Ciutadella Alleyways

Ciutadella is a well-kept town in Menorca, Spain. The heat of the day was still present during our September visit, so we kept a slow pace and allowed stops for refreshment. Part of our visit was at the lull of the siesta, and the absence of pedestrians led to some good pictures!

Madrid Afternoon Drinking

The street cafe scene in Madrid is excellent, especially in decent weather. Drinks, tapas, and chat flow out into the street around numerous plazas.

Early Morning at CDG

This weekend included a 6am transit of Paris - CDG. The Schengen side of Terminal 2F was full of sleepy people, and it was not difficult catching someone exhibiting the stereotype by ordering a croissant.

Dogwood Fall Colors

Fall is descending, and the dogwood on our front lawn is ablaze with color. I expect to be busy with the rake next week.

Indomie Mi Goreng

Indomie Mi Goreng noodles are indisputably delicious, and are offered at a ridiculously low price point. It surprises me why anyone would donate an Oxfam goat to a needy family, when you could feed a family with delicious Indonesian noodles for months for the same cost.

Decadent westerner that I am, I upgraded to the Premium Indomie line (20c more!). They're wonderful.

M/V Elwha

The Elwha is a Washington State Ferry built in 1967. She used to run Sidney to Anacortes, but her top-heavy design led to stability problems across the sometimes-rough Haro Straight. These days, she is scheduled between the San Juan islands instead.

Arbutus Menziesii

The arbutus of the Pacific Northwest is a striking tree, never growing straight, and always with characteristic peeling bark. On a hike this weekend, I saw this arbutus, and heard it actively peeling away as I stood by it - a subtle crinkling sound, ongoing even without wind.

I am working on germinating a few seeds, to try to add an arbutus to our garden.

Abandoned Orchard

There is no greater fall pleasure than going for a walk or a hike, and unexpectedly coming across an abandoned orchard. Apples and pears continue to bear fruit well beyond the lifetime of the homesteaders who originally planted them. It's a little taste of the past!

NE 68th Street

Walking back from Top Pot Doughnuts, we caught this view down 68th Street NE.

Lake Washington, Kirkland, and then the Cascade mountain range is visible in the distance. The road inline in the distance is NE 85th Street (which becomes Redmond Way).

Yakima Canyon

The Yakima Canyon has been bypassed by I-82, but it still hosts a highway (SR-821) and the BNSF railway.

The valley is beautiful, and was being enjoyed by hunters and fly fisherman on my way through on the weekend.

Shimmering Road

Photographing an inferior mirage is challenging, but this hot and level section of SR240 provided some decent images.

I've seen a whole herd of floating cows in rural Australia due to this effect.

Hanford B Reactor

The B reactor at Hanford was the first industrial-scale nuclear reactor. It was completed in 1944 as the only source for creating plutonium for the Manhattan Project. The plutonium created here was used for the Trinity Test and then Fat Man, ending WWII.

The basic design was:
  • place sufficient uranium in proximity to allow for controlled fission
  • slow the subsequent neutron release with a graphite moderator, to encourage transmutation to plutonium
  • chemical separation of resultant products to isolate the plutonium (this was done in the Queen Mary building)
The tour yesterday was fantastic. It would have been very easy to stray from the group, but with a map labeling the various radiation hazards of non-public areas, it would not have been prudent.