Previous month:
January 2005
Next month:
March 2005

40 entries from February 2005

Pagoda Restaurant’s liquor license suspended over Christmas gifts received by owners

My mom pointed out this story earlier today. I post it here without further comment because it’s so wonderfully representative of the ultraconservative Utah mindset.

Salt Lake Tribune story link; it’s only available in the newspaper’s paid archive now.

Continue reading "Pagoda Restaurant’s liquor license suspended over Christmas gifts received by owners" »

Check one item off the "I wonder what..." list

My car, a 2002 Saturn L200, has an alarm. It's one of those passive types which arms itself after a time if I don't explicitly arm the system with my keyless-entry fob. I'd been wondering what might happen if the alarm were triggered while the car was in my garage, but as I've dropped the habit of locking the car when it's in the garage, I hadn't encountered any trouble yet.

Until last night, when I got home and tossed my car keys on the bed while I went into the bathroom. My two cats interpreted the keys' presence on the bed as a sign that it was Time To Play!

So while I stood there in the bathroom about 30 seconds later, I became aware of a regularly sounding car horn. I thought, "Huh, that sounds like a particularly rhythm-blessed child who's annoyed by having to wait in the car while his mom runs into the grocery store."

A few seconds later: "Or a car alarm, hmm."

Few more seconds: "MY car alarm!"

I ran into the bedroom and sure enough, Flex was gnawing on my keyless-entry fob while Annie gnawed on Flex's neck.

Flex must have hit the panic button and the signal traveled easily the 20-25 feet straight down to the car, thus ending my curiosity about how the alarm would sound in the garage.

It's really freakin' loud.

Nidor horibilus

Someone's made popcorn in the break-room microwave, which is just downstairs from the desk I'm using, so odors waft neatly up to us whenever anyone cooks anything.

Someone has also burned that popcorn. The fumes are almost visibly rushing up the stairs to choke us and make our eyes tear up.

Nearly at the top of the list of Odors I Despise is that of burned popcorn, and the scent of burned microwave popcorn is far worse.

Especially the artificial-butter-flavor crap foisted on a gullible public by whatever evile conglomerate sells that crap.

It's funny, because buttered popcorn is one of my favorite scents. And in fact I absolutely love the scent of the popcorn at movie theaters even though I don't care actually to eat it, except in occasional miniscule quantities—say, a handful or two, and I'm done for a few more years—and even that stuff isn't real butter, but it sure smells good.

Things that amaze me

In no particular order.

  1. That my father who fancies himself a computer nerd hasn't found this blog. Or at least hasn't mentioned finding it—not his style, he can't hold his tongue—and hasn't commented on any posts.

  2. That I live south of the Arctic Circle but the water comes out of my faucets at roughly -230°F and further, that it takes so long for the hot water to filter its way through two floors of townhouse to my now-shivering hands.

  3. That one of my boxes of bathroom items from my recent move contained an open 4-pack of some sort of Schick high-tech disposable razor, and one of these razors looked used.

    And I've never bought nor used Schick razors.

  4. That I had a long list of such things to note here, and I've forgotten them all.

Friday Forum: LASTs

  1. Has there ever been a moment in your life that you wish could have LASTED forever? In other words, you would have frozen time at that very second in order to live that moment for eternity? When did it happen, and how did you feel?
    If I can stretch "moment" to mean "the summers of 1991-1993 inclusive," then yes. Those were joyous, wondrous times, and while I have the advantage of clear memories about each season, I'd also love to experience them again and forever.

    Limiting myself to a single moment, I'd have a lot of trouble picking just one. I've had too many to narrow it down easily.

  2. Have you ever finished in LAST place, whether during a race, a contest, a competition, an exam, or something else? How did it make you feel? When a situation like that occurs, do you usually maintain a positive attitude or feel like you have completely failed?
    When I was in high school, I occasionally blew off reading assignments (even though I was in the advanced and/or AP English classes) and then finished last or close to last on the exams. Didn't bother me much, I knew in advance it was probably going to happen and it's hard to fake your way through an exam about a classic novel you haven't read.

  3. Who's the LAST person you...
    • talked with on the phone? My sister Katharine.
    • Emailed: UPS's automated package-tracking service My mom.
    • Received email from: The lab's safety officer My mom.
    • Hugged: My friend Julie Anne when I took her to the airport over the weekend Jeanne, a former lab coworker who visited yesterday afternoon.
    • Went out to lunch with: Katharine.
    • Thought about: So many people.
    • Made something for: Hmm, no idea.
    • Made plans with: My friend John from SLC.
    • IMed: My friends Bug and Matt.

