Off to Lake Chelan for a few days

I'm taking a couple vacation days between the weekend and the 4th and we're heading west of Snoqualmie Pass over to Lake Chelan. Never been there but have heard lots of good things about it. For those in Michigan, it sounds like the equivalent of a Traverse City, for those in Chicago it sounds like Deer County, WI, and for those in Indiana it would be the equivalent to a trip to the local Farm and Fleet. Just kidding.

We'll spend Saturday night in Leavenworth, and Sunday through Tuesday nights in Chelan. Looking forward to some playtime around the lake!


Some hiking pics

We've been busy hiking the past couple of weeks, including hikes to the Mount Washington Owl Hike Spot, down to the bottom of Snoqualmie Falls, and to the top of Cedar Butte. Some pics (didn't have my camera on the Snoqualmie Falls hike, but man that was amazing to see that much water rushing down the falls... did you know Snoqualmie Falls is taller than Niagara Falls?) of our adventures are below.

This is Jack and Spencer. Goofing off simply because I asked them to hold still and pose. Kids.

Along the way to Mount Washington Owl Hike Spot there was a nice cave to rock scramble up into.

Garrett was able to rock scramble up into the cave, much to my surprise.


And earlier this month...

... I read this story, again this takes place in Washington.

Please tell me these are the exceptions.

And, because I want public harm to come to these child abusing perpetrators so that others are deterred from such evil, I'm not compassionate. So be it. I can live with that label.

How can this happen in America?

I've read an amazing number of child abuse cases that take place here in the state of Washington, and am angered by each one, but this one simply takes the cake. Damn the Bill of Rights that actually protects the abuser depicted here.

How often does this happen in this country?


Good for the Aussies

Looks like someone had the cajones to stand up to Iran. I love this quote:

...aimed their machine guns at the approaching Iranians and warned them to back off, using what was said to be "highly colourful language".


Live blogging from ebay devcon

Just listened to an interesting keynote from Eric Billingsly, Director at eBay. To summarize his vision: allow the eBay developer community to build ebay page components that ebay renders, measures, and compensates on. Way cool idea to foster innovation and improved performance. Tap the best of your innovation network, and the best idea wins. Outstanding idea. Where do I sign up?


Live blogging from eBay devcon

Despite my body still being on West Coast time, I made it to the ebay Developers Conference this morning. The keynote presentation was performed by Kevin Lynch, Chief SW Architect, Adobe. Kevin introduced a really cool platform Adobe is announced called Air. Looks good, nice cross-OS application platform. My first reaction - isn't this what Java was supposed to be? It looks like Adobe has spent more time on the UI piece than Java did; hopefully Adobe didn't skimp on what makes Java great - threading and network programming. I do like the direction of combining the web and the desktop.

Following Kevin, Alan Lewis from eBay introduced Project San Dimas, an eBay desktop application built on top of Air. Looks very good for a first pass. I signed up for the beta (announced today)... will report on how it goes if there is not an NDA for it. You can sign up as well at this link.

More later!


The Granary Burying Ground

Wow, what a sobering experience. On a walk today in downtown Boston, and I stopped by the Granary Burying Ground. As I wandered through the grounds, what a surprise to find out that Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and John Hancock were buried here (among many others prominent in Boston and Massachusetts history). What it must have been like to live in an era with real leaders solving real problems, instead of today where we create our own problems and vote for politicians that want to solve problems they created.

Spending a few days in Bahhhstin

I'm attending the eBay developer conference here in Boston for the next few days. I took the red eye in from Seattle last night, tried to get some sleep on the plane (didn't really work), and now my sleep schedule is way out of wack.

Going to take the hotel shuttle down to Boston Commons, find some food, then do some geocaching and walk around a while. Looks like I can spend quite a bit of time exploring the Commons and Boston Harbor. I didn't bring a camera, maybe I should have.

I will say, I actually laughed on the way to the hotel when, at a stoplight, three cars sounded their horn the instant a trafficlight turned green. And the driver later ran a red light. You just don't get that in Seattle, and having spent 35 years of my life in Chicago and Detroit, it was nice to see some impatience and people who actually seem like they want to get somewhere.


I am so glad this has a happy ending

This could have ended up in tragedy, but I laughed out loud reading this.


