Archive for the ‘Milwaukee Blogging’ Category.

My 911 Story (rescued from Facebook oblivion)

I was working in Milwaukee when 911 happened. I don’t watch TV in the morning (I seldom watch it in the evening, either), and I arrived at my client’s that Tuesday morning to see folks in the lunchroom huddled around a small TV. I asked “what’s up”, and they couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard. I was just in time for the second plane impact.

The immediate shutdown of the nation’s airspace of course threatened my Friday evening flight back to Seattle, and I plotted to hijack my rental car to drive home. (As the saying goes, “It’s never too far in a Company car.”) As luck would have it, airline schedules resumed on Friday. At the Milwaukee airport, there were crowds of folks whose flights had been cancelled during the week trying to get onto the newly-released flights.

However, because I had a boarding pass for a flight that hadn’t been cancelled, I was able to walk past them (not unsympathetically, cuz a few hours one way or another would have cast me among them) to check my bags and board my flight.

But I remember those 3 days when the sky was eerily silent, and the almost bipolar uncertainty and angry disdain for religious zealots once again run amok. There was coverage in the Milwaukee press of city leaders positing, almost wistfully, that a plane could perhaps target the Firstar building (their tallest building).

But, the peril to the Firstar building notwithstanding, I was heartened at how we as a nation willed ourselves toward a resolute, but more sober, normalcy.

Recovery

I thought I’d get my monthly post out of the way early here in March.  I know that’s not how I usually do things, but here we are.

Since we last chatted, I’ve been to Milwaukee and back, destroyed a Macbook by spilling hotel-brewed tea and taken a couple of trumpet lessons.  Among other things, of course.  I’m a vibrant and fascinating fellow.

The Macbook incident was particularly galling.  I’d done this before - coffee vs. Dell laptop.  The Dell warranty I had, however, covered stupid stuff that owners did as well as hardware failures, and I got a free motherboard replacement.  While my Macbook was still covered under Applecare, I believe that Apple presumes that Macbooks are all operated by Geniuses® who would not under any circumstance fuck up the liquid/gravity/Macbook relationship.  I got a “D” in high school physics, however (I lied about it when I filled out my application to own a Macbook), and there’s a fine-print Applecare exception for people like me.  The repair was estimated at up to $1200 if the system board had to be replaced (likely).

This happened on Tuesday of the week I was in Milwaukee.  I limped through the week working on various desktops at my client’s, and lugged the corpse home Friday night.  I spent a day dithering about whether to repair or replace, which sounds like I was engaged in critical thinking, but I was just wallowing in the Grief stage. Then I started looking around Craigslist for a replacement.

I ended up finding a 17″ Macbook 2008 vintage (the dearly departed was a 15″ 2008), stopped at the bank for a wad of Benjamins and made a UW student’s Sunday night. I had done a Timemachine backup in early January, so I was able to get my system, including my Windows VMWare machine, back as of that point.  I had determined that my old hard drive was undamaged, so I looked up detailed instructions on how to extract it from my old Mac (the Internet is the best thing since people learned to make arrowheads out of flint).  I put the drive in a casing and brought my system pretty much up to the Milwaukee Valdez incident. All of that took me up to last weekend.  Little fires flare up now & then, and I’m behind on my billing and a few other things, but life is pretty much back to normal.

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The trumpet lessons have been an interesting turn of events.  I haven’t had a trumpet lesson since I was a sophomore in high school.  Since I’ve been playing regularly, however, I find myself wanting to improve a bit.  I found an instructor and signed up for an initial session.  It helped quite a bit, as she espied some bad breathing and embouchure technique I’d either fallen into or always had, and I got a nice handful of new exercises to practice.

She also got the idea to hook up with another of her adult students and have the three of us play trumpet trios.  I’ve done that twice now, and it’s fun - I can hear myself in a way I can’t when I’m playing with the full band, and it pushes me into higher ranges, as we trade off parts.  We may try to do some performances if things proceed.

In band, our Russian concert on the 19th and 20th looms.  We had an “extra” rehearsal Saturday (we usually rehearse Tuesday evenings), playing 1812 and Sheherazade, and I thought the wheels fell off in a few places.  There are a lot of solo bits and “bikini note” exposures where intonation is critical.

A couple of funny bits from rehearsal:

  • We were stopped for a bit, and the conductor was admonishing us to play as loudly as we could during a crescendo, but not to lose control of tone quality or intonation. Once we got outside our control envelope, he said, “it’s like a little old lady walking a Rottweiler.”
  • We were rehearsing 1812 Overture, and really working on some passages, always approaching, but never playing, the triumphant climax. About the fourth time we were locked & loaded to drive Napoleon back to Europe, but stopped just short, a woman trumpet player next to me said, “this is Tantric music.” (Her point was that the whole piece is just an extended tease until the ending, but the rehearsal situation made it all the more humorous)

I’ve been around the writer’s block before, you know…

I’ve been busy, as you may have guessed, with business business and personal business.  Just returned from a week in Milwaukee, and look forward to making good use of the remaining weeks of summer.  The weather was very pleasant in Milwaukee, and I got out on a few bike rides.  A lot of folks bike around the area where my client and hotel are (north of the city in Glendale/Whitefish Bay/Fox Point), and seeing them cruising around prompted me to buy a bicycle last year and store it at my client’s plant.  Here’s my ride on Wednesday, starting from my hotel parking lot.  About a mile of the ride was on something called Fairy Chasm Road.  Charming name, but puzzling - I saw no fairies, and no chasm, either (maybe they meant sarchasm, which I normally pride myself in recognizing).

As much as I’d like to remain in denial that summer is hurtling to a close, Labor Day is 3 weeks away, and with it comes my annual haj to Columbus to play and march with my OSU Alumni marching band.  It means that within days, I need to break out my trumpet, slink down into the basement and start making the unworldly sounds that a year’s absence portends. I have my plane tickets, as do my two younger brothers, and we’ll hook up with our mom for our Buckeye debauch.

Also, I really need to do something about this laptop.  The screen is faltering - won’t come on sometimes when I boot, and when it does, a little black spot starts to grow in the lower right corner, and the border in that area is as hot as a stove burner.  (I can plug a separate monitor in with no ill effect).  I’m still back & forth with the Dell vs. Macbook issue.  I’m starting to conclude that I’ll be indifferent to the added Mac-ness and will be frustrated by any impediments to running my Windows programs.  And, as Dell tells me every day in my Outlook inbox, “Hurry - the Dell order you saved is about to expire!”  And I worry that they’ll never let me enter another one.

I managed to finally finish a book last week, after 3 or 4 months of incomplete assaults on myriad innocent victims.  The book, Updike’s The Widows of Eastwick, is a 30-years-on sequel to The Witches of Eastwick.  I first encountered Updike when I read Rabbit Run in the 70s.  The Rabbit series, 4 novels written at 10-year intervals, is probably his most recognizable work, although he was incredibly prolific, writing art and literature reviews as well as a cornucopia of his own work.  The Rabbit series to me was like the progression of movies from Black & White through Technicolor and Cinerama to HD; the quality of prose, and of content as Updike gained skill and life experience, burgeoned with each novel. Some have complained of a perceived misogyny in Updike’s oeuvre; I’m not prepared to debate that here, though I don’t dismiss the perception out of hand.  I will say that I am wont to take delight in occasionally positing that “Rabbit is Everyman” to certain of my female bookie acquaintances;  it’s the feminist’s worst nightmare.

In the Widows, the three are in their late 60s/early 70s, and are widowed by the husbands that enabled their diaspora from Eastwick.  They are managing adjustment periods, and, little by little, begin to reconnect via telephone and travel opportunities.  They eventually decide to summer in Eastwick in order to try to recapture some of the excitement their synergy there had afforded, a tacit admission of the failure of their fitful individual attempts at widowed fulfillment.

Like wines in the cellar opened  a bit late, they give whiffs of their former potency, but then languish in unremarkable inertia.  The bodies that they used and abused so cavalierly in the 70s now consume an inordinate amount of their physical and psychological attention:

Jane says to Alexandra (on the phone): “There hasn’t been a day in thirty years you haven’t walked through my mind, lightly clad and quite majestic.”

“How nice, Jane. You haven’t seen me lately.  My face is crackled like an old squaw’s with too much sun, and I’ve gained weight.”

“Listen, doll: we’re ancient. It’s the inner woman that matters now.”

“Well, I’m an inner woman wrapped in too much outer.”