  4. When's the LAST time that you did something nice just for yourself? What was it?
    I got a massage on Jan 22nd.

    How do you usually treat/reward yourself?
    I usually just go to the pub for a pint or two when I'm in the mood to do something nice for myself.

    Do you take time out of each day to do something for yourself?
    I don't do such things regularly or with any schedule.

    Do you buy yourself a birthday gift or Christmas gift each year?
    I don't buy myself gifts. Or at least I don't call things "gifts" when I buy them for my own use.

  5. What do you think you'll be doing on the LAST day of this month (February 28)?
    Since Feb 28 is a Monday, I'll definitely be working. Probably also writing my March rent check. Otherwise, it'll be like any regular weekday, I'll do whatever seems natural.

    If you could choose a month and have it LAST forever (in other words, it would be July all the time from now on), which month would you choose and why?
    October. It's just at the start of cooler weather, which I prefer in general; and it's the autumn season, which is my favorite part of the year.

Yahoo! Groups: Friday Forum

iPod/iTunes meme

Since my iPod died over the weekend, I’m basing this on my entire music library instead of the roughly half of it that fit on the music player. I’ve also cleaned up the meme’s wording a bit because, well, I’m a grammar wonk.

About music sharing

Music I’m willing to share is linked directly from this page. No link, no sharing—don’t email asking for files.

How many songs?
10,080 songs, 47.58 GB, 31:19:51:27 total playing time

Sorted by song title, the first and last songs:
Ignoring the roughly 40 tracks called -Blank-, because they’re annoying 4-second silent tracks meant to space out a hidden song on a couple of CDs...

....To Die For—The Lion King—The Lion King
Zoot Suit Riot—Zoot Suit Riot—Cherry Poppin’ Daddies

Sorted by artist, the first and last songs:
It’s Gonna Be Me—No Strings Attached—’N Sync
Destiny—Simple Things—Zero 7

Sorted by album, the first and last songs:
Blackened—...And Justice for All—Metallica
Shake Your Lovemaker—Zoot Suit Riot—Cherry Poppin’ Daddies

Top 10 most-played songs:
Listed most-played first.

Hard Times—Eastmountainsouth—Eastmountainsouth
On Your Way—Eastmountainsouth—Eastmountainsouth
You Dance—Eastmountainsouth—Eastmountainsouth
Drunkard Logic—Johnson—The Fat Lady Sings
Between—Waking Hour—Vienna Teng
Snow—Eventide—Grey Eye Glances
Providence—Johnson—The Fat Lady Sings
The Tower—Waking Hour—Vienna Teng
Time—Afterglow—Sarah McLachlan
Anna Rose—Warm Strangers—Vienna Teng

Top 10 recently played songs:
Most recently played first.

You Dance—Eastmountainsouth—Eastmountainsouth
Sad Songs—Beneath These Fireworks—Matt Nathanson
Elegia—Adiemus 2: Cantata Mundi—Karl Jenkins
One Thing—Finger Eleven—Finger Eleven
Angel—Eventide—Grey Eye Glances
Between—Waking Hour—Vienna Teng
Penny & Me—Underneath—Hanson
Out of the Blue—Cobalt Blue—Paul Spaeth
Elysian Fields—Chasm—Chasm
Storms in Africa II—Watermark—Enya

Find “sex”; how many songs? 8

Find “death”; how many songs? 14

Find “love”; how many songs? 594

Find “peace”; how many songs? 23

Find “rain”; how many songs? 99

Find “sun”; how many songs? 188

Via verbatim, Playing With Myself, Guilt complexes, Symbolic Restraint

Monday-evening news whoring

A few random stories that caught my eye as I surveyed my regular news sources this afternoon.

Seattle’s own version of the movie Dead Ringers. E-freaking-gad.

Another big telecom merger, the third one in two months.

Clear your calendar on April 16. That’s the day Mary Kay Letourneau and her ex-student are getting married. Their two daughters will be flower girls.

The U.S. missile defense system failed another test, the second in only a few months, when an interceptor missile did not launch from its Pacific-island base. They’re investigating the cause of the failure.

