Cath’s Bday

•August 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

My coworkers outside my office window

We spent Sunday at SeaFox Farm with Mom, Cathy and Garry. Garry created quite a delicious gourmet spread for the family: two lasagnes, green beans, exotic breads and salads. I brought my homemade pico di gallo and lemon bars. Cathy’s birthday cake was from Alki Bakery – so many types of chocolate – my new fave. The BEST gift was that mom excerpted notes from her journal about Cathy’s ‘firsts’ during her first ten years. I must get a copy but we all laughed so hard. Cathy’s first prayer: God bless the rats!

Right now I’m looking at one of the raccoon families: mom and her three babies. They hang out in the bird feeder grove and lounge, waiting for me to toss them peanuts and cat food from my window. One baby is playing in the bowl of the bird bath. They’re responsible for knocking it over so many times that the stand is toast, so I just fill the blow with water at ground level.

I’m working on the huge and ancient BOMA invoice. I have about 150 tasks remaining to enter into Paymo and then I can invoice them. I must do so by tomorrow, the last day of August – or at least that’s the goal I’ve set. It covers all of my work from 2003 – 2008. Earlier, I billed them from 2009 to the present. As far as very late past due billing goes, once BOMA is caught up, I only have work on compiling one for Unfortunately, some clients that Ihave billed are really difficult to get to pay. The guys I must continue to coax old payment from are Heritage Stallions ($1095), Real Estate Radio ($1260) and the NSCA ($1121). Laggers to paying an invoice for months is Lori Larson and IBG. Both IBG and HibGib have chosen to let their sites die rather than pay. The bummer is I had just waived all hosting and updates for HibGib for 4 years $more than $700), only charging her for June-July and she paid those two months and quit. IBG, ironically, called me last year to create their site and I did it the SAME DAY, not even taking time to change out of my pj’s) and it took them about 8 month to pay me. But the first day I talked with them about creating their site, they specifically complained to me about their first webmaster who never did the work and kept them hanging and then moved without telling them how to get in touch, taking their money and not doing the work. Yes, I have bad feelings about those deadbeat pretenders. Oh, well – thank goodness I love doing my web work so that it takes the edge off not getting paid.

I heard a wonderful compliment today. Paul Camuso, William Shatner’s webmaster, videographer and a nice guy, posted the folloiwng on my Facebook Wall this morning:
“I met an actor (it’s his first movie) on a movie set yesterday who mentioned and your podcasts. He loved them!” YAY!


Kite Festival

•August 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Kite Festival

JoAnn and Rob boardwalking

Last week, Rob, Mom and I had a really long driving day that took us to the Long Beach Kite Festival. We also stopped in Raymond for a picnic lunch mom packed (Field Roast sandwiches, crispy homemade oatmeal cookies), looked in the window of the Carriage Museum, dinner in Astoria, OR and the 1911 Pacific County Courthouse in South Bent, known as ‘The Palace of Extravagance’. Mom was so much fun to be with. She was our tour guide, reading from her AAA book about every town. She was a wind-up toy when we got to the beach, being an energizer bunny fast-walking hither and yon. We watched a ton of funny animal YouTube videos in the car to pass the time. We drove through a rainstorm of bugs along the Columbia River, pelting us like hail for seveal minutes (poor bugs!). The Astoria-Megler Bridge spans the mouth of the Columbia between OR and WA and is 4.1 miles, the longest continuous truss bridge in North America. Rob video’d the crossing. We drove back to SeaFox Farm to take mom home and thought we’d spend the night but we decided to make the final leg to Seattle (and Si and our own bed). I don’t know how Rob did it – 500 miles in one day. That last 40 miles was almost painful we were so tired.

The Nesting Heron Colony of Black River

•April 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Great Blue Heron nests in the cottenwoods along Black River in Renton

After all day on the computer, I took a solitary drive to the Black River in Renton. My mom and sister had heard about the largest great blue heron nesting colony in Washington and it was only ten minutes from my home so I wanted to check it out.

How wonderful that this region protects nature amid all the corporate build-up. Here is 93 acres is permanently protected Open Space for these birds and all the animals living in the wildlife sanctuary. Next door to this is the offices of – how congruent.

