Tag Archives: Seattle

Motorized bicycles suck

11 Apr

Maybe the fact that I got passed by somebody in jeans put me in a mood, but I just have to rant about the guy riding a gasoline-powered bicycle. He came cruising past me with a lawnmower-sized roar, spewing two-cycle raunchy exhaust all over the place. And you guessed it – he wasn’t pedaling at all. The pedals on that thing have probably never been used. At least I didn’t have to choke on his fumes on the trail. Apparently something is still sacred.

Politicians version of jury duty: ‘Let’s go to lunch and never come back’

4 Apr

I look at government, whether federal, state, or local, and I think ugh – why can’t they get anything done? Why is failing to do anything considered doing a good job? Why are schools underfunded? Why are the roads full of holes? Why is there a system that lets our politicians not approve budgets and get things done? What happened to our government? All politicians want to do is talk about reproduction – what about leading?

It doesn’t have to be all bad – not at all. Service to our country is still alive. I can attest as I just served on jury duty for two days. I didn’t make it onto a jury, but I did go through the process – as did dozens of my fellow Seattle residents – of showing up and being prepared to do my civic duty.

We all went downtown, we sat in a room for two days, and we followed the rules and did what we’re supposed to do. When I got called to possibly sit on a jury (I finally heard my name called on the second day), I and the other potential jurors were carefully instructed on how to do things the right way, from getting in line so that we were in the right order, to how to answer questions by the judge and the lawyers, to how we must treat the defendant as innocent until proven guilty.

The city’s lawyer kicked me off the jury for reasons that didn’t make sense to me, but she was doing her job. Others were given the boot as well – we went back and waited and sat and waited and sat for the rest of the afternoon. Meanwhile six people stayed and had to prepare themselves to mete out justice – no easy task but something that had to be done. The system worked, everyone did what they were supposed to do, and work got done.

The buck didn’t get passed to the next session – the next congress, the next legislature, the next council. Although it was tedious to sit there for two days, responsibilities were fulfilled, cases are completed, justice was served. At least something is sacrosanct.

Why are there grow lights in my basement?

3 Apr

Ah, gardening in Seattle, that fun time of year when you have to plant in pots in your basement with an array of grow lights. Look in my basement window, and it looks like a mini marijuana growing operation. But alas, it’s just tomatoes, peppers (sweet and hot), and basil. Those are the things I like to grow that you can’t plant outside in Seattle until May.

So, I ask you, sun gold cherry tomatoes, please pretend that the five, slightly blue bulbs shining down at you 24 hours a day are the sun, and sprout upward with gusto. I need you to leap out of the ground and be strong enough for me to put in a greenhouse while I leave on spring break for vacation in a couple of weeks. Can you do it?


Bring back the crazy weather

14 Mar

Yesterday it rained. Then it got snowy. Then bright, cheerful sun came out. Then blizzard snow. Then driving, wet rain and blustery wind. Then gorgeous sunshine.

Bring it all back, I say. Much better than today’s gray!

Would you eat cookie-cutter farm fresh eggs? Yum!!!!

10 Mar

When my eldest and I decided to make egg and bacon sandwiches for breakfast, it was an obvious move to trot out eggs from our chickens in the backyard (they have really started producing nicely again). What wasn’t so obvious was that we should cook our delicious packets of yum in cookie cutter shapes.

My oldest thought this was a grand idea and set about helping me make it happen. First she found cookie cutters for her and her sister. She chose a pumpkin and her sister got a star. She ladled our scrambled eggs into the cookie cutters while I pinned them down to the sizzling griddle (careful not to burn yourself and make sure you use metal ones!). Of course a bit of egg leaked out of the bottom, but most of it stayed inside and started cooking very quickly.

It took longer than usual to fry the eggs and I had to turn temp to low so that they didn’t burn on the edges, but pretty soon I was able to flip the eggs (still in the cookie cutters of course), cook the other side, and bam – we had pumpkin and star shaped eggs. Next we cut the toast with the same cookie cutters and broke the bacon into pumpkin and star shaped pieces (OK, we just wedged pieces of bacon in there).

And then the girls ate it all up. Mom and dad had regular egg sandwiches.


Bring back that orange fiery ball

9 Mar

On my bike ride home I stopped to take pictures of this orange fiery ball that appeared in the sky. It was rather warm and bright and I felt tingly all over. Please bring it back!!!

Biking in the snow in March?

6 Mar

Snowy bike ride to work today. Beautiful views and not too bad on the road. Thankfully the snow wasn’t sticking and I didn’t find any patches of threatened black ice. Still, snow in March? Please send sunshine for the afternoon ride home.



My daughter takes a ride on the underground railroad, meets Harriet Tubman

27 Feb

It was a privilege  to re-learn about Harriet Tubman as my first-grader pulled together a report on Harriet Tubman’s amazing escape from slavery and then to help free more than 300 people herself. What an inspirational woman! Here is the map my daughter put together for her presentation. We helped her print out the states and then she traced them onto a poster board. She presented her report today, and apparently “it went well.” That’s all we ever get out of her.


Crazy Dog Digs Up Carrots

21 Feb

We have a dog that likes to dig. He digs, sticks his nose in the dirt, digs some more, spraying dirt all around while he does it, on you, on the sidewalk – it doesn’t matter as long as he gets to dig.

On this day, we let Latke into the garden so he could help us dig up most of the last of our carrots. By us, I mean me and my two daughters. Together we pulled in quite a haul of carrots, and it wasn’t the first time. We’ve been eating carrots from the garden all fall and through the winter so far. It’s been awesome because carrots are my daughters most favorite vegetable – having a continuous supply has allowed them to actually pack a vegetable in their lunches that they actually eat.

Latke kind of jumped around when it came to helping us out with his digging, so I think there are still some more carrots out there. I’ll probably try to dig up the rest without him. But in the meantime, we will enjoy the fruit of his labors – at least the fruit that he didn’t eat. He actually ate at least one carrot that I know of, maybe more.

Enjoy this slideshow of Latke at work with help from the girls.

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Bike Accident Report Hits Close to Home

21 Feb

Every day I bike to work from Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood to Redmond to work at Microsoft – about 15 miles on the bike one way. I shoot down 8th Avenue, follow the Burke Gilman Trail to Montlake, hop a bus across Lake Washington and either ride my bike along Highway 520 to work (or in the winter, shuttle from Montlake to Microsoft in the morning). Afternoons I always ride the whole way back.

I always think riding east of Lake Washington is the most dangerous section of my route because I have to write on the shoulder of a narrow, busy road that has dropoffs and guardrails. But the Seattle section is dangerous too, as a new bike accident study by The Seattle Times shows. My route is littered with accidents as shown by this accident map. The map shows bicycle accidents in Seattle from 2007 to 2011. The good thing is that the number of accidents is holding steady as bike ridership increases – the fact that we’re out in higher numbers is apparently making it more likely for people in cars to see us.

Still, the study found that there is one bike accident a day reported in Seattle. Read the story that went with the map here. And indeed, my route is very popular – it’s always super busy, especially in nice weather, so I’m not surprised it is one of the most accident prone areas. The Seattle Times study talks about accidents where bikes and cars collide, which is likely the way most serious accidents happen, but I wanted to hear about bike-versus-bike accidents. The reason is I seem to have way more close calls with other cyclists than I do cars – especially on nice weather days when meandering cruisers intermingle with fast-moving commuters like me.

I do know I need to always be careful, especially because I like to ride fast. Anyway, I appreciate the study that the Times did and I’d like to hear more.

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