Yes, the Sun is Alive and Well

For those of you here in the Northwest wondering if the sun has retired from its job or if it was shot down by a mad scientist don't worry anymore. I personally saw the elusive sun this weekend and screamed obscenities at it at the top of my lungs(to the delight of those around me) for not visiting us more often. Thank you to all you Atlanta-types for the recommendations and it was great to finally meet those of you stuck down there for the weekend. Rachel and I tried to visit the Georgia aquarium but it just recently opened and is still so popular that they were completely sold out. I am not particularly fond of Atlanta(bonus points for the abundance of Waffle Houses though) but would make another trip down there just to see this aquarium, it is supposed to be pretty cool. From what I hear, they have the only Whale Shark in captivity in North America, gotta see it.

So, Rach and I decided to head out to Stone Mountain, Georgia's #1 attraction(so they claim). It is basically a big ass rock that sits just outside the city of Atlanta. A little bit shameful because they turned this chunk o' nature into a cheesy, overpriced tourist trap but still a marvel nonetheless. Looking on the map for a nice place to get away from the touristy junk I spotted a "picnic area" that looked like it would have a great view over the lake of the mountain. Little did I know that "picnic area" means Starbucks. Heyyyy.......that sounds like something we might do in Seattle........copiers....... We headed over to the visitor center and decided to take on the 1.3 mile hike to the top instead of taking the cable car. It was absolutely beautiful outside, 65 degrees, sunny, not a cloud in the sky. I couldn't tell which was more blinding, the sun itself or the reflection off my zombie-colored white Seattle skin. Rach enjoyed walking beside me and never got tired of me jumping full-force into every puddle I saw, no matter how much mud got on her, what a trooper(HAHA)! The hike was pretty steep but the top was worth it, a great view of the surrounding area, Atlanta skyline on the horizon and, like every good nature hike should have, a snack bar!!

After a brief stop to not get a haircut in the hood(the guys in the shop were giving us the crazy eyes) we ended up meeting up with the team at Fat Matt's BBQ. Awesome food and lit only by the neon signs, a true BBQ shack if I've ever seen one! (Thanks for dinner Joe!) Then we headed to a sports bar where the team discussed some of their work stuff and I immersed myself in a hundred TV screens playing hockey(The thrashers are horrible!), basketball, boxing, pool, everything. That place was awesome, I want a basement "man-room" like that!

Sunday was relatively uneventful, Rach had to work and I lounged around her hotel watching the Seahawks Rally Live on TV. Six days 'til XL....... Then we went to see that movie "The Matador" with Pierce Brosnan. I tried to find a cool little shack to eat dinner at on the Chatahoochee River but wound up at Ray's on the River which is a shack by no means, fancy, very expensive, bad food. The waiter was nice though and showed Rach and I how much he enjoyed serving us by saying "Have a safe trip......freaks." This is not an uncommon reaction to being exposed to the two of us for longer than a few seconds, we can be pretty unnerving.

Here are some pics from the hike to the top of Stone Mountain:


Atlanta??? Anybody??

I'm flying to Atlanta tomorrow after school. I've been looking around online for things to do down there. I've already been twice, once when I was young and then again last fall. So far I've visited the Coca-Cola Museum, CNN building, the Cyclorama and a freakin' delightful BBQ joint called the Pig-N-Chick.....or the Chickenpig......or the Piggychick, something like that. Mmmmmm..........BBQ. Does anybody have any good suggestions for what I should check out this time??? If so, leave a comment and let me know.

Maybe I could go visit my buddy Joe Hen, the Baby Mob General

I went and helped Mike with Rach's deck some more over the past couple days. The weather has been absolutely wretched but we still manage to have a good time. I even drank Budweiser and enjoyed it, it just seems like a deck-building kind of beer. I also now answer almost every question asked of me with "F'in A dude" after the time I've spent with Mike. Seems like the pretty much standard response and there is no way to argue it. Everything is finished now except for the railing on the stairs and a few finishing touches here and there.


PFSD -- Post Football Season Depression.....Already???

I apologize if I'm ranting a lot about the Hawks lately but football season is nearly at a close and like many of you out there my pigskin-induced hibernation is beginning to wear off and I'm beginning to wonder what I used to do with my Saturdays and Sundays before football season started.........did I watch old football on ESPN classic??? I don't know, so I'm frantically trying to enjoy the last two weeks of football as much as possible.........

