Friday, September 30, 2016

Poem for Friday and Issaquah Fish Hatchery

The Fish
By William Butler Yeats

Although you hide in the ebb and flow
Of the pale tide when the moon has set,
The people of coming days will know
About the casting out of my net,
And how you have leaped times out of mind
Over the little silver cords,
And think that you were hard and unkind,
And blame you with many bitter words.


It rained all night and all day Thursday, which made it just as well that I had work and chores to do and was not distracted by beautiful fall weather outside. I had a late morning dentist appointment to get pneumonia sprayed into my lungs -- I mean, to get my teeth cleaned with one of those nightmarish newfangled water needles which make the cleaning a lot faster but leave me feeling like I almost drowned -- and I stopped at Michaels afterward because Halloween decorations are 50% off this week plus I had a one day coupon.

The rest of my afternoon involved work, a walk in the rain in a fruitless search for a Charmeleon, two rides to the mall to drop off and pick up Maddy who had some shopping to do and some friends from work to see, and arguing with my cat Effie about how much of my desk chair she is obligated to share because I can't type when she's taking up the entire thing. We waited for Maddy, so we ate dinner late, then we watched the Bengals beat the Dolphins (at least until we switched to The Daily Show). From our visit to the Issaquah Fish Hatchery:

In autumn, thousands of salmon return from the sea to Issaquah Creek to spawn, so the town of Issaquah has a fish ladder and protected waterway to restore a waterway damaged by logging, mining, and other human activities.

These are Chinook salmon eggs spawned a week before this photo was taken.

This is Chinook salmon fry a bit less than a year old.

We learned that, like Magikarp, salmon turn on their sides and slap the water with their tails to lay eggs and signal their mates.

There is a dam in Issaquah Creek at the hatchery...

...which the salmon traverse by way of a fish ladder.

Visitors can watch the salmon as they swim through the ladder.

Sprinklers regularly spray above the water because the salmon jump, making rainbows in the sun.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Poem for Thursday and Constellation Beach

White Sea
By Cleopatra Mathis

The color of emptiness and denial,
April's freeze
hardens again the melting field.

The balmy breath of last week's thaw
left rotting snow, a loose clutter of frostwork
my footsteps fall through.

Underneath, the layers are collapsing,
dismantling the readable strata,
the frozen stasis coming undone.


A warming of the surface and it goes smooth,
likens its sheen to feldspar,
glassy hard. But this morning,

a new inch of powder gives up tracks, and as I follow,
I imagine the shudder of something just ahead,
wretched as hindsight.
The rabbit's footprints
trace the perimeter of the field, then disappear.
No sign of struggle,
just a last print in the circling white sea of snow.


Wednesday was all about catch-up, which of course I am not. The laundry is all washed but not put away, the accessories are piled on the dresser, the photos are uploaded, some of the email has been answered, and I watched this week's retro review Voyager episode, but there are about 80 things not yet done. Because we're under a flood watch all day on Thursday, we went to CVS and Giant today, and we had dinner with my parents.

While sorting and folding laundry, I caught up on the episodes of Agents of SHIELD (pretty good until the end) and Once Upon a Time (everything I hate about Beauty and the Beast in one episode) that we missed while away. Plus we watched this week's Blindspot (liking this season) and Last Week Tonight (huzzah for John Oliver who may be the only reason I survive this election season). From Constellation Park in Seattle:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Greetings from Home

Pretty much my entire Tuesday was taken up with traveling, from an early trip to Sea-Tac to return a rental car and eat an early lunch to a shorter-than-expected flight home with a longer-than-it-should-be schlep through Dulles to get to baggage claim and our car. On the plane, we watched Midnight Special, which is better thought of as a movie about family ties than as science fiction per se (the sci-fi angle is never really developed or explained) but is excellent as such, particularly the performances. I have lots of laundry and photos and cats to sort, so here are a few photos traveling around Seattle including three from the airport:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Greetings from Gardens and Glass

Though Monday was Daniel's birthday, he had to work, so Paul and I went to the beach at Constellation Park, where we saw anemones, urchins, little crabs, and fish, plus the zodiac embedded in the beachside walk. Then we drove inland to Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, which has a fish ladder and dam on the river where salmon spawn.

