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Aug '17

Trip Report: Kauai Bound

The plan was to just hang out for a couple of days travelling solo – and then it sort of started to become a different trip, with more photo ops…so much for one post for the trip!

Got to the airport WAY early – but it was a free ride. A buddy who is not parked in my front yard is flying to Iceland and Greenland for work, so they paid for the Uber.

And the Alaska Lounge is now serving Yakima Valley’s Travari Rosé Bubbles – no need for me to order bubbles with a splash of cranberry.

Worked out well for both of us – free ride for me, free access to the lounge for Whitaker.

Here is a shot of the new lounge at the end of the C Concourse, directly above my gate of C9.

I even had enough time to call T-Mobile and change my plan to their new “Old Far Two-line Plan”….

Which has a nice view of the tarmac, even a 747-400 freighter with a livery that reminds me of a Red Bull can.

A bit of chaos at the gate – totally full flight, TONS of small children, oddly, no wheelchairs.

But I’m in seat 1D (but swapped reluctantly to 1F so a family could sit together) and they even gave me Kid’s Wings…high quality metal with two pin holders…

As we were queued up to take off, saw one of the Amazon Prime Air 767’s takeoff!

Drinks, then hot nuts, then the salad course (Icelandair, you could learn something from Alaska and their service up front):

Then the main:

Then dessert:

Then a Mai Tai that was mostly vodka (at my request, because the mix they use is WAY too sweet):

Arrived fifteen minutes early, got my luggage, got to Dollar to pick up my Toyota Corolla (or similar mid-size car), only to discover this is what they gave me the keys to!

Off to bed, it’s been a long day, and I’m settled into the condo for the next four nights.



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Dec '10

Suddenly Reminded Of My First House In Portland.

Maybe It’s The Long Regular Drive.

Well, I’m afraid this trip was a bust for actually spending any time rolling around in the hay. Today’s excuse: power outage, got up too late for play time before work. At least I know its true – as the power went off in the condo as well, but I noticed the blinking clock and reset it. Trouble and bad luck follows that boy like the dust cloud over Pigpen (Charlie Brown character for those youngsters in the audience). At least I had quiet time to get ahead of the ball for consulting work. It might have even paid for the trip.

Why am I reminded of my first house in Portland (bought for $39,500, sold five years later for $80,000)… the boring and never changing drive between NE Oregon and Seattle. When I owned the Portland house I lived in Seattle… a 3.5 drive, and I was there at least once a month. Man, I-5 gets really boring, fast. Amusingly Whitaker seems to be connected to this as well, since he rented a room in the house (I kept a room as well), and now he’s in Astoria. What, twenty plus years later. Odd.

Speaking of Astoria, stopped by the Finnish Sauna and looked into the windows that were clear… interesting building. Two-story poured concrete with a brick front façade. In a town with a history of massive fires – included one that took out a massive wharf while I was in Seaside, concrete seems like a good choice. Let’s see – the great fire of 1883, the not so great fire of 1922, and now the Cannery fire of 2010. For the history of Astoria: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astoria,_Oregon. No wonder the sauna building is concrete, twice burned, etc.

Of course, I could just fly to Astoria… SeaPort Air does King County Airport (across the Duwamish, 10 minutes from my house) to Portland, and then Portland to Astoria. And no rubber gloves as it’s all from non-secure airports. Of course, it’s $322 round-trip with a stop in Portland. Ouch.

Missed picking up my shirts at the cleaners by 10 minutes… they keep shortening their Saturday hours, it’s now down to 2pm. Damn. Guess that means the 29th, glad I didn’t need them for the trip to Santa Fe next week. But I did pick up the packages at the apartment – one for Hummingbird, and my new kicks – shoes that is:

If you look close you can see the Uncle Markie stitched into the sides… nice slip-ons for the trip to Santa Fe. The weather is supposed to be in the upper 40’s so I shouldn’t freeze.

A gumbo dinner at Jimmy’s place with Suze… damn fine. And Christmas has started early – I got my first bag of “Naughty Coal”… and a lovely penis candy mold.

[? ? ?]

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Maybe It’s The Long Regular Drive.

Aug '09

End Of A Hectic Week.

