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Saturday, July 31, 2010

This is not...

...somewhere I expected to have cell service. To the right of the picture, that's a glacier spilling between the mountains.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Hey, look at that -- I'm in Alaska! The photo above is my view from the ferry as I write this (still at dock in Juneau).

A few observations, appropriately bite-sized for phone blogging;

- While waiting for the bus at the Juneau airport, a pickup truck pulled up with a bumper sticker that read "Honk if you're drunk." Just after that, a VW Vanagon pulled up and a guy with a bushy beard got out and carried a big barrel of something into the terminal, then came back out and drove off.
- The cruise ships that dock in Juneau literally dwarf the city itself...at least in physical size, and probably in population as well.
- I bought a sandwich (at Subway, blah) to take on the ferry with me and asked for provolone on it. "This is Alaska," the woman behind the counter said, "we don't have provolone...we don't even have Swiss."

Overnight ferry to Petersburg, where I'll hang out with Melati for a few days. Then a two-day ferry ride to Seattle, for a long weekend there with David and others. That will be followed by a two-day train trip to Minneapolis, where I'll hang out for almost a week before heading home. Should be awesome.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ahead Pavement on Words

There's a nice new two-way bike lane in the median of Pennsylvania Ave.

I don't ride in it very often because I'm typically traveling perpendicular to Pennsylvania Ave. But I did want to note something that has always been a minor annoyance to me, and is more obvious than usual here: Am I the only one whose first instinct is to read that text on the pavement as "TURNS FOR X WALK USE"? I get that you're supposed to read the words in the order you encounter them, but since I can see all of the words at once, my eye is trained to read them top to bottom. I'm sure it's in the MUTCD, because pavement text is always written this way. "AHEAD ZONE SCHOOL," etc. -- it actually takes quite a bit of effort to read it in the order it's intended to be read. There was probably some traffic engineer who considered it a highlight of his career that in 1964, he helped determine the right way to put words on pavement. Well, he was wrong, I tell you!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Songs of the Moment (An Occasional Feature)

> Fleet Foxes - Ragged Wood
> LCD Soundsystem - Dance Yrself Clean
> Sleigh Bells - Crown on the Ground [mp3]
> The National - Afraid of Everyone [mp3]
> Cloud Cult - Running with the Wolves [mp3]
> Uncle Tupelo - Whiskey Bottle

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wikipedia prose

I love Wikipedia, but one result of its crowd-sourced content is that the writing can sometimes be a bit idiosyncratic and disjointed. Reading the entry for Juneau, Alaska, one finds this sentence at the end of a paragraph on the city's economy:

"Tree-trunk exporting also has a fondly remembered place in Juneau's economic history."

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Omnibus update

Hey there, long time no blog.

I haven't posted for over a month -- been quite busy -- so permit me to recap a few things, proceeding in descending order of importance:

- Alex, Doug and I have set a date for Doughnut Quest, at the end of August, about a year after we had originally planned to have it. I'm sure it will be worth the wait. Expect an extensive blog post recap.
- I'm in the final stages of plotting a trip in late July/early August that will take me to Alaska, Seattle, and Minneapolis, with some nice multi-modal transportation in between.
- I got my first real camera, which I'm very excited about. More on that in a subsequent post.
- My gardening efforts are now bearing frui...er, vegetables. I sauteed my first zucchini yesterday, and I've had salad greens for almost a month. (I highly recommend growing mixed greens in a window box. It keeps them off the ground, where they can get overtaken by other plants or eaten, and keeps them close at hand to snip a few the moment you want a salad.) The bunches of big, fat green tomatoes on my dozen-plus plants indicate that there will be plenty of those in a couple weeks, all heirloom varieties.