Cabo Sunset

In Cabo San Lucas, the beach between Playa del Solmar and Land's End has a few rocky parts, and is a joy to scramble around. I was disappointed with the flat light prior to sunset, until the sun snuck below the upper cloud layer. This provided about 5 minutes of true sunset magic!

The First Jumbo

I'll be flying this weekend, but fortunately not on this airframe. It's Boeing 747-121 serial number 001, rusting away in a parking lot at the Museum of Flight. Boeing bet the company on the audacious scale of this jumbo jet, and has already produced 1418 of them. It will be exciting to see the upcoming 747-800.

Today I received a notification that a different itinerary has had schedule changes applied to it. Calling to confirm, I see that my future trip has grown to 9 segments! Due to the limitations of the booking engine, it was not originally possible to ticket such an extravagant routing. But sometimes the scheduling gods smile down upon you!

Top Pot Doughnuts

Yesterday's post reminded me that I haven't yet shown a Top Pot coffee. Let me correct that!

It may surprise that my typical reason for visiting Top Pot is for the coffee, not the doughnuts. Although not immune from the occasional mediocre coffee, Top Pot usually delivers a winner. If only Cafe Cugini was closer...

Scooting to Top Pot

I caught this security guard scooting down W Galer St last weekend. It must take fierce concentration to pilot a machine with such tiny wheels when it's wet out.

The outing was also an excellent opportunity to sample a new Top Pot Doughnuts location. Mmmmmm, doughnuts.

Lake Washington Blvd Metering

The A option for what to do with the Montlake Interchange through SR520's replacement has just been chosen. The proposed twinning of the Montlake drawbridge is the cheapest and least disruptive way of adding capacity to the strained interchange. Predictably, community groups oppose this plan; they would oppose any plan.

Here is the queue for the Lake Washington Blvd onramp from this morning. Metering slows the rate of entrance to SR520 eastbound.

Queen Anne Stairways

The Queen Anne neighborhood is quite hilly, like much of Seattle. The city constructed numerous stairways to allow pedestrian routes across sections of Queen Anne that are too steep for streets.

Oddly, this stairway doesn't actually go anywhere. The right of way at the bottom has disappeared! That might explain why the stairs were overrun with fall leaves and looked completely unmaintained.


It's a little late for Halloween, but I can't resist showing one of this year's Jack-o'-Lanterns. A key design feature is the offset lid, to allow for adequate ventilation for the tea lights within.

We had a decent showing of neighborhood kids coming by for candy, including a boy whose father introduced himself as a previous tenant of our house!

Berlin Wall Segment

Building 33 at Microsoft in Redmond houses a segment of the Berlin Wall. It was donated to Bill Gates by Daimler-Benz AG in 1996, and is now a part of the Microsoft Art Collection. Yesterday marks 20 years since the wall fell, and the first time that travel restrictions for those in communist Eastern Europe were eased.

From my understanding of the wall's design, the grafitti on the wall face shown in this picture is from the eastern side.

Southlands Fall Walk

This afternoon as the rain cleared up, we went for a walk in Southlands, a neighborhood on the north shore of the Fraser River, facing the Vancouver airport. It is an area dense with horse paddocks and horse people, and we passed a number of riders on our walk.
This section of trail follows the boundary of the Musqueam Indian Reserve #2, and also follows a stormwater drain outwards to the Fraser.

Harbor Island

Here is a different perspective on Harbor Island, not long after takeoff from SeaTac aboard N598UA, a United 757-200. Both levels of the West Seattle Bridge are seen spanning the Duwamish waterway.

My thoughts are drawn to United today, as I had to reschedule a sequence of flights in January that now misconnect due to schedule changes. Examining the options carefully, I saw that there is an internationally configured 767-300 on ORD-DEN offering reasonable connections. The fare books into A (first suites), and there were just two seats left for sale on the flight in question.

The agent cheerfully refunded $3.60 per ticket, due to slightly different airport PFCs in the new routing. I did hear a bit about how inexpensive the fare was (6 segments in first class, $93.02 base fare).

Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid

The botanic gardens in central Madrid (Real Jardín Botánico) have an excellent collection of edible plants, bonsai, and landscaping plants from all corners of the earth. They've even got a recently-discovered Wollemi Pine from Australia, whose story I was unfamiliar with.

One of the two greenhouses includes a desert climate and was stocked with cacti. Afternoon sun and a vantage point from a walkway above the ground level allowed this picture.

3 and 2 Monitor Setup

Upon moving into a huge, vacant lab, I was instructed to "build a fort". Instead, I scavenged for hardware, and assembled this nice set of monitors. The amphitheater picture was a challenge to assemble, but I found that the result was worthwhile.

Unfortunately, a move and reorganization has required relinquishing the structure propping up the upper row, and my setup is now a simple row of five monitors in portrait orientation.

Fort Casey

Fort Casey on Whidbey Island is a boy's (and my) dream. It's a maze of pre-WWI bunkers, magazines, and emplacements for disappearing guns. The fort overlooks Admiralty Inlet, and could control all marine traffic destined for Seattle and Tacoma.