Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Ultimate Road Trip

Scientists have figured out the ultimate United States road trip. Here it is - Trek The Horizon
" The rules were simple: All 48 contiguous states must be visited, stops are only allowed at National sites (parks, monuments etc.) and the entire car trip must stay within the confines of the U.S. borders. "
h/t Hubby

Ultimate alarm clock?

Can I pay my taxes at 7-Eleven with 'Bucks stars?

Thursday, January 19, 2017

I must be pronouncing it wrong

because biem spray does not sound good at all.

In honor the 45th President of the United States:

Neopalpa Donaldtrumpi

So named because of the bright yellow scales on its head, resembling very-soon-to-be President Trump’s hairstyle.
" . . . as of yet we do not know anything about what Neopalpa donaldtrumpi does for a living . . . "
Washington Post | Speaking of Science
I wonder what he'll tweet about this.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Vancouver USA

I don't know how Vancouver influenced Sunset with this video but it resulted in Vancouver being named one of The West's best main streets nevertheless. The very last scene is of a walkway along the Columbia River just steps from where I live. The unnamed restaurant is McMenamins on the Columbia.

Vancouver is a great place to live. We love Main Street and all it has to offer. It does indeed have breweries, restaurants, and coffee houses. The Kiggins Theatre shows great movies at a decent price and has the best movie popcorn anywhere.

Vancouver's beautiful, new library is three blocks from Main Street. And, about a half mile away is the historic Fort Vancouver National Park. Main Street is one mile from my front door.

This video produced by Vancouver's Downtown Association does a better job of it.


Vancouver is a friendly town located in southwest Washington across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. And it really does have a great Main Street.

h/t +Trap Door Brewing

Monday, January 16, 2017

Beer Snobs

You know you're in the company of beer snobs when the graffiti in the bathroom (@rivercitysaloon) isn't

For a good time call . . . .

Instead, it's


mead

(Sorry meaderies.)

Watch out!

Hubby fixed his watch.

I miss the chime....

Friday, January 13, 2017

Oh, snap!

Book Review-Upside Down Football: An Inside Look at Long Snapping in the NFL
" Kluck’s book does a great job of explaining all aspects of the modern snapping industry . . . "

Big Adventures in Tiny Homes

We spent last weekend in a tiny home - this one. It was a grand adventure. There are six tiny homes at Caravan - The Tiny House Hotel so we gathered up a bunch a friends and rented all six for the weekend.

Hubby and I went to preview the place after all the arrangements had been made and I became worried. These place were really, really tiny. I voiced my concerns to the group but was overwhelmed by everyone's spirit of adventure. Even as temperatures fell below freezing, the group was still up for it.

Then it snowed. Pipes and shower drains froze. And, you know what? It was still fun. We huddled around the fire pit absorbing smoke into our clothes, hair, and lungs and roasted marshmallows. We sang Kumbaya. We connected with one another. We trudged through the snow to a local brewery and watched the Seahawks beat the Lions and stayed warm for a few hours.

The next day, we found ourselves ensconced in ice. We had to chip out our cars in order to slip on down to Pine State Biscuits for breakfast. All in all, it was a big adventure in a tiny space. No one slipped on the ice and everyone got home safely.

Caravan is located in Portland's Alberta neighborhood within walking distance of bars, restaurants, and food trucks. Everything one might need for a big adventure.

Next big adventure: Mt. Hood Tiny House Village. This time, we'll aim for warmer weather.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

20,000 Stars

'Bucks has "double star days" which should be self-explanatory. In case it's not, Starbucks rewards members of its Rewards program with stars upon thars. Actually, they're virtual stars applied at a rate of 2 per $1 spent to your real or virtual card. Follow? When you amass 125 stars, you can trade them in for an absolutely real cup of coffee.

Once per month, certain members (the ones that drink enough coffee to qualify for "gold" status) can earn stars at a rate of 4 per $1. On my last "double star day" (yes, gold here) I purchased a pound of French Roast and asked for a half pound of Decaf Espresso. (The later was not for me as I do not believe in decaf in principle but was willing to make the purchase as a gateway bean for another coffee drinker who is delusional enough to think he can deny himself full strength brew.) The barista could not figure out what button to push to charge me for half a pound so he gave it to me as a "sample."

Cool beans! I gave him an extra large tip worth 8 virtual stars. I wonder how baristas would really feel about getting stars as tips. Considering 'Buck's foray into virtual currency, it may well be that baristas are already paid in stars. One never knows.

Here's some random information I came across regarding their Rewards cards (from their Terms and Conditions page):
You may not have more than $500 in value on any of your Starbucks Cards at any time, and no more than $2,000 may be associated with any one Starbucks Card in a single day. This means that the activity on any one of your Starbucks Cards cannot exceed $2,000 over the course of a day. The total value you may load onto all of your Starbucks Cards, together with the value of any new Starbucks Cards that you may purchase, may not exceed $10,000 on any given day.
Egads, that's a lot of stars! And I thought I drank a lot of coffee!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Good work, Sandy!

Duvall Bag Ladies

This is a blog post about a friend of mine who is working with others in her community to crochet sleeping mats for the homeless out of plastic grocery bags.

Good work, Sandy!

Figures

Hubby has one of those digital watches that chimes on the hour. He doesn't know how to turn the chime off so away it chimes all night long. Considering I live near an airport, the railroad tracks, and a state highway, I don't even notice it. The only time I ever hear it is at 6 a.m.

My alarm is set for 6:30.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Plan your time accordingly.

 INTERNATIONAL EARTH ROTATION AND REFERENCE SYSTEMS SERVICE (IERS) 

SERVICE INTERNATIONAL DE LA ROTATION TERRESTRE ET DES SYSTEMES DE REFERENCE


SERVICE DE LA ROTATION TERRESTRE
OBSERVATOIRE DE PARIS
61, Av. de l'Observatoire 75014 PARIS (France)
Tel.      : 33 (0) 1 40 51 23 35
FAX       : 33 (0) 1 40 51 22 91
Internet  : services.iers@obspm.fr

                                            Paris, 9 January 2017


                                            Bulletin C 53

                                            To authorities responsible
                                            for the measurement and 
                                            distribution of time             



                         INFORMATION ON UTC - TAI


NO leap second will be introduced at the end of June 2017.
The difference between Coordinated Universal Time UTC and the 
International Atomic Time TAI is :

    from 2017 January 1, 0h UTC, until further notice : UTC-TAI = -37 s

Leap seconds can be introduced in UTC at the end of the months of December 
or June,  depending on the evolution of UT1-TAI. Bulletin C is mailed every  
six months, either to announce a time step in UTC, or to confirm that there 
will be no time step at the next possible date.


                                           Christian BIZOUARD
                                           Director
                                           Earth Orientation Center of IERS
   Observatoire de Paris, France

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017 Brew News

We can look forward to (at least) three new breweries to open in 2017 in the VanWA area, and two tap houses:
  • McMenamins (which, btw, is NOT pronounced mc-minimums) is building a new facility  in Kalama, WA, 30 miles north of Vancouver. In a nod to the town founder's heritage, the building's architecture will be modeled after the Pioneer Inn in Lahaina, Maui. It will include a 40-room hotel, restaurant, rooftop pub, and brewery.
  • Even closer, Grains of Wrath is opening in Camas, only 13 miles to the east. In addition to the brewery, their facility will also contain a restaurant.
  • Beerded Brothers, an existing brewery, will be opening a tasting room downtown. (Yay, biking distance!)
  • And, Mt. Tabor's Vancouver location will finally reopen after a long closure to relocate from downtown to a larger facility in the Felida neighborhood. (That's the rumor anyway.)
My count for 2016 is three new breweries (Hopworks Urban Brewery, Victor-23 Craft Brewery, and Trusty Brewing Company) and three tap houses (Tap Union FreehouseDomsday Brewing Safe House, and Ben's Bottle Shop). I would not be surprised if I missed a few as they are popping up faster than coffee houses at this rate. But, believe me, I'll do my best to keep up.

I get a free renewal of my WABL membership when I visit 50 different breweries. I already have 45 stamps in my passport. At this point, I don't really need to go anywhere to get the last five because the breweries are coming to me!

Here's to new brews in 2017. Cheers!

Oh snap!

Seahawks Add Ott for Playoffs

Or, you could call Clint.....

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Beer!

2016 was the year of beer for me. It all started with a taster flight at Feral Public House in Vancouver, Washington, and my world was forever changed.

I soon discovered the Brewcouver Passport which led me to nine more breweries located in Vancouver alone. I moved on to the Pour of Discovery Passport which introduced me to the North Bank breweries, so named for being located on the north shore of the Columbia River - 13 more breweries to try.

And, then, I became a member of Washington Beer Lovers (WABL) which encompasses all the aforementioned breweries plus 325 more! Just since Labor Day weekend, when I received my passport in the mail, I have visited 45 breweries:

