Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Project 365 - New View

Today makes the first full month that I've taken a picture daily for Project 365. I have to say that it's been a lot of fun! I can't believe how fun it is to look back and just how much occurs over the course of a month. It's also been handy to look back and remind myself of a particular date of an event.

Today's picture is a new view of our backyard from our deck. I say new because we cut down two very large arborvitae. We have been talking about cutting them down for awhile to create a view of the back yard when we have dinner on the back deck. We just never got around to it. Following the burglary we had, the decision was easy. The arborvitae entirely blocked the view of the back door that was broken in to.

I'm sorry for several reasons that we did not do this earlier - especially when I see the nice view that I always knew was there but never did anything about.

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Seattle Pride Parade 2010

We had such a great time with friends at pride - here are a few of the pictures.  I was so busy having fun that I did not end up with as many pictures as usual!  Enjoy!

Pictures from our Atlanta Trip

I know it has taken me awhile but here are the pictures from our weekend in the Atlanta area. I still have to post pictures from Pride and we are heading out to Washington DC this weekend!  Never enough time!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Project 365 - Seattle's Smith Tower

Today's picture is of Seattle's Smith Tower. I walk past it daily on the way to the bus and when I run downtown in the morning it's my landmark stopping point. I took this photo as I waited for the bus tonight. Long before I started working for King County my department had space in the building and Providence Health System one of my past employers has office space there. On your next visit to Seattle check out the observation deck.

Here's a bit more history about the building -

The Smith Tower, located in Pioneer Square, is the oldest skyscraper in Seattle, Washington, USA. Completed in 1914, the tower is named after its builder, firearm and typewriter magnate Lyman Cornelius Smith. Containing 38 floors, it was the tallest office building west of the Mississippi River until the Kansas City Power & Light Building was built in 1931. It remained the tallest building on the West Coast until the Space Needle overtook it in 1962.

The building is a designated Seattle landmark.

In 1909, Smith planned to build a 14-story building in Seattle. His son, Burns Lyman Smith, convinced him to build instead a much taller skyscraper to steal the crown from rival city Tacoma's National Real Estate Building as the tallest west of the Mississippi. Construction began in 1910. Although Smith did not live to see it, the building was completed in 1914 to a height of 143 m (462 ft) from curbside to the top of the pyramid,[3] with a pinnacle height of 149 m (489 feet).[4] Its ribbon cutting was July 3, 1914. Ivar Haglund of Ivar's restaurant fame bought the tower for $1.8 million in 1976. The Samis Foundation acquired the tower in 1996. In 2006, the building was purchased by Walton Street Capital. The building has been renovated twice, in 1986 and in 1999.

High-tech companies flocked to the classy atmosphere of the Smith Tower, which sports fiber-optic wiring, in recent years. The burst of the dot-com bubble hurt the Smith Tower by raising its vacancy rate to 26.1%, twice Seattle's commercial vacancy rate, as of December 21, 2001. The Walt Disney Internet Group, for example, at the time reduced its seven floors to four. By 2007, the occupancy rate had rebounded to about 90%.

Following the announced departure of the building's two largest occupants (including Disney, which moved to the Fourth and Madison Building), Walton Street Capital filed an application to convert the building into condominiums.


View looking north from the observation deck, August 2007
The Smith Tower is an example of neoclassical architecture. Its outer skin is granite on the first and second floors, and terra cotta on the rest. It has been washed only once since its construction, in 1976, because it remains remarkably clean without regular washing.

The building is one of the last on the West Coast to have live elevator operators. The Otis Elevator Company provided the elevators, which have brass surfaces. The doors are latticed, so a rider can see into each hallway and through the glass walls in front of each office.

The Chinese Room is on the 35th floor of the tower, and the 35th floor also has a wraparound public observation deck.[6] The furniture and the hand-carved ceiling were gifts from the Empress of China. They include the famous Wishing Chair. It is said that a single woman who sits in the chair will marry within a year. The legend came true for Smith's daughter, who married in the Chinese Room itself.

After the restoration in the early nineties, workers removed a thousand-gallon water tank in the very top of the tower. This resulted in much new space, and what was formerly a small maintenance man's apartment became a three-story penthouse, the only residence in the building.

The Tower includes a fallout shelter which can be seen from the entrance hall.

The building is crowned by an 8-foot-wide (2.4 m) glass dome which is illuminated by blue light, except for the month of December, when it is changed to green.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Project 365 - Pride Toenails

I had my first ever pedicure last Friday and as you can see the result was colorful pride toes! I've painted my toenails for pride before but this is the first time I've had it done! It was quite the event - the staff at the spa where I had them done were a lot of fun and really into it! I'm going to keep them painted for awhile for the hell of it! Say what you will - I love being gay and allowing myself to have fun with life! Life is great!

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Week Ten Training Update – 39 Days to Cologne!

I think this may go on record as the busiest summer I’ve ever had! Much of it has to do with all the running I am doing to train for Cologne but we have also have done a fair amount of traveling with more on the calendar. I’ve a meeting in DC next week so Kent and I are going to spend the weekend of the 4th in DC and then he’ll return to Seattle on Wednesday and I’ll stay on for my meeting returning that Friday.
It’s also hard to believe that Cologne is 39 days away! I am very pleased with my progress although I must admit that I am going to be grateful when the heavy duty training is over! Since starting the 16 week training program on April 18th, I logged 500.57 miles over 76 hours! That’s a lot of running! This is my peak week in the training – I’ll log 65 miles this week and slowly the miles each week between now and the marathon diminish. Yesterday I had a very long day between the Seattle Gay Pride festivities and my Sunday long run. I had a scheduled 20 mile run to do so I got up at 4 a.m. to get it done before heading out to the parade. I’m feeling pretty good about my progress. I ran the 20 miles at an 8:33 pace – not bad considering there were five miles of hills in the route. I was also able to complete the last mile in an 8:05 pace meaning I had not expended all my energy in the previous 19 miles. This has been a pretty heavy duty training schedule for me, with four 20 mile runs on the schedule – I’ve only got one more to do before Cologne!

