Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Kite Runner

The Vikings managed to lose to the Bronco's today to finish the season 8-8 which is a little better than Vegas expected. I took a prop bet in Reno that the Vikings would win more than 7 games this year. Because of the Vikings I managed to turn $5 into nearly $10 so thank you for that. As much I enjoy checking the mail for my $10 check I'm a little annoyed they managed to blow there chances at the playoffs between this week and last. I am less than impressed than impressed with the Brad Childress era but then again I don't have a vote since I live too far away to make my displeasure known.

After I got sick of watching the Vikings lose I decided to go see a movie. For some reason I decided to see The Kite Runner, which is a pretty interesting movie. It is fictional and not a memoir but it feels like a true story while you watch it. At times it gets a little hard to believe with some of the events and the neat conclusion but it was a good movie. After the movie ended nobody talked for a very long time and nobody left their seat for a good minute. Always the sign of a good movie.

I wonder how many other people realize there are two separate movies about Afghanistan (at least indirectly) at the same time. The Kite Runner begins in Kabul prior to the Soviet invasion and returns during what appears to be the horrific Taliban years pre 9/11. Charlie Wilson's war, which I haven't seen, is some sort of comedic drama about how Senator Wilson funneled Billions of $$ into fighting the Soviets. This begs the question; did the former Soviet republics end up better off in the long run or did Afghanistan which managed to fight off communism with the help of the Americans? To be sure neither would be ideal but it's a fair question.

After returning to laundry and cleaning post holidays I sat down to watch some TV and ended up with The Sound of Music. I'm watching it as I type. Maybe it's because I'm reading a book on WWII right now but some of the references to Nazi's and the political climate have a whole new meaning once you start to pay attention. Rolf and Liesl Von Trapp were just discussing the joys of being 16 going on 17... according to IMDB Julie Andrews character doesn't have a last name, she's just "Maria". That's pretty odd.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Philly Cheese and Two Fights

Friday was a very low key day at work. Most people were still on vacation and the holiday rush was over so the team took a lunch. Success!! I have found a good Philly Cheese place in Seattle! It is called Tats (like tattoo's) and is run by some Penn State grads who really know how to make a good and authentic cheese steak with Whiz. Now to find a good Italian beef and possible a good corned beef / pastrami place. Finding the great local places has been particularly enjoyable.

After work I had to drive to the FedEx Ground hub to the south of town in order to pick up my Christmas present from my aunt. The package contained alcohol (wine) so that added to the difficultly because the package can't be left without a signature and age verification. Apple Jalapeño Pepper wine. You read that right, Jalapeño is included in the wine, so I think I'll take it to work and have a tasting session to see how this tastes in wide audience.

When I got home I walked a few blocks to Key Arena and watched a Junior league hockey game, the Seattle Thunderbirds were talking on local rivals the Everett Silvertips. It was a decent hockey game with some solid play but with a Junior league you have 16 - 20 years old learning how to play so for the price it was a solid deal. At about the 5 minute mark of a 3 - 0 Seattle lead 2 separate fights broke out at the same time. You don't see that very often so I was glad I stayed until the end. Key Arena is awful. If the Sonics do stay I 100% support funding a new arena for them.

At some point I need to make the drive and spend the money to go to a Vancouver Canucks hockey game. They are crazy about hockey and it's just a few hours up the road. Woo hoo!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Is there a Dr. on the plane?!"

Yep, they really do say that when something crazy happens. I went home for Christmas, and since I use the word home to mean different places (ND, MN, WI) I'll be specific and say I went to my parents house in MN. The plane ride out to MN was pretty boring but I sat next to crying kids and a fidgeter with an overactive bladder. I can't wait to fly first class someday. Someday being the operative word because it means never in this case.

The ride back on the other hand had good seat mates but some serious excitement for once. Based on the time in the air we had to be somewhere over Montana when a guy 4 rows behind me had a pretty serious seizure. Someone repeatedly hit the call button to alert the attendants all the way in the front of the plane (I was in row 41 of the cattle car) that something was up and then a different attendant announced "Is there a DR. on the plane?!" As it turns out the guy ahead of me was a firefighter or EMT and a surgeon or surgical nurse showed from somewhere and worked through the seizure. I was sitting 1 row back from one of the intercom phones and they were discussing an emergency landing somewhere in MT for a while. The guy came out of it and medics met him at the gate so everything turned out OK or now. It was pretty wild but it makes me wonder how often something like that happens because lots of people fly so it can't be that rare. Just new to me I guess.

Totally unrelated to flying excitement is the homemade wine experiment. I would call the results mixed to positive. My buddy in ND made two kinds of wine, one was pretty traditional using Welch's frozen grape juice, the other used a variety frozen juices (Apple, Cranberry, etc). In Fargo the results of the grape based wine came out a little tart but very drinkable. The mixed fruit varietal was not so good and I cannot recommend this option without serious reservations about how it will taste and smell. The batch of Welch's based wine I made at my parents house turned out a little less tart and tasted good enough for my mother to say "I've had much worse" at some wine tasting club she belongs too. Success!! We are now in the process of doing a postmortem to figure out why we had such variety in the taste of the grape juice based wines. For $7 we ended up with some pretty good wine.

Pictures will be forthcoming.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Holidays

The holidays are upon us. After spending some time with my distant relatives in Seattle last weekend I'm headed to the Midwest to spend Christmas with my family. My brother will be home from college and I'll be seeing as many relatives in a 3 day period as possible. That means driving back and forth to Fargo but that's cool. I'll get to try my homemade wine in Fargo.

I leave for MN in a few hours and I'll be taking a camera with me to maybe take some photo's of huge snow piles. Seattle hasn't got any snow while I've been in town. There was an inch or three a few weeks ago when I was in Portland but nothing that I've been able to find. I actually am I going to get my winter coat out of the closet just for this trip home because Seattle doesn't even get weather that I would call winter.

Here's to Northwest having an on-time flight.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Uneventful

Work was about all that happened this week. I spent a lot of time working with the 4th quarter issues that about in the retail industry. It's been pretty exciting but I'm looking forward to the craziness being over and things returning to the normalcy of the non-christmas time of year.

I spent time on both Friday and Saturday with the relatives I have in the area. I might have even found someplace to spend New Years Eve, which is very exciting. I did get to play a lot of catchphrase and Great Great Uncle Gordon does a good job explaining/gesturing on what a stripper does.

I fly home in a few days for the holidays. This is my first X-mas flight ever so it should be interesting but I'm leaving late on Saturday so hopefully the rush would be over by then. It looks like a lot of time will be spent in the Fargo/Sheldon/Casselton areas and that should be very cold. I'm not sure if it's been below freezing here yet. HA ha to everybody who has snow on the ground.

In basketball related news both MU and UW (Huskies) won the weekend. Go Marquette!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Marquette Wins!

All is right with the world!



Marquette defeated UW Badgers on the road this Saturday and birds sang, flowers bloomed, and people rejoiced the victory over the evil empire. A Marquette win over Madison is great, especially on the road, as it allows in state bragging rights for a little while and Marquette got another big non conference win. I think I'll be flying home next year for the game in Milwaukee, it was hard watching this game in a bar with quiet audio and uninterested patrons. It was the clearest day in Seattle in months so the snow capped mountains were visible everywhere it was a pretty great weekend. Oh yeah, it was about 45 degrees too. I don't miss cold temps and snow.

On Friday after work I met a friend from Chicago who was in town to visit her brother. I met Liz, her brother, and some of her brothers friends out at a bar after work for happy hour and that led to dinner. It was a good times (like the video) and I enjoyed laughing at everything happening. I found a place with decent baked Zitti as a by product, so I got that going for me, which is nice.

