Some Seattle Color

Seattle, like Portland, is an interesting place and what makes it the most interesting is some of the people who live there. And when I say interesting, I mean weird.

I'm really not sure what it is about the Northwest that either makes people march to the beat of a different drummer, or just is a safe haven for those that do. I've lived here my whole life and would like to think from most people's interpretations am fairly normal - so it can't be the water. Maybe the lack of sun? Who knows.

During our trip last weekend to The Emerald City I took the opportunity to take a couple pictures. I try to be sneaky about this - with crazy people you never know what kind of reaction you might get. This is why I didn't get a pic of the oddest sight from the entire trip.

Walking behind Pike Place Market, near the parking lots between the market and Puget Sound, two obviously homeless men passed us going the other way. They looked typically homeless: disheveled, dirty, and rough around the edges. However, they were talking animatedly about something. As we came closer one of them whipped something out of his pocket to show the other, adamantly talking about the object.

It was a cell phone.

Wait, what? He apparently was going on about the features of his phone to the other man. Not to be outdone, the other man whipped out his cell phone, just as animated. Apparently they were comparing features in their cell phones. Really? Homeless people with cell phones? I mean, I know a lot of people have lost their jobs and all...but that's not something I ever expected to see.

Oh, and then they traded phone numbers. Apparently they weren't worried about not getting the bill paid.

Or who knows, maybe they weren't homeless and were just a pair of disgusting messes. I could be wrong.


Our first stop was supposed to be a couple places in West Seattle, but the street we wanted was apparently closed in the morning for some kind of local parade. Undaunted, we headed into town and then came back in the afternoon. Thankfully everything was all cleared out - or, we thought it was.

As we came out of a store this thing drove by (as always, click the picture for a bigger view):

It looks like a float in a parade, but the parade was over. Perhaps these guys just wanted to keep the revelry going? They were singing and generally having a good time, so yay for them for that. Still, a little odd.


As we walked back to our car after hitting up Pike Place Market we walked by this man:

Why yes, that is a red Segway with a Ferrari logo on it, why do you ask? Is that odd? Not something you have seen before?

Actually, I have. The last time we were in Seattle we went to a mall downtown to hit the bathroom and someone on a red Ferrari Segway was rolling through the mall. It could have been this guy, who knows. I wished I had gotten a picture then, so I suppose I should thank this guy for being out that day.

First off, are Segways really allowed in the mall? I mean, isn't it like riding a bike, just without the exercise?

And secondly, who pimped the Segway for him? Ferrari? Really? I mean, I suppose it's unique and if I were ever to get a Segway this is the one I would want, but for now I can think of other things to spend my money on. Like cupcakes.

Not sure if he caught me taking his pic or not, but for now Mr. Ferrari Segway Rider, you are immortalized in this vastly popular blog. Or something.

Made my day anyway.

Note: Apparently they really do sell these things, although the one in the link looks different than the one I saw and took a picture of. The cost is over $10,000...wow....


And lastly, I have a question for you, dear readers.

If I see a large group of cars, likely Lincolns or Cadillacs, from the early to mid-eighties, all of them with sparkly new paint jobs and jacked up on 13" chrome rims, is there any reason I should think I'm seeing anything other than gangbangers? Seriously. This was the scene as we drove along Alki Beach on our way out of West Seattle in the late afternoon.

Are there car enthusiast groups who do up their cars like this, like some people put blowers on Mustangs and Camaros? Is this a legit thing? Or is pimping a ride to look like a gangbanger car really left only to gangbangers?

I was driving at the time so no pictures are to be had - Wifey and Misaki were on the opposite side, away from them - but there were about 10 of these cars, all rolling along Alki Beach, either just to be seen or headed for the same party.

Don't see that every day. Well, at least, I don't.


Misaki Takes Seattle

I was going to title this "Misaki Does Seattle" - but given the connotations of such a title decided against it. She's a lady. And spayed.