Summary of week ten miles:

Sunday – 16 mile long run
Monday – rest
Tuesday – 11 mile easy run
Wednesday – 10 mile hill run
Thursday - 11 mile speed work
Friday - 10 mile easy
Saturday – rest

Until week eleven!



Project 365 - Seattle Pride with my Husband

I'm a day late in posting my picture of the day for yesterday with all the pride festivities and all. We had a great time at the parade with several friends joining us if the event for the first time! My sister Midge, Jay and Jennifer, Sean and Barbara, Mary and Tom and then Mike, Keith, Bill and a few other friends of Mike's. I will be posting pictures soon of our event. I'll also have to tell you about the voting cards - I learned this from my friend Cheryl (miss you!) and the parade has never been the same since! You'd be surprised what a drag queen will do for a 10!


Have a great Monday!

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Project 365 - Jay and Jennifer

Jennifer and Jay outside of the Matador Restaurant in Tacoma.  Two of our best friends! We are all going to the Seattle Gay Pride Parade tomorrow and went out for dinner tonight for to let the celebration begin! Happy Pride!  Jennifer and I used to work together in Olympia but it's been 8 years since and we still manage to keep in touch. We are so lucky to have such nice friends!

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Project 365 - Byran

My work life changed recently in that my assistant for the past 8 years retired after 23 years working for King County. Her replacement is Bryan - pictured here with the lunch we were all treated to since Byran was working with a new vendor to cater our meetings - I wish I could remember their name because I would give them a plug - the food was excellent! It's a lot of fun working with Bryan - he is funny as hell and does an excellent job!

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Project 365 - Mt. St. Helen's Ornaments

I was 16 years old when Mt. St. Helen's erupted in 1980 here in Washington State. My family was out at the beach at our cabin when we got the news. I'll never forget the ash, the news coverage, our dog covered in dirty wet ash or my Mom washing the ash of our car. The picture of the day is a collection of glass ornaments that I've collected over the years that I keep in a glass bowl in the living room on the coffee table. They are all made from the ash of Mt. St. Helen's.  I've got little battery operated lights in the bowl that I light up at certain times - gotta love balls - glass or otherwise!


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Finally a decent decision out of the Supreme Court!

Can't wait for the eventual release of the names so I can see if anyone I know wanted to limit my rights! Washington is a great state to live in for equal rights! By the way - Sunday is the Seattle Gay Pride! Can't wait - we have a large group getting together to attend. Let me know if you would like to join us!

Court refuses to keep petitioner IDs private
by Jesse J. Holland
Associated Press
Thursday Jun 24, 2010

People who sign petitions calling for public votes on controversial subjects don't have an automatic right to hide their names, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday as it sided against Washington state voters worried about harassment because of their desire to repeal that state's gay rights law.

The high court ruled against Protect Marriage Washington, which organized a petition drive for a public vote to repeal the state's "everything-but-marriage" gay rights law.

Petition signers wanted to hide their names because of worries of intimidation. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco refused to keep their names secret. The Supreme Court stepped in and temporarily blocked release of the names until the high court could make a decision.

The court now says disclosing names on a petition for a public referendum does not chill the signer's freedom of speech enough to warrant overturning the state's disclosure law.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing the 8-1 judgment for the court, said it is vitally important that states be able to ensure that signatures on referendum petitions are authentic.

"Public disclosure thus helps ensure that the only signatures counted are those that should be, and that the only referenda placed on the ballot are those that garner enough valid signatures," Roberts said. "Public disclosure also promotes transparency and accountability in the electoral process to an extent other measures cannot."

But Roberts also said that the court's opinion deals with whether disclosure of the names on referendum petitions as a whole violates the First Amendment, not solely the Protect Marriage Washington case.

The intimidation that anti-gay rights supporters fear is not present in other referendum issues like tax policy, revenue, budget or other state law issues, Roberts said. "Voters care about such issues, some quite deeply - but there is no reason to assume that any burdens imposed by disclosure of typical referendum petitions would be remotely like the burdens plaintiffs fear in this case," he said.

But the chief justice added that Protect Marriage Washington could go back to the lower courts and try again on their specific concern in hopes of getting an exemption.

"Upholding the law against a broad based challenge does not foreclose a litigant's success in a narrower one," the chief justice said.

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

"Court refuses to keep petitioner IDs private "

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Project 365 - Chipotle Grill Art

This is a picture of the art work at Chipotle Grill. Kent and I eat there at least once a week. The artist is Bruce Gueswel who has designed original work for each store. His work is inspired by ancient Mayan style. It's petty cool and the food is great! Check it out sometime!

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Week Nine Training Update

I'm a little tardy in posting my week nine training update - I've been swamped between travel, training and work!  I am into heavy duty miles right now  - running 10-12 miles 4 times a week before work and a long run on Sundays.  Next week will be the heaviest miles I'll encounter in the training - 65 miles!

I'm pleased over all with my training - I've managed to avoid injury, increase speed and not miss one scheduled run in the first nine weeks of training.