Earlier in they day I went to UW Husky game. The final basket of the game was disallowed or the Huskies would have beat one of my least favorite programs after the Badgers (the Pitt Panthers). It was not to be however as the basket came after time expired. Pretty good game but I'm glad I went to MU the student section and general fan support was not what I would have expected. A massive state school and huge metro area should equal a sell out for most games and I'm just not seeing that here. I little disappointed actually.




Here is a halftime shot of the Hec Ed (The Husky Fieldhouse). Pretty awesome little arena, small, loud at times, close to action everywhere. I really like the windows at the west end as well.













Here is the chaos the follows a shot that may or may not count. See the cops standing near the UW logo? They weren't needed.












Here is a shot of the Refs deciding the shot. Notice the guy who has a santa beard on the upper left. He must have had today off from the Macy's Santa suit.









This the Rogue house we visited on the Portland/Van Halen trip.














This is a shot looking at the Van Halen fans inside the Portland Rose Garden. Who knew Van Halen would still have so many fans. I guess Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth were worth the price of admission for these people.










I really hate my cable. I got this message in the middle of a big game the other day. Nothing like giving this message during the final minute of a close football game or basketball game with 10 seconds left. I was not impressed. Broadstripe Cable stinks. Stay away!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Thanksgiving and Van Halen

Long time since I've posted so I'll do a high level approach. Basically my internet has been spotty and I've been a little less than motivated to post... no real reason either.

I think my last post was the 15th so I'll pick up around there. I flew home for Thanksgiving on Wednesday afternoon and got picked up at the airport around 9pm which was a little problematic because there was a Marquette game going on against Duke in Maui (I would have been in Maui had I not moved to Seattle) and I missed part of the game because of the late arrival and the subsequent drive home. MU lost and that sucked. My aunt and cousin were already there when I got home, they arrived a little early to assist in the meal prep in the morning and because of obligations later in the day somewhere in North Dakota.

Thanksgiving was pretty standard. Lots of relatives were in town and it was pretty fun. I don't get to see a lot of my aunts and uncles very often because I live pretty far away and because we're all a little older and a little busier. Lots of people about to graduate high school and go onto bigger and better things. Minot State and Valley City State seem to be popular destinations going forward - maybe I can talk a few into Marquette.

On Friday I drove to Fargo and spent a day with one of my best friends from high school. We had a good time and it was pretty low key. It's not everyday when rummicube is the game of choice, it was the first time I ever played and it was certainly a challenge. Left to our own devices on Saturday we decided we would make wine out of Grape Juice. It was cheap and pretty entertaining but I won't know how t tastes for several weeks / months. (I also made a batch at my parents for them to babysit.) I flew home on Sunday with little fanfare but the security line at the Humphrey terminal in Minneapolis was incredibly long. I haven't done a ton of air travel over the holidays and it was kind of shock. Christmas comes next.

This weekend was a drive to Portland to see Van Halen fronted by David Lee Roth. A couple of buddies from college were having a mini road trip for the concert and invited me to join them since I lived pretty close. Portland is a pretty nice town and I think I'd like to spend more time exploring the city. We ate lunch/dinner at the Rogue House - a brew pub of the microbrewery Rogue. They make a lot of tasty beers, a couple of stouts and one ale in particular are pretty popular. Van Halen followed dinner and they put on a very solid show. It's probably not quite as wild and crazy as it would have been 20 years ago but it was still pretty fun to watch. When your son, Wolfgang, is old enough to play Bass in the band sharing your last name you know you've been around the block once or twice.

I made a detour on the way home to have BW3's. I haven't had any since March and it might have been worth the detour to get some extra tasty chicken wings. I don't know when I'll have it again so maybe that will be the catalyst for my next trip to Portland. Vancouver should be next on the list.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Writers Guild Strike

I watched what appears to be the final new episode of The Office tonight. Next week is listed as a repeat and a few other shows the rely on writers to act, like 30 Rock, appear to be ending soon also. I'm pretty bummed about this only because there aren't really many shows worth watching on TV right now and they will be going into reruns. The only reason I have cable anymore is because of sports programming. Since I got cable nearly two years ago my reading has declined and since I pay an absolute fortune here in Seattle for cable I'm not sure how long I'll keep it. The shows I want to watch the most are mostly on network TV already and I could find lots of other things to do with my $$ besides cable.

I do side with the writers in this case. The networks have really screwed the writers out of revenue from the internet and other online sources. The networks have problems but paying the source of the revenue shouldn't be something they screw around with. ">


I also added an Office widget to the blog. I'm not sure I'm going to keep it because it's kind of big but you get fresh Office videos as soon as they come out. This was a good Office episode... sigh... I'm really going to miss new episodes.

Two Husky games down and I'm still not sure what to think. I love their little stadium but the crowds have been a little underwhelming so far. Maybe once the big games and the Pac-10 schedule start things will start to pick up because compared to MU games they're not up to par. The Huskies in general need some help, I haven't been able to sell two tickets for this weekends football game for half price so my worst case scenario is going to the game.

My family is hosting Thanksgiving this year. I haven't seen a lot of family since last Christmas actually. Between my trip to Europe and the move to Seattle I haven't been home in a long time so this is a good chance to see more people than I would normally be able to. I hope I get snowed in for a few extra days.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

American Gangster

I watched a lot of movies this weekend and it was great. Saturday I watched a lot of football and watched the Marquette game on the internet. I'm not sure the video stream is legal but it was nice to be able to watch the game instead of listen on the internet, which I think I'm going to do tomorrow for lack of other options. MU won for what it's worth, we might be in the top ten when the new poll comes out since Michigan State lost an exhibition game.

Today, Sunday, I watched the Vikings get blown out by the Packers until they switched to a more "competitive" game. That hurts when the game is so lopsided they switch away. Depressed about the game I decided to go to the movies. I saw American Gangster, based on a true story about a New York based drug dealer and his rise to power. Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe put on a good show and is well worth the inflated price of admission. I learned the best way to remove blood from an Alpaca rug is to blot it with club soda - NEVER RUB! An Alpaca is a dromedary that lives in the high plains of South America and is a close relative of the Llama - fyi.

Two random facts from the first movie - there is going to be a new Rambo movie. Apparently remaking one successful film franchise wasn't enough for Stallone, I wonder if Rambo can fight Rocky somehow or possibly we could get Over The Top II. I heard a quote a long time ago and I'm going to paraphrase it here. 75% of black men in movies are Denzel Washington, Will Smith, and Morgan Freeman, the remaining 25% are Cuba Gooding Jr., Jamie Foxx, and other. Denzel puts on a good show in American Gangster, Cuba Gooding Jr., has a cameo, and Will Smith had a movie in the previews, and Morgan Freeman was doing the voice over / narration in another.

On the way home I noticed this classic cinema was playing Blade Runner The Final Cut. I hadn't seen Blade Runner in since college and having never been inside this retro theater I took the plunge and watched two movies in the same day. This version of Blade Runner is more violent than the version I remember and it had the narration removed. I liked this version a lot with the changes and I was really excited to hear Tyrell in a movie. It's weird to think this movie is 25 years old but I guess everything gets older and looking at Wikipedia and IMDB it turns out this is pretty universally considered a top 100 movie of all time. Both Alpaca's and Blade Runner have Wikipedia articles almost as long as the entry for North Dakota.

