Rats, Balls and Rat Balls

September 9th, 2019 – Safeway Route.

It has been raining off and on for the last couple of days.  We’re talking real rain, not normal wimpy Seattle rain, this was Mississippi-class rain.  We even had a spectacular lightning storm that had 224 lightning strikes in King County alone.  Fortunately, the rain held off for our walk this morning, but returned with a vengeance after we returned home.

We didn’t see many waves, but it’s now dark for a good part of our walk, so it is getting difficult so see people waving.  That’s our excuse, anyway.  We didn’t come across any roadkill, but did find a dime.  20190909-8Franklin looks pretty beat up.  It was in the Safeway driveway, so many people probably turned on a dime and some probably stopped on a dime.

We found a couple of toys.  20190909-13 A 1/250th scale model dinosaur.  We didn’t know they were bright blue.  No wonder they became extinct.  We always thought of them as green.

We also found a beach ball.  20190909-5It looked like it was a green ball painted blue, but was actually a globe with a map of the world.  This ball appeared to belong to a nearby home, so we tossed it over their fence.  Wonder how many people look out their back window and wonder “Now, where did that blue ball come from?”

Another errant hubcap.  20190909-14It was in bad shape and got recycled in the 7-Eleven recycle bin.

We found a nice stainless-steel bowl.  20190909-15Okay, we’re sure it was nice before someone tossed in in the street to be run-over.

A thank-you note to David and Colleen from David and Amy.  20190909-16It was for some kind of shower, but unclear which kind.  Hopefully, not a baby shower because Amy drank a gift bottle of wine.  Either way, David and Colleen must not have appreciated the note since they tossed it out the window.

Another pile of wood tossed by the side of the road. 20190909-12 Why “wood” anybody do that?  We stacked it up and will pick it up at an opportune time.  Like when we are in our car.  

Someone lost a cat and put up several lost-cat signs.  Unfortunately, they did it on Saturday before the big storms started.  20190909-4We probably picked up a dozen of these.

The only one that almost survived was under a tree.  20190910-3Call 206-9???-??17.  Bad timing.

At the secluded parking spot near Safeway, we found a neatly littered six-pack of Corona beer bottles.  20190909-10And some not-so-neatly strewn Coors Light bottles.  Party time at the Safeway.

After picking up the bottles, we decided to dump them in a nearby recycle bin behind the Montessori School.  Near the bin was this scene.   20190909-9This must be their detention facility.  They didn’t have chairs this nice when we were in detention.  Okay, okay.  When Chuck was in detention.  Miss Goody Two-Shoes was never in trouble.

We have activity at the nonpermitted building project we’ve been watching.  20190909-7The tree that the person has been whittling away at has been tagged with a STOP WORK notice by the City of Kirkland.  It is related to the “damage or removal to City of Kirkland Trees.”  What about the culvert they installed.

For some reason, the relatively clean Norway Hill was a mess.  Someone tossed a perfectly-good Camelbak water bottle.  20190909-3

Then, two empty vodka bottles.  20190909-2Both next to each other.  Fast drinker.

Then this mess at the top of the Tolt Pipeline.  20190909-1There were also several Mike’s Lemonade glass bottles purposely smashed on the street.  Another item, not pictured was a baby diaper.  Thank you, good citizens.  You are exactly the kind of people we need raising our next generation.

More marijuana candy.  20190909-6No, it has a warning label.  No kids will ever get into this as long as we have the parents like the ones above taking responsibility.


September 10th, 2019 – Park-and-Ride Route.

As we started out this morning, it was raining.  Our weather app showed we would have medium rain for 40 minutes.  We donned our rain jackets for the first time in a long while.  Of course, 10 minutes into our walk, the rain stopped.  Great, our rain jackets tend to make us overheat, so it was not worth it for 10 minutes of rain.  However, during our two-hour walk, there were three very heavy downpours, so we were glad we had our jackets.

Since earlier this year when it was still cold, we passed a kid heading for the bus stop.  He always wears the same outfit.  Shorts, short-sleeved, button-up shirt and a backpack.  Today, he was wearing the same outfit and was thoroughly soaked.  But he still looked cool.  In the hip sense, not the cold sense.

We found no money and got no honks, but waved to the Salinas Construction driver who gave us our vests.  We did remove a big rat from the road.  They must be from Chicago.

We probably missed a lot of trash because of the rain, but we did find a hard-to-miss balloon.  20190910-8Unfortunately, it was on the freeway off-ramp and had been playing in traffic.  So it was colorful, not identifiable.  We’ll accept suggestions.

We found a golf ball at the intersection of 112th Ave NE and Juanita Woodinville Way NE.  20190910-7A Titleist. We don’t know where the guy teed off from, but maybe nobody warned him about the dogleg at the end of 112th.


