2014 In Perspective

Ahhh, the year in review.  2014 was a great year, but the world is still full of astonishing violence… But through it all we manage… Here’ s to a great 2015, with hopefully less violence.

January 1 – The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act goes into effect,  making our country one step closer to having the same health care as almost every other country on the planet, yet divides us even further as a nation.

January 4th- 51% of Union Approves worst Boeing deal ever.

Yeah.  Further proof that the American workforce has no plans for the future, Boeing employees fearing for the future decide to go with the company offer.

Boeing

February 2 – The Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII, destroying the Manning led Broncos.  This was a major event here and in my life–especially after seeing the Bills lose so many to our arch rivals, the Dallas Cowboys.  I hope the Seahawks get the chance to destroy the Cowboys on their way to their 2nd straight Super Bowl. #whynotus

seahawks win

Seahawks Win Super Bowl

March 8 – Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappears from radar in airspace over the Gulf of Thailand.  We were reminded of this tragedy this week when another small airline lost one of its planes in the same region– only this time Air Asia luckily had its bodies floating to the surface hours after the crash, thus quashing any debate about where the plane might be.

3.8

March 18 – In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin signs an annexation pact with the Prime Minister of Crimea and the mayor of the city of Sevastopol.

March 22 – A mudslide near Oso, Washington, kills 43 people. This one is about 25 miles from our house.  #osostrong

3.22

March 25 – The CDC issues its initial announcement on an Ebola outbreak in Guinea.

April 14 – Boko Haram militants kidnap more than 270 teenage girls from a boarding school in Chibok in Northeastern Nigeria. Officials there say some of the girls were able to escape.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/17/world/africa/boko-haram-explainer/

April 29 – The NBA bans Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life in response to a leaked recording in which Sterling made racist remarks.  Little did we know this would turn out to be such a small blip on the overall American race topic for the year.

4.29

May 23rd – One year with AT&T Mobility

June 2 – The city council in Seattle, Washington, votes to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.

June 12-July 13 – The World Cup takes place in Brazil. Germany is the winner.  The US stops caring about the World Cup when they fail to clear the sweet 16 in a dreadful loss to Belgium. We celebrated mightily in our house tho, knowing all along that zeee germans would take it all.

7.13

July 9th – Washington States First “Legal” Pot Shop (or Bud Hut as my Dad calls them) opens and everyone is happy.

legal

July 17 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashes in eastern Ukraine after being shot down by a surface-to-air missile, according to the United States. All 298 people aboard are killed.

July 17, 2014 – Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, dies after a white police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, puts him in a chokehold. Garner’s death is later ruled a homicide by the New York medical examiner.

7.17

July 31st – Close on our first house in Kirkland/Bothell

house

August 2 – A specially equipped medical plane carrying Ebola patient Dr. Kent Brantly lands at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia. He is then driven by ambulance to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

August 19 – In a video posted on YouTube, U.S. journalist James Foley, missing in Syria since 2012, is decapitated by ISIS militants. The militants then threaten the life of another captured U.S. journalist, believed to be Steven Sotloff.

8.19

September 2 – ISIS releases a video showing the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff.

9.2

 

 

 

 

 

September 13 – ISIS releases a video showing the beheading of British aid worker David Haines.

9.13

September 23 – A coalition of military forces from the United States, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan launch air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. The U.S. , on its own, also launches airstrikes against a terrorist organization known as the Khorasan Group, saying that the al Qaeda affiliated group was planning attacks in the United States.

October 3 – ISIS releases a video showing the beheading of hostage Alan Henning

10.03

October 14 – Liam Hogg is born at Overlake Hospital.

Liam1Liam Andrew Malte Hogg 035

October 16 – In a show in Philadelphia, comedian Hannibal Buress criticizes Bill Cosby and his “smuggest old black man persona,” and says, “Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches.” Over the next two months, more than 20 women come forward, claiming that they were sexually assaulted by Cosby. Cosby has not been charged with a crime.

10.16

October 17th – The Foo Fighters premier Sonic Highways.

