Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

September 29, 2007

Shoot the Moon

Did you all have a chance to see the beautiful full harvest moon the other night? Try as I might, I just can't take a good full moon picture. It looks great in the viewfinder but ends up looking like a spotlight in the finished photo. Even though I had my camera on the tripod, it still shook when I pressed the shutter button.

My old Pentax K-1000's shutter button has a place where you can screw in a remote shutter cable, and I've been able to take much better and less blurry photos with that. However the new cameras don't have a place to screw in the remote cable, not even on my Pentax Z-XM. Plus I can adjust the aperture and shutter speed on the K-1000, something I can't do with my digital camera.

September 25, 2007

Ride the SLUT

The South Lake Union Trolley has just begun operation in Seattle, and the good folks at Kapow! Coffee in Seattle printed these shirts as a joke. Needless to say, the story got picked up by the national news last week and now they are getting orders for the shirt from all over the world. If anyone is interested in getting one for themselves, friend or significant other, here's the link: .

September 23, 2007

Blessed Mabon

It's finally fall. I meant to do this post over the weekend when the fall equinox actually arrived but I was too busy sitting on my fat ass watching football all the live-long day. I swear I need Mondays off because I generally spend Sat. and Sun. vegetating and recovering from the work week and get nothing done. I still haven't put my Portland pictures in my photo album although I did type and print the captions for them.

So we are coming into my absolute fave time of the year - fall and winter. I love Mabon, Samhain and Yule. The trees are turning colour, the geese are heading south and the weather is finally cool and cloudy. Even if we get a sunny day, it won't get that warm. I used to love fall on Cape Cod. The light gets this beautiful golden glow, from what I can only imagine is the way the sun reflects off the water. Artists and photographers call it "Cape Light", and some of the best photos I've taken on the Cape were in the fall. I'll have to dig out some of them and blog them. The cranberry harvest on a sunny day is especially colourful.
I have a pretty busy week! Yesterday was my annual "Squeezogram" which is just sheer torture. The tech goes, "But we're digital now!" As if that is supposed to reassure me that they aren't squeezing my boob into a pancake. The top view is bad enough, but the side view has to be the worst. I've got the damn flat thing shoved into my ribs at the bottom, I'm standing with my feet turned one way and my hips turned another, my face is shoved up against that plastic shield, and she has the audacity to say, "Relax your shoulder, and breathe..." Riiiiiight. It's bad enough that I have a zero pain tolerance. Who the hell designed that damn machine anyway? A man, no doubt. I know I blogged this same cartoon last year but it's really amusing so I'm posting it again.

After work today I see my podiatrist to go over the xrays he took of my feet last week. It looks like all I'll need is orthotics. Apparently my right leg is 1/4" shorter than my left so I stand and walk weird to compensate, and that is what's causing the terrible pain in my left foot and heel. Now, if insurance pays most or all of the orthotics, I'll be all set.

This Thursday Brian and I have tickets to see the Dark Star Orchestra at Pantages Theatre in downtown Tacoma.

They aren't a real orchestra with strings or anything, but a Grateful Dead cover band. However, they are different than most cover bands in that they don't just go out there and play a random selection of Dead tunes. What they do is take a show that the Dead actually played in the past, and recreate that show. However, you don't know which show it is till they get onstage. So we could see anything from the 1960's to the mid-1990's. I am hoping it will be a show before or after "The Donna Years", 1973-1979, because that was my least favourite era. Donna sang so off-key in concert. It's too much to hope to see a show that I might have been at, because I only got to see about 35 Dead shows (from 1988-1994) before Jerry died in '95. Brian saw about 118 shows between 1978 and 1994. Except for 2 shows, all the rest I saw have been with Brian.

I've heard great stuff about the DSO and seen a couple of their videos on YouTube and they really do sound a lot like the Dead. We scored 4th row tickets too, and Pantages only holds about 1,200 people. We haven't been to a concert since we saw the Dave Matthews Band at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, WA back in July, 1999. (Yes, you read that right, there is a town here called George Washington).

