Category Archives: Just Stuff

Ewww… That’s Gross!

Seattle’s Pike Place Market has a gum wall.


Who knew? I sure didn’t…

Apparently the gum wall is a well-known tourist attraction.

The gum wall is scheduled to be de-gummed of 20 year’s worth of chews and plops… 🙂

From the Seattle Times

Once named the world’s second-germiest tourist attraction, Pike Place Market’s gum wall will soon be scrubbed of 20 years’ buildup of sugary stickum.

Emily Crawford, a spokeswoman for the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority (PDA) said the gum wall is cleaned “every other month” by the PDA with a steamer, but this will be the first time all the gum is removed from the original wall.

Silvia Lim CQ, visiting from Sweden, takes a self-portrait at the the Gum Wall attraction in Post Alley. It's her first visit having read about it in a tour guide. The covered brick walls are to be cleaned in a week. Tuesday Nov 3, 2015 Ref to on line gallery
Silvia Lim CQ, visiting from Sweden, takes a self-portrait at the the Gum Wall attraction in Post Alley. It’s her first visit having read about it in a tour guide.

The PDA has hired a contractor, Cascadian Building Maintenance, “because it’s going to be a very large job,” Crawford said.

Kelly Foster, of Cascadian Building Maintenance, said the gum will be removed with an “industrial steam machine that works like a pressure washer.”

The machine will melt the gum with 280-degree steam; it will fall to the ground, and a two- to three-man crew will collect the gum in five-gallon buckets.

It's virtually impossible to read the No Parking sign covered with pieces of gum on the west wall of Post Alley. Tuesday Nov 3, 2015
It’s virtually impossible to read the No Parking sign covered with pieces of gum on the west wall of Post Alley.

“This is probably the weirdest job we’ve done,” Foster said.

Crawford said the PDA estimates 1 million pieces of gum are adhered to the walls of Post Alley, and the buildup is in some places 6 inches thick. The cleaning job is expected to cost $4,000.

It's hard to see out this window with all the gum attached in Post Alley at the Pike Place Market. The Gum Wall attraction has spread well along the west wall of Post Alley, so much that the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority (PDA) PDA will steam clean the walls in a week. Tuesday Nov 3, 2015
It’s hard to see out this window with all the gum attached in Post Alley at the Pike Place Market.

More accurate figures on the amount of gum could be forthcoming.

“We want to weigh it,” she said.

Crawford said the gum needs to be cleaned off the walls to preserve the historic buildings in the Market district.

“It was never part of the charter or the history of the Market to have the walls covered with gum,” she said. “Gum is made of chemicals, sugar, additives. Things that aren’t good for us. I can’t imagine it’s good for brick.”

Evoking lips by Man Ray, many pieces of gum went into this attachment to Post Alley's Gum Wall. to be cleaned in a week. Tuesday Nov 3, 2015
Evoking lips by Man Ray, many pieces of gum went into this attachment to Post Alley’s Gum Wall. to be cleaned in a week.

Crawford said cleaning will begin Nov. 10. The job will likely take three or four days.

Colorful globs of salivated chew will no doubt return shortly, the PDA expects.

“We’re not saying it can’t come back,” Crawford said. “We need to wipe the canvas clean and keep (it) fresh.”

The PDA hopes that fresh start hinders gum-wall sprawl. In recent years, Crawford said gum has advanced to new turf “far beyond the original wall.”

One more piece of gum is added to the estimated more than 750,000 pieces in Post Alley. The Gum Wall attraction in Post Alley with visitors to the covered brick, to be cleaned in a week. Tuesday Nov 3, 2015
One more piece of gum is added to the estimated more than 750,000 pieces in Post Alley.
The Gum Wall attraction in Post Alley with visitors to the covered brick, to be cleaned in a week.

Her theory: “It’s so gross,” she said. “People don’t actually want to touch or get near the gum wall. They’re looking for empty surfaces.”

The PDA plans to place more public art in the alleyway and hopes having 20 years of gum removed will keep future visitors more targeted when in placing their gum.

Meantime, the Market is holding a photo contest on its Facebook page, where people can vote on favorite gum-wall pictures.

Cinderfella Jones

I watched and/or listened to the entire Pittsburgh Steelers vs Arizona Cardinals game today.

It was an exciting game. And it was capped off by a good Cinderella–make that Cinderfella–story!


Pittsburgh was playing with their veteran back-up quarterback Michael Vick because their franchise quarter back Ben Roethlisberger was injured a few weeks ago.

When Michael Vick was injured during the game, the Steelers’ third string quarterback Landry Jones got his first playing time in a regular season NFL game since he was drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 2013 draft.

