Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Salish Lodge by Kathy Northcutt

Our teenage puppy, Yogi, was the last to hop aboard as we departed for our first visit to the Salish Lodge.  Hues of watermelon, pomegranate, Chianti, orange marmalade and papaya poured down tree tips and did so with more gusto as we increased elevation. 

Cody met us at the threshold of the Salish Lodge.  He loaded our baggage cart with aplomb.  We settled in and headed out to see the falls. On the way out we met two   staff members were headed for our room with treats for Yogi in hand.  :  )   Thank-you, Lucita!



Yogi knows the command, “Go to your mat”, and he likes having a space of his own.
I photographed him in front of the fire on his newly claimed mat, and he was the picture of bliss.  He deeply enjoyed exploring the courtyard outside.  There were more scents to be absorbed than a human could imagine in the sweet space out back.


Two wonderful managers at the desk helped me with a spontaneous question.
Would it be possible to upload photos to a local drugstore and get them printed while we’re here?   A sweet young lady who likes dogs got on the phone to Bartell’s while the gentleman at the front desk and I chatted.  Yogi, I shared, looked so comfy on his Salish Lodge blanket, lounging by the fire that I had to take a picture of it.  It sounded like a fun memory to share with the lodge.

Two of the quotes really touched me.  I printed extra copies of these to send them as postcards. One was an excerpt from a poem by Thomas Hardy entitled “Under The Waterfall”  (1914):



The other was a quote from a distant relative,  Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. :




The spray from the falls was more lively and far reaching than I’d remembered, but it was summer when we first came here with Stephen’s parents. This was the first time I’d seen how spectacular the colors of fall are up here, and the party’s just getting started. I wonder when it peaks.  It was soon after our arrival that I took a photo of Stephen and Yogi in bright sunlight.  I wondered why Stephen wasn’t smiling until I developed the photo:  Stephen and Yogi were getting drenched by the spray from the falls.



Here was my first glimpse of the Snoqualmie Falls in fall colors:


We explored Snoqualamie’s old town, took a photo of the giant tree trunk by the train station, and ate outdoors in the sunshine at the Mexican place, Rio Bravo, with Yogi at our feet.  The proprietor takes great pride in his food, and it was delicious. 

After another round of photographing the falls, we settled in for the night around a roaring fire, compliments of the Salish Lodge.  They use real firewood!  We hadn’t enjoyed a wood fire in a fireplace since our days in Fredericksburg.

Stephen sampled the Salish Lodge’s breakfast offering with a sumptuous meal and said it was quite the feast.

We headed out to Issaquah for our next adventure, and had a delicious lunch, outdoors, in the sunshine, at Finn.  Stephen had the Halibut cheeks and I had wild caught mountain trout.  Yogi had a taste of trout skin over rice when we were all finished.
Our waiter also works in the kitchen, so he was extremely knowledgeable and helpful when it came to navigating the menu, and safely steered me to the gluten free options, including offering to modify menu items to make the selection gluten free.  He also understood big dogs; Yogi met a new friend.

Old Towne Issaquah was a delightful blend of modern and quaint.  The Chopin school of Music, a beautifully preserved Shell gas station with pumps from a bygone era, lovely parks, music, art, curio shops, all in one downtown strip that we took in while walking.  We took photos along the way to share with our neighbor, Mandy, who grew up there.

There are words inscribed on the steps to and from Snoqualmie Falls, one word per step at the bottom of each set of stairs.  They read:
Rolling, plunging, pouring, roaring, streaming, meandering, cascading, rumbling, tumbling, sparkling, rushing, gushing, whirling, swirling, twirling, breathtaking, from top to bottom.

Stephen took my camera bag while I ventured back into the country store, where I picked up  Snoqualmie Strange: A Most Peculiar Hiking Guide: Volume I : Mist Gate, by Jim St. James, "warden and protector of the Snoqualmie Territory.  The Country Store has great greeting cards with vintage photos for a reasonable price, 2.99.  My favorite was a quote from Reba McEntire:  “ To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone, and a funny bone.” The store manager put the charge on our room bill; she was most helpful.  

