I see that train a-comin'

photo by Ballard Avenue

It's rattling across the bridge. The lights are Amtrak #500, which took me home to Ballard from Vancouver, Washington on a recent frosty morning. The Amtrak Cascades service in our state is pretty good. The Spanish-design trains are comfortable and the scenery, with miles of running along Puget Sound and the Columbia and Cowlitz rivers, is lovely.

Like no tree found in nature

photo by Ballard Avenue

Call PlantAmnesty! There's a criminal running loose with a chainsaw!

Friday cat: Stripes

photo by Ballard Avenue

I thought about converting this picture to black and white. It wouldn't have made any difference to the cat, that's for sure.

1 bd, ocean vw

photo by Ballard Avenue

Given the hysterical real estate market in Sunset Hill these days, I wouldn't be surprised to see this bird's nest in Sunday's classifieds: "Cozy, needs TLC, peekaboo ocean view. $300K."

More slumpage

photo by Ballard Avenue

Each winter a little more of Sunset Hill park starts to slide down to Puget Sound. A parks department crew was out the other day to note where they're going to have to do some concrete work come spring.

Wee little pirates

photo by Ballard Avenue

Aye, mateys, we may be wee little pirates but the King's treasure is on yonder ship and 'er lubbery crew is no match for us!

Paris Cat

We've done cats and Paris this week so for Friday Cat blogging let's combine the two and show a Parisian cat. It looks like she's hanging out in a cool graveyard, but I can't be sure because the website I pulled the picture from is in Japanese.

City Of Light in black and white

If we didn't live in Ballard, we'd live in 1960s Paris, but sadly that Paris is gone forever. All we have left are little YouTube vignettes. Mon dieu, how they sing to us!

Wednesday cat: Prince Tom

photo by Ballard Avenue

Another find from the old iPhoto libraries. Prince Tom makes sure everything on NW 70th Street is as it should be.

Tuesday cat

photo by Ballard Avenue

You never know what you'll find when you're tidying up iPhoto libraries. More cats!


photo by Ballard Avenue

We end our tour of Scandinavian murals with Sweden. All the Scandinavian countries are charming but we have a special fondness for Sweden. We loves us some lingonberries and Ingmar Bergman's film of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute, but most importantly, Ballard Avenue's sweetie is of Swedish ancestry. Yay Sweden! Or should we say Hurra Sverige!


photo by Ballard Avenue

Ah, Finland. Let's see. They beat up the Russians, they love to get naked in saunas, and they have the best mobile phones. And, about the only people they can talk to are the Hungarians. All of that adds up to cool. Finns are cool. There's no other word to describe it.


photo by Ballard Avenue

There's more to Norway than fiddles, fish, and fjords—there are blondes in bunader!


photo by Ballard Avenue

Continuing our tour of Scandinavia, we see a Danish maid churning butter. And look, there's the Little Mermaid on a rock in the harbor!


photo by Ballard Avenue

We have wandered a bit from our stated mission of bringing to you the best of Ballard, or at least the best of a bit of Ballard. Sorry. Won't happen again.

The Nordic Heritage Museum had a retaining wall. Ballard schoolkids needed something to do. Hence, we have a mural running along 30th Avenue NW illustrating the Scandinavian experience in America. That is, after all, the museum's stated mission and they do it well. Here we see Iceland, and over the next few days we'll see more...


photo by Frances

Today we say goodbye to our friend Jered, who died last month at the age of 57. He has, at last, found the peace he never had while alive, but we have lost a friend who brought much fun and happiness to our lives. The pity is that he couldn't find a way to accept those joys in his own. Goodbye, Jered; you could never imagine how you'll be missed.

Front porch

photo by Ballard Avenue

Tonight I went out armed with the Fab Fuji looking for flash photo subjects. Problem is, when it's dark it's hard to identify any photo subject, let along one that will look good under mug shot-style direct flash. So I settled for this snap of the front porch. In case you're wondering, we leave the Christmas lights up until Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Winter's dark here in the north. We like the light.

Fab Fujis

photo from Fuji USA.

What a chore it was to find a replacement for the fab Sony. To my dismay, the new Sonys weren't so fab. Well, the $349 Sony was mighty fab but that's not a fab price. After days of electronics store hell, I found this fab Fuji F650 (that's "F" for fab) for the fab price of $179 with a $39 memory card included. Now, that's—you guessed it—fab!

Looking for love

photo by kayvaan

Fish gotta swim, you know, especially when there's some of that good fish lovin' ahead. These salmon are swimming up the fish ladder at the Ballard Locks on their way to the spawning grounds in the Cedar River.

Happy New Year!

As is our usual New Year's custom, we got together with Barb, Beta, Rose, Steve, and Barb C for dinner, a movie (Sweet Land), and the Space Needle fireworks. You can see the fireworks on this YouTube video. It was the best New Year's ever!