The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

December 17, 2010

Photo Dump: Winter Not-so-Wonderland Edition

Filed under: Photo Dump, Random Stuff — Brian Lutz @ 1:12 am

Mrs. Claus could not be reached for comment.

 With Christmas a bit more than a week away now, it’s probably a good time to start panicking if you haven’t got all your shopping finished yet (note to sell:  Now is probably a good time to start panicking.)  As you can probably guess, here in downtown Bellevue they tend to make a bit of a production out of Christmas, with the temporary  ice rink at Downtown Park and the nightly Snowflake Lane production at Bellevue Square being the main attractions.  I don’t have anything nearly that fancy going on here at my place, although I do have a Christmas tree in the house (a small one, don’t have space for much more than that) for the first time in three years.  To be honest I’m still not quite sure where I’d put it in this place at the end of the holiday season (probably somewhere behind the golf clubs I haven’t used in two years) but it’s kind of nice to have one around.  Most of my ornament collection fell victim to mold as a result of a leak in the storage closet at my old apartment, but the small tree I have is just about the right size for the remaining ornament collection (mostly from this year’s ornament exchange, where I’m happy to report that my laser-cut ornaments were a hit.)

Anyway, with the Holiday season in full swing, I thought I’d share a few random photos off my phone, since I haven’t done a photo dump post in a while.  These actually go back a couple of months, since most of the stuff I’ve got on there is being saved for the upcoming Sledgehammer Last-Minute Christmas Gift Guide (of Doom).  You’ll find the pictures after the jump.

First of all, here’s a couple of pictures I have from the snowstorm we had a couple of weeks back.  The first is from my apartment window (from which I found the relative lack of wintry carnage on 405 just a tad disappointing) and the second is from the lounge are at the office (with its large west-facing windows) on the ninth floor of the Key Tower, with Bellevue Square and Seattle in the background.  The view from my cubicle isn’t quite this nice, but given the fact that I actually have a decent sized cube and not some random desk shoved into a corner or a bench in some noisy corner of the server room under an AC vent at full blast, it’s certainly nothing to complain about.  Anyway, aside from the walk to and from work being just a bit on the cold side for a few days, the snow really didn’t affect me much.

And just how cold was it?  Um, not quite that cold.  These days you’ll find these screens in the elevators in a number of the highrise buildings in Seattle and Bellevue.  Usually they display bite-size snippets of news and weather content (apparently some people these days don’t have the attention span required for proper appreciation of elevator music,) but the ones in our building seemed to get “stuck” for a few days on the same thing, and as a result stopped updating the temperature.  Rather than find a nice agreeable temperature to settle on and be done with it, it seems the failure behavior is to just say there’s no temperature at all.  After all, didn’t your mother tell you that if you can’t say anything nice you shouldn’t say anything at all?  Same concept, it would seem.

I’m not sure who it was that decided that the Holiday season required plastering every tree in sight with half a zillion lights, but especially in downtown, all the cool kids seem to be doing it.  Looking cool for the holidays is mandatory.  Safety, it would seem, is optional.

At FHE a couple of nights ago we built gingerbread houses.  Some people are good at this kind of thing, and I’m pretty sure I’m not one of them.  It seems that among my friends I’m not the only one who tends to get easily distracted, and when all was said and done, this was the result of our combined efforts.  My contribution to this particular project consisted primarily of the knife with a bunch of marshmallows glued to it.  I half-considered calling up Guinness to see if some world record for that type of thing has been established, but decided against doing so for fear of finding out that some guy in Yugoslavia managed to glue 236 marshmallows to a toothpick or something.

Here’s one left over from the Auto Show back at the beginning of November.  A sign like this just seems way too specific for there not to be some sort of story behind it.  Feel free to speculate wildly.

Oh, and by the way, watch out for that last step, it’s a doozy…

Even though I have to go down to Renton to get it, I do make an occasional visit to Popeye’s for some fried chicken (after all, if you’re going to use up the calories on something like this, might as well get the good stuff, right?)  Recently, I’ve noted that they’ve added their “Cane Sweeeet” (Yes, apparently this requires the use of four Es, something I’ll have to keep in mind the next time I get a lousy rack of tiles in Words With Friends)  iced tea, ostensibly sweetened with cane sugar rather than corn syrup.  Given the fact that I don’t drink tea I can’t say whether or not the stuff is any good, but as you can see here, apparently if you so desire, you can get unsweet Cane Sweeeet tea.  Which begs the mind-numbingly obvious question:  doesn’t that kind of defeat the whole purpose?

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of fast food, ever get the feeling that some people just stopped trying?

Finally, on a somewhat more somber note, comes this picture taken from the impromptu memorial held at Safeco Field for longtime Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus several days after he passed away last month.  A small memorial was set up at home plate, and in spite of the short notice well over 3,000 people came to pay their respects, among which I was one of them.  Although there are the obvious highlights of the breakthrough 1995 and the record-breaking 2001 season, to me Mr. Niehaus was one of those people who was just always there, through thick and thin (and this, being the Mariners, was a lot more thin than thick.)  I can think of very few people in Seattle who would have that many people coming to pay their respects upon their passing, but seeing this makes you realize, in spite of the relative mediocrity of the Mariners throughout most of their history, just how much a baseball team can actually mean to its fans.  In the end it’s all just a game, but every once in a while, it can become something more.  This, I believe, was one of those times.


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