Own a TiVo Series2 DVR? You may have noticed slowness or other odd behaviours in the menus and channel-changing after a recent software upgrade. Details at CNET

In travel news, a TSA screener missed a butcher knife in a passenger’s pocketbook and will now undergo “retraining.” The woman who had the knife said she put it there “just in case” before a blind date earlier in the week. (!)

Geekily cruel world

It strikes me as amusing, in a technology-whore “woe is me” sense, that the same day I (finally!) got a new desk, assembled said desk, and set up my desktop computer so I could synchronize my files and email accounts and music libraries between my desktop and laptop computers after 5 weeks, my iPod died.

Continue reading "Geekily cruel world" »

It's snowing in Bothell

A total of perhaps a thousand flakes, the large clumping variety that fall when it's too warm for the snow to accumulate, and it's all anyone can talk about this morning. Breathless conversations like:

Did you get to work okay in the snow?!

Obviously I did, because I'm standing here in front of you, unbloodied and without canes/crutches/obvious bandaging.

I love the Puget Sound area. :-)

Rainy Seattle Saturday

I spent the morning and early afternoon in the University District and in downtown Seattle with my friend Julie Anne, who was in town for a round of employment interviews, before she flew back to Salt Lake City this afternoon.

Julie Anne stayed at a Best Western hotel near Safeco Tower. All of the rooms had large wraparound windows and hers was on the northwest corner of the building, affording a view stretching from downtown Seattle to the Olympic Mountains in the west and all the way to Mount Baker in the north (on clear days, anyway).

So I whipped out the camera phone and snapped a couple of shots as Julie Anne gathered her last few belongings and worked at stuffing them into her suitcase and wheeled carry-on bag.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

Hotel parking lotThis is the hotel's parking lot, a pay-at-the-box lot directly north of the building. When I pulled in, I had to drive around the college track teams who were using the lot for sprints practice.

The street on the right side of the photo is Brooklyn Ave.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

Rainy weather viewThe view southwest over the Ship Canal Bridge toward downtown. Queen Anne is obscured by the clouds in the center of the shot.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

We drove down Roosevelt and on Eastlake through downtown Seattle, past the Seattle Center to Pike Place Market, where we parked and wandered around and drank coffee and had mini donuts. After a while we walked down to the waterfront and turned left at the Seattle Aquarium, walked down Alaskan Way toward the ferry terminal, stopping in some of the shops so Julie Anne could look for an art print she'd seen about 10 years ago. She found it in the last shop we'd planned to wander through, and we turned back toward the Market and the car.

No photos from this stretch because I was driving.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

Seattle waterfront skylineWhile we waited at the crosswalk in front of the Aquarium, I flipped open my phone and snapped one last photo, and then we were off to the car and lunch at Pyramid Alehouse before we had to get to the airport for Julie Anne's afternoon flight to SLC via SFO.

Friday randomness

For the last week or so, because I’ve been bad about scribbling things down as they happened.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

Two cats of less than 10 pounds each will, when experiencing first-class cases of The Rips, sound like an entire herd of enraged rhinos rushing up and down the stairs.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

Propionitrile is another term for propanenitrile. Most chemical compounds have several names, in fact. I’ve experienced this before but my time away from the lab had conveniently purged this nugget from my mind.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

A Starbucks Venti® white chocolate mocha stains industrial-grade berber carpet really well.Those same two cats will reliably manage to get themselves into stupid and possibly life-threatening situations immediately following their owner’s departure. Case in point: They managed to shut themselves into the front bedroom probably within an hour after I left for work Wed 02/09, so they were without food, water, and restroom facilities for over 12 hours.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

It’s rare for two people working in the same laboratory to refer to a single compound by the same name.

Employees of different laboratories will almost never refer to any compounds by the same name.

CAS numbers, which should be a reliable way of referring to any compound regardless of what it’s called, sometimes aren’t all that consistent among labs either. So much for standards.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

It only takes one feline-life-threatened incident to establish a habit of closing doors to unused bedrooms and/or using doorstops to wedge doors open when you aren’t home.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

When you’re stumbling over a chemical’s pronunciation for the first time, you feel like a dork. Especially when the first time you’re trying to pronounce it occurs before a group of chemistry-degree-holding scientists.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

Every client will require data delivered electronically according to improbably difficult-to-meet requirements which match no other clients’ needs nor any published specification for the many electronic-data-deliverable format standards.

