bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
This weekend [personal profile] gmjambear and I have been busy exhuming the pond in the backyard. The pond was constructed of a Rubbermaid 150-gallon stock tank, a length of drain pipe that goes we know not where, a whole lot of dirt (backfilled against the fence, which is why it all has to come out) and a retaining wall. We'd gotten most of the retaining wall removed over the year or so since we made the decision to replace the fence.

Yesterday we managed to get most of the remaining bricks from the base of the retaining wall moved, and the dried mud and gravel out of the tub itself. As we worked I noticed a tall and muscular young dude at the house behind us across the alley, who was wearing a pair of really tight, stretchy gray shorts and no shirt; and also a small poodle-mix dog (perhaps a cockapoo) who left us a present in the small patch of lawn between the temporary fence and the alley.

After sifting a few wheelbarrow loads of dirt and rocks, we were done for the day and decided to have dinner at Buzz Inn on Evergreen. We saw a number of cute daddybears and their kids passing by our table as they left. Cue Gary: "aw, hell no." After dinner we finished up some laundry and surfed the net a bit before I decided to call it a night.

I woke up about quarter to six to find Gary had made an excursion downtown. When I came downstairs for breakfast around nine-thirty, I saw Gary was back, but had been up all night, so I gently encouraged him to get some sleep. After breakfast I picked up the present the dog had left, and while doing so had a nice chat with Eric, the young dude with the tight shorts, who had come to retrieve the dog (his name is Puddles) as he'd wandered into our yard. They are busy building a new back porch to go with the addition on their house.

After that I swept up the tub and sifted another wheelbarrow load of dirt, then went inside and caught up with Dad by phone. My sister Sheila's youngest son was scheduled to graduate from high school this afternoon, and my sister Colleen's youngest is preparing to move to Boston in the next month so she is managing separate parties for his friends, for our side of the family and for her husband's side. She had to work this evening so I guess I'll have to call her later tomorrow.

Once I got off the phone with Dad, I decided to pick up a few more buckets from Home Depot, grab lunch, and pick up some groceries at Costco. At Home Depot I asked a cute ginger otter if he knew of anyone who deals in bulk dirt, as we'll probably have 4 or 5 cubic yards left over when all is said and done. He suggested Craig's List because if people are desperate enough for fill dirt they'll come over and dig it up. Another possibility he suggested is the sand and gravel place a couple doors north on the same side of Highway 99. I ended up picking up three 5-gallon buckets and two 18-gallon plastic planter tubs with rope handles. I checked out beside a cute daddy bear with a wife and two girls. He had some nice ink on one arm.

Lunch was at Heaven Sent Chicken on 112th Street. I had the three-piece special with corn and an extra side of collard greens. As I ate I texted Gary to relay the results of the morning so he could read them when he got up, and he suggested I pick up some fruit at Costco as well: grapes, blackberries, and bananas. I was surprised he was awake. At Costco there were at least two cute daddybears shopping; one I kept crossing paths with was tall and dark, perhaps Native American or Hispanic, with elaborate, somewhat faded ink on both arms.

After I got home and got the groceries put away, Gary and I watched part of the Memorial Cup (Canadian Hockey League) final between the Erie Otters and the host team, the Windsor Spitfires; then we started in on the sifting and sorting. Toward the end we traced the PVC drain pipe to an elbow in the middle of the back lawn well outside the perimeter of the retaining wall, and decided we should dig no further but rather get a plumber to trace the pipe so we don't ruin the lawn unnecessarily. Then I fixed dinner: bratwurst boiled in beer (a local microbrew called Scuttlebutt) and finished off under the broiler (unfortunately, we have construction debris piled up too close to the outdoor gas grill to use it at the moment), and fresh coleslaw. After dinner we sort of vegetated in front of the TV until Gary decided he'd better get to bed and catch up on sleep.
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Didn't do much Friday night other than one last overnight maintenance call for work, nor yesterday as [ profile] gmjambear finished off some schoolwork. Made up for that today though. Read more... )

Another fun day.
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Before dinner: a long day... )

Dinner was a blast. We had lots of good conversation and there were congratulations for [ profile] gmjambear and me signing up for NaNoWriMo. I had a cup of minestrone and a red curry with chicken; Gary had the roast chicken. I asked Gary if he wanted dessert but he declined. I had the caramel flan, partly so we could re-enact the scene from Real Women Have Curves (Gary: "Don't eat the flan!" Me: [chomp]). Pictures up at my Gallery.

