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Posts Labeled with ‘seattle’

Goodbye Cruel Seattle!

I’ve left Seattle and am publishing this post from Boise, Idaho.

I’m glad to be gone… not to belabor the point, but the weather was killing me. Even the last couple of days in Seattle (Aug 1 – 8) were chilly… I was wearing a jacket almost every day. In August folks, August in the Northern hemisphere is supposed to be hot.

Look, I know that everyone is getting sick of me complaining about the weather, so I promise not to do that soon. I probably won’t even notice the weather in San Diego after a month or so of blissing-out about the difference between SD and SEA.

One more thing about my moving away from Seattle: I was surprised about how many friends I made, and how quickly. Most were nascent friendships, but I plan to keep in touch with a few people. They’re great people… maybe we can visit each other sometime. Or maybe I can be the cruise director for San Diego (Kelli was mine for SEA) and get them to relocate.

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Last week in Seattle, Opportunities in SD

This is my last week in Seattle. I had some fun this past weekend… tying up some loose ends and whatnot.

I am also in conversations about my new life in San Diego. Although I am working with my current employer for the next two months, it is a transition and will come to an end. Consequently, I am in conversations about new jobs and I am excited about one opportunity in particular. More information will come later, if it all turns out.

There’s so much going on right now that I can hardly put it all into coherent thoughts, let alone logical sentences on a blog.

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Homeless in Seattle

I am officially homeless. I just turned in my keys to the (former) apartment at 12224 NE 8th St, #205.

My boss is letting me stay on the boat for a week, then I’ll be headed down to San Diego (perhaps by way of Boise (to visit Ralph) and Vegas (for DefCon’s White Ball).

I’ve been asked why I would attend DefCon… people say something like: “Really? I didn’t know you were into hacking.” My answer is… that, while I’m not a hacker, my current job role/title (Director of Application Security) has made me marginally competent to carry on relevant security-related conversations with hackers. A few months back, I managed to fall in with a whole big group of Seattle security guys and hackers. And yes, they are almost entirely guys. There are only a few girls in the group and, as far as I can tell, I’m the only one that isn’t dating any of the guys. They are good guys though. All of ‘em are super smart and very kind. And they aren’t evil identity thieves either. While some of them may have done some black-hat stuff in the past; I’m pretty sure everyone in this group is on the right side of the law currently.

Anyway… back to my upcoming plans. By Monday Aug 10, I should arrive in San Diego. I have a warm and generous offer from Carl to use his guest room until I find a place in San Diego. Hopefully, I can get that situation figured out quickly since fish and houseguests stink after just a few days.

When I do figure out a place to live, I will have my Door-to-Door storage container delivered. It has all my stuff in it and it is packed to the gills! I got rid of a lot, but I still have a lot of stuff.

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Saved by a Smoker

Tonight, I got locked out of my apartment on the balcony. At night. No key. No phone. No shoes. I was in pjs. I had nothing useful. I was cold and scared and miserable.

I had that awful, sinking feeling in my gut. You know, that rush of adrenaline that makes you think “oh, shit! how in the hell am I going to get out of this mess?”

Well, for the first time ever, I’ve been happy to be living by a really active Alcoholics Anonymous meeting location. There are people coming and going a good chunk of the night, and they loiter outside smoking. Michael recounted some of these characters in his Meet My Neighbors post.

Anyway, I was able to call down and get the attention of someone named Daniel. He graciously walked over to the apartment and called the emergency contact number for the landlord, who came into the apartment and unlocked the door to the balcony. The whole ordeal only lasted 20 minutes total, but it felt like an eternity. Apparently, I am not the first person that this has ever happened to. The landlord said it happens a few times a year.

I can only say that I was mortified. I was really, really wondering what sort of Macguiver trick I was going to have to play to break into my own apartment. Thank goodness for the smokers! Long live the smokers!


Folk Music vs. Broadway Musical

I went with my friend Bruce to the Northwest Music Festival today. There were several different types of folk music, lots of busking, and lots of patchouli in the air. Let’s just put it this way: this is not my scene. I was forced into folk music as a kid, and I have very few warm and fuzzy feelings about hammered dulcimer-based music. Still, it was fun hanging out and people watching. It takes all kinds!

After the folk music fiasco, I went to see the touring broadway production of High School Musical. It was fantastic: so heartwarming! There was a totally fun vibe in the theatre: lots of happy tweener girls playing hand-clapping games during intermission. It seemed like the most of the audience was dressed in pink; really cute.

High School Musical

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Seattle Cafe Culture

There is one thing that I absolutely love about Seattle: the cafes on Saturday. Everybody is out and about, latte and laptop in hand. And, since most of the coffee shops here are independent, the music is definitely non-corporate.

So, I love hanging out in a coffee shop on Sat afternoon.