I've never in my life had a pet so calm in the car as Misaki. We get in the car, she sits on Wifey's lap, and she's practically asleep before we get out of the driveway. Ruby had to pace in the back the entire time, very rarely relaxing or laying down at all. Actually, when she laid down that was a bad thing - it meant she was probably getting sick. (As always, click on the pic for a bigger version. Click again for a huge version.)

Love Me!

Not Misaki. She'll pop her head up on occasion, but usually is back to sleep within minutes - even on a three-hour trip to Seattle from Portland.

In Seattle her ego was properly stroked amongst the crowds at Pike Place Market. She wasn't all that thrilled with the crowds - too many feet of people who don't pay attention to where they are walking - but she managed without getting stepped on. One thing that drives her crazy is any sort of anomaly in a sidewalk, such as the metal access doors most cities have. And Seattle has a lot of them. With the crush of people by the Market she couldn't always see them coming up, so they would just appear and she'd freak out, jerking left or right - amongst the crush of people - in order to walk around it.

Checking out all the hubbub.

Ah well, everyone though she was cute. At just about every corner where we had to wait for a light people would comment on how cute she was. A few people asked to pet her, which she appreciated. It's funny, you can tell the people who love dogs by the way they pet her. They know how to do it properly and she responds to that. Others don't do it so well - more like the pats of small children - and she doesn't like it, but she tolerates it. It's almost like she knows she's there to educate the world on the virtues of Shiba-dom.

A reluctant but still willing ambassador, you might say.

Just outside of the Market, near Pike Place Fish, we pulled over to plan our attack (and this is literally how it needs to be addressed, like a battle plan, because you have to be fast and decisive in your shopping) when an young Asian man came over and asked us this, very earnestly:

"Is that an Akita?"

We responded that no, she was a Shiba. Apparently he doesn't read the blog. What I didn't expect was the impact this would have on the excited guy.

"Oh." He was literally crestfallen, like we had just ruined his day. And then he disappeared - turned on his heel and was swallowed by the Market. Wifey and I were left looking at each other, wondering why was he so disappointed.?Even Misaki looked up at us with her big brown eyes, like she was asking what did she do wrong? No pups, it's not you, it's him. Odd.

Just chillin' under the bench while Mom and Dad have dinner.

Another lady with her child made the ubiqitous fox comment, but her roughly five-year-old daughter corrected her. "No Mom, it looks like a husky!" Kudos to the child for getting in the same genus. Misaki gamely let mother and daughter pet her anyway.

Of course, someone later asked us if she was part wolf. No idea where that came from, unless it was here (those are Chinese wolf cubs).

Then another woman asked about Misaki, about her age and breed. After being told she was almost seven years old the lady then asked this, with a confused look on her face:

"Is she full grown?"

This was a real question. The lady really couldn't process that our 25-pound dog could be full grown. Um, ma'am, how many dogs do you know that are still growing at seven years old? And by growing, I mean normal growing, not getting fat. Any? No? Neither is Misaki.

Checking out the Seattle skyline.

At the northwest corner of the Market area is a park overlooking Puget Sound. The Olympic Mountains are visible off in the distance, the piers below, ferries and pleasure boats on the water, and West Seattle is close by. There was a couple sitting at one of the tables as we went over to take pictures and they both said: "Oh look, a Shiba!"

So Misaki, of course, went over to show her appreciation for someone getting it right. Now, the interesting thing here was these people knew Shibas a little bit, but also weren't sure if she was full grown. (However, upon hearing her age they did recognize her as full grown, because that's logical.) And boy, did Misaki love them. When she's super excited about something sometimes she will rub her cheeks on the ground, dropping her front legs to her side and pushing herself around with her back legs. Previously we had never seen her do this outside of our living room or the backyard, but she decided a crowded park with a concrete-and-brick ground would be a nice place to take that action outside of home. Since then she's done it multiple times, so apparently that's her new thing and she's comfortable sharing it with the world. Um, yay?

