Friday/ wash those wheels 💦🚗

One of crew of two painters fell ill yesterday, and so I was down to a crew of one today. My car needed a wash badly, and I was off to the car wash after the painter had left for the day.

Uncle Ike’s Car Wash on 23rd Avenue. I’m drying my car after washing & rinsing it in the bay behind it. Just after I had taken this picture, a red Tesla Model 3—and then a gray one—rolled in as well. I gave the owner of one a smile and a thumbs-up as I left (meaning ‘I like your car’).

Thursday/ a new coat, just in time for winter 🧥

My house is getting a new coat of paint.
Luckily we still have stretches of warm and sunny days this year in the early days of autumn.
The painters tell me they paint outside until Oct. 15 every year, weather permitting, and then they call it quits and paint inside only.

The painting has not started in earnest yet. Preparing for the painting work actually takes longer than the painting itself. The bad parts of the siding had been scraped last week, and the whole outside of the house was pressure-washed. Then more scraping and filler for any cracks, and a primer (the white on the green) is put on.
The new coat is a slightly different green than the old green (in the picture), and the brown doors and wood window frames will become a dark gray with a green undertone. So the house will look different than before, but not radically so.
Since my mailbox was inaccessible today, I had to improvise :). I needed the mailman to pick up two pieces of outgoing mail, but he did not come by today. There’s always tomorrow. Not too many days go by without some junk mail arriving and getting stuffed into one’s mailbox!

Saturday/ views from Myrtle Edwards Park 🌅

These views are from the Myrtle Edwards Park and the trail that runs along Puget Sound’s Elliott Bay.

The Space Needle is still wearing its orange coat (to celebrate its 60th birthday this year).
Through my telephoto lens I could see a lot of visitors at the top, enjoying clear views of Elliott Bay, Mt Ranier and the city.
The globe and eagle on the building of the former Seattle Post-Intelligencer print newspaper (now online), is still there. ‘It’s in the P-I’ says the lettering.
Yes, the mountain is out (Mt Rainier). I am looking south towards the container terminals on the Port of Seattle’s Harbor Island.
The public artwork called Adjacent, Against, Upon (1976) by Michael Heizer. Look for the three sets of granite slabs from right to left: two slabs adjacent, one slab against another, one slab upon another.
Looking south after reaching the Terminal 86 grain facility with its elevator. This little pier in the foreground with its sheltered posts is closed to the public.
The phalanx of grain silos across from the grain elevator. ‘The Terminal 86 Grain Facility Is Hideous. It Must Be Painted’ wrote Gregory Scruggs in The Stranger newspaper in 2019.
It is just about 7.00 pm, as the sun sets behind the Olympic mountains, due west (it only does this twice a year, at the spring and fall equinoxes). The sun will set a little further to the south every day until the winter solstice in December. Right now the daylight hours are just about equal to the night time’s (12 hours), and shrinking.
Second Avenue & Pike Avenue. Look for Smith Tower with its pyramid top in the distance. My car’s console map is saying to head down Second Ave and turn left on Sout Jackson (to use my $10 coupon at Amazon Fresh to pick up a prepared dinner). After this red light turned green, I had green lights all the way down to South Jackson. Sweet.

Saturday/ the bridge is open

Yay! The West Seattle bridge is open.

From the Seattle Times:
SDOT closed the span March 23, 2020 because cracks discovered seven years earlier were beginning to accelerate at a dangerous pace, in four areas within the 150-foot-high central main span.
Stabilization and strengthening work, at a cost of up to $78 million, is expected to keep the concrete structure aloft until about 2060. And drivers will no longer need to make a six-mile detour that sometimes lasted 30 to 60 minutes, through the Duwamish River valley highways or streets.

Workers put final touches on the West Seattle Bridge on Tuesday, in preparation for the opening late Saturday.
[Picture by Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times]

Sunday/ a seaplane crash

It was a gray Sunday— no sun— and terrible news broke later in the day, of a seaplane crash in Puget Sound.

