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  1. Just Shocking!

    The Seattle metro area is, what one could call, a 'progressive' area. Left leaning politics, eco-crazy policies and style. This isn't East Coast Chic, or So Cal Cool. This is Emerald City Nice.

    Yet, Seattleites are nice in their own unique way. Which is to say, they are primarily nice with other people's money, and lives, and practical with their own.

    Bikes are nice. Take out car traffic lanes and spend Dept. of Transportation money catering to cyclists. It helps ...
  2. Solar Powered Bikers

    I've been commuting by motorcycle for over six years now. All year, every year.

    In Western Washington State, that means dealing with less than ideal road conditions. The ubiquitous rain is just the start. The rain loosens up road film and oil. The rain and wind blow leaves and branches onto the road. Black ice, hail, snow removal sand and so on. Every day, each month brings new challenges. The stakes are literally life and death.

    I won't go too much into the idiots ...
  3. Throwin' Grandma Under the Sea Doo

    Belated Happy Mother's Day to one and all!

    Didja do anything nice for ma? Maybe you bought a card, some flowers or chocolates. A nice potted plant perhaps? Did you actually take the time to go over there and just sit and talk?

    I'm freakish in many ways. Of my idiosyncrasies, putting my family first is a fault of mine. I must phrase it that way, because it seems I am in such a minority.

    My wife, my kids and myself visit the grandparents every weekend. ...
  4. Play With Your Blocks

    For those of you that have been under a metaphorical rock for the last ten years, here's a free news brief: Legos are a big deal.

    The popular building blocks have been around for many years. I played with them. My son plays with them. My grandkids (grandkids?, that was an awkward word) will play with them.

    Toys change over time. I used a cap-gun, kids today use Air Soft. I played Atari, today it's Angry Birds on the I Pad. Regardless of the toy, it is powered by ...
  5. Urban Bright

    I don't know who was responsible, but thank you.

    A few blog posts ago, I described a simple mural in the Wallingford district of Seattle. I appreciate it when people take the time to brighten-up the otherwise dreary urban landscape. We are all better for their effort.

    Well, someone is at it again. Only, they have utilized a different form of art.

    There is a little oasis that I get gas and a bite each morning, in the Fremont district. In many ways, it's just ...
  6. Your Kid and Their Portfolio

    My wife and I used to watch this old variety / comedy show called "In Living Color". One of their comedy sketches centered around a Jamaican immigrant family. The schtick was, everyone in their family was so hard working, it was ridiculous. In one sketch, a new couple shows the Jamaicans their young child, who promptly ask, "So, what does he do? What's his job?" The comic tension surrounds the irony that, most normal people don't expect their children to perform adult tasks. ...
  7. Cycle Fascists

    Godwin's Law be damned: You people are Bike Nazis.

    You know who you are. You ride uphill at five miles per hour, in the car lane. There's room to your right, but you will not pull over. A dozen cars pile-up behind you. You do not care. You don't have to care. WE all must SHARE the road.

    It's like 'toddler property rights'. If it's yours at the moment, it's YOURS. We can have the road back, just as soon as you're done with it. In your own sweet time.
  8. (your title here)

    I'm taking a break from my engaging and wildly popular Home Invaders series to bring you the following point to ponder:

    Who are you?

    This is more than some clichéd philosophical query, or a rockin' 70's song.

    Name the event: Fire, flood, political intrigue etc... You will always find a reporter thrusting a microphone in a "person's" face. But we can't simply call them a "person", can we? There must be a name, and a title. The graphic ...
  9. Home Invaders: Part Two

    Note: If you're an in-home service professional, read this.
    If you know an in-home service professional, refer them to this.
    If you ever have anyone work at your home, pray that they read this.

    Ok, based on my intro in the last installment, you have showed-up to work sober, clean and a few minutes early. You're ready to grab the day by the cajones and OWN it.
    Next step:


    If you have a direct supervisor, ...
  10. Home Invaders: Section One of... ?

    You just need something fixed, right?

    Say a quick prayer. If you call for some home service "professional' (i.e. plumber, painter, cable guy, etc.) you're rolling the dice. And you know it. Maybe you'll get the clean, articulate professional that you'd gladly recommend. Or, maybe, you get the guy that looks like he just crawled off the barroom floor, smells like an ashtray and speaks in monosyllabic grunts.
    Don't think that because you called a large, reputable firm that ...
  11. Financial Responsibility

    I'll admit that I am frustrated. I'm not surprised, though. I just wish I can go back and pinpoint when this all started. I think when VCRs first came out, and people were intimidated by the instructions on how to set the clock. It became socially acceptable to just leave it flashing "12:00". Or put a piece of black tape over the clock, if you were really crafty.
    Now, it seems that every problem has the same solutions for modern "man": Ignore the problem, or ...
  12. Of Gray and Other Colours

    If you take the same route to and from work everyday, you can take the scenery for granted. I usually do. Seattle is like most major cities in the U.S.: A sea of bright cars flow down rivers of asphalt, flanked by canyons on steel and glass. You are lost in the motion, like flotsam waiting to wash-up on some barren, uncaring shore called work.
    Of course, along the stream there are bright splashes. Most of them are some form of solicitation, tempting you to buy some product or use ...
  13. Attitude and Gratitude

    Disclaimer: Any mention of 'tips' or 'gratuities' in the following text are fictitious literary devices with no basis in reality. IRS Agents are required to suspend any and all audit intent before proceeding. Trespassers will be bludgeoned with a rolled up copy of the Bill of Rights and have the text for the First Amendment plastered on your forehead. Thank You.

    No, this is not about 'tipping'. You can argue the procedural details elsewhere.

    However, I (may have) received ...
  14. Rich? Defined...

    Before I can compare and contrast how the wealthy live, we need to define what 'rich' is.

    If you have some duct tape, sodium pentathol and the right accountants, the answer is easy. Unfortunatley, for this little thought experiment, I don't have access to financial records. So i'm going with anecdotal, observational answers. And no, it is not $250k. That dosn't even get you into a decent yacht club.

    Here is a short, non-inclusive list of atributes that 'the rich' may ...
  15. The Other Half

    Do you hate the rich? It's OK, many people do.

    It's totally understandable as well. No other group in modern history had been so maligned as the wealthy. You can blame them for just about everything. THEY are the reason you don't have a job, they shipped yours overseas. THEY are the reason your kid is poorly educated, they send theirs to private schools and suck the money out of public institutions. And so on. We are bombarded with these messages daily.

    There's only ...
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