I'm a big fan of the Cinerama as a place to watch a movie. I might go see the first movie I ever saw in a theater, Ghostbusters, there in a couple of days. In a few months I'm totally going to see Tron, and maybe Space Odyssey 2001. How can you ignore HAL? I'm pretty sure Tron is not a top 100 movie of all time but Space Odyssey might be.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Jimmy Johns Superior to Subway

Seattle has a lot of sub shops. Some of them are national, like Subway and Jimmy Johns, and some are local, like - I can't think of one offhand - but they exist. Normally I wouldn't write about something like this but I can't resist. There are tons of Subway's in Seattle and I'm not really sure why they are so popular but they're everywhere. I try to eat at the Jimmy John's by my office and it's not quite as exciting or unique as the one on the Marquette campus I used to deliver for but it is still pretty solid. JJ's is superior to Subway because I frequent a Subway by my apartment and literally there is a woman who works there who cannot remember anything for more than 10 seconds. Literally, she will ask me a question and ask the same question 20 seconds later, it's so bad I'm to the point where if see she's working I won't eat there. Jimmy John's is superior, and when I win the lottery I'm going to open my open Jimmy John's or possible an Internet cafe.

Kermit the Frog is "assisting" on deal or no deal tonight. Apparently he is helping to keep with the trumped up "green" theme that GE Universal is putting on in some sort of BS environmental theme. GE is one of the hugest polluters in the country FYI. I'm glad most of the shows on Thursday night (The Office, 30 Rock, Earl) made fun of the concept.

This weekend the Packers play the Vikings. I soooo hope the Vikings win it hurts. Now that I no longer live in the Cheese state of Wisconsin I don't mind the Packers as much but I still hope the Vikings win. I'm OK with a good story and the Favre resurgence is pretty fun to watch FROM AFAR. I can't wait for Adrian Peterson to run wild on the Packer defense! Cold medicine drugs with Pseudoephedrine are illegal because they can be used to make farmhouse meth, a big problem in the Midwest, but dang to they REALLY work well. It's worth going on the potential drug dealer list to get the good stuff.

The dude Kermit was helping won $129,000 - but Kermit wasn't all that useful - he could have won $400,000+ if he would have played the game out. However, the guy playing might have talked a briefcase girl into a double date with Kermit and Piggy - how can you do wrong with that.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Writing Again

I haven't written a lot the last couple of weeks, mostly because I was out of town and tired, but also because I was tired and didn't feel like writing. I dropped my friend off at the airport nearly two weeks ago and since then I worked for two days and flew to Appleton WI.

Worked for a day in Appleton. Rented a car and drove to Milwaukee on Thursday night and spent a few hours with the friends I could round up on relatively short notice. It was a pretty good time and I got to eat a Sobelman burger and drink a Spotted Cow. On Friday I met up with a few people from Roundy's for coffee and conversation. I've been gone for 7 months and it is kind of surreal to be back and seeing how things have changed (and stayed the same).

I continued onto O'hare and flew to St. Louis. I spend Friday night in St. Louis with friends from Marquette in a non-wedding setting. Saturday was the wedding and Sunday I flew out later in the day so I went to the top of the Gateway Expansion Arch or whatever it's called. It was pretty fun but it's a little strange, the Arch isn't all that old, it was built in the 60's. That got me thinking - what was the last monument of massive scale that was built in the US? I know the Korean and Vietnam war memorials came after but they aren't huge structures like the Arch. I'm sure the 9/11 memorial will be huge whatever it ends up being.

This week at work nothing crazy happened. I did carve a pumpkin that won an award for precision. Happy Halloween is a time consuming pain in the ass to carve. Nothing else worth nothing about Halloween. The rest of the week was pretty laid back. I watched a lot of football this weekend and listened to a Marquette game streaming on the internet. I have my first UW game tomorrow as well. The Huskies are playing a local college, Seattle Pacific, in an exhibition game. Normally I might skip this game but I want to see the venue and see the team I'm going to start cheering for.

I just bought a plane ticket home for Christmas. This is getting expensive.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Redhook Beer

Whew! Long weekend and another long couple of days coming up. Friday another friend arrived for the weekend (Don't worry I'm almost out of friends) and we did a lot of touristy stuff but got to enjoy the city a little bit as well.

The weekend in brief goes like this.

Friday
Pick up at Airport
Drive around in the unusually heavy rain.
Eat lunch
Drive to Chinatown
Drink a beer or three
Get some food at a Seattle landmark (Dick's for those who're curious)

Saturday
Go to the Market
Walk around downtown Seattle
Go to Gasworks park
Go on Redhook Brewery Tour
Go to UW Husky football game (they lost)
Eat very fresh seafood on the waterfront
Drink another beer.

Sunday
Go to promo for Budweiser and get tickets to Seahawks game (connections are helpful)
Seahawks Game (They won)
Shopping in downtown retail core
Eat at asian restaurant
Go to Belgian beer bar. (had a Triple Carmelite)

Monday
Back to Market for Fresh Seafood
Drive to Cascade Mountains (it was an amazing day in Seattle today)
Drop buddy off at airport...
Go to work.

It was a busy weekend and looking back at all the stuff we did, brewery tour and football games, it was a very inexpensive weekend. Due to fall schedules we didn't get a chance to take the ferry or a tour of the Seattle underground that I wanted to but I guess that was a lesson learned on my part. I did a lot more exploring of Chinatown this weekend than I had done previously as well. Every time somebody has visited I've tried to do something new that myself and the guest would appreciate and it's worked out very well so far.

The AB promo was held at a bar called Cowgirls. It was a Coyote Ugly type bar with girls dancing on the bar (at 11AM!!) and creepy dudes watching them. It was very surreal because it felt like it should have been much later - and in a city like New York or something. I actually felt a little strange in the bar because it's not a place I would have chosen to pre-game at myself. Personally I would have tried to find a sportsbar with all the games on but I'm not complaining too loudly either - especially with free tickets.

The UW Huskies and the St. Louis Rams are awful. I've learned that 1000 yards of offense between two college teams are pretty rare. Ridiculous is a funny word to say at a football game. Qwest Field (where the Seahawks play) is incredibly loud. Dry Cleaning is expensive.

Come visit me people!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Trip to Appleton/Milwaukee/St. Louis

This weekend a friend from Milwaukee is visiting for a couple of days. We've got lots of safe drinking to do at the Redhook Microbrewery (we both worked in the beer industry with Redhook in the past) and lots of football between the UW Husky and Seahawks games. The rest of the weekend is up in the air however so who knows what we'll be doing the rest of the weekend. The weather is rainy/cloudy/sunny/nice/cold/crappy/windy and that's before noon. Seriously, it's a little hard to plan when the weather is so erratic, something I didn't anticipate when I moved out here. What are you going to do.

As mentioned in the title next week I'll be in Appleton for work, Milwaukee for a night, and onto St. Louis for a wedding. If anybody wants to meet at the Lodge next Thursday around 8:30 - 9 just show up... a place to stay would be nice too.

Friday I'm going to be running errands all morning before I drive to O'hare. It might seem like a waste of time to fly out of O'hare instead of Milwaukee but it saved me over $300 bucks in airfare. Time well spent if you ask me since I'm paying for this one myself.

Random thoughts... Iman Shumpert should have gone to Marquette. The Big East has pretty good football programs. The Office is my favorite show on TV no questions asked. I eat too much pizza. The Red Sox are as bad as the Yankees now. Joe Torre made the right call. That's just Manny being Manny.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Husky Tickets

Well, I got my UW mens basketball tickets in the mail today. I give Marquette a lot of credit for giving the tickets out in a book or booklet format as opposed to the Baseball Card sheet. I took a picture with a beer bottle for reference as most people know how big a beer bottle is... and because I had one handy but the picture included some person data that probably best not on the web so I cropped the photo a little bit. Just know the tickets are about 18 inches high and 24 inches wide, which is dang big. The beer was a Leffe, which is basically a tasty yet mainstream Belgian. A little spendy but better than most beers and certainly with trying.

