Tag Archives: washington

Space Needle Climb

I was given to understand that there would be donuts.

There were no donuts. There were t-shirts and medals, but no donuts. They had donuts in previous years, but no mention of them this year.

Base 2 Space is an annual run up the Space Needle stairs to raise money for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle. That’s a good charity, but my main motivation was running up the Space Needle. My belief is that you should generally go up things that can be gone up, at least if they’re interesting things. There’s another Seattle charity stair run that’s taller, but it’s just in a regular skyscraper. Base 2 Space is “Seattle’s Most Iconic Climb.”

Milling about beforehand

I made it to the top, but there was some problem with the timekeeping. According to the follow-up email:

Our apologizes for the timing issues that arose during and after climb day. We have been working directly with the timing company to resolve these issues and ensure all times are accurate.

Despite their apologizes, I doubt if they can do anything about my time. What I think happened is that the chip reader didn’t register my time at the top until I’d been there for a while and happened to walk by it later. My official arrival time is 9:09 AM, but my first photo has a time stamp of 8:49 AM. So while my official time is 42:57, I think my real time was about 20 minutes. Which is still terrible. There were five runners over the age of 80 and four of them had better times than that. So I’m going to have to do it again next year, just to redeem myself.

And they’d better have donuts.

Official incorrect time

Pilgrimage to Waverly

In the Palouse region of Washington, in the town of Waverly, just across Hangman Creek, is the Waverly Cemetery, where one can find a number of Lemons.

Most notable to me was my great-great-grandmother Diana Catherine Hainer Lemon.

From the Waverly Gazette, Friday, February 7, 1908 (with my corrections):

Mrs. D.C. Lemon, died at the home of her son, J.A. Lemon, Waverly, Wash, Thursday, Jan. 30, 190[8] the cause of death being the infirmities incident to old age.

Diana Catherine Haine[r] was born at St. Catherine[s], Canada, May 27, 1827. She was married to Isaac Lemon in Burford, Canada, Jan. 24, 18[4]5. Nine children came to bless this union, seven of whom survive her. Shortly after their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Lemon moved to Eri[e] county, Pa., where she resided until ten years after the death of her husband. Last April Mrs. Lemon __ moved to Waverly to live with her son, J.A. Lemon.

Mrs. Lemon was a devoted Christian and had been a church worker for more than 60 years. She was 80 years, 8 months and 3 days old at the time of her death, and while she had lived beyond the limit of ordinary lives, her death was a sad bereavement to her loving children, who have the earnest sympathy of all. Interment was in the Waverly cemet[e]ry.

My great-grandmother Merta Lemon was the ninth of the nine children mentioned. My grandmother was the eighth of Merta’s eight children.

Other Lemons were also present.

There were several of those bathtub-shaped demarcations, with no indication of their purpose. Most of them were concrete, but Abby’s was made out of metal pipe.

CFP3: The Birthdaying of Alcalde

Alcalde’s final birthday weekend before succumbing to venomous snakes and parasites and various tropical diseases seemed to demand another visit to CFP. He locked the door this time, but I got in anyway.

Birthday Eve got the party rolling as we drove thither and yon without any clear destination. Alcalde failed at finding Duncan, but we found Mt. Hope, which I’m willing to bet was just as good.

Back in Spokane, we stopped in the newly opened Lumberbeard brewery for lunch, and I presented Alcalde with his birthday gift: an officially licensed pair of Donkey Kong socks, direct from the Nintendo store in Redmond! He was pretty overwhelmed, I think.

Lumberbeard’s lack of food made for a pretty limited lunch, so we went to Iron Goat brewpub and got food and more beer. We bought shirts in both places.

Back at CFP, we had limoncello shots, and then everything went black.

But I got better, and the next day, after breakfast and second breakfast, we went for a grand tour of Post Falls, Idaho. We wandered around in the cold and looked at hydroelectic things dating to 1906, but also there was beer.

