Sunday, February 28, 2010

You No Longer Need To Travel 5000 Miles To See Absolutely Nothing Happen. The Internet Proves Miraculous Once Again.

That's my friend Jeri, the one who hosted UCF-a-palooza when I went to Seattle a couple of weeks ago.  She's the one on the right.  I snarfed this pic off Jeri's Facebook page and I have no idea who the one on the left is, but I'm sure she'll thank me for making her hugely famous here on Polybloggimous.

 Anyway, Jeri was traveling to Hawaii yesterday and she kept updating her FaceBook status with reports of how she wasn't actually going anywhere because the GIANT TSUNAMI was on its way to Hawaii and Hawaii was closed, so she was just sitting at the airport for the duration. (She eventually got there, as the photo attests.)

The real point, however, is that I started Googling about the Tsunami and realized that a.) it was supposed to hit at a little after 4:00pm my time and b.) there was live streaming video from one of the news stations there.

Of course, I became enraptured. They had lots of people talking about Tsunamis.  Many of them contradicted each other.  There were shots of police shutting down highways.  They interviewed people and went live to shots of reporters who were, presumably, nowhere near where the Tsunami was supposed to hit.

There were lots of shots of this lovely, tranquil looking bay.  For the duration of the reporting, the bay continued to look relentlessly lovely and tranquil.

At one point, there was a discussion of how wave height is measured (from the tip of the wave to the bottom of the trough), and the anchor man helpfully demonstrated by wiggling a sheet of paper for a minute or two.  He also took three or four phone calls that were supposed to be citizen eyewitness reports, but turned out to be people who just like to swear at unsuspecting news anchors live on the air.  Mr. News Anchor was listening to them so intently that he asked them to repeat themselves and they cheerfully did so.  At 11:04, I waited breathlessly with all of Hawaii for the Tsunami to roar ashore.

The bay implacably continued its ceaseless tranquility.  The news anchor went to a phone interview with a Tsunami expert, asking polite questions when clearly, he wanted to ask, "Is THAT all that's gonna happen"?  Then the Tsunami expert explained that this stuff isn't an exact science and that 11:05 was just a prediction so really it could happen any time up to an hour before or an hour after the 11:05 prediction.  News Anchor-guy sounded pissed.  He didn't actually say it, but I could clearly hear him thinking, "Now you tell us!"

So anyway we all went back to waiting for THE BIG ONE and sure enough, about 20 minutes later a cameraman found a rock in another bay and sure enough, over the course of about 15 minutes, that rock went from sticking up about 3 feet out of the water to being ALMOST COMPLETELY COVERED BY WATER!  (I couldn't find a picture of that, but it was exciting, let me tell you.)

I was able to find this picture of the storm damage.

Ain't the internet wonderful?  I can also report that there's nothing in particular happening on the Iowa 5 Bypass at Fleur Drive.  That' in Des Moines!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I Blame It On Commuting Polar Bears

I know some of you may think this is a piddling amount of snow, but this latest storm has brought Central Park's total for February up to 36.9" of snow...the most snow measured there since 1869.  Yesterday's storm (20 plus inches) was also the fourth most snow in a single storm since they've been measuring that sort of thing.

I'm pretty sure we got a bit more than that in Brooklyn, but then again, I'm competitive and I'm not above lying.  Anyway, it was pretty.






Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Thought I'd Be Wealthy(er) By Now!

You may recall that on Saturday, I politely requested, lied about maladies, pleaded tragedy, shamelessly attempted to goad you into sending me money in return for which I would refrain from doing a whole lot of stuff you (shouldn't) want me to do.

I even put up a picture of a sad looking puppy FerChrisSakes!

 Your response, to date, has been (ahem), underwhelming.  What more do you people want?

