The woodpeckers were back this morning. Only a few of the mahonia’s berries remain.
There was a beautiful blue sky and white clouds overhead at 5 this afternoon.
We’ve been lucky thus far this summer here in Seattle: no smoky air from the wildfires.
Tesla’s highly anticipated beta* version 9 of its Full Self-Driving software is out. This is the version of the software that is called Tesla Vision (camera) only; so it is not using the radar sensor’s input. (I don’t have FSD. I opted out of the FSD functions when I bought my car).
*A version of a piece of software that is made available for testing, typically by a limited number of users outside the company that is developing it, before its general release.
Gali @Gfilche on Twitter took his Model Y for a test drive through the streets on Capitol Hill here in Seattle at 2 a.m. this morning. Here are a few screen shots of a video (on YouTube channel HyperChange) that he posted shortly thereafter.
After 16 months, Washingtonians can again go to a bustling restaurant, sit at the bar, imbibe until as long as liquor licenses allow (usually 2 a.m.) and gather in large groups. If you are vaccinated, you can ditch the mask.
For now, masks are still required in healthcare settings, and on public transit. Employers are allowed to let fully vaccinated employees come to work without a mask— but they are also allowed to require masks for all employees regardless of vaccination status. Masks are still required in schools, childcare and day camps: the vaccine isn’t available to children under age 12, yet.
In King county, more than 70% of residents age 12+ have been vaccinated, but many other counties lag far behind, shockingly so. Despite being two of the four most-populous counties, Pierce and Spokane hover around 45%.
‘The most severe heat wave in the history of the Pacific Northwest is near its climax. The National Weather Service had predicted it would be “historic, dangerous, prolonged and unprecedented,” and it is living up to its billing as it rewrites the record books.
On Monday, Portland, Ore., soared to at least 115 degrees (46 °C), the highest temperature in more than 80 years of record-keeping. It marked the third straight day the city had climbed to an all-time high. On Sunday, it hit 112 (44 °C) Sunday after reaching 108 (42 °C) Saturday, both of which broke the previous all-time record of 107 (41.6 °C) .
Seattle was up to at least 107 degrees (41.6 °C) on Monday afternoon, surpassing the all-time record of 104 degrees (40 °C) set Sunday, which had topped the previous mark of 103 (39.4 °C)’.
– Jason Samenow and Ian Livingston, reporting for the online Washington Post on June 28, 2021 at 5:50 p.m. PDT
Sunday comes from Old English Sunnandæg, which is derived from a Germanic interpretation of the Latin dies solis (“sun’s day”). Germanic and Norse mythology personify the sun as a goddess named Sunna or Sól.
– From livescience.com
Today’s high of 104 °F | 40 °C at 5.29 pm was the highest ever recorded for Seattle.
Monday will bring an even higher temperature.
It’s Gay Pride weekend, but there will again be no Pride in downtown Seattle. (The organizers did not know at the outset of 2021 where Washington State and the city of Seattle would find itself come June, in the Covid-19 pandemic).
Honoring Pride Month at the White House on today, President Biden signed a law to designate the site of Pulse, a gay nightclub in Florida where a gunman killed 49 people and wounded dozens in 2016, as the National Pulse Memorial.
Pete Buttigieg, transportation secretary in the Biden administration, was the first openly gay cabinet secretary confirmed by the Senate, earlier this year.
This weekend is going to be a scorcher for the Pacific Northwest.
I am among the 40% of Seattle households that do not have air conditioning installed. I do have a unit on wheels, that I will set up again in my bedroom.
It was the first full day of the astronomical summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
We are just shy of 16 hours of daylight here in Seattle (sunset at 9.11 pm).
It was warm today (89 °F/ 32 °C), but there will be a little respite tomorrow & Wednesday, before the day temperatures go up again.
Here in Seattle it was a very pleasant 76 °F (24 °C) today, perfect for our social tennis group’s Thursday night at Lower Woodland Park.
