Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Seattle’

DSCN0700

Today on January 1st, 2018, we were blessed with one of the most beautiful full moons I’ve ever seen. I ran out onto the dock of Log Boom Park in Kenmore, Washington to try and capture the glory of the moonrise and light.

Looking down the dock to the south. This is at the northern end of Lake Washington, which divides Seattle and the Eastside.

DSCN0644

Phalacrocoracidae, commonly known as cormorants. There were also many ducks.

DSCN0656

The gargantuan full moon soars over the horizon.

DSCN0675

DSCN0682

The color seemed unusual for this time of year, such a rich and buttery yellow-orange.

DSCN0696

DSCN0700

And once again, the roosting birds, who seemed completely unfazed by the frigid temperature.

DSCN0716

*************************************************************************************

And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been. -Rainer Maria Rilke

*************************************************************************************

©2018 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Read Full Post »

Veterans Day 11-10-17 13
This morning in Seattle Evergreen Washelli hosted its fabulous annual tribute to veterans. It is quite a sight to see flags all over the cemetery, color guards, and veterans of all wars.

When they asked any World War II veterans to stand or wave to be recognized, two stood up. Perhaps there were more, but each year there are fewer.

Canada geese were on patrol.

Veterans Day 11-10-17 1

The color guard begins the walk up the hill. As is tradition, local Cub Scouts were on hand to pass out programs, and they’re usually who hand out flags as well.

Veterans Day 11-10-17 2

Proud of our veterans! Note the female veteran to the left. The keynote speaker was also a woman.

Veterans Day 11-10-17 3

It’s great to see parents bring their children to such events. Kids need to know our history and learn that freedom isn’t free.

Veterans Day 11-10-17 4

Thanks in part to one of our longest stretches of sunny weather ever, there were still flowers in the grass.

Veterans Day 11-10-17 5

At 7:00 this morning volunteers, including children, placed flags on all the veterans’ graves. A sea of red, white, and blue flows from the bell tower.

Veterans Day 11-10-17 6

Veterans Day 11-10-17 7

Veterans of all ages participate.

Veterans Day 11-10-17 8

The rifle salute. Some people bring their dogs to this event, and this is one good reason not to.

Veterans Day 11-10-17 9

Taps, always a sobering moment.

Veterans Day 11-10-17 10

The colors are retired.

Veterans Day 11-10-17 11

Another great event by Evergreen Washelli concludes. In a city of over 700,000, it’s crazy that only a few hundred people attend this service if that. It’s well worth coming out for, and a great way to honor our men and women in uniform.

Veterans Day 11-10-17 12

*************************************************************************************

The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. -Douglas MacArthur

*************************************************************************************

©2017 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

 

Read Full Post »

Pumpkin Smash 10.jpg

Seen on Facebook: WE WANT TO SMASH YOUR PUMPKIN! A muscle-bound, professional pumpkin smasher will obliterate your nasty pumpkin or jack-o-lantern with a gigantic, wooden sledgehammer (really). Or YOU can smash your own*. Yes, it will be messy. Yes, it will feel good. Yes, we’ll have extra pumpkins here for you to smack-around. No, you won’t have to clean up. 

Extra pumpkins on-site for purchase with 100% of those proceeds going to charity. Costumes are encouraged.

While it almost seems cruel to smash pumpkins on November 3rd, just days after they illuminated our Halloween, this was for a good cause. And the madness of it all was irresistible.

Sure enough, The Growler Guys on Lake City Way in Seattle hosted their First Annual Pumpkin Smash. The Growler Guys are located in the pointy building that once was the vibrant yellow Ying’s Chinese restaurant. Somehow TGG managed to preserve the historic aspects of the building while making it look new and inviting.

Upon arrival carnage was in session. Here the owner instructs a man in the fine art of obliterating squash. I don’t have this man’s permission to post his photo so did a little sloppy airbrushing. Please don’t ever ask me to paint a car.

Pumpkin Smash 1

Angst ahoy!

Pumpkin Smash 2.JPG

Kablam.

Pumpkin Smash 3

These are not without purpose…

Pumpkin Smash 4

The owner cuts open a new pumpkin and stuffs it with previous victims.

