Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

December 4, 2007


Well we're all crawling out from the first serious Pineapple Express storm of the winter. I wish that a cold front had collided with this massive moisture because we would've had a ton of snow. As it is, several communities around the Puget Sound did have a lot of snow on Sunday, and not just in the Cascades, but it changed to pouring rain overnight Sunday to Monday.

Sunday afternoon the wind kicked up and the rain started shortly thereafter and then it just howled for hours. I went to bed really early so I slept through it, but Brian had to give poor little Pepper a doggie tranq so she could get thru the night. Meanwhile, I'm praying for the power to go out. Driving in to work Monday was challenging for reasons besides the raging storm, which I'll get to in a minute.

However, as our luck would have it, Pierce County didn't take a direct hit at all. For the most part, our rivers are higher, but not road level. I'm tellin' ya, now that we have the super delux generator, we'll never lose our power again. I suppose we should be thankful for that....but I really would like to be home and experience the generator on and actually powering our house.

Other parts of Western Washington were not so lucky. "The Pineapple Express" is what we call any warm storm front that comes up from Hawai'i. The temperatures were only in the 50's, but the rain comes sideways in sheets and the wind just blows so hard. The rivers rise quickly and storm drains can't possibly accomodate that much water for that long before everything starts to overflow and flood. Mudslides have slid down across the railroad tracks so all the trains have stopped between Vancouver, BC and Portland, OR. The towns of Woodinville (east of Seattle) and Aberdeen (WA coast) are completely cut off because of floods or trees across all of the highways; they've had wind gusts over 100 mph on the coast. A 20-miles stretch of Interstate 5 is closed down in the Centralia area, with 8' - 9' (yes, feet, not inches) of water over the road and the Chehalis River hasn't yet crested. The WSDOT has no idea when it will reopen. They are suggesting people take a 300 mile detour to get from Seattle to Portland.

Here are some pictures from This was taken in Olympia, south of where I live. Woodinville (east/northeast of Seattle)


Seabeck, on the Kitsap Peninsula, near the Hood Canal. Note the snow drifts and plow piles from the massive snow they got late Sunday, which melted extremely rapidly and contributed to the flooding.


Woodinville. I was listening to KIRO radio on the way home, at 4:20, and they were having drivers call in and some people had been sitting in traffic since about 1:30 and had only gone 10 miles. No one could get into Woodinville and traffic was gridlocked in all directions. The chopper traffic guys were saying that every single street and highway was bumper to bumper and no one was moving.

So anyways, I head out into the storm at 6:30 a.m. on Monday, and as I am driving down Highway 410, I can hear a weird noise coming from the back of the car. I thought I'd left a window partially down or one of the doors wasn't closed all the way. But it was also pouring and windy and there are a lot of gigantic logging trucks and industrial dump trucks on the road w/ me at that time of the morning, so I figured it was a truck. I had an uneventful drive to work on River Road; conditions made it impossible for anyone to drive over about 40 mph. However, as I approached the curve and on-ramp to Interstate 5, my car did a strange little shimmy. I had a bad feeling. But now I'm on a friggin 5 lane highway with semi's barreling down on me. I know I had to cross over a few lanes to get around a bunch of trucks that were starting to dangerously slow down on the upgrade, but finally I got back over, got off on Highway 16 and made it to work. I was afraid to get out and look. But I knew. My rear passenger side tire was flat. Completely and utterly flat. Then I got that icky post "oh-my-god-I-could've-been-killed" feeling thinking about my trek on I-5 in the pitch dark and pouring down rain.

What a way to start a Monday, eh? Fuck. Fortunately we have AAA. Every year when I get that $80 bill for the membership, I say, "do we really need it?" Then I renew it "just in case". Could I BE more relieved? I could try, but I would not be successful. It was only 7:15 and they got the truck to the office by 8:15 to change the tire. OK, now you are gonna say, "Are you really that much of a delicate doily that you can't change your own damn tire?" And to that I answer, Yes. Yes I am. I don't know how to change a tire. Brian taught me once but I've forgotten. I don't want to do it. That is why there are mechanics and tow truck drivers and damn it, I paid $80 to AAA and I am gonna use it. Besides, even if I could change the tire, I was not about to do it in that storm.
Anywho, at lunchtime I took the car to Les Schwab.

They are one of the last "old fashioned" type businesses. When you pull up, someone comes running to your car. Running. Not walking fast, they run. Customer Service is their number 1 priority. They back up their tires with the most amazing guarantee. I was there less than a half hour and my tire was fixed and patched and I was back on my way to the office. Didn't have to pay a dime because I purchased the tires from their company.

Pepper P. Puppington - So Much More Than Just a Pretty Face

My sweet little Bean is much smarter than one would think. She's not as smart as Sagan, but she's still a very bright, observant little doggie.

The other morning, I had just gotten up, was in the livingroom & kitchen, and Brian was still laying in bed. Sagan was in his crate, where he sleeps and Pepper was wandering around. I take off her collar at night because she sleeps with me so I can't hear her walking around without it. Last I knew, she was snoozing on the floor. I never knew she'd gotten up, gone downstairs, come back up and was now in Brian's room, till I heard the sound of a squeak toy. I heard Brian say, "Whatcha got there Beebs?" Turns out my sweet little angel had gone downstairs, retrieved Sagan's favorite toy (you all remember Duck right?).....