Below is an interesting quiz I stumbled on......appropriate that mine is a hawk(think it's actually a falcon in the picture, but who really cares), maybe that is a good superbowl omen.... Superbowl fever is spreading like wildfire up here. The sports on the nightly news is nothing but interviews with Hawks fans, players, bums who live near the stadium, a guy in a bar who one time saw Matt Hasselbeck stopped at a red light.......etc. There was a lady who is selling a vacuum packed hot dog from last week's NFC championship game on ebay and has a current bid of $71. We're all pretty stoked up here, I've even found a seahawks anthem that is pretty cool. Turn on your speakers and Click on the Hawk below to listen to "Flap Your Wings -- For the Hawks"(listen for the cool Hawk sounds in the background.)
EAGLE or HAWK - your daemon may be some kind of bird of prey. Yours is a strong spirit, and a fierce sense of liberty. You cannot be confined. You may be shrewdly observant, and like to be aware of everything that goes on around you. You will fight fiercely for the things that are most important to you, and you are definitely a force to be reckoned with. Still, you are not vicious by nature and would prefer to be left in peace. You probably value your solitude very highly - not that you don't enjoy company, but sometimes you just need to be alone - otherwise you begin to feel caged in and confined. You might want to take a drive on your own, just to feel the road beneath you, or to sit alone on your balcony, watching the world go by.

What Is Your Daemon?
brought to you by Quizilla


Check This Out!

Just a quick note, check out the new blog under my blogroll titled PostSecret! It's pretty cool and sometimes a little disturbing to learn what goes on in people's minds.........

Superbowl Bound!

The Seahawks are headed to their first Superbowl ever! What a great year to be a fan!! I made it to probably five of the home games this year, having only been to an NFL game once before in my life. Can anybody explain to me why the Hawks are still 4 point underdogs after the display they've put on this season?? A lot of credit goes to the league-MVP Shaun Alexander. But I think the true magic of this team is in their coaching staff and the ability of the team as a whole to rapidly adapt to a changing game situation. I only missed watching probably two games this year and every game I did watch I saw something new. If the offense slacked, the defense stepped it up a notch(good luck in that red-zone Pitt.) and even put points on the board for them.

My prediction:


And just cuz we all love him and will probably elect him governor when he retires from the NFL, here are the obligatory pics of Alexander the Great:

Because he's that good: People love him.....


A Quick One

Rachel's deck is coming along nicely. I could not wait until it was finished so I helped Mike on Monday so I could get up and take in the view. I'm headed over there now to pound some nails for the decking. Mike said he has the stairs done now, we're almost ready for some BBQ action!! Here's a couple pics from Sunday of it in progress....
School is going well, I just finished reading The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick and I was very impressed, I think I'm going to pick up a few more of his books. The premise of this one was a sort of alternate reality, set in the 1960s, Japan and Germany won World War II and now control much of the world, including the U.S.


Paraskavedekatriaphobics beware! Today's Your Day!

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!! Many people take today off of work and stay at home because of the bad luck associated with it. I'm wondering if it is any coincidence that even though the college is open and class is in session, all of my teachers have independently decided they will not hold class today.....hmmm. Oh well, works out for me! I was looking around the web for Friday the 13th stuff and was not surprised to learn that it may have had nautical origins, just like everything else(admit it Rach)!! Sailors were particularly Paraskavedekatriaphobic(afraid of Friday the 13th), often refusing to ship out on a Friday. According to legend, the British Navy commissioned a ship in the 1800s called H.M.S. Friday to dispell any superstitions the sailors held about the day. The navy selected the crew on a Friday, launched the ship on a Friday and even selected a man named James Friday as the ship's captain. Then, one Friday morning, the ship set off on its maiden voyage... and disappeared forever. I think the sailors are right for having their superstitions, out in the middle of the sea where nobody can come to your aid and your life is on the line, you need to be wary of every slight trick and tool that might help you come home alive. Along with the fear of Friday the 13th, many sailors also suffer from:

Fear of flogging --
Fear of the ocean or sea (poor bastards) --
Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth --
Fear of sharks --
Fear of puppets -- Pupaphobia
Fear of bathing -- Ablutophobia
Fear of alcohol(riiiiiight) --
Methyphobia or Potophobia
Fear of beautiful women(again, riiiiiight) --
Caligynephobia or Venstraphobia
Fear of falling in, or being in love -- Philophobia
Fear of long words(whoever named this one was just cruel) -- Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia
Fear of everything(poor bastards) --
And finally, the fear of painful bowel movements --

Luckily, I escaped the Navy without developing any of these fears..........
Since I have school off today, I think I'll head to my favorite bookstore in Seattle, Elliott Bay Books, to irritate the customers for a while. And if I don't make it through this Friday the 13th, I just want everybody to know that my lucky can opener goes to Dan Murray.


The Faithful Steed

Dan sent me some pictures from one of my Jeep adventures last year. I met up with the gang from BlueMoon Motorsports on this one and they helped me crawl my Jeep through some pretty ugly terrain to the top of the Index Wall, a popular rock-climbing spot up here. These pics really took me back to the days that I could afford to really beat the hell out of that Jeep(she likes it). At one point on this trip I was going over some loose boulders between two trees, one slipped from underneath me and the Jeep ended up wedged between the trees at the doors, we had to jack up the ass end and winch it out since the tires were not really touching the ground any more.

Swamp Jeep:

Notice the hiking stick I used to pole vault off the hood:

Our little convoy through the forest:
This is on the top of the Index Wall:

The view off the Index Face, the town of Index is in the foreground:

School has started back up and I am STILL on the job hunt. It's funny, I don't remember having this much of a problem getting a job when I was a teenager. One of the blessings of Omaha I guess. I have an interview tomorrow at Home Depot, Friday at an elementary school and hopefully one coming up soon with the USCIS as a fingerprint tech(that would be so cool. Also, talked to the guys at Lockheed Martin. They are still interested in having me as a teacher, just moving sooooo verrrry sloooooowllllly. My classes this quarter are Biology, English and Math. Today was a lab day and I got to swab cells from my cheek and put them under the microscope. Than I added some blue dye that stained my DNA (WOW!!) and different organelles of the cell. It was so cool!! It is nearly impossible for me to imagine that we are all made up of so many of these tiny little guys, all doing their part to keep us alive. My prof is a cellular biologist and it makes me wonder how she sees the world, it must be very different for her.


Ring in the New Year with a Little Public Nudity!!

Rachel hosted a Game Night at her house for New Year's Eve. We had a pretty good showing of people and an awesome, drunken night of fun!! I brought over a puzzle to continue my parents' New Year's tradition and was surprised that pretty much everybody chipped in. The one I brought was way too difficult and is still unfinished, plus Lisa's dog "whiny" Jack decided he liked the flavor of puzzle pieces and we are not sure how many he ended up eating. Other games throughout the night included poker, Cranium, Jenga, speed, Scene It!(TV), Drinking Roulette and a cool game that was new to me called blocko or blockus or blockazoid or something like that. I carried on another tradition that my old roomie Dan introduced me to, the lap around the block. Not just any lap though, I was in my underpants banging a wooden spoon on a sauce pan. Last time I celebrated the New Year in this manner was at my old house and it was a hit, we had a large group of guys, girls and dogs making a ruckus. This time I guess I was with a more respectable bunch and I had to make it a solo lap, they were all very amused though. I felt like Will Ferrell in that Old School scene where he tries to convince everyone to go streaking.

New Year's at Rachel's by the numbers:

11 people
2 dogs
1 broken champagne glass(I think I have an allergic reaction of some type to stem-ware)
750 puzzle pieces
?? partially digested puzzle pieces
98 number of times the word "shout" is said during the song "Shout!"
3 people who have no idea how to play jenga
1 broken plate(yes, I am a bull in a china shop)
1.5 people running around the block in their underpants(kev made an attempt)
127 number of times "Magnum P.I." was guessed during Scene It!
1 number of times big kev used me as a puppet while playing cranium
48 pounds collectively gained by all of us due to the large array of delicious food
1 incident of "New Year's butt," a close relative of "birthday butt."
81 occurences of the word "jump" in that stupid song by Kris-kross
1 number of rounds survived by the "drinking roulette" players

Puzzled puzzlers

Let the games begin!!

Sara attacks and Jay fights back with all his might: