I don’t want to grow up…

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Since my childhood, a part of me was always a Toys R’ US kid.

Then, the realities of adulthood will constantly break in to that innocent little world many of us keep inside. It’s a world of cool little action figures, cartoon nostalgia, board games, brick building, weird collectible nonsense. But, we grow up whether we like it or not, and now the best toy store chain ever has been eaten alive by vulture capitalists.

So goes the final end of Toys R’ Us retail stores over the weekend, in the United States (In Canada, I hear some will remain open), an excited place for kids since 1957. No more rows of tall aisles of childish joy, filled with colorful products with silly gimmicks meant to amuse and sometimes educate. There was odd feeling of privacy one can feel, in browsing the shelves of the large spaces of Toys R’ Us. The connection to that customer service, smiling and sometimes sharing in the simple joy of new toy product trends, is treasured. We can gawk and admire the great craftsmanship of classic Saturday morning commercialism. So much, left to memories now…

I brought myself to the Bellevue, Washington location last week to pay my final respects to the great toy store era now gone. I couldn’t bring myself to take pictures of the stripped down walls of a once great world of Geoffrey Giraffe. So, I share the pic above of a time earlier this year, of a better time for such nostalgic joy.

I also found this fun video of Toy’s R Us ads over the years of its long life. It’s a good showing of the variety and odd ways the store helped develop our youth and still appeals to our inner child…

Forward, I move on to more growing up. But, I think I will always be a Toys R Us kid.

– Orion T

This Sunday afternoon…

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I had a plan to relax outside, though sometimes that takes effort beforehand.

After sleeping in late, catching up on messages, fixing breakfast, finishing laundry, playing Boggle on my phone, taking a shower, answering more text messages, and then watching one more episode of the new Lost in Space series on Netflix (it’s quite good).

Then, I could ignore the bright sunshine any further, and finally left my apartment a little past 1:00 pm).

I took the bus to the Fremont neighborhood, walking into the weekly Fremont Sunday Market. The area is a few blocks long, with many tents and tables selling a variety of used and new goods. I highly recommend this path, for gifts and interesting home decoration. With all that, strolled through the merchant tents, browsing but not purchasing. Sometimes, I just enjoy looking at random things.

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I ended my stroll at the food trucks, feeling somewhat excited about the “Taco Libre Truck Showdown” going on (and the reason I came to the Sunday Market), where tacos of special variety were sold. To participate as a taster of these tacos, one would likely spend much time in a long line for pricey, tiny “street” taco resembling eats. I tried a couple of trucks, and was no happy at the bits of things normally I do not associate with tacos thrown in for that  “gourmet”  or “fusion” flavor (arugula, fruit bits, weird sauces I can’t figure out)..and consumed in three or four bites. Or, I just miss my old living regions of Southern California, where taco trucks delivered bigger, fuller tacos at a cheaper price with much less of a line.

I looked for lemonade to consume. Only one stand found in the area, with an absurdly long line for just the lemonade. Perhaps, it was really high-quality lemonade. I did not stick around to find out.

Leaving my disappointments behind, I found a nice spot by the by the Fremont Canal Park passageway and sat down on a grassy area before a large tree. There were ducks, geese before me in the waters ahead. I had a brief conversation with someone nearby feeding the waterfowl, something about the motherhood and caretaking of such.  Then, I took a short nap, did some reading and absorbed a mix of the mid 70’s sunlight and passing cloud cover above.

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All was enough to enjoy and make the day worthwhile.

– Orion T

Colorful Views at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

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A few days ago, me and local friends ventured out north in the Washington state to the rural area of Skagit Valley by Mount Vernon, to check out its annual Tulip Festival. This wonderful time throughout April is when the tulip farms are at their colorful peak, growing miles of freshly blooms tulips and daffodils. Designated areas for up close viewing are open to the public, with a small admission charge

For the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival of 2018, there are multiple areas to visit and check out, as I entered the Roozengaarde Display Garden and Fields. Stunning place it is, even with the gray weather and muddy grounds (rained hard the day before). I admired and learned much of the tulip life and care that goes into them. I also took some pictures, of which the fields are shared below (click on each to fully appreciate):

The festival time goes on until the end of the month. The tourism on the weekend can be a bit heavy, especially if the rain is gone and the sun is shining. So, be ready for a slow drive when close and lines at the entrance and foot court. It’s all well worth it with friends and family.

For more info, check out tulipfestival.org.

I meanwhile, also show many great up-close shots of the tulips in their enclosed garden area, of which I will share in another post. Look forward!

– Orion T

 

 

 

Looking at some Romanesco Broccoli

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I past by some interesting, and larger sized broccoli at Sosio’s Produce inside Pike Place Market in Seattle. Only $4.99 a pound for this, and what the signed said was “Organic Italian Broccoli Romanesco.”

According to a Wikipedia entry on Romanesco broccoli, it has grown in Italy since the 16th century. Also known:

“Romanesco superficially resembles a cauliflower, but it is chartreuse in color, and its form is strikingly fractal in nature. The inflorescence (the bud) is self-similar in character, with the branched meristems making up a logarithmic spiral. In this sense the bud’s form approximates a natural fractal; each bud is composed of a series of smaller buds, all arranged in yet another logarithmic spiral. This self-similar pattern continues at several smaller levels. The pattern is only an approximate fractal since the pattern eventually terminates when the feature size becomes sufficiently small. The number of spirals on the head of Romanesco broccoli is a Fibonacci number.”

Fascinating!

– Orion T

Fallen Blossoms in the Early Spring

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The Seattle weather has been very fickle lately. The sunshine remains infrequent and the rain a familiar thing that happens 2-3 days a week. Below, are the cherry trees of early spring, reaching the peak of bloom throughout the Emerald City for this year.

Locally, more blossoms have fallen into scatters. The recent rains dampened many, keeping them moist until the groundskeepers collect. Until then, here are some shots last Sunday morning through a local stroll in Seattle’s Freeway Park…

Orion T

The Outside In

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The sun was an inviting element to this particular past weekend for 2018. I think this was the first time of this year, where the Emerald City got complete sunshine for both Saturday and Sunday.

Or, at least that what I have noticed while not being indoors for most this weekend. I walked around a lot through downtown and the waterfront on errands and eating. But particularly striking was the Central Library in the early afternoon. I was there to finish my taxes and check out some movies. The light of the sun directly shined through, causing the revealing pattern shadows on the floor. I had to take a picture (see above).

Then, the only movie I checked out was Alien: Covenant. I watched it later, and felt no excitement. That movie is super boring and put me to sleep.

– Orion T

My 33 cents of V-Day Love

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Seriously, 33 cents worth of today candy all right here. Ugh, what a terrible effort.

Valentine’s Day is nearly over. I hope many of you made it special. I sadly, did not. But to make up for that, I leave a quote that should last longer than this one day..by Abraham Lincoln, inspired by Bill S. Esquire, and Ted “Theodore” Logan; bringing forward the connection we should share…

“Be excellent to each other.”

– Orion T