Saturday is the annual East Pierce County Fire & Rescue Open House in Bonney Lake. They get a great turnout each year. We always go just to get our flu shots, so that's what we'll do on Sat. afternoon.

Other than that, I'm very stoked for the new LOCI season. That promo they are showing on the USA Channel is intense so I know where I'll be next Thursday night at 10:00 p.m.! The rest of the new fall shows look pretty lame, although I do want to check out "Carpoolers", and maybe I will watch the first episode of "Cavemen" but it looks really, really bad and the early reviews are trashing it as well. As much as I love those GEICO cavemen commercials, I really don't think a half hour sitcom is going to fly. Yes, we get it - cavemen are sophisticated, metrosexual, educated. How many ways will they be able to say it in one episode of the show, much less a series?

September 22, 2007

Mt. Hood

There's goes Julie, heading up Mt. Hood on what would be for me, sure death. The hike looks deceptively easy and in fact, she told me that she encountered a couple of people climbing up there without water, one of whom was wearing Teva sandals as well. They had to have been tourists, because only non-residents would take a chance like that in the Cascade Mountains. I cannot emphasize enough that if you do not respect Ma Nature up here, you will die.
Julie's summited Hood, is it 3 or 4 times? Summer is not the ideal summit-season, as the mountain is covered with volcanic rock scree that makes the hike a "2-steps up, 1-step back" kind of thing. She made her hike this day in record time, going up to the Palmer lift, which is right above the lower large patch of snow.
The day we were there, we saw a few hardcore snowboarders heading up, on foot, boards in tow, to ride on that postage-stamp sized bit of snow. Seems like an awful lot of work for such a short ride. But when I looked through my zoom lens at the snow, it's a lot larger than it looks from the lodge.
This is looking at some lifts that start down below somewhere and end at the lodge. I thought it made an interesting picture, how they fade into the fog.

And speaking of fog, we were up above it. I'd hoped to get some good distant scenery shots so you could see how high up we were but alas, everything was socked in below 6,000 feet.

I forget the name of this rock, but Julie knows it.

Mt. Hood is one of the Cascade Range volcanoes. The summit is 3.6 miles from the lodge, and is 11,245 feet tall. (Mt. Rainier is 3,165 feet taller and is always covered in snow & glaciers) It is dormant, but Julie tells me that there's a section on the side of the mountain that stinks of sulphur. I guess even volcanoes have to fart every now and then.

I was hoping that the 2 tiny specks, which are 2 hikers, would show up on this picture, but they are on the small bit of ice and snow, below the bigger patch. It really helps you to appreciate the scale when you see these tiny black dots slowly moving up and down the mountain and realize that they are people. I was looking for Julie's bright blue hat but you couldn't make out any details.

I love Smokey the Bear.The stuff on my rearview mirror was kind of in the way when I shot this, but I was going pretty fast and had to snap quickly. This is somewhere near Chehalis, in WA. On the other side of the billboard, it says something like, "If the U.S. Funds It, the U.S. Controls It", but you can only see it when you are traveling south. I would have taken a picture of it on my way down to OR but it took me by surprise, so I made sure to have my camera ready on the trip home.

We had the best time and I can't believe it's been one week already!!! I can't wait to do it again!
Julie, thanks again for coming with and for everything. It was truly a memorable & fun weekend.

September 21, 2007

A Saucy Limerick by Susan

I just received this from Susan, aka "Fenwayspal", in an email

(i'm bored)

joanne was a girl from cape cod
whose clothes were london mod
she wore white boots
guys in cars would toot
and flash her with their young rods

September 20, 2007


This is the Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. I was unable to get the famous picture of the mountain rising up behind the lodge because it required a bit of hiking down (and then back up) and I didn't have adequate footwear to do so.

The Timberline is at an approximate elevation of 6,000 feet above sea level. To put this in perspective, the highest point in all of the 6 New England states is Mt. Washington, in New Hampshire, which tops out at 6,200 feet. The one thing that surprised me was that once we turned off the main road, it was only a short trip up to the lodge. I was expecting a long, arduous drive up a narrow gravel, switchback road with sheer dropoffs, which is what you encounter when you drive to the top of Mt. Washington. With a great deal of ear-popping, too, I might add. However, as you approach Mt. Hood from the highway, the elevation of the land steadily increases and you hardly even notice it. So the 6 mile drive to the lodge from the highway is a piece of cake.

