Monday, April 30, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip 2008 Day 12-13 Friday July 31, 2008-Saturday August 1, 2008


This is the twelfth and final of a series of posts recalling my third annual trip to Seattle, though at this stage of the trip I thought I had left Seattle for the remainder of the trip and was at the start of this report in Portland. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of five years later or to add further clarification; I use “NOW” to denote such cases.

Got the Amtrak in good time but it was moving slower than usual (at least that's what they say) due to a freight car lowering the maximum speed.  This is apparently what causes the train's engine to conk out, causing an extra 3 1/2 hour delay.

[NOW: Amtrak still charged for food during the delay and in fact thanked everyone for buying all the food, so arguably they benefited from their screw-up.]

I missed my connection in Olympia but no small amount as a result and didn't want to be stranded there the whole long weekend so took Greyhound busses from there to Vancouver, though that meant getting in at 11:30 (actually 12:20 by the time it arrived).

[I only have vague memories of Olympia that specific trip, though I’ve since returned three times. I think the train actually stopped in Lacey; I know I took a bus to Olympia from the station.  I was given some critical misinformation from a know-it-all on the train: that there was a Greyhound to Port Angeles (there wasn’t) and that there was no hostel in Olympia (there was).  I had a late lunch somewhere, but mostly just stuck around Sylvester Park where the Greyhound depot was, not wanting to risk another missed connection.  I recall as few Greyhound stops as it got progressively darker, including Seattle, Everett, and Bellingham.  The woman at the border seemed a bit puzzled by the amount of stuff I was bringing in but didn’t search my bag.]

There was no time to notify Vancouver friends on Facebook that I was arriving and I didn't have their numbers handy anyway, not expecting to be in that particular Vancouver this trip.

So went to McDonald's across the street diagonally and then returned to the station, only to learn they're closed 1 am – 4 am.  So I had to find a place that was relatively safe and warm.  I found a warm enough place but I nodded off briefly (probably less than 15 minutes after which my new-ish backpack was gone, with a lot of the DVDs, comics, books purchased as well as probably most my camera memory cards.  Conservative estimate over 10,000 photos lost.  I contacted the police but even though it only just happened they wouldn't investigate (I never saw them patrol either).

 Someone claimed they some a bag being tossed over the fence on the bus/train station property, but since the theft didn't occur there, when I mentioned it to the security guard he got abusive with me.

[NOW: Took the Pacific Coach Lines bus the rest of the way home, including a ferry trip. Leaving out the rest

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip 2008 Day 11 Thursday July 30, 2008


This is the eleventh of a series of posts recalling my third annual trip to Seattle, though at this stage of the trip I was in Portland, not Seattle. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of five years later or to add further clarification; I use “NOW” to denote such cases.

In the morning I ate breakfast at a chain in this area called Burgerville, then walked downtown, got a daypass, and rode the MAX line to the streetcar.  Despite two drivers during the trip I got wrong info about if I was heading to my next destination correctly (I've definitely found that the metro drivers are a wealth of misinformation in Portland) but finally got a streetcar to my real destination, an aerial tram with a nice view of the city (it goes to and from a hospital).

Heading back downtown I got a graphic novel by Rob Zombie at the city's oldest bookstore, Cameron's, then took a MAX train to the Mississippi stop.  The place I wanted to go to, a comic shop was further than expected, but I made it there.  Colourful area (dressing, not people).  I asked at the comic shop about a library used book store called Title Wave and was told you won't always find what you're looking for but you'll always find something cool.  True enough: I found a book on comic book artist George Tuska, the first series of Chef, a British show about a cranky chef, and cheap bottles of Vanilla Coke.

[Chef was one of the items that got stolen not long after].
 
Next it was a free vacuum museum inside a vacuum store.  Small but free, so no it didn't suck.  The next comic shop was closed, so after a bite at Wendy's and a stopover at Rite Aid for batteries, I did a quick visit of some book and comic shops on Sandy Blvd, then a movie place called Movie Madness where I bought DVDs and took photos of movie memorabilia.

I returned downtown and tried to get an all route bus book so I wouldn't be taking back smaller booklets, but they were all out.

