Wednesday, February 08, 2017

A Little Too Much Excitement

The weather forecast was for rain, which was fine with me. I am a Northwest Native. I have webbed feet and moss on my North side.
But the weather forecast was rain, and I by God was ready for rain. So it snowed.
I had a doctors appointment this morning at the Pain Clinic, mainly to refill my prescription for Percocet, and to check on me status. If it wasn't already made, I probably would have stayed in.
But because of the snow, Mrs A decided to skip her swim session at the Y and I got to take the good car. The HHR is front wheel drive and does great in the snow, so I was relieved. The nice thing about front wheel drive is that the drive of the wheels is always in the direction you want to go. So if you are not stupid, you cn generally get where you want to go.
The road weren't great, but they weren't bad. The one shade corner where Happy Valley Road turns to the North is always shady, and it was a little slippery, but not bad.
I went to the doctor's and was headed to Walgreen's when a guy o a motorcycle two cars if front of me abruptly pulled over to the side of the road, got off his bike and fell flat on his face.
The car in front of me and I pulled over and we got out to make sure the guy was OK. So did a car heading in the other direction on 5th. A call was made to 911
The guy was having a seizure. Looked like a grand mal to me, but that something for the doctors to figure out..
So we turned him on his back, and held him down from thrashing around so he didn't hurt himself. I made sure his airway was clear. We talked to him and reassured him that everything was going to be OK, that we had called for help.
A nice lady in the car behind me volunteered a blanket. Lady, whoever you are, thanks.
I hung around until the ambulance showed up, and got back in my asr.
Mrs a had suggested that I get her ice cream since she was stuck at home, so I stopped at QFC to pick her up Halo Oatmeal cookie ice cream.
When I went to get the money out of my wallet, my hands were shaking noticeably. I explained why I was so shaky, and left to go home
The roads weren't so great coming home, and I spun a little a couple of times.
I got home safe and sound, but shaky.
After I told Mrs A about my trip, I realized that I had never stopped at Walgreen's to fill my prescription. Mrs A suggested a shot of fine Irish Whiskey was the prescription she suggested, and  good swig of Tullamore Dew was the recommended dose.
Worked quite well.
But I don't think I will be going back out today.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017


We live in a most beautiful area here in Sequim. Olympic Mountains, Straights of Juan de Fuca, Paciific  Ocean, rain forests.
But when it comes to Entertainment, the selection is a little sparse. There is one cinema with five  screens. A few casinos that fearture third string entertainers. Some tmes some B listers.
But what it does is expose you to some excellent performers that aren't well known outside their special niche.
I am pretty open minded when it comes to music. I like just about all gernres of music. Opera doesn't float my boat, and C & W isn't my favorite, but can be OK.
We will go to any venue and watch most any show, because that's all there is.
The one fact that has impressed me over and over is how many truly tallented musicians that there are out there that are good enough to be on a bigger stage performing for a bigger audience.
SO we dtove into Port Angeles the other night for a show. Mouths of Babes was performing at Studio Bob. Studio Bob is a part time art studio part time performance space. The decor is midcentury yard sale meets gymnasium. Very eclectic and informal.
Mouths of Babes is a female duo who are fantastic musicians and singers. Their music is about as eclectic as it gets. They re alternately funny touching serious and lighthearted. They managed to bring me to tears and belly laughs. Their songwriting is fantastic. "Brighter in the Dark" is a light in the face of the dark world.
They probably won't rise to the hights their tallents should take them to because they are a couple, and that will most likely limit their audience. Doesn't bother me at all. I am all for anything that brings more love into the world, and against anything which promotes prejudice and separation.
I really wish Ingrid and Ty all the best in their careers and hope thay come back here in the Blue Hole.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Blue Hole

The area where I live is known as The Blue Hole. This is because it is in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains in Washington State.
Because of the prevailing wind patterns, we get little rain here. The average is 16 inches a year. The weather pattern comes in from the southwest bringing a lot of moist tropical weather with it. The clouds run into the Olympic Mountains which cause them to pile up against them and the squeeze the clouds, causing them to dump their moisture. You can travel 100 miles from here, and land in Forks, Washington where the average is 100 inches a year..
If you rravel just a short distance,to say Port Angeles. a distance of 15 miles the annual precipitation goes up to 20 inches., similar if you reavel east to Port Townsend.
This is one of the primary reasons we chose to move here when we retired. The same mild climate as Seattle, but without all the rain.
As with all plans, there were a couple of things I did not take into account.
Mainly the temperature. For some reason it did not occur to me that blue skies in winter equates to cold. The cloud cover keeps it warn, the clouds a blanket to keep us warm.
So the difference isn't enough to make for a completely different environment, but the winter temperatures average  couple of degrees cooler.
It doesn't particularly bother me, as I have lots of hobbies to keep me busy. Nothing like sitting down with a good book in the living room with a toasty fire in the wood stove.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Out of the Hole

