Staying Cool... the Fun Way

Kent has a new city plaza, which is full of fountains, and it draws the local kids like a magnet. Today I spent my lunch hour there, on the sidelines, just to enjoy the fun and photograph it. The kids were so entranced, they never even noticed me. It's the perfect place for kids of all ages to hang out and get cool on our hot summer days.

My favorite water feature is this huge marble, about 4 feet across, which rotates in its own pool. The boys were trying to jump up on it and make it move, and this little girl was happy just to splash.

A favorite technique is to hover over one of the fountains, and wait for it to start up. One little boy waited patiently for his favorite fountain, then giggled and ran around when it soaked him.

Next time you're in Kent, check it out. The plaza is just a block south of the Kent Station parking garage, and across from the Kent library. Sharing space on the plaza is the antique Morford family carousel, another special feature worth checking out.

We knew it was hot... now it's "official"

I knew we were in trouble when I headed home last night, and my Explorer thermometer read 108°. I've seen it read that hot once before... in Walla Walla. Never here. It was a toasty 104° at my house, 6 miles and about 200 ft higher in elevation. I went to bed with a cold wet towel on top of me. Sounds weird (but less clammy than wetting the sheets, which a friend suggested). The towel, plus two big fans running on high, did the trick. We broke the temperature record for Seattle today... wonder if we also broke the nightime high temperature record? 99° at 9 pm should have made a blip in the record books, don't you think?


To roadster, or not to roadster... that is the question

On any nice day in the Pacific Northwest, it's tempting to take my garage queen to work. Said GQ is a 2006 MX-5 Miata, shown beautifully on my banner (photo by my friend, Teresa Adams). Driving topless (the car, not me) on a gorgeous day is heaven on earth. Except when the air conditioner can't keep up with the outside temperatures. The 3rd generation MX-5, which mine is, has a fabulous air conditioning system. But as amply tested a couple of weeks ago in eastern Oregon, it has its limits. I figure 90degrees is the breaking point (this is when I start to sweat and need a constant stream of iced drinks to stay comfortable). Any hotter, especially in direct sun, you need to put the top up to feel remotely comfortable. So, knowing that today's temperatures may be destined for the record books, I paused briefly, sighed heavily, and fired up the Ford Explorer for my daily drive.


Is 103 Hot Enough?

A hundred degrees when I left work, and 103 (briefly) in downtown Kent. This town is like a skillet on a hot stove--the valley is always warmer than the "official" temperature. It's only 98 degrees at the farm, which sounds so much cooler compared to triple digits! I'll be bringing out the big fan tonight.


I realize this isn't a news flash to anyone else currently living in the Pacific Northwest. But it deserves mention here (in future years, I'll want to look back and remember these rare uncomfortably hot days... or will I?). My office windows look south, shaded by a couple of big trees, with a view of more trees and a Kent wetland. Beautiful, nice, cool... it's a lie. I just walked through the machine shop to the engineering offices, and when I stepped through that door, the heat was like a wall I had to push my way through. Yikes! how do the machinists stand it? It was 90-something on my car thermometer at lunchtime; I wasn't brave enough to look closely enough to read the second digit. I wasn't worried about this lack of knowledge... going home tonight, it will most likely be in the triple digits.

The First Blog of the Rest of My Life

OK, I admit to feeling the pressure. After all, this is the very first entry on my brand-new blog. The journalist in me is holding out for the perfect lead. The technical writer in me says to just start writing, and let the editor clean it up (that's me, too). The best thing of all? Once I've posted a few notes, this one will slip to the bottom, out of sight.

At least, that's what I thought... but then I figured out how to change the posting date, which means I can write a blog about anything that's happened in the past. So although this blog title records my first ever blog, it isn't the first blog anymore.