Sunday, December 30, 2007

Murphy Update

Back from the holiday trip to Dallas, but unfortunately while we were away poor pup Murphy was really sick. The dog sitters, friends from work, did a great job of cleaning up after him and comforting him, so we're glad to have them be so heroic, what a tough dog sitting gig we stuck them with! Murphy is hacking up goo hourly almost, I was up at 4am comforting him on his dog bed because he was whimpering loud enough to wake me, so it's tough times. We took him to the vet first thing in the morning and they think he's got Pancreatitis (read what that is here) so it's going to be a few days in the pet hospital for him treating it. Bummer. Not cheap either. I'm pondering selling a kidney to help pay for it. Either way, it's worth it of course. There's a ton of stuff that I need to update the blog with regarding the Dallas trip, and I'll get to those shortly. It was great to be in Dallas and I'm so lucky to have such great friends and family and even better to be marrying into another great family. Ok, now back to cleaning up dog puke off the carpet. : )

Friday, December 21, 2007

Should Have Taken the Crazy Train

We're about to head to Dallas for Christmas. I'm about to charge up the iPod, load up on magazines and a finally get ready to read that book I've been unable to get to all as the antidote to the drudgery of the holiday airport experience. Unfortunately I ran across this note that we'll be at SEATAC at exactly the wrong time. Nice. Oh well, it'll be nice to be home again so it's all worth it.
10. Chicago (MDW) 10-11pm

9. New York (JFK) 7-8pm

8. Seattle (SEA) 10-11pm
7. Chicago (ORD) 8-9pm

6. Miami (MIA) 10-11pm

5. Atlanta (ATL) 9-10pm

4. Philadelphia (PHL) 7-8pm

3. New York (LGA) 7-9pm

2. San Francisco (SFO) 10-11pm

1. Newark (EWR) 5-6pm

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Elevator Speech

Heard today in the elevator at work, Woman: "Yeah, they don't wear men's volleyball shoes here. In Europe you can get them." Man's reply: "I guess it's like pickleball shoes. Its impossible to find pickleball shoes."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Break Beat Street

That last post was intense, so let me lighten the mood with some flute funk, and yes there is such a thing. Let go of that inner band nerd you've had in a headlock for 20 years and and check this guy out:

C is for Creighton...and Cookie

Let's all learn from Cookie Monster: go wholeheartedly and enjoy. Let's all recite Master Cookie Monster's mantra together: Om nom nom nom! By the way did you know that Cookie Monster's original name was Sid? Vicious? Siddhartha? We have so much to learn from this master.

Safety notice: Please disregard the new cookie monster, the vegetable eating one. He's a false idol.

Friday, December 14, 2007

BMW Brainwashed

How's this for a great pic of the new BMW 1200GS(A) motorcycle? If all goes well and the Amazon stock stays high this glorious piece of German (my people!) engineering might be in my driveway this Spring.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

What I'm Getting Lindsay for Christmas

I think I found the perfect gift for Lindsay, this unicorn poster. The lady selling it on Craigslist assured me it's what every woman wants this year. For the asking price of $10, it's out of my budget but I treat my lady right!

Friday, December 7, 2007

It's Just Like A Mini Mall

Why am I the last to hear about this kind of stuff? Apparently this was on the Ellen Degeneres show last year...that might explain why I missed it. Anyways, I guarantee that with in seconds you'll be singing along, and hours later you'll be humming it and I'm pretty sure in a few months Filipino prisoners will be dancing to it. This guy is a marking genius.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

We Eat Our Young

Hot off the press, and hot out of the oven, the most recent addition to the Yost family are here. They need names and good homes. If no good homes are found they'll be adopted by my stomach. Too slow! Lindsay and I have already taken to eating our young and have devoured a snowflake and reindeer.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Time Killer

Well, all the snow melted overnight and now it's pouring cold rain. I've abandoned plans to work in the yard and I'm about to abandon a half baked plan to go to Home Depot for a new thermostat too. I'm killing way too much time at home, played a video game for a while, surfed craigslist for motorcycles and ran across this interesting site about that tells me I'm 12,483 days old and born on a Friday.