The trip home... )

A fine evening if I do say so myself.

Light Rail

Aug. 23rd, 2009 09:23 am
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
[ profile] gmjambear and I headed into downtown Seattle yesterday to check out the new light rail line. A few points of interest... )

All in all, an interesting way to spend an afternoon.
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
On the way into work this morning a cute cublet, resembling [ profile] alexjon but a size or two smaller and with darker hair, boarded at McCollum Park & Ride and sat in front of me. He had some sort of Escheresque woven tri-cornered tattoo surrounding the point of his elbow which was resting on the back of the seat, and carried what I thought was a bicycle helmet until he got up and revealed it to be a welder's face shield. On the side was a sticker which read "Don't make me break my probation". He spoke at some length to the driver and it appeared he'd boarded the wrong bus, as he obviously was headed into the portion of the Canyon Park office complex not served by the 106 bus (which alternates with the 105 at the top and bottom of the hour respectively).

Coming back I caught the 5:07 and sure enough they sent the short bus again. This time though nearly everyone managed to get a seat, except between Canyon Park and Thrasher's Corner. You would think that would be the one bus of the day that would require a standard 40-foot bus on this run, as the later buses haven't nearly the ridership and still get the standard bus. Oy. One fellow who boarded at Mike's Fitness (just north of Canyon Park) was kind of interesting to look at with a shaved head and bare arms full of ink. Most of the other passengers in the far back were boys in various shades of blond, except for one black kid darker than [ profile] gmjambear.

As we passed the Columbia Athletic Club the thermometer out front registered 93 degrees. Retrieved the car at Mariner and picked up some groceries and a bottle to carry water or tea to work in my backpack. On the way back, the same thermometer was still at 91.
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
There are a lot of sk8r boys on the Community Transit 105 bus from UW Bothell into Mill Creek. Some look to be high-schoolers and others are of college age.

Spotted a kid of about fifteen or so who is bigger around than I am at nearly three times his age.

Someone finally claimed that T-shirt from "The Rapture Comes To Bothell", if only to throw it away.

More Adventures in Public Transportation... )


May. 2nd, 2009 08:10 am
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Didn't get a chance to blog about Thursday yet. I took the bus in from South Everett Park & Ride, and after work made my way to Cafe Septieme on Capitol Hill.

On the first leg of the run from Bothell to Cap Hill on Route 372, I sat behind a clean shaven, long haired dude who was crashed out in his seat. He woke up and carried on a mostly one-sided conversation with me the rest of the way to UW main campus. He introduced himself as Dave, and told me he was about my age and had an 18-year-old son. Having spent most of his career cooking, he was currently taking odd jobs in landscaping and studying for his Commercial Drivers' License test. One of his obvious interests was muscle cars of the 70's, I also discovered. But he had a habit of speaking in non sequiturs, jumping from topic to topic as though his mouth wasn't keeping up with his brain; on several occasions he mentioned he'd "burned out", perhaps due to a bit too much 420, which caused him a number of problems.

We parted company at UW and I hopped on the 49 electric bus to Cap Hill, stepping off a block from the restaurant. Click here if you don't mind a little name-dropping... ) It was also Dining Out for Life day so some of the proceeds of our meal would go to a worthy cause, Lifelong AIDS Alliance. We chatted about art, gay culture, President Obama, and Lord only knows what else, and had some great food.

After dinner we said our goodbyes and caught the 43 bus downtown to catch the 510 bus back to South Everett. Gary had parked right next to me at the Park & Ride. When we got home I fell asleep on the loveseat.

[Edited to remove an unnecessary observation. Thanks and apologies to [ profile] bitterlawngnome, and thanks to [ profile] gmjambear, for pointing out the correction.]
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Monday on the way in to work on the bus, a child of about two on his mother's lap spied the big shiny box which holds the safety strap used to secure wheelchairs to the bus so the folks sitting in them don't roll away at every sudden stop. This child was determined he would have this shiny new toy and would not be prevented, and when his mother got in the way and set him down gently but firmly on the floor, he pitched an absolute fit (as two-year-olds often do).

