February 23, 2004

Pictures Galore!

The past few days here in Seattle have been filled with some beautiful weather, fun events, and lot's of wonderful walking. Today, for example, reached 60°, with the sun shining, and the mountains slicing through the horizon off in the distance. In fact, the only thing I've seen lately that resembled winter weather was the ice on the floor of Key Arena this past Saturday night, where a group of us ventured out to see the Seattle Thunderbirds battle the Portland Winter Hawks in a very entertaining minor league hockey game.

Speaking of winter weather, I have to admit that I'm getting very used to the warm weather out here. I realize it's not always going to be this nice, because apparently it rains a lot this time of year (I still don't believe it), but there's something really refreshing about having a nice, warm, sunny day in mid-February. So, of course, my favorite world traveler and I had no choice but to take advantage of the sunshine.

"The title of this entry says something about pictures, Jed! Stop your babbling!"

Sorry...

Without further adieu, here are two groups of pictures for your viewing pleasure: (Click the links to view the pics. Pages may take a moment or two to load.)

The Hockey Game: Random pics from a very fun evening.


Waterfront: Laugh and/or cry as I could not seem to take our self portrait down by the water on this beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Also, be advised that I have finally gotten around to helping Karen (and myself) figure out how to work her digital camera. Before today, pictures were taken via Andy or Chase, but now I have control, mwa ha ha ha! Furthermore, we are heading to San Francisco on Tuesday, so I'm sure there will be many more pictures on the way.

You have been warned.

Godspeed!

Posted by jed at 02:57 AM | Comments (12)

February 14, 2004

NB-Yay!

This past Thursday night, Alex outdid himself once again with his graciousness and gratitude, and invited me along to a Seattle Supersonics basketball game. Not only have I never been to a live NBA game before, and not only do I love basketball, but Seattle just happened to be hosting the Toronto Raptors- whose team includes none other than my favorite NBA star, Vince Carter. Thursday night was also one of the nicest (temperature wise) evenings since I've been here, so when I had some time to kill before meeting Alex, I had a nice chance to relax and take in some views.

Anyway, enough chit chat. If you want to see some of the things I was lucky enough to see, click here.

Cheers!

Posted by jed at 07:23 PM | Comments (1)

February 12, 2004

Space Need-a-little Sunshine

Today the unthinkable happened. Today, Andy and I lost internet. This meant only one thing- (pay attention 'liz who works')- that we had to get off our lazy behinds and do something productive with our day. Luckily for us, though, we had planned to do this before the internet crisis occured, so we didn't freak out. (Like last time, pictures can be found by clicking the link at the bottom of this horribly long post)

It really was perfect timing, that we chose to be not-lazy on such a beautiful day. There were no clouds in the sky, the sun was shining brightly, and it was very warm- something, I for one, am not used to for mid February.

Our first stop was the Space Needle. I can only assume that there aren't many better days to be up there, as the sky's were open with views in every direction, the crowds were almost non-existent, and Mount Rainier was actually visible. (I can remember when Chase and I ventured to the top over Labor Day, I almost didn't believe there was a mammoth mountain off in the distance because it was so incredibly hazy.) It was really pretty nice, and as I mentioned earlier... very warm.

So, once we took in the view, we headed back down to the bottom, and were led 'coincidentally' into the gift shop. We subsequently played with the loads of crap they had for sale, and were on our way. Once outside, we figured that with all the walking involved to get from the apartment to the space needle, (it's almost one whole mile!) we owed it to ourselves to spend the $1.50 on a monorail ticket. It was well worth it, except that it only travels about a half a mile, from the space needle into the downtown area. It was perfect though, because our next stop was the Pike Place Market. Did I mention how sunny and warm it was?

We hopped off the monorail, and headed toward the water front. We hadn't eaten, so food was becoming a priority. We pretty much ran through the market, but got the overall gist of what it has to offer, and desperately began looking for food. I then made poor Andy wait around while I was having the most frustrating cell phone conversation I've ever had, with my favorite world traveler, as it kept cutting out, coming back, cutting out, coming back. It was equally horrible because I know I was 'one of those guys,' talking on the cell phone, shouting 'can you hear me!' and not paying attention to what was around me. It made me remember why I hated cell phones... until I got one. (I still try not to talk in public, unless completely necessary) My point is, our stomachs were getting restless, my nerves were becoming nervous, and the raspberries tasted like raspberries! At least it was nice and warm. (Also, to avoid confusion and cover my own rear end, the cell phone conversation was not frustrating because of my favorite world traveler, only due to the horrible connection our phones were having)

DISCLAIMER: The following portion of the 'Jed and Andy are no longer lazy' saga may have been changed slightly from how it actually happened. Please be advised.

We wandered around a bit more near the waterfront, and I could see that all this walking and exersise was really getting to Andy. His face was becoming pale, and I could see his body giving in more with every step.

