Archive for the ‘Seattle’ Category

Spring is here

What a difference a week makes. It was really heartbreaking to see the U.S. lose to Canada in the Men’s Hockey Final, but at least it was a great game. You can’t say we didn’t try.

Yesterday was a brilliant day in Seattle though. The sun was shining. The temp was surely in the 60’s, and despite being depressed over the hockey I decided to get back into my exercise regime and go for a run. With getting sick and then traveling to Vancouver, I haven’t had much opportunity to exercise. Boy I was looking forward to it.

Then 2 blocks into my run, I tripped on some protruding cement in the pavement and landed very hard on my knee caps completing skinning one of them. It reminds me of being a kid really. Remember all of those cement playgrounds? I was always skinning my knees as kid, and I wasn’t the only one.

So I might have to delay running for another couple of days while the bruises heal. Another sign of spring was a big fat gray squirrel tearing up my newly planted garden. At first I thought he was eating my chard or spinach. But no. Must have been looking for a nut he may have planted last fall. He was persistent. After I chased him away, he came back. Who knows what I’ll find upon returning home today after work.

Here’s a pic from Major Changer on flickr.

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Sometimes I commute via running on the Burke Gilman Trail in Seattle. My commute is roughly six miles. With my new camera, I can pictures during my run since the camera fits easily in my running pants. These aren’t the greatest photos, but I think they give you a window into my day. I’ve been super busy programming of late, so I haven’t had too much time to post. That’s a good thing I think.

The trail goes underneath the Aurora bridge which is where these three photos are taken.

Then next we go into my evening commute home. I wished you could see this traffic caravan of bicycles fit with red lights. It was pretty cool, but this is all I got.

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This is a neighborhood in Seattle that once was industrial and once was called Denny Regrade. Then in the 90’s it got all hip with high rise condos, boutiques, restaurants and bars. One of those great restaurants was The Flying Fish which is now moving to the South Lake Union neighborhood — which Jake likes to call Allentown. I think that pretty much puts the nail in the coffin for Belltown. It was fun while it lasted.

Vulcan, she says, has a very specific vision for South Lake Union. That vision includes “four or five restaurants of my caliber: very local, very Seattle restaurants. It’s really `hometown’ to them. They have a clear idea of who they want in there, and the wherewithal to make it happen.”

That’s a far cry from what’s been happening in Belltown, Keff insists, where the bar scene has overtaken the dining scene and movement and closures continue unabated. (Recent deaths include Belltown Bistro and Cucina De-Ra, and several high-profile restaurant spaces remain on the market.) In Belltown, Keff says, “You’ve got a lot of small landlords who never get together to have any say in what happens around them. And before you know it, things have gone to hell.

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Award winning war correspondent Michael Yon was detained and handcuffed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Yesterday by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel.

Yon was returning to the United States from Hong Kong to visit family when TSA officials stopped him during a routine security checkpoint.  “Officials asked me what was in my bag—nothing wrong with this question,” Yon said in an interview with BigGovernment.com.  “I told them it was normal stuff, clothes and toothbrushes.”

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I’m fascinated by aspects of advertising like where the ideas come from and who makes the decisions.  It’s interesting how advertisers can get it wrong so many times. What they thought was appealing just isn’t. I ordered a latte at the cafe the other day and watched the barista put on a Bodies the Exhibition cup sleeve. Continuing my trend to be a somewhat difficult customer at times I promptly removed the sleeve from my cup and said “I know this wasn’t your idea, but what makes Bodies the Exhibition think that I want to drink my coffee looking at that thing?” At least they weren’t making subway sandwich wrappers.

So here is an interesting ad which is a takeoff of Dow Scrubbing Bubbles. If you don’t know about the controversy involving this video, then you should watch the video before reading on.

Okay, what are your thoughts? I have to say I don’t think it’s a very good advertisement. It certainly doesn’t make me want to buy Method cleaners and I do think it’s a bit creepy. Well apparently there’s been a lot of talk about this advert on feminist blogs and you can read Kate Harding’s take here. I really don’t have a feminist opinion about this, but I can say it’s not a very good commercial.

