Fantastic Fun Photo Op with Our Own Jason and Mount Rainier!

Freethought Blogs’ own Jason Thibeault happened to be in Seattle for Geek Girl Con, and while I didn’t make it to the con, I did get a couple hours with him at the end, before he had to catch his flight. Yay! And it wasn’t pouring rain. Extra yay! And Mount Rainier looked awesome despite the clouds. Super yay! Jason even managed to photograph it with my old machine from the car, which was quite a feat, considering it’s an unfamiliar camera, the lighting contrast was teh suck, and we were going 60mph.

Image shows Mount Rainier looming over I-5, with a freeway sign in front of it. Light gray clouds are piled up around and atop it.

Mount Rainier from I-5. Photo by Jason Thibeault.

I love showing off our local mountain.

If you pull yourself up the full-size version, you’ll note that the cloud at its summit hasn’t developed much. Save that tidbit for later.

I took Jason to our local Herfy’s down in Burien, which is a great place to go if you need to be near the airport, want quick food, but want it to be delicious. I am happy to report that this was a total success. And it was so awesome to finally be able to meet Jason in the flesh. I’ve been following his blog for a long, long time, and I have huge respect for him. I love his writing and his humor and his ability to document tough situations and cut through the crap. Meeting him was a little like meeting a rock star, and hearing him compliment my blog was kind of like realizing, “Oh, hey, shit, yeah, I guess I’m sort of a rock star… mebbe?” and it was also enormous good fun to be able to talk about All the Things. Well, all we could fit in two hours, anyway.

I am now determined to make it to Minnesota if he and his family can’t make it out here. Or we could always do both. I have so much great Seattle stuff I want to show them! And we didn’t get to do Pike Place Chowder, which ZOMG, everyone needs to have Pike Place Chowder at least once in a lifetime.

We got back to the airport rather earlier than we needed to, so we hung about in the cell phone waiting lot enjoying the Not Raining and the views. Views from a cell phone waiting lot at an airport, you ask? Oh, my darlings, yes. Look at this!

Image shows Mount Rainier from the parking lot. The image has the light rail in the foreground, with the lines partially blocking the view, but the mountain is still looming tall and huge. Lenticular clouds are beginning to develop at the summit. A gum tree is getting its fall red in the right foreground, and there's a red-orange tree at the bottom center.

Mount Rainier with some fall color!

And yes, that’s exactly why I’m here. See, I’ve been getting all homesick over Arizona lately, because people keep posting lovely photos from it on Facebook. But then I see this, and I’m like, “Naw, I’m home.” Oh, I want to go back to Arizona again, but only to visit. And maybe if we’re all very lucky, a bunch of us including Jason’s family will form a social justice artists’ commune and go around traveling to gorgeous places and drooling over the scenery and the food. Because, people, I know the places in Arizona that will make your tastebuds weep in gratitude, and the views that will make your eyes weep for the beauty.

(You can apply to the commune in the comments.)

We took a selfie, because of course we had to, and if you look over my shoulder, you’ll see Mount Rainier posing with us.

Image shows me posing with Jason, who is far taller than I am. He's wearing a ball cap and has a most excellent salt-n-pepper goatee.

Lessee… got one o’ my favorite bloggers on my left, favorite mountain on my right… yeah, life’s excellent!

And then, right before we left, the sunset light was hitting Mount Rainier just so, and those lenticular clouds were developing nicely, so of course I took another shot.

Image shows Mount Rainier from the same vantage point as before. The slanted light has sharpened her features, and the lenticular clouds are much more well-developed.

Mount Rainier with her cap on.

Then I took Jason to departures, saw him on his way, and drove home to a very cold kitty who made me take a nap in a blankie cave with her. Perfect day!

I cannot wait for next time.

Mystery Flora + Cryptopod Double-Header!

The Gray is here for a (hopefully) limited time, so the kitties and I have taken the opportunity to be magnificently lazy while the sun don’t shine. Well, they get to be lazy 24/7; I’ve actually been getting some work done in between cuddles. But even authors need fresh air, so Boo and I went down to the back yard.

S has pretty much always installed some new plant whenever I go. He’s like the plant whisperer (and if you’ve got a garden that needs a loving, expert touch, I’ll send you his info). I’ll have to get you all pictures of the really extravagant one with over two dozen huge blooms before it’s cut back for the winter, but for now, I got some newbies down by the creek. [Read more…]

Ghost Mountain, Beach Rocks, and Puppy

I have some lovely scenes from Magnuson Park for ye, my darlings. Funny, because I almost didn’t.