A VERY early morning for me…

  • up at 7am
  • out the door at 8am
  • oil change on the Jag at 9am
  • meet with advertising folks at 11am
  • home by 12:30 for a nap

The afternoon was more work for E&A and later on SOB when Whitaker showed up to run the poo pump wiring and fix a couple of other small things. Stuart will be over Tuesday or Wednesday to check out the alternator – judging from what happened to the wiring box in the back on the bouncy roads of Lake Cushman, I’m figuring the alternator jiggled a little loose. And just in case he doesn’t come I’ve charged the old battery and that should get me to and from Tinkham next week.

The evening is drinks and dinner with Swanda and finish up some wiring on this computer.

And early to bed as well.


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Feb '09

Hours, Wiring, Forms, Life.


  • Billable Hours — actually made some money today. Business cards, renewal cards, lobby artwork, prospect and member’s calendar site, Oakland trips, many details.
  • Wiring of SOB — fished/ran wires to the back of SOB — truly a pain since we are talking 110 and two runs of AV cables. Three coming (Left, Right, Video), one going (Back-up camera video) — plus power unless I decide to go with 12 volt for the TV and back-up camera. Back up camera is in and tested, HDTV feed is next. The TV in the back is on an arm that rotates so you can see the TV in either: the bed, the bathroom, or from the banquette. Hell, you can even plug your computer into it!
  • Working on the design of the insert to hold the microwave, monitor, and maybe the charging monitor for the inverter.
  • Actually got the sawdust mostly cleaned up — it has to be ready for Jameson’s gang who show up tomorrow. Guess I’d better stock the closet with the set of sheets and blankets for the middle bed and put pillows in the pull down bed.
  • Did the shopping for tomorrow’s dinner and the dinner with the boys in Seaside on Wednesday. The van is starting to fill up — how many carts will it take to move it all to the cabin when we get to Breitenbush on Thursday.
  • I’d take photos, but I’ve already packed the camera for the trip.

Wednesday Whitaker is supposed to show up to wire in the inverter, and the poo pump, to fix the dash heater switch. Should be an interesting day of phone calls since I’ll be a hundred miles south.

Tonight I just clean up various things, like filing a Freedom of Information Act, Privacy Act request with the Federal Bureau of Information. Who knows what is left from the 60’s. Interested? Here is the link: http://foia.fbi.gov/privacy_instruc.htm

Dinner you ask? Do you are? Whether or not, it was lamb and salad — Safeway has been having lots of lamb on the sale rack. Picked up some ground lamb and some ground buffalo to do a meatloaf out of sometime in the furture.


Feb '09

Plans Up In The Air.

Plans up in the air?

  • Jameson and crew not due until Tuesday night — guess I’d better get my vegan recipe’s in order
  • Whitaker has EMT classes, so now he is coming Wednesday, when I’m on the road and MoonSong is cleaning the house.

Today’s accomplishments:

  • More room in the garage for the Jag
  • Less dead mice in the garage (found two)
  • Stove donated to MaryBeth
  • Computer going to MaryBeth’s son
  • Directories and other materials done and transportation arranged
  • Drill bits purchased
  • Nothing done on SOB (Son of Bob)
  • NetBook programmed with Skype and Street/Trips for upcoming trip.

Dinner? Chicken and Pasta with a little red.

Too busy getting ready for travel to take the “photo of the day”.

[220 — time to barf up dinner]

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Feb '09

Marching Forward.

Well, we are marching forward on getting the Outdoor Kitchen up and running. In a perfect world it will be done by the time company shows up on Sunday. Right now it’s three people, but it could turn into four if Whitaker shows up to work on SOB (Son of Bob) and get the inverter installed, and the dash heater working again.

So, here is the status at the end of today on the deck work:

P1070008 - Share on Ovi

The “wings” are on, the facia is on one side, hell, at this rate the roof extension will be done tomorrow, then it’s just running 220 to the right hand side of the door which MoonSong has figured out will be easiest by just crawling under the house and rerouting the old dryer circuit.

Me — I’ve been working and billing today. Though I must confess that I did check on flights direct to that small town in Texas.

Dinner was chicken in a mushroom pasta, a little green salad, and the last of that bottle of wine from last night.