Relationships with men are similarly waning.  Since her husband’s death, Alexandra has been sorta-courted by Ward, a neighbor:

 From there, her mind wandered to why Ward, who had such a handsome genial mouth really, affected that silly little patch of bristle just under his lip.  She was afraid, with enough red wine some evening, she would come out against it, and if he defied her and kept it or complied and shaved it off, it would push them either way into an intimacy she wasn’t ready for.  She didn’t want to get into keeping score with a man again, the unspoken tussle of favors given or withheld, of largesse and revenge.

That last sentence is what I love in Updike: with a deft economy, he universalizes an otherwise mundane transaction.

I have to indulge in another citation, which Updike seemingly larded with loving detail into the novel for no other purpose than because he loved the musical piece as much as I do. They’re listening to one of those public radio programs that is mc’ed by someone with carte blanche to play tunes and pontificate:

 ”And now another sentimental treat,” he growled, “a platter to bring tears to the rheumy eyes of us over a certain age-Bunny Berigan, who played in the Miller band as well as for Paul Whiteman, the Forseys, Benny Goodman, and his own short-lived aggregation-Rowland Bernard Berigan, born in Hilbert, Wisconsin, and dead at thirty-three in New York City, of cirrhosis of the liver, favoring us with his singing voice as well as his moody, stuttering trumpet work, doing his signature rendering of ‘I Can’t Get Started,’ melody bu the great Vernon Duke, lyrics by the ditto Ira Gershwin, recorded in 1937.”

I’m probably a couple of ticks younger than the mc, but this song, with it’s soaring trumpet coda, moistens this trumpet-player-wannabe’s eyes every time.  Those of you who have thrilled to my Valentine podcasts will remember that I included I Can’t Get Started in my 2008 oeuvre (it’s the fourth song in the podcast):

The Widows, then, is a story about aging, decline and death, yes, but also about the powerful vitality that abides us unto the grave, and an admonition to act on that vitality whenever we have the capacity.  The narrative wanders now & then, but the guy was 77 and a year short of dying.  Still, there are strong whiffs of the Updike vintage here.  And for those of you who couldn’t forgive Updike for allowing Rabbit to screw his daughter-in-law, you may take some solace in one of the widow-witch’s extended dalliance with a 30-something boy-toy (even if it’s a Chucky - sort of toy).

Playing Ketchup

I guess it takes a particularly dull blogger, even one who only features politics tangentially, to not comment at all on the remarkable transfer of power that took place this week.  Since I was traveling for business, I hadn’t the luxury of declaring Tuesday a holiday (and you can forget about the more established holiday on Monday), and I was reduced to reading fleeting accounts by newsmen and attendees.  I have yet to watch the address.

I tuned in to NPR at noon Central on Tuesday as I was driving out to buy a sandwich, just after the Address concluded, and was surprised to feel so stirred at hearing the Marine Band play Stars and Stripes and an interpretation of National Emblem that I want to hear again, if I can find it on Youtube or somewhere else. (In the section where low brass and high brass do something of a “call-and-response” unison fanfare, the 4 lead-in beats, usually just perfunctory quarter-notes, were struck emphatically and jubilantly, and made the soaring fanfare that ensued that much more delicious. But maybe that’s just the way I heard it that day.).  Surprised because for so long, I’ve cynically viewed patriotic display as mere leitmotif and campaign backdrop for the crowd that just slunk out of the Capitol, and here I was feeling once again the exuberance that I’d once felt playing these marches.

Well, my lack of commentary belies my depth of feeling.  I was doubtful during the election season, not about Obama, but about whether he could prevail against the Palin-o-rama.  I presumed that he would suffer a tsunami of Bradley-effect, especially based on anecdotal evidence that Hillary supporters would abandon him, and that coupled with the revival of the yammering Republican “base” would combine to put McCain in office. I was never happier to be wrong. I was spellbound watching his acceptance speech in Grant Park.

When I’m flying, and there’s no internet and no phone contact (yet!), I descend into the guilty pleasure of catching up on my reading.  This trip, it’s been concentrated on back issues of New York Review of Books, which had a number of ruminations on the election.  One featured Joan Didion and Darryl Pinckney, who seems to be engaging in a wary optimism:

For the first time in the memory of most of us a major political party was moving in the direction of nominating a demonstrably superior candidate = a genuinely literate man in a culture that does not prize literacy, an actually cosmopolitan man in an arena that deems tolerance of the world suspect by definition.  A civil man.  A politically adroit man.

