Tag Archives: seattle

Seattle Central Library Photostroll

image Today the Seattle area was greeted with good weather.  Of course, the local Flickr meetup group had pre-planned a photostroll that, of course, was inside. :) We wandered about the downtown Seattle library for approximately 2 hours, taking pictures of the awesome architecture and colors of the building.  My photos are here.

Also, got the first bike ride of the season under the belt today.  One week until Tour de Lopez!

Lunar Eclipse

Ok, so I’m a day or two late, but everyone else is posting pictures they took of the eclipse, so here’s mine:

image

Taken with a Nikon D70 and 70-300mm lens, ISO400 for 4 seconds at f/5.6 from the 28th floor of Lincoln Square in Bellevue.

Also while up there, I got a panoramic of the Seattle Skyline as seen from Bellevue (click for larger version):

Seattle Skyline

Handy coffee reference manual

image Stumbled across this post from someone that’s created diagrams of different types of coffee.  Very handy, especially for those of us living in the pacific northwest, where there’s a Starbucks (or a Tully’s, or a Seattle’s Best Coffee [which is, in all actuality, a Starbucks], or a random coffee hut) on many street corners.

It’s a great way to demonstrate visually what actually goes into a coffee.  I think Edward Tufte would be impressed.  My favorite drink? A grande white chocolate mocha.  The downside?  According to Starbucks’ nutritional value page, it stocks a whopping 470 calories in just one 16 ounce serving.

As a side note, I’m continually amazed at the length of some people’s coffee orders up here.  I often wonder what the longest possible coffee order is, as measured by syllables.  I’d guess something on the order of a Doppio 2% Extra-Hot Espresso Macchiato.  Phew, that’s 15 syllables, but only 15 calories.

Mt. Rainier – Mount Fremont Lookout

Hiked On: July 28, 2007′
Weather Conditions: Approximately 65°F-75°F, mostly sunny skies
Elevation: 6400-7181′
Distance from Seattle: Just over 90 miles
Pictures: [Here](http://www.marius.org/gallery/v/living/seattle/hikes/rainier/fremont/)
National Park Service: Mt. Rainier National Park

Well, after a long hiatus from hiking in general, and Mt. Rainier specifically, Diann and I made the 2 hour drive to Sunrise for a hike. We hadn’t been to Rainier in a long time because of the devastation that was caused there during [November 2006](http://www.nps.gov/mora/parknews/november-2006-flooding.htm).

Saturday we had beautiful weather, so we headed up to the Sunrise visitor center and struck out. Last year, we hit the [Dege Peak](http://www.marius.org/2005/08/08/mt_rainier_-_de.php) hike, which heads to the right from Sunrise – this year, we did Mount Fremont, which heads … Left.

Great hike, a little over a mile to Frozen Lake, which is the domestic drinking water supply for the Sunrise visitor center. A right turn from there brought us up another 500′ of elevation and 1.3 miles of trail up to the Mount Fremont lookout. Amazing talus slopes, great views to the north, and not many people on the trail. The lookout itself was heavily damaged in a recent windstorm, and there’s two NPS fellows up there rebuilding it. They camp out there at night, and build during the day. We did see a few extension cords, so presumably there’s some power available up there — or they had a generator. Either way, talk about a workshop with a view.

On the way back down, we debated heading up to the Burroughs Ridge trail, but our rumbling stomaches made us go back to the car and our sandwiches. Note to selves: bring sandwiches with us next time.

Total distance hiked: 5.8 miles (3 hours, 20 minutes), total elevation gain: 800', total accumulated elevation: unknown (altimeter watch battery dead).

What’s on your Sidebar?

Those of you running Windows Vista – what’s on your Sidebar? What gadgets can’t you live without?
(Blatant steal: I got this idea from Sean Alexander’s blog post: [Top 10 Sidebar Gadgets](http://www.seanalexander.com/2007/05/21/Top10SidebarGadgets.aspx).)

