grandson mason

grandson mason

grandson jaxson

grandson jaxson

Sunday, June 30, 2013

01-30JUN13 - Sultan, WA (a few visitors in june-uary)

grandson Jaxson J Pitre
Saturday morning, 01JUN, we headed into Seattle for a free tour of the Paramount Theatre. As you may remember from our April BLOG entry, we attended the play “Black Watch” at the Paramount; during our visit we learned that free tours of the theatre are offered at 10AM on the first Saturday of every month. As you may also remember from the BLOG, Dan has many memories of attending rock concerts at the Paramount in the 70s. So he was very enthusiastic about finding time to take the tour!

One of the most interesting things we learned was that the theatre cost $3M to build, but cost $35M to renovate! The major factor in the cost increase was not the price of materials, but the price of labor. In the late 1920s rather than use costly materials, labor was used to apply faux finishes because it was cheaper. For example the grand lobby appears to be lined with Italian marble, but is a faux finish that very few people know how to do today. During the recent renovations it would have been far cheaper to use the real Italian marble to replace damaged wall panels; but because the building is a national landmark, the faux finish had to be used & the few remaining artisans now charge big bucks!

Also on the tour we learned the difference between a “player piano” & a “recreation piano”. Note – don’t say “recreation” as in leisure activity, but say re-“creation” as in recreating something exactly the same as the original! We have all seen the old style upright player pianos that play music from a roll of paper with holes punched in the paper to trigger the keys; often the result sounds average at best. The recreation piano of the 20s & 30s were full size grand pianos of concert hall quality that also played music from a roll of paper. But in their case the roll was actually created by the major piano artists of the day on concert grand pianos. The artist would even “edit” roll by having it played back & modifying the punched holes to suit their artistic interpretation of the piece being “recorded”. Then the roll would be faithfully copied & shipped to entertainment businesses that had the appropriate grand piano (& shipped to very wealthy individuals that could afford the piano & rolls).

Tuesday, 04JUN, we had a contractor start site prep for new garage/shop building; site prep continued throughout the day & finished Wednesday. The preparation consisted of removing topsoil down to solid ground & trucking in about ten trucks of rock & gravel to stabilize the site for the concrete slab that will eventually be poured. Because we had to rotate the building site to avoid a buried electrical line, Snohomish County wants us to resubmit out Site Plan for reapproval on the 17th of June! This could be a major delay & more money for something that makes no difference on the project in our opinion? During all this activity Dan found time to smoke his first salmon filet on his new smoker BBQ, the result was delicious & quickly eaten!

As a result of the site prep Thursday we fired-up our 60 year old Ferguson tractor & with our 20,000 lb nylon tow strap hauled over 40 stumps from where the contractor had left them to our ever growing stump pile. Naturally it was 80 plus degrees & the heat almost killed us. Once again Corrie is left with a torn up yard to repair & reseed.

Now having the correct parts to repair the old Sears mower & now knowing where the “left over part” goes, Dan spends Saturday, 08JUN, completing the latest repairs to the Sears mower. Once again it was back to two ride’m mowers going at the same time to mow our oversized lawn. Also during the day Dan installed an electronic device in the house that allowed a TV in the kitchen without running a coax cable to it. When we had the house built we chose five locations for coax outlets throughout the house, none were in the kitchen. Since our TV is in a separate “TV room”, this means that when dinner is being prepared the cook can not see the evening news. To get a coax cable to the location where we wanted the TV would mean either finding an existing cable in the attic (almost impossible with the blown-in insulation) & opening drywall to run it down the wall; or running new cable thru crawl space & drilling up thru our new wood floors. Both options were not acceptable. Finally Dan discovered on the internet a small box you connect to any coax cable outlet, this box then transmits a radio signal, that another box on back of TV picks up & allows full TV reception! Not only did this solve our problem, but allows the second TV to play anywhere, even outside.

Thursday/Friday/Saturday, 13-15JUN, we emptied & cleaned the RV. We have kept the RV clean as we lived in it; but this was the first time we completely emptied every nook & cranny, followed by a complete cleaning. We thought we were very good about only carrying what we truly needed for full time RV’ing, but were still surprised by items we never used in six years & even junk that we were carrying with us!

Sunday afternoon, Father’s Day, a high school friend of Corrie’s, Faye MacAulay, from Canada arrived for a visit. That evening was dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Sultan (the only one) Ixtapa; followed by the ladies talking about high school days into the night.

Monday, 17JUN, was finally great weather & we all headed into Seattle for sightseeing as usual led by Dan. In less than five hours we managed to see – Dan’s paternal grandparents house on Capitol Hill & the great free view from Volunteer Park; Dan’s maternal grandparents house on Queen Anne & the great free view from Kerry Park; Seattle Center site of the 1962 World’s Fair; ride the Alweg Monorail to downtown; Pike Place Market (& the wall of gum); walk to the Waterfront; lunch at Ivars; Curiosity Shoppe; Pioneer Square; back to the Pike Place Market; & finally back on the monorail to the car. After a great day in Seattle, we headed back to house for an al fresco dinner on the deck.