Jones’ Wikipedia entry had already been updated within a couple of hours:

On October 18, 2015, during the Steelers’ game against the Arizona Cardinals, Jones would play his first NFL game, replacing an injured Michael Vick in the third quarter with the Steelers down 10-6. He finished the game with 168 passing yards and 2 touchdowns as he led the Steelers to a 25-13 comeback win.

It’s insane to think that a quarterback playing in his first NFL game would complete 8 of 12 passes for 168 yards.

And I think it’s even crazier to find an NFL player who wears flannel in a post-game press conference and starts by saying, “Oh my goodness…”!


He grew up in a small town of just over 10,000 in southeastern New Mexico, and he was named after legendary Dallas Cowboys’ coach Tom Landry.

I love a good Cinderfella story, and Landry Jones sure has one.

Power of Dreams – Paper

I saw an amazing commercial last night and thought you might like to see it, too.


The commercial is part of Honda’s “Power of Dreams” series, and this commercial is called “Paper”.

It’s a journey through six decades of Honda innovation…

The spot, called “Paper,” weaves together roughly 3,000 hand-drawn illustrations using stop-motion filming that takes viewers through a paper-flipping, historical journey of Honda products. Images include references to founder Soichiro Honda’s use of a radio generator to power his wife’s bike, Honda’s motorcycle development and multiple shots of cars past and present, including the new 2016 Pilot vehicle.

The original commercial is two minutes long, and an entire marketing campaign is built around it. The two minute version was run on a very limited basis during the last week in September. A one minute version will air during October.


Good News! Bad News!

Got some good news the other day.

The pickleball holding belt that Carol and I developed is selling well at — the online store that sells all things pickleball.


They emailed the other day and said

Your belts are a hit!  We need more!

Please find attached a P.O. from PickleballCentral.

That’s the good news.

The first order was for 30 I’ve Got Balls! belts. Easy peasy…


That’s a manageable amount to make. I made a few extra but not too many because we weren’t sure how they’d go over…

Turn’s out they went over very well.

The bad news is that they now want 60!


That’s a lot of sewing that I’ve got to do.

Thankfully it’s been a great football weekend, and I’ve gotten half made and ready to send out.

Pickleball Central was kind enough to take half now and half in a little while!

So today’s post is late because I’ve been attached to my sewing machine most of the day.  🙂


A Day in the Life of Sophie

Sophie’s a busy dog…

Her day begins early in the morning, when Rich gets up to start his coffee brewing. He lets her out of her crate and she comes up on our bed to sleep with me a bit longer.

After a few early morning stretches…

0920150804b… she is on high alert watching for squirrels.


Sophie discovers that she made a mess of her bed last night and tries to lure me to straighten it up.


“What are we going to do today?”


“How about we play with my cupcake toy?”


As I go out to the garage, Sophie asks, “Are we going somewhere?”


And then decides if we are, it would be best if she untied my shoelaces because that’s what her job is… Day in and day out… Every time we go somewhere…


At this point she’s not sure if we’re going for a walk or for a drive. It’s best to see if the car door opens magically.


Once she’s in the car, it’s not quite as fun as she thought it would be.


Back from our drive, she needs a nap.


Nap’s over. “How about let’s play with my cloth Frisbee.”




“Wait a minute. I think I heard the UPS guy drive by…”


“Time to fix dinner.” Sophie’s always VERY nearby to help.


She thinks if she looks pathetic enough, she’ll get more treats. Rarely works with me. Works well with Rich.  🙂


Especially at the dinner table.


And then it’s TV time on the couch.


Carol and I Have Got Balls!

Carol and I created a new product, and we received some great news yesterday!

A bit of background…

The product holds between one and five pickleball balls or tennis balls in a lightweight belt while you’re playing.


It was born out of frustration because it’s annoying to have to go gathering errant balls while playing.

Our product lets you keep playing longer because you have more balls ready to go…

IGBSo we decided to call the product, “I’VE GOT BALLS!”

And we are sewing it in three colors: orange, lime green, and black.

It took a while to get the design down and we had lots of help from other players who critiqued our initial trial belts.

Back to the present…

Last week, Carol sent a sample to an online pickleball company, and last night she received an email from them saying…


They ordered 30 for their initial order! Woohoo!!!!!!

I’m off to start sewing…

Orange-IGBs Green-IGBs Black-IGBs


Mile Marker 420

I found this story too bizarre not to share… 🙂


Idaho Replaces Mile Marker 420 with 419.9 to Thwart Stoners

If you’re looking for milepost 420, you won’t find it in Idaho.

Idaho transportation officials say the mile marker has been replaced with 419.9 signs to curb thieves eager to own a number associated with marijuana enthusiasts.

Turns out, Idaho isn’t alone in this problem. States like Washington and Colorado have also replaced 420 signs with 419.9 after consistently having to replace them after thefts by supposed sticky-fingered stoners.

Adam Rush of the Idaho Transportation Department says officials have replaced the old sign along U.S. Highway 95 with “MILE 419.9,” just south of Coeur d’Alene.


