Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Monday, September 29, 2008


The auction was postponed a month. This just gets weirder and weirder. I guess I will pay rent to the “landlord” since no one else told me to pay anyone else. This is all nutty.

posted by neil at 10:20 am
under daily tribulations  

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Meme (silly)

Courtesy of livejournal’s dixieflatline:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next seven sentences in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don’t dig for your favourite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

Thank you very much,” Zefla said, holding one long leg out in front of her and looking at the bruise. “Wish I could say the same for your car.”

Sharrow looked down and ran her fingers around the top of her glass. “So are you saying I should just go to Geis?”

“Hell, no. I’m just saying that if you ever have to – especially as a last resort after you’ve run the Huhsz around in circles for a few months and aren’t getting any closer to the Gun – you needn’t worry about hurting him.”

“Even so,” Sharrow said, frowning at her drink.

Now what was absurd!

posted by neil at 12:43 pm
under Uncategorized  

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Friday Night Hijinks

Yesterday my friend Camille messages me because she was bored at work. Eventually the topic of the debate came up, and that they were showing it at the Parkway in Oakland – a brew & view type theater. This sounded like a good combination. So after work, I BARTed on over to the east bay to encounter a gigantic line (I was there a bit after doors opened, but I guess people were lined up since 5PM). And Camille and her coworker Aisha weren’t there yet. I waited in line but they were at capacity before I got in. So I waited around for Camille to get to Oakland, reading my book.

Eventually they arrived and we went to the bar next to the theater, which was very loud but at least they had the CC on the TV tuned to the debate. Camille and I drank a beer while Aisha found out that we could watch in the laundromat across the street. After we finished our beers we headed over and it was much quieter there, we could even hear the candidates speak. Aisha had made friends with some people there, and was drinking a bit of their Shiraz. I mean, right here there is a good story, but the night just got more amusing. (From what I gathered, I was impressed with Obama, but I will watch the debate via Tivo again to get a better opinion).

After the debate, Camille was hungry and wanted to go to Church’s down the street. Aisha and I also thought this was an OK idea, then I remembered that Merrit Bakery and Restaurant was just an extra block away. The promise of chicken and waffle enticed them to walk the extra block. The food there is good, but the high point was the person who sat next to us – the self-described oldest dog walker in Lake Merritt. At 82 year olds she was quite the whippersnapper, and regaled us with stories about the dogs she walks, and her past dogs, as well as her husband. Oh yeah, they also have some amusing looking cakes there:

After dinner we ended going back over to the loud bar. There was actually a party going on, with a DJ, which explained it being so loud. We ran in to the people from the laundromat again, and one of them turned out to be a documentary film-maker. I told him I would netflix his current movie, Hip Hop Colony which does look rather interesting.

Anyway, after an hour and a half or so at the bar it was time to go home. It was not at all the night I was expecting but it was suitably great in its randomness!

posted by neil at 12:30 pm
under adventure,politics,rambling  

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Seattle Debrief Part 2.

As promised, part 2 of my Seattle trip. I received my camera today, so I have photos posted on flickr I’ll be linking a few of them here, so no need to rush off and look yet – I’ll even relink it later in the post.

As I said in Part 1 we decided to go to Twin Peaks on Sunday. So after we woke up we packed Holly in to the car along with snacks and water and camera gear, and head out East. Twin Peaks is not really a single place, but it is a number of locations located in the towns of Snoqualmie and North Bend, WA. We visited a few of the external sites of the show, but also spent time admiring the stunning views.

Our first stop was at the water falls, which was also the external location of the Great Nothern, where Agent Cooper stays in the show. Here is the best shot I got of the falls and the hotel, which is actually the Snoqualmie Lodge, and quite nice – more on this after the photo:

We spent some time shooting the falls, and Steve attempted to wrangle Holly in to a photo to mark her 16 months of life. This took a while because babies, well, once they learn to walk, evidently that’s all they do. Eventually he was satisfied, then we went over to the Lodge for breakfast.

The Lodge has two restaurants, evidently. The dinging room and the “Attic”. The latter is more casual (not that the dining room is formal) but wasn’t yet open. So the dining room it was. A table for two and a high chair – well, that will be 15 minutes. A table for 2, right after of us? 45 minutes or more. You’d be tempted to say we just got lucky, but the place wasn’t that packed and the service didn’t seem that busy (although the service is really good, so maybe that was part of it), but we think Holly’s cuteness just charmed them. They offered her a crayon while we were being seated and Steve said “How do you feel about her drawing on the table cloth?” “Oh, that’s OK.” “Give her the crayon!”. They had an extra cloth on the floor under the high chair, and after we were seated the offered to bring her a fruit cup. This turned out to be very nice with some crackers, a breakfast roll, and a good variety of fresh fruit – and they didn’t even charge us for it. Our food was really good too. The coffee came out with shaved chocolate, which was a nice though, and was, uhm, a damn fine cup of coffee. I had a mushroom and spinach fritatta, which was delicous. The included herbed potatoes and biscuit were also great. Not a cheap breakfast, but it was definitely worth while.