(This is a baby who is very upset about being born.  She wants to be back where it was safe and warm.  In a few years, she may want you to give her money. You will send her polite notes informing her that you no longer have money to give her because you sent it to Nathan. This will be a valuable life lesson for her.  A life lesson for which I will be extremely proud of the small part I will have played.)

If you look over to the right, you'll see that FundRaisingThermometerThingy Widget that shows just how underwhelming your response has been so far.  At the top, we have a goal of $1,000,000.00.  At the bottom, we have $5.99 raised so far.  Above the FundRaisingThermometerThingy Widget, there's a helpful PayPal link.  I know it works.  Two of you have sent me cash!

I'm slightly torn over how to remedy this situation.  My immediate reaction was that I'd threaten to do one of the worst possible things on the list of stuff you shouldn't want me to do...possibly announce my candidacy for some office?  It'd be just like that Simpsons Episode where Mr. Burns blocks out the sun and makes everyone pay for Nookyuler Power...or maybe one of those Batman Episodes where The Penguin shoots green gas out of his umbrella and then Batman and Robin cough and pass out and wake up tied up so tight that a newborn baby (not even the one above) could escape those treacherous bonds (probably), and then Catwoman shows up and she's EVIL but she's all kissin' on Batman and...but I degress.  Anyway, I decided that threats were beneath me (for the moment) and anyway there aren't really any elections coming up immediately and I'm not even sure where you have to go to register for that kind of thing and wherever it is you have to go, it probably means having to go out in the rain and snow, so I decided, Nah, I'll hold off on threats for the moment.

So, I'm thinking that maybe y'all just don't have a lot of disposable income to dispose of on me at the moment -- hey, I'm nothing if not an understanding guy -- and that maybe I'd give y'all a chance to make more of an "in kind" donation to the cause -- a bit of sweat equity, if you will. (And you will, won't you?)

So here's what I've got in mind.  I think you, my loyal tens of readers, should fan out into the world and get other people to dispose of their income on me.  There are a number of ways you can do this and I'll suggest just a few.

1. You could make repeated calls to your local radio and TV stations and get them to spread the word to their listeners and viewers to dispose of their money on me.  Make sure you ENUNCIATE when passing on the URL - Aych-Tee-Tee-Pee-Colon-Slash-Slash-DoubleYew-DoubleYew-DoubleYew-Dot-Pee-Oh-El-Wye-Bee-El-Oh-Gee-Gee-Eye-Em-Oh-Yew-Ess-Dot-com. (or you can just pronounce it but make sure you say, "there's two G's".)

2. You could enlist a local Girl Scout Troupe to spread the word while selling cookies door to door.  Maybe give them a little slip of paper with my URL on it to hand out with every box.

3. Go to your town square and tie this color ribbon around all of the trees.  When the cops come to ask you WTF you think you're doing, give them a Girl Scout who is selling cookies and has a box of them handy with that little informative slip of paper.  If no police arrive while you're tying the ribbons and you need to go somewhere else, just use the ribbon to tie the Girl Scout to one of the trees and let her explain it when the cops get around to showing up.

4. Create an interpretive dance to promote the cause, videotape it and post it all over the internet.  Note: The quality of the dance is unimportant, but -- and I cannot stress this enough -- 1.) Make sure my URL - - is clearly visible at all times on screen and 2.) No offense, but maybe instead of performing the dance yourself, you should get that Obama Girl to star in the video.  She got lots of attention.

5.  Consider visiting the computer lab at a school or college near you and then, helpfully type in my URL - - on each computer while extolling the benefits of disposing of income on me. This can be an especially effective strategy since school kids are mostly under the impression that all money "comes from Daddy" and also, that most school kids could lose a debate with a soap dish.  And school kids love causes as long as you call it "Eco-Friendly" or other crap like that. (Since I will not be placing any money in landfills, this will be technically true. If I use any of the money for, oh...say, a plane trip somewhere, I think the case could be made that the plane would be going there anyway, so instead of increasing my carbon footprint, I'll actually be lessening the carbon footprint of each and every other person who planned to be on that flight.  I smell WIN for everyone.)