Look, Space Needle!

Outside of Market Spice (more on them and the places we visited in another post), Wifey and Misaki were going to wait while I did the shopping. A small child, no more than two (was still at the age where every step looks like it takes a serious amount of intent, yet they are still wobbly), came over to Misaki. She's very tolerant of even small children, so she resigned herself to being patted (not petted, but patted). The child came right up next to her - no idea why Dad barely gave the child going after a strange dog more than a glance - and promply acted like he fell asleep on his feet, in the middle of reaching towards Misaki. That I should have gotten a picture of.

I whispered to Wifey: "Is he narcoleptic?!"

Figuring there was no harm, I went into the store. Wifey said Dad briefly woke up and came halfway over to his child and Misaki, then decided it apparently wasn't a big deal and went back to his spot on the sidewalk. Interesting. If it was my kid, I sure wouldn't want it petting random dogs while I took a nap. Maybe that's just me. Sure, Misaki is fine with it - okay, she tolerates it - but that doesn't mean it's okay.

We decided to get a pound of Rainier cherries from one of the outdoor market vendors and the woman working the booth though Misaki was the prettiest puppy ever. Misaki wasn't even looking at her; instead she was down sniffing the bottom of the booth, looking at who knows what. Wifey picked her up so the woman could see her face and you could just tell she wanted to give Misaki a huge hug - "Isn't she just the cutest?!" - unfortunately, she had gloves on and was working with food. Maybe next time.

All in all it was a good time in Seattle for the pup. She found many new fans, got to see the sights, and walked all over the city with us. Sure, she would probably prefer a little suburbia or a mountain trail to the city, but she handles city walking better than most tourists, who usually have no idea what's going on or where they are.

And she got more of a boost with all the praise for her gorgeousness, not that her ego needed it.


This are some pics in West Seattle from Misaki's perspective.

All I see is water and big rocks way out there.

The view from where I am isn't that great - all I see are trees. What stadium?

I could get used to a walk here every day at sunset.

Tonight's sunset should be spectacular!


Not a Bad View

If you drive north on Interstate 205 in Portland, just past the exits to take Interstate 84 west into downtown or east to Hood River and beyond, there is a large hill to the left side of the freeway. Microwave towers top the hill, as well as a few houses.

I grew up on the East side of Portland, so whenever we headed out to the Columbia River Gorge or up towards Seattle, we always passed this hill, but I had never been up to the top of it. Perhaps at some point I was told by my tired mother or grandmother after a long drive there wasn't any reason to go up there. Maybe I was even told no roads were up there.

Whyever it was, I don't drive that way anymore. Living in southwest Portland, if I go north it's via Interstate 5 and don't go out to the Gorge very much at all. A few months back I was clicking through some local blogs and found this piece on PDXploration about a place called Rocky Butte. I was intrigued by the pictures, but even more so when I realized this was the place I had long wondered about as a child. I had no idea it had a name, a park, or that you could go up there and see what was there.

So I resolved at some point we'd check it out, if for nothing else than to get some nice pictures. Saturday we decided to do just that.

Apparently the butte itself is a cinder cone long extinct. It's topped by Joseph Wood Hill Park. Mt. Tabor and Powell Butte are also cinder cones, judged by geologists to all have been created about the same time, about 2.7 million years ago. They have supposedly been extinct for 300,000 years.

I will warn you, it's not the easiest place to find. It's off of NE 92nd, and from the map I thought I could take I-84 to the 82nd Ave exit, turn right on Halsey, then left on 92nd, and then right on Rocky Butte Road. That worked out well until I drove underneath Halsey on 82nd. Oops. That fact Halsey was an overpass didn't come through on the map. This was only a minor glitch - we continued to the first light on 82nd north of I-84, turned right, went over some speed bumps and past a park to 92nd, turned left, and were exactly where we needed to be.

