The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

March 17, 2009

The Best Car Accident I’ve Ever Had

Filed under: Personal Stuff — Brian Lutz @ 10:10 pm

As much as we’d like to avoid them, accidents do happen every so often.  Apparently my number came up on the great big Wheel of Misfortune today, as my car seems to have gotten into a fight with a wayward 1990 Honda Accord, and from the looks of things, I think my car won.  I was at the intersection of 148th street and NE 24th next to the 76 station in Overlake (which also happens to be the site of the Taqueria Guadalajara taco truck that I posted about some time ago.)  I was second in line when the light turned green, and as we got underway the car in front of me stopped abruptly for a pedestrian in the sidewalk.  I managed to stop in time to avoid it, but the guy behind me unfortunately had a little bit harder time of it, and ran into my back bumper.  As you can see, my car seems to have made it through mostly unscathed, although I did have to go retrieve my license plate from the middle of the street (and duct tape it into the back window so I could drive it home.)  Aside from that and the slight bit of damage you see here, everything seems to be fine.  I’m actually surprised at how little damage occurred here, especially after seeing what the other car looked like afterward:

Hmmm..  It’s probably a good thing that I never got around to putting those lowering springs on my car, isn’t it?  You can see a couple of lines on the front of the hood showing where I’d guess it hit the indent for the license plate bracket on the back of my car.  Fortunately, nobody was hurt, both cars were still drivable (to some extent anyway,) and thankfully we both had insurance (and I’m really glad that I paid my renewal premium last week) and they’re going to get things taken care of.  The driver of the other car was cooperative, and seemed to be taking it in stride.  Hopefully he’ll be able to get things back in order quickly. 

If I was going to have to have a car accident somewhere along the way. this would definitely be a good type to have.  In fact, if there was one thing I would change about the whole thing, it would have been nice if I hadn’t dropped my camera just after taking these two pictures, resulting in the dreaded Canon E18 lens error.  Fortunately, that seems to be covered by warranty too, although it might leave me going back to my clunking old beast of a camera for a couple of weeks while it’s in for repairs.  All in all, not a bad day, considering the circumstances.

Redmond Center Update: The Walls Come Tumbling Down

Filed under: Redmond — Brian Lutz @ 2:18 pm

Roughly two weeks ago, the relocation of the existing businesses in the east half of Redmond Center was completed, making way for demolition.  During the time in between, the demolition of this portion of the center has been mostly completed, with only cleanup work remaining on the site.  With the exception of Niko Teriyaki (which won’t be reopening until the new building under construction on Redmond Way is completed) the businesses from this portion of the center have now been relocated.  VitaminLife has moved just a couple of spaces over, into the portion of the former Lakeside Drug store vacated during the remodel and change to Pharmaca.  Hill’s Barber Shop is currently found in the Redmond Mall just across the street from the now demolished former location that they have occupied since 1965.  I can’t be 100% certain of this, but I believe that this is a temporary location for them, since there appears to be a space in the new building that looks to be just about the right size for a barber shop.  Hair FX  has also been moved into a temporary location in the Redmond Shopping Square next to the Mailbox, and will also presumably be returning to Redmond Center when construction is completed.  Redmond Shopping Square itself will soon be facing the wrecking ball, as the City of Redmond plans to expand 161st Avenue NE through its property to join up with the new Bear Creek Parkway extension, but that’s another post that will come later.

The photos you see here were taken last week, as demolition of the old building was in progress.  The facades you see here were the result of a facelift of the center that took place in the early part of this decade which accompanied the redevelopment of the center’s west half and the construction of the Staples store.  As of yesterday, everything but the rubble was gone from this site.

Meanwhile, back on Redmond Way, construction work continues on the new building.  Here, you can see concrete forms for what appears to be the new building’s foundation through the fence.  Given the tight deadlines on this project (the sign on Niko’s door after they closed down indicated that occupancy of the new building is expected by late July or early August) I would expect this to begin going up rather quickly.  Behind this, you can see yet another block of condos going up in an unrelated development.  There is also road construction work going on in this part of town, making it a not-so-great place to be trying to drive through right now if you can help it.

Although Redmond still has a long way to go if it ever wants to catch up to downtown Bellevue (and I suspect that Redmond doesn’t have any intention of even attempting to do  so) there seems to be a lot of change happening in downtown Redmond right now.  Over the next couple of weeks, I plan to look at a couple of other projects going on in Redmond, and discuss how they might impact the town’s residents.  Watch for this coming soon.

A Bit of a Rough Spot

Filed under: Random Stuff — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 12:16 am

Whoever it was that said that a bad day on the golf course beats a good day at work obviously  never had a round quite as bad as this one.  Of all the lousy tee shots, hooks off into the woods and three-putted greens that had occurred over the course of the last seven holes, none of those shots came anywhere near the terrible lie that they were now facing after a particularly horrendous approach shot managed to somehow land in the absolute worst possible place that it could have landed.  If someone was trying to deliberately get a golf ball to land in the spot that it did from that distance, it might take them years and a truckload of range balls  to actually get something to land there.  The odds of Jim and Nick both managing to land a ball in that spot not only during the same round, but at the exact same time had to be astronomical.   This, of course, was no consolation to Nick and Jim, who were going to have to try to hit out of this mess, and Jim was clearly in no mood to ponder statistical improbabilities at this point in the round.

“What do you mean take a drop?  You’re supposed to play the ball where it lies!” Nick said, looking just the slightest bit dismayed by his partner’s apparent lack of faith in his skills.

“And just what  do you plan to take that shot with, a baseball bat?” Jim replied.  “There’s no way anyone is going to be able to get a good shot on that one.”

“Oh come on, it’s just a little tall grass, nothing we haven’t dealt with…”

“…Eighteen times already in this round,” Jim interrupted before Nick could finish his sentence.  “And even if my pitching wedge wasn’t currently sitting in the bottom of the water hazard on five, I have no idea what club I’d even use to take that shot.”

“Why not just ask the caddy?”

“You mean the one that was last seen fleeing back to the clubhouse three holes ago and threatening to call the cops?”

“Well, you DID tried to run him over with the cart.”

“Come on,” Jim blurted out defensively.   “I barely even…”


“Oh never mind that.” Jim snapped, “Let’s just get this over with. ” 

“Agreed,” Nick replied, a bit relieved to be able to finally get back to the task at hand.  “So, how do we play this?”

“I don’t know, have you got a pool cue in the bag?” Jim replied, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

“And just what would that accomplish?”

“I don’t know, but given the fact that you don’t even know how to hold a freakin’ golf club right, I doubt…”

“What do you mean?” Nick interrupted.  “It’s called choking up on the handle. You should try it sometime.”

“Um, wouldn’t you have to actually GRIP the handle in order to choke up on it?”

“Hmmm…  Maybe you have a point, but I got a great deal on these clubs, so I’ll just deal with them.”

“Why do I even bother?” Jim snapped, putting a palm to his face for emphasis.  “This whole thing is ridiculous.  The weather, the course, the big dent on the front of the golf cart… ”


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