Saturday, February 15, 2014


We headed off to the ocean for our (almost) annual Darwin Day adventure.  Last year we missed it, due to the dreaded broken leg.  It would have been just silly to go to the coast and sit in a cottage and do nothing, when we could do the same thing at home for free!

Much different this year, since Michael can get around fairly well.  Not 100%, but much better.  It was really nice to get away for a couple of days.  I'm working through the photos, so it will be a couple of days before I do my full write up, but in the meantime here are a couple of photos from the trip.

Syd on the beach

Syd got to run free on the beach a few times, and he really enjoyed it.  Especially when he discovered the dead crabs, and ate lots of crab legs.  Naughty dog!

I'm happy to report it didn't mess his guts up too much, and I did not have to get up and walk him in the middle of the night as I had feared I might.


Things started out a bit rainy and wet.

Through a rainy window

It was what we expected though.  The winds were wild on the first night!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Don't ask...

Sometimes, it's best not to ask why.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

January reading highlights

 When I wrote up my reading highlights of 2013 all crammed together, I decided it would be better to do monthly posts in 2014.  So here I am, ready to talk about what I read in January.

That's a lot of books!  Ignore those two in the upper left - I finished them this month but I couldn't get a screen grab without them.  Still - I've read a lot of books already this year!

January stats

Graphic novels/comics - 7
Adult fiction - 3
Teen fiction - 4
Teen non-ficiton - 1
J audio - 2
Picture books - 1

There's a lot of good stuff here, I'm not even quite sure what to highlight over anything else.  I suppose I should start with the freakiest book of the bunch.

1970's Seattle - teens are contracting an STD that turns them into freaky mutants.  As if that's not bad enough, now there's a killer loose, murdering them off one by one...

Disturbing.  Classic art by Seattle artist Charles Burns.

Slightly less disturbing, but very thought provoking, we have Zone One by Colton Whitehead.  Who ever thought there could be an introspective zombie book?!!  After reading this one, I've decided that should the zombie apocalypse occur, I'd like to be infected soon and get it over with.  The fight is just too grim, and too futile.  Bite me now.

Let's talk about eating now, shall we?!

Some people have the luxury to savor every bite, and every action that goes into the preparation of the food that nourishes their bodies.  Other people find themselves in circumstances that push them to the very edge of acceptable behavior - and beyond - in the name of survival.  History can be personal, and it can also be public, especially if it involves highly publicized events.

Be glad you have food.  Enjoy your meals, and be glad you don't have to eat your sister.

It could be worse though!  You could have lived in England, in 1612!  You could have been accused of witchcraft, and thrown into a pit for months to await trial!

I must be reading bleak books because it's the bleak months of winter.  I haven't even gone into tongues cut out, pandemic diseases, death and grieving, or depression!

All things being what they are, I recommend every book in that montage above.  Not a dud in the bunch.  February is looking pretty good as well, though I'm not reading quite as many books.  Perhaps a bit cheerier!  Come back for the next roundup - it's sure to be interesting!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Day off

It was so beautiful and sunny today!  I love days like this - they give hope for the arrival of spring, even though I know it is folly to get too eager.

A beautiful winter afternoon in Coupeville!

Ahhhhhhh... sunshine.

We took a trip down to Coupeville, with plans to eat at the restaurant on the dock.  They were closed!  Not a total surprise, it is winter after all.  We went to Toby's Tavern instead, and it was just fine.  Michael had a big bowl of mussels.

Michael ate a lot of mussels

I don't do mussels, or oysters.  I don't mind clams, but the other two - blech!  The rubbery texture does my head in.

There was a bird skull on the dock.

Bird skull on the dock

Kind of bizarre.

I have to work this weekend.  I don't like working on the weekend, but it must be done.  Oh well.

In other news, I found a new webcam to watch - the Grand Canyon!  I love it.  I'd like to go back someday.  It's such a beautiful spot.

Sunlight and storms at the Grand Canyon

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tech talk

What a face!

What do you mean, I have pancake batter on my brow?

I figured I'd share Syd's heart-melting look before I get all geeky and start talking about computers.