North Jetty BrewingIslands & Peninsulas9/9/16Seaview
Aslan Brewing CoNorth Sound9/28/16Bellingham
Boundary Bay Brewery and BistroNorth Sound9/29/16Bellingham
Chuckanut Brewery & KitchenNorth Sound9/29/16Bellingham
Kulshan Brewing Co.North Sound9/28/16Bellingham
Wander BrewingNorth Sound9/28/16Bellingham
20 Corners BrewerySeattle & King Co.12/24/16Woodinville
Bellevue Brewing CoSeattle & King Co.11/11/16Seattle
Geaux BrewingSeattle & King Co.11/11/16Seattle
Machine House BrewerySeattle & King Co.10/2/16Seattle
Pike BrewingSeattle & King Co.10/1/16Seattle
Resonate BrewerySeattle & King Co.11/10/16Seattle
54-40 BrewingSouth & Central9/4/16Washougal
Amnesia BrewingSouth & Central9/4/16Washougal
Ashtown Brewing CompanySouth & Central10/2/16Longview
Backwoods BrewingSouth & Central9/17/16Carson
Barrel Mountain BrewingSouth & Central10/17/16Battleground
Dick's Northwest Sausage & DeliSouth & Central11/23/16Vancouver
Doomsday Brewing CoSouth & Central9/17/16Washougal
Everybody's BrewingSouth & Central9/17/16White Salmon
Five Dons BrewingSouth & Central10/16/16Longview
Fortside Brewing CompanySouth & Central10/7/16Vancouver
Ghost Runner BrewerySouth & Central9/14/16Vancouver
Heathen BrewingSouth & Central11/5/16Vancouver
Heathen Brewing - Feral Public HouseSouth & Central11/29/16Vancouver
Loowit BrewingSouth & Central10/16/16Vancouver
McMenamins - Columbia RiverSouth & Central11/19/16Vancouver
McMenamins - East VancouverSouth & Central12/28/16Vancouver
Mill City Brew WerksSouth & Central12/30/16Camas
Northwood Public HouseSouth & Central12/28/16Vancouver
Old Ivy Brewery and TaproomSouth & Central11/26/16Vancouver
Parkers Steakhouse & BrewerySouth & Central11/26/16Castle Rock
Railside BrewingSouth & Central11/5/16Vancouver
Trap Door BrewingSouth & Central11/5/16Vancouver
Trusty Brewing Co. South & Central12/20/16Vancouver
Victor 23 BrewingSouth & Central11/29/16Vancouver
Walking Man BrewingSouth & Central12/3/16Stevenson
7 Seas Brewery and TaproomSouth Sound11/26/16Tacoma
Engine House No. 9South Sound10/2/16Tacoma
Fish Tale Brew PubSouth Sound10/16/16Olympia
Harmon Brewery & EaterySouth Sound9/3/16Olympia
McMenamins - Olympic ClubSouth Sound12/26/16Centralia
McMenamins Spar CafeSouth Sound9/4/16Olympia
Narrows Brewing Co. South Sound12/26/16Tacoma
Northwest Brewing CompanySouth Sound10/16/16Pacific

All of those listed are also in the Brewcouver or Pour of Discovery Passports (or both). However, I need to mention River Mile 38 Brewing Company in Cathlamet WA as a brewery that I visited with the Pour of Discovery Passport but haven't been back to visit since getting my WABL Passport.  (It's worth the drive so I will definitely be back.)

This doesn't cover the beer I've tasted at the quarterly beer festivals in Vancouver WA and others such as the one hosted by Shorty's Garden & Home. I also have a Brewery app on my phone that covers all of the United States which is a handy place to keep notes about the places I've visited and the beers I've tasted. Outside the state of Washington, I've visited:
Kohola Brewery - Lahaina, HI
La Quinta Brewing Co. - La Quinta, CA
Maui Brewing Co. - Lahaina, HI
Old Town Brewing - Portland, OR
Tamarack Brewing Co. - Missoula, MT
Thunder Island - Cascade Locks, OR
I must say, that's a ridiculous amount of beer! We can just say goodbye to skinny jeans in 2017!

We'll be kicking off the New Year with more new beer at the Holiday Hangover Brew Fest on January 14 in Hood River, OR.

So much beer, so little time. But, here's to new discoveries! May your 2017 be filled with new adventures and new friends. Maybe, over a pint of beer.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

I'm glad that's over.

December stresses me out. It consists of short days and long lists: things to buy, things to clean, much to organize, parties to attend, and expectations that can't possibly all be met much less identified. It also means doctor appointments as the last of the year's medical benefits must be used up or lost forever.

I had a mammogram, got my eyes checked, and had an appointment with my regular physician. She's a lovely woman and, funny as it might sound, I always like seeing her. This time, when she asked me how I was doing, I said, "Stresssed," breaking into tears.

She suggested that I might be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). She told me to get a bright lamp, regular exercise and sleep, and increase my intake of Vitamin D, and Omega 3 fatty acids. All of these helped but when December 26th finally rolled around, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted. Christmas was over and it all went just fine regardless of any amount of handwringing on my part.

The last week of December felt like a lazy vacation. No stress at work, no stress at home. The freezer was full of food and I didn't even need to cook or go to the grocery store. The house was already cleaned and all the house guests had gone home. Nothing to do but relax, and read a good book.

January means the beginning of tax season (officially, it begins January 23rd) but that's a different kind of stress, and not necessarily a bad one (until, maybe, April). There's a hopefulness about saying goodbye to one year and looking forward to another. Anything can happen. Some of it might be good. Gatherings with friends are filled with more anticipation than expectation. The sun will come up tomorrow, as they say. I'm here by my window waiting.

Now that I've put a name on it (SAD), I feel like I can let it go. I already feel better and when next holiday season year rolls around I'm better prepared to head off the depression. Next time, I hope to greet my doctor with smiles instead of tears but that's not the worst way a year can end. At least it's better than the year I ended up in the Emergency Room because I was full of shit.

True story. But that one's too depressing.