Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Despicable v. delightful

I read the news and seeth. So the antidote is to get out and examine the dandelion clocks, seeing if they're mature enough to whack with a putting motion of the trekking pole. Easy pleasures suffice, for one who says she's beyond voting. Our weather holds another day, but a large disturbance is said to be lurking offshore. There are numerous large disturbances lurking all over this poor abused country.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Unpunished deeds

Tired of people getting away with all manner of cheating. Even people who see themselves as progessive and revolutionary are scamming. It cuts across all lines, political and otherwise. Fortunately, it's mostly GOPers who have done it massively, and with public funds lately.
Slow day, with wonderful sun. Started another Rikki Ducornet work called The Stain, a novel. A very strange novel. But Faulkner's Intruder in the Dust has made me want to leave it in the dust, so it's the stuff of unrealistic nightmares for me rather than Southern white manhood yatta yatta.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Indian summer

At least we're getting some good days on the tail end of the season. Makes everything seem better; well, nearly. Some friends across the street took off over the weekend for Yosemite, partly to celebrate their wedding anniversary and partly to get some kind of vacation. I think they have lucked out, since the tourists will not be such a plague, and it's too warm for snow.
Movie time.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


We went to a free presentation last night at REI, a description of three young kayakers' trip around the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, a five hundred mile journey. Two of the trip members, a couple, were giving the slide show, and were awfully fresh and strong-looking. She also teaches yoga, and they work in a kayak shop up in the San Juans. The kayak trip looked cold and strenuous at times, but they said they weren't plagued with bugs, and no bears came near enough to do any harm. They didn't suffer any heavy weather, which would have screwed them over as they passed by many stretches of rocky shoreline. They raised money for an environmental organization whilst paddling. Good luck on getting any environmental action up in the Last Frontier, where building permits are for sissies and every soccer mom can take down a moose with her bare hands and a fingernail file.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A bit muddled

Mixed some of this morning's thoughts into yesterday's post; doesn't matter, as we are rather existential around here. The nonegenarian had her weekly hair do session today, and the sun is out and proud.
I think all the big ass crooks and pirates on Wall Street and elsewhere should pay up, just as anyone who scammed anything is supposedly bound to do. If the scamming "little people" who are getting foreclosed upon suffer, so should those who profited from their bundling.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ladies' night on Thursday

Two of my good friends and I participated in our climbing gym's annual casual climbing competition last night. One of us was still too sore to do as much as she wanted, the other two of us climbed ourselves into oblivion. I think I was the oldest person there, out of ninety souls, and not for the first time; an odd feeling. Beloved spouse enquired whether I had taken over the spot of the long-standing elder, who is almost ninety, as he hasn't been seen there for a while. The routes were very good, the company was pleasant, and I think I can move all my limbs pretty well this morning.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


An afternoon of looking for small necessary items, and a nice stop at the local farmers' market; it was the final one for the season. The guitar and didgeridoo playing guy with his flute playing, hula hooping female duo member were there, singing in the rain. There were huge yellow Brandywine tomatoes at a reasonable price, yellow sweet corn, big red beets, salad greens galore, and everything else. Oh, blast, I forgot to get apples.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


There's a photo of Bernanke, Paulson and Cox - a few of the usual suspects - on the NYT site. They're looking all serious and concerned. Just like the Walrus and the Carpenter in that Lewis Carroll poem from Alice in Wonderland; as those two walked along the briny beach, crying crocodile tears, they bemoaned the silence of the oysters; for they had eaten every one.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Onward and up

Two shortish climbing sessions in the past couple of days, with different friends; one got rained out of a camping trip with another friend and their two nine year old boys. They wound up going to a local big county fair in the rain, which didn't sound exactly paradisical. Better than setting up and breaking camp under a downpour, in the mud. My other friend's daughter starts school this week at the UW. Big step, and we hope she treats it like a serious job. She went to a big local high school, so is probably pretty well-prepared for the scope of the place.
We got a respite from the horrors of a dank cold fall, luscious huge clouds floating overhead and a scrubbed and shiny appearance to the landscape; we marveled at the warm sunny spots.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Post deluge