There is one road up and the same road down, as best we could tell. It's a slow drive, but not that long, full of speedbumps, 180s, and tight corners. The houses - which must have outstanding views - aren't the newest nor really much of anything to look at; most of them look like they were built before it took real money to buy the land. Today they are probably million dollar homes for the view, but on flat ground would be about $250k-$300k in the current market. Some are tired, perhaps with better days in their past. However, if you want a piece of land there is some for sale, for those of you who want to build your home on the side of a cliff.

At the top of the drive, the peak of the butte I suppose you would call it, there sits a very impressive structure. Cars park on the side of the loop at the top of the butte - there are no actual parking spots - and then people walk up to the park. The walls of the park are high and remind one of a castle. The park is named for Joseph Wood Hill, who started a military institute in Portland in 1901. I believe this park was built in 1935, making 2010 it's 75th anniversary.

After climbing up to the park - either via a sloped track for a vehicle to service the microwave tower in its center or the imposing stairs - the top is flat and very impressive. The grass is green and a cinder trail goes around the entire edge of the park. Massive stone railings with built-in benches and columns topped with lights provide a very medieval feel.

Pretty clean and fairly empty.

The star here, though, is the view. I don't know if there is anywhere else you can stand in one place and see Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and various other points from a single spot. Supposedly you can do this at a spot in Washington Park, but I think that's outdated - perhaps you could 50 years ago, but the trees have grown since then. Saturday was a clear day, but despite indications from a guide in the park I couldn't see Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Rainier, or any of the other mountains listed. Smog? Who knows.

Mt. Hood

Mt. St. Helens, with I-205 in the foreground. Traffic was, um, not good.

It's a cozy little place. It's out of the way, so it wasn't busy despite the beautiful weather. Misaki was the only dog in the park, which she enjoyed, and no one bothered us. There were bicyclists who had made it up the hill resting, some hikers, and some people who had brought up a picnic lunch.

Misaki loved the view too.

I remarked to Wifey this might be kind of a cool place to come up to at night. The park is open until midnight and as I mentioned, there are lights. She shuddered and shook her head. After looking around a bit closer I noticed plenty of support for her reaction.

Plenty of lighting...but what would it illuminate?

On one of the stone benches I noticed the ashes of a fire. Who knows what that was for. There were empty beer cans, some other trash, and cigarette butts all over the place. And other things that may not have been cigarette butts.

Misaki does not approve of your trash!

I'm not saying this park is dangerous at night - I have no idea - but I'm willing to bet there are people there after dark who probably don't want to be disturbed for various reasons. Yeah, probably not going back after dark.

It's a decent enough park though, and on a nice, clear day you can see for quite a ways and get some great pictures. Check it out - during the day.


Stone Cold Killer

In her day Ruby, our Akita who passed a couple months ago, snagged herself a few birds and a couple rats. We never actually saw her do it, but did find the carcasses.

Apparently Misaki would like to follow in her footsteps.

Let's rewind a bit. Right after we had to say goodbye to Ruby a robin started building a nest right outside the sliding glass door of our bedroom. There is a light mounted to the side of the house there and this female robin apparently felt that was the perfect place to build her nest and raise her babies.

At the time it seemed fine with us. Of course, right about the time the eggs were laid we got Misaki. The bird, surprisingly, didn't seem to mind - though she was wary - and Misaki seemed to ignore the nest. The operative word there is "seemed."

But before we get to that, first some points about the American robin. When the nest building first began we decided to do a little research because I didn't want to be woken up at 4am to the sound of screaming, hungry robin babies. We learned some fun facts.

The Nest, with Rockin'

First off, we learned about the materials used to build a nest. Supposedly they don't include things like plastic and metal, but our robin thought those would be great. When she wasn't around we removed those building materials if we could - she didn't seem to notice or care.

At this point we decided to name her. For some reason that old song about Rockin' Robin came into my head, so the female became Rockin'. The male, presumably the father, was also hanging around too, so he also got a name. Red - what else?


