Archive for Ramblings

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Please, oh please, don’t move me to Missouri

Let me preface this blog post by saying I mean no disrespect to Missouri or to anyone who lives in Missouri. I could have chosen any of a dozen of these to blog about, it just happened to be Missouri today. And I don’t want to move to Missouri. ๐Ÿ™‚

A couple times per week, Jodi gets a postcard from a hospital or private practice group which is heavily recruiting for <x> (where X was “internal medicine” last year, and now has turned to “neurology”). Here was the Kansas City, MO one from this past week:

Kansas City Solicitation

There’s a bit of a theme to these postcards, and I’ll summarize it here:

  • Our <hospital/practice> is such a great place to work. We’ll pay you tons of money and pay off student loans, etc. Not lots of call, lots of opportunity, etc, etc.
  • We are located in wonderful <either a) some vague reference to the nearest metropolitan area to indicate that the job is out in the boonies or b) some metropolitan area that is not particularly desirable> which is SUCH a great place to live. Look at all the great amenities our area has to offer: <some mix of interesting stuff that they likely actually have very little of and things I have no interest in>!
  • No, seriously, stop laughing. You should consider our <hospital/practice>. (I’m paraphrasing this last one. They have professional publicity people working on these, so it’s a little more subtle)

Hehe. Ok, I exaggerate somewhat. And I’m certainly glad that Jodi will have (seemingly) lots of choices and opportunities to select from when she’s finished with her residency program. But one other theme I’ve noticed on a number (but not all) of these solicitations: they’re very heavily skewed to the Midwest and rural mid-Atlantic. As a particularly unscientific study, this could be taken to mean that nobody wants to live in these areas. I concur. And I don’t recall ever getting any of these cards from any place I’d jump at the chance to move to.

Anyway, I guess only time will tell where we end up. But I kind of hope it’s not Missouri.

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One of my biggest complaints about smokers

Now, I could write up an entire series of blog posts about smokers and what I find irritating about smoking. I’ll save myself the time and you the hassles of reading such a sequence, and boil down my complaints to a single one that’s bugging me today.

Smokers litter

That’s my big complaint today. Now, prefacing this rant with the acknowledgement that it’s not fair to collectively condemn an entire group of people for such a thing, I think it’s fair to say that the average smoker is distinctly more inclined to litter than the average non-smoker.

Oh come on, Evan… you might say. That’s just hogwash. I’m a smoker and I don’t litter. Well, unfortunately, many of your smoking brothers-in-arms are not so considerate!

Why, recently I saw someone roll down their car window while driving along 23rd Ave S in Seattle and heave an emptied pack of cigarettes (wrapper) out the window. Now, it’s possible they weren’t a smoker… but somehow I doubt it.

And that doesn’t even begin to explain the dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of cigarette butts I walk past each day. Sure, it’s possible they were all appropriately disposed of in trash bins which were subsequently blown over by wind, scattering the cigarette butts throughout the land. But I doubt it.

Smokers – your habit is disgusting enough; can’t you please throw away your litter in the appropriate place like everyone else does?!

(note to my cigar and/or pot smoking readers — I don’t see nearly as much of these as litter, so while I’m not a fan of the second-hand smoke, at least you and yours are seemingly off the hook for litter-common-sense ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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Investment Guy on the Bus

A week or two ago I had an interesting experience on the 14 bus. I was riding home from something downtown (I forget what) at around 4 or 5pm. The bus was mostly full, and I found myself in one of the few seats near the back of the bus.

What caught my attention was that moments after sitting down, I was drawn into listening to a conversation between a teenager and a man in his late 20s or maybe 30s. The adult was telling the teenager about his (the adult’s) job as an investment banker and about investing. The teenager was listening and asking questions.

The investment banker was telling the teenager about investing in the stock market, what is the stock market, how does it “pay you interest”, how he (the adult) had done all this and was in the process of becoming wealthy, etc. The teenager — initially proud of the large roll of cash in his pocket — quickly got caught up in respecting his elder and hypothesizing about how much money there was to be made by investing.

Eventually, the teenager reached his stop and left the bus, waving goodbye to the adult.

It was particularly interesting that upon entering the bus, either of these two loud-talkers on the back of the bus could have been perceived as intimidating or dangerous but by the time we’d made our way up South Jackson street for 5-10 minutes, they both seemed intelligent and respectful. A future full of promise for all, and thanks to the “Investment Guy” on the 14 bus for putting sensible thoughts about money into at least one young mind.

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Catherine visits in Seattle

(My youngest sister) Catherine was out here for a few days to attend a medical conference. She stayed with Jodi and I and we fit in some sightseeing and food during the times she had breaks from the sessions. It was fun having her out here, since I think the only other time she was here was on her road-trip with my mother — which was well before Jodi and I were living out here. Catherine blogged a bit about her trip here.

And here we are at SeaTac (thanks for the use of the camera, Catherine! I did a lousy job of being a photographer this trip!):


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Dad and Cheryl Visit Seattle

April 23-30: Dad and Cheryl arrived in Seattle for a Monday->Monday visit. Jodi and I were working a bunch during the week, but they got out and about to an amazing degree! We had some Brazilian food, went to the Museum of Flight, did some wine tasting, had Salty’s brunch, went to Kerry Park, toured Theo Chocolate factory… lots of great stuff! ]

See Photos at Doddsnet:

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2nd Annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

April 14: Jodi and I made it up to (our) 2nd annual Tulip Festival today, with MIL in tow. It was a bit drizzly at first, but eventually it cleared up and we had a great trip with lots of great photos. I had rented the 105mm Nikkor Macro lens this year (vs the 60mm last year) and was eager to try it out. We continued our tradition of getting a Kiwanis BBQ Salmon lunch at Hillcrest Park and then stopped at Carpenter Creek Winery on the way home!

Photos at Doddsnet:


Part 2 with the Macro Lens:

April 14: After returning from the Tulip Festival, I realized that it was a beautiful day out and I still have the 105mm Nikkor macro lens for the rest of the weekend. I spent an hour walking around the neighborhood looking for anything fun to photograph. Even though it takes great photos, this is a hard lens to work with! In the 2 years I’ve had my D70 I’ve hardly ever used the “Depth of Field” button when taking photos on Aperture priority… today I used the heck out of it to overcome the razor-thin focus in the macro shots!

Photos at Doddsnet:

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R.H. Thomson Expressway

This is definitely the longest I’ve ever sat on writing any of my blog posts. I got interested in the topic of the R.H. Thomson Expressway about 18 months ago, when I first heard the story. Then I went “onsite” almost exactly one year ago to take some photos for a blog post. I filed them away in a folder and then never got around to writing the blog post until just now. At the time I first heard about this freeway, I couldn’t find a lot of details on it. In the interim year, however, it’s been brought up in reference TONS of times due to the Pacific Interchange option in the SR520 rebuild, and even more often in connection with the recent SR99 viaduct vote. So now there are lots of reference links out there to find!

The R.H. Thomson Expressway doesn’t exist. It’s a ghost freeway. HistoryLink has some of the details. This expressway was going to be built starting in the early 60s to mirror the function of the viaduct — ie, be a huge, ugly freeway along the Seattle waterfront. Except this time, the waterfront we’re talking about was the west-side of Lake Washington rather than the east-side of Puget Sound. It was to connect from SR520 in the Arboretum down to a high-volume run on Empire Way (ie – MLK). (It also was to go north and connect to other highways, but I find that part far less onerous and far less interesting). 

Wow. What a terrible idea that would have been (spoken as someone who prefers the current Arboretum to a high-volume highway addition).

But the good news is, this was never built in-full. They got the interchanges to/from SR520 built, and then the project was scrapped after a bit of “Freeway Revolt” in the late 60s / early 70s.

These photos show the bits of the “ghost highway” that are still around from this era, at least until SR520 itself is rebuilt eventually…

  Ghost highway off-ramp
Vandalism is evidently ok though
End of the road…
… starting to get the picture? This place is wicked “naturely” except for the big concrete highway interchange…
  … a place of quiet serenity and nature, not a place for cars!

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5 things you don’t know about me

I got tagged on my work blog for the “5 things you don’t know about me” meme…. have a look at the results!

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Who’s cuter?

The whole world has been watching Knut the Polar Bear at the Berlin Zoo since his plight came the world’s attention a few weeks ago when his mother rejected him. And yes, without a doubt this godless, killing machine (per Stephen Colbert) is hella cute.

But is he as cute (or even cuter?) than Seattle’s own abandoned animal? That’s right… Seattle’s zoo has a tiger cub around the same time back in December who was ALSO rejected by his mother. And they’re having a naming contest right now!

The key difference is not how cute each respective fuzzy, baby animal is, I think. The reason Knut, over in Germany, is so widely known is most likely because “Animal Activists” initially suggested that the Berlin zoo should just let the polar bear cub die like it would have in the wild.

Now, although I’m a big fan of animals and love the zoo, I don’t pretend for a second to fully understand the mind of the average person who self-identifies as an “Animal Activist”. And, as might be expected, once the world opinion came down firmly on the side of NOT letting the polar bear just die, the quoted animal activist clarified that he didn’t STILL want the zoo to kill the polar bear now that the bear is a little more capable of taking care of itself.

Jodi and I were talking about this the other day, and I pointed out that if you take the “it’s a polar bear, not a human” argument from the picture, this animal activist’s argument is a bit like suggesting that if you find an abandoned crack baby in a trashbin somewhere (ok, admittedly, an extreme example)… you should just let it be. I don’t buy this argument. Not for a second. And I suspect nobody else does either.

An animal in a zoo is under the protection (and responsibility) of the zoo. I’m glad to read that both the Berlin zoo and the Seattle zoo never for a second seriously considered letting the abandoned cubs die. Whew!

Strange, strange, strange. Note that Polar Bears were recently proposed for inclusion as an Endangered Species.

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