Yesterday the weather cooled down and the skies opened a bit. We forayed out under the big umbrella, and remarked that it wasn't windy, just unrelentingly dripping. The chickens were sheltering under our friends' back steps, pecking at the cement and the side of the house.
Book hunting seemed to be in order, and the usual round of sources for used and new volumes yielded almost all we needed. A small, kind of beat up copy of Faulkner's Intruder in the Dust cost 48 cents. Why the guy didn't just give it to me I don't know, but that's practically free. One of our household is reading Carlos Castaneda right now, and in the three places I visited, he was shelved in three different categories: Metaphysics, New Age, and Spirituality. We wondered why he wasn't placed in Fiction.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Having missed the nearby farmers' market the other day, I walked up to the next closest one on a nearby ridge. Bi-colored sweet corn was fifty cents an ear, beefsteak tomatoes were piled high, along with sweet onions and rainbows of sweet peppers. The Parker Pickle people were there, along with their sinfully tempting array of caramel and chocolate sauces, which somehow I managed to shun in favor of a big jar of mild dill pickles. Perverse.
Finished up a bizarre collection of short stories, another from Rikki Ducornet. She seems to me to be kind of in the tracks of Angela Carter, but without as much wit and fun. Our friend also sent a couple of her novels, so I may continue the foray.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

yesterday and tomorrow

Fine day of accomplishments, and a good though shortish climbing workout. Our kid has been refurbishing the 1978 VW camper bus my parents brought out here in 1993, having decided they couldn't drive such distances any more, wisely, and on their own. He managed to reseal and seat the windshield, which is tricky, due to the pressure on the large bowed piece of glass.
We headed down to Seattle's "ID", or International District, formerly known as China Town, where our family dentist has her office. Microsoft was having its annual meeting, and we lucked into the middle of its time span, thus avoiding horrible traffic snarls. As I wandered over to Uwajimaya's Asian supermarket, I saw Howard Schultz, head of Starbuck's, jump out of a large shiny black Mercedes sedan. He ordered his carload of people to "run over and grab a table while I pay for parking." They sped to the Shanghai Seafood Restaurant, a fairly humble establishment for such capitalist illuminati. And he had to pay for parking on the street just like I did.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The abyssmal state of things in the world can get one down. Shiny sparkly items don't distract, and stand only as a reminder of why things have gotten so bad. Naomi Klein has an interesting-sounding book out titled The Shock Doctrine. Excerpts from it and statements she's made about it make me think she's able to express my thoughts clearly. She argues that corporate interests take advantage of disasters to push policies that bring them profit. Her take on Bush's statement that "Wall Street got drunk and now it's got a hangover" : The administration was serving the drinks, said Klein. "And I'm arguing that Bush was bartender in chief." Right fucking on.

Monday, September 15, 2008


We may be closer to understanding how people who live in perpetually sunny places endure down times. Nary a drop of water has fallen for weeks, and yet the constant daytime brilliance doesn't always cheer. Odd little things try. As I passed the wildly successful ice cream store on our shopping district's main drag on my way to the post office, I noticed they had a new flavor listed: "Baracky Road", described as being chocolate with chocolate chunks, toasted hazelnuts, and somebody's home made marshmallows. I fear Obama does have a rocky road ahead, but I don't think there was any deeper subtext to this offering at Molly Moon's ice cream emporium.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What else?

Halcyon days and nights; and that isn't from the mood-altering drug of the same name, either. In contrast, two young guys our son knew died recently, one from an avoidable climbing incident, and one from what may have been an overdose. I don't know if these events have given him any kind of pause, but they have for me. People in their twenties and thirties dying is heartbreaking. Sending condolences to fellow parents is heartbreaking.
Full moon over one of the local lakes, observed repeatedly during an evening stroll; that endures.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


For this time of year; I've had so much sun, I hope I've stored enough of the memory of it to tide me over when the darker days arrive. Nice little workout with a climbing pal, who had a Nepalese acquaintance along. He acquired an MBA at the University of Washington in recent years, and is headed home to help run his family's trekking and mountaineering guide service. He said he'd never thought about rock climbing, he's always done alpine ascents, such as the 21,000 peak ascent guiding trip he's doing in about a month. He wants to get people rock climbing in Nepal, as of course, there are plenty of rocks around...
Pleasant evening walk.

