My Latest Toy

harrysRecently, a flyer arrived in the mail from a company named Harry’s. It’s a sort of razor in the mail membership sort of thing. They’ll send me a free shaver, if I pay $3 for the shipping and agree to sign up for a packet of razor blades in the mail every two or three months.

I’d actually been thinking about something like this. I don’t like buying razor blades. They are expensive and a bit of a hassle to buy – since they tend to be locked up in drug stores, and require an employee’s assistance.

I figured out that the razors from Harry’s cost slightly less than the ones in the drug stores, and slightly easier to acquire.

What the heck. I signed up for a Harry’s membership. My shaver arrived today. My first packet of blades are scheduled to arrive in twelve days.

I’m keeping my old shaver in the cabinet, in the box my Harry’s shaver came in, just in case this thing doesn’t work out.


Pasta In Everett

After spending the morning recovering form yesterday, Phillip and I drove up to Everett. It was Brian’s birthday party, at Giorgio’s Pizza & Pasta.

There was a good crowd there (some we knew more than others, but no strangers), spread out over several tables.

Brian went around and introduced each guest to everyone, explaining how he met them and how long he’d known them. I thought that was a very nice thing to do.

Brian is very good about keeping in touch with his friends.

He introduced Phillip and me together, explaining how we’d met through geocaching and our mutual friend Snowie. Brian, Kathi, and we tried to figure out what year that was. We agreed in must have been around 2008.

I tried to find the exact date we’d met – I’d written a blog post about our adventure finding their apartment – but discovered that the mobile version of this blog doesn’t have a search feature.

(It was March 15, 2008, by the way. We knew them as Briemh and Purrzah back then.)

It was a fun, laid-back little party. Afterwards, Phillip and I drove with Kelly back to her house. (Kelly and me in her car, and Phillip following us in our car.)

We had a short visit with Kelly, and then Phillip and I drove home.

It’s been a fun weekend.


Today was the grand opening of Link light rail’s newest station: Angle Lake. It’s a mile or so south of Seatac Airport. Phillip and I missed the grand opening, because we had other plans. That’s fine.

We had plans to go to Steamposium today, and earlier this week we realized that it’s this weekend. It kind of sneaked up on us. Before I had a chance to rush online and buy tickets, however, Phillip found something better.

The Smithsonian Museum was offering free passes, for two, to affiliated museums across the country. In Seattle, that seemed to include every museum in the area – including The Frye Museum, which is always free, anyway. (The Pinball Museum was not on the list, unfortunately.)

So, we skipped Steamposium today. Instead, we walked to Capitol Hill Station and rode Link light rail to University Street Station. Phillip had his free passes to the Seattle Art Museum.

I told Phillip that I’m not all that familiar with University Street Station, so we may have to guess which exit we’d need for the museum. We picked the right exit, however, and found ourselves right across the street from SAM. We arrived a half hour before the museum opened, as planned, and sat and played some Pokémon Go.

We had a fun time at the Seattle Art Museum. We covered all four floors and saw lots of fascinating pieces of art. We learned, among other things, that Nick Cave (the musician) is also a sculptor.

After SAM, we walked over to Target for some shopping. Then we walked to Westlake Center and split a Mediterranean hot dog at Dog in The Park.

My free passes were to the Experience Music Project. We could have ridden a bus there, but I wanted to ride the monorail, since it had been so long since we’d ridden it.

I’d forgotten how bumpy the monorail is. (Or maybe it’s just showing its age.)

We stuck to the Science Fiction side of EMP, and spent an extra $10 to see the Star Trek 50th Anniversary exhibit. We didn’t get to the music side at all. That’s fine.

Since we saw only half of EMP, we didn’t spend nearly as long there as we did at SAM. (It’s funny that I ended up with more photos than SAM.)

After EMP, we walked over to the Armory Building and had lunch at Premier Meat Pies.


Steak and Mushroom Pie

Then we caught and 8 bus home and collapsed. It was a terrific day.


You’re Either On The Bus, Or You’re Off The Bus

I was underwhelmed by The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, by Tom Wolfe. I loved it at first, and then later in the book, I found it merely interesting. Finally, though, it just seemed to keep going on, never quite building up to anything.

Even though I know it’s a true story, I read it with a sense of disbelief. I’d written in an earlier post that I loved how Tom Wolfe faded into the story and became an invisible narrator. Later, I began to wonder if he was ever actually on the bus, or if he’d lived with the Merry Pranksters on Ken Kesey’s property. No one ever seemed to talk to him. He never seemed to participate in anything.

At the end of the book, in the Author’s Note, Tom Wolfe wrote that much of the book came from the Pranksters’ documentation. (They wrote and filmed constantly.) That’s fine. That would make this a history book. It’s just that the first chapter lead me to believe I was reading a first-person narrative.

Maybe if I’d known from the beginning that I was reading the Pranksters’ notes, and not the author’s observations, I could have gotten into it more.

Actually, I’d love to know more about this novel’s background. I’d love to see some of the Merry Pranksters’ documentation. I’d love to learn how the book was written.

Was the Merry Prankster’s Movie really the inspiration for The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour? It makes sense.

It’s not that I disliked The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. I just never got into it as much as I’d hoped.

My Modern Life

I’m not sure where the thought came from, but last night I decided that my Kobo Mini eReader should have a copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude – which is one of my favorite books. (If it weren’t for To Kill a Mockingbird, it would be my favorite.) Kobo Books had a few other books by Gabriel García Márquez, and a book about One Hundred Years of Solitude, but not the novel itself. I did an internet search and learned that eBooks of One Hundred Years of Solitude cannot be sold in the USA (at least, according to Amazon). I wonder why.

