Monday 🧔

Ever a grifter and a fraud, and one day after that $355 million plus interest ruling against his company, here he is on Saturday at Philadelphia’s Sneaker Con*, peddling gold metallic high-top sneakers with a T on the side. (T for Tacky?).
The crowd was jeering and booing.
A deranged woman made it onto the stage, and leaned into the microphone, sobbing and pointing at Trump. ‘He’s a good man!’ she said.
*Sneaker Con is a global traveling event for sneakerheads of all ages. Seattle is hosting a local Sneaker Con event this Saturday.
[Photo from the Philadelphia Inquirer]

Sunday/ a U-district run 🚉

It was time for a U-district/ bookstore run this afternoon, and off I went to Capitol Hill light rail station.

The 13-story University of Washington office block building on top of the U-district light rail station is taking shape.
On the street below, first responders were picking up someone that had experienced a crisis of some kind.
A nod to the Year of the Dragon in the UW bookstore’s window.
The luxury student apartment building (on the right) called The Standard is complete.
It has studios, one, two and three bedroom apartments.
Students can double up in the bedrooms.
Even so, the cheapest that the rent per student will come to is $1,200 to $1,300 per month. The studio apartments would actually be the most expensive, at some $2,400 per month for the renter.
A closer look at the artwork on the side of the building.
It was another gray winter day here, but bright storefronts and mural art helps to lift the spirits.
I always try to stop at Magus Books, the second-hand bookstore.
The cart has some John Updike books (Odd Jobs, Picked-up Pieces) but I didn’t pick one up. Maybe I should have.
Updike’s writing career started early. At Harvard he soon became well known among his classmates as a talented and prolific contributor to The Harvard Lampoon, of which he was president. [From Wikipedia]

Saturday/ karma?

(in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
“a buddha is believed to have completely purified his karma”
destiny or fate, following as effect from cause.
“there’s something highly satisfying when karma strikes”

A measure of justice for the fraudster and his organization, finally.
It’s only February of 2024, though. The trials for the four criminal cases against citizen Trump are yet to start: the Federal Jan. 6 Case, the Election Interference Case in Georgia, the Classified Documents Case in Florida and the Manhattan Hush-Money Case (2016 election fraud).
As front-runner for the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States, Trump has already raided the coffers of the Republican National Committee and his own 2024 campaign fund to the tune of $50 million for legal fees.

Wednesday/ for Valentine’s Day 😘

Happy Valentine’s Day— for those that indulge in it.
Here is a cute cartoon from Stern magazine, and from the latest— and 40th— Asterix cartoon book series.
The series first appeared in the Franco-Belgian comic magazine Pilote on 29 October 1959.

Background: Chief Vitalstatistix is the chief of the Gaulish village. He is a middle-aged, bigbellied man with red hair, pigtails and a huge moustache. He is generally reasonable, well-informed, fearless, (comparatively) even-tempered and unambitious — the last much to the chagrin of his wife Impedimenta. His major failings are his love of good food and drink (it is unlikely to be a coincidence that his wife is the best cook in the village) — which has led to health problems — and his pride. -from Wikipedia
Der Kampf des Häuptlings
The Chief’s Battle

Impedimenta: Fällt etwas dir was auf?
Impedimenta: Do you notice anything?

Chief: Du hast überall muskelkater, weil du das bankett für heute abend vorbereitet hat?
Chief: You have sore muscles all over, because you prepared the banquet for tonight?

Impedimenta: Nein! Ich have mir ein neues Kleid gekauft!
Impedimenta: No! I bought myself a new dress!

Chief: Ach so, ja …
Chief: Oh yes, right …

Tuesday/ sunny and cold ❄

There was a slight breeze while I was out for my walk this afternoon, so it felt even chillier than the official 45 °F (7°C) temperature.
A 2024 Toyota Prius on 15th Avenue East.
Very nice, but man! it still says HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) on the back.
This is a car that is now in its fifth generation.
(The first ones appeared in 1997 in Japan and they debuted in 2000 in North America).
A confounding question: why does Toyota not have an EV sedan yet on the market?
They do have cars on the drawing board, and now says their new EVs are due out in 2026, and will feature batteries with nearly 500 miles of range.
The 2023 Toyota bZ4X is the automaker’s first mass-produced electric vehicle and is currently the only EV the brand offers. (Source:

Monday/ all’s well that ends well 😙

My carwash routine of Friday turned out to be very sloppy: I lost my credit card there. (It’s a long story).
Lucky for me, someone had found it and handed it in at the office where I could pick it up today. I have now resolved to use my phone’s wallet function to zap a payment card reader whenever I can.
If the physical card has to come out of my wallet, do one thing at a time.
Double-check that it had gone back in.

Superbowl Sunday 🏈

Chiefs become first team in 20 years to win back-to-back Super Bowls
LAS VEGAS — The NFL has a repeat champion for the first time in 19 years. The Kansas City Chiefs, with a third Super Bowl triumph in five seasons, cemented the league’s modern-day dynasty with a 25-22 overtime win against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

This one, the same as the last two for Kansas City and its superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes, came with a stirring second-half comeback and, this time, with some late heroics in overtime.

