Archive for January, 2009


Week 16 – Admiral Lookout… Below!

January 24, 2009

With the promise of rain or snow on the horizon we chose to take advantage of the fleeting sunshine and headed to Admiral Lookout in West Seattle.  It overlooks beautiful downtown Seattle with sweeping views ranging from the Space Needle to the Cascades. 

It was too hazy to see the mountains but that didn’t cloud our good img_9876spirits.  Three giant trash bins and no obvious litter also put a spring in our step.  Until we looked down below the protective railing and saw an abundance of trash. 

Thank goodness we had our new grapplers, but they couldn’t get everything.  We’re not sure if people ate their lunch at the lookout then just tossed their rubbish overboard or the wind blew the trash down the ravine and the sticker bushes just took hold. 

Whatever the reason, we had no problems filling our two buckets in a half hour.  It felt good to clean an area that we knew tourists frequented.  It would have been a shame for them to look at the pretty view only to look down below.  We would hate for that image to mar their view of Seattle.


Week 15 – Capital Letter = Capitol Litter

January 18, 2009

Dear Obama Family,

Ben and I would first like to thank you for calling upon all citizens to join a “National Day of Service” on January 19th (MLK Day).  Unfortunately we both have to work that day so we are doing our civil duty a day ahead. 

Your speeches and call to arms initially motivated us to give back to our communities and prompted us to start our bucket brigade.  Today we thought it would be apropos to pick up litter in our state capital as your family helps to clean up  Washington D.C.

Our first glimpse of the rotunda as we drove towards Olympia, Washington was truly awe-inspiring.  We chose to pick up litter at Capital Lake Park which is adjacent to the Capital.

The park was pretty clean but unfortunately the area across the street reminded us of our harsh times. We almost picked up litter around a doorway that we suddenly realized was someone’s home.  The difference between Have and Have-Nots is much too great in our Capital much less our society, no matter how small the proximity.  We love the fact that your family is trying to bridge that gap and is starting where your new home is located; Washington D.C.  as we continue to do our part in Washington State.

We realize that the hope of change and the hope of a better world and the hope of a better future for our children are in our hands.  It is not in the hands of one man, or one senate, or one state.  It is in our hands and our hands alone.  We chose to dirty up our hands today and pick up litter, what will you choose?  We love the fact that out of defeat (New Hampshire primary) that Barack gave us one of his most famous speeches and uttered these words:

“we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in America’s story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea – Yes. We. Can.”

So as Martin Luther King once said, “Let us not despair.  And let us go out and work with renewed vigor to make the unfolding work of destiny a reality in our generation.” 

We have enclosed pictures of our call to service.  Thank you for yours,

Lori and Ben






Week 14 – Look Mom, no hands!

January 11, 2009

“beneath the clouds live Earth-Mother from whom is derived the Water of Life, who at her bosom feeds plants, animals and men.”  ( Larousse 428 )

When I was a kid, trouble and injury found me often, especially when showing off. Many broken bones resulted from my stunts but today I am older and wiser (hopefully).  My stunts today consist of helping Mother Nature along with the help of litter pick up and cool camera shots.

For weeks Lori and I have been driving by a strange vacant lot in West Seattle located at the corner of 35th Ave SW and SW Graham St.  This is where I came up with the idea of the “self-fulfilling” bucket.  Actually it looks like Mother Nature giving a helping hand…or branch.  

 With all the past storms we’ve had it’s nice she’s giving us a break.  I also find it hysterically funny that Gaia (Mother Nature) according to Greek Mythology is the Mother, wife (or both?!) of Uranus.  It’s apropos since she’s been freezing our asses off lately!


Week 13 – We’re not out of the woods yet!

January 4, 2009

Like Hansel and Gretel we followed the trail of Styrofoam peanuts up and down a nearby street.  Pretty pink and green packing material still swirling from Christmas past.

Waste Management finally picked up the garbage in our neighborhood yesterday.  “Yesterday” means three weeks of piled garbage in front and in back of homes in West Seattle.  This meant that Ben and I had plenty of litter to gather in our own neck of the woods. 

We had so much to pick up that after we filled our buckets in minutes we decided to go after two more.  The sidewalks strewn with trash from hurried garbage picker-uppers and whatever must have flown off their already bulging trucks.

Who is to blame?  Mother Nature?  Our mayor for lack of organization?  Our neighbors for being too lazy to go to the dump and just continued piling until they were bursting at the seams?  The companies that continue to make excessive excelsior that is not biodegradable?  Or us…the people who continue to purchase items from these companies without voicing our concerns?  We have a voice…and we need to use them.

Speaking of voices, Ben just yelled “It’s snowing again!”