These are just a few ideas I've got for ways you can make my funds drive the rousing success I know you all want it to be.  Feel free to think up some other stuff on your own.  I can't be expected to do all the heavy lifting here, can I?

And don't forget...I can always go back to threatening world domination.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why Am I Always The Last To Know?

I'm mean really!  Did you guys know about this?

From their front page:

Ten Word Wiki is an Encyclopedia for the ADD generation.
We describe everything in ten words exactly.

I love this.  I mean real Wiki sometimes makes you read pages and pages and pages of crap and it's not all that much more reliable, is it?  Hell no!

Not sure how you feel about it yet?  Here are some samples of them describing stuff:

-Ignorance: I don't know about it, but never mind! That's ok.
-Joseph Geobbels: small, rattish nazi. likes: committing suicide at ends of world wars.
-Nationality:  Measure of identity based upon coincidental location of one's birth.
-Frankenstein:  7ft bloke made up of dead people, like a doorman. 
-War of the Worlds:  Book, Radio show, Musical and Film ruined by Spielberg/Cruise. 
-SpiderPig:  Like Spider-Man, only with pigs instead of spiders. Or not.

I'm making this my first choice of reference material from now on.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's My Birthday And I Don't Have To Come Up With Anything... here.  Two things I like.  Ferris Bueller and The Beatles.

Monday, February 22, 2010

No Show Tunes In Class?...Check! No Pissing On The Desks?...Check!

The short version is that a student at NYU Stern School Of Business took umbrage when he walked into a lecture one hour late and was promptly asked to leave.  He decided to confront the Professor, Scott Galloway, by email.  Said Professor decided a response was in order. 

The student's identity hasn't been revealed, but it shouldn't be too hard to pick out the guy on campus wearing a paper bag over his head.

Read the full correspondence here. Really.  You want to read this.

I can't decide whether Professor Galloway is my new hero or if glad he wasn't teaching when and where I was a clueless student.

Soooo Much Stuff To Blather About

First, allow me to start with a little pet peeve of mine.  I get contacted by people looking for work.  I have no problem with that.  That's how things are done.  In the old days, I'd get resume's in the mail or maybe a fax at a production office.  Now, I mostly get phone calls and emails.  Neither my phone number nor my email address are difficult to find. I'll go a step further and say that if you're not capable of easily tracking down my phone number or email address, you've already blown the job interview.

But here's the thing.  In the old days (get off my lawn, you young whippersnappers!), I'd get the call at work.  No matter when you sent the mail or the fax to my office, I wouldn't see it until I was at work.

When you call my own phone number or send me an email, I get it whenever you press "Send" on either your phone or your computer.  Feel free to type up that email any time you like, but maybe you could wait to send it until the workweek begins? I realize that most people think of email as something that the recipient ignores until he feels like acknowledging it, but I'm on the computer for fun during the weekend.  Emails chase me wherever I am (on my phone), during the weekend. It's mildly annoying to receive emails asking for work while I'm on my own time and it costs you nothing to hold off sending it until Monday morning.

And do not call me during the fucking Super Bowl.  All you're doing is demonstrating how utterly clueless you are about how to contact someone you want something from.  Hint: Location Scouts and Managers want things from people -- a place to film a scene.  We don't know most of the people we're calling while trying to get the stuff we want.  I'm not going to hire someone who thinks it's a great idea to make cold calls during the Super Bowl.

And here's a private note to a certain Parking Coordinator who used to work for me.  I told you on the last job that I'd never hire you again.  I reminded you the first time you called me after that...that I'd never hire you again.  Calling me every few months isn't likely to make me change my mind.  The bridge is burned.  Let it go.

Now, let's move on to the Olympics.