Then today, this cute cublet in a hoodie with about a quarter-inch stripe of beard had sat down in the side-facing seat in front of me and, when the opportunity presented itself, switched to the seat opposite me on the back bench so he could put his feet up. Almost at the same time, a father and daughter boarded the bus. I had put in my earbuds, and at the next stop, after a mother and child boarded and sat between cublet and me, the girl up front began caterwauling just as my phone's MP3 player kicked in with Pat Benatar's "Suffer the Little Children".

To quote from another woman singer of some reknown, "isn't it ironic, don't ya think?"
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)

Someone is recruiting little boys, and they're not ashamed to tell the world about it. ;-)
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Note to self: If called upon to sing "America (My Country 'Tis of Thee)" in public, do not stop to take a breath in the middle of the word "Country". (At least the Queen of Soul didn't pronounce the "t" until she was done taking her breath, or it would not have been pretty.)

I keep wanting to call Rev. Rick Warren's church "Brokeback" instead of "Saddleback". No clue why... ;-)

I am so gratified that we weren't treated to a chorus of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from either the former President or the former Vice President, as I'd feared. In fact, George II didn't even get around to pardoning his partners in crime.

How wonderful it is to hear a President who speaks in complete sentences and imaginative, soaring prose, as opposed to mangled syntax, malapropisms, and repetitive slogans (September the 11th -- apply directly to the forehead).
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
I was going to do the "2008 in review" meme that is going around, but don't feel like answering every single question on that long list so I'm just going to write my own.

There were basically two very significant highlights of the year for me: GALA Festival 8 in Miami, and the purchase of our new home in Everett.

GALA was a blast, as always. [ profile] gmjambear and I got to hang out with our friends from all over the country, especially [ profile] cincycub. The material for Seattle Men's Chorus' performance at GALA was drawn from our two previous concerts in 2008, the March show with Rick Steves and the June show with Leslie Jordan. Both of our guest artists were fun to work with.

Upon our return from GALA we went house-hunting in earnest, with a fellow Chorus member as our buyers' agent. After considering a number of more or less quaint mid-century homes sprinkled around the north King and south Snohomish County neighborhoods, we found a newer (built 2001) home in Everett with a motivated couple selling, and snapped it up two days after it hit the market. As we were waiting for the mortgage paperwork to go through, of course, the bottom fell out of the US financial market, but since I'd been per-approved back in May we were in no danger of losing the loan; in fact it helped us by reducing the interest rate we would have to pay. Other than some issues with the furnace which were easily resolved by replacing the spark plug ;-), the house has been fairly low-maintenance. Of course, we're still shopping for those little things that are always needed when moving into a house from an apartment, like a lawn mower and garden tools.

Another interesting fact about 2008: for the first year in a very long time, we didn't leave the US in 2008. We missed it by only a day or two though, as our last visit to Canada was the weekend between Christmas and New Year's in 2007. I expect we'll be making another trip north in 2009.

Hope y'all have a Happy 2009.


Dec. 21st, 2008 01:47 pm
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Watching the Seahawks game on TV, where it is snowing lightly but continuously, and the announcers are pointing out that all the players have bare arms. I told [ profile] gmjambear, "Of course. Everybody has a right to bare arms!" ;-)
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Mother can pursue lawsuit over harvest of son's brain

Predictably, one of the comments to this story reads, in its entirety, "Braaaaiiiiiiins......" ;-).

In another odd coincidence, while reading misc.transport.road this morning I happened to read an article about a Zombie Walk in Asbury Park, NJ. Someone responded to that post, "Did you hear about the dyslexic zombie? He kept seeking Brian ;)."
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Sat next to a sk8r boi (take that [ profile] cincycub) on the bus this morning, and across from a vaguely Mediterranean or perhaps Hispanic fellow about my age with a well-groomed goatee. Changed buses and sat behind a pocket-bear with snow-white hair and beard (I'll call him "Pocket Santa") and across from an obvious couple, one member looked vaguely familiar, perhaps an SMC member, while his partner wore his hair in a wild-looking asymmetrical red-highlighted Mohawk and, with his bright eyes and round cheeks, bore the appearance of one of [ profile] badrobot68's cublets. They got off at Totem Lake where this cute kid I've seen before boarded and sat opposite me behind the driver. Pocket Santa left at UW Bothell; I think he teaches there.

One of the temp agencies was doing the 'coffee for United Way' thing outside my office, so I went to get some and saw this fellow, who looked like a shorter version of Joey Fatone, whom I'd followed upstairs on the way in.