The Native Americans who lived in the area called Mt. Hood "Wy'east", and there is a large day lodge called Wy'east Lodge below the Timberline's parking lot where you can get your ski tickets, store gear in lockers, shop at the large gift and pro shops or eat in a cafeteria. Yes I bought souvenirs.

The Timberline was used as the exterior of The Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick's interpretation of Stephen King's novel "The Shining". I say "interpretation" because the movie wasn't quite like the book, and let's face it, Jack Nicholson looked like he was going to come unhinged from the get-go. Stephen King was not at all happy with that movie either.

Stephen King based the Overlook on the Stanley Hotel, located in Estes Park, Colorado. When Kubrick filmed, he used the Timberline for the exterior and built studio sets for the interior, but based those on the inside of the Ahwanee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. So the inside of the Timberline looks absolutely nothing like the movie. And it's much smaller inside too.

In the movie, the dreaded room is #237, instead of #217 as used in the book. Apparently the Timberline's management asked Stanley Kubrick to please change the room number because they were afraid no one would ever want to stay in room #217 ever again. If only they knew! When I was in the gift shop, there was only one lame Shining-related ballcap available for purchase. The clerk told me that when they do get that stuff in, it flies off the shelves. I'm sure if #217 had been used in the movie, it would have been booked forever with a waiting list of people who wanted to stay there. And I'm willing to bet they get a fair share of people asking to stay in #237 (which doesn't exist).
The Timberline Lodge was built as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930's, one of the many programs designed to provide employment and income during the Great Depression. FDR really loved the Pacific Northwest, it seems, as he created the Olympic National Park here in Washington. There is a diningroom at the Lake Quinault Lodge called "The Roosevelt Room" because FDR stayed there.

This is a carving on the front door of the Timberline.
As you enter the hotel, the first floor has lovely exhibits of old ski patrol and rescue equipment, the building of the hotel, history of the mountain, etc. The second floor is where the restaurants and hotel rooms are. The entire third floor is a pub, and also has hotel rooms on both wings. This chimney is the centerpiece of the lodge and both second and third floors are open and airy. It's very comfortable and cozy and the wood carvings are amazing.

Different animals are carved on the bannister pillars.

I couldn't get enough of these nooks. I would love to stay at this hotel sometime!

I shot this as a joke because of "The Shining." You all may or may not have read the book or seen the movie, but the "house" is what is controlling Jack. I still get shivers when Jack goes to the bar and is greeted by the bartender Lloyd, who tells Jack, "Your money's no good here Mr. Torrence. Orders from the house." So this is the "House Phone".Here's another writing nook.

Wouldn't it be cool to turn on this radio but have it play music from the 1930's?
I loved this sculpture/painting. The little salmon students in the windows are adorable. Click on the picture to see the detail.
The ironwork is outstanding too.

September 19, 2007

Headin' South and The "Hotel Sordid"

Julie and I left our respective homes at about 8:00 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 14. I figured I'd get to Portland before her because my trip was a straight shot down I-5, but she had to go over Mt. Hood and through some podunk towns w/ stoplights. My trip was uneventful, and for the first time I was even driving under the speed limit so that I didn't end up in Portland way before Julie. Lucky for me I was going slow because I saw a lot of State Patrol radar traps along the highway and the last thing I need is to get a ticket in a county far away from my own because that would be next to impossible to fight. Hit a bit of rain when I got to Vancouver but it was only a squall (remember, we have a Vancouver, Washington in addition to Vancouver, BC and Vancouver Island).
Portland is a ginormous city, spanning two huge rivers, the Columbia and the Willamette and sprawling across two counties. It reminds me a lot of Berkeley, CA - a bit gritty, but funky and an extremely liberal college town.
I got to the Portland Inn City Center at about 10:45. As I drove into the parking lot and looked up at this run down building, I said, "you have got to be fucking kidding me". It looks the kind of place that would rent rooms by the hour, you know? But hey, as I said, it is a college town and I wanted to remain open minded, since I'm sure a lot of parents stay there. I checked in and the lobby was quite nice. Our room was ready, #439, so I went up and dumped my crap. Here is a pic of our room. I called Julie to let her know I'd wait for her in the lobby, called Brian to tell him I'd arrived safely, and then headed downstairs to read. Julie showed up at about 11:30 or so and I helped bring her stuff upstairs.
Our room was a bit beat up, and fairly clean, except for......