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I have only now finished season 3 of Mad Men. I don’t have cable and a friend gave me his recordings a couple of weeks ago. I was very intrigued by the episode where Pete is left alone for a week by his wife who is vacationing with her family. Spoilers after the jump.


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Busy, busy, busy

I’ll be starting my new job soon. Some of that preparation has made it difficult to post. Plus, I really haven’t had anything original to say this last week.

I started running to work recently. Six miles there and six miles back. It’s a great run. One that is oddly much more fun than running just for the sake of it. That destination seems to somehow affect my psychology.

I bought a laser pointer for Danton who is loving it. He meows at this strange new red bug that makes regular appearances in our house. Why can’t he seem to catch it though?

Hopefully my new camera will be purchased soon and I’ll be able to start posting some pictures.

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One of my favorite English classes at college was 18th-Century English literature. I found I really liked Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope and other satirists. I guess I just really appreciated a time when people talked about serious things but in no way took themselves seriously. Jeni, if you’re reading this, what was the name of that class? It was something witty like “Sense and Sensuality.” Maybe that’s it.

Seattle has been unbearably rainy for the past 2 weeks. Here’s Jonathan Swift’s “A Description of  City Shower.”

Careful Observers may fortel the Hour
(By sure Prognosticks) when to dread a Show’r:
While Rain depends, the pensive Cat gives o’er
Her Frolicks, and pursues her Tail no more.
Returning Home at Night, you’ll find the Sink
Strike your offended Sense with double Stink.
If you be wise, then go not far to Dine,
You spend in Coach-hire more than save in Wine.
A coming Show’r your shooting Corns presage,
Old Aches throb, your hollow Tooth will rage.
Sauntring in Coffee-house is Dulman seen;
He damns the Climate, and complains of Spleen.

Mean while the South rising with dabbled Wings,
A Sable Cloud a-thwart the Welkin flings,
That swill’d more Liquor than it could contain,
And like a Drunkard gives it up again.
Brisk Susan whips her Linen from the Rope,
While the first drizzling Show’r is born aslope,
Such is that Sprinkling which some careless Quean
Flirts on you from her Mop, but not so clean.
You fly, invoke the Gods; then turning, stop
To rail; she singing, still whirls on her Mop.
Not yet, the Dust had shun’d th’unequal Strife,
But aided by the Wind, fought still for Life;
And wafted with its Foe by violent Gust,
‘Twas doubtful which was Rain, and which was Dust.
Ah! where must needy Poet seek for Aid,
When Dust and Rain at once his Coat invade;
Sole Coat, where Dust cemented by the Rain,
Erects the Nap, and leaves a cloudy Stain.

Now in contiguous Drops the Flood comes down,
Threat’ning with Deloge this Devoted Town.
To Shops in Crouds the dagled Females fly,
Pretend to cheapen Goods, but nothing buy.
The Templer spruce, while ev’ry Spout’s a-broach,
Stays till ’tis fair, yet seems to call a Coach.
The tuck’d-up Sempstress walks with hasty Strides,
While Streams run down her oil’d Umbrella’s Sides.
Here various Kinds by various Fortunes led,
Commence Acquaintance underneath a Shed.
Triumphant Tories, and desponding Whigs,
Forget their Fewds, and join to save their Wigs.
Box’d in a Chair the Beau impatient sits,
While Spouts run clatt’ring o’er the Roof by Fits;
And ever and anon with frightful Din
The Leather sounds, he trembles from within.
So when Troy Chair-men bore the Wooden Steed,
Pregnant with Greeks, impatient to be freed,
(Those Bully Greeks, who, as the Moderns do,
Instead of paying Chair-men, run them thro’.)
Laoco’n struck the Outside with his Spear,
And each imprison’d Hero quak’d for Fear.