Friday, September 12, 2008

This won't last

Hair doin' it this afternoon; it's sunny enough to want to avoid swaths of asphalt. Warm enough, for hardy folks, to eat outside at a barbeque, at least if one has a cozy hoody to don; the salmon poached nicely in its aluminum foil wrap.
Finished Ms. Oates's short story collection, and the last tale was a dystopic doozy. Titled, innocently enough, "Family", it reminded me of an old "X-Files" episode about severe inbreeding, only more frightening. Had to get into some Rikki Ducornet short fiction to try to put the image of a particularly awful mutant baby from Oates's dysfunctional dystopic clan out of mind.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Local stuff

The third to last local farmers market was held yesterday afternoon and evening. There were low cost big tomatoes, at $1.29 per pound, cucumbers, peanuts, a mixed bag of spuds, some organic rib eye steaks, lettuce, newly harvested apples, and one of the more unique musical acts I've ever seen. There was a young neo-hippy couple, playing guitar and didgeridoo, and she played flute while spinning a hula hoop. A transfixed toddler boy was urged to put a dollar in their hat; I am sure any adult male would have been similarly spellbound, at least one I know personally...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Please, may I have some fun

And we did; some of us on daily routines, and others during a very good climbing session. A friend who's been a bit injured lately expressed a need to start training again, so I involved her in a tour of easy and moderate lead routes, and threw in a few harder ones. One of the young ones who works for his dad at the gym has been telling us about their upcoming road trip to Australia next month. They'll be staying with a mutual friend who owns a house in the Grampians, and hitting the big time climbing areas. It'll be spring, and wonderful. He's looking into getting some of the climbing equipment folks to sponsor him a decent camera, in exchange for use of his photos. We thought it sounded like a fantastic adventure.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Two fer

Yesterday low energy, for all of us; nothing seemed in focus. It was hard to motivate, despite the heavenly skies. Today started off rather well, and continued nicely.
Finished the Le Guin book, and started a collection of Joyce Carol Oates's short storie titled Heat. They were published in the early 1990's, and are centered around family and other relationships. They tend to be a bit on the gothic side, but are generally well-crafted. There are echos of themes and settings from some of her earliest novels, as if she revisited them to consdier them from different vantage points.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

On a roll of sun

These days keep arriving like perfect gifts. We make as much use of them as we can. The gambit is to be sure to get the lawn lowered before the rain returns, but I'd far rather get out on a walk than beaver around the grounds.
Brief climbing session, due to misconnections, but just enough to stretch out; we hear reports of extreme bug action up in the Cascades, mosquitos thick enough to make a hike go into double time. Usually they've dried out by now, but the rains last month perked up their production.
Nearly to the end of the Le Guin book; it's been an interesting journey.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

game day

College football is back in the game plan, and the nonegenarian once again joins the other sporting family member to watch. The cat runs upstairs and hides under the bed, as the crowd noises and intermittent loud exclamations freak him out.
Evening walk for a beverage and conversation; someone had had a fiftieth birthday party at this nearby place in the afternoon, and celebrants were still lingering a few hours later. We hoped they could find their cars.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday's here

More beauteous temperatures, but not exactly the vim to appreciate them. At least our nonegenarian made it to her hairdo and toe do day, although seemingly spacy; hard to tell about the vagueries.
Our travelers are home safely, and we are all creating dinners tonight.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Warning, beautification ahead

The once every three months session was upon me, so off I went for hair pruning and fine tuning. Salons are such girly places, not exactly my style. I usually feel like an anthropologist oberving an unknown tribe. At least my dear stylist is a progressive, politically. We both agreed we didn't want to get started on McLame's VP choice. Nary a word was spoken upon that topic.
Oddly, the people I've heard arguing about her in public were a few older men at a health club. One of them, a guy whom I know is Catholic with a fair number of kids, stated loudly that she needed to be home with her family. I'll bet he's not much for family planning, and he didn't think she's doing very well with her own. I would agree, she should walk her own talk about the importance of taking care of one's offspring. More evidence of rightwing hypocrisy. A rule: Whatever a rightwinger claims, go directly to its opposite and there you will find their factual and actual beliefs and behaviors.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Days run into one another, each more lovely than the last. Sushi for dinner one night, then the next night, some amazing king salmon snagged at the farmers' market fish guy's table. One of the veggie vendors snagged us by offering us a free ear of corn to taste uncooked; it was wonderful, so corn joined the menu.
We heard from the travelers; they were on the Northern California coast, had visited the Lost Coast, hiked, and slept on the beach. They said the people around there were kind of weird, and they'd heard about a lot of pot growing in the area; paranoids getting them. They were presently in the Redwoods, and enjoying the scenery. They didn't like Eureka, but did like Arcata.
It's all on that map in the LeGuin book, above the flooded City by the Bay.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Laborless Day

Except for our usual kind of keeping the demons at bay, we mark the holiday with exercise and conversation. Heads shake over the obscene state of national politics, which everyone says they hate or ignore or think irrelevant, but their outcomes indeed force us into paths. No one should be able to feel comfortable about this trainwreck of a country.