Having spent the night dreaming I was released naked from a Middle Eastern prison and had to find adequate clothes to avoid sunburn*, and also being woken up what seemed like every few minutes by a cold cat looking for warms, then deciding she was warm enough and waking me again as she buggered off, I was exhausted. It was all I could do to stagger out of bed and fling myself into the chair on the patio in the sunshine. This is where I was when a certified miracle happened. [Read more…]

A Few Scenes from the South Side of Mount St. Helens – With a Challenge!

Plans, as they say, oft gang aft agley. I had plans to visit the south side of Mount St. Helens yesterday with Suzanne and Funny Diva. Alas, Suzanne had a last minute issue and couldn’t go. So Funny Diva and I ended up going it alone.

It was a splendid day. The sun was shining, it was summer-warm with lovely fall colors, and we got to see lots I’ve never seen before. That’s mostly because I missed a turn without realizing, and we ended up halfway to Windy Ridge before I was all, “This isn’t right.” So we go to the Lahar Viewpoint much too late to have good light for photographing Mount St. Helens itself. We did, however, have some spectacular light in the valley, which had some delightful features I’ve been wanting to see, so that was a little bit of all right. We’ll see the mountain again soon.

I am beyond exhausted, and my computer is being its usual stubborn self, so I’m afraid I have only a couple of fun outtakes and a challenge to share with you today. [Read more…]

A Very Nifty Rock for You to Test Your Mad Identification Skillz On

So there I was, enjoying the sunshine and a very lazy day with the kitties (yes, both – I made Misha be sociable), and then I check my email, and there is a message from friends from out of state. Their grandmother had a rock collection. They have it now. Would I like to see?

Um. YES!! [Read more…]

Proof of the Rapture!

Look, it really happened! Just like the Real True Christians said it would!

Image shows a pair of orange children's flip-flops in the sand. Each sandal is pointing in an opposite direction.

Evidence of the Rapture, my friends! The end times are upon us!

These shoes, sans owner, were lying forlorn upon the sand at Richmond Beach on September 28th. It can only mean one thing! God has raptured one (possibly nude) child and left the rest of us behind!! You know it’s the Tribulation now because we’re stuck with RTCs for at least the next seven years. If that’s not a trial and tribulation, I don’t know what is.

Mystery Flora: Pretty Sure You’re Not A Crocus, Buddy

I did a double-take when I saw these in the neighborhood! They look like gigantic crocuses to me, and it’s entirely the wrong time of year for those.

Image shows two pale purple flowers that look like very large crocuses springing from the ground by a rock. There are no leaves. They have six broad petals that taper to a rounded tip.

Mystery Flora I

I have since come to find out that there are autumn crocuses, too, but I remain skeptical. Perhaps you’ll be able to pin down the answer: are these crocuses, or a similar-appearing flower? [Read more…]

Bald Blue Jay!

You all did a superb job identifying Ken’s poor molting blue jay in our last UFD extravaganza. I promised you a few more shots of it, and I have at last returned to the intertoobz to deliver.

Image shows a blue jay with a very bald head, in 3/4 profile facing away from the camera. Only its wings are the spectacular blue-jay colors - everything else is either a cloudy gray or missing feathers entirely. Its entire head is bald.

Ken’s bald blue jay. Used with permission.

That’s so sad, rather. It makes me wonder how ridiculous the feathered dinosaurs looked whilst they were molting. [Read more…]

Pipa Be Attackin’ the Mechanical Hamster

Arrgh, it be Talk Like a Pirate Day! And Pipa be clearing the vermin from the ship.

Aye, good dog!

That scurvy camera o’ mine will be walkin’ the plank for not catching the moment where Pipa bit the varmint’s butt on command. O’ course, might be it was my fault, so if it behaves, I’ll belay me own orders.

Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Midwest Moppets

A bit ago, I put out a call for UFDs, and our Ken responded with some stunning photography. Even if you’re all like, “Oh, pfft, Dana, these are simplicity themselves!” you are still going to love them.

Here’s our first UFD. Ken manages to make it look lovely despite its poor bald head: [Read more…]