This makes the list because of how great of a job they did on this.  From the first episode to the last, I really enjoyed this series immensely.  Several cities featured all have major musical connections to me, from Seattle to New Orleans to Chicago.

sonichighways

October 24th – Marysville-Pilchuck High School Shooting

At the same time its on the November ballot for stricter gun purchasing laws, a popular high school kid shoots people in his own family over a girl.  This is particularly shocking because he is a popular kid and usually only kids wearing trenchcoats and social outcasts commit school shootings.

Marysville

November 16 – ISIS militants claim to have beheaded American hostage Peter Kassig in a video published to the Internet. Peter Kassig, also known as Abdul-Rahman Kassig, is the fifth Westerner whom ISIS claims to have beheaded via video messages.

11.16

November 24 – A grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri decides not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown.

11.24

December 28 – Air Asia Flight 8501 disappears while flying from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore.

The 2014 Doldrums

I get this way every year.
Sometimes it can be about the weather, sometimes its about the season, sometimes its about the holidays. This year I don’t know what it has been exactly, but the post seasonal doldrums have set in and its not even New Years yet.
Christmas was pretty good this year. Elliott woke up at 6am, but he didn’t ask for Santa, he asked for a glass of water and he went back to bed. That was a Christmas gift of it’s own– and I suspect it is the last time we will ever see that again– because he knows who the Santa Claus is now– he has been asking about him everyday since Thanksgiving, because of course that is when the festive kicks in.
Our Christmas was fairly low key. I don’t have a big family and Lili’s family lives on the other side of the pond and Christmas in Germany is quiet on Christmas day as well because its supposed to be about the family… but here, you notice that not everyplace in town is closed– and those places that are open are hopping…. Like Denny’s.
If I ever became wealthy, I would walk into a Denny’s and pay for everyones meal that was there at that given time. Those people, those are the lonely ones– the people who can’t just be totally alone on Christmas so they go to a place full of lonely people and eat shifty food. Now that is more lonely than crying yourself to sleep listening to Death Cab for Cutie.
When we drove by a Denny’s in Lynnwood on my way to see my parents on Christmas night, I saw the place, packed and I thought about the type of person who would go to a Denny’s on Christmas and I thought about it the entire time it took me to drive the extra five millions to my parents house.
Christmas is quickly changing for us. We are starting to go into that cycle where our own past Christmas’ form what we perceive as traditions and we move into our sons version of Christmas as its forming by the years in which they age.
Elliott is 3 this year and its pretty cool to see how far he has come in a year. Santa now makes some kind of sense and he associates the big red man with him getting all of these presents (new), but while he was tearing through his gifts he was again careful and meticulous to look over each and every gift. He would read a few pages out of each book before moving onto the next gift. He did the same thing last year as well. Its a nice feeling when they don’t just rip though everything and then look at it later.
So Christmas for the most part, lives through the sprit of the kids. Sure, adults still give one another gifts and hopefully they are gifts of things that we all like, but the experience of giving and watching to see the other persons reaction is almost better than getting the gift yourself.
But this time does tend to roll right by us. I went back to work today and Lili is more than likely going back next week and soon enough, we will be right back in the rage of it all, with an extra child to add to the daycare.

…and I think that is the source of my darkness this holiday season– the reality that it all just goes too fast to ever realize how great it was to take those couple of days and be with the family that you have– no matter how fucked up they seem, no matter how big or how small, we all just need to tap out of these lives we have weaved for ourselves and spend some time with each other because it does go so fast — soon enough we will be at this point again and there will probably be more people having to work Christmas eve and Denny’s will be even more packed full of people– and maybe those people at Denny’s, maybe that does remind them of the family they once had….

Just thinking out loud…..

Movember is also National Write a Novel in November

Moustaches and writing.

This month is National Write a Novel in November, since, after all, it is November.  So while some of my friends might choose to raise your awareness of their prostate through growing a mustache, I am going to offer you something else:  The opportunity to read a short story written by me, with a new passage added every day for the remainder of this month.  Heres why:  I have tried 3 separate years to write a novel in a month and everytime, like growing a full 70’s porn like stach in under a month, I have failed.  It’s ok.  I have come to terms with it– you learn from failure.  So this year– it different.  This year, I am just going to try to get out one story passage per day.  Hopefully I will come up with one or two that everyone likes.  Here goes:

The Hunt

Nov 4th.