We came back to Belltown for lunch, then went to Chihuly Garden and Glass, one of my favorite places in the world especially in perfect weather. We got drinks and sat for a while at the International Fountain, then met Daniel and went to Petra Bistro for his birthday dinner. Now we're watching Captain America: Civil War and having cake!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Greetings from Tacoma

We spent Sunday with Daniel in Tacoma beside the water, first at the Port Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, where we saw lots of animals and ate lunch, then at the Museum of Glass, where we watched glassblowing and visited the galleries and Dale Chihuly installations, and finally on the campus of the University of Washington Tacoma, where we went looking for more Chihuly exhibits on the grounds and had coffee.

The weather was perfect, 70 degrees and partly cloudy though not so overcast to block spectacular views of Mount Rainier from the zoo and museum. My knee felt better so we did a lot of walking, all around the zoo grounds and across the Bridge of Glass. We ended up going back to son's apartment, ordering Indian food, and watching the late football games (the Ravens and Seahawks had both already won).

The zoo backs up to the water, and we could hear fog horns and see ships from the hilly areas.

Paul and Daniel in the aquarium area, which has rays, skates, sharks, jellyfish, and lots of other fish.

Here I am with wallabies. We also saw penguins, clouded leopards, tigers, arctic animals, and lots more.

Mount Rainier was visible over many of the zoo buildings.

Paul and Daniel outside the Museum of Glass by Martin Blank's Fluent Steps.

Me playing Eve with the snake from Michael Sherrill's Brightly Hidden.

The Venetian Wall on Chihuly's Bridge of Glass.

The waterfront where we attended Tall Ships Tacoma in 2005.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Greetings from Alaskan Way

We have had a very full Saturday starting in the morning with Daniel at the Seattle Aquarium on the waterfront below Pike Place Market. We got to see otter and puffin feedings, watch fish from an undersea dome, and eat lunch in the cafe overlooking the Seattle Great Wheel and the ferry to Bainbridge. We also got to enjoy perfect weather!

Then we went to the EMP Museum, currently featuring the Star Trek 50th anniversary exhibit Exploring New Worlds, where we got to sit in the captain's chair, stand in a Borg regeneration alcove, admire props and costumes -- they have both Montalban's and Cumberbatch's Kahn outfits -- and star in a minute-long episode sequence in which we got to beam out of the museum.

We walked to the International Fountain and through Seattle Center past the Armory, then to Daniel's apartment, where we met a friend who's in town for a medical conference for Thai food and catching up since I hadn't seen her in ages! So it was another pretty perfect day except that I twisted my knee which made walking complicated. Go Nationals, NL East champs!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Greetings from Belltown

We had a great day in Seattle on Friday! Though we had plans to come visit Daniel for his birthday from the spring, it turned out to be Bring Your Parents To Work Day at Amazon, so after breakfast at the hotel, we met him at the Amazon campus and attended a welcome session, the "science fair" demonstrating many of the company's technological and interpersonal innovations, the roof decks with dog parks, live music, and views of the city, and the various buildings and courtyards where people work. You can see us in the second photo in this article!

Amazon arranged for parents to be able to eat in a number of local restaurants, so we had lunch at Cactus, which has phenomenal butternut squash enchiladas and store-made ginger soda. Then we went to Carkeek Park, which has a playground and creekside trails leading to a walkway over the railroad tracks to the beach on Puget Sound, where we saw ducks and gulls and cruise ships. Eventually we came back to Belltown to relax for a while, went out for Thai food at Ti 22 for dinner, and headed to Daniel's apartment to play Roll Through the Ages.

This is the welcome session at Take Your Parents To Work Day.

We visited Doppler's 17th-floor dog park...

...heard live music on the deck of Arizona...

...saw the fireplace on the main floor of Blackfoot...

...and saw drones among other technology at the Meeting science fair.

This is, in fact, an official photo taken by Usnaps in a booth at the science fair.

With Paul by Puget Sound...

...and with a whole bunch of gulls!