local gym. We have yet to go but the that's in the works.

More generally, I think Steven and I have to plan ahead a little more. Our jobs can be very long and stressful, so it easy to get into a rut where we do nothing but work, eat and sleep. It wouldn't take that much more to say "Let's go to the gym Tuesday evening." Lets meet up with a friend on Thursday." The time will fly by wither we plan for it or not.  



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Steven has a dog. He loves that dog. She is very cute. I regularly take her out for runs and hikes..


Sometimes I let her off leash when I hike on the trails behind our house. I know I shouldn't, but she likes it and she gets so much extra exercise. As I'm walking along the trail, she'll run a little a head of me, then run back, then run ahead, then run back.


Last weekend while I was hiking with her, something spooked her—a group of trail runners behind us talking, making noise.  She sprinted ahead of me and vanished. That shouldn't have been a problem. She usually waits when she gets too far ahead of me.


Not this time. She wasn't there when I got to the fork in the trail.


I hung around the fork for a few minutes, calling her name.


Then I started running up and down the branches of the fork. Calling her name.


I ran back to the fork, then ran farther down each of the forks.


Every time I ran into someone on the trail. I asked them if they had seen a dog. I asked them to keep there eyes open and gave them my cell #.


After 45 minutes of this, I finally worked up the courage to call Steven and tell him what happened.


He was shocked and angry with me. We came up with a plan that he would start walking the trail close to our house going east. I would cover it from the west.


When he opened the front door, there she was sitting on the front porch. Her paws were dirty and she was covered with burrs. But she was fine.


For my punishment, I had to taker her to a groomer. The groomer did a good job. The dog is all pretty again.


Later on I saw on the local Internet Message board…

Saw a white lab with a blue/green collar running around off leash on Shangri La way. The dog came running down Shangri La and took a right on Talus drive. She was too fast for me to catch her. I waited for a few minutes to see if the owner was around but no one turned up. Hope the puppy finds the way back home


I am so happy, and a little surprised, that the dog knows her way back home.








Tuesday, May 31, 2016

We moved last Saturday and have spent the last two days unpacking and organizing. There is still much work to be done, but the place is starting to be a home. 

We still don't have laundry or cable/internet. Those should be done today.

The new place is nice. Since we own it rather than rent, I'm a little more careful. I close drawers, doors and cabinets gently with the handles instead of giving them a quick shove. I clean up after myself a little more often. U hope these new habits stick.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Mediation went well. We reached an agreement.


My lawyer started off the morning warning me that since this was only a half day mediation, there may only be enough time to bring the mediator up to speed on the details of our dispute and to establish a framework for resolving it.


Things started off wrong. The mediator moved four months ago and google brought up his old address. Fortunately the mediator only moved one block and we were able to walk over.


The mediator told me he was running this session "Henry Kissinger" style. RO and his lawyer were in different rooms than my lawyer and I. The mediator would talk to me and my lawyer for bit, then go and talk to RO and his. After a few rounds of this, it became clear that there was one big factual dispute between us. RO thought I had much more money than I actually do. When I produced the paperwork showing otherwise, my lawyer, RO's lawyer and the mediator left for a chat. When they returned, the mediation became very productive.


Rather than ending after a half day, all the lawyers agreed to spend a few extra hours to finish the process.


We had to go back and forth a few times about the final dollar amount. As my lawyer said, we had to balance two things, we want the dollars I'm paying RO to be low. We also have to offer a number high enough to show we are taking the process seriously. "You have to hang the meat low enough that the dog will try to jump."


RO and his lawyer accepted our final offer.


I'm glad the mediation is now over. It's a little more lucrative for RO than I would have liked, but I'll get over it.


We still have to execute on the agreement. That will be so much more easy than the endless waiting that's happened for the past year.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Its difficult to gather all the paperwork and statements for the mediation. Most of the interesting stuff is 10 years old and long since discarded it. The banks have some records. Not as much as I had hoped.

I make calls to get copies. The lawyer charges me a small fortune to check up on me. To make sure I do track down the statements.

Other things are afoot. My brother left his wife. He packed a bag and left. Much like I did. I wonder if that's the right way to end a relationship. It is if you are tired of not being heard. Sometimes if you are not heard it means that you have not spoke up. Did I speak up enough? Did my brother? Did I (he?) use the relationship to hide other feeling?

I know that I am not good alone. I have more energy and focus around good people. In hindsight I think I chose RO because I was sexually attracted to him and because I could get energy from being around him. Those are good, but they are not a reason to stay with someone.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

The separation continues. We finally have a date for mediation scheduled. I'm scrambling to collect the last 12 years worth of statements.  My lawyer has warned me that owing to the messy state of things, it's probably in my best interest to offer RO a little more cash. A trial will be expensive.


Moving continues as well. We move at the end of May. Honestly, I'd love to move now. I hate this waiting.




Saturday, April 09, 2016

Move to the country and plant an organic garden.


I think about living that way sometimes. Life would be so much more simple if I wanted that. Tommy, I suspect that you too feel the same way. You can live well and simply if you choose to.  But the call of opportunity, or duty, or leadership, or friendship sets you on a different path.

We have bought a house. It's a town house. The construction is not yet complete. We've been visiting it most weekends-- watching the progress. I really like the new neighborhood. It's right on a large state park and a five minute drive to some great shopping and restaurants. The new place should take five minutes off my commute.


Wednesday, March 02, 2016

The house hunt.


The lease ends at the start of May, so the house hunt is on.


Real-estate is crazy in Seattle. Last weekend Steven put an offer in on a $500,000.00 house.


Let me tell you, a $500,000 house in Seattle doesn't get you much. This house was nice, but small. Built in the 1940's. Three bedrooms. Well taken care of.


The house was on the market for one week. Steven put an offer in for $560,000.00.


The owners received nine offers. The winning offer was over $600,000.00


This is not uncommon. It's the way things are now.


Our hunt goes on.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Was up at Orcas island for the weekend. It is lovely. A little world of it's own.


The island has developed it's own hipster foodie culture. Every restaurant made it's own bread and had the bulk of it's food grown on the island. It got a little tiring after a while. Sometimes you want a regular pizza. The pizza created with love by a James Beard award wining chef is very nice, but a pizza peperoni and mozzarella would do.


The first night we ate at the Doe Bay Café. It was close to the rental house. It was recommended.


When we got there, the menu was vegetarian and sea food. And expensive. I wanted to leave. Steven suggested we try a few of the starter dishes just to quell our hunger.


Those starter dishes were amazing. We stayed for the whole meal. Ever dish was beautiful. Everything tasted wonderful.


Saturday afternoon we listened to the Rosario organ… 100 years ago a ship building magnate built his retirement home on Orcas island. A very large room in the house has a huge pipe organ with thousands of pipes. Now that this house is a resort, the Organ is on display to the public and played regularly.


We… we… We… I keep saying we.  Steven and I are dating. I like it. I'm looking forward to more. We are both working professionals. We have been friends for years. It's very nice.

Monday, January 18, 2016

We had a special evening of music on the top of the Smith Tower.

The Smith Tower is the oldest high rise in Seattle. It was built a little over one hundred years ago. Mostly it is full of businesses.

But, see the pyramid at the top? A woman named Petra lives there. She lives there with her two children.

Every now and then Petra hosts a musical session in penthouse on the top of the Smith Tower and we got tickets. The music was wonderful.

The other cool part of the evening was that you got to climb up to the very top of the Smith Tower, right into the bulb that sits on top.