Another thing we learned was the eggs are supposed to incubate for about two weeks before hatching. During this time, supposedly, the mother sits in the nest to keep them safe and warm. Not Rockin'.

Nope, she spent over half the incubation period off doing who knows what. We speculated this was her first family and she was out getting drunk and hitting the clubs. Red would sometimes stop by and appear annoyed she wasn't doing her motherly duties. Perhaps he is an older man? Rockin' is a trophy wife?

Despite her lack of attention to her eggs, all of them were born - four little baby robins. Thankfully, they were relatively quiet except for the couple minutes one of the parents would show up with food.

Rockin' feeding the kids

And that's another thing - we read one parent would be with the nest at all times when the babies were small, again for protection. Not Rockin' and Red. Long stretches would go by where there was no adult around at all. Who knows what mom and dad were off doing.

The babies, all alone

It was kind of entertaining when one of them would come back. Rockin' was mildly wary, but chose to bring in the food to the nest rather quickly, regardless of our or the dog's presence. Red would take longer to come to the nest than he would finding food. He'd sit and stare at the nest, laying a net of surveillance, from multiple points in the yard before even approaching it. Sometimes invisible things would spook him and he'd disappear, choosing to run rather than feed his kids.

Daddy, Feed Us!

Eventually, after a couple weeks, the babies suddenly disappeared from the nest. We figured their time had come and we'd never see them again. Later that day we took Misaki outside for some business and guess what we found sitting on the ground in front of the kennel?

Kind of cute, actually

Thankfully for this little guy we saw him before Misaki, so we ushered her back into the house and waited for him to leave, after of course taking pictures.

A couple hours later we noticed he was gone, so took Misaki outside again. She had apparently seen something we did not. The juvenile robin was now sitting on the ground near the fence, just hanging out like it was the most normal thing in the world. Misaki took off towards him and despite the yells of all the robins in the trees around him, he never moved.

Sorry little guy, but we can only intervene so much in natural selection. This one was just not smart enough to learn from his earlier mistake.

Misaki executed a perfect Shiba pounce. She came up on the bird and dropped both front paws on top of him, immobilizing him. At this point the bird wasn't going anywhere, but apparently Shibas do not kill things normally. She stepped back and looked at me, proud of herself for catching me something. Apparently Shibas were supposed to flush small game for hunters - not kill it.

Is this the face of a killer?

At this point the robin is still alive - though not for long - and Misaki is blissfully annoying the adult robins flying around her head. It was surprising to me how it was not just Rockin' and Red, but about 10 other adults as well. They talked a big game, but none of them were getting anywhere near the killer dog.

So what am I supposed to do with a mortally wounded robin? I don't think I have the stones to actually kill it myself, but I didn't want to watch it die either. So I did what any self-respecting dog owner would do - encouraged Misaki to finish the job. She did, reluctantly, but it took multiple cute pounces to get it done. Then she obeyed when I told her to leave it, and I bagged and trashed the dead bird.

We figured this would be the end of the story of robins in our yard. After a couple kills from Ruby we didn't have any birds in our yard for a long time, so we felt this would be the same story. No dice.

Despite the fact we read robins don't use the same nest twice, about two weeks later there was Rockin', working on refining the existing next and laying more eggs. Apparently she didn't feel the fact the yard housed the killer of one of her children to be a detriment to raising more kids.

The second batch

The full pattern repeated with four more baby birds. Once again they all disappeared. This time, however, one of them hung out by the bedroom sliding door, directly under the nest. The kitties did not like this at all, especially Moochie. He talked a big game to the little guy.

Moochie closer to the camera, Sera behind him. Little guy on the opposite side of the glass.

Once again we found one outside, this time up in a tree. He hung out there for a bit, once again posing for the camera.

