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Nathan Brassington – Old Movies Weekly – a video podcast.

The Laurel and Hardy picture from 1919 is amazing – featuring a very young Stan Laurel with Oliver Hardy showing up later. Picture quality is incredible – as is the musical accompaniment for most of it.

What on odd thing to be enjoying on a iPhone:)

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Thanksgiving aftermath

Was just at the grocery store. Wow! The wine and milk shelves were rather gutted. Guess what Seattleites stock up with in bad weather in advance of a big holiday weekend:)

Saw the first Christmas trees going home on top of cars.

It is upon us…..

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Saturday workday

Today was my first of four Saturdays I work in the run-up to Christmas. Weekend work is nothing new to me – except that the weekend work I did for several years was in busy stores in vibrant shopping districts – not in a warehouse in a weekend ghost town of an industrial district. None of our neighbors operates on a weekend. It’s just us. And it’s spooky, especially if the weather is bad. It feels almost apocalyptic – as though we are going about our business of packing up Christmas novelties to send out to our stores in full anticipation of a normal Christmas – completely unaware that the world has actually just ended and that we are the only humans left on this planet!

This morning when I got off the bus, I was able to walk right across First Avenue South without waiting for the light to change – there was so little traffic.

I has plenty of work to distract me, but I was relieved to get out of there. I rode back to West Seattle on an almost empty 22 along empty roads. I had to get a latte at the grocery store and sit there a while before walking home – just to reassure myself that everything was normal.

Believe it or not – it gets creepier each weekend. The last weekend before Christmas is downright disturbing!

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Back to normal

Temperatures in the 40s. Snow and ice all melted. Rain showers – and a rainbow over Elliot Bay. Buses back on regular routes. And annoying day-after-Thanksgiving crowds in Starbucks!

My own routine is about to get disturbed though. For the next four weekends I will be working Saturday, with Monday off instead. Not a huge deal. But I am a creature of habit.

Last week, the weather required me to abandon my usual afterwork ritual of going downtown for a latte before getting a bus home. I really missed it and can’t wait to get back to it on Tuesday.

But I’m not sure what I’ll do after work on a Saturday. It just won’t be the same.

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Winter walking – Day 3

Buses still on snow routes – but running. I still planned to walk and gave myself time. But I ended up getting a bus – one that normally would not go near where I work – but does on snow route – though it’s not supposed to stop. But I asked the driver for a courtesy stop at Starbucks, and she obliged:)

So now I have an hour to kill before work. But I’m in Starbucks with a view out onto First Avenue – and the barista who made my tall latte was on a roll pulling double shots – so I got an extra shot to get me started.

The sun isn’t up yet – but I think we’re in for a beautiful day as things get back to normal.

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Winter walking – Day 2

Walked to work this morning. Snow over. But wind almost unbearable. Saw a few buses running once I got closer to the West Seattle Bridge. But, once warmed up, you might as well keep walking.

Afternoon bus service looked to be improving – but I elected to walk. Good judgement call. Buses WERE running – but you might be waiting for quite a while, just getting cold when you could stay warm and make progress.

I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a couple of bottles of wine. I’m all set for Thanksgiving.

Bus outlook for tomorrow still pessimistic:( But if I’m walking it will be in sunshine:)

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Walking home

First snow day. I left work at 3pm. Good call. Walked all the way home. Even better call. Took almost 2 hours. But I enjoyed the exercise and the confidence that I would get home. No bus passed me. Last week’s preparations paid off. I had a great dinner and am relaxing to the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack.

I have a feeling I will be walking again tomorrow!

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Heard this unmistakable cry as I walked up the hill to Alaska Junction today – and got to enjoy the sight of a hawk soaring above the neighborhood. I frequently see bald eagles along West Seattle’s waterfront, but this is the first hawk I’ve heard and seen.

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Winter preparations

Snow angst is building where I work, and it’s prompted me to think about preparations in case the worst happens.

I’m pretty well-prepared for walking in any conditions I might encounter in Seattle. I can also be comfortable and safe at home in a power outage. But where I am not always so well-prepared is with edibles – comestibles – food!! Most of the food in my kitchen requires cooking in order to eat it – not good if the power is out, or if I get home very late. And because I don’t have a car, I am not in the habit of stocking up on anything other than dried goods like beans and rice.

So over the next week I am going to address that by hitting the grocery store almost daily to stock up on items that don’t need cooking, and long-lived substitutes for perishable things I might run out of, e.g. cartons of soy milk in case I run of dairy milk. And I’ll have to get in plenty of cat food and litter.

I’ve also planned for booze:) I’m normally a wine drinker, but it’s hard to stock up on wine when you have to walk home with it. However, liquor stores do sell those miniatures:) So I’m starting a collection, just buying 2-3 at a go whenever I am near a liquor store (of which we have rather few in Seattle, so you have to be an opportunist!) Then I will have fun sampling them, and experimenting with mixing. A few years ago, I found out, by pure chance, that chocolate milk and bourbon go together rather nicely:)

Two years ago, Seattle got walloped with snow the last week before Christmas. Bus service where I live was seriously curtailed and I walked to work a couple of times. Then my boss kindly offered to pick me up and drive me home. We are in retail and the snow hit us at our busiest time. Days were long and difficult. I was thankful to have a ride home, but it precluded the possibility of stopping at the store – and there was no way I was going to go out again once home.

I remember how depressing it was, after a trying day, to come home to nothing good to eat or drink. I’m not letting that happen again! If I get offered a ride home in bad weather, I want to be able enjoy the gesture happy in the knowledge I’ve got some goodies at home. And if I should end up walking, I will have something to look forward to.

It’s every bit as important as batteries, flashlights, fully-charged cell-phones, emergency water, and all that sensible stuff:)

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Improvised dumbells

I have never been a fan of working out at a gym, although I have done it while staying in hotels out of town. My ex-husband and I had quite a collection of in-home exercise devices – both weights and cardio. But serious back problems curtailed my workout schedule in my late 30s, and by the time I came to Seattle, I had learned to enjoy sedentary life:)

Over the years I rested, my back got better, and I was able to work for a couple of years at a job that involved heavy lifting. I got back into shape at that job, and now that I find myself behind a desk again, I have been exercising so as to stay in shape. Only these days I am much more sensible about it!!

My apartment is small so there is no room for major equipment. And everything I buy has to come home on the bus – so I am disinclined to buy a set of free weights. I did buy a set of those heavy-duty stretchy bands – and they are great. But I missed the feel of a pair of dumbells.

Then one day, I was doing laundry and finished up a jug of liquid laundry detergent. I rinsed it out to recycle and realized that it felt rather like a dumbell in my hand – especially when I filled it with water and replaced the cap. So I saved it, and bought the next jug in the same size (3 lb) to make a pair. I am now working on a 6lb pair – but that is going to involve rather more loads of laundry:)

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