Thursday, December 30, 2010

Seattle's Personal Ad

This morning's Seattle P-I had an amusing blog post by Amy Rolph.

In a post titled "How Seattle ranked in 2010: Not so sexy, but gay-friendly and smart" Ms. Rolph wondered what a City of Seattle Personal Ad would be like, taking into account the various 2010 polls and ranking lists that have "lauded and lambasted the city in 2010."

Below is the City of Seattle Personal Ad...

"Even though I'm getting up there in years (I was born in 1869), I'd like to find a young companion. A college student, maybe. Don't let my age fool you; I've been told I'm pretty cool and fairly romantic. I've also been told I need to work on my personal appearance, but I'd rather read a book than pick out clothes. Our first date probably wouldn't be too extravagant, and we'd probably have to take the bus. (I'm not a good driver, and bad traffic only makes things worse.) We'd probably go for coffee, or maybe to the nation's best cocktail bar. Or maybe we'll just read a book. Did I mention I like to read? You should know I'm especially good with men and extremely gay-friendly."

Below are the article titles of the various articles that ranked, listed and polled Seattle, for various reasons, to various degrees of positive and negative....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

David Letterman Points Out Sedro Woolley on a Map While Almost Pronouncing the Name Correctly

When you grow up in Washington the names of places do not seem unusual or difficult to pronounce. Often it is names based on the Native American name that are a bit difficult to pronounce.

Like Puyallup. Rather than pronounce Puyallup as Pew-el-up, I have heard many bad manglings, like Pie-a-loop.

Sometimes it can be a non-Native American name that can befuddle someone.

When my mom and dad moved to Eugene, Oregon, where I was eventually born. upon arrival they were embarrassed to find they'd been mispronouncing one of the main Oregon rivers, it being the Willamette. My mom and dad were pronouncing it Will-a-meet-ee.

Mom and dad were born and raised in the Northwest. There is no excuse for them not knowing Willamette was pronounced Will-am-met. A Frenchified version of name for a Clackamas Indian Village.

This morning Betty Jo Bouvier, she known as one of the Wild Woman of Woolley, as in Sedro Woolley, with Sedro Woolley being a town in the Skagit Valley of Washington., sent me a video in which David Letterman tries to say a couple Washington place names, like Sedro Woolley and Anacortes.

Correctly pronounced See-dro Wool-lee and Anna-Cort-s.

The best part of this video is the Osama Bin Laden commercial for Vicks Vapo-Rub that runs before Dave goes into map reading mode...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Western Washington Braces For A Strong Pineapple Express Today

You are looking at what Granite Falls looked like in November of 2006, when the Stillaguamish River and all the other rivers of Western Washington went in to flood mode brought on by several Pineapple Express Storms in a row.

Washington is scheduled to get hit with a Pineapple Express Storm this afternoon, dumping 8 inches of rain in the mountains, with 3 inches expected to fall on the lowlands.

Along with the rain the temperature will rise, with melting snow adding to the flood.

I don't remember when the term "Pineapple Express" was first heard by my ears. It seems it was during the Thanksgiving Day Storm back in the 1990s. That was the worst flooding I remember ever seeing. I'd been up well past midnight, helping sandbag downtown Mount Vernon. The flood was expected to go over the sandbags and flood downtown Mount Vernon.

That would have been a real bad thing. When the Skagit River runs high, downtown Mount Vernon is like New Orleans, well below the water level.

During that particular flood a large crowd had gathered to view the crest of the river, from elevated vantage points. But, just as the time of the predicted crest arrived, the Skagit River dropped a couple feet. The dike had broken down river, flooding Fir Island, saving downtown Mount Vernon.

Two weeks after the Thanksgiving Day Flood, which was supposedly something like a 100 year, or more event. It happened again.

I hope today's Pineapple Express is not a real bad one. But I suspect it may be. There is a lot of snow on the Cascades, ready to melt.

"A Chinook" was what warm tropical air hitting the Pacific Northwest used to be called before the "Pineapple Express" phrase became the popular term used to describe the weather phenomenon in which a strong flow of atmospheric moisture forms near the Hawaiian Islands and then extends to any location along the Canadian or American Pacific Coast.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Spokane's Street Crossing Signal Middle Finger Malfunction

Last week drivers and pedestrians in Spokane were surprised at the new "bird flipping" don't walk signal that had appeared on one of the Eastern Washington town's street crossings.

This new signal was not a Spokane experiment in search of a replacement for the raised hand universal signal to stop.

What it was was an electronic malfunction due to snow, in which all the hand's fingers, except for the middle one and thumb were missing.

Which took awhile for Spokane city workers to get around to fixing, due to the need to get snow off Spokane's roads being a more important priority.

In the meantime Spokane drivers and walkers were greeted with an obscene gesture that likely had some Spokanians amused, some perplexed and maybe one or two greatly offended.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Mega-Disaster Eruption of the Mount Rainier Volcano

Above you are looking at a simulation of what a Mount Rainier volcanic eruption might look like, with a lahar of pyroclastic material, rocky debris and water racing towards Puget Sound.

Due to being so close to the Seattle-Tacoma Metropolitan Area, 14,411 foot tall Mount Rainier is the most dangerous volcano in the continental United States.

When you drive in the Puyallup zone you see Volcano Evacuation Route signs.

Using past Mount Rainier eruptions to determine what would happen when Mount Rainier erupts again, scientists project that the wall of sludge and mud flowing to Puget Sound would inundate the towns of Puyallup, Enumclaw and Kent, before it slows down and thins out as it enters Commencement Bay in Tacoma.

With the flow of mud only stopping once it reaches Elliott Bay in Seattle, 60 miles from Mount Rainier.

It is estimated that a major eruption of Mount Rainier would injure 31,000, kill 18,000, do $2 billion worth of agricultural damage, $4 billion worth of residential damage and $5 billion worth of commercial damage.

Making a Mount Rainier Eruption the worst Natural Disaster in American history.

Below is a map showing the lahar flow's projected area of coverage on its way to Tacoma's Commencement Bay.

Mount Rainier is one of what are known as the world's 16 Decade Volcanoes. Named Decade Volcanoes due to a United Nations initiated project which is part of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. The world's 16 most dangerous volcanoes were determined by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, also known as IAVCEI.
The Decades Volcanoes Project's goal is to support studies of the volcanoes, raising public awareness of the dangers posed by the volcanoes.

The History Channel  has done its part in raising public awareness of the dangers posed by Mount Rainer, by looking at what would happen if Mount Rainer erupted, in an episode of the History Channel's Mega-Disaster series. You can view part of the History Channel Mount Rainer Mega-Disaster below....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Slipping & Sliding in Seattle During the Pre-Thanksgiving Icy Snow Storm

Last week's, pre-Thanksgiving 2010 snowy, ice conditions, in Western Washington, brought some hazardous driving conditions. Like what you see in the KING 5 News Video below. I assume this video was shot in Seattle. I assume, most likely on Queen Anne Hill. But I suppose the video could have been shot on any of Seattle's hills, or steeply sloping roads.

Drivers in Seattle, and the lowlands of Puget Sound, do not get very much snow, icy conditions driving practice. Unless you make an annual winter trek into the Cascade Mountains, where, incidentally, the North Cascades Cross State Highway is now closed until next year's spring thaw, you can go years without experiencing driving in icy conditions.

I have not read the dollar figure on how much all that car banging added up to after last week's storm. Seems like auto body shops must be being very busy. As well as insurance adjusters.