Now from all Parts the swelling Kennels flow,
And bear their Trophies with them as they go:
Filth of all Hues and Odours seem to tell
What Streets they sail’d from, by the Sight and Smell.
They, as each Torrent drives, with rapid Force
From Smithfield, or St.Pulchre’s shape their Course,
And in huge Confluent join at Snow-Hill Ridge,
Fall from the Conduit prone to Holborn-Bridge.
Sweepings from Butchers Stalls, Dung, Guts, and Blood,
Drown’d Puppies, stinking Sprats, all drench’d in Mud,
Dead Cats and Turnips-Tops come tumbling down the Flood.

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You find out the most interesting things in articles detailing the fall of financial institutions. I found out this about failed bank Washington Mutual (WaMu):

“Someone in Florida had made a second-mortgage loan to O.J. Simpson, and I just about blew my top, because there was this huge judgment against him from his wife’s parents,” she recalled. Simpson had been acquitted of killing his wife Nicole and her friend but was later found liable for their deaths in a civil lawsuit; that judgment took precedence over other debts, such as if Simpson defaulted on his WaMu loan.

“When I asked how we could possibly foreclose on it, they said there was a letter in the file from O.J. Simpson saying ‘the judgment is no good, because I didn’t do it.’ “

Well you know, WaMu really got what they deserved.

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Nearly seven months ago the Seattle Post Intelligencer newspaper converted to an online-only news source. So how’s that going? Judging by the fact that they’re looking to LOL cats to save the day, I’d say not so good.

Today seattlepi.com begins to feature content from the blockbuster site, where site users both submit the funny photos and decide which are good enough to make it to the home page.

By way of introduction, we asked Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezburger Network, formerly Pet Holdings, Inc., to explain what this “lolcat” thing is all about.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.


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Socialism Please

The wingnuts are crazy about not increasing taxes lest we become socialist, but have they ever wondered how stuff gets done. I happened upon this great site from Seattle Public Utilities. Public indeed:

Help Prevent Flooding and Improve Water Quality

Join over 150 volunteers who are maintaining storm drains, a critical part of our utility infrastructure. During the fall months, a combination of changing weather and falling leaves creates a perfect opportunity for flooding. Unfortunately, our full time drainage crews cannot keep up with the thousands of storm drains that need extra maintenance this time of year. That’s where you come in! Removing dirt, silt and debris from the top of the drain helps prevent flooding and diverts pollutants from streams, creeks and other natural waterways.

Watch a video to learn more about adopting a drain.

God forbid you should actually pay anyone for performing this service. Especially in this economy with all sorts of people being out of work. That would be socialism. America, number one in the GDP, can’t even afford to make sure that the streets don’t flood during winter storms without enlisting the help of volunteers. And if you don’t think this is serious business, tell that to the woman who’s partner was drowned in her basement when a storm drain got clogged.

Meanwhile a dam in Washington is at risk and the Army Corps of Engineers urges homeowners to get flood insurance. I can’t imagine how that conversation will go with the insurance companies. “Hello, yes, I’m told my home is at immenent risk from a flood. Can I have flood insurance.” Click.

Infrastructure is really important. And once again, please monitor that volcano 54 miles from Seattle.

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I have been monumentally busy lately. Busy at work. I think I can truly express authentically what a piece of crap Vista is. For those people who just don’t like how everything is organized, you don’t know the half of it.

Inexplicably I can’t connect to Oracle databases in Access. The whole dang program shuts down. I’ve attempted 20 different work arounds to fix my problem. At one time I had 10 browsers open with the various error messages and steps to fix them. I really liked this one: “5 tedious steps for removing Oracle.” I don’t blame Oracle though. I blame this f—ing operating system.

In livlier news, I have now started a bicycle repair class. It’s so great to think I’ll be able to fix my main vehicle without paying someone else to do so. The teacher also gave me some good tips on how to ride my bike. He talked about how you are the motor. He said keep the gears low and get better excercise rather than put strain on your muscles and joints in a high gear. Protect your motor he said.