Every client will further require this electronic data delivery according to absurdly improbable deadlines.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

A Starbucks Venti® white chocolate mocha stains industrial-grade berber carpet really well.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

It’s A Bad Idea to rush through the lab’s work areas wearing no personal protective equipment when lab workers are regularly walking around with sharp instruments and/or large containers of dangerous chemicals. No accidents or incidents—yet, anyway—but still A Bad Idea.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

Most Starbucks baristas learn to recognize their regulars on the 3rd visit. I’m about 40% there after a dozen or so visits at the location near my house; some of the baristas recognize me walking in the door, the drink’s already in the pipe and they have my total ready at the register. Others, utterly clueless.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

Costco’s a madhouse. But I now have enough chicken breasts, shampoo, cheese-stuffed tortellini, and toilet paper to last into August.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

For your general reference, the “Fogless” and “anti-fog” labels on shaving-mirror and other bathroom-related product boxes are utter bullshit.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

My black cat Flex has adapted to the light-beige carpet by generating staggering amounts of loose fur and depositing said hairs everywhere in small tufts that eerily resemble dead mice or other tiny furry creatures. Especially when you’re squinting at them without glasses in low light.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

If my mail of the last two weeks is any indication, the former resident of my townhouse didn’t put in a mail forwarding order. She also is on several fascinating mailing lists.

Some of the more noteworthy items:

  1. Four credit-card offers (two from non-U.S. banks, I’ve never seen any like those before)
  2. Four separate catalogs covering sporting goods, auto parts, leather goods, and lace undies. If they combined them into one, I’d take it for the chuckle factor alone
  3. The Blowfish catalog
  4. Two boxes that look like check orders, one from Bank of America and the other from Washington Mutual
:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

I hate Washington Mutual. Not from direct experience but by extension from the time I worked in the hospital gift shop in late 2004. The vast majority of their returned checks were from WaMu account holders, many of whom had held several bad accounts at that institution. Drove me nuts.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

“Fogless” and “anti-fog” labels on shaving-mirror and other shower-related product boxes: Utter bullshit.Look at 15 columns of small numbers, a total of nearly 700,000 data points, for 3 days straight.

Tell me how far your eyes bug out.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

When you wash five pairs of jeans at once, the whole house vibrates with the washing machine’s spin cycle. On Wednesday night, my wine glasses clinked merrily in their cabinet for nearly 10 minutes.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

The neighbors on either side of my townhouse have pre-apologized for any noise they might make, both of them citing the building’s thin walls. I’ve yet to hear any noise from either neighbor, and the folks to the north of me have a four-month-old baby who apparently cries all the time.

I wonder if they can hear the cats in full angry-rhinos-rushing-up-the-stairs mode.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

One of my bedroom closet doors (they’re the folding type) broke last week, and the apartment complex’s maintenance guy came by to check it out. He took the door with him to make a repair and told me he’d be back with it in three days, four days tops. It’s now 14 days later and I’ve yet to receive the door. I should probably call them about that.

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

Parking in my own garage rocks. I haven’t had to scrape my car’s windows in the morning for a couple of weeks now, and I’ve yet to get rain on my person when I leave my house for work. I figure one of these days I’ll probably misjudge the distances and rip one or both side mirrors off my car as punishment, but until that happens, I’m absolutely enthralled by the garage experience.

And all that storage space. It’s a two-car tandem garage; I have only one car. Now if only I had things to store!

:: • :: • :: • :: • ::

I stopped at my Starbucks on my way to work this morning, got my usual beverage and walked out to my car. Passed the passenger side of one of those Volkswagen SUVs with the weird name, thought nothing of it beyond mild curiosity since I’d never been that close to one. That’s when the two little mutts in the front seats both launched themselves to my side of the vehicle, barking insanely. They also set off the vehicle’s alarm, which put me into a brief Fight/Flight Dance response and nearly sent my Grande white chocolate mocha on a lovely arc into the parking lot.

The owner of the SUV, an older woman wearing one of those turbans you see nowadays mainly on women who’ve just stepped out of the shower but in days of yore you saw on the Holiday screen queens during their spa days, came sweeping out of Starbucks, her left hand waving her keyless-entry remote at the SUV to shut off the alarm. “I’m so sorry,” she intoned through clenched teeth, trying again to be sweeping. I think she really believed she was in some 1940s spa experience: She wore this long flowing robe that looked like a regular white terry-cloth bathrobe that had been modified a bit for presentability outside the home and her fingers just dripped jewelry, the obviously costume type, and her makeup had been applied by trowel.

