Posts categorized “Featured Posts”

Thursday, 20 June 2019

SEVENTY48

SEVENTY48

Owens Beach is pretty at sunset…

A few weeks ago three of my friends did something pretty durned awexome: SEVENTY48.

“What’s SEVENTY48?” you ask? Well, I’m glad you asked. I really am. Good asking! Good for you! SEVENTY48 is an annual sea race that begins in downtown Tacoma and ends in downtown Port Townsend (which are Seventy nautical miles apart), and has a 48-hour time limit. SEVENTY48: get it?

Oh, and there’s a catch: all vessels must be 100% human-powered. No motors or sails of any kind. Only paddles, oars, hands, feet, etc. There are people in canoes and racing shells, stand-up paddleboarders, kayakers, and all sorts of the like. It’s also an “unsupported” race, meaning you can’t have people bring you food/water/supplies during the race. You have to bring with you everything you’re going to need to go Seventy nautical miles. Since the race starts at 7:00 PM, that usually means bringing stuff to camp along the way!

From the SEVENTY48 website:

Simply, SEVENTY48 is the spawn of Race to Alaska. The idea for the R2AK was born in a beer tent at a boat festival. SEVENTY48 was conceived after a beer at R2AK. Rules are simple: no motors, no support, and no wind. That’s right. HUMAN POWER ONLY. Pedal, paddle, or row. We don’t care. It’s up to you. (And this is a boat race. Leave your 10 speed-towing-a-canoe idea at home.)

My friends each took out a single kayak from NC Kayaks. That’s probably because NC Kayaks is owned by two of the three friends who participated in the race. Look how pretty and sparkly:

ooooh pretty

Oooooh pretty…

These aren’t your regular kayaks. They’re what’s known as touring kayaks: kayaks designed for fast, straight operation on lakes and oceans, not for dodging rocks in white-water river rapids.

From the NC Kayaks website:

A touring kayak is a type of sea kayak that is designed with long distance travel in mind. Our kayaks are fast, light, hard tracking, durable, look good, and have enough storage you can really go somewhere.

My family and I went out to support our friends: we headed down to the Foss marina on Friday evening (the race started at 7:00 PM) to see them off.

There they go!

There they go!

Then on Sunday we drove up to Port Townsend to cheer them on as they came ashore at the finish.

Here they come!

Here they come!

One very cool detail is that the SEVENTY48 organizers provide each boat with a GPS tracker, and setup a nifty tracking website where you can track the progress of each of the teams.

Look at 'em go!

Look at ’em go!

It’s quite a feat of endurance as well as logistical planning to not only be able to row for Seventy nautical miles but to figure out what you’ll need to pack for the voyage, and how to pack everything you’ll need into the hull of a kayak (NC Kayaks happen to be pretty roomy, which helps).

The winner this year complete the race in under 11 hours. Last year my friends completed the race in just over 45 hours, and finished in last place of all the teams who actually finished the race (there were a bunch of teams that had to drop out for various reasons). This year they vastly improved their times and completed it in under 41 hours… and still came in last of all the teams who actually finished the race (a bunch of teams dropped out again this year)!

It’s such a momentous feat that all of my friends got tattoos to commemorate it, with their completion times. They’re going to add a new line for every year they participate!

SEVENTY48 Tattoos

Oooooo tattooooo…

Yay for friends doing awexome things! Be sure to check out the SEVENTY48 website to learn more. My friends also wrote some blog posts about the event over on the NC Kayaks website, so be sure to read those as well for a more on-the-spot perspective. Maybe someday you’ll do something as awexome as SEVENTY48? I mean, probably not, but who knows?

Categories: Featured Posts, Life, My Famous Friends, Tacoma.

Friday, 1 February 2019

A Giant Octopus Has Surfaced in Downtown Tacoma

It's a g-g-g-g-ghost!

It’s a g-g-g-g-ghost! Photo Source

Okay, so it’s not an actual octopus; it’s a massive, badass sculpture at the corner of Pacific Ave and South Tacoma Way (map) called “Gertie’s Ghost.” It was created by artists Sean Orlando and David Shulman, who were inspired by the ill-fated Galloping Gertie bridge.

“We were enamored with the story of the giant octopus that lives in the wreckage of the bridge,” Shulman told the Tribune. “We kind of fused all of those things together to try and build something that was evocative of an old railroad trestle but had the tapering lines and organic curves of an octopus’s tentacles.” Source

You can watch a timelapse video of its installation here!