Jake Moody’s 27-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime put the 49ers ahead 22-19, but the Chiefs responded with a 13-play, 75-yard drive and won it on 3-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes to Mecole Hardman.
– Zak Keefer, National Staff Writer for The Athletic

Overtime is over, and the game is over, and the usual pandemonium erupts onto the field.
The confetti is real. The purple oysters shooting green slime onto the field are from cartoon channel Nickelodeon, as are Spongebob SquarePants and his foil Patrick Star (an overweight coral-pink starfish), in the bottom left corner.
Superstar Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (28).

Saturday/ Happy Lunar New Year 🐲

Happy Lunar New Year, the Year of the Dragon.

I bought this dragon from a souvenir vendor on Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, probably in early 2010.
It’s a classic depiction of the dragon in the Chinese zodiac. I saw replicas of this dragon in offered in Swarovski crystal, and in 24-karat gold, by Hong Kong jewelry stores.

Friday/ at the carwash 🧽

Happy Friday.
A clean car is a happy car.

At the Brown Bear Car Wash on Leary Way in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.
All washed and dried. All that remains is to suck up the dust and debris inside (from Wednesday’s recycle run) with the giant vacuum cleaner.

Thursday/ flirting with 5,000 🤩

The S&P 500’s (.SPX) forward price-to-earnings ratio— a commonly used metric to value stocks— rose to 20.4 times this week, a level last reached in February 2022, according to LSEG Datastream.
That puts it far above the index’s historic average of 15.7.

It isn’t unusual for valuations to climb along with stock prices, and equities can stay expensive for a long time before returning to more moderate levels. Still, some investors believe the index’s growing multiple has made buying into the broad market a less enticing proposition. The S&P 500 has surged 21% since late October, making new record highs along the way.

It briefly crossed the 5,000 level at the end of Thursday’s session, before closing just below the mark.
– Lewis Krauskopf reporting for Reuters

There was excitement on the CNBC channel today in the run-up to the close, but the S&P 500 ultimately closed just below 5,000.
The “Magnificent Seven” stocks— Apple AAPL, Microsoft MSFT, Alphabet GOOGL, Amazon AMZN, NVIDIA NVDA, Meta Platforms META and Tesla TSLA— now account for almost 30% of the S&P 500 index.

Wednesday/ a recycle run ♻

I had assembled quite a pile of styrofoam blocks in my basement, and it was time to take it all to the recycling center in Kent.

Yes, it’s a little silly to drive for 30 mins— even with an EV— to drop off foam blocks that are 98% air, but I just did not want this forever-stuff to end up in a landfill.

Tuesday/ no immunity for you (duh)🗽

‘Today, we affirm the denial. For the purpose of this criminal case, former President Trump has become citizen Trump, with all of the defenses of any other criminal defendant. But any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as President no longer protects him against this prosecution’.
– From today’s 57-page ruling from the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC.

What happens next?
The original March 4 start date for Trump’s Jan 6 Insurrection trial had already been pushed back to at least May.
If the Supreme Court judges takes their sweet time, their ruling might not come until the end of the term— in late June or early July.
The Republican National Convention is July 15-18.
Will a convicted-felon-in-the-making be anointed as the Republican party’s Presidential candidate for the November 2024 election?

Monday/ on the ferry ⛴

I took these pictures from the Tacoma ferry today, during her 2.05 pm crossing from Bainbridge Island to Seattle.

Double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) at the Bainbridge ferry terminal.
Here we go .. departure from the Bainbridge ferry terminal on the Marine Vessel Tacoma. Her maiden voyage was in October 1997.
Plying the waters of Puget Sound on the way to Colman Dock, also called Pier 52, the primary ferry terminal in Seattle.
Here’s the Marine Vessel Suquamish, the other ferry servicing the Seattle-Bainbridge Island route. She started service in 2018 and is Washington State’s newest ferry, capable of carrying 144 cars and 1,500 passengers.
The first of five new hybrid ferries was supposed to roll off the line in 2022, but the contract with long-time ferry builder Vigor, previously Todd Shipyard, fell through. Why? The bid to build the boats was double what the state had expected. The ferry system is now about to put out the bid for these five vessels again, but it will be at least 4 years before any new ferry will go into service.
[Reported by Chris Sullivan on]
The Seattle city skyline, in shades of gray.
The new pedestrian bridge to Colman Dock looks great. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will stay graffiti-free the way it is right now.

Caturday 🐆

Posted @MAstronomers on X.
‘Your shadow is your best friend.
The black panther is the melanistic color variant of the leopard (Panthera pardus), so these are not two different species, but a leopard and her melanistic partner’.

Friday/ following the Sun ☀️

Happy Friday.
I have been keeping tabs on the Norwegian Sun every few days, ever since I had stepped off the ship eleven days ago.
She left the Falkland Islands yesterday and is headed for Punta del Este in Uruguay. She will arrive there on Sunday (the dotted line).
From there it is just over 90 nautical miles (about 100 miles) to the port of Buenos Aires in Argentina, for the completion of the 14-night sailing out of San Antonio, Chile.

Map and route of Norwegian Sun depicted by