Thanks to Noreen for schlepping me to the airport in the wee hours of the morning. I’m not home yet, posting from ORD.
I got a window seat on the right side of the plane, on purpose, expressly for this (my favorite) view. Looking south, Mount Rainier is in the foreground. Mount Adams is to the left farther south. In between, even farther south and very hard to see, is Mount Hood. Mount St. Helens would be visible to the right of Rainier, except for the cloud deck sitting above it.
Colleen is up on Rainier this weekend. Don’t see her though.
I headed into Seattle today to visit Pat & Nga and the kids. Before I hit the road I stopped by a park on the puget sound shoreline where attended girl scout camp back in the day. I remember camping, cooking, clamming and making sand sculptures here over several summers here. I dare say it has been 35 years or so since i last stood on this particular stretch of beach. It is still amazingly beautiful.
I drove my mom’s car. Not your typical dashboard.
When i got to seattle, we drove to a park on the *other* side of the puget sound to fly the kites that I gave the boys. They are master kite flyers. One shot with both of them:
We set out again with Marty and Sue this afternoon for the Austin installment of the Jimmy Buffett “Songs from St. Somewhere” tour. We got there a couple hours early so we could phlock with all the other parrot heads. We saw Rob and Jen, too. Though the concert was postponed 24 hours, the place was packed.
The new Formula 1 track complex is pretty impressive. It sprawls over 1300 acres, located SE of the Austin airport. Quite a trek, but boy do they know how to move people in and out quickly and smoothly.
The Austin360 amphitheater is very nice. Brand new. Accommodates 14,000, which we must have been close to tonight. It is nestled between 2 giant hairpin turns of the F1 racecourse. The tower behind the stage is the observation tower overlooking the racecourse
And the concert was fantastic. Jackson Browne opened, and Jimmy played for a couple hours straight. He’s a great entertainer. I hope he doesn’t wait 17 more years before coming back again.
We have another niece visiting us this week. Rachel and Monte went out to the lake and sailed for a few hours. Then Julie and I joined them about 4 o’clock. We sailed around for a couple more hours. Then got a great table at the Oasis. And surprisingly enjoyed the appies that we ordered. The view of sunset was awesome, as usual. Very, very nice!
We made it to the lake today in time to race the Beercan. We got a late start, and crossed the starting line about 2 minutes late. But we caught up with the field. In time to come in third out of five!! Woot woot!
We headed to arky and put out an anchor and are waiting for the riff-raff to show up.
Whew, what a long week! After work I walked around our yard out back to see what I could see. My plumbago is thriving with little to no water, as usual.
The hardest working retiree has been busy this week. He spent an entire day cleaning the house (thanks sweetie!) and today he spent all day tilling and planting his garden out in the way back. Tomatoes, basil, chives, parsley, dill… and zinnies! Can’t wait.
Then I surveyed the trees out back. One day there’s no leaves. The next day they are covered in green.
At the base of this red oak I saw something I’ve never seen. Neon green golf ball sized balls growing on the branches. Very odd. Google tells me they are a sign of oak apple gall. Home to the apple gall wasp larvae till it hatches. Learn something new every day!
We were successful tonight! The comet is definitely not as bright as it must have been just a few days ago. I have seen some really clear pictures of it taken from Austin. But, now that it is a bit higher in the sky, it sets later and so it may be easier to make out after the sun has set. But it is definitely faint. We drove out to Iguana Grill as the sun was setting. I think we spotted it around 8:25pm, or about 50 minutes after sunset. I was not able to see it with my naked eye. We brought binoculars, and I was able to see it pretty clearly through those. I used a 3-5 second exposure on my camera and was able to catch it faintly. Can you see it to the left of the waxing cresent moon?
My first comet shot!
The comet PANSTARRS is out and about and is supposed to be visible to the unaided eye. So Monte and I went out after sunset to try to catch a glimpse of it. We were not successful. The sky was pretty, though. This was one of the shots I took – sans comet.
Tonight the conference is hosting a concert in the garden arena of the MGM Grand. Carrie Underwood is treating us to an evening of music. On the floor you can see upwards of 8000 IBM-ers, clients and friends cutting loose. I’m enjoying seeing colleagues from current assignments, as well as those I haven’t seen in over ten years or more.