Pumpkin Smash 5

An almost-full moon looks on in horror.

Pumpkin Smash 6

Wait for it…

Pumpkin Smash 7

About this time I was asking why we hadn’t been issued protective plastic sheeting like at a Gallagher show.

Pumpkin Smash 8

Sp-lat!

Pumpkin Smash 9

It was hilarious when a bus stopped at this exact spot and surprised passengers stepped out into the scene of the crime.

There was something oddly therapeutic about it all. And those smashing pumpkins got to put money in a jar for the Red Cross. See you all next year… but hopefully with masks on.

*************************************************************************************

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion. -Thoreau

*************************************************************************************

©2017 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

*************************************************************************************

©2017 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Read Full Post »

Lakeview 12

Just across the northern fence from Volunteer Park on Seattle’s Capitol Hill is Lakeview Cemetery, founded in 1872. It is a history lesson in and of itself. It is the resting place of many Seattle pioneers, Civil War veterans, community leaders, and locals from many cultures. Its gravestones are as diverse as the people buried beneath them.

Lakeview 4

Lakeview is a tourist hot spot because Bruce and Brandon Lee are buried here. As you enter the front gate you can see a large white heart on the hill. Go towards that, and behind a nearby evergreen hedge you will find the father and son who met their tragic ends all too soon.

Lakeview 9

I have better photos of these graves, but these are the most recent. Martial arts legend Bruce Lee was buried in 1973 and his son was buried next to him almost 20 years later. The men who carried Bruce to this place included Chuck Norris, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, George Lazenby, Dan Inosanto, Ray Chin, Taky Kimura, and Bruce’s brother Robert.  Brandon, as people of my generation will never forget, was killed on set during the filming of The Crow. 

Lakeview 10Lakeview 11

People leave all sorts of mementos on Bruce and Brandon’s graves. There are often coins and candles and trinkets to the point that I sometimes wish the graves were fenced off. I’m concerned about the wear and tear to the headstones.

Now look a little to the left. Right next to Bruce Lee’s grave, a resident of Lakeview Cemetery since almost a century before Bruce, is one P.J. Malone.

Lakeview 13

P.J. came from County Mayo in Ireland and was 42 when he died. He was 10 years older than Bruce when he passed and 14 years older than Brandon. I’ll bet his marker once stood upright and like most of that vintage has been laid flat.

Unfortunately, visitors walk all over P.J. as if he’s not even there. Not only has weather taken its toll on P.J.’s stone, but he’s so close to Bruce that he’s become an afterthought as people traipse over his coffin. I don’t know that a lot of people notice this marker.

So who was P.J.? I don’t know. In the grand scheme of things, he was just as important as anyone around him. He is equally loved by his Creator. I just feel bad that he gets stepped on so much.

Lakeview 12

Just a short distance north of Bruce Lee’s grave is that of Jesse Glover. If you know your martial arts history at all, you know that Jesse was Bruce’s first student and first assistant instructor.

Lakeview 1

Here are people paying their respects at the Lees’ graves and almost no one realizes Glover is nearby. It’s possible they don’t know that he passed.

Lakeview 2

Ed Hart is right by Jesse.

Lakeview 14

The cemetery is a beautiful and peaceful place.

Lakeview 3

In parts of the cemetery you can still see intriguing features like marble curbs.

Lakeview 6Lakeview 16

In the distance you can see Lake Washington.

Lakeview 7Lakeview 15

Someday I hope to learn P.J.’s life story. Until then, Bruce Lee fans, please watch your step out of respect for this Irish immigrant and the preservation of his gravestone as well. The Civil War was recent past when he stepped into eternity.

*************************************************************************************

©2016 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Read Full Post »

Seen on the bulletin board at the Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Thank you to whoever posted this and took the time to rightfully put the cemetery’s flag at half-staff. 

