Eric Richards Typing!
Monday, November 27, 2006
How to Shutdown Redmond, WA: 1/2 Inch of Wet Snow 

Holy crap. That's the only way to describe what was going through my mind after walking into the warmth of home tonight. My usual twenty-minute drive home from Microsoft was one-hundred-and-twenty minutes. All because of one-half an inch of snow.

Most people from a snowy part of the country can't understand how the Northwest shuts down with just an inch of snow. Well, Redmond streets were for the most part shutdown tonight in the middle of rush-hour. How does it happen? It's a one-two punch, from what I saw tonight.

First: the fancy sports cars. You know, the rear-wheel drive ones? The owners get about a half-a-block out of their parking lot before those rear-wheels start spinning on the compacted wet snow (aka, ice) and drift to the curb. End game. Now everyone behind them has to merge over. Enough sports cars staggered through the roads pretty much shutdown one of the lanes.

Second: the compact cars with front-wheel drive. We do not live in a flat place. Mixing an incline, a hill, or a bridge with a light front-wheel drive car and someone who doesn't drive in snow that much leads to flashing hazard lights and an abandoned car. And more creative driving to get around the flashing-hazard light obstacle.

So here's a new rule for all sports car drivers: you have to splurge and buy an old, used Subaru. If there's a hint of snow forecasted, that's what you drive to work. And what the hell... wear a flannel plaid shirt, too, that day.

My Subaru Outback was stellar tonight. It didn't get any challenges until the end of my drive home.

By the time I made it to my street off of highway 202, I was hoping that people weren't using the side-road to my house as a place to pull over and give up. I turned and I stopped: there was a car blocking my path. d'oh. Fortunately, it ended up being my neighbor. Unfortunately, her car couldn't get traction up the hill. Her husband and I tried to push it for a bit, but gave up and saw a nice place to park it near the mailboxes.

I offered to drive them up the hill to their house. Up we went up with the Subaru on the fresh wet snow, which was now easily two (two!) whole inches. No problem - it probably helped to have two passengers. I dropped them off and headed up our long driveway. Now, the Subaru had to do some serious work here. It did slip some and I had to get a bit creative with the clutch. Around the corner I went into the garage, the ABS light on my dash proudly lit.

It's beautiful outside. One nice thing about wet snow is that it clings to every branch in the trees, embracing them with a fuzzy white fur of snow. I look forward to taking some photos in the morning.

As for getting down the hill in the morning... that's going to be a different challenge.

News from the Seattle-PI: Snow continues to grip region, snarling Seattle traffic .

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Thursday, November 23, 2006
Canon SD800 

A nice overview of the Canon SD800, the knock-about camera I'm looking at getting: Canon SD800.

I've been enjoying the Sony 4.1 MP DSC-S85 for almost five years now (!). It has done really, really well, but it's not an easy grab-and-go camera. I'm looking for something small we can tuck into whatever we're doing. And maybe something that can be ready to take that next shot a whole lot faster...

Further down the line, I might look at a Pentax body. I've got several Pentax lenses for my old Pentax 35mm SLR and it would be great to re-use them on a new digital body for all those far more artistic shots.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006
The Maxx from Wikipedia 

Wowza, the things you forget about over time. Like The Maxx. I saw the TV show in MTV long before ever seeing the graphic novel. It almost made me forgive MTV for not showing videos anymore. Very nicely done. It would be nice to see The Maxx attempted again and more of the series and (rather dark) story line.

I'm #854 on the online petition to bring it to DVD.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006
The Tillamook Treasure - Movie 

I stumbled across this movie while looking up the actor Max Gail (why? Welllll, Brom and I met him when we were kids on Schofield Barracks and he was filming Pearl on the base - I was wondering how close that made me to Kevin Bacon [answer: 2]. Why Kevin Bacon? Oh, you know, the degrees between people and Kevin Bacon can come up at unexpected moments. Why Max Gail? I don't know. I've always liked him. And he was the first guy I ever saw wearing an earring. And he was kind enough to sign an autograph for two kids on base.).

Anyway, back to the movie: The Tillamook Treasure. I love the description of it. It looks like it is racking up the awards though I'm much more interested in seeing it. Not only does it sound like an interesting story, Tillamook has a special place in my heart thanks to trips there when I lived in Oregon. And cheese.

I look forward to seeing the movie one day.


Stuff going on with EricRi. Yeah. Grey-beard geeking it in the Northwest.
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