Saturday cats: Two cats

photo by HeatherW

Still no camera and no pictures in the vaults, so we found this snap of two cats among the 1,240,802 photos about cats on Flickr.


photo by Ballard Avenue

He was just sitting on a wire the other day and since I've never seen a hummingbird sit still for so long, I had to take a picture of the little guy.

The fab Sony camera responsible for all our fab photos has gone missing somewhere between Ballard and Canada, so until it is found or a replacement obtained, photo postings will be few and far between. Get ready for more YouTube accordion video than you ever imagined.

Joyeux Noël

photo from Paris Daily Photo

Christmas with Mr. Debellis

He rocks.

Dudley Do-right

from the fertile mind of Jay Ward

We're off to Canada for a few days and we won't be cracking Dudley Do-right jokes. Canadians sometimes bristle over Dudley. They think he's a bit insulting. Granted, Dudley can be a bit of a doofus, but his heart is in the right place and he tries to do the right thing. As national symbols go, that's not so bad.

Sunday accordion blogging: Caroling commandos

As they say, this is cool on so many levels.

Friday cat: Don't let this be you!!

Don't Let This Be You
photo by Ballard Avenue

As if there's not enough in this world to worry about, we now have to watch out for falling attacking cats from apartment buildings. I'm staying indoors...

Bob's Well Used Truck

Bob's Used Cars Truck.jpg
photo by Ballard Avenue

Not sure this old International truck is really such a good advertisement for Bob's Used Cars.

Pipers Creek Coho

Coho in Pipers Creek
photo by Ballard Avenue

It's hard to imagine salmon runs in urban creeks, but after lots of hard work on habitat restoration by volunteers, Pipers Creek supports a small run of coho salmon. She's hard to see but that's the point of camouflage. You don't want an eagle to swoop down for a salmon dinner before she gets her business done.

Accordioniste en Bordeaux

It's a hard life, to be sure, to be a street musician, but it would have its joys, as we can see in this video of a fellow working at a street market in Bordeaux.


Mondrian-loving ants
photo by Ballard Avenue

Thankfully not in your pants.

Friday cat: Callie walks

Callie walks
photo by Ballard Avenue

From time to time Callie will leave her comfy basket to see what's going on in the world.

Extreme measures

Extreme measures
photo by Ballard Avenue

We started to see these hoses stretch across people's yards during last month's record rainfall. The basement might be flooding but who wants to go mucking about the downspout drains in winter? Right now, you just want the water to go somewhere else.

Monday cat: There she is

Callie uncovered
photo by Ballard Avenue

See, she was under those covers the whole time. Callie loves to burrow deep into her basket.

Sunday cat: Callie

Callie covered
photo by Ballard Avenue

Oh, she's under there, all right. Trust us and you'll see...

Library roof

Library roof
photo by Ballard Avenue

We're tired of how everybody's going on and on about the snow and ice, so we look back into the files for a recent picture of the grass growing on the roof of the new Ballard library. Given how winter has started, perhaps we should have brought in the sheaves by now.

Snow falling on thyme

Snow thyme
photo by Ballard Avenue

Who cares if the television stations are in a lather ("Storm Watch '06!") and the morning commute promises to be The Worst Thing In The World? We like snow!

Saturday accordion: Myron Floren

Wacky sense of humor that he had, Offenbach would have probably enjoyed this rendition of the famous "Barcarolle" from his opera The Tales of Hoffman, especially as long as the royalty checks kept coming.

Protected art

photo by Ballard Avenue

In Ballard we put our best art behind a fence for safekeeping.

No junipers here, thank you

Cactus Garden
photo by Ballard Avenue

No rhododendrons, either. This Ballard house forsakes the classic Northwest shrubberies in favor of prickly pear cactus.

Friday cat: On guard

Another Ballard Lion
photo by Ballard Avenue

Another Ballard house with a 24-hour guard cat.


Walter's treats
photo by Ballard Avenue

The storms keep rolling in from the Pacific Ocean, so we thought this photo of the treats available at Walter's Cafe might brighten your day. They certainly brighten ours!