It's been a very computery weekend.  On Friday, Michael's Macbook finally bit the dust.  It's been hobbling along for a long time, but the last few days it was frightfully clear that the end was near.  It was crashing whenever he tried to do anything - he'd not been able to update anything on it for a long time and it just didn't want to do anything.

Time for action!

By some fluke, there was a nice iMac right here in town that was listed on Craigslist.  For a VERY GOOD price.

It's a bit older than mine, but the previous owner must have been a good computer geek - it was totally wiped clean, and has a terabyte hard drive!  The reason they were getting rid of it was because they have too many computers.  A person can only use so many computers at once, it seems.

It was right here in town!

We arrived a few minutes early to look at it, and were out the door before we were even supposed to arrive.  Ha.

Michael spent the afternoon getting it all set up, and moving everything from his old computer to the new computer.  It all went so smoothly!  It even kept him logged in to Facebook - weird.

There was a lot that needed to be updated, and as he went through everything we discovered that the Opera browser that we had loved for so long had changed a lot - and dropped some rather important features.

Bookmarks, anyone?  Hello?

It turns out that I had an older version of Opera on my computer - I had noticed the automatic browser updates had stopped, but hadn't thought much of it.  I did notice more and more problems with compatibility though, and now I know why!

Buh-bye, Opera.

Hellooo, Safari!

Today I spent a few hours transferring my internet life to Safari.  I got to organize my bookmarks from scratch, and clean things up.  Not to mention how fast Safari is!

Oh, I did not know the woe I was suffering until I knew.

Opera is dead to me.

Now here's another picture of Syd.

I'm cool

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The owl... is so superb

One week.  One week until complete and utter madness descends upon our corner of the world.  Football.  Seahawks.  Blue and green are everywhere...

I really like those colors together, but don't want to be mistaken for a football fan.  Because really, I don't care.

Thankfully, an alternative has arisen, and is becoming better known and more popular ~


A time to love all things OWL!

Look at this - there's even a snack that looks like owl pellets!  I'll be bringing them to work that day for sure.

Recipe:  Owl Barf Balls

In the past when I've worked on this day, we've had an Anti-Superbowl party.  This year, we break tradition and go for something much more exciting and positive.


Barred Owl

Monday, January 20, 2014

Gorgeous day!

After many days of gloomy gloom, the skies cleared up today and we had SUNSHINE!  It was a truly wonderful thing.  Even better, I had the day off work so we could get out and enjoy it.

We decided to go for a walk without Syd.  It's great to take him out, but it's not always the most relaxing thing and I pretty much have no freedom to take pictures or enjoy the scenery.  Plus, we wanted to go to Ebey's Landing, and that walk just isn't a good one for Syd.  TOO LONG.  He's pretty much good for only a couple of miles, and this walk is 3.5 miles.


Michael wasn't sure if he'd be able to make the whole hike, as it was the first time he'd tried anything so long his he broke his leg.  I'm happy to report he made it just fine!  He was quite pleased, though he's paying the price now.

The hike starts out with a bang and a big set of stairs.

Stairway to...

Then it levels out for a bit as we cross the prairie and head for the bluff.

Michael on the bluff trail

It was a bit chilly out there, but by the time we got to the top of the hill I had to take my sweatshirt off.  I could pretend it was spring!  The climb up to the trees is the most difficult part of the hike.  It's actually quite steep at the end.

Heading up a steep trail

 The trees on the bluff have a lot of character, after many years of high winds blowing off the water.  We haven't hiked here so early before, and I noticed the branches were much more visible and eye-catching with less grass and other vegetation blocking them.

The trees out here have character

Snakey branches

The trail down to the beach is steep and changes often as people take different routes and cause erosion.  I've always liked this sign at the bottom of the trail.

Hiking only

Hiking only!

I was hoping to find some tidbit of beach debris to bring home, but everything was too big or too embedded in the sand to move.  Michael found a hat on a stick, which quickly became a hat on his head.

Hat on a stick!

It's quite nice!


I'd like to have more days like today.  It was so nice!  I'm ready for spring now.