At least I got the motorcycle show in on Friday. I've been thinking about it a lot too. It was good, but I'd give it a
C+ this year. As I explained to some friends, it was like a strip club. Lots of teasing and fantasizing with a no touch policy. Maybe it's the curmudgeon in me but I was there shop and maybe learn about some new models. I was once again put off my the Harley zealots. Nice bikes (kinda) but the brainwashing of the HD crowd is at an all time high. I really just wanted to see a few rare models I'd been researching online and compare them side by side. Plus the new BMW F800GS (not for sale until March) was there [drool] so I could compare it to the BMW 1200GS to replace my F650GS. Anyways, I was turned off my all the marketing. A little too much fantasy and not enough riding. Fat guys draping themselves over a Harley and saying, 'I want this one, but [excuse here]' or high school kids dry humping a Jap bikes in full tuck asking, 'how fast?' showing disappointment when the rep says, "it'll top out at 170". There were some cool vintage bikes, and some trippy forward thinking bikes, so it was worth it, but all it really did is make me go home and plot out what route I'll take on my cross county trip someday. Just me on the road, two wheels, leaning in the corners.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Stay Classy (Snowy) Genesee Hill

A few snapshots of us excited experiencing the snowfall.

Genesee Hill Snow

Ignore the 'all hell broke loose because people can't drive in the snow' sirens in the background (I suggest pressing mute) and you can see that a lovely 1st of December delivery came our way. A perfectly timed holiday snow, as seen from the back deck of the new house. Note Murphy working on eating every earth bound flake he can get his snout on. I'll update with some new video tomorrow of the results. Looks like we've doubled what you see here already.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Christmas Tree Hunt

Our good friends Cara and Brent had the great idea of starting off the Christmas season right with a U-cut Christmas tree adventure. It was indeed a great time and propelled all of us into the spirit of the season.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hanging Around, Still

We're starting to decorate for Christmas, and my favorite thing to put up is my stocking. It's starting to show it's age, but it's still wonderfully sentimental.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tanks for the Memories

I drag this pic out every Thanksgiving, to remind me of what I'm thankful for (so much) and to remind that there's so much going on around the world no matter if we slow down for holiday or not. This is me, in Iraq on Thanksgiving 2003. My team went to a farmer in the village, that were had surrounded and searching that week, and purchased some a chicken (I'm holding it) and two geese from him to bring back to the camp and let the 3ACR tankers and the 3rdID attached unit have something special for Thanksgiving dinner. Some country boys in the unit reluctantly killed and cleaned the birds and after a slow cook time of the chicken over the open fire we wised up and used the M1-A2 Abrams tank engine's exhaust (350-400 degrees with no fumes) to cook the geese. We'd been using it to dry out our clothes (that's what I'm doing in the pic) that were wet from the week of rain and found it plenty hot for dryer duty. We put them each on a metal fence post and rotated them until done. It wasn't that great tasting or anything, but it was a ceremonial meal and a way for us to do something special for the holiday. That's what's great about the American soldier, adaptation and creativity. So, happy thanksgiving. Here's hoping you don't have to use a tank to cook your bird this year.

Seattle Sights

Something about this hill, and the sky behind it caught my eye this morning. The sunset at the port of Seattle, awaiting ships filled with your Christmas stuff.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The office buildings looking back at me, I look back at them.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Nature Invades

What's nice about the Puget Sound is that nature always shows through. Shot these two pics yesterday, and today, of the local wilds - Mt Rainier (taken from the bus stop yesterday morning) and the Puget Sound/Olympic mountains (taken from my desk at work today). I'm trying to shoot more, to better appreciate what's around me, plus I'm playing with a new Wi-Fi SD card. It's the best piece of tech I've seen in years. No kidding. It's an SD card that sends your pics to your computer and website of your choosing when it gets in range of your home wireless network. No USB cables! Just turn it on your camera and the pics show up. It's called the Eye-Fi, and yes of course we sell it at work. Did I mention I love it? Nerd alert!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Orange for Breakfast