The plane was a De Havilland DHC-3 Otter with 10 people onboard, nine adults and one child. The US Coast Guard said the plane was traveling from Friday Harbor to Renton Municipal Airport when it crashed into the waters of Mutiny Bay.

The crash was reported at 3:11 p.m. One body had been recovered and nine people were still missing as of around 9 p.m. The cause of the crash is still unknown.

Update Mon 9/5:
The Coast Guard recovered several large pieces of aluminum and smaller pieces of debris smelling of fuel, but “very little” of the actual plane had been found as of midday Monday, said Scott Giard, search and rescue program director for the Coast Guard in the Pacific Northwest region.
Both the Coast Guard and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife sent divers to the island, and the Coast Guard will use an underwater drone to try to find the wreckage and come up with a plan to retrieve any remains from the fuselage.
Officials believe the wreckage is on the seafloor, which is between 150 and 200 feet deep in that area. – from the Seattle Times

Update Thu 9/29:
The wreckage of the floatplane was found on 9/12, on the seafloor. Today, some 80% of the wreckage was recovered off Whidbey Island, as well as an undisclosed number of bodies of the 10 victims. Crews began recovering pieces of the wreckage on Tuesday, and recovery is expected to last several more days.

The seaplane crashed in Mutiny Bay off Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, on the way to Renton Municipal Airport. Witnesses on the shore saw the plane descend rapidly, and hit the water.

The De Havilland Canada DHC-3 “Otter” is a single-engine, high-wing, short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft.
[Diagram from]
De Havilland Canada DHC-3 “Otter” (CF-ODU) on display (9/16/2003) at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.
[Photo by John Shupek copyright © 2003 Skytamer Images]

Wednesday/ at the Twilight Exit

dive bar
a small, unglamorous, eclectic, old-style bar with inexpensive drinks, which may feature dim lighting, shabby or dated decor, neon beer signs, packaged beer sales, cash-only service, and a local clientele (from Wikipedia)

The amigos went to Twilight Exit tonight, off Cherry Street in Central District. It was toasty outside today (88 °F / 32 °C) but there was a welcome breeze outside on the patio.

That’s Jimi Hendrix (b.1942- d.1970) on the artwork by the entrance— Seattle native and guitarist, singer, and songwriter. His mainstream career spanned only four years, but he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music.



At 7 tonight, I walked to Madison Street, along 17th Avenue.
A woman driving an ‘electric blue’ Tesla Roadster (the 2011 model) turned into the Trader Joe’s parking garage just then.
At the Shell gas station across the street, the sign says $5.39/ gallon, some 50c down from July.
Hopefully, gas prices will become irrelevant in a few more decades.
Washington State is going to follow California’s lead and ban sales of ICE (internal combustion engine) cars starting in 2035.

Looking west from the top of John Street, at 15th Avenue, about 20 minutes before the sun set at 7.57pm. There is definitely an end-of-summer vibe in the air.

Monday/ back to Seattle 🛬

My short stay in San Diego was over on Monday morning, and Alaska Airlines brought me back to Seattle.

There it is: the Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900 with its little winglets on the tips of the wings, at Gate 34 of Terminal 2 at San Diego airport.
Here’s beautiful blue Lake Tahoe, straddling the border of (northern) California and Nevada.
There would be snow on the ground in winter time. On the bottom left are the runways of Minden-Tahoe Airport, and on the bottom right is Carson City in Nevada.
Almost home now, over Tacoma, Washington State. That would be the Tacoma-Narrows Bridge linking Tacoma & the Kitsap Peninsula. The runways at top left are those of Tacoma Narrows Airport (not served by any commercial carriers).
Seattle-Tacoma Airport’s North Terminal has undergone a renovation for several years now, and the work is almost complete. The large art installation on the wall is called Boundary (2021) by artist John Grade. The wood that he used is Alaskan yellow cedar and the dimensions are 40’ x 85’ x 25’.

Tuesday/ four courts of doubles tennis 🥎

I hosted the Seattle Tennis Alliance social doubles tennis at Lower Woodland Park tonight.
The host welcomes everyone at 7 pm, and then dispatch the 16 players to the 4 courts which we had reserved for 2 hours from the City.