Face it. A lot of the Olympics is least boring to watch.  Yesterday, they introduced SkiCross as an Olympics sport.  SkiCross is where you get 4 skiers on the course all at one time and it's fast and exciting and promises lots of crashes and mayhem.  All afternoon, they had the qualifying which one skier at a time skis down the course all by himself trying for one of the best times.  And the announcers keep blathering about how exciting it's all going to be once they start the real deal and get all those guys out there together.  They should either make the qualifying rounds have multiple skiers at one time or they just shouldn't show it until they get to the real deal.

 This is what I want to watch.  Get to it already.  (And BTW, what's with the race car sound effects at the beginning of each run?  How cheesy can you get?)

Biathlon isn't all that exciting to watch.  Yeah, I get it.  Getting exhausted and having your heart beat 1200 times per minute and your muscles quivering and then having to shoot at five targets the size of silver dollars is hard.  But it's kinda boring to watch.  It'd be cooler if they had shooting stations on opposite sides of the shooting range.  We could watch them eliminate each other!  (I'd even be OK with it if they used rubber bullets or paintballs.)


Or maybe have them shoot at the ice dancers. Nobody has a clue how they're judging this shit.

I only watch because sometimes, this happens.

Even better, would be if the ski course went by the broadcast center and they could take potshots at Bob Costas!

I haven't watched any of the curling competition and I'm not likely to.  Boring!  I know some of you claim you like to watch curling (I'm lookin' at you Kimby), but I know you're lying.

Lastly, let's move on to Tiger Woods.

Let's start with the live coverage on EVERY SINGLE BROADCAST OUTLET IN AMERICA.  For a golfer's canned Mea Culpa? Srsly?  I know people were interested.  I was. But every single channel?  Live?  Holy Crap!  That's just warped.

I'd actually have a lot to say about the whole thing if I cared to get my thoughts together enough to write about them, but I don't care that much and I can come down on any of about 5 sides of the discussion and besides that -- shows like Entertainment Tonight already had some guy I've never heard of sitting in a room in front of a monitor telling me whether or not Tiger achieved his goal.

Here are my few short thoughts on the subject.

1. I knew the mistresses would start bitching because he didn't apologize to them. It happened a little quicker than I thought it would though.

2. I wonder what the treatment for Sex Addiction is.  I have an image of Tiger sitting strapped to a chair while images of hot babes pop up on a screen.  Every time he's shown a picture of anyone other than his wife, someone slaps him in the face and screams "NOT FOR YOU ASSHOLE!"

3. It's probably just the cynic in me, but I'm pretty sure someone told Tiger's mommy exactly how to behave throughout the "Statement".  America was supposed to mirror her emotions for the proper reaction.

Early in his statement, "I'm so pissed off I can't even look at you!"

About 2/3 of the way into the event: "I'm still pissed at you, but you've made me think and I'm open to listening."

At the end: "You did good.  I love you all over again.  Come to Mama."

Happy Monday Everybody!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bribery Is Such An Ugly Word!

I don't have any heart-tugging reasons to get you to send me money. I have no horrible diseases.  I've experienced no traumas or catastrophes.  I'm certainly not raising money for any other worthy cause you might wish to donate to.

Frankly, I'm having trouble thinking of any reason at all that you might want to send me money.  But the thing is -- I'd really love it if people would send me money.  Sad Unfunded Nathan is Sad & Unfunded.


Now, I don't know about you, but I don't see the fact that my life is going along just swimmingly as any reason I shouldn't be the recipient of free money.  I've come to the realization, however, that you, my potential benefactors should really get something out of the deal.

I considered offering to do something in exchange for your largesse. Then I started realizing I might not want to do anything you people might want done in exchange for enriching me.  You might ask me to shave my head.  I don't want a tatoo.  There is no amount of money that could get me to jump out of a perfectly good airplane (with or without a parachute). I've already eaten stinky tofu (I even paid for it myself), so you may doubt that there's actually stuff I won't eat for money...but I assure you, such things exist.

