Archive for August, 2008

There is something AH-mazing in the works… but I think I’m going to wait until later in the week when we hit our official 10,000th visitor mark to release it.

In the meantime, I have been busy all day doing touristy stuff with my parents. We went to the Main Library, The Columbia Tower, the Gum Wall, the Market and the Aquarium. They even met Matt tonight.

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This still doesn’t capture its awesome-ness but look at all the butterflies!

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As Promised….

My Card Reader has arrived and the butterfly pictures from the Pacific Science Center are up. There’s also some pics of the delicious pink grapefruit margarita from Agua Verde and some Salmon in the Fish Ladder.

See them here.

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For Some Reason I Find This Funny…

Maybe its because I can’t believe there was actually 200 people on the monorail.

Monorail back in service after stall

About 200 people had to be rescued from the Seattle Center Monorail’s red train Saturday after it stalled midride, forcing some passengers to descend fire-truck ladders from the 33-foot-tall tracks to the street below.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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A monorail passenger is evacuated Saturday near the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Lenora Street in downtown Seattle after the monorail stalled.

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A monorail passenger is evacuated Saturday near the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Lenora Street in downtown Seattle after the monorail stalled.

The Seattle Monorail returned to service Sunday morning after about 200 people had to be rescued from the red train Saturday. The train had stalled midride, forcing some passengers to descend fire-truck ladders from the 33-foot-tall tracks to the street below.

No one was injured, although a few passengers became overheated and nauseated while stuck inside the stuffy train.

Seattle firefighters were dispatched shortly after 4 p.m. to Fifth Avenue between Lenora and Blanchard streets, where the Westlake Center-bound train lost power and then slowed to a halt.

Monorail officials on Saturday night determined the cause was a leaking air valve. They replaced the part, tested the train and planned to return it to full service at 9 a.m. today.

The rescue lasted a little more than an hour. Firefighters opened doors to let in fresh air and took bottled water and fans on board to help passengers cool off.

At about 4:45 p.m., the monorail’s blue train — which has been out of service since January while undergoing a complete refurbishment — pulled alongside the red train to take 20 passengers to Westlake station, loading them across a short ramp laid between the parallel tracks.

The blue train made three additional trips to complete the rescue, carrying a few riders who had been too afraid to descend the ladder. Monorail officials were cautious about taking too many passengers at a time on the blue train because it still is undergoing testing.

Dora Dietrich of Fullerton, Calif., was the first to be rescued by ladder after she began to feel sick and sweat profusely on board.

“Everyone said, ‘Let her go! Let her go!’ and I was embarrassed because I’m not that type of person,” she said.

Tom Albro, director of Seattle Monorail Services, which operates the 1962 World’s Fair-era trains, said the red train was taken out of service for six days earlier this month because of a problem with its electrical system. The train is to undergo a major overhaul in October, just like the blue train is now, as part of a $4.5 million modernization of the two trains.

Albro said the goal is for both the blue and red trains to be operating next weekend when Bumbershoot takes place at Seattle Center.

Check www.seattlemonorail.com for service updates.

Traveling on the monorail with Dietrich was Yvette Morrison of San Dimas, Calif. A paramedic, Morrison said she thought the rescue took too long as monorail staff “lollygagged for 15 or 20 minutes” before calling 911.

But Albro said the operators followed proper procedure.

“Standard operating procedure is to not notify the Fire Department immediately because often times the train is able to regain power and go to the station,” Albro said. “We attempted to do that in this case but when those attempts failed, the Fire Department was notified.”

He said the blue train took a while to come to the rescue because testing equipment — including weights in the form of water-filled beer kegs — had to be removed before it could depart.

Carol Gustafson, of Wilmot, S.D., who was visiting Seattle with family, said the monorail “just kind of stopped. Everybody thought it was a temporary thing. We didn’t realize it would take so long.”

Gustafson said she felt secure going down the ladder, knowing a firefighter was descending just ahead of her.

“I was relieved to not go up the Space Needle because I’m afraid of heights,” she said. “It’s a beautiful city, and in spite of this, I’ll be back.”

The last person down the ladder was 5-year-old Rosie Fast of Covington. She descended with the aid of a harness, a firefighter and her father, Dan.

“She wanted to do the ladder,” her father said, explaining why they didn’t go on the blue train with the last batch of passengers.

But Rosie said: “I got afraid when I got on the ladder because I looked down.”

The vintage monorail has had its share of problems. On Thanksgiving weekend in 2005, two trains sideswiped each other as one departed Westlake Center.

On Memorial Day 2004, a drive shaft on the blue train broke, setting off a chain reaction that sparked a fire. About 150 riders were evacuated and eight people went to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

Seattle Times staff reporter Benjamin J. Romano contributed to this story.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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Photo Courtesy of Flickr: Kozy Shack

Yesterday was a warm afternoon. One of the warmest I have seen since arriving in Seattle. After Trina and I went to the Pacific Science Center, we headed over to Agua Verde to meet Michael Mike and have a drink out on the patio overlooking Lake Union.

I loved Agua Verde. I highly recommend their Pink Grapefruit Margarita and this is truly one of the best ways to spend a warm day.