Now I need to back up to shortly after I arrived in Portland.  A really scraggly looking guy suggested I take photos from the roof of a parking lot once the weather was better.  Actually not a bad idea; just shows you can't always judge by appearances.  I finally did that today and got some decent shows, highest being about 10 stories up.  I relaxed at whatever the faux International Fountain is called, visited the Pearl Harbor memorial, then took more photos of Mill's End Park on my way here.

Tomorrow is going to be a daunting day and I won't have time to send an e-mail until the following day.   I'm going to try to set foot in 10 places and if I don't set foot in at least 8, my trip has gone seriously south: Portland Olympia, Lacey (optional), Tumwater (optional), Shelton, Brinnon, Port Townsend (technically optional  but I'll be bored if I stay on the outskirts), Sequim, Port Angeles, Victoria,  So very long day ahead of me tomorrow.

[NOW: As my final blog report on this trip will demonstrate, things didn’t go at all as planned the next day]

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Okanagan Trip April 2012 Day 4 April 19

My dad and I went to Armstrong in the morning and had breakfast at McDonald's.  The museum there wasn't open because that location was having a book sale.  We visited the Cheese Factory and relaxed a bit until stores were reading to open.  I went to Shamrock Books and took a couple of photos of the cats, who acted like I had a gun and freaked at the sight of the camera. I also bought some DVDs at Video Express.

We returned to Vernon where we grabbed my luggage and went to my aunt (Dad's sister)'s place and hung out with her and another cousin.

We drove to Kelowna International Airport and hung out for a bit, then my dad left. I was going to have dinner there but had a pretty big meal at my aunt's place so I opted to wait until later.

As with the way over, I got some decent take-off and landing photos during the plane trip but due to rain we were in clouds for most of the trip.

Upon arriving in Victoria International Airport, I had hoped to dash to McTavish Park & Ride and grab a city bus home from there, but it was pouring so I opted to take the expensive Akal Airporter instead.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Misadventures in Buffalo Trip Planning

I'll be visiting Buffalo New York in June and scheduled a trip for June 11. It came to $1 plus fees, or $1.69.  I needed to change to June 13, which was also $1.  Unfortunately I typed in the wrong expiry year and my card got declined, and when I tried again it had gone up to $13.  Today I checked and it looked like it was back to $1 but when I doublechecked and it was back to $13. I did a different transaction and then on a whim tried Buffalo again. It was back to $1. So finally I got the June 13 trip I wanted at $1.

I had also planned to use the Niagara-Buffalo transit system to do some shopping along the way as I worked my way north to Niagara Falls. In Buffalo proper things went okay in terms of figuring out timings, but as I got further north, I found that two hour gaps started appearing between locations.  So I'd like to visit Amherst, Tonawanda, and North Tonawanda, but I might stick to the core of Buffalo instead, checking out the free Observation Tower etc before taking the bus straight to the Falls.

Possibly to be continued...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Unintended Pre-Show at Last Night’s “Safe” Preview


I got a movie pass to a sneak preview of Safe, with Jason Statham. A decent action movie with lots of martial arts and gun play, and three sets of villains (the Chinese mob, the Russian mob, and corrupt American cops).

But it’s what happened before the movie that I wanted to talk about. After the usual (for sneak previews) prize draws and before the movie started) a woman announced that they didn’t have the proper code to play the movie and Alliance was refusing to give it to them.  So people had three choices: they could stay and see Hunger Games and get a free movie pass, they could go to a movie in progress and get a free movie pass, they could go to a movie that hadn’t started (21 Jump Street, the excellent Cabin in the Woods) and get a free movie pass, or they could leave the theatre entirely and get two free passes.  I opted to the first option, not having seen the Hunger Games and not really feel like getting up.

As some people were leaving this room of the theatre and getting passes they got an announcement that Alliance had relented.  However, everyone would still get the pass or passes as promised and could still leave if they chose.  A few did choose to leave still.