Hanging out, mugging for the camera

We thought Red and Rockin' would have taught their new babies about the robin killer in this yard, likely pointing out Misaki multiple times as they grew up - she was around all the time, so it's not like there wouldn't be a chance. Once again they failed as parents.

Misaki knew exactly where the robin was (on the branch, straight up from her ear).

I don't know if this was the same robin we took pictures of in the tree, but Misaki was looking for a nice bathroom spot and a juvenile robin literally flew down and landed near her on the ground. By the time I had any idea what was going on, he was dead. Once again the adults went crazy and flew around Misaki's head while she ignored them, proud of her kill.

Two days later I took the nest down, figuring I'd save Rockin' and Red from their poor parenting when it came to nest location choices. That seemed to work out...for a week. Then one day Wifey noticed a new nest being built. We haven't determined if it's the same robins yet, but even if it's not it means Rockin' and Red didn't help out their buddies either. Or maybe they hate the new pair. Or maybe they never learn and it's them again. Whatever the answer, we're hoping they learn a lesson.

Here's another interesting fact about robin life, from All About Birds:

An American Robin can produce three successful broods in one year. On average, though, only 40 percent of nests successfully produce young. Only 25 percent of those fledged young survive to November. From that point on, about half of the robins alive in any year will make it to the next. Despite the fact that a lucky robin can live to be 14 years old, the entire population turns over on average every six years.

About the 40 percent...Rockin' defied those odds and produced four live babies twice in a row. Good for her. Of course, of those eight two fell to the wrath of Shiba in the form of Misaki pounces. That means for her babies to hit the odds, Mother Nature has to allow two of the final six to live, 33%, instead of the normal 25%, for her juveniles to follow the percentages. And, according to the odds, only one of those will make it to next spring. And then there is only a 50% chance that one robin sees a second spring. Yikes - talk about your infant mortality rates.

As far as I can tell, no additional research has been done on what if the babies were born at the home of a Shiba.


People F'ing Suck

The Fourth of July this year was going to be a uneventful. It's our first with Misaki and we were told she didn't like explosions, so we figured we'd stay home and see how it went, since our neighborhood sounds like a bad day in a war zone on the Fourth.

That was the plan anyway.

Right around noon I'm sitting in the living room playing on the laptop. Wifey is upstairs. The fuzzy ones are all lounging in the sun.

All of a sudden, I hear this tremendous crash, the unmistakeable sound of glass shattering from behind me, in the direction of the sun room (which sits just off the dining room and kitchen on the way to outside).

"What the fuck was that?!" I yelled.

As I turned towards the sun room Moochie - our biggest Bengal cat - came streaking out of there with a horrendously guilty look on his face.

"What the fuck did you break now?!" I yelled at him as he tore up the stairs.

Now, why did I assume he broke something? Two reasons:

1 - Besides the obvious glass windows in the sunroom, there are other things to be broken. We have a side table with a heavy metal base and glass top. We also have a coffee table with a glass top, as well as a lantern that holds tea lights with glass inserts.

2 - Moochie - and all of our cats - have a history of breaking things. In particular, Moochie is the one who decided he did not like our toaster oven and shoved it from the kitchen counter to the hardwood floor, gouging the floor and completely destroying the appliance. We had just bought a new one but were deciding whether or not to donate the old one - Moochie apparently decided it should just go in the trash. Perhaps he thought he was helping out?

So I head towards the sun room, head on a swivel, looking for what broke.

All the windows in the French doors into the sunroom look solid.

The side table is still standing.

The coffee table looks fine.

The tea light lantern is still standing.

So what the hell? I head back into the dining room, still looking around.

Wifey comes downstairs. "What did they break now?"

I'm dumbfounded, still looking around. "I have no idea..."

We both go back into the sunroom, looking all around. Now, you would think trying to find a pile of broken glass in a room that is 12 feet square wouldn't be all that hard...you would think.