"You can do it Andy, c'mon! We're almost there!!" I shouted, desperately trying to energize and motivate him.

"I can't do it man... I just.. can't!" he muttered, barely able to speak the words. With every breath he slowed more and more, and I was becoming less certain we would make it back up to Capitol Hill. I looked at his face, and I could read it all too clearly. I knew what it meant... it meant I would have to go on without him. "I broke my leg," he whispered, and I knew we were stuffed.

(We just saw Touching the Void, I guess it's still on the mind)
END DISCLAIMER

Andy and I eventually made it to the Pike Pub and Brewery for our first meal of the day at around 4:30, and it gave us just enough nourishment to complete the walk home. All in all, it was a nice day, and I can finally go to sleep because I'm tired, and not because it's 3 a.m.

Except for the fact that it probably will be 3 a.m.

Anyway, if you want to view the days festivities, go ahead and click here. Hope you enjoy...

Godspeed!!

Posted by jed at 12:40 AM | Comments (6)

February 10, 2004

The Lazy Factor

Andy and I have officially achieved something so great... so wonderful... so brilliant... I almost cannot find the words to describe it. Andy and I are, without a doubt, the laziest people on the face of the planet.

This last week has progressed from a slight amount of motivation, to almost none at all, and we're enjoying every second of it. Let me give you some examples of what I mean:

1) By the time I wake up and sign onto AOL instant messanger, most people on the east coast are preparing to leave work for the day.

2) I usually don't change out of my pajama's and homer simpson slippers until 5:00 p.m. (at the earliest)

3) Andy and I move... slowly... from our bed/futon in the morning/afternoon, into a comfortable position in front of the computer, where we remain for most of the day, surfing the web, playing games, and listening to music.

4) When asked by Chase to view the sunset tonight, I muttered a half sentence suggesting interest, but refrained from movement, while Andy glanced towards the window, touched the blinds, and said 'wow that's nice.' (also note, our window has a nice view of the building across the street, while the actual view is about 2 blocks away. So, even if he did look out, he would have seen nothing)

5) Moments ago, Andy actually stopped mid sentence, because he was too lazy to complete it.

6) We've been here a week, and only today did we walk more than a few blocks away... and even then, it wasn't very far.

There are many other factors included in our quest for laziness, but I'm beginning to realize how bad we look, so I'll save those for next time. Until then, here's a taste of our laziness, just so you can picture it.

This is how Andy spends most of his time:

lazy andy

This is how I spend most of my time:

lazy jed

(Just as a slight justification that our laziness is probably temporary, Andy did eventually get up and view the sunset. You can take a look at it by clicking here. And yes, when I say Andy went, it means I did not)

Cheers!!


Posted by jed at 03:49 AM | Comments (10)

February 04, 2004

Sleeping In Seattle

After 3 and a half days of driving, lot's of snack food, and about 2 dozen gas stations, Andy and I finally made it to Seattle. The trip conformed to our every need, and the roads treated us well. For the most part, the highway was empty, as were many of the towns we stopped in. As Andy (aka 'The Hammer') said, "it's as if everyone knows something we don't." It was kind of the theme for the entire ride, as we encountered very little traffic, and many deserted towns, to the point at which we got a little scared and had to flee. Otherwise, we had quite a few adventures for such a fast trip. (a link for pictures is at the bottom of this horribly long entry)

Adventure 1: Ohio
Ohio was a very boring state, much worse than Wyoming or Pennsylvania. It's long, and not very scenic, and just all around dull. Oh yeah, except for the crazy sniper who shot someone the day we drove through it! Man I hate Ohio.

Aventure 2: Wisconsin
As I just said, I hated Ohio. Wisconsin, however, made up for it. I LOVED Wisconsin. More specifically, I loved a certain gas station in Wisconsin that treated me very well. The Hammer jotted down the reasons why Wisconsin is my favorite state.

I ♥ Wisconsin

Rest Stop: Wis Dells, Wisconsin
Gas Station: BP, right off exit 87 on I-90 West.

1. This was the first gas station that had French Vanilla flavored creamer for my coffee, and it was very good.
2. I found a backscratcher for .99¢. I have always wanted one, but never found one, and this one was under a dollar.
3. The restrooms had their own toilet seat covers. As andy wrote, ''nuff said."
4. Also in the restrooms, were automatic paper towel dispensers. I've seen automatic bathroom items in the past (faucets, blowdryers, etc) but never have I seen one that shoots paper at me. It was so awesome.
5. The guy behind the counter gave me my coffee for free! After lusting over the flavored cream, I thought I was in heaven, but then he just gave it to me. He was the only gas station attendant to do this on the whole trip.
6. We only had to fill up 3/4 of a tank of gas, so it seemed like I spent less money, at least for one stop.
7. For the first time on the ride, the cat walked to the back of the crate and showed little concern for his own well being. Prior to this point, he just kind of snuggled deep into a pillow and didn't move, eat, drink, or anything. In Wis Dells, however, he moved around. He likes Wisconsin, too!