“What are you looking at, Fool?”  20190910-2On the top of Norway Hill, some dear crossed the road in front of us.  They posed for a picture.  The one in the back showed us what he thought.

Okay, another week with no Gypsy Moths. 20190910-4 What is the cost per moth for this program? 

What?  You are a customer of Chase Bank?  20190910-6SUCKER!  Wait, we’re Chase customers .  Where the hell are our suckers?

Okay, someone did leave some candy in a baggie.    20190910-1Correction, someone left us some candy WRAPPERS in a baggie.  They ate the candy.  Okay, at least they kept the  trash in a baggie and reduced the work for us.


September 11th, 2019 – Safeway Route.

This morning was overcast, but dry and cool.  There was a moderate amount of trash to collect. We removed an opossum from the road.

Also, along 145th Ave NE, we picked up a tied-up shopping bag someone tossed.  By the weight of it we figured something dead was inside.  We’ve found several of these before.

We opened the bags.  20190911-8In this case, there were three bags, the first one double-bagged the second.  The second produced a dead crow and a third bag.  The third bag contained a dead squirrel.  We gave the crow and the squirrel a proper burial in the nearby bushes and sent the bags into the garbage. 

Outside the apartments at the end of 112th Ave NE, we found several packages that had most-likely been pilfered. 20190911-7The ones that had addresses were addressed to one person, Byron, who lives in the apartments.  These packages were from several different locations around the country, none from Amazon.  Strange, are there any other places to buy stuff?  You can by anything on Amazon. Yum!  

A Dole banana.  20190911-6A bit ripe for our taste, though.

More balls! 20190911-3We’re on a roll!  Get it?  Roll?  Never mind.

The lost-cat people put up new signs in plastic envelopes.  20190911-2We’ll keep an eye out, but we’re not hopeful.

Someone left us an on-the-go windshield cleaner.  20190911-5Gee thanks.  We’re walking, not driving.  These are $50 for a box of 200.  Oh, great, they’re the same guys that sell those Little Trees air fresheners that we constantly find.  Guess we have 199 more towels to pick up.

We found a discarded shopping bag from Pasito. 20190911-1But we were unable to track down the store.  We could use it as a trash bag, but without knowing the messaging, it could be embarrassing.  Use your imagination.

The tree is gone. 20190911-4A saw was used, so it was not done by the guy with the hatchet.  


September 12th, 2019 – Park-and-Ride Route.

Today was great weather for our walk.  The temperature was cool and there were high clouds, not the heavy overcast we’ve had.  We waved to Salinas Construction and removed a rat and a rabbit from the road.  The rabbit was on Janet’s side of the road, so she collected it.  Then she came to Chuck’s side to dump it in the bushes.  Really?  She had perfectly good bushes on her side.  It’s a power thing.

Early on our walk, a Sheriff’s car passed us.  20190912-1As it passed, the officer flashed his lights for about a second.  That’s a first for us.  That is worth, like 25 waves, right?  If he’d used his siren, it would’ve been worth a hundred waves.  We have a new goal.

We did find more money.  20190912-5It was pretty beat up, but we can see Thomas Jefferson on it.  Or is that Alfred Hitchcock?

An almost-full package of Mambo Fruit Chews.  20190912-2They must not have liked them, but the ants sure did.  We needed to evict the ants before putting it in our garbage bag.  Hopefully ants are not there target market.  Maybe they’re big at picnics.

We hear that every story should have a hook to capture the reader.  Today we found ours.  20190912-3Big things are going to start happening to us now.

At the bus stop, someone tossed another marijuana container.  20190912-4No, not a bus driver.  They shouldn’t.  They wouldn’t, would they?  Then again, dealing with the variety of riders all day, who knows.

We found two tools.  A saw blade in pretty good shape.  20190912-6Sharp, anyway.  Also, another screwdriver bit. 20190912-7Other than rust, both of these are in pretty good condition.  They may not get retirement to the Found Tool collection.  We may put them back to work.

“Finally, I got through traffic and made it home.  Now to relax and catch up on my reading.  Now, where are my reading glasses?  Where did I see them last?  Wait, I set them on top of my car.”  20190912-8These are Foster Grants at $26 a pop. 20190912-9

Really?  The last ones we bought were $10 for a pack of three.  Of course, they would probably have smashed into much smaller pieces.

Toward the end for our walk, we started feeling a bit lost and disoriented.  But then, we got our bearings.  20190912-10We felt much better and headed home.  Oh, come on, we’ve done worse puns.


September 13th, 2019 – Safeway Route.

Janet is out of town today and tomorrow, so Chuck walked alone.  The morning was overcast and warm but dry.  The traffic was Friday-light, but there were some strange drivers.   I was on the sidewalk when an SUV drifted over the line toward me then corrected.  Texting, no doubt.  Then another driver decided a truck doing the speed limit was impeding him and passed in the turn lane.  20190913-5He did signal, though, so that probably made it OK.

I picked up the normal amount of trash for me which meant I missed half the trash we normally pick up.  Yes, I AM blaming Janet.

I did find some toys.  Outside the KinderCare was another toss ring.  20190913-4I tossed it back, and tried to ring the dinosaur heads.  Failed miserably.

And yet another ball.  20190913-3We’re having a ball this week.

A bag was left at the bus stop across from the 7-Eleven.  20190913-1It was full of receipt books for a spa maintenance service.  Whoa! $1400 annual maintenance for a spa, aka hot tub?  We were in the wrong business.  The bag was heavy and the contents were left in a dumpster.

Also in the bag was an address stamp and a lottery ticket. 20190913-2

The address stamp was in good condition.  20190913-6

I figure the owner was waiting for the bus, checked his lottery ticket and was a big winner.  “Enough of this chlorine crap.  I’m out of here.”  I didn’t check if the lottery ticket was a winner.  That’s Janet’s job.  


September 14th, 2019 – Riverside Drive.

This morning was warm and dry, but there was a nice breeze to offset the temperature.  During the walk, my weather app alerted me that it was going to start raining.  It didn’t.  I removed yet another rat from the road.

The road down to Riverside Drive was carved into the side of Norway Hill many years ago.  On the uphill side of the road is a ditch that most of the time has water in it from a spring.  When people toss cans and bottles in the ditch, they often get covered with silt before we can remove them.  The heavy rains we had earlier this week apparently uncovered many.

The rain also uncovered three Bott’s Dots.  20190914-18Technically, two Bott’s Dots and a reflector.  We picked up over a hundred of these last winter when the snow plows efficiently removed them from the roadway.  They keep turning up.

At the Sammamish River Park there were no mini wine bottles to be found.  But I did find a very large beer bottle.  20190914-16I didn’t realize there was some beer left in it and when I lifted it to put in the dumpster, I got a beer bath.  I guess I shouldn’t complain, people pay money for beer baths.  There have been a few beers that I would rather take a bath in than drink, but very few.

Found this in the gutter.  20190914-17It looked like a large cold capsule for a horse.  It was a Mighty Bean.  $10 for 8 of them.  Really?  It’s a plastic capsule with a ball bearing in it.

Someone dumped some rubbish by the side of the road.  20190914-10Upon closer inspection,   20190914-11They also tossed out a tool.  And, yes, a cigarette butt.  I sure hope it was there favorite wrench.  It’s now in our tool collection.  I’m pretty sure it was not their favorite cigarette butt.

This week in gloves.  20190914-1

And poop.  20190914-19

And, to round out the week,  20190914-2two more balls.  So, this has been a banner week for roadkill rats and balls.  Is there a connection?  I searched Google and wish I hadn’t.  For instance, here and here.  Who knew there was ratbehavior.org site, or worse, ratballs.com.  No, it’s not rat sports.  How am I going to get this out of my head?

I was thinking I was a bit thirsty and found this.  20190914-9Someone tossed an unopened bottle of water.

Then I thought, I could really use a drink to get rat balls out of my head and found these. 20190914-12But they were empty.  Inconsiderate bastard.

By the trailer park on Riverside Drive this was parked.  20190914-14It’s a homemade trailer with a very long tongue.  I have no idea what it’s designed to haul.  20190914-15It looks like it might be the back of a 1940 Ford.  Maybe someone’s mother-in-law is a backseat driver.  At least he popped for white sidewalls.

This was on the downhill side road down to Riverside drive.  20190914-13Yankee Candle, Clean Cotton.  It took some searching, but this is a car vent “odor neutralizer”, another form of the infamous (to us) Little Trees car fresheners.   Great, another smoking-related item for us to pick up.

I spotted a coke can down the embankment.  20190914-7Of course, came up with more treasures.

Also, someone’s keys.  20190914-5A jeep key and a house key with a garage door opener.  They’re slightly rusted, so have been there a while, but we’ll check on the NextDoor website to see if they’ve been reported lost.

A nice bungee cord. 20190914-8Most of these we find have been run over.  This one was in good condition, but a bit too short for bungee jumping.

Someone’s been screwing around on the Hill.  20190914-4

A bit of dropped mail.  20190914-6I think I know why it was dropped.  Glad I’m not Rocky.

I carry a utility knife with me to cut up boxes and downed signs we find.  This morning I found a hitchhiker in my pocket.  20190914-3So that’s why I was dragging up the hill.  I had a bit of trouble getting it off my knife.  It turned into a real slugfest.








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