Finally Wifey found it. In the southeast corner of the sun room, one of the lower panels had a hole in it with glass pieces on the floor. The hole was about three inches diameter and it was hard to see at first because it was behind a couch and a potted bamboo.

Thankfully for Moochie, there was no way he could have done that. Even he's not that destructive. But what did make that hole? I couldn't tell from inside the house, so I headed outside.

From outside I could tell the hole in the glass was about two-and-a-half feet off the ground. It was directly in front of the potted bamboo, but there didn't look to be any impact chips on the pot itself. Then I finally saw what made the hole - again, because of the angles we couldn't see it inside. There, next to the pot, laid a two-inch metal ring. It's a solid ring, fairly heavy.

The hole, from outside

From inside, the ring on the floor

No, I have no idea what it could possibly be used for, or how it could have come through my window.

Should be fun to replace

Now it's time to play a little CSI (just conveniently ignore the fact we have never watched the show). I turned my back to the hole and looked around. Directly in front of me, about 15 feet away facing south, is a fence. Because the land slopes upwards to the south, the six-foot fence is actually about eight feet high. There is roughly zero chance of a metal ring coming from that direction, unless it was thrown at a tight downward angle from the top of the fence.

To the right, to the west and the front of the property, there is still fence, but any trajectory would be blocked by the neighbor's house and our dog kennel. There is a narrow area it could come through unless, again, it was thrown from the top of the fence.

It's not likely it was thrown from the fence. The neighbor kids are loud and obnoxious, but they aren't the most athletic nor that old, so I don't think they'd be capable of doing it. That rules out accident from them, and I seriously doubt they would do it maliciously. I mean, why? That doesn't mean they didn't, but I'd have no way of proving it and no one was around that I could see.

To the opposite direction, to the east, our other neighbors sit lower than our property. There were three of them in the yard, but they gave no indication of anything going on or that they were hiding something. Also, the angle to hit the window from their yard would be exceedingly difficult unless there was curve to the projectile. Again, this would indicate for them to have done it there would have to be malicious intent.

We don't really have issues with any of our neighbors - we keep to ourselves - so I find it highly unlikely this was done on purpose. The facts of distance and angle also make it unlikely.

Then Wifey had a good idea - maybe the ring bounced before it hit the glass. We have a pad of concrete pavers outside the sunroom. If it hit there, there would be a mark! So we decided to look for a mark.

Apparently our pavers have plenty of marks. Scratches from who knows what, heat marks from the patio fire pit - it's amazing what you see when you actually look. There may be a mark from a bouncing metal ring, but we have no way of knowing which one it was.

Of course, if it did bounce, that wouldn't solve any of the mystery. We would still have this metal ring that left a hole in the glass that came from who knows where.

And either someone did it on purpose and ran - which is crazy - or someone did it unknowingly (Dad suggested a lawn mower kicking it out, though I don't recall hearing one nearby at the time). We still have a hole in my window pane, and we still have to fix it. And since this is a sunroom window pane, it's probably a special size and a custom order, plus the fact they aren't set the same as a regular window. Oh joy to us.

Closeup - I liked the way the glass seems bent

I briefly thought about filing a police report, but really, what would be the point? I'm still going to have to pay for it and it's not like they have nothing better to do than track this down. I might as well just chalk it up to accident and mystery, choking down the price of the new window on my own.

Still, I did take plenty of pictures - and put the ring in a plastic bag without touching it! - and I couldn't let those go to waste.

More fantastic artistic work

Thankfully the glass didn't shatter into jagged shards; most of it is still in the frame. The vacuum cleaned up all the pieces pretty easily and no one got cut. The cat made it out okay and none of the fuzzies escaped to the outside.

It's just really, really, really damn annoying.

As for the rest of the Fourth, it went okay. Misaki didn't mind the explosions as long as she was in the house hanging out with us, so we watched a movie until the explosions died down. If not for this stupid metal ring being flung at an impossible speed at our sun room window, the Fourth would have been pleasantly uneventful.