Tuesday/ the rain is gone

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day

From the song  I Can See Clearly Now (1972) by American singer-songwriter Johnny Nash.

The rain is gone, and there is a number of sunny days ahead in the forecast.
I believe an inch or so of rain was recorded in the city since Sunday.

Sunday/ the long shadow of the bomb ✴️

Artwork by Musubu Hagi.
It is featured with the guest essay called ‘Oppenheimer,’ My Uncle and the Secrets America Still Doesn’t Like to Tell’, by Ariel Kaminer in the New York Times.

The film honored at the Oscars told a very specific story, but countless other lives trace back to that day, too.
In one way or another, no one emerged untouched.
We are all living downwind of that first momentous blast.
– Ariel Kaminer referring to the opening scene in this year’s Best Movie Oscar winner ‘Oppenheimer’, in a guest essay in the New York Times print edition that is due out Monday.

Her uncle had worked for the US Army and became an atomic veteran many years after 1946— veterans developing radiogenic health issues that may have been precipitated by their exposure to ionizing radiation while participating in a nuclear weapon test detonation, or a post-test event.

Of course: in the year before 1946 there was Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Saturday/ art walk in Georgetown 🎨

The amigos went out for beers and fried chicken at Maro Polo saloon in Georgetown tonight.

After that, we checked out the goings-on at the Equinox Studios and the Georgetown Atelier art school nearby.
It was the once-a-month open day for the public.

Friday/ got the frame 🖼

This puzzle is a holdover from the pandemic.
The entire dining room table is full of puzzle pieces, and at this point it’s hard to believe they are all going to be squeezed in tightly into the frame!

The 1,000-piece puzzle 91130 is by Buffalo Games & Puzzles. The artwork was done by Kim Norlien, titled ‘Mountain Paradise’.

Update Sat. 9.00 am: Here’s an update! The house, the mountain and the boat are much easier to build than the water and the foliage! I suspect some of the last pieces to fall in place will be the shadows on the bottom left corner.
Update Mon. 5.00 pm: All done! The tree at the top right was hard to complete, for some reason, as were the waters of the lake. The last piece that went in was one of the brown ones depicting the rocks at the bottom of the lake. 

Saturday/ Seattle Center ✨

Here is a smattering of pictures that I took at Seattle Center: from the Space Needle, from inside the Chihuly Garden and Glass and from inside the Museum of Pop Culture.

Sunday/ Barbie is a hit 👛

‘Barbie’ defied her critics and enjoyed great success at North American movie theaters this weekend, raking in $155 million in ticket sales.

The ‘Barbie’ billboard (featuring Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken) at the West Exit of Shinjuku station in Tokyo. Barbie fans in Japan will have to wait until Aug. 11 for the movie to open there. 

Tuesday/ Jupiter’s auroras

Now that she’s back in the atmosphere
With drops of Jupiter in her hair
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that there’s a time to change, hey
Since the return of her stay on the moon
She listens like spring and she talks like June, hey
Hey, hey-yeah

But tell me, did you sail across the sun?
Did you make it to the Milky Way
To see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated?
And tell me, did you fall from a shooting star?
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were
Looking for yourself out there?

-Lyrics from ‘Drops of Jupiter'(2001) by Train

I am trying out the new James Webb telescope of Jupiter and its auroras as wallpaper for my phone.

Webb NIRCam composite image of Jupiter from two filters – F212N (orange) and F335M (cyan).
[Photo Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, Jupiter ERS Team; image processing by Ricardo Hueso (UPV/EHU) and Judy Schmidt].

Monday/ the slap that was seen around the world

I did not watch the Oscars, and so I missed the storm in the teacup.
Clips of it was all over Twitter, of course.
I don’t think Will Smith is looking good, and I don’t know if his apology of today will help his damaged image.
He was obnoxious as he sat in his seat after the slap, yelling f-words at Chris Rock.

Saturday/ keep guessing



I solved today’s Wordle on the very last of the six tries I had.

I would have had it in three tries if I were luckier with my guesses .. or four, or five.


Here is a young Marlon Brando (31) with his cat, from a write-up in Look magazine from May 17, 1955.
‘I live in my cat’s house’, said Brando at the time.

Brando was nominated for an Academy Award seven times, and won the Award twice: for Best Actor in ‘On the Waterfront (1954)’ and for Best Actor in ‘The Godfather (1972)’.

Thursday/ the puzzle that’s a puzzle

I found a puzzle (wonder what had happened), and R2-D2 depicted on a card, on my walk today.
I was too far from my house to pick either up/ clean it up*, and besides that: I only have one hand. 🙂

*If it’s on my block, especially on the sidewalk or street at the front of the house, it doesn’t matter what it is; I feel compelled to clean it up. Broken beer bottle, dead crow, dog poop, empty cannabis packets.

Was there a tug-of-war between two people, with the puzzle in the middle, and the box was torn open? Who knows.
R2-D2 (say Artoo Deetoo) is a fictional robot character in the Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas. He has appeared in eleven of the twelve theatrical Star Wars films to date.

Thursday/ what’s today’s WORDLE?

A new word game called WORDLE* is all the buzz on Twitter.
It’s online and free, with a new word you have to guess every day, so I had to check it out.

*Launched publicly in October last year, the game was created by Josh Wardle, a software engineer from Wales living in New York, for his partner, Palak Shah, who loves puzzles. At first, the game was played by family, before it was rolled out globally, Wardle told the New York Times.

The rules are simple.
You have 6 tries to guess the mystery 5-letter word.
After every guess, a green letter says the letter & its position is correct.
Yellow means the letter is in the word, but in the wrong place.
Grey means the letter is not in the word. The little keyboard at the bottom is updated after every word.
See my approach? I put frequently used letters in the first two words, and that thins out the possibilities dramatically, from the third guess onwards.
On Tuesday, Julia Fine, a 33-year-old novelist in Chicago, went with what she knows: QUERY, as in the letters aspiring authors send while seeking a literary agent. She got five green boxes on the first try, a Wordle hole-in-one. Astounded, she posted her victory on Twitter, reasoning: “What can I do with this other than share?” – from the Washington Post

Tuesday/ a song called Mississippi

Pussycat was a Dutch country and pop group led by the three Kowalczyk sisters: Toni, Betty and Marianne. They had a monster hit in South Africa with their song Mississippi.

The year was 1977. I was in high school, with no inkling that the year 1995 would find me living on the banks of the Mississippi (in St Louis, Missouri).

I had long scoured secondhand CD stores for music from the group ⁠—with no success. So it was time for the nuclear option: order one from overseas on Discogs.com.

The cover of the CD that arrived on my doorstep, from a seller in Germany. Nooo, I thought, this will not do as the artwork for the album in my Apple Music collection. That Art Deco font does not work for me.  And how did MISSISSIPPI with one P make it onto the cover?
This album cover is much better, and I uploaded this one. Very 70’s with the lettering, their hair, their clothes and even the furniture.

Thursday/ a friendly reindeer

I was at Bellevue Square shopping mall today.
The Microsoft store had closed down. The Apple store upstairs is still open, and the Tesla showroom is still there as well.
(Funny, how it felt like ‘old news’, looking at the Model 3 and the two Model Ys on display— now that I have had my own car for 6 months).

The display window of the LEGO store in Bellevue Square. Let’s see what Santa is up to, right there on perched on the nose (Rudolph’s nose?) ..
Santa is enjoying a cup of hot chocolate with Mrs. Claus.

Wednesday/ no check for proof of vaccination

Bryan, Gary and I made our way down to The Chieftain for a beer and a bite tonight.

There’s no one at the door to check for masks & proof of vaccination, and it was not done at the table, either. At this point, all bars and restaurants in King County with inside seating— no matter how small — must check for proof of vaccination. We let it slide .. the waiter wore a mask, and the tables are very far apart. King County is 75% fully vaccinated per the New York Times.
Many other counties in Washington State lag far behind, with numbers like 65% (Snohomish), 59% (Pierce), 57% (Yakima), 51% (Kittitas).  

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.

Thursday/ a LEGO Titanic set?

Rumor has it that a LEGO Titanic set is forthcoming, as early as November 1st (the LEGO company is mute).
The LEGO Creator Expert set #10294 is said to have 9,090 pieces, so it will be bigger than the Colosseum ($550, 9036 pieces)*.

*The 2021 LEGO World Map has 11,695 pieces, but it is a flat model with a large number of mosaic pieces.

(Unofficial, not confirmed by LEGO!) This is what the LEGO version of RMS Titanic, operated by the White Star Line, will look like. Reportedly it has no mini-figures (so no crew, and no Jack & Rose from the Titanic movie in the bow). It is also not known if the interior of the ship will show a few details such as part of the engine room, or the grand ballroom of the Titanic with its spiral staircase. 
[Picture from https://www.brickfinder.net/]

Tuesday/ more Looney Tunes characters

My LEGO Looney Tunes character collection of twelve little figures is almost complete.
(Daffy Duck got left behind when the package was shipped from Denmark, maybe the Bricklink seller there can send me one in an envelope).

Lola Bunny with her basket ball, Bugs Bunny’s love interest. She is a late addition to the Looney Tunes characters, debuting only in 1996 in ‘Space Jam’. She likes to say ‘Don’t ever call me ‘Doll’ ‘.
Tasmanian Devil (‘Taz’) is a scary character, moving like a whirlwind, short-tempered and with an insatiable appetite. Any music— just not Scottish bagpipes— will calm him down, though.
Marvin the Martian debuted in 1948. He has no mouth, nose or ears, and his outfit is loosely based on the Hoplites: the heavily armed foot soldiers of ancient Greece (helmet with the brush on, and skirt). The Hoplites did not have ray guns, of course.
Petunia Pig with teapot and tea cup. She debuted in 1937 in ‘Porky’s Romance’ as Porky Pig’s love interest. In the cartoon movie she has a spoiled pooch called Fluffnums and would have nothing to do with him.

Friday/ the insouciant rabbit

showing a casual lack of concern; indifferent.
“an insouciant shrug”

My package from Kopenhagen, Denmark finally landed on the porch today.
Inside are the LEGO Looney Tunes figures that were still missing from my collection, plus a bunch of bricks for building trees and foliage. I will build one figure every day. Here is the first one: the famous rabbit.

Do I even need to introduce this rabbit? Per Wikipedia: ‘Bugs Bunny is an anthropo-morphic gray and white rabbit or hare who is famous for his flippant, insouciant personality’. He debuted in director Tex Avery’s Oscar-nominated cartoon film ‘A Wild Hare’ (1940).
P.S. That is an enormous carrot!