Rush added that this is the only 420 sign the department has replaced. Most highways don’t cover more than 400 miles.

The number “420” has long been associated with marijuana, though its origins as a shorthand for pot are murky.

A bit of Googling found this reason for the inception of “420” from the BBC.

How 420 Became Code for Marijuana

On Sunday pot smokers will gather across the US to mark what has become a hallowed date in their calendar – 4/20, or 20 April – by smoking marijuana, possibly at 4:20 pm.

The 4/20 celebrations have taken off in the last few years, but their origins appear to lie in the escapades of a group of friends from San Rafael high school, northern California, in 1971. That autumn, the five teenagers came into possession of a hand-drawn map supposedly locating a marijuana crop at Point Reyes, north-west of San Francisco.


The friends – who called themselves the Waldos because they used to hang out by a wall – met after school, at 4:20 pm, and drove off on their treasure hunt. They never found the plot. “We were smoking a lot of weed at the time,” says Dave Reddix or Waldo Dave, now a 59-year-old filmmaker. “Half the fun was just going looking for it.” The group began using the term 420. So did friends and acquaintances, who included – at a couple of steps removed – members of the Grateful Dead rock band. The term spread among the band’s fans, known as Deadheads.

Then in 1990 Steve Bloom, an editor at High Times, saw 420 explained on a Grateful Dead concert flyer. Staff on the magazine, long the leading publication on marijuana, started using it. (They held ideas meetings at 4.20pm – pot-fuelled, of course.) Twenty years later another publication, 420 Magazine, reported a claim by a rival group of San Rafael old boys that they had invented the term. But the Waldos, who have shown letters and other items to High Times, vigorously defend their version. “We’re the only ones with evidence,” says Steve Capper, or Waldo Steve.

Bloom says the term has served as a sort of semi-private code, and cannabis smokers tend to spot it everywhere – building numbers, prices, even clocks in the film Pulp Fiction. After the 420-mile marker on the Interstate-70 highway in Colorado was repeatedly pinched, officials recently replaced it with a 419.99-mile sign.

This year Denver will be the centre of festivities, thanks to Colorado recently becoming the first state to permit the sale of recreational marijuana. Smokers are celebrating breakthroughs in their legalisation campaign elsewhere too. “This might be the biggest 420 ever,” says Bloom. “This might be the peak of 420.”

download (1)

Sophie Knows Shoes

Bend, Oregon


We’re pretty sure that Sophie, our dog, stood too long in the cute line and not long enough in the smart line. 🙂

But everyone once in a while she surprises us.

I’m convinced that she knows the difference between my shoes.

These shoes are for pickleball, and when I put them on she sighs and walks away because she knows she’s not invited.


These shoes are for walking and jogging. When I put them on she goes crazy wild with barking and trying to untie my shoe laces. 

And these shoes are for getting in the car and going for a ride. And when I put them on she goes crazy wild with barking and trying to untie my shoe laces.


Well, now that I think about it, maybe she’s not THAT smart.

It appears that she only knows pickleball shoes and gets depressed when I put them on.

All other shoes mean that she’s involved in the activity. And that’s when she goes nuts!


Ripettes Van Winkles

Burns,  Oregon

We are on the road again for a short trip to Bend,  Oregon.  I’m playing in a big pickleball tournament on Saturday and Sunday.

We are taking two days to drive to Bend,  and we left Sophie with Melissa. 

Apparently Sophie and I were both sleep deprived because we both napped and napped and napped yesterday.

Melissa sent  three pictures of Sophie napping in various places throughout the day.

Nap #1


Nap #2


Nap #3


Not only did  Sophie take multiple naps,  I joined her as a Ripette Van Winkle…

Within  twenty minutes of arriving in Burns,  I listened to my  Hocus Posts relaxation music and promptly fell asleep for a FOUR HOUR nap. 

That’s my longest nap ever! And it was divine!!!!!


Pickleball Miles

I played pickleball in the Idaho Senior Games on Friday and Saturday.

What a blast!

0809151012Played tons of pickleball. Met great people. And even won a couple of medals.

Saturday was my busiest day. I played in ten doubles games and nine singles games.

That’s a lot of pickleball. And that’s a lot of steps.

Alas, I lost my FitBit a while ago, so I don’t know how many steps I took.

But there is a way to figure out how many pickleball miles* I had. 🙂


Two games of pickleball, well doubles games actually, calculate into one pickleball mile.

Most of my singles matches were close, so there were lots of side outs which means longer play. So even though the rallies don’t last as long in singles games, I’m going to count them each as an actual game.

Therefore I had over NINE pickleball miles yesterday!

Just from this weekend, I’m well on my way to earning my 100 miles club patch. 🙂


(*From The Pickleball Mile sponsored by Pickleball Rocks!)