An alert fan brought National Squirrel Appreciation Day (every January 21) to Hank’s attention this afternoon, after he had indeed spent an hour or two outside appreciating his plump friends and wishing he could celebrate National Hug Day with them. Imagine the coincidence! Though none of his bushy-tailed buddies came in for a squeeze, Hank thinks they still felt the love. This and every day.
Hank also celebrated todays mobbing crow and eagle visitors, last night’s acrobatic raccoon babies and the local coyotes apparently padding around Phinney Ridge this week. He wishes them all giant hugs and other fine things.
Hank appreciates you today, too.
What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wildness yet.
—Gerard Manley Hopkins
Hank was once again the juvenile blonde-on-scene for our neighborhood’s sassy, annual PNA Winter Beer Taste. This year’s theme? Hops: The Other Weed.
To see more of the legal, good people who came, drank, and solved all the world’s problems, take a look at PNA’s Facebook page. Hank’s stuck some of his favorites below:
Good dog, Hank. Now sleep it off, ol’ buddy.
The farther you go, the less you know.
Hank supposes it’s inevitable.
Inevitable that as he ages and reflects, he’ll dream of returning to the Ponderosa pines and blue skies of his eastern Washington puphood. And once he’s there, it’s likely he’ll take a good sniff around. Ah, the 1970s. Ah, feathered hair. Ah, wall-to-wall carpeting.
Ah, creative license.
Hank’s been digging through his life’s sedimentary geology—dusty layers of Dynamite magazines, grainy photos of grubby kids, and prized gems like The Sunshine Family and Dorothy Hamill dolls* interspersed with many, many mysterious craft items fashioned of bark, macaroni noodles, and orange acrylic yarn possibly intended to accompany such treasures into the afterlife.
So many memories. Did you know that one summer Hank met Evel Knievel, saw Jimmy Carter on a raft, and then spied some UFOs? Yeah, man. That kind of stuff happened all the time back then.
But that’s the funny thing about memory.
It’s true that Hank once saw Evel’s mom eating breakfast at a Butte diner. He even waited by the banks of the Salmon River for the infamous Mr. Carter (this was Idaho, after all) to float by, but it turns out he missed the President by a week. Or something. Hank & Co. did spock all sorts of UFOs one summer and kept the Air Force UFO hotline close by the phone but strangely, In Search Of… never called.
Kids will note “the” phone. Scarcity was a thing in the 70s. As was this. This was a thing. A couple of things, actually. And that orange yarn.
And this. This was a thing. It’s any number of things, really, though it appears to be only one conjoined thing.
The point is, memories get jumbled together over time and come back sort of weird on retrospect. Like the be-collared vision above from 1979—a full two years post-ex-Elvis—memory plays tricks on us, just as fashion fooled country kids back in the day. Still, what sounds better than some homegrown tunes when you’re revisiting The Land of Was with Hank?
Nothin’ that’s what.
If you’ve not yet heard the rock n’ roll awesomeness of Donnie & Joe Emerson well, that’s cool, man. This is the time and Baby, this Bud’s for you:
Hank may never have met Evel Knievel, splashed Jimmy Carter, or got to hang with the Emersons, but he can still dream wild.
He hopes you will, too.
Keep your eyes open for UFOs.
Note* These items probably belonged to Hank’s Very Favorite Person. Now that he thinks about it.
Whit’s fur ye’ll no go past ye.
old Scots saying
Hank & Cap have been tootling eastwards lately, meandering through semi-ghostly small towns and sunny fields in secret valleys and piney hills…homeward bound towards family and memories.
Come along with the Boys as they wagon through this beautiful country:
The crookedy tree tells us we’re almost at our destination!
This lovely valley nestled in the berried hills has always been an interesting place.
Did you know that Hank’s favorite travel strategy is to immediately eat something gross on arrival? Which he barfs up all night and into the next?
As well committing other terrible atrocities we will not speak of?
Yes. Which means that Cap gets the pillows all to himself. Being a little slow to the party is his favorite strategy.
Speaking of parties, the boys love meeting new friends in old haunts…
Oh, hey there Bob.
How’s it going, beautiful?
…and Cap enjoys the green, green acres. Anyone seen my buffalo chaps?
The boys think this is one heck of a spot and can’t wait to get back.
Such good people, such good memories. Stay tuned for more H & Co. adventures east of the mountains!
The true nature of mountains is that they are mountains. They practice both stillness holding their place and moving with change. Men and women can be reborn through mountains. Ancestors abide in mountains. And mountains disappear the closer you are to them…Realizing fully the true nature of place is to talk its language and hold its silence.