I walked away as she made kissy-faces at the damned dogs to calm them down, leaving me shaking my head as I crossed the street to my car.

I imagine her drink takes 14 minutes to order, with the half-caf and twists and double-hot and all that insanity.

Friday Forum: Boredom and the "me time" life

  1. Do you become bored easily? What do you usually do to entertain yourself when you're bored, restless, lonely, etc.? When's the last time that you felt extremely bored or didn't know what you wanted to do? What did you end up doing?
    I don't get bored easily unless I'm in some sort of enforced inactivity, like if I'm sick and staying home from work.

    When I am bored, I fire up iTunes, my iPod, or the stereo; or I might try to catch up on a book or whatever. No specific plan, I do whatever seems engaging to me at the time.

  2. Imagine that you have a cozy, quiet, rainy day all to yourself at home. You *have* to spend the ENTIRE day at home, and you can do whatever you want. What would you choose to do, and why? (Or would you go stir crazy?)
    I've done this a few times, and it's usually any or all of the following: Chatting with family and friends online and/or by phone; reading now and then; catching up on TiVo recordings; watching a DVD or two from Netflix; cleaning or doing laundry or any other household things that need doing; shuffling through my music library in iTunes or on my iPod; playing with the cats.

  3. Do you enjoy having "me time," or do you prefer to hang out with others? Why? How often do you spend time by yourself? Would you typically rather have a quiet evening to yourself or a night out with friends/family? Do you often have the urge to just "go somewhere" for the sake of going somewhere?
    I absolutely love "me time." In fact, when I can't or don't have at least one day absolutely to myself each week, I feel cheated somehow. A lot depends on my mood and I don't plan it in advance usually, but I do sometimes just get in the car and drive around solely for the fun of it, sometimes with a destination in mind but often for the drive's sake alone.

  4. Have you ever gone to a movie theater by yourself? How about dining out by yourself? Have you ever traveled solo? What was it like? What activities, if any, do you enjoy doing *by yourself* as opposed to with others?
    I've seen many movies by myself, most recently The Day After Tomorrow when I was still in Glendale, AZ in May 2004.

    Most of the trips I've made in the last 10 years have been solo, primarily for work, but I don't travel solo much anymore. The times I was alone, even though I often met friends or family at my destinations, I had a great time traveling by myself and holding to no one's schedule but my own.

    I like going to coffee shops alone more than with others because I often want to fire up my laptop and check news or work on something but be in a public place, and not having a companion means I don't have to worry about keeping up a conversation or the like.

  5. Do you usually prefer to accomplish a project by yourself, or would you rather work in a group? Why? Do you ever have trouble delegating assignments to others, thinking that you'd rather do a task yourself and get it done the way you'd like?
    Depends on the project. If it's something new to me or I'll need others' help to get things done, I like a working group; otherwise, however, if I know I only have myself to rely on for completing a project, there's usually less stress.

    When I managed five help desks in 2000-2002, I sometimes had a lot of trouble delegating tasks that involved writing, because I have exacting standards for written communication and most of the people who worked for me didn't meet those expectations.

Yahoo! Groups: Friday Forum

iChat status messages

iChat, Apple’s instant-messaging client, lets you assign a custom status message for both away and available states. The custom available status messages aren’t directly visible to AIM users, unfortunately, because many iChat users manage to tell whole stories via their status messages alone.

Since I’ve really nothing better to offer tonight, here is the entire list of available status messages in iChat on my PowerBook since, oh, about December 27ish, in the order they were created:

And just because I’m listening to it, the lyrics to one of my favorite songs.

Lonely Stranger
Eric Clapton: Unplugged
(iTunes Music Store links)

I must be invisible
no one noticed me
I have crawled down dead-end streets
on my hands and knees

I was born with a raging thirst
a hunger to be free
what I’ve learned through the years
don’t encourage me

’cause I’m a lonely stranger here
well beyond my day
and I don’t know what’s going on
I’ll be on my way
yes I will [I’ll be on my way]
yes I will [I’ll be on my way]
yes I will [I’ll be on my way]

when I walk, stay behind
don’t get close to me
’cause it’s sure to end in tears
so just let me be

some will say that I’m no good
maybe I agree
take a look, then walk away
that’s all right with me

’cause I’m a lonely stranger here
well beyond my day
and I don’t know what’s going on
I’ll be on my way
yes I will [I’ll be on my way]
yes I will [I’ll be on my way]
yes I will [I’ll be on my way]
[I’ll be on my way]

