Spring continues apace! This is the second vase of forsythia blooms I've brought in.

I've now removed 4 x 96L yard waste containers of organic stuff from our grounds. Some of that is grass trimmings, but the majority is nasty scratchy stuff like blackberry canes and juniper boughs. And there is plenty more to go!


So the power went out Sunday night around 6pm, on both sides of just our block. The linesmen showed up in 90mins or so, and drove up and down the street looking for something. They scrutinized the kite caught in our neighbor's overhead wires, but chose not to take it down.

Then they went away. It took 8h before power was restored. I have no idea what they did for the rest of the outage.

This is our runway

This is the airport closest to our house in Seattle. The Kenmore Air Harbor (KEH) is a seaplane base with service to all sorts of interesting places in Washington and BC. It sits on the north edge of Lake Washington, conveniently along the Burke-Gilman trail.

This is a look down runway 16/34, which is 10,000ft long and a generous 1000ft wide. The runway surface and condition is described by the FAA as WATER.

As there is no US customs and immigration pre-clearance offered from Kenmore Air's Canadian destinations, there is a small CBP building with agents to meet incoming international flights.


Spring is coming,
the trees are getting lumpy.

But why is it that
I feel so grumpy?

(Inspired by Soo).

USS Gato

I shared with Ken the earlier picture from Magnuson Park, and he noted that he sailed on one of the submarines planted there! Ken sailed the USS Gato (SSN-615) from Pascagoula, MS around to Cocoa Beach, FL then up to Groton, CT. He believes it was around 1980. The USS Gato was a Thresher-class nuclear submarine, scrapped in 1996.

Looking at the picture of the Gato before it was decommissioned, note the scale of the fins. They're the smallest feature visible out of the water, running horizontally. It's the same piece of metal as pictured to the left, where it is perhaps 10ft high. Not a small ship!

Trojan Nuclear Power Plant

On the weekend ride, I took a break to explore the site of the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant in Ranier, OR. This is the view of the training building, in front of the power lines that would have previously carried 1130MW away from the turbines.

Most of the site has been decommissioned. The reactor vessel was shrink-wrapped and taken by barge to Hanford in 2005, and the cooling tower was imploded in 2006. Portland General Electric has to keep watch over the spent fuel onsite, because the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository is a long way from being completed.

Flying to Portland with negative cost

This weekend, I picked up my bicycle from Portland. The flight down there was left over from my citizenship trip to Australia. More precisely:
- a SEA-MEL roundtrip costs $175 more than SEA-MEL-SEA//SEA-YVR
- I routed SEA-YVR via Portland, and didn't travel onwards to Vancouver

I intended to ride back to Seattle over two days, on the Seattle-To-Portland classic route. Although beginning in Vancouver WA, I crossed into Oregon for 40.5 river miles of the Columbia, between the I-5 and the Lewis and Clark bridge.

Sadly, as I hadn't trained since Cycle Oregon last year, the 109 miles of the first day took everything I had and there was nothing left for the second day. (A convenient excuse was provided by poor weather). I took the Amtrak train back to Seattle on Sunday.

McMenamins Olympic Club hotel/bar/restaurant/theater in Centralia entertained me fully. It is highly recommended, and I hope to visit many other McMenamin locations in the coming months.

I am now a gardener

Having a house with a yard is a novelty. We've inherited an array of lovely plants, some that have been neglected for years. So I've been pruning and weeding quite a bit this past week.

As it's spring, we get to enjoy some of the fruits of the garden. Camellias have been blooming elsewhere for weeks, but out front, ours are just coming out.

The Turkish gambit

My father has arranged to go to South Africa for a Ramblers holiday. With significant research, he found availability in August/September on a Star Alliance business class award.

Routing is YVR-NRT-SIN-JNB-CPT//CPT-JNB-IST-LHR//LHR-YYC-YVR. Decent value at around 3 cents per AC Aeroplan point. Unfortunately, there was no dodging the AC fuel surcharges (C$260) or UK air travel tax (£80).

I now have a choice

My Australian passport arrived today!

Count me in to that rare demographic, the undocumented-Canadian-Australian community, living in the shadows in America.

Be careful. I might tap your maple tree. Or erect stumps for cricket in the park.

Magnuson Park

Magnuson Park was previously the Sand Point Naval Air Station. And there are a field of real submarine fins there. In the foreground sits a fin of the USS Puffer (SSN-652), a Sturgeon-class nuclear sub.

The glowing guts of this sub (and many others) are rotting in the open air in Hanford WA now.