Saturday, March 31, 2007

Jesus Had a Penis

I'm not Catholic, so maybe I'm missing why this is so offensive. Public - actually just the Catholic - outcry was such that a gallery owner did not display this nude depiction of Christ, made from chocolate. Full AP story here. Was it that you can see his God given reproductive organ? Was it that it was made from chocolate rather than wood or plastic? I don't get it. So sad that this is a priority in modern religions.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

What to Wear When it's Time to do the Dishes

The new digital camo pattern is pretty good eh? Who knew Iraq looked like your grandmother's couch?

I Pan the Seattle Library

Update: Unbeknown to me, the PI had an article about the very subject a few days ago. The sun must have warmed up Seattlite's feelings about this building. A few years ago when the radically designed Seattle library opened to the public everyone and their dog was offering up their opinion on the design. It's been a few years and as I walk past it everyday to work I wonder when I'll finally start to think it's an attractive building. Frankly, I'm now convinced that it's a design train wreck. At best the exterior is different, thought provoking and iconic, but the most important element, the interior is cold, cheap, confusing and already becoming dated. It doesn't help that like many libraries it's unofficially become the daytime flop house for Seattle's bums. No that's not helping it at all. What I hoped a civic building like this would be was inspiring. A cathedral to information. A confident structure that, seeing as it stores all the wisdom of the ages, can rise above fashion trends and be an inviting haven for those that want to learn. This collection of metal and bright paint only succeeds, in my opinion, as Seattle's (successful) attempt at attention that will unfortunately fade into footnotes and be obsolete when fashion changes. So cheers for the attempt, but jeers for trying too hard to hang out with the popular kids and forgetting what you are, Seattle library. The demolition crews are scheduled for 2027, see you then.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Mr Mom

Seeing as Lindsay was at work being the breadwinner, and I had the day off, I thought I'd do my Spring carpet cleaning. Having a small house has it's advantages for stuff like this and it only takes an hour to clean, but 3 or 4 hours to dry. The dirty water it makes is gross, but it's totally gratifying to see what these powerful steam cleaners can pull up out of the carpet. Frankly, I really like steam cleaning. Is there a career change in the future?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

LA to Seattle: Day 3.5

Whew. 1350 miles all the way. We're here. Lot's of driving, and I'm really glad that we took the scenic route. We powered out the last section, from Eugene, OR to my front door in record time (I discovered a new Lindsay talent: eating and driving at 80mph) and rolled in about 2:30pm.

Now at home, we're introducing the cats to each other, waiting to introduce the dog to the new cat, and in general loafing around glad to be out of the car. Thankfully Seattle greeted it's newest LA/Dallas transplant with a face full of sunshine and we're enjoying that especially, and settling in. Lindsay's stuff will be shipped up here later in the week and then we'll play the small house Tetris game and see what fits where. All is good. More pics to come as soon as we're rested.

Pic is from a stop we made on a beach in Cali, near the Oregon boarder. Lindsay is wondering why she never noticed that my hand is so big.

LA to Seattle: Day 3

It's only getting better. California, along the 101 is still what everyone thinks California is. It's easy to still see the car culture, the optimistic 60's, at times even what the '49ers or the missionaries must have seen, or felt. We twisted and turned on roads the begged for a motorcycle, and made it a point to stop here and there along the road the smell the roses. If by smelling the roses I mean we stopped at the frickin' cool Paul Bunyan (and Babe the Ox) statue in Del Norte, CA. Completely inspiring in a weird kind of way. In keeping with the road trip requirements we also drove through a redwood tree. How cool is that? The redwood tree place was a one trick pony, but honest and quaint regardless. It was temping to stop at the "House of Mystery" or "Confusion Hill" or maybe get some chainsaw art too, but we were pushing North and had to keep moving. And moving we were until we crossed over into Oregon. Just a few miles in we got stuck in late night traffic on I5 that brought us to a total stop on the highway. A simi had rolled over at Grant's Pass so we waited for an hour to get rolling again and with that ran out of steam and are now in a hotel outside of Eugene, OR enjoying the rain. Next stop: Seattle. Oh, and lots more pics to come.