Once they left the audience was given the choice of getting the pass before the movie or after. They were some choice due to noise of which option the lady was asking for a show of hands first, but then the movie started.  It was quickly paused but the false start pretty much pushed the decision the latter direction.  Regardless I did indeed get a pass upon leaving the showing of Safe, good for any movie except “No Passes” movies and good until March 2013.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Okanagan Trip April 2012 Day 3 April 18 Vernon, Osoyoos

  • Left Vernon with Dad just before 10, picking up Dad's friend and his sister along the way
  • Drove to Kelowna
  • Took an alternate route to Osoyoos that unintentionally added over an hour to the trip
  • Passing a few small towns along the way; went up and down a mountain and thus saw snow
  • Took photos of a viewpoint looking down at Osoyoos from above
  • Had a choice between A&W and McDonald's for lunch in Osoyoos; chose A&W but cashier was new and struggled with orders
  • Finally made it to the Desert Model Railroad Museum; took over 1000 photos
  • Passed Oliver and Penticton where we'd hoped to stop had but couldn't because we were behind schedule
  • Was late for a meet with a cousin, but since her mom was on the trip, was able to connect with her at their place, as cousin realized that something had gone wrong.
  • Had Chinese food dinner with just my cousin and we caught up.
  • There was some confusion getting back inside Dad's place because he was on the phone when I tried to get buzzed in; finally ot in

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Okanagan Trip April 2012 Day 2 April 17


·         Watched Unstoppable with my dad in the morning
·         While my dad pursued other activities wandered around Vernon
·         Walked from downtown to Wild West Exchange and bought some blu-rays including X-Men: First Class
·         Walked to the Real Canadian Superstore where a cousin works; didn’t see her that day
·         Walked to Wal-Mart and got a couple DVDs
·         Walked to Future Shop and picked up the 5th season of Rescue Me
·         Walked back downtown Vernon
·         Visited Raven Traders, Expressions of Time, Eclectibles, Common Exchange, Smart Choice Liquidators
·         Bought a couple DVDs (one for my dad) at Welk Mart
·         Bought a book at Bookland
·         Visited the Real Canadian Wholesale Club, Polson Park, a dollar store that had replaced Rogers Video
·         Bought some blu-rays and a DVD at Ebeneezer’s
·         Visited Vernon Center Pawn, a pet store, K&K Bookstore, Omar’s Collectibles
·         Went to where the marmots hang out; had trouble finding them but eventually found one in the back of the building they hang out at
·         Returned to my dad’s place; he wasn’t in so returned to the marmots (got photos of one standing up), visited Safeway, more marmot photos, then back to my dad’s place
·         Hung out with my dad; we watched Suckers and its best bonus feature, a primer on dealing with car dealers

Monday, April 23, 2012

Okanagan Trip April 2012 Day 1 April 16


·         Grabbed breakfast at McDonald’s
·         Took 70 to McTavish Exchange, crossed an overpass, and took the 83 to Victoria International Airport
·         Nearly lost debit card without realizing it; luckily it turned up at the Westjet counter
·         Got some great take-off and landing photos but was within clouds in between
·         Dad met me at Kelowna International Airport
·         We drove to Orchard Park Mall where I had a short but nice visit with my friend Dorey, then we drove to my Aunt Stella’s place
·         We (Dad, Aunt Stella, and I) drove to the Old Spaghetti Factory and soon after I explored downtown Kelowna on my own
·         Got a couple comic trades at High Browse Books, visited Mosaic Books, visited City Park, got some blu-rays at Trade & Save
·         Leaving downtown, I tried to visit another video store but it was now a Subway
·         Visited Ted’s Paperback & Comics then returned to my aunt’s place; ironically she and my dad had gone for a short drive and returned at the same time
·         We hung out at my aunt’s place for a bit longer then headed to Vernon
·         We got stalled by construction between Kelowna and Winfield but finally made it to Vernon
·         Saw a marmot en route to my Dad’s place
·         Rest of eve we just unwinded and watched part of one movie and all of another

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip 2008 Day 10 Wednesday July 28, 2008 Portland OR, Vancouver WA


This is the tenth of a series of posts recalling my third annual trip to Seattle, though at this stage of the trip I was in Portland, not Seattle. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of five years later or to add further clarification; I use “NOW” to denote such cases.

The basement made the hostel seem darker than it really was so didn't get up until after 8.  Probably needed to catch up on rest anyway.  I visited the locker area and noticed a nearby yellow pages and wrote a few places down; haven't managed to visit any of them yet; hopefully by tomorrow.