Hank’s been having a wee midlife crisis.
He’s having a tougher time getting around lately: his get-up-and-go has been running a bit rusty and boy, do his dogs get tired. How did this happen? And when? What’s a fellow to do when the years catch up all at once and insist on giving him wedgies?
There’s always the old standby for men of a certain age:
The sports car. The shiny, new red sports car.
Maybe a little red Corvette?
Things seemed to be zooming in that direction until Hank’s Very Favorite Person (always the voice of reason) gave him four words to chew on: cliché, insurance, speeding tickets.
Back to the drawing board.
Now, it’s no secret that Hank’s always hankered for a convertible. Wind through the ears, freedom of the road, the need for speed…you know da kine, McQueen.
Hank’s yearly birthday wish. Hank’s taste runs towards the classics so an old Triumph Bonneville TR6 would be right up his alley. Maybe that 1952 Vincent Black Lightning? Come to think of it, an old Indian might be cool…
…or maybe that Norton Commando…
Heck, Hank wouldn’t mind a Ural with a sidecar.
Oh, life as a sidecar dog.
Hank has a scooter-sized budget though, so these options weren’t looking good. In fact, it was all looking grim.
Hank’s considered bringing draft horses back to Ballard. Heck yeah! But as he looked at his piggybank and then again at his back forty he sadly came to the conclusion that he’s a bit old and his backyard’s a bit small for Budweiser and Clydesdales.
What-oh-what could get Hank back in the saddle without actually getting his old bones back in a saddle?
To be fair, this little number is a bit more Buick than Bitchin’ Camaro and it doesn’t go zero-to-sixty in any number of seconds but it suits Hank’s piggybank. And it came with a driver.
First stop: Mr. McGregor’s tomato patch. How Hank has missed these delicious, lovingly raised, sun-kissed heirlooms.
Next stop (and make it snappy before Mr. McGregor returns): a cool drink with old friends.
Now off to Ballard and Backfire Moto to ponder his next set of wheels…
…as another dive bar bites the dust in Seattle.
You complete me.
Two wheels or four, Hank’s pretty stoked that his new Buick looks a bit like The Saltire, and like him, it’s slow but steady-going. Maybe a little goofy at times. But old and wise.
Old and wise-ish.
Whatever it is, this is for sure: watch out world, Hank’s on the road again!
We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilization.
As usual, Hank’s weekend was full of beer tasting and BBQ-ing and socializing, but he managed to squeeze in a little photography, too.
Take a looksee: Can you tell this is Hank’s handiwork?
Join Hank next year for some great fun and a good cause!
I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.
― Abraham Lincoln
Wouldn’t you know it?
Our cantankerous Hank will be lumbering around and bellowing some at this weekend’s 9th Annual Summer Beer Taste—aka BEERZILLA—and he surely hopes to see you there. Cap’s the designated driver but don’t call him Shirley. (Though to be honest, he really doesn’t mind). Dozens of local microbreweries will be pouring and there will be snacks.
BEERZILLA is another clever ploy to support our Phinney Neighborhood Association and Hank’s all for it. So put on your beer goggles and join Hank this Saturday from 4-7 pm at the PNA.
GROWWWWRRRRrrr! You can find out more and get your tickets here:
There’s something to be said about a slightly plump person—you have just enough of too much.
It’s almost here! Our neighborhood’s heralded Greenwood Car Show this Saturday from 8am — 4pm. Each year, as Hank cruises the mile-and-a-half hootenanny along Greenwood Avenue, he rejoices in the civic good this event supports across our community, and the great dog and people-watching to be had.
He’s also reminded of the following truisms:
1) Everyone has a little inner redneck, no matter your shape or size, gender or genders, nation, color, or creed. The automobile brings out the redneck as sure as Hank exposes flaws in your dinner plans;
2) You can fry just about anything and sell it to a crowd;
3) Folks who are serious about their cars are serious about their tiny dogs;
4) No one can hold on to more than 70% of their BBQ/kettle korn/elephant ears/curly fries/ice cream and walk at the same time;
5) Hank delights in all these things.
…Hope to see you up on the Ridge this Saturday! Hank & Cap are sure looking forward to meeting your BBQ.
It is the month of June/The month of leaves and roses/When pleasant sights salute the eyes/And pleasant scents the noses.
