Saturday, August 23, 2008

Choose Your Own Adventure

I've lived here 18 months now and I've only really seen the area surrounding Seattle. I've driven around a little bit to Portland, and the Olympics and such but I haven't really explored the state that much. In order to remedy the situation I decided to drive around choose your own adventure style. That involved sending some text messages of 1,2, or 3 and 1 or 2. It worked pretty well and I saw of the state I haven't seen before. Decision one was North, South, or East... Vancouver, Portland, or Eastern Washington. I ended up going East and a few different people contributed to the route shown below.

View Larger Map

It was a lot of driving but I understand a little bit about Central Washington that I didn't understand before. I forgot to bring a camera but coming into Yakima is great with two huge mountains just hanging out in the background. The fact the area is basically a desert is hard to appreciate when compared to the other side of the Cascades. The most interesting thing I picked up was the enormous area on the map fenced off and listed as US department of Energy. I grew up next to missile silo's and military installations of various sorts but this was a new one. A little research on Wikipedia tells me it is the Hanford Site. I would call this one of the great unknowns that you don't learn unless you drive around a little bit. The Hanford Site was part of the Manhattan project and created most of the Plutonium and enriched Uranium for the Nuclear tests and later the nuclear fuel for most the of the weapons in the US arsenal. They give 48 tours a year and I'd be really interested to see what it looks like. It is also one the of the largest contamination sites in the US.

It's crazy to think they used to perform nuclear tests only 50-70 miles away from Vegas back in the 50's. I wonder what is happening now that in 20 years will be a known carcinogen or known as being extremely unhealthy/dangerous... I'm voting Red Bull and/or energy drinks in general.

Rachel voted for 201 stories. I'm going to tell the very first 201 story.

It was June of '99 and school was just over and we were allowed to move into our off campus apartment. That apartment was 6 guys living together - Mike, Jay, Alex, Andy, John, and me. That first weekend we decided to throw a party to celebrate the escape from the tyranny of the dorms. Hall Monitors and RA's be damned for their rules. After a fair amount of haggling and negotiating we managed to secure a 1/4 of Busch Light and we threw our first party. There are tons of details that are blending together but we ended up with orange construction barrels, people on the roof out of 3 story building, loud music, a water ballon launcher, and general shenanigans. Believe it or not but Milwaukee's finest ended up at our apartment after a while asking lots of questions. So the very first weekend we lived in our place the cops showed up and I had my name on file with MPD. No tickets were issued and no one got in trouble but we had to take the construction barrels back to where they came from. That was the first of many parties at 201 and they memories go on from there.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Winter Blows

It was only this weekend it was 90 and humid and now it's 65 and rainy. I really try not to bitch about the weather out here too much because it's normally pretty awesome in the summer but this was a rough transition. It's supposed to be nice again this weekend so no worries but it really feels like winter today.

CBC showed the 200 meter dash live this morning and it won't be on NBC for another several hours of tape delay here on the West Coast. NBC seriously blows - do they not understand they could show stuff more than once. I learned that Olympic level table tennis players make a concoction of glue and chemicals to apply to the paddle called speed glue. Not a big deal except for the fact the stuff is so toxic smelling that a guy went into a coma for 6 DAYS after getting a strong whiff. This article does a far better job of explaining it than I could.

Canadian TV does have hilarious commercials because it's unintentional comedy. The long A's and commercials for Tim Horton's, Bell Canada, but my personal favorite is the submit your own hockey night in Canada theme contests. The long A made me think of the Fonzie statue the was put up in Milwaukee. It generated a parade and a front page article and picture you have to wonder what Milwaukee wants to be known for.

Drew - it's called bags because cornhole sounds stupid. You throw bags.

Monday, August 18, 2008

CBC is better than NBC

CBC stands for Canadian Broadcast Centre, note the Canadian spelling, and their coverage of the Olympics is much better than NBC's. They show sports live far more than NBC and if they're tape delayed from China they aren't delaying the West Coast feed like NBC. Nothing like checking the news and finding out Olympic results 2-3 hours before it's on American TV. The Canadians are really excited with their Silver Medal winner in the Triathlon which I probably won't ever see on NBC... wait I think Michael Phelps mom has something insightful to say. Nope, I was wrong, great job NBC. CBC is great because they ask mean questions like "how does it feel to be 4th when you were a gold medal favorite?" There interviews are borderline mean it's very funny. The Olympics are impacting my sleep because something is on basically 24 hours a day and especially with the CBC coverage. Why isn't handball big in the US? Who knew Umbro was the official provider of Table Tennis attire? Why are the Chinese playing American 80's music? I just heard Glenn Frey singing The Heat is On I love Beverly Hills Cop and all but do we really need it during Beach Volleyball and Diving? Well maybe we do.

Some friends from college were here last weekend and I showed them around a little bit on their vacation. I hope Jon sends me some of the pictures he took because there must be close to 700 of them. As a professional photographer and Art teacher he probably took some pretty good ones. A few more friends are coming over Labor Day so I've been getting a pretty good idea of what is worth seeing in Seattle and there's a lot of things.

My mini golf league just finished up, Drinks on the Links, and that led into Kickball so I played kickball for the first time probably two years yesterday. It's pretty similar to Milwaukee kickball - I guess it's most likely similar to kickball played in middle schools around the country.

Chipotle, oh how I love thee. In Milwaukee there was a Chipotle on my way home from work that I frequented a couple times a month. The nearest one in Seattle is a good ten minute drive away so I don't go there all that often but when I do it's amazing! Barbacoa with black beans, salsa, and cheese. Mmmmmmmm! More Chipotles!

Per Jay's request I've changed the title to Beutler In Seattle as I have lived here for almost a year and half now. That seems like a long time but time flies I guess. After this long a Roundy's I was in a different department and my old boss was demoted. This place is so much better it's hard to explain.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the largest "protestival" in the world taking place about 1/2 mile from place over the weekend. I blogged about Hempfest last year around the same time. It was just as crazy this year as last year except it was close to 90 degrees and hippy's don't do heat well. Stinky... I hope the leftover stoners don't pull my fire alarm again this year. Jerks.

A few weeks ago I heard the George Harrison song My Sweet Lord listen to it and be annoyed that you can't get it out of your head. I don't know if the Hindu Chants or what but maybe something else will occupy my limited song brain.

Rachel, feel free to write the first 201 revisited post.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The best donuts are free

I found $25 laying in the street and I used my new found wealth to buy a paper and some donuts at Top Pot. On top of normally being excellent glazed deliciousness when they are on somebody else's dime they taste even better.

Saw Step Brothers over the weekend and it was pretty blah. There are some really funny parts and some not so funny parts but I'm thinking I might be worn out on Will Ferrell. He is going to have to start doing something else because this mildly annoying character he seems to play in every movie isn't doing it for me anymore. It was better than Semi-Pro to be sure but that's not saying much.

People coming in a few weeks should be exciting.

Drew - I've been mildly hooked before myself.