I’m just not that clever. It never occurred to me to argue with the teacher or any other exam-grader that I should get credit for my answer because it was an alternative fact.

The title? That’s my new favorite hashtag.

The picture? That’s lichen that’s greened-up from the recent rain and warm temps. Colder now, and no rain. Breezy.

Fri, 13th

Sherds in garden

Creative use of glazed potsherds*.

Grass heads

Grass heads….

* The Brits call them shards. They are shards in that shards are broken bits. Sherds, on the other hand, are broken bits of ceramic, i.e., potsherds.

Neighborhood visibles

Popsicle yarn ornament

I have been working up a story to go with this…a school project, no? Popsicle sticks that never had any food attached, and yarn…to make an ornament that got sidetracked to adorn a picket and not a tree…. Festive!

Zoned walkway

No story with this one, it’s just an attractive pattern, enriched by the dark grout/mortar separating the stones….

∞ = 199

Rubber camera

We had an errand at the camera shop outside the perimeter (OTP), where this rubber (?) camera is part of an art installation welcoming customers.

It’s rocking it?


This is from the other day, but illustrates Toyota-math. When the vehicle runs on electric only, that is, from the battery, Toyota reports the mileage at 199mpg, meaning no petrol was used.

For our old car, when it ran on battery, it reported the “infinite” mileage as 100mpg. Thus, the new vehicle is a mathematical upgrade?

Park as indicated

This sign was inside a gravel parking lot, at an angle that would make it difficult to spot as you entered. No other signs (e.g., arrows). The label read “Park as indicated.”

I suspect traffic gets stuck in the back loop going round and round.

Abandoned rural clapboard house

We continued our rural drive down two-lane roads OTP, some abandoned…. The rusty metal panel is intended to keep the dogs and vermin from crawling under the house.

Maybe kids, too.

Flat is relative

Santa Fe shadows

We creased Santa Fé…

Climbing SF to Taos

…and drove north—and up—toward Taos.

Taos back street

Here’s a residential back alley in Taos.

Taos plaza luminarias

And, the luminarias are already out in the plaza, ready for the evening’s celebrations and rituals.

Taos pueblo

We also drove north to Taos Pueblo, and turned around in the parking lot, so we only have a few shots. Here’s an animal pen by the road. The residents are fiercely protective of their privacy, as is their right, and no cell phones or cameras are allowed in.

EofTaos mtns

We headed east on US64, through the mountains. We knew we’d have a good window after the sun had melted the snow and before it began to refreeze, and we nailed it. Just gorgeous. If my phone is correct, the highest pass was a tad over 9K feet—that’s high!

EofTaos formation

Here’s a scenic formation in the Cimmaron Canyon…turns out cimarrón is Spanish for bighorn. Amazing what you can learn from Goo_Translate!

Great plains begin

The highway eventually spat us out on the upper plains, and we relearned what flat means. We corralled our horsepower to motor farther eastward. When dusk arrived the sky to the north had ROYGBIV colors, but upward from the horizon, the color order was BIVROY (not sure what happened to G), which I don’t remember seeing before. I’m sure prismatic specialists are snorting with “of course,” but I do not know why that order. Pretty, though!

We have been driving for days through terrain that stretches away from the eye at interstate speeds, and appears very horizontal. I’m certain that those on foot find the verticals very present and substantial.

Travel topics

Truck parking

Semis are constant companions to personal vehicles traveling interstate highways. They require large parking areas, and those that don’t require backing are preferred, although drivers I have noticed are adept at backing their big rigs.

Route66 etc

We’ve also been accompanied lately by an overage of Route 66 mentions. This tableau takes the cake, I think. Also, the cafes and restaurants in this town all bragged on their “buffalo” burgers. [Bet they were made with bison meat….]

Rear view mtns

As we pulled away from under the rain clouds I enjoyed watching these mountains recede in the rear-view. Snow-capped! Probably the snow was augmented last night, although at the elevation we traveled, the precip was rain. Whew!

Train golden light

We had very high-quality low-angle sun. This train looked far better than it normally does, I’m sure.

Bridge stack

Whatta stack of bridges! [Reminds me of redwoods…plus air.]

Hollywood, precipitation, and “Take Rest”

Justified bridge

Hollywood goes out of town for some shoots. “Justified” used this bridge many times during its five years.

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood’s younger self…

Halfway House w dirty new car

…came through here. No word on whether he spoke to any of the chairs.

Vazquez Rocks me scale

William Shatner (and many others) spent time on/in front of the formations in the Vazquez Rocks park. [Note me for scale.]

PCT gate

Ian/Spark walked by here on the PCT, crossing by the gate of the same park.

California canal

Several times we crossed the California Aqueduct. It carries water south from the Sierra Nevadas (snowy highlands) to SoCal, usually in an open canal. Ladders scale the sides every 1000ft, signs say; it’s wiser to never get into the water, however (duh!).

Standing water desert

Speaking of water, we drove east all day toward an east-bound rain system. During this part of the day, we were behind it by several hours, and the desert had standing water—very unexpected to find the dryness ameliorated.

Cloud driving

Eventually, we did drive into clouds, and the rain. It never came down hard, but for a bit we couldn’t see far. The radar sensors on the New Car gave us an extra measure of safety.

Take Rest

One more bit of technology…after several hours of driving, the vehicle presents a schematic of a steaming cup of coffee, and kindly enquires (in a rather Japanese way) “Would you like to Take Rest?” [BTW, the blue shading behind the MPH figure turns to red when Ludicrous (boosted speediness) mode is engaged…not that you’d forget!]

I am not awakened or enlightened

Pet Buddha

It’s been too cold to sit on the porch and watch the ships passing by, the seagulls and terns above, and to listen for the trains motoring along the sound. I did step out for a minute or so several times, but cold. Buddha, however, shows how to be unaffected by weather, leaves and pine needles. I will try again next time, although I do not know when that will be.

WikiPee argues that the Buddhist term bodhi is often expressed as enlightenment, but it’s a process, so awakening is a more accurate translation. Me, I struggle with either when I’m cold.

Monumental and outdoors

Frosty roof

But first, a weather report. Darned cold this morning—frosty cold. Sunny for a bit in the morning, but overcast came raring in.

Salish welcome

This 2010 sculpture by Marvin Oliver is offering a Salish welcome, and is intended to honor the (long-gone) native peoples of this area and is intended to remind us “that we are stewards of this evolving, living landscape”—can’t say how that stewardship is going….

Troll under bridge

This monumental beast is the famous Fremont Troll, and dates to 1990. It’s a bit bigger than the Oliver sculpture, but of course is only head and shoulders, whereas the Oliver fellow is head to toe.

Fisheye finger

I was playing with the fish-eye again—and made The Guru’s finger monumental. He is not a sculpture.

Olympics balcony view

I’m also counting the snow-dusted Olympics we can see across Puget Sound even as dusk sets in as monumental—MaNachur’s work. They are older than any of the pieces above. That MaNachur often operates with a l-o-n-g time-scale.

Water views

Chittenden Locks view downstream

After coffee, our first stop (not including traffic lights and parking) was Chittenden Locks, often called Ballard Locks. Note the bascule bridge in the background (it’s down). We saw two passenger trains cross it, and at one time seven people in head-to-toe fluorescent clothing were on walkways in the general area of the bridge’s pivot. We were too far away to figure out what they were doing.

Chittenden Locks small lock

We watched this NOAA vessel traverse the small lock. We thought the yellow globes were weather buoys, and the brown discs were anchor-weights for them.

STEELheads eh

Lacking sufficient knowledge to visually ID many (any?) fish species, I told The Guru I was pretty sure these are steelheads. Wouldn’t you agree? Huh…huh?

Orangey rose

Despite snow and ice last week, this weather-blemished rose is attempting to triumph against cold odds.

Cormorant seaplane

Late in the day, we went to Log Boom park, at the north end of Lake Washington. Cormorant on post to left and taxiing sea plane to the right (we saw it land headed straight for us, but way on the other side of the bay).

Sunset cormorants

I figure these cormorants are trying to catch the day’s final rays. I do not know if they stay “posted” all night. It seems like their count is pretty close to one per post. By the shore, we saw several species of ducks and more cormorants, but they do prefer to be perched above the water. (Dry feet preference?)