Sep. 18th, 2008 09:37 pm
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
  • All this week I've been seeing lots of bearish bus drivers and the occasional passenger as well.

  • This morning my cow-orkers and I were having a conversation about Burn After Reading in which my ex-boss recommended people see the trailer and skip the film because the best parts of the film are all in the trailer. So, speaking of spoilers, I pointed out the two T-shirts that T-Shirt Hell advertised right after one of the Harry Potter books came out that read "[so-and-so] dies on page [such-and-such]; I just saved you [this many] hours and [this much money]", with the US version bearing one page number and a price in dollars, and the UK version having a different page number and a price in pounds. When he asked why the US and UK versions had different page numbers, my cube neighbor pointed out that the words in the UK are longer with the extra "u", as in "colour", etc.

  • Speaking of films, I keep wanting to call this one Mountlake Terrace ;-) (This is a neighborhood just over the county line between Shoreline and Lynnwood, north of Seattle proper.)

  • Over in soc.motss, someone posted his surprise at hearing the "Flute Concerto" by "Jacques E. Bear" performed by James Galway. Looking at the program notes he discovered the composer's name is Jacques Ibert. Sort of reminds me of the first time I saw Chantal Hébert ("Eh, Bear") on "At Issue" on the CBC's The National.
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
This week on the bus:

Saw a cute construction cub (redhead, of course) at Bellevue Transit Center.

Had a chat with an older fellow who works for Access (the on-demand van service for the mobility-challenged who can't use regular public transportation). He has an interesting commute, going from Bellevue to Lake City and having to change buses in Bothell.

They had the bus transfer loop at UW Bothell torn up for construction this week, and it's royally pissing off the bus drivers because they have to drive all the way through campus and back, and people are missing connections.

Last night, a youngish fellow who looked vaguely Hispanic got on the bus wearing a dress shirt unbuttoned to his navel. Rawr.
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Not too much to post about. After having to do patching at the data center in Bothell rather than from home, and not getting to bed until 3 AM, I decided to work from home today and drive to GALA rehearsal. We basses got a bit of a break on the choralography as we did voice-blend work with Dennis while Eric and Catherine worked around the tiny size of the risers. Once more the Beautiful Theory got gang-raped by Ugly Facts.

I did see someone interesting at Arby's in the drive-thru line ahead of me, a young driver who pulled up some distance from the window and got out of the car to pick up dinner. He was wearing a black T-shirt and jeans, and despite the fact he was wearing a belt, his jeans were about halfway down his thighs revealing most if not all of his white boxers. Hey, if some (presumably) straight kid wants to show off his ass in public, who am I to deny him? ;-) [ profile] gmjambear disagrees, but then again he's just showing off the "daddybear" side of his personality. The cashier seemed to be new and a little out of his element, but also easy on the eyes.

No more patching, by the way, last night's was the last before the mass change freeze which will take us into GALA week (which just so happens to be right after the iPhone 3G launch). So I'm up a lot later than I really ought to be, but then again, these things do tend to throw me off schedule for a couple of days.
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Haven't had a whole lot of time to post the past few days.

Monday was a long day. Work went OK, then I hopped on the bus early to get downtown and grab an early dinner before rehearsal. Having some time to play with, I hopped on the monorail to Seattle Center. The return monorail trip was delayed about 20 minutes because they had to test the one working train, which was annoying because they didn't announce what they were doing until they had pulled the train into the station and then pulled out again without letting anyone board. Rehearsal was exhausting. We got to work with the band for the first time though which was nice. After rehearsal I decided to try the express bus across Lake Washington instead of the Rodeo Bus, especially since I'd parked at the park-n-ride lot next to Boeing instead of at the Renton transit center. However, I ended up catching the 240 local bus and it took forever to get there. I barely got home in time to do my system patching work at 11 PM. Saw a couple of interesting folks on that long bus ride though, including a bearish antique dealer and a youngish fellow in a tweed jacket praying the rosary quietly to himself.

Tuesday I got a late start having slept in a bit. I got to see this big red bear in Carhartt overalls working on the electrical system at Bellevue transit center again, as he's been there the past few days. On the way home I had a chat with a young woman who works in the cafeteria. She mentioned that she was interested in board games and I mentioned a few of them that [ profile] snicholson had demonstrated on Game Nights back in New York. We ended up discussing our respective commutes and I mentioned that I sing with SMC, which prompted her to ask if [ profile] gmjambear sang with the chorus as well. I had to tell her no, he doesn't; he's the "chorus widow". After returning home, I went for a walk with Gary in the park before another round of patching.