To figure out which four groups (of four players each) would work best, I divvied up the 16 players into four imaginary skill levels of four players each.  It’s not an exact science, but I know most of the players and assigned the best four to Level 1, the next four to Level 2, and then to Level 3 and Level 4.

The hard work done, the rest comes easy:
Court 5: L1 player & L2 player vs. L1 player & L2 player
Court 6: L3 & L4 vs. L3 & L4
Court 7: L1 & L2 vs. L1 & L2
Court 8: L3 & L4 vs. L3 & L4

Social tennis players are notoriously intolerant of players far below their own skill level, so it’s best to avoid having say, Level 1 and Level 4 players on the same court. The worst of all is to have three Level 1 players and one Level 4 player on the same court, or the other way around.

Here’s the action on Court 5 at Lower Woodland Park, with Court 6 on the far side. The flood lights are OK, but not the best (they need to sit at a higher elevation). 
We are about to wrap it up— approaching 9.00 pm. The sun had set some 30 minutes ago.

Monday/ twilight

Here’s Seattle photographer Tim Durkin’s picture as night falls on the Emerald City.
Yes, The Mountain is out —and had been out for most of the day.

The high today was 83°F (28°C).
We’re on our way to another 90 °F (32 °C) high, on Thursday.
That might be the last one for this summer.

Picture Credit: Tim Durkan @timdurkan on Twitter

Sunday/ Pioneer Square 🧱

Here are pictures from my (self-directed) architecture appreciation tour today, around Pioneer Square.

Here’s the Pioneer Square light rail entrance and exit hall, on Yesler Way.
Looking up at one of Seattle’s most famous landmarks: Smith Tower, constructed in 1914 and named after its builder, the firearm and typewriter magnate Lyman Cornelius Smith (not related to Horace Smith of Smith & Wesson).
Detail of the white terra-cotta cladding on the walls and the overhang of the pyramid top of the Tower.
The Collins Building right next door, in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, was built much earlier, in 1894. The construction was paid for and supervised by Irish-American businessman John Collins, who had also served as Seattle’s fourth elected mayor.
Across the street is the Corona Lofts apartment building, which is also a historic landmark building, built in 1903.
Walking along Yesler Way towards the waterfront, and here is the canopy at the old Travelers Hotel building (constructed 1913) that says Barney McCoy’s Buffet Lunch, Cigars, on the side that is facing the street. (Present day there is a cozy eatery called 84 Yesler inside).
The CitizenM hotel at Yesler and Alaskan Way is a brand-new boutique hotel (it’s a Dutch brand). The large tiled graphic mural is called ‘Schema’: an abstract map depicting layers of Seattle’s early history and idiosyncrasies.
The Pioneer Square Hotel was designed by architect Albert Wickersham and built in 1914. By the 1930s it was a flophouse (a cheap hotel & rooming house). Restored in the 1990s, and now run by the Best Western franchise, it had long been the only hotel in Pioneer Square. (The new CitizenM hotel is kitty corner from it).
Here’s the corner of Yesler and First Avenue. This building started out as the National Bank of Commerce building, constructed in 1890-91. (So right after the Great Fire of Seattle in 1899, which had destroyed 25 city blocks, including some in Pioneer Square).
‘Constructed in 1890 and known as the Squire-Latimer Building for many years, this ornate brick building was the home of Seattle’s Grand Central Hotel (1897-1933). Like many luxury hotels, the Grand Central did not outlast the lean years of the Great Depression’. -from
A peek of the hallway inside the boarded-up Grand Central Hotel building with my phone camera’s wide-angle lens.
The four-story State Building on South Washington Street, built in the Queen Anne – Richardsonian Romanesque style, is another that was constructed in 1891, right after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889.
The Broderick Building (constructed in 1892), is a six-story building with brick walls and large blocks of rusticated Tenino sandstone on its main facades.
The Mutual Life Building of 1897, built in a modified Romanesque Revival style, is on First Avenue. It had suffered minor earthquake damage on two or three occasions, and was in need of some repair work by the 1970s. In 1983, the totally empty Mutual Life Building was purchased by Historic Seattle, and they spearheaded a complete architectural rehabilitation the following year.
A closer look at the detail at the base of the arch at the building’s entrance.
This is the public space called Occidental Square, and the totem artwork is of Tsonoqua, a mythological giantess and ‘nightmare bringer’ invoked by exasperated North Coast mothers to frighten their children into obedience.
Another view of Occidental Square. The Seattle Fallen Firefighters Memorial statue by Hai Ying Wu (1995) honors generations of heroes. On the right are the glass windows of the Occidental Street offices of the timberland and wood products company Weyerhauser (completed 2016).
All right .. time to go home, and here comes the southbound train rolling into Pioneer Square station. I took the northbound train three stops up to Capitol Hill, and hey! just as I walked out of the Capitol Hill station, the No 8 bus rolled up to take me another seven blocks closer to home.