She goes on to express her worry early in his campaign that his support was too messianic and Kool-Aid driven”

It became increasingly clear that we were dealing with militant idealism - by which I mean the convenient but dangerous redefinition of political or pragmatic questions as moral questions - “convenient” because such redefinition makes those questions seem easier to answer, “dangerous” because this was a time when the nation was least prepared to afford easy answers.

I think she has a real point, one that was reinforced last week when I attended a talk by Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  During his talk, he had driven his argument against the current agricultural model of large farms producing a monoculture of products (corn, soy beans, wheat) that are converted into “edible non-food products”.  In the ensuing question-and-answer period, there was a fatuous query wondering if the advent of the Obama administration might be an opportunity to derail this juggernaut.  Pollen noted wryly that everyone seems to be projecting their parochial (my word) hopes on Obama, and that he’s inclined to wait and see.  Yes, for whatever reason, everyone with an agenda that has been out of favor for the last 8 years seems to feel that he is their champion. The cumulative disappointment that will ensue when many of these hopes are inevitably delayed or dashed might be the first substantive test of this administration.

The resiliently positive aspects of the Obama presidency where presented in this issue by Darryl Pinckney:

I am full of inappropriate friendliness to white people and even suspect myself of being patronizing toward them.

Pinckney thinks that Obama reconnects us with our government after a long estrangement:

…the U.S. had become like those countries we tend to pity where the state and the society have less and less to do with each other.  The election of Obama halts that deterioration…We have accustomed ourselves to such a diminished public life that we are scared that we are asking too much of Obama, making too much of him.  We need to be reassured and so President Obama must keep talking.  It is thrilling  to think that his calm voice and graceful manner were not just for the campaign, that as president he will go on talking to us like this.  Overnight, public discourse has been elevated.

My feelings exactly.  I should have just linked the articles to begin with.

Hello, Frostbite Falls

That’s the view today from the Northwest Airlines Worldclub in Seattle - it’s the Olympic Mountains behind an Airbus A330 bound for Incheon, Korea. I won’t be on that plane - I’ll be on a much more modest 757 headed for the balmy climes of Minneapolis (for a short layover), then Milwaukee. The temperature will be nudging 6F when I arrive.  I’ll post more once I arrive and get my keyboard de-iced.

Update

Sitting now in the Minneapolis Worldclub, where the WiFi password is “COLD”.  Go figure.

The red tail in the photo above is an endangered species, as Delta bought Northwest and is slowly repainting NWA’s aircraft.  It’s one more change that I’ll have to accommodate, since I’ve spent so much of the last 10 years or so in and around NWA aircraft.  I’ll have to countenance changes to my frequent flyer plan, even though my miles and status (Gold) will be merged into Delta’s.  It’s superfluous in the overall scheme of things, but when you travel a lot, you can limit the variables and uncertaincy by flying the same airlines, booking the same rental cars, etc.

Here are some images from the flight out of Seattle.  We’ve been experiencing a thermal inversion, so the air is clear once you’re above the inversion layer:

Lost

I woke up to this sight this morning at my Milwaukee hotel.  The one I checked out of because I have a flight to Seattle this evening:

And the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel had this cheery tidbit:

The sixth storm of this trying winter season proved today that the first five were mere practice. Nearly a foot of snow blown by wind gusts topping 30 mph stopped flights at Mitchell International Airport, stymied motorists and Milwaukee County Transit buses and shut down businesses and government operations.

And even if I get to depart MKE tonight, I’ll be flying into this in Seattle:

The weather’s just warming up for weekend blast

Forecasters say wind, heavy snow to hit again — hard

By TOM PAULSON
P-I REPORTER

OK, now get ready for a real winter blast expected this weekend bringing much heavier snowfall with dangerous winds and possibly even freezing rain followed by the potential for avalanches in the mountains.

“It’s going to be a real mess,” said Brad Colman, director and chief meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Seattle. “It’s a much more dangerous storm because of the wind element. … I think we will have power issues.”

So, I’m biding my time here at my client’s office, where hardly anyone showed up this morning, and those who did are mostly going from office to office describing their commutes.

As much as I’ve flown in the northern tier over the past 10 years, I’ve never been stranded anywhere, not even the week of 911.  But I think there’s a high probability that I’ll be bunking out either in Milwaukee or Minneapolis tonight.  Then who knows what will happen as everyone tries to reschedule into the teeth of the holiday travel season.  I think it might be wise to transfer some of my dainties from my checked luggage to my carry-on pack.