Back at the lodge we had another quiet evening by the fire.  We’d planned on going to dinner together, but Yogi wasn’t having it.  One parent gone for a bit?  That alone elicited a harrumph from him, but both of us gone?  We said “Wait”, then left and listened in the hallway. We tried that twice and gave up.  In the end, we ordered room service.  Stephen ordered a spicy Italian pizza from the Attic's wood fired hearth oven, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the Taylor Shellfish Kusshi oysters.  

What a glorious vacation this has been with sparkling Autumn weather!




Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Dinner - The Petersons - Playlist

NOTES: 1) Lactose and Gluten Free 2) They want to play on the lake on arrival, so nothing will be time sensitive. 3) Due to "table density", we will go with large plates, serve family style

Anti-Pasta, COLD 3 kinds of pasta cooked with caraway, stirred with star anise, garlic, salt, olive oil. I will add some veggies, olives, meats closer to time and recheck spicing, (pasta eats spice)

Sides: 1) Rice pilaf, HOT, served with first two mains. 2) Falafel ROOM TEMP on a plate. 3) Hummus, COLD 4) Panko/Rosemary encrusted Zucchini, HOT

Mains: SERVE TWO AT A TIME:
FIRST: Pollo Puttanesca, Maiale Pancetta
SECOND Souvlaki, Maiale di Funghi w Marzanos

NOTE: pull plates, put out dessert plates
Flourless Carob Date Raisin "brownie"


Friday, July 21, 2017

Dinner - Brent and Peggy

Playlist July 20, 2017
Pupus: dips and dippers, (Trader Joe Veggie Chips)
Shrimp gumbo dip
Chicken lime cheese dip

Initial table setting: small plates with small bowls - load bowls in kitchen
Bean and mix grill soup. Serve broth from kitchen. Pass bowl around with grilled meat, (fillet mignon and sausage) Remove bowls when people are finished, leave plates.

Fruit Salad in dish at table self serve on plates. Remove plates and wash when people are finished.

Large plates load in kitchen
Backyard rub pork over greens
Potato patties with yogurt/Parmesan topping, put extras in dish to pass around
Hummus balls with green enchilada sauce?

Dessert - small plates, load in kitchen:
Brownies with vanilla yogurt + date honey drizzle + dust with nutmeg

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Duracell Batteries Leak

This is not the result of scientific testing, but in both houses I have noticed that my flashlights with Duracell batteries are getting ruined by leaking batteries. The crazy thing is that they are all Duracells. The batteries in my supply cabinet that leak and make a huge mess are all Duracells. I am very tired of the white powder from a battery leak, tired of feeling my skin burn even after washing with soap.

I don't know if it will be any better, but we plan to go to Costco after church tomorrow and I think I will try the Kirkland brand; probably cannot do worse.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Goodbye Kauai, Hello Seattle/Tacoma

When we fly to Kauai on Halloween last year, we expected to be back December 03, 2016. However, while we were there a piece of my foot fell off, (how strange is that!) and I was grounded from flying. Oh well, stuck in Hawaii, what a burden to bear :)

I healed, we rescheduled, and flew back on Alaska Airlines , flight 816, 27 June, 2017. Nice flight, bit of a delay taking off because the LIH airport tower closed and we had to be remote controlled from Oahu, but we made it. Not a bad flight, I watched the Independence Day sequel which was predictable and then Collateral Beauty with Will Smith. I am glad I saw then, doubt I will watch either again.

There were no porters at Seatac at 7:00 A.M. to help us with out dog, Yogi, in his kennel. A baggage handler came to our rescue and helped us get to the street. Starline Limo was ready and reliable as always to get us home.

Kathy was able to stay up, but I crashed for a few hours after we got home. Then I got up and started to work. The the best of my knowledge, I am caught up with all SANS.EDU work as of 29 June. Today, I went to the foot doctor in Tacoma and we had skipped lunch to leave with all the traffic of a Friday on a 4th of July weekend. Yup there was traffic, but we got there on time and they were running late. After, I got my foot inspected and adjusted, we were hungry and went to Asado Steak House. Ymmm, we had a Happy Hour feast, (bar food is 1/2 off and it is the best bar food I have ever experienced). Kathy had two skewers one shrimp and the other scallops. I had the Asado Burger, their mix of ground beef and house chorizo. I had tried something similar at Lava Lava and it was OK, not memorable, but Asado knocked it out of the part. I also got a lamb meatball skewer. As you might guess neither of us could finish it, so we got boxes for later.