Ultimately, I've hit upon a program I think you should all be able to get behind.  I realize that there are things that you really don't  want me to do -- REALLY!

So, here's my offer.  I won't do any of the following things if you do send me money. I've installed a lovely little Paypal widget right there at the top of my sidebar to make things easy on you.  Herewith, is a list of things I solemnly promise not to do -- if I'm compensated.

Under no circumstances will I:
-run for elective office of any kind.
-accept coronation as an Emperor, King, Tsar, Poobah (grand or otherwise), Chief, Monarch, Potentate or Sovereign.

Likewise, I will not:
-accept any title denoting superior rank (excepting, Captain Obvious, Cap'n Crunch, Admiral Underpants, General Badass, and/or Major Incident.)
-accept any position of absolute power or authority. (Massive amounts of power and/or authority will remain fair game, but there will always be at least one person who can point out that I am, in fact, an idiot.)
-proclaim myself an ultimate arbiter of taste or fashion.

I will exercise the massive control required to refrain from:
-looking in your windows.
-rifling through your medicine chest (either as an invited or uninvited guest).
-peeking under your mattress.
-giving you a computer (or other such device) from which I can observe you with a webcam secretly under my control.

I will not:
-try to convert you to or from any religion (although I maintain a strict non-denominational policy with regard to pointing and laughing at stupid people).
-overly concern myself with politically correct utterances (especially regarding the use of the word "retarded".  That makes me giggle and I enjoy giggling on occasion.)
-however, giggle in public settings (Frankly, it's not very dignified and you won't have to pay me much to prevent this one).

Furthermore, I swear I will not:
-stand on the top two steps of any ladder.
-operate heavy machinery while using antihistamines.
-take candy from a baby.
-operate an electric toaster in a bathtub.
-remove the tags from mattresses.

Now, these are only the things I can think of that you may prefer I didn't do.  If there are other activities or actions you'd like me to not do, feel free to identify such actions (with a dollar amount, of course) that you'd like to prevent.

Disclaimer: Some of the above-listed activities are things I would not consider doing regardless of any payment proffered to prevent them.  While you may feel that paying me to prevent actions that I wouldn't take anyway would be a waste of your money, you have no way of knowing which those items are.  I really suggest you pony up...just to be on the safe side.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sometimes The Sourdough Starter Starts Without You.

Fear not!  This science experiment is going exactly the way it's supposed to go!

And in a bit of unrelated news, it just occurred to me that my rental car in Seattle was a 2010 Toyota Corolla!  I somehow managed not to have the car decide to steer off the side of any highways, nor did I experience the joy of a stuck accelerator, thus pushing all of the other cars off the other end of the Ferry.

But thanks for trying Avis!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm Only Mildly Worked Up Over This, But WTF?

Did you watch last night's coverage of Shaun White winning the half-pipe competition?  I don't care how much (or little) you follow the sport.  I don't care if you haven't got a clue what they're talking about when they describe the tricks the boarders are planning.  No matter how little you may know about the sport, it's impossible to watch the good performances without uttering a little, "Holy Shit, Will ya look at that?"
Photo snarfed from imcmahon's Photostream
By the time Shaun White was set to make his second run, he had already won the event.  If you had watched, the first runs, there was no doubt...the other guys weren't even competing in the same sport as Shaun White.  No, this wasn't like one of those figure skating controversies where the commentators blather on an on about this or that deduction of 1/100th of a point by the evil Ukranian judge -- anyone with two eyes knew he had demolished his competition.

So, when they announced the last boarder's score while White was waiting to make his final run, he and his coaches went...uh, batshit!  So after a little celebration, White asks his coaches what he should do -- should he just ride down the middle of the course and collect his gold?  Well, his coaches weren't having any of that -- they wanted a victory lap!  And NBC, of course, had their cameras and mics right up there in the conversation. (Watch the second bit of video on Gawker.)