It drizzled on and off as I walked down a cedar chip trail to a where the Black River opened up to a small lake with cattails, birch trees and mammoth cottenwoods. It was in this expansive forest of cottenwoods that the herons nested high up at the tops of the trees. It took a bit of looking for the first nest, but once spotted, my eyes became accostomed and I found about five, each with herons on them or perched on a branch nearby. I saw two perhistoric-looking herons as they winged to a nest with long branches in their bills to help build a nest. A herons call sounds like a dinosaur – think of an eagle cry but deeper and hoarser. While I saw about 15 herons, plenty for me, a photographer I met – the only other person I saw during that hour – told me she saw the sky blanketed with herons about 30 mins. prior as they were heading back to their nests.

I also saw a Merganzer, a mallard and a cottentail rabbit. Perfect way to end the day!

More info about this great blue heron colony at

Merganzer in the widening of the Black River; Heron nests high above

DEVO 1981, Revisited

•April 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

DEVO concert in San Bernardino, Dec. 12, 1981. I didn't go to this show, but did go to the one in Hollywood around the same time.

I discovered one of my old journals this morning and sat down to try to read my 21-year-old handwriting. I’d completely forgotten that I’d seen DEVO at the Hollywood Palladium.

From December 12, 1981:

“I worked 8 hours and then got off, rushed home, concertized myself for DEVO, picked up my long lost concert buddy Linden and resurrected our old days at Coco’s – she paid. Then we picked up our dessert at Ernies Liquer and wow – what a night!

I know my impressions of most Hollywood forum type concerts and they’re generally negative. Well, you know Orange Show is no club – but despite its auditorium set up, it was more of a club. To think DEVO sold out the Forum and people passed up San Bernardino for some reason. Well, there are a bit of spuds in the area. A lot. And Inland punks are generally of the Old School, none of this fashion stuff. Just real people. And they don’t have to feel they must live up to the media representation of themselves. They’re friendly. Maybe because they know they’re going to run into each other occasionally at Central City.

An interesting note to the show – some thing I commend the people responsible for was the absence of a warm-up band and the ingenius addition of film-song segments of “Mongoloid”, “Through Being Cool”, “It’s a Wonderful Word”, etc.  We warmed up very nicely to that and by the time the group came out, the kids were sweaty and keyed.

As illustration – my bodily position was basically right against the stage. Before the chorus of the first song, I was somewhere in the middle of the auditorium, having gotten there without knowingly moving my feet in that direction and minus shoes.

Needless to say, as soon as I got out of that mess, I dived back in. Hey – it’s fun. Speaking of diving, there was none. Except for one guy long before the concert began who did a wonderful back flip off the stage. Note: I met two kids from La Sierra, Loma Linda Academy, John Leslie and ever sexy yet timid Bullet Boy Tom Cardwell.”

Interesting sidenote – Richard Pryor performed two dates in December 1981 – the same month DEVO played – and was filmed for the theatrical release Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip

I’m sorry, groundcover

•March 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Between raindrops, I started the process of pulling out the groundcover where we will put our new container garden. I transplanted all the grape hyacinth in the area, but it still hurts to end the life of any living, growing, green life.

Si supervising clearing grouncdover

I made huge headway with my FRS spreadsheet for 2009 and 2010. Feels good to be on top of my business accounting. I have now billed NSCA, NWRendezvous, IFMA and CCINW in the past 30 days. Now for BOMA, WSSHE and the really tardy, long overdue IEC. Then all the smaller, delinquent clients. I have two clients that I billed last summer that keep ignoring paying me, so I’ll have to nudge them with a sharp elbow.

I finally downloaded pictures off my cell phone – the oldest was from last October at the Denver airport with mom. The cell. SO much digital organizing to do. So many retired computers that need to be gleaned, cleaned and recycled. Projects like Uncle John’s book needing to be Kindlized, Linsay’s Naval retirement ceremony converted to a good video format, video of Doug Sharp’s last pastoring day at the Port Orchard Church. The list never ends.

My two favorite people doing their favorite past-time |Rob and JoAnn, Feb. 2010

Say no to the orange frosty

•March 29, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Spring storm last night, buffeting rain and wind. Nonetheless, I saw my first yellow finch and red-winged blackbird of the season yesterday and this morning I found the tiny red shoots of peonies coming up under the asian pear trees. There were peonies there our first year, but nothing came up last year so I thought it had died. It hadn’t – and it’s here to go with the two peonie forests along the fence.

