34 entries categorized "Queen Anne"

Definitely not pretty

“Mornings aren’t pretty”—truer words never spoken, though I didn’t sleep long enough to get a really grand case of bedhead. But I kinda feel like Mickey looks.

Definitely not pretty

And it can’t be purely coincidence that one French press = one giant coffee cup, right? No, it *must* be a greater statement of the proper order of the universe.


Happy new year :-)

Best wishes for 2011.

After the jump, photos from my balcony half a mile away from the Space Needle’s New Year fireworks show. Excellent weather this year, clear and cold with practically no wind—and the smoke from the fireworks moved west of the Needle so we had an unobstructed view of the whole show.

Continue reading "Happy new year :-)" »


The year in cities, 2009 edition

Spent at least one night (or most of a day, for the day trips) in each of these cities in 2009.

Listed in roughly chronological order; links go to related posts or categories.

  • Seattle, WA*
  • Orlando, FL
  • Sequim, WA* (day trips, first to hike Dungeness Spit and later for Easter)
  • Yakima, WA
  • Kapa‘a, HI
  • Telma, WA (actually a cabin on Lake Wenatchee)
  • Cannon Beach, OR
  • Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • San Francisco, CA
Lists get a bit shorter each year. If anyone remembers a city I’m overlooking, sing out in the comments.

Previous lists: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.


Not quite the view we’ll have, but close

Fireworks explode from the Space Needle in 2009. (Photo by Jim Bates, The Seattle Times)

Friends and family joining me shortly for dinner and hanging out. At midnight we’ll crowd out onto my balcony to toast the new year and watch the Space Needle fireworks display from 6 blocks away.

It’s like living a postcard each year. :-)

Happy new year!

Photo by Jim Bates / Seattle Times, via article Space Needle’s fireworks to welcome new year


Kinda weird day this has been

My Tuesday started out as a fairly dull day at work and ended with my subpoena as a witness in a criminal matter.

Jumping backward a bit....

Way back in January, I was involved as a witness in a domestic-violence assault incident in my apartment building. I was the second person to call 9-1-1, and I ended up giving several statements over the course of the day. It was rather a harrowing experience as a witness—I can’t even imagine what it must have been like from the victim’s perspective.

In typical fashion, once all the hoopla had died down, the incident mostly left my conscious thought except for occasional reminders. I was asked to tell the story a lot over the next few weeks as I saw family and friends who knew about the whole thing, but hadn’t heard any details. But after those retellings, it faded from my immediate memory until occasional reminders like brief mentions in the newspaper came along. And most of those came fairly early on—here’s one from Jan 29 and I can’t find the article I’m vaguely remembering from midsummer sometime. When the six-month mark passed without further word from the police or the courts, I assumed it probably had been disposed by plea bargain or something along those lines.

Cue my arrival home today to find a file cabinet’s worth of subpoena paperwork taped to the building’s main entrance door. Seven total; mine’s the one on the lower right.

Subpoenas taped to my building’s main entrance doors
I imagine the recipient of that UPS InfoNotice was pretty intimidated by this display of summonsy goodness.

Anyway, yeah. Three pages of paperwork demanding my presence at the courthouse in downtown Seattle on or about January 25, which coincidentally happens to be the one-year anniversary of the attack.

So how was your Tuesday?


2600 in 6

Julie Anne’s Christmas tree, 2009Twenty-six strands of lights and the entire ornament collection all in six hours, to the accompaniment of the “Christmas favorites” iTunes playlist and a lovely dinner of Thanksgiving leftovers. Oh, and a brief pause to watch the lighting of the Westlake tree, the Space Needle, and the KING5 broadcast tower atop Queen Anne Hill.

Been a busy day!

Must be the holiday season?

Julie Anne in Baking ModeThis morning we stopped at Starbucks for eggnog lattes and at Target for Christmas lights, candles, and a wreath and hanger.

Now back at Julie Anne’s discussing the particulars of her holiday decorating plans before we retrieve the dozen or so Christmas boxes from her storage unit, all while she’s mixing up a batch of home-made bread and Christmas songs waft from the living room.

Definitely that time of year!

Happy holidays :-D  


Ah ha, the power was out!

Some 6,000 to 7,000 City Light customers on Lower Queen Anne, including portions of the Seattle Center and the Space Needle, went without electricity for 45 minutes early this morning

via seattletimes.nwsource.com

No wonder my microwave and stereo were doing the 12:00 --:-- 12:00 --:-- 12:00 --:-- 12:00 blinkies this morning. Kind of weird to find out about an immediately local event via the newspapers a few hours after it happened, though.

And I suppose it’s a good thing I use my phone as an alarm clock.


Of late

Been a while since I had a non-photo, non-posted-by-mobile something-to-say prattling. Figured I’d catch things up a bit, in no particular order.

:: • :: • :: • ::

Had my eyes examined twice in four days. Bright lights shone INTO MY EYEBALLS at various times, some after I had been given eye drops that would prevent my eyes’ normal response to bright light to safeguard my vision. Institutional evile, it is.

Eye exams are such an odd thing. A bunch of tests designed to safeguard and even enhance our visual acuity, each test resulting in its own odd killing of vision for a short time.

Today’s tests involved digital photos of my retinas. The pics were cool, blood vessels in a circular cut-out on the computer screen, but the method kinda blew. The technician had me watch for the little red blinky light, just focus on the light, she had to make some adjustments and get things just so, don't worry about blinking, just blink like you normally would and keep focused on the red light, almost there, keep watching the light, another slight adjus—ZORCH the camera flash detonated INSIDE MY EYEBALL, practically. Pretty photos, but I saw the flash afterimage for almost an hour.

And within that hour I got to take an extended field-of-vision exam—I stared at a little yellow light and pressed a button each time I saw, somewhere in my field of view, a little secondary spot of light appear briefly. At one point I got a little button-happy and they had to repeat the test for my left eye because I spotted roughly 12,000 non-existent light blips, but I think it was just the machine getting annoyed with my predictive capabilities.

All of that took only 26 minutes. I think that’s like the old cigarette thing, the one where they say each ciggie cuts something like, what, 7 minutes or 23 hours or 800 years off your life? Yeah, that 26 minutes of eye exam from hell cost me 100 hours of sensitivity to light.

Sometimes at night, when I close my eyes really hard, I can still see the spots.

:: • :: • :: • ::

In other news:

We had a thunderstorm over Seattle tonight. I was on the phone with my friend David, because I LAFF AT DEATH and ignore the old saw that you should never use the phone in a thunderstorm, and also I only have a cell phone so if I managed to get zapped by the phone lines, it would definitely be newsworthy. But anyway, I was chatting with David and gazing out over the city, watching the storm move across town and thinking, definitely a good night for Safeco Field to have a retractable roof, eh wot?, and there was a lightning strike atop the Space Needle.

The Needle is maybe 6 blocks from my apartment, so it was roughly, well, NO TIME AT ALL before the thunderclap sounded. But it was quieter than I expected, and though my usual thunderstorm freak-out nerves were jangling, I was fascinated to see a building strike so closely and so uneventfully. Right at that moment David was talking about his recent visit to Cotton Eyed Joe (WARNING: Flash site, loud audio), how crazy it was and how much fun he had, and I was doing all in my power not to run into my bedroom and shimmy under the bed if for no other reason than I will NOT appear that unmanly in front of my cats, both of whom sat at the balcony door watching the storm and didn’t even twitch when the thunder rumbled over us.

:: • :: • :: • ::

Speaking of phones:

My Verizon Wireless contract ended Saturday.

First time in my personal-cell-phone-having life—thanks to the miracle of Palm devices, I can tell you that’s been since March 11, 2000—that I’ve hit the twin milestones of

  1. Finishing a two-year cell contract without making changes to my service, and
  2. Keeping a single phone alive through the entire contract period.

See, I’m usually hell on phones. I’ve damaged or outright killed a couple myself, drops and bangs and general use-and-abuse, and then there was the time my RAZR got smacked out of my hands and shattered into pieces on the tile floor of a downtown restaurant when I was only, what, a month shy of the end of the cell contract I was on at the time. So my keeping alive for (so far) 2.5 years a device that’s both a phone and a PDA is something of achievement in my little world.

Even more than that, I’m not running right out to replace the phone. I’m sticking with the current plan on month-to-month for now, because it suits me and I have a couple of ideas on phones I may want to try, but I’m holding off until I know more about them.

I really hope this isn’t some hideous sign of maturity. I’m only 37, I can’t be grown up yet.

:: • :: • :: • ::

So then, what else?

Oh, I started a 3-person carpool a few weeks ago. Doesn’t matter so much on the drive to work—we use the SR 520 floating bridge to get to Redmond, and there’s no HOV advantage eastbound.

