I must say that sleeping humans are not that cute (with the exception perhaps of baby humans.) They are twisted and have messy unmanageable hair and bed-clothes and sometimes thrash around. Indeed humans do not wish to be seen sleeping, nor to be seen waking up in the morning without a substantial amount of time spent to make themselves presentable.
Not so with cats. All cats have a particular expression of joy while sleeping and are very pleasant to look at. Their soft fur stays nice and intact at all times and the feet are particularly cute. Here are some examples.
Tiger is 8 years old and still enjoys sleeping very much.
Not all cats sleep the same but they all sleep cute. Here is Benji sleeping. He is not quite one year old.
After an unseasonably warm start to November the rainy season is officially upon us. This after record-breaking October rains. What to do, what to do? You can either lament the weather and hunker down inside for the next six months… or you can plan your rainy day activities now. Here’s one for starters: MOHAI. No it’s not some exotic island in the Pacific. And it’s not the Smithsonian either. It’s Seattle’s own humble Museum of History and Industry at its new location on the shores of Lake Union.
The Grand Atrium
One recent rainy day we made the trek into Seattle to visit the museum. First up was the Grand Atrium where we saw colorful icons from Seattle’s past. Soaring overhead – Boeing’s first commercial aircraft, the 1919 B-1 flying boat (the only one made) which provided international airmail service between Seattle and Victoria, B.C. for eight years. Also on display: the Rainier brewery sign, Slo-Mo-Shun IV the legendary hydroplane, and the original Lincoln Toe Truck with its big toe reaching 11 feet into the air.
Before continuing to the next floor I sat through a short film and was reminded of the many companies (and entire industries) that got their start in Seattle beginning with the granddaddy of them all, the Boeing Airplane Company. Did you know that a Boeing 737 takes off or lands somewhere every two seconds? And Starbucks opened its first store in 1971 at the Pike Place market and changed America forever by making strong, delicious (and overpriced) coffee drinks available on every corner. And how about Microsoft, started by local brainy teenagers (now billionaires) Bill Gates and Paul Allen. And lets not forget that other billionaire maker, Amazon. And that’s just to name a few.
My oh my, as Dave Niehaus would say. Seattle you’ve come a long way!
Of course there’s too much in the museum to cover in a single post, just as there’s too much to cover in a single museum visit. Especially if you read everything, which most people do not, including me. So I will just mention a few things of interest, starting with the landing at Alki.
Denny Party arrives at Alki
In November of 1851 twenty-two white settlers known as the Denny Party come ashore at Alki Point in the dreary cold and icy rain. How fitting. Chief Seattle and his tribe welcomes them and eventually the new town is named after the accommodating chief. Henry Yesler starts up a lumber mill on Elliott Bay and logs are dragged to the mill down “Skid Road.” The town grows and there seems to be a shortage of women who might teach and perhaps marry the loggers. What to do? Import them!
Here Come the Brides
Asa Mercer goes east in search of educated and adventurous women who are willing to come to Seattle. The journey was a long one from Massachusetts to New York, through the Isthmus of Panama and San Francisco to finally reach Seattle. In 1864 the first small group of women arrives with more to follow. Remember the nineteen sixties TV show that tells the story? I do!
The Big Fire of 1889
The town continues to grow and prosper until like any big city worth its salt in history, it burns to the ground. On June 6, 1889 the main business core of Seattle (mainly built of wood) burns down when a glue-pot tips over. The volunteer fire department shows up but alas there is no water to be had anywhere. As the singing exhibit will tell you, “The tide was out and the hydrants were dry!”
There was no loss of life but the town was turned into rubble, leading to rebuilding with brick and mortar under new building codes.
(By the way it is a fact that much of the new town was rebuilt on top of the old one giving rise to today’s tours of Underground Seattle in Pioneer Square, which most locals never take; but hey, don’t let that stop you!)
Fast forward to the 20th Century and Music, Music, Music!
Yes, Seattle has a vibrant music history! Ray Charles moves to Seattle in 1948 and cuts his first record in his adopted city. He meets Quincy Jones who grew up here. Jimmy Hendrix also grows up in Seattle and teaches himself guitar. And grunge rock takes off in the eighties led by the likes of Kurt Cobain, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.
