Harbor Island

I rode around Seattle a bit today, including a tour of Harbor Island, which sits between downtown Seattle and West Seattle. The island is entirely reclaimed land used for port operations, including bulk fuel, rail, and container shipping. This picture was taken from a vacant lot on the west side, looking southwest across the main channel of the Duwamish River.

Seattle was the fifth-biggest port in the US by container volume [2005] but has since slipped to ninth place in the US [2007]. It's hard to compare against Vancouver BC, because the port authority there combines traffic figures across the whole metro region. (Tacoma is counted separately in the US figures).

While in the area, I crossed the Spokane Street double-leaf swing bridge for the novelty of it.

Kitesurfing in Puget Sound

This very skilled kitesurfer performed numerous jumps in front of me, on the beach at Carkeek Park. He was consistent in landing dramatically close to the edge of the water, which resulted in his kite overhanging a fair bit of the shore.

Potbellied Prohibition

Indeed, the Seattle Municipal Code is quite specific:

"It is unlawful for the owner to:
B. Permit any cat, dog, potbelly pig or other animal to enter any public fountain or any school ground while school is in session or during after-school activities."

Miniature goats are covered separately (and much more restrictively) in subsection E.

Lefkosia, Cyprus

A few years ago, we visited Cyprus on an Alitalia mistake fare, YYZ-LCA in business class. It was a wonderful trip, and we traveled with R&L who came down from Dublin to join us.

This is the Turkish side of Nicosia/Lefkosia, on a day trip as pedestrians through the NATO-run DMZ.

439 King St W

I used to work at 439 King St W in Toronto. This was the first office of Kinitos, which then became NeoEdge Networks.

It was a beautiful property to work in. This picture was taken from the construction crane across the intersection.

Wing flexing

Airplane wings are designed to flex under load. Pictured at left is the wing of a Boeing 737-900 at taxi, and in flight. I was very careful to frame the picture for a fair comparison.

There are more extreme perspectives available - see the curvature of the wings of a Japan Airlines 747 at LAX.

Newark Liberty

Transiting Newark, I found myself in a row of Continental 737s at sunset.

Continental claims to have a very young fleet, and the recent 6 segments I flew agrees with this. The picture was taken while aboard N34282, only 5 years old.

As a comparison, my most recent flight on Northwest was on N760NW, a DC-9 that was built in 1968.

Coney Island

I've never been one to return a rental car in mint condition.

In County Sligo, I accompanied Beth & Deirdre across the tidal channel linking Coney Island with the Irish mainland. Driving was somewhat exciting, especially when crossing puddles of unknown depth.

We succeeded in finding a geocache on the island, and got the car back before the tide came in.

Lake Washington Loop

On Saturday I completed a minimal loop of Lake Washington, going counterclockwise. The distance was around 49mi / 78km in beautiful spring conditions.

I was expecting Renton to be industrial and unpleasant, but the route around the municipal airport and parallel to the I-405 was lovely.

US Mint Direct Ship Program

One can purchase circulating coinage from the US Mint at face value. They accept credit cards, and there is no shipping charge.

This allows for running large purchases through mileage-earning credit cards at zero cost. Here are $2000 in dollar coins, weighing 35 lbs (16.2kg), headed for deposit to the bank.

I am purchasing money at an effective discount which covers the credit card rewards and shipping. However, the Mint is still doing very nicely out of my purchases - they make ~75% margin (seigniorage) on dollar coins.

Strangford Lough

Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland is much like Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne - it holds a vast volume of water, and the tidal current at the narrow mouth is very fast flowing.

We took the car ferry (visible on the far shore above the sheep) from Portaferry to Strangford. The incoming tide required the ferry to point seawards at perhaps 70 degrees off its direction of travel across the entrance.

Castle Bridal Suite

On Friday, P&T held their wedding at the Narrow Water Castle, County Down, Northern Ireland. It was magic. This is the view from the bridal suite over the grounds, looking south, with the hills of County Louth of Ireland off in the distance.

There are actually two castles, the semi-restored keep, and a privately owned castle and estate set across the road hill.