Saturday, February 28, 2009

MLB Spring Training Is In Full Swing, and Nathan’s Ready To Go!

Our grandson Nathan will be six months old a week from Sunday, but he’s already set for baseball season. He’s looking very happy, dapper and “into it” in his Mariners outfit and socks.

The pic was taken earlier today by either Doug or Jamie. Mom and Dad sure know what the little guy likes to wear. Think Nathan’s gonna be a sports nut like everyone else in his family? You bet!

Looks to me like Nathan is totally ready to watch the very first M’s exhibition game on TV, which is coming up soon.

There’s a good chance Grandpa could be right there with him.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Local Orcas Are Dying Off – And This Is Thought To Be Why

Last summer, when friends were here from California, we had what we thought was a fabulous day out on the Straits of Juan de Fuca, watching local pods of Orca (killer) whales frolic in their domain. I snapped the above photo from the boat we were on.

Apparently, according to an opine in Sunday’s Seattle Times, we did a bad.

Mark Anderson, chairman of an organization called Orca Relief, says that when Orcas are already faced with a dwindling food supply (salmon migration numbers in the Sound are down), they suffer significant additional metabolic stresses when boats like the one above (and the one we were on) venture in and out of their immediate habitat.

The result is that normal stresses in these beautiful creatures are exacerbated to the point where the pods are losing key family members at an alarming rate, including breeding females. Anderson would like to see excursions like the one we took totally banned on the Sound, but that may be a bit too strong. A better way might be to increase awareness.

The emerging dilemma, he points out, is that new science has shown that the stresses specifically caused by whale sight-seeing boats is accelerating Orca starvation. The whales have to swim faster, dive deeper, and travel longer routes to get food, all while trying to avoid the daily boat harassments. These excursion boats, even now, operate on “the edge” of current federal law.

The solution, he says, should be obvious.

Of course the elimination of these trips would likely cause some economic hardships in the short term, due to the potential loss of tourist dollars. But the greater danger, he worries, could be a tourist catastrophe when the Orca whales are no longer here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

You Don’t Train Them; They Train You

We’re the humans and he’s the animal, right? So, who is in charge?

If you have a pet – especially a dog or cat – and you think you’re the one who controls things, you may want to give that some additional thought. Here’s what I mean…

This morning Kay Lynne was at a ladies’ function at church. I was reading (dozing, actually) in my recliner when Buddy, our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, nudged my leg. He’s a great dog in that he doesn’t bark or tug at your pants when he wants to tell you something. He just nudges your knee.

I looked at the clock, and, sure enough, it was exactly the time we usually start to prepare lunch. But grandma wasn’t home, and I wasn’t paying attention to him. I explained to him that we’d eat in a short time as soon as she got home, and he finally accepted it and laid down.

I then remembered some similar behavior this past week. Our daily routine following lunch, if we’re home, is that I go down to my office to continue whatever I was doing, and Kay Lynne retreats to her work area in our bedroom. One day this week I happened to change the routine.

Buddy immediately came over and nudged me and whined a bit. At first I didn’t put together what was going on. But a little later when I finally went to the office, he plopped himself down beside me with a sigh. I suddenly got it.

Now that I think about it some more, he often even likes to anticipate what we’re going to do and beat us to it. After lunch, he’ll pick either where Kay Lynne will be or where I’ll be, and he’ll go sit by the appropriate door and wait. He's an "equal opportunity" dog, alternating his time with his “persons.”

Our little Bud knows exactly what should happen and when it should happen.. And if it doesn’t, he kindly lets us know.

So, who runs the show? I think we all know.

Monday, February 16, 2009

It’s Over! (Till Next Time)

Well, the snow is over. But only, I suppose, until it decides to return.

The photo above is basically the same view from my office window as the one in the previous post. Of course the difference is obvious. Today we are enjoying beautiful sunshine and the temp could get up to just about 50 degrees. Woohoo!

Sorry, you California friends (who are in the midst of a monster storm off the Pacific). Turnabout is fair play.

Plus, it’s a holiday. However, not everyone is off work. Enjoy it if you are. Hmmm… wonder if it’s time to check the fishing reports.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

This is what it looks like right now from my office window. Click on the pic for full effect.

Just goes to show, “it ain’t over till it’s over”.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Today Was Nathan’s Baby Dedication

Our grandson Nathan was dedicated in the Christian faith today. As it happened, he turned five months old on this day also. As the minister, with a light touch, traced the mark of the cross on Nathan’s forehead, the little guy took it all in with his typically gracious demeanor.

I was not able to get any photos of the actual ceremony because, first, it was a worship service, and secondly, both sets of grandparents were standing up with Nathan and his parents in front of the congregation. This photo we took several days ago at his home where he gave us his “I’ve been really good; can I have a cookie?” look.

He sure is a charmer.

Church bodies observe the dedication rite in a variety of ways. The basic intent is that the child is welcomed into a nurturing community of love within his or her local parish. In this way, parents, grandparents, family and members of the congregation together agree and commit to participate in helping to raise the child in faith.

Today was Nathan’s day to be presented to God. Luke chapter 2 tells of baby Jesus himself at a very young age being taken to the Temple for the same purpose. Our prayer for Nathan, as has been our prayer for our own sons and for all of our grandchildren, is that he, and they, will grow up in the knowledge and wisdom of God, acknowledge the provision of salvation for them, and live their lives in the faith, as God would guide them.

Thanks be to God.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wonderful “Duty”

Kay Lynne and I are in the big city for much of today. Our “duty”? Taking care of our almost-five-month-old grandson Nathan while mom Jamie and dad Doug have concurrent work demands. Grandma and grandpa just hate it when that happens. :-)

Plus, I needed a good excuse to get this picture of the little guy on the blog. It was taken a couple of weeks ago just before mom took him out for a walk. Is he a cute little guy, or what?

Looks like Nathan is going to be a morning person, joining his cousin Aubrey and his mom as the only ones of 10 in our immediate family who enjoy watching the sun come up. Except on fishing days, of course.

After mom and dad had gone, Nathan very animatedly told us story after funny story, and then laughed at his own humor. He’s an absolute kick, and we’re very much enjoying our “assignment.” Right now he’s sound asleep on grandma’s lap. He’s growing like a weed and is a happy, engaging baby.

Our dog Buddy, on the other hand, is relaxing at home, but he’s a little miffed that he didn’t get to come along this time. He’ll be fine.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Where Did the Week Go?

I can’t believe it’s been a full week since I last posted. There must be something out of whack when you’re retired and time seems to fly faster than when you were working full time. Or do we just “slow down” when we age, and the passing of time is simply relative?

When we lived in California and asked the question “Where’d the time go?” the popular answer was “Aromas” (pictured is a farm there, and, btw, score ten points – other than Californians – if you know where it is). In Oregon, the response was, “Heppner” (anyone know where that is?). Here in Washington I’ve heard both “Humptulips” and “Forks” as west of the Cascades replies; on the east side “Edwall” comes to mind (watch for a comment soon to appear below).

All are real places where, supposedly, due to their remoteness and lack of connection with urban activity, time is not perceived as being a factor in daily life. I suppose we could spend much too much of that precious commodity trying to figure out if it’s us who are slowing down or time which is speeding up.

My father used to often observe that “time waits for no person” (he actually said, “time waits for no man” but I’ve “gender-neutralized” it to be hip and bring it up to date). No matter, though; time is still getting away from me.