I saw it when I first got into our room, had tentatively touched the toe of my shoe to it and I could tell it was sticky. Once Julie arrived, she decided to plant her entire foot on it and when she pulled her foot off, there was the most sickening, "thuk" sound as her shoe came unglued from the carpet. After yelling "EW EW EW EW" at the top of my lungs, I nearly blew chunks right then and there. We, of course, howled with laughter and tried to figure out if we should steal construction cones to put over the stain. We spent the rest of the afternoon jumping over it. Then I took this lovely picture of Julie getting up close and personal with our pet stain. Notice how she wouldn't even kneel on the carpet and is protecting her knees with tissue paper? More hilarity ensued.
Our room faced an office building and I was feeling a bit zany so I lifted up my shirt and bra and flashed it. Don't know if anyone saw, but we got a huge charge out of it.

Next, we headed out to walk around downtown.
The downtown area is a very nice mix of the old.....
...and new. I really liked it a lot and I look forward to going back.
Here's Julie trying to get her hand inside Hunky Open-Shirted Model Man's pants.
Ate lunch here.
Bought beads here.
Got back to the room and looked at her GORGEOUS trip pics from Europe (hint hint, she should blog them), chatted and I called Brian. All the while, there is the annoying din of construction going on outside, below our window. I know at one point I couldn't take it anymore, stood up and yelled out the window, "SHUTUP SHUTUP SHUT UP!" But they couldn't hear me of course. Then at 7:30 they started using a friggin jackhammer. It's like people! Go home to your wives and families for gods sake! By 8:00 pm I'd had about enough so I went down to the desk and inquired, somewhat tersely, if the construction went on all night or what and was told that they work till "after dark". Fortunately, the front desk guy asked if we wanted to change rooms and I said yes. He gave me a key for Room #243 and I went up and got Julie and we checked out the room and it was in a quiet nook of the building. As we exited good ol' Room #439, dragging all our crap down the hall, I sang out, "Bye Stain..." and we settled in to the new room.

Necessity being the mother of invention, this is how we kept our window open.
The hotel was allegedly "non-smoking", but the 2nd floor hallway reaked of smoke. Our room was clearly the "sneak-a-smoke" room as we were treated to this festive view of the ledge below our window. Although the hanger was our of them fell out of the window.

After we crashed, I slept for about 2 hours, and woke up at 1:00 a.m. with horrible nausea. I went into the bathroom where I promptly semi-passed out on the cold tile floor. I don't know how long I lay there but I finally went back to bed at some point and spent the night tossing and turning. Next morning, I was stunned to find out that Julie was sick too, but was toughing it out in bed and also tossing and turning, and wondering why I was in the bathroom so long. Since we both had the exact same thing for lunch, cheeseburger and fries, that has to be what made us sick. Note to self: Don't eat at the Red Coach Restaurant again.

Next up: Mt. Hood and the Timberline Lodge.

September 16, 2007

Julie, Me and Mr. Lick

We had the BEST time in Portland! Will blog more later and I have to get my pics processed b/f I can post them (yeah I know I can do it from my camera to the computer but I'm gonna wait). So this is Julie and my big fat face, and "Mr. Lick", taken this morning before we left.

September 13, 2007

Portland or Bust!

Well me and Julie are off to Portland for the weekend! Will catch up with all of you when I get back on Sunday.

September 12, 2007

Too Good to Pass Up

Thanks to my dear friend Liz for sending this to me in an email this afternoon. Of course if he goes to prison, picture a ginormously fat, tattooed, bald dude named Bubba assuming the position behind Vick instead of the dog!

September 11, 2007

Montessori For Dogs??

