Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Good News: I'm Going to Hell

Or at least I'm going to Hell's Canyon that is. I'm packing up for a trip on the bike that'll take me straight over to Idaho (all day tomorrow) then drop straight down into Oregon, about as far south as Richland, OR, back over to Vancouver, OR along the Columbia river national scenic byway, up to Mt St Helens back side taking back roads to Mt Rainier and then back to Seattle. Should be about 1,300 miles most of it on smaller back roads. I'll be going with a good buddy of mine from my days, JP. Him and I have been exploring and into motorcycles for years so it's only fitting that we combine the two. I'll be taking a ton of pictures, but don't know if I'll be able to post on the road. Definitely when I get back on Sunday night though. It's been nice and warm, clear skys and as the pilots say, it's a CAVU (Clear Ahead Visibility Unlimited) kind of few days for me. (Yes, mom. I'll be very safe.)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Fashionable Patriotism

Just wondering why I'm the only one on my block to have my flag out on Memorial Day. I've seen a few out on the 4th of July around here, but so far it's just me. Possibly it's because there was a treat of rain last night, but doubtful that's the cause. There's an abundance of opinion on the war, on the president, even an abundance of bumper stickers asking [other drivers?] to "support our troops". I recall being a kid, in Dallas, and having nearly all the houses on the street adorned with American flags on the appropriate holidays, in fact it was a big treat of mine to fetch the flag and secure it form our front porch. I'm sure there's still a lot of patriotism around, but find it interesting that it's becoming less of a standard practice to display the flag.

OT: Love the picture of Bush signing the American flag. If fabric could wince, it would here.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

How to Have a Good Commute

When the weather is good I'll take the water taxi across Elliot Bay to work. A few days last week the weather was great and I did indeed take the water taxi. I took a few camera phone pics of the little taxi in front of the much larger WA DOT ferries that go over the Brainbridge and Vashon islands everyday (they've got wi-fi and coffee shops on board). You can see my building from the picture off the side of the boat (the tall black building). There's something so relaxing about taking a boat to work. No matter what the 12 minute trip to downtown from Alki beach pulls the stress out of the day. Now I just need to move closer to Alki beach to be able to walk home.

Pet Or Freezer?

Speaking of pets (last post) I ran across this little charmer on Craigslist. It's not often you get to decide between "Pet or freezer". You can almost see the look on the steer's face. "Why are you taking my picture Mr Farmer? You never paid much attention to me before...this isn't good."

4yr old steer. totally natural. no antibiotics or hormones. raised on 10 acres of pasture and alfalfa in the winter. pet or freezer? thinning the herd.$700 cash firm.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Mo Money Mo Dog Food

We're so in the money around here that we feed it to the dog to get rid of it. Just too much of the green stuff that we can hardly get rid of it. Man, it's just a hard life to have SO much cash that it's just toilet paper to us. I hope this misery ends and we get to go back to normal life.

(Sold my big green truck recently and got goofy with all the cash before it went to the bank)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Stuck On You

I get a lot of GPS units from work. Some good, some not, some really expensive, some not. I try them all out when I can and see how they do in the real world. Recently I had the chance to get 4 of the top selling GPS units in my truck (see me in the rear view mirror?) all at the same time, and compared them literally side-by-side navigating me from work to my house in West Seattle. Even though it was a little hard to see out the windshield (technology will save me!) I made it home. What GPS was the best? There wasn't one that was the 'best'. Each has it's strengths and weaknesses. The Magellan had the most POI data to choose from, the Garmin was easy to input addresses into, the Harman Kardon had the best instructional voice and the TomTom provided lots of advanced options. Which one would I buy? The one I could afford. PS: Buy it from Amazon, keep me employed.

Order of GPS appearance L to R: Magellan 4040, Garmin 660, Harman Kardon 500, TomTom 910

Go Tell the Mountain

In celebration of the beautiful weather around here I bolted out of work and took the bike due East into the mountains. I knocked out a total of 130 miles before dark, and even took the time to explore some forest service roads a little. The (phone) pic is from an opening in the trees, just a bit away from Snoqualime ski resort. Wild that just an hour and a half prior I was in my .com cube. Can you feel the 'ahhhhh' moment?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Google Gold

According to some Google data bases, in Afghanistan the #8 most popular search for April was "Jennifer Loopez". Alright. Does that relate the the #2 most popular search on Afghanistan Google: "drip/trickle irrigation"? It just might.

Something's Fishy

Been kind of quiet on the home front lately. One fish is to blame.

I had dinner last Monday with a vendor from work, at a downtown restaurant called
Purple. Nice place, great wine selection. Side bar (pun?) I had no less than 4 different riesling wines whilst there. From Germany, Australia, New Zealand and of course the home town Yakima Valley - a great education. Anyways, I also had the special, the grilled salmon. Near the end of it I noticed that it was really undercooked, and while this is great for sushi, a little voice in my head gave me a warning to stop eating, but it was too late. I'll spare you the details, but I'm not eating much these days thanks to what feels like a punch in the GI from said fish. Dang fish. You won.

Speaking of purple. Enjoy this other purple site. It's so...purple.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I Put Seattle on the Map

Thanks to having a really cool job, I got to ride in the TeleAtlas mapping van today! What's that you say? TeleAtlas is the company that complies and sells map data to in-car GPS manufacturers, like TomTom. One of the things they do to augment their mapping data is to drive around the US in these orange minivans, with cameras and lasers mounted on the roof, mapping roads. It's got a 500MB hard drive storage on board that fills up every 2 weeks, then they send in to the home office to get the data added to the existing map data, for everyone to use in their GPS. The lasers are recording texture for a when GPS systems tell you the color, type and even texture of the building via 3D model rather than the cartoon images we're used to now. There are 25 of these vans around the US, look for them in your neighborhood and say hi!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Amazing Race

Even if you're not into cars, or racing, this clip is awesome. It's the last lap of the 12 hour long Sebring race. Porsche vs Ferrari side by trading paint in the last seconds of the race. Amazing.