Snowing on March 26? This wasn’t in the brochure.

Seattle is killing me. I thought the dreary days with cold wet weather were waning now that Spring is here. But no such luck for me. It’s past Easter and it is snowing. Right now, right outside my window. Ugh. This wasn’t in the brochure. I’m holding Kelli personally responsible for this — she’s was my cruise director on this shipwreck of a move to this town!

Snow in Seattle March 26

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Warming, a sunnier Seattle

Seattle is warming…. spring is almost here. The change to daylight savings will undoubtedly brighten my spirits: a few more minutes of sun each day.

When we moved here I had no idea that I’d be a candidate for Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I found myself experiencing a slight case of SAD this winter. With the sun out more, I’m sure I’ll have a sunnier disposition.

Seattle Space Needle

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My Days Measured on the Wing

While living in Escondido, my daily commute to/from the house along San Pasqual Road almost always included a hawk sighting. I’d look up and see the birds flying free and high. In one sense, seeing the birds was a wonderful respite a part of my routine that was pleasant and life-affirming. In another sense, it is a reminder of my dull and predicable life. In many ways, I am prisoner of my routine.

Despite the move to Seattle, life isn’t much different. The birds have changed: I see gulls or bald eagles every day. The route has changed too: now I see the birds when crossing the 520 floating bridge. The birds seem to play in the wind currents, and occasionally I see them dive for fish that must rise to the surface in the choppy waters.

But it struck me today, as I saw 2 bald eagles soaring just beyond my front windshield: I can measure my days in bird sightings.

Bald Eagle in Seattle (Seattle PI image)

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Winter Wonderland for Xmas

This year, Michael and I will be visiting Whistler, British Columbia, Canada for Christmas. Along the way, we’ll be spending a couple of nights in Vancouver.
If you have suggestions of where to go, contact me.

This means that we will not be attending my niece’s wedding in Houston. The plane tickets from Seattle to Houston were around $700pp, which means that the trip would be $2k or so total. I want to go someplace really cool if we’re going to end up spending that kind of cash. The concrete jungle of Houston just won’t do it for me in that scenario.

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Far From Sleepless in Seattle

I am sleeping a lot in Seattle. I’ve always been able to sleep in on weekends and on rainy days… but while MAS was away, I was a slug. Without him pumping me full of caffeine and cajoling me in the morning, I regularly overslept my alarm and went to bed early.

As of today MAS is back, my caffeine levels are restored, and I still crashed on the couch for a couple of hours this sunny afternoon for no damn good reason.

No girls, I’m not pregnant. I’m also not sick (that I know of) or depressed (that I know of)…. I really have no good reason. Tsetse fly sting perhaps?


Bainbridge Ferry & Bainbridge Island

For Labor Day, MAS and I went over to Bainbridge island, which is a short ferry ride from Seattle. If you take your car on the ferry, it costs about $35 to cross and return. Though it was definitely still summer, the day was a bit overcast. We went for a couple of short walks at a few of the island’s many parks.

Link to the Smugmug gallery.

Seattle from the Bainbridge Ferry

Dahlia on Bainbridge

Bainbridge Beach

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No Shortcuts to the Top

We just finished listening to the audio-book version of No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World’s 14 Highest Peaks by Ed Viesturs.

The book is good, but it has an odd pacing. I wonder if Ed and the editor were trying to approximate the acclimatization process of climbing a big peak. He’d describe being close to the summit, then go back several years to an earlier basecamp story, then go forward to set up high camp in a third location. I longed for a contiguous story, but the only thing holding it all together was the story of Ed’s prudently-executed passion for climbing and completing the circuit of 8000 meter peaks, in line with the motto that “Getting to the summit is optional; getting down is mandatory.”

In case you didn’t know, I am a little bit of an Everest buff. I can’t help but be drawn into the drama that accompanies most of the ascents. In my assessment, the mountaineering done by Westerners in the Himalayas is often executed with the utmost hubris. I cringe at the folly of the weekend warriors that attempt to buy their way to the top. I shake my head at the lack of instincts that, when combined with the natural disorientation of high altitude thinking, leads people to push too hard with too little mental, physical, and oxygen reserves left to return even to high camp. Yes, I am an armchair mountaineer, but it is in favor of prudence and respect for the limits of our biology. I do not advocate inordinate risktaking. I do not advocate the fact that these places of unparalleled beauty have become littered and fouled with human waste, and frozen human remains. All of it smacks of human/western arrogance.

That said, I admire Ed Viesturs. He climbed the mountains admirably: without oxygen, with prudence, and with respect for the mountain. But the popularization of the sport will undoubtedly have unintended consequences. Others will attempt to follow in his footsteps and will do a poor imitation. As the popularity of high-altitude mountaineering increases, future climbing seasons will undoubtedly be sullied with multiple deaths as those Himalayan peaks rebuke human impertinence.