I bought a daypass and went downtown.  The driver said the pass was good on the bus to Vancouver.  it wasn't so I bought another pass to get there.  And so I visited Vancouver for the first time today.  Well, Vancouver WA anyway.  Portland actually looks a lot less dull in nicer weather, though it'll probably never be a fav of mind.

Back to Vancouver: I checked out Fort Vancouver, then went to Vancouver's main mall and bought some DVDs.  I hadn't had breakfast so I had brunch at a pizza buffet near the mall.  Then I worked my way back downtown.  I actually spent more time in Vancouver than I really wanted to, but the dessert pizza was great and it was interesting to see an historic fort.

I took a MAX light rail train to the Oregon Zoo and spent 2 1/2 hours there.  A beaver put on a bit of a show, as did the lorikeets.  My camera couldn't pick up the bats in Seattle but it managed to pick up the ones here.  You save a bus by taking transit to the park but the trade-up is that a small pop bottle is $3.  There was a dinosaur exhibit and and a concert, both at extra charge, but I was content to just see the animals.

So not a wide range of things today because my two big excursions ate up a lot of time, but I've been having a better day thus far.  And Portland does look prettier in the sun than in the clouds.  Which is good because I actually got depressed walking around Portland yesterday, even before the computer incident.

This computer at Powell's Technical is giving me problems too so the Internet's being restarted.  Thank goodness for Notepad.  Pasting there and pasting back seems to work.  Luckily this time when it crashed it didn't actually shut down so I was able to move this text to Notepad in time.

[NOW: Written the next day:]

After I signed off visited Powell's proper, bought a book on comics and a book by John Waters on bad taste, ate at McDonald's again at Pioneer Mall, then returned to hostel.

[NOW: The John Waters book was one of the things that got stolen, as I’ll get to soon. Still haven’t replaced it.] 

My room is co-ed but there was nothing sexy about last night.  As I was dozing off an Asian woman complained that I was making too much noise on the bed (I tend to move about a fair bit when I sleep and was on an older upper bunk).  So I switched bed sides so my head would be resting against a wall and fell back asleep... and got woken up by the same woman complaining about the noise I was making while I was sleeping.  I groggily tried to explain there's not much I can do if I'm asleep but I think I fell on deaf ears.

I dragged myself out of bed, put pants on over my pj's and left a note at the vacant front desk in case she complained about me in the morning).  On the plus side it was the only time I saw Bailey, the hostel's cat but he didn't seem to want to be petted.  I think I saw the woman one more time but this time she changed her mind.

[NOW: So the note was basically to explain that any incident that the woman was upset about happened while I was asleep, thus nothing I could really do much about.]

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip 2008 Day 9 Tuesday July 28, 2008 1st Day in Portland


This is the ninth of a series of posts recalling my third annual trip to Seattle, though with this report I head south of Seattle for most of the rest of the trip. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of five years later or to add further clarification; I use “NOW” to denote such cases.

Miracle happened.  Nothing significant to report.  Everyone well behaved.  I did all my packing last night so no real problems this morning.  Minor difficulties finding my glasses when I woke up but easily solved by turning on bunk light.  Set both watches' alarms at 5 minute intervals but beat them both up by about 5-10 minutes from watch #1.

[NOW: The above was written in the morning. The below is the first of two reports I wrote upon arriving in my next stop, Portland.]

In a piece of crap city the Internet correction is a piece of crap.  It couldn't handle  typing these reports and wiped out everything I just typed.

[NOW: It was at the hostel I stayed at that my report got wiped out after going slow.]

I'll try to find an Internet cafe.  Otherwise I can't justify spending money on this sluggish Internet connection, which really should be free given it can't handle simple e-mails. 

Short answer: Portland sucks.  Even Powell's Books is overrated.  I might return home a day early.  Don't bother with this dunghole of a city.  I hate it here.  Hate it, hate it, hate it.

[NOW: Time has been kinder to my recollections of Portland. Even so I have yet to return. I considered editing the above but wanted to be true to how I felt four years.]

Pardon typos above.  It's not just my mood.  Words actually take forever to appear on the screen.

[NOW: I edited out the typos] 

Can't wait for this suddenly lousy vacation to be over with.  I should never have added this dunghole of a city to my itinerary.  Barely worth a daytrip if that.