As you guys know, we dote on our two doggies, Pepper and Sagan. When we first got Pepper, we used to take her to Sumner Vet's "doggie daycare" program once a week. She seemed to like it at the beginning, but a few months later when I asked one of the techs how she interacts with the other dogs and if she has a good time, I was told that she enjoyed day care if there were only 3-4 dogs, but if there were more, she mostly hung around with the humans or stayed to herself. We decided that it was a waste of our money if she wasn't having fun, so we stopped taking her and instead she has the run of the house when we are at work.

Sagan, on the other hand, "Mr. Social", is so friendly and outgoing, that he took to doggie daycare like a duck to water. He goes once a week, sometimes twice a week in the winter if it's too rainy to let him play in the backyard. It was a good deal at $100 for 5 visits.

Sumner Vet is an amazing animal hospital and they opened their new digs a year or so ago. Everything you could want for your pet is contained at Sumner Vet: hospital, grooming, boarding, daycare, toys, special foods, chewstix, etc. On the other side of the parking lot is a large building where they do agility and obediance school. Dr. Dani Munson is a very personable doctor and it's great to see her come through the exam room door with a huge smile and dive onto the floor to smother our furchildren with kisses and hugs. She clearly loves her job.Yesterday Brian called them to make a grooming appointment for Sagan while he is at daycare this week or next. While on the phone, they told him that they had made significant changes to the program. The price was going up to $175 for 5 visits, and you now had to call in advance to make a reservation for daycare (instead of stopping by on the way to work w/ the dog) because the current situation is so overcrowded that the dogs are overstimulated and they needed to make a change in how they conducted the daycare. Well, OK, what are you gonna do, right?'s in Sagan's best interest to go to daycare and we want to do what's best for our little guy.

Just out of curiosity, I went to their website to see what changes they made. "Daycare" called "Canine Activity Program". The more I read, the harder I laughed. I mean, what they are doing is so, um, "Marin County", so "Northern California", so "touchy feely". I've now taken to calling it "Montessori for Dogs". The "bodywork" is what really cracked me up though. Sagan's going to be more spoiled at daycare than he is at home. Just as long as he doesn't come home singing "kum-bi-ya" we should be fine.

Oh, and by the way, is there a "Human Daycare" I can go to that has some of these bells & whistles? All joking aside, we could not ask for a better vet, we are very lucky to have them just down the hill from us and it's a relief to know that our precious pups are receiving the best care.

Here's the description of the new program:

At Sumner Veterinary Hospital we're as committed to your dog's happiness and well being as you are. Since January 2000, our doggie daycare has provided pups with a fun, friendly, action-packed alternative to lonely days at home. You wouldn’t think we could improve on a service like that, but we have. A recent study analyzing dogs’ behavior at doggy daycares reports hours of group dog play is not always good for dogs. Repeated exposure to high levels of excitement was correlated with behavior problems such as hyperactivity, barking, anxiety and health problems such as diarrhea and skin problems. On the other hand, an activity schedule that alternates high-energy play with individualized training, games, tactile stimulation and naps prevents the undesirable effects of dogs being “over-adrenalized”.

So, as we lead the way in canine care we are pleased to present our new alternative to traditional daycare, the Canine Activity Program; Balancing mind, body and social development. Every day is filled with stimulation, interaction and play as well as nap and chew time, in a clean, healthy, fun and nurturing environment.

Our enthusiastic dog-loving staff will mix group play and training with a variety of other activities to meet your dog’s social, physical and mental needs. Our mission is to teach dogs skills that will keep them well integrated with your family and well-behaved in a wide variety of situations. We know your dogs will be better behaved because they have attended our personalized program.

