Wednesday, June 30, 2004

It's Summer, Lighten Up!

Just in time for my new diet, Starbucks is introducing light Frappuccinos. It's about time; I've been talking about the need for them to lower the sugar and fat in their frozen drinks for a long time now. While I really like them, I drink about one a quarter because they're just not good enough to justify the sugar. (And Ladro makes frozen lattes with non-fat milk and fresh espresso and I can add as much or as little or as fake sugar as I like).

While some quoted in this article don't think that they will be a hot item, I'm convinced that once all of those figure conscious caffene addicts discover these, they'll be the next big thing. At least until October.

link via Brigita

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Operation Northwest Parental Blitz complete SAT

My parents were here last week, so things were a little busy in my part of the world for a while. They both arrived the Saturday before last, my dad left last Wednesday, and my mom returned home yesterday. The following were some of the things that we did over the last 10 days (M=Mom, D=Dad, K=my sister Kate, J=Jeff, T=me, M2=Michael, Kate's boyfriend):

- Traveled to San Juan Island
- Biked SJI - 30 miles (T, J)
- Tasted NW wines (T, J, K, M, D)
- Grilled halibut and salmon (all)
- Sipped chipotle beer (T, K, J, D)
- Watched whales (K, M) and seals (all)
- Visited historic SJI settlements (K, M, D, M2)
- Went to Mt. Rainier and walked in the snow (M, D, K) - in Teva's (K)
- Watched Tricia speak at her leadership program graduation (M, D, K, T)
- Ate Thai food (M, D, T, K)
- Visited UW and the library; bougt many children's books (M, K)
- Visited friends on the Olympic Penninsula (D)
- Saw the new Seattle library (M, M2)
- Ate lunch at Mario Betali's parents' deli (M, M2)
- Toured the state capital (M, T)
- Visited the Museum of Glass (M, T)
- Talked to the animals at the Zoo (M, K)
- Brunched at a Tom Douglas establishment
- Went to Pike's Place Market (M, K, T, J, M2)
- Observed art at SAM (M, K, J, T, M2)
- Ate Dungenous crab (M, K, J, T, M2)
- Ate Dim Sum (M, K, T, J, M2)
- Drank bubble tea and shopped at Uijamaya (T, M, K, J, M2)
- Explored Freemont and Queen Anne (all)
- Learned the Seattle bus system (M)
- Went to work/class (J, T, K)
- Did much laundry (T, M)
- Unpacked, washed, and found room for newly inherited dishware (T,J,K,M)

I'm a little tired, and more than a little full.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


I did it: I got g-mail. I shared all of Jeff's gripes with the system, but folded when I realized that I could get an address: without any random numbers or letters and finally have an email address that was intuitive and easy to remember. Beta test, here I come.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Where were you when...

The Questions
1. Where were you when you heard that Ronald Reagan died?
At home, I think? It was Saturday afternoon, and I found out on yahoo news.

2. Where were you on September 11, 2001?
I was in Seattle; I'd moved back just a few weeks before, had just moved into my new house on September 8th. My housemates were out of town traveling for work, and my new big old house was full of my boxes and scattered furniture. I heard about the news in the car as I was parking in front of Starbucks for coffee in route to work. I think that I still bought the coffee, but never really drank it.

3. Where were you when you heard that Princess Diana died?
I don't remember this one.

4. Do you remember where you were when you heard Kurt Cobain had died?
I don't remember this one, either, but I was in my senior year of college.

5. Take one for The Gipper: What’s your favorite flavor of jelly bean?
Ick, not a jelly bean fan. But try sometime to close your eyes and plug your nose and have someone give you a jelly bean to eat and guess the flavor. It's amazingly difficult if you really keep that nose plugged.

6. Where were you when Magic Johnson announced he was retiring from the NBA due to AIDS?
Sophomore year of college; I very rarely watched tv in college (that's how I missed all of Gulf War I), especially sophomore year, but somehow saw the news conference in the Bassett dorm commons room. I think it was a Saturday morning and I was going to a DARE meeting (Date and Aquaintance Rape Education).

7. Where were you when Reagan was shot?
I don't remember where I was when he was shot, but I remember watching a bit about it on the evening news (with Walter Cronkite, of course) in my living room. I was in third grade, living in Fairfax VA.

8.Where were you when the Challenger exploded?
Eigth grade, German class (?) and remember going home and just watching the coverage on TV all afternoon.

9. Where were you when the 0J verdict was announced?
Serving aboard the USS Nimitz, off the coast San Diego; we got the tv signal as we were pulling into port. I was in the CIC (combat information center).

Link from Max; I agree with his comments about this one.

Friday, June 18, 2004


The forecast is for sunny skies and warm temps, my cold is officially over, and as soon as the folks arrive tomorrow, we head to the San Juan Islands.

Summer is here and it is good.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Another Silver Lining..

... is when your friends cancel on Trivia Night due to illness and you have a chance to to listen to the Yeti on the radio.

Hope you feel well soon, R!