  1. O.o
  2. aloof
  3. around
  4. børd
  5. laundry day
  6. massive indifference
  7. should be in bed
  8. snø!
  9. whatever
  10. colonel paniq!
  11. packing day arrives
  12. loading day is here!
  13. the joys of utility disconnection
  14. snø + laundry + imminent move = quiet day
  15. definitely should be sleeping
  16. cats smuggled into hotel room!
  17. busy setting up life in Mill Creek
  18. snø in Puget Sound = paralysis
  19. kawfee whore
  20. network pirate
  21. fireplace in empty apartment
  22. immersed in fire, iPod, network piracy
  23. cat torture with laser pointer
  24. mmm fishies
  25. waiting for movers
  26. 4 cats + 3 humans = doh
  27. schmaltz und bier
  28. house wine!
  29. too. damned. early.
  30. bak from train show
  31. should sleep soon
  32. Cingular can bite me
  33. new townhouse! :-)
  34. how I loves me rubber mallet
  35. finally home.
  36. tired man computing
  37. editing bad writing
  38. craving solitude
  39. enjoying the silence
  40. enjoying the silence by playing loud music
  41. waiting for deliveryperson
  42. caffeine factory shortly
  43. ah, the silence.
  44. pondering sustenance
  45. mmm chicken bits
  46. organizing
  47. too many status messages
  48. ::wandering upstairs::
  49. ex-parrot
  50. late-night laundry
  51. donut cushion for the injured one
  52. unwinding
  53. unwound
  54. slightly better organized
  55. DVD: Alien vs. Predator
  56. February thunderstorm
  57. let us pause in life’s pleasures
  58. FNORD
  59. laundry night

UPDATE 03/20/05 19:50: Added another 60 or so status messages since the original post:

  1. where the hell’s my MMS?
  2. inattentive, on the phone
  3. around, inattentive
  4. rain showers and silence
  5. restroom break, keep talking
  6. DVD: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
  7. setting up desk, finally
  8. massive file synchrony
  9. I think my iPod’s dead
  10. GB flying everywhere
  11. desktop computer insanity
  12. shortly to bed
  13. jell-o craving
  14. wound up
  15. web-site and MP3-ringtone geekery
  16. high-speed geekitude
  17. hip cracking
  18. stupid Command+L
  19. meatball designery
  20. quickly scribbled ponderings
  21. vivid memories, rapidly experienced
  22. absolutely detached
  24. geekitude pending
  25. OS update go boom
  26. 11 reboots later....
  27. domesticity?
  28. random laundering
  29. indubitably
  30. huh?
  31. streaming geek
  32. freshly shorn
  33. finally home
  34. urf
  35. TiVo catch-up night
  36. beautiful quiet Sunday
  37. DVD: The Bourne Supremacy
  38. DVD: Prisoner of Azkaban
  39. DVD: Best in Show
  40. SNORE
  41. DVD: I, Robot
  42. palmOne geekery
  43. wishing I was drunker
  44. Friday Night Whatever
  45. beautiful weekend
  46. random guttural noises
  47. harumph
  49. snork
  50. laptop in bed
  51. rain!
  52. CD-ripping and picture-hanging
  53. rippin’ and hangin’
  54. domestic insanity

By contrast, my away status list is much shorter, because I tend to sign off when away so IMs will forward to my cell phone:

  1. software updating, reboot shortly
  2. swapping laundry loads
  3. brief errand, bak shortly
  4. townhouse moving stuffs
  5. je mange

Normal weather

Woke up to rain this morning, a welcome change after nearly two weeks of dry and warm weather that had skiers and snowboarders utterly despairing of getting any more slope time this year. It also had the weather wonks' tongues wagging: Low snowpack! Is drought coming? Tune in at 11:00 for more!

I hate the TV newswonks' teasers.

Anyway. You give Puget Sounders several days of dry weather and then inflict rain on them, they absolutely forget how to drive in wet weather. I take back roads to work so I had no problem, but the highways were a bit congested here and there for no reason other than that, gosharoonie, there was water falling from the sky! and, gee whiz, it's been dry for a few days now!

I also forgot to shave, which distresses me a bit. Has nothing to do with the weather but for some reason merits a mention.

Friday Forum: Furniture

Did this one once back in October and spaced it until this week, even though I get an email reminder about it every week.