Meanwhile, if I were a Canadian citizen, I would vote for the Whiskey Jack as the national bird. It’s a pretty bird with a cool name.

Yesterday morning, during my break, I saw an external cell phone battery recommended by someone on the Seattle Pokémon Go group. (Pokémon Go drains cell phone batteries pretty quickly, and serious players tend to buy external batteries.) I found the battery on Amazon, on sale for 80% off. I put it in my shopping cart. The Amazon Locker nearest our apartment was full, so I had it shipped to the Locker nearest my office.

I had only two choices for the shipping method for my new battery: having it arrive that same day, by 9 PM, or signing up for Amazon Prime for two-day shipping. I decided to not sign up for Amazon Prime.

In the middle of the afternoon, yesterday, I received a notification on my phone that my order had shipped.

At 9:20 last night, I received a notification on my phone that my order had arrived.

On my way to work this morning, I stopped by the Amazon Locker and picked up my new battery. That is such a handy system.

Why a flashlight, though?

Why a flashlight, though?

Yesterday afternoon, I received an email from Phillip. He needed to stop into Elliott Bay Books right after work, and did I want to meet him there? I did.

In my mind, I pictured the best way to get from Downtown to Elliott Bay Books, in Pike/Pine, would be to take the 12 bus up to Broadway and then transfer to the First Hill Streetcar.

Later, when I checked on Google Maps, I saw that Elliott Bay Books is only about four blocks from the nearest 12 stop, so the streetcar wasn’t necessary.

This afternoon, I received a notification on my phone that there was a Mariners game at Safeco Field. (That explains why I saw so many people in Blue Jays jerseys on my way to the 12 bus stop yesterday.) I’d put that notification on my phone’s calendar because it had been Phillip’s suggestion from an earlier post I’d written about crowded Link trains during afternoon sports events.

So, after work, I walked over to the 12 stop on Marion Street, between 4th and 5th. I rode the bus up to Broadway, and then walked over to the streetcar stop at Marion. OneBusAway told me I had a 2-minute wait for a 9 bus (at the same stop) and a 9-minute wait for the First Hill Streetcar. That actually worked out better, since the 9 got me closer to home.

It’s not that a crowded light rail ride is all that bad, but it was more comfortable to ride up to First Hill in a less crowded bus. Today’s ride home didn’t get me home all that much later than usual.

I’d call today’s experiment a success.

Remembering Stuff

This past weekend, I cleared off some books from my bedside stand. I chose three that I decided to contribute to the lending library at my office. So that I’d remember that I had those books to contribute, I put them in a separate bag and set it next to my work bag. In theory, carrying a second bag would help me remember.

Meanwhile, Phillip asked me to return a book to the library for him. It was perfect. I put his library book in the bag with my lending library books.

Before I left for work this morning, I checked the weather report. There was a 40% chance of rain. I put on a rain jacket, picked up my two bags, and walked out the door.

When I stepped out of our apartment building, it was already raining. I should have worn a hat, I decided. I returned to our apartment, grabbed a hat, and walked to the bus stop.

I got to work, retrieved my three books from my second bag, and contributed them to the office lending library. That worked perfectly.

The rain stopped early this morning, and the sun came out.

At the end of the day, that second bag reminded me that I needed to stop by the library on my way home.

As I descended the escalator into Pioneer Square Station, there was a chilly breeze. I should have worn a jacket, I thought to myself. Oh, yes – I did wear a jacket this morning. And a hat, too. They’re both at my desk. I didn’t go back for them.

My books are on the office lending library shelf. Phillip’s book is at the Capitol Hill Library. At least I remembered them.

Filbert’s Next Crisis

I’d reached a point in the city of Filbert where I was just fiddling with little stuff like frequency of trains and smoother traffic intersections. I was still having fun, but I wasn’t building much. So it was time to start a new city.

My new city is named Riverton. As with all my new cities, I’m learning from past mistakes, and trying out new ideas. Riverton is starting out with more distinct zones – an industrial area with low density houses there, farmlands over there, a densely zoned area with apartments and offices over there, and green spaces separating them all. I thought this map was going to be the one where I finally have hydroelectric power, but I’m just not getting the hang of successful dams yet. Wind power isn’t reliable in Riverton, so I’m having to use coal power until I get more options.


A new day in Riverton

The one thing I don’t like about Cities: Skylines is how it saves games. When you start playing, whether you’ve started with a new game, continued your last one, or loaded a previous one, the first time you save your progress, it will default to the file name “New Save”. You have to remember to change the name or select one of the names of your previous games.

Can you guess where this post is going?

Last night, I started playing Riverton, and I made my first change. I wasn’t paying close enough attention and accidentally clicked on “Filbert”. I didn’t notice my mistake until after I’d confirmed that, yes, I want to overwrite the file.

I panicked, of course. I’d completely lost the city of Filbert. It was the city’s worst crisis.

Then I had the idea of loading “New Save”. So, when I was playing Filbert a week ago, I apparently accidentally saved it under that name. I’d lost only a week’s worth of city building. I’ll have to rebuild the cargo harbor area, and an industrial area, and fix some areas I’d fixed before. All in all, it’s not so bad. Maybe the rebuilt areas will turn out better.

From now on, I’m going to save my successful cities with backup file names in addition to the city names, in case of future accidental overwrites.

This feels entirely different from losing my content in The Sims 4. For one thing, this was my fault, and not the fault of a game company that can’t seem to find the time to respond to service tickets. For another thing, this is part of a city in a series of cities, and not the core of the central game. And also, it’s a whole lot easier to plop down new roads than it is to rebuild a Sim history.

So, now I get to work on Filbert again, and pay closer attention when I save a game.