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.
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.
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.
|As they say, this is cool on so many levels.|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Like many Ballardians, Jamie and Autumn keep a couple chickens in their backyard. They don't warm up to photographers right away.
Mike's Chili Parlour, previously seen in the daylight, is a beacon for the chili and cheap beer cognoscenti at night, too.
Join us in a tribute to two of our favorite things: accordions and the Queen. You may sing along.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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!"
The other day we ran into Prince Tom keeping watch over his street.
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.
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".
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.
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.