Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cooling off

Busy with family. Later...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mists of time

More of that fine stuff falling, but by afternoon, it had cleared. Grass too wet to mow, but we can walk and take the air. Car started, got checked, proved useful for beloved offspring.
Family coming in from out of town; all flights seemed to be delayed for a while, then eventually made it into the skies.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Last in a series

Yesterday was a perfect day, until afternoon; after a nice session of climbing with yet another friend, my car wouldn't start in the parking area. Fortunately there was a generous soul who came out to jump it for me, although his jumper cables didn't work. Another friend,who was meeting him for climbing showed up with a newer-looking set of cables, and it got done. While I was opening the hood, I suddenly felt fiery pain on my feet and legs: the wood I was standing on was full of ants, little brown meateaters, which were probably ecstatic over such a huge quantity of potential food, i.e., me. The guy jumping the car commented that we were having an epic in the parking lot of the gym, and the friend said of course, we're climbers. The return to the parking areas are often the most hazardous parts of a climbing outing; people trip over roots, and open car doors onto their shins, among other things. And get eaten by ants. Drove the dumb car around, got it parked on a hill just in case for tomorrow. Thus ended another summer day; the fickle sun will abandon us soon.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


So gorgeous yesterday, we got practically insensate from air warmed into the high seventies. Bit of weeding here and there, walks, and a nice little farmers' market trip; the fish feller was there again, as well as the bagel boys. No organic fruit guys, mostly berry-pushing babes and cherry- hawking chicks. The caramel vendor had been supplanted by a honey stand. Espresso Creamed Honey sounded interesting, but usually the flavored ones taste strange and artificial compared to the original. Smoked salmon on fresh bagel for dinner.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Durst we hope

Yep, we finally got a day of mostly sunshine, reaching into the low 70's; amazing what raised spirits it brought. Another quick session at the gym with a different friend, whose fifth grader just graduated from elementary school. He patiently hung out while we worked out.
Great quote from Kalmen Opperman, master clarinetist and teacher, recently deceased at age 90:"Everyone discovers their own way of destroying themselves, and some people choose the clarinet." I wonder if Woody Allen ever took lessons from him.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fun fix

Seemed too long since the last climbing session, and even that not out on real rocks, but we had a good time. Somehow got encouraged to try a lead a bit harder than I usually do, and despite a scary move or two, I got the rope up for us to try it again on toprope. Always amazes me how a fairly simple act can brighten my outlook. A fellow we have seen at the gym appeared to be a bit on the down side, since his usual climbing partners had escaped the workaday world and were aid climbing a big wall in Yosemite. He told us had lived there for a year when he was twenty, working scut jobs so he could stick around and climb. He advised my friend and me to get down there, preferably to Tuolomne Meadow, where there aren't as many waddling tourists taking snapshots and getting back on the bus.
Fine musical practice today, my face doesn't feel as if it's one big cramp; perhaps that indicates progress.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Glooming along

Fractured night's sleep, and we awoke to another gray and even soggier day. Slogged on through it, and off to read more of the Aeneid; it's perfect for quiet moments before sleep. Quite a description of a boat race, which I'll have to pass on to my friend who is crewing on a sailboat lately. At one point, after yelling at his steersman for being overly cautious, then getting passed by another boat, the skipper of the Chimaera, Gyas, tossed the old steersman overboard. The fellow hauled himself out onto a rocky ledge, where he was stuck for the rest of the race. Don't think my friend's skipper is that bad.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fabulous day

It was full of music from late morning to evening. Beloved spouse marched and played in the Fremont Solstice Parade, which I followed from start to finish, trying to get some good sound, some videos, and lots of still shots. At one point, in front of a bar and music venue, two bouncers commented on my glee at the band's performance, and offered to hoist me onto their shoulders so I could get a better view. Was so surprised by this that I declined; that'll be the last time I ever get such an invitation. People along the unbelievably thronged parade route were amazingly sweet and generous about letting me squeeze in to use the camera. One guy offered me a beer, from their private party keg; it being barely past noon, I politely demurred. I'd have never made it through the rest of the day.
Evening brought an unlooked-for delight, hearing a wonderful trio play, with guest musicians. Great way to wind down after a strenuous event.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The wind is in from the NW

So we had a brief period of niceness. Hair do day came and went, with accompanying walks. Evening entertainment provided by beloved offspring at another solo show of his; he had a friend who plays jazz sax join him for a few arrangements, and it was very good. Interesting to hear him work at listening to a fellow player, who has had a lot of professional experience, and who generously joined in.
Tomorrow is the Fremont Solstice Parade, at which his dad will be marching and playing with a band. It's a crazy kind of event, which I hope to document photographically.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Come ON!

