Wednesday, November 12, 2008

They'll name a street after him someday...

Ever wonder where some of these street names in the city come from?  Sure, some of them are obvious, but others maybe not so much, especially for we younger generation who may not have been around the city for as long as some.  So I decided to do a little research and found some interesting stories that really tell a bit of Seattle history.

Royal Brougham Way - Few can go to a Seahawks or Mariners game without seeing a loss crossing Royal Brougham.  I, for one, have always wondered "what's a royal brougham?"  Imagine my surprise when I realized the question should have been "Who?"  He was a sportswriter for the Seattle P-I for nearly three-quarters of a century, and a local legend.  Appropriately, the street running next to, at the time, the Kingdome was named after him.  Fascinating reading:  "The life and times of Royal Brougham"

Edgar Martinez Drive - Fortunately for those of us who have been around Seattle in the last decade know Edgar Martinez.  In 2005, the city took the street just south of Safeco Field and renamed it after the man who spent his entire 18-year career with the Mariners.  

Denny Way - It's hard not to find references to Denny throughout Seattle geography and landmarks.  The Denny Party, led by Arthur Denny, sailed to Alki Point, before eventually relocating to Pioneer Square around which would become the city of Seattle.  Denny Way, though, was named after his younger brother David Denny, who staked claim on the north end of the settlement.  Also members of the Denny Party?  William Bell who claimed the area now known as Belltown, and Denny's brother-in-law Carson Boren.  Later joining them?  Henry Yesler and Thomas Mercer.  

Monday, November 10, 2008

Office Excitement

The biggest, most exciting thing that's happened around our office in years is about to happen...

... that's right, after 5 1/2 years working here and having next to zero food options around our building, other than a couple of over-priced delis, or a long walk to Taco Del Mar...

... a Subway is opening right across the street from the building on Westlake.  

It's glorious.  It's spectacular.  That Subway is going to get a LOT of business. :)  

Now everyone's walking down the hallways doing the $5 Footlong hand gestures.  OK, maybe not, but that'd be hilarious.  I think I might start that. :)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Paint the Town - Leg 7

And without further ado... we're off on Leg 7.  Who will be eliminated next?

Looks like we'll be staying in India for a while longer.  First off to a big apartment complex, to find the next clue... what the heck?  

Roadblock - Holi Festival - Run thorugh a bunch of powdered paint-throwing locals having fun and celebrating and find your clue.  What a mess.  Hilarious though... and colorful!  Oh no, Starr doesn't want to smear her makeup too much.  Whatever.   Oh wow, the paint throwers seem to have gotten more and more aggressive with each successive racer.  And ONCE AGAIN the Divorcees misread the clue and make it much harder than it needs to be.  No wonder they're divorced.  And human tie-dyed.  We can only hope the next stop on the race is a shower.

Detour:  Bleary Eyed or Teary Eyed.  Count numbers on electric lines, or haul bags of dried chilis and grind into chili powder.  This is a toss-up.  Both seem incredibly hard. 

In the Speed Bump for Ken and Tina, their penalty for coming in last in the previous leg, they have to help serve holy water to all of the temple goers.  Easy, but time consuming task.  And hopefully it consumes enough time, because I'm becoming even more sick of these two and their incessant bickering. They now have to make it back to the detour.  

Off to the Pit Stop.  

OK, let me take a bit of a sidetrack here.  It seems to be they used to have a bit more puzzle-like challenges throughout the race.  These days it's nothing but physical challenges with really simple things that must be found.  This either says something about a lack of creativity by the producers after 13 seasons of this, or a lack of intelligence by the racers.  :)  

"Nick and Starr, you're team number 1!"  again... and you win a fabulous trip to Hawaii! 

Toni and Dallas, mom and son, team number 2.  

Back to the action... the Divorcees and the Frat Boys are still counting numbers, and both are failing miserably.  The Divorcees perhaps would be slightly more productive if they actually GOT OUT OF THE CART AND WALKED instead of being lazy.  AND the Frat Boys offer to work together, and the Divorcees DECLINE saying they'd rather work alone.  These two are quickly surpassing Ken and Tina on my "need to be eliminated" list.  And then Ken and Tina help the Frat Boys figure it out.  Good karma points there.  

Andrew and Dan are #5 - that leaves only... Kelly and Christy, Team #6... and they are eliminated.  And I'm not the least bit disappointed.  Onward!  

Car-in-Green Delhi - Leg 6

Just 2 hours before tonight's episode, I'm finally getting around to watching last week's episode.  Here we go...

n-1 teams remain... who will be eliminated next?

And all teams are headed to Delhi, India.  Dallas and Starr trying to flirt, how touching.  

Welcome to India.  Lots of horn honking.  Animals walking down the highway.  Traffic.  Roadblock.

Go Green - Paint the tram Green, after masking the yellow parts with newspaper.  Don't worry, the producers have obviously paid these guys enough money to fix any of the bad paint jobs the racers do.  And Ken and Tina are so lost... because Tina couldn't stop talking. 

Off to the Ambassador Hotel.  Looks fancy, but it's also the middle of the night by now... and the frat boys have taken the lead.  But somehow they got lost, and the siblings made their way there first.  

Detour:  Launder Money or Launder Clothes.  10 Rupee notes adding up to $780... so some quick math, not knowing exactly what denominations I have to work with would be... 7 $100's, 1 $50, 1 $20, 1 $10. I'll presume that works.  

What was that again?  I believe Tina just said "Si" to the taxi driver.  Sorry, wrong language, Tina.  

Baha'i House - is the pitstop.  Will this week finally be a non-elimination leg?  Who knows, but Nick and Starr are Team #1, and each of them won an electric car!  Well that's pretty cool.

OK, I'm sick of Ken and Tina, probably almost as much as they're sick of each other.  Too bad the frat boys are still trying to iron clothes at the detour.  This looks like a close finish, but I suspect it's less close than it appears to be.  NO!  Andrew and Dan are team #5!  

I take back everything I said... i hope this is an elimation leg... PLEASE be an elimination leg!  Ken and Tina you are the last team to arrive.  NOOOOOOOOO... they stay in the race.  There will be a speedbump on the next leg of the race, that only they must perform.  Well, I can only hope the other teams stay ahead of them.  We'll see.  

Rock on... and in another hour, we'll have Leg #7. 

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Random Update

A week's worth of updates crammed into this space now:

Saturday night went and saw Bill Cosby at Benaroya Hall.  I don't think I've seen Benaroya that packed in recent memory.  Certainly there are some rather full symphony concerts, but not usually like this.  I must say, Bill is looking a bit old, but sounds just like he always has.  The show was basically Bill coming out, sitting in a chair, and telling stories for 2 hours.  It was uproariously funny, in that Cosby kind of way, since he is indeed the master of just telling stories in a funny way.  It was definitely worth seeing him live.

Those who know me know (or for all I know I've had a rant somewhere in this blog at a point in the past) that I have had a long standing stance that I need my cell phone to do one thing:  make calls. I've held similar resistance to the iPod and everything that comes out of Steve Jobs over-enthusiastic mind.  Well, friends, I've crossed over to the dark side.  The allure of Apple engineering has bitten me, and over the weekend I got an iPhone.  Once the price no longer became a determining factor (and my sister offered to buy me one for my birthday), I really had no excuses left.  And I must say, this phone really is as cool as everyone says it is (and as I've found by playing with other folks phones).  

Election mayhem is finally over.  And the excitement of election night was definitely worth it.  I don't think anyone fully expected the post-election Obama-mania that happened seemingly everywhere on Tuesday night.  But really what made me more excited is the initiative and proposition results.  Tim Eyman's horrendous initiative failed handily 60/40, though I'm sure Tim's already got some way to spin that into a moral victory for him and his supporters.  In response, his next initiative will be to support changing the state constitution to require only 40% support to pass initiatives, which he will call a "super-minority".  Look for it next year. :)  More excitingly, Prop 1 for Sound Transit is leading with close to 60% support.  Light rail will stretch to Northgate, Bellevue, and almost Federal Way by 2020.  Now, I guess that's 11 years from now, but hey, by then who will really want to be driving in that mess?  The one thing we can count on next year, another 0.5% sales tax in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, bringing most parts of King to 9.5%, except restaurants which already have an extra 0.5% tacked on (in KC only) which will make dining in restaurants in King County hit the magic 10.0% Sales Tax threshold.  That's the small downside to big transportation projects, which I think is actually worth it.  But yeah, cost of living is high here, but still not as unreasonable as some states.  Only California, Arizona, and Alabama have higher sales taxes on some items, all of which also have state income taxes, and Alabama is the only state that does not offer an exemption of sales tax on groceries.  Personally, I'll take our sales tax without any income tax, thank you very much.  

Finally, I give a hearty endorsement to my new favorite streaming internet radio website:  Pandora Radio (  You create your own radio station by telling it what artists/songs you enjoy, and then it finds other songs with similar characteristics to create a radio station of all the music you enjoy (or might enjoy) without the crap you don't want.  If you like a song, give it a thumbs up and they'll find more like it.  If you don't like a song, give it a thumbs down, it'll immediately move on to the next song and you'll never hear that song again on your station.  Brilliant and worth checking out.  

That's all the news that's fit to print for now.