Lessons From D.C.

Flooding at the Capitol Mall due to a broken irrigation pipe 2006

Last week I was in Washington, D.C. for work. My trip there was both difficult and good. I learned many lessons during my travels and during the time I was in the city. One of the lessons that I am still processing is about the intersection between pre-existing stereotypes about a place and the actual spirit of that place. It's not that I have a clear understanding of this issue yet, but I still think that it's worth discussing publicly in the hopes that you can process the ideas with me.It … [Read more...]

The Train as Merkava

Train Tracks

It was two days before Thanksgiving. One of my coworkers had sent out an email late the night before asking if we all wanted to cowork in Seattle the next day. We're almost never all in the same city, so sitting in the same room for a few hours would be good. I sent a reply back that I couldn't. I was still in Chicago and wouldn't be in Seattle until Friday. I was hopping on the Empire Builder train at 2:15 on Wednesday afternoon. The next day as I was heading to a meeting right near the train … [Read more...]

Cursed Places

There are several different curses that folklore claims upon the city of Spokane, Washington. This city is said to have at least two different "Indian curses" and at least one "Gypsy curse", plus many, many hauntings. There is also a tale that I found about a sort of blessing on this city, in which the river rapids that were once the terror of the Natives would become the source of great wealth for the White Settlers. The town is both rich and poor. It is a place of creativity and of … [Read more...]

Japan’s Fukushima Disaster and Its Impact on Fish in the Pacific Northwest

A fishing boat in my home port of Auke Bay, Alaska. By Gillfoto, via Wikimedia Commons.

If you have environmentalists as Facebook friends, you may have seen an image and headline making the rounds suggesting that leaking waters from the Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan is poisoning the waters of the Pacific Ocean. As a passionate lover of wild Alaskan salmon, that had me worried. I've had moments of mild panic thinking that the bounty of the seas may be gone forever.Salmon are the major fruit of harvest season for me. I was raised subsistence fishing in the waters of … [Read more...]

Distracting you with flowers

Purple rhodedendrons.

I don't have anything of meaning to write about this week. I've been completely distracted by children's birthday parties, meeting new people, my parents visiting, the dark moon, and the explosion of sunshine and flowers here in Olympia.Let me share some of my distraction with you. Here, have some flowers:All of these are taken at the house I rent. Rhododendrons are the Washington state flower. I adore them. In fact, I am pretty sure that if the fey get dressed up … [Read more...]

Procession Photos and May Day

Some one dressed up as skunk cabbage! One of my favorite plants!

I couldn't have imagined a better beginning to May. Last weekend was the Procession of the Species parade and art walk. May first was celebrated by local anarchists with a picnic in the park. I took my kids to all of it. We played and drew and wove ribbons around a maypole in the spring sunshine.Below are some pictures from the Procession parade. Please click on this link to see many more photos of the weekend, as well as some video clips. [Note: this is not my site or my photos, but were … [Read more...]

Procession of the Species

By Davidakoontz at English Wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons, from 2005.

I love parades. Most parades are really boring, though. I find them mostly to be advertising: business sponsor floats but seem to be the highlight, politicians hand out fliers. Bah humbug.But when a parade is done well, oh it is a joyful thing! The kid in me gets all worked up. I never know what is coming next. Costumes? Bands? Possibly a marching band?This time last year my family was new to Olympia. Had we heard about the Procession of the Species? And Spring Arts Walk? No, we had not. … [Read more...]


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