LA to Seattle: Day 2

You know what I've learned? California is equally as big as it is beautiful. We drove from LA up the coast heading to San Francisco on the 101. We stopped in Cambria and explored a beach, did a little wading in the Pacific for just a bit and then jumped back in the car and carried on. The legendary Big Sur waited to impressed us with it's amazing vistas at every turn. If we had more time we would have stopped and explored the Hearst castle perched on the hill overlooking the coast, or any of the gorgeous beaches occasionally populated by a hippie or surfer. Breathtaking. But on we went, piling on the miles toward Seattle. I had a vision of stopping at fruit stands for nourishment, but California offers up more fast food than fruit stands so hello Arby's. Oh well. Still food went in, and we went on. Passing over the Golden Gate Bridge in the middle of the night glancing over at the lights of San Fran in the distance. (Pics to come)

Friday, March 23, 2007

LA to Seattle: Day 1

I'm in LA now, helping Lindsay move to Seattle. She says she's looking forward to the rain, I'm worshiping the LA sun while I can. I flew down late last night, and this morning we're up at 7am to start loading the trailer with her stuff. She did most of the hard work yesterday so I paid my debt and literally did the heavy lifting of some bookshelves and tables to finish it off. We're on target to leave LA about noon and head up to San Francisco by way of the PCH in her Subaru with a fairly light load. The trailer (a shared transit system, her stuff is only about 1/20th the load) will get picked up later and delivered to my house in Seattle to unload, so all we have is a few random travel things and her cat in the Subaru. I've explained to the cat that if Tunces can learn to drive so can she. We'll see.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ice Breaker Parts

While on my bi-weekly trip to the auto parts store (big ugly green, the truck decided to kill it's alternator, and blow up both headlights in the process.) I got to talking with the guy behind the counter. Really nice guy about my age, with a large and colorful tattoo of an anchor on his forearm. I asked him about it and he said he was in the Coast Guard. He was a driver (pilot?) on a polar ice breaker. Wow. They go to sea for up to 6 months in the arctic to break trail and ensure sea safety. He said it did get boring, and "you learn to love to read - anything and everything to pass the time" because 6 months on the ice must be pretty boring after a while. Anyways, always interesting to meet the people in the neighborhood.

Bud Bus

Why don't beer and wine companies sponsor mass transit? It'd be a win-win. People get drunk, take a bus or train home and avoid a DUI. With all the money from sponsors like, Anheuser-Bush, a bunch of new routes, specific to getting people from popular bar areas to their houses would run after 10pm until the bars close. Get drunk, ride the Bud Bus home. Bud gets more money from more beer, we get less DUI. Heck, can we get Al Gore to say it's the environmentally responsible way to get drunk? That's taking it to the next level.

Monday, March 19, 2007

I'll have the roast duck with the mango salsa

So I giggle every time I see one of the Geico "So easy a caveman could do it" ads. Slate has articulated what makes these ads to spot on, and more importantly why it wouldn't make a good sitcom, as some are considering. What's possibly more amusing than the ads is the dedicated cavemancrib site, where you can literally poke around their swank apartment. Be sure to head toward the kitchen, or even better the bedroom - note the tie on the door conversation.

And the award for the weirdest internet rumor goes to: Val Kilmer is one of the Geico cavemen. Weird.

Jumpin for Jesus

I know it's morbid, but data is fascinating. Here's an interesting graphic of where people have jumped off the Golden Gate bridge. (click for larger image) Apparently people like the middle, they like a good final view (of the SF skyline), most are from San Francisco and don't like to walk too far past the midspan and someone needs to see what's up with post #69. The security barrier must me out or something as it's super popular. Extra points for originality to the ones that jumped facing East, or off the sides before the water. Yes, this is tragic stuff at it's core, but it's done. What does it tell us? Life is amazing like this. Just like this.

Bum. Meet Floor

On my way home from work, on the bus, some rather dirty guy who was high on something fell out of his seat and flopped to the ground like a wad of wet paper towels. He'd been bothering pretty much everyone in the front section of the bus the whole trip so there was universally no sympathy for him as he picked himself up from the floor, of the now empty bus. I poked him in the shoulder and pointed to his hat wedged from the tumble under a nearby seat. He was too wacked out to get what I was saying. I picked it up and tossed it on his lap, he just looked at me.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

58 Degrees!

Ah, I'm starting to remember why I love Seattle. The rain gets old right about now, but when the sun comes out it's glorious. Today is looking, and more importantly feeling like, Spring. It's 58 degrees, the flowers are blooming, the motorcycles and convertibles are out cruising, and there's even that tell-tale sign of Spring, the hum of lawnmowers in the distance. Strangely comforting. Here are a few pics of the plants flowering in my front yard, with Athos getting his old man dose of B12 in the sun.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Green Monster Guts

Seeing my project truck, the Chevy, is green I figured I should get it running for St Patty's Day.

