Monday/ TSLA’s big T market cap




Hertz said on Monday that it would convert more than 20 percent of its rental fleet to Tesla’s electric cars by the end of next year, an announcement that helped propel Tesla’s stock value beyond $1 trillion for the first time.

Tesla’s stock closed at $1024.86, up more than 12% on the day and giving the company a market value of $1.03 trillion.

The Wall Street Journal notes that the market caps of the biggest nine automakers need to be added to get to Tesla’s market cap.

Yes, Tesla sells 1/10th the number of cars that Volkswagen does, but it will deliver double the cars this year, compared to what it had delivered in 2020. And the stock market bulls argue that Tesla is technically not a car company: it’s a technology company.

Sunday/ a bomb cyclone

A very large ‘bomb cyclone’ storm system in the northeast Pacific Ocean generated an atmospheric river of rain that hit northern California today. Most of the West Coast had storm winds and rain as well.

There are reports of flooding and mudslides from California, but the good news is that the storm has brought the 2021 wildfire season to an end.

The bomb cyclone: a powerful, rapidly intensifying storm associated with a sudden and significant drop in atmospheric pressure, that occurred over the northeast Pacific on Sunday. We had blustery conditions and rain here in the city in Seattle, but not nearly as much rain as northern California.
With those 30-50 ft swells, I hope there were no containerships in the area. One near Vancouver Island had lost 40 containers overboard, a day or two ago, even before the storm was around. 
[Still from Accuweather video clip]
We had reports of fallen trees and power outages on Sunday around the city, but late afternoon it was quiet and there was a nice sun-break. This is Republican and 16th Avenue at 4.18 pm as I went for a walk.

Saturday/ Kraken 2, Canucks 4

Well, that was disappointing, and we will file this one in the ‘Too Bad’ folder.
It would have been great for the Seattle Kraken to win their first-ever game in their new home, but it was not to be. The home team was up 2-0, but in the end, succumbed to the Canucks with 2 goals to their 4.

Here it comes!— the very first goal for Seattle Kraken on their brand-new home ice rink. With just 3.2 seconds remaining in the first period, Seattle Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn scored for the home team.

Friday/ Climate Pledge Arena opens

The new home of the Seattle Kraken (ice hockey team) opened today, officially. There was a concert tonight: the first live performance of Coldplay’s brand-new album, Music Of The Spheres. This was the band’s first arena show in nearly five years.

The crews now have 12 hours to turn the arena into an ice hockey rink for the first home game of the Seattle Kraken (against the Vancouver Canucks).

The new Climate Pledge Arena with the intact roof and windows of the old Key Area (architect Paul Thiry; built for the 1962 World Fair). Private equity groups invested some $1.15 billion in the facility’s make-over. The arena will use on-site solar panels and off-site renewable energy power to be powered 100% by renewable energy.
[Picture Credit: Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times]
Workers dug an extra 15 feet downward to form a new arena floor some 53 feet below street level. In addition, the steeper seating grade now makes for double the seating capacity that the Key Arena had.
[Picture Credit: Oak View Group]
The ice rink will not have the traditional center-ice scoreboard, but dual scoreboards, one on each end, and high enough not to interfere with the sight line of the spectators.
[Picture Credit: Daniel Kim/ Seattle Times]

Wow. This wish-I-was-there picture of tonight’s Coldplay ‘Music Of The Spheres’ concert, tweeted by Ross Fletcher@RossFletcher1 on Twitter.

These are stills from the live-stream. The ‘spheres’/ planets and the lighting looked great.
[Source: Amazon Prime Video livestream]
Coldplay front man, vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and pianist Chris Martin (44 yo). Coldplay are a British rock band formed in London in 1996.
[Source: Amazon Prime Video livestream]
South Korean boy band BTS (make that SUPER-boy band), also known as the Bangtan Boys, also beamed into the concert.
[Source: Amazon Prime Video livestream]

Thursday/ my vote is in (for Seattle mayor)

ANYWAY, even though the bad president isn’t sitting at the top of the ballot this year, the results of the November 2 election will determine the future of this bright little capitalist jewel that none of us can really afford to live in.
– The Election Control Board of the very progressive, ‘alternative’ online newspaper ‘The Stranger’

I filled out my little bubbles on my ballot for Seattle mayor and other officials, and walked it down to the drop box on Broadway yesterday afternoon.
I voted for the candidate that will I believe will try harder to clean up the graffiti and trash from the city’s streets, and that will not further gut the Seattle Police Department (‘defund the police’).