Update

I admit I spent way too much of my client’s time this afternoon obsessively refreshing my NWA flight status screen, trying to determine how my fate thread was unraveling from the spindle of the confluence of airframe vs. atmospherics.  As the day evolved and the Milwaukee airport stayed closed, more and more of the scheduled flights started to post “Canceled” or “Delayed”, but my 6:05 pm departure remained miraculously “On Time”.  I presumed that this was simply because Northwest had not been able to think, and cancel, that far ahead yet.

Turns out that I was just lucky in my scheduling.  When I arrived at the airport, there were two classes of Northwest customers:  Those whose reservations were still “alive” - i.e. not canceled, and whose connections had not been mangled,  and those who were fucked and not likely to get un-fucked real soon.

This photo shows (not really starkly) how this divide worked down in the Black Hole of NWA Calcutta:

Those directly behind me were in a short line to check bags for flights that were still on schedule; those to the rear were the tip of a line that snaked around the cramped ticketing area, waiting for agents to patch their lives back together.  As I checked my bags, I felt like a resident of a miraculously intact building in a city that had been carpet-bombed.

After I checked in, I discovered that I could catch a seat on an even earlier Minneapolis flight and, reader, I grabbed it as if it was the landing strut of the last helicopter leaving Saigon.  Under those circumstances, when you see an actual plane actually loading actual passengers, you can’t turn it down.

And, yes, just to prove that injustice can still be propagated in these post-bailout times, I was upgraded on both legs.  Boo-Yeah!

Not So Hot-el

Season’s greetings from our family’s winter compound, where I spent the weekend!

Well, here I am now in frigid Milwaukee, where I woke up to 0F this morning, and after the short jaunt from the hotel entrance to my rental car, you could have used my frozen-solid eyeballs to cool your beverage this evening.

Not that it’s that much better back in Seattle, where their lows are in the ‘teens.  (I can sympathize - many of my lows were in my teens as well.)  I think that once it drops below 40F, however, the misery is only a matter of degree.

In the bonus round this afternoon, it snowed about 2″, and I may have to go out later and tromp around in it.

Meanwhile, I’m having a chicken wrap and a chardonnay in the hotel bar.  This hotel seems to have a long-term arrangement with several black religious organizations, and there are often conferences in the meeting rooms adjacent to the bar attended by folks who are something of an anachronism, from a west coast point of view, dressed to the nines and very mannered.

Their meetings are spirited, and their exclamations occasionally punctuate the Stevie Ray Vaughn and Lynyrd Skynyrd bar soundtrack.

As they adjourn and walk past the bar to their cars, the husbands lag behind the wives just a beat, and cast fugitive, wistful glances in our direction.

(Well, the glances are definitely fugitive;  the “wistful” may be a projection)

Wiscon-sinning

Flying home to Seattle from a week in Milwaukee, and in recovery from a night on the town with my client’s sales guys and other folks from out of town who flew in for a planning meeting. The salesmen often include me in their plans, the poor orphan kid alone in the hotel.

The evening started here for a beverage (Click if you dare):

and headed inexorably downhill for dinner and post-prandial libation. The evening wound to a close as the NY Jets beat the NE Patriots in overtime. The angst in the hotel bar was a heavy dew in the air, as the Jets were quarterbacked by Brett Favre, whom Wisconsin still obsesses over like a lost high-school love. Half of my client’s office shows up on Friday wearing #4 Packer jerseys.

No monumental weekend plans. There are a couple of tasty kayak trips on my email boards tomorrow, but my plane lands in Seattle at 11:30 PM, and I can’t visualize myself catching a 9:30 am ferry tomorrow. I’ll probably be lucky to roll out of bed in time to see the 9:00 am kickoff of the Ohio State-Illinois game.

I understand I’ll be coming home to a new Kenmore gas range in our kitchen.  It replaces a 1978-vintage Caloric which has been reluctant to light, and which has taken to dropping parts on the floor when the oven door is opened.  Repairmen advise that it is nearly impossible to procure parts for it, so off to appliance Valhalla it goes.

OK, home now.  New range on the right, a glimpse of the old one , sporting a killer pizza my son was making, on the left. Yeah, new cabinet doors are on the list.:

Catching Up On Last Weekend

Flying into the midwest was quite a bit different on Sunday than it was last month.  From the vertical vantage of six miles, the riotous reds and golds of the deciduous forests have given way to a uniform pall of dog-fur brown.  Last month, the Minnesota lakes were a froth of frenzied last-minute water sports, myriad white slashes carved into the chilling blue water;  Sunday, the only thing stirring the water’s surface was a persistent arctic wind that rocked my plane as it made its final approach to MSP.  The marina berths that had hosted the summer hierarchy of local aquatic social distinction are now barren, windswept lattices overlaying water for which freezing is an imperative as urgent as childbirth.

