Double Cousins Week – June 2012

Just a few hours after my flight home from Oakland landed, LeAnna and Frankie arrived from Portland to spend the weekend with us. We had a great time with them, exploring downtown looking for dessert shops open after 8pm (there were more than I expected) and showing them some of our Seattle favorites. They also experienced what my friend Holly coined “the unshaven armpit of Seattle”, the Fremont Solstice Festival, including the crazily creative Solstice Parade, “art car” car show and all that comes along with spending a day in Fremont. The highlight of Solstice, as always, was Erica’s extravagantly-hosted pre-parade party, complete with genius orange-rind jello shots.

They scheduled their trip around a Mariners/Giants game that turned out to be a surprise overtake for the Mariners and a perfect night to be at a ball game. It wasn’t great news for all the Giants fans in the stadium – and there were a lot, including our guests – but it was nice to see Seattle’s fairweather fans make some noise for a change.

The “double” to the week was because I spent Wednesday night with MaryAnn, Mark and their daughter Claire. They are generous hosts who share a great homemade meal when I can schedule a night away from work during one of my weeks in Oakland. It’s been really fun getting to know them again as adults as we share a lot of interests in common and can easily spend the night talking about technology, architecture and urban design.

It’s great spending time with my cousins – they are awesome people and we have a lot more in common than just a last name. 🙂

A gallery of shots from the weekend is below:

Gallery is here – slideshow button is at the top-right corner.

MLB All-Star voting is open

If you haven’t already, it’s that time of year to vote for the MLB All-Star players for 2004. Sure, you can go to 25 games in the next month and punch out the holes in those little tickets, being careful not to leave any hanging chads, or… you can vote online 25 times in a row and be done with it. I still find it thoroughly weird that each person has – and is encouraged to use – 25 votes. It doesn’t give you any more of a voice, as everyone has the same advantage. And I would think it makes that much larger of a vote tally to deal with – 25 times larger than it would have to be. I dunno, i guess it makes people feel involved if they have to spend 20 minutes voting, instead of 20 seconds.

Regardless of the questionable statistical merit, i voted my 25 times, for all the Mariners players listed, and for Mike Cameron (he’ll always be a Mariner to me 😉

Seafair marvels

Had a great nite on the boat with Dawn and Kim, and we hit up happy hour at the Whale Maker for a great deal on seafood and drinks! Authentic and tasty!

Check out Brad Brace’s 12-hour project, he’s been posting a black and white photo (usually a city scene) every 12 hours since december 1994! That’s dedication…

Had a great time watching the Mariners thrash Detroit wednesday nite with my favorite paper monkey, Julia. Her company seats are awesome and we had a ton of fun – thanx for inviting me, J!

Lindsay and Adam are starting to build their website (mercifully, the long-since-exhausted ‘coming march 2002’ banner has finally come down). So in addition to amusing pictures of their cats, you can now enjoy Lindsay’s blog ramblings and links to things they deem worthy (i predict it will be heavy on cat toys manufacturers and TiVo hacking forums).

The Blue Angels have been scaring the royal rastafarian nay-nays off of the populace all day. A couple of the low runs over west seattle shook the house like a quake, rattling the windows and creaking the floors. In their path they left barking dogs, crying babies, wailing car alarms, and a wide swath of white painting the blue sky. Well, kinda blue sky, not so blue around the edges as it’s been several weeks since any rain and the 5-year-record-high temps (low 90s) aren’t helping anyone conserve energy. Hopefully the haze won’t conceal the air show all weekend…

I for one (and i don’t think i’m alone in this) totally love this part of SeaFair, and practically get the giggles every time a dark blue fighter jet roars over my house, or banks past the downtown highrises. My big thrill is the juxtaposition of such disparate things, seeing (and feeling!) military jets circling the city or watching the huge warships dock downtown – sometime tomorrow the navy fleet is supposed to arrive and fill up harbor island with massive gray armaments. Then all day saturday we’ll be partying on the lake, watching the hydro races and throwing water balloons at passing pleasure yachts. It’s gonna be a great weekend! SeaFair rocks! 😀

Birthdays and Baseball

Happy Birthday Christian! Since you’re phone’s broken and i can’t call you, this is your web-based birthday wish. And you probably won’t get my email today, because you’re on the beach or out clubbing in Munich or driving somewhere in a german car. I really wanted to send you a pint, but Ben & Jerry’s doesn’t ship there (i checked). Sorry! Guess you’ll just have to find something interesting to do in europe that doesn’t involve ice cream from new hampshire… 😉

Been a great week to be a Mariners fan – Steph and i watched the M’s beat up anaheim last nite 1-0, and Josh and i were there monday night to see the M’s to a 4-2 victory. Despite some obnoxious fans, both nights were a blast. Watched Mike Cameron knock out a few home runs, Olerud’s monday homer was also his 2000th hit, Freddie pitched 8 no-hit innings wednesday, and of course Ichiro’s polished skill is never a disappointment. I really need to figure out the whole bus thing, tho, cause parking down there really is evil, especially at sold-out games. I’m plotting a social day at Safeco field – invite a bunch of friends to a game, buy a block of tickets on a front rail, make some large, neon-colored signs featuring bad puns on the players’ names – so be watching for that evite. 😉

