Sunday, July 29, 2007


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 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 since that's where I work and people should shop there to help me out. Scuba diving. I wonder if I can link 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.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Rats Don't Like Peppermint

The CEO of 7th Generation told me that.

I was in a meeting I probably shouldn't have been in for more than 10 minutes but sat through the whole thing and one of the random tangents we talked about was how the scent specialist at 7th Gen puts a peppermint scent in some cleaners but they don't mention why. Jeffery Hollender was a pretty interesting guy and he spoke to Amazon about living a sustainable lifestyle. Diapers made with Hydrogen Peroxide instead of Chlorine for example or paper products made out of recycled paper products.

I ended up going to Summerfest this year after all. West Seattle has a mini festival called the West End Summerfest and I saw a band called Awesome! play. I'll reserve judgement on just how awesome they were but they did entertain. I did find a decent bar called Rockspot and I got visited a pretty solid Mexican play called Matador for the second time. Tonight I'm going to Mama's, a La Fuente type place to meet up with some friends of Emily's that recently moved to Seattle. I figure a margarita or two would be a perfect Saturday night. On a different note, I did find a decent hamburger place. It's called Red Mill and there are two of them in Seattle and it seems like they've been around forever. Not the best burgers I've ever had but good enough to go back for sure and easily the best I've had in Seattle so far.

Randomly - I'm watching Kingpin on Starz right now and it's still funny over 10 years later and just as stupid. I got munson'd. I did see HP5 - that's Harry Potter 5 for people NOT in the industry - at the theater today. They cut a bunch of stuff and combined a few plot points to keep the movie just over two hours. I think they should have left them in and let the movie be long but that's just me the movie was still solid. It's only a week until HP7 comes out to complete the series and I'll be reading on my rooftop deck next weekend. The reason I call Harry Potter HP is when we talk about the release of book 7 at work they started calling HP7 to save time. It doesn't save that much time but who am I. I don't even work in books and I hear about HP7 all the time. I guess 1.2 million presold copies will do that to people.

I bought my plane tickets to Austin and St. Louis this week and I'm going to look into Colorado Springs soon but that one is a maybe. The bright side of all the flying I'm doing is eventually I'll be able to upgrade to first class every once in a while. I have a work trip to Reno Nevada coming up soon also. I'm kind of excited about that trip because it will be 100 degrees outside and 120 inside the warehouse. I'm really excited about the trip just not the time of year.

Tomorrow I think I'll figure out how to load pictures onto the blog. That seems like a good use of my time.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Pike Place Market

I needed to get out of my apartment today, it's 80 degrees and perfect and given to my own devices I would have spent the day watching TV in the background and reading. Hardly the stuff of legend I know. I decided to walk down to Pike place and wander the shops and people watch. I'd walked throught the market before but never on a weekend morning and it's nuts. There are thousands of people wandering around and the smells are amazing. I am a massive fan of the market, now I know what the Milwaukee Public Market is trying to be and the light years it has to go before it gets there. The first Starbucks doesn't look like anything special but the line of people waiting to go inside was very long. The Russian bakery was delicisous smelling and it reminding of the Drake bakery as a kid so I ended up buying some sort of Apple Cinnamon role. It was worth every penny. The other thing worth mentioning about the market is the enormity of the place - it is huge and there are all sorts of hidden nooks and crannies.

I got tired of wandering through the crowds after a couple of hours so I walked along Elliot Ave to the Seattle Art Museums sculpture park. Seattle took a few acres of waterfront space and set up a sculpture park. There are maybe 20 - 30 pieces of art and a lot of native grasses and garden work planted as well. Pretty Spartan approach but I prefer that to overwhelming the space by crowding the pieces.

If you stay along the water you cross some train tracks and end up in a different park. Not thinking about the tracks it took me nearly a mile before I found a place where I could cross back over the tracks. It did end up taking me by some grain loading pier on Puget Sound. They load massive ocean going ships with grain from this pier but it is absolutely dust free - very strange to know you're around millions of bushels of grain with zero dust in the air. Long walk home but it was a good exploratory walk. Tomorrow I think I'll tackle Ballard or the U district to see what I can find.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Best Day Ever

Today's weather in Seattle, PERFECT! It's about 80 degrees without a cloud in the sky. There is a slight breeze and the visibility is forever. I cannot imagine a more perfect 4th of July. I'm sure the weather elsewhere in the world is equally perfect today but I'm loving it. I'm boiling some brats in beer (Budweiser) right now and when those are done I'm going to read in the park right by my place. Do I go to the weird water one in Seattle Center with the water canon or do I go to the sculpture park down by the water front... I could go up to the rooftop deck and watch people go by from there as well. Fireworks and the most perfect day ever.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Milwaukee and the Space Needle

I flew to Milwaukee on a whim this last weekend. On Wednesday I was walking to work and I calling people to kill some time when I decided to fly to Milwaukee for the weekend. David and Emily were having an engagement party and it was the time for Summerfesting. I had nothing going on and a reason to go home. It cost a little more than I'd like but what are you going to do you - things cost money.

I was a little late leaving work and that made me catch a different bus than I wanted. That made me even later but the kicker was that Northwest screwed up my reservation. After everything was straightened out I missed my flight and ended up sleeping on the floor of the MSP airport. I cannot recommend sleeping on the floor there. Milwaukee was a great time. I got to pick out my MU tickets and see some people I really was excited about. The engagement party was great - got to see tons of people and it was excellent. I miss my friends in Milwaukee it's a better town than people give it credit for.

Today I bought sunglasses. Somebody stole my good pair and my cheap pair finally broke. It's been very sunny here the last few days and it was time to upgrade the specs. On the way home I took the testament 1960 Jetson technology, the Monorail, to Seattle Center. Seattle Center is home of the Space Needle, EMP (Experience Music Project), a random football stadium that I can't fathom the need for, a few museums, an Imax, and a few other educatonal and/or public use type things. I finally gave in and spent the money and went up to the top of the Space Needle. It's probably a little overrated but certainly not a total rip of. The view to the south of Mt. Rainer made it worth it in my mind.

Tomorrow is the 4th and I figure I'll go hiking or something and do some grilling later in the evening. I like this day off in the middle of the week thing. I need to have more 2 day weeks. Happy Birthday America.