Mild weather was not the case for the southwest of the US, though.
There’s a high-pressure heat dome hovering over southern California, Nevada and Arizona— with scorching day temperatures as a consequence:
125 °F (52 °C) for Death Valley, CA,
114 °F (46 °C) for Las Vegas, NV, and
117 °F (47 °C) for Phoenix, AZ.
I made my way to Amy Yee tennis center again tonight by bus.
It was 5.10 pm and the No 8 bus is notorious for being late, or ‘full’ (half-full, actually: half the seats are still blocked out, in order to create social distance between the passengers).
Plan B was to call for an UberX (cost: $20, quite a bit more than it used to be) if the bus (fare: $2.75) had not worked out.
The bus showed up in good time, though, and had a few open seats left.
It’s Wednesday, and the amigos went to Thai restaurant Jamjuree on 15th Avenue for our beers and a bite.
The restaurant was still empty at 6 pm, but some people did came in for take-outs. A few more tables had diners by the time we left an hour later.
King county now has 75% of eligible residents (12 yrs & older) vaccinated with at least their first shot, and 63% who have completed their vaccination. Officials will soon shut down the mass vaccination sites here in Seattle (Lumen Field Event Center, North Seattle College and in West Seattle and Rainier Beach).
The smaller locations, pop-up clinics and even mobile units, will have to get people to come in, and find those that still have not been vaccinated (and convince them to get their shots).
Well. Surprise (or not): crowds of people are still trouble, even with Covid-19 now receding in many communities.
There was a large crowd on Alki Beach on Saturday night (there was a meetup invite on TikTok). It did not take long for fights to break out, and a drunk man was seen brandishing a weapon. No one was hurt too seriously, though. ‘All parties declined medical attention and declined to participate in an investigation’, noted a report on the Seattle Police Dept. blotter website.
Four weeks had gone by, and this morning it was again time for my little rental car to go back to Hertz, on 8th Avenue in downtown Seattle.
The pictures are from my walk back, along Pine Street, and up to Capitol Hill.
I went down to Denny Way and Stewart St to check up on the construction there, this afternoon.
I counted 22 floor slabs for the two apartment towers at 1200 Stewart St. That is just about half of the 45 storeys they will each have at their completion.
Yay! We made it back into The Elysian tonight, for the first time in some 15 months. (We had ordered take-out meals from it several times during this period, though).
Ordering beers and food is done by each individual, using a smartphone. The diner zaps the QR code on the card with the phone’s camera (card visible in the middle of the table), pick items from the menu, and pay for it on the phone by credit card, tip included. The wait staff shows up with the items a little bit later.
Will restaurants like The Elysian go back to physical menus in say, 6 months or so? Time will tell. One would assume that they do take orders from patrons that do not have even one smart phone in the group, to place an order with. (Aliens from Mars?).
Huis, Paleis, Pondok, Varkhok.
(‘House, Palace, Cottage, Pigsty’).
– Afrikaans children’s rhyme, used to determine the ‘elegance’ of the house that your family lived in. Point to the top button of your shirt, and say ‘House’; the next button down is ‘Palace’; the next one down is ‘Cottage’, and so on, until you reach the bottom button. (Start again with ‘House’ if your shirt has more than four buttons). The bottom button says what your house is.
Now that the Gateses are divorcing, commentators are wondering what will happen to their sprawling $130 million estate on the shore of Lake Washington. Back in the mid-90’s when construction started, it was dubbed Xanadu 2.0. Xanadu is a reference to the lavish property that belongs to the tycoon character in the 1941 film ‘Citizen Kane’. The 2.0 refers to a next version iteration, such as Windows 3.0.
An intern was allowed to blog about the property in 2007, here. (Quote: ‘Going down Bill’s driveway is like arriving at Jurassic Park’).
Melinda Gates has reportedly bought a property of $1.2 million here in Capitol Hill, just three weeks ago. The reporter called it a ‘cottage’.