99 Luftballons

Monday, February 13th, 2023 – Safeway

What a way to start the week. The temperature was a mild 44F and we needed to remove a roadkill rat, but found some money!

And not just a paltry penny, a whole folding dollar bill. This is like a windfall for us, or maybe a dollar-fall.

Today is the day after the Superbowl and we saw this hanging in a tree.

It looks like a football piñata, perhaps to celebrate an Eagle’s victory? Anyway, we left it untouched.

We found an article of clothing.

A t-shirt that was laying in the middle of the street. It was an Amazon Essentials t-shirt in good condition. Maybe we should sell it on eBay. We could sell it for five dollars and say it was ten dollars on Amazon.

As we approached the 7-Eleven, we picked up a largish piece of furniture and decided to leave it in their dumpster. As we approached the store, we noticed some police activity with three Kirkland Police cars and several officers.

They were hovered around a car on the edge of the parking lot, so we started walking toward the dumpster giving them a wide berth. As we neared, one of the officers walked away from the car across our path but continued toward the dumpster. We may have startled the officer and he glanced over at us, but we continued without an issue.

As we were walking back the way we came, the officer told us to stay out of the path of the parked car. Really? Okay, we obeyed, but we think he was just trying to save face. “You didn’t sneak up on me. I knew you were there all the time.” Yes, we are poking fun at him, but we have nothing but respect for our police force.

Tuesday, February 14th, 2023 – Park-and-Ride

This morning was cold at 32°F (0°C) and clear with a large crescent moon on the horizon. Then, suddenly it started to snow.

Not a heavy snow, and as it started, the moon was still clearly visible on the horizon. A small amount of snow accumulated, but the roads were not very slippery. It’s nice to see a pristine snowscape, then someone tracks through it. Thanks, Janet.

As we approached the freeway, we came upon a heavy piece of metal on the sidewalk.

It was roughly shaped like a bumper, but appeared to be galvanized metal, not chromed. We placed it on a guardrail post and went on our way.

On our way back on the other side of the street, we saw some car parts in the park-and-ride turn lane.

We picked up several parts including some of the grill. We placed the large grill parts on the island and put most of the smaller pieces in the bus stop trash can. Among the parts, we found the emblem.

It looks like this car got creamed in the turn lane. Later in the week, we collected the grill parts and recycled them. Its bumper is still there. They took being in bumper-to-bumper traffic too seriously. More like bumper-into-bumper.

Over our years of TrashWalking we have accumulated several fans.

This isn’t one of them. It looks like the excrement hit this fan. Or maybe it was a bumper.

A new set of walking shoes arrived today.

Can you tell which are our current shoes and which are the new ones? We use the Garmin app to track our gear. Our new shoes are the fourteenth pair of shoes since we started walking. Most recommend a limit of 400 miles on shoes, but since we only walk, we set a limit of 600 miles. When we got the fourteenth pair on the left, Chuck neglected to set the limit, so we overran it – or overwalked it.

955 miles is the longest distance we have worn a pair of shoes since we started keeping track in January of 2017. But it was worth the wait. Notice the cool leopard spots on Janet’s shoes. No, it was not offered on the men’s version. That seems very un-PC to us.

Wednesday, February 15th, 2023 – Safeway and 100th Ave NE

Today was slightly warmer with no snow. We removed a roadkill rat from the street and found some money. And not a paltry penny.

Two paltry pennies. Hey, we don’t feel bad, we are still on the dollar high.

We also found two articles of clothing.

A nice wool shawl that will end up at Goodwill. That is, unless Janet takes a liking to it. Then we found a hat with the Arizona Sun Devils logo. The hat will go in our TrashWalking Museum, hat wing.

The KinderCare reached the “Three Strikes and You’re Out” rule. We came across this plant.

We’ve found it twice before and tossed it back over the fence. Today, we confiscated it. Why do they have toys with marijuana plants in it anyway? Is it the updated game of Life with drug dealers? Never mind, it’s been done.

This is disgusting.

Someone tossed their cookies. A Valentine present? “Hi Irving, thanks for the cookies.” “You’re welcome, Alison. I was wondering if you’d like to come over and go down in my mom’s basement to play some video games?” That’s the way the cookie doesn’t crumble.

Whoa! A downed balloon.

At high altitude, “Control, I have the bogie. It has a string attached. Permission to engage.” “Engage, repeat engage.” Forty-thousand feet below, Billie: “M-o-o-o-mmm!”

Thursday, February 16th, 2023 – 160th to 124th Street

Today was again slightly warmer. We removed a small roadkill bird and found more money.

Yes, another paltry penny, but we are not complaining. Much.

This is the day we clean up the road that parallels the freeway offramp and we found it surprisingly clean. The 14-Hands containers remain low.

We figure the guy broke up with his companion and hasn’t had another date. No condoms either.

But then we saw this.

Could it be that the stupid rabbits have been doing the littering all this time? Rabbits used to be of the order Rodentia (rodent) until 1912, when they were moved into a new order, Lagomorpha (lagomorphs), probably because their ancestors drank beer in Lagos. We’re guessing here, but it would explain the beer can.

Speaking of cans, Mike’s Lemonade cans, not beer, we found a cache of them today down a hill in some berry bushes.

Eight in all. One was obviously new and led us down to the others hidden in the bushes. There were no rabbits in sight.

We heard a rumor that they recovered a shred of the balloon shot down over Lake Huron.

The NSA is working to decrypt the strange markings.

Near the middle school, we found this piece of paper.

So, exactly what kind of games do they play in middle schools these days and how exactly are they scored? And how do you beat your competitor?

Friday, February 17th, 2023 – 100th Ave NE

This morning was warmer at 41°F (5°C) but was raining and we got soaked our entire route. We found no money and removed another rat from the roadway.

One of the first things we saw was a dog-for-sale sign.

This is the first one we have seen so far this year, but we have seen these before for different kinds of dogs. We looked up the number on the Internet and it shows up mostly on obvious phishing sites. Caveat Emptor. Our overall interpretation: Don’t buy puppies from road signs.

It’s a good thing we were carrying our flashlights.

We might have missed picking this up. Bet you thought we were going somewhere else with this.

We picked up a sheared-off bolt.

It was an inch in diameter. We wouldn’t have wanted to be around when this popped.

On our Friday walk, we venture up Simonds Road for a ways then continue on 100th Ave NE for two blocks before turning up NE 145th St.

On that short stretch of 145th, we picked up a waterlogged hoodie from Parr Lumber, a three-foot hose assembly and a Toyota wheel cover. These items were very cumbersome to carry so we left them at bottom of Norway Hill and picked them up with the car later in the day. There was no money in the hoodie. We checked.

It’s Friday, time to check Chuck’s vest pocket.

First, from the Hardware Department some wall anchors and a hose clamp. We already have an abundance of both of these. From the Art Department, a triangular pencil, a window marker, and a dual-color (red and purple) Mickey Mouse pencil. The triangular pencil looked hardly used except for the eraser. The guy must make a lot of mistakes.

In the Games and Entertainment Department, a Washington State Lottery Scratch-and-Lose coin that someone lost. A single die, a Nerf bullet and a Dr. Dre Beats sticker. These stickers are sold on Amazon for five bucks. Go Figure.

From the Management Team, a lanyard labelled “The Rock WFP Manager.” This appears to be from “The Rock Wood Fired Pizza” establishment in Mill Creek. We should try wearing it there to see if they will give us a free pizza. We could say we’re from corporate quality assurance.

From the Finance Department, two cut credit cards and from the Jewelry Department, a loose fake opal, and a run-over earring, we think. Finally, from the Confectionery Department, a wrapped piece of candy.

We are ready to go toe-to-toe with Walmart.

Saturday, February 18th, 2023 – Riverside Drive

This morning was dry but colder. We prefer wet and warmer, or just warmer. We found another penny today.

This was in the gutter on Brickyard Road. Remember a penny in the hand is worth two in the gutter.

On the road down to Riverside Drive, some vehicle destroyed a drain cover.

It left a four-foot-diameter hole by the side of the road. We notified the city. However, nobody should be driving on the shoulder of the road. Well, except for the person that hit the drain.

Farther along the road we found a condom in the gutter.

Perhaps this had something to do with the destruction of the drain cover? Distracted driving?

At the dog park on Brickyard Road, someone tagged the trash container.

Really? Someone put their tag on the receptacle for dog poop? Great job! You have something to tell your grandchildren one day if you ever procreate.

This was in the Sammamish River Park parking lot.

Marijuana wrappers and a condom. This brings a new dimension to the “Candy’s dandy…” adage.

What? Another downed spy balloon?

Well, this gives the Chinese a leg up on us.

That wraps it up for this week. Our inventory:

  • 1 Dollar and 4 cents. A good week.
  • 10 Mikes Hard Lemonade cans.
  • 7 Balls, all but one returned.
  • 5 Tossed cookies.
  • 4 Articles of clothing.
  • 4 Road kills.
  • 2 Balloons.
  • 2 14-Hands Wine cans and 1 bottle.
  • 1 Football piñata.
  • 1 4-foot hole.
  • 1 Signed dog poop receptacle.
  • 1 Startled officer.
  • 1 Tipsy rabbit.

Have a great week and remember, don’t let all the bad news burst your balloon.

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