[NOW: See above. Also, the below was written after I found a place to retype my report.  I wrote the report early the next day.]

I'm paying a bit more and typing this from Powell's Technical Books.  Let's see if I make it through this without anything crashing.  Feeling better today.

So... on my way to the train station I thought I had lost the memory cards for my last Seattle day.  Luckily they turned up later.  I asked for a window seat on the train.  They gave me the left; right which would have have been better because of the sea and the lack of trains going the other way but still got lots of good shots.

The trip to Portland took longer than expected, due in part to some delay in Tacoma.   Still at first it was nice to see Tacoma again however briefly.

It was pretty overcast yesterday and Portland looks incredibly dull yesterday, hence part of why I was in such a sour mood.  First impression of the city was everything looked dull.   I walked to the #14 transit stop to get to my hostel.  There was an incorrect number 14 stop a little before; luckily I figured this out. 

They gave me the wrong room initially at the hostel, which seems to be a refurbished cottage.  I'm in one of the basement rooms.  The lockers are in a shed, which doesn't really thrill me; I'd rather the lockers be close to the room.  Walked along Hawthorne and basically confirmed that in Portland music stores are just that (i.e. no movies like most Seattle music stores have).  On a bus a woman claimed that it was against the law to take pics with people in them without permission.  The bus was about to reach the hostel and there was a nearby comic shop to check out, so I got off, confirmed my hypothesis that the woman was incorrect, and bought some comics at the comic shops before returning downtown (my hostel is a ways to the east of downtown).

I lost my list of places to check out in my final day in Seattle so I mostly just wandered around.  I visited a place that had DVDs for sale, but they were unpriced so I didn't bother looking too closely.

[NOW: I think I visited the now defunct Borders around then as well.]

Just before Powell's Technical there's a cute state of a baby elephant on top of an adult elephant.  A short walk further took me to Powell's (main store).  Huge selection and does take up a full story block.  My problem with it is that it lacks atmosphere, either of a local type (e.g. Russell Books in Victoria) or even of a chain like Chapters.  But the selection is quite good and I did buy two, one being a collection of 1970s stories featuring the sons of Superman and Batman.  The stories make no sense even to veteran comic readers (they supposedly take place in the then future, but 1970s hair styles, use of bikers, etc clearly date them to the time they were written).

The old town has some nice architecture.  The world's smallest park , Mill's End is actually in the middle of a crosswalk.  I would have stepped over it Godzilla style but there was a plant in it that I didn't want to hurt.

The old town has what appears to be a poor man's International Fountain.

I ate at Pioneer Place, not really a pioneer place but a modern shopping centre.  The sad thing is after the drab, dull look outside the mall actually energized me, which malls rarely do even to me.  I ate at McDonald's and then left the mall and comic comics at another comic shop. 

I decided to walk back to the hostel for exercise.  I used the computer there which was $1 per 20 minutes, buying 40 minutes.  The words couldn't keep up with me, so I was making tons of typos, and when I tried to correct the worst of these typos it crashed and erased everything, which is why I seemed so POed yesterday.

I worked off the stress by going for a walk, then buying DVDs at a Hawthorne branch of Hollywood Video.

[NOW: All Hollywood Video  branches are now defuct]

Don't want to tempt fate so will cover today separately.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip 2008 Day 8 Monday July 28, 2008


This is the eighth of a series of posts recalling my third annual trip to Seattle. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of five years later or to add further clarification; I use “NOW” to denote such cases.

One guy had a woman in his room last night, which was fine except they whispered with the bunk light on for about an hour, or so it felt at least.  Even with the curtains drawn a lot of light filters out.  Likewise someone propped the door open with a pillow around 3:30.   I woke up an hour later, used the washroom, then unpropped the door on my way back to the bunk.

Have minor plans to try something new, but since this is my last full day in Seattle for this year, will mostly do a "best of" like last year today, most likely, though the fish ladder's too far to include that in the "best of", and the zoo was of course already well covered for this trip.  I'd like to sneak in West Seattle but the weather's been too variable and it might be a bit late in the game for that this year.  If I do sneak it in, probably just Alki Beach.  Otherwise that can be a top priority in 2009.