Back in the middle of November I fell in a hole.
Nor a physical hole.
A mental and emotional hole.
A hole so dark and so deep that no light penetrated it. No escape was possible.
Looking back on it, I can see no rational reason for it. I am prone to getting depressed in the winter anyway, but usually a little St. John's Wort gets me through it.
Some how this was different. More profound, and much deeper.
Oh there are lots of reasons. I am diabetic, have bad kidneys, am in constant pain arthritis. At the time my left shoulder was undergoing a bout of bad arthritis, limiting the use of my left arm, and that in combination with the arthritis in my neck keeps me from getting a decent nights sleep. Maybe it was a combination of all those things.
I am a creative person and suddenly the creative juices dries up.Although I had a number of projects that I had been interested in, suddenly they were sack cloth and ashes.
I have a beautiful 1977 Datsun 280Z with a color changing paint job that goes from purple to blue to green depending on the lighting and direction you are looking at it from.
It has a 160 mile an hour speedometer. I had it up over 120 miles an hour out on the track, and it was solid at that speed. I have always wondered what the top speed actually is. I figure it is around 140.
I began to  wonder if I could top 140. And what it would be like to take out a bridge stanchion at that speed.
The thought began to insinuate itself into my consciousness ore and more frequently. To the point where, when I was out driving, I would eye the approach to various overpasses to calculate whether they had the right amount of straightaway to get up to full speed.
The problem is that when you are that deep in the hole, t is very difficult to see any path out of the pit. One of the most difficult things I have ever done was make an appointment with my doctor to tell him I need help.
I have always been there for everyone else. Admitting that I needed help was a blow to what little pride I had left.
But I managed to drag myself up by the bootstraps and made it in to the doctor's. He assessed the situation and was close to having me hospitalized, but I talked him out of it, saying that I was self-aware enough to know when to ask for help, so the likelihood of me taking myself out right after that was extremely small.
He did refer me to the Whack Shack for further checkout. The Crisis Center was very understanding and professional, although they did insist I divest myself of my knives. I was carrying three. They were somewhat concerned about why I needed three knives, but I told them I was doing some wood working, and each on was for a different task. I'm nit sure they believed me, but at any rate they let me leave.
Since then it has been a long slow process to dig myself out of the hole.
I am back in the daylight, now.
Just today, I was struck by and idea for a project that has brought back the enthusiasm.
I was watching an episode of American Pickers last night, and they featured a chair with an elaborate back with a carving, that they called the "Green Man". Basically a human face with hair and mustache of leaves and branches.
When I was cutting wood last fall, I came across a section of a maple that was twisted ans scarred. About four feet long. I have been figuring I would use it as a test piece for using my Alaska Mill. slabbing it out. Now I have a plan of what I want to do with it when I cut it.
Today I made a preliminary sketch.
But I am not quite to the point where I want to take the "Z" out for a drive.

Friday, December 23, 2016

White Christmas?

December 23rd  and it is snowing!
Hope it sticks around for Christmas. I don't even remember when was the last time we had a white Christmas. Of course Mrs. A, would have me tarred and feathered for hoping it sticks around, but I can always fall back on every husbands excuse: "It's not my fault".
We did finally get out the tree and set it up and got it decorated. I took care of the lights, Mrs A took care of the decorating. That may seem to be a misleading statement, as it is a pre-lit eight foot tree with a thousand lights, but it is in three pieces and all of the different sections have to be connected correctly. It is kind of difficult finding all of the wires and hooking them up correctly. Took me a couple of tries.
Watching the snow is so hypnotic. Something about falling snow puts me in a trance-like state where I can sit there for a long time just staring out the window.
The downside is that I have to go get another wheelbarrow load of wood out of the wood shed.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Home Fires Burning

We heat with wood.
Having 3 1/2 acres of trees supports that.
Electricity is expensive and wood is free (more or less).
I love sitting in the living room with a fire in the fire place and a good book.
I currently have about 3 cords of dried aged Alder in the wood shed. That will get us through this winter. I have another 2 cords of Maple drying at the back of the garage. I want to have enough dried and aged to last a year ahead.
It has been so busy I hardly have enough turn around. Thanksgiving we had a bunch of people over. I had purchased a 20' X 20' X 12' shed from Kieth, and we put that up. Vinnie and I felled a small maple. It was fun. Vincent had never run a chain saw, so I taught him how to start and run the saw, then introduced him to splitting wood. He claims that he had never split wood before, but I found that a little bit too much to believe.
Shortly after Thanksgiving, Rick lost his job in Utah, We were planning to have him come up and paint the inside of the house next spring/summer. Although I was not ready, we (Carol) decided it would be good for everyone concerned if he came up and did it now.
So for a couple of days before he got here, we were busy getting things ready, things like taking down the drapes, pictures and nik-naks. Then a week of going from room to room moving furniture, then a couple more days of getting everything back where it belongs.
As a result, here it is Dec 17th and we do not have a single decoration up.
Tree? What tree?

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Side Table

Here is my latest creation, a burl maple live edge side table. The grain is incredible. The stand is a branch fork from the same tree. The finish is spar varnish. Just enough to bring out the grain. It was a fun project. I tried several different finishes, but after applying and sanding off several different types, settled on this.
I have another slab from the same stump ready to go, but need to figure out a stand for it.