Thursday/ the Kingston water taxi 🌊🚖

Here are pictures of my roundtrip on the Kingston water taxi today.
Kingston lies north and west from Seattle, across Puget Sound on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Looking north along Alaskan Way from the temporary skybridge along Columbia Street. Some time in 2023 the permanent skybridge along Marion Street will be completed. Look for a plywood-encased pillar for the new skybridge in the left-of-center of the picture.
The new MV (Marine Vessel) Commander at the passenger-only (no vehicles) facility at Colman dock, ready for departure.
The MV Commander plies the Seattle-Kingston route with its 65-ft (20 m) aluminum catamaran hull. There are six return crossings every day, and one way takes 40 mins.
There is only one level of seating inside the MV Commander, with a seating capacity of 149. It’s 7:55 am, and earlier a few dozen commuters from Kingston had arrived into Seattle. Now the empty water taxi was heading back to Kingston. Bryan and I had just boarded, and there was exactly one more passenger for this return trip back to Kingston!
This is the front of the vessel, as we are pushing back from the terminal. (No, those are not flying saucers with aliens— just the reflection of the lights inside the cabin).
Arriving at Kingston, 40 minutes later.
On the left is the older MV Finest, built in 1996, that had been in service on the Seattle-Kingston route before being replaced with the MV Commander.
In the middle is MV Hyak, constructed in 1966, and decommissioned in 2019 after 52 years of service.
On the right is the MV Spokane, constructed in 1972, and providing regular ferry service for the Edmonds-Kingston route.
This great blue heron (Ardea herodias) on the rocks at the Kingston ferry terminal was not cooperating for my photo, and fussing with its chest feathers instead.
Entering the walkway to the MV Commander (on the right) for the return trip to Seattle.
Here comes the Emerald City, the skyline bracketed by the Space Needle on the left and Smith Tower (white exterior, pyramid top) on the right.
The cruise ship is the Carnival Spirit, guest capacity 2,124, getting ready to sail out to Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska, before coming back to Seattle.
The Blue Angels (F/A-18 Super Hornets) are putting in a few final practice runs for their performance for the upcoming 2022 Seafair Weekend Festival this weekend.
Stepping off the MV Commander at the passenger-only terminal, Pier 50.

Sunday 🌞

Artwork from The Economist newsmagazine.

Today saw one more 95 °F/ 35°C high⁠— and made for a record stretch of 6 days with >90 °F highs.

Monday will be a little cooler, and we may even see rain on Thursday.
Fancy that.

Monday/ gas is still expensive ⛽

There are reports from elsewhere in the USA that gas prices have started to come down the last few weeks.
The gas price posted at the Shell station by Trader Joe’s on Madison Avenue is not budging, though.

The average price of gasoline in Seattle is reportedly $5.13 per gallon, so at $5.76 this Shell station’s gas is expensive. That little Veo bike on the pavement is an electric-assist bike. Cost: $1 to unlock and $0.33 a minute to ride. 

Sunday/ U District

You’d better go out today⁠— while you can, I told myself this morning.
We’re heading into hot weather for the whole week, with 93°F / 34 °C forecast for Wednesday.