Et tu, Ben? Jerry?

Still suffering from my cold (sitting in a cold dunk tank at the office picnic on Sunday didn't help), I had a little extra time after work yesterday that would have been otherwise spent working later or working out. I decided this time would be well spent eating ice cream, and the more I thought about it, the better a little B&J's New York Super Fudge Chunk sounded. To my great surprise, this flavor now comes in a sugar free variety, so I decided to try it.

As I purchased my ice cream, O.J., and generic night-time cold remedy, I noticed the older couple behind me with a cart filled with Atkin's brand cereal, low-carb frozen entrees, bacon, and other indicators of the low-carb inductee. While Jeff has given this low-carb trend only another year or so; I think that we have another decade of carb counts ahead of us. After all, look how many years (and how many pounds) were spent on the low fat plan.

Anyway, back to my Splenda-filled frozen treat. It wasn't bad, actually. A little less sweet than normal ice cream, which is not a bad thing. A little fluffier, though, sort of like when you freeze real whipped heavy cream. Still creamy, but not that dense ice cream that I've come to expect from Ben and Jerry.

All in all, I'm sticking with the carbs, the fat, and the guilt of the real stuff.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

A Silver Lining... when a bad head cold happens the same weekend the latest SITC DVD's show up in my local video store.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Trail Note: Race for the Cure

I ran the Race for the Cure this morning. Despite participating in this race every year since 1999 (twice in 2001 when I moved from VA to WA), this is the first time I "raced" in 3 years! Last year I walked with a group from work and the year before jogged with a friend. My time today was 24:47. Not the best time, but not too bad. I was slowed at the beginning by the crowds, but couldn't have gone much fasted; my legs were pretty tired at the end.

The weather turned out to be surprisingly nice this morning: sunny with puffy clouds with temps in the 60's. The race is along the downtown viaduct that runs along the waterfront and provides terrific views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.

5K has never been my favorite race, but this made me realize how few and far between I've raced of late. Since 2001, all I've done are 1/2 dozen or so half marathons, a marathon, and a few triathalons. I really need to get more running in!
Presidential Coincidence

So my parents were at the reception of the christening of the USS Jimmy Carter, probably standing on the buffet line right behind the former president and his wife, right around the time that former president Ronald Reagan died yesterday. To my knowledge, the newest Seawolf class submarine was the second US Navy ship named after a contemporary president. The first: USS Ronald Reagan.

I wonder if sailors today will resent serving on a sub named after a president whose politics they don't support as much as I resented the prospect of having to serve on the Regan (which is a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the type of ship that I served on).

I'm glad that Carter, a USNA grad and former submariner himself, had a boat named after him. And yesterday, I felt surprisingly sad about Reagan, and felt oddly comforted by the fact that at least he has a ship that carries on his name.

Update: It's taken me all week (and 24 years) to figure out how to spell Reagan. I'm blaming it on my radio news habit.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

A Taste of the East... Eastern Washington, That Is.

I've gotten a little of the desire for a long road trip out of my system after our weekend jaunt to Eastern Washington. (Well, the driving part anyway; I'd still love an extended, agenda-free vacation from Real Life).
I don't have much to add to Jeff's review of the musical portion of our trip, so I'll focus on the other half of our trip: the tasting part.

Saturday while at the Gorge I sampled a Zima XXX. Despite the value ($8 for a 24 oz can as compared to $7 for a 16 oz beer), I'm not a convert. The orange variety tastes like orange soda, but packs more alcohol per volume than beer. While it may be the perfect combination for your average sorority girl, I think that I'll stick with hops in my malted beverages, thank you very much.

Sunday we traveled out to Yakima to do a little wine tasting. We decided to be judicious (we did have to drive 150+ miles home) and only visit 3 wineries. The first was a traditional winery whose name we recognized. Nice, but nothing too special, except for the fact that I think I poured half of my first taste into the water jug rather than the jug designed for that purpose (I think that this is the first time that I haven't finished a sample while tasting, but I wasn't into the chardonnay, and was looking ahead to the drive home). We selected the second vineyard for the clever names of the wines, and the wine tasted as good as the labels looked. We now have two of the largest bottles of wine that I've ever bought - a chardonnay (I liked theirs) and a cabernet sauvignon.

Finally, we visited Paradisos del Sol winery based on the entertaining description. When we arrived, we were a little surprised to just see a small house with kids and dogs running around the yard. We followed the "yes, this is a winery" sign and cautiously entered the kitchen of the house to find a sample table with half a dozen wine tasters and a wine maker vivaciously describing his wines and pouring samples. There were tasty snacks to accompany the samples, and as opposed to the other vineyards where you had to specify what you wanted to sample, and pay extra for the "finer" samples, here you had to sample everything ("just because you don't 'like rose' doesn't mean that you don't like this one"). Anyone who spends years developing the perfect wine to go with pizza gets my vote for favorite vineyard.

Next time I'm getting a group together to rent a van, spend the day, and picnic along the way. And I won't be bringing along any Zima.