Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kite Festival 2008

Last weekend, Chunlin and I went to the Long Beach Kite Festival (or rather, the Washington State International Kite Festival in Long Beach). Unlike last year, this time we actually spent the night. We did, however, arrive late Friday night, so we missed that night's fireworks show. Oh well. At least we were on the beach bright and early Saturday morning.
2-Chunlin Kite Festival

Wind was a bit light, but kites were still in the air.
8-Kite Airplane
13-Kite Chains

One guy was flying three kites by himself, and they weren't all the same string like the ones in the photo right above. He was doing tricks with them, too. Apparently he spends a lot of time in Vancouver doing just this. Some people even chipped in to have a bench installed at his favorite location. The bench isn't for him, mind you, but for anyone who wants to watch.
23-Three-Kite Man Harness
One kite is controlled by each hand. The third is on a harness around his waist. A little hip action is all it takes for him to get that third kite to manuever.

21-Three Kites Low
22-Three Kites Sun
24-Three Kites Close

Around noon was the teddy bear drop, where they hoist up teddy bears and their parachutes via a big kite, then release them for randomly chosen kids to catch.
39-Teddy Bear Catch
One catcher, two staff helpers. This girl was one of the few who actually caught her bear.

Afterwards, there was a flat-kite mass ascension, where everybody with a flat kite could fly theirs, with prizes for the prettiest. I didn't pay attention to who won.
47-Sky of Kites
46-Long Beach Flat Kites
45-Checkerboard Kite
51-Fairy Kite
49-Orange Star Kite

In the afternoon, the wind died completely, so we took a walk around town. After clams and ice cream, we headed back to the beach.
63-Long Beach Bike
62-Chunlin Banana

I was reminiscing about building sandcastles, so I decided to build one.
64b-Mark Sand Castle Pack Ch

After a few wave attacks, I had it built out and defended rather well.
65-Mark's Sand Castle
66-Sand Castle Ocean

It didn't look like another wave was coming (we were close to high tide), so we packed up to leave. But then another wave came, so I ran back to take photos. A couple kids went to look at it, too.
68-Sand Castle Kids
70-Mark's Sand Castle Ruins

After a barbecue dinner and some time in the beer garden listening to a live band (mostly '70s covers, so I sang along to some), we headed back to the beach for the fireworks.
73-Long Beach Fireworks Blossom
76-Long Beach Fireworks
80-Long Beach Fireworks Red Blue
81-Long Beach Fireworks Finale
82-Long Beach Fireworks Finale Final

And that was that.

The next morning, it was very windy. And raining. We went to the beach. Sand was blowing northward, leaving dry shadows behind every obstacle. A couple hardy souls were flying kites (great wind!), but we didn't spend much time out there before heading for home.
86-Chunlin Wet Morning
87-Mark Wet Morning Ch

Next year, you should go, too.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Happy Rívorí Day!

Watch out, or Rívorí's gonna getcha!

36-Mt St Helens Crater Ch
(Chunlin's photo)

Run, Chunlin, run! You've made the goddess angry!
39-Chunlin Trail D
(Pedicularis's photo)

100,000 Miles

Friday night, halfway down Highway 107 south of Montesano, my car hit 100,000 miles.

Odometer 99999
Odometer 100000

It's a 1998 Toyota Corolla, but we bought it in 2000 with 26,000-or-so miles on it. That purchase is a story in and of itself, but I won't get into that now.

Ten years, 100,000 miles, 10,000 miles per year, more or less.

We bought it in Pocatello, Idaho. The car's been down the Pacific Coast Highway nearly the length of California. It's been to Victoria and Whistler. It's driven on the beach at Ocean Shores and further north. It's been back to Idaho a couple times. It's hauled kayaks and 24' ladders and downspouts and furniture and cellos and all types of luggage. It's had three out of four fenders replaced. And yes, it's driven the lengths of Washington State Highways 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 in order.

It's a good car.

42-Car Chunlin Roosevelt Beach

Friday, August 22, 2008

Don't Go Inside

. . . or it may fall on you.

An ice cave collapsed on two teenage boys Thursday, trapping them for hours until rescuers with chain saws managed to cut through large chunks of compact snow and ice to free them. . . . He said one of the mothers told them the two boys had found an ice cave and were posing for a picture about 5 yards inside its mouth when the ice above them crumbled.

