Diggin' A Hole Boss...

The rain has finally subsided enough for me to resume work on Rach's pond. It is officially the wettest November in Seattle's recorded history now and we're only half way through the month! We've received all the materials we need for the pond, now I just have to put everything in place. My muscles are sore from a long day of digging yesterday but I am happy with how the project is coming along. Here is a drawing of the initial plan, though my projects always tend to be pretty fluid, partially because I'm recycling materials (rocks, lumber) that we have laying around and partially because it is more fun that way. A quick interpretation: A 2' waterfall flowing into a 100 gal. pond then into a 5 gal. spillway to set up for the big 3' waterfall to the next terrace, a small stream at the bottom of that waterfall flows into the HUGE pond(redesign, it was initially only 85 gal.) I'd estimate the bottom pond is probably nearing 500-600gals. I love projects of this size because it can all be done by hand, no machinery needed, and because it feels like I am sculpting the land with my shovel and a sledge hammer. The other fun part is that it feels like a puzzle, there are always those unknown variables that come up when you are too far in to back up and you have to figure out how to make it work for you. I love that. Trying to figure out drainage and how the pond will react to heavy rains or drout is particularly challenging for me. I tried to convince my dad on the phone yesterday that maybe I picked up some of his engineering expertise through osmosis.

So, I'm going to save most of the pics for a before-and-after type post once I'm finished but here's a picture of my hole in the ground as it looks right now.


The Pineapple Express

The sun is finally out today and I have put a hold on the construction of my own personal Ark in the backyard. This weekend's rain was the wettest storm in many years for Seattle. It poured rain for three days straight as many of you may have seen on TV as the Seahawks flew past the Raiders for a victory in Monday Night Football. Here's a map of some of the rainfall totals for the area that I captured before the storm was even over...
Who knew fooding and devastation could paint suc a pretty picture? As you can see, some of the mountain areas were topping out the scale at over 15" of rain!! Here in Seattle I think we ended up with almost four inches over about 48 hours. All of this moisture was shipped directly from Hawaii on the Pineapple Express, so the temperatures were around a nice, balmy 62 degrees too. All of the rivers are flooding and another big storm is forecast to begin tomorrow and continue through much of this weekend. Brett had to stay the night at our house because her house flooded, there were Coke cans floating in her living room. We are known for our rainy climate in Seattle, but rarely does it flood up here. Between this and last year's near-record 31 straight days of rain, it's hard to argue that our planet's climate isn't changing.


A Pirate's Life For Me.....

Disneyland is possibly even more fun as an adult than it was the last time I visited when I was a young boy. Many of the rides have been updated, some for the better as in the addition of Captain Jack Sparrow robots in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and some for the not so better, like the Nightmare Before Christmas presents riding in your car with you instead of the hitchhiking ghosts in the Haunted Mansion. Mostly though, Disneyland hasn't changed since I was there last and it is, I feel, continually getting closer to the magical world Walt Disney envisioned. They're even using the same funky smelling water in the rides that was there when I was a kid!

Rachel and I attacked Disneyland with gusto, fueled by over-priced bottled water and humongous M&M encrusted Rice Krispy treats. On Saturday we pulled a 16 hour shift at the park that had us limping back to our hotel with delirious Disneyland grins on our faces at almost one o' clock in the morning. We did it all, well, except for the Matterhorn, it's sinking into the ground, oh, and Small World was closed for Christmas decorating but other than that, we did it all!!! Rachel insisted that no matter what, we had to ride the Indiana Jones ride, multiple times. This ride was not there last time I visited and WOW, IT IS AWESOME!!! You ride in a funky military Jeep-hummer thing that rides very similar to my Jeep, so it instantly got huge bonus points from me, there's fire and lava and bugs and the Jeep JUMPS onto a rope bridge, then at the end you're nearly crushed to death by a large boulder!! So, so, so, so cool!!

I spent a good deal of time in the "50 years of Disneyland" museum where some of Walt Disney's conceptual drawings for the park and a scale model of Disneyland as it looked on Opening Day are on display. As a kid, I'm sure this building did not even register in my brain, but it was really exciting to me to see a little bit of Walt Disney's creative powers in a raw form.
Thank you Mr. Disney, it is truly a magical place ;)

Extravagant Halloween decorations were everywhere!

Me, facing my fear of Merry-go-Rounds, they're too fast......
This is my horse, there are many like it, but this one is MINE.

Splash Mountain! Zippa-dee-doo-dah!!!

Interesting fact, the Matterhorn is the tallest man-made
mountain in all of Disneyland.......

I suffered a massive protein overdose after eating this
humongous chunk of animal but it was SOOO worth it....

Awww.....cute kids....Rach became so excited a few times
that she went into uncontrollable fits of bouncing and squeaking...