  1. Do you enjoy furniture shopping? Why/why not? Have you made any furniture purchases recently, or do you plan to in the near future? How often do you buy a new piece of furniture, and where do you usually shop?
    I like it if I have a specific goal in mind, like a coffee table (I need one of those) or a desk (probably need one of those too). I bought a dresser and bedside table in mid-January. Before that, I bought a bed in Glendale, AZ, in April 2004. I go wherever I'll find an item I like at a price I'm willing to pay.

  2. How would you describe the style of furniture in your home right now? Do you have matching sets, or is your style more "ecletic" or mix-and-match? What type of wood/finish do you typically prefer (oak, pine, natural, maple, mahogany, etc.)?
    My living room furniture is a matched set in the Mission style. Otherwise, I pick'n'choose. I like oak, maple, and cherry most.

  3. What was your bedroom furniture like when you were a child? Do you still use any of it in your home? What's the oldest piece of furniture that you own?
    I had a matched set of black-lacquered furniture with white (and later pine) knobs. I still have the dresser; it's in my garage, just replaced last month.

  4. Have you ever refinished a piece of furniture? Painted it? Sanded and stained it? Have you ever tried making a piece of furniture by hand?I haven't done any of those, but I am considering redoing the old dresser.

  5. If we looked right now, what would we most likely find on your living room coffee table? What about on the nightstand in your bedroom?
    Nothing on the coffee table, I don't have one yet. My nightstand has a lamp, two books, an alarm clock (not plugged in), and a laser pointer (cat toy).

Yahoo! Groups: Friday Forum

I have pictures!

Kat's linen closet
The Linen Closet from Hell.
Photographic proof of the insanity in my sister's bathroom, and the reasons why my toiletries ended up spread all over creation when I was staying there in mid-January.

UPDATE 18:03: Photos removed for resizing or perhaps not... when your sister knows where you live, better she knows about photos in advance! Argh ;-)

Kat's vanity
Clutter, thy name is "Katharine's vanity"
UPDATE 02/04/05 09:31: Photos back but sized a little smaller. Katharine said she was fine with the pix so long as I put up the "after" shots when she has the bathroom organized once more.

Always accommodating, that's me. :-)

Random thoughts on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon

Absolutely unordered:

  • You're in for a difficult ride when the application's executable is 21 MB and its PDF-based help file is 33 MB.

  • Note to the deli near the lab: Putting sliced olives on a sandwich does not make it "Italian."

  • Two days ago I couldn't find a pen to save my life. This morning I have 14 of them scattered across my desk.

    I've no idea where they came from—I didn't talk about my pen shortage to anyone. Must be some mentalizin' going on around these parts.

  • Dust bunnies are the least forgiving entities on earth.

  • It's Groundhog Day in the U.S. and we're in for 6 more weeks of winter, according to the newsies who breathlessly report every year on the tradition behind this day.

    It's 57 degrees in Bothell right now, sunny and pleasant. Supposed to cool into the mid-40s with rain over the weekend.

    If that's our "6 more weeks of winter," screw the damned groundhog.

I had a few more but my brain just dribbled out my right ear, so it must be time for my lunch break to end.

Get your frites on

Another article I found on Corey Allred and the Frites business in downtown Seattle, this one from Jul 23, 2004.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Ask the Critic: Get your frites on

Q: A while back I read about a new restaurant in Seattle that only serves french fries. They apparently specialize in sauces that went with these fries. We have been trying to find the name of this restaurant, but no luck. Can you help us on this one? I appreciate the help. Thanks.—J.F., somewhere in the ether

A: Belgian fries is more like it. The hot spot you're seeking is called Frites. You can find it on Capitol Hill, in an unnumbered shop on East 10th Street, just south of East Pike Street. (Officially, it's part of Neumo's, a nightclub/music venue at 925 E. Pike St.). Frites' stated hours are 12:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday, but as this is Capitol Hill, consider these to be "general" hours. There is no published phone number. The vegan-friendly, twice-fried medium-width frites here are sold in three generous paper-cone sizes: small ($2.50), medium ($4) and large ($5.50). Each order comes with one complimentary sauce. A warning, though: Choosing among the 15 mostly made-on-premises sauces can be tough. Make it easy on yourself and opt for the five-sauce sampler ($1), and, whatever you do, make sure one of them is poblano ranch.—Penelope Corcoran

Frites on Google Maps for easy reference.