So White's coach, Bud Keane says, "You freaking send that thing. And make sure you stomp the shit out of it." He followed that up with a well deserved, "Way to fuckin' go, man!"  The NBC announcers got suddenly all apologetic about it all, in spite of the fact that a.) do they really expect gentility from guys who participate in what's known as an extreme sport, and b.) if I recall, this aired after 11:00 p.m., and c.) they don't seem to be able to air anything else live, as it happens: is a 7-second tape delay really beyond their capabilities?

Now admittedly, this doesn't seem to be blowing up into NippleGate proportions, but there's still talk about it.  To which I respond, "Oh, grow the fuck up!"

I was a bit out of touch last week, but it's my understanding that nobody was all that reticent about showing Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian luger getting killed.  I don't know exactly what NBC showed, but I'm told the accident was aired multiple times by Canadian Broadcasting.  And while I'd expect it to show up online, I'm a little surprised by whose websites still have the footage available.  Notably, CBS has it on their site and ABC's Fresno affiliate still has it up.  CNN and some others had the footage posted but have deleted it. Note: I'm not linking it.  If that's what you want to watch, it's easy enough to find.

So, anyway, I'm waiting for the day there's some hostage standoff and all of the networks are airing it live.  And the cops will be on their bullhorns telling the guy to come out with his hands up.  And the camera will zoom in on a window and you'll see the gunman poke his head out the window.  And as he screams (perfectly audibly), "Fuck you, assholes!  Come and get me!" And then BLAMMO. We'll get to watch on live TV as a SWAT sniper blows his head off.

And then the anchor will apologize for inadvertently letting language like that on the air.

Yeah.  WTF!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nathan Comes Through For Utahans (Or Utahns Or Utah-nites Or Utahinians Or Whatever-The-Hell You Call Them).

OK, not me.  This 13-year-old kid.  Meet Nathan Flynn.

Apparently, Utah was about to do away with Daylight Savings Time and their legislature was discussing the issue.  One representative, Kenneth Sumsion, using that Common Sense we've been hearing so much about lately, said, "Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of the blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket."

I'm assuming the public was invited to comment, because after a bit of seemingly confused debate, young Mr. Flynn took it upon himself to explain things like the axial tilt of the Earth and latitudes and stuff like that (stuff that might require a basic level of education), and that, "You'd have your lights on for several more hours a day than you would normally, which doesn't seem smart."

The video of Nathan schooling his Legislature is in the upper right corner of this page. Sorry, the embedding didn't seem to want to work.

Score a victory for those damned educated elitist...and Nathans everywhere.  (I have a little tear in my eye just thinking about it.)(sniff)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Things Get waayyy Hazier Flying In The Other Direction.

I have no idea whatsoever what day or time it is.  I have the distinct memory of publishing the post just before this one on Sunday.  My blog, helpfully remained in the Eastern Time Zone, so it says I published it in the wee hours of Monday morning.

Yesterday, which was apparently a second Monday this week, we spent many blissful hours geeking out at Boeing's Museum of Flight. (You'll get a full post with too many pictures later).  After they threw us out of the museum (they close at 5:00pm), I decided it wasn't worth driving into Seattle just to turn around and drive right back again to catch my flight, so I just killed a bunch of time right where I door to the airport. (Right next to the airport is a relative term.  There are either 16 regional airports right next to Sea-Tac or their runways are 12 miles long.  I don't know which, but you drive next to the runways forEVER before you get to the terminal).

Before hanging out at the airport for three hours, I went to this place right down the road.  It's kinda aircraft-centric (being next door to Boeing and all), and happily stuck in 1972.



I don't have much to report about my lengthy sojourn at SeaTac before boarding my plane other than to report that Avis wanted to charge me for putting 19,712 miles on their car, and that if you're a smoker, you have to follow a bunch of cheery little signs 1/2 way back to Downtown Seattle before arriving at the designated smoking/pariah area.