Sigh.  When I went to grab a pop from the fridge I noticed the last can of my second batch of beer got stolen. :(

Actually compared to Canadian prices I probably still came out ahead.  It's the whole violation thing of having something stolen twice.  This second time the front desk just said "That sucks, sorry"; no pretense that they were going to review the tapes.  The pop was untouched

My recommendation with the Green Tortoise is that you ignore the video camera sign and only use the fridge for non-alcoholic drinks, because you have alcoholic travellers there.

[NOW: The above was written in the morning; the rest I wrote in the evening.]

The first thing I did this morning was to visit the actual University of Washington, as opposed to the University District's main shopping area to the west of the university, starting my trip in one of the transit tunnels.  It has some nice buildings and I took lots of pics.  Two squirrels seemed to be play-fighting on a tree.  I also visited University Village, just north of the university.  Cute shopping area, though separate from the main shopping to the west.  I had to backtrack after that to the university because I wanted to reach one road that was above the village and had to find a place where it intersected.

I tried visiting a comic shop in the east end of Wallingford, directly west of the University District.  It was closed but I found another Office Max and got enough memory cards for the rest of the trip, hopefully.

I revisited the University District proper.  Unfortunately Satisfaction was closed again, which is a shame because they have some odd DVDs there and it was the last day of a sale.  Well, didn't want to wait, so took another bus to Broadway and looked some more there.

[NOW: Satisfaction Records is still around but now it’s north of the University District.]
 
I was struggling with the pop machine with the two mystery buttons, and another guy wanting to use the machine got a bit confrontational (I later realized he had an Ali G mustache and got some amusement from that).  I finally got one of the non-mystery buttons working.  The experience flustered me a bit and I dropped one of my tiny lock keys from my money belt.  I found a dime and thought I had imagine dropping the key.  Well, I have back-up keys and no one's likely to retrieve that key and connect it with my trip-only padlock so I should be okay.  It would be amusing if it was still there next year because it's in front of a locksmith.  The key very well could be: it's tiny and under the machine.

There's a strip of 15th St parallel Broadway to the east, so I checked out a few shops, then went most of the way downtown.  i got on a bus just outside of a transit tunnel and took it to Pioneer Square.

The weather was much nicer than predicted so I decided to visit Alki Beach after all.  I had just missed the water taxi and a comedy of errors ensued finding a proper transit stop so I missed two buses and bought some sort of strawberry drink from a coffee shop while waiting.  Unfortunately it was one of those strawberry drinks that mixes in a lot of other extra juices.  I could barely detect the strawberry juice.  Finally making it to Alki Beach, I took a pic of the Seattle's Birth Place marker, then got a burger from a decent place i went to last year.  Name escapes me ("pepper" is in the name) but I took a pic.  I waked all the way across the beach from the restaurant to the beach, ate, and walked around a bit.  I took a pics of the spot they're going to be putting the renovated Statue of Liberty; they hope it will be more vandal proof.  And yes, you did read that right; Seattle's Statue of Liberty, being repaired last I head is a smaller version of the NY version. 

[NOW: The restaurant above is Pepperdock].

Alki was beautiful but I was feeling restless, and there's only one Seattle cure for that, so I took a bus downtown (starting to nod off due to heat), took a quick peak at Pike Place Market, then spent about 2 1/2 hours at the International Fountain.  There I did let myself nod off briefly but mostly took photos and especially videos. 

One thing that I make no secret about is that the International Fountain is my favourite place in Seattle; it's free and despite the presence of kids, incredibly relaxing.  At around 7pm, the fountain took time off to recharge; at this same time period the weather was cooling off and people were leaving.  I realized I had the perfect exit and didn't want to spoil it, so reluctantly left the fountain for this trip.  I bought another DVD at Silver Platters (they gave me a card for racking of points in future visits) and gradually working my way back downtown.  I took a bunch more pictures, grabbed food at McDonald's, then more pics.  I'm actually starting to figure out a few tricks about night shots.

[NOW; The Silver Platters card is missing and may have been stolen. However, my account there is still open.]

Hard to believe that Seattle's mostly over now.  Feels like I just got here.  Will definitely miss it, and will only do a morning edition tomorrow is time permits, as I want to take a few things in one final time this year. 

Tomorrow the trip gets a lot more complicated.