We finally bought our plane tickets to Europe and we ended up getting a pretty sweet deal - the prices dropped by a couple hundred dollars for a few days and we snagged them.  We also decided to use frequent flier miles for one of the tickets so we are going for half of what we thought we would spend.  We are flying into Amsterdam and will take a train from their to Cologne.  We are starting to get excited about our trip.  I'm still working on getting my passport replaced - I may end up having to go through an expedited process.  I'm still waiting for my birth certificate to arrive - being burglarized sucks!

the great news is my parents are going to house set while we are in Europe so not only will we have someone stating at our place  - Toby will not have to be kenneled! Thanks Mom and Dad!

Week nine training schedule

Sunday: rest
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 10.29 miles easy
Wednesday: 10.08 miles hills
Thursday: 10.31 speed
Friday: 10.22 easy
Saturday: rest

As I write this  - I'm already half way through week ten  - looking forward to the taper beginning in a few short weeks!

Have a good one  -


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Project 365 - Front Yard Flowers

Flowers from our front yard. I have to admit today's picture is a last second shot before going to bed. I missed a great opportunity to get a picture with a group of Kent's co- workers that we went out to dinner with tonight - it was a lot of fun and before I knew it 2 1/2 hours had passed and we all departed without a group shot.

Oh well rule number one of Project 365 - take a picture every day no matter what!

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Project 365 - KIA Soul and Other Rental Car Stories

I made Kent stop outside the rental car garage for a picture before returning our car at the Atlanta Airport following a great weekend in the Atlanta area.

When you travel with the frequency of Kent and I, you get exposed to a lot of different cars. Given enough time there are bound to be stories - the rental car in Greece that got the side mirror ripped off, the one in New York that smelled like an astray and the power outlet that did not work, the big truck for the ski trip to Lake Tahoe, the numerous times we've been stuck with a mini van or grandpa car, the speeding ticket in Missouri, the convertible in Key West or the big station wagon in Italy. Yes - we have had some interesting and memorable car rental experiences. We really only have three criteria - one that the car has not been smoked in, two that it does not reek of some odor of unknown origin and finally that it have satellite radio. We rent with National all the time and are Emerald Isle customers which allows us to make all arrangements online and completely bypass the rental desk to have to turn down the offer of purchasing insurance and no I don't want to pre-purchase the fuel, I'll bring it back full - thank you very much! Emerald Isle also means that you walk out and pick out your own car - you get to see off it passes the smell test and assure it has satellite radio and that it's activated. We've been know to "test" several car before finding just the right one. You can bet that the grampa cars and mini vans we ended up with had not been smoked in, smell and that they had satellite radio!

We have rented various KIA vehicles over the years and they are surprisingly nice cars. I've never rented one however thinking - "I could see myself buying one of these" until now. The KIA Soul was cute, it got good gas mileage, it was fun to drive, it was nimble and easy to park and had all the room we needed. This one was brand new - we were the first to rent it! I always feel a little bad because we rack up the miles. In our short little visit we put on over 1000 miles!

The story that will accompany this car will be the boot that got put on it when we parked it in a space in an apartment complex for a few minutes while we went into the Atlanta train station. We were literally there for 5 minutes when I looked out and saw security booting our car! Crap - cost us $75!

Glad to be home - we both went right from the airport to the office - it's been a very long day!

Have a good one -


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Back in Seattle and the Weather Continues to Suck!

Having just come back from 90+ degree weather in Atlanta it sucks to come home to cold and clouds. I've mentioned how bad the weather has been several times and it's the topic of everyones conversation.

From today's KOMO TV website:

SEATTLE -- "It's so cloudy, my shadow took early retirement..."

That observation from Jim in West Seattle is just one of the many complaints and vents we've received on our "weather whine line" about this very long gray streak that has wore our eraser out in trying to keep the record books up to date. And now that summer began at 4:28 a.m. you'd think the new season would be enough to usher in some well-needed sunshine?

Well, not exactly. Tuesday and Wednesday are looking like the sun will make some appearances, but raindrops still have a grip on a majority of days in this week's forecast.

And while Seattleites are certainly used to a stretch of cool, wet weather, the fact that it has come in May and June and lasted for so long has tested even the most staunch locals who don't even own an umbrella.

"It's so cold, the ice cream man is wearing a parka" (Vicki of Renton)

So let's recap just how gloomy it's been, so we can brag to the grandchildren someday. (If you already have grandchildren, make up a story on how it's been worse.)

- If you haven't heard, this is now the longest stretch (by far) that we've gone into a new year without hitting 75 degrees. The old record was June 9th, set in 1991.
- This is also the longest streak of consecutive days without hitting 75. Monday makes Day 271. The old record was 253, done twice (Sept. 28, 1990-June 9, 1991, and Sept. 22, 1999 - June 3, 2000.)
- Through June 20, the average high temperature from May and June combined is 62.0 degrees. If that holds, it would be a record as the coldest May-June is 62.49 degrees set in 1953.
- Just taking June into account, the average high temperature is 63.8 degrees would be third-coldest behind 1971 (62.73) and 1953 (63.27)
- On June 15th, the weather at 18,000 feet was colder over Washington than any other place on the North American continent -- including sites within the Arctic Circle!

"Its been so wet, the slugs in my yard have to do the dog paddle" (Jim in West Seattle)

Going hand-in-hand with the chilly weather has been persistent rain.

The 5.32" of rain since May 1 makes this the third wettest May-June on record -- with more rain in the forecast before the month's end. The record is 6.19" in 1984, and second place is just ahead at 5.34", set in 1993.

And the rain has been spread out across several days. We already tied one record for consecutive days with rain in the dry season (May-Sept.) with 11 in a row from May 25-June 4. And perhaps lost in the shuffle is a second 8-day streak from the 16th to the 23rd leading up to it that itself ties for fourth-longest.