I took the redeye flight back to New York and arrived in snow and cold and now I don't know what day it is anymore.  I know I slept some on the plane (after watching a crappy $6 movie), and then I slept in the taxi coming home and then I slept another 5 or so hours after I got home.  I'm pretty sure my cab driver was the brother of the driver who took me to the airport when I went to least he wasn't any better at finding Atlantic Avenue than the first guy was.

This is the way my driver wanted to go on the way to the airport.

This is the way you're supposed to go.  Notice that whole "shortest distance between two points" thing in action.  This route also works really well in the opposite direction.

This is the way my taxi went this morning.  That little lack of cutting the corner may not seem like much, but during a snowy rush hour, it adds almost a 1/2 hour (and $15.00) to the trip. Bastard!

Anyway, I'm having coffee now and trying to figure out what day it is.  I'll tell you about my last two days in Seattle later when I feel more like a person.

BTW, I woke up to a lovely text message informing me that it's sunny and clear in Seattle today.  I'm not sure I really believe it, but it is good to know that the city's Bench-Wetting-Teams will have work today.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Stuff Gets A Little Hazy When You're Visiting The Lost World (AKA Seattle).

You may think I'm exaggerating, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to turn a corner and see dinosaurs chasing Wallace Beery and Bessie Love down the block.  You see, I've developed a theory.  It should have become obvious to me long before my flight arrived here in Seattle, but I'm convinced the place only exists on some alternate plane,  possibly in another dimension even.  Allow me to elucidate and expound.

While flying here from the East Coast, there was a variety of clear skies and partial cloud cover.  While passing over Montana, things were fairly clear.

JetBlue puts the little airplane icon on the moving map to narrow down your position to appoximately 500 miles -- the icon is precisely to scale.

Unpopulated Montana is unpopulated.

I had planned to take some additional pictures as we got closer to Seattle, but there was a problem.  As we approached the Rockies, We also witnessed the beginning of a cloud.  The cloud covered all but one Rockie (a not terribly impressive Rocky if I do say so myself), and the same cloud reached all the way to Seattle.  The ground would not be visible again until we were roughly 35' from the runway.

This should have been my first clue that Seattle operates in it's own space/time continuum. First they fly you over some place where there are no witnesses, and then they fly you into a cloud so that you don't realize when you've departed normal space-time.

Then you're in Seattle!

Here, in brief, are a few things I've come to understand about Seattle.

-As I mentioned yesterday, Seattle is nothing, if not conscientious about providing seating in public spaces.  All seats are wet.  (I don't know this for sure, since the sun is merely a rumor here, but I'm fairly certain the city hires people to hose down the benches if the rain ever stops.)
-There are more per capita shoe stores in Seattle than anywhere else on earth. (more on this later).
-The rain does stop on occasion.  Usually 5 minutes after you've gone inside.
-It starts again as you exit.
-Regardless of where you are or where you are going, your destination is uphill.  Even returning to the spot where you uphill.
-If you think you are headed North, turn around.  You're headed precisely South. (The laws of geography don't work here.)
-There are 12 million coffee shops.  All of them are wholely owned subsidiaries of Starbucks.
-The woman with the sign who is collecting money for "Haiti Relief"?  Her name is Haiti.
-Elevators are really weird.  1. If you enter one at street level, you need to descend 5 floors to read street level.  2. When you are riding in an elevator, don't be surprised is some random woman tells you loudly, "GET OFF"!

Below the cut, you'll find many photos of my far.  Bear in mind all of the above while perusing them.

If I were more techie-competent and/or if Blogger were more user friendly there'd be a cutline right here...cuz this is a long post. I'm not, Blogger isn't and there's no cutline.

On the first night in town, I met up with Jeri (left) and Tania (right).  We went to a really good PanAsian place with a ton of seafood on the menu.  I got the distinct impression that seafood was going to be a common theme of the weekend, so I had lamb chops.

