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. 

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