Saturday, April 29, 2006

Miss Elainey

Man, yesterday was a beautiful day and we went a whole bunch of place and did a lot of stuff!

Man, today was a miserable day and we hardly left the house - but still did a bunch of stuff!

Yesterday morning, I covered for Mighty Mel's class; Otis drove north with me and while I was at Cascadia for three hours or so, she hung out at the Putnam Compound. When I was finished, she picked me up and we went for lunch in Log Boom Park; afterwards, we took our conveniently racked bikes from the car and had a great ride in the sunshine on the Sammamish River Trail. We got home with not too much time to spare before heading out to Cedars for a birthday celebration with the Putnam clan for Otis's brother. After the Cedars fete (great food/lousy service), we stopped only to switch from scooter to sedan and joined Johnbai, Dingo, Cair-uhl, Soapy, and Mighty Mel herself at the Crest for a showing of 16 Blocks, the new Bruce Willis/Mos Def flick (surprisingly good). Then the whole gang went over and hung out at the Lake City Starbucks until they threw us out. Cool stuff, good times, good friends.

Today was a different story. Although it was sunny when I got up at 7:00, that soon ended and they day plunged into perpetual gloom and rain. In an effort to avoid any real (i.e., student-paper-related) work, Otis and I decided today would be a great day to sell a bunch of stuff on Craig's list. And so, after doing a little planning for the Open House that is coming up on May 13, we broke out the digital camera and spent a good deal of time snapping and writing and posting. It appears to have paid off - Otis has sold a box o' beads already and has a buyer for her old dollhouse furniture, and I have a guy coming tomorrow to take the big box o' Viking helmets (remember them?) off my hands. In a similar vein, our only foray into the outside world was a trip to Half-Price Books, where Otis sold the rest of her pile of books and CDs (the stuff that neither Third Place would take). Here's to commerce!

On a completely unrelated note, we have had a considerable amount of pirate activity here lately, and it is a well-known piece of the lore of the internets that there is an eternal struggle between pirates and ninjas. I just thought I would throw this out in the interest of equal time:

Create your own animation

Make your own mini-ninja animation here.

So here's a new plan: I buy this, I hook my new trailer to it, and I cruise the Burke-Gilman trail all day, selling energy drinks, power bars, and patch kits to the neon-spandex crowd. Well?

Actually funny: a comic strip about blogging that I found on a comic-strip-blog.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Her number is up!

Hurrah - a check of the Department of Health website last night verified that Otis's Massage Practitioner license had been issued! (Her license number shows that sixty-four other people statewide got a license between the time Dingo did and the time Otis did - and one has already gotten into trouble for Moral Tupitude!) This means that there will be an Open House coming up soon for Rising Bird Healing Arts, Otis's home-based practice (as well as for the new home itself) - the likely date right now is Saturday, May 13. (That Sunday is Mother's day, prolly not a good day for it.) Be on the lookout for the announcement! In the meanwhile, here is a little celebratory animation I made from some photos we took yesterday morning for the Rising Bird website:

In other news, I can report that the Hydrangea King of Western Washington is thriving and that we both enjoyed the sesame waffles at Sunlight Cafe; that it cost way too much to repair the brakes on a Ford Contour and that the pads seem pretty damn thin, judging by how damaged the rotors got so quickly; and that the sunshine makes everything just a little better.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Wheels and stuff

B2Keno = 11.2

So, it seems like I have been just traversing the landscape non-stop lately. Tuesday was a decent day, not as sunny as the prior days, but nice, so I was doing my errands on the scooter all day. (The scooter, BTW, has been tricked out, and the two basque sheepies have a prominent place on the front fairing.) I took care of bidness at Antioch; came up to the hill and saw J-Force and didn't see an under-the-weather Dingo; and hit a half-dozen bike shops looking for some gear for my bicycle commute (in particular, an old-school traingle-shaped, in-the-frame equiment pouch) which I did not find.

When Otis got back from family bidness in the afternoon, we took another scootering loop from the RD to Magnuson Park out to Target and over to the Ballard VV and on to Than Bros for pho and a stop at Archie McPhee's before calling on Rye-N and Kris-10. Withal, we didn't buy anything besides a candle lighter at Target.

Yesterday was a teaching day, so I made the bike commute to Bothell, but just for fun I took the new trailer. It was surprisingly easy to ride with, although my speed was 2 mph slower than it has consistently been on the this trip. I don't know how much of that is attributable to the trailer and how much to my knees going into their early-season protest, just like they did last year. Anyway, it was lots of fun, and people seemed to give me right-of-way more easily, perhaps thinking I had a kid.

I truncated the return trip to meet Otis at Log Boom Park; she was up north returning papers to IHS and doing stuff at the Putnam Compound in LFP. The trailer folds/disassembles easily to fit in the trunk; good to know for expeditions and such.

More wheels today, as I take Otis's car in for brake work; I am going to combine it with quality time with Scott Flowers, so that is cool.

Diamond Dust:

Since I have been scootering and biking lately, there have been times where I have worn shorts and even pants while doing my errands. It was surprised by how many people have mentioned that they had never seen me in other than a kilt; my students were particularly disappointed. Huh.

We got a discount coupon in the mail for these folks who deliver food. I think we might try it out for the local organic produce and see how it goes.

We've got plenty of pirates going on here - and Otis has some artists happening on her blog. Check it out.

Here's a blog post on subtly subversive on-line reviews of The Family Circus. This is the best of a small batch:

[F]or Kittycat's Motor is Running: I weep for Jeffy. The language, however base and stomach cramp inducing, does the job of transporting the reader to the suburban hell that only Keane can imagine. The amount of ennui overflowing from this wasp-ish family of innocents staggers. If you cannot see their pain, you are blind. I am Jocasta, my eyes bleed for the family circus.

I will upgrade my mobile phone when I can get one of these.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

You can call me Rog

My pirate name is:

Iron Roger Rackham

A pirate's life isn't easy; it takes a tough person. That's okay with you, though, since you a tough person. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from

Monday, April 24, 2006

Double sunnie

B2Keno = 11.1

Since it has been so springlike (if not downright summery) of late, I thought I would post more pictures of verdant growing things. The long pots comprise Otis's hhhherb garden (except that there are two strawberry plants in there too, and they aren't hhhherbs). The little pot on the ground is curry.

Yesterday we did indeed go for a bike ride on the B-G. It came to about 16 miles, since we worked our way back through the You-Dub campus for a change. It was simply lovely.

Then, of course, we had to respond papers all afternoon, but we took a break before dinner and scootered out to City People's Mercantile on Sand Point to get the above-pictured curry plant and more potting soil. It was still a fantastic dfay, so we took a little break out in Magnuson Park, too.

Then we came back and did some more papers. Such is life.

And today was just as great a day! I commuted to Bothell by bike again, and it was such a change from the first rainy, cold, dark day of class. I'm gonna be liking this. And then after dinner we took a walk down to Green Lake. Yeah, this is the way I like it.

IMPORTANT LINK: Read Wheylona's post about Net Neutrality and Internet Freedom, follow her links, read the articles, and write your representatives in Congress. I did.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The shank of the weekend

It is just a glorious morning! This day holds in store both work and play - we are going to take a wee bike ride right after breakfast, but then we have to settle in with student papers for the rest of the day (Otis is up against deadline again, as usual). In the meanwhile, a little catching up is in order.

First of all, I realized that I never mentioned here that Otis took her licensing exam last Wednesday and passed! Now we're just waiting for that magic number and the little piece of paper from DoH... It looks like there might be an Open House for the new place and the new business maybe by May 21; we'll let you know.

Second of all, Johnbai has been back from Mexico since Tuesday and I still haven't seen or heard from him except for a minimal photo-blog: what up, dude?

Okay, so Wheylona came over last Thursday and spent the night before I took her off to the airport at the crack of dawn on Friday. Other than the left-behind sammiches and coat, the transfer went okay. It was such a treat to have a surprise visit from the SanSe delegate and rumor has it that a return engagement might not be so far off. Yay!

Since we were up so early, Otis and I headed into Bothell so I could get some work done in the office and she could hang out with me, since faculty offices are such cool places. To come down from all this excitement, later in the day we headed up to the Crest to see Brokeback Mountain, a little film that everyone else has apparently heard about. It was pretty good.

Yesterday was a pretty packed day as well. After brekkies, we headed back to the old neighborhood - it was the Greenwood Garage Sale Day, centered around the Phinney Neighborhood Center. It turned out to be a very pleasant excursion - the whole Ridge was filled with happy people, friendly dogs, uncertain cats, and good vibes. We had a list of stuff so we wouldn't just be crazy-go-nuts, and it worked out pretty well. Otis got a box grater (her cheese issues could fill an entire post) and scored some really nice flower pots, which she is going to fill with lavender, for the massage entrance.

I have been wanting one of those bicycle trailers so I can start to do grocery shopping and stuff like that on the bike. New, they run from $250 - $500, and I haven't ever seen a used one for less than $150. Look what I got for $25 at the garage sale:

The neon is all faded (who cares) but the framework is sound and the rubber is good. With a piece of plywood inserted, I'll have a little cargo trailer. Yippee!

One of the places we visited was doing the everything-you-can-stuff- in-a-bag-for-five-dollars thing, and while Otis was getting some socks and other clothing type stuff, I couldn't resist stuffing in this three-point articulation action figure. I think it might be a Lara Croft clone; she has "SOLA" written across her abundant bosoms and I don't know what that means. She may become the mascot around here. Anyway, J. Jonah Jameson doesn't appear to be intimidated by her, as you can see:

I also scored some comics and posted about them on the comix blog yesterday afternoon while Otis was seeing her mom.

Last night we met Might Mel up at the Egyptian for Kinky Boots. It was a nicely done movie with some good performances and a great soundtrack. I think I might take a break from the Full Monty genre films for a bit - I am feeling a little too uplifted lately. (But Art School Confidential is definitely on the must-see list.)

Okay, gotta run - the Burke-Gilman trail (and 48 student papers) are calling!

Thursday, April 20, 2006


B2Keno = 11.1

On the Nature of Things

I don't know why, but I have been having a difficult relationship with the physical world for the past few days. This difficulty has manifested itself in struggles with with objects disproportionate to the tasks attempted. It seems that every thing I want or need is someplace else; on a different surface, in another room, on another floor. And every thing that I handle seems to try to slip away or otherwise make life complicated: it falls to the floor, it knocks something else over, it gets hooked on something.

Example: As I was getting my bike off its hook in the shed today, its wheel knocked my helmet off its hook. I set the bike down and leaned it against the scooter to reach for the helmet. The bike slipped and slid down. I let it alone, knowing that to try to right it would create more problems. I got the helmet, and tried to close the shed door. Of course, when the bike had shifted, it moved in the way of the door. So I had to put the helmet down, and move the bike after all, and then close the door.

These are all tiny, tiny inconveniences; it is only in the aggregate - after having similar mishaps all day long - that I get the sneaking suspicion that something is wrong, that I am vibrating at a slightly different frequency than the rest of the world and am halfway to Earth-2, or that I am turning into a ghost and don't know it.


I did get my bike going after all that, and promptly put it on my car and drove to Cap Hill. That was cuz I lent my car to Wheylona for her last day of liberty in the Emerald City. After turning over the key to the groggy gal, I rode back to the Burke and headed out to Matthews Beach. I stopped at the park there for a while - it was nearly empty, just two kids collecting stones or something from the water. It was so relaxing and revitalizing to come to a quiet, pretty place, right in the city, right on my usual ride, and just sit and look at a lake and listen to birds. Nice.

Ready to roll

I came home from my ride via the U-district for a change and then dug in to work here at home. I did some of the usual junk - but also got the scooter ready for the season. I have replaced the trashy duct-tape repair job on the seat with a definitely homestyle but eminently less trashy "re-upholstery" job. I repaired the crack in the windshield with clear con-tac paper. All I need to do is add a few more stickers (including Wheylona's Basque sheepies) and we will be stylin'.

Get a Long Little Doggie

About Ass Dogs: I have said for a while that if and when I get a full-time teaching job, I want to run a vegetarian hot-dog cart in the summers. I figure I would try to go to the Solstice parade, the 4th of July, the Highland games - stuff like that. It would be a fun thing to do, different from being in the class room, and would make enough money for vacations or toys or something.

Well, the other night, when Sailor Sue, Mighty Mel, Kris-10, and Rye-N were visiting Otis and I, we got to talking about hot dog stands, and I was in a mood that night to leave teaching altogether, so we were discussing how to make money selling hot dogs full-time. We decided the best model was selling late at night in the bar neighborhoods (like the guy in Ballard). As we were spinning off this idea, Kris said it should be called Ass Dogs. Of course, she was absolutely right, and the business identity was born. (And yes, I am trademarking "This tastes like ass!"

At this point, we haven't really given much thought to actually selling any hot dogs, but I think we're gonna have a killer website, cool T-shirts, and some wicked bobble-head dolls. Keep watchin'.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Career change

B2Keno = 11.0

(A shout out to corporate image consultant Kris -10)

"First Day in Business"

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Well, I sowed the wind and reaped the whirlwind: it was quite a weekend. Had a good day Friday with housetrivia until the Spokane Gang arrived for dinner: Gweekers, Mikey, and Mama Pattycake. We had great visits and catchings-up, and a wonderful dinner at the Royal Palm down the street, and yummy flavored coffees and tea at home. It was a swell evening all around.

On Saturday, the Spokanites did the Pike Place Market and Otis and I did work, of the school and/or house variety. Errands took us to the University Bookstore, which, while not a successful expedition in and of itself, did lead us to Pizza Brava on the Ave for some delicious slices served by a guy from the Bronx.

Saturday night was the Fwends of Wendy Baldfriend celebration. Her Hipness was greeted upon her return from Iberia by Otis and I and attended solicitiously by Mighty Mel, Dingo, Silvio, Erik, and the late Jag Girl (fleeing a flood). Highlight of the evening: reminiscing. Reminiscing and great food. And drink. Food, drink, and a dicky fireplace. Like that.

Today was Easter, or Eostre, or Sunday the 16th, depending on your wish. One of my comix blogpals posted this; while it is a nice enough tale, I am more inclined to think of it as does Will Shetterly, here. In any event, we went up to Camp Putnam in LFP for some celebratory pizza. Yay!

Man, has the weather this whole weekend been weird, or what? Clouds, rain, hail, wind, cold, sun, heat all in fits and starts. Drivin' me buggy! Here's to a good week.

Friday, April 14, 2006

It was a clear and stormy day...

It was a pretty cool day yesterday, and I don't just mean the temperature. I biked down to the Cascade neighborhood in the morning to pick Otis up a review book for her massage license test (which she takes on Wednesday next). I met Dingo there, and she helped me get the book and we browsed REI for expensive bike gear that I will never buy and had coffee and took a little walk. It started to look like the storm was picking up, so I headed back to the RD before the rain kicked in. (My ride was on the short side, but it kept me on pace.)

After an interlude of takin' care of business, Otis and I went to a special screening of On a Clear Day, courtesy of the good office of Mighty Mel. Seattle Weekly didn't like it, but we thought it was engaging and affecting - and fun, too. Afterwards, Mel had to run off to dog duty, so Otis and I went out and browsed office supplies in the late evening and came home with a purple legal pad and pink post-it notes (don't ask).

Oh, yeah - Kris-10 came over the other night and we finally watched Y Tu Mama Tambien (which came out five years ago and which we got from Netflix before we moved). It was a great movie and the girls particularly liked all the naked boy bits.

Today begins the weekend whirl - we've got pals from Spokane coming over tonight, and Wheylonapalooza tomorrow night, and I've got drafts to respond, and Otis has papers to grade, and Otis needs to study, and Sunday is some sort of family holiday, and so on. Good times.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I should have ridden today

but it was raining when I was getting ready, so I chickened out, and then it turned out to be nice most of the day, so I felt guilty. Ah, well. What I really need is some decent wet-weather riding gear so I have less of an excuse to chicken out in the first place.

So, tomorrow I will be out and about clocking up the miles and staying on track. Of course, they are predicting rain all weekend, so it remains to be seen whether my will matches my words.

Today was a great teaching day despite (or because of) not having ridden. I have a good, strong class this quarter and they make it a pleasure to be in the classroom.

Yesterday was the exhausting day: Otis and I bounced from the RD to Lake Forest Park to pick up her mom and take her to the airport; since we were down south, we made an Ikea run and while we didn't get any big stuff, we did get some window coverings and other little bits for the home and Otis's practice room. We came back home and then went out to our local Ace hardware on the way to the Crest. (We saw Good Night and Good Luck and liked it.) On the way back from the movies, we needed to stop at Target to get some more junk.

Now, despite all that acquistioning, we're planning to go to a big ol' garage sale coming up in a couple weeks. Like, what else could we need?!

Well, maybe one of these.

Only 48 hours or so until Wheylona is back!

Monday, April 10, 2006

I'm soooo tired...

B2Keno = 10.8 *

Wow - I commuted to Bothell today by bike (since I didn't get my ride in on Sunday, I really needed to) and while the to was just dandy the fro was killer! My left knee was aching from mile one. Early days, early days.

Speaking of killer, Otis is upstairs doing her best to make her head asplode a la Cronenburg. She has a stack of papers on Huckleberry Finn to grade, and, as usual, she put them off in order to "build her motivation." She has about motivated herself into a coma over the past couple of days.

But on the good news side, Otis received her PIN from the massage overlords and scheduled her licensing exam for Wednesday, Aril 19th. Yay!

Hey, how come none of you mugs mentioned that I still had the Maui widget in the sidebar? I have replaced it with a little moral instruction.

Finally, here's an article by Sy Hersch that previews the next war that the current regime seems likely to get us into. I can only sigh and hope some Democrat somewhere grows a pair.

*See the sidebar for B2Keno values!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Rain delay

Okay, so I don't seem to be getting much done to day and I might as well blog a bit. It's not like I haven't been trying to be productive, but I keep letting myself get distracted by small projects and cleaning up the office and stuff like that, so I haven't made any major strides on the stuff was intending to work on.

It might be no wonder that I am operating at less than peak efficiency today: Otis and I met Soapy at the U-district IHOP last night for a late night snack and a midnight visit to the new digs. It was good to see Soapy, absent from some recent events (*cough* moving day *cough*), who is on yet another cusp in his life (besides the Greenwood-Broadview border), one which looks to be the start of good stuff career-wise. Yay!

There are some dim shapes forming in the unclear mists that comprise the future of my own working life... vague, inchoate, just barely discernable. I hope through force of will to bring them into actuality. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I am enjoying the part-time schedule. I took a nice ride on the B-G Thursday, while Otis was at work, clocking a little over thirty miles at 13.2 mph, with a short stop at Third Place Books in LFP for a PB&J (literally). I am on track for B2K and hope to get a pleasure ride in tomorrow and then ride to Bothell again on Monday. This rain business isn't helping much but I don't want to let it deter me. I need to go out and get some rain gear, perhaps.

Hey, have ya heard? Wheylona is coming back for a visit!

And here's another cool link, just for us Apple-types, courtesy (once gain) of The Cartoonist.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Up an' at 'em

So, I'm not feeling quite so grrr-zlie right now, even though nothing big has changed. I still have too little work for the remainder of the fiscal year. I haven't ridden since Monday, so I'll be back in that saddle today. The Turbo-tax turned out to be right - the education credit doesn't work when no taxes are due (duh) so there will be no big refund for Otis. I have a stack of job possibilities in front of me, but none of them is terrible exciting. Wow, I think I just wound up depressing myself again.


Here's some good news for us all to share in: Dingo's LMT license is in the mail! Hip-hip-hurrah! Send her kudos and best wishes and all that!

On a similar front, Otis has her treatment room nearly finished. She got some "Cottontail" paint the other night (I think it looks more like "Buttermilk") and went on a tear yesterday and painted the room. Now, if only she would get the letter that lets her take the test that qualifies her for the license in the house that Jack built...