Nathaniel Parker Willis
Each year around Memorial Day, the skies far above the House of Hank resonate with the deep hum of four engines and in short order a whole lot of history rumbles by. At which point the airspace immediately around the House fills with a lot of Whoopee!-ing and Oh-boy!-ing and other expressions of delight accompanied by jumping up and down and pointing. The B-17s are back!
This year, the bomber overhead was “The Movie” Memphis Belle, an historic aircraft owned by The Liberty Foundation and used in the filming the movie of the same name. You may recall Hank’s favorite B-17, the Liberty Belle, which not long after its last Seattle visit experienced an in-flight fire, made a “remarkably controlled landing” in a field outside of Chicago, and just burned and burned and burned. Hank spent a lot of time during his recent visit talking to the engineer who was on that fateful flight. He says she will rise again someday!
But! But! B-17.
Hank & Cap hopped in the truck and headed south to the airfield. They had to see this year’s Flying Fortress. Check it out:
Hank could watch this Vimeo clip over and over and over again. In fact, he does. It’s kind of a thing.
Here’s their adventure:
In honor of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Normandy, June 6, 1944 and all those lost.
How lovely this world is, really: one simply has to look.
Joyce Carol Oates
A very happy June to you from your peony-laden, rose-scented June bugs, Hank & Cap! The Boys invite you to breathe deeply with them as they contemplate the auspicious month ahead in their garden:
Now is everything. Whatever you do in this very moment is everything: it’s the past, it’s the future, it’s now.
Hank couldn’t resist the opportunity to Viking himself and Cap today, wishing he could make it to the British Museum’s epic exhibition.
Poor Cap isn’t terribly tech savvy, so he has to live with the results of Hank’s marauding tendencies:
You can go Viking yourself too, here: The British Museum.
We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise, we harden.
The Cake Rex Saga continues:
Sorry. We’re experiencing some technical difficulties at this time. Our iPhone has been mistaken for cake.
The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.
Hank has been a bit unhinged since his last birthday.
“Unhinged” cannot possibly be a good omen for his dotage. You see, Hank has become obsessed, and we’re talking more than the usual Hank obsessed, more than the run-of-the-mill Hank unhinging du jour….this is more like OBSESSION, and this is indeed All Caps.
Hank’s even brought Cap into his affliction.
In the terrible presence of cake, Hank becomes what can only be described a maniac. Perhaps you’ve met this kind of maniac before. Perhaps you’ve met such a maniac in the person of The God of Cake:
Well, this is the kind of maniac we’re talking about: scratchy, clawing, wee arms; huge, gnashing teeth. Terrifying.
It all started innocuously enough. Hank loved his three-layer, peanut butter & yam, blueberry & pea-bejeweled crown cake so much. He’d been waiting, waiting, waiting all day long in the kitchen as the cake came into glorious being. He knew. This cake was his. All his. When the big moment finally arrived, the candles were lit, minions were singing, and it all got very nutters very quickly.Hank fell on that glowing, golden crown and ate that puppy in one gigantic, and frankly, disturbing ____? We’re not even sure there’s a word in the English language for it. (It’s probably something you can only say in German.)
However you call it, that cake got gone.
Then Hank demanded another cake. Which he got. The next day. Because he turned 14 after all. Then he demanded another one. And another. Then Hank went beyond-the-beyond and declared that Every Day is Hank’s Birthday since every day is a brand-new milestone for a 14-year old Labrador, and every birthday must be celebrated with cake.
So it began and so it continues. Stay tuned for Cake Rex Part II: Let Him Eat Cake. Please don’t let this happen to someone you love.
Amazing as it may seem, our Hank is 14 years old today.
Yes, it’s his birthday, and he’s been doing a little celebrating. The sun is shining—miracle of miracles—so our equally sunny spring chicken started his birthday off right: with bacon from Pete’s Egg Nest, and half a breakfast burrito. Here are the goods:
Here’s Hank’s pre-bacon face:
Here’s his after-bacon face:
Whew. So, what’s next on Hank’s birthday agenda? Taking a good stroll, collecting more biscuits, more belly rubs, a light lunch, more of the same, some good yelling, a few sniffs, and making plans for a big-time peanut butter & yam birthday cake on Saturday.
Probably not, little piggy. But Happy Birthday anyway, you marvelous old fellow!
A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King
Give the children love, more love and still more love – and the common sense will come by itself.
Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Usually.
♥ ♥ ♥
full belly warm sun
fresh grass spring dreams chase run roll
i’m hungry again
♥ ♥ ♥
XXOO from Hank
Happy Valentine’s Day from Hanku & Captain Valentine!
Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.
Henry David Thoreau