For the past couple of weeks here in the Seattle area, we have enjoyed a nice frosty cold spell. It was so cold, we had numerous days of the temperature dropping in the 20’s (F) and even into the teens. That is pretty unusual for us. It cause my little fish pond to freeze over. Don’t worry; the goldfish are still going strong under the ice.
It also cause Lake Josephine on Anderson Island to mostly completely freeze over. The other sister lake, Lake Florence, also was frozen over from this recent cold spell. Again, pretty amazing stuff for our mild martime Puget Sound climate area.
Now, when I took these photos, the ice was 2-4 inches thick and clear. That will support my dog’s weight of 37 lbs with no problem. It could support me…but why take that chance? My son and I happily stayed on the float section of our dock. I didn’t want to fall through the ice, die, and leave you (my dear blog readers) sad and depressed, right? In this case, instead of my usual “Safety 3rd” motto, I bumped it up to #1. Heck, safety is no accident.
My dog Bella enjoyed the ice and chasing the ball for hours. My son flew one of our Phantom 3 drones over the frozen Lake Josephine as well, hopefully we will have some drone video to post in the next week or so.
Now, the weather has warmed up into the 40’s (F) and the ice is disappearing. Until next year….I bid you a fond farewell my frozen lake friends….
Thanks for reading, please comment below on my amazing blog post about ice safety in Washington State, Anderson Island, or just how darn funny and good looking I am.
Ah, the sunny skies of Seattle…Enjoy our latest drone footage featuring University of Washington, the new 520 floating bridge (longest floating bridge in the world!), me racing around in the ski boat “Mac Mac”, our and friends in their trawler “Fish Hawk”. Also some footage of Batman on a jet ski near Seward Park.
Below is a link to our YouTube Drone footage. If you want an idea of how nice Seattle can be, take some time and watch the videos.
It never fails to annoying me when I see those little yellow “Baby on Board” signs in a car’s window because I know the driver is a moron. They are always the worst drivers. Case in point is the driver you see in this photo.
When we were on the five lane road, this awesome driver decided to tailgate me, then zoom pass me on the right, get stuck behind the car in the right lane, cut back into the left, and get stuck behind that car. After all that, they were now in front of me instead of behind me. Hats off to you, moron driver! You are truly a winner!
Of course, they have “Baby on Board” sign hanging on the back window. Oh yeah, I should be extra careful when you cause me to crash into the back of your car because you think this is a NASCAR racetrack and you are sponsored by Busch beer.
Thanks again Washington State license plate AKA0818 for being a bad driver and endangering my life. I appreciate your awesome ability to weave in and out of trafffic as you race to your finish line! Good luck to you and your kids!
The semester ended for our kids this past Monday so the whole school district has to let the kids off for the day. I’m not sure if my kids really go to school for a full five days in a row. What, with all the holidays, late start days, etc. my kids never seem to go to school for a full week.
However, we aren’t here to complain about the state of our education system. Instead we are here to chat about another great little hike here in the Seattle area. It is the Twin Falls Hike off of I-90 in the North Bend area. This is a short hike coming in at only two miles round trip.
Of all the years I have live here, I have never done this hike. With all of this great winter weather we have been having lately, I thought we should take advantage of going on an easy hike during the “off season” of hiking. (Die hard hikers would say there is never an “off season”). From what I have read about this hike, it is a fairly popular hike especially during the summer. Consider it is January and we usually have a bunch of rain, I figured this is as a good time as any to do this hike.
Luckily, I checked the trail report at wta.org and learned that there was a washout on the trail to the Twin Falls. This would stop is if we left from the traditional trailhead off of Exit 34. Good thing I check it out before we started our hike. The Wta.org website is an excellent resource for all hikes in Washington State and I highly recommend checking it out before any hike.
We modified our starting point to the Ollalie State Park parking lot off of Exit 38. You start your hike on the Iron Horse Trail for about half a mile until you come to the spur/trail to the Twin Falls trail. The Iron Horse Trail is an old Burlington Northern railroad bed (now a service road) so the downhill grade is mild for about half a mile. The trail to Twin Falls is clearly marked (from the Iron Horse Trail) and you won’t miss it (unless your face is buried in your phone texting a friend).