I finally got the troublesome cross-member out. Murphy wasn't very impressed at all and wished I'd play with him instead. I need to train him to fetch tools for me. Anyways, you can see the big cross-member sitting next to the yellow ramp. I'm taking it to the car wash first thing tomorrow to get power washed as it's got at least a centimeter of road grime on it from years of neglect. It's been blocking 3 of the bolts that are required to get off the transmission fluid pan so it had to be removed if I was going to drain the tranny fluid from the pan. It's a huge pain in the ass I can see why it hadn't been done in a while, and I won't be doing it anytime again soon.

It's a great feeling to get it all pulled apart and cleaned up. The fluid that drained out was a mess too, way past it's prime so I'm swapping for some fluid from this decade. It was brown and with metal sludge everywhere, clearly showing some use and abuse of this 32 year old Chevy 350T tranny. Check out the before and after I cleaned out the pan shots.
Look at all that sludge in the pan! By the way, that square thing is the actual filter that bolts to the middle of the pan area. See how the pan is gray with metal particulates? It's supposed to be red fluid. Let this be a warning! Change your transmission fluid (every 50K or so). I'm excited to put the new fluid in and test drive the Green Monster and see what the new fluid feels like when she drives.

Just in case you're curious what the inside of an automatic transmission looks like
(something tells me nobody here is) here's a pic of the inner workings, the stuff that gets lubricated by the tranny fluid. Pretty neat eh?

So that's the big hump. I'm over the hard part. Now all I do is be sure to put in the exact amount of tranny fluid tomorrow and it's good. Sure there's a lot of fluid still left in the transfer case, but with out a pump I'm not about to get to it. This should stop the leak (my original reason for doing this) and give her a little bit more grip when she shifts.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dirt Pond

For those of you that know and love the Coleman Pool in West Seattle's Lincoln Park check out this photo I ran across from the Seattle archives. It's from July, 1925 - the opening day of the pool.

It's just a pit filled with water. Tidal water at that. They cleared the forest, dug a hole, let the Sound fill it up and my favorite perk, they tacked a board for diving to the side and called it good. I hear they had to walk up hill in the snow (both ways) to get to it.

One of the test subjects didn't get the "wear your bathing suit" memo.

Deterred by Detergent

While wandering the aisle at Safeway tonight I remembered that I needed laundry detergent. Confronted with the wall of color and promises for spring/mountain/crisp/summer rain/bouquet smelling laundry I froze up. It's one part prices - someone once told me to buy all my hygiene stuff at Target to save money so I was wondering if I was getting screwed at Safeway. It's another part eco-responsibility - didn't someone else say that laundry detergent is what's killing whales in the Puget Sound, or something like that? And lastly it's one part of me being tired of squatting next to each bottle and huffing it like a paint junkie and trying to imagine what I'd smell like to everyone if I used a particular brand. I froze up and bailed. Heck, I've got enough to make it a few more loads. I'll get Lindsay, when she's up here, to pick something and call it done. And like sands though an hour-glass these are the days of my life.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Craigslist Find - Tumor Removal DVD $5

I'm always impressed at what you can find on Craigslist. Today's oddity:

My Brain Surgery Tumor Removal DVD - $5
I had a teratoma tumor removed from the pineal region of my brain. This was an extremely rare and risky surgery since it was so far inside my head. This video is 90 minutes long and shows the cauterizing of blood vessels, cutting through tissue, and the extraction of the tumor itself. The surgery cost an enormous amount of money so I am trying to help finance it. I also have post op MRIs.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

World Press Photo Winner

Kids would say, "What happened to your ears?" and he'd say, "The bad guys took 'em." They'd say, "What happened to your nose?" and he'd say, "The bad guys took it." Article.

Google is God

I work for a tech company, but after reading this NYTimes article about Google running free shuttles to and from work for it's employees I feel I'm getting screwed.

You see, I take the nasty Metro bus to work everyday to avoid the $230 monthly parking downtown, and the hassle of driving to work. I live 8 miles from my job, Google is picking people up as far away as 54 miles away in it's free shuttle. Then I hear that Google offers them free food prepared by a real chef when they get to work. I eat my bowl of cereal at home before I catch the bus. What's great about the shuttle is the controlled environment. According to the article it's quiet, respectful, WiFi enabled, even with leather seats and possibly even pets. On my bus I get dunks sprawling over several seats, pimps and their hos, loud (usually misogynistic) kids skipping school and fragments of people's food/drink smeared on the seat. I'd think prefer the Google shuttle.