You can read more about its creation and installation in this great Tacoma News Tribune article and on Sound Transit’s website.

I personally love this. I (almost) always love massive installation sculptures. Tacoma actually has a lot of great public sculptures! I’ve always thought it would be kind of cool to have a feature on this website where I take pictures of every single public sculpture within the city limits (but who has the time for that?). There’s another massive installation sculpture going into the in-progress Dune Peninsula park, called “Alluvion” that’s made of deconstructed pipes that reference the old Asarco smelter smokestack that used to be on that site:

By the way, Dune Peninsula is so named in honor of Frank Herbert (author of Dune), who grew up in Tacoma! Neat!

Categories: Art & Artists, Featured Posts, Tacoma, Videos.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Open Mike Eagle: Professional Wrestler

OME meets OVW

OME meets OVW…

So not only is Open Mike Eagle a successful rapper, podcaster, gingerbread man, and soon-to-be host of a Comedy Central show, but now he has another bullet point to add to his resume:

Professional Wrestler.

You see, last week was the culmination of a very bizarre and hilarious wrestling feud, one that was full of excellent (and not-so-excellent) battle rap, some ringside hijinx, and some aid from some legendary wrestlers. Let’s take a look at how all this happened, shall we? Let’s:

THE BEEF:

Open Mike Eagle has long been an huge fan of professional wrestling. He even co-hosts a podcast called “Tights and Fights” dedicated to it.

So in the Ohio Valley Wrestling promotion (currently owned/run by legendary wrestling superstar Al Snow) there is a wrestler named Shiloh Jonze. Jonze decided that not only is he the king of wrestlers, but he is also the king of battle rap. As such, he issued an open challenge for anyone to come to an OVW show and battle rap him live. He tagged a bunch of famous rappers in his tweet, including Mike:

Mike’s response was rather succinct:

Jonze’s response was rather underwhelming:

Things escalated quickly…

Yes, Mike actually went to a live OVW show and rather humiliated Jonze. “John Cena cosplay,” tee-hee-hee.

Jonze was having none of that, but again didn’t seem to know quite how to… have any rap talent at all:

Apparently Jonze also showed up at the Adult Swim live show that Mike was performing at, and tried to call him out there. I haven’t been able to find any footage of that, though. There is this… thing that happened, though:

The challenge was issued. Mike made a poll to see what his fans thought. The results were rather overwhelming:

So Mike reached out to Al Snow to see what could be done about this. Jonze seemed enthusiastic about the whole thing:

Much to Mike’s surprise, Al Snow seemed to have had enough of Jonze’s horrible raps, and soon…

PRE-FIGHT:

Mike was cleared to wrestle!

THIS WAS ACTUALLY HAPPENING!

Mike flew out to Louisville, just hours before OVW’s big 1,000th show was about to happen.

View this post on Instagram

me in the fight place where im fighting a fight tonight

A post shared by open mike eagle. (@open_mike_eagle) on

And then it actually happened:

https://twitter.com/GY312/status/1050191062260703232

THE FIGHT:

View this post on Instagram

man I cant get over this shit.

A post shared by open mike eagle. (@open_mike_eagle) on

There’s very little footage online of the actual fight, which isn’t surprising because it was behind a $10 paywall. But here’s what tidbits I could find:

Yes, it’s true, Mike actually WON his professional wrestling debut. But he didn’t do it alone. Take a look at this photo and see if you can make out who is raising Mike’s hand in victory:

CACTUS JACK!

Photo by twitter user seramarlowe

YES THAT IS NONE OTHER THAN THE LEGENDARY MICK FOLEY!!! Cactus Jack, Mankind, Dude Love himself, Mick Foley actually came down to the ring (along with Ken Anderson, who wrestled as “Mr. Kennedy” in the WWE) and helped Mike win the match.

POST-FIGHT:

I’ll let these speak for themselves:

See? DREAMS DO COME TRUE. But emphatically only one time:

Also, Mike is coming out with a new album soon, to be called What Happens When I Try to Relax. Will it have more tracks that use professional wrestling terminology as an extended metaphor? Let’s find out… together!

P.S.