Have a Coke and Get High

We've all known this, but soda is bad stuff in excess amounts. I'm a fan of an occasional soda (ok, it's Coke. I'm from the South so all sodas are called Cokes). Anyways, the more you drink of this stuff the worse it is for you. I ran across this site that spells it out, what happens to you right after you ingest a Coke. Hmm, now I'm in the mood for a Coke. Dammit!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

NYC Unleashed

I (heart) NY. We made the trip into NYC last night, to make the banquet at the Central Park Boat House. Interestingly the Boat House looked out over the fountain from the opening scene of Friends (TV show), but we didn't find the time to run over and reinact it - probably too cute anyways. The restaurant was phenomenal, and as always I'm very thankful that I get the chance to experience things like this. Last time I was in NYC I slept in a youth hostel in Harlem and existed on $20 a day - eating only once a day. I wish I had more time to spend here, but it's not the same without Lindsay to share it with. After dinner we went down to the village and hit a few bars, including McSurleys - the best bar in the world. Hands down. It hasn't changed since it was opened in 1853. Same floors, walls, lights, you name it. I loved it. Aside from some weird drunk that showed up and we had to (try) and bounce from your party it was a great time had by all. On to another bar, filled mostly with university kids making me feel old (old is fine with me when it comes with an expense account), and we had a great time there too. I couldn't be happier with the trip. Now, I'm psyching myself up for the 5 hour flight back to Seattle - lots of podcasts and magazines ready to go. I'm glad I came out, and I'm looking forward to the next time.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Hoboken is OK with me

The tally for the drinking games, for me alone (a lightweight), was: 6 Jack & Cokes, 2 Markers Mark & 7 Up and 2 Patron shots. Like the fighters should have seen the other guy. We drank at the open bar here at the hotel, then loaded up a van and headed over to Hoboken, NJ. Now, I had preconceived notions of what Hoboken would be like, but let me tell you, it's quite nice. Really nice in fact. It looks out over to New York, Manhattan to be exact, and is clean and alive and all kinds of good stuff. I learned something new. So, a good time at the bar trying to keep pace with the other buyers, some from Amazon, some from HSN, some from places I forget, but all nice and fun to hang out with. Rumor is tonight we're headed to a generations old bar in NYC (only open to women starting in 1970!) that's supposed to be in real contrast to the Central Park Boat House. More horrible camera phone pics to come. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Badda Bing Trip

I'm craning my neck at every intersection to see if I can find the Badda Bing club from the Sopranos, but so far to no avail. I'm here in New Jersey for work. Actually, most of the business will be in NYC, but for now it's me in a hotel across from the Medowlands stadium. Exciting. I'm getting ready to go downstairs and start the competitive drinking/firm handshakes/business card swap event that traditionally takes place on these kinds of trips. The really good news is that the vendor is taking us to the Central Park Boat House tomorrow for lunch. Perfect. I've always wanted to go there, and I'm stoked that I get to now. I love NY, like everyone else, so if I'm lucky I can break away and see some of it. Thought I'd share some of the pics of my hotel room and 'view', including the NJ turnpike stall, if anyone thinks I'm living too large.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Identity Theft-away

For some reason I've wanted to profess to the world how much I love my paper shredder. Having been a victim of identity theft many years ago, before it was even cool, I'm paranoid about leaving paper trails. I bought a cheap paper shredder from Target a few years ago, but it promptly broke. I finally broke down and spent the big bucks on the 'eat everything' bullet proof shredder and I love it. Go out and get one. You'll love it too. Oh, I got the Fellowes Powershred (yes from and I highly recommend it. It'll go on sale for about $10 less every once in a while, but don't count on it anytime soon. Tell 'em Creighton sent ya!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Twist for Fun

This past weekend I got my hands on something the devil himself would ride. When the German's want to go fast they dial up the power of the BMW R1150R sport bike (aka BMW Rockster). Oh my God. Yes, I broke the speed limit - just a little bit* though. A gentleman when it needs to be with ABS heated grips it's not all brawn, but close. This thing eats asphalt like popcorn and I was all going up and down from Seattle to Tacoma more than once letting it eat all day long.

*if by "little bit" you mean doubling it, then you're right.

How Tilling is Like Lays Potato Chips

I rented a tiller on Monday with thoughts of duplicating the recently made yard garden area on the other side of the yard. Like Lays Chips, I couldn't stop with just one tilling project. Once I felt the power of the tiller in my hands I was obsessed. Taken to a trance like state where I kept going and going, eventually tilling the entire 1500 sq ft yard into 3 inches of thrash (I did part of the front yard too). Now the yard is ready for sod and maybe ready to look like a green carpet for the first time in it's life. This weekend is shaping up to be a busy one.

So now the bad news. While I was driving the tiller
(it's self powered) up the heavy steel ramp it slipped, bounced, knocked the ramp off the tailgate of my truck (and on top of my foot) and both ramp and tiller came crashing down, the tiller plow front catching on the tailgate of my truck and buckling it from the impact. Sure I'm pissed that my new truck's tailgate is bent (still works, but I have to jam a screwdriver in there to get it to open), but I'm mostly thankful that I didn't get my foot crushed. My foot is bruised and sore from the ramp landing on it, but that's much better than smooshed and flat that could of occured if I didn't move fast enough and the tiller + ramp would have landed on it. Was that the protective spirit of the truck (recall the deceased owner of the truck if you will) at work?