Today I decided to park at Kennydale for a change. Looks like the bus bypassed us, as we had to wait about 40 minutes when there should be one every half hour. Ah well, one of the other riders was easy on the eyes, with tousled brown hair, a nice smile and a fair bit of fur peeking out of his open shirt collar. Once I got to Bellevue the red bear in Carhartts was up on a scissors lift working right over my head. ;-) Unfortunately, I discovered that there's a hardware problem which will prevent me from working from home for my final patches tonight. So in about an hour I will have to haul butt to Bothell and start my 11 PM maintenance window by physically powering down the server so I can (hopefully, fingers crossed) monitor it remotely afterward.
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Ended up staying at the office a bit late, because the development system I was patching took forever to finish. As it turned out, I missed the last convenient bus to Bellevue, as they go to an hourly schedule after 7:30 PM and the connection in Bellevue is mis-timed so as to require an hour wait if (as is almost certain) you miss it. So instead I took the bus into downtown Seattle (522) and connected to the Renton bus which I usually miss coming out of rehearsal (106).

On the 522 through Lake City a small family boarded the bus at one stop, then the father got off at the next stop and the mother and child at yet the next. I think they were having an argument (I was blissfully ignorant of what about, as I was engaged in listening to music) because when he left the bus she flipped him the bird through the bus window.

The 106 was fairly full and I ended up taking one of the sideways seats in the back. Diagonally across from me was a cubbish fellow with stubble on his scalp and beard, carrying a McDonald's bag and drink. Later, an older fellow boarded looking much like Eddie Murphy done up to play his grandfather, and a cubbish father and his adorable son. The boy took the seat next to me and turned to look out the window while his father watched from across the aisle.

There were two young women sitting in the corner and they started rapping, and one of them got up and flipped someone the bird out the bus window. Somehow this seemed the night for doing that... ;-)

I arrived at the Renton transit center about 9:20 and it was still fairly bright outside, as Midsummer Night is in a couple of weeks.


May. 25th, 2008 11:15 am
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
[ profile] gmjambear and I decided to spend the afternoon looking at the Olympic Sculpture Park on the edge of downtown Seattle by the waterfront. We began with a drive to Mercer Island to park at the Park and Ride and catch one of the express buses into town.

We got off the express bus at the International District and waited for the Waterfront Streetcar bus line (a free bus route which replaced the actual Waterfront Streetcar when, ironically enough, its car barn was demolished to make way for the Olympic Sculpture Park). While we waited, an older Asian man lectured some Asian youths who were waiting for the bus, then boarded one himself. A fellow who appeared to be taking his family on a tour of Seattle remarked that alcohol fumes preceded the older Asian man wherever he went. Later, another man, black and approaching our age, began doing tightrope walks and tap steps on and off the curb at the bus stop. Gary remarked, "It isn't just 9:30 on a Monday night" that brings out the interesting people at bus stops. "It reminds me of New York," he concluded.

Once we boarded the bus and arrived at the Sculpture Park, we saw three cruise ships making their way from the Port of Seattle: the Norwegian Star, a Holland America ship (as my dad put it after cruising on one, "some -dam ship or other"), and another which was too far away to make out her name or company.

After viewing the sculptures we were rather hungry so we stopped in a nearby Subway for lunch. Afterward we walked back to catch the Waterfront Shuttle bus again. A fellow wearing only an olive Utilikilt and shoes with a guitar slung upside-down over his back caught my eye. Gary suspected he got a lot of different reactions from people as he passed, and remarked that he himself wouldn't be comfortable going shirtless in public even if he had a body worth showing off. On our return to the International District, Gary took some pictures of the new Chinatown gate while we waited for the bus back to Mercer Island.

When we returned to the car, Gary suggested we drive over to the edge of Lid Park and find the sidewalk that goes over the floating bridge back to Seattle. We got some interesting pictures from the middle of Lake Washington. I wanted to get a picture of this incredible expanse of green lawn (and not incidentally, the shirtless young man lying on that lawn) from the bridge, but Gary nixed that idea. Afterward, we sat in the park for a few minutes and I chatted with my folks, then we went for ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery in Factoria.

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