The morning sunrise gave up an amazing moment of orange today. The mountain came out to watch as well (far right).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lurking Mr Smith

It's been foggy and rainy the last few days. Here's the view of the locally famous Smith Tower as seen from one of the meeting rooms at my office. I get a kick out of the builder's dual claim to fame, as a "firearm and typewriter magnate..." as Wikipedia phrases it. Guns and typing is a great combo.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

On the Market, Get Set, Go!

Moving is hard work. Lindsay and I have been at our second job, moving and cleaning the old house, every spare moment. The good news is that we think it was worth it, the house looks amazing. Our agents came over last night and helped us stage it, and took some pictures for the MLS listing. Check out the listing for it here. For those that haven't seen the results of the new backyard there's some great shots of all the hard work. There's an open house for it today from 1 - 4pm so we're excited to see what that brings. We're also excited to just be able to concentrate on the pile of boxes we call our new house too, so all in all we're happy campers.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Water World

It's good to know that we'll have hot water for the next 10 years, at least. We took advantage of the real estate agent provided home warranty and replaced the water heater, that was providing only wildly warm water, for a new one. I replaced the water heater in the old house and wouldn't mind doing it again for this one, but with all the hassle of moving and the cash drain that moving is, it's nice to have someone just show up and do it. Plus, the plumber that did it, C.J.'s Plumbing was a nice guy and did a good job. Funny guy too. He told us about how his teenage daughter was taking showers too long, so he installed a water timer in another room, she had to turn to reset every 20 minutes. He also installed a coin operated feminine hygiene product dispenser to get her to pay for her stuff. C.J. definitely has a sense of humor. Anyways, we've got hot water now. One upgrade down, more to go.

PS: I talked to him about installing the on demand water heater, but he made the good point that a tank water heater is a good source of (55 gallons) of potable water if there's an earthquake or something. Never thought of that.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Panic On the Bus

Before I forget it I want to relay (another) bus adventure. I caught the 21 express from downtown to West Seattle last week. The 21X gets on the highway for a bit. This particular day the bus was packed, and I was standing at the mid section (it was an extra long accordion bus). The driver had to swerve when we were at full speed and because the bus was fully loaded it began to sway from side to side, getting more violent with every rebound so much so that everyone had to grab for something to brace themselves with. So much so that those in the back of the bus, due to the whip effect felt it the most and, well, freaked out. One lady screamed "There's a problem back here!", someone yelled, "There's a problem with the bus!" another younger girl then added, "Stop. Stop! Stop!" and before you knew it it was panic. Real panic. Everyone was yelling, much to the amazement of the people in the front of the bus. The driver, occpied by his obviously challenging drive, didn't stop the bus on the highway (thankfully), but kept on. At the next/first stop it was business as usual. Group panic passed. Note that I took this pic of the guy in front of me, on the bus, seconds before the swerve.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Moving Forward

We're just about ready to get the keys to the new house, near the Junction (that's the heart of West Seattle) and we're excited. However that's tempered with lots of work too. I've been smirking with contentment as I get to use the truck like a truck as I get the old house ready to go on the market. So far there's been 4 trips to the dump - that has a weird 6 mph speed limit sign. Who has a 6 mph limit? Plus a bunch of trips to the bark place so the Toyota is getting worked over, in a good way. Stay tuned for updates from the new house as soon as we settle in.

Update: We now have the keys to the house and we're moving in!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Feed the cat!

