The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

June 20, 2011

Photo Dump: Spring-Loaded Edition

Filed under: Photo Dump, Random Stuff — Brian Lutz @ 1:33 am

Don't like the weather? Wait a few seconds!

Officially, the end of Spring and the beginning of Summer is now just a couple of days away.  And given some of the weather we’ve had around here lately, I don’t think there are going to be a lot of people out there who will be sad to see it go.  Over the past several months, a number of weather-related records have been broken, mostly in the “Cold” and “Rainy” departments, and although the pattern that kept us cold and rainy for much of the Spring still seems to be in effect, the official start of Summer is now just a couple of days away (the “unofficial” start of Summer on July 5th is, of course, still a couple of weeks away.)  Although I don’t have a whole lot of stuff planned until late August and September, it should be an eventful Summer, with one of the expected highlights being the birth of my first niece in late August.  But with Summer still ahead, it’s time to do a little bit of quick Spring cleaning on the Blog, and to put up a photo dump post featuring some of the random stuff that’s accumulated on my phone’s camera over the past couple of months.  You’ll find these after the jump.


January 21, 2011

Photo Dump: On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever

Filed under: Bellevue, Photo Dump — Brian Lutz @ 1:41 am

As I seem to do a lot more of than I really should be, once again I apologize for a lack of posts containing anything besides semi-coherent blather over the course of the last week.  Work has started to pick up recently, and it’s looking like it’s soon going to settle into a pattern where a majority of the testing that I’m working on gets concentrated into roughly a 3 or 4 day period every other week.  This is a bit of a side effect to working in a Scrum environment at work.  If you’ve been working anywhere in software development over the past few years, there’s a good chance you’ve been hearing all sorts of stuff about Agile Development and Scrum methods.  I know I’ve spent years hearing these terms being used all over the place without ever really being abler to get a clear idea what any of them mean in any sort of meaningful context.  I’ve worked in a number of places that employ the methodologies involved to some extent, but where I’m working now is really the first place I’ve been that truly uses the Scrum process as it’s supposed to be used, and it’s a bit of a change from where I’ve been previously.  It’s not been too difficult to adapt to the process, but it does mess with my schedule a bit.

I’ve actually got a couple of specific topics that I’ve been meaning to post on (in particular, I really need to do some updates on my Totem Lake Mall posts, as there’s been a lot of interest in that over the past few days, including one of the highest Blog traffic days I’ve had in quite a while as a result of a links from the Kirkland Reporter and Seattle P-I websites) but I need to find the time to get over for some photos to do that.  In the meantime, I thought I’d put together a quick photo dump.  I’m sure any of my three or four regular readers on this Blog are plenty sick of my various complaining about Winter and its vagaries, but as I spent a bit of time going through the pictures on my phone this evening, I realized that lately there’s been some rather nice views around here.  The City of Bellevue got its name from the French words for “Beautiful View,” and with some of the views I’ve been getting from outside my window and from the office on the days when the weather’s been clear lately, I have to say that William Meydenbauer certainly had a point with that one.

From out the window at my office, you can just barely make out Mount Rainier in the background with high cloud cover, and the beginnings of what could have been an interesting cloud formation at the top that never quite materialized.

On a clear day the view is, of course, much better.

When we get a clear day in Winter, there’s plenty of other snow-covered peaks to look at too.

Looking in the other direction, there’s plenty to see as well, with Downtown Park and Meydenbauer Bay filling out the foreground, Mercer Island, the I-90 floating bridges and the skyscrapers of Downtown Seattle in the distance, and a lovely sunset filling out the back.  Eventually a good chunk of this particular view will probably be obscured by the second phase of the Lincoln Square development on the site of the old Safeway, but for now there’s nothing blocking the view.

If you know where to look there’s plenty to see at ground level too.  Take, for example, this nice little courtyard and reflecting pool behind the Symetra Financial Building next to the one I work in.  It’s a nice little place that you could never even know exists if you just drive in and out of Bellevue and never walk around anywhere outside of Bellevue Square.  The weather hasn’t been nice enough to really enjoy it much (this particular picture was taken mostly to note how windy it was on a particularly blustery day earlier this week) but I’m sure it’ll get plenty of use once Spring gets here and it starts getting warmer outside.

Even at night, the combination of urban skyscrapers with smaller buildings scattered in between them can make for some interesting views, such as this full moon over the top of the Bellevue Congregational Church, with Plaza Central and the Bravern on the sides.

Finally, a slightly different view of Downtown, as seen in a mural on the wall of the Bellevue Trader Joe’s store.  I do have to admit it’s a little odd to walk into a store and see my apartment painted on the wall, but it’s also kind of cool at the same time.  This particular viewpoint seems to be just a tad improbable though, as this perspective would seem to require putting the Botanical Garden somewhere on the opposite side of Northeast 8th Street from where you usually find it.  And I’m pretty sure it’s not going anywhere for a while either.

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.


September 14, 2010

Photo Dump: Back 2 Shcool Edition

Filed under: Photo Dump, Random Stuff — Brian Lutz @ 2:23 am

Repeating the third grade?

The last few weekends have been surprisingly busy, as I’ve gone about trying to make sure all of the various Summer stuff gets accomplished while Summer is still around. I’m sure I’ve already bored my readers (all six of them) with all the gory details of most of the various events, but it’s been a while since I’ve gone through the various photos that have accumulated on my phone and put together a photo dump post. As usual, this is comprised of various things that I have run across in my various wanderings that seem interesting (or something resembling interesting) but not quite enough so to warrant their own posts. You’ll find these after the jump.


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