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      Posting these cat-cartoons-without-the-cartoon was a long journey that I don’t know if I’ll repeat soon again. A daily blog is tough … even when you have your material handed to you! But, I couldn’t have done it without the artwork … Continue reading →
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Small news from our corner of the world

Posted by joeabbott on June 17, 2012

imageI arose early this morning but had slept long enough that I felt both refreshed and enjoying the light morning. You see, it’s getting light earlier and earlier! By the time I completed a few rudimentary bathroom chores and fetched the paper, I was convinced the world was enjoying a Fathers’ Day and it was just me who had laid abed so late. It was until I noticed our chicken coop door hadn’t opened yet (and heard my internal voice say, “not again!”), when I looked at the clock and saw it was only 5:45AM!

An entire day awaits me! But first, let’s consider yesterday.

I’ve been running a bit behind at work so I planned to put in a few hours before heading out on a hike with Pete. Unfortunately, I didn’t complete everything that I’d wanted to get done before he showed up, so I ended up going back. But first, Tiger Mountain.

Tiger Mountain is a marginal bump on the Cascade foothills just east of Seattle. The succession of “bumps” following I-90 along the south side from Lake Washington out east goes: Newport Hills (not really a “bump”, just a collection of hills), Cougar Mountain (there’s a zoo there with an actual cougar!), Squak Mountain, Tiger Mountain, Rattlesnake Ridge, Mt. Washington, McClellan’s Butte, and a succession of others out to the Cascade proper.

I’ve hiked all of these and now enjoying a chance to show Pete some of the nearby trails. I’m in about the worst shape I’ve been in my whole life, and Pete has lived in Seattle his whole life but just now exploring some of the local trails. Additionally, we share common interests (we both work in “the Xbox division”), conversation comes easy (we’re both comfortable hiking in silence and never foist our respective political/social/religious views on one another), and we’re happy walking together, leaving the other behind for a stretch, or stopping whenever someone calls for a break.

Our partnering up works for both of us. But let’s get back to Tiger Mountain.

P6160003There’s Tiger Mountain and there’s West Tiger Mountain and when most people talk about “hiking Tiger”, they’re heading up West Tiger … like we did. The day was full of mist and clouds but the parking lot still managed to be full of cars. To the top is a 3mile jaunt with a gain of ~2000’ and it had us both winded. We managed in a leisurely hour+ and saw small groups, individuals, and dogs … lots of dogs. As we passed on woman coming down, she commented that our rain hats would come in handy at the top!

And, at the top, we were greeted by an empty summit and lots of clouds. The mists were coagulating, meaning we were getting wet without really appreciating a formal rain, but we sat on a nearby rock, enjoyed a small repast of nuts and jerky, snapped a couple pics to commemorate the outing, and then headed back to the car.

The trip back was short and yet my ankles started chirping but it was nothing too terrible. At the car we enjoyed the now-traditional sip of Gatorade before slipping on our sneakers and heading back to the office.

Fortunately there’s a shower in my building so I was able to clean up proper before putting in another few hours before heading home.

P1050434When I got in, Suzy announced the chickens had gotten into her flower beds en masse and managed to do a fair bit of damage she was repairing. Also, the curious shortage of eggs we’d noticed in the last week was due to one of the chickens laying in a new spot out in the gardens. Hmmm … an otherwise superlative “pet” was starting to be annoying. But, Suzy does wonders with our garden and was busy pruning and weeding as she undid what chickens do.

For my part, I took a nap. It was a brief 45 minute affair (which was atypical) but it was also 6PM and I was hungry. Suzy was still hard at it so I decided to “forage” (our word for “make your own meal out of whatever you can find”) and a passable dinner of Nueske’s cheddar bacon bratwurst and chips sufficed.

We then settled in for the evening project of building a cat post.

P6170005Most deluxe cat posts are carpeted affairs about 3’ high; Suzy bought one that is about 6’ high, had multiple ledges, and a small box to “hide in” at the base. Upon unpacking everything I found the wood components to be fairly high quality (real wood) but was disappointed to see Ikea-style connectors. However, on assembling it, all of the screws seated into metal inserts and, when you use knockdown joinery components in real wood, you can actually get a reasonably solid thing.

And so, a quick hour later, we had the post built and all of the cardboard and scrap cleaned up and then enjoyed watching the cats explore. It wasn’t long before Trimble found his way to the top of the valance but he was able to negotiate his way down without causing himself or the curtains any problems.

That was about it.

In spite of the nap, I was still tired and Trasper was giving Trimble no rest at all, so I grabbed the tiny cat and headed up to our room. Once there, Trasper raced around so much I thought he was hyperventilating but, after a bit of racing about like a mad cat, he crawled up to the pillows and sacked out. About then it was 9PM so I figured I’d turn out the lights and follow him off to a bit of slumber.

So here I am now, with a different sort of writer’s cramp going on: for the last couple of weekends, as I type my blog, Trasper has chosen to sack out on my arms. Cute, but a bit annoying for someone who wants to get things done. Maybe I can steal off with him to my Xbox and get in a bit of gaming with him!

That’s the small news from SeaTac Washington. Thanks for reading.


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