Cash bribes are totally acceptable

So, did anyone pay attention yesterday to see whether the groundhog saw his shadow, or whatever? I’m totally clueless, but looking out the window i’m thinking 6 more weeks of winter is pretty likely. The one thing i did hear about, current-events-wise, is the loss of the shuttle Columbia on re-entry early saturday morning. A terrible loss for our country and for the families of the astronauts aboard. I know they assume those kinds of risks when taking the job, and it’s only the second shuttle losts in 204 shuttle missions to date, and it’s the first American craft ever lost during re-entry, but statistics don’t make the shock any easier to digest. I just hope this doesn’t discourage our country from continuing our efforts in space exploration, or provide the politicians with an excuse to screw up the program. Cause we know the reason NASA is working is because the politicians have pretty much left it alone… Unlike the conflict in Iraq, which is a whole other story…

Felt like a really short weekend, as i spent the better part of saturday in Ian’s basement garage. I changed my oil myself (sweet) with his help, and helped Patrick troubleshoot his sub. Then Ian and i dove into his suspension system, swapping out his Sprint springs for some stiffer (and a little taller) B&Gs. The Sprints were just riding too low, and combined with the supercharger his front axles were taking too much stress and warping pretty regularly. Also, he was getting tired of making everyone get out of the car just to clear the parking garage ramp. 😉 It’s still lowered quite a bit, the new springs look good – it looks a lot more sleek than my off-road-edition Maxima. The shocks are a bit bouncy after being compressed so far on the old springs, but after 12 hours in the garage before we had it all back together, i think it will be awhile before we even consider replacing any more suspension parts. The garage has no windows, and i usually don’t wear a watch or anything when i’m working on a car (obviously – there’s a reason why Grampa is missing a finger, i’m not looking to make that a family tradition. 😉 So by the time we finished up and were ready for a test drive, it was almost midnight, and i’d been in that garage since before noon. We had no idea that much time had passed, and i basically went home when we were done and crawled thru the shower into bed. I’m still sore today. 😮 But as Mr. Silver Lining, i’d have to point out that i learned a ton about the suspension system and feel more comfortable tearing into my car. And i discovered a few more tools i need to buy… which may not be totally a good thing. 🙂

My tax return came thru friday afternoon (yeeesss!) so i’m good to go $-wise for awhile, i have a nice buffer in my account so i can be less scared of paying bills. I blew a bit of it on a new alarm clock that actually works (finally) and a couple sets of Mariners tickets, for my birthday weekend and for the last series of the regular season, as tickets went on sale saturday and i wanted to get those two sets before they sold out. I hope to hit quite a few games this season, but i’ll just be doing the $6-get-in-the-door tickets whenever i can. I bought two for the 26th of april, so whoever’s my best friend between now and then gets to join me for the birthday game. 😉 And the bidding starts…. now

Root, root, root for the home team.

Mariners won last night, in a dramatic comeback – as is their signature style. Down 1-2 until the bottom of the 8th, then Mike Cameron hit a homer and brought in Boone off second, putting the M’s up by one. Then Sasaki held off oakland in the 9th and kept the win for Seattle. It was a great last couple innings, and Patrick, Wes, Matt and i had a great time! It’s always fun when your team wins… and now they’re still in the running!

Another day, another interview – maybe this is the one?

C a r e e r   u p d a t e:
Just had a phone interview with Elray from Microsoft. Keep your fingers crossed for me…

Since my birthday is this week, and Robin’s was last week, and since the Mariners are playing a team they’re likely to beat – Anaheim, Robin and i are going to the game tonight for our birthdays. Nobody else wanted to go, plus we accidentally bought the tickets while we were price shopping last week (oops!). I’m bringing the camera this time, so hopefully i’ll have some nice pix to share of the view from the cheap seats. And i do have other pix to upload from some recent stuff (including the winery in the last post) but i just haven’t had a chance yet. Since i’ve got tomorrow off work, though, maybe i can get that done (my recompense for having to work saturday). No guarantees, tho – i plan to sleep in for at least half the day, and wash my car the other half. But i’ll see what i can do for ya…

Feeling Major League

Friday is here, another week gone by. I wanted to have something eloquent to say, or at least some upbeat news to come back to you with, but i’m a little shy this week, as they say. It is officially spring now – the trees are in full bloom, not just budding, and it was in the 60’s and beautifully sunny this week. Course, the weekend is fast becoming dreary – so typical. I attended my first Mariner’s game tuesday night – thanx Shane! – it was totally awesome, a really great time. I’m definitely hooked now, will be going much more. I’ll try and bring the camera next time, give you all some pics of the experience for those who live in major-league-baseball-deprived areas (ie: Montana). Other than that, it’s been a typical week at work (bleagh!) and i haven’t heard back from anyone yet begging me to come work for their IT department for millions and millions of dollars. But i still harbor hope.