This was written on the new Acer Aspire with no hard drive, but a web cam, so in the next couple of days you’ll get to see a video of me typing my entries — won’t THAT be amusing.


Dec '08

Weird Sunday.

I say weird, but the day started out pretty normal. Curt and Brandon stayed over last night — Brandon, of course, in the single, Curt with me on the foam bed — I’m not sure he liked it.

Here is the shot from last night playing with the furs:


Thanks to Jen and Lynne for their donations of furs.

So, the big thing today is the Latke and Tequila Party at Jill’s Place. She was sweet to actually get some Tequila for me so we could make it a Tequila and Latke party.

The latkes were great, as was the pork and cabbage (for the non-Jews), cookies, other sweets, and well, tequila (and wine for the non-tequila drinkers).

And the “weird” part of today… I arrived home to find no power to my house. I have no idea how long the power has been out, but I’ve been out in the “command center” in the front yard — otherwise known as “Son of Bob”.

Having installed the new DVD player in the dash before the latke party, I’m forced to wire in an HDTV receiver in SOB so that I can watch the evening news. Turns out that I get 22 channels of HDTV without even raising the antenna on SOB — that said, there is a built-in antenna booster. Too bad I haven’t got the other two monitors in yet, but it’s still cool. Here is what the dash looks like at the moment — before the battery in the camera gave out:


I still have to put the bottom bezel back in — and suddenly the heat control isn’t working — at least the back heater works — but more work for me when the lights come on.

And other weird stuff today — as I’m watching the nightly news, the rains come in — hard and heavy.

Just saw a truck with flashing lights — maybe they are here to fix the power which would be good since I don’t think my generator actually produces 110 but just charges the 12volt — got to get Whitaker to take a look at it.

[217.something — it’s dark in my office and can’t tell]

Dec '08

Three New Sponsors.

As we go into the new year in a few days, I’d like to welcome three new merchant partners to UMTravels. These are folks that a regularly buy stuff from, and recommend them to all of you. In return, they give me a small sliver of your purchases. So, if you’d like to support my lifestyle, click through on the links and go shopping.

The three new partners are:

Powell’s Books in Portland — they have an incredible selection of new and used books, all online. These are the folks that  went shopping at to get Festivus gifts for my brother Jon and sis-in-law Norma.

JCWhitney these are the folks that I get parts for the RV from. Not only do they handle RVs — but pick a car or truck and they have stuff for it. I know that there aren’t many car geeks in my audience other than Whitaker, but they had replacement parts for BOB that were hard to track down.

Tiger Direct These folks are one of the only two electronics retailers that I recommend. My latest purchase from them was a GPS unit as a New Years present for a perpetually lost friend of mine, and a CCD camera unit to use as a backup camera for Son of Bob.

All these links are in the right hand side of this page, and eventually I’ll get a static shopping page page put together so you can just bookmark that. I’m also taking suggestions for YOUR favorite merchants. The things we do in this economy to make a few shekels.

On the home front — waiting around for Curt and Brandon to show up so I can feed them these giant steaks I picked up today. Still trying to decide if I should do the potatoes/yams/onions on the grill or at all.

[219.7 ]

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Nov '08

Home Again

At Least For A Couple Of Days.

Checked out at 11:30. After a check of our maps — we are off on a different route home. The new route goes right past Whitaker’s place (but unable to raise him on the phone) and doesn’t go through all the clear-cut that we saw on the way down. It added about 15-30 minutes to the trip, but it’s a prettier drive, and an easier one — less winding roads.

It seems that I can’t get away from work these days… I didn’t get more than 10 pages read in a magazine that was in a stack an inch high. Money, reading, OK, I’ll go for the money.

But the drive did take four prime emailing hours out of my schedule.

The weekend is schedule-less. I may even wait to send out a clipping to the E&A crew (yeah, right).

For my upcoming trips, this is what I’ve learned about T-Mobile roaming in the Caribbean:

  • Honduras – $1.99 a minute, no Internet on the phone – 1900 MHz
  • Bahamas = $2.99 a minute, Internet available ($15.36 per MB) – no frequency given
  • Belize = $2.99 a minute, no Internet on phone – 1900 MHz
  • Mexico (Cozumel) = $1.49 a minute, internet available ($15.35 per MB) 1900 mhz
  • Seems like text messages are .35 to send, and .20 to receive any of the above

Finally, a quiet dinner at home of leftover steak sliced, heated up, and served over salad with a little heart helping wine to wash it down.

