Sunday, August 31, 2008

Trip to West Seattle

C had some business in West Seattle, so I headed over there to share some coffee and check it out. Here are the tugs at the north end of Elliott Bay.

The view of Seattle from Alki is amazing, as the Space Needle peaks out from behind the bluff

From Salty's, the million-dollar view.

Lots of fishermen casting and jigging for salmon at the mouth of the Duwamish River, as it empties into Elliott Bay. Lots of fishermen, but no salmon visible.

At the Goldmark Lookout in Madrona, a house across the street with an old sign advertising burgers and soda. The plaque commemorating the Goldmarks is a reminder of real madness and grief that is present.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

PM Ride - Headwinds in Both Directions

Afternoon ride with into a blustery autumn south wind, in the direction I was going a head wind. With vacation, numerous walks down the hill to the Dog Park, the legs and knees are barking with some wear and tear, but the clouds and the New Ride beckoned...

Reached downtown, played in traffic on Stewart for a bit, dodging the rush hour buses, avoiding the obvious risks that those with more of a death wish chose to take, and made it to Myrtle Edwards to notice that the weather front was passing, and the wind was changing.

Late August brings the fishermen to the pier. Catch of the day included Elliott Bay Rockfish and salmon.

Locally, the wind had shifted, now out of the north, so I had grunted against another headwind through the Interbay Gap and out to Ballard. At the Locks, had a brief conversation with the skipper of the Coastal Sea. They were headed to Alaska, eventually to Dutch Harbor, maybe the Pribilofs. The skipper said that summer in Alaska was wonderful, but I wondered how much of that would be left. Wished him and his crew a safe journey, and pedaled home.

780 + miles on the new ride!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

October in August?

While sitting on the bench at the Locks, out of the rain after doing the Magnolia Loop, listening to the thunder, watching the occasional flash of lightning, I wondered at what point did August turn into October? Time to put on the fenders, after drying out the shoes....

Maybe Liz has it right....

After finishing Blood Meridian, it's time for a different novel as the schlep of summer quarter begins to recede into the wet of Autumn...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bad Behavior

Encountered several examples of bad behavior today. As it was the last day of the quarter and all assignments and exams were due, the whining started. There were two, count ‘em, two different incidents of students asking me to increase their grades simply so they could have higher marks. They didn’t question whether exam answers could have been interpreted differently, or if a homework grade was too harsh. No, they believed that I would raise their grades simply because they had asked, and that they deserved it. Out and out gall to ask me, in essence, to commit fraud on their behalf.

Another student was able to ignore announcements for two weeks, an assignment due date and an exam for a week, and then claimed that I was ruining his life and I was ‘mean’ for insisting that he be subject to the same deadlines and schedules as the rest of the class.


Glad that I'm on vacation.

And, then on the way home on the BGT, I stopped to see the seven trees that were victims of deliberate poisoning. Unbelievably brazen behavior. These trees blocked the view from a deck directly to the west, and its obvious that the homeowner is the perpetrator.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

RSVP Recap

So, I made it. We made it. It was HOT, especially Day #2 as the sun and the heat bounced off the pavement.

But, the RSVP is a special ride, and worth a definite repeat. My pix are here, Lynne's pix are here (including one of yours truly and the New Ride), Shaun's comments are here...

Day #1 started at about 6:15, down the hill after breakfast and last minute futzing about to Magnuson Park. Put the bag in the truck and then north on the BGT. Zoka hosted a coffee and Clif Bar stop just after Log Boom Park, a spot hitter for me and where I caught up with CLevi and Shaun, riding partners who pulled me along for a couple of days.

Rest stop in Snohomish after climbing a Woodinville hill, and then onto the Centennial Trail up to Lake Stevens. We had a comfortable pace, and while the weather was warm, all seemed fine. Then, a few hills showed up, partners went on ahead, passed through Arlington, stopping for a snack and a fluid exchange, and then north to Mount Vernon. Noon, sun directly overhead, and hills on the Lake Cavanaugh road, and the melting, the need to hydrate, and the headache began. By the time I got to Mount Vernon, I needed Tylenol, water, more snacks, double-tall iced latte, thank you, and a rest. Still, about 2 hours and Chuckanut Drive to go....