Graffiti at Republican and 15th Avenue. Unintelligible garbage.
A moose on a caboose. OK, I just wanted to say ‘caboose’. A moose on a U-haul truck. Saskatchewan Province in Canada has some 45,000 moose. We count our moose in Washington State’s northeast counties only in the hundreds (about 400).
I think the pink cosmos flowers on 11th Avenue brightens up the day for everyone that walks by.
I’m on Broadway, getting close to the drop box by Seattle Central College. The Ander North apartments offer studios, 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments, and sits literally on top of Capitol Hill light rail station. There are still plenty of open retail space the ground floor along Broadway in this building.
There goes the street car along Broadway, by Seattle Central College. (Little Saigon, in the Chinatown-International District, is the social, economic, and cultural hub of the Vietnamese community in the Puget Sound region).
Here we go again, with more graffiti to clean up, this on the reflection pool’s wall in Cal Anderson Park. The City did a great job to clean up Cal Anderson Park of graffiti, trash and illegal encampments, after a rough 2020. The park is right by what was the Capitol Hill Organized Protest/ Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

Tuesday/ that container ship backlog: a new record

As good as new: my 2017 Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (5th Gen) notebook computer is back from the shop, five weeks later.  $300 for the keyboard & labor to replace it.
Its owner had splashed coffee all over it one morning. The entire keyboard had to be replaced.

The major backlog of container ships at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is the worst its ever been, with 100 ships waiting to enter and unload as of Tuesday.
Guess what? Another 45 ships are expected to arrive at these ports by Thursday.
In better times, and before the pandemic, there would be one ship waiting, or none! (To be fair, imports are at record levels at some ports, and Americans are buying everything they can lay their hands on).

I was just fearing that the keyboard that the repair shop had ordered for my notebook computer, might still be sitting in on a ship in Los Angeles or Longbeach .. but they called me today saying that it came in, and that I can pick up the computer.

Here are the ten busiest ports in the US:
1. Port of Los Angeles, California (known as ‘America’s Port’)- more than 9.2 million TEUs* in 2020
2. Port of Long Beach, California – more than 8.1 million
3. Port of New York & New Jersey, New York – more than 7.5 million
4. Port of Savannah, Georgia – more than 4.6 million
5. The Northwest Seaport Alliance (Seattle & Tacoma), Washington – more than 3.3 million
6. Port Houston, Texas – more than 2.9 million
7. Port of Virginia, Virginia – more than 2.8 million
8. Port of Oakland, California – more than 2.4 million
9. South Carolina Ports, South Carolina – more than 2.3 million
10. Port Miami, Florida – more than 1 million

*Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit
A TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) is a measure of volume, expressed in units of twenty-foot long containers.

Monday/ fired: the coach plus four

Mike Rolovich and four of his assistants have been fired for failing to comply with Washington State’s Covid-19 vaccination mandate.

From the New York Times:
Earlier in the day, a Superior Court judge rejected a request by hundreds of Washington State Patrol troopers, corrections officers, ferry workers and other public employees for a temporary injunction to block Inslee’s mandate, though the lawsuit they have filed can still go forward.

Rolovich, who was in the second year of a five-year, $15.6 million contract, had become the public face of the showdown with Inslee, who repeatedly said there would be no exceptions. Rolovich was counseled by June Jones, whom he played quarterback for and coached under at Hawaii, to get vaccinated. And Jack Thompson, a Washington State star quarterback from the late 1970s, had several heart-to-heart talks with him.