If anybody wants single game UW tickets let me know.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Lots of airline miles

I have a wedding to go to in St. Louis in two weeks. I bought the ticket in July because I was actually prepared for once. That doesn't always happen but it was a good deal and it made sense at the time. About 6 weeks ago I found out I was going to be in Wisconsin in October "sometime" for a work visit to Appleton Wisconsin, the location of some Kimberly Clark offices. Of course the trip to Wisconsin was the same week as the wedding. Instead of flying back to Seattle on Thursday only to turn around and fly back to St. Louis on Friday I canceled my flight and did some wheeling and dealing. The end result is a partial credit my original flight and a regular tour of airports. My schedule that week now includes Minneapolis, Appleton, a rental car to O'hare, St. Louis, Phoenix, and back to Seattle. Plus, I get to spend a night in Milwaukee - which I didn't get to do earlier so I think it's a push at the end of the day.

The one weekend I don't go to a bar to watch the Vikings play awful football they end up beating the equally awful Chicago Bears. Lots of football watching this weekend in anticipation of my friend from Wisconsin visiting next weekend (yes a friend from Wisconsin is visiting me this weekend and I'll be in Wisconsin two days later for work) and the wedding down the road I took this weekend pretty easy. Baseball playoffs (does anybody care about the National League?), lots of football, and plenty of reading killed most of the weekend.

The official beginning of College Basketball was this weekend also. MU even got a commitment from somebody from the class of 2009 or something crazy like that. I do miss being in Milwaukee at times like this but I guess I'll have to make do with UW Husky basketball when the times come. I'll cheer for them and get into the games and everything but it won't be the same.

I'm excited about embedding video's in my blog. I'll be judicious with my new found power so I don't overwhelm the blog. I think I'm going to eat Ice Cream now.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Abba Rules

I'm pretty sure I learned how to embed a video!!



Awesome.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Reverbfest

I've loaded the Soapbox Derby videos to youtube. It was ridiculously easy and they've already been watched a few times, maybe I have the next great viral video or something. I'm going to work on embedding the videos in the blog so bear with me if this isn't a smooth operation.

This weekend was pretty quick. Saturday evening I meet up with some friends in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle for a musical event called reverbfest. It was a pretty good deal - for $10 you got a wristband that would let into any one of 8 (I think) bars that had live music going on. They had a wide variety of musical types and limited stage time so no one single band was on for more than 45 - 50 minutes before the next band was on. It was a pretty unique set up and we discovered some new bars and some interesting bands. The band TacocaT (Taco caT is an anagram) was particularly memorable for songs that were completely inappropriate, and for having a song about Peeps that incorporated a kazoo. The other band that stood out was The Bad Things for having an accordion, castanets, and a stand up bass. Good times indeed but they are no Riverwest Accordion Club.

My cable company in Seattle was Millennium Digital Cable. Millennium is now Broadstripe according to the TV commercial I just saw. They still are a terrible Cable company and I wish I had another option of any sort.

I just watched part of Rocky III - I forgot how truly awful that movie is. The Hulk Hogan wrestling/boxing scene was terrible but I was happy to find out his character was named Sugar Lips.

On to the youtube links.

As mentioned earlier - mother avert your eyes. It's a little naughty for your old fashioned sensibilities. The Crash If it looks a little weird it's because my camera was having a hard time picking up the video screen.

A crapper making a turn. Crapper This one is even more funny because apparently the UHaul they were transporting this vehicle around in had was stolen. Imagine opening a UHaul to find that thing.

This is just a flat out Bizarre routine. Every soapbox car had a routine and this was one of the more strange ones I caught on film - they also couldn't make it through the chicane turn and crashed really hard. The judges of the routines included Sir-Mix-A-Lot, a Seattle native, and some other random nobodies. Sir-Mix was very impressed with the Seattle Supersonics cheerleader routine.

I'm not sure how people embed the video's so now I'm going to some research.... because I don't want to do more laundry.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Redbull Soapbox Derby

Uploading videos takes FOR - EVER to quote the Sandlot. Seriously I've been loading these three (If they ever load) videos for days now and it's been a huge pain in the ass. Last Saturday, the 29th, I went to a Soapbox Derby put on by Redbull. If you'v seen a Redbull TV commerical you know that they have a slighly different sense of humor. I took a bunch of pictures and a few videos with my camera which as have been a pain in the ass. I want to say some of the random weird things I took pictures of video of would be out of the normal but the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle is pretty eclectic and strange. I'm mean they a 20 foot high statue of Lenin, a Troll, and plently of other randomness. I took these video's with my camera so they're surprisingly good, the audio in particular surprised me. The first video is of a crapper making a turn. If these video's don't post I'm going to be annoyed. They show up in the "preview" that I can see. If you want to see them email me or leave a comment and I'll either send them to you or figure out a way to put them on the internet and link to them... youtube or something.


video


The only crash I got on video. I had bad timing with the videos or else we would there be some serious carnage. Betwen the berm and the chicane turn lots of people didn't make it to the bottom. My parental unit may not approve. Mother - avert your eyes. It's little naughty.


video

This is the most crazy routine we got to see. Something strange must have happened with upload because it should be pretty long. In case you couldn't already tell I was taping a video screen atthe event.

video

Here a few of the pictures that I took during the course of the event as well.



A Troll drinking Red Bull.












A high speed pickle.













I pity the fool going down the hill in this ride.













Lots of people!












That's a scary curve to go around. Notice the guy standing there for a sense of height.



















I wish this was out of the ordinary.










After the soapbox derby Branon and I went to watch the UW Husky's take on the #1 ranked USC Trojans. The seats were, well, I'm not really sure how I feel about them. They were on the 50 yard line - which is good - but they were the second to last row from the top - which is bad. We could see the entire field and the scoreboard pretty well but it was strange being so far under the roof and nearly as high as the luxury boxes. All told it was a pretty good game with UW in it all the way until the end.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Office

The worst part of living on the West Coast is being 3 hours behind on the tv schedule. Curse you Marty McFly! Several people have informed me via text the new Office this week is amazing. Only 2 hours to go dangit.

Also, my parental unit was offended that I called bees assholes. Apparently - they are not "naughty words" but bees are instead mean spirited stinging drones.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How I Met Your Mother

Monday night has a great show that needs to be watched. How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM)is a random show that is based in New York that has an ensemble cast with the focus on how Ted met his wife. The basic premise is the show is told in flashback form with episodes on what happened en route to meeting the his wife. By itself the show would be good but the piece that makes it great is Ted's friend Barney played by Neil Patrick Harris, aka Doogie Howser. You might not think it but he absolutely makes the show. You have to watch it too appreciate it - so watch it.

This upcoming weekend promises to be entertaining as well. Saturday during the day Red Bull is hosting a soapbox derby on a hill in Seattle. This thing promises to be ridiculous in every sense of the word. To make sure things are done in a timely fashion you had to apply to participate in the race because hundreds of people would race otherwise. You get judged on speed, design, and originality and knowing Redbull they will promote craziness.

After the soapbox derby I'll be heading off to see my first college football game ever. UW (Washington) will be taking on the #1 ranked USC Trojans and it promises to be high scoring event because UW has no defense. I figure USC will win handily but it should be a good time.