Due to the highly transitory nature of social media, I realize that embedding tweets and instagrams into a blog article probably won’t last very long as people delete accounts/posts/whatnot pretty frequently. So I went ahead and took a gigantic screenshot of this entire article so future generations can look at it as it once was. Click on it for full-size funtimes:

Daaang

Daaang

Categories: Featured Posts, My Famous Friends, Rasslin.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Soft Reset

WOT TH’!? WUT THE WUT!?
Yes, it’s me, posting for the first time since early June. I took the entire summer off from this website. And in that time, some things have changed in my life:

  1. My wife started working from home
    Today, actually! We used to work close enough together that we would carpool to work and back (I’d drop her off and then continue on another ten minutes alone). Now? Not so much. So instead of carpooling…
  2. I’ve started taking mass transit
    I now take the train to work! This has two new consequences:

    1. The train station is two miles from my work
      So (starting today) I will be walking four miles every day, automatically. ♫ Get in shape, girl… ♫
    2. FREE TIME UPGRADE!
      I now have about 40 minutes twice a day all to myself (sans close-proximity strangers) on the train during which I can get work done!

What work am I gonna get done with all that free time, you ask (who am I kidding, nobody is reading this)?

Well, for one thing I can actually update this here website right here quite a bit more. Probably not as much as the infamous March of 2017, during which I posted an update every single danged weekday. But more frequently than once a month. Let’s set the bar at 2 to 3 posts a week.

For another thing, I can plug some headphones into my laptop and start a-writin’ some musics! That’s right, I have an as-of-yet-secret music project that I’m working on this fall. I’m very excited about it! It will be full of sick 8-bit beats!

For yet another thing, if there are any other creative projects I can do with a laptop, I can work on ’em! Like maybe write something (other than websitey stuffs)? Or maybe art something? Who is to be knowing? Not me!

Finally, I can take my Nintendo Switch with me and play some vid-goms. And then review them for this here website!

Ch-Ch-Changes

Coinciding with all of these life changed, you might have noticed (who am I kidding) that I’ve ever-so-slightly changed the header and right-hand sidebar (or if you’re looking at this on a mobile, the bottom-most section):

  1. I’ve decided to discontinue my “Of the Month” features.
    It was just too stressful to have to figure out three things to feature every month. Doesn’t seem like it would be stressful, right? But I just wasn’t enjoying living under the gun of the beginning of the month decision-making process. So instead…
  2. REVIEWS!
    This whole website is going to be pivoting a little bit to be more review-based than in the past. Whenever I see/hear/read something that I like, I’ll write a review of it. The latest reviews will always be featured in the sidebar “Reviews” section. I have decided on six categories that correspond to my personal interest: Music, Movies, TV, Video Games, Tabletop Games, and Books. Right now there’s a bunch of really old stuff in there, just because I haven’t actually reviewed anything in a looooong time. But those’ll get replaced as I review more things! First Up: a new album review, coming this week! HONEST! Oh, and I also created a new blanket “Reviews” category, and changed my site’s top navigation to have a link to that, so you can just go to one place to read all of my reviews of everything. Neat!
  3. Featured Posts
    If I write any post that is of significant interest or length (like this one is turning out to be), I’ll add it to the “Featured Posts” category. And it’ll show up on the sidebar as well! Neat!

That’s about it.

TL;DR

I’M BACK, BABY!

Categories: Featured Posts, Life, Updates.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

“Of the Year” 2017

Album of the Year:

Brick Body Kids Still Daydream by Open Mike Eagle

There were so very many great albums released this year, and I must apologize to all my other friends who came out with some really amazing work in 2017. But this album just eclipses them all.

A few years ago Mike released Dark Comedy, an hilarious album tinged with anger and darkness. Well, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream is kind of the opposite; it’s a dark and angry album tinged with hilarity. And it is SO SO GOOD. A concept album about the now-destroyed Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago where Mike (and earlier, Mr. T) spent some of his youth, BBKSD is a stark exploration of some very big injustices. It’s also at times extraordinarily beautiful. Just listen to “Daydreaming in the Projects” here:

Also listen to the sun-drenched, wistful nostalgia that gushes out of the just lovely “95 Radios” here:

I don’t want to make this album sound like a complete drag; Mike is still as geeky as ever, and there is some genuine hilarity like in “No Selling (Uncle Butch Pretending it Don’t Hurt),” in which very funny braggadocio serves to illustrate both the toxic environment that induces men to act tough and unfeeling as well as the toxicity of such behavior itself.