Is this the future of corporations? Taking a city service and doing it better? I think so. Is Google still hiring? I hope so.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Release the Hounds!

Thanks to Paul for helping to continue yesterday's theme weird manly topics and letting me know about - sacfree!

I'm going to keep this short, as I think you can figure it out form the picture. Someone, somewhere, thinks that a pair of underwear with a hole cut out for your (excuse me ladies) balls to hang out of is a good idea. Kudos to him (her?) for thinking creatively, but did the market research say this product was in need?

So if this is just the thing you've been looking for order some up from their site and have fun. No need to let me know how it works out. That's for you to know, not me.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Painted Toenails in the Locker Room

I miss the work outs from when I was in the Army. There's just nothing like that kind of motivation. There's nothing like running in a formation of 60 guys all screaming cadence together.

So because I don't have that motivation I drag myself to the gym here and there to push around some heavy weight. I like it a lot in there, it's my time.
It was my time the other day too when in the locker room, as I changed, some big belly fella with long gray hair flying all around his head, in his late 50's I figured, lumbered over to my bench and lowered his heavy frame down to get changed. No big deal, until he took off his shoes and revealed his freshly painted pink painted toenails. I tried not to stare, but when he fumbled into his hot-pant like bright blue spandex it was time for me to get on my way. Odd fellow.

It takes all types I suppose.

NB: You can find a picture of anything on Google I've learned.

Wine is Fine

I finally went over and reclaimed the appliance dolly that I let a gal borrow. Kind of a long story here's the short form - I traded her an Ikea wardrobe that I had for some firewood. She was moving so I loaned her my dolly. When she was done moving she left the country (Switzerland!) and never got the dolly back to me. I resisted the temptation to go over to her house and take something of hers as retribution (more firewood or something) putting my faith in karma. Well, as soon as she got back in the U.S. she emails me and arranges to leave the dolly outside her place for pick up - and she apologized for not returning my earlier emails. When I went to pick it up she had very nicely left a bottle of organic Oregon red wine on the dolly for me, complete with a nice red bow. How sweet was that? I chuckled aloud when I saw it, and my faith in karma was shored up.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Does Your Cat Look Like Hitler?

What did we do before the internet? If your cat looked like Hitler you'd have to suffer in silence, but no

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Man Kind Rejoice

Today was a good day, and I didn't even have to use my AK.

I fixed the water heater (replaced not 1, but 2 elements) first thing in the morning. Took delivery from Melissa of Gio, the other rottie that Murphy plays with. Took a man break and had lunch with Paul at a pizza place where we talked about man topics: cars, women and Vegas. Picked up parts for the Subaru and Chevy at the auto store, bought a creeper while I was there, got home and installed new (halogen) headlights in the Subaru. Felt motivated so I went ahead and replaced the spark plugs in the Subaru too.

Tomorrow it's a transmission fluid change for the Chevy and a wiper motor replacement for the Subaru! It's good to get the hands dirty once in a while.

Vetting the Vet

Kitty cat Athos was not doing so well today, so I took him to the vet. I don't like vets. Here's why, and it's an example of what happens every time. I take the cat to the vet, tell the vet what my research makes me think the problem is. Vet nods and gives me the standard, "your cat is old and he should drink more water" speech. I nod back and cover some of the things I've been doing to help. Vet is not listening. Vet says she'll have to run some tests to be sure, so I say yes to prove how good of an owner I am. Tests come back as confirmation of what I said it was. So, to have the vet tell me what I knew cost me $175 and one pooped on towel (Athos gets nervous on car rides). I hate the vet.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Screen Shot

This is an amazing video. It is a look directly into the (surprisingly) near future. Microsoft is already making similar technology, and better yet, it's an idea that everyone wants, everyone understands, and is completely achievable.

Read more about this man and his amazing idea here.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Bald is Beautiful

I had a dream about Britney Spears last night. Not even the "there we were--naked with peanut butter and a pickle" kind...then again these days I don't think anyone thinks that of her like that anymore. I had a dream that she was walking around my childhood neighborhood, in a black mourning dress. I asked her if she was ok and she thoughtfully looked at me and started to talk. We walked and talked around the neighborhood talking about nothing in particular. Then she turned her bald head to me and sincerely said, "Thanks for talking to me, I needed that." So now I'm harboring a weird feeling to defend Britney and tell people that she's not so nutty if you just talk to her about her problems. Weird eh?