The best comedy on tv - The Office - returns on Thursday. Watch it and you'll probably like it. Dry humor and a decent plot should be enough for most people. On Friday the aptly named Friday Night Lights returns. FNL is a great show that has some football, some high school angst, and some real family situations. If you can't watch it at least Tivo it.

In closing you need to watch three shows.

1. How I Met Your Mother on Monday
2. The Office on Thursday
3. Friday Night Lights on Friday

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bees Are Assholes

Before I write about Oktoberfest let me begin by saying I hate bees. I was hiking yesterday when out of the blue a bee the size of a ... bee? decided to sting me on the hand. It hurt and therefore after I swatted the little sucker off I stepped on him to ensure that he would die a painful death. At least I wanted it to be painful. So my hand was sore and a little swollen for the rest of the day. I had heard of something earlier this summer about a problem with bees flying away from the nest and not returning. This was called colony collapse disorder I believe because entire colonies of bees were dying or disappearing. I've decided that since nobody eats honey anymore that bees should die. Bees are assholes.


It was cold towards the top the of the hike. It was maybe 60 towards the bottom of the mountain and once we got up it was cold, windy, and damp. I was dressed a little bit better for the weather so I gave Lisa the emergency rain jacket I keep in my packback. Big jacket - Little Lisa.






After watching football today (stupid Vikings) my friend Brandon and I went to the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle to take part in Oktoberfest of a local nature. Fremont is the center of the universe according to locals. They signs saying that at least so it must be true, right? Anyway, this counter culture neighborhood has a statue of Lenin, and a Troll so their Oktoberfest would have been pretty good had we actually gone in. It was super expensive for what you got and we weren't 100% into drinking heavily on a Sunday afternoon. It looked liked it would have been fun if we had gone last night.

Here are shots of the lake and of fun with Digital Cameras. Brandon and Lisa below. I'm tired of messing with the formatting also.









Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Return of the free wireless. Two Posts!

When my brother was in town we did some standard tourist stuff but we did drive all over creation on day. The first few pictures are from that trip when we were driving around Washington. I would also mention they were taken in September so only the highest mountains have snow on them and in some cases glaciers.




This picture was taken from a low scenic overlook looking back towards the East. Mt. Rainer is in the distance and it would be around maybe 40 miles away as the crow flies. Below is the Hood Canal, a separate offshoot that is part of Puget Sound.











Looking to the Northeast at Mt. Baker and a smaller peak to the right. I'm not sure of the distance but it's significantly farther away than Rainer. It's close to the Canadian border.











This was taken later on the same day. We drove around Puget sound and into Rainer National Park. This is a close up of the top of Mt. Rainer - again notice the glaciers. I believe there are 14 named glaciers that can move up to 3 feet a day, both forward and back.











This is a valley on Rainer. The "rocks" are really gigantic boulders that were left as the glacier retreated up the mountain. According to one of the information plaques on the Mountain one of the glaciers in the picture above reached all the down to the bridge in the picture. Scientists think the glacier is due for a major move down the mountain.













From the same hill earlier in the day looking back East at downtown Seattle. It's probably 25 miles away but that's a guess.












Here is the zoom in of the Seattle Skyline from that same vantage point. It's a little blurry but I think it might give and idea of height and distance we were looking at.










After my brother left I went hiking with some friends. We climbed to what is considered a sub alpine lake. I need to find out what the difference between and alpine lake and a sub-alpine lake is but I assume it's just height. Notice how clear the lake is. It was a long decent hike and the view was pretty solid.










Same lake looking in a different direction.












Lastly - in terms of both coolness and creepiness the new google link is pretty high on both counts. http://play.blogger.com/ shows a steady stream of the pictures being uploaded to the Google cloud at all times. It's addicting and scary.

Don't Mess With Texas!

This last weekend I flew to Austin Texas for a bachelor party. A few friends from college are getting married in a few weeks and instead of having to separate parties the decision was made to combine the forces of evil and have a gigantic party. We ended up with about 25 guys arriving from Seattle, Madison, Lansing, Las Vegas, Chicago, Bloomington, Columbus, Milwaukee, and possibly places beyond that I’m forgetting. I’m glad I wasn’t in charge of that debacle – herding cats comes to mind because that is a lot of humanity to move around without the benefit of military training. This came off pretty smooth overall, a few small gaffes but otherwise well.

Austin is a pretty nice town. It reminds me a lot of Madison Wisconsin for a lot of different reasons. They are both major college towns and the state capitols respectively. Austin is about twice the size of Madison so there is a more metropolitan feel than Madison but not by much. Walking around 6th street was also similar to State street in Madison – a few too many bars and a little too dirty but good for cheap beer and keeping college kids out of mischief for the most part. It was almost like a cleaner version of Bourbon St. or maybe Beale St. in Memphis would be a better comparison with all the live music.

The selection of Austin as the destination stems around the large music festival they have towards the end of summer called Austin City Limits or ACL. Most people are familiar with the long running show on PBS called Austin City Limits which shares the name but is unrelated to the festival. ACL is held in a city park a little bit away from downtown. Every city and county bus available must have been used to transport most of the 65,000 people in attendance around because it went pretty seamlessly. Milwaukee could take a few lessons for Summerfest which doesn’t do a bad job.

The only problem, and it’s pretty much unavoidable, is the excessive heat. The temps were pushing 90 – 95 during the day and the skies were pretty clear. That’s really warm to have so many people in a treeless park drinking cheap beer. They schedule the festival around Longhorn (UT) football games so there is some flexibility but they can’t push it up because it would be even hotter and they can’t push it back much farther, supposedly because of the threat of thunderstorms. I’m not sure what could be done because a different music festival is held in the spring called South By Southwest (SXSW) and it’s going to hot in Texas most of the time. To keep things moving they staggered starts to prevent shows from bleeding over each other and to maximize the music being played. It was cheap too! A 16oz beer was $4 and the slightly larger souvenir cup was only $7.

A few of us watched college football for a while to keep us from baking in the sun, or maybe in the honor of the Violent Femmes, from blistering in the sun. We showed around 5 and not being in the sun might have saved my life. It was hot and there was no shade but there was plenty of water and lots of good food options. The Arctic Monkey’s put on the same solid show I saw in Seattle a few months ago, solid but not spectacular. Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah put on a good show but they are hard to understand and I wasn’t familiar with the new album. Good but not great I guess. The Arcade Fire was put on a great show. Lots of energy, great songs, and it would appear the members of the band really enjoy playing and being on stage. Good times.

Flying out of Seattle meant an early leave time on Friday so I bought a paper at a newsstand to kill time and was given some change. Nothing weird about that until I realized I was given three different $1 coins and 3 quarters. Either the United States need to get rid of the paper dollar (which I think we should) or the coins need to stop being printed. I got a Susan B. Anthony (from 1979), a Sakakawea (2000), and a new George Washington (2007). The United States has failed twice to go to coins and now a series of coins that will have the Presidents in sequence is being rolled out similar to the quarters. Who cares? Either go with the coin and get rid of the paper dollar or stop trying to roll out the coins with the halfhearted crap. Coins last forever and paper has a very short lifespan. I think coins make the most sense and if Europe and Canada can do it so can the United States. Hell, most people don’t even realize we have a $2 bill. I think we can make the change on dollars and don’t even get me started on how useless the penny is.

