oh, rats!

Seattle has rats. Who knew?

They're not very citified though. The ones I ran in to this weekend hardly knew they weren't out in the country. One stuck his head out of the tall grass by the side of the road, realized I was much bigger than he, and stuck hisself back in again.

The tall grass was by this big empty field in the middle of relative nowhere (by the golf course on 15th in interbay). So, you know, the rats can have it. It was just refreshing to meet some wild rats that were afraid of me. As opposed to the Baltimore ones that didn't consider people to be obstacles. Running all over your shoes while you're just trying to walk down the street...

Ug. Have I mentioned I'm glad I moved away?


Dan Simmons has a lot of ideas. He put a lot of them in Hyperion. Some of them are really cool. Some are pretty silly. Some hold up well (it was written in 1989), some sort of... don't.

Hyperion is a frame story. After a brief set up, each of the main characters start telling their stories to each other. It's a great way to illustrate big parts of the hyperion universe. Each person's story is unique, a couple are pretty compelling. The problem is that Simmons voice comes through much too strongly. The setup is that these people are sitting around after dinner telling their story, but it reads like Dan Simmons is writing it, sometimes to the point of being in the third person.

So I like the ideas, and even some of the plots. But the writing wasn't quite there. This is a problem I have with a lot of sci-fi, actually. There are very few people of vision who can really write. I mean, really really write. That's probably why I kept thinking about Banks as I read Hyperion. It has the same scope of vision as a Culture novel; it just didn't have the polish.

non stollen tape measure

non stollen tape measure, originally uploaded by leff.

This pile of concrete was sitting by the side of the road, next to a park that's being renovated, at about 8:30pm.

Anywhere else I've ever lived the forgotten tape measure (pictured) would have been gone the moment the workmen's truck turned the corner. Hell, in Memphis the stack of concrete wouldn't have lasted half an hour.

That plucky tape measure must have sat there for hours. It was probably waiting for it's owner in the morning.

I love Seattle.


pile of donations pic
courtesy of rakka.
We rented a car this weekend. Not for something fun. We just had too many big errands to make any of our friends with cars drive us. We were all over town, dropping off a cubic yard of goodwill donations, recycling monitors, going to the mall, etc.

It was raining. There was the huge UW graduation one exit from the mall. It was, in short, miserable.

It makes me very very glad that I don't have to do this driving thing on a regular basis. But more importantly, it makes me appreciate even more all the rides I've gotten from all my wonderful Seattle friends over the last couple years. I can't thank you guys enough!

say hello to mister june

late again ...., originally uploaded by bunchofpants.

Oh yeah, it's me.
(thanks bop!)

on Rhys, Yppah, and Death Metal

I've been hearing a lot about Gruff Rhys lately. Shed ran in to him at work (he's tall), and Rakka got the cd (CandyLion). So, even though I never listened to the Super Furries, I thought I'd give it a listen. Judging by the huge margin that he beat everybody else by in last week's last.fm, I think I like it.
update: Holy crap, I'm a top listener last week!

Speaking of external influences, coworker matts told me about Yppah months ago. I finally got around to tracking it down. I actually bought it, if you can believe that. matts also showed me bleep.com, drm free albums (mp3) for $10. Not bad. (although the site itself sucks, though. Can't even link you right to Yppah).

This is the song (experimenting with last.fm embed, bear with me):
YppahAgain With The Subtitles

External influences are good. Without them I end up listening to death metal.
GrotesqueCannibal Holocaust

Death Metal is always kind of funny. For some reason more so when it's Swedish. It's pretty great, though, for those with ADD though. It's all transitions, and no repetition.