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Yay, Seattle!

It’s chilly and wet here, which is a complete opposite of the 26 C, drought conditions in Austin. It’s great spending time with Alex and Victoria again. As soon as I got here, we spent some time running around down town. I thought Austin and Houston had a lot of food, they have nothing that even comes close to the Pike Place Market. All matter of fresh fish, crustaceans, meat, veggies, fruits, and other handmade sundries.

At the market, I was captivated by some metalwork for sale. This guy had made metal cutouts of an eagle, bears, and salmon, which in themselves aren’t that interesting. These pieces were highly polished, then he had used a torch to heat up parts of the metal to deform it with different shades of blue and black. This gave the salmon eyes, lateral lines, spots along the side, and gave the eagle feathers, facial features, and definition to its talons.

We went to a Japanese supermarket named Uwajimaya downtown. What Pike had for all around fresh food, Uwajimaya had all manner of Japanese food. Fresh fish, oysters, crabs, domestic brand foods? They had ’em. Weird cartoony hard candy, noodles, $3,000 Buddha cabinet, calligraphy sets, Mad Housewife wine, dehydrated minnows in a bag for snacking? They had those too.

I was totally lost while in Seattle. What I felt was North was totally wrong. I blame it on there not being any sun out to give me reference.

Maybe it’s the grass-is-greener thing, it seems like Seattle had a large number of young cute girls running around, moreso than Austin. I suspect most are either UW students, but not all UW students can afford to be running around Nordstrom’s.

Speaking of Nordstroms, in today’s tipping society where we tip for most anything down to the most trivial of tasks, why don’t we tip perfume wenches at the mall? It seems like that’s an unfilled tipping niche, tipping somebody for spraying perfume on you.

Saturday evening, I made pictures of the Space Needle, but avoided being touristy by going to the top. The $10 admission made me reconsider the idea. We met up with Tom, JP, Gwyn, Eric, and Irene over at Hale’s for dinner.

Sunday, we went out to Steven’s Pass. OMG snow! Snowboarding totally broke me. Alex took Tom and I up to the kiddie slope and showed us how things worked. My first goal was to go down a small slope diagonally and back. I busted my knees, elbows, hip, ass, shoulder in all sorts of ways falling down. We predicted I’d be riding goofy-foot, but after a couple of attempts, that wasn’t working and I switched over. Foot by foot I was making some progress. I was happy just to be able to balance on the board. After a while, my knees were the first to go. It became a great effort just to stand up after strapping into my bindings. I eventually learned to roll my ankles in at the same time I tried to stand up, which allowed me to bring my knees forward and down so I could get up that way.

Next was a lesson on the lifts and the first beginner run. By this time my right ankle was cramping and burning like a severe shin splint. I absolutely could not put any weight on it at all. Getting out of the bindings to stretch wasn’t helping. This presented an interesting problem in that I could only go left diagonally, and couldn’t return to the right because I couldn’t keep my weight on my right foot and spun out of control. Eventually I just lined up my board straight down the mountain and sped down… and fell a couple dozen times in a rapid manner. At least once I went tumbling down the hill sideways, my board windmilling along the way and kicking up a plume of powder. wheee!

After one run I called it quits for the night. I knew my ankle wasn’t going to get better, and with 3M just a week away, I did not want to force myself back up and mess myself up to the point I couldn’t run. Apparently Tom got the hang of things; him, Alex and Victoria were out on the slopes for a few more hours.

Dick’s burgers in Seattle is the most awesome burger place evar. “Deluxe” half pounders for $2.00, one-third pound cheeseburgers for $1.00, totally greasy fries and a nickel for ketchup. They are extremely fast, time to order until greasy goodness in hand was under a minute!

I will return to Seattle to solve snowboarding soon.

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