WAMU Treat

Our local big bank, Washington Mutual, or WAMU for short, has one of the bigger buildings in downtown Seattle, and boy they put it to use. Tonight they lit it up like a Jack-O-lantern for Halloween. That's a nice touch on a business that's often seen as callous. Kudos to their PR team for pushing this idea through.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Chicago Overnight

I'm in Chicago overnight, on business. As with every city I fly to for work I wish I could stay here and explore a lot more. I'm housed at an Embassy Suites hotel, I'm passing though the halls looking at all the other white men (that's all I see here) and wondering if I'm one of them now. Weird. I was supposed to be Michael Martin according to the welcome gift package of food and drink left in my room when I arrived. Apparently he's in room 739 (I'm in 730), but they put the frequent hotel visitor gift basket in my I ate it. Good pretzels. Speaking of eating, as always when I'm on the road it was a Romanesque feast with the vendor last night. Huge steaks and lots of booze. The service might have been too good though, the waiter gave me the creeps standing over me and pointing to stuff (mushrooms, beans, etc) that I should try on my steak. Go away and let me eat in peace dude. I was able to get a picture of the huge desserts, that we all shared. Each one of these (carrot cake and ice cream pie thingy) was the size of a volleyball (even the spoon was big). Crazy. Today I'm off to tour the vendor's warehouse and main office for an afternoon meeting. I'll catch a late night flight back to Seattle right after that (avoiding another Roman feast) and get back home to my sweetie. Such is the life of a .com road warrior.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Yeah, What She Said

I was going to blog about what I've been up too all week, with Lindsay's parents in town, but my lovely other half, Lindsay says it all much better than I would. Check it out here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The rains and wind kept up today. I took the early bus home from work - getting soaked waiting at the bus stop - and met Lindsay and her mom at the park where they were looking for beach glass and watching the storms sweep in. On my way down the shoreline I happened on this patch of grass straining in the cold wind. Cold, but special weather making special scenes.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Leaving Leaves

The winds picked up today. All the trees have been stripped of the majority of their yellowing Fall leaves. The patterns of the bare branches are suddenly silhouetted against every new surface. I noticed this one sticking out between my office (on the right) and the municipal building (left) today on the way home.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Maps of War

Amazing. 90 seconds of religious history.

Market Fresh Evening

See this? It's what Seattle looked like after the fog, before the rain this weekend.
Then the rain came, and it was back to Seattle weather again for a trip the the market.
Nothing more to say, but the beans looked good, like my wife to be.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Foggy Home

I hear fog horns. It's super foggy here in West Seattle this morning and the lighthouses (or is it a ferry horn?) on the water are sounding their horns every few mintues. In fact it's been foggy for two days. Lindsay's Mom and step Dad are here visiting and are seeing a rare Seattle weather event. Most if it burns off by lunchtime, and in my opinion I think it make for majestic viewing when combined with the fall colors. Here's a pic of Dwayne, Lindsay's step Dad contributing to the fog with his morning pipe smoke.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Smile, You're on Camera

Don't know why someone didn't do this sooner, but man, am I glad they did. For a part time motor head and full time car guy this is some great footage of the 4 stroke process. For those of you that aren't into cars, or engines, it'll be a complete waste of your time. So, lights, camera, action and start your engines.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Neuvo Casa Yost

Did I mention that we got the house? We did! We're as excited as can be, we love the house, we love the neighborhood, even the sellers seemed nice, so it's been a good experience. We think it kind of looks like a monopoly house right now, as it's symmetrical and cute. We'll be moving in at the beginning of next month, and putting this house on the market then. We're hoping this house goes fast, and we'll list it at a fair price so it should. But if you've moved/sold before you know the craziness that is about to unfold. Boxing stuff up, painting walls, a little landscaping to sell the house all that. Should make for a fast or slow October. Either way we're excited to be moving so close to the Junction to cut our commute and for us to walk more.