....came back upstairs, parked herself directly in front of Sagan and started squeaking Duck. Because he was still crated, he couldn't get out and she knew it. We did get quite a yuk out of it, so I let Sagan out and I gave him Duck back. Sagan, the sweet little guy that he is, hadn't made a single whine or bark while she was teasing him. He loves his sister.

Buying Back My Childhood One Wacky Pack at a Time.
(note: I have tried a bunch of times to separate these paragraphs but Blogger is not cooperating, so sorry for the run on paragraphs.)

When I was in the 3rd grade, I discovered Wacky Packs. I became addicted to them. I collected them throughout 3rd and 4th grades and had amassed a great stack of them. My parents would put them in my stocking at Crissmiss. Sometimes I'd get a package of cards if I got good grades on my report cards. Sometimes my dad would pick me up a package on the way home from work "just because". To this day, there are products that I still refer to by their Wacky Pack names, like "Ditch Boy Paint", "ValvEater" and my all time personal fave, "Kentucky Fried Fingers - They're Chicken Lickin' Good".
During 3rd grade, I became friends with a girl who had actually bullied me quite a bit. But when my parents gave me permission to "push back", which I did the next time Pam jacked me up against the wall by my shirt collar, she and I ended up becoming really close friends for a few years. Her family was less fortunate than mine, Pam and her siblings were painfully thin, and her father was one scary dude. And not just because he had one eye (an empty, drooping socket too, without even a glass eye). When Pam would come to my house, she would eat and eat and eat. My dad, when he would get animated while telling a story, had a tendency to raise his voice and talk with his hands, and my mom told me that she noticed that Pam cowered a bit, as if she thought she was going to get hit. I was only 9 and didn't notice. Looking back, I wonder if her father physically and sexually abused Pam, her brother and sister. Pam ended up dropping out of school sometime during Junior High; either that or she went to the vocational school, because I don't remember her being around past the 7th grade, and we went to an extremely small school at the time.
Anyway, I don't really remember the incident, but for some reason, something had happened and I felt really bad for Pam, so to cheer her up, I gave her my entire stack of Wacky Packs. My parents absolutely hit the roof. After buying me Packs for 2 years, I just gave them away. My mom told me....actually demanded.....that I ask Pam to give them back. I was not comfortable with that at all. When I went over to her house, I told her that my mom wanted her to give me back the stickers, but Pam said that she'd already stuck them on stuff and I told her that was OK.
Over the years I have kicked myself over and over for getting rid of my collection. A few years ago, before eBay really exploded, I tried to find the cards on line and they were selling for up to $10 PER STICKER. I gave up. Then a couple of months ago, I started trolling eBay and I have to tell ya, people do not know what they have when they sell their stuff online. I have now managed to collect nearly 100 stickers from my era, for really, really cheap bids. In fact, on Thanksgiving Day, I scored 63 of them for only $45.00. Most of my fave stickers have been in the ones I've recently bought, except for "Kentucky Fried Fingers".
I still call Land-O-Lakes butter "Land O Quakes".

Does anyone remember Gold Rush gum? It came in a cloth bag and the gum was little yellow "gold" nuggets.


  1. Um,Jojo,what the hell is that post above mine?I have a friend like Pam,well several.It seems we all stick together.My best friend is a girl that grew up like Pam (from the sound of it) and thankfully we both came out of it all fairly functioning.I use to bring food in my backpack when I spent the night wither her and often she came to my house because she needed a real meal,as well as getting out of the hell she lived in.My house in maany ways was not much better BUT at least we were warm,fed and we had each other to survive.

    Those stickers look great!Reminds me a bit of Garbage Pail kids...twisted!

  2. Does anyone know how I can get my blog roll, avatar and profile back?

  3. Helluva post, JoJo!

    I'll stick with the doggy story - clever, naughty little Pepper!

    When my neighbours had a boxer (sweet-natured but over-exuberant, would like to have got to know the cats, but scared the bejeezus out of them) they used to sit just on our side of the fence and hiss and spit at her, secure in the knowledge that she couldn't get them. She used to go bananas!

  4. jojo,I can see your blog roll just fine.

    Stories like yours about the car make me glad I don't drive...until I think about using public transport in a storm like that :-)

  5. I would give anything if we had a place like Les Schwab! Costumer service has just gone out the window here.

    I've been trying to get in touch with my brother, so far no luck. He rides his bike everywhere...Hope he wasn't washed away.

  6. Tess - Seattle got hit hard yesterday; please let me know when you've heard from him!!

  7. i've never heard of whacky packs, now garbage pail kids yes. they always grossed me out tho.

    that pic of pepper is too cute. she does look so innocent. i can't believe she did that, little devious thing!

  8. I LOVE the doggy stories, Jojo!

    The weather stories just make me jealous.


  9. Anonymous3:10 PM

    I'm a doggy person (there's a rude joke in there somewhere!) so thanks for sharing your stories.

    And here I thought y'all would be snowed in and you're waterlogged instead....

    Hope everyone is safe.

  10. That's an interesting story about your friend. Hopefully, she passed on the kindness. My BF's mom provided a safe haven at her house for me during high school. I have never forgotten that. I also open my home for certain kids to hang out in. There are several who know they can just walk in the door w/o knocking and pop into the kitchen for a snack.

  11. Almost forgot - you know I love pics of Pepper and Sagan! They're adorable as usual.

  12. Lizzzard4:49 PM

    Hey Jojo,
    Thank goodness youw ere able to drive with that flat tire safely!
    I don't change tires either!

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane with the wacky packs. ir remember them so well- my brother and I loved them!