Fremont Solstice

It’s that time of year again! The wonderful, whacky Fremont Solstice Festival and parade.  We were a little more organized this year and set up a couple of chairs to ensure we had a good view of theWP_20160618_15_11_55_Pro (2) parade in comfort.

As usual, the parade starts with several hundred naked bicyclists, skate-boarders, roller-bladers and walkers – most with body paint, but some who figure they don’t need it.WP_20160618_15_12_05_Pro (3)This is followed by the official parade with marching bands, floats and what seems like any odd assortment of people who want to march together.  WP_20160618_16_03_41_Rich (2)

WP_20160618_16_32_17_Rich (3)The weather held up reasonably well and although we had some rain sprinkles, it was mostly dry and a very comfortable temperature.

WP_20160618_16_41_36_Rich (3)The floats were quite colorful, some had music including one with a rock band and they were interspersed between the marching bands.

For some reason I was getting a number of high fives (including during the naked bike parade) from the participants as well as a hugs from female paraders (fortunately they were of the clothed variety).

WP_20160618_15_46_36_Rich (2)There was also a few Trump impersonators who were quite animated and at least one was naked from the waist down.  They promised to “make Fremont great again” and to build a wall and make Wallingford, the neighboring suburb pay for it.

WP_20160619_13_18_56_RichIn addition to the parades there were the markets with many different stalls selling all sorts of clothes, art, nick-nacks and food.  Buskers were also out in force as were people soliciting signatures for various political causes and ballot measures.

WP_20160619_13_26_41_RichNext up was the art car exhibition.  Some of these were inventive, some whacky and some downright scary.  One interesting one was a camper complete with drawings of koalas, goannas, kangaroos and the poem “I love a sunburnt country” emblazoned on the side.WP_20160619_13_28_02_Rich (2)

WP_20160619_13_45_23_Rich (2)There were also multiple stages with live music and associated beer gardens. We took the time to listen to a couple of bands (over an adult beverage of course) and the music was pretty good.  One thing we noticed this year was a much stronger police presence than we’ve seen in the past together with a mobile precinct and many vehicles. 

We had a great weekend – it is amazing some of the events and activities that take place in our neighborhood, but then again it is the center of the universe!

The New Houseboat Adventure Begins!

WP_20160608_09_39_17_ProWe’re now making some progress with building a new houseboat.  We closed on purchasing an old, rather disheveled houseboat built on a wooden barge hull that was originally constructed as a pile-driving barge in the 1930’s.


It finally received the all important FOWR (floating on-water residence) permit which was a condition of closing the deal.  Now we are waiting for a slot to open up at the dry dock so we can move it there and then destroy it.

WP_20160608_10_09_47_ProIn the meantime both Alice and I have visited it.  I went just prior to closing the deal and along with Mike our neighbor made bids on some of the items the previous owner was intending to remove – it was a like an episode of the reality TV show “Pickers” as we bartered back and forth on the items.

We ended up with some very cool stained glass doors, a WP_20160608_10_08_31_ProDutch door complete with porthole and anchor-shaped door knocker, a cool hutch, multiple larger brass portholes, a couple bay windows and very cool bathroom fixtures.



Our new “hutch” – base is at left


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Steam room – cabinet had flashing lights as well as a small liquor cabinet

This houseboat must have been party-central in its heyday in the 1980’s.  It had a steam room complete with a floor that raised hydraulically to expose a large hot tub, a very large shower, a “ballroom” with chandelier and disco ball and much more.  I can only imagine what went on…



Looking up from “ballroom” to chandelier

It was also used as a centerpiece for Seattle’s Seafair festival, apparently sponsored by Budweiser complete with a 30ft beer bottle which was used as a sighting point for the Blue Angels when they conducted their aerial acrobatic displays.

Aquarium built into kitchen cabinet- still with water!
Very cool ship control binnacle – complete with interesting history






Now we’re working with Mike, a naval architect and the attorney to finish design, get city approvals and hopefully get the build underway – it is bound to be an exciting adventure!