Getting to Know Seattle: Damp Spiders

Seattle’s drippy winter weather hasn’t fully arrived — we’ve had gorgeous sunny fall days — but our mornings are often enshrouded in fog at this time of year. When I took a flattened Amazon box out to recycling early yesterday morning, I saw a captivating image: a spider web beaded with moisture and a very damp spider hunkering down the center, legs drawn in, quite still and miserable. The spider web is constructed between two arbor vitae bushes. I found the visual quite beautiful, although I imagine the spider is longing for the sun to come out and dry up those droplets of moisture on the web.

Getting to Know Seattle: Town Hall

Town Hall is Seattle’s arts and lecture series; many communities have them. On Sunday evening I went to hear speakers from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.

My greatest fear, especially if Republicans hold both houses of Congress in November, is that the exhausted middle will simply lose hope and turn away from the carnage of the Trump administration. A recent look at the tribalism in American politics tells the story: about 25% of voters are in strong opposition to Trump and his followers. Twelve percent of voters are Trump’s base, the ones who show up at his rallies and sneer and bray and laugh as he mocks women who’ve been sexually assaulted, mimics journalists with handicapping conditions, demonizes he desperate people from Central American trying to reach our border to claim refugee status, and targets journalists for abuse. Another 14% are more traditional conservatives who dislike Trump’s persona but like tax cuts and race-bashing and his agenda of making America white again.

Another almost 25% of voters are detached from the political process and probably don’t vote.

The remaining cohort is up for grabs.

We aren’t the 50-50 divided country that is sometimes portrayed in political dialogue.

Our biggest enemy is the large cluster of people who are apathetic and don’t weigh in.

The zeal of the Trump voters has to be matched in some way by people who are repelled by the ugliness of where he is taking the country.

The passion of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas kids is impressive. They are trying not only for gun control legislation, but to rebuild the culture of voting among the young people of our country. They threw in a plug for civic education in public schools as well. Will they stay the course, even as our democracy continues to turn bitter and sour and fraught? We don’t know, do we?

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/10/18/five_tribes_of_american_voters_138390.html

Getting to Know Seattle: Favorite Fall Pic

Here are the fall color pics I’ve posted over the last week or so in and around Seattle, many at nearby Green Lake. Do you have a favorite? I’ve given each pic a brief handle, so you can call out the one you like best. I think my favorite is the blue heron — not entirely a fall pic, as the heron is around all the time. But the dark heron caught in shadow against the brilliant reflection of the lake seems fall-ish to me. I think Riotous Red is pretty great too. And I love the reflection in the water of Panorama.

Blended color.

Panorama.

Blue heron.

Small gem.

Riotous red.

Getting to Know Seattle: High Tech Small Space

In cities like Seattle where urban space commands a premium, apartment/condo units are getting smaller — although you can hardly call them affordable. In high end units, the lack of private space is offset by large and welcoming common spaces: club rooms with fireplaces and gourmet kitchens, roof decks, bike storage rooms, workout rooms, sometimes movie/large screen tv rooms, temperature controlled wine storage rooms.

In less elite buildings, you just get your tiny space and good luck figuring out where to hang your bike or store that oversized baking dish.

You’ve probably heard of free-standing tiny homes, where design is paramount so that every interior space gets optimally used. A new Seattle building adds state of the art technology to a 500 or so square foot apartment so that instead of static design as you’d find in a tiny home, things — like your bed — move  up to the ceiling when not in use. Ditto for storage, where items are scanned as you put them away. Haven’t used that tennis racket in awhile, after you put it in the box coded as “sports equipment”? Your smart home system can ping you to ask, “Do you still want to keep the tennis racket?”

Look at all the stuff around your house, and imagine having it categorized, logged in electronically, and then stored out of sight in attractive containers that hug the ceiling and only come down when you need or want something in them. And no more hunting in drawers and on shelves for that item. Your home’s smart system knows which container you need, and gives you access.

“In the Seattle apartment, which measures just 514 square feet, the bed and storage mechanisms have been mounted in what would be considered the apartment’s living room. White in color like the ceiling and walls, they practically disappear along the 9-foot ceilings. An iPad mounted on the wall nearby serves as the nerve center, and takes information from garage-door-like depth sensors mounted high on walls facing the living room.

Activating the proper display on the touch screen turns on lights around the perimeter of the bed. The sensors make sure no one is standing beneath it — if they are it won’t lower — and soon the bed begins to come down, supported by seat-belt-type straps at each corner. In about 10 seconds, there is a queen-size bed, with comforter and pillows, sitting on the rug where there had been nothing. Push the button again, and the bed rather quietly rises back overhead.”

https://www.geekwire.com/2018/tiny-seattle-apartment-bed-ceiling-thats-part-makes-smart-home/

I have visions of a chip malfunction that would have the bed rise to the ceiling with me in it, sound asleep. 🙂

I also have to say that in my scaled-down form, I find the stuff around me comforting and homey. I’m not sure I’d want it out of sight above me, tantalizingly out of reach.

What do you think of this concept? Attractive, or far too organized for words? That’s assuming, of course, that you’re the kind of person who’d be drawn to live in 514 square feet in the first place.

Getting to Know Seattle: Fall Colors, Rain

Native Seattle-ites apparently like the gentle rain that begins falling in October and gets harder and windier and chillier as the winter wears on, saying it’s “restful”. I don’t really like it, although I like not having to water my new plantings, And, rain and wind at 40 degrees is much easier to contend with than my former hometown of Rochester’s 15 degrees and snow.

But I have to agree that the fall colors are gorgeous, gentle rain notwithstanding.