After breakfast we got in the car and used a combination of a the More in Twin Peaks website via my iPhone and Steve’s GPS, we headed out to see some other sites. Thankfully Holly fell asleep soon after breakfast and so we just left her in the car and took turns taking pictures at the next couple of destinations. First up was the Road House.

They’ve renovated since the show, but it was still pretty cool looking. Plus there was a firetruck there when we got there, pure excitement!

The next destination we decided on the Packard Mill. It turns out that it had since been purchased by Weyerhauser, and so a bit of google maps allowed us to figure out it’s approximate location. However it’s down a bunch of backroads, so getting there was tricky. We got lost a couple of time but hey, we found a nice little lake to take pictures at:

Note that this is looking Southeastish, and the mill would have been about due East of where we were. But it took us another half an hour to get there.

The mill itself is in a nice state of decay, which actually leads to some neat pictures:

One nice thing about the mill is that it is a two-for-one destination. The “Sherrif’s Department” exterior is actually the mill office.

Note that the best views of the Mill are from the road on the way down (ore back up), but you can’t see the office until you get to the bottom.

Our final destination was the nearby “Double R” diner, now known as Twede’s cafe. We decided to make a stop there for a little snack (read Cherry Pie) and relaxation before heading back to Sammamish.

The pie was actually pretty decent, but the service was abysmal. Not a destination location, but the outlet mall is right down the street, so I can see locals stopping by for some pie after a consumer driven afternoon.

Anyway, after the cafe we drove back so that Holly could finish her nap and we could shower. After hanging around for a while, we headed over to Jum’s brother Jon’s house, not too far away. He has a really nice, big house. Holly seemed to like it there a lot. Jon, Steve and I played a bit of a boardgame that Steve had recently purchased, and then Jum went and picked up Thai food for dinner. After dinner we played a bit of Xbox, but soon it was time for little Holly to go to sleep, so we went back to Steve’s house. Steve and I ended up reading a bunch about early pay TV that night, such as ON-TV. Interesting stuff. Eventually it was midnight and since Steve had work the next time, it was bed time.

Monday Steve left early as he had a 9am meeting, so I hung around with Jum for a bit before she brought me to the airport. The flight was fine, and soon enough I was home, and noticed my camera was missing. I swear that thing hates me!

As promised, my flickr gallery.

posted by neil at 7:48 pm
under adventure,travel  

Sunday, September 21, 2008

More About the Troll

It was requested that I tell you, my readers, more about the Fremont Troll in Seattle. So, shamelessy copied from wikipedia:

The piece was the winner of a competition sponsored by the Fremont Arts Council in 1990, and was built the same year. The Troll was sculpted by four local artists: Steve Badanes, Will Martin, Donna Walter, and Ross Whitehead. He is interactive—visitors are encouraged to clamber on him or try to poke out his one good eye (a hubcap). The Troll is 5.5 m high, weighs two tons (1814 kg), and is made of steel rebar, wire, and ferroconcrete. The artists have chosen to exercise their copyright to control commercial use of Troll images, however, postcards, beer, and other products approved by the artists are commercially available and use is free to non-profit organizations.

posted by neil at 10:17 pm
under Uncategorized  

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Why no posting?

So I’ve left you all hanging at part 1 of Seattle, and sadly, it’s going to have to stay that way for a bit longer. See, I really want my pictures before I post the second half, and my camera should be in my hands sometime next week, and so then I will post. Furthermore, I’ve been pretty busy this week, so that adds to it too. Posting will resume in the near future!

posted by neil at 11:30 am
under Uncategorized  

Monday, September 15, 2008

Seattle Debrief, Part I.

I got im to SEA at about 6:30 on Friday and called my friend Steve who was already on his was to the airport. I waited about 10 minutes for him and we were off. On the way to his house in Sammamish we picked up food for him, his wife Jum and me, since it was going to be too late to start going out by time we got back.

It took about an 45 minutes to get to his place with traffic and getting food. We arrived and I was introduced to his 16 month old daughter Holly, who is the most adorable little thing ever. She obviously inherited this from Jum, and won the genes lottery in that respect. She knows about a dozen or so words and of course repeats them over and over, but in someone as cute as her, it is endearing. We had Jeopardy on while we ate, which is her favorite show. In fact, she loves the Final Jepoardy song so much that she dances to it! Evidently she fell in love with the show while very young since they always had it on during dinner, and it’s about the only thing she is actually interested in on TV – after the show, Jum put on some Clifford, but it seemed to disturb Holly more than interest her, especially since Clifford was a puppy and hidden in a cupcake that was about to be eaten at some point!. Soon, though it was time for her to go to bed.

After they put her to bed, I was given the tour of the house, which is pretty damn nice. Their spare bedroom, which I slept in, is jam packed with books and DVDs and such – which knowing Steve was not surprising at all. Anyway, after that Steve and I retired to the “media room” which is upstairs and played some Xbox. Eventually it was late enough for us to go to bed (1am or so) and I was out like a light.

