Standing at the counter of the University of Washington Bookstore looking at conducting batons seemed odd and surreal. Standing next to me, instructing the clerk, was the man who had told me a decade before I couldn’t conduct adults or an orchestra or band because,  “(He) couldn’t handle the competition”.

On Sunday the 29th of June I stopped for a bowl of clam chowder at the Ivar’s Seafood Bar in Burien. It was a pleasant sunny afternoon, and the dozens of multi-colored petunias planted around the restaurant lit it up in a cheerful summery way.

The only female in the competition, Alexina Slater was more than a long shot. She was seen as a risk to the whole event. Too young, too reckless, too weak and too female for such a challenge, the organizers sent a special boat along with the swimmers to trail the main group and pick up the girl once she fell behind and before she drowned.

Come Friday, Independence Day, grills will be fired up all over the Island, and beyond. Before you even put the charcoal and/or mesquite wood into the grill, make sure the cooking surface of yours is totally clean.

The etched glass on the side of the Goat Hill Parking Garage    beckoned the third time the car cruised down fifth avenue. The original plan had been to take the bus. It would stop right in front of the courthouse and be easy steps up to the Council chambers.

A few weeks ago Sam Andrew of Big Brother and the Holding Company posted a video of Big Brother at the Monterey Pop Festival in June, 1967, on Facebook.

I was floating around in the Vashon Pool this past Saturday, taking advantage of lap swim on this first day of the pool being open this year. I was trying to remember how it feels like to be in shape for swimming, as I was feeling quite far from that point on my first day back in the water since last October.

Got an email in my junk box in which the subject line announced I had won a UK lottery. It was awfully good news. This living on Social Security is not a piece of cake. I can barely afford cake. The subject line made me smile once, a little, before I deleted the email unread.
 

It was about 9 o’clock Saturday morning when I finally gave up. I was sick of the opposition, sick of being positive in the face of adversity, sick of trying, sick of doing excellent work that was cutting edge and visionary for like no pay

Diabetes and pre-diabetes seem to have become epidemic. Some estimates of their prevalence in the population run as high as 30%. This is not okay, and not necessary.

“I’d be comfortable telling the director to not commit to anything for a couple of weeks.”- Bill Ameling, VPD Commissioners Meeting- 13 May 2014

The SS France was a magnificent ship. Sailing to Southampton booked into an inside cabin cost $262 one way in 1968 according to the receipt. Dad had gone halfsies on it with me.

Homegrown vegetables and fruits yield more nutrients than even the organic vegetables from the grocery store. Each year I promise myself I’ll expand my patio potted vegetable garden, but so far all I’ve been able to grow are the herbs marjoram, oregano, rosemary, peppermint and spearmint, and a lone potato.

Cousin Nancy died on my birthday. You might think that feels bad, but it feels bittersweet. She is at peace now. No more pain, no more drugs, no more cancer. She’s with the angels, no doubt telling them how they can do their jobs better. She could always tell you a better way to do something.

I have a mixed relationship with guns. On my Mother’s side, her parents had a Korean War era bolt action rifle propped up behind the floor lamp that stood to one side of their fireplace.

People often tell me they cannot sing, or they are terrible singers. They offer lots of excuses. My favorite excuse for a less than lovely voice is, “I ruined my voice singing on the street for the Salvation Army.”

There’s apparently a plague of diabetes and pre-diabetes in this country.
One of the doctors I most listen to says the only way to defeat it is to absolutely avoid all the sugar possible.

Moving down the line each tree looked satisfyingly prophetic about an abundant and joyful present with more on the way for the future. I love Ordinary Icons. Someday I’m going to write a book about them.

I can’t say that it was the power of suggestion, or even bad luck. I had, indeed , been reading a cyclist’s essay this morning about enjoying a long,

Researchers investigating nutritional values foods came up with a list of the 100 best. Walnuts were nearly at the top of the list, beaten out by only flax seeds as a source of omega-3 fats.
 

After so many moves and the annual feeding frenzy that has gone on every Spring since 2009 when renters get chased out of homes in deference to the promise of a ‘hottest ever’ sales season pitch to landlords, I stopped unpacking completely.

I drove to California last week to say good-bye to my cousin Nancy, who is now in hospice care. My memories of the trip include the sides of freeways as I whizzed by, and the times I spent with Nancy, who is hanging in there so far, and with my mother-in-law Diane.

Earth Month brought an orca bloom to Vashon. Multiple groups of killer whales visited Island waters. In mid-April, two distinct ecotypes traversed the territory, gingerly avoiding each other.

As anyone reading this column should know by now, I have come to dread the second and fourth Tuesday of any given month.