Friday, August 31, 2007


When I leave in the morning, there is the ritual of leave-taking. We go through the checklist, because I am not at my best in the morning, so I am likely to go off without some important item.

Cell phones (2) Check






A nice embrace, a kiss, Love you, have a nice day, out the door.

This morning, as we were moving out of the embrace "Ouch".

"What's the matter dear?"

"I caught my hair in your zipper."

Hope the neighbors weren't evesdropping. They might get the wrong idea.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Elephant Story

In 1986, Mikele Mebembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Mikele approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Mikele worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments Mikele stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Mikele never forgot that elephant or the events of that day. Twenty years later, Mikele was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenaged son.

As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mikele and his son Tapu were standing.

The large bull elephant stared at Mikele, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man. Remembering the encounter in 1986, Mikele couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant.

Mikele summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.

The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Mikele's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.

..and you thought this was going to be a feel good story..

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Oh, is the weekend over?

Here it is Wednesday, and I haven't posted much of anything this week.

The family get together last weekend was a lot of fun. It was good to see my sister and her kids. I sure wish they lived closer. I didn't get much of a chance to talk to her, I just got involved in too many other conversations, and she was always somewhere else, then the next thing you knew, everyone was puting on their coats and heading out the door.

One of the family jokes is that my mom gets the leftover egg rolls. Of course, she never has gotten any, because there are never any left over. One of these days I will have to bring her down some just for herself.

I got to tell some stories, and heard some. Played a joke on my nephew. S. is 14, and has shot up about a foot since I last saw him. There was this yellow jacket flying around bugging people and he was acting all girly about it. I was sitting behind him, so behind his back I waved a small leaf to catch everyones attention, then tickled him behind the ear. He about freaked, jumped up and squealed. It was priceless.

He now tells me that he WILL get even. Bring it on, little dude. I can take it.

Good thing he lives in St. Paul.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Tale of Two.......mice

My brother B. tells tall tales, which nobody takes very seriously, because they are quite frequently obvious inventions.

I on the other hand tell true life stories that have perhaps been embelished, but are basically true.

Some time back, B had a 1959 Triumph TR-3. It was a nice little sports car, and I had helped him with several projects on it. It was a fun little car. The two of us used to take it out and go for a drive on a pleasant summer evening every once in a while.

On one occasion, we had gone to visit one of his friends in North Seattle. This friend's wife absolutely LOVED the Triumph. Any time he came over, she HAD to get a ride. His friend was sorta jealous, and suspicious of B's motives.

It was just getting dark, so B took his friend's wife for a spin to Golden Gardens, a public park that wasn't too far away.

They were gone a long time. His friend was getting impatient, was wondering what the heck was keeping them. He was pretty purturbed by the time they got back.

He demanded to know where the HELL they had been and what they had been doing.

B. explained that as they entered the park and headed North, there was this weird light that blinked on moved right went to the left, blinked off. Over and over as they approached.

He stopped the car and got out. There on the ground was a mouse. The light was the reflection from his eyeballs. The mouse was running in a frantic circle. Round and round and round. They stood there and watched for some time. Occasionally the mouse would stop and roll over, then get up and resume running.

B. put his foot out and stopped the mouse. He stopped, but when B. pulled his foot back, he continued to run frantically in a circle.

How long this continued, B was not sure. The whole thing was rather hypnotic.

Eventually after B. put his foot out, when he removed his foot, the mouse kinda shook itself, and ran off into the bushes.

His buddy wasn't buying any of it. It got kind of nasty, and B was asked to not come around any more. I had no stake in whether the story was true or not. It didn't really matter that much to me whether the story was true or not, but underneath I always thought "What a crock."

Several years passed.

I was working at Boeing, and coming in when it was still dark. Ahead of me on the path between the Hazel Nut trees, I saw a small light. It went to the right, went to the left, turned off, and repeated over and over.

It was a mouse.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


The egg rolls turned out really good. I took pretty much all day to do the shopping, prepare the stuff and roll the egg rolls.

I just finished about a half a dozen. It is an outstanding batch. Every time I do something a little different, just to see how it tastes. A little mmore of this a little less of that. This time I added a little extra garlic, and a different dipping sauce.

Mrs A noticed she had worn a small hole in her light summer robe, so as long as I was at the Asian mall I got her a very nice silk robe. She loves it.

I bought her flowers last night. It was the fifth anniversary of our first date. I know how to score the brownie points. I figure I'll probably need them one of these days.

I also better watch out or she will begin to expect this kind of behavior from me.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday Night

It's quiet here tonight, thank God.

It has been a busy but productive and fun week here in Alville. But also challenging and rewarding. I wouldn't want a week that didn't have it's challenges.