[? ? ?]


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At Least For A Couple Of Days.

Sep '08

Bob, Bob, Bob — More Troubles.

Early morning with Whitaker banging on the front door to get in. It was unlocked, but it sticks in the morning — you have to kick the bottom of the door, hence, all the marks.

So, up earlier than I wanted, but that’s good. More time to prepare for the marketing meeting at Events and Adventures at 11. Of course — I go into this meeting and find there are LOTS of presentations — go away for a week and the landscape changes. At least they still want me (and are willing to pay for me).

Got a link to a blog today from someone on yesterday’s tour that took a better photo (not hard) than me:

This is the 130 foot tall retaining wall. The link to the blog is: http://seattlest.com/2008/09/11/seatacs_third_runway_now_a_fully_op.php?gallery11843Pic=3#gallery

The reason for the tall wall is a creek that is to the left hand side of the road.

So, the Bob, Bob, Bob blog title. House batteries toast. Solar panels are off the roof — turns out that they are from a Kyocera batch that is bad — but are under warranty, and now SOLD to Mr. Whitaker — along with a 120gig firewire drive, wireless router, and wired hub/switch). So that is the outgoing. Can’t pull the fridge with icemaker without buying more laminate. Looks like more trouble than it’s worth.

Dinner tonight with John Weber, then drinks afterwards with Wonderful. Going to be a LONG evening I think.


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Sep '08

Runway 16R

Lots of catch up work to do today — think I should have come back a day earlier — feeling sort of overwhelmed with getting stuff done some I have some status to report at tomorrow’s Events and Adventuresmarketing meeting. It all needs to get done by 3pm so I can get out the door to today’s BIG event and adventure… Port 101 — The 3rd Runway at SeaTac Airport.

This would be the new runway — 16R:


Serious big fun hanging out on a runway that just had it’s first plane (an FAA test plane) land on it earlier in the day.

Here is the link to all the pictures — including ones of me on the runway:


I have to tell you — it was way fun to be not only on the runway but get the tour of all the back areas of the airport — 500 acres of infrastructure.

After the tour it is back to the conference room for a buffet — a GOOD buffet, and reasonable good wine as well. That was a shock — but a welcome one. I never turn down a free dinner, even if it is with strangers. Jill will be joining me next week for the Ship Canal tour.

Whitaker shows up at almost 10pm to do work on the bus tomorrow, Jill shows up a little before to talk paper. Ends up being a late night.


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Dec '07

Nothing Says The Holidays …

Like Humping Reindeer.

Well, I have to thank Swanda for sending me this little tidbit. Now this is truly the holiday spirit.

Whitaker cleans today, then I’m off to the liquor store to cash in the two Amex Gift Cards I found in my wallet (from October WorldMark visit).

Late afternoon is Swanda’s for a package run, Home Depot (yes, again) and then off to dinner at Jimmys since he couldn’t make it last night because of wine bottling.

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Like Humping Reindeer.

Sep '07

Back From The Island, More Planning.

Woke up at leisure — left the house at 8:30am to catch the ferry. Of chance it would be the 8:55am, missed it by half a dozen cars, but was already expecting the 10am ferry.

Good trip to the island. Great dinner with Lynne, Sue, and Don — makes me almost want to keep the place. Emailed Whitaker about bus stuff, and MoonSong about putting in some footers and a shower floor. Next time it goes on the market it will have a shower and a lot less stuff in it (hence, the pictures from yesterday).

Got back to the city after MoonSong left for the day — at 85 degrees he came early, and left early — and I don’t blame him. Spent the afternoon boxing up dying headphones for the Bose Replacement Program, writing a couple letters, booze shopping, and yet, more planning for that Grand Canyon trip. Got confirmation WhiteWater will be around a week before the trip so I can swing by and get last minute advice on packing — or what should I leave in the car! The trip is working out to 3783 miles on the van — of which I don’t have to drive 315 of those — the shuttle service will be doing that — I’ll be doing “alternate” transportation — i.e. rafting.