Guess what? It's the same ice cave Chunlin and I visited last weekend.
8-Mark Ice Cave Ch
I didn't go inside.
4-Keekwulee Snowfield Chunlin
Neither did Chunlin.

Hopefully tv-watchers will learn from these boys' mistake.

From the PI: "Cowan says search and rescue crews scrambled about 2 to 3 miles from the trailhead to the scene, which is within about two miles of the 3,050-foot summit." If they really want to know, it's only two miles from the trailhead. And the summit they're referring to is Snoqualmie Pass, I believe, which information doesn't really belong in this sentence.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


A left-handed screwdriver seems impossible, but I could see a left-handed hammer. It's all in the grip, you see?

In other news, the dentist told me I sprained a ligament in my tooth. Take ibuprofen and wait a few weeks.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Subdivision, part 13

Just a few days after I received the "final" letter from DPD, I received more comments from the city.

Lo and behold, it was from Seattle City Light. That was quick. It wasn't really a comment, though, but a directive on where they want the easement for their power lines to go. Basically, it describes a swath of land on the south parcel directly under the existing power lines to the existing house.

If we accept this easement, it will mean we can't have a covered connection between the new house and the existing detached garage. There would have to be ten feet clear between them. According to City Light, it would be possible to get rid of the easement at some point in the future, but it would require City Council approval, which could take six months or longer.

The other option is to reroute the power supply to the existing house. The engineers at City Light are now working to give me a cost estimate for this. If it's cheap enough, we'll do it. If it's too high, we'll just learn to live with the powerlines going past the future house.

On Friday, I received another email with some comments from DPD Addressing, but those were just comments on making the access easement easier to see on the survey. Kinda picky, if you ask me.

The surveyor said he'd get the changes all done this week, stamped and notarized.

I guess I don't really have hope that rerouting the power will be a reasonable cost, or else I'd tell the surveyor to wait. I paced off the easement. I can make do with the existing power lines. It just won't be my perfect design.

Low Snow on a Hot Day

What's the best thing when you're overheating on a hike in the beating sun?

How about a snowfield?

5-Keekwulee Ice Cave Chunlin

When you turn the corner twenty feet from the snow, the temperature drops 40 degrees. Ahhhh...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday Treats

Donuts, cinnamon rolls, apple fritters, bear claws, croissants, and muffins. And you tell me I shouldn't eat any of them? Hm?

Why not?

Because they're bad for me?

Well, I suppose that's a good reason, but still . . . they look so tasty!

Fine. I won't eat any of them. But only because you told me not to.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Topic: World News

Do you know the difference between Tskhinvali and Tsvangirai?


Yeah, neither would I, unless I had the news articles in front of me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Photos from the Road

On our Highway 12 trip, we took a few extra photos and photos and photos. . .

7-Morton Parade Balloon Truck
There was a parade in Morton. Morton Loggers Jubilee. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, but we couldn't stick around for long.

6-Morton Elk
Chainsaw carvers were selling their wares at the jubilee. A bit too expensive to tempt me. Off by a factor of ten or so.

Up at White Pass, we went for a hike south on the Pacific Crest Trail.

25-Flowers Hogback Ridge
Flowers were blooming.

27-Tieton Valley
Mt Rainier was in clouds, but other views caught our gaze.

18-Chunlin Watermelon
Would you like some watermelon?

31-Naches Tieton Cliff Trees Ch
While I drove, Chunlin took some photos of the cliffs upriver of Naches.

40-Benton City Camp
We camped near the Yakima River at an RV park.

44-Pasco Snake River Bridge Ch
The US 12 bridge across the Snake River, leaving the Tri-Cities behind. Chunlin likes taking this kind of photo, and I like that.

54-Clarkston Bridge Sign Ch
Just before you leave Washington, Highway 12 loses its US shield. Just a little goodbye reminder, I guess.

59-Lewiston Hill Clouds
Up the hill from Lewiston, a viewpoint. The old highway can be glimpsed in the lower left. Much curvier than the new route. If I had known about it, I would have driven it. Next time.

62-Rebel Flat Hill Clouds
After lunch in Colfax, Chunlin drove. I took photos.

63-North Wilcox

69-Hatton Coulee Dust Devil

70-Royal City Flag

75-Vantage Fountain
After we crossed the Columbia River, I stopped taking photos. I took over the wheel at the rest area near Cle Elum, and then we returned home.

It's nice to go on a trip, but it's also nice to be home.

Except for the to-do list, that is.