L. moved in with us. This situation has so many negative possibilities, I hate to think of them all. L. and her mom should never live under the same roof. Mrs A has expectations, but will never say exactly what they are, so L does what she thinks her mom will want, but of course it is never right.

For now things are fine, but I really don't expect it to remain that way. At some point they will get all pissy with each other. I can predict the conversation L: "I have been trying real hard to do what I thought you wanted" Mrs A: "Well why didn't you xxxxxxxxx. If I had been living in someone elses house I would have xxxxxxxxx" I think maybe I ought to suggest to Mrs A that she should write her expectations down, so that L. at least knows the rules. As adults they should work it out themselves, but communication is not one of their better abilities.

V is over at his dads again this weekend. He needs to spend time with his dad. Dad's second wife really doesn't want him around, but always manages to make out like she LOVES him. As long as he comes back over here when the visit is over.

The Blazer is back in good working order ($2800 later). I'm glad to have it back in good shape, but I don't need it. I want a midsized pickup. So I guess it will be gone soon. My grandaughter has agreed to buy it for $3500.00. I am giving her about $1000.00 off of it's value as a boost to help her get her life together.

Tomorrow I need to get up and go to the Asian Market to buy my ingredients for egg rolls. My recipe makes 100 egg rolls, and takes a couple of hours to do. But I make killer egg rolls. I bring them to every potluck or family get together, and I have never brought one home.

So Sunday is a family thing because my Sis is in from one of those mid-country States for a week. I wish I had some time to spend with her, but this has been such a crazy week that by the time I get home at night I am beat.

Oh, did I mention that my car was in a car show, so I had to spend the evening detailing it to get it ready?

Some day I am going to sit down and take a deep breath and know that I can just sit back and relax.

Nah, I would be bored.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Good Day

This has been a real good day so far. I brought my 1977 Datsun 280Z for the Boeing employees car and motorcycle show.

I spent the first half of my day out in the parking lot showing off my car. It has this emerald green to cobalt blue color shifting paint that is really extraordinary. People will walk by and glance at it, then glance at it again, then stop in their tracks and look at it first one way, then the other.

Then they usually want to know "How's it do that?" (After all we are talking Engineers here).

Then I get to talk about micro crystaline flecks, light difraction vs color absorption/reflection, sunlight vs shade.

I got the Blazer out of the shop yesterday, with the door rehung. The estimate was for $300.00, and the bill was $299.69. No big surprise. It wasn't until I got halfway home that I realized that they had charged me for my own parts, I almost went back, but the difference was under $20.00, so I just let it slide.

We had a rah-rah meeting yesterday. I went because there was fried chicken and potato salad. I ended up winning a door prize. It's nothing special, but it was the very last thing given away. It is a little camp stool that has a insulated compartment underneath the seat that will hold a six-pack of beverage and a side pocket for a pack of smokes. I have been attending these rah-rah meetings for almost 28 years, and it is the first time I have ever won anything. Some people win the lottery, I win a camping stool.

My sis from St. Paul is in town. I have been too busy to hook up with her. Maybe tonight after I get off of work.

We are all getting together at my brother Bills Sunday. This means I will be making egg rolls on Saturday.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


This morning I took my Blazer into the shop. The driver side door needs to be rehung. The only way you can get it closed is to lift up and pull in at the same time. You have to have the window open and push up with your keft hand while pulling in with your right.

I am selling the car to my grandaughter when it gets out of the shop. It is a 1997 two-door with 65,000 original miles. Off road suspension, four wheel drive, shift on the fly, cd player, electric seats, power windows, air. I just put a replacement transmission in it, along with a new clutch, pressure place, throwout bearing.

I am letting her have it for $3,500.00, which is well below blue book. She needs a good dependable car, and it should have a lot of good miles left in it She is trying real hard to get her life together, and it won't hurt me to give her a little boost.

Tomorrow is the annual Car show here at the Lazy B. I will be cleaning up my 1977 Datsun 280 Z with the color changing paint job. I never win anything, but it is a lot of fun to participate. I hope the sun shows up.

Our two houseguests are firmly ensconced in the spare bedroom. Hopefully not for too long. I care about them both, and really hope things work out. Time will tell.

Today is Hawaiian Shirt Day, but it somehow looses its glamor when you have to wear a fleece vest over your shirt to stay warm.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Other Shoe

As I said, the Show was only part of what is going on.

First off, on Saturday morning R. called. She said she was doing better than she has in a year and a half. I don't know if that is the truth or just her saying what she thinks I want to hear. Hope it's true.

Then L called to see if she could stay the weekend and bring Quana. Quana is a really great kid, and we haven't seen her in a couple of months. She came and spent the night. Mrs A loves that kid, and it was good for her to be able to see Quana.