Rob and I spent the weekend together, Sunday brunch at Alki Beach Cafe, Saturday night at Spaghetti Factory. We bought paraphanlia to make our second container garden – a 6’x4′ redwood frame and lots of good soil. We are trying one of those upside down tomato plants – 100 tomatoes from seed. We’ll see.

Cathy and Garry attended Mark’s memorial Saturday. Very sad for his family. I had a very realistic dream of dad last night. Mom and I were spending the night together and she said she had a phone and wanted to know what phone number it was set to ring to (whatever that means). She dialed the number (do people dial, anymore?) and we heard ringing in the next room and a deep greeting: “Y’Ello!” It was dad’s voice! We both leapt out of bed and ran into the next room. There he was, grinning and laughing in his bathrobe and mom ran to embrace him, crying. I fell to the ground sobbing and grateful. I don’t remember the reason he gave to our “WHY?”, but it didn’t matter because I really believed he was here, always here all along and I had countless more days with him. The dream didn’t last long, but its effects are still here. I really want to see him again. I’m counting on Heaven.

I spent several hours Sunday night trying to reconcile billing for BOMA in emails with Lianna. Rob was patiently waiting for me in the media room so we could watch Celebrity Apprentice (Darryl Strawberry quit). I finally finished and ran in to tell him I’d make a smoothie for us. Meanwhile, he watched an Oprah Show on diabetes and Human Timepiece about our body and eating. So when I came in with an orange frosty made with a whole orange, vanilla creamer and orange concentrate, I thought he’d be very happy. No, he only took a few sips and cautioned me to not use sugar. That includes natural fruit sugar. This from the guy who drowned his pancakes in maple syrup about five hours earlier. We had a long, emotion-filled chat about food and health. I pretty much was offended and raised my voice whereas he was his usual calm. It all comes down to me wanting to feel appreciated and feeling judged. That wasn’t the case, but that didn’t stop me. Oh, well. Live and learn and try to do better.

Current wildlife count outside my window: 7 pigeons, 2 squirrels and a steller jay. I love this home and yard.

Si talks to Squirrel

Shortlisting the Webbys

•March 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

 I’m wearing my Int’l Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences judge hat today and voting for the nominees for the Webby Awards. So far, 3 hours to vote in 3 of the 23 categories in order to view, shortlist and rank the five best. I’m feeling relevant.

Analyzing the best websites for the Webby Award is humbling. I’ve been creating sites for 11 years and no where near the caliber of those in the categories I’m judging. It’s a great education to study the potential nominee sites.

Here are our categories – Rob and I both vote – and where we are in the Academy membership of 720 members, between Jerry of Ben & Jerrys and Matt Groening.

My votes so far:

1. Ian Poulter
3. DJ Shadow
5. Wonderwall
1. T: The New York Times Style Magazine
2. FLYP Media
3. National Geographic magazine
5. Real Weddings Magazine
Movie And Film
2. District 9
3. Land of the Lost – Official Movie Website
4. The Institute for Human Continuity
5. Star Trek

2  True Blood
3  Project Runway Designer Portfolio
4  Total Drama Island

2   BBC World Service
3   Public Radio Exchange (PRX)
4   The Onion (Radio/Podcasts, for Onion Radio News)
5   NPR

1. We’re All Fans
4   8tracks
5   KCRW’s Eclectic24 All Music Channel

We’re All Fans
4   8tracks
5   KCRW’s Eclectic24 All Music Channel

Blog Cultural

1. How I Fight MS
2   Television Without Pity
3   TreeHugger
4   All Things Goat
5   Mashable

Awkward Family Photos
Emails from Crazy People
Lovely Listing
I Can Has Cheezburger?
Cute Overload
Kitty Toupee
LostZombies – A Community Generated Zombie Docu…
Pretty Loaded
Errandboy’s Playground
Selleck Waterfall Sandwich
Whose Voice is That?

Best Home/Welcome Page
Evian at Wimbledon
Fido’s Laundry – Dog clothing with a bite!
Genuity Brand Website
Thomas & Friends Redesign
Canadian Tourism Commission Consumer Site
Connect a Million Minds from Time Warner Cable
National Geographic magazine International Phot…
BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn
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