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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

••◊ Relaxed @Home in the Pacific Northwest

Twice a year I travel back home to Seattle to help my friend Brad with his bodybuilding show productions. I've been doing this for the past 23 years, believe it or not. My first show as a general purpose runner was the North America Bodybuilding Championships back in '87. In the early to mid-nineties I took over the audio production for the show. We have a tight crew that knows how to get the job done, so the show always seems to land on it's feet due to experience and quick thinking - as well as knowing that there's no way to completely plan for over 200 starved, tired, and testosterone driven individuals over two days. I have stories...

More importantly this allows me to travel home twice a year to go see mom.

Today I hopped on a plane at 8am headed for Seattle. After a recent trip I now know to avoid travel on Monday mornings. It's an exercise in cat herding out of Lindbergh Field. Everyone is on their cell phones trying to figure out the logistics of their destination and security checks are backed up down the corridor. Seattle is usually OK except at Christmas, with the exception of the Alaska terminal. Now for a polar bear like me I was excited to go jacket-less and feel the wonderful cold of Puget Sound. Cold is bitter and dry in Southern California, whereas it feels so good in the Pacific Northwest. It even rained a little in my honor - just enough for a welcome.

What I notice every time I come home is how much concrete is used in construction. No, this picture wasn't taken in monochrome, but it might as well have been. The roads are even a different color in southern California.

I was voraciously hungry after arriving off the plane, so the mom and I stopped by the Agua Verde Cafe in the 'U' (University of Washington) district off of Boat Street to grab some grub. Burritos and Orange tea - hey, it's appropriate for Seattle where people get muffins and tea at independent movie houses. The temperature outside was in the lower to mid-50's and sure enough the two women on the terrace at the cafe were wearing tank tops. Take that Pacific Beach! Wussies.

Just to visually explain to you what kind of neighborhood we were in here's a photo from one of the cars along our walk from our car to the cafe. I named it "Villagers Against Bush." Right next to the 'U' district is the Fremont district where people grandly display their "Keep Fremont Funky" bumper stickers on their '80's Volvo station wagons in revolt to Adobe's corporate headquarters at the Fremont draw bridge and the movement of the "Red Door" bar. Every year Fremont holds a solstice parade which begins with with naked cyclists. You'll have to look on other blogs for those pictures (Josh).

Tomorrow I'm off to lasermotive to see where my engineering consultations have helped them in the space elevator competition. The adventure begins with me bumming around Seattle until about 11am, so I'll be out hunting for photo opportunities of course. My friend David, the part time underwear model, part time spacecraft builder, is going to meet me downtown and we are going to run down to their office for a demo of the 10kW laser powered space elevator. We will NOT be pointing the laser in the direction of Seatac, just for the record. In fact we won't be firing up the laser at all. See their blog for details on why.

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