Happy Sunday. Short post, I promise.

I met two friends and Eleanor, the sweetest lab pit bull gal you'll ever meet, yesterday for an unhurried, unplanned, meandering walk through Seattle. We all had cameras, but we didn't use them much. Lots of great, meaningful conversation interspersed with lots of quiet. I like being around people who are equally happy chatting or just walking.

First time meeting Eleanor. She looks imposing at first. Solidly built. I think José said she's about 70 pounds. As sweet and gentle as can be. It was her first time back on the Hill for a while, so she was a bit skittish at first.

We grabbed some coffee at the small Vivace and started walking. South, through the park, quick stop at Lifelong (Valerie scored some coffee mugs for $1 each), and then west towards the market.

José told us to watch as Eleanor's mood brigtened every step closer to the dog park she knows by the freeway. Sure enough. It was German Shepherd day at the dog park, and Eleanor had a good 20 minutes of making friends.

Onto the market. It was a little too crowded for me. Good for the market, though. We needed snacks and figured we'd skip the market crowds and try our luck in Belltown. José led us to Bangrak Market for Thai. The wait was really long for grumbling stomachs, but it was worth it. I had a yellow curry dish. José ordered a spicy ramen noodle salad that looked fantastic. Not too heavy. I was feeling a little sluggish after the curry. (Valerie called it a day before we got seated.)

Dogs are interesting. I'd be walking next to José, with Eleanor in between. She'd inevitably get a little bit ahead of me and drift into my lane ever so slightly. She didn't sneak a beer or two on the walk, and she's clearly capable of walking a straight line over distance. I wonder what's going through that brain of hers.

I know what was going through my brain last night. Absolutely nothing. It put itself into auto-pilot and had me fire up Greenland on HBO. Comet on a collision course with earth sort of movie. It was not good. Not good at all. I watched it.

In keeping with the topic of the cold north, I read an interesting article that might provide some glimpses of what we can expect to see as the Arctic changes. Spoiler alert or TL/DR - we're going to mess that place up.

In the Russian Arctic, the First Stirrings of a Very Cold War
Though the Russian military has little in common with liberal Western politicians or environmental groups like Greenpeace, it is taking ice melt in the Far North seriously.

I thought the sub headline (is there a term for that?) was weird. Awkward and forced. The article was interesting for a lot of reasons. For example, I don't think the Russian military is in the habit of giving tours. That must have been a plum assignment. One of my first thoughts when reading the article was that Russian generals are exaggerating the possibility of NATO invading through the Arctic. I'd like to think that every enlisted soldier in the U.S. military would laugh at that order. My next thought was that the article sure spoke ominously about the Russian activity. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. But I think any article like this should provide some critical context - the insane U.S. military budget. I don't know anything about the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. They claim their numbers are based on the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's figures. Even if they're off or out of date, it's safe to say we spend a LOT more on war-fighting than other countries, and we're comfortable dropping bombs on far away places.

Still here? Let's close on a lighter note.

Eleanor in Belltown Seattle
Eleanor, meet Pork Chop. Belltown, Seattle, May 2021.