29 Nov

Richard Elliott, reflector artist, RIP

Reflector art on new light rail line

A few months ago I wrote about the lovely reflector art installed on Martin Luther King Jr Way as part of the light rail project, and was thrilled when the artist himself replied to my post. So I am very sad today to hear that Richard Elliott, the reflector artist, died recently of pancreatic cancer. He mentioned “health issues” in his comment, but I had no idea.

26 Nov

My childhood home is for sale

My childhood home, now for sale

My childhood home, now for sale

Me, Dave, and Kurt, on the front porch of the same house, February 1988

Me, Dave, and Kurt, on the front porch of the same house, February 1988

The house I grew up in, in Lake City, is for sale. My mom sold it a few years ago to a flipper who is asking what seems to me to be an outrageous amount of money for the place. He also tore out all the rose bushes.

It’s a nice little starter home, but it’s tiny. I mean tiny. Not “spacious.” And when they say “formal dining room” on the flyer, I laugh. You see that window next to the breakfast bar? That is the “dining room”, and it was tiny when we lived there, which was before they put the breakfast bar in.

The upstairs is remodeled now, which is an improvement. It was just a little attic cubbyhole room before. I wonder if they’ve done anything about the heat, though. The upstairs room had no heat to it when we lived there. I had a space heater.

13 Nov

Will the City Collegian publish again?

Many years ago I worked for the Seattle Central Community College newspaper, The City Collegian. I’m sad to see that the paper has stopped publishing, but surprised to see that budget cuts and lack of interest aren’t the reason for the shutdown. It does sound as if the paper stepped on someone’s toes.

The administration are being awfully clueless:

“For now, administrators point to other student publications as options for students who want to work as reporters. Seattle Central student government publishes an online newsletter with details of happenings on campus, Mansfield said.

“And last week, that same group of student leaders put out the first edition of a Seattle Central Zine.”

Oooh, a student government newsletter, vetted by the administration. Yeah, that’s exciting journalism.

I hope the Collegian is back operating as an independent (that is, school-sponsored but not school-controlled) entity as soon as possible.

05 Nov

An evening at the Seattle Spelling Bee

In 1979, I won the Seattle city spelling championship. I went on to the regional competition (a huge one — I think there were about 180 spellers in that event that year) and did reasonably well but did not win. So no trip to Nationals for me. And that was my last spelling bee.

Until Monday night. I went to the Seattle Spelling Bee at Jillian’s. It starts out with a written round of forty words. I tied for first place in the written round. The last time I competed in a written spelling bee round was 1979, in the first round of the Seattle championships. I won that one, so, hey! I have a win streak going! At least, in written competition.

The top 12 spellers in the written test move on to the main bee. The first round words were not too bad, words like bathysphere, insuppressible, repercussion. I got the word “apocalypse.” I know the spelling, so it was just a matter of spelling it carefully and not getting lost mid-word.

Round 2, unfortunately, is when I went out. I spelled “louvar” as “luvar” and that was that. (They said it was Italian. “Luvar” seemed more Italian to me. I’ve never seen or heard this word before so all I could do was guess.) The other Round 2 words included idunit, subclavian, pupillometer, glengarry, etc. I could spell most of the other words in the round, darn it.

Round 3 had tougher words: caimatillo, saurophagous, and… hoedown? Wow. One speller got a major gift with that one.

Round 4 was the final round: eisegesis, teetotum, stremmatograph. The guy who spelled eisegesis won.

I finished 6th. Grr. Next time I will do better. And I do think there will be a next time. It was fun! I won a $5 gift certificate to Blue Highway Games by winning one of the mini-games.

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