Monday, September 25, 2006

Melakwa Lake

The summer is just about over and the nice weather is coming close to an end. Soon it will be rain for months on end and the trails will be covered in snow. It seemed like the perfect weekend for a hike. The only hikes I've been on this year have been pretty small. A couple times down to Snoqualmie Falls (.5 miles) and a bit of hiking in Great Falls during my visit this year and that's about it. Michael suggested Melakwa Lake. I don't think I had heard of this Lake before but I have heard of Denny Creek. The Denny Creek trail leads to Melakwa Lake. It's a 9 mile round trip and is rated a 2 out of 5 difficulty in my NW Hiking guide. I think I would have rated it a 3 at least. It's fairly long and pretty steep in a few places. It's one of the most popular trails around.

There was actually a ranger guarding the entrance to the parking lot to make sure people had their trail passes, which you can get for $5 at a vending machine at the ranger station. We happened to not have one so had to drive about 2 miles to the ranger station to get one. We started off a little late, around 1:30 pm. Some of the early birds were already leaving so that at least opened up a few parking spots. The parking is pretty limited. We ended up not getting back to the car till nearly 7:30 and it was starting to get dark fast. We luckily made it back to the car before it got too dark.

I noticed when I got to the car that my left back tire wasn't even touching the ground. I had to kind of park near a ditch so the front end was down a bit. I went to back up and it wouldn't budge. Doug was outside trying to help but it just wouldn't move. Then I realized I had the parking break on. Duh! After realizing that I was able to back out with a little help from Doug.

Pics from the hike are posted on my site.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Concert Month

So October is going to be concert month for me and Doug this year. When I went for coffee this week at Victor's, the best coffee evar, I picked up a copy of The Stranger, a local alternative newspaper. I looked through it during lunch on Friday and found several bands that I want to see in October. The only concerts we've been to this year have been symphonys. We saw the Seattle Symphony and we saw Jav play in Vancouver with the Minnesota Symphonic Winds.

This is what we have tickets for in October:
10/1 - Dropkick Murphys, a fun Irish band
10/6 - Epica, a dutch symphonic metal band I was introduced to by a friend's daughter
10/16 - Kasabian, a rock band you may have heard a couple of their songs on the radio. And I just found out they had a new album come out in August that I didn't know about. I'm going to have to check that out before we go to their concert!

So we are going to have a busy month in October.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


My mom's brothers are not what you'd call SMRT. My parents live in MT. You can't really find any fresh roasted peppers out there but they are all over the place in Colorado where the rest of my mom's family lives. Her brothers decided to send her some. I don't know if they froze it first but it would make sense I guess. But they did think about keeping it cool. Guess how they did that. Ice cubes... Makes sense right? It seems they didn't put the ice cubes in a baggy or anything just right there in the box with the roasted chilies. Guess how far it made it. All the way to Denver, CO. Not very far. To say the least, the package did not make it to my mom. They ended up returning it. I can't imagine what kind of shape it was in when it got back to them but the chili was no good. I guess it was the thought that counts.

I thought I saw a roasted chili stand in Woodinville the other day. I'm going to go by there again this week and if it was what I thought it was I think I'll pick some up for my mom.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Makin Stuff

So I've made a few things since my last post.

I made another batch of soap this will be my 4th. I decided to try a new ingredient this time. I went to Larry's Market by work. This is like a specialty foo foo fancy grocery store. I wouldn't buy everyday groceries there cuz it's expensive but I sometimes go there and pick up something for lunch or to snack on. They also have stuff that a normal grocery store doesn't have like dozens of different kinds of oils that are great for making soap with. I picked up some Almond Oil and some organic vegetable shortning made with Palm Oil. I was surprised because most vegetable shortnings are made with Soy Bean oil so I picked some up cuz I've been wanting to try palm oil. I used a mix of sweet grass and Sandalwood Amber. I love the way it smells and the soap texture is great. It did get thick really fast so the top is a little bumpy but I can deal with that. I put some brown swirls in it which actually looked purple when I did it but after I let it set they turned brown. Here's how it looked after I took it out of the mold.
Sweet Sandalwood Bar

You can buy any of the soaps I've made on my new store. I'll add more soaps to my store as I make them.

Another think I made over the weekend was some blackberry jam from handpicked blackberries that are overtaking my backyard. I've really got to do something about those things. I've thought about actually hiring one of those "kill blackberries permanently" people. Wonder how much that would cost. I was thinking it would make about 6 jars well I was wrong. It ended up making 11. I had only prepared 6 jars and after I filled those and had a bunch leftover I had to hurry up and wash and sterlize more jars. It looks like they turned out though. They all sealed properly and they all jelled well. I haven't tried them yet though. Maybe I'll open up a jar this w/e to try.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

New Contractor

Well today was the first day of the new contractor I hired. I can't believe it but there's actually someone on my team now that is geekier than me and I'm not really that geeky. My team is a bunch of geekless people. It's kind of nice actually. I think he will do a great job on this project. The other people I interviewed were just not very SMRT.

I think we broke some kind of record yesterday for the quickest new hire setup. We were able to get a few things already set up for him before he started so that helped. He has pretty much everything he needs now to get started. Only ran into one problem in that IT didn't give admin rights when the re-imaged the laptop so he can't install a few programs that he needs but hopefully that will be resolved tomorrow. Should be able to start some training tomorrow. I don't think much training will be required so that's a good thing. I'm just so stoked I was able to get someone who I think will actually do a good job.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Back from Burningman

Got back from Burningman last night. Got the van unpacked and cleaned up and returned today. I also managed to get my pics up on my site. I'm usually the first one with their pics up but this year I was beat by about 3 other people from camp :o I took 445 pics this year and ended up putting 140 up on my site here:

I also put some of my favs up on flickr:

Here's just a few of the things I did while at Burningman.

- Got locked in a small cage with 3 other girls

- Got a soothing hand job at the Mile High Camp

- made a shirt out of a pair of panties at the panty camp

- got pampered at the Lavendar Lounge with lavendar water spray, head massage, and lavendar eye patches

- Played twister for over an hour at the Twisted Twister Camp

- Volunteered at Arctic Ice Camp with my PSA (Playa Security Agency) camp mates for 3 hours

- Went to a Hawaiian Luau and had roast pig

- Got a bladder infection and visited the med tent twice a day for 3 days. Darn I didn't get a pic of the med tent.

That covers some of the excitement I had over the course of last week.