Sunday, September 30, 2007


Here's another picture taken of Fairhaven last week. It is 11th Street looking south towards Harris.

Sleep is good. This evening I caught up on my week's deficit, although I've read that after seventy-two hours, you will never regain the sleep that you lost. Well tonight I tried to continue reading a Tristan Jones novel (Somewheres East of Suez), and fell asleep on numerous occasions. So now it is midnight, and I am going to make some tea, and probably continue to upend my sleeping regimen and work for a few more hours. Oh well. At least my morning schedule is not heavy until Wednesday.

Today was a movie day. I went to the Pickford to see "In the Shadow of the Moon." Great movie, although I am looking forward to a movie with more of a storyline. Many of the recent Pickford flicks have been documentary types. I might need to break down and by a DVD player over the winter and bring out the television again. At any rate, off to do some work and listen to evening jazz.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Um... here I read my post last night and think about the one written the night before that: here I move to Bellingham (with my soon-to-be-ex-wife) and (ex-)dog from Lake Tahoe on the Nevada side. Now this isn't California (the recipient of last night's wrath), but you could see it across the lake (yeah, and we even had lake view). So I guess I am sort of a hypocrite.

But in all actuality, I am progressing towards a more minimalist lifestyle. And in a world of dwindling resources, I do believe that huge trophy homes pocking otherwise beautiful mountains like acne are both selfish and wasteful.

Me? I live in a 1,000sqft house and think that is too much space (and I'm teetering on getting a roommate). It was built in 1928 for a coal miner. Let's see, he had a new house; I'm living in an 80 year-old place. And I bet he didn't have a graduate degree.

A long, long day spent working, with many hours to go tonight. Gotta feed the machine. Oh, and the picture is taken of Port Angeles last week. We had lunch there on the way back from the coast.

Friday, September 28, 2007


So the whole rain thing may have been overblown, as today was generally beautiful. I think the weather people generally exaggerate the overly cloudy weather to keep the Californians at bay. But it is predicted to be rainy and cloudy for the foreseeable future.

But depending upon who you ask, the housing market is still strong here. And this really sucks, as more land is being stripped of 150 year-old firs and cedars to accommodate new retired couples needing 4,000 square-foot homes that want as much sun as possible in an otherwise gloomy climate. (Demographically, retirees are still moving here - they're the only ones that can afford live here, as there are few decent-paying jobs, especially considering the lack of affordable housing.) While sailing, you can see the newer trophy homes climbing the Chuckanuts like a painful, contagious rash. It's really too bad, but California and Seattle are basically trashed and overbuilt, so people are moving into Bellingham and transforming it into the congested, car-dominant areas they left behind. And I won't even start on the gated communities. But I guess that's progress.

Fortunately, my neighborhood (Sunnyland) has smaller homes that are a bit worn. The Bed, Bath & Beyond crowd is moving into the newer snout houses in the homogenized zones out where they never need to leave the safety of their vehicles and automatic garage door openers prevail.

Geeze, I really had a good day. I don't know what brought that on. Maybe it was this article in The Herald. I will try to remain more positive. It was indeed a wonderful evening...meeting a friend for coffee after work around eight.

At any rate, the picture was taken last week in the rain forest on the peninsula.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Rain Redux

Rain, I don't mind,
Shine, the weather's fine.
- Lennon/McCartney

Today it rained. Actually it poured. Not like the winter drizzle. It was a heavy rain for much of the day. And of course I needed to ride my cruiser twenty-plus miles all over town through much of it - from 6:45 this morning until 9:15 tonight. But actually it wasn't so bad once I made it outside and donned my rain gear. What did suck was the hills I needed to climb on the outskirts of town.

Now when I lived in Lake Tahoe, I used to ride my bike to work and coming home was a thousand foot ascent. These hills today were a couple hundred feet, but Tahoe paled compared to the steepness of these. Add to this the fact I was riding my one-speed cruiser, or shall I say walking my one-speed up these hills. But what was treacherous was coming down these hills on slick roads with coaster brakes - skidding and sliding with care and hope. But I made it.

