Seattle Area Blogger — Sonics

Seattle Area Blogger — Sonics Game Friday 12/20. Hey Seattle area bloggers, I have 1 spare ticket for the Sonics game friday night, and it’d be fun to meet someone in person and chat. Send me a note at the ignitionpartners address if you’d like to meet me at the game. Good opponent (hornets), great seats, and we can chat about blogs.

Living in the City

Living in the City. Friday night — take John to friend’s house in Woodinville. Out to dinner with C in Bellevue. Up to Liz’s school for Volleyball match. Saturday morning — drop off Liz in U district at UW. Stop in Redmond for coffee and errands at Home Depot. Pick up John in Woodinville and take him back home to Bellevue. Back across the lake to UW to get Liz in the midst of the Huskies game traffic. Back to Bellevue, drop off Liz. The rest of us to downtown Seattle for some errands. Stop in Mercer Island on way there to get gas, on way back to pick up dinner.

Someday I will be glad to live in a smaller town again…

Short Attention Span Radio

Short Attention Span Radio. Tune to 95.7 here in the seattle market. the home of quick 96. sub-10 second snippets of songs, one after another, with a numerical tag announced for each. The most bizarre radio experience I have ever had.

Update: went off the air as fast as it came on. Replaced by KJR FM. a) I am sure this was all driven by economics I don’t have visibility into. b) Man does this tell me that the way we allocate spectrum is nuts — here is a piece of valuable spectrum that is being wasted away just because it is in the middle of the long-established FM band.

Salmon

Salmon

One of my pet environmental peeves. We live here in the great Pacific Northwest, we have access to wonderful wild salmon stock for our tables. Wild salmon is an incredibly good food for you nutritionally, high in omega-3 acids.

Sadly tho we are seeing the widescale introduction of atlantic salmon farming here in the northwest. There is little good about this in my mind. Farmed atlantic salmon are not as nutrionally good for you due to the feedstock they consume; they are dyed pink so that they look attractive; they escape from their pens and compete with the local wild stock; they attract sea lions and seals which are then killed by farmers to protect their fish stock.

Farm raised salmon is cheaper for restaurants than wild salmon, so we are slowly seeing it creep into menus, even here in the Pacific Northwest. The restaurants are not particularly upfront about it — you have to ask very precise questions to make sure you are consuming wild troll-caught Pacific salmon, and not farmed Atlantic salmon.

Herbfarm

Herbfarm

Well we had our Herbfarm dinner last night. Quite an experience, we can see why this place has a national reputation. The owners are passionate about their restaurant and they create a real event, almost a festival atmosphere.

The restaurant is in a beautiful building. A gorgeous dining room, a large open kitchen, an attached wine cellar, all in french country style.

We sat down at 7pm and got up a little after midnight. The food list (none of these huge servings):

– Sauteed Oyster with Sorrel Sauce
– Quail Egg Benedict with Cured Salmon and Watercress Sauce
– Perigord Black Truffle & Leek Tart
– Celery Root & Oregon White Truffle Ravioli
– Alaskan Side Stripe Shrimp in Truffled Garlic Sabayon
with Fennel Tempura and Apple Slaw
– Seared Duck Foie Gras and Perigord Truffles
with Yellow Finn Potatoes, Briased Endive & Shallot RIngs
– Sorbet of Douglas Fir
– Thyme-grilled Squab
with Oregon Black Truffles, Lentils, Bloomsdale Spinach and Golden Beets
– Juniper Grove Goat Cheese Buche
with Charlotte of Spice Bread & Tart Cherry Chutney
– Wild Huckleberry Souffle with Rose Geranium Sauce
– Armagnac, Thyme & Prune Ice Cream Crepe with Maple-poached Pears
– Chocolate Eclair with Lavender Praline Cream
– Assorted chocolate Truffles

And we had 6 different wines – 97 Argyle Brut, 2000 Matthews Cellars Semillon, 99 Adelsheim Clone 76 Chardonnay, 98 Beran Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir, 94 Chateau Sainte Michelle Artist’s Series Meritage, and an 1875 Barbieto Malvazia Madeira.

It was quite an adventure. We had more fun than we anticipated, the service was amazing and friendly, and we were seated close enough to other tables to talk with other diners (a couple who had driven 7 hours from Missoula for the dinner).

To our surprise I think we liked the Foie Gras the best of all the dishes. But they were all fascinating.

Herbfarm

Herbfarm

This coming Friday night C and I are going to dinner at the Herbfarm, the most famous restaurant in the Pacific Northwest. We bought the dinner at a school auction. You typically have to reserve a year in advance. Very French with a lot of snooty wine and stinky cheese and strange animals and parts of animals. Wish us luck.

Ooh I see this weekend they are featuring truffles. This is much preferable to sweetbreads or gosh knows what else.

Fitness

Fitness

One of the great things about our Outward Bound trip last year is that it forced me into a fitness regimen. I am a goal oriented person and I need some form of clear tangible goal to get me into the gym.

I think I have found my next goal. I want to eventually hike at least a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. I’d like to do a 5-10 day trip on the trail, in a small group. I have a lot to do to get ready. First of all fitness. Carrying a pack for 5-10 days while hiking some reasonable altitude gains is going to be tough. Then I need to get updated on first aid, on orienteering, on water use, on camping, etc.

Since we also have a lot of family activities, personal activities, and of course my job, it is going to take me a few years to get everything ready for this. But I am excited about the goal. It will be a stretch and I will learn a lot.

Portland Trip

Portland Trip

We had a nice trip down to Portland. What a great city — feels much more old world than Seattle. Narrower streets, older buildings, just a lot more style. A great city for walking around. ANd you have to love no sales tax.

We stayed at the Heathman Hotel. We recommend it if you ever get Portland way. A beautiful lobby in which they host a holiday tea. It was booked too far in advance for us to partake but we will try to do so in the future.

We visited Reed and Lewis and Clark Colleges. Both beautiful campuses. Reed felt more like a midwest or east coast campus with older buildings and a lot of deciduous trees in a suburban setting. Reed has about 1400 undergrads, 77% from outside the Northwest. It is a very short drive into downtown Portland.

Lewis and Clark is a bit further out, also in a suburban neighborhood. The campus feels more typically northwest with a lot of douglas firs, etc. A little larger than Reed, about 1800 undergrads.

A great trip and I am sure we will go back to at least Reed when L starts making formal visits this spring.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Hope everyone is having a great day. We are all well and enjoying the day together.

This past weekend we went to see, among other things, a performance by The Bobs. What an amazing group. They did some great a capella holiday music, and the most astounding a capella version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”. I know this sounds bizarre, it was but it was great. Worth a night out if they ever come your way.

We also saw two movies this weekend — Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and A Beautiful Mind. Both great flicks.

If I had to choose between them and a night with The Bobs, The Bobs would win every time.

L begs to differ. She thought The Bobs were scary.

Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme

OK folks it is just a doughnut. Why this town has gone nuts over them I do not understand.

I guess we don’t have the Mariners to talk about any more. No one cares enough about the Seahawks to talk about them. The crummy local weather is old news. And the national news scene is just not very uplifting.

So we obsess about doughnuts. Topic number one every morning is Krispy Kreme gossip — how long is the line, have you had one yet, did you hear about the 5 additional outlets they are going to open in the Seattle area.

If we could only get a White Castle now…