Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008


This is when Jason and I - oddly enough - started to get along ...

Check out the video and other stuff. Jason has some good stuff in there.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Our FIRST Cougar Soccer World Champion

Congratulation to Wazzu Defender Kiersten Dallstream and the USA Women's U20 World Champions!!!

As a Coug, former WSU assistant women's soccer coach, and soccer supporter I would like to simply congratulate the USA U20s on their world championship victory over North Korea.

To see a Coug play for the USA is a very, very, very cool thing.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Trying not to feel smug today

Almost two years ago I rolled my van down a ravine in Brier.

I drove slowly, but down a street I should not have gone down without chains or snow tires on. The street had been partially sanded that morning, but not the area where I had the accident.

Had I taken the time to put on the snow tires in November or when the weather turned it is possible that the accident might, just might have been avoided.

When I got the van three years ago it came with a good spare and four mounted snow tires. That's right, already mounted.

There was a weekend day in early November that was cold, but dry. So, I went ahead and started the process of changing each tire and then going to the local 7-11 and topping off the air in each tire. Combined time to do this process was likely about 45 minutes.

My neighbor and father both commented that they really needed to change theirs too.

It is supposed to snow today. I am looking out a window that shows the awful weather outside. It is hard to not feel smug when I hear the news reports of the lines of people waiting to get their snow tires on.

If only I had done this two years ago ...

Monday, December 08, 2008

Battlestar Galactica (part 3)

I am current.

When the first half of Season 4 started in April I was checking out the miniseries from the library. From April until the Apple Cup I managed to get completely caught up in order of all of the episodes, webisodes, deleted scenes, and specials ... in order ... and can now watch the final half season with the fans who have been with it all along.

Bear in mind I do not have cable, etc ... and so I do not watch a lot of tv. When I decided to watch the miniseries I did not expect to find myself watching all of the seasons or to discover the best science fiction series ever on television. I have found myself going to where I can watch episodes and webisodes online to be fully caught up. I am.

I have always been a fan of Star Trek, the original BSG, Buck Rogers, Alias, Lost, and other series like the current BSG. At no point has this series Jumped the Shark. Alias did. Lost has. And a lot of those other shows faded and limped to sad deaths. BSG is simply the best show I have ever seen and I look forward to the web episodes beginning Friday and the final ten episodes.

Take the banners down ...

Last week at the Metallica concert was the first time I stepped inside Key Arena since the Oklahoma City Thunder left town. At the first Storm game in May I noted - and took the picture - that the banners were still hanging, but at that point the settlement had not been reached and their technically was still a team here.

There doesn't feel like there is even the remotest chance of the NBA returning to Seattle, at least while that prick David Stern is commissioner.

Take the banners down.

The banners are presumably up in order to motivate us to build momentum to help bring back a team.

I know Seattle has the right to keep them due to the terms of surrender, but it really felt less than inspiring to see them there. It was like looking at a graveyard and tombstones.

Take the banners down.

comic book boxes

It doesn't always appear to be so, but I am more organized than this.

I realized recently that a small indie press comic mini-series had been released that I had only previously purchased the first issue of. Procuring issues 2-5 turned out to be simpler than I thought, so all I would need to do was grab issue one out of my comic boxes and re-read it prior to finishing with the issues I had just received.

No such luck.

My comics are organized pretty well. Not more than a year ago I had gone through many of the boxes, re-organizing them. All of my works of this particular artist were together in one box so I grabbed that cluster and got ready.

No such luck.

Issue number one was not there.

I tore through all of the boxes over the next few days and evenings, going through them completely three times.

No such luck.

I am suddenly no longer certain that I ever purchased number one a couple years ago after all. I can picture the cover in my hands. I can remember reading it. At least I think I can.

The first time I was ticked. The second time was irritating and caused me to doubt I had purchased it. By the time I had gone through the boxes for the third time I was a little exasperated.

Where did it go?

I know I got it. At least, I think I know I got it ...

Grrrrr .....

The Cougs turned a corner late ...

The Cougs bottomed out in October. They gave up 69 points to a USC team that stopped throwing. Statistically speaking, the Cougs were epically bad. Opposing teams were scoring points at an astonishing clip. There was legitimate talk about whether or not it was the transition or the new coach itself that was the problem.

I am, and was in October, of the belief that Paul Wulff is a good coach. The last three games of the season show that the bottom has been hit and the Cougs are moving forward again. The record during those three games is 1-2, but the statistics show much more.

The total combined points opposing teams scored the final three weeks of the season was 68. It is clear that the Cougs did not give up, but in fact kept playing and improving; Arizona State was still shooting to become bowl eligible, Washington was desperately trying to avoid the 0-12 season they ended up with, and Hawaii needed one more win to become bowl eligible. The Cougs improved against teams with something to play for. Opposing teams did not get immediate large leads. We all saw the end of the Apple Cup. There are glimpses of what the future could bring from a number of young players. I don't believe it will be next year, but there is a bowl game in the near future for Wazzu football.

Coach Wulff, your boys did not mail it in down the stretch. A coach whose team keeps playing is the one getting through to them.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The 11 Marathons of Jefferson

Looking back at the Seattle Marathon from 2008 to 1998 ...

Paying forward a Thanksgiving favor

I have this annoying tendency to ride the odometer pretty close to disaster prior to getting a fresh fill up for my van. There is a safe range of distance I know I can go without running out of gas. I was wrong once and got luck to get a tow from a construction truck the half mile to the gas station I was on the way to when I ran out. Flirting with disaster I decided to drive all the way past my post office to a gas station on 99 that I was pretty certain I could get to. I was wrong for the second time since getting this van.