There is an remote possibility that I might have an opportunity to meet Ed Viesturs. He is a Seattle-ite, living on Bainbridge Island. If I ever did meet Ed I’d be honored to be in the presence of someone who lived his dreams, and achieved all he set out to do. That kind of ambition and follow-through is unbelievably rare, regardless of the venue.

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Snoqualmie Falls and Twin Falls

Since our furniture didn’t arrive on time, we spent the weekend out-and-about, rather than unpacking. On Saturday, we attended the Amazon company picnic, and on Sunday we went hiking at Snoqualmie and Twin Falls.

The photo shows me in a jacket, since I was cold. If I’m this cold in August, I’m in for a long, cold, miserable, winter full of whining and shivering.
Lura and MAS at Snoqualmie

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The Eagle Has Landed

We arrived in Bellevue and took possession of the new apartment. Unfortunately, our stuff probably won’t arrive until Saturday… (my rant against the moving industry in general and Bekins in particular will be forthcoming).

The important thing is that we’re here – safe and sound.


One Key

I’m down to one key. Think about it; there are very few times in your life when you are down to one key. I have no apartment or house key, no mailbox key, no grocery store mini key fobs, etc. The only thing that I have is my car key. That’s because I’m temporarily homeless.

We’re caravaning from San Diego to Seattle over the next couple of days. The first leg of the trip was San Diego to Stockton. Then Stockton to Medford. Medford to Portland and finally Portland to Kirkland. We’ll get to move into our new place in Bellevue on Aug 1.

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Holy Insurance Premium Batman

It’s time to renew our car insurance. Since we’ll be moving to Seattle soon, I called to get a new quote.

  • Cost of our 6 month car insurance policy with Progressive Insurance for San Diego 92101: $1106.00
  • Cost of our 6 month car insurance policy with Progressive Insurance for Bellevue 98005: $585.00

We’re also saving around $700 a month in rent.

That said, I told MAS not to get too excited. We’ll have to spend some of that savings to beef up our winter wardrobes. His haute couture collection of tank tops isn’t going to cut it.


Moving to Seattle

I have accepted a job offer in Seattle. We’ll be moving around Aug 1.

The new role includes a revenue generating component (i.e. sales component), which is a new space of opportunity for me. I am really looking forward to it.

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Seattle Revisited

I was up in Seattle again, from Friday to Sunday. This time, I was up there for an interview, which went well. On Saturday night, I had a great time with Kelli.

I spent some time looking for places to live. The lead contender is the Milano apartments in Bellevue.

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Best of Seattle Photos& Video Too

Here’s a Best of Seattle gallery that repeats only my favorite photos from our recent trip.

Seattle Best of gallery

Additionally, I have uploaded a couple of movies to my You Tube. They are peaceful, waterfall-related mini movies. Watch the spring thaw in action.



For a complete viewing of all photos, visit Michael’s three galleries from Seattle.

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Rainy Day: Perfect for Coffee and Tea

Well… the great weather couldn’t last. It was wet and rainy all day today in Seattle/Bellevue. We drove around a bunch of neighborhoods: Medina, Mercer Island, Ravenna, Queen Anne, Belltown, Fremont, etc.

We got lost a lot. Most of the streets include a directional notation example (35th street NW or N 34th Avenue), but it’s unbelievably confusing since you can’t see the sun most of the time in this rain-soaked city. So here’s a tip: if you visit Seattle and want to get around, you should either buy a compass or make sure that your rental car has a GPS system in it.

The good thing about the rain is that it is perfect for enjoying hot beverages. No wonder this city is the coffee capitol of the world! I had a latte at Starbucks, a mocha at Diva espresso. Then at Cafe Lladro in the Queen Anne neighborhood, I drink called a yankee something or other…. the recipe was described as an Americano + cappuccino foam. Since it was so cold and wet, we literally walked next door to have 3 full cups of tea at Teacup. With all the different drinks I’m getting a good tour of the inside of Seattle restrooms too!

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North Cascades National Park

Went to North Cascades National Park today…. sort of. You can’t actually drive into the park. You can drive on Hwy 20, which bisects the park, but the land just off of the highway isn’t the National Park…instead, it is called the Ross Lake National Recreation Area.

So… do we count it? Heck yeah! I’m not a backpacker/camper-type, and I don’t own a pontoon boat, so there isn’t much of a way to get into the actual park any other way.

Here’s a photo:

North Cascades National Park sorta

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In Seattle, Visiting Friends

We visited with Kelli, Chris, and their son Dillon. We had a great visit and a great meal.

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Mount Rainier National Park

We went to Mount Rainier National Park today. Neat area. Here are two photos… the gallery will be posted soon.

Lura at Mt Rainier National Park

a Fox at Mt Rainier National Park

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