Westbound, however, the HOV lane between I-405 and the floating bridge on SR 520 is a 3+ lane, and we sail past all those fools in their 1– and 2-person cars as they sit in traffic, mostly idling but occasionally moving forward by a car length or two, and I have to discourage my carpoolers from laughing maniacally and pointing and otherwise possibly causing road-rage incidents even though I secretly want to laugh and point as well.

But I was one of those non-HOV fools until earlier this month. Now I’m routinely home less than 40 minutes after I leave the office, and that includes dropping two people off when I’m driving.

Nice to be home by 5 each day, especially when there are still 3 or 4 hours of daylight to go.

:: • :: • :: • ::

Saw two movies in cinema the weekend before last: Star Trek, which I loved, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which I kinda liked.

I always want to type Wolvering. Have to correct it every time.

Anyway, two movies at the cinema in one weekend is a lot for me. Usually I’ll see two movies at the cinema in a span of several months, and I’ve realized why. It isn’t the opening-day (or even –weekend) crowds, or the occasionally shoddy projection or the sometimes uncomfy seats or whatever. It’s the people sitting immediately around me who act like they’re in their personal living-room THX auditoriums with the talking and the crinkling plastic and the God knows what other noises are emanating, to say nothing of the occasional dipshit who didn’t silence the cell phone.

I’d usually rather wait for Netflix to deliver the film experience in my own living room, where I know when I’m going to make crinkling noises and I can ignore myself easily.

But yeah. Loved loved Star Trek. I saw it courtesy my friend Matt, who turns 27 tomorrow. (Had to get that in there, of course.) He was dying to see the movie, already had tickets to an IMAX showing on the weekend, but he scored us seats at the 7pm showing on Thursday, May 7th, because he just couldn’t wait two more days for the IMAX showing on the 9th. Good loud visually exciting popcorn movie I’m sure I’ll see at least once more in the theaters and then at least once more on DVD, if I don’t end up owning it.

WolveringWolverine entertained me but didn’t wow me, or even strike me as a very compelling story. Hugh Jackman was good, he’s made the part his own, but I couldn’t buy Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth. Something just didn’t ring true, and in a summer blockbuster of mutants with retractable metal claws and sharp fangs and the like, if you can’t buy an actor in a part, something’s just not right there.

And if I never see Will Ferrell again, it’ll be too soon. They showed the fucking trailer for Land of the Lost FOUR TIMES in those two movies, and I’m sure all the remotely funny bits were in the trailer.

FOUR. TIMES.

:: • :: • :: • ::

OK, I’m done for tonight.

Have a good Wednesday, everyone.


Insomnia blows

I worked late on Wednesday and I have to go in early Thursday. These two simple facts have turned my brain against me and I’m lying here in the soft glow of my phone’s screen, typing a mobile post about how I’m not sleeping right now.

This is a crazy world.


Flying carpets


Flying carpets
Flickr: Don Nunn
Balcony door was open, warm in the apartment and I was cooking. I kept hearing these odd boom/crash sounds. I wasn’t sure if it was a car backfiring or, who knows, gunshots or whatever.

When I went outside, I caught the end of the carpet installers’ four-floors-up carpet-tossing act.

My Treo’s microphone does no justice to the loudness of the slamming sound these carpet remnants were making.

I love living in the city. :-)


Been kind of a crazy week

On Sunday morning there was an assault and stabbing in my building. Happened to be my neighbors, and I was the second person to call 911. Spent much of the rest of the day talking to police, writing a statement, giving a recorded interview with a Domestic Violence Unit detective.

I talked quite a bit about this on Twitter Sunday*, but I haven’t mentioned it here until now. I wasn’t sure if I was going to mention it here at all, since it involves other people in a sensitive story, but I decided since it was part of my life and the victim’s anonymity has been maintained in the news coverage, posting about that coverage was okay.

Anyway. After the jump, the latest story about the case from one of the local papers.

* See (in this order) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Continue reading "Been kind of a crazy week" »


A lovely drive home

My commute from work in Redmond to Seattle’s Lower Queen Anne neighborhood is just over 14 miles, about a 20-minute drive at posted speed limits with no traffic. In the usual afternoon traffic volumes, it’s 25 to 30 minutes.

Tonight’s commute took 107 minutes, about five times longer than normal.

And it gets better.

The first 7.6 miles, from the office to the east end of the SR 520 bridge deck, took 91 of those minutes, for a blistering average speed of 5 mph.

The remaining 6.6 miles required just 16 minutes to travel, including the surface streets. Averaged 25 mph on that leg.

