Odds and Ends News Update

It’s been awhile since I posted so I thought I would do a quick round-up of the happenings here in Washington State since May.
 
Vicki has a new job over in Kirkland. She’s now managing the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Evergreen Healthcare in Kirkland. She really likes it and is settling into her new set of responsibilities.
 
Cody & Kyra (our Huskies) have been getting a lot of walks in the Tolt Macdonald Park in Carnation where they enjoy crusing through the big cedar trees and swimming in the Snoqualmie River. Both are doing well and have acclimated to West Coast life (i.e. they sleep out in the yard all day while we’re at work). Kyra objects to the carpet color in the house and has been taking matters into her own paws recently (read steam cleaner rental will be required at some point).
 
I have been spending somewhat fewer hours at Microsoft as the project I’ve been working on since the beginning of the year is nearly complete and is slated to ship with the next release of the Windows Logo Kit. The project, KitSetup, is a generic configuration manager for software kits (i.e. complex software distributions comprised of many smaller interdependent components).
 
On the home front, I spent a few weekends building 18" x 8′ x 8′ shelf units for the garage. Altogether, I built six or seven of these units – enough to cover most of the exposed wall in the garage and get all the moving boxes from the barn in Maine off the floor. I still need to go through all the boxes and sort everything out so I can find it. But, that can wait until it starts to rain.
 
Bought a $45 used lawn mower which is receiving a beating. I miss the fancy John Deere riding mower from Maine but couldn’t really use it out here even if I had it. Two of three giant  brush piles from last summer’s tree work operation got burned early this summer with help from Kenny and his excavator. One additional pile (half the size of the house) remains from last summer and Kenny and I created another one last week clearing windfall from last December’s massive windstorm. We got another load of logs (mostly Douglas Fir) out of the windfall which I’m going to sell to the mill to defray the cost of Kenny and his excavator. I’ve definitely been getting my money’s worth out of the Stihl MS390.
 
I gave up on my old GT zero-suspension mountain bike (basically every component was broken and needed to be replaced). Vicki and I both are getting new mountain bikes (I’m getting a Specialized and she’s 90% fixed on a Trek). I was down at the Marmot Mountain store in Bellevue earlier this afternoon and picked up several Washington State Department of Forestry maps that show all the logging trails out behind the house in the Alpine Lakes region of the Cascades. We can get out to trails directly from the house without ever hitting paved road and have access to hundreds of thousands of acres of logging road and single track. We should be able to get some fantasic vistas as it looks possible to ride up to 4 or 5K feet and get a commanding view of Puget Sound out to the Olypics to the West and Mt. Rainier to the South. Cool. I’ll post some pictures and try to outride the couugars and bears 🙂
 
We’ve been talking some about coming back East this fall to visit friends and family in New England but there’s nothing definite yet.
 
Talk to you all soon!
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About Chris Russell

http://www.chrisrussell.net
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