Monday, April 30, 2007

Northgate construction

They're finally digging up the south parking lot. It's a year after the groundbreaking ceremony.

It doesn't sound like they scaled back the project any. Maybe they found more funding.

It still has senior housing, a park along the creek, a movie theater, and shops.

I had thought for sure that the project failed last year because nobody was going to the movies anymore (or at least not enough to justify building a new theater in Seattle). I mentally blamed it on NetFlix.

Personally, I don't know if I'll ever go to a movie at the new theater. We have NetFlix and I like it. Convenient. Except for the whole not-able-to-choose-and-watch-a-movie-on-the-same-day problem. That's kinda annoying.

There's also a commercial/residential block going in at the corner of 5th and Northgate Way. Half the site was sitting empty for years. The other half of the site had the liquor store, Subway, and some other stores. That building is just a pile of rubble today. It was a nice building, too.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Y'all know why Lake 22 is called such? Because it's in Section 22 of Range 8 East, Township 30 North, Willamette Meridian. Actually, just the outlet and most of Twentytwo Creek are in the section, but it's the thought that counts.

So here's what it looked like today:

And here's what Chunlin looked like, as we ate lunch on the snow-covered boardwalk:

One of the both of us:

And one of a log:

I have more photos posted on flickr, if you want to see them.

The hike itself is fairly easy. 1400' gain or somesuch. An hour up, 55 minutes down. We didn't pass anyone on our way up, but met lots of hikers on our way down.

All in all, a good start to the hiking season.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Go, Toyota, Go!

Toyota has surpassed General Motors as the largest car-maker in the world.

Toyota says it sold more than 2.3 million vehicles worldwide in the first three months of the year, about 900,000 more than General Motors.

General Motors and the other big American car companies have been forced to close factories and sack tens of thousands of workers in an attempt to stay competitive with their Japanese rival.

I drive a Toyota. Why don't you?

Fred Meyer Sells Death


I bought some there yesterday.

I am, of course, referring to Corry's Slug and Snail Death.

Ever since I was a kid, I've enjoyed that product name. Death in a box!

The formula was invented by an Englishman by the name of William Corry in the mid-19th Century. His son, Frederick Corry, started selling it in and around Victoria, British Columbia, in the early 1900s, making it with his children in his basement. During World War II, Frederick sold the formula to the Matson family of Seattle, who still produce it today.

On the package, it still says "Original English Formula." And now you know . . . the rest of the story.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lesson of Food

Just because it looks like congealed gravy, that doesn't mean it tastes like congealed gravy.

Try it. You'll like it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Real Kryptonite Isn't Green

Miners in Serbia discovered a mineral that, upon inspection by scientists, has almost the exact same composition as kryptonite, as described in the movie Superman Returns: a hydroxide of sodium lithium boron silicate.

The only problem: it isn't green and glowy. It's chalky white.

And they can't call it kryptonite, because it doesn't have any krypton in it. So they'll name it jadarite, after the region where it was found.

Can you imagine Superman cowering in fear from a pile of chalk dust? It doesn't quite have the same artistic oomph.

Apparently, the only difference is that the real rock doesn't have fluorine in it. Would adding fluorine make it green and glowy? And would it give humans weird superpowers?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Almost Vegetarian

Spam is the same as tofu, right?

For Chunlin

This song was running through my head this morning:

I've got sunshine on a cloudy day
When it's cold outside, I've got the month of May
Well, I guess you'd say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl (my girl, my girl)
Talkin' 'bout my girl (my girl)

I've got so much honey, the bees envy me
I've got a sweeter song than the birds in the trees
Well, I guess you'd say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl (my girl, my girl)
Talkin' 'bout my girl (my girl)

I don't need no money, fortune, or fame
I've got all the riches, baby, one man can claim
I guess you'd say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl (my girl, my girl)
Talkin' 'bout my girl (my girl)
"My Girl"
The Temptations

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Feb 11 afternoon


I just saw Santa Barbara go by. We might get to Seattle ahead of schedule, they say.

Why is the sun setting? It's not even six o'clock yet! ... Look! Snow! It's like it's still winter here, or something. How odd. ... Favorites: Natadola Beach, swimming therein; the view from our Queenstown hotel; Milford Sound tour, waterfalls and crashing waves and seals; Otago Peninsula, watching the albatrosses soar and dwarf the gulls; the beaches of Abel Tasman National Park; the hangi dinner in Rotorua; Kerosene Creek, alone with Chunlin; the caves at Waitomo, both with glowworms and without (I haven't tired of caves yet, apparently); sipping wine in Russell, watching the sunset across the water; and above all, being with Chunlin. ... Eleven boat rides, six airplane flights, six shuttle buses, four trains, two taxis, and one 4,543-km rental car drive.

Landing through a driving rain. Welcome to Seattle!