Scalia

*************************************************************************************

©2016 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Read Full Post »

Seattle Highland Games 2015 1

Every July in Enumclaw, Washington, near the southern border of King County, a fabulous festival is held at the old fairgrounds. There is something for everyone– all genres of Celtic music from the traditional to modern Celtic rock, athletic events, food, a kennel show, livestock, clan booths, lectures, processions, pipe and drum competitions, dancers, and dramas that showcase real weapons.

Bellingham, Tacoma (Graham), Skagit County, Whidbey Island, Prosser, Kelso, and Spokane all have similar events during the late spring and summer that are worth attending. The 69th Annual Pacific Northwest Highland Games and Clan Gathering can easily attract 25,000 to 30,000 people because of its rich offerings. You don’t have to be Scottish to attend– as on St. Patrick’s Day when everyone is Irish, here everyone is at least a little Scottish (the Welsh always have a booth too). And keep in mind that not everyone who is Scottish is white– Scottish descendants come in all shades and sizes.

There are always certain dignitaries present at these events. During the formal kickoff of the games midday, they are introduced and a benediction is given. Seattle Highland Games 2015 2

These formalities are followed by a procession of the clans in alphabetical order followed by the traditional dog breeds featured in the kennel show. Here, Clan Buchanan takes to the green (which was pretty crispy looking after an unusually hot summer lacking any meaningful rain).

Seattle Highland Games 2015 3

Note the leather shields and weaponry. It’s refreshing to be in open carry sword territory.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 4

Mr. and Mrs. Nessie accompany the Seattle Genealogical Society. Later I found them posing for photos near the entrance to one of the exhibit halls. Normally elusive, they know they’re among friends at the games.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 5

The Corgis– a favorite of the Queen of England– are one of many Celtic breeds strutting their stuff.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 6

The 79th New York Cameron Highlanders are a fixture at such events and provide a three-volley salute at the opening ceremonies. Everything at their encampment is meant to appear authentic, so if you blocked out the surrounding tents, you’d suddenly find yourself in another century.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 7

From the modern to the ancient, all manner of wares are sold here. Yes, you too can own a cannon and use it to jolt your oblivious neighbors back to reality next time they have a large crowd singing drunken karaoke classics of the ’80s until midnight.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 8

The Romans made an appearance for the first time. They occupied Britain for hundreds of years and are a huge part of our history. Arthur himself may have been at least part Roman. One of my clan names has Latin roots.Seattle Highland Games 2015 9

Our Viking brethren camp out with the clans and remind us of the other large invasion that integrated itself into the local culture and gene pool.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 10

The Scottish Court. I remembered to curtsy after taking the photo.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 11

There are always traditional Highland animals on hand, such as sheep, cattle, and ponies. This mama cow and calf were interested in all the people wanting to pet them, but mama’s horns easily clanged against the metal fencing, unintentionally startling many.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 12

Do you know the caber toss? The crowds get very involved with this event. The caber is a pole nearly 20 feet long that weighs 175 pounds or so. Competitors must pick it up and toss it so that it flips end to end, trying to achieve the straightest toss possible. You should see the size of some of these guys. The announcers made the athletic events especially entertaining this year (what was that about the guy from Baton Rouge and The Waterboy?).

Seattle Highland Games 2015 13

Looking over the grandstands to the south. The weather would be hot, then cold, then sprinkle, then burst out in sunshine. We were putting our jackets on and taking them off so often we must have looked like a flash mob doing some sort of routine.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 14

More big burly men in kilts. This weight throw event seemed to be populated by Stone Cold Steve Austin lookalikes with one supersized Guy Fieri-esque contender. The ball and chain they are throwing weighs well upwards of 50 pounds– and these guys could throw.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 15

What’s a Scottish event without a good weapons cache? This is one of many vendors at the games.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 16

An indoor stage.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 17

This fine chap attends every year. This time he was accompanied by a Scottie that evidently didn’t mind his blaring bagpipes.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 18

One of the many bands competing at the games, the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band, who received several awards.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 19

Pirates beware: your curly fries are a hot commodity.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 20

Each clan booth has its own decor and insignia. If you’re from that or an associated clan, you can hang out at their booth like family… because you are.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 21

There were many beautiful dogs here, among them Gordon Setters. You can stop and pet each breed. Some handlers even keep a dog up on a table for easy access.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 22

Bagpiping isn’t just a man’s game. Pipers and drummers are male and female, young and old.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 23

Here CJ Henderson, Aaron Shaw, and Tiki King of the Wicked Tinkers rouse the crowd with their high energy Tribal Celtic madness. At first glance you might wonder what a didgeridoo is doing among kilts, but this Aboriginal alpenhorn and its Bronze Age cousin make this group.