It Lives Under the Bridge

A few weeks ago Lindsay and I headed over to Freemont on a Friday night to get some Thai food, to satisfy a weird craving. We walked over to the somewhat famous Freemont Troll and said hello. I think Lindsay has a new friend. Notice the VW Beatle car in there?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Goodbye Friend

RIP my friend, my kitty, Athos.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Busy Bee

Oh man it's been a while since the last posting. Not that I'm lazy, Lindsay and I are busy and contemplating moving so we've really been sucked into the quicksand of it all. Visits with agents, visiting comp houses, driving by houses that look good online (not so great in person) and all that. The pic is of a house that we're going to go look at this afternoon.

Both of us also just watched the things to do list get longer at work too. Lindsay is doing some HR duties and I've moved over to a manager role, so we're nose to the grind stone. Not that we're complaining, we both are excited to have opportunity, but our opportunities are stacking up fast! The good news is I get to use a term that I've been looking for a chance to use. I'm issuing a mea culpa and promise to get my butt in gear and blog more.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Lot Like You

A local Seattle insurance company has started running a new ad campaign that's spot on. It's defining some of the more colorful stereotypes around here quite well. If you want to get to know Seattle, learn it, love it and consider your indoctrination complete. View it here.

Kind of reminds me of the subversive wit of the Seattle Weekly's tongue in cheek "Ask An Uptight Seattle Guy" column. Getting the stink eye, while you're in Queen Anne or Ballard for not driving a Prius or not bringing your own bags to the store isn't uncommon. But I love Seattle for all this and I'm glad it's starting to poke fun at itself. Should Larry the Cable Guy get ready for a PC ass beating from the Uptight Seattle guy someday soon? Is Seattle's over zealous PCness ready to take on the world? It might...if it can find time between his yoga classes and organic food shopping.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

touch it

So I rail in Apple just as much as anyone in the CE industry, but when they released the new crop of iPods...I had to tip my hat. Then I broke out my credit card. I've been holding out for years, passing by all the cool kids and proclaiming my indy status with MP3 players from every brand you can think of, Creative, Archos, SanDisk and all the rest. But when Apple in their holy than thou way rolled out the touch (Note that proper style indicates it's written with a lower case "t") I gave in. Damn them for doing what everyone wants. Sure they're restrictive DRM is a pain in the ass, but on the other hand they listened to what the masses said, and they said, "just make it work" and it does. Movies, music, Wi-fi and holy crap a Starbucks alert! Amen. Any day now my new toy, the Apple touch will arrive. I'm pretty sure I'll be just as unool then as I am now, but hey bottom line - I'm watching movies on the bus! Warning, you want one too, you just don't know it yet.

PS: Mom, this one is for you. Now you know about the new stuff, and therefore you're cool.

Widget Testing

Amazon rolled out some widgets today, for it's Associates program. I might be a little opportunistic, but I'm experimenting with them on the page to see what they look like in a blog. They'll take you to the normal Amazon site, they're perfectly safe and all. the one at the very bottom is kind of neat, the CD art slide show. Dunno. Just something I'm fooling around with.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cop Fuel

Speaking of cops, check out this real ad I ran across on my local BMW dealer's web site, for BMW police motorcycles. Note the sign behind the officer and the BMW proclamation that it "Runs on any fuel!"

Texas Outlaw

Let's see...I took the picture, so I'm sitting in the passenger seat, and the Highway Patrol car has a Texas logo on it. The math says my sweetie has a lead foot. But she also has soft Texas accent and long eyelashes so she's able to only get a warning.

Got Wood

The chill is in the air. Temps are peaking at 65 and the rain is around the corner. We're looking forward to it really, it's a nice time to snuggle on the couch (in front of a 40" LCD TV hopefully) watch football and have a fire. Not wanting to run low on wood (last year's 3 day power outage ate up my reserve wood supply) I decided to buy a truck load of cut and seasoned stuff. After a little research I discovered BLW Firewood near the airport in Burien and really had a great experience there. Anthony, the guy that runs it, is super friendly, fast and fair. Loaded up my truck tossing out logs that were too big or too thick (knowing I had a stove not a fireplace). I'll be buying my firewood from him for a long time thanks to the great customer service. He'll even give you a deal on greenwood in the off season so you can dry it yourself and save a few bucks. Anyways, I've got quite a bit of firewood now, so let the cold come.

