Archive for July, 2007

Robert Mak is so awesome

I was very pleased to flip on my weekly “Upfront with Robert Mak” yesterday and discover that his topic for the week was Jack Hamann’s book “On American Soil” (previously reviewed here and followed up here). This just proves, once again, what a great city Seattle is — the topic of one of the best, most interesting books I’ve read in the past year ends up featured on my very-favorite-ist weekly local political/news show. It was made even more cool because there was lots of footage from Mr. Hamann’s original 1987 investigation, and some interview footage with present-day Mr. Hamann out at Discovery park.

Plus, it was neat to see the location of the special grave at the cemetery (which my mother and I went searching for and found when she was visiting last October).

In any event, bravo King5 and Robert Mak for producing a show so cool that I record it every week — and am only ever disappointed when it’s a repeat! Well, that and when they MOVE THE TIME EVERY WEEK so sometimes it doesn’t get recorded. That disappoints me too.

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Only buses on 3rd Ave

Thank goodness, they’ve (finally) made it official that they’ll keep 3rd Ave bus-only — even after (some of) the buses go back into the transit tunnel in September: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/325422_bus28.html.

This has worked great for the last few years, and it’s the closest thing we can get to a “BRT right of way” in downtown Seattle; in particular since the buses going below the surface to the tunnel is such a short-term thing. If you really think about it, does anyone really think the bus+train combination is going to last more than a few years before those buses get bumped back out in favor of more trains?

Now, if they can just move bus stops to every 4th block in this corridor instead of every other block, we’ll really be getting somewhere. On a trip from 23rd+Jackson to Pike Street, easily 75% of the time is spent stopping every other block on 3rd Ave to let 20% of the bus on and off at each stop. Traveling through downtown Seattle on a bus is arduous and awful for a number of reasons (no AC, poor behavior of riders, etc) — moving the stops out a bit to get buses through faster would be a great way to get things moving faster in this corridor.

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MIL safely back in SC

Well, we’ve ended up our 2 weeks of Jodi’s mom being out here in Seattle to help us with the new baby as of this morning. Now it’s all on Jodi and I for a while — a little bit daunting, but I think we’ll do ok.

This turnover is particularly blog-worthy now that M.I.L. is back in Columbia, SC — after the crazy travel day she had yesterday. You occasionally hear about wacko behavior on planes and bomb-scares, etc… but almost never is it in your city, and even more rarely does it have any direct effect on you personally.

Well, no more! Yesterday, Jodi’s mom was on the Northwest flight 980 to Memphis that got turned around and returned to Seattle due to a bomb threat/scare. She (along with the 141 other passengers) spent a bunch of time sitting on the far runway surrounded by flashing-light police vehicles and news helicopters overhead, then off to the FBI/TSA/Homeland security interrogation room for interview, etc. And, finally, off to a steak dinner with Jodi, Gabriel and myself to celebrate the extra 18 hours we got to spend with her here in Seattle!

All is well, and she’s made it safely back to SC on a flight today, but what a wacky, strange, scary thing to happen! My thought is it’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime sort of things, so now she’s safe to fly unimpeded (maybe she won’t even have to take her shoes off to get through security!) going forward. πŸ™‚

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Baby Dodds has arrived!

Gabriel Evan Dodds was born Saturday the 14th at 5:47am – 31 hours after he let us know he was on his way and 3 days ahead of his due date (good thing too; we were getting impatient to meet him)! Everybody is doing just fine.

Gabriel Stats:

  • 8lb 10oz
  • 20.5”
  • Full head of red hair like his mommy!
  • He passed right over Friday the 13th and decided to be a Bastille Day baby instead. πŸ™‚

Gabriel Photos (it was hard to choose just a couple from the hundreds I took!):

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Heard at home…

Overheard around the house these past few days:

Stupid ‘competent cervix’

Hehe, not really, of course. We’re just getting impatient is all. πŸ™‚

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Assassination Vacation

Shortly after wading through the Ludlum book (ugh), I started Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation. This was a bit shorter than some of the books I’ve been reading lately (at only 7:19), plus it was quite engaging — thus, I got through it pretty quickly.

Ms. Vowell’s books are always interesting, and this one was no exception. As a side-bar, with all of the historical non-fiction and historical perspective books I’ve been reading lately, I actually am feeling like I know quite a bit more about 1860-1940 history than I ever did from High School… now, most of that is my own fault for (pick one: (a) skipping class (b) not paying attention when I was in class), but it’s still pretty cool. I like history!

Anyway, the context of this book was that she spends pretty much all of her vacations (even day trips) going to see various assassinated-president sites. Not just the “where it happened” stuff, but the “where the do-er grew up” and “where they caught him 2 days later” sites. She covers various aspects of history and historical interest for Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and many of their related players (such as poor, jinxed Robert Todd Lincoln who was present for the assassination of all 3 of these presidents!)

Great topics. Great presentation. Great book.

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Seward Park bike ride

This is one from 2 weeks or so ago I’m just getting around to posting. Well, I started with the GPS turned off accidentally, so I ended up missing the first mile or so of the ride on the map. Whoops! I tried a different route and discovered how darn hilly Seattle can be!

This time I went down to Seward Park, around through the park (accidentally up and over the top of the hill — I had meant to go out and around along the water but got shunted a different way due to a race going on at the park). Then I biked back along Lk Washington Blvd and split along the water up to the end of Madison. Back up Madison (note to self, next time try following Lk Washington blvd to shortcut the big hills on Madison!) to MLK and then up MLK to Jackson and home.

Whew! It was a fairly short bike ride, as such things go.. only 15 miles (+ about 1.5 miles for my GPS-off mistake). But it was hilly enough that it still took me 1:34 to do it (I’ve been doing nearly 20 miles in that amount of time on my Ballard loop).

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Altman Code

I recently finished The Altman Code – another Ludlum book. Blah, I think I’m just getting a little burned out on Ludlum books. This one was a good sight better than the Ambler Warning, thank goodness, but it still just felt a bit boring and transparent (hmm, I wonder if the Vice President is a bad guy or not). The good news is that I’m going to plan to read a bunch of non-Ludlum books for a while. The bad news is that I’ve got another 3 or so already queued up and purchased from Audible (that’s how far behind I am on my reading) so I’ll end up reading some more of them before too long.

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