I retrieved my Wisconsin bicycle from the custody of my client’s owner, but the 1-mile ride from my hotel to the gym where I purchase a-la-carte workouts left my fingers in a mind-bending agony as they relived their Toledo Blade winter paper-boy abuse.  The euphoria that accompanied the bike’s purchase in August begins to look like a mortgage for which the collateral (the pleasure of evening bike rides) is insufficient.  (anyone have Secretary Paulson’s email address?)

We attended a wedding Saturday night of a couple who are great friends of our son’s, and climbing companions of Mrs. Perils.  The wedding ceremony was held at a Methodist church near the University of Washington, and later we attended a reception and dinner in the Chinese Room in the Smith Tower downtown.

The ceremony was unapologetically religious, officiated by a woman minister.  We tried to remember the last time we’d been inside a church for any reason, wedding or no, with inconclusive results.  Perhaps for that reason, I tracked the syntax of the ceremony closely, marking the iconic stuff that I used to accept as general cultural commonplace, but that is now part of the geologic edifice of our cultural divide.

The language of scripture and sacrament employed was mostly elegant and often, even to a non-combatant, stirring.  I was raised as a Methodist, but I’m not sure I ever attended a Methodist wedding.  I tracked its layered progression of commitment, the invocation of Christ as progenitor of the institution and as a benevolent third party.  I noted the unambiguous (but not strident) assertion of marriage between “a man and woman”.  I actually thrilled at the climactic vows of devotion unto death, and the challenge to us as friends and witnesses to nurture the union.

I came away thinking that it would be impossible (for me, at least) to participate in that particular ritual perfunctorily, if I knew beforehand what bargain was being struck, either to accommodate my partner or to placate relatives.  I couldn’t stand there bathed in the sincere aura of a particular commitment not only to an enduring contract with my partner, but also the stark acknowledgement of the Christian brand on the entire process, if I were an iota less than convicted.

This is not a criticism or the condescension of a cynical non-believer (which I can evince at times);  rather, it’s a revelation to me, delivered via a close attention to the language and solemnity of the service, that one must, at certain pivotal moments, unambiguously examine the essence of his/her beliefs and character and act with truthful vehemence.

The reception was held on the 35th floor of the Smith Tower downtown.  Built in 1914, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi for decades.

The crown jewel of the Smith Tower is the legendary 35th floor Chinese Room. The room’s name derives from the extensive carved wood and porcelain ceiling and the elaborately carved blackwood furniture that were gifts to Mr. Smith from the Empress of China. The observatory’s furnishings include the famed Wishing Chair. The chair, product of the skill of a Chinese carver and quite likely the skill of an early day virtuoso publicity man, incorporates a carved dragon and a phoenix, which when combined, portends marriage.

The night was unseasonably warm, and there were doors leading outside to a promenade around the perimeter of the building. A few (well, probably too many) photos (Click photos to enlarge):

This is the ornate elevator bank in the lobby.  I hadn’t been in the building in easily 20 years, and wasn’t sure whether they still had human elevator operators.  They do.

Here’s the view from the observation deck.  On the left, looking north down 2nd Avenue; on the right, looking up at the pyramid top of the building:

On the left, Qwest Field, where the Seahawks play. The shot on the right was pointed out to me by a professional photographer who admired the perfect circles of light. I told him I was totally going to steal this bit of intellectual property, and he graciously assented:

(Update) One more - a shot of the ceiling of the Chinese Room:

Moondancin’

Click to enlarge

It’s been downright balmy here in Milwaukee the last couple of days, and I’ve gotten out on bike rides each of the last two nights.  Last night, I took a detour down to the shore of Lake Michigan, and was rewarded with this moonrise - the Hunter’s Moon, I guess it’s called.  Actually, the full moon is tonight, but I probably won’t see it because it socked in and started raining this morning.

I have just one more presidential debate to avoid, and I think I have a pretty chance of succeeding - I have to go to dinner tonight with a gaggle of my client’s salesmen.  I doubt that the debate will be showing at any of the possible venues we’ll be haunting.