For my part, I had some fun t'other day. I subbed for an art teacher and taught a session of the equivalent of the introduction to art appreciation class. At Otis's suggestion, I put together a lesson plan on ekphrasis - writing about art (think Ode on a Grecian Urn). It went over pretty well, and I think I might even incorporate part of it into some of my writing classes. (It was also fun that there were three students that I had taught before in the class and they were happy to see me.)

Johnbai mentioned on Stave it Off that his blog-iversary was coming up. which made think that mine must have passed unremarked, and indeed it has. The first real post on HKC was March 11, 2005: one year, three weeks, and five days ago; that little effort seems to have been the first pebble in the avalanche of blogging that we have become accustomed to of late, predating even Wheylona's Viva by about three weeks (although I think that she had her site in the works before that). Anyway, it's been grand; I love the way that folks in three countries and in two states in this country (and that's just my neighborhood in this blogburg) can keep in such constant touch. Yay, the internets!

And in the spirit of the internets, dig this: The Cartoonist, a blog I read regularly, considers these two versions of German children's program. Which do you prefer: old school or cool rulz?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Always look on the bright side of life

It's sure a lucky thing that I have such a sunny disposition, because if I didn't, I'd be awful cranky.

So, I told you about my English class at NSCC being cancelled. I immediately got on the horn to Cascadia to try to rustle up some work for the summer to make up for that budget shortfall. Today I heard that there will not be a class for me at CCC over the summer. Grrr.

So, today I rode my bike to Bothell to stay on top of B2K. The ride in was pleasant enough, but when I got out of class at 5:00 or so, it was raining. I came home in a steady drizzle all the way. I took Lake City Way instead of staying on the B-G, so even though it cut off about 3.4 miles, it was hilly and crowded with traffic and often shoulder-less and not a whole lot of fun. Grrr-grrr.

So, I talked to my adjunct-faculty type colleagues tonight on the phone and we're all in the same boat and nobody likes it. Grrr.

So, I helped Otis work her way through Turbo-tax and it doesn't want to give her the refund she should be getting based on her Lifelong Learning Credit. Small potatoes compared to the check I am going to have to send in with my tax return in twelve days, two hours, and three minutes. Grrr-grrr-grrr.

So, I am going to spend all day Thursday sending in job apps to all kinds of jobs. I can't be waiting around for the perfect full-time teaching opportunity - I need to take the bull by the horns and get some action happenin'.


I had a great time in the classroom today. Otis had a great dinner and a big smile waiting for me when I got home from school. I am warm and dry and have a great home and a great life. I had a wonderful weekend and will, in all likelihood, have a lot more, with all my wonderful friends.

So yeah, it's still sunny.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Don't hurry sundown

So, if we were all smart (and not like Nedra) we all turned our clocks one hour ahead last night and we're on time today. And even if we didn't, we have fixed it by now, and all our sundowns will be one later than yesterday. Hurrah for lighter-longer evenings!

So, yesterday was the official start of B2K, and bike we did. Even though it was raining, Otis and I completed a mid-morning Burke-Gilman ride from Gasworks to Matthews Beach and back. A few kinks in the muscles, but overall it was a better-than-decent first effort. I plan on riding up to Bothhell tomorrow; I still need to figure out the smoothest route to the B-G from the new place.

Of course, we should have taken the ride in the afternoon, when it was all sunny and warm and stuff, but by then we were back deep into house arranging and organizing.

We had a sort-of pre-housewarming last night: Sailor Sue, Mighty Mel, and Kris-10 and Rye-N came over for a movie we never got around to watching. Instead, we caught up, planned alternate careers, and experimented with race changes, like Black Like Me or Lois Lane No. 106. You can do all of those things, too, the last-mentioned at this site. Just upload a face-on photo and get morphing. Here's some of our results, cropped but otherwise untouched:

"Afro-Caribean" Walaka

"West Indian" Otis

The website - which Sailor Sue heard about on Oprah, of all places - will also age/de-age the face, swap the gender, create a portrait by Modigliani or others, create an ape-person, or show the subject drunk.

Let's see those faces, folks!