After late lunch/early dinner, we went to Trader Joes, (the one on Bridgeway). What could possibly be in Washington worth leaving Kauai. Well, we can start with Trader Joes. Their impulse buy dark chocolate peanut butter cups for $.99 are one example. I have had two while working on this blog post, though Kathy swooped in and grabbed a piece. So, we are back home both from Kauai and Tacoma, have started catching up with our neighbors. I am looking forward to sleeping in a bit late tomorrow, nothing drastic, just not getting up before the sun. I learned about the concept of SILS, (Sleep In Late Saturday) from my sister and we have adopted the tradition here as well.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

SPAM: I wrote you, you didn't reply, so I am writing again

This is an example of a persistent SPAM.

=====
Hello Stephen -
I've reached out to you a few times without reply. I completely understand that you are really busy, but because I haven't heard back, I am worried that I may have offended you in some way!
I would love to show you how PerformYard simplifies employee performance and goal management, but I also don't want to make a pest of myself! 
We haven't connected yet which I believe means:
  1. You are not interested because you already have a solution in place that employees love and is not a drag on the HR team.
  2. You are interested, but are not quite ready to commit to anything...
  3. You are ready to lock in a 15-20 minute discussion this week or next.
Could you respond with 1, 2, or 3, so we can get something on the calendar or I can get out of your hair? 
Best,
Name Withheld

What, not, Where

There was an interesting post on Linkedin recently:

Considering making a move to a different province in the next half year.
What do you think, where should I head? 
 
Where is the best place in Canada for Cybersecurity and Information Security or will be in the next few years? What cities should I be looking at besides Vancouver and Toronto?
Any advice would be much appreciated. =)

And there were a number of replies, including mine, that dutifully talked about this place and that. I was lucky enough to get a reply back from the author.

And then it hit me. I have been part of a fairly expensive class, ($5k), on what are you going to do with the rest of your life. Apologies to my friends who graciously allowed me to talk their ears off with this question. But one of the HUGE takeaways from the class was how geography doesn't matter. Remember the movie Pretty Woman?
Vivian: What would it be like?
Edward Lewis: It would get you off of the street.
Vivian: That's just geography. 
In the course I heard from a number of people and we did a number of readings from people that found when they moved from here to there, both their problems and their skills came with them. This is not to say geography does not matter at all; it does. But it is not the major driver for employment in 2017 for "knowledge workers". To take on the question:
Where is the best place in Canada for Cybersecurity and Information Security
The answer is probably "at home". Here is Fast Company and Forbes take on the topic, you have to decide for yourself. Kathy and I have been working from home for 20 years and we have enough irons in the fire at this point that no single entity can change that. 

Anyone that knows me well has heard the story of taking a friend to the hospital 8 years ago for a procedure and forgetting my smartphone at home on the charger. Now what do I do? Turns out they had a lending library so I grabbed a copy of Alex Toffler's Future Shock, (1970). Here is a story about some of the things he got right, (hint telecommunications was one of them). The bottom line for employers is that many of the best and brightest are going to leave near a beach, or a lake, or somewhere else they consider desirable . . . then we will consider whether to do work for you.

Social interaction! Ah yes, that is important to most of us. There are tons of scholarly articles on telecommunications and social interaction, here is one. Let me spare you the pain or reading them. I just finished a Skype call with my boss. I fly next week to Seattle, one of the world's tech centers. I just had dinner with Jim Manico, one of the top minds in secure coding, who - get this - lives on the island of Kauai. And most importantly, God blessed me with a fantastic wife and dog. No wonder I smile all the time.
 

I do not know that I could survive and thrive in a world without coffee, but I know I can go the rest of my life without working in a sea of cubicles.