But put it all together, and in the 30 days between May 16 and June 14, it rained on 25 of them, with our only dry days coming on May 24 and June 5. That is completely unheard of for this time of year -- and a wet stretch like that is actually not all that common during the rainy season either. You have to go back to January of 2006 which had 28 of 31 days with rain to find a wetter streak. Overall, we've had 35 days with rain of the 51 days through June 20.

For Marysville, the rain is even more impressive. A storm that struck on June 15 dumped 1.46" of rain in an hour according to a spotter, but one resident showed us her rain gauge that measured 1.40" in 19 minutes!

"It's so cloudy, I need a flashlight to go out during the day." (Belinda of Lake Tapps)

This weekend was among the longest -- and darkest days of the year! While Sunday was nearly the longest day of the year in terms of length of daylight (16 hours, exactly, for Seattle), it was the darkest June day in at least the past 15 years when it came to amount of sunlight energy reaching the surface, according to research done by UW meteorologist Mark Albright.

Without getting into gory details of units of measurement, if you figure a scale of 0-35 with 35 meaning a lot of sunlight energy, Saturday rated a 6.3 and Sunday rated a 2.7. To put that in comparison, the sunny Saturday of June 12 where we hit 74 was 32.5. The 2.7 is the lowest reading since early February! The lowest day so far is 0.7 on Jan. 11, for comparison. That would explain why it hit only 57 and 56 degrees this weekend -- likely would have qualified as the coldest summer weekend ever had the official solstice come a few days earlier.

So far in June, 18 days out of 20 have featured 70% cloud cover or more during the day, with nine of those days at 90-100% cloud cover. Seattle at least averages 5 sunny days in June. So far, just one...

Any hope for sunshine?

While the forecast for the next 10-14 days maintains general cooler and cloudier than normal conditions, I think there is a little bit of hope for sunshine. For one, even in seasons where we got a late start to warm weather, summer has had some pretty roaringly-hot stretches.

Plus, even in summers where cool, cloudy weather ruled the roost, we still managed some stretches over 80.

And if you want to go by what the government climatologists say, we have as much of a chance as a warmer summer than a cooler one.

You can read more in our summer outlook story we wrote last week

Hey, there are people who actually *like* this stuff!

In a recent web poll, we asked if this stretch of gloomy weather was cause for frown or celebration. Predictably, 76 percent answered wanting sunshine, but 24 percent said they are still quite happy about this weather. If you think about it -- that's 1 out of every 4 Seattle area residents haven't minded this 6 weeks of gray.

What makes these 24 percent so happy about it? I asked that question in the weather blog and feel free to weigh in.

In the meantime, the forecast for both Tuesday and Wednesday is looking quite pleasant with highs into the low 70s. So by Thursday, the summer scoreboard will read two nice days to one cloudy one. For the 76 percent of you who crave sun, let's just hope that ratio will return in July!

Enough already - summer is officially here - bring on the sun and warm weather!

Later -


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Project 365 - Kia Soul and Other Rental Car Stories

I made Kent stop outside the rental car garauge for a picture before returning our car at the Atlanta Airport following a great weekend in the Atlanta area.

When you travel with the frequency of Kent and I, you get exposed to a lot of different cars. Given enough time there are bound to be stories - the rental car in Greece that got the side mirror ripped off, the one in New York that smelled like an astray and the power outlet that did not work, the big truck for the ski trip to Lake Tahoe, the noumrous times we've been stuck with a mini van or grampa car, the speeding ticket in Mousarri, the convertable in Key West or the big station wagon in Itatly. Yes - we have had some intresting or memorable car rental experiences. We really only have three criteria - one that the car has not been smoked in, two that it does not wreek of some odor of unknowen origin and finally sattalite radio. We rent with National all the time and are Emarld Isle customers which allows us to make all arrangements online and completely bypass the rental desk to have to turn down the offer of purchasing insurance and not I don't want to prepurchase the fuel, I'll bring it back full - thank you very much! Emrald Isle also means that you walk out and pick out your own car - you get to see off it passes the smell test and assure it has satettle radio and that it's activated. We've been know to "test" several car before finding just the right one. You can bet that the grampa cars and mini vans we ended up with had not been smoked in, smell and that they had sattelite radio!

We have rented variuos Kia vechicles over the years and they are surprisenly nice cars. I've never rented on however thinking - "I could see myself buying one of these" until now. The Kia Soul was cute, it got good gas mileage, it was fun to drive, it was nimble and easy to park and had all the room we needed. This one was brand new - we were the first to rent it! I always feel a little bad because we rack up the miles. In our short little visit we put on over 1000 miles!

The story that will acompany this car will be the boot that got put on it when we parked it in a space in an apartment complex for a few minuites while we went into the Atlanta train station. We were litterly there for 5 minuites when I looked outand saw security booting our car! Crap - cost us $75!

Have a good one -


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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Project 365 - Coca-Cola World - Atlanta, Georgia.

Final day in Atlanta - heading home tomorrow. We started the day with a 10 and 16 mile run on a couple of different trails in the area - the longest run was on the Silver Comet Trail which is a rail trail of 38 miles to the Alabama border.

From there we went to Coca-Cola World which was suprisely fun!

We went to the Jimmy Carter Libary which was also very cool before heading to our hotel pool for the afternoon.

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Happy Father's Day!

Hi Dad -

Happy Father's Day from the World of Coca-Cola!

Have a great Father's Day!



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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Project 365 - Georgia State Capital - Atlanta.