The Seattle World’s Fair
And how can I fail to mention the 1962 Century 21 Exposition otherwise known as the Seattle World’s Fair that helped shape Seattle’s future and brought the Space Needle to our skyline? You can learn all about it at MOHAI.
So why don’t you come and see the exhibits for yourself the next time the rain is falling? And don’t forget to take in the views of Lake Union from the Maritime Gallery on the 4th floor and peer through the WW2 Periscope.
And now I leave you with this Happy Ending: Elvis Presley parading through the Seattle Fairgrounds in front of the Coliseum in, ‘It Happened at the World’s Fair.”
So long for now and …. Mohai!
More nose to nose. Less rebuke and hissing. More close encounters of the peaceful kind. Less misunderstanding the intentions of the other. No, I’m not talking about the country (though that would be good too.) I’m talking about Tiger the resident tabby and his new little brother Benji. After almost three months, rejection is giving way to tolerance, and tolerance to acceptance, and acceptance approaching understanding. Friendship is sure to follow.
Tiger – Benji is my little brother. I can tell by his chopped ear that he had a rough first life. I went through hard times too. I’m learning that his annoying behavior is playful and not malicious. He’s still young and can’t help himself. I guess I was like that too once. Sue wants us to get along and so I am trying. Someday I may like him more than I do now. But I do not hate him. We share the same house and I know he is part of our family. I think there is room for both of us.
Benji – I like Tiger. He is big and strong. I want to play with him but need to learn how. He doesn’t like me to pounce on him so I am trying hard to stop. He is sure to remind me if I forget. I hope someday we get along even better and have lots of fun outside together. He is a good hunter and I want him to teach me the ways of the stealthy cat. When I grow up I want to be like him. I think there is room for both of us.
~ Susanne and Tiger and Benji
Whether November turned out to be beautiful for you or not.. well, we won’t go there. Instead, let us look to the skies at the beautiful weather we are having here in the Pacific Northwest. After a record breaking rainy October, we reached 70 degrees earlier this week, the highest temperature ever recorded this late in the year. And we have had several days in the sixties since. I suppose that compensates for other disappointments. Or maybe not.
Yesterday we took a drive and visited Olympia, Washington’s state capital. I wandered down to the Capitol Lake and was cheered to see the Capitol Building still standing strong. Okay, perhaps I exaggerate. But it is lovely.
And the bay nearby was serene and peaceful, just what I needed.
What to say? Perhaps we have to give one another the benefit of the doubt. Good people voted for the candidate of their choice for reasons known only to themselves. Obvious deal breakers for some were not for others. Let each be persuaded in their own mind.
We shall see. Change is hard. But today, the sun is still shining.
This is Tiger and I thought it was time for an update lest you think I was a most unhappy cat after little you know who moved in not long ago. Not to worry. Today I was out surveying my kingdom unhindered, while the skies were blue, the leaves were fragrant underfoot and the sun was shining through the clouds. Sue sought me out and I knew she had something on her mind. I pawsed. (Little cat humor there.)
She bid me come inside so we could talk awhile…… Sure, I said. I always have time for you….
Up to her office we went where I took some time to clean up while she settled into her chair.
“Don’t worry about Benji,” she said, “he’s still young and will soon grow out of his pestering ways. See how much better he is in only two months.”
I had to agree. I am now able to look upon the young cowboy with nary a hiss (well…. most of the time.) Things are looking up.
She also assured me that I, being the senior cat in residence and clearly the most handsome and charitable and reasonable one on the premises, would retain most favored feline status and all that included. Regardless of how it sometimes appeared. I was being tested daily, she continued on, but it would only make me stronger. This too I considered and had to agree. I am strong. And most reasonable.
She has always been straight with me and trustworthy too. And I the same with her.
She needed reassurance that I was still happy and on board with the newcomer. Certainly I was, yes. I pledged my continued cooperation while the youngster grew out of his worst traits. (Too many to mention here.)
And thus, I am still happy, with most favored feline status and with top billing,
~ the Tiger