Bainbridge Interlude: MV Wenatchee

photo by Ballard Avenue

We braved the squalls and voyaged across Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island on the ferry MV Tacoma. Between the raindrops you see its sister ship, the MV Wenatchee, crossing over to Seattle.

Gray sky

photo by Ballard Avenue

No, that's not a gray test card with a line drawn across it. That's yesterday afternoon's sky over Ballard with the cable tv line stretched across it. Earlier in the day the sky was a little lighter, more like a 30% gray. But as the day went on it got darker and then the rain started again.


photo by Ballard Avenue

The folks down the street had the soccer team over for some after-practice pizza.


photo by Ballard Avenue

All the rain of late has made every hillside suspicious. Here we see how the dirt under the sidewalk has slumped away. The city brought out the barricades and warning tape. A few years ago a large chunk of hillside just beyond the park slid away, taking about 10 feet of the street with it. Life in Ballard is usually pretty quiet but every now and then it'll bite you.

Friday Cat: "Dude, don't bogart that bag"

photo by Alida Saxon

Our cat Scruffy used to go crazy over catnip. Normally a dignified elder statesman of a cat, he'd turn into a silly kitten when he had some 'nip. Cadfael, Alida Saxon's cat, looks a lot like Scruffy, and for that matter behaves a lot like he did when he had a bag of that good stuff between his paws.

Goose behind bars

photo by Ballard Avenue

Was he really going anywhere anyway?

January Jay

photo by Ballard Avenue

This jay has a million dollar view of Puget Sound, yet all he wants to do is look at the weird bipeds looking at him.

Friday cat: Exit stage right

photo by Ballard Avenue

This classically trained calico executes the difficult left-over-right exit to stage right. Ballard cats are the best cats around!

Cherries under construction

photo by Ballard Avenue

We'll keep you posted.

So not Earl Scheib

photo by Ballard Avenue

So, what are you going to do with the old Toyota station wagon with the bad paint? You could take it to Earl Scheib or you could drop it off at the day care center with your kid. Now what sounds like more fun?

Daffodils gone wild

photo by Ballard Avenue

The rain came back today. I think it's going to be like Joe DiMaggio in 1941. He hit for 56 consecutive games, was shutout one Sunday, and then hit in 17 more.

But yesterday was glorious and nobody or nothing enjoyed it more than the daffodils.

Rare January day

photo by Ballard Avenue

The rain stopped today and the clouds parted long enough to allow us to go out and get some pictures. Here we look north over Puget Sound. The two white dots in the water are sailboats racing and playing tag with each other. The white blob above them at 10 o'clock is a ferry at Kingston. In the distance just to the left of the tree is Whidbey Island. After 27 days of rain our quiet streets were abuzz with walkers this morning, and everyone was just a bit giddy about it all.

Today is Keith's 45th birthday, so if you're reading this, Keith, Happy Birthday!

Friday Cat: Gudrun meets Godzilla

photo from

There is a contractual requirement for a cat-related posting on Friday. There is, however, no cat-related photo in the files. Necessity being the mother of plagiarism, we brazenly use this picture from to fulfill said contractual requirement, and pray that granting full credit for the picture (and receiving no monetary compensation for its use) makes it OK. OK?

An unusual color

photo by Ballard Avenue

We haven't seen much of this color lately. It has rained 23 consecutive days. The hillsides are slipping, basements are flooding, and recent immigrants are thinking emigration. The skies opened up for a few moments this afternoon, but you can see a hint of the gray days ahead in that dark wispy cloud moving in from the left.


photo by Ballard Avenue

There's an awful lot of this going on around Ballard these days. There's building everywhere. The old Ford dealership will become 400 condos and apartments. The Key Bank site will become eight stories of condos. Even the Ballard Eagles are getting into the act, tearing down the old hall for a new condo. Ballard is "hot," the newspapers say, and there's no more sure sign of hotness than recently poured concrete. This bit of concrete is on 70th Street. It's of a smaller scale, perhaps, but no less hot, we're sure.

Frosty Melts

photo by Ballard Avenue

The holiday season is over. Frosty's melted away.

Saturday Cat: 2-D

photo by Ballard Avenue

Oops. We have no photos of 3-dimensional cats in the files so we have to show you this photo of a 2-dimensional cat. This mosaic is over at West Woodland School.

Cormorant on Patrol

photo by Ballard Avenue

"Not another bloody bird!" we hear you saying. Sorry. We like the bloody things even when they're eating little salmon. Cormorants hang out in the turbulent water downstream of the Locks dam and fish for juvenile salmon migrating to the ocean. The salmon are momentarily flummoxed by the trip over the dam and are easy pickings for the birds. The Army Corps of Engineers might be able to help the salmon by stringing nets over the turbulent water, but there's no money for that. Their budget was squeezed so Paris Hilton could get her tax cut.

Believe It Or Not: Ballard Content

photo by Ballard Avenue

That's right, dear reader. We're back to some Ballard content.

You just can't get more Ballard than the Ballard Locks. Alongside the locks is the dam that maintains the water level of the Ship Canal, Lake Union, and Lake Washington. With the recent rains there's so much water entering the lakes that the dam is spilling water through all the spillways. You don't see that too often. What fun!

Coming Home

photo by Ballard Avenue

Back in Ballard, we wandered down to the Ballard Locks on a gray morning and saw the Amtrak train from Chicago cross the Salmon Bay drawbridge. It's quite a trip—about 45 hours to travel 2200 miles. They're 15 minutes from arrival at King Street Station and everybody on board is happy about that.

Canadian Interlude: To Adanac

photo by Ballard Avenue

So what is this Adanac? The Anti-Canada? That would make it a country horribly in debt, embroiled in war and governed by gangsters. Well, the sign was pointing back towards the 49th parallel...

Canadian Interlude: Duck!

photo by Ballard Avenue

All day long he paddles around and when he senses food below, he ducks.