Past the middle of June, and we had to turn on the central heating in the morning; high time this foolishness abated.
I got my once every few months hair maintenance - I hesitate to call it a little time of beauty - but it did get my mind off the chilly climate. Brisk walk down to gather some staples, no rain, and it was a passable span of daylight. The Summer Solstice Parade is this weekend, but it might be more like a Continuation of Late Winter fete. Poor naked bike riders...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Misty morning breathing

Down in the 40's overnight, and rained away the whole night; still 100% humidity when I waited for a plumbing contractor to arrive at the kids' place. Could see my breath, steaming away into the drizzle.
By afternoon's farmers' market, there was some sun amidst the clouds, and a good market it was; the fish fellow was back, with freshly-caught king salmon and last week's catch just out of the smoker. That stuff is astoundingly good, it could turn a vegetarian with one taste. There were huge heads of red leaf lettuce at bargain prices; the farmer girl said it was about the only thing thriving. A family from another part of town was selling their own sauerkraut: plain, red, and kimchi varieties. They said it was "live food", probiotic, etc. It tasted wonderful. The caramel vendor was there, his molasses ginger flavor is fantastic, but very pricey. I might have to get some just to help the guy, he looks kind of forlorn. More stalls, more variety, so things are looking up.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

To be seen

Short but good climbing session with another friend; weather held in the morning, and into part of the evening, making it pleasant for the marching band performance part of our household took part in. The poor old veggies are trying desperately to grow, Romano beans have finally broken the surface of the soil, but it may be time to mourn the first basil plant planted during a temptingly warm couple of days a while ago. The bush pea seedlings look as if they are being nibbled to lace. And it's to get down to 45 overnight...

Monday, June 14, 2010


Good moderate climbing session with a friend; we had short time spans to use, and managed nicely. Her extremely elderly dog seems to be having some cognitive issues, and we mused over the similarities to elderly humans. Our nonegenarian still negotiated a couple of good walks, which we got in before, big surprise, the temperature started to drop and threatening clouds rolled in. The hay crop was cleared, and some hedge-sized weeds lowered. After dinner, the licorice stick got a little workout, but my facial muscles called truce. Forgot how much one needs to use them...

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Yet another sweet day to round out the weekend; more walks, some talk, and then it cooled off into a perfect evening for a spousal stroll. Already the pleasantness is lulling us into contentment. Well, comparative pleasantness, but we'll take what we can. A friend and her husband went up Mount St. Helens over the weekend, and she described it as an ambitious day hike, complete with mushy snow which made for unpredictable footing. I'll pass on that. They did have fine weather at the summit, which they enjoyed for almost an hour.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Thanks, Ma Earth

Another rare late spring day persisted for the span of daylight hours. Walks, a bit of yardwork, and general soaking it up transpired. Our evening culminated in viewing a play, which, since it was a one man performance revolving around his crisis of faith, I wasn't too sure I'd appreciate. The actor did a fine job with a peculiar kind of script. There's something bizarrely interesting about the human race's dogged clinging to religion, even I see that, but overall, the energy spent seems a huge waste.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Still considering

It improved as it went along, this day. By afternoon, the umbrella was just a talisman against further indignities from above. Got my fifty year old clarinet back from the shop, where it had undergone a check up and minor adjustments. We'll see how it goes.
Evening with friends, who were belatedly feting our anniversary; very sweet of them to do so, after a long hard week. It's supposed to be blessedly wonderful tomorrow, so we hope it comes through.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


