So .. who misses me?

Hell, I find that I do. I hope that you do, now and again.

This is the mea culpa “I am sorry I have not been writing” post. That said, I am sincere .. I really, really, really miss posting. This is a sincere apology to my readers and to myself.

What have I observed in the world since my last post? Well:

  • Republican madness
  • Democratic sadness
  • Regime changes
  • Organization re-arranges

And in me?

  • Growth: personal, and for those with whom I work.
  • Growth: personal, and for those with whom I live.
  • Assessment and re-assessment.
  • Growth.

Watch this space for the nuts and the bolts. Thanks for keeping me in your readers.

But .. it’s only three hours ..


Whoops. Note the system time (upper right-hand corner) versus the BIG display time (the one I actually use) .. fortunately, the alarms appear to be connected properly.

I think I’ll set my night stand alarm .. just on case.

HTC Aria on ATT with 2.1.

Amazon: $185.00 for Shipping on a $15.20 order?

Wow .. something is broken:


This is an order for 20 2GB USB flash drives .. Hunter keeps losing his. They are listed at $0.76 each .. PERFECT for my need.

But $185.00 shipping? Madness.

Where is the ‘cancel’ button?

‘Pottermore’ (mostly) Opens for Business

“Mostly” because, Pottermore is only open to the first one million, invite-only Harry Potter fans. Sadly, I’m not among them.

I am a fan, though. I have (and have read) both the US and UK versions of the seven-book saga .. in hardback, no less. I have been known to be bemused at the differences between the two.

Pottermore seeks to engage readers and fans in an interactive world of wizards, witches, wands and more (I’m hoping for “wow” as well). The site will open to the public on October 18th, 2011, although public registration will begin earlier (details on the site).

Ms. Rowling describes the experience in the video below. Quite engaging.

Entertainment Weekly posts “Pottermore: First impressions of the new interactive Harry Potter Site“ .. I guess they got a Magical Quill.

Lucky buggers.

A Stick on a Stick (County Fair Edition)

I guess you know when you’re from the Northwest when you have a visceral reaction to the latest from the deep-fried set in the flyover states. Pickles (not bad), Twinkies (interesting), Snickers (a bit of a waste of a fine candy).

Based on that, you might ask: “What are they deep-frying this year?”.


You heard it right .. it is served drizzled in cinnamon and / or honey, and is making the rounds at the county fair circuits. posts “A Deep-Fried Stick of Butter (On a Stick) at the Iowa State Fair” .. which sounds mildly redundant: deep-fried stick on a stick? Please.

Surprisingly, this is actually nothing new: the delicacy debuted at the State Fair of Texas back in 2009 (link to NPR). Not to miss out on the 2009 craze, the mainstream MSNBC posted “Move over, Twinkies, Deep-Fried Butter is here”.

For the calorie crowd .. a stick of butter has 810 calories. 1/3 of a cup of pancake batter is about 150 calories. Add in the oil used to fry it, and I’m guessing it’s conservatively a 1,000-calorie treat.

Hunter disapproves of my latest “earworm”

You know about earworms .. that bit of song that gets stuck in your head. Legend has it: the only way to rid yourself of one is to give it to someone else.

I’ve been humming “The Golden Age” by the Asteroids Galaxy Tour lately .. this is the kitschy ditty featured in the Heineken “Entrance” commercial .. the one with the “second most interesting man in the world” (my riff on the Dos Equis commercial series).

Anyhow, Hunter disapproves. His email to me from late last night:

Sent: Thursday, August 11, 2011 11:31 PM
To: Michael Coates (

No offense, but dad, I’m getting really sick of you humming that song. I’d love to provide whatever lies in here (look in any of the sections if you have to) or maybe this article.

I’ve found examples of okay Ear Worms that I apparently manage to enjoy:

Sing A Well from the Guitar Freaks and Drummania series
Boom Boom Dollar from DDR 2nd Mix (ATTACHMENT: REMIX)
Let the beat hit em! (CLASSIC R&B STYLE) from DDRMAX (this one’s the full version, thus making it APPARENTLY from DDR 4th Mix (for the PS1 in Japan, obviously))
Team Fortress 2’s main theme
If I Were A Rich Man from Fiddler On The Roof
Flash‘ by Queen
almost anything in Grease
not too many songs in Rent (I’m gonna stick with Seasons Of Love and La Vie Boheme)

…I’m pretty sure that’s everything.