After you leave the Iron Horse Trail and use the Twin Falls Trail, you will be going downhill for about 3/4 of a mile. Just remember, you will be going down and that means the way back is uphill.
Easy trail down for my hiking partners and myself. In our hiking band, we had my wife, my daughter, and another Girl Scout (and friend) with us. No one complained about the hike so that means it is a fairly easy one for 12 year old girls and 40 year old parents.
For all you math geeks, the different route brings this hike in at 2.5 miles.
Overall, this hike is a good family hike and easy to do. We left the Covington area around 2 pm and we’re back to Covington by 5 pm. That included a stop at McDonalds for hot fudge sundaes (for the girls). Hey, I’m working out so I can win the Fat Ass Dads Weight Loss Challenge so I’m skipping that stuff. Well, until I get home…then I pig out and cry into my bowl of chocolate peanut ice cream….
With the weather turning to gray overcast skies, even the die hard optimist can get a bit depressed with the rainy weather. Everything around you can be depressing; the wet roads, the bad traffic, the gray skies, the rain, the gray skies, the rain, the cold 40-50 degree weather. Did I mention the gray skies and rain?
It isn’t always bad here in the Pacific Northwest but you would think it is because of all the lousy weather we are currently having. We had great weather up until the middle of October. Now, it is the normal Seattle weather. I tend to be very busy at work (since I am a school photographer) during this time of year. I don’t notice how bad it is until I have a little breathing room. And with Daylight Savings Time ending, you really notice that it isn’t nice here anymore. It isn’t as bad as Alaska but you do notice that it gets really dark around 4 pm everyday. We haven’t even seen the worst of it yet. The shortest day of the year: December 21 Winter Solstice.
That means from now until December 21, the days will get shorter and the people of Seattle will die a little more each day.
I don’t really care. To me, it is just another day in a series of depressing days where I live my life. Oh, before you get all concerned about my well being, just know that this blog post is about you, not me. I can weather any storm my way. I just jump on YouTube and get all pumped up by listening to some Tony Robbins or Les Brown. I like the crappy weather because it forces me to look at what I’m doing in my business and life.
Now, some people can’t handle all the rain and gray skies around Seattle. They complain, they mope around, yet here they still are…wet and whining in the Emerald City called Seattle.
For me, the rain and gray skies bring my busy work season. I know during this time of the year, I’ll be making the bulk of my income as a school photographer. I know that I’ll be busy working 60-80 hours a week. I know I’ll be getting up at 5 am, putting in a 12-15 hour day. On top of my work day I will also need to be a dad, a Scoutmaster, an aikido student and teacher, and a blogger. I will be attempting to balance my work life with my personal life during the months of the fall school photography season.
My darling wife is also more than willing to point out that I pretty much have summers off (work free) as a trade off for my busy, crazy fall. However, during this hectic fall season, I also think I should be creating an online business of some sort to balance out my income. I imagine it would be extremely nice to have a summer schedule during the rest of the eight months of the year. Don’t you think it would be nice to have a few extra thousand or tens of thousands of dollars to live on and invest in my retirement? People who say money isn’t important must not be too concerned about the future (or even the present). Money can’t buy happiness? But it sure makes life a lot more enjoyable!
What makes you survive the fall season? Do you feel you live in a better area and therefore can make fun of schmucks like me?
As always your sarcastic and non-sarcastic comments are welcome! At least hit that like button!
Oh, all the rage is pumpkin spice, right? I’m not a big fan of the pumpkin spice lattes but I do love pumpkin pie. I also thought a pumpkin protein shake wouldn’t be too bad. I didn’t want a lot of sugar in my protein shake since I’m doing my Fat Ass Dads Weight Loss Challenge. (I’m headed to Kauai and Maui in four months so I’m trimming down and toning up!). I was concerned that the canned pumpkin I was using was for pumpkin pies and would have lots of sugar. It actually isn’t bad in the sugar department.
A quick internet search got me to a website that had a pretty good pumpkin protein shake recipe. I wish I had bookmarked the page for you but as a lazy American male; I didn’t. Here is the basic recipe that I use these days.
1 cup Non Fat Milk
3/4 cup non fat plain Greek yogurt (because it’s the “in” thing to use)
1/2 cup to 1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 scoop of Vanilla Protein Mix
1 tablespoon of ground flax seed
3-6 ice cubes (optional)
Whirl all that up in your blender and you are good to go.
You can adjust the recipe to fit your individual taste. Don’t even thinking of commenting about how much it sucks. It isn’t a real ice cream milkshake, so no whining that it doesn’t taste like that McDonald’s pumpkin milkshake, ok?
Everyday my recipe is a little different because I’m lazy and don’t measure everything perfectly. Maybe (if the mood fits me) I’ll share my peanut butter banana protein shake recipe with you in my next post.
This evening I went to my daughter‘s “curriculum” night at her school. This just happens to be my last one for elementary school. Have you forgotten about curriculum night? Or maybe you are a bad parent and have never attended one before? Basically, the teacher tells you what your child will be learning over the course of the year. In the great State of Washington, goals have changed and the names of the goals have changed. We’ve had WASL goals, we’ve had Iowa tests, we’ve had critical thinking goals, MAPSAT, BS Goals, etc. The acronyms keep rolling out and the goals keep changing but it all comes down to this: we want our kids grow up with a decent brain inside their heads.
I’m all for progress and helping my child become a world thinker who is compassionate and uses critical thinking in their ever changing world of shifting paradigms while at the same time becoming a global citizen that needs to manage her own future. How about that? Is that a “mission statement” or what?
One of the new math concepts is for our students to work on the computer solving problems. Really? The teacher had a sample problem involving pizza and two kids. One kid was named Lucas. All I was thinking while she was showing us the math word problem was that Lucas was a fat pig who shouldn’t be eating 3/8 of the cheese pizza, 4/8 of the pepperoni, and ¼ of another one. That Lucas kid is going to be one fat ass kid with weight and self-esteem issues if he keeps pigging out. Poor Lucas. Did Lucas think he found the best Seattle pizza?
My other concern was that it was fairly stupid to being solving this math problem on a computer. A good old pencil and paper would be a lot quicker and easier to use. How are they going to do the math on the fly if the computer isn’t there? Hmm? Are the children of today (and tomorrow) going to be able to do math without the use of a pull down menu? Could they mix art and math together and sketch out the problem on paper with a pencil and still figure it out?
Really, all I saw was that our schools were teaching our kids to rely on a computer to create a whole bunch of extra work to solve a simple math word problem. They can make pie graphs, charts, etc. That’s great but it is a simple problem. They don’t need to make a ten page report on it that is a waste of everyone’s time. Are we creating a society of mid-level managers that make reports for the heck of it and to justify their jobs?
“I have that twenty page report on why we shouldn’t eating Twinkles!” Conclusion: Uh, because they are bad for us? Or maybe we should eat them because it helps the fitness industry keep fitness instructors employed?
Over the years, I’ve learned that you need to watch less TV, get off the worthless texting and Instagram, Facebook, social media sites, and read more nonfiction (that was a big one tonight) and classic novels. I would also add you need to get out and experience life. Take the kids to museums, road trips, ferry boat rides, hikes, walks, boat rides, and feel the wind in your face.
Don’t get me wrong; I love the internet as much as you do. All the information at your fingertips, merely a click away…it’s wonderful.
Yet, I’m just as guilty as other parents and their children in letting social media run our lives. I have a hard time disconnecting from my iPhone. I have slowed down my use of social media. I have tried to make a deliberate effort not to check my phone when I’m doing activities with the family. I try to ignore that email buzz on my phone. It is hard. Sometimes I’m good and other times I’m not.
What are your thoughts about using only computers for school work these days? Will it work?