(please click here to see The Hammers reasons why he ♥ Minnesota)

Adventure 3: South Dakota
I had been to South Dakota before, and other than seeing the Corn Palace for a second time, it's not really a state I needed to visit again. This trip further enforced this feeling.
A: Gas Stop
We stopped for gas in a small town... I'm talking, maybe 100 people big... but we needed gas, and weren't sure how much further the next exit was. The town was Presho, (ok, 588 people) and it was scary. The sun was out, the fields were glowing, and Presho sat upon a small hill, looking innocent enough with it's water tower and two gas stations. The problem was, however, there was not a soul in this town. One gas station was closed, but the other was displaying it's open sign clearly. We pulled in, and tried to pump, but nothing happened. I tried to get into the building, but it was locked tight. There wasn't a person in sight; no movement, no sounds...
We were hit with a sudden vibe to leave Presho, as if the town was sending us a subliminal message "you're not welcome here, leave our town!!" I'm pretty sure it was a ghost town. Either that, or the owner of the gas station saw us coming and hid behind the counter, frightened that someone new was in town.
B: Mount Rushmore
I had been here before, and it's definitely worth checking out if you're ever in the area (though I don't know why anyone would be in the area, unless driving cross country, or going to Rushmore to begin with) It's neat, and impressive and all, but what you see in pictures pretty much does it justice. However, we came upon Rapid City around 6:30 at night, after the sun had set, and decided to head into Keystone (30 or so miles from Rapid City, and the town where Mount Rushmore is located) We had planned to stop early, take in the super bowl and Survivor, and relax for a night, and check out Rushmore early the next morning. But much to our surprise, we were hit with yet another ghost town. You would think that maybe one or two people, a security officer, or even a mountain goat might be in the area, but it was empty. I refer to the statement "it's as if everyone knows something we don't." We continued on towards the mountain, confused and scared. The only good thing about all this was the view of Mount Rushmore we did get, lit up in all it's glory in the clear mountain sky. It really was pretty nice, minus the nervousness for lack of people. We decided to flee Keystone, and South Dakota, and make our way through Wyoming that night, but got stuck in some very thick fog and stopped an hour or two down the road. Stupid South Dakota.

Adventure 4: The Rest Of The Midwest, Including Butte
My previous experience in Wyoming was not the greatest, but this time I really enjoyed it. Much like South Dakota, there's not a whole lot to look at, but with the snow lacing the landscape, it really looked pretty cool. Not a place I'd like to stay in for long, but it was nice to drive through very fast. The roads were empty, too, and the sun was shining, so the drive was really easy. Montana was the same, treating us well, and giving us some good views of the Rocky Mountains. We also had a chance to stop in Butte. Andy ate Apu in Butte, and I had a gas spillage in Butte. Please note, we pronounce it Butt, and continued to do so in public before realizing we were saying Butt, rather than Butte.

Adventure 5: Idaho and Washington
So we made it this far, and had relatively no problems. Minus a minor snowstorm in Minnesota (we just barely beat out the big storm, this was the fringe of it) we had excellent driving conditions, and literally no problems. Coming down the backside of the Rocky Mountains from Montana into Idaho was a bit frightening, as snow was piled probably 5 or 6 feet on the side of the roads, and a woman at a gas station told us in the daylight, we'd be able to see cliffs right next to the road- I guess it just drops right off- but it was dark so we weren't worried (what we don't see can't hurt us) I thought that would be the tough part... I thought we had been going downhill for a long time, we must be near the bottom... I thought that once we crossed into Spokane, WA, we were home free... I thought wrong. After such great luck for 2700 miles, we finally ran into a snowstorm. It wasn't all that bad, but it was enough to make it very stressful, and slow us way down. At this point it was about midnight Pacific time (3 a.m. Eastern) so we were tired, we'd been in the car for 16 straight hours, and this was not what we wanted when we were so close. My knuckles were probably white from grabbing the steering wheel, trying to keep control of the car and trailer in the slippery snow (still going downhill, by the way. The Hammer and I learned that once you get through Butte, it goes downhill all the way to Seattle... literally)

But in the end, all that matters is that we made it. It was about 4:30 a.m. when we pulled in, did some unpacking, and fell asleep. Now The Hmmer and I sit here in the apartment, enjoying unemployment, being lazy, while poor Chase is out being employed. Sucker. Also, if you want to see pictures of our trip, check out The Hammers collection here.

There will be many new and exciting things to share in the next few weeks/months, so keep an eye out. Till next time...

Cheers!

Posted by jed at 04:31 PM | Comments (9)