Rolovich’s resistance frustrated campus leaders, including President Kirk Schulz, who has strongly encouraged students to get vaccinated. Fans at the last two home games have been required to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test in order to be admitted, a policy the school developed in conjunction with the University of Washington and the Seattle Seahawks.

Sunday/ the deadline is here

Rolovich*: “I don’t think this is in my hands. I’ve been settled for a long time on it. I believe it’s going to work out the right way.”
Reporter: “Right way, as in staying the coach?”
Rolovich: “Correct. Or, if that’s not what (athletics director Pat Chun) wants, then, you know, then I guess I gotta move on. But I like being here, I like being the coach here, I love these kids, and I just got faith in it.”
*Nick Rolovich, head coach of the Washington State Cougars football team, and Washington State’s highest-paid employee at $3 million per year. The governor of Washington State earns a paltry $172,000 by comparison, per Ballotpedia.

The deadline is here: Washington State employees must be vaccinated come tomorrow, or get fired (or just risk getting fired? time will tell). The mandate includes employees at the Capitol in Olympia, firefighters, policemen, state troopers, and Washington State Cougars football team head coach Nick Rolovich.

Rolovich is reportedly seeking a religious exemption. If the school’s review panel — through its double-blind review procedure that is out of the hands of the athletics department — determines he does not have “sincerely held religious belief” preventing him from getting vaccinated, then he will be out of a job, and WSU will be off the hook for the remainder of his contract, says the CougCenter website.

The report also notes that even if his exemption is approved, the school must also determine if he can be accommodated. (He will have to do his job with social distancing, testing, and wearing a mask at all times, and so on). Given that the governor’s mandate is a public safety measure, it’s reasonable to infer that the safety of others — employees and the public at large, will factor into WSU’s thinking.

Photo and reporting that I referred to, from the CougCenter website. Washington State University is located in Pullman, Washington.

Saturday/ King Leonardo

It’s Caturday— and may I present my favorite picture of Leonardo, the Burmese cat that my brother and sister-in-law used to have.
Leonardo lived out the last of his nine cat lives some years ago, reaching a grand old age of 17.

Leonardo striking a regal pose. This photo is from 1997, taken with the same Olympus D-320L that I had mentioned in yesterday’s post. Most modern Burmese are descendants of one female cat called Wong Mau, which was brought from Burma to America in 1930 and bred with American Siamese. Originally, all Burmese cats were dark brown (sable), but now they come with coats in a wide variety of colors. [Wikipedia].

Friday/ decoding a road trip, from long ago

I have a pair of photos from May of 2000, taken when I had made the trip up from Houston to Seattle in my 1996 Toyota Camry.
I had long wondered at which rest area the one picture is taken, and now I know.
Here is how it went.

It was the year 2000, and there was no Google, and no Google Maps. I used my trusty 1999 Rand McNally Road Atlas to put this route together (demonstrated on Google Maps). I remember driving through the south of Wyoming. The Matthew Shepard murder of 1998 in Laramie, Wyoming was still fresh in the memory, and (irrationally), I was not going to stop for anything in Wyoming. On to Salt Lake City, which I had been to before then, and through Idaho to get me to the border with Oregon.
Here is the picture of me at the rest stop. (Yes, a very plain photo. I had used my 1997 Olympus D-320L 2-megapixel digital camera on the grass, with its 12-second timer). Really not much to go by in the picture, right? .. but I knew from my route, that I had taken Interstate 84 through the northeast of Oregon ..
.. and NOW it is the year 2021, and I can google ‘Interstate 84 rest areas in Oregon’, and a list comes up right away. Just check them out one by one, with Google StreetView, and voila! there is the wooden utility pole, and the hills in the back that look the same. It is no other than the Weatherby Rest Stop, at Milepost 335.9, I-84, Weatherby, OR 97907. (That’s a nice truck & trailer combination that was caught by the Google camera).
So right here is where my car was parked, in one of these spots. If I have it right, that is Pedro Mountain and its peak in the left center of the picture.
One mystery remains: exactly where on Interstate 84 this photo was taken. The ‘Deer Crossing’ sign is not much help, but with a little patience, I should be able to use the surrounding landscape to find it. Stay tuned. 🙂

Thursday/ no Squid Game for me

Sorry — not sorry — Netflix, I did not sign up for shows like Squid Game.
I don’t care that it’s your No 1 show. I really don’t care.