They were spectacular.


Then, we drove in the dark and the rain to Bainbridge Island.  The pics below are of the ferry ride back to Seattle the following morning.

Beautiful Bainbridge Island.

Arriving in Seattle.

Tania and Jeri went to the airport to pick up Janiece, Janiece's Smart Man™, and Tom.  I killed a couple of hours wandering around.  In addition to taking the following pictures, I bought knives (the cookin' kind, not the killin' kind), and snarfed down a bunch of shrimp.  Note:  You may notice the brief appearance of the sun here.  There was celebrating in the streets.

This picture shows Pike Place market, Sur La Table (where the knives came from), and a ferry headed to Bainbridge Island in the distance.
These two girls were posing with people.
Then...WE ATE again.  From left to right: Jeri, Janiece, Smart Man™, some lady at the next table, Tom, Tania and
Then we began another theme of the weekend.  We went shoe shopping.  These particular torture devices were found at, if I recall, a place called Fahrvergnügen.

After we looked at shoes, we went to look at some more shoes.  I emailed pics to Anon GF in case she had to have the leopard skin boots.
Or the green or red ones.
She indicated that she could live without them.
I'm missing pictures of our Sushi orgy that took place on Friday evening.  We ate massive quantities of really good raw fish.  One of the best things about the evening was getting Tom to eat spite of the fact that he doesn't eat seafood.

The next morning, we went back across the bay and looked at some more shoes. 


Here we are waiting for the monorail that will take us to the Space Needle.
And here's a view from the monorail. I'm sorry there's rain on the windshield.  (I can't begin to tell you how sorry I am that there was rain on the windshield.)

Tada! The Space Needle.  There's a sign announcing that the observation deck has 520' of viewing.  I misread the sign and thought they were claiming to have 520 degrees of viewing.  I took that in stride.  After all, I had already grown accustomed to the fact that normal space-time isn't observed in Seattle.
Here's the view from the top.
This is a lovely shot of KOMO's helipad.  They weren't accommodating enough to have a helicopter land or take off while we were there.  Bastards!

Here's a brilliant shot of our group looking at the view.

And I discovered that if we turned around and faced the glass I could get a better picture of us with the skyline in the background.  I especially like how Janiece and I don't have our faces in the picture since we had our faces buried in our cameras.  Also, the guy a the table just inside the window wanted to know why we were so eager to get pictures of him.

Right across the plaza, you'll find the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum.  You're not going to get a billion pictures of the inside since the lighting is mostly subdued.  Here's the outside.  Note that the monorail runs right through the place.  It's pretty cool looking.

One shot I did get inside is of the Guitar Tower.  This sculpture actually plays itself and you can listen in on headphones.  (It's a fairly boring song, but the execution is pretty impressive.)
That night, we went to Elliot's Oyster House.  We spent about 3 hours eating everything we could get our hands on.  After dinner, Jeri and Janiece spent 20 minutes trying to figure out who owed what.  They told everyone their shares...everyone tossed money into the pile.  We came up $30 short.  I'll never apologize for my math deficiencies again.
Today, Sunday, we were lazy...and we ate a lot again.  We had steak and eggs for breakfast at Jeri's hosue (at Noon).  Then, the girls all decided to go get pedicures.

Tom and I went elsewhere!

Oh, and just to finish things off with another taste of what Seattle is all about...This is a directional arrow I noticed on a street corner.  It's just like the ones we use to get a film crew to location.  But there's no indication of where this arrow is leading you.  And there are no arrows leading you to this one.  And there are no arrows after it to direct you somewhere else.
I choose to believe it's to save Bugs Bunny from ever having to say, "I guess I shoulda taken a right toin in Seeeee-A-tul".

P.S.  This has taken a really long time to upload and post.  I am not going to proof read it.  I hope my typos prove to be amusing.