L. is leaving her significant other, and needs someplace to land on a temporary basis. Our house will be that someplace. She has been with this guy for four years, and during that time he has never supported her and the kid. In fact he has been dragging her down. They have had to live in unpleasant circumstances most of the time.

She is trying to get her life together, and having him dragging her down is like trying to swim with lead weights on your ankles.

Her breaking up with him is a good thing for her, but he is not handling it well. He swallowed a handful of pills and ended up in the emergency room. He tells her he will kill himself if she dumps him. I told her to wait until he quits breathing before calling 911. Trying to control her by threatening suicide is an ultimate form of cowardice.

I took yesterday off to get things ready for her to move in.

I'm not exactly thrilled to have her and the rug rat move in, but if it helps get her started on the right road, and it is temporary, I'll do it.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Young Frankenstein

What a hoot!

I have always been a fan of the movie. Is is a real classic, and has lost nothing with time. The musical follows the movie pretty faithfully. It is not an exact clone, but an excellent derivation.

The coreography is well done, the singing is excellent, and the sets are superb. The music is spot on, and the chatacters are faithful to the original.

The audience was appreciative, and the cast got a very long standing ovation.

As I said previously, we had front row center seats, and we were positioned perfectly.

One recommendation. You can pre-order drinks for intermission. If you want to have a drink at intermission, order it before the show starts, because the lines are long and the intermission is short. They put the pre-ordered drinks on a special table with your receipt so all you have to do is pick them up.

The show lasted just short of three hours, and it never lagged. The songs were clever an a bit bawdy. Suggestive rather than dirty.

I don't know which would be better, to come in without knowing anything about it, or being a fan and able to anticipate the bad jokes. Both would be fun. I almost wished I hadn't known the movie so well, to better appreciate the timing and puns.

Lots of things happening on the home front. I'll get to that tomorrow.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Goin' Down Slow

Which is of course an old blues song written by Willie Dixon, who wrote a whole lot of really good blues songs back in the 50's. A lot of them were updates of originals from the 30's, adapted to the electric guitar.

Most of them were performed byHowlin' Wolf. I like his version of it better than any one of the several other versions I have heard.

This week is slowly wearing me down. Every day it gets a little harder to get out of bed. Just one more getup.

I have a meeting in the morning, and after that I think the day is open. It is a virtual meeting, so nobody will be able to tell if my eyes are open, just as long as I don't snore.

I have a couple of long term research things to do, so I won't be bored. But I like it best when I have about three projects going at the same time and barely enough time to get them all done.

Then next thing you know it will be Friday night and time to howl.

Saturday we are going to see Mel Brooks' latest, the remake of "Young Frankenstein" as a musical. We have front row center seats.

He is using Seattle to fine tune it before it hits Broadway. It ought to be a hoot, but I will have a little trouble without Cloris Leachman and Marty Feldman, and Gene Wilder and Madeline Kahn, Terry Garr and the rest of the original cast.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Twin Harbors

Ths is the internal staircase in the Westport lighthouse. it is freestanding, meaning that it is not attached to the walls of the structure, just supporting itself.

The lighthouse was constructed in 1897 and has a class c fresnel lense. They wouldn't let us take the camera up inside the lighthouse because someone bumped their camera against the lense, damaging it.

We found lots of reasons to stop at the landings to catch our breaths.

The lighthouse is the tallest in the state of Washington. When built it was right on the edge of the dunes, 30 yards or so from the surf. It is now about a quarter mile from the beach, sand being deposited over the years to build up the beach.

One of the fishing fleet making it's way down the coast.

Our camping spot. It was real peaceful after everyone else went home on Sunday night.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Home again

Naps were taken, books were read, walks were taken, DVDz were watched. Bratwurst was burned, marshmallows evaporated. Long and intimate conversations were had. Historic places were visited. Good food was eaten. strangers became acquaintences. Mrs A and I became more reacquainted.

What can I say.

We need to each take the time to get back a little closer to the world and nature. At one point I thought I had made an enourmously important philosophical connection, but like most dreams, it faded with the rising sun.

Or maybe it was the drunken surfer dudes next door.

Or maybe the weird little hunchbacked man who moved in late and moved back out before the rising sun. ( I SWEAR he was real.)

The lines between reality and otherness fade and blur.

But I'm glad to be back home.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Thursday, August 09, 2007

On the Road Again

This is Friday for me.
Mrs A. amd I are heading out in the Airstream tomorrow for the coast to spend a couple of days lolling around at the beach. The weather isn't supposed to be so great, but I don't even care.
If it's cold and rainy, we'll just turn up the heat and put on another DVD. Naps will be taken. Books will be read. Long walks on the beach eill be take, and somewhere in there, hot dogs and marshmallows will be burned over a campfire. Sand will appear in every crevice.
Hopefully the sun will occasionally appear and I can sport a tan when we get back.
Tonight I'll have to figure out what we are going to take. Eventually I want to have the Airstream all fitted out with all the "Stuff" we need to just take off, but we are just breaking it in now.
I'll be taking my laptop, but I doubt if there will be a wi-fi hotspot anywhere near.
So if Y'all are near Twin Harbors State Park near Westport, stop on by and we'll let you in out of the drizzle.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Oh Crap!

