By Bill Peckham
There are eleven weeks, including this week, between now and the end of March. Eleven weeks for me to clock the 330 hours I need to earn insurance. This week I clocked 36 hours, which is ahead of the 30 hour a week average required. It was a good start: 294 to go.
I could have had the full forty hour week but I lost a couple hours by taking a long lunch on Tuesday so I could attend a meeting of NKC's Foundation. I've been volunteering on the Foundation board since December 1997 but I've missed the last couple of meetings because of work, so on Tuesday when we had a little lull in graphics production I clocked out for an extended lunch so I could attend.
The other two hours I came up short was mostly because I got on the clock late, or we went to China Pavillion for lunch, which takes 45 minutes instead of the allotted 30. China Pavilion's unsalty egg flower soup is worth the 15 minutes, but the other part of it, getting in late, isn't ideal. However, I need to stop for coffee, traffic in the early morning dark rain of Seattle's January is unpredictable, and once I arrive the first thing I do is walk the dog along the river and rather than be five minutes late I'll take some time and clock in at 8:15.
This is the lower reach of the Green River after it has transitioned into the Duwamish. The tides effect this section of the river causing the water level to go up and down through the day. Over the eleven years I've been visiting the river with the dog I've seen salmon jumping, cormorants, eagles and osprey fishing (and many people in waders doing the same). If it isn't raining too hard I like to take a little time, while the dog takes care of business, to stand by the river. Walking the dog and just looking at the river for a few minutes is my preferred way to start the day and spend my morning and afternoon work breaks.
In the spring, summer and fall, when the sun is shining, it can be hard to drag yourself back into the windowless production area, but even this time of year, in the rain and cold, a river walk is a good way to break up the day. You never know what you'll see.