It was a good day, and refreshing introduction into the rainy season. We will still see a spell of sun (hopefully) before May. I feel refreshed, enlivened, but exhausted. No alarm will be set tomorrow morning.

This picture is just a fond memory of sun looking towards Lummi Island from Zuanich Point Park taken last Saturday. This is where I flew my kite a few times over the summer.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Not much time to write tonight. But I am working with a fisherman client and he suggested that I join him for chum salmon season to see how the business works firsthand. Forty-eight hours aboard a 38-foot fishing boat in the San Juan Islands in early October? Of course I would go.

Thankfully not quite the Deadliest Catch, but it should still be a tremendous opportunity and exciting time. Probably little sleep, as some of the days can be eighteen-plus hours long. But it is only two full days. And I frequently pull those anyway, although not on a rolling fishing boat.

I am sure more pictures will follow if this comes to fruition. And I will gain enough knowledge for me to B/S like an expert on the Pacific salmon industry upon my return.

Gotta love the 10-day forecast:
Ton Sep 26 Mostly Cloudy N/A/48° 20%
Thu Sep 27 Showers 60°/45° 100% 60°F
Fri Sep 28 Showers 59°/44° 40% 59°F
Sat Sep 29 Showers 55°/46° 40% 55°F
Sun Sep 30 Showers 55°/47° 50% 55°F
Mon Oct 1 Showers 56°/47° 40% 56°F
Tue Oct 2 Showers 56°/44° 40% 56°F
Wed Oct 3 Showers 54°/44° 40% 54°F
Thu Oct 4 Showers 51°/44° 60% 51°F
Fri Oct 5 Partly Cloudy 55°/45° 20% 55°F

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Here is the final picture of the VW that has gone to its new home. This was taken in the clouds up on Mount Baker last Sunday when my brother visited. We almost made it to Artist's Point, which remains closed for much of the year. (Mount Baker supposedly gets the most snowfall in the world, or at least the US.) My skiing days are pretty much behind me, although I might be able to borrow a shop pass from a friend, so it would behoove me to take a trip to Mt. Baker Ski Area. But in Tahoe we lived less than five minutes from the Heavenly Stagecoach Lift, so driving ninety-plus minutes to the mountain is not too enticing. Only time will tell, as they had some snow on the mountain this past week. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said: "If it was easy, it would be called snowboarding." I got a kick out of that.

Days here are in the low sixties and nights in the forties, so the crispness of fall is upon us. Leaves are changing, heavier fleece is pulled from the closets, Western students are returning to school.

I put the television away in the garage, as one channel limits your viewing choices, and I find I spent time watching silly sitcoms versus other more productive things like riding my bike or watching the sunset. Oh, and I did put a down payment on the motorcycle, as well as sign up for a safety class, so that should be interesting. I don't plan to ride a lot, especially on the interstate, but it will be nice to take trips to the mountains next spring or back to the peninsula.

I should get back to work, as I am making progress on this bloody spreadsheet.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday. Blah.

Not much time to write tonight. I need to develop a file (Excel) and I am having the equivalent of writer's block. But I think it broke, finally. So I do not want to lose the momentum now.

Not much happened today. I started working today with a long-time fisherman here in Bellingham. And I did have another flat tire this morning. (I am living on the edge here in Bellingham, I tell ya.)

But the fact is, my tire is polka-dotted with patches. The trail by the house (next to the high school) frequently has broken glass on it. I will finally break down and by a kevlar strip that lines the tube to prevents future flats. And maybe I'll splurge and buy some new tubes too.

Oh, and this picture was taken from the park on Saturday. Clouds are coming. And showers. Apologies for the blandness on this autumn day, but I am preoccupied. Have a good week!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Two Wheels

Ok, so here is a picture of the bike I decided to make an offer on - a 1975 BMW R60/6. I don't really know a whole lot about bikes, but realize I am not one for Japanese styling, Harleys are a bit too loud, and British bikes are too unreliable. So I guess that narrows the field. This was a total fluke, and when I went to look at the BMW today, it turns out I know the owner. It needs minimal work, and a garage to spend its winters. Now I only need to take a safety class, and learn how to ride. I look forward to taking it on trips over to the peninsula, or places beyond. A lot has happened in the past few months.

