Archive | May 2012

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My shower has never worked properly. The hot has been too finicky and, until I learned a trick, absent. At the house inspection a plumber was secured who decreed the operation normal. I’m glad I didn’t pay him. Those first October nights here were Seattle autumn nights: grey and not cold, but chilling if you […]

Estate Sale

The sign, which I forgot to get a picture of, reads: ESTATE SALE Friday – Sunday 9AM – 4PM To the left of the neat Helvetica is a somewhat clumsier Magic Marker arrow, pointing left, right, around the corner. This is convenient, I think. I need a weedeater, could use some inexpensive tools. How great to get […]

Light Storm

The weather service puts up a notice on Thursday: Special Weather Statement … A frontal system followed by an upper trough will bring a transition to cool wet weather… Large amounts of rain (an inch or so: large for this part of the world), blustery winds, mountain snow levels descending to mortal levels. The Special […]


Microsoft spends a fortune on landscaping. At least once a week a small army of men in green coveralls and ear protection show up in their yellow pickup trucks, display their rakes and leafblowers, and cultivate green. Nature is selected, tamed, controlled, given a haircut. Everything is trimmed; nothing is allowed out of place. Weeds […]

Painting, Briefly

Among the unfinished new house bits there’s nothing serious: missing cover pieces for cabinets, door hinges not screwed in properly, the carpet strips not tacked down well. Through winter I hardly open the back door so never noticed the railing was never painted. Primed, yes: the gritty grey surface shows that. But a rail should […]


Summer is coming. The light says it with how things are flattened, the air made bulbous with its weight and presence. In winter the colors are spectacular and thin, but in summer they are painterly, luxurious. Look up and you can see this. In winter the contrail would be thin, white and brittle as spider […]

Repaired Triumphant

My car eats CV joints. Whether it’s a design shortcoming or deliberate engineering to make sure an otherwise bulletproof model provides some long-term income for dealers, my car ends up with the distinctive clak-clak-clak on sharp turns with eye-rolling regularity. Every two or three years I hear the noise and know it’s another hundred-and-fifty-bucks-or-so to […]