Fort Worden Adventures

Last Saturday, Dad and I took Benji on an all-day adventure to Fort Worden, a ferry ride and a couple hours’ drive away. Fort Worden is one of three forts that were built around the turn of the 20th Century to protect Puget Sound. This included excavating extensive underground or partially buried batteries for gun emplacements, as well as barracks and other supporting buildings. Today, all three forts are state parks, with parts of the buildings open to explore.

When I say “open to explore,” imagine hiking through the woods to suddenly find a cement wall, pocked with stairways, doors, and balconies. Inside, you find mostly empty cement and cinderblock rooms and passages, some extremely narrow, all pitch dark. Graffiti covers most walls, but no animals nest here and mercifully people don’t use the corners as urinals, so overall it’s pretty clean. Hallways connect in strange ways; echoes bounce back. You carefully avoid trenches or raised platforms in the floor and holes in walls that clearly played some part in the military activity at the fort, but now just add the frisson of excitement that only comes from the possibility of breaking an ankle on something in the dark. You wander the passageways and pop out in unexpected places. You climb hair-raising stairways, narrow, steep, and utterly without soft, modern safety features such as railings. You approach the edge of multi-story drops onto cement pads where enormous guns used to hide, again with nothing between you and a fall besides your own acute terror. You peek from spotting towers that once commanded a sweeping view, now obscured by a full-grown forest. Continue Reading >>

Biking Ambivalence

Since crossing the 100k biking milestone, I’ve found it surprisingly difficult to feel motivated to ride.

Probably part of this comes from the weather pivoting swiftly from warm-to-moderate temperatures straight to winter. Yesterday it was 28°F when I got up; I waited to ride until 10 am, when it hit a balmy 35°F. Somehow I find riding in those temperatures physically harder than when it’s 50°F, and I’ve never been able to figure out if it’s actually physically harder, or if it’s purely psychological. Either way, I work harder and still go slower in the winter, even on a sunny day riding my “fast” bike. Continue Reading >>

100,000 Miles Ridden

On my Saturday ride this weekend, I passed 100,000 miles ridden (since I started tracking in 2008). It only took 12 years.

100,000 Miles Ridden

Then: 2008

Off We Go
Then: October, 2008

I started biking in 2006, riding about seven miles one way to the train station. By 2008, my company moved a little closer to our house, so I was able to start commuting 13 miles one way directly there. I had just bought my custom titanium Seven, which I rode mostly just for commuting Monday through Friday, with weekends off. Right around 2008 I met a conductor on the train who was a cyclist and encouraged me to consider doing the Cape Cod MS Challenge, which led to me eventually training for and riding the STP. But long rides were the exception rather than the rule back then. Continue Reading >>

Peek-a-boo Hair Color

Last month I went and got my hair cut. To have some fun with it, I also got a strip of it colored: green/blue/purple fade. My sister called it mermaid chic. This Friday I got the color refreshed, a little less green and a little more blue and indigo. Next month I think we move to all blue on the top half, all purple on the bottom, with a long fade between the two.

Peek-a-boo hair color

Call it benefits of the pandemic. I’m not sure how my work would feel about this exotic hair activity, but at the moment it doesn’t matter one bit. I feel happy every time I deal with my hair and I’m just going to keep having fun with this. Continue Reading >>

Finally! Voting 2020

After four long years of incompetence, illegality, and immorality, capped off with nine months (so far) of complete leadership function, we finally get to have our say in who runs our country. Although I’m a very diligent voter and have rarely missed a vote, I have never looked forward more to exercising my civic duty.

We received our ballots on Thursday, and I immediately started filling it out.

2020 Voting - At Last!
Finally here!

I know a blizzard of misinformation and lies about mail-in voting has obfuscated the truth: that mail-in voting is not only safe and reliable, but makes voting more accessible to all citizens. Continue Reading >>

Work From Home Adaptation: Availability Indicators

While we’re all at home, we each retreat to our own rooms during working or school hours. (Quick aside: Boy am I thankful that we bought a four-bedroom house, giving me and Ian each our own private offices.) Of course we close the door when we need to be left alone. But it’s hard to tell what the closed door means. Is the person in a meeting that can’t be interrupted? Does he just need to focus, but a quick question would be okay? Benji in particular has a hard time not coming in talking, and I’ve had at least a few times of slightly embarrassing un-muted incidents where colleagues have been treated to family conversations. Continue Reading >>