Here is another picture off the starboard stern of the ferry on the way back from Port Townsend last week. When we realized the spectacular sunset was off the port quarter, the camera had run out of juice. I think Mount Olympus is visible among these mountains, although when asked, the person at the ferry terminal did not know.

Time to get ready for another week. And without a vehicle. The oddest thing is that my car alarm went off twice last night. Once around modnight and the other time around 3:30am. This is the first time it has ever gone off, so I do not know if it was a car prowl, or an alarm defect. It couldn't have happened at a more perfect time. Good-bye little white vee-dub, the car that effortlessly took us tens of thousands of miles around the USA with nary a complaint. {Sniffle} The only contiguous states that car hasn't traveled in were Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Lost at Sea

So today was the final day that my brother visited. On the way to the airport we stopped by the fisherman's memorial in Squalicum Harbor named Safe Return.

We had both just finished reading Lost at Sea, a story about fourteen fisherman lost in two boats - the Americus and Altair - in the dangerous icy Alaskan water while crabbing. The crew was entirely from Anacortes, a small town we passed through last week on our way back from the peninsula. Anacortes is a fishing town about forty-five minutes down the road, and although the tragedy occurred in the early eighties, it is still widely remembered in Bellingham as well as Anacortes.

After that, to the airport, and then back to my nightly routine of watching another wonderful sunset. A crowd gathered around the rocks by the water and a baby seal was alone, apparently abandoned, and its breathing appeared shallow and irregular. So it seemed logical to call Fish & Wildlife, or better yet (as was suggested) the police. So I called 911 and went back to monitor this cute little furry animal. Within five minutes of the call, he took he slid back into the bay and disappeared. He surfaced about fifty feet out, looked at us again, and swam away. Oh well.

And on the way to the park, I was riding by the movie theater to see what was playing, and I ran into some performers I know at the Idiom Theater that were standing outside having a smoke and reviewing some lines for their 8pm performance. So I decided to attend their second (10pm) show tonight, which is always great entertainment in a very intimate setting.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The End of the Vee-Dub

Another picture of the Hoh Rain Forest. I guess we lucked out. It was beautiful and cloudless on the peninsula. Back to Bellingham and the rain has begun. Sunny this morning. Denial this afternoon by not believing the weather report. Consequently, I got soaked on the way home. Usually, Bellingham is perpetually drizzly through the fall, winter and spring. Today it was a harder summer-type rain, although I need to get used to it and begin packing my rain gear every day when I go to work.

And I am selling my car this week, so biking will be my sole means of transport. In an effort to eliminate things in life that bring stress, driving topped the list. So in a rash decision, I offered my car to a friend at a discounted price and he accepted. So I might soon be without four wheels, but to get around out in the county, I might pick up an old BMW R60 motorcycle. And on my rare trips to Seattle or Vancouver, I will rent a car. And for the other times I need a car, I will use the Community Car Share (this was posted a few weeks back, I believe).

Although my car costs much more top operate than I originally calculated, the money is not really the reason for getting rid of it. I fell confined and alienated from my surroundings by driving around in a little steel and glass box. And we moved to city that was bike and pedestrian friendly, so it makes sense to eliminate things that prevent me from riding more.

It is a big move for me, and I am sure you will hear more of going carless.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


This picture was taken yesterday on the Hoh River near the rain forest on the Olympic Peninsula. Now this is one of the few temperate rain forests in the US. And honestly, it didn't look too much different than what I've seen over here in Bellingham. But it supposedly gets 10-15 feet of rain per year.

Bellingham, on the other hand, only gets about three feet per year. And as much as it rains here (supposedly), the precipitation is actually greater in Pittsburgh (37.2"), Cincinnati (40.9") and Clarks Summit (36.5"). Bellingham only gets 36.1", the difference is here that in Bellingham it rains one drop at a time (as they say). It drizzles every day here and is cloudy continuously. For eight months, the sun is rarely seen. Today was one such day.

A joke I recently heard...
Q: What does Bellingham have in common with Cher?
A: Neither is {expletive} sunny/Sonny.