Bad knees has led me to go swimming every now and again. It’s much more daunting than running as there is limited space. Even in the slowest lane I get in the way of others.

I’ll be running a half marathon this weekend. Hopefully my knees hold up. Plus, I hope I get over this cold that I have. Some people ask me how I manage to do so much meaning running, swimming, cycling etc. I would like to say that first of all that I am not terribly good at any one of these. And second, sadly I am a truly ultra-efficient human being. My body can survive on half the calories of a typical person, so I have to be active in order to enjoy the pleasures of food and drink. You would never know by looking at me how much I do, but there it is.

I’m sorry for the spotty posting, but as I said I’m kind of busy these days.

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Camping this weekend

You would think that 2 weeks in France would leave me relaxed and ready for at least 6 months of continued labor. Well it wasn’t. I ended up coming back to work at probably the most busy time in my whole career, and if that weren’t enough everyone on my team took vacations after I came back. So I haven’t had much time to post.

This weekend I’m getting some desperately needed R&R in Southern Washington. I may manage a post or two today and tomorrow, but after that I’ll see you Monday.

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Headline of the day


As long as we’re using a deadly pandemic disease to describe prostitutes, it might behoove us to acknowledge that the headline could also very well be “Aurora ‘plagued with johns'” or “Aurora ‘plagued’ with men wanting to pay for sex.” These women wouldn’t be there without paying customers.

As an aside, I think Seattlepi.com has been mostly a failure in a journalistic sense. I’m not reading anything nearly as interesting in their pages since they went online only. I do noticed that the Seattletimes has gotten a little worse too now that they don’t have any competition. Having said that the Times seems to have made a good choice to hook up with existing neighborhood blogs rather than doing what the PI did which is ask the community for volunteer bloggers.

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I tend to pay attention to the news stories about pedestrians and cyclists getting killed by cars. I do this because I am a bicycle commuter and a frequent walker. Quite frankly, cars scare the shit out of me.

While cycling home yesterday and encountering yet another close call with a car situation, I thought of a news story of a young girl who was killed in a crosswalk in Shoreline several years ago. And then I thought to myself, oh my God, my grandmother died in a crosswalk. My grandmother was killed by a car while crossing the street in a crosswalk. The only grandmother I ever had.

I’m not writing this to elicit sympathy from my readers. This happened in the early 90’s and I’m over it. In fact, what was disturbing to me about my memory yesterday was the fact that I don’t believe I was ever traumatized by this fact of my life. The event happened. My grief passed, so much so that when I think of pedestrian safety I think of news stories before I think of my own family’s experience. It’s very odd to feel this way. Reflecting on it makes me think I am a very cold person.

There was something of a trial. The driver was old and the sun was in his eyes. Of course, I always think that if you can’t see you shouldn’t be moving forward. I don’t think anything happened to him. The sad thing about pedestrian, cyclist, motorist and motorcycle deaths is that if the perpetrator wasn’t drunk then s/he usually just gets a slap on the wrist. Of course the fact that it’s not a DUI certainly doesn’t change the fact that your loved one died.

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Jake is having some withdrawal symptoms from not having his daily pan aux raisin. I, on the other hand, am having difficulty reading anything to do with politics. All of it makes me angry right now and I don’t feel like getting into the details.

On a local level though, I was pleased to see Mike McGinn come in first in the Seattle Mayoral Primary. I voted for him and, wow, that is fantastic news! I met McGinn at our Democratic caucus in Greenwood for 2008. He seemed like a nice guy and he remembered my name from some random emails I sent on a Greenwood ListServ. I tend to have a good memory, so I always like it when someone else does too. I have a big pet peeve about people who introduce themselves to me several times and never seem to remember me.