Here is the map of the trip:


Long trip. Tonight I was hoping for dinner with Jonathan, but he’s throwing oil into his turbo unit (OK, his car is) and is without wheels and stuck in *gasp* Issaquah. He *might* make Wednesday dinner with Darcie and Jeanne.

Me — I’m having a steak, some spinach, and some red wine.

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Sep '07

Sunday Dinner On The Island.

Puttered around the house until it was time to leave for the island (11:30am). Did get a reservation for the night of October 29th made for an airport hotel in Honolulu at the tail end of Hawaii Trip Number One.

Heave traffic through the mid-section of the city, but then it thinned out — was in line by 1:15 or so. Fired up the laptop and got a bunch of work for SOB (Shirts of Bamboo) done — filed six new error reports on the new site, wrote some copy for a couple of response screens. Finished up on the ferry once we loaded. Ended up a couple of cars back in the center lane — the joys of a tiny car!

Dinner tonight with Don and Sue Campbell of Blue Toad Designs — they bought some of my equipment and are transferring some of my old 8mm films. Trying to get them to buy the screen and projector as well — but not that hard since the guests like it as well.

A Greek meal in all but the Retsina (I love it, but for many it is the Pine-Sol of fine wines) — Greek Salad, BBQ’d lamb chops and grilled white asparagus, and lots of wonderful Bonny Doon wine. I think I’ve managed to get all the prep done, and most of the things done I need to do while I’m out here. Should be a calm rest of the evening. Might even have time to vacuum!

Here are some new pictures of the church minus a bunch of stuff that has come to the city. Not quite the “minimalist” look that Curt commented on.

interior-ne.jpg      interior-nw.jpg     interior-se.jpg     interior-sw.jpg     kitchen.jpg

Even started the Bird up, and found that our friendly field mouse has chewed some more wires — got to get Whitaker up here to deal with:

  1. the chewed wires
  2. the air leak in the air-jack to push out the generator shed
  3. the non-working gas gauge

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Jun '07

Sore Neck, Too Much Computing.

This many hours at the computer doing graphics work is painful (ly paying the mortgage so quit your bitching and send out the invoice.)

Well — a couple of things have happened… finished wiring the 220 for the stove in the garage (and cooked sausages in a frying pan for dinner).  More organization. So that I can put the bimmer in the damn shed.


Speaking of the bimmer, Gnarlene ran me to UVA to pick up my car from the parking garage. Only a day after our parking expired, but it turns out that our card keys still work, but we will need a visitors pass if we want to park overnight.

Came home and put the repaired blade on the lawnmower (the one Whitaker welded after I snapped it hitting a serious rock). Took care of the jungle in the alley behind the garage — maybe it will mean that people will stop letting their dogs take a dump in my driveway. This damn yard is going to be the death of me — but at least I’ll have fresh flowers for the grave. And the dining table.

Quiet evening of work and TV — tying to get everything settled before leaving for Montana next week. Must remember to turn off the Wall Street Journal.

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Apr '07

Call In The Troops For The Final Assault.

OK — so the military metaphor doesn’t really work when the troops are Helene and Josh (well, I hope Josh — haven’t heard from him in a couple of days). Helene sealed the front bedroom floor yesterday and will do the living room, hallway and half the other bedroom today. Guess I’d better get that stain applied this morning!

I, on the other hand, will be assembling the last cabinet (and having Helene help hold it into place while I screw), and maybe doing a little painting in the laundry room so I can get the washer/dryer installed (even though Josh has yet to finish the drywall in there). Oh, and I should build the dining table that goes in the kitchen — a harvest table style, though I don’t think I’ll get the drop leaves done today since I don’t have the hardware.

Still have to spackle and touch up the rest of the trim in the house, but that can always come later.

Yesterday’s completed list:

  • Counter tops cut and put in place
  • Sink and dishwasher plumbed
  • First load of dishes done
  • Whitaker stopped by and picked up the lawnmower blade to weld and sharpen
  • Helene sealed the front bedroom floor and painted the last sticks of trim
  • Mark installed the last of the trim (which Jeff never had)
  • Garage was made a total disaster from strewn tools and saw dust.