But the funny thing is how many people (myself included) look forward to the laid back rainy and cloudy season that is soon upon us. No Vitamin D overdoes to worry about until next May.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


This evening the God of Modern Transport looked down upon us favorably. Here is a picture of the second to last ferry pulling away from the Port Townsend dock. That white roof in the foreground is the little VW that was fortunately wedged onto the ferry's stern. Now we are technically on vacation and not necessarily in a hurry. But it would have totally sucked to wait the 90 minutes for the next one, even though Port Townsend is a really cool town that I look forward to visiting again. Actually, it is the coolest town I've visited to date in Washington. Next to Bellingham, of course. But we were waved on board as we were sitting in line with fingers crossed.

Tonight's luck was a far cry from an incident yesterday on the way over that involved a school zone, one sheriff and three police officers, a reality check, and fortunately a warning. (More details will probably not be forthcoming on this blog.)

It is good to be back in Bellingham, even though the Olympic National Park is wonderful. (Do not worry, many more pictures of the Hoh Rain Forest are to be posted.) A lot of driving, but a lot of fun. Back to the daily grind, and it looks like I am going to be very, very busy in the next few months (which is good).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


No pics tonight. Sorry.

OK, so I have wi-fi tonight at a motel in Forks, Washington. Over to La Push to find a place to stay for the night. What will 140 bucks get you in La Push, Washington? A small room with no TV or phone, but it does have hot water and the sound of an ocean. Sheesh, I didn't even pay that much for a room in Paris.

Tomorrow we will look for the rain forest. I might try to reschedule my day so we can spend all of tomorrow here, as it is ethereal and beautiful. I am sure pics will follow. The last ferry is at 10pm and I do not know when I will be back, so we might just see all we can Wednesday.

If nothing is written tomorrow, you will know why.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Leaving Bellingham

Another picture taken of the Nooksack River on the way up to Mt. Baker.

Today was a day of work, followed by an afternoon of sailing, followed by an evening of work.

At any rate, I am rather beat tonight and will probably not write too much. Tomorrow I need to be up quite early (7am) for two meetings and in the afternoon we are driving over to the ferry that will take us to the Olympic Peninsula, and eventually to Neah Bay (if all goes as planned, or we may stay somewhere closer if we don’t feel like driving the 110 miles west to the Pacific Ocean), which is about as far as you can go in the Pacific Northwest. Or maybe to La Push.

I will probably not be writing tomorrow night unless we get a place with Internet. Who knows.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Mt. Baker

So this afternoon we too a jaunt up to Mt. Baker, a 10,000+ ft member of the Cascades that is a somewhat active volcano. State Route 542 ends at Artist Point, which (on some days) offers breathtaking views that are awe inspiring. Other days, like today, the visibility is about eighteen inches and invokes vertigo when you are staring into an abyss of clouds and fog and hear the rushing water hundreds of feet below.

I felt like being on the moon, as there was little plant growth and igneous rocks all over from eruptions of some past millennia. Add to the equation the fine mist and glaciers and you get an eerily unearthly sensation. It was interesting to venture up here, as I haven't really left Bellingham for months and once having lived at 7,300 feet, it was nice to get back to the thin air.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Vintage Schwinn

As my brother is coming in tonight, I thought it would be wise to get a second bike so we could tool around town. I went to the bike shop and for a fleeting moment thought about plopping down $250 for a new bike, as they are quite pricey to rent for a week. That thought, however, was fleeting. Instead, I drove over to run some errands and maybe stop by a pawn shop to see if there were any bikes available that would cost far less.

Well lo and behold, the first random garage sale I came across over in the Birchwood neighborhood had an old Schwinn Suburban (probably a seventies vintage - possibly 1972) sitting out front. (Garage sales are common throughout Bellingham on any given Saturday.) Since it was afternoon, the owner lowered the price from $15 down to $10. It is in rough shape, but it is amazing what a cleaning will do for it. And it rides surprisingly smoothly. More cleaning in needed, but it will fill the need. If you come to visit, this Schwinn may very well be your mode of transport for the week. It does only have two speeds right now (5th and 10th), as I need to replace the rear dérailleur cable.

