The walkways around the Denny Substation opened yesterday, and I went to take a look today.
We are spared the heat wave that is gripping the Midwest and Northeast of the country.
The Seattle area may see 86°F/ 30°C by Sunday, but that is mild compared to the sizzling temperatures forecast for St. Louis, Washington DC and Boston.
Today marks ten years since the opening of the Seattle light rail transit system. I was one of the 45,000 riders that boarded the light rail train for the first time, on July 18, 2009.
The initial line ran from downtown to Tukwila International Boulevard (close to Seattle-Tacoma airport). Four more stops have opened since then (Seattle-Tacoma airport & Angle Lake to the south, Capitol Hill and University of Washington to the north). The next extension of three more stops to the north, will open in 2021.
Trump: ‘I don’t have a racist bone in my body’.
Joe Biden, asked about it by a reporter: ‘That means he has no bones’.
It’s Wednesday, and the furor over Trump’s tweets from the weekend, urging four female members of color of the House of Representatives to ‘go back to their countries’ (all four are American citizens, of course) has not died down.
Ai, aster, aster, vat my hand en druk my vaster,
want my kop voel deurmekaar as ek na jou skoonheid staar*
*a rough translation: (young man to his girlfriend) ‘hey aster, aster, take my hand and hold me faster, for my head is humming, you are so stunning’.
– from the 1970’s Afrikaans folk song ‘Ai, meisie, meisie‘ by Jan de Wet
The aster in front of my house is flowering. Its genus is Kalimeris, from the sunflower family. It was first described in 1825 by the French botanist Alexandre Henri Gabriel de Cassini.
I went bicycling with my friends on today, and tried out an electric-assist bicycle for the first time.
The bicycle has three gears, and performed very well. As far as I could tell, the electric assist from the battery is always-on (so no way to turn it off).
On even grades, the electric assist feels a little like cheating! – but it does come in very handy on long uphill climbs.
The Federer-Nadal semi-final at Wimbledon produced an incredible display of tennis — nevermind that the protagonists were 33 and 37 (almost 38) years old.
They have played each other some 40 times, but last met at Wimbledon in 2008 – so this match was in the making for 11 years. In all this time, they both only got sharper, fitter and even better than they already had been at their game, so long ago.
I woke up to a shaking house at 3 a.m. this morning.
The shaking went on for only a few seconds, but I was sure it was an earthquake. It turned out there was a magnitude 3.5 quake, and the one I experienced must have been the 4.6 quake that followed just two minutes later.
The epicenter of the quake is about 26 miles from my house. No real damage or injuries in the Puget Sound area or from elsewhere, were reported.
P.S. The Nisqually earthquake of 2001 near Olympia was several orders of magnitude stronger, at 6.8. It damaged the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the dome of the State Capitol building in Olympia, and Starbucks headquarters in Seattle.
Here’s a beautiful double rainbow, that we saw on Wednesday night from my friends’ house in the Mt Baker neighborhood.
P.S. Yes, it’s not your imagination, there really is a second one above the first!
My new set of Spirograph has arrived, and I’m ready to draw up a storm of hypocycloids: the lines formed when tracing a point on a disk, while running it inside a circle.
It sports 12 outrageously shaped, geared wheels: barrel, trapezoid, pentagon, heart, egg, square, hexagon, star, teardrop, ellipse, shield and star.
The biggest reason for getting it though, I think, is the perfectly round ring (168 teeth outside/ 120 inside), that I expect to be able to use with the 18 round wheels that I already have.
For more than 50 years, Spirograph enthusiasts had two rings to work with: the 150/105 and the 144/ 96. Now there is a third one.
Here’s a ten-lined June beetle (sometimes called the watermelon beetle), that had landed on my porch.
They don’t bite, but they hiss and squeal when handled, I read online. (Handled? Who does that with a scary-looking bug? I flicked it off the porch with a piece of paper).
It was a gray Sunday, with a little rain, here in the city today.
I did run out to go check on the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s gradual disappearance (on-going demolition), and the new buildings under construction nearby.
Here’s the woodpecker (northern flicker/ Colaptes auratus), that I see now and again by my house, searching for ants and bugs in the paving, and in the tree. This one is a male, with its bright red cheek.
They eat fruits, berries, seeds, and nuts, but their primary food is insects. Ants alone can make up 45% of their diet. [Source: Wikipedia].
I watched a little Wimbledon tennis every day this week.
New kid on the block, 15-year old American Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff, continues to make waves. Today, she clawed her way back to a 3-6, 7-6, 7-5 victory over Slovenian ‘veteran’ Polona Hercog (28), in the third round.
To the disappointment of many (and mine), 16-year old Leo Borg, son of Bjorn Borg, lost at his first bid to make it into the Wimbledon Junior tournament main draw. ‘I was very happy to play, and I am very thankful to play here, but today was not my day’, he said afterwards.
My hydrangea’s flowers are starting to appear. In South Africa we call them krismisrose (‘Christmas roses’) in Afrikaans.
We had light rain for most of the day here in the city – a welcome change in the weather, given the dry conditions around Western Washington.
July is the driest month of the year, though*. So we may not see a whole lot more rain, soon.
*July average rainfall is 0.9 in., compared to 6.1 in. for December.