Started the day in Knoxville TN - pictured below is the site of the 1984 Worlds Fair.

We then made our way to Chattanooga for lunch.

Following lunch we went to a couple of civil war battlefields - one a top lookout mountain and the other outside of town.

Dinner at the Hardrock...spending the next two nights in Atlanta and will hang out here until we head home on Monday.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Project 365 - and more!

Anyone that has followed our travels knows that we cover a lot of ground when we are on the road. Today we started in Georgia, made our way through a portion of North Carolina and ended up in Knoxville TN!

It's a dream of ours that one day we will hike the Appalachian Trail and since the trailhead is outside of Atlanta at Amicalola Falls we made our way there and hiked to the top of the falls dreaming of the day we will return for the full hike. What a beautiful state park. Definitly check it out if in the area and take the hike to the top.

From there we made our way to Neel Gap, Georgia to the Walasi-yi Inn which we first read about in the book - "A Walk in the Woods". That's my Project 365 picture of the day - Kent standing out front of the Inn.

The Inn sits adjacent to the trail so we did a short section hike where we ran into a black bear shortly after departing!

From there we headed to the Great Smoky Mountians National Park. Beautiful park where we saw deer, wild turkeys and more bears - drove through the entire park before ending the day in Knoxville.

Have a great weekend everyone,


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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Project 365 - Great Smoky Mountains National Park Bound

Heading on a direct flight from
Seattle to Atlanta for a quick weekend trip. We have been talking about spending some time in the Atlanta area since our cross country driving trip several years ago. We plan to visit the Great Smoky Mountain National Park - spend a day in Atlanta and visiting a few civil war battlefields in the area. Will return on Monday so we have three full days. Nice to be in warm weather for a few days! Looking forward to two runs on the road while here one 10 miles and 16 miles on Sunday.

Have a good one -


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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Project 365 -Garden Fresh Peas

There is nothing better than garden fresh peas! Our garden is off to a slow start this year (except for the weeds) due to the heavy rain and cool temperatures - the peas however love it! As you can see from the picture I took today in our garden the peas are nearly ready to harvest.

How does your garden grow?


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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Project 365 - Julia Keefe

Today's picture was very close to being a picture of the Washington State Capitol building in Olympia. I was in Olympia earlier in the day for a dental appointment (I'll have to tell you about my dentist and dental hygienist sometime - best ever and I've been going there for 20 years). I went for a run around Capitol Lake following my appointment and the sun was shining - it was raining and their were big black clouds mixed with sunny skies - striking! I decided that although the picture was beautiful I'd wait since I am in Olympia frequently and I'd save the Capitol picture for another day.

I'm glad I did since I ended the day attending a jazz concert to benefit and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Seattle Indian Health Board. They featured Julia Keefe a jazz vocalist in a fantastic concert. As you can see I had front row seats! Be on the lookout for this young lady - she's going to go places! What a great event!

Later -


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Monday, June 14, 2010

Project 365 - Seattle University

I had a meeting today at Seattle and was early enough to have time to walk around the campus beforehand. I've not walked around campus for a long time and was reminded of how beautiful it is especially this time of year. I thought a lot about my sister Rose who graduated from the SU School of Nursing. I was meeting with the director of one of their counseling programs about collaborating on a project with King County related to workforce development for substance abuse counselors.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Project 365 - Whitewater Rafting on the Wenatchee

Today's picture follows a day of fun and friends on a beautiful day in eastern Washington - whitewater rafting on the Wenatchee River from Leavenworth to Cashmere. What a great time - it's a class three river which is just enough to be intresting but not dangerous! I had found some half price tickets on Groupon which made it a great deal! We had a terrific guide - Shantel who we found out was from Olympia. The picture in order from left to right included Gary - Mike - Kent - Jim - Brady - Loretta - Clayton. Gary and Mike are friends from Seattle. Loretta and I work together but in different parts of the state - Brady is her 22 year old son and goes to WSU and Clayton is new to Wenatchee and Loretta met him and invited him to join us - real nice guy. He played professional footbal with Dallas for a number of years and has since retired from the NFL. We had 3 1/2 hours on the river so we got a great workout and a great time!

Tired and heading home!

Later -


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Half Way There! Week Eight Training Update

Well I've officially made it half way in my 16 week training plan for the Gay Games Marathon in Cologne, Germany on August 7th. I am putting in a lot of hours and miles and the schedule only gets tougher over the next several weeks. As a change of pace last Friday - I took an entirely different route and ran around both Safeco and Quest Fields in Seattle. I am getting a bit bored with the same old route daily so it really helped to have a change in scenery. I ended up connecting with a trail to West Seattle. I’ll definitely be doing this again especially when the runs hit 11-12 miles in the morning. It’s a bit more industrial and more traffic but I discovered a new bakery that I will be checking out soon and two new parks that I’ve never been to.
Over the last 8 weeks I’ve run 371.61 miles in 57:18:53 at an average pace of 9:15 – I feel pretty good although I am frequently tired. I am looking forward to the next eight weeks of training! I need to get serious about my travel plans to Cologne. The only thing I’ve done is register for the games and make hotel reservations. Flights are expensive - I’ve been to Europe several times and have never had to pay this much for airfare. I have to say that I am glad the Euro continues to fall in value! I am thinking of flying into Amsterdam and then taking the train from there to Cologne. I actually have several trips planned between now and then – Atlanta the weekend of June 18th and then DC for the July 4th holiday. Busy, busy between now and Cologne!

