The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

April 26, 2012

Random Thoughts: Spring in Your Step

Filed under: Random Stuff — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 12:54 am

It’s starting to look more and more like we’re actually going to have a real Spring here this year, unlike last year’s “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Winter!” edition.  The trees are in blossom, the weather is warming up, and we’ve even gotten some really nice weather over the past few weekends to go out and enjoy.  Between work, commuting and suddenly finding myself with some semblance of a social life these days, I’ve been having some trouble coming up with Blog material lately, but I do have some things I’m working on  (yes, the second post in the software testing series is coming, I’m just having a bit of trouble making the subject interesting enough to do much besides cure insomnia) and the next few months are looking like they should be interesting.  In the meantime, here are a few random tidbits from my various wanderings over the past few weeks to keep things vaguely interesting around here:

Even though Seattle Center is technically considered to be part of the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood, it’s hard not to notice the Space Needle when you’re wandering around the South Lake Union.  If you ever need to remind yourself you’re in Seattle all you need to do is face West and look up, and you’ll probably see the thing towering overhead like a slightly less evil Mid-Century Modern version of the Eye of Sauron.  This means that it didn’t take long to notice when the top of the Needle was painted in its original orange color (or “Galaxy Gold” if you want to use the official name) last week in commemoration of its 50th anniversary.  There are going to be events throughout the Summer commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Space Needle and of the 1962 World’s Fair, and the orange color scheme (which was also used 10 years ago for the Needle’s 40th anniversary) will remain in place throughout the Summer.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a bit of World’s Fair nostalgia, the Seattle Times has you covered.  Over on their website, they have posted in its entirety a 152-page commemorative edition originally published in April of 1962, which is a neat little time capsule not only of the fair, but also about Seattle as a whole.  There are (naturally) plenty of interesting old ads, and of particular interest to me is a section devoted to Bellevue and the Eastside.  Perhaps when I get the chance to go through this in more detail I’ll put together a post on some of the highlights of this commemorative edition.  Unfortunately I was born about 16 years too late to see the 1962 World’s Fair for myself, but it’s still a fascinating topic, and is still regarded with fond memory by many Seattleites.

And for a bonus shot of nostalgia, here’s an old film that not only shows off some of the sights of the Fair, but also provides a glimpse into the future of telephones (a future which, naturally, happened about 30 years ago.)  In the meantime, anyone know where I can get some appliances in that color?

A few weeks ago, I made the trip with my friends to this year’s Emerald City ComicCon.  To be honest, as I talked about in a post made after last year’s show, I’ve never been big on comic books, but even so, there’s still a reasonable amount of interesting things to be seen.  One of the artists in attendance at the show was Don Rosa, who is well known for his comic book work with Scrooge McDuck and his cohorts, and who turned out to be quite friendly when I got the chance to meet him.  I purchased two signed prints from him, which should fit well with some of the other Disney art I have in my collection.  I also purchased a couple of video games from Pink Gorilla, including an import copy of Salamander Portable for PSP to add to my small collection of 2D shooters, and a nerdy shirt to add to my small collection of those (which is mostly sitting around taking way too much space in my drawers these days, but that’s beside the point.)  Although I consider PAX to be my annual Nerdfest of choice, I still find ComicCon to have plenty of interesting sights and sounds, making it a fun (if somewhat nerdy) place to visit.

If there’s one thing that the South Lake Union neighborhood has no shortage of right now, it’s construction, and the building I currently work at is right in the middle of all the action.  With a massive project underway to reconstruct Mercer Avenue to allow two-way traffic and eliminate the need for traffic coming off of I-5 to go over to Valley and Broad Street to get to Seattle Center, it seems like you can go hardly anywhere in the neighborhood without having to find your way around the Mercer Mess.  A couple of weeks ago they started digging up what appeared to be a relatively new concrete roadway on Terry Avenue, presumably for the purpose of exhuming the buried railroad ties you see here.  You would think they would manage to get those out the first time they did this (which would have to have been relatively recent, given the fact that the South Lake Union Streetcar of Questionable Repute has its tracks here),  but why do the job right the first time when you can get someone to pay you to do it right the second time instead?

Since I moved to my current residence in Downtown Bellevue a bit less than two years ago, I have found that there hasn’t been much opportunity to make use of the RC cars that I dropped a fair bit of money on several years ago.  Although I have yet to find a good excuse to pull the big nitro Revo out of storage yet (and would have a hard time finding a place to work on it here anyway,) I have actually found that there’s a surprisingly good empty field to take my 1/16th scale E-Revo VXL out for a good bash session right behind my building.  With the weather getting better and a girlfriend who seems to actually like this kind of stuff, I’ve found a sudden resurgence in interest in RC stuff.  I’ve actually started doing some work on suspension upgrades (the front A-arms have already been replaced here, and I’ve got aluminum pushrods and adjustable toe links on the way to replace the plastic ones you see here) and have considered replacing the radio as well.  I forgot how much fun these things can be if you’ve got a nice big field of dirt to kick up.  I’m half-tempted to get another one of these minis (I’ve been looking at the HPI Savage XS and wondering how it would compare to this,) but I think  that’ll probably be a while off.  There’s still plenty to do with this one in the meantime.

You know those places that promise a 30-minute oil change?  Well, these guys claim they can do it in 29.  I just hope the minute they’re cutting out here isn’t the one with the “check to make sure everything still works” part in it…

And finally, here’s something I saw the other night at one of those fun center places up in Edmonds.  What better place to celebrate your kid’s birthday than on a Boulevard of Broken Dreams?  I guess the House of the Rising Sun must have been booked for the evening, and the Hotel California hasn’t answered their phone since 1969, so this will have to do.



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