in a perfect world of yancies: August 2008

29 August 2008

Convention Wrap-Up


Anyway, here's another embed of the full video of Obama's historic acceptance speech. Watch the US become a better place right before your very eyes:

(Hope I'm not overdoing the pro-Obama vibing, Marisa . . .)

Does Deron ever read this blog anymore? I doubt it. Will he mind if I quote him here? We may never know. In any case:

"I thought the speech was just right -- not a masterpiece of oratory this time, but tough and smart. And the delivery was better than the speech itself. Basically rendered all my petty criticisms irrelevant; he smacked McCain so hard that nobody's talking about Doric columns anymore."

Well said.

Other highlights from the convention? What did you like, reader?

Both Clintons were great, of course.

Surprise hit, aside from Gov. Schweitzer (see previous post)? Would have to be John Kerry, no? In case you missed it:

Love that line about McCain needing to finish debating himself before he debates Obama.

And Nobel laureate Al Gore continues to shine in his role as elder statesman (and, yes, bittersweet reminder of what almost was . . .).

[I'm hooked on updates lately. 19:19 29 August]
An anonymous comment on the previous post reminded me that Schweitzer's speech really was great. Just watched it again. Woo!

A couple of choice quotes from the speech (from the official transcript):

"We simply can’t drill our way to energy independence, even if you drilled in all of John McCain’s backyards, including the ones he can’t even remember."

And my personal favorite:

"Barack Obama understands the most important barrel of oil is the one you don’t use."

That's it baby; let's go win this election!

27 August 2008

Big Sky Speech

Now I was pretty impressed with Sen. Clinton's speech last night--there were some great lines, like "no way, no how, no McCain"; and that bit about how fitting it is that Bush and McCain are meeting next week in the Twin Cities.

Here's hoping people take her advice . . .

But aside from that, did you see Brian Schweitzer's speech? I'm not sure about the bolo tie thing, though I suppose I get it . . . anyhow, My oh my was the gentleman enthused. Fun to watch. And fun to agree with. (Well, except maybe that clean coal stuff. Whatever.) Please enjoy.

[Update 18:14 27 August]
How about this neat trick--want to watch the convention live? Feel free, courtesy of msnbc:

[Update 08:48 29 August]
That video should now be locked on Obama's speech--don't want to let just anything from msnbc on here, right?

25 August 2008

Great New Blog; Great Old Film

So I hear that Eric and Christy have been doing some blogging lately about life on Woodland Ave. Brilliant. (Great template choice too!)

Please visit at

In other news, Emily took me to see Godard's Vivre Sa Vie at SIFF yesterday. Good stuff. Some incredible framing techniques; and that Anna Karina sure is pretty.

Anyway, here's a great scene from the film, if you have a few minutes to spare:

Well, I hope you're well, reader. Looking forward to the convention? I'm sure we'll have more to say about all of that soon . . .

20 August 2008

Hi Mom!

Had the pleasure of showing my mom around town last weekend. I think we were all pretty tired after all the sight-seeing, but I had fun, and I hope everyone else did too!

Mom and Emily at Pike Place

The weather's been great--a little hot, maybe, but look how clear the sky was when we went to get my mom from the airport.

Mom enjoying some views from the SU campus

By the fountain in the quad

Who's that well-dressed fellow standing between the library and the engineering building?

In the Chapel of St Ignatius (hope it's okay to photograph that . . .)

Enjoying a croque monsieur at Café Presse

by the P-Patch garden in our neighborhood. Maybe this photo will help me remember to sign up for a plot next year

We also visited Emily at work:

Yancy and Emily in one of the gardens maintained by the sisters who live at St Joseph Residence, the building that also houses the Providence Archives

Waiting for the water taxi in West Seattle

The next day, we had a great (if large) breakfast at Coastal Kitchen and then walked up to Volunteer Park.

Yancy and Emily in the park

We happened to be there during Susan Robb's exhibition of her piece Warmth, Giant Black Toobs

I don't know a whole lot about the piece, but I know I like it. For a bit more on it, try this post on

Later that day, we took a walk through Pike Place (see top) and then took a look at the Olympic Sculpture Park

On Saturday, we drove up to Snoqualmie Falls

Also enjoyed a fun brunch at the Salish Lodge--great idea, Emily!

Hike down to the base was pretty, even if the view at the bottom was, well, maybe not worth the work . . .

Took a short detour on the way home to taste some wine in Woodinville. Emily and I recommend the 2002 Red Willow Syrah from the Columbia Winery (note: that link is to a pdf)

Took a quick walk through the UW campus

And of course had to see that troll up in Fremont

Ended the day at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks up in Ballard. There's even a fish ladder there! How do you find the fish ladder? Follow cute signs that look like this:

Emily watching the fish use the ladder

Please come again soon!

11 August 2008

Is It A Cold, Or Is It Allergies?

Nope: it's Olympic Fever!

(Bet you thought I was going to link to that Times story from a few weeks back? Oops--guess I just did. Rats.)

Anyway, we've been trying to enjoy the Games, though it's been a challenge.

As you can see, the MacBook is our viewing medium, which has been great for months (years?) now: no bulky thing taking up space, needing to be dusted, being a pain when we move. Most everything we like (from the Daily Show, Colbert Report, and 30 Rock to Mad Men and The Wire, to name some current / all-time favorites) is online or on iTunes, and is either free or reasonably priced.

But that damned NBC!

Oh, sorry: what I meant to say was that the Olympics, alas, are being withheld by the jerks at NBC. Now it's true that there's an unprecedented amount of stuff they are letting us watch online, but all the hot stuff (gymnastics, swimming, beach volleyball (oh yeah!)) is TV only.

It's tough, though, these days, to pull something like that off. As Brian Stelter reported the other day, a lot of the opening ceremony was leaked before its official, legal, US showing--a showing which was, stupidly and insanely, 12 hours after the ceremony was over.

In the spirit of those brave folks willing to breach NBC's 20th Century attitude, we decided to go ahead and watch as much of the hot stuff as we could, and as close to live as possible.

And it's working, more or less. Found a TV station that's streaming free live footage of the Games. There are just two downsides: 1) there's no way to choose which of the--what, like 5,000?--sports you see; you just have to watch what they want to show. And 2) it's in Arabic . . .

But for now, at least, I'll happily watch Al-Riyadiah's Olympic coverage (unless you have any ideas, reader?): it's live, it's online, and so far it's the only thing I've found to treat my symptoms.

05 August 2008

Rainier, Part 2

So this time we actually got out of the car and walked for a few days--incredible thing, that mountain. Nice park, too.

Where, exactly, were we? Take a look:

View Larger Map
Just to be clear: I tagged those with locations manually, since (for some reason) there's not much in the way of cell service or Wi-Fi signals up there . . .

We set out from the White River ("frontcountry") campground on Friday
(No no, we didn't sleep there)

About a mile or so right at the start of the Glacier Basin Trail had been washed out and re-routed through a riverbed, so that was an exciting first leg . . .

Spent that night at a (backcountry) site called Glacier Basin, which (it turns out) is a popular spot for people on their way to the top. In fact, we saw a couple of people who were in such a hurry to get up there (or to dodge the fees?) that they got into the campsite at like 3am and were gone by 7:30 (!)

They were headed in that general direction. We didn't have quite as much "vinegar" (as one of them put it), nor the rope, helmets, etc., so instead we continued up toward Burroughs Mountain

A pretty good climb--got ourselves up above some snow fields, which is always fun at the end of July

Great views up there (photo up at the top was taken there).

Only spot with cell phone reception, I guess because of the elevation. The elevation was, according to that GPS device in Dave's hand, 7,404 feet.

For comparison's sake, the White River site is at about 4,400 feet, and Glacier Basin's 5,965. The summit? 14,411 . . .

Luckily we had time to eat with the nice view before the clouds rolled in (and over us!)

At least when we crossed this fun bit of snow visibility was good--if only I hadn't been so nervous, maybe I'd have looked down & gotten a shot of that view . . . Sign on the trail said "caution" and "ice axes recommended" . . .

Sun came out again just in time for this overlook

Mimi modeled her poncho in some light rain at the campsite (Sunrise)

Temperature that night? According to the National Weather Service site, 35 degrees (!!!)

(Note: that link is just tracking the last seven days, so when we return to this post three years from now, it's not going to work . . .)

Look, we awoke to frost on the ground! Yow!

Some more nice views, though, as we made our way back toward the White River site

Beautiful flowers too!

Carefully posed shot of two beauties, taken on the other side of the park in Longmire