Feb 11 morning

I slept some, but not very well. My eyes are no longer sandpaper, so I guess I'm awake. ... Still way out in the ocean. I haven't left my seat yet. Better do those exercises! Oh wait. It's time for more paperwork, this time courtesy of the US government.

It's a good thing we have an extra couple hours, because we're eating them up at the baggage carousel. We're the lucky folks who get to watch other people's luggage go round and round while they wait in the visitors' line. Except that line is empty now. So why do we have 100 people and 100 bags that don't match up? Someone stole them! ... Unhelpful staff to not guide you through the unusual lines to stand in. They expect you to know to take your bag back after you check it in at the counter. I guess that conveyor belt behind them is just decoration. Everybody takes their checked luggage to an unmarked line down a side walkway to be handed over to an xray inspection team. And then they cart it past everyone to the bowels of the airport.

It took us just over two hours to get to our gate. If we were on the Air Pacific flight, we'd've just walked onto our plane. As it is, we have a three-hour wait. Blech. ... We keep changing seats in the waiting area. Chunlin wants a window view. I'm too tired to care.

Dad called Chunlin's phone while we were waiting for our nachos. I didn't really have much to say. May be the USA, but I'm not home yet.

San Jacinto Day!

Go Texas! You're the best! Beat those Mexicans! Yay!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Clean Air Alert!

Wait a minute. That doesn't make any sense. A "clean" air alert? I guess it can only mean that today is the Holy Day of Rakazhazhíní!

And so it is.


All praise Rakazhazhíní, the Hidden One, the Mother of the Sky, the great and marvelous and entirely serene Goddess of Clean and Eminently Breatheable Air!

Breathe deep Her glorious air. It sure tastes good. Yum yum.

Rakazhazhíní's parents are brother and sister. Two of Rakazhazhíní's children were fathered by Her own brother. But when those two children, daughter Rana and son Rékaré, began to fool around with each other, Rakazhazhíní stepped in to stop them.

You see, times had changed. What was once permissible was now no longer so. Incest had become taboo. After all, just look at what the product of divine incest had produced: the insanely slutty Rana and the violent and equally insane Rékaré.

Did Rakazhazhíní succeed in keeping Her children separated? No one knows for sure. Rana had intimate relations with so many gods and men that nobody could prove Her children's parentage.

And Rana sure did have a lot of children, the insane and incestuous Nuvíní among them. So if I were a wagering man, I'd say dear ol' Mum failed. Some things are just genetic.

But Rakazhazhíní truly is a great goddess, don't you forget! Without Her, the sky would fall down and crush us. That would hurt.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Feb 10

Dinner was served. Fairly decent lamb. And wine. 187-mL bottles. An a mini Moro bar. Like a Milky Way. Caramel. We crossed the date line as I listend to Led Zeppelin. They have a cd selection option. Led Zeppelin's greatest hits and I fast-forwarded through all by "Immigrant Song" (appropriate, no?), "Stairway to Heaven," and "Rock and Roll." No "Kashmir." Bummer, dude. It's Saturday again! Party on. ... I should go to sleep. ... Ice cream! It almost makes up for missing Fiji.

Feb 11 evening

We had to drop off our car well outside the airport in a light industrial area. ... Air Pacific's flight is delayed three hours. LA-bound passengers were rerouted to a Qantas direct flight. We'll arrive at 10:30 or so -- five hours ahead of schedule, which is good because we're in row 64. Window seats together, though. $25 departure fee paid on top of the tickets (unlike most countries inclusive) really gives you that warm feeling that you're welcome. Such hospitality. But every country does it, one way or another. Silly. Through customs (to leave the country?!) and security and another maze of duty-free shops -- wait for your gate number! -- and a second security, with tougher restrictions (liquids in a separate bag -- but only under 3 oz -- magnetic wand everybody, check my belt & moneybelt (open it up!)) and finally to our gate.

I'm hot, tired, smelly, and my feet are sore. And hungry now, too. Can't wait for a twelve-hour flight. Yippee.

Takeoff and fly away from the sun.

It's after midnight in LA. I already feel on PST. We're not to the date line yet. ... Switched over to Babel on Chunlin's suggestion, but lost interest out of tiredness. Should I go to sleep and miss the meal? I've eaten enough, but I hate to miss food I paid for.

Feb 11 morning

Last day in NZ. Good ol' Kiwiland. Breakfast on a bench by the waterfront, toying with the seagulls. Then on our eleventh boat ride and around the bay to Waitangi again. Saw the film we missed yesterday, but the real reason was to buy gifts at the shop. ... At the town of Orewa for lunch. Perhaps a visit to the beach is in order as well. We have a bit of time to kill. ... Chutney makes for a messy burger. Tasty, but messy.

Nice beach. Windy. Lots of parasurfers.