A good day. Guests motivate me to clean, so my house is a bit tidier. I think I will read for a bit.

Friday, September 14, 2007


One thing that you see all over Bellingham are old cars. Old everythings. Especially lots of old VWs, like this one - c.1969. The only material possession that I would really like in life is an old VW Type-II Westfalia. As 1971 was the first year with disc brakes up front (among other things), this vintage would be the obvious choice. (Yes, I spoke recently of getting rid of a car, so acquiring one may be a few years off. Just a dream.)

There will be more pictures of VWs on this blog, I assure you.

Tonight was spent at the movie Sicko by Michael Moore. It was actually his best work, in my opinion. As I am not too good at critiquing movies, it seems he is maturing as a director, writer, etc., and the movie flowed smoothly without any jarring story-line twists like some of his other movies.

Knowing many Canadians living up here, I make it a point to ask them about the quality of their healthcare system, and have never heard anything negative. Yeah, I'm all for free markets, but there just seems to be something innately wrong with for-profit healthcare. And I've said this long before this movie came out. But I just picked up catastrophic healthcare after going without for awhile, so I have no more excuses for not getting up on the ladder.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Today was a day of meetings and such. And I ate a lot of ice cream for some reason.

I ended up biking to the afternoon meeting (that ended in the twilight) and decided to ride up to Lake Whatcom for some evening views of the bay. I do not go up that way too much, and there is a trail the entire way. (See picture at left.) And it winds forgivingly up along Alabama Hill and to the park. Quite cloudy and misty this morning, but a sun-filled day.

Below are links to a cool bike map of Bellingham.
Click here for the big one that is 2.2mb, so it may take awhile to download.
Click here for a smaller file if you have dial-up - 120kb
The green curvy line up to the lake is the bike trail.

My favorite Jerry Garcia Band song just came on - Mission In The Rain - so it is time to sign off.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


So a few weeks back, I went to a concert for a non-profit bike shop called The Hub. Well here is a picture I took of it a few days ago. Yeah, it looks like a mess from the outside, but inside it is quite funky and orderly. And there is bike-related art throughout the property. Some day I will take more pictures of it.

So my brother is coming out next week and I need to pick up a second (or actually third) bike for him and future guests to use. They basically recycle them and put together a cool ride for under a hundred bucks (I hope). I will find out tomorrow.

You can volunteer here and learn how to work on bikes at the same time. As much as I'd like, I cannot commit to another organization. Maybe some day. Gotta run out in a bit, so I am signing off.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Although this picture was taken last night, it almost could've been taken tonight too. Another cloudless sunset.

I may be working with another client that further solidified my reasoning to do something I have been considering for a bit: getting rid of my car. You see, I drive once a week and it sits in the garage most days of the week, or out on the street. A few blocks away is a co-op car run by the Community Car Share.

Getting rid of the car would mean that I would need to work a few hours less a month. The average person spends approximately $7,000 per year on the myriad cost of vehicle ownership; I figure I spend about a third of that. And it's not even the money. The more I ride my bike, the more unpleasant I find driving. Excuse my language, but even nice people can turn into assholes once they get behind the wheel. Especially around rush hour when everyone is in such a hurry to get home to the 'burbs to watch Survivor or American Idol or whatever that rage is these days.

I'll watch another sunset, thank you. No repeats. Or commercials.

Monday, September 10, 2007


It is late and I need to be up early tomorrow. So not much will be written tonight. Tonight (this picture) was a cloudless sunset, cool and wonderful. But cloudless sunsets are rather mediocre. Clouds add drama. And we all need drama in our lives, right?

Then I went to see some bands at the Boundary Bay Brewery, a decent restaurant that is always involved in anything community related. This place really does a lot for any causes in Bellingham, whether Bike to Work & School Day, the Chuckanut Centennial, Salmon Stream Restoration, Groovin' for Grizzlies...the list goes on and on. Truly an institution in Bellingham. And I should patronize more than I do. Very good root beer, I might add.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Smiles and Nods

Here's another picture taken along the main road from Bellingham down to Fairhaven. Fairhave is actually part of Bellingham, but it was once a separate city, annexed years and years ago. But there is few miles between the two built-up areas. In between is mostly residential. An of course condos and trophy homes. Many people that come to Bellingham are trying to escape the places they trashed, like Seattle and California. But they still want to bring that lifestyle with them, and then lament how congested and built up the city is becoming. My place is 1,000sf and too big. Why anyone, especially empty nesters, needs a 4,000+sf home is beyond me.

