Monday, December 29, 2008

Our Christmas Adventures!

Our routes--every bit as arduous as they look!

Happy holidays, everyone!

We've been doing some serious traveling this holiday season: first there was the trip to Burlington, which was just amazing. I was worried our flight wouldn't take off, but then I remembered that we were driving, so that was OK. The natives are reasonably friendly, though we had some trouble with the local dialect. The food was good, but getting vegetarian fare proved difficult, as always. We had something called “peet-zah:” apparently a holiday tradition in that area. Foreign culture, foreign customs, I guess.

Then there was the fun but exhausting long-haul to Kirkland and back. Again, the weather provided us with some challenges, but we soldiered through it, eager for what adventures awaited us! We did some shopping at a store there they call "Seifweigh" or possibly "Chafeweigh." It was hard to tell what they were saying to us. We had lots of fun doing a sort of modified charades to "talk" with the locals. Toasty's impression of a cinnamon-raisin bagel in the so-called "bei-ker-ee" department was hilarious! Good times.

Glad you all had a great and festive holiday season. We took lots of photos, which we'll happily share if anyone's interested.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Aren't you supposed to be in Mexico?

(This picture taken just down the street.)

I tried to get to work today. You wouldn't know it to look at me now, pajama-clad with a fresh pot of coffee brewing, but at 7.30 this morning, I really tried to go to work. I showered and brushed my teeth, I dressed for survival situations, I had a fully charged cell phone and a day's worth of rations (some dry Frosted Mini-Wheats and a bagel), plus flares, a bear whistle, a tent, a set of crampons, a team of Sherpas and a yak.

Seattle does not do snow well. I used to abuse this city for shutting down every time a few flakes fell (and not out of a sorority window during a drunken rush-week brunch), but really it's a bugger of geography. Seattle is hilly. And hilly cities are hard to drive in when there's hard-packed snow turning to ice on the roads. This situation is not aided by the idiots who think owning a four-wheel vehicle is license to drive like Ricky Bobby.

Anyway, there was no work to go to, as I found out after I'd walked a mile or so. I turned around and went home, ruminating on how, like someone else's inadequately stifled burp during a wedding, snowdays are a great and wonderful thing, no matter how old you are.

Back at home, I've spent most of the morning dealing with some guests who may have overstayed a bit: hummingbirds. I go out periodically to clear the snow and ice away from the feeders so that the wee, winged, migratorily challenged hummers can suck up the gallon or so of sugar water a day they'll need to survive the next week or so. I finally came up with a cunning plan, though. I moved one feeder so it's very near my outside light. It's under the cover of my upstairs neighbor's balcony, so the snow doesn't cover it, plus the little heat generated by the light keeps the ice off the feeding stations and the dumb birds.

I have also posted a map of North America with an arrow pointing south. I'm hoping they figure it out.