I know used the North Dakota spelling of Sakakawea and I don’t know why we pronounce it that way as opposed to the more commonly known Sacagawea. I'm going to blame Lewis for this one, take that Meriwether!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Free Internet

So my free wireless has been on the fritz lately, meaning it hasn’t been working at all which would be annoying if I actually paid for it. I guess beggars can’t be choosers. If I wasn’t already getting screwed on my cable I would consider getting my own wireless router, but then again free wireless is available all over Seattle. I will post pictures from Mt. Rainer at some point.

My friend Michelle was in Seattle to visit last weekend. She took a day off to come and visit me in Seattle and to see the sights and experience the city. My brother was in town the weekend before so I got a pretty solid plan in place for what makes for a good tour. I won’t go into tremendous detail but it was a very good weekend.
Things we did include – Sushi, small local shops, seeing salmon migration (they really do jump), seafood, sun setting over mountains, the original Starbucks, a ferry ride, feeding seagulls, the public market, shopping, the space needle, a jazz club, a wine bar, and lastly a quick drive around the city on the way to the airport. I could go into much more detail as well – like how we saw a troll under a bridge but you’ll have to come to Seattle and see for yourself. The best part about the tour is that it’s very customizable as shopping could easily be replaced with a tour – brewery, winery, or some other exciting options like mountains.

This upcoming weekend will be spent in Austin Texas for a bachelor party for some Marquette friends. This will be my 3rd Friday in a row that will be spent out of the office. While that sounds good it is a pain in the butt to miss a bunch of days sporadically. Having the days off is nice but having the weekly work stack up is not as fun.

Today is Sept 11th and I’m watching a show on the difficulty surrounding the unexpected need to ground the entire United States airspace, something that had never been done in the history of American flight. The day had nearly perfect weather around the country and it took nearly 3 hours to ground nearly a million people airborne at the time of the attacks. More than a few close calls were had that day including the near shoot down of a Korean Air flight that was headed to Alaska. Amazingly enough it was determined after the fact that a detailed landing plan would have made things worse. Apparently on the fly decision making made by experienced air traffic controllers was better because they could take things like weather into account that a plan would not be able to handle. It feels surreal to watch all this stuff 6 years later especially now that I live on a coast and work in a real skyscraper. I’m not paranoid or particularly worried but it does make you think. There is something odd about watching a series of shows on the 9/11 attacks but I’m sure they will continue for a very long time similar to the JFK assignation or the Challenger shuttle explosion.

I feel like I had much more to write about the lack of Internet has dulled my memory and/or need to write.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

Possibly the most inapropriate TV show in the land returns on the 13th on FX. It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia has Danny Devito as a sometimes guest star and revolves around a few idiot friends who own a bar. This show is funny and it deserves and audience.

My younger brother was in town for a few days and I have a basic tour of the city / surrounding area prepared. Come visit - I know where to take you now and how long to allow. We did sushi, the market, an underground tour, a boat tour, a ferry ride, a drive around the Olympics, a drive to Mount Rainet all in basically two days. I have some pretty cool pictures but I'm too lazy to download them tonight. Apologies. This tour is customizable as well so if you're not interested in one part we can subsititute something else. I have another friend arriving this week and we'll certainly be trying some different things.

My brother left on Sunday morning so I spent part of Sunday and most of Monday with some friends. We grilled Salmon, drank some beers, went for a long hike, lounged in a hot tub, and had an all around fun time. I also have a few pictures from the hike - again not posted - because I'm too lazy tonight. Brandon is Mr. Outdoors so I'm going to be spending a lot of time and money at REI to keep up with him. Snowboarding, camping, whitewater rafting, and lord knows what else... I guess that's why I moved to Seattle.

Labor Day also means the gradual start of fall. Fall is my favorite time of year and nothing beats 50 degrees wearing a sweatshirt and goofing around outside. College starts and that means football. The games are great and with college and pros starting at 9am and 10am respectively means that weekends are better than ever. College starting also means that college basketball is that much closer. MU released their schedule today and I think I'm going to try to be in Milwaukee at the end of January for a two game weekend but that's a long way off. I have season tickets to both UW (Washington) and Marquette. Lots of college basketball to watch this season and I can't wait.

I'll try to get pictures up tomorrow.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Reno

My first work trip took me to Reno Nevada, and it was entertaining from start to finish. When we were leaving Seattle we actually walked the tarmac to get on a propeller plane and when we got on board there was a woman on the WRONG PLANE. It was like a movie except she got off before the plane took off. When you board from the tarmac there were several flights all leaving at the same time and apparently this woman couldn't read the signs directing her to Spokane. When you leave from the tarmac it usually means a small plane... you'd be right. It was an 80 seat propeller plane and this was easily the longest flight on a propeller plane for me. It was everything you would expect too - loud, vibrating, and low flying. The low flying part was particularly neat because we flew exceptionally close to Mt. Rainer.

Reno itself is about 500,000 people. Beyond the fact there is gambling Reno is a pretty normal town. A few big casino's that reminded me of downtown Vegas and that was really the only noteworthy thing. I think people go to Reno because they don't want the excitement of Vegas... i.e. old people. The most recent song we heard at the casino was basically 1995 and two conventions were being held there at the same time. The Kiwanis and American Legion probably increased the average age of the town by 3 years. I wonder how many people die in a casino's a year?

On Thursday night we did what we could to have fun. Gambled a little and found a bar in our hotel that wasn't awful. It did treat me to several firsts. I saw a dance off - no lie - people were taking turns dancing and trying to top each others moves. The other bizarre thing was the guy playing spoons. During the course of one of the dance-offs a guy pulled spoons out and started playing like he was in a music video. Easily the highlight of the trip.

I did get to eat my first In-n-Out burger. They were good burgers, especially for a chain, but it wasn't quite as great as I'd been expecting. It was anti-climactic because it had been hyped up mercilessly.

If you're bored this website might make you laugh.

Gary Gaetti

Monday, August 20, 2007

Not Funny Anymore

Hempfest is officially over. There are now a large number of fairly thoroughly dishelved people hanging around Seattle (more than usual at least) panhandling/begging to get home. Attention stoners - save enough money to get home from Hempfest. They're like an annual locust - a plague on the city after the largest "protest-ival" is over. I'm not sure what bothers me more, the little kids in strollers at Hempfest or the leftover stoners.


This a sample of the free stuff you could find at Hempfest. Actually, you could barely avoid people jamming crap like this in your hand. On the way in I was offered a lei of pot leaves and mardi gras beads etc. A guy was yelling "Who wants stoner bling!" I forgot to mention the large number of ferret owners running around as well - apparently ferrets love Hempfest too.

Fire alarms have a special place in my memory as things that were both amusing and absurd. Halloween of 1998 Schroeder Hall had 3 fire alarms in one night. A bunch of us were awake watching Halloween horror movies and playing video games for most of the night so having to go outside and watch people complain was sort of humorous. Nearly 10 years later it's not funny anymore. At 2:30am I was blasted awake by the ear piercing shriek of a fire alarm. This was worse than any alarm in college and there would be no ignoring it. After maybe 10 minutes it was decided there was no fire and it was safe to go inside. I'm going to blame it on a stoner who somehow got into the building and pulled the alarm.

I should have offered to put the fire out with my Hemp Ice Tea. It really does contain "hemp seed syrup" whatever that is. I can't imagine how gross that must taste.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

HBO

Entourage is the only reason I have HBO anymore. I spend an insane amount on cable because Millenium Digital Cable sucks (a different topic) but HBO only has a few shows worth watching and the movies they are playing aren't all that great. That being said Entourage is one of the better shows on TV right now.