Week eight totals:

Sunday – 20 mile long run
Monday – rest
Tuesday – 8.21 speed work
Wednesday – 8.32 hills
Thursday – 8.16 easy
Friday – 8.46 easy
Saturday – 9.46 (2 mile warm up run followed by 12k race)

Now that I am at the half way point I plan to resume my cross training - not sure what that will look like – some core strength building for sure and light weight training.

Have a good one –


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Project 365 - Race Day - Sound to Narrows

Race Day! One of the great things about running is the eye candy! These two were especially noticable today as Kent and I ran the Sound to Narrows 12k in Tacoma. First time to run this race for both of us. There were a lot of hills which was good training. I ran at a 7:25 pace - which I feel pretty good about. Best of all since I ran today which is normally my off day - I have two days in a row of no running - my legs can use the rest! BTW - finally a beautiful day in Seattle - going to be about 80 today! Love it!

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Stay the F*&% Out Of My House!

Everyone seems to have a storey - as I’ve been telling people about our house being burglarized I’ve been amazed how many people have had the experience of coming home to find out there had been a stranger in their home – a couple of people either came home to find their house broken into or walked in while it was occurring - one actually woke up with an intruder standing over he and his husbands bed!

Having someone break into your home is more disturbing than being a victim of theft outside the home. As an adult, I’ve never had anyone break into my home but it’s not like I’ve never had something stolen from me. Kent and I have lived in our home for 11 years and in that time we have had two other incidents of theft – both outside. We had our car stolen once and another time we had our truck broken into. For a short period of time we had three cars and because we have a two car garage we had one vehicle outside. We quickly downsized to two cars so we could keep them both secure in the garage. On another occasion last summer while vacationing at Lake Chelan we had both our bikes taken – now that I think about it we have had a string of bad luck!

Yesterday when I got home the first thing I noticed was that our dog Toby was not right there at the garage door scurrying out before the door was open more than a few inches. I figured he must have been sleeping and I caught him off guard – unusual but not impossible. Once the door was almost completely open he came running out. The next thing I noticed was the door that we close to keep Toby in a secure area of the house was open. My first thought was Kent must have left the door open and it explained why Toby had not been at the garage door - he had obviously been sleeping on the bed upstairs – again unusual but not entirely impossible.

My ability to continue to rationalize the two events that were “unusual” came to a screeching halt as I turned the corner from the laundry room into the library and saw that our TV was gone. It’s pretty big and so it became immediately obvious that our house had been burglarized.

First thought is - are they still in the house? What’s the right thing to do? There’s so many things simultaneously occurring - Toby is running around more worked up than usual, I notice the refrigerator door open, I see dirty boot prints on the carpet, drawers are ajar and rifled through – what’s my meat cleaver doing in the family room – theirs no noise – the dog is not acting like there is anyone in the house – get to the phone and call 911.

“911 what’s your emergency?” the Operator says,
“I’ve just arrived home to find out my home has been burglarized”
“Is the intruder still in the house?”
“I don’t know for sure but I don’t think so” I reply,
“Are there any firearms in the home or ones that may have been stolen?”
“Ok – don’t’ touch anything and I’ll get an officer out as soon and I can”.

Time to call Kent – he heads right home –next text to my friend Jennifer “Just got home and somebody broke into our house today” - followed by an immediate text back – “What? Is Toby okay? What’s the damage? Call me!!!!”

It’s time to walk around the entire house and see what’s gone. TV was obvious – they had attempted to take the TV in the living room but it’s secured by a wall bracket and was too difficult to take. I continue upstairs – Office, the desktop computer is fine. Bedroom, dresser drawers are open and had been rummaged through. Guest bedroom, closet doors are open, the safe is gone! Crap – passports, birth certificates, social security cards, credit cards, etc….. more dirty footprints.

No one is in the house –time to call my friend Jennifer – I continue to walk around the house while talking to her looking for more items and seeing if I can identify exactly how they got into the house. Kent arrives home, he notices that the laptop that usually sits on the dining room table is gone from –he walks around outside and sees that the lock to the back gate has been broken – tool shed has been broken into – nothing is apparently missing but a big pry bar is on the back deck and had been used to pry open the metal french doors.

Call the bank – block accounts, cancel credit cards, add new security measures to accounts, submit notices to the credit score companies to prevent identity theft. What about the passports – were going to Europe next month, birth certificates? What a nightmare this is never going to end.

Police arrive 3 ½ hours later! Damn county budget! Cop is very nice – takes finger prints, neighbor comes over to report his house had been burglarized earlier in the day – may have caught something on video.

Making dinner - go to measure food, scale is gone – crap how long is this going to happen that I go to use something only to discover it’s been stolen? Who was in our house – why us? Are they going to come back – time for popcorn – WTF.

Restless night – It’s all going to be alright – security system on the way!

Be safe –


Project 365 - Sound to Narrows

Kent and I decided to do the Sound to Narrows 12k run in Tacoma tomorrow morning and because it was a last minute decision we had to drive down to REI in Tacoma and register. I've always wanted to do the Sound to Narrows run so one more thing to check off my list.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Project 365 - The Office

Today was a tough day at work - I was distracted trying to deal with all issues that come up when your house gets broken into and I had two board meetings to attend one of which was difficult in that decisions would result in staffing reductions in my department due to significant budget reductions. While sitting at my office thinking about the best approach to a difficult situation I decided that a picture of the view from my office was the appropriate picture of the day.

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Project 365 - Bad Day

It's unfortunate but the reality is that when you are documenting your year in pictures not every day is going to be great. Today is one of those days. What does one do while waiting for the police to arrive? Well for me it's blog. I got home today a little early because I had an appointment that I needed to go to and the first thing I noticed was an open door that we usually shut to secure the dog. Since I left the house first today I figured Kent must have left it open. That's when I noticed several items gone and that the back door had been pried open. I'm not going to go into what's missing for various reasons. I am grateful that our dog was not harmed. Other than that I'm pissed and a little upset.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Project 365 - Mt. Rainier

Today was a beautiful day for a morning run. I ran 9 miles on my usual route along the waterfront in Seattle and down through Myrtle Edwards Park. If you are ever visiting Seattle and staying downtown just head to the waterfront and head north - you can't miss it.  It's a great run with a lot of interesting things to see and it's very popular in the morning, lunch and after work - great eye candy too! There is a nice paved trial most of the way. From my office it's 11.54 miles round trip if I run the entire route. Today was incredibly clear - as you can see from the picture, there is a beautiful view of Mt. Rainier from the trail on a clear day. This picture was taken north of downtown - although not in the photograph, the city is just to the left. It you find yourself in the Northwest - a day visit to Rainier is a must!

Have a good one -


Monday, June 7, 2010

Week Seven Training Update

last week was a hell of a busy week at work and to top it off my weekday miles increased!  I have been been working on a grant that was due this week and had to put in extra hours so I ran one of my 9 mile weekday runs in the evening after work, only to turn around and run 8 miles the next morning within 11 hours! It was tough!

I am a morning runner for the most part - I love getting up and getting my run done and out of the way so it's not hanging over my head all day. It's getting more challenging as the weekday miles approach double digits!

I've not stuck to my plan to do some cross training to work on my core - I'm going to start that at the conclusion of week 8 (the half way mark) to build some core and upper body strength. Now that the weather is sloooowly getting better I'll do more biking as cross training.

Sunday - 16 mile long run

Monday - rest

Tuesday - 9.08 speed work

Wednesday - 8.19 easy run

Thursday - 9.14 hills

Friday - 8.14 easy run

Saturday - rest

Thinking of working in some massage into the training - my legs have been quite fatigued and my lower back has been sore as well.

Have a good one -


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Project 365

I found a new app. for the iPhone recently that I love, love love - Project 365. It's an app. that you take a picture every day for a year as a way to document your life. I only started doing it last month and already I love the results. It's funny how quickly you forget what happens from week to week I enjoy looking over the pictures that are displayed as a calendar and recall what was going or who I was with at the time.  It's also fun to remember to take a photo daily and them write a brief description.

I thought I'd start posting the pictures that I select on Ground Cover since I'm doing it daily.  I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I am enjoying taking them and writing about.  It also gives me something to post daily!  Word of caution - in most cases the photo will be taken using my iPhone so quality is not always going to be the best. 

I'll start with last Friday's picture to get things started and then get you up to date through today - give Project 365 a try - it's a great way to document your life, take better photos and have a little fun at the same time!

Photo 1
Project 365  - Friday June 4, 2010

This is a picture of my friends Loretta and Cammy at the Olympia Farmers Market (one of the best in the State). We all hold the same position in different Counties - Loretta, Chelan/Douglas County, Cammy - Snohomish County and me - King County. We had a meeting in Olympia and following the meeting we headed to lunch at Anthony's and then to the market and Cammy picked up some pumpkins.  Afterwards Loretta and I had a little "girlfriend" time and did some shopping before dropping her off a the airport. 

Photo 2
Project 365 - Saturday June 5, 2010

Columbia River Gorge - biking on the  historic Columbia River Highway Trail  - we went to Hood River and then to Portland for the Starlight parade.

Photo 3
Project 365 - Sunday June 6, 2010

Don't I wish I had taken this picture in person on multiple levels - hot guys and football. It doesn't get better than that! Instead - I took this picture at the UW bookstore of a poster they sell. Kent and I were there after seeing a SIFF movie Undertow (excellent) a on a wet Sunday afternoon. Both had completed long runs earlier in the day. Kent 9 and me 20.

Photo 4
Project 365 - Monday June 7, 2010

I don't take the Link-light rail to work often because I've got great bus service but once in awhile for various reasons Kent drops me off and I head in by train. We had slept in on this Monday morning following a very busy weekend.  More daily photos to come!

Later -


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Columbia River Gorge

We have a one day window of nice weather - low 70's rain in the forecast for tomorrow. Spent the day biking around the Gorge. Beautiful place to visit with endless recreational opportunities! If you have never been to the area check it out sometime while in the northwest. A good town to use as base is Hood River, Oregon. Great little town with plenty to keep you busy for a day or weekend.

The wild flowers and views were amazing!

Toby had fun too!

We are heading to Portland now to watch the twlight version of the Rose Parade. We have talked about it for years and never made it.

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Later -


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From Today's New York Times

This is an intresting and encouraging - another reason why we need to be out everyday! Thanks to all who support equal rights everday!

Gay? Whatever, Dude

Published: June 4, 2010

Last week, while many of us were distracted by the oil belching forth from the gulf floor and the president’s ham-handed attempts to demonstrate that he was sufficiently engaged and enraged, Gallup released a stunning, and little noticed, report on Americans’ evolving views of homosexuality. Allow me to enlighten:

Times Topic: Same-Sex Marriage, Civil Unions, and Domestic Partnerships

1. For the first time, the percentage of Americans who perceive “gay and lesbian relations” as morally acceptable has crossed the 50 percent mark. (You have to love the fact that they still use the word “relations.” So quaint.)

2. Also for the first time, the percentage of men who hold that view is greater than the percentage of women who do.

3. This new alignment is being led by a dramatic change in attitudes among younger men, but older men’s perceptions also have eclipsed older women’s. While women’s views have stayed about the same over the past four years, the percentage of men ages 18 to 49 who perceived these “relations” as morally acceptable rose by 48 percent, and among men over 50, it rose by 26 percent.

I warned you: stunning.

There is no way to know for sure what’s driving such a radical change in men’s views on this issue because Gallup didn’t ask, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t speculate. To help me do so, I called Dr. Michael Kimmel, a professor of sociology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the author or editor of more than 20 books on men and masculinity, and Professor Ritch Savin-Williams, the chairman of human development at Cornell University and the author of seven books, most of which deal with adolescent development and same-sex attraction.

Here are three theories:

1. The contact hypothesis. As more men openly acknowledge that they are gay, it becomes harder for men who are not gay to discriminate against them. And as that group of openly gay men becomes more varied — including athletes, celebrities and soldiers — many of the old, derisive stereotypes lose their purchase. To that point, a Gallup poll released last May found that people who said they personally knew someone who was gay or lesbian were more likely to be accepting of gay men and lesbians in general and more supportive of their issues.

2. Men may be becoming more egalitarian in general. As Dr. Kimmel put it: “Men have gotten increasingly comfortable with the presence of, and relative equality of, ‘the other,’ and we’re becoming more accustomed to it. And most men are finding that it has not been a disaster.” The expanding sense of acceptance likely began with the feminist and civil rights movements and is now being extended to the gay rights movement. Dr. Kimmel continued, “The dire predictions for diversity have not only not come true, but, in fact, they’ve been proved the other way.”

3. Virulent homophobes are increasingly being exposed for engaging in homosexuality. Think Ted Haggard, the once fervent antigay preacher and former leader of the National Association of Evangelicals, and his male prostitute. (This week, Haggard announced that he was starting a new “inclusive” church open to “gay, straight, bi, tall, short,” but no same-sex marriages. Not “God’s ideal.” Sorry.) Or George Rekers, the founding member of the Family Research Council, and his rent boy/luggage handler. Last week, the council claimed that repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” would lead to an explosion of “homosexual assaults” in which sleeping soldiers would be the victims of fondling and fellatio by gay predators. In fact, there is a growing body of research that supports the notion that homophobia in some men could be a reaction to their own homosexual impulses. Many heterosexual men see this, and they don’t want to be associated with it. It’s like being antigay is becoming the old gay. Not cool.

These sound plausible, but why aren’t women seeing the same enlightening effects as men? Professor Savin-Williams suggests that there may be a “ceiling effect,” that men are simply catching up to women, and there may be a level at which views top out. Interesting.

All of this is great news, but it doesn’t mean that all measures relating to acceptance of gay men and lesbians have changed to the same degree. People’s comfort with the “gay and lesbian” part of the equation is still greater than their comfort with the “relations” part — the idea versus the act — particularly when it comes to pairings of men.

As Professor Savin-Williams told me, there is still a higher aversive reaction to same-sex sexuality among men than among women.

For instance, in a February New York Times/CBS News poll, half of the respondents were asked if they favored letting “gay men and lesbians” serve in the military (which is still more than 85 percent male), and the other half were asked if they favored letting “homosexuals” serve. Those who got the “homosexual” question favored it at a rate that was 11 percentage points lower than those who got the “gay men and lesbians” question.

Part of the difference may be that “homosexual” is a bigger, more clinical word freighted with a lot of historical baggage. But just as likely is that the inclusion of the root word “sex” still raises an aversive response to the idea of, how shall I say, the architectural issues between two men. It is the point at which support for basic human rights cleaves from endorsement of behavior.

As for the aversion among men, it may be softening a bit. Professor Savin-Williams says that his current research reveals that the fastest-growing group along the sexuality continuum are men who self-identify as “mostly straight” as opposed to labels like “straight,” “gay” or “bisexual.” They acknowledge some level of attraction to other men even as they say that they probably wouldn’t act on it, but ... the right guy, the right day, a few beers and who knows. As the professor points out, you would never have heard that in years past.

All together now: stunning.

(I now return you to Day 46 of the oil spill where they finally may be making some progress.)

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Week Six Training Update and other Stuff

I'm nearing the half way point in the training and things are going well!  This morning I ran 9 miles at an 8 minute mile pace - but I'm getting ahead of myself!

Kent and I got back from our quick trip to northern California yesterday.  We had been down to celebrate my Mom's 70th Birthday.  We had a great time and enjoyed seeing people that we have not seen in years and meeting a lot of new people.  I will post a few pictures once I get some sent to me - I did not take many as their were cameras flying all over the place!

We always enjoy our time on our visits to my parents - northern California is such a beautiful area and there are so many things to do that we never tire or lack for new things to do while there.

I already posted about the Sundial Bridge but I wanted to add a link.  It's well worth the short detour to check out if you are traveling up or down I-5 and find yourself near Redding, California.

It's a popular area for running biking or just taking a long walk as the bridge connects with the Sacramento River Trail.  Check it out! 

Hard  to believe that I finished week six and already I'm into week seven!  Time flies when you are packing on the miles!  I was looking at my running log for May and the totals were impressive -  177.64 miles ran in 26:56:50 hours at an average training pace of 9:06.  I use a great app simply called Running Log to track my miles - love the iPhone!

Week five schedule was as follows:

Sunday: 12.46  - long run
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 9.22 hills
Wednesday: 10.86 easy
Thursday: 8.18 speed
Friday: rest
Saturday: 10.0 easy

My legs are holding up pretty good - I seem to have what I would consider normal aches and pains but I've avoided injury by taking it slow when necessary.  So far so good!

Later - Jim