The Craig Clan crest is of a knight in full armor charging into battle with a broken lance. They said of the Craigs, 'Well, they're not very smart, but they're optimistic!'
I played on this when I became a duck captain. I wore a Craig tartan tie and had a whole thing about shouting FREEDOM! to people on the side walk who had funny haircuts (Scottish people are cheap and not so willing to pay $10 for a haircut).
And then in the off-season, the ducks had a Holiday Tour. I hate Christmas but I volunteered to run tours. I decided I would be Frank, laying Christmas on the line. I bought a full Santa suit and once the passengers were seated I bounded up like I was Santa Claus. After a few Ho Ho Ho's and an Oh What Fun!!, I confessed that I wasn't the real Santa, just a department store Santa who just got off work.
Turns out Frank hates Christmas and kids and religion and The Man. Frank was a Scottish Buddhist who detests materialism and all the major world religions. He was also a strong member of the local Santa union- BFD (Bearded Fat Dudes #86), United We Santa!
My holiday tour was full of bagpipes and inappropriate music and jokes. I had a blast with it and, to my knowledge, only got one serious complaint.
Now I'm back with the ducks as a driver. I had no intention of being a tour guide, but after driving the guides around for the past few months, I'm thinking… maybe I could have some fun as a guide, too… Driving a duck downtown and into the water is a blast, but maybe it would be fun to hear from Frank Braveliver again.
At least for me.
Not sure if the bar at the Red Lion Hotel has pina coladas in pineapples so I will be bringing my own.
This vacation is really coming together. Can't wait til the next one!
In my whole adult life, you could count how many vacations I've taken on one hand and still have a couple fingers left over. I'm really bad at recreating. I've never been camping, I've never been to Europe, and even the idea of sitting on a beach bores the hell out of me.
But I was talking to Mom and Dad today and we all agreed that I need to go somewhere and do something.
So I'm going to Kelso! Gonna take the train down there on a Friday, go hike around Mt St Helens the next day, and then on Sunday I'll watch the Seahawks opener in a bar and then hang out with the Wicked Tinkers at the Scottish Games. On Monday I will take the train back to Seattle.
I'm not bringing my computer so I won't be able to work on anything. I'm gonna chill out and not do a fucking thing. There's even a pool and I just might go in and swim around a little. Can't even remember the last time I went swimming.
I'm very excited.
Salmon have about the shittiest life of any creatures on earth. They are born in streams up in the mountains and get thrust out into the salt water. Then, they live a couple nice years in the open ocean. But something draws them back and they have to lay their eggs (ladies) or spew all over them (dudes).
They will travel over a thousand miles to get back to the exact spot where they were born. Which is pretty amazing when you realize that they are in a totally toxic environment. Once they are in fresh water, they can't eat and they can barely breathe. You see them jumping in Lake Union, but they're not going for fish, they're gasping for air.
Salmon will swim past sea lions, up through the fish ladder, miles upstream while dying, past the bears and eagles, to lay and fertilize their eggs.
I'm not a big fish eater, but I respect the salmon.
…but there's something kind of… historic?… about waking up at six am and going for a row on the Ship Canal. I don't have a fancy shell like in the picture, but I do have a 10' Livingston that doesn't leak too much.
When I'm out among the halibut schooners and the trawlers and the tug boats I feel like this is a special time in my life. If I live to be 85, I'm pretty sure I will look back and brag to some care giver that I used to live among all those boats that caught more than half of all the domestic seafood consumed in the United States. I lived in a really cool neighborhood of what is now Cascadia that used to be inhabited by Scots. I'll tell her that Ballard used to be called Little Scotland.
I'll say that we had more Scottish people here than anywhere else in the world (other than Scotland). I'll tell her that there was a time when you could live in a major city even though you made about 40k a year.
For all of the deep depression I've gone through in my stupid existence, there has been one thing that has kept me from taking my own life- the thrill of riding a motorcycle as fast as I can with the knowledge that it might be somebody else who pulls out in front of me and ends it all.
I don't want to die, not at all. But I feel a rush when I'm speeding up and down Shilshole Ave. I feel full of life. I feel like I can't possibly go any faster, and it's sometimes scary as hell, but I ride that bike as fast as it will go.
But the funny thing is that I don't feel reckless at all. I feel like I'm embracing life, right? What better way to embrace life than to hop on a bike and drive as fast as you can?