This weekend was the opening of the movie Superbad. It wasn't the best movie I've ever seen but it was a lot better than I expected. I might not have been as funny as I expected but the plot was so much better than I anticipated it more than made up for it. The movie was a cross between American Graffiti, Dazed and Confused, and American Pie. It takes place over a 24 hour period and revolves around getting alcohol for a party and some of the random things that can only happen in a movie. The language is pretty realistic, which is to say it is vulgar and revolves around sex and various things related to it.

The "high" point of the weekend however is not related to either Superbad or Entourage. A few blocks from my apartment the 16th annual Hempfest was held over the weekend. The sheer size of this thing blew me away. It is a free event that draws nearly 150,000 people over two days. There were about 100 pipe or water pipe (don't say Bong!) vendors at the event and pretty much every stoner stereotype you can think of. Bob Marley shirts, tie dye everything, airbrushed stuff, hemp clothes/apparel everywhere and of course random people selling stickers. There were 5 stages going at different parts of the park. They weren't huge stages but they were big enough draw crowds of people. One appeared to be playing rock/metal, one was hip hop, one was jam band, one was techno/electronic, and lastly one was a policy stage where speakers were debating the various problems and inconsistencies with the current drug policy in America. I used to think that Summerfest was the best people watching I had ever seen but having been to an event about the size of Summerfest but filled with stoners was highly entertaining. Very funny stuff. I'm linking to the Seattle Post Intelligencer since they take better pictures than me.

Hempfest

The trip to Reno happens on Wednesday of this week. I've never been to Reno so that should be fun even if it is for work. There should be plenty of spare time and we're staying in the best casino in Reno I guess. I think it'll we be entertaining enough.

I just saw an ad for something called Mirapex. It's a drug that combats restless leg syndrome, whatever that is, but one of the potential side effects (beyond the normal) is a increased desire to gamble. What the heck is this drug doing?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

UW Football

My tickets to UW football arrived this week and it was a fairly underwhelming moment. It's hard to get excited about a school if didn't grow up there or grow to school there. I figure after a few games I'll be more interesting in how these things turn out.

I'm going to see Van Helen in Portland in Decemember. David Lee Roth is back at the helm so it should be a good time provided the members haven't killed each other by the time they get here. This must be the year of the super reunion - The Police, Van Halen, and Smashing Pumpkins. I can only hope for Soundgarden to reunite. Are they all alive even?

If you want to see a town get upset about sports come to Seattle. Nothing quite like having one of your teams bought by an out of town owner (the Sonics and oil billionaires from Oklahoma) and then basically getting lied to about keeping the team in town. It made a lot of people angry but we'll see what they do to keep the team here. Right now Seattle has taken tax hikes for two other stadiums and are very skittish about funding a third stadium. Should be an interesting and vocal couple of years. I hope they keep the Sonics in town it would be a shame to lose them.

Superbad opens this weekend. I'm thinking of a hilarious cross between American Pie and Dazed and Confused. If it is half as funny as I'm expecting it will be a great movie. "We could be that mistake!"

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Hemp Fest

The weather today was pretty perfect so I went down to the Waterfront park by my apartment. Myrtle Edwards park is right on Puget Sound and is next to some railroad tracks. It's a pretty neat park because it's kind of isolated because of the water and tracks there are only two entrances to the park. I took some reading material and went out to read and watch the sunset. Uneventful for the most except for the festival that is apparently coming up next weekend. Hemp Fest is being held next weekend and the planners were having some sort of rally not too far from where I was reading. I didn't know if they were serious when they started a gimme a "h - e - m - p" what's that spell? HEMP! Too funny.

The days of my probable trip to Wisconsin are looking like October for sure with the specific days still to be decided. It would nice if it would during Midnight Madness but I'll settle for just making a visit. Hopefully the meeting falls so I could stay the weekend.

This is Week 2 of the 201 POS voting.



I'm particularly amused the inclusion of Chris Howser. (I have no idea what other Chris H that would be) I can't fathom what would have happened during the week to get Chris Howser on the list but I think it's a pretty safe bet we threw a party that weekend. I'm guessing Ronnie T must have DJ'd the party to win the MVP award and I remember voting for Patrick Nelson but for what eludes me. Any time you can mention the closet dweller Chris Graczyk you know it must have been a good party.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Smashing Pumpkins

I'm not sure how I feel about the reunion of Smashing Pumpkins but I'm going to see them in 6 weeks at Endfest. The big rock station out here, 107.7 The End, puts on a big end of Summer show called Endfest Sept 22nd this year. Sadly enough that is the same weekend as the Portland Pirate festival so I'm not going to Portland this year sadly enough. I'm still not sure if 1/2 of the Pumpkins qualify but I'm certainly going to go watch them.

Reno is 2 weeks should be pretty fun but I'm even more excited for a trip in October to Wisconsin to meet with a vendor there. The details are still be worked out be if the meeting happens on a Monday or Friday I could stay the weekend. Once I get the details figured out I'll be letting everybody now. In my dream scenario it would be the weekend of midnight madness but I won't get my hopes up too high. It'll probably end up being a Wednesday or something.

The best show on TV - The Office - is starting up again soon and it can't come soon enough for me. I'm watching a rerun right now and laughing out loud even when I know exactly what's coming, it might even get funnier. Even better is there is a girl at work who sits on an exercise ball and, well, every time I walk by I think of this clip.

Exercise Ball

I got my 3rd or 4th electric bill so I guess that means I really live in Seattle. Since I really live in here now I think it's about time I get a Washington State drivers license. It's not a big deal to me but it going to make things seem much more permanent. I have to get Washington plates soon too. That's gonna suck because I'm sure it won't be cheap.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Slow week

Nothing of real note happened this week. I went to a Mariner game on Tuesday night and they got rocked so it wasn't worth mentioning really. It got me thinking of strange thing I've seen at games before. I think the wildest thing I've seen at a game is somebody getting called out on an appeal. I guess it might not be wild but it certainly seems pretty rare.

I have the days of the trip to Reno Nevada confirmed as well. We fly out on Wed the 22nd and fly back on Friday afternoon. I've never been to Reno before so it should be a fun time. I guess the hotel Amazon books people in is the best casino in Reno... but I'm not sure what that means exactly. The best casino in Reno is probably less noteworthy than an average casino in Vegas.

I've spend the last couple of days using my Amazon prime status to buy some movies and books. Most recently I watched a Russian movie called Nightwatch, a Russian movie with subtitles about a battle between good and evil. Pretty solid and certainly worth watching. I've also been reading a book on Zombie defense and a book on how to be an evil villian. You can never be too prepared for Zombies.

The final thing of this post involves my move. When I moved out here I unearthed some different notebooks from college - most notably my green notebook. My green notebook contained notes from marketing 140 and Poly Sci 165 or 167 I think, (International Organization) but it also contained the ultimate in 201 Renee Row events. I have found the P.O.S. voting scorecard. P.O.S. does not stand for Point of Sale - it stands for Piece of Sh!t voting. Every week for a period of almost two months we, the members of 201, took a vote on who was the biggest POS during the course of the week. The first vote took place on 9/26/1999 and here are the official results.



This proved to be more of a pain to post than I ever thought. Virgin Heat is Brian Sopcich and the list only contains first names - Bill I assume that would be Bill Wooten and not Bill Hansen. I wish we would have kept more detailed records of the events that caused a person to be #1 for a particular week.

While I screwed around trying to post the voting in a coherent fashion I watched part of the Shawshank Redemption for about the 40th time. It never fails to suck me in when I find it on TV. The list of movies I have to watch every time I find them are few but Shawshank is pretty high on the list.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Photo's!