The only black mark on the day was Alcalde’s failure to arrange delivery for his Tres Comas tequila, which he’ll have to pick up tomorrow, thus denying him the pleasure of sharing it with me on his birthday. That and the Duncan fiasco kept the weekend from being the Platonic ideal of a Birthday Weekend.

On the plus side, some random guy at the Selkirk Abbey brewery gave us these Idaho Spud candy bars, and Alcalde didn’t want his, so I got two. It’s the candy bar that makes Idaho famous.

Port Townsend

Yesterday I went a-driving in a big loop through Bainbridge Island, the Kitsap Peninsula, and the Olympic Peninsula to Port Townsend, then back via Whidbey Island.

Port Townsend is a “Victorian Seaport and Arts Community,” it says on the sign, and that seems about right. This busker managed to sing Hey Bulldog, Hand in My Pocket, Heartache Tonight, and Aqualung, all with exactly the same rhythm and tempo, and if that doesn’t qualify as Arts, I don’t know what does. There was also a fortune teller in a small box.

Port Townsend’s late 19th century architecture is the result of a building boom, followed by a rapid economic decline in the 1890s when the railroads bypassed it. Now they function as a draw to ambling tourist types like me.

Historical Mystery: Port Townsend was originally named Port Townshend, but at some point it lost its H, which remains missing to this day.

CFP: The Return

At 6:00 AM on Saturday I voyaged east in the sport jalopy to grace Alcalde with my presence over Memorial Day weekend. The trip was uneventful until I got to Ritzville, where I was stopped by a local law enforcement professional for doing 28 in a 20 zone. Apparently there was some sort of big flashing light with the speed limit on it. Whatever. He also had me sign my registration, which I guess is a thing you’re supposed to do, although I don’t think I ever have. But then he let me go! No ticket or anything. Weird.

Anyhow, I spent several intriguing minutes touring downtown Ritzville.

When I arrived at CFP, I got through the gate by drafting behind someone else, then just walked in Alcalde’s front door, which was inexplicably unlocked. All his weapons and electronics are no match for my wily ways.

Alcalde had spent most of the previous week hauling his gun safe up from Riverside, and I arrived just in time to help him unload it from the truck. It was an impressive display of teamwork, similar to our team efforts finding Al in Seborga or putting up monkey bunting. However, when we got it in place and he opened the safe, it was full of styrofoam packing peanuts! No guns at all! Seems like a lot of trouble for a safe full of packing peanuts.

Sunday we made a pilgrimage to Daft Badger Brewery in Coeur d’Alene and then wandered around downtown Coeur d’Alene a little, where we saw many wonders. There was a steampunk salmon robot, a woman carrying a rabbit, the Dingle Building, a place selling monster sushi, a bug in a giant flower, and a moose statue. The Lucky Monkey had t-shirts, but none of them had monkeys on them.

My main goal this weekend, other than mooching off Alcalde, was to set up my new GoPro and Karma drone and complete a test flight. It took longer than expected, because I had to download several firmware upgrades to make the 2016 drone work with the 2018 camera, but I eventually got it all sorted out. It was pretty windy out, so I took it on a simple maiden flight in the sun room that is so popular with local turkeys. It was just a simple take-off and landing, which I accomplished in a quick ten-second flight. Mission accomplished!

And so what if I broke two of the propellers. I had spares, so no big deal. I’m sure SpaceX and Blue Origin have similar setbacks with their test flights.

You might notice the turkey doots in front of the crashed copter. Turkeys have made the sun room their own, to the point where it really makes more sense to call it the Turkey Room.

Close-up of turkey doots

Throughout the weekend, a good quantity of barbacoa, spicy jerk chicken, and Alcalde’s private stash of Pere Ubu Ale from the wilds of New York nearly made up for the lack of bunting or IceJJFish soundtrack.

All in all it was a smashing success, and another worthy contribution to the grand tradition of invading Alcalde’s home.

The cocktail monkey casts a watchful eye over CFP