U District Station  I had just stepped off the northbound train, and started to make my way up the steps. At the same time the southbound train (this one) was is just departing.
This side of the building that houses Crossroads Trading Co. on University Way NE, used to be a bland off-white. Now its scarlet red really catches the eye! On the far side edge is the No 44 bus, about to drive into my picture.
Many eateries catering to UW students line University Way NE. These chickens invite diners to come and try some barbecued chicken and teriyaki chicken at the BBQ Chicken joint.
The Wells Fargo wall panel at NE 41st St and NE 15th Avenue with the historic University of Washington pictures is still there.
The University Manor Apartments just across from U District train station, was designed by architect Earl Roberts and constructed in 1926. It has an eight-story Collegiate Gothic apartment structure with a brick and cast stone exterior. Look for the corbels of grotesque human faces below the second floor, at the bottom of pilasters that separate the paired double-hung windows.

Sunday/ Dick’s Drive-in is back 🍔

Dick’s Drive-in burger joint on Broadway is open after its remodel .. has been open for a few weeks already, actually.

We had a very mild 20 °C (68 °F) here in the city today.
Whoah at the first-ever red-alert temps of 40 °C (104 °F) forecast for London for Monday.


Friday/ helping to pay for the bridge

I took my notebook computer in to the repair shop in Redmond today.
The right (built in) speaker is crackling badly.
I could bypass the little built-in speakers with external ones, but it’s a cheap fix to fix to install a new speaker, and then the machine would be good to go as-is.

I’m westbound to Seattle, crossing Lake Washington via the State Route 520 toll bridge. It was $2.70 to cross eastbound, and $3.40 for this crossing, so $6.10 total. That’s OK, it’s nice to have a new bridge. (It opened in 2016 at a cost of $4.6 billion). Way out in the distance cloud cover is rolling in from the coast⁠— a weak front that will bring the highs for the weekend down to the low 70s (low 20s °C). We’ve had pleasant, mild summer weather so far.

Sunday/ clear skies

It was a lovely day here in the Pacific Northwest, and not too warm: 77 °F (25°C).
The 6 o’clock Nightmare Show (NBC’s Nightly News) reported that the Yosemite wildfire threatens a grove of giant sequoias.
We have been blessed with clear skies here so far.

The sun is setting as I stroll by Jamjuree’s, the Thai restaurant on 15th Avenue. Four young people had just crowded into Liberty Bar behind me, and Hopvine Pub ahead is hopping as well. The street block up ahead is still in rough shape with Coastal Kitchen still closed. The empty building in the distance on the left (old QFC store) is clean again after the latest round of graffiti had been scrubbed from it.
That little white blob in the sky is the moon, on its way to becoming 2022’s largest supermoon, this Wednesday July 13th (it will be at its closest point to Earth for the year).

Tuesday/ blue is a hard color

Seattle photographer Tim Durkan took these spectacular photos of last night’s fireworks⁠— the first Seafair fireworks show on Lake Union in 3 years.
He uses slightly longer exposures that make the fiery blooms look even better than in real life, I suspect.

Facebook: Tim Durkan Photography
Instagram: @TimDurkan
Twitter: @TimDurkan


The colors in fireworks come from the salt compounds of barium, copper and strontium.
Blue is hard to create:  the copper compounds for the blues do not hold up well in high heat. The search is still on for other compounds after all this time!

Barium ChlorideBaCl₂Color AgentGreens
Barium NitrateBa(NO₃)₂OxidizerGreens
Copper Carbonate CH₂Cu₂O₅Color AgentBlues
Copper Chloride CuCl₂Color AgentBlues
MagnaliumMg-Al alloyHeat & lightNeutral
Potassium Perchlorate KClO₄OxidizerStars & flashes
Sodium OxalateC₂Na₂O₄Color AgentYellows, Gold
Strontium CarbonateSrCO₃Color AgentReds
Strontium Chloride SrCl₂Color AgentReds
Strontium NitrateSr(NO₃)₂OxidizerReds