On my work computer:

* [Traffic by Live Search](http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=d5ad423c-05bd-4de4-8803-b05ecc339397&bt=1&pl=1) showing horrible Seattle traffic
* [MSN Gas Prices](http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=edc14bc5-72f5-4e0d-b761-5a765408f67b&bt=1&pl=1)
* [Live Search](http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=9107a4f7-531d-4b22-81fa-c310cbb19072&bt=1&pl=1)
* Stock Ticker (default)
* Today Is (default)
* [Outlook Tasks](http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=ef27c368-814f-49d5-8167-603dfec628cd&bt=1&pl=1)
* [Package Tracking](http://gallery.live.com/liveItemDetail.aspx?li=dea59ce1-e61b-42d6-a8a0-a901724c87f7&l=1)

In the presence of greatness

About a year ago, [Stephen Hawking](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_hawking) was supposed to come to Seattle, and I got tickets. I was excited; not many times do you have a chance to be in the presence of such awesome knowledge.

Unfortunately, he fell ill and wasn’t able to make the lecture. I fought TicketMaster to get my ticket refunded, which they eventually did.

Tonight, Hawking came back to Seattle, and I snatched up my ticket about three months ago. Dan & I showed up at McCaw Hall at about 7:15pm for the 7:30pm lecture. The setup was amazing; the host introduced Dr. Hawking, and talked a little bit about his communications methods (via a “blink switch”):

> The computer system attached to his wheelchair is operated by Hawking via an infra-red ‘blink switch’ clipped onto his glasses. By scrunching his right cheek up, he is able to talk, compose speeches, research papers, browse the World Wide Web, and write e-mails. The system also uses radio transmission to provide control over doors in his home and office.

Now, this posed an interesting problem. Apparently, camera flashes in the crowd were interfering with the blink switch! Dr. Hawking’s assistant asked the crowd to not use camera flashes, and I’ve never seen a place get so dark, so quick. It was amazing — most crowds would still have one pop up here and there, but not this crowd.

Overall, the talk was great — I didn’t understand quite a bit of it, but what I was most amazed by is Dr. Hawking’s sense of humor. This is a guy who has been through a lot, and he’s still cracking jokes every few minutes. He introduced an equation for entropy in black holes, commented that it’s a simple equation (it was) with all three fundamental physics constants (c, G, and h-bar). His next comment: “I want that on my tombstone.” He also commented that when he introduced concepts of time having a beginning and an end (alluding to the Big Bang), he said that “the church seems to have taken note of that.” He referenced the “old-school general relativity theorists” and said that they “just plug numbers into equations and hope it works.” When talking about solving the [black hole paradox](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole_paradox), he said it’s an amazing feeling to realize that you’ve come up with an equation that no one else knows, and no one else has ever known. He said he can’t compare it to sex, but “that the feeling does last longer.” Classic!

He was amazing to listen to, and “spoke” for two solid hours. Go see him if you get a chance!

Baseball Season: Opening Day

While I was out grabbing lunch yesterday, I realized that it’s MLB opening day — tons of people around wearing their Seattle Mariners shirts. We were eating at [Gandolfo's Deli](http://www.gandolfosdeli.com/), a New York style deli, and they’re very proud of New York. They hadn’t realized it was opening day — the special of the day was the Three Borough Bridge. A guy walked in with a Mariners shirt, and the cashier pointed it out and commented that it was opening day. The guy behind the counter immediately yanked down the daily special sign, scribbled it out, and put up the new daily special: the New York Yankee sandwich.

Anti-Aircraft Peak

(catching up on hikes…)

Hiked On: May 20, 2006
Weather Conditions: Approximately 65°F, overcast
Elevation: 2200-2430’
Distance from Seattle: Just over 45 miles
Pictures: None
King County Park System: Cougar Mountain Regional Wildlife Park

This hike was fairly straightforward and easy, yet the temperature and the recent rainfall (coupled with the fact that we were walking near a marsh!) made for a very humid hiking day.

In terms of awe-inspiring scenery, there really wasn't that much to our hike. We started off at Radar Park, and hiked up the Anti-Aircraft Ridge and up to the Clay Pit Road. We ran into a few fellow hikers with kids of varying ages on the trail, and were amazed by the population of snails and slugs we encountered on different pieces of the trail. Also of interest were the many different types of ferns and fungi we ran into – we should pick up a book to start identifying these things.

Total distance hiked: ~3 miles.