This is a picture taken from the Bainbridge Ferry looking back at downtown Seattle. I work in the black building in the background.







I drove to some trail in the Olympic Mountains across Puget Sound. It was cloudy and foggy.







This is the scary trail I climbed on the way to the top of Mt. Zion. I felt a little like Dorothy going through the forest. It was wet and dark at noon this fine day.








This is the view from the bus stop in front of my apartment. I walk or take the bus. A lot stop in front of my place and most get me pretty close to work.






As you can see I live about 4 blocks away from the Space Needle. I don't even notice it anymore.







This is view from my desk. It's almost straight west and the snowcaps are the Olympic Mountains on the other side of Puget Sound.







This is the stage at The Gorge amphitheater. The Columbia river in the distance and looking pretty amazing if you ask me. The nice thing about the Gorge as a venue is the lack of seats. The whole place is general admission.






A different view of the place and it was a perfect day.







This is a waterfall on the way to the top of Bandera Mountain. This was a different hike.







This is looking to the South from the trail I was hiking. I was getting high enough the clouds made the light do tricky things.







I was high enough to be in the clouds here, maybe around 4000 ft or so. This is a boulder field. I didn't think to point something to reference the size in the pictures but the average size was about as big as a couch or so. Pretty hard to move them around to say the least - I think the trail was blasted.





Once I got above 4000 ft there was plenty of snow. It was melting very fast and was helping to create the waterfall on the way up. There were some hidden lakes up here that couldn't be seen because of the clouds. Stupid clouds.







The neatest thing at the top was this bird. He was crazy and dived bombed me twice. I left a little bit of bread out from him and he left me alone. There would be cool pictures but the stupid clouds again. Not much to see.







This is the best visual of the air pressure differences between 5240 feet above sea level and 1500 feet above sea level. I finished this bottle on top and took it out once I got to the bottom. You don't really feel it when you're climbing but obviously there are some serious pressures at work.

If these pictures are huge I'm sorry. I wanted to get them posted first - I'll work on the formatting the next time around.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Silversun Pickups

I went to a local block party last night. The Capitol Hill block party is a cross between Riversplash and Summerfest for Milwaukee comparison purposes. The Silversun Pickups played to maybe a large crowd of people gathered at an intersection and it was a solid show. They recently headlined a side stage at Summerfest so this band knows how to play to a solid crowd... that being said Seattle has an awful crowd. I've been waiting to mention this until I'd been to enough shows to have a broad sample but enough's enough. A Seattle music crowd doesn't move/dance/react/do anything in response to the music being played. I was as close to the front of the stage as I've been in many years and I still felt like it was terrible. People freaking out about their backpacks (!) of all things and no one was even moving to the music -- and I was about 10 rows deep. A simliar show in Milwaukee, or Fargo even, has a tremendous amount of fan response. Seattle = bad music crowd. I think I might have to go to a metal show or something in order to enjoy the experience. Maybe I can get kicked in the head by a body surfer in the pit or something.

There was a lot of other stuff I was going to write about during the week and I seem to have forgotten everything worth mentioning. Anyway, I bought ticket to several UW Husky football games. I got two tickets to games against USC, CAL, and Oregon. They should be good games so I'm pretty happy with my selections. UW isn't very good with Ty Willingham as coach but they're not terrible.

My quest for dining options continues. I ate with Dave Lance at a greasy spoon of the first order today and found and excellent Phlly cheese steak. Not authentic to Philly since they didn't use Cheese Whiz but excellent still. This might be what I've enjoyed the most the move in general, finding and exploring the dining options locally around town.

The best party idea of any I've seen so far is http://www.portlandpiratefestival.com which is apparently a party in Portland where people dress like pirates, drink, and listen to music on a riverbank. This sounds pretty impressive to me. I wonder if they'll show the new pirate movie....... it's rated ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH.

I'll leave on that note. As Constanza would do - you have to leave on a high note wanting more.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ad Sense

I just spent an hour screwing around with the layout of the blog and decided to sign up for Adsense. Adsense is when you let Google put a link to something they think is relevant based on content. Makes a lot of sense I suppose, then you see my Adsense link is for hurricane relief, which is great, it just makes no sense on my blog. I figure I'll add some random works to see if changes. Sky diving. I'm also curious on how I would really get paid for this.

I added a few links to some websites of friends or one that are just entertaining to me. Indexed won't be for everybody but it certainly makes you think if you want to see someone who is incredibly creative. I also added Amazon.com since that's where I work and people should shop there to help me out. Scuba diving. I wonder if I can link amazon.com to my ad sense. Pilates.

While I was messing with the layout I was watching the Youtube debate on CNN. It's pretty fascinating to watch the creativity of the people on youtube. Some of edits seemed almost professionally done. The internet is giving people a greater access to politics. The candidates still managed to corrupt the questions and completely ignore them at other times but some unique questions were brought up and they wouldn't have been addressed otherwise. I feel bad for people in Iowa, they're are going have non stop commericals from January until the the election in 2008. Bobbleheads.

Go Obama.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter 7 (no spoilers)

I read HP7 over the weekend. It's a long book and it's a pretty good book but I won't spoil it for anybody. It's been a while since I read a book that fast - in fact HP6 was probably the last book I read this fast. I've been thinking about this for a while and I've decided the Harry Potter series deserves to mentioned with the Lord of the Rings, Dune (only the first book or two), and the foundation trilogy. I guess I would say it's probably one of the better sci-fi, fantasy concepts ever. J.K. Rowling is the first billionaire author as a result and it's pretty well deserved.

On Friday I helped some new friends move into their new condo. I met Brandon and Lisa a few years ago through my friend Emily at a halloween party. They moved to Seattle about 6 weeks ago and are just getting settled. Brandon is going to through his residency and will be (is?) a neuro doctor and Lisa is a dietician.

I'm going to Reno is August for work for a few days to visit some warehouse operations. I imagine it will be pretty similar to the UPS warehouse I worked at in terms of automation and technology. Reno should be a good time because Amazon encourages people to stay in town and that probably translates into a good time with the Casino's and whatever else the biggest little city in the world has to offer.

It's hard to believe July is almost over already. I've lived in Seattle for 4 months already. To quote the Talking Heads "letting the days go by..."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

S and S

Starbucks and Sushi. I stopped by the original Starbucks on my way to work this morning. Guess what, coffee tastes the same. It's pretty small and really unassuming but I guess everything has to start somewhere. *Edit* I'm supposed to mention they should somehow do something to make the store as the 1st. The conclusion Kelly and I arrived at is they should put a giant #1 on the cup or the heat sleeve. I do think they should do something to make a visit there different than from a normal store. It's in Pike Place Market and it is really slow in the morning because the market isn't open but if you go in the afternoon or on a weekend it is so packed you can't even get inside.

I also had sushi for the 4th time tonight, the 1st since I've moved to Seattle in fact. I was pretty good but I still struggle with chopsticks and it takes me a while to eat raw fish. I can do it but it takes me a little while to get used to the texture. I have enough people coming to visit in the next few months I'm sure I'll get the chance to eat plenty of sushi. Here's to practice!

I sent in the form for UW (Washington) men's season basketball tickets over the weekend also. I'm going to be a proud season ticket holder of two fine basketball programs. Marquette and UW. I figure I'll hopefully get to a few MU games this year and I needed to have local season tickets to get my BB fix. I may have to rethink this whole process next year but that's a long ways off and there are a lot of games to go to.

I was happy it rained in Seattle today, all that sun was getting old. Talk to me in February old how much I like the rain.