Another thing of note is that we took the new light rail on our return to Seattle. It currently doesn’t go all the way to the airport, but there is a shuttle from the airport to Tukwila where it starts. It was a very pleasant ride although there were a total of 7 bicycles and only 2 places to put them. Jake and I were lucky to snag those two spaces. When we got downtown we rode our bikes back home. It was surprisingly nice after a 10 hour plane ride.

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Amazon is being sued for deleting e-books from their customer’s Kindles when Amazon found out the e-books were pirated copies.

The lawsuit said Amazon never disclosed to customers that it “possessed the technological ability or right to remotely delete digital content purchased through the Kindle Store.”

No shit. I didn’t know that about the Kindle either. The book? You’ll never believe. Orwell’s 1984. Check out the story.

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I usually try to buy locally roasted coffee. This is Seattle after all so we have a lot of choice. For a very long time I was buying Pegasus which is hands down my favorite, but unfortunately my office moved and now Pegasus is completely inconvenient. Thus began my quest for a local replacement.

I always bought Pegasus beans by the pound because we make our own lattes in the morning at home.  In trying other coffees I stumbled upon a trend to sell coffee by the 12 0z oz bag for the same price that places used to sell a full pound or 16 0unces. It’s not just your small places either. Starbucks, Tullys and Torrefazione all have 12 0z oz bags for you to buy. Now I did see a full pound at Starbucks too. You just have to be careful.

This is Kuma Coffee which is roasted in the Seattle neighborhood Magnolia. It’s really good and they do sell it by the pound for I think 10.99. Much better than 10.99 for 12 ounces as far as I’m concerned.

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Paw-licking good

Danton has some sort of liver disease. We don’t know what has caused it, but he is jaundiced right now. It’s been a rough week trying to figure out how this young cat got sick and it’s possible we’ll never know. Since he won’t eat or drink at all, part of taking care of him is to give him medicine twice a day and to force-feed him food through a syringe three times a day. It’s not easy force-feeding a cat let me tell you.

On Friday, he miraculously ate a half can of tuna. We were elated. But this was followed by two days of eating nothing at all meaning two full days of force-feedings. He kept sniffing the wide variety of foods that we tried to get him to eat including baby food, but he never ate it. Instead he would just motion to bury it by scratching the floor around it.

Last night we went to see Shakespeare in the Park. It was The Taming of the Shrew and quite good I might add. Here’s a link to the company. My friend Lynne has a family tradition of bringing a bucket of fried chicken to Shakespeare in the Park, so we stopped by Kentucky Fried Chicken. Then as we were driving to the show, we thought to ourselves how good that chicken smelled in the car and all of us started to get hungry. Maybe it will have the same affect on Danton, I thought. So we took a piece home for him. I tore off the Colonel’s secret recipe crust and started to tear up the chicken, then I put it in front of the cat. Lo and behold he ate it! He ate a lot of it! He would walk away then go back to get more. At the end of the night we left the chicken out and he finished it up. I really love KFC right now.

How I wish this were some sort of cat plot to get us to feed Danton people food, but of course that’s not it. With any luck, he will have turned the corner and we’ll start to see some improvement.

Here’s a photo of him eating. Not a good photo, but I didn’t want to disturb him.

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I didn’t see anything on YouTube that showed this well. You gotta go to the MLS site. It’s a beauty.

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Once again, via MyBallard.com. I noticed that the billboard from last week has been returned to its original state.

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Telekinesis: Tokyo

We saw this local band a few months ago at the Crocodile and loved the show.

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Grade-A Crap

I was amused to see this billboard across from the Jolly Roger Taproom in Ballard. Luckily MyBallard got a photo of it.

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Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "The war on the 4th of July ", posted with vodpod

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Regarding  interleague play which is the term used to describe regular season Major League Baseball games played between teams in different leagues:

I’m not a big fan. It’s a novelty for the fans; I think we’re doing it for the fans. Which is fine. – Joe Torre, Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

What’s missing from this article is that the reason why Torre doesn’t like interleague play is because his number-one-team-in-baseball Dodgers got their asses kicked by the Seattle Mariners. In Los Angeles.

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