Our new activities include:

Indoor group play. We understand dogs and their need to exercise. Our play groups are kept small and play is directed by our highly trained daycare staff so your dog has an opportunity to get exercise, learn proper social skills and gain confidence in a safe, controlled environment.
Individual training at It’s a Dog’s World, our Training and Agility Center. Our one-on-one training focuses on important manners needed for daily life such as loose leash walking, doorway manners and coming when called. We also train tricks for mental stimulation. We use only positive reinforcement in the training program, motivating the dogs with food treats, toys and praise.
Outdoor leash walks. We have acres of room to create an outdoor walking experience where dogs are taught to walk with a loose leash and learn to respond to their handler when presented with distractions. Our staff keeps safety as the primary focal point and the dogs love the opportunity to potty outdoors.
Outdoor group play. Our outdoor play yard has over 3000 square feet of play area with secure fencing and double-gated entryways. Our play groups are kept small and play is directed by our daycare staff and interactive play such as fetch and tug are taught so dogs learn to play while demonstrating excellent manners and honoring their playmates.

Bodywork. In the afternoons, each daycare dog will receive an individual session of hands-on stroking, cuddling or grooming. Depending on the needs of the individual dog, this may be time for an after-play rub down, a brush-out of shedding fur, or desensitization to nail trims or body-handling.

Nap Time & Food Puzzles. Since chewing is a natural stress relieving activity for dogs; naptimes will include a food-dispensing toy such as a Kong™ or Twist & Treat™, packed with healthy yummy food for each dog. Special dietary needs can be accommodated and our daycare attendants will choose a food puzzle that is most suitable to your dogs chewing style. As you can see by our remarkable activity lineup, your pet will have a daily experience that cannot be outshined. Our activity instructors are committed to our thrilling program and have prepared not only the activity schedule but have spent countless hours using continuing education and experimentation to develop the Canine Activity Program.

With this in mind, we invite you to be pioneers with us. At Sumner Veterinary Hospital, we have never been satisfied with being “good enough”. Instead, we strive to lead the pack by providing innovative services that improve the lives of dogs and their families. By creating the Canine Activity Program using recreation and education, we can meet the social, mental and physical needs of your dog in a more balanced way. This holistic approach to a day activity program will help develop healthy, well-behaved dogs that are a joy to live with. And what could be better than that? Enrolling your companion in our progressive day program will not only enhance the relationship between you and your dog but it will also enrich your dog’s life.

September 10, 2007

Ho Hum

Another Monday. blah blah blah. At least this Friday I leave for Portland, Oregon to meet up with Julie!! Yippee Skippee!!! We are really stoked for the trip and I am excited to finally meet her in person after talking on the phone and emailing all this year. We'll bop around downtown on Friday, and Saturday is earmarked for a trip to Mt. Hood. I'm going to FORCE Julie to buy at least one kitschy souvenir....I'm hoping to find a tacky tea towel depicting the 9 bridges that span the Willamette River.

Needless to say I'm really looking forward to seeing the Timberline Lodge, as it stood in for "The Overlook" in Stanley Kubrick's interpretation of "The Shining". The interior shots in the movie were from a lodge in Estes Park, CO, but the exterior was shot at Timberline. There's no hedge maze though. I so want to throw open the door of the lodge and announce, "WENDY? I'M HOME!" But I'm sure they've heard that a million times.

Julie's planning a hike up to the Palmer ski lift once we get there, so I'll be hanging out up at the Lodge and shooting pictures till she gets back. The summit of Mt. Hood comes in at a bit over 11,000 feet, so I'm guessing that the Lodge is somewhere in the 6,000 - 8,000 foot area. I'm not at all aclimatized to high altitudes like Julie, so that's one of the many reasons I'm staying below.

Oh and that reminds me, I would prefer not to take, or post, any pictures of my fat ass self either, so don't hold your collective breath.

And speaking of my fat ass self, I'm getting used to the black hair. Brian sent me what he thought was a funny email the other day, when it was cloudy in the morning. He says, "Looks really dark down your your hair sucking all the light out of Tacoma?" So I shot back, "At least I have hair...."

Weekend was quiet....just watched football, football and more football. UW Huskies, WVU and Cal all won so that was cool. Seahawks won their home opener as well. The Michigan and Notre Dame games were pretty ugly though. Spent the rest of my time doing errands and putting the rest of my photos into my various photo albums. Now all I have to do are a couple of scrapbook pages for Sagan's scrapbook and I'll finally be caught up. Just in time for me to take tons of pictures in Portland.

