I love summer! Summer is winding down now, but it's still my favorite time of year. It's been hot—for Seattle—this year. The good news is my lawn is brown, and we've had to mow it only twice! The Seattle Rainiers—er—Mariners have not been doing well at all. With hopes of a playoff appearance long gone, the roster reads like the Tacoma Rainiers opening day roster. At least Ichiro is doing great. He's hitting .369. The election is 72 days away—and I hope the end of the Bush Administration is a mere 151 days away. If you're looking for a good book on this country's current political situation, try What's the Matter with Kansas? by Thomas Frank.
Painting, painting, and more painting! I finished painting the exterior in Silverdale. Here in Redmond, Ray and I have finished painting the interior downstairs, and now we have moved upstairs. We painted the master bedroom last week, we'll try to get to the master bath this week, and then we'll se what Carol has in store for us after that!
On July 24, I got to visit briefly with Craig Ross and his family. Craig and I were friends in high school, and we hadn't seen each other in nearly 25 years. It was great to see him again. His wife, Denise, was very nice, as were sons Evan and Andre. Sometimes it's hard to believe how quickly time has passed!
For all you web geeks, I have taken over as webmaster at our church, and I have been having a lot of fun with it. The first thing I did was to fix the display of the navigation buttons; they hadn't displayed correctly in about a year. Then, I got rid of FrontPage and its incredibly bloated HTML files. On the surface, the site looks much as it did before. Under the covers, it is substaintially different and—I think—more maintainable. In doing the work, I've increased my knowledge of ASP and XML. I hope to make the web site the first place people will look when they want to know what is going on at church.
Pastor Cox has moved on, and I wish her well. The press release says she was our pastor for three years; she was our pastor for a few days short of nineteen months. I hope the mistake was someone else's, not hers. (On 8/24, the press release was adjusted to say two years—close enough.)
Friday, The Nostalgics sang at Peters Creel Assisted Living in Bellevue again. We did an entirely new progam this time. I goofed up in a few places, but not too badly. It's a good feeling to see the folks smile to hear songs they've known all their lives.
Carol and I played tourist in Seattle just over a week ago. We did Bill Speidel's Underground Seattle Tour in Pioneer Square. It has been on my list of things to do for over a decade. The tour lasted 90 minutes, and, frankly, it should have taken 45. The explanation for why there is an Underground Seattle is very interesting, and our tour guide, Gael, was hysterical and did a great job, but there just isn't 90 minutes' worth of information and anecdotes to share. Unfortunately, we got a late start, too, so we didn't have much time to spend at Pike Place Market, our other destination. We'll try again in September, I hope.
Carol and I have seen two fantastic artists at Jazz Alley. In July, our friends, Mike and Lori Joslin, took us there to see trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. He was incredible! Not only was his trumpet playing tremendous, but he did the most amazing scat-singing I have ever heard. Last Friday, Carol and I took our friend Christy Lindell there to celebrate her 45th birthday. We saw pianist Eddie Palmieri and his band. They played two tremendous, high-energy sets. It was a blast!
The Breakers are on a roll! In addition to helping me paint, Ray has been busy with the band. They played a gig at Ground Zero in Bellevue, and last Saturday night they played an incredible set at the Kirkland Teen Center. Okay, I am biased, but they really are a great band!
Ray's girlfriend, Jenny, just got back from almost a month in England with her stepfather's family. Naturally, they were very happy to see each other again!
||Pete writes: "Summer is my favorite part of the year and this summer has been fun. I've been working at the Boys and Girls Club and it's wonderful. It has kept me busy, but I've learned a lot about working with kids and I've met a lot of really cool and interesting people. I've also been enjoying listening to Ray's band. They are really good and always working to get better. In the fall, I will return to UW. It should be fun. I have to move into my new place and get some stuff for it. I'm looking forward to seeing my roommates again. I'll be applying to the Sociology Dept when school starts. It's not hard to get into, so I should make it."|
||Carol hopes all who read this have enjoyed a relaxing summer with a few adventures tossed in. She has spent a lot of time this summer arranging new songs for her harp ensemble, The Motherpluckers (yes, this is the real name, but no, they won't use it in nursing homes!). She arranged "plucky" versions of "A Beatles Medley," "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," "What A Wonderful World," and "I Got Rhythm." She continues to enjoy swimming, dog-walking, and reading. She loves weddings and has been thrilled to attend three this summer, with two more to attend in the early Fall. She recently played piano for a wedding at her church and still loves to play for "The Nostalgics" nursing home entertainers. She wishes everyone new beginnings and cooler temps as another school year begins soon.|