For people that feel that they are missing out, Angela Haupt offers these tips in The Washington Post:
-Read a synopsis ahead of time.
-Focus on the corners of the screen.
-Think about something else during the stressful parts.
-Watch in small doses rather than all at once.
-Find a way to ground yourself in the present moment.
-Make up a backstory for the “scary” characters.
-Talk about it.

The article also says: If you truly don’t want to watch an uncomfortable show like “Squid Game,” experts say you shouldn’t force yourself — no matter how much you worry your social currency might drop.
Me: Have no fear. I will not force myself.

Wednesday/ sights along Minor Ave & Broadway

I had my biannual eye check-up at the ophthalmologist today.
I walked there along Minor Avenue from the No 12 bus stop on Madison Street, and back along Broadway.

This is the Southwest Tower of Swedish Hospital’s First Hill campus. It opened in 1976 and was designed by architecture firm NBBJ. It may be an example of form of Brutalist architecture (my opinion; I could not verify it explicitly)— with its exposed poured concrete and its straightforward structure. The Brutalist movement started in the 1950s; has had severe critics, and was largely over by the late 1970s and early 1980s [Wikipedia].
Looking west from Minor Avenue, towards 707 Terry Avenue: two, 33-story towers with 440 apartment units above a 3-story podium. That skybridge should provide bird’s-eye views of the city and the Sound.
A nice turquois (teal?) Ford F-150 truck. Surely it’s a custom paint job. I cannot imagine Ford selling them in this color. ‘I brake for farm stands’ says the sticker in the window.
On Broadway, near Madison Street: the Museum of Museums is a contemporary art center (opened in 2019), created and managed by curator, artist, and entrepreneur Greg Lundgren. This is a three-story mid-century medical building, also designed by NBBJ, on the Swedish Medical Center campus.
The neon artwork is by Dylan Neuwirth and is called ‘All My Friends’.

Tuesday/ the northern lights

Posted by Tim Durkan @timdurkan on Twitter: Some beautiful Aurora borealis over Seattle tonight.

He says the further out of the city, and to the north, the better, for pictures like this. It needs to be clear and dark (places like Whidbey Island, Anacortes).

The camera that he used is a Fujifilm GFX 100S medium format* mirrorless camera (with a monster 102 MP 43.8 x 32.9mm BSI CMOS Sensor, able to catch faint variations in color in the night sky).

*Medium format means larger than the standard 35mm film format, which is 24mm x 36mm (864 mm2 of film surface). The Fujifilm GFX 100S’s sensor size is 1 441 mm2. By comparison, the new iPhone 13 Pro’s built-in camera (that takes spectacular pictures, by the way) has a sensor that is all of 35.2 mm2, which is 40 times smaller than the one in this medium format digital camera.

Monday/ biscotti with almonds

I made another Sunday night run out to Amazon Fresh on Jackson Street last night.

They were again out of the Amazon branded milk and Chobani yogurt that they had previous times, and that I was looking for. It’s not a big deal; I was just a little surprised.

On the plus side: I discovered that they stock these biscotti called Nonni’s Biscotti ‘Originali Classic Almond’. 
The biscotti are so dry that I dunk them for less than one second in my coffee, and then they are all soaked up and ready for eating.

Sunday/ it feels like fall

It was only 56 °F  (13 °C) when I went out for a walk at 6 pm today.
Still not scarf & glove weather, though. I’d say those are for 45°F  (7°C) and below.

