Category Archives: usa

The Oregon Coast

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Cape Meares, OR

My girlfriend and I went down to the Oregon Coast last week for a few days of camping and sightseeing. The weather was exceptional and the salt-water taffy was abundant (why is it that the only time I eat the stuff is when I’m in Oregon?). While there we had a chance to visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory, aka Cheese Mecca. This was a place I had always wanted to visit because I consume vast, sometimes unhealthy amounts of their product and thought it was only right to see how the stuff gets made. Besides that, we spent our time driving up and down beautiful Highway 101, stopping here and there in the tiny little cities that dot the coast. Here are some pics:

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Only good things come out of that factory.

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The free cheese samples were glowing, as if they had descended from some sort of cheese heaven.

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This girl gave us two of the biggest scoops of ice cream ever.

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A sign on a candy store’s door in Cannon Beach, OR.

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This guy was working the taffy machine and stopped to pose for a picture

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Sunset on Cape Lookout, OR.

Dinner’s Ready…or Not

Just when I thought I had seen all the crazy foods imaginable, I stumbled upon this little gem at a Korean grocery store in Lynnwood, WA. I have no idea what a “bung” is, but it doesn’t sound the least bit appetizing. No sir, none for me, now will you please pass the chicken nuggets? I may not know what’s in those things either, but when it comes to eating questionable animal parts, ignorance is bliss.

Back in Business: Mount Rainier Hike

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Ok, so I’ve been a little lax on the blog updates lately, but these long, hot August days have really sapped my ambition to write anything new, not to mention bathe at regular intervals. Anyway, I finally got around to doing something that actually merits a post. Yesterday I took my friend Faye, who is Korean and studying in the United States, on a hike in Mt. Rainier National Park. My friend Katherine, a hiking aficionado, joined along. After gathering up our snacks and putting gas in the car, we were ready to go. I took advantage of the 2-hour car ride to teach Faye some new swear words and also deconstruct the differences between the phrases “kicks ass” and “kick your ass” (the meaning is in the details).

After driving through some heavy clouds and a few foreboding rain showers, the three of us made it to our destination: The Naches Peak Trail Loop, a 3.5 mile circuit filled with pristine meadows, shimmering lakes, and spectacular mountain views. We were fortunate that the rainy weather subsided and gave way to sunshine and a light breeze, perfect conditions for a Saturday hike. Take a look:

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Dewey Lake

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Katherine is an expert berry picker. She filled up an entire Nalgene water bottle with wild blueberries.

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Wild blueberries are smaller than the regular variety you find in grocery stores. They also have a pear-like taste to them. If you ever hike this trail, make sure to give these a try. They are amazing!

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The Sound of Music?

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I really wanted to frolic in this meadow, but unfortunately there were several signs strictly prohibiting such actions.

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It was a little cloudy on our visit, but they managed to break just enough to give us a glimpse of the peak.

I don’t go on many hikes (mainly because it requires that I put on pants) but the Naches Peak Trail Loop is definitely a must-do. It’s overwhelming scenic, easy and short enough for all ages to partake, yet very rewarding when you get to see a majestic Mt. Rainier waiting for you at the end of the trail. Plus, there are wild blueberries to eat along the way! Hooray for blueberries!!!

[More info]

Related Listening: “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” [Fleet Foxes Cover] – First Aid Kit

Seattle Flashback

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The Personal Archive

There’s a closet at the bottom of the stairs in my parent’s house that’s filled with nothing but old family photos – real, actual pictures you can touch and hold in your hand. What a novel idea! Every now and again, when I’m feeling a bit nostalgic, I like to open it up and sift through the many albums. I found a lot of excellent pictures this time around (my mom with a perm, or even worse, my dad with a perm) and also a few clunkers that are probably best left hidden in the closet. Bar miztvah pictures are never flattering.

In addition to all the pictures of my parents wearing bell bottoms and questionable eye-wear, I also managed to find some really interesting shots of Seattle looking equally awkward and unfamiliar in the late 1970’s. As someone who has only known this city as a place with shiny high-rises, sparkling condos, and modern architecture, it was quite a surprise to see it looking so barren. If the fuzzy photo quality doesn’t convince you that these photos are old, then just look at the lack of traffic and abundance of available street parking for proof.

