The high today was all of 38 °F (3 °C), but no matter— the pickleballers were out in full force at the Miller Park courts on 19th Avenue.
In fact, I notice now that one of the sixteen intrepid competitors was in shorts and a t-shirt 🥶.
Can you spot the big cat in this picture?
Click on the picture to enlarge it.
The amigos toured the new $2 billion Seattle Convention Center extension today. (Construction had started in August 2018).
The existing Convention Center is now named Arch, and this extension is called Summit.
There is a large below-ground space, and five sprawling floors stacked on top of it, with a ballroom the size of a football field at the top. (The height of the Center is the equivalent of 14 regular floors).
The planks of wood suspended from the ceiling in the ballroom, and used for paneling at the ballroom entrance doors are called ‘wormwood’.
The wood comes from salvaged, decommissioned log-booms (floating barriers in waterways to collect logs that had been cut nearby).
After some time in the water, larvae of marine clams (sp. Bankia setacea) attach themselves to the logs, and start drilling into the log’s interior, creating a network of tunnels.
‘Seattle faces a moment of truth to save downtown’ wrote the Seattle Times today, pointing a report from Downtown Seattle Association that had estimated in October 2021 that 500 street-level businesses had closed since 2019. Only 300 new street-level businesses had opened. The hope is that the Convention Center extension can serve as a catalyst to bring people back and fill the empty spaces of commercial real estate.
President Biden announced today that the U.S. will send 31 Abrams tanks to push back against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
From the New York Times:
But by promising Abrams tanks — which John F. Kirby, the National Security Council spokesman, said would take “many months” to be built by General Dynamics — Mr. Biden was able to give Mr. Scholz political cover to send Leopard tanks by early spring. And Germany’s decision opened the way for Spain, Poland and Finland to do the same, with Norway likely next to announce a similar contribution.
Very nice: the stamps I had purchased just 11 days ago from my seller in Spain, landed in my mailbox tonight. The mailman should be commended for still doing the rounds at 8 at night.
This time the mailing envelope has the dreaded computer-processed postage label on. (Some philatelists don’t mind: they collect even these machine-generated labels).
I checked into the central library in downtown for the first time since the start of the pandemic today, and did very well. 😁
I bought two books for $1 each (so: free) at the little store at the entrance, and
checked out two Der Spiegel magazines and The Case of The Shoplifter’s Shoe. (A Perry Mason detective mystery. He is a lawyer and his secretary’s name is Della, and his private detective is Paul Drake. It’s easy reading and for old times’ sake. I had read them all a long time ago).
A little side benefit from buying stamps from sellers all over the world is that the senders sometimes paste whole sheets of stamps onto the envelope, instead of using a dreaded computer-generated black-and-white ‘stamp’ .
Why would the seller use these stamps from 30, 40 years ago, though?
He had an oversupply of stock?
The largest lottery winnings ever is the Powerball payout of US$2.04 billion recorded just last year on Nov. 7, 2022.
As of today, and for tonight’s drawing, the Mega Millions prize is up to $1.35 billion.
The biggest jackpots in the world, both starting and awarded, belong to US Powerball and Mega Millions.
Both of the lotteries jackpot prizes reset to an estimated US$20 million each time they’re won.
This is larger than many lotteries’ biggest payouts!
The second-biggest starting prize belongs to Europe’s transnational star: The EuroMillions.
The top prize starts at €17 million and can grow with each rollover until it reaches the prize cap.
Update Sat. 1/14: The second largest jackpot in Mega Millions history was sold in Lebanon, Maine (pop. 6,000) at the Hometown Gas & Grill. The winner hasn’t come forward yet.
It’s a challenge to go for a run outside, or to play sport outdoors in the Pacific Northwest winter.
When it’s clear and dry, it may be too cold.
When it’s cloudy and milder, it may be raining.
There’s always skiing and snowboarding in the mountains, of course.
No sun at sunset over the Olympic Mountains today— only blue mountains and pastel colors.
Here are a few pictures that I took on my walk around downtown Seattle today.
Argentina has won the World Cup for a third time (also in 1978 and 1986). Congratulations to Argentina and to Lionel Messi.
There’s a little snow on the way this weekend for the low-lying areas around Puget Sound, say the meteorologists.