Japanese maple

Japanese Maple
photo by Ballard Avenue

The Japanese maples go wild this time of year.

Sunday cats: Cat herding

Yee haw!

Technical difficulties

Due to technical difficulties beyond our control and comprehension, we are currently reduced to a lame-ass dial-up internet connection. You could call it two soup cans and some string. It is a frustrating situation, and is made even more so by our internet provider's lame-ass technical support department. Be assured that a blistering e-mail is being prepared, one that will melt the computer screen of the poor wretch toiling away in their cubicle. It's not their fault, really—they're not allowed to do anything that might actually cost the company some of the money you've sent them over the past decade—but one has to vent somewhere.

So we ask your patience. Posting around here has been erratic of late, and sadly will only get more erratic until we get the bigger cans and bigger string of broadband operating again.

Friday cat: Elektra

photo by Ballard Avenue

Back on schedule! We'll see how long this lasts...

Sunday cat: Ankle rub

photo by Ballard Avenue

It's what they do best.

G**D*** Chicken

photo by Ballard Avenue

Jamie and Autumn's other chicken. The "G**D***" stands for what you think it does. She can be contrary.


The story goes that Ole Bardahl cooked up the first batch of his petroleum additive in the family bathtub. He ended up selling zillions of gallons of it, all made right here in Ballard underneath the iconic sign captured in the video. All night long it implores us to add it to our oil and add it to our gas.

No Trespassing

photo by Ballard Avenue

Eastern Washington is not all rolling hills and amber waves of grain. It's also the Hanford Reservation, where the country plays with nuclear energy and never quite gets around to cleaning up the mess.

Bennington Lake later that morning

photo by Ballard Avenue

Imagine there's a place so nice,
they liked it so, they put up photos twice...

Walla Walla First Congregational

photo by Ballard Avenue

Continuing the eastern Washington theme, we spend this Sunday at Walla Walla First Congregational Church. The seemingly faux-New England quality of the building isn't as faux as you might think. Walla Walla was one of the earliest American settlements in the state. It was a thriving farming town long before Cap'n Ballard's real estate schemes bore fruit here in Ballard.

Friday birds: Geese afloat

photo by Ballard Avenue

This Friday we have birds instead of cats. These geese spent the night on Bennington Lake. Soon after sunrise, they all headed south. We overheard a few honking on and on about sampling the pleasures of Puerto Vallarta, but first they have to get past the hunters around Sacramento. Good luck, geese. Remember us with that first margarita.

Bennington Lake Sunrise

photo by Ballard Avenue

Aside from having one of the funniest town names in the country, Walla Walla is also a delightful town with tree-lined streets, lovely parks, a lively Main Street, and friendly people. They even have a great song, "Walla Walla Is My Home Town," which ends with these immortal lines:

"Imagine there's a place so nice,
they liked it so they named it twice...
Yes, Walla Walla is my home town!"

Just east of town is Bennington Lake, very popular with those birds who appreciate a brisk eastern Washington morning.

Channelled Scablands

photo by Ballard Avenue

We got in the car and drove to eastern Washington. There we saw amazing and beautiful things. The Channelled Scablands around Othello were formed by an immense Ice Age flood. There's nothing like them anywhere else and if you're ever in the neighborhood, you should stop by.

La vie en rose

Why do we play the accordion? It has infinite power. See how two guys, two berets, two Citroens, and one accordion somehow turn a California strip mall parking lot into the City of Light.

Getting the fish eye from a chicken

photo by Ballard Avenue

Like many Ballardians, Jamie and Autumn keep a couple chickens in their backyard. They don't warm up to photographers right away.

Mike's at night

photo by Ballard Avenue

Mike's Chili Parlour, previously seen in the daylight, is a beacon for the chili and cheap beer cognoscenti at night, too.

God Save the Queen

Join us in a tribute to two of our favorite things: accordions and the Queen. You may sing along.

Friday cat: Tom in the Lavender

photo by Ballard Avenue

Maybe lavender is what cats do when they can't get catnip.

Cobbler by candlelight

photo by Ballard Avenue

And boy, was it ever good!

Friday cat: Clay cat

photo by Ballard Avenue

While he's not much for lap warming, at least you won't have vet bills.