In the short time I've been here, it's pretty easy to pick out the locals. Every place I've ever been in this country (with the exception of the Niobrara region of Nebraska, and parts of the Deep South), people look at you and then, as you approach them, they look away or straight ahead. Here in Bellingham it's quite the opposite. When passing you people acknowledge you with a nod, smile, or hello. Whether on your bike or walking, it is mostly the norm. The further out of the city you get (in the homogenized zone of suburbia) it's more stressful, rushed, and auto-centric. Now way out in the county, people are quite friendly, albeit much more conservative. (I've been told the film Footloose was loosely based in Lynden, a city to the north that still has Sunday Blue Laws, such as no dancing and drinking in the same establishment.) But I digress.

Another aside: I think Windows may be the cause of of ADHD. I have seven open right now and am working on four different things. Ugh. Fortunately, one of the windows is a Grateful Dead, Ventura County Fairgrounds, 1983-07-30. Highly recommended. It's eleven p.m. and will probably be a long one. I went to neighborhood picnic today (it was neat to see the firemen there hanging out and eating on blankets with friends and family), watched the beautiful sunset and didn't get much work done. So tonight it's time to play catch up.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


This picture is looking into town on Holly St. I took all these pictures last Tuesday, I think. The food co-op is on the left in the mustard-colored building. But I really don't shop there a whole lot. There are other healthy-type food stores closer to home. And the cream building on the left is where I spent a good part of today.

It was a day spent at a workshop with a group with whom I work (or actually volunteer), called Sustainable Bellingham. After dealing with business meetings every day for work, it was nice to attend something a bit softer and meet still more wonderful people. I left there mentally invigorated and refreshed.

So later a friend and I went to a gallery opening of a Bellingham/NYC artist. Then down to see a wonderful sunset, even though there were not many clouds. (Clouds - a few - make for beautiful sunsets.) Still recovering from last Saturday night, but was all that fun worth a lingering cold? Yeah, it was. Everyone is sick out here, which is odd: One would think that sickness would occur in the six-plus months of rain-and-forty-degrees weather that not-too-far off.

Friday, September 7, 2007


Here's a picture heading south through town taken a few days back. The Bellingham Herald building is to the right.

Today I am still battling a cold, so I am a bit crabby and feeling a bit under the weather. And although the sun was out today, it was very chilly. This week, it is supposed to hit eighty degrees and everyone will be commenting on the heat. When the temp hit ninety this summer, it was front page news. Ninety-four is the all-time high for Bellingham.

But back to the cold - I am surprised how this area is touted as a retirement mecca, when it is always cold. It doesn't bother me much, as I ride my bike most days of the year and am still relatively young. But I don't see how transplants from places like sunny California can handle the chilly, moist weather here - especially those who are older and more sensitive to the cold. (I guess that's why many turn around and go back home after a few years - you hear stories about it all the time here.) Although it is still sunny and warm right now, the damp winter climate chills you to the bone. One definitely needs to mentally prepare for the winters (and autumn and spring) here in Bellingham.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Another picture looking towards town. Downtown is actually to the right, while Fairhaven is down the road to the left. I don't really know what they're doing to this vessel, but it's been sitting here for the past year. I think I read that it is a reserve ship and kept on stand-by for a shipping company out of Seattle.

The blue on the horizon is seemingly ever present. There is an area west and south of Bellingham called the 'Banana Belt.' This are gets much more sun and much less rain than Bellingham. It includes some of the San Juan Islands, as well as Victoria, BC, which is west and a bit south of Bellingham. I don't think this is it, as this patch of blue is to the northwest. I could be wrong though.

I sit here blowing my nose, and it looks like I haven't shaken this cold yet. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


(Remember that double-clicking on these pictures makes them bigger.) This is looking down onto the GP plant heading out of town.

