A couple of weeks ago, we went to the Seattle Aquarium with some friends and now we are finally posting about it! I’m not saying that kids are distracting and take time, I’m just saying.
TL;DR The aquarium was a little small, but cool and fun nevertheless. The only downside was that it is surprisingly hard to take pictures in the aquarium that turn out at all with the weird lighting, thick glass, and fast motion. Mostly, I blame the index of refraction.
I think that the highlights were probably the otters for me, as they are very cute and entertaining to watch. It was more of a generally cool place with some neat underwater viewing like a huge dome and some giant tanks. We would probably go back at some point in the future, but are not in a rush.
Insert generic coral in an aquarium photo here.
Jellyfish! They had some color changing light and UV to show off the jellies’ phosphorescence.
Trapped in a gelatinous cylinder.
Half of an underwater dome.
An outside picture so you can reflect on how weird aquarium lighting is.
After being overtaken by events during the past couple of weeks, we are back into the blogging and going to try to catch up on the missed posts. First up from the way back machine of about two weeks ago:
Neither Jasmine nor I had ever gone to a convention before so we decided to change that up and bought tickets to the PAX West in Seattle. For those of you not in the know, PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) is a large (~80k people) Video and Board game exposition where you can check out all the new games and meet the creators and others who like the same games. As we are both fans of gaming, we thought we should at least check it out.
As it turns out, Jasmine wasn’t able to make it but, one ferry ride later,I went and checked it out. As it turns out, very large conventions are not my jam. It was, as would be expected, full of really cool games, and everyone I interacted with was nice and happy to be there, but the operative words are “full of”. With that amount of people in that small of a space, I don’t think I could really enjoy myself. So, overall, I would say worth trying, but not for me.
This is was the entire convention center looked like, more or less.
Some of the presenters had sweet dioramas!
The best part of the day, coffee and donuts at a pun place (General Porpoises).
Seattle has been having its snow of the century and since Snowmaggedon and Snowpocalyse seem a bit overplayed to me, we have coined it the Seattle Blizzagnarak. It is sort of funny because at about 12-18 inches of snow over the last week, it is kind off a nothing event by the standards of the mid west and Northeast, but the city shuts down as we just don’t have the infrastructure.
That being said, it has been a blast for us as we both miss the snow. It is both easy to walk around as we are now within walking distance of a number of major streets which are plowed and some of the restaurants and cafes have stayed open. So we just get to work from home and wander around in the snow, which is great fun.
Everything looks so crisp and clean in the snow.
Snowman! The snow was sticky enough over the weekend that we made Mr. Rhodes, the rhododendron snow man.
It was a picture perfect day on Saturday!
Throwing snowballs into the sea is surprisingly fun.
It is funny that while there is about a foot of snow, 60 ft away from the beach the water keeps it snow free and “warm”.
One of the things that drew us to West Seattle was the proximity to the water. After living within walking distance or a short bike to the Bay, Ocean, or Harbor for over a decade, living in Renton was a bit of a bummer – especially in the summer. So I figured if this first new house post was just a couple pictures of our local beach, that would be for the best.
The view just down the block.
Warning: judgy cats by water.
Panorama from Brace Pt. to Fauntleroy Terminal.
Sorry for the recent delay in posts here. Life has caught up with us in the form of work-based rockets and aircraft. In recompense, below are some pictures of the aforementioned rockets and aircraft.
RL-10 from the museum in Huntsville near MSFC. Not exactly what I’m working on, but close enough for government work.
P-8 courtesy of Boeing.
And an obligatory Saturn V image; as I’m breaking the no rockets rule, I may as well go whole hog.
It’s springtime for apples and Renton – and winter for blackberry and moss. Musical allusions aside, it is finally springtime at the house and I have pictures of flowers from our yard to prove it! It is very interesting at the change of any season as we live on the top of a reasonable hill and work at sea level between the Sound and Lake Washington. This means spring is two weeks earlier at work than it is at home.
But now we have crazy blooms of pear and plum, as well as some of the perennial flowers. And buds on all of the trees. So we are both happy about the extra colour and promise of very fresh fruit at the expense of some extra work.
Apple tree does not believe in early flowers. It is fearful of the final frost which happened mid April last year.
Pears, on the other hand, are all in on blossoms. Even if fruit trees didn’t give fruit, they would still be worth growing for the flowers, shade, and wood.
And the poppies that we thought we killed last year in the drought came back with a vengeance. It is nice to have flowers on the dinner table again.
We decided to do things a bit differently this week and went and did something exciting everyday during the week. Some relaxing may be necessary during this weekend.
The two most exciting things we did were hockey and a gaming night. Jasmine and I had talked about going to the local triple A hockey team – The Thunderbirds! It was quite fun, but there is a large difference between the NHL and Western Hockey League in terms of player quality. But still fun.
Second was that we did a fancy pants gaming night at the Columbia Tower in Seattle. We have done it a couple of times before, but Jasmine and I like having some food, friends, and gaming, so we will certainly do it again.
Thunderbirds! We finally made it!
Southern view from the Columbia Tower.
Northern View from the Columbia Tower.
On a rainy day, we decided to do a day in Seattle and checked out The Chihuly Garden and Glass. It is a bit of a weird museum / art gallery dedicated to artisanal glass blowing in the Seattle Center area. On the whole, it is a very small art gallery with only ~10 exhibits… but they are all beautiful. Blown glass is not something I would have thought of as art rather than craft, but it works well.
I think the key part of the Garden and Glass is the lighting inside of the gallery. They did a fantastic job lighting everything with a sharp light that really made the glass stand out.
In the garden area, there was also a exhibition with live glass blowing which is always fun to watch.
So, all in all, it is a small gallery with some very unique pieces that is worth checking out if you like blown glass at all.
The most Seattle image of the day. Fancy boats, foggy rain, cranes, and the Space Needle in the background.
The lighting on the glass was really impressive.
These bowls were my favorite pieces in the exhibits.
It’s our guidebook photo! Also from left to right: Bored tourist photo, man on phone dragged to museum, looking for best picture from your low res cellphone, and man looking at nothing.
Watching glass blowing is always fun.
Lloyd for scale.
In an exciting turn of events, we got our first snowfall of the year! This is exciting because snow is awesome. On the other hand we had still hoped to get more food out of the garden and off of the quite prolific fig tree, but these hopes are now dashed. Also, my bike commute is a bit colder and icier which is sub-optimal, but that is what gloves and wool socks are for.
On the whole, it is now hot chocolate by the fire time, i.e. the best time of year.
I don’t think that half grown corn is going to finish growing.
Snow certainly makes everything prettier.
It is also time to break out sweaters.
While we were not on the path of totality for this solar eclipse, we were close enough (92%) that we got a pretty cool show. I stayed home from work for the morning and set up our telescope as a solar projector onto our white-topped wooden table. It was awesome! We could see all sorts of sun spots and the eclipse was awesome! I think the projection worked much better than the glasses: it was a pinhole camera on steroids.
The weirdest parts of the eclipse was that it got about 5 degrees colder during the eclipse and the very weird orange tint that the sky had during the eclipse. 10 out of 10, would view again in 2024.
The projecting telescope setup. All it takes is a telescope, a 90 degree viewing lens, and a large white surface.
Also projects onto Jasmines.
Neighborhood cat joined the viewing party.
This is the view of the sun directly through a solar filter. I think I like the projecting better.
The closest to totality we saw.
Sunspots! Somehow that was cooler to me than the eclipse.