I've been having a mental block regarding what to blog about. I think we can all agree that the anniversary of 9/11 affects us all, consciously or subconsciously. This is the first year that it's fallen on the same day of the week too. And of course it is now the biggest "where were you when....." since Kennedy was killed. I just can't believe it's been 6 years. Last night we watched a documentary that addressed the conspiracy theorists who have opined that there is some deep, dark X-files'esque government-involved element to the disaster, especially regarding the manner in which the WTC collapsed, specifically WTC 7. I have to admit, being the distrustful person that I am added to my absolute disgust and hate for the current Administration, I allowed myself to think that anything was possible. But after watching the documentary, I no longer think that our government was involved, other than knowing that an attack was imminent. Sort of like FDR knew Japan was going to attack us, but let them so that it could justify our getting involved in WW2. I mean, you have to admit, the collapse of the buildings did look like a controlled implosion the way they came straight down. But the engineers showed computer graphics of the way the buildings were built and because of the placement of the trusses in WTC 7, it had no other way to fall except straight down.

Brian had planned on playing Mozart's "Requiem" on his Shakedown Street show yesterday, however, despite the fact that he'd loaded all the music that morning, it absolutely refused to play, so his show was an hour of silence. On September 11, 2002, we went to see one of the "Rolling Requiem" concerts in Tacoma and it was extremely moving.

Summer's hanging on up here like grim death. We had a stretch of cool, cloudy fall weather a few weeks ago, but now there's a stupid high pressure ridge off the coast and it's sunny and hot. At least the sun comes up later and goes down earlier. I'm really hoping this is summer's last gasp.

In other Northwest News, I'm sure you've all heard that 5 members of the Makah Tribe at Neah Bay, Washington, slaughtered a California grey whale with a .50 mm rifle. I'm absolutely sick over it. It took that poor creature 8 hours to die. IMHO, the Makah are the biggest ASSHOLE tribe in this country. I am all for Native American rights and treaty rights, but I fail to see the benefit of allowing the Makah to hunt for whales just because their ancestors did it. At least in 1999 when they killed a whale, they used a hand-thrown harpoon which is at least a bit more sporting than opening fire on a whale with heavy artillery. The photo below depicts various calibers and the .50 is on the far left. The Makah Tribal Council have denounced the act by the 5 so-called "whalers" and promise that justice will be done, but in the tribal court. Brian and I were really involved with the American Indian Movement in 1992, during their "500 Years of Resistance" which was held to coincide with the 500 anniversary of Columbus' invasion. We also ran a Leonard Peltier Defense Support Group for a couple of years, and I was really involved in many writing campaigns for various and sundry Native American and First Nations issues in the USA and Canada. But I will not support whale hunting of any kind, by anyone, for any reason.

Growing up on Cape Cod as a child in the late 60's and early 70's, we were taught to be proud of our whaling heritage. There was this old coot in my hometown, Colonel Clark, who was a whale or whaling expert of some kind. All I know is he used to come to Sandwich Elementary School with slides and films of whales and whaling; and I have to tell you, I was pretty horrified by the whaling films, which showed in graphic detail whales being killed and slaughtered on deck. He even had a giant jawbone in front of his house, like a gate entrance.

Liz may or may not remember our 3rd grade class trip to New Bedford, to the Whaling Museum. Nothing about that trip stands out except for our teacher, Mrs. Alvezi, showing me a sea captain's trunk. The name on the trunk was "Mendonca", but the "c" had the little cedilla squiggle under it and the reason my teacher pointed it out is that she knew my father quite well and knew that our last name, "Mendonza", had been changed from "Mendonca", and perhaps the captain had been a distant relative of my father's family. Maybe, maybe not. He was from British Guiana, South America and his parents came to SA from Portugal or the Canary Islands.

All of us kids knew what a "Nantucket sleighride" was and us girls all owned at least one piece of scrimshaw jewelry. But of course all that stuff fell out of favour by the end of the 70's.

So anyways, if any of you are so inclined to vent your outrage to the Makah Tribal Council over the killing the grey whale, I urge you to do so at Let's tell them that we won't settle for anything less than full prosecution!!