Then, a wrong turn, lots of confusing Dan Henry's out there, and I spent a good 45 minutes and at least ten miles riding through Skagit River Delta farm land, raspberries, blackberries, cows, etc, trying to get back to the route. Made it to Edison, and then back to Bow Hill Road and a mini-stop, where the WWU Cycling Club rep laughed at me and told me that I had not been alone. Somewhat relieved, time to start up Chuckanut, great views, big hills, but shade and shadows to cool the schlep a bit, pink lemonade at the top of the last climb, and finally to B'ham, the dorms, no pool (wait until next year), a shower, dinner at the Boundary Bay Brewery, and then bed.

Day 2 was easier. All-you-can eat breakfast (and I did) at Viking Commons and then on the road to Lynden, quick stop at Dutch Mother's, and north to the border. We paralleled Canada for about a mile, all separating the two countries was a ditch the width of a fat guy's standing broad jump, but still crossed at the Aldergrove border crossing. Many foto ops, and then north to face The Wall, (not so bad, just steep hill), and then to the Albion ferry to go across the Fraser River. The wait was in the sun, but we ran into Rachel and Marty while queuing up. The sun was directly overhead, and the heat was intensifying.

After the ferry, I slowed to adjust a shoe cleat that had loosened and lost the posse for good. Just as well, as they were burning up the road. With the heat, slow and steady, with plenty of rest stops worked for me.

Finally into the Van BC eastern suburbs, Barnet Highway and then bike paths (actually sharrows) into the city proper. A view of BC Place, dropped into Chinatown, through Gastown on Water Street, and then up to the Coast Plaza on Denham. The family meeting me at the finish line was a wonderful surprise!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Lincoln, Nebraska is a nice college town on a flat grid, with much of what makes a college town.

Bike friendly, brew pubs and coffee houses, plus the obligatory chains, the Starbucks, the Applebee’s, the Holiday Inn, movie house playing the latest Hollywood studio offerings. But, a polite Midwestern feel to all, with friendly retail help, freshly scrubbed young white Christian faces and smiles, some authentic.

Liz (H’s best friend in all the world, from way back when at the Nerskip School) and I had a fun visit. We walked to Haymarket Square, had dinner at Buzzard Billy's (I had a buffalo steak), and then walked to the ballpark to see the Lincoln Salt Dogs.

It was ‘Girls’ Night Out at Haymarket Park, with tables set up for the local salon, Curves, Mary Kay Cosmetics, raffles with cheap prizes galore and between inning silly fun. During warm-ups, we chatted with one of the St. Paul Saints, who offered a genuine American Association baseball! A treasure. We stayed long-enough to hear the 7th inning off-key rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” as we walked on the bridge over the railroad tracks, passing a large toad resting by the side. Throughout the evening the weather was muggy and we watched clouds build from the south. There were a few drops here and there, but no rain out. At about 2:00 a.m., I was awakened by the downpour outside the hotel window.

So, each time these workshops are different. At U of N, there was an old pro, an adjunct that loved teaching, had been used to the honors students and now had accepted the challenge of two large sections with 200+ students. Friendly, welcoming and new her way around the classroom and students. Students probably loved her. The other participants were PhD candidates, again, friendly and welcoming, but seemed a bit more interested in finishing up their programs and getting jobs than in improving teaching. Their focus with the technology and the content was more along the lines of automating homework, developing computer-graded quizzes, and less on how to better the experience for students. Not surprising however, as much of what this workshop is about is making it easier for instructors. Still, the ideas of the Change or Die Commission came to mind, especially, when the number of new accounting PhDs is much less than the available teaching slots nationwide.

The trip back to Seattle was relatively uneventful, thankfully not ending up in the long line for cancelled and delayed flights (and angry, frustrated passengers) at the United Airlines desk at the Denver Airport. However, I did leave the iPod on the flight from Lincoln to Denver. I contacted Lost and Found, but will see if I ever see that one again.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Been a while....ready for RSVP?

Closing in on the 500 mile mark on the New Ride, what with a few weekend rides, including a half-lake on Seafair Saturday. Crossing I-90 in the midst of the hydros and the crowds anticipating the fighter plane shock and awe show was not a good move. Most of the rest of the miles are commuter trips.

Will I be ready for RSVP? I've got a little over a week, a crazy schedule that includes a trip to Nebraska for a workshop, and meetings that I don't want to attend.

C has booked a room at a hotel with a pool and a hot tub, and I'm looking forward to collapsing in them next Saturday night...