Henderson can do things with a didgeridoo that I didn’t know a didgeridoo was designed to do. He and his enviable circular breathing can turn the didge into a beat box, brass band, 2000-foot deep beluga, bass clarion, and a bevy of other functions. He also used it to poke the awning above to drain off pooled water, cheering loudly along with the audience as he found yet another use for his caber-like companion.

These guys sing, play multiple instruments, banter, and even parade off and on the stage during performances. Henderson also plays a mean bodhran, and Shaw is like the Slash of pipe players.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 24

This might look easy. It’s not. These women are competing in the sheaf toss, which means securing a 10-pound burlap bag on a pitchfork, then tossing it behind you in an effort to clear a bar that can be set 20-something feet high. One world record was nearly set today– the woman in that class was nearing 30 feet.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 25

Tent art.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 26

Why not pick up a shield for the kids? They can be used for fighting, sledding, home defense, fort building, serving meals, and when not in use, as bedroom decor.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 27

At the closing ceremonies, all the pipe bands come together on the main lawn and march to the grandstands. It really is like seeing an army assembled.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 28

The master of ceremonies announces the results of the weekend’s competitions.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 29

The musicians march forward as they play in unison. If you’ve never heard hundreds of bagpipers at once, you need to. Put it on your bucket list. It will rouse your Scottish blood something fierce. Note the looming clouds to the north.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 30

The Scottish American Military Society folds our flags.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 31

See the menacing cloud lowering itself to the left? This is why the emcee told the audience he was going to hurry. I also hoped that the doves that were just released would hurry home because there were at least three eagles soaring on updrafts close by. Go doves, go!

Seattle Highland Games 2015 32

All pipers and drummers 10 years of age and younger were called forward to be recognized. Seattle Highland Games 2015 33

Almost done… fists in the air like you just don’t care… WHOOO….

Seattle Highland Games 2015 34

Just as the bands retreated, the floodgates of heaven opened. Even the bumbershoots were Scottish on this day.Seattle Highland Games 2015 35

Despite the torrential rain and thunder, this merry band of competitors found an available shelter and continued to play and cheer.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 36

The fairgrounds emptied quickly. We were soaked to the skin in about two minutes.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 37

These two gentlemen were among the last off the lawn as they sprinted for shelter.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 38

Next year will be the 70th Annual Pacific Northwest Highland Games and Clan Gathering. This year it cost $17 per adult per day and $12 per child over five. The two-day passes are a better deal. Admission is cash only, so if you didn’t bring enough, the onsite ATM charges nasty little fees. Parking costs about $5; many homeowners across the street and the hotel down the block offer parking spots.

There is a beer garden and pubs, and some performers, in the Celtic tradition, emphasize the importance of drink, so us nondrinkers might not find that appealing. But there is more than enough for both adults and children to do otherwise.

Given the caliber of the musicians performing, speakers, and athletes competing, it is well worth your dime, and you get get to be among your brethren as well. You can see this year’s schedule, showcasing the variety of events, here.

Seattle Highland Games 2015 39

*************************************************************************************

For that is the mark of the Scots of all classes: that he stands in an attitude towards the past unthinkable to Englishmen, and remembers and cherishes the memory of his forebears, good or bad; and there burns alive in him a sense of identity with the dead even to the twentieth generation. -Robert Louis Stevenson

*************************************************************************************

©2015 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

Read Full Post »

Seahawks 3

 

Oh, and from the Kirkland Views blog, the cow and coyote statue in downtown Kirkland, Washington…

Kirkland Views Seahawks Statue

Kirkland Views/Terri Fletcher

Kirkland Views Seahawks Statue 2

Kirkland Views/Terri Fletcher

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: