Saturday, July 01, 2006


Laura and I just finished watching "Army of Ghosts," the penultimate story of the current season of Doctor Who.


-by Eric at 9:40 PM Seattle time - Permalink  


The Rain That Saved The River. Even a nasty flood can have positive consequences.

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #57.

Yes Virginia, There is a Superman.

Aaron Williams delivers the links again. My favorite of this entry is this one.

I love the title on this post. Heh.

Color Test. I'm not sure how good it is, because I can see the first image just fine and I'm pretty sure I'm not colorblind.

Cool (Strange) Statues from Around the World. I'll have to introduce Torvald to some of them.

How to multiply Roman Numerals. COOL!

Tutorial on how to create Firefox Extensions.

-by Tegan at 12:25 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Friday, June 30, 2006

Just Another Friday

After yesterday's adventure with the tire, I was a little cautious taking the van out for a drive today. But all seemed well... until right before I got to work. The idiot light for temperature went on, indicating a problem with the engine temp. Hrm. After accomplishing far more than I expected to get done in far shorter a time than I expected to accomplish it at work, I mentioned the light to a co-worker who made me pop the hood and filled the radiator for me. She said the level was WAY too low. She then told me I had to IMMEDIATELY take it to my shop and have them check it out.


So I got to my shop (not far from the tire place, actually) and told them the problem. They are all scheduled up for the day, but can look at the van tomorrow. I said it wouldn't be a problem if somebody could give me a lift into Bothell. No problem for them, and moments later I'm in a car, and minutes later I'm at the Bothell library. As I entered the library to pick up a book I had on hold, I realized that I didn't bring any way to get into the house with me. I usually go through the garage with the automatic door opener, and had recently cleaned out all the extra keys from my purse... including the keys to the house.

Well, hubby-Eric wasn't due back at home for a couple of hours, so I ended up sitting on the concrete porch reading my library book until a friend called and stopped by with some water and folding chairs. Then hubby-Eric got home, and for the moment all is well. Until I find out how much it'll cost to fix the van, that is. And, since Eric's car is making noise, too, we need to get it into the shop... he's got an appointment for Wednesday. Hope I get the van back before then.

Ah. Life.

-by Tegan at 1:56 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Just Another Thursday

When I got to work this morning, I noticed that the tire on the front of my van was low. Low enough that I figured I had better take it in and have Les Schwab check it out. I suppose I could fill it up myself, but why should I go to the trouble when they will do it for free?

So I pulled into the LS Tire Center in Kenmore just before noon. They were really busy. Something about the heat making tires fail, maybe? Eventually they got to my van, pulled it into the garage, took the tire off. I was wandering restlessly in and out of the air conditioned waiting area to the parking lot where I could see what they were doing with the van and back.

Just as I wandered back into the waiting area, there was a VERY LOUD POP! I turned around in time to see bits of tire and such flying across the parking lot. I went back out to see if everyone was ok... and realized that it was MY tire that had just popped.

A short while later one of the earnest young men who worked at the place confirmed it. Freak accident, usually doesn't happen. Oh, yes, it might have happened while you were driving if you'd driven it much longer or tried to fill it yourself. Yup, good thing you came in. Little dollar signs floated around my head and spun off into the atmosphere and I felt a distinct pain in my wallet.

It took them a bit longer to get a new tire and replace it and test everything so I wouldn't blow up as soon as I went back out on the road. As I prepared to pay, the guy working on it came up to me and said, "No charge, since it was one of our tires that blew," and handed me my keys.

I will never go anywhere else to get or fix my tires.

-by Tegan at 2:03 PM Seattle time - Permalink  


-by Tegan at 7:46 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Links, Links, Links

FilkerTom links to a really funny Australian video that shows just how insecure Australia's landmarks are against people not dressed in full Arab get-up.

How to check if the NSA is watching your internet use.

Ice Cream Truck jingles as MP3 files.

Robin Williams like DMZ. Brian Wood is pleased.

Colleen Doran on the grant you've heard about. Or maybe you haven't. Go read about the Nan Grant.

-by Tegan at 7:25 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Hubby-Eric Needs a New Electric Razor!

Hey, all you guys out there... hubby-Eric's electric razor has mostly died, and he's looking for a new one. Anyone have any good advice on shavers that you really like and that work well? Anyone know where to get one cheap(ish)? He'd prefer a self-cleaning and rechargable one, but any advice is appreciated.

-by Tegan at 11:43 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Various Thoughts

Send some positive vibes to Colleen Doran, who has just had a flood in her studio.

Peter David on sports fans. I have long recognized this aspect of fandom. Fans are looked down upon by the same folks who go shirtless in the middle of winter at NFL games.

Steampunk Robots!

Augie on Hybrids... I wouldn't buy a hybrid just because it may save me money on gas, I'd also buy it to help the environment a bit.

Scoble is selling his Bothell home, with the help of the 'net. Hey... I live in Bothell...

-by Tegan at 5:37 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Monday, June 26, 2006

What... Another Road Trip?

Eric and I have been on two long-ish road trips in the last five days. On Thursday we took a day trip to Gonzaga University in Spokane, roughly five hour drive each way (about 285 miles). There is an exhibit of Oz materials in a library at Gonzaga, and hubby-Eric wanted to check it out. We made the long trip with our trusty troll Torvald along for scenic pictures along the way. You'll have to ask hubby-Eric if it was worth the ten hours of driving, as I'm no Oz expert.

Baum's Castorine

What I do know is that as of last Thursday, the weather turned somewhat warmish around the state, and that it was a long hot drive. I enjoyed stopping near Vantage Washington both ways to get Troll pictures, but I'm still not totally up for walking around in heat that exceeds 80F. The worst was still yet to come for that, but I managed to get a bit carsick on the way home after about 8 and a half hours of driving.

We made it home in decent time, although the way I felt after we got home I think we really should've found a hotel and not tried the entire trip in one day. It was just a wee bit much for me.

After a rest day on Friday, we then set off for Portland Oregon on Saturday afternoon, as hubby-Eric's Jeopardy trial was Sunday morning. Because of the timing of the trial we had already reserved a cheap room at a Portland hotel, and planned to make a weekend of it. The drive down on Saturday was mostly uneventful. We took Torvald along, but never stopped for pictures. Once we got to the hotel, we settled in a bit then wandered around downtown for awhile looking for a good place to eat (cheap).

Unfortunately, when I reserved the room in Portland, I made a stupid mistake. The hotel advertised "wireless in every room!" and I assumed that meant FREE wireless. HA! Not only did they charge for wireless, they also charged extra for parking. I've never been to a hotel that didn't offer free parking to overnight customers. Still, the room was inexpensive. The staff was friendly and competent (we had an AC problem, they fixed it promptly). The beds... I hadn't slept on a twin bed for many many years, and the last time I slept on a twin bed it was low to the ground and pushed up against a wall. These rooms had tall twin beds with very springy hotel mattresses that made you feel like you were sleeping on a balance beam. It was not a sleeping experience I care to repeat any time soon.

Troll in the Rose City

Sunday morning, hubby-Eric and I took the troll around Portland (page under construction) and Eric went to the tryouts (which I hope he'll write about here soon). I took some more pictures, played on my computer sans internet, and read until he came back.

Then we went into phase two of our trip: Mt St Helens!

I've wanted to go up to the Johnston Ridge Observatory ever since it opened, but time and the effort involved, not to mention the likelihood of getting there on a crummy overcast day, meant that I never got around to it. Well, no more! We planned it for Sunday, and when Sunday dawned bright and gorgeous, we headed up to the mountain.

Getting up to Johnston Ridge on Mt St Helens is very easy. From I-5, you take the Castle Rock exit and follow 504 until the very end, 52 miles along the road. At the absolute end of 504 is the observatory, five miles north of the mountain looking down on the still devasted landscape.

The Mountain
Click for Larger Image

Heading up 504, all seems pretty normal until you reach a very tall and long bridge that sits on the edge of the blast zone. Going into the blast zone, you find Weyerhaeuser managed forests that look absolutely nothing like any forest, managed or not, I've seen before. Imagine hillsides with nothing but noble fir^, setting up a natural moire pattern^ that utterly confuses the eyes. In most forests, even clearcuts, there are other trees mixed in and lots of undergrowth. These forests seemed more than a little wrong, with their uniformity and lack of bushes and brush.

After many miles of managed forests, you reach an area that even Weyerhaeuser hasn't messed with. There is growth, and life, but even after 26 years you can still see the pattern of the blast. The large trees, left where they were instead of harvested after the disaster, all lay on the ground pointing in the same direction. The stumps are all the same height, many twisted by the forces that ripped the trees down.

Into this place, that used to be a prime vacation spot, you drive until you reach the end of the road at Johnston Ridge. Plenty of parking, and a vendor set up in the parking lot selling water and other cold drinks. A short walk takes you to the nice air-conditioned center, where you buy a pass for $3 (or a pass for all the visitor centers for $6).

If you go, I recommend watching the movie at this point. It's short and tells you everything you need to know about the eruption and what you are seeing on the hillsides between you and the mountain, and the ending is pretty impressive.

After the movie, head up to the top of the ridge. If you are lucky, somebody might have a telescope set up there to look at the elk prancing in what's left of the snow on the next over ridge. I managed to get this picture thanks to another guy set up on the path. Click it to see both fallen trees and lots of elk.

Elk on the Mountain
Click for Larger Image

After doing everything at the Observatory except for the long hike (maybe I'll go back some year when it's cooler and try that) we headed out, stopping at all the rest stops and vantage points on the way for more pictures. On the very first vantage point out from Johnston Ridge we caught this rockfall (not an eruption) on the mountain. As we were leaving the vantage point, more rocks started to fall in a more spectacular show. I probably should've stopped the car and got another image, but I was hot and tired.

Rockfall on Mt St Helens
Click for Larger Image

At that first vantage point we saw a woman feeding a chipmunk. She was shocked at how tame the fuzzy beggar was, but I wasn't too surprised. If any human hurts any animal in the area of the volcano, it's entirely by accident. These animals are considerably less afraid of humans than most any others you're likely to meet. Which leds to this sign, which makes a humorous point about feeding wild animals. Unfortunately, neither the woman nor the chipmunk had seen this one.

Attention Animals
Click for Larger Image

And one last image... this doesn't look like much, but it's a steam vent. While the rockfalls on the mountain itself were more impressive to look at, this was the real deal. Back when the mountain first started rumbling in 1980, steam vents were one of the signs that something serious was happening. Now they are a normal part of the post-eruption landscape.

Steaming Valley
Click for Larger Image

It was a good trip, and I'm glad I went. It scratched an itch I had for a long time, and was nicely informative too. We got back on I-5 a bit after 6 pm and didn't get home until almost 9 pm thanks to heavy traffic through Tacoma and Federal Way. But it was a fun trip.

And hey, Eric's in the pool for Jeopardy contestants! He'll explain the odds of getting on the show to you all once he posts his report on the trip, I'm sure.

-by Tegan at 3:00 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Lack of Blogging...

I have been out of town all weekend, which is why the blog hasn't been updated since yesterday. If you are really good and ask nicely I'll be sure to tell you all about my adventures. If hubby-Eric doesn't beat me to it.

-by Tegan at 10:01 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

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