According to my mom these pictures were taken in the summer of 1979. The first three are shots taken from the Space Needle. Check ’em out:

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Looking South. The Alaska Way Viaduct leads towards the Kingdome. Belltown is in the foreground and the waterfront and Puget Sound is on the right. Clearly condos where not popular at the time this picture was taken. Now it looks a bit more like this:

photo: Ian Turnbull

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I think this is the view looking Northwest from Space Needle and that lower Queen Anne is in the foreground. The city looks kind of naked without all the big buildings.

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This is the view looking towards Lake Union from the Space Needle. Westlake is in the foreground, and beyond that is I-5. That was then. This is now:

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The Space Needle as seen from Gas Works Park. Now it looks more like this:

photo – via

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Here are some kids who scaled the support columns on the old Seattle Coliseum (now the Key Arena). As a kid I always wanted to climb up those inviting ramps, but sadly, they are now adorned with lots of sharp nails that keep birds, and people, from perching on them. Damn you liability lawsuits!

Far From Home #16

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Related viewing: “To the dogs or whoever” – Josh Ritter (Live)

An Unemployed Person’s Workday

via toothpastefordinner.com

I’ve been looking for work for about a month now and can safely say that it’s probably the 2nd most depressing, disheartening, and mundane things a person can do, right after actually working at a real job of course. Lots people who work for a living think I just loaf around all day, which is completely untrue. I only loaf for 30% of the day. The rest of the time is spent either eating or wallowing in self-pity. So, in an effort to dispel the myths and quell the confusion, I present you with a break down of my most recent non-working work day:

7:00 am: Woke up, realized I had no job, went back to sleep.

9:00 am: Woke up again and got ready for the day (read: put on a shirt). Noticed I had my shorts on inside out and backwards but decided it was too much hassle to fix them.

9:15 am: Went online and scoured my usual stomping grounds of Craigslist, Monster, Idealist, HotJobs and any other online job board available. I know this is mostly futile, but at least it helps me feel like I’m making progress. Progress towards what I don’t really know, but I try nonetheless.

11:00 am: Thought about going for a run but realized that would require me to fix my shorts. Decided instead to  Wikipedia the word “wiki.” Results disappointing. I did learn, however, that today is World Pi Approximation Day, which is ironic because lately I feel like I’m walking around in circles.

12:00 pm: Took a break from my intense internet browsing session and decided to have a healthy snack. Ended up eating two microwavable quesidillas and a plum.

12:45 pm: Back to the stomping grounds and surprise, surprise: nothing new.

2:00 pm: Went outside and threw the tennis ball for the dog. Came to the conclusion that the dog and I aren’t all that different. Neither of us have jobs and all we do is sleep and eat all day. The main difference is that I have $15,000 in student loans to pay back, while she sometimes eats her own poop.

2:30 pm: Called someone about a possible interview. They said they would have to reschedule to an undetermined date. Wondered aloud why God hated me so much.

3:00 pm: Played guitar while watching TV. Tried to make up new music for the commercials. Think I might have a future as a jingle writer. Now if only I could make the fat cats in Hollywood agree.

4:00 pm: Went online again to look for any new job postings. Got distracted. Ended up watching YouTube videos of kittens and puppies playing together.

4:30 pm: Read a chapter in a self-help book that said job-seekers should look to accomplish small tasks and celebrate their achievements. Took the passage to heart and fixed my shorts. Celebrated this occasion by eating a fudge-sicle.

5:00 pm: Would you look at that? The work day is over. My did that go by quickly, and by quickly I mean crept by slower than a 3-legged turtle across a freshly tarred country road. Regardless, it was time to pack up and head home. Turns out there is one bright spot to being unemployed…no commute.

Related Viewing: “Circles” – Soul Coughing – Live on Letterman

Cowboy Traffic Control

Here’s a plain spoken road sign from somewhere in Colorado politely reminding people to watch their speed. How awesome is that?! [via.]