From sunny early hours to deluginous evening ones; from quiet to big fun, that's how it goes. Walks accomplished with alacrity before the middle of the day, errands run, then got to meet another friend for a much-needed climbing session. She and I had fun trying out a few new harder problems, although the last one spit us off. She's looking forward to her summer travels, this time in Central America with her son. He's fluent in Spanish, and is evidently a terrific person to have along in any case. They're headed to Costa Rica, where they have been before in the surfing region, but are exploring other areas as well. The coffee's swell down there.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Swinging on the arc

Dramatic skies all day long; rainy walk before lunch, warm sunny afternoon for the next round. Huge thunderclouds rolled all around the area, although all we got was some gustiness and a few spates of rain. There were quilted looking black and dark gray ones blanketing the sky towards the eastern mountains, and towering anvils to the west.
The continually shrinking farmers' market, now down two more vendors whom I usually patronize, at least had some bargain organic spinach, carrots and baby chiogga beets available, as well as the potato dudes and the guys from Grateful Bread with their wonderful bagels. People were dashing to and fro, trying to outrun what looked like a giant speeding locomotive of a storm headed our way; turned out to be nothing but an appearance of sound and fury. It sped me home with a tail wind and maybe a soupcon or two of ozone.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Up and down, wet and dry, chilly and pleasant; that's the arc of our week. Much walking for errands, including a swing around the nearby lake; heard a familiar raptor's cry, and looked up to catch an osprey orienting its fishy catch for maximum aerodynamics. I don't remember seeing ospreys in this park before. Plenty of paranoid crows divebombing anyone and anything moving anywhere they think is too close to their fledging offspring. Read in a local news blog that crows have been seen divebombing and picking off ducklings from the lake's surface; they do need to eat.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Running together

Beloved spouse and I marked our 36th wedding anniversary on Monday; his mother remembered, and sent us a gift, with which we had a lovely dinner at a nearby place. We also got a celebratory cone of gelato, and got in a walk after the rains abated. He's as sweet as ever.

Sunday, June 06, 2010


Sweet sort of a day, yesterday, sunshiney and warm; we decided to head over to the other house for a session of weeding and pruning. The kids had said they were heading out to climb, but they were still there, mowing and weeding. We joined in, and made sort of a dent in the appearance of the yard. We filled the yard waste container and then some. They planted bean seedlings, and hope to get some other items in before it's too late.
Reading about Goethe in the Naples, Italy area, how lush it was, how many harvests they got each year of all kinds of crops; makes you wonder about the climate in the late 1700's: Was it more idyllic, for all kinds of reasons? What he would think of the nightmare we have entered these days...

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Flying Friday

And it sped away, leaving few traces. Friends in need asked for help, which I could and gladly did provide for them; it had to do with an unfortunate choice of a parking spot, a tow truck, and no ready means of transportation to get the impounded vehicle. Add pouring rain, a dark night, and voila, a crummy end to the week. At least they didn't have to wait for a bus.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The wrong things thrive

So many brave little vegetable plots in people's yards; so many lush, tall weeds, and stunted, blasted seedlings. Strange that this confusing and unpleasant weather has little effect on the junky plants. The people who have tall pea plants and spinach that doesn't look as if it's been hit by a blowtorch rolled the dice and planted a few months ago, when the soil was still cold and wet from winter.
Long walk, for errands and exercise; the day held steady, the umbrella was just extra weight in my backpack.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

To market to market

After a bit of a hiatus, back to the climbing gym with a friend; we hit the walls efficiently and wore ourselves out in good time. The torrential rains passed while we worked out, and later we homebodies could walk and go to the farmers' market in a more or less dry condition. The market seemed smaller, the fish people weren't there with their irresistible smoked salmon, and there seemed to be vacant spots in the diminished vendors' area.
Late evening getaway for sushi, and a pleasant little walk.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Gray but pleasant, for tromping around and getting supplies; our household musician needed some accoutrements, so we shot off to the music shop. The bookstore stop was fruitless; better to go there without high hopes, and take pot luck.
There's a big plot of forested land on Whidbey Island that three banks are trying to sell off for deforestation and building housing developments; a local group has about ten days to raise 2.5 million bucks to keep it from being turned into high-priced tract homes. This is the kind of thing I would do anonymously, were I rich as Warren Buffett or Bill Gates. Such a small sum, in the long eye of time.