Posts from December 2008

Monday, 22 December 2008

Stormpocalypse Snowmageddon 2008

(or “Snowpocalypse Stormageddon” if you prefer)


I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t somehow write a blog entry on this rather unusual bout of snow that we’ve gotten here in the Pacific Northwest over the past week. Therefore this blog entry is what you might call “obligatory.”

Yes: it snowed here much, much more than it usually snows, and it has stayed much, much longer than it usually stays. And therefore much of the Pacific Northwest has gone into a panic the likes of which must seem hilarious to the upper Midwest and Northeast parts of the country, where long-lasting snow is a common happening.

The fact is that Seattleites, Tacomans, and to a lesser extent Olympians have possibly the worst weather memory in the entire country. You see, it rains well over 100 days out of the year here, so you’d think we’d all be accustomed to driving whenever it rained, right? Well, just imagine that there are more than five consecutive days without rain. For some reason it seems like the entire population suddenly forgets how to drive in the rain when it starts pouring again! I’ve lived here my whole life and this phenomenon never ceases to amaze me.

So you can imagine what it must be like if it happens to snow, which it does very infrequently. Maybe two or three times a year, tops, and it generally sticks around less than two days if indeed it does last at all. Here’s an example of the hilarity: one day last week many Tacoma schools were canceled because it was snowing… even though it was much too warm to stick to the ground. Yes, Tacoma schools were canceled because there was snow in the air. There wasn’t even any ice on the roads!

So you can imagine how the whole area basically shut down when a couple of days later the snow really did begin to accumulate on the ground.

Carrie & I have a tradition of night-walking through the snow on the first evening that it accumulates. So late that evening after Carrie got home from work we decided to take Suki with us. We also live within easy walking distance of Alice and Rufus, two Boston Terrier friends of Suki’s (and their owners, who are friends of our). We thought it’d be fun to all go for a walk, which it was. But it was also rather embarrassing, because Suki got so extremely excited by the snow and the presence of the Bostons that she kept on spontaneously barking for joy. Loudly. At 11:00 at night outside people’s houses.

Another evening a bunch of us who live close by all trudged to the nearby Engine House 9 (“E-9” as it’s called around here) for a nommy din-dins.

On Saturday Laura came over and she, Carrie, and I all went down to the Parkway Tavern to meet with Steph, Jamie, and law-school Katie for lunch, ’cause we were excited she was back in town. Well, right before we arrived a group of about 20 overly-well-dressed professionals had spontaneously shown up demanding food and drink. And only two people were working that afternoon: one bartender and one cook. So we had to wait quite a while for our foodstuffs, but it was okay because there was good company and copious amounts of pear cider. That night Fools Play was canceled due to a rather large burst of afternoon/evening snow (the owner of Mud Bay Coffee couldn’t find anyone who was willing to keep the place open late enough for us). Instead we all played Animal Crossing and we baked cookies and stayed in. Laura even ended up crashing on our couch.

Carrie had to work all day Sunday. Laura & I walked down to Starbucks and had breakfast sammitches for breakfast. The snow was like crème brûlée: a thin, hard crust over a lot of soft stuff. It was crazy to walk through it. But for lunch we walked again, this time to Wild Orchid to meet with Carrie, Christine, & Lawrence. Here’s a tip: if you eat at Wild Orchid, try the Rama Noodles. Very tasty.

We were so inspired by Wild Orchid that we decided to make our own Thai chicken soup for dinner, so Laura, Lawrence & I stopped by the Neighborhood Market on the way back to the house and bought coconut milk and an onion while everyone else went back to work. Lawrence continued on to his house, and Laura decided to drive back to hers before it got dark. Carrie made the soup when she got off of work, and Christine, Lawrence, and the Bostons all came over and ate it (well, the Bostons didn’t eat it) while watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the animated version, not that live-action crap).

Let me just say: onion, chicken, garlic, curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, cilantro, basil, salt & pepper (in that order) FTW.

By Monday morning the snow had pretty much stopped falling, but it was still very much there. I managed to get my car out of it and got to work with little incident.

I think my car is under there somewhere

And that’s about it. There are still about six to nine inches of snow around here. According to weather people the snow is supposed to stick around for the rest of the week, so there might be some form of white Christmas (which would be an absolute shock to the people of the Pacific Northwest; I only recall one white Christmas here in my entire 31 years of existence). I would also just like to say that it is very nice to live within easy walking distance of so many good restaurants and bars.

I hope you have a safe and festive holiday season. Until next time… adiós.

And to all a good night.

Categories: Cooking, Life, Pictures, Restaurants, TV, Weather.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

There is no Fools Play Tonight!

Due to the inclement weather, Mud Bay Coffee is closing early today. So there will be no Fools Play this evening. We’ll be back next week with Santals Lap!

Categories: Fools Play, Updates.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Japan’s 2008 Robot of the Year


i-SOBOT FTW

This year’s Grand Prize goes to the 6.5″ i-SOBOT, a ¥30,000 (about $300) domestic entertainment robot that can do all sorts of fun stuff and has internal gyroscopic balance sensors.

Special Jury Prize went to a GPS-equipped, autonomous, rice-planting robot.

(via Pink Tentacle)

Categories: Japan, Robots.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Visit Big Baby

This post is about Animal Crossing.

So on Sunday I bought over 1,000 turnips for 100 bells apiece. But in my town (which is named, as is tradition, “Big Baby”) the price of turnips kept going steadily lower and lower.

In Whimsi & Toraton’s town of Banoozi, though, turnips were selling for 507 bells apiece yesterday! So I went over there and made over 500,000 bells in profit.

What I’m trying to get at is that Animal Crossing: City Folk is a lot of fun when you go over to other people’s towns. Last week Whimsi came over to Big Baby and sold her turnips, and also brought over some non-native Cherries (and took home some Pears, which were non-native in Banoozi).

Some of you might already have the game, and some of you might be getting it for some upcoming holiday or something, but I want you to come visit Big Baby, and I want to come visit your towns. Here is my pertinent information:

Friend code: 3910-1019-7948
Town: Big Baby
My name: f~Body 

Post your pertinent information in the comments, or just send them to me.

Categories: Video Games.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Early Christmas 2008

Saturday the 13th was our annual “Early Christmas” that we do with Carrie’s bosses’ family. This year was much lower-key than some previous years.

The logistics of it threatened to be a little wonky, though. Carrie’s mum threw a home show that afternoon, where Carrie sold her jewelry and I sold my glassware. How would I go to Fools Play while Carrie simultaneously went in the opposite direction and picked up the kids? We only have one car. Her dad might have had to drive me to a rendezvous point in Federal Way where my brother could pick me up on his way down to Olympia or something like that.

Fortunately Laura also came to the home show, so she was able to drive me back to my house where I was able to leisurely prepare for Fools Play before my brother came and got me. Which he did.

We went down and performed the Fools Play Holiday Special at Mud Bay Coffee. Carrie & the kids came down and watched it. It was an interesting show — it was just me and Mike doing 2 improvised Rankin/Bass-style holiday specials. We’d never done it with only two of us before. It was a hoot! But, man, it was a lot of work, too. Fun work, though!

The first special was based on “Jingle Bells” and was about a music instructor trying to get Santa back on track, and we learned that jingle bells are made out of magic freckles or something. The second special was based on “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and was supposed to be a religiously-based special. But I made it a Science Fiction special instead, my reasoning being, “The Bible is Science Fiction, right?”. It took place way in the future in a distant galaxy (the “Angel Galaxy”). Turns out Jesus’s mum was an alien queen who fled back in time from an evil warlord, and the 3 wise men and Joseph were actually assassins sent to kill them both.

During the show it started to snow. Like a Christmas magic had occurred.

After Fools Play I crammed my stuff into the car (which was still full of the stuff from the Home Show) and we all drove up (through the snow) to the Red Robin in Tacoma for a late din-dins. We were joined by other people I like, such as Christine, Lawrence, Melissa, Travis, and Laura again. After din-dins most of us took the kids on home and hung out there for a bit. We weren’t s’posed to exchange gifts this year (taking the kids to Fools Play and buying them din-dins WAS the gift), but we still ended up with stuffs: Carrie got a bottle of wine and I was given a bottle of Diddy Vodka! By Diddy Vodka, I of course mean Cîroc, the vodka endorsed by Sean Diddy Combs. I wrote a song about it:

When you’re drinking up the hooch
Just try not to screw the pooch:
If you drink the booze to quick
Diddy Vodka makes you sick.

It’s actually really nice vodka! It’s made from grapes. Very interesting.

Categories: Christmas, Fools Play, Holiday, Life, Thirsty Robots.

Monday, 8 December 2008

The Blanket Octopus Comes With Its Own Cape

Behold the awexomeness (in Japanese):

(Thanks, Leah)

Categories: Japan, Videos.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Three Ninjas Live @ El Corazon

I wasn’t able to make this show because I was at Winterfest that day, but fortunately Sandy was there with a camera and recorded the whole thang! Please to enjoy:

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Music, Videos.