Monday, September 3, 2007

We're Getting Married

I know what you're thinking. Nothing could top Friday night's bowling date night. Well, how about asking Lindsay to marry me? Yep. I did. She said yes. We're getting married.

I woke up knowing this would be the day I'd ask her to marry me. I've known from the first day that I met her that I'd marry her, but getting the moment just right and trying to make the moment I ask her perfect, was hard (but worth it). I suggested we go to lunch at Ray's Boathouse for lunch, as it was near a park that I thought would be beautiful for asking her. Lunch was great, and I suggested we walk on the beach at nearby Golden Gardens Park. Of course I had planned that we go to this beach, at this time, and just happen to have a diamond engagement ring shoved deep in my pocket.

We walked from one end of the beach to the other, stopping along here and there to admire the view as the day was warm and sunny and the beach was packed. Each time we sat down I thought "This is it. This is the spot.", but each spot failed to produce the magic that an 'ask her to marry me spot' needs. The worst one really failed. Lindsay and I sat on a log between the beach and the grassy park. I reached into my pocket to feel that the ring was there, thinking it was game time...until the real truth came out. Lindsay put it best, "You smell that? It smells like poo here. Yuck." She was right. Well that wasn't going to be the spot, and we moved on. I didn't want her to recall the smell of poo for this moment, the rest of our lives.
When we first walked down the beach we passed a spot, nestled privately between some grass, facing West Seattle across the water, and with a view of the Olympic Mountains, but it was occupied by two rather burly men laying next to each other embraced arm and arm in a deep kiss. Now, on the way back the dudes had vacated and the spot, and it was ours. A little house keeping to de-man the place and we laid down to a beautiful afternoon and whispering sweet nothings to each other.
Now I knew this was the place, now it was up to me to find the right time. Hours passed as I tried to get the universe to work with me and align everything just right. At one point I had secretly slipped the ring on my finger and hid it in my fist ready to say those 4 important words, only to have something douse my romantic fire with bad timing. Just as I was about to present it to her, the sun went behind a cloud and it got dark. No way was I introducing her to the big rock when it was gloomy out. Try again. Then, as I got the courage and the sun came back out a guy flying his kite started backing into our little sandy spot, nearly joining us in the moment. Try again. A quiet descended and the time was right, until the a freight train rolled by and downed any sound. Try again. A park service quad drove up and scolding the guy the next dune over about his camp fire. Try again. Ok, here we wait. There's no way that I can interrupt her story about names of her cats, interesting, but no segway into marriage. Try again.
Finally, after the rainbow appeared and then disappeared overhead, the sun came out and it was time. I reached into my pocket, slipped it on my finger, took a deep breath listened to the silence, felt the warmth of the sun on us, and asked her if she'd marry me. She said yes. Quietly, confidently, she said yes and everything stopped as I took her hand in mine and with shakey hands slipped the ring on her finger. My heart was beating fast and a huge smile spread across my face, and hers, and everything was just as it should be. I knew as soon as I met her I'd marry her, and here we were, engaged.
We kissed, smiled, kissed, smiled and kissed a bit more enjoying the moment. It was good to stop hiding the ring, trying to keep her off the trail of my shopping (No it wasn't a trip to Radio Shack, it was a trip to the jeweler, dear!) and share with her the happiness that I'm so glad had finally unfolded.
As you can imagine, we're on cloud 9. I'm happier than I've ever been, and so thankful that somehow the universe conspired to let our lives connect. We'll get married somewhere near Dallas, sometime in the next 6 months or so as we don't see the need to wait. No other plans than that. Right now we're just being dewy eyed lovers.

So yes, this has been a good weekend. The girl of my dreams said yes when I asked her to marry me.