The floating bridge was fun, however. It was swaying noticeably on the rises at the east and west ends, and the spray over the road surface was better than the heaviest rainfall. Quite enjoyable, particularly because by then traffic was moving at nearly the posted 50-mph limit, and keeping the cars in their lanes while the road surface was moving a foot or so left and right was a bit of a trick indeed.

Oh how I love driving in Seattle in any type of inclement weather. :-)


Who goes there?

It’s a little blustery tonight.

Across the street is a tree that moves in the breeze across the line of sight between my balcony and the security light on the building directly south of mine.

The tree’s crossing the light keeps making me think there is someone walking across my balcony. In the last few minutes I’ve had several WTF moments.

Time, methinks, for bed. Have a nice Sunday night. :-)


On the rain in Seattle

We have a Pineapple Express-style storm rolling through Seattle today and tomorrow. I’m quite enjoying it, mainly because I’ve been home from work for five hours now and avoided the majority of the afternoon rush hour, one advantage to my early work schedule. I usually beat traffic unless there’s a crash or something.

I did, however, experience some of the usual Seattle Rainy Day joy. In this city with its reputation for endless rain and the gorgeously green landscape that accompanies, once again I was amazed by the sameness of the rainy-weather experience.

Some things never change:

  • I was angrily glared at, flipped off, honked at, passed stupidly closely, or cut off several times on my way west on SR 520, all because I was leaving several carlengths of empty space ahead of me and apparently Seattleites aren’t happy unless EVERY GODDAMNED INCH OF HIGHWAY is covered over by crawling vehicles.
  • Several spin-out crashes reported on the traffic updates in the 30 minutes I was on the road between Redmond and Queen Anne. This lack of willingness to slow down just mystifies me, particularly when people aren’t very good at braking correctly even when the pavement’s bone-dry.
  • Several cars I saw, the drivers seemed dead set against using the windshield wipers. At a couple points I was wishing my car’s wipers had something beyond the normal and fast options, perhaps an OH SHIT I CAN’T SEE A DAMNED THING setting that made the wipers invisible, they were zapping back and forth so fast. How can anyone think not using wipers at all is a good thing, even in the mildly misty rain we usually have?

Each of these happens every time we get rain here, particularly if there’s been more than about 12 minutes since the last storm. I just don’t get it, EVERY TIME.

Can anyone splain this to me?


Compromised

This morning I was horrified to discover I left my apartment front door unlocked all night, and I left my front passenger window rolled down when I got home yesterday afternoon.

Strictly from a personal– or property-safety perspective, neither of these is cause for huge concern. The part of town where I live isn’t a massively high-crime area, and I live in a secured building so the front-door thing was less a personal security risk and more a memory failing. And while there have been some vehicle break-ins in this neighborhood over the years, there have been none in my building’s parking lot in the year and a half I’ve lived here.

It’s much more the lapses of memory that wig me out.

While I was lying in bed last night, just before I drifted off, I did wonder to myself if I had locked the door after I got home from the day’s activities. But I dismissed the concern out of hand, so when I reached to disengage the deadbolt this morning on my way to work, I thought: Did I already unlock the door this morning? Why, if I did? And if not, why didn’t I listen to myself last night when I wondered if I had locked it?

Even though my building is secured and my neighbors are pretty low-key, I normally lock my door the moment I close it because my apartment door is at the end of a corridor with an exit stairway door immediately to its right. I would lock the door immediately more often than not, but I purposefully got into the habit after the time a few months ago when a man I’d never seen before (nor since) walked into my apartment thinking he was opening the stairwell door. He didn’t immediately realize his mistake and turn around even when he saw a coat tree and a litter box instead of a stairway, or perhaps he just figured someone was using the stairwell as a storage space of some kind. So he continued further into my apartment, I guess thinking maybe the stairway was around the corridor or maybe off the bedroom.

Shocked looks on both our faces when I came out of the kitchen to ask him just what the hell did he think he was doing? He mumbled something about looking for the stairwell and hastily backed out the door, and I started keeping the door locked all the time.

The car thing is a little more disconcerting. I had both front windows rolled down on my drive home yesterday afternoon, and I clearly remember closing the driver-side window when I got home. Passenger window didn’t even register on my mind at all, in fact I didn’t notice it was open until I started the car and thought, hmm, seems louder than usual.

And sound louder it does when the window’s open, idiot!

I did the quick once-over: Glove compartment, center console, visors, stereo intact. Nothing was missing or even appeared disturbed.

Signs of approaching middle age, I suppose. Urk.