Jour de la Marmotte

Interesting Light Fixture in Seattle's Pikes Market

Interesting Light Fixture in Seattle’s Pikes Market

Today is Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more months of torture for Pete Carroll, the Seattle Seahawks head coach. Why did he have to call for that pass play that got intercepted in the final minute of the game? Did he really believe that Marshawn Lynch couldn’t have punched the ball in from the one yard line? After all, he would have had three tries available to him to do just that and win the game. In addition to Groundhog Day, today is also the Monday after the Super bowl and just so happens to be the day that more Americans call in sick on, than on any other day of the year. This absenteeism wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that Super bowl Sunday is the worst day of the year for healthy eating in America, or that it is the day with the second highest consumption of beer in America, would it? Unlike some of my colleagues, I made it into work today, through a dusting of oobleck. Now that the Super bowl is behind us, can’t we dispense with the rest of winter? How many more weeks are there until spring training?

Bathroom Humor

Pike’s Place Public Restroom Mosaic

I immediately loved the humor in this public works artwork. It advertises this particular Pike’s Market public restroom. All the way on the right, a father is rushing to the bathroom, carrying his infant child with arms outstretched. Presumably the baby is already a leaky vessel, hence his hurry. On the left-hand side of this tile work is another father with another child, his knock-kneed son. Here too time is of the essence. Center stage in this mosaic is a mother and daughter pair. Each one is portrayed with one foot popped, this also speaks of haste. Is there a common theme here? Finally, all the way on the left is this restroom’s maintenance man, toolbox in hand, this is the guy that keeps everything else moving.

It was no laughing matter in our bathroom on Sunday afternoon. After spending all week having our main sewer line replaced, I was in no mood for any additional plumbing projects. Our toilet had another opinion though. Its ballcock had been steadily showing increasing signs of senility. Our hard water takes its toll on all plumbing fixtures. As failing patients tend to do, it went quickly at the end, right after we returned from our Riverlands adventure.

After we got home, I almost immediately turned around and headed out again to Home Depot. Per Anne’s instruction, I bought a dual flush system. This system has one lever with one water drop on it and another with two water drops on it. Number one and number two, get it? Getting the old ballcock off was difficult a bitch, even with Anne’s helping hands. Afterwords though, getting the new hardware up and going again went lickety-split.

Maybe I made a poor choice of terms there? I guess that plumbing, is like child rearing, a job that you never get finished with. Anyway, I think the Pike’s Market photo is the more arty choice, rather than a look down shot of our toilet tank’s new hardware, but that’s just me.

Farmeurs Markets


Pike’s Place Market Bouquets

Stephen Metcalf of Slate’s Culture Gabfest, has publicized this week the newly coined term farmeur to describe the ‘yuppie who is convinced of his agrarian bona fides’. Pike’s Place Market was once a legitimate farmers market in downtown Seattle. Pike’s Market has evolved from its agrarian past to its present day tourism. So, in this Metcalf-ian vein, would it be better to refer to these market patrons as Farmeur Market Shoppeurs?

Shooting Star T-Shirt

Shooting Star T-Shirt

It was our last day in Seattle. Carl had taken us to Pikes Place Market. We had stopped in Starbucks store #1, coffee Mecca, and latté up. We toured the market and saw the flying fish, bought some Beecher’s cheese and were ready to head out, when I decided that I needed a souvenir t-shirt. I had in mind a traditional Northwest Native American art t-shirt. Something archetypical, like what is seen on totem poles. I had seen several on our first go around. Then I saw the t-shirt pictured above. According to the women selling it, its art is based upon the tootsie-pop. According to Wiki:

Some stores redeemed tootsie-pop wrappers with the “shooting star” (bearing an image of a child dressed as a Native American aiming a bow and arrow at a star) for a free sucker. This was clearly up to the store owner and not driven by the lollipop manufacturer. Tootsie Roll Industries distributes a short story, The Legend of the Indian Wrapper, to children who mail in their Indian star wrappers as a “consolation prize”. A superstition of the same wrapper is that it gives the bearer good luck for the rest of the day.

She didn’t have any XLs, which I prefer. I like my tees to be loose and baggy, but she talked me into a large and besides, I wanted it anyway. The t-shirt vendor/artist also practiced art on herself. She was festooned with many tattoos, hair highlights and piercings. I asked if I could take her picture, but she demurred. She thanked me for asking though. I told her that it usually worked out better that way. The legend’s superstition proved true, because we had a lucky set of flights home and Joanie was there to pick us up when we arrived. Compared to our flights out, this was good luck.

Thank You!

Tile Work

This post is a shout out to Jay and Carl. We would like to express our gratitude for all that they did to make us feel welcome while visiting Seattle. Thanks for the lovely accommodations, the great tours of Seattle and that fine dinner at Lisa’s and Tom’s Maybe Jay could pass along our thanks to them for us? Thanks again folks!

The above personalized tile work can be found in Pikes Market. Jay and Carl contributed to a renovation effort and received the feet bracket tile as recognition. The entire market is floored with such tiles. Even though Carl knew where to look for their tile, it still took him several minutes to find their personalized tile. I suspect that the JC first names abbreviation was due to a character count limit.

Fish Stories

City Fish Market – Pikes Market

Our first night on Lopez coincided with the rehearsal dinner. It was a Friday night and the wedding was the next day. The rehearsal dinner was at Steven and Molly’s farm, where Anne and I bedded down. In preparation for the dinner, I helped by making the hamburger patties. With the help of a simple, but great tasting recipe I made the best hamburgers that I have ever made. The recipe called for the melding of crumbled feta and minced onion into the patties. They turned out well, but I was still upstaged by the fish.

Patrick was the fisherman. He had caught the night’s twin King Salmon, cleaned and then cooked them. Patrick is a professional Alaskan salmon fisherman. He employs a seine or dragnet on his boat. He fishes about three months out of the year and spends about that much time getting ready for the next season. His right-hand was sore, but that was caused by skiing. His salmon was probably the best fish that I have ever had.

Patrick spoke of fisherman’s etiquette and greed. The seine nets run a quarter-mile behind the boat. Occasionally, another fisherman will swoop in and take your fish. They are that maneuverable. Patrick is our age and he had finished his fishing season by then, but another party goer’s son was still out on the water.

This son is just getting started and is not as established as Patrick. He doesn’t have a seine rig, so must hook, line and rod fish. What Patrick can catch in a day takes this son weeks. Not only does it take him longer than Patrick to fill his hold, but he has to work harder doing it. Patrick said that he had to handle each fish seven times. He made that sound like a lot of hand work.

I asked Patrick about the TV show, “The Most Dangerous Catch”. He laughed, said that it was just a TV show, but later, he told a story about the son’s first season. He was alone in high seas. The pulley at the end of one of his thirty-foot poles had fouled. He left his boat in an inflatable raft and cleared the pulley. The parents were silent afterwards.