In a word: hysterical.

Customer Perceptions: FAs and Airline Passengers

This, from an interesting read in the Orlando Sentinel: “Do flight attendants really hate their passengers?” .. it’s interesting to note that five of the top ten worst-rated companies for customer satisfaction are airlines.

Granted, ‘hate’ is probably too strong a word. I’m not even sure ‘dislike’ applies. People who work in industries that accommodate other people are bound to hit some interpersonal snags, or have some moments they’d like not to repeat.

You can read the original June 2011 report on the American Customer Satisfaction Index site.

My Getaway Car is .. a Bus?

A Tacoma man entered a bank with a handgun, robbing two tellers before fleeing.

Deputy Sheriffs followed a tracking signal attached to the loot to a bus stop. A bus pulled up, picked up passengers and pulled away. Noting the tracking signal getting weaker, the deputies stopped the bus and made the arrest. A short foot chase and they took the man into custody.

The Tacoma News Tribune blog headline reads: “Tacoma man charged with robbing two banks”.

Two banks?!?

Seems the defendant is charged with another robbery, just a few days ago. As he escaped the first time, I’m guessing he took a cab.

Newsweek is on Fire!

I am going to keep this issue forever! dsk-maid-nafissatou-diallo-FE01-wide

It has everything:

  • The debt looms
  • Both parties flop
  • Dogma wreaks havoc
  • The Maid speaks
  • Anne Sinclair repairs
  • Oslo rebuilds
  • Juan Williams Muzzles
  • The US melts
  • The UK boils over
  • Arab Spring sears
  • Rebekah resigns
  • Mr. Murdoch melts down
  • Mrs. Murdoch strikes
  • Obama turns 50
  • Mr Cameron turns dazzler

What a week!

This issue is so hot, I’ll be lighting my barbeque with it for the next ten years.

Seattle to Portland 2011

ThePatchSTP2011I’m never taking this patch off ..

.. I will wear it until it wears out.

I’m a one-day rider of the 2011 Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic. Granted, it took me nearly the whole day (17.5 hours) to complete, but I finished. All 206.44 miles of it (should have been 202, but ..

.. I got lost trying to find the finish line in Portland).

I should have paid better attention to the STP 2011 Route Map (it was quite dark by then).

imageEndomondo captured my STP 2011 Ride on my Android device.

I was using low-power mode to ensure the battery would make the trip. As a result, some of the GPS is a bit choppy.

The weather was perfect; deliciously cool in the morning and 72 degrees all afternoon. Cascade Bicycle Club support .. thanks to the many volunteers was astounding. The riders were amazing; everyone played nice, collaborating and teaming to make the ride a joy for all.

Special thanks to my 24 Hour Fitness trainer, Dana for the stretching advice and new (and painful) core workout. I am sure it contributed to my endurance and stamina.

I rode The Beast .. a 2008 Schwinn Midtown ..


.. for which I received a number of compliments:

  • “Dude .. you rock, pushing that Big Iron”
  • “You are so strong on that bike”
  • “Whoa. Hey look! It’s a guy doing the STP on a mountain bike!”
  • “Not many can say they did STP in one day on a mountain bike!” Note: I cannot say this either; The Beast is a hybrid. It has large, but non-knobby wheels and a significantly lighter (and flimsier) frame than a mountain bike.

Thanks to all for their compliments .. which they gave right before they passed me. I kept up well enough though, averaging 11.8 miles per hour for the duration (including stops). An amazing experience, overall.

I sent Tweets in real time of my progress, with GPS and a few photos:

TheFinishSTP2011It was a very good (and long) day. Considering I am such a fair-weather biker .. and as this year has been the wettest on record, I did very little training.

Endomondo tells part of the tale .. Google Maps tells the rest.

Will I do it in one day again?

While on the ride, I was pretty convinced that I would not. After all, I had proven it to myself.

Next year, I think I’ll do it in two days, seeking shelter in Chehalis on Saturday night .. enjoying a beer, some barbeque and a hot tub.

Of course, something might change .. I might replace The Beast with a more STP-worthy ride .. and then I’ll need to prove it to myself again.

Where do I sign up?

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