Somewhere you will never be, WA.

3 solid days.  3.  That’s how long I have been out here.  Some years, its been longer before I hear the bugle for the first time– a few years, I haven’t heard it all.  Other years, it’s just other hunters in the valley, making their desperate calls out to the other elk hunters here, but those have long since faded since I discovered this particular ridge some years back.

I know he’s here and its just a matter of time before his ______ gets the best of him and he becomes obsessed with curosity.  Every bugle has to be perfect and timed perfectly to keep him in the game, but I know hes close, I can feel him closer every hour.  These older bucks know these lands better than any man does and the slightest scent that I am here, he will not hesitate to go to another one of these unlimted peaks in these mountains, but I know this is his ridge.

I have been tracking this particular buck for the last several years.  It was his magnificant barrel chest and impressive rack that I saw three seasons ago from another ridge– he had heard my bugle from that ridge and he ran to the high ledge of this ridge to see what other male was in his territory– it was close to the rut, so I was sure he was checking his compition.  I saw him from below on the other ridge, out of range of my bolt and too far too track that year, but I swore I would be back that way– and it didnt take long.

I was back there the next season, lumbering my way up the side of the ridge like a billy goat.  I had broken camp just below the ridge, knowing that hauling his carcass out of that ridge would probably take days.  But he wasn’t going to give it up that season.  There was no sign of him that year and I thought another hunter must have him hanging on their trophy wall.

But they didn’t.  I saw him the end of last hunting season, as I was hauling out my kill for that year.  That kill went down not far from the ridge that I had seen this giant buck, most like having again heard my call echoing through the valley, he was again in search of that other beast entering his territory– but I already had my kill.

This season I started up a little earlier than ever before so I could be on the ridge when the season opened– I knew that the process would be long and I wanted to get started as soon as I could in order to call him out– I knew now that he was resiliant and that it would take time before his pride won over his instinct.

I broke camp where I normally would and proceeded the long hike to the ridge and up it, intending to spend a little more time there each day, being patient as I knew that was the only thing that would get him to show himself.  This would be going into the third season I had been tracking him and skill would be the only way to properly take down such an old codger like this.  The hike in was long and the push up to the ridge took the last breaths of strength I had to give, but even on the first day up there, I could feel that this would be the place where the beast would breathe its final gasp of air.

 

The 4 pack Hogg family

The Miracle of Life, Part 2

In some ways, it feels like ground Hogg day, having that second baby in the same hospital that you had the first one. Here we were again, almost exactly three years ago– and not much changed.

This time there was no labor to see how far we would get, this time it was purely surgical, an early morning appointment that led to a son being born about 2 hours after we checked in.

We learned a lot this time.  For example– in the south, they don’t encourage breast feeding, but rather direct to formula.  Seems insane to me, especially given the overall health of Elliott and he was breastfed for 14 months.

One thing that was new this time was the immediate skin to skin contact following the C-section.  This is now highly encouraged if not loosely required.  As soon as Liam’s vitals were checked and his health and weight recorded, he went to spend a few moments with mom as she was being stitched up.

This birth was much less stressful than the previous one with Elliott.  Elliott had a slight heart murmur and after 18 hours of pushing, we were all out of our element.  The procedure was unfamiliar and there were some complications.  This time around, it was like clock work — the only surprise was his weight– all along we were all thinking it would be a big baby– at least 8.5lbs– but in the end, he ended up at 7.5– not a bad surprise to say the least.

All of this is good, but what most of you will come for are the pictures… Speaking of pictures– we will have some really great photos done by Trellis Photography… I will post those as soon as we get them…. (http://www.trellisphotography.com)

Wish us well… We go home tomorrow and then the double trouble begins…. Hope to have enough time to post to the site and keep things updated.  I know that people get tired of cute baby pics clogging up their Facebook feeds. :)

Thanks to everyone that came by and we hope to see more of you this weekend!

at times travel, at times tidbits, mostly rambling…