The Battle of Midway

I love military history... here's a great blog post on the biggest naval victory in US History.


A lot of hiking this weekend

Amy is out of town this weekend, so the boys and I headed to Mount Rainier on Saturday. Wasn't sure what would be open, as its still early in the season (most roads/trails on Rainier itself don't open until mid-July) and I already knew Sunrise would be closed. So I picked a few trails from Best Hikes With Kids In Western Washington, packed the car, and took off on our 90 minute drive to Mount Rainier. Turns out my top two hiking spots were unreachable due to closed roads, so we finally ended up at the Greenwater Lakes Trail. Nothing really exciting - your standard forest trail winding along a river. After a mile and a half we arrived at a Lake, had a nice picnic lunch, and headed back. We took a lot of time there and back to enjoy the river and the surroundings, so much so that our total time there was three hours.

On the way back, we grab some McDonalds and headed up to Snoqualmie Pass for a picnic dinner at the Asahel Curtis picnic area. They have a nice trail that wanders along one of the forks of the Snoqualmie River, and we took that for about a half a mile.

Finally, on Sunday, we packed up the car and went with our neighbors and good friends Tom (the dad), Jack, and Abbey up to Denny Creek Slippery Slab for the first natural waterslide visit of the summer. Always a great hike, and this time we were treated to snow on the trail! Very interested sweating in shorts while walking on snow on a 70+ degree day. As expected, the water was frigid, and there was too much water to play on the slide (but the kids had fun nonetheless). We all enjoyed a nice picnic lunch on the huge rock formation under a cloudless sky. Garrett hiked most of the way up and all of the way back. And of course he fell a bunch but that never deterred him.

We bought some nice contraptions for Spencer's Camelbak (the Camelbak is a backpack that has a water system built in allowing for drinking water while you're hiking without having to retrieve a water bottle - it dispenses through a "hose" that you put up to your mouth). First, we added a valve to it to shut it off while transporting to avoid risk of leaking out the mouthgard side. Second, Camelbak now makes a mouthgard cover that fits nicely and unobtrusively to keep dirt away from the mouthgard. Spencer thinks both are cool :)

Some pics...


A quick hike near Mount Washington

Garrett and I set off yesterday with the intent of taking a hike up one of Mount Washington's trails. We started off on a steep, rocky trail that winds from a parking lot off I-90 (Exit 38, along a beautiful creek, and finally up to the Iron Horse Trail. A nice warm up hike, and Garrett tackled it all by himself. Not sure what the elevation gain was, but I'm guessing about 400 feet.

After we got to the trail, we headed east back across the bridge over the creek, looking for a trail to take us up Mount Washington. No such luck, only trail we found was too steep for Garrett, and I wasn't even comfortable trying it with Garrett on my back. So, we headed west for a mile or so, and finally found a trail that was passable. I pulled out my PDA, looked it up, and found out that it was a steep, 2 mile hike up, and given the time (after all the trail searching it was late morning already), I took a pass. But at least now I know where to start next time :)

Garrett making his way up one of the steeper parts of the warm up trail.

The trestle in the background is the Iron Horse Trail, a rails-to-trail that spans the Cascades via Snoqualmie Pass.

Garrett and I discussing which way to go - he doesn't know either!

A nice shot of the Cascades... this is looking east-southeast.

This is the trail we found east of the bridge. Garrett gave it a good go, but no such luck.


Whale Watching Videos

A few comments first.

Capturing video on a bobbing boat was tough. Amy did a better job than I did in steadying the camera. My apologies if you get seasick watching these videos.

Second, the Google Video quality is not that good. If you want the original, email me (or post in the comments) and I'll send to you. These videos are 50MB to 130MB, so hopefully you have a gmail account.

Third, the video doesn't do the experience justice. But I decided to post nonetheless.

Fourth, I can't figure out how to embed my Google Videos in this blog, so I'm posting links. Sorry.

Ok, this first one is a nice 90 second wide angle shot of three whales, including a baby whale (probably can't tell from the video).

A close up, but like with all our close up video it was tough getting the entire whale spotting in the frame.

Another close up.

Not as good as the others but a clip nonetheless.

I'll upload some more video later. Maybe when I figure out a better hosting service :)