More photos will be going up later today.

Oh shit – just remembered that there is a housewarming party at Jeff’s from 2-8pm, and I have to pack for Victoria — this day could get interesting. That blows the afternoon. Guess I’ll do that, come back, pack and head to the bank before heading back to the apartment. At least we got the last cabinet installed.


More photos:

Apr '07

Three Steps Forward, One Kink.

This is beginning to feel like a full time job. Out of the house in the morning, work all day, collapse in the apartment in the evening falling asleep with the television going.

Today’s progress: the flooring is in the kitchen with only a few places buggered up that will require some putty. The base cabinet bank on the sink wall is in and waiting for counter tops, a sink, and a dishwasher, not in that order. The stove wall base cabinets are built, and a third of them are in — I have to build some bracing for them to be screwed to for the other two since it’s a deep counter because of the stove.

Today’s anti-progress: the counter tops. The black locust which is so beautiful and would have made stunning counter tops is too moist for central forced air heating. The 25″x30″ slab that Whitaker glued up bowed and started to crack within 24 hours of it being in the house. He figures my place has about 6% humidity, and the lowest he can get at his place is about 15% (wood heat). The lumber has been air drying for five years, but apparently it needs to be kiln dried (and Whitaker doesn’t have a kiln). Damn. Time to come up with plan B.

Lots of guests tromping through the house today — probably looking to see if there is going to be a guest room (the answer is: yes, a single bed/couch in the office). Lynne stopped by for a couple of glasses of wine, and then Curtis and Kevin stopped by with the key to the church (they forgot it when they were by Tuesday to drop off the BMW and a bunch of boxes from the island).

Dinner was a mishmash of sale items from the store downstairs — I must be serious about finishing this place if I’m not entertaining in the evenings!

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Apr '07

Holy Crap! Serious Progress.

Many thanks to Mr. Whitaker who has been putting in a couple of hours each day while Alice is taking sailing lessons. He keeps me motivated.

By the time he showed up today I’d gotten the everything cut in, and headed on to the roller painting of the one kitchen wall, and the rest of the living room.

Amazing that one gallon did all the coverage — helped that most of the living room walls were a close shade of the same color.

One the paint was done — had to cut in twice, and that killed the gallon, it was time to start putting down the kitchen flooring. Finally!

By the end of the work day (for me past 8pm), there is 4 feet of flooring in, which means the fridge can do into place (of course, after trimming down the moulding).

 Truly amazing — here are the latest shots.

Now off to find something to eat and make the bed and then crash in it.

Apr '07


OK — so it’s one countertop. Whitaker delivered the first of the countertops today. Black locust is what they are made of. It’s been a bear for him to make these without modern jointers, but they look great. Guess I’d better get some cabinets in to put them on. Guess I have to get the kitchen flooring in first!

More painting and spakling around the house today. Realized that I need to paint the trim around the living room windows white to match the rest of the house. Damn, one more thing.

Dinner tonight with Helene and Chris across the street from the apartment. He leaves tomorrow for Texas, a recently expanded trip due to staffing issues.

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Mar '07

Work and Dinner.

Slept until 10am — must be exhausted. Had to get up and move the car at 7 to let Dwight out of the driveway. That’s probably what caused another full REM cycle.

Need to get a sink today so Whitaker can finish making the counter tops. Size is 22×33″ and 8″ deep. As usual there is a ton of stuff to do in the house today, we’ll see how much I manage to finish. It’s also UW Surplus Sale day (twice a month). That yields a corner computer desk and a bank of maple lockers — stunning. They are from the UW Genome Building and look like they were put in, then taken out. Hopefully they come apart into smaller sections cause they weigh a ton right now! That and I want to put them in the mud room. Picture below:


Evening is cocktails at 6pm, dinner at 7pm with Wonderful, Helene, Chris, Jill, and I. Chris is bringing the wine and Champagne, I know Helene will probably bring wine as well. Guess I’d better get working on the menu!

Was going to the island on a mail run tomorrow, but Lynne will be (hopefully) bringing in the mail when she comes into town to visit with her friends in South Park — and where I’ll be having dinner on Thursday night — sort of like meeting the neighbors, with booze.

More later.

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