This is 17th Ave East here on Capitol Hill. The leaves are falling, the way they always do this time of year. When fall comes, the green chlorophyll of summer breaks down in leaves and its nutrients go back to the trunk and roots. These leaves turn yellow. The leaves on some trees turn red, and botanists are still not 100% sure why they turn red.  The red color is due to a new pigment in the leaf called anthocyanin, which has to be made afresh as autumn takes hold. It may contain antioxidants to help against harsh winter conditions.

Saturday/ it’s official: LEGO’s RMS Titanic

From CNN Style:
Made up of 9,090 pieces, the replica model divides into three sections to reveal the interior of the ill-fated vessel, including the first-class grand staircase, which sprawls over six decks, as well as a Jacobean-style dining saloon and the engine room.
The LEGO ship is a 1:200 scale model and also includes a recreation of the ship’s bridge, promenade deck and swimming pool.
“At the time of its launch the Titanic was the pinnacle of nautical engineering, the largest moving vehicle ever created. It has been an incredible journey to recreate this iconic vessel from LEGO bricks, using blueprints created over a century ago,” Mike Psiaki, design master at the LEGO Group, said in a statement Thursday.
“Designing the LEGO Titanic with such a focus on immense detail and scale, but also accuracy, has allowed us to create one of the most challenging building experiences to date,” he added.
The set won’t come cheap though: Available for pre-order from November 1 and general sale from November 8, the ship will retail at $629.99.

All pictures are from

Friday/ another U District run

Wow, the U District station has served me well just in its first week after opening.
I made another run up there to today on the train, to get to my doctor’s office for my annual check-up. And I got my flu shot today, as well.

I am very happy to see the Neptune Music Company on the corner of Brooklyn St & NE 45th St is still there. It’s basically right next to the U District light rail station. The large basement is overflowing with collections of vinyl, CDs, DVD movies, VHS tapes, the works.
And just around the corner, the Neptune Theater is open as well. The Neptune is a performing arts theater with about 800 seats. It opened in 1921 so it’s 100 years old. (Google says The Front Bottoms are an American folk punk band from Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. I don’t think I will like their music. ‘That’s not my bag’, as Austin Powers would say).

Thursday/ beers

We walked down to Chuck’s Hop Shop in Central District for our beers tonight It was barely 60°F/  15°C, with a little wind chill.
The beer was good, though, as were the burgers and chicken sandwiches from the food truck nearby.

Poster at Chuck’s Hop Shop, advertising a ‘fresh hop’ beer fest on Saturday. (That’s Fresh Hop Bear, the mascot).
A Quick Hops Primer: Hops are the flowers (also called seed cones or strobiles) of the hop plant Humulus lupulus. The first documented hop cultivation was in 736, in the Hallertau region of present-day Germany. Hops are traditionally dried for their use in beer, but since the 1990s some brewers have started to use fresh hops: picked from the vine and immediately used for brewing beer. (Hops are harvested around this time, at the end of summer).

Wednesday/ U District to Capitol Hill in 6 mins

It was nice to have the U District train (instead of the No 48 bus) to take home today after my visit at the doctor’s office.

The 22-story UW Tower (completed 1975) is a nice beacon to use, to navigate to the new U District train station on Brooklyn Ave (teal canopy to its left, on the street). The UW Tower house the head offices of the University of Washington.
Here’s the station’s entrance. I would call the color of the lining of the glass canopy turquoise, but it’s officially teal. (Between teal and turquoise, teal is the darker one).
Inside the station at the platform level, looking at the Fragment Brooklyn art installation. The woman in the window is doing embroidering.
Here comes the south-bound train. This train has the older train cars from Kinki Sharyo Co., Ltd. (also known as Kinkisharyo, one word), based in Osaka, Japan. It’s a 6 minute ride from here to Capitol Hill station. I think the No 48 bus to Capitol Hill takes 3 times this time (it has many more stops than the train, to be fair).
Outside the Capitol Hill station two stops down from U District, I can catch either the No 8 or the No 10 bus to take me the 8 blocks up the hill close to where I live. This electronic board with the next arrivals that are due is new, and a nice addition to this bus stop.