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Showing posts from May, 2008

Bike Riding

An amazing thing happened today. Alex learned to ride his bike. I learned at age 4, but that was in an absolutely flat, Kansas neighborhood with lots of other kids that were all riding their bikes. I had to keep up! Alex has not had any kids to ride with and has not really shown much interest in it. I have tried to show him, but we have the parent/child dynamic where he doesn't want to listen, I get frustrated, etc. Bleh . I almost got him riding on his own, but we were not quite there. Now the neighbor's grandson is zooming all over on his bike and Alex needs to keep up. My neighbor, the grandmother, also has saint-like patience, and good teaching skills, got Alex riding his bike tonight. We went up to the park where there are some flat, paved areas and by the end of the evening he was able to start himself, ride around, and work his brakes. He came home with a couple of scrapes, but was feeling pretty proud of himself. There is a good bike trail down by the river, so maybe

Nirvana Blasphemy

I was in a Starbucks in downtown Seattle today and they were playing their usual music track when something terrible happened. They played an elevator music version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit." That is just wrong on so many levels. First of all, grunge made into elevator music is just not right. This implies that it is old music and I am not old. No no no. Not only that, but "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is basically the grunge anthem. Angry, angst filled young people sang it at the top of their lungs - and now it is elevator music? The blasphemy part is that a Seattle company - Starbucks - was playing this travesty, in a Seattle espresso shop, just a few blocks from where the band played some of its first shows. A Seattle music movement, a Seattle band, and a Seattle coffee shop playing an elevator music disaster. If I was in a grocery store in another state, for example, I would have just been saying that the song was wrong. For Starbucks, of all companies, to have t

Compact Parking

On Sunday we went to the Pacific Science Center and parked in the garage there. The longer that I live in Seattle, the smaller car I want because of traffic and parking. Unfortunately, many of my fellow residents have not yet seen the light. The Pacific Science Center parking garage is prime example of the Seattle parking problem. Lots and lots of narrow, "compact only" parking spots. This would not be such an issue if half of the "compact only" spots were not filled with gigantic SUV's that hog two spots because they are too big to fit into just one. I think that I need one of those paint pens that car dealers use so I can start writing "I park like a jackass" in large letters across the windows of people who park like that. Ah well, I guess my revenge is at the gas pump. Now that gas is over $4/gallon here in Seattle perhaps garage clogging SUV's will soon become extinct.

Best Fountain

IMG00119 Originally uploaded by todbookless Seattle Center has the best fountain, ever. It is gigantic and set in an enourmous bowl. The whole thing is set up to encourage people to play in the water, and lots of people take them up on that offer. This is a remarkable public space. This photo is of Alex playing in the fountain on Sunday. He had a great time and got completely soaked.

Driveway Moss

Driveway Moss Originally uploaded by todbookless I tell my family that it rains in Seattle 9 months out of the year, but I don't think that they believe me. When they come to visit in the summer it is usually sunny and nice and they think that I am just telling them a story so they won't want to move here. I offer this photograph as visual proof on how wet and dark it is in Seattle. Every Spring I have to powerwash the moss off of my driveway. This photo shows the before and after difference. My driveway is in broad daylight. It is just so wet and dark all winter that moss grows on it. The slime on the right side of the picture is made up of moss, smog particles dropped by the rain, and assorted goo.

Caravan For Jesus - An Update

In 2006 I made a post in my old blog about a most remarkable minivan . You can follow the link to read the whole story of you want, but basically it was a Dodge Caravan from the 80's with 177,000 miles on it, a ton of rust, and about three molecules of paint left on it due to the worst case of paint cancer I have ever seen. It was for sale at the car auction in the as-is lane, and eventually sold for $50 after a lot of begging by the auctioneer. There was a huge crowd watching it being sold because no one could believe that this van was still moving under its own power. Today, on the way home after work, I passed that minivan in traffic. It could have been no other. I would recognize that heap anywhere. It was driving right along with the flow of traffic, not smoking or backfiring or anything. Simply amazing. If it didn't look like it had just re-entered Earth's atmosphere - badly - Dodge should feature it in a commercial. I am rooting for that POS van. I hope that it ma

Sloppy Joes

I try to make a variety of things that are healthy to eat, but I never took home economics in school. I seem to have missed out on learning how to make "normal" American food, or comfort food. Since most "normal" American food is a heart attack waiting to happen, I don't really miss it. I make things with fish and chicken and turkey, and once in a while I will grill a lean steak. This may be great for my heart health, but my poor son misses out on some part of Americana. For example, we have made homemade Phad Thai, but never Sloppy Joes. I know. What kind of a weirdo am I? How is it possible that I could be an adult and a parent and never have made something as simple as Sloppy Joes. Well, I have no idea. It never occurred to me. Alex had them at school recently and went crazy for them. I am certain that he told everyone he met how great they were and how he had never had them before, thus strengthening the perception that I don't feed the boy. At home, h