Monday, January 31, 2011

A Walk Around Greenlake

Green Lake is a jewel of a park smack dab in the middle of a big city. Parkland rings the lake and a 2.8 mile walking/biking path encircles it. It is always a busy place, even on a week day, especially when it's sunny in Seattle!
America Wigeons
Canadian Geese
Lots of people were walking lots of dogs. I'm not sure that I saw the same breed twice.
It was about 45 degrees, but this guy needed his kayak workout.
Lovely old trees are remnants of the Olmsted Brothers design for the park.
Joggers and walkers share the left side. The right side is for wheels - bikes and skates.
Gone fishin'
Daffodils are springing up.
Time for a little rest in the sun.
Gnarled old cherry trees shelter a winter garden.
We were tired after making the loop, but it was a good tired.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Walking With the Beatles

I am enjoying the iPod nano I got for Christmas. I ripped some of the CDs I own, and synced them to my iPod. I bought a few songs from the iTunes store. And then I asked my son Jake for some classic rock music. After deciding that it wouldn't work well to burn CD's from his MP3 files on his computer, he referred me to our friend who is an IT guy by profession and has extensive music files. He gave me access to his shared files. Then when I had trouble downloading some of his music, I emailed him and he sent me a program to download which allowed him to take over my computer. He then found the problem and I watched as he moved my cursor and showed me how to do what needed to be done. Cool! It's kind of a slow process, but I'm working at it a bit each day. I thought it would be cool to have a few Beatles classics, and in selecting "a few", I ended up with 30! I am rediscovering the Beatles. When they made their rise to fame, between 1962 to 1966, I was in college. We didn't have music systems in those days, and the only popular music I got was from the radio, station KJR. Besides I was busy studying much of the time. In 1966 I became a first year teacher, struggling in my fourth grade full of kids from the projects. In 1969, I became a new bride, married to the guy across the hall, and then moved to another school. (Yes, they made me move). I left teaching in 1972, the year the Beatles broke up, and in 1973 I became a new mother. So I never really paid much attention to Beatles' music. I was busy. And besides, I was a good girl, and they were into drugs and all of that, so I didn't know if it was OK to like them. Last week, with Beatles music playing through my earphones, I went for a walk in the park. The words were fun, the beat was perfect and I walked and walked. It was great! I just walked to the beat a bit too much, and now I'm back on the stationary bike again until my heel settles down. I have a Ticket To Ride, but I'd rather be walking down that Long and Winding Road to Penny Lane. But Here Comes the Sun and I say Good Day Sunshine! I'm going out for a short walk anyway. I'll Get By With a Little Help From My Friends!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Book Recommendation

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford I don't remember which of my blog friends recommended this book, but I'm glad they did. I just finished it this week, and as I turned the last page, I wanted more. - Set in Seattle, in what we now refer to as the International District, it alternates between the period of 1942-45 and 1986. In 1986 an old hotel, the Panama, which was once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown, is being renovated after being sealed up since 1942. In the basement are found the belongings of about 40 Japanese families who were rounded up and sent to internment camps. - This is the story of Henry Lee, a Chinese American boy, and his relationship with Keiko, a Japanese American girl. For Henry, son of an old world father, it was a forbidden friendship. For both it is a struggle against cruelty and injustice. For the reader it is important historical fiction. - And it is a love story, one that takes the characters from Seattle to Puyallup to Minidoka in Idaho, and finally to New York. - I just wish there had been one more chapter. I guess we all get to write our own.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Financial Crisis Avoidable

The verdict is in. The Financial Crisis Commission Panel has reported. The findings are not a surprise. "The captains of finance and the public stewards of our financial system ignored warnings and failed to question, understand, and manage evolving risks within a system essential to the well-being of the American public. Theirs was a big miss, not a stumble." Consumers took on far too much debt. Bankers took on far too much risk. Regulators did not regulate. The Federal Reserve failed to stem the flow of toxic mortgages, which it could have done. It was the free market gone awry. Greed prevailed. There was "a breakdown of accountability and ethics". We are currently in a nationwide debate about the role of government. We have just seen an example of 'smaller government'. Sometimes we need government to protect us from ourselves. The Democrats on the panel concurred with the findings. The Republicans did not. Business as usual. One phrase really stood out in this report - "failed to question". Enough said.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More Saturday Photography - Juanita Park

Mid afternoon we left Bellevue Botanical gardens and headed further north,s beyond Kirkland, to Juanita Bay Park. This is a wetland area along the shore of north Lake Washington.
The main attraction is the walk along the old railroad right of way, on an elevated boardwalk.
It's lined part way by old poplar trees.
Wetlands are on either side of the walkway.
But it was a mild, dry, partly sunny Saturday afternoon, so we had lots of company, and the wildlife was scarce.
A swan couple promenaded.
The Seattle skyline is off to the west, across the lake.
Cormorants sunned on old pilings.
A few wood ducks were among the other varied waterfowl. I did discover that I might need another lens to zoom farther for bird shots. Oh-oh. These beauties were having a great time, but I think the handler had his hands full.
It was a fun day, but the lowering sun, and my feet, said it was time to head home.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Photography Saturday - Bellevue Botanical garden

Last Saturday, after our photography class, and lunch at Bellevue Square, we headed east to the Bellevue Botanical Garden to practice more shots. The garden lent itself to landscape and macro modes.
Colorful stems.
Tom used our point and shoot Canon, which I usually am loathe to share, to train his camera eye.
Hellebores were in bloom.
Drama in foliage.
Seed heads supply wonderful texture.
Witch hazel.
My wet knee is proof that I bow down to flowers.
Winter garden and city skyline
This garden has just been redone and has yet to fill in. We'll enjoy watching it mature.