scott pilgrim

Smokey

This weekend's enjoyment level was pretty seriously dampened by the smoke, but we tried to make the best of things. Ven and I agreed it would be a bad idea for me to ride my bike to Heron House from the ferry, so she picked me up (without Lil, who's been spending longer stretches of time at home on her own). The ferry decks are inaccessible these days but walk-on ferry passengers are allowed to stand at the front of the car deck, which is the primo location because the forward motion of the ferry funnels cool air through the car deck. The fresh air also felt cleaner to breathe but that might have been an illusion.

I got some wild photos of the Salish Sea looking like open ocean since you couldn't see the land on the other side.

Air quality numbers on the island are about the same as they are on the mainland (high 100 - low 200) but the air felt cleaner to breathe. It almost seemed like the haze was part smoke and part fog? My theory is that the usual fog didn't burn off since the sunlight was weakened by the smoke, so a mix of "morning" fog and smoke lingered all day. Even so, the makeshift air filtration system (luckily we bought good air filters last summer when it wasn't smoky) had a disgusting black circle on it after a day or so.

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  • Current Music
    "Mish Mash" by Roni Size
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scott pilgrim

Bad Acronyms Joke

Q: What do you call an art student with a great body?
A: MFA HPOA

Q: What do you call it when a bunch of them buy houses together?
A: MFA HPOA HOA

Q: What do you shout when you want them to stop their horses?
A: WHOA! MFA HPOA HOA! WHOA!

Ok I'll stop now
  • Current Music
    M83 - Midnight City (PatrickReza Remix)
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scott pilgrim

Finally found an awesome pumpkin patch

2005

We've gone to a different pumpkin patch every year for the last 6ish years, because none of them cut the mustard. Some are too far away; some nickel-and-dime you (an entrance fee, plus a per-pound price for pumpkins, plus a fee for rides?); some are over-crowded spectacles (more like a fair than a farm); one had a trout "pond" (more like a "tub") that was helpful in opening a dialogue with the children about the ethics of farmed fish, but was otherwise morally repugnant.¹

Today, on a whim, we drove to a patch in Carnation called Camp Korey. The website is a bit understated but this place delivers the goods!

* No lines for activities (and activities were at a minimum. It was more about the pumpkins)
* About 25 miles out of the city (made somewhat more challenging by the I-405 closure)
* A good selection of pumpkins, at 40 cents/lb (Aaron picked a 32 pounder!)
* Free hay-ride²
* The "petting zoo" was 2 cows. Small, but unique.
* Fire pit. Doesn't seem like much, but after being outside on a drizzly fall day, this is awesome.
* Best of all, the whole setup is a non-profit, dedicated to providing camps for disabled youth!

They're having a slacktivism donation drive right now. For every "Like" they get on their facebook page, a philanthropist will donate a dollar to the organization. So even if you don't visit, the least you could do is help send $1 their way.

¹ it also introduced the boys to the next step in fishing after reeling in the fish, i.e. beating it to death. Food for thought.
² Lillia's first hay-ride. For the first 5 minutes she thought it was the best thing ever, until suddenly she decided it was the worst thing ever.
scott pilgrim

Acceptability of eating various types of animals, listed in descending order

* Fish
* Chicken
* Pig
* Cow
* Lamb
* Rabbit
* Shark
* Frog

=== THE LINE ===

* Dolphin
* Rodent
* Insect
* Horse
* Camel
* Dog
* Cat
* Human (stranger)
* Human (acquaintance)
* Human (family)
* Human (self) ?

In our society, you can eat everything above THE LINE, and nothing below. The ordering and placement of THE LINE are both somewhat subjective, but you get the point.

My theory is that THE LINE will constantly move up that list until it's not acceptable to eat any animals. It will take a very long time. This is not to say that societies where THE LINE is in a different place than ours are necessarily better or worse societies.

In the interest of full disclosure, I enjoy eating the occasional animal.
  • Current Music
    No Age - Fever Dreaming
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scott pilgrim

Seattle Symphony Review

Venessa and I subscribed to the Symphony this season. We got the 3-performance package, and our first show was opening night. As a treat, the Symphony gave subscribers an upgrade coupon so we were able to upgrade our tickets to some of the best seats in the house: the 2nd closest Founders Box!

The show had 3 pieces:

Frank Zappa: Dupree’s Paradise
I'd only heard the rock arrangement, so I didn't know what to expect. The symphonic arrangement was toned down, but still frenetic. As a spectator, finding the ever-moving lead was the musical equivalent of watching a tennis match. I'm a fan of Zappa's music, though I don't think his genius translates to a large ensemble. It was extremely weird and dissonant, but that's not really what I go to the symphony for.

Henri Dutilleux: L’arbre des songes
This was another weird, dissonant piece. Pairing it with Zappa was like eating too many sour patch kids at once. The sololist was reading off his score, yet he didn't flip any pages for the entire 25 minute song. My guess is that his sheet music was only one page long and it just said "Play the weirdest noises you can make up for 25 minutes straight" in French. The best part of this piece was when the symphony tuned up in the middle of the song. Apparently it's in the score.

Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, in E-flat major, Op. 55, "Eroica"
This was absolutely mind-blowing. Every player was on their A game, especially the flautist. That guy totally redefined classical awesomeness for me. If you've never heard this piece (which I hadn't till we bought our tickets), give it a listen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHvztnHOWEQ

Apparently it's the first piece Beethoven wrote after starting to go deaf, and it's also the first romantic symphony, departing in a few ways from the classical music of the time (e.g. syncopation, dynamics). I'm no classical expert so I'll stop now.
scott pilgrim

Diaper Sprayer

Dear Parents Who Wash Their Child's Diapers,

Do you know about the diaper sprayer? I'm not exaggerating when I say it will change your life. It's basically a bidet¹ that attaches to your toilet tank. When activated it sprays a high-pressure jet of water that is strong enough to unstick poop from a diaper.



At first I balked at the price, but now I realize it's worth every penny because it makes one of the nastiest parenting chores a lot less gross. You could probably make something identical for half the price, with a trip to the hardware store and a bit of creativity.

Now instead of scraping (ew) or shaking (ugh) poopy diapers into the toilet, or just tossing them into the washing machine and praying that the machine takes care of it (yeah right), we can clean them off before washing. I've tested this on a diaper that's been dirty for 24 hrs (can you believe we don't always have time to take care of dirty diapers right away?) and it still worked.

We bought this one but they mostly all look the same.

Installation was simple, even an 8 year old can do it. I know this because Isaac and Aaron installed it (with a bit of help and supervision). The only tip I have is make sure the rubber washer that comes the sprayer kit looks like the washer in your existing hose. If they're vastly different you won't get a tight fit.

Thank you to Rose for telling me about this wonderful invention.

¹ in fact, the directions in our kit were double-sided. One side said "To install this diaper sprayer...", the other side said "To install this bidet..."