Bellingham has a long history of timber-related industry. The G-P (Georgia-Pacific) plant, is a large facility in the center of town, that remains sort of an eyesore and has necessitated a huge mercury clean-up project. I believe the mercury was used in the chlorine bleaching process, and now it lies at the base of a sediment lagoon which happens to be some primo real estate in the heart of downtown Bellingham. So of course you have the big developers going head to head with the greenies. (I just deleted a big sentence whereas I started going off on the city's proposed tax reprieve for developers and consequently my subsidizing them. Arrgh.) But GP has been good to the city and gave it its roots, as well as a legacy of toxicity that may be with us for a very long time.

Not much more to write. The day was beautiful, but the sunset was crummy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Today started off drizzly and cloudy - a typical autumn day. But the clouds ceiling started at about 100 feet (and probably went forever), so maybe that's fog instead. Either way, very ethereal and wonderful.

But it cleared around four and I ended up getting a picture right as the clouds were passing by. This picture is of the mooring balls by the Fairhaven Terminal. It was actually quite a bit drearier and I needed to brighten this picture. But the evening turned out wonderful and sunset was second to none. Until tomorrow.

One thing that is pretty neat here on a summer night is how absolutely quiet it is. Virtually no one in town has air conditioning, so there is very little noise at night. An occasional auto, or train, or cat. On the nights the wind is blowing off the Cascades, you can hear some I-5 traffic, which is about ten blocks away to the east. But mostly the wind is off the bay and it brings quiet. You do hear some stories of transplants needing air conditioning. But I can't stand air conditioning, which is a one of the reasons I am in Bellingham. The twenty-six dollar electric bills don't hurt either. And by the way, Bellingham (I've been told) has the highest proportion of fluorescent bulb users in the US. (Now about the residual mercury...)

Monday, September 3, 2007


Not Bellingham, but Paris. From 2000. From Notre Dame looking west. But the weather was very similar today: cloudy and looking like it could rain any minute. (I think another low-budget trip to Paris will be my first reward in the next year if things keep looking up.)

But back in was a tempting day to stay in, although I did a bit of yard work. I also rescued a little garter snake from a playful cat outside the kitchen window, so I did something beneficial today: saving the life of a little reptilian friend. Other than that, trying to shake this cold by drinking lots of tea that a friend brought back from China. It's in a big round, compressed disc and you break it off as needed. Sort of neat. I wish I could tell you more about it, but the writing is all in Chinese.

And I finished a business plan. And the Shackleton story. If you ever think your life sucks, read this story of the Endurance. Almost two years on ice floes and islands of rock, ice and guano. What remarkable will and strength.

Time to drink some more liquids.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

This picture is taken across the high school soccer/baseball field about a half block from home. Towards town. The hill on the left is an arboretum with hiking trails that is nestled next to Western.

Today was a day of using my new couch. (Well it has seen better days, but it is brand new to me.) I became engrossed in the book Endurance, an incredibly written account off the Shackleton Expedition. I will need more books like this, as today was a very dreary day that is very conducive to doing little. Plus, I'm catching a cold - which rarely happens. So it is good to recuperate over a long weekend.

But is was fun last night. One guy I talked was leaving the next day to fly to Peru (I think) to bike across South America. A few others just got back from a two-month sailing trip up the Inside Passage to Alaska aboard a Pearson 36. Interesting people in this town.

And the guy that threw the party - well I saw him at the grocery store and he was with his friend that just rolled into town from Colorado, who originally hails from Bradford, PA, of all places (home of Zippo Lighters).
Tonight was a fun night where I went to a party thrown by a friend that I volunteer with at the food bank. Plenty of fun. There were two bands - all excellent musicians; one inside, the other outside. The outside group was more acoustic and lacking in the low end. So I ran back home to get my gutbucket bass. Carrying it on my bike was a challenge. It was surprisingly tight, although this instrument is very difficult to keep consistent tunes. I held my own, I think.

At any rate, it's 3:45am and chances are I will be up at 8:00am, like every other day.

My mantra: Sleep in November.