Tuesday morning Faye departed, hopefully she can stay longer next time! Dan then headed into Everett to keep our appointment with Snohomish County about “moving” the location of the new garage/shop building we have contracted to have built. After showing them how the rotation of the building placed it further from the wetland, the septic field, the well, & that it was needed to clear an electrical line; it was decided nothing further needed & the previous permit was still good:)!

Saturday, 22JUN, was a toss up between going to see the nude bicyclists at Fremont Summer Solstice Festival (see below BLOG about the Summer Solstice Festival & bicyclists in Fremont), or putting the metal roof on the garden shed. Corrie wanted to see the bicyclists, but Dan opted for the garden shed since Saturday was forecasted as the last sunny day before rain returns. The Fremont festival would have been more fun, but Dan did get five of eight roof panels installed on the garden shed.

Sunday morning we headed into Seattle for lunch & to catch “An Evening with Groucho” starring Frank Ferrante at the ACT Theatre. Frank was the star & emcee the first time we went to Teatro ZinZanni & caught “Gangsters of Love” (see below BLOG entry). At the time we were impressed with is improvisation with the audience & thought he’s as good as Groucho. Well there was a reason for his abilities; he has been doing Groucho in various forms for 25 years.

The ACT show was 1/4 biographical; 1/4 recreation of comedy routines from Vaudeville, Movies & TV; 1/4 song & dance from Vaudeville, Broadway & Movies; & 1/4 interaction w/audience (best part). His make-up (applied on stage right before the audience) consisted of a large grease pencil mustache, grease pencil eyebrows, & glasses & mussed-up hair. As described from the website:

“Award-winning actor/director/playwright Frank Ferrante recreates his PBS, New York and London acclaimed portrayal of legendary comedian Groucho Marx in this fast paced 90 minutes of hilarity. The two-act comedy consists of the best Groucho one-liners, anecdotes and songs including "Hooray for Captain Spalding," and "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady." The audience literally becomes part of the show as Ferrante ad-libs his way throughout the performance in grand Groucho style.”

“Accompanied by his onstage pianist, (Mark Rabe), Ferrante portrays the young Groucho of stage and film and reacquaints us with the likes of brothers Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Gummo, Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, Greta Garbo, Marx foil, Margaret Dumont and MGM's Louis B. Mayer. A show perfect for all ages!”

Highly recommended, two thumbs up! Oh yeah for lunch we discovered a hole in the wall crepe stand.

Tuesday, 25JUN, we received a call from our garage/shop building contractor asking – could they start on the building Thursday, instead of starting next week? Dan told the caller that we had no problem with Thursday, but no one had told us about a start date at all! Anyway, it looks like it will start Thursday, because the porta-pottie for the contractors was delivered Wednesday!

Thursday, 27JUN, the contractors arrived bright & early (0630). Fifteen post holes were dug by bobcat auger; holes were then inspected & approved by the County inspector. Fifteen poles (5 are 30 feet in length) were erected by the bobcat & cement was poured in the holes. Contractors then call it a day.

Contractors were back Friday morning at 0600, getting roof trusses up & lower roof sheathed. Contractors stopped work at 1230; which was okay by us because Corrie’s brother Ed & wife Elaine arrived on a Harley around 1300 from Manitoba, Canada. After allowing them to recover from their three day ride, we spent the evening with a relaxing family dinner & reminiscing.

Saturday the girls took off for all day shopping, leaving Ed & Dan to do chores around the property. Ed tackled bush hogging, while Dan was mowing on the old Sears mower. Unfortunately the Sears motor just stopped & could not be restarted; it appears the motor is completely seized & it may be the end of the Sears mower? Also Ed discovered his rear tire on the Harley was wearing unevenly & he had to remove it & run it to the nearest Harley dealer. The Harley dealer had so much work, he can’t mount a new tire until next week. While everyone else was at the Harley dealer Dan smoked ribs for dinner.

Sunday, 30JUN, everyone headed into Seattle for sightseeing:

---first stop was Kerry Park for the view of Seattle & Mount Rainer
---next was Fisherman’s Terminal in Ballard (no Deadliest Catch boats are in) having a breakfast snack at Bay CafĂ©
---Ballard Outdoor Market where we had oven fired pizza slices & mini donuts
---Golden Gardens Park (big crowd building for sunny weather) & Shilshole Marina
---Hiram M. Chittenden Locks & fish ladder, beautiful park & lots of boats (& salmon) locking thru

---Fremont neighborhood, first stop the Troll under the bridge where Elaine became a star attraction the Fremont Walking Tour

---last stop was Gas Works Park where Dan hasn’t been in over 40 years, turns out the park was having live music all day long

Then it was back home to pizza for dinner.

Lastly during the month of June (or June-uary as Seattlites call it) between numerous rain storms, Dan continued working off & on on the garden shed we started in May:

---start prepping garden shed for doors
---cut pieces for doors; prime areas not pre-primed; Corrie starts painting main color; tar paper roof
---install trim work on shed
---install hardware on doors
---finished painting shed & trimming out corners
---installed the metal roof panels