Man, this album is smart. The best album of 2017 by leaps and bounds. Also, very funny:

Movie of the Year:

Wonder Woman

I saw shockingly few movies in 2017, far fewer than I actually wanted to see, and almost all of those were somehow under the Disney banner. All except for Wonder Woman. We’ve been getting big-budget Superman movies since the 1970s. Batman movies since the 1980s. X-Men and Spider-Man movies since the early 2000s. But it took until 2017 for Wonder Woman to finally get her own movie. And, oh my, is it goooooooood. I don’t know if I can honestly say it was worth the wait, but thank goodness this production fell into the hands of people who did right by it. Gal Gadot is endlessly entertaining as the main character, and even though the third-act climax kinda devolves into a big CGI power-vs-power mess, Wonder Woman at its heart is a story about being a decent, loving human being (or goddess, as the case may be) in an indecent, hateful world.

TV Show of the Year:

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wins by being one of only two TV shows that I actually watch anymore (even though I stream it later on Hulu), and the only one that actually airs on a regular schedule and has, y’know, actual seasons. In the shadows of the Marvel movies, this TV show has been churning out some of the most entertaining and comic-booky live-action adventures out there. The show went really gung-ho in its 4th season, with a trio of interconnected story arcs that delved into Ghost Rider and the Darkhold, Life Model Decoy androids, and a stint in a Matrix-style alternate computer reality. And now in the 5th season the cast has been flung into space… and the future! It’s great seeing these characters whom we’ve come to know and love get thrown into all manner of insanity and still keep their wits about them (upon learning that they’d been transported to outer space one character simply grunts, “Space, huh? Makes sense; we’ve done everything else”).

Streaming Show of the Year:

Stranger Things 2

Stranger Things 2 is to Stranger Things as Aliens is to Alien. Sometimes in some very direct ways. It takes the original concept and expands upon it mightily without losing the fan-frikkin-tastic characterizations that you came to love in the first season. Plus, Paul Reiser is in it as a very sketchy and somewhat smarmy individual! A loving tribute to both Steven King and Stephen Spielberg, with plenty of callbacks and references to them both. Also Aliens.

Video Game of the Year:

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I mean, come on. This is the game of the year. It’s so good. Just take a look at this:

Daaaaaaaaaaaang.

Daaaaaaaaaaaang.

Categories: Featured Posts, Of the Month, Round-up.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Movie Review: Moana (2016)

"…you know who you are."

“…you know who you are.”

Moana (2016) ★★★½

I could go on about how awesome it is to have a mainstream Disney fantasy film that isn’t about a European-style fantasy setting. But I’m sure there are people better qualified to write about that subject, and I’m sure they’ve written about it extensively, so you can go read those articles if you want. More important to me than the “importance” of a film is whether or not it’s a good film or not. More… »

Categories: Featured Posts, Movie Reviews, Reviews.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Christmastime Adventure in Downtown Seattle 2016

Animated Avery!

Animated Avery!

Last Sunday we three in the fam went on a fun excursion to Downtown Seattle for the afternoon. Here’s what we did:

  • Parked beneath Pacific Place. Parking there is only $6 on Sundays!
  • Walked out through Barnes & Nobles and down 5th Ave (with quick stops in Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters) to our first stop:

The Fairmont Hotel

At the Fairmont Hotel lobby.

At the Fairmont Hotel lobby.

The Fairmont does this thing where they completely deck out a suite with Christmas stuff and metric tonnes of teddy bears. They call it the Teddy Bear Suite. Behold the cuteness:

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

In the Fairmont Hotel Teddy Bear Suite.

After the Fairmont we:

  • Walked up 6th Ave towards Westlake Park, where they have:

The Downtown Carousel

At the downtown carousel.

At the downtown carousel.

After the carousel we:

  • Headed upstairs at Westlake Center and got on the:

Monorail

On the Monorail.

On the Monorail.

The Monorail took us to:

Seattle Center

Where we got lunch in the Armory and Avery watched the model train go ’round and ’round its miniature village.

At Seattle Center.

At Seattle Center.

At Seattle Center.

At Seattle Center.

At Seattle Center.

At Seattle Center.

The Spaced Needle.

The Spaced Needle.

After Seattle Center we:

  • Took the Monorail back to Westlake
  • Walked back up Pine St to:

Pacific Place

Where they had these letters that were conveniently setup in such a way that Avery would look completely adorable on them:

At Pacific Place.

At Pacific Place.

FUN DAY!

Here’s all where we went: Thanks, Gorgle Morps!

Categories: Animated .GIFs, Christmas, Featured Posts, Life, Pictures.