Thanksgiving morning I ran out of gas on a major road with lots of traffic. This is a bad thing to have happen. But, as you will discover, I got very, very lucky.

The disheartening feeling one gets when pushing on the gas pedal and having a vehicle die is not one that is easily forgotten. I knew it when I felt it and was on the cusp of panic. I was just about at 200th and past a gas station and one little dip and rise and dip from the next gas station. I coasted briefly in neutral, turned the key as I was beginning to head downhill and got a little burst that took me up to about 35 miles per hour. There was not a lot of traffic at that point and I saw the light atop the rise at 208th. All I had to do was be able to coast enough up that hill and not stop and I could coast downhill into the gas station just past 212th. It was a good plan.

Good plans do not always work though.

The van died again while going up the rise. I let it coast and hoped it would be enough. With the van pointing up hill I would not get another start out of whatever token remnant gas was still in the tank. The speedometer slowed as the van slowed. I moved to the right lane out of the way of traffic and began trying to will the van through the light. With a smidgen of luck mixed with the bad the light turned red as the vehicle died at about 208th.

Popping the seat belt and hopping out I began to push, hoping for just enough of a start to get through the light as it turned green and the road would begin to slope down again. As I picked up a bit of steam the light turned green and I pushed and got the van through the light and felt it start to pick up speed.

Feeling rather smug about how good of shape I must actually be in I hopped back in and got ready to try one more fire up to get a boost through 212th and onward to the gas station beyond.

I looked in my mirror and was startled to see a guy about my age right up against the rear window, his red truck pulled to the side. There had been help I was not aware of that got me through the light. There was simply not time to stop and thank him as I began coasting down 99 toward 212th. I did lean out and wave and yell, "Thanks!" really loud. He acknowledged my thanks and moved on.

Either the world is paying me back in small ways for the crap I have gone through or I need to pay forward a huge favor to a random someone to keep my karmic balance at peace.

The light turned red at 212th.

I had to stop again.

A State patrol car crested the hill and coasted to a stop a few cars behind me. The gas station was only a partial block away. The light turned green and I turned the key, hoping to get one burst and not to simply have to coast and risk having to explain what happened to an officer.

The van fired up and I kicked it into drive and got up to 15 miles per hour before it died once again. I signalled right and turned into the gas station and coasted up easily to a pump. The State Patrol car slowed as he past, but kept going.

I filled up.

The odometer reading from that tank is getting close again. I think I will gas up this afternoon after school.

Walking to the Subway

I chose to turn left.

Although that in general should not surprise anyone metaphorically speaking it proved to be a huge waste of time when it came to getting food on a Friday night in Mukilteo.

See ... I had enough points on the card to get a free sub at that huge chain. So, while I was primarily was walking to the grocery store to get some staple items it occurred to me that it would be a good time to cash in those points and bring home a big sandwich.

I have been living in Picnic Point and shopping out on the Speedway for almost four years now. Simply by driving through and paying attention at all I have a decent awareness of what is out there for me to grab a quick bite when necessary. At least I thought I had a better awareness than it turns out I do.

I knew there was at least one Subway along the Speedway ... and there is ... but not where I was certain it would be. No big deal in principle, but a pain in the @$$ when walking several miles on a Friday night.

Walking to the store instead of driving was a way of loosening my legs and killing off some time. It is about 2 miles each way just to the grocery store from my apartment. I was convinced that I had seen the yellow sign just down the road to the left. Well, there is one down to the left ... a few more miles away than I was certain it was. So, I kept walking as it was getting close to 10PM and I was not certain it would be open until a very convenient 11PM on a Friday night. I walked almost an additional mile before I realized my error. I was hungry. Jack's lobby was closed. Every restaurant was closed at ten. On a Friday night along the Speedway virtually everything was closed.

Had it even been there it would have been closed. Once again I am reminded of the general suburban lameness I trade for the tranquility and peace of the area I live in.

Trudging back up to the grocery store and realizing how much of an incline I was on my mood turned sour. Trudging uphill on a much longer walk than I had intended to go on to not find a restaurant I wanted to go to made me realize that had I simply turned right I would have gone a shorter distance to find the restaurant closed anyways.

A week later I have not used those points yet.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Dang near 20 years ...

Metallica was moments away from coming to the stage. Lamb of God and The Sword had both already performed. I was sipping on my eggnog latte. My son and my brother were both to my left. Ringo was in my 1988 Metallica Summer Tour tee shirt. We were all standing. Key Arena was made smaller by configuration being in the round. Our seats were fantastic so the stage was not far away. The ticket was a gift. It was a school night. I am 41 years old.

The last time I had been to a Metallica concert and was waiting for them to hit the stage was in August of 1989. I was chugging a soda. It was in the old Spokane Coliseum and The Cult had just finished playing. I was by myself. I was wearing my 1988 Metallica Summer Tour tee shirt. The building was much smaller, I was standing because it was general admission, and the stage was not far away. The ticket was a gift. It was a school night. I was 22 years old.

There were many opportunities to see them again over the years. Due to a variety of mishaps and near misses dang near 20 years had passed.

My son had asked me back in September, "Dad, can you take me to Metallica?" part of me wanted to just say no. A serious right of passage is involved here. Metallica is not a pop tour, this is a big arena rock tour, an entirely different animal. I have and had mixed emotions standing there. With my bro going too I joked I was taking two 12 years olds, but actually my bro is great for concerts because he likes to be left alone to enjoy the music and Ringo was just into it so there was nothing remotely like a problem to deal with when it came to either of them.

Beyond that ... it was an interesting set and a great show. They through everything into it from lasers to fog to flames. They played old songs and featured new ones while basically skipping 93-07. I wanted one of the black beach balls but did not get one.

24 hours later I was listening to a download of the show that came with the tickets ...