I was awoken by crying baby at about 7:30. I stayed in bed for a bit, but eventually went downstairs to watch some Dr. Who with Steve and Holly. Jon Pertwee – old stuff. He’s starting her young! We had plans to go to a recycling event nearby at 9 to get rid of an old broken TV (with a Tube!) and some other electronics. Eventually we headed out to Issaquah, which is just South of where Steve lives, to do the recycling (which was at Costco). Afterwords we decided to go to the farmer’s market which is held at Pickering Farm, which has a neat barn:

We gathered up some blackberries, blueberries, peaches, apples, and bread (the latter of which Holly got to hold while Steve held her, much to the amusement of the bread vendor! and then headed back to Steve’s house. Holly ate a few blue berries and then it was time for her nap. Steve decided to take a little nap too, so I played a bit more of Braid, and solved some puzzles that were quite vexing the night before in no time flat. It’s a cool game, and one that benefits from detachment.

Anyway, once they woke up, I gave Holly the toy I brought her, a Leapfrog guitar that teaches animals and counting in English and Spanish. She greatly enjoyed the music it made and she danced around holding the guitar. Then we left (the four of us) to go to Pike’s Place market, which is the de facto Seattle sight. I’d been there before on a vacation with my Folks 15 years ago, and it was mostly the same. We walked around a little bit and then got a late lunch at Lowell’s, which is a big restaurant and Bar across three floors, overlooking the water – I am most certain I ate here back in 1993. For being a place that seems to be skewed to tourists, and in a touristy location (although the market is a real market that locals use) the food was surprisingly tasty, and reasonably priced. Holly didn’t make too big of a mess, although she tried like the devil to get her table topper off constantly. After lunch we walked around a bit more, and visited a few stores, including a cool map store, where they bought a 2 foot inflatable globe for Holly, and then we set off to search for the Fremont Troll.

The Troll is a rather amusing piece of art which lives under a bridge in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. He’s well enough hidden, and the streets are goofy enough, that it took two passes of us crossing over the bridge bear him for us to find, even though we had GPS in the car with us. The search was worth it because he’s really amazing:

I have better pictures on my actual camera, but I sort of left that behind at Steve’s, so the iPhone pic will have to suffice for now. But we had a good time shooting it, because of the interesting lighting. Steve managed to get a good pic of me up on the Troll’s shoulder which I will link to when he posts it.

After the troll it was time to head back to Sammamish. We watched some Nightflight and then they put Holly to bed. Despite the late lunch we were a bit hungry, so we went to get Jimmy John’s – this was funny because the kids working there asked us if we had been there before. Well, I’ve not been to that particular store, but I’ve been going to Jimmy John’s since they were in short pants, and I bit my lip to not say that. After dinner, Steve and I watched Point Blank, an interesting “nouvelle noire” Lee Marvin movie. It’s a very weird movie in a lot of ways, but we enjoyed it. After the movie it was about time for bed, but before that we planned out what we were going to do the next day, which was head to Twin Peaks. More on this in my next post.

posted by neil at 7:19 pm
under adventure,travel  

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Wine Post

I received a box of wine at work today. No, not Franzia, and it wasn’t given to me either. I ordered some wine from a winery that I like in Oregon/Washington last month, and the bottles arrived today.

Now, I don’t often drink wine at home, because I can’t finish a bottle and not feel like I’m going to die. And, it’s kind of a waste after the first half of the bottle. But I do like to have a few good bottles around, for when people are over, or to bring elsewhere.

Anyway, I got two types of wine from Owen Roe. First off is the Sinister Hand.

This is a Rhone Blend, and it’s been quite good the past couple of years. As you can see the label is quite fantastic, and it’s how I found this winery. The label is a version of the coat of arms of the winemaker, which relates to the story of an Irish warrior claiming an island by throwing his severed hand over to it before anyone else could reach it. Nice and gruesome.

The second is their Sharecropper’s Pinot Noir

The label on this one isn’t quite as good, but it’s still rather nice. The winery has two Pinots, and this is the less expensive of the two, but it was still quite nice last year, so I have decent hopes for it this year.

Anyway, if nothing else, I hope you enjoyed the labels.

posted by neil at 10:47 pm
under food,Uncategorized  

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I am going to Seattle tomorrow to visit my college friend Steve, his wife Jum, and their 15 month old daughter Holly. I’ve been to Seattle twice before, once with my family in 1993, right after I graduated High School, and once for a Job Interview in 1999. I basically only remember Pike’s Place, but there has to be more to the city than that! I’ll report back with more after the weekend, and hopefully have some pictures too.

posted by neil at 9:47 pm
under travel  

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lies, Damn Lies and STUPID LIES

Remember, politicians, you will most likely being on film saying whatever you said in the past. Therefor, only say what you mean, and don’t change your mind later:

posted by neil at 11:18 am
under politics  
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