I got an e-mail from R's former boyfriend. I really liked him and hoped they would work out, but it wasn't to be.

She is hanging out with her old crowd again. There is this one dude they call "Lumpy". He is a complete creep. When she was running around with him before, he threatened to kill R. Mrs A and I, L. and her whole family including the baby.

I passed the word for him to go ahead and try if he thought he was man enough. I really wanted him to show up so I could kick the shit out of him. After all, he had threatened my family so I was legally justified in doing just about anything I wanted.

It seem Lumpy has threatened Rs former boyfriend. He told me he wasn't going to screw around, so it might be a good idea if I warned R not to hang with Lumpy because she might get hurt by a stray bullet.

I told him that although it would be fine with me if Lumpy disappeared, he really shouldn't do anything that would get him in trouble.

Although the whole thing has nothing to do with me personally, it sure takes away my sense of contentment.

Wish that stupid girl would grow up.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Latteland goes throught this annual insanity known as Seafair. It's a whole weekend of parades, fireworks, airshow and unlimited hyrdpoplane racing.

The Blue Angels are in town and put on fantastic show, a quite a bit of which I can watch from my deck. During one maneuver they come around in a diamond with the two trailer planes catching up and joining the other four.

The do this right over my house. they are close enough that you can read the numbers on the planes. If it doesn't make your hair stand on end, you better check your pulse, 'cause you just might be dead.

Beer is comsumed, and much partying goes on.

Around the perimeter of the race course there is a log boom, and people anchor off the log boom in their boats. Everything from rowboats to yachts.

Monday morning there will be a lot of hangovers and sunburns, and memories.

I was one of those kids who made little hydroplanes out of wood and had races in the streets dragging them on rope behind his bike. Back when they were powered by Allison or Rolls V-12 aircraft engines. They were truely "Thunderboats". A boat could be put together by a few fanatics and go out there and join in the fun.

Today it is all about turbine power and multi-million dollar budgets. I still love it. but it seems a little more disconnected.

There is always controversy. Who jumped the gun, or cut someone else off. It's good theater, and once in a while the underdog wins.

Today I am rooting for the Oh Boy Oberto! because it is Art Oberto's 80th birthday, and he has been a long supporter of the Unlimiteds. Usually it was one of the also-rans, but he won a few heats here and there. They have a brand new boat that they have been dialing in all year, getting a little bit faster every race.

Go Oberto!


Art Oberto's boat won the race! what a nice 80th birthday present for a really nice guy.

I dated one of his daughters a long, long time ago when I was in college. We got along, but just didn't click.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Nerd Nirvana

V. is a bit of a computer geek. He plays World of Warcraft all the time. He has been having lag problems for quite some time. I bought him a gig of RAM for Christmas and it helped some. Bought him a new Graphics card, and that helped some.

It just kept getting worse. We were using a wireless router for internet, and he figured the delay was caused because of the wireless router, so we hardwired his computer to the cable.

He used his allowance to go down and get a WOW card, came home and loaded it, and no improvement. We went on-line to the Tech center and followed every possible fix, still zip.

He was frustrated and pissed off because he had just blown his entire allowance on a subscription card, and couldn't use it.

His sis came to take him to Wild Waves for the day on Teusday. He was bitching about his computer, so she said if he would bring it down to their place, she was sure her Fiance' could fix it, because he is MR. Computer Geek extrordinaire.

They took his computer down to Tacoma, and he brought back a basically brand new computer in an old case. Custom built as a gaming platform. He is in Geek Heaven. Or Nerdvana

And it didn't cost me a dime.

It seems the hard drive was corrupted.

Now he will be hitting me up for an X-BOX 360.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Different Reality

Having this new beroom is really weird. It's like it is not connected to the rest of the house.

I walk through the door and close it, and I am somewhere else. OH, I know that over time it will become so comfortable I won't even notice the decor any more, but for now it is sort of magical. There is this feeling of refuge. It is Mrs A.s refuge, literally. I am allowed in.

It is so fancy that I feel like I ought to get dressed up to get undressed.

Saturday we have front row center seats to see Mel Brooks' musical version of "Young Frankenstien". I always loved the original movie and it will be a hoot to see what they have done with it.

Next weekend we hit the road for four days. We are taking the Airstream and heading to the Ocean for four days. We are going to Twin Harbors State Park right outside Westport, Wa. We have been there several times, and it is one of our favorite places.

I can't wait to get out of Dodge.