Free Fiat

photo by Ballard Avenue

Need a project? Paul's moving to Albany, Oregon, and has two Fiat 850 Spyders he's giving away. Imagine yourself zipping around town with the wind in your hair, at least until it breaks down. Then you'll understand why Fiat stands for Fix It Again, Tony.

Parking strip

photo by Ballard Avenue

One wonders how these neighbors will get along. The one on the right is totally Local. In Ballard, we don't water the lawn during the dry months of summer. It goes brown but it will green up with the fall rains. Sensible, no?

On the left you see someone obviously from Elsewhere. Someone so concerned with appearances that they'll spend the big money for "Instant Lawn," and having done that, they then have to spend the big money to keep it green. Boggles the mind, it does.

Police Line Do Not Cross

photo by Ballard Avenue

Big excitement Friday night on Market Street. A woman in the Ford pickup led the police on a high speed chase from Colman Dock to Ballard. She did not go gently into the good night, pushing a police car into the Matt's Gourmet Hot Dogs stand on the corner before being boxed in by the two police cars you see here. The officers arrested her and she's not going to be driving anything for awhile.

Friday cat: Radioactive Elliott

photo by Ballard Avenue

Don't worry, Elliot isn't radioactive. He's actually a nuclear-free zone. What you see are his eyes and collar reflecting the camera flash. It gives him a diabolical air, no?

Sidewalk love 2

photo by Ballard Avenue

It's everywhere! Sidewalk love on N.W. 67th Street!

Sidewalk love

photo by Ballard Avenue

They're feeling the love on 12th Avenue NW.

Friday cat: Let me in

photo by Ballard Avenue

The long end of a summer evening in Ballard. This cat is looking to go inside and find a lap somewhere. And who can blame him?

Soon to be a McMansion near you

photo by Ballard Avenue

Back to Ballard where we find this little 50s rambler ready for the bulldozer. Can a McMansion be far behind?

Waldron interlude: A few moments later

photo by Ballard Avenue

These last two photos were taken a few minutes apart, but there's no Photoshop trickery to account for the difference in color. The previous photo is looking west; this photo is looking north. Reality is better than color correction.

Waldron interlude: Sunset

photo by Ballard Avenue

Just how many Waldron Island photos can we squeeze into a Ballard-centric blog? We near the end of our Waldron interlude with this photo of the sunset from the beach at Sandy Point.

Waldron interlude: Fetch

photo by Ballard Avenue

She loved retrieving the stick, but after the third time she buried it in the sand. "That's enough, it's hard work and the water's cold!"

Friday cat: Prince Tom

photo by Ballard Avenue

The other day we ran into Prince Tom keeping watch over his street.

Waldron interlude: Sushi wrap

photo by Ballard Avenue

There's a lot of seaweed on the beach at Waldron. You could wrap tons of rice with it. Maybe even add a mussel or two.

Waldron interlude: Looking for dinner

photo by Ballard Avenue

This heron was waiting patiently for dinner to swim by in the shallows off Sandy Point.

Sunday church: Northminster Presbyterian II

photo by Ballard Avenue

There being no churches on Waldon Island, we return to Ballard for our Sunday church. All over Ballard, you see old churches that became too small for their burgeoning congregations in the '50s and '60s. Most decided to add on to the existing building. Few did it well. The building committee of Northminster Presbyterian has a lot to answer for in approving this generic pile next to their charming original building. Purgatory will be an architectural appreciation class and they'll do it again and again until they get an "A".

Waldron interlude: Waldron cat

photo by Ballard Avenue

Meet Spinach. He's in training to be a farm cat. What does a farm cat do? Kill rats. It's hard to imagine this charming imp as a professional killer but a cat's gotta do what a cat's gotta do.

Waldron interlude: Sandy Point

photo by Ballard Avenue

We went away for a weekend to Waldron Island in Puget Sound. The state ferries don't stop there, making it hard to get to and keeping it a pretty quiet place. That suits its few hundred residents just fine. Here we see some madrona trees overlooking Cowlitz Bay with Sandy Point in the distance.