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I would love to wow you in this post with pictures of butterflies but I somehow managed to break my card reader this morning. So no pictures until the one I just ordered arrives.

Yesterday, Trina and I went to the Pacific Science Center at the Seattle Center. I have never been before, Trina had. The admission was $15.00 and included a IMAX film. We started with the exhibits. There are four different exhibit halls. Although it was all quite educational and neat, it was really geared towards kids and its the type of place that would have been so much more fun with a 10 year old.

Trina and I agreed that the best part was the butterfly room. Its a climate controlled room literally filled with all kinds of butterflies. To be honest, I wasn’t super excited about it until I actually got into the room. The butterfly room alone was worth the price of admission.

After the butterfly room we went over to the IMAX theatre to see Mt. St. Helen’s only to find out that even if your just a couple of minutes late you won’t get in. So we lost out on the IMAX but we felt we got our money’s worth already and decided to call it a day.

Another thing I would like to go to some day is one of the Science Center’s Laser shows. According to my friend Justin, Laser Queen is pretty sweet.

The overwhelming thing that I noticed about the Science Center is not a positive one. The Science Center is located within the Seattle Center next to the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project so its definitely a touristy area and a place that a lot of visitors envision as “Seattle” – so, why is it so dirty? The entire place needs a power washing to restore the whiteness of its exterior. The doors alone have built up grime from hands touching them. Seriously… take my $15 and buy some 409.

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I’m still recovering from last weekend. From August 7th to the 11th the Mosquito Fleet hosted out-of-towners from all over and as far away as New York and Cincinnati for the 6th annual Blood Drive Moped Rally. I was on the planning committee and doing a lot of the logistical stuff but even so, it was quite a fun (and exhausting) weekend.

Thursday night started out with a fire at Laurelhurst Fire Pit. I had never been to this firepit before, even though the Mosquito Fleet frequents it, and I was impressed. A city park with a fire pit that’s open to 11pm? You don’t find them everywhere.

After 11 we headed to what everyone referred to as “secret bar” in Wallingford. Anticipating the busy day ahead, we didn’t stay that late.

Friday morning a group of us woke up early and made a logistical run for Saturday morning. The logistical run took us most of the day and upon our return most everyone had made it to town. From 4-6pm we met at Seattle Mopeds.

From there a long ride highlighting Seattle took place ending at the Marco Polo Bar in Georgetown. I didn’t have the opportunity to go on the ride (but really, I live here, I can go anytime) but I did get the opportunity to spend a little extra time at the MArco Polo. I have to say its on of my favorite bars in Seattle. Its a very humble bar, with good food and good service and such an eclectic mix of people. I think it was only 8pm when the first drunk redneck was thrown out all while screaming, “whooo hooo, I’m getting thrown out of the Marco Polo.”

From the Marco Polo the ride headed over to a warehouse party at the Cretin’s Warehouse. Again, running logistics, I got stopped behind a train along with about 20 mopeders for what seemed like forever. We did our best to make the side of the road a party.

The warehouse party was great. Everyone seemed to have a good time. There was a DJ and dancing. Surprisingly, the party wore down quite early as I think the day ahead played in the back of everyone’s mind.

So Saturday morning was an early morning. We all had a busy day ahead. We all met at Linda’s Tavern in Capital Hill for breakfast at around 10am.

After a delicious breakfast, it was time for the big ride – 85 miles-  from Seattle to Camano Island. Sadly, I was not on the ride although I was able to go on the ride previously in a car while planning for the event. I was at Costco buying hamburgers instead. But pictures from the ride speak for themselves….

About halfway through the ride we had a planned stop at Harborview Park near Everett. This park is gorgeous perched over the sound. When the mopeds arrived they were greeted with ice cold Vitamin Water or Vitamin Energy and a variety of treats all marked “Mosquito Bite.” I heard this was a big hit.

Arriving at the campsite about 5 hours later the mopeders were hungry and greeted with a full BBQ. We had a private campsite with a giant circus tent. The night carried on with karaoke, DJ Danny White, a fire and other campsite shenanigans.

In the morning we had a breakfast burrito bar to feed everyone before the long ride back.

Upon arrival back in Seattle we purposely scheduled some down-time for people to freshen up and nap. I had the Creatures from San Francisco staying at my house. I am very fond of the Creatures and they are amazing house guests.

After some down time we headed to King’s Hardware in Ballard to end the night. Since it was Sunday evening some people with long drives had to head out early. At King’s we voted on who had the best crash of the weekend, who was the most snuggly, etc. King’s was nice enough  to give us happy hour prices and I noticed quite a few people tried their bloody mary’s.

Monday, the official last day of Blood Drive lead to breakfast at Salmon Bay Cafe in Ballard (as always, DISGUSTING) followed by a pool party at Joel’s house.

The day concluded with the same thing we do every Monday: Moped Monday. If you have a moped (of the pedal variety) you should join us at the Mars Bar around 8pm on Mondays. We usually meet then ride someplace. This week we rode to a spot under a bridge.

Some of my favorite parts of making the weekend happen included stenciling Matt’s truck which served as the support vehicle for the weekend picking up broken mopeds and making rally packs that were full of all kinds of goodies.

We were also mentioned in two of my favorite local blogs! MyBallard.com and Phinneywood.com!


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