Plumbing

[tree stumps]

Irrigation water was for sprinklers. But if kids were going to run around in the sprinklers, then you’d want to use house water. (Did we call it house water or well water?) I knew that the faucet by the porch was house water, but I would have to ask any time I used one of the others. My older brother and sisters seemed to have the whole arrangement of outdoor faucets memorized. But it was simpler than that, they just understood that, as a rule, irrigation faucets came up out of the ground and house water faucets were on the side of the house. That was codified for me late enough in my teens that it somehow doesn’t count.

Canoeing

[Sign: Dump No Material Whatever

Lake Washington Blvd.

Daniel shared a canoe with my mom and me. He wore Mickey Mouse ears tilted at a jaunty angle, like a beret. My sister Karen crinkled her nose at the swampy foliage and told us, “There were cat tails growing in my lawn. Isn’t that weird?” She lives in the Phoenix suburbs, out in the desert. Karen shared her boat with our mutual nephew Chris, seven years old. Chris seemed as confident with his paddle as anyone. The oldest kids and Rachel’s au pair didn’t get their rowboat far. The two kids had the oars going every which way and were taking the boat in circles.

Christopher Columbus

Waterfront Park, Pier 57 & 59

I saw this statue when I was a kid and I thought it was just the weirdest thing. Is that really what Christopher Columbus looked like? He didn’t have a hole through his head! My family was finishing up a day of site seeing. After puttering around outside for a bit, we moved on to have dinner at the fish and chips place right there at the pier. I kept talking about the statue while we were eating. I wondered aloud why we hadn’t gotten a picture of it. My parents finally sent me out with the camera to take the photo. I went outside and headed over to the statue, it had gotten dark since we’d gone inside to eat. It felt a little queasy when I pressed the shutter button on the camera and the flash went off. Taking pictures was something that kids just didn’t do. It seemed like something that involve spending money somewhere along the line – something that I wasn’t very comfortable with. My parents hadn’t found the statue worthy of a picture, how could it be picture-worthy based only on my say-so?

I don’t have a point here. This is just something I remember about this statue.

Waving

I talk to Jesse in the hallway as I’m leaving. I hold the door open and he wheels his chair outside and over to the van that’s waiting for him at the curb. The driver says hello and helps Jesse onto the wheelchair lift. Our conversation trails off as Jesse gets himself situated in the van. I wave good-bye and push off on my bicycle. But the timing of it is weird – Jesse looks out, waves and laughs at me a little. I’ve been in the habit of hiding the (mostly healed) wound on my hand whenever I gesture with it. So I sort of waved with my hand closed in a limp fist, which came across as kind of a loose Black Panther salute somehow. And that, of course, looks just ridiculous on me.

New & Umproved

[Closeup of a fly.]

Hey, look: a new layout. I thought it was about time that I brought out a brighter palette. There’s even an RSS feed now, and a less than helpful About page. Please let me know if there are any problems in your favorite browser/OS/screen-res combination.

Link distractions: This is the most earnest Marxist pop/marching song you’ll hear today, and this is the funniest comic strip ever.

A Wallingford Thing

[Seafair Pirates Sticker]

There was a lot of dissent about the parking situation among the people on the sidewalk.

One man grumbled, “Those ‘no parking’ signs are confusing! They say ‘June 6′, but today is the seventh.”

But his friend pointed out, “Actually, it is June 6.”

That only upset him more.

The theater marquee said “Kiddie Parade – Sunday” beneath the movie titles. There was a man leaning up against the bike rack when I went over to park my bike. I asked him, “What’s this kiddie parade?”

“I guess it’s just a Wallingford thing. . . . A lot of people are going to get towed.”

The street was cleared by the time the movie was over. There was no traffic and there were no parked cars. A small family was waiting patiently for the parade on a line of lawn chairs at the edge of the curb – front row seats. I could hear drummers tapping out a marching rhythm a few blocks away.

Someone was negotiating with the police at the end of the street. A boat-car maneuvered around the police car and came sailing by. It was the Seafair Pirates. (Oh, no.) They were hanging off the boat-car, waving their swords aloft, just the way any of us would if we were dressed as pirates and hanging off the side of a boat that was driving up 45th Street.

I headed around the corner and wandered around the sidestreets. I found the practicing marching band and three or four different drill teams lined up in formation. Each group was wearing uniforms of a different degree of polish.

There was a lemonade stand set up on someone’s front lawn. That sounded good. I parked the bike and walked over.

“I’ll have a cup of lemondade.”

The girl poured out a measure of syrupy pulp and changed my dollar.

“How’s business?” I asked.

“Fine.” She said that in the most disinterested tone that she could manage. The situation wasn’t as novel to her as it was to me.

Horizon 500

Horizon

Around the corner, on